THE WILD GREEN CHAGALLIAN TAROT
The Wild Green Chagallian Tarot is the very latest manifestation of a fascination with tarot that that began with The Mystic Rubáiyát and deepened with The Pen Tarot, both of which may be seen by clicking on the links in the sidebar.
The paintings of Marc Chagall and the plants we find growing wild in the woods and fields, by streams and rivers, on waste land and grass verges, as well as turning up as often unwelcome visitors in our parks and gardens, may seem an odd combination to take as the staring point for a tarot. My only excuse is that both have been separate sources of inspiration to me for a long time – the work of Marc Chagall for the poetry in paint that I can never hope to equal, and wild green things for the precious resources contained within their cell walls and so easily overlooked. I’ve linked the tarot archetypes to the wild plants (nearly all of which I use myself) that seemed to me most similar in their characteristics, and in doing so fully realize that I’ve gone against previously created herbal tarots. The most obvious example of this is Death, which I’ve linked to hemlock. Interpret the card’s meaning however you will, but unlike the other wild plants chosen for The Wild Green Chagallian Tarot, hemlock is deadly poisonous and a small amount will kill.
I do hope The Wild Green Chagallian Tarot proves an inspiration, as Chagall’s love, wife and muse Bella was to him. For Bella’s presence is somehow suggested in every painting created after they met, and for this reason she appears as the Muse in the extra card. Perhaps you’ll explore the life and work of Marc Chagall, or study, appreciate and use some of the precious wild plants often unnoticed and trodden underfoot – if you don’t already do so. But please remember that this tarot cannot take the place of a good field guide and experience and confidence in identification of the plant/s during the course of a year. These aids are advised before you begin to prepare and use wild green things. And don’t forget that a weed is only a plant out of place.
The images for The Wild Green Chagallian Tarot were created using the whimsical figures of Marc Chagall as inspiration. They were painted in gouache on heavy watercolour paper. The titles were handwritten and added digitally later, and the cards are un-numbered. In addition to the twenty-two cards of the major arcana and the title card, there is one extra card - The Muse. The Muse represents Bella, and can be interpreted as 'Inspiration'.