Riddles of the Absurd

Daily Draw January 5th, 2013

Well, I rocketed to the sky this morning when I saw this post on Jessica Shanahan’s blog about the Tarot of the Absurd Riddles.

Oooooh, a riddle, a puzzle, a chance to put cards in order and attach words to them and take a picture. The feel of the cards on the fingers, the snap of them when you lay them down, the spacing, the rows, the snipping and reordering of concepts, the details, the puzzle, the layout, the cards you had forgotten, the stars that you missed.

For me, this was a delightful meditative exercise, the entire concept of it appealed to me. This is a woman with ideas folk out there. She is writing a book, and I am looking forward to that moment, that exquisite moment when thought becomes concept, becomes words, becomes a book, becomes a thought to be read by others.

Plus I got to play with my scissors and lay cards out over the doll quilt I am pinning on my drafting board. I can actually see my drafting board, what better moment for meditation?

by Jessica Rose Shanahan


There they be fellow riddlers on the path of life, and that’s today’s draw.

Update: Rats, I got 3 wrong. More assimilation of concepts needed….




3 thoughts on “Riddles of the Absurd

  1. Ooh, I like this kind of thing.

    Didn’t there used to be more of this kind of stuff years ago? Challenges and stuff. Interaction.

    There seems a lot less of it now.

    I remember laying the cards from the Adrian Tarot to make that massive ‘Lovers’ image out of the backgrounds. I remember something like that in the Da Vinci Enigma too with the backs.

    There seems a lot less of it now.

    But this is great. Doesn’t the patchwork blanket add a nice colouring to the black and white cards?

    Just looked at Jessica Shanahans blog. What an inspiring woman. Her designs are full of life. The little riddles remind me of the words on the Rumi Tarot.

    • I don’t know, I have always interacted with my cards. I suppose a few tarot authors have written about exercises in books. Also the Grail Tarot can have the cards put together as the backgrounds work together. And the Tarot of the III Millennium did a similar thing.

      I like the action of using your hands and connecting words together that the riddles provide.

      I feel that people want to get straight to the divinatory aspect of cards, and interesting symbolism or mythology suffers. It’s the big rush to see if they are “readable” that loses some of the magic of discovery in odd decks, more original art.

      The riddles are very poetic–now that you mention it they do remind me of those snippets of Rumi poetry.

      Jessica is very inspiring. I find a few artists in tarot like that–Ash Abdullah (Ash Goh) for instance has that original creative edge. It’s more than being a good artist, it’s the ability to have an original idea. Lorena Moore is another artist who thinks for herself this way.

      They don’t appear too often which was why I gravitated to Jessica, once I discovered her work. You can’t let people like this escape attention. Well, I can’t, as they are too rare in the sea of humanity.

      • I always enjoyed the exercises in Jessica McBeth’s Faery Oracle book. I suppose they could be applied to any deck really.

        Yes, I agree with your thoughts too. So many people just dismiss the original parts of some cards and skip to what they already know about the specific meaning.

        Sometimes I can forgive not so wonderful art when an idea is strong.

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