Create Your Own Tarot: The Empress

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

The Create Your Own Tarot: Empress round opened on the 15th of June, and I’m a couple of days late talking about it, because Real Life hit me in the gut when we returned from Germany and hasn’t really let up.

The Empress is the fourth card of the Major Arcana, numbered 3 (We start at 0, with The Fool, remember). I know when we think of the word “Empress” we think about a regal and powerful woman, and don’t get me wrong: the Tarot Empress is powerful. She’s an earth mother who’s often depicted as being pregnant, often shown with children, animals, harvest vegetables and fruits, often apples, corn, wheat.

Empress in the garden.

Empress in the garden.

Once again, Apollo Scribe has assembled a great bunch of creators for this month’s tarot round. The dress above is from BLOKC, simply called “Empress”. The colour is Blue Ombre, but the dress comes in several other good colours: I just really like Gwyneth in blue. The crown and necklace are both from BLOKC as well. I love the line of this dress, and the blue stretching down into teal really says “summer” to me.

Another great dress from the event.

Another great dress from the event.

This dress is from Byrne, called “The Empress Soon”, and again it comes in a variety of colours. The crown is from Naminoke, available from a gacha at the event. The Byrne dress recalls other floral dresses worn by Empresses in tarot cards, and the Naminoke crown depicts the 12 stars that are often pictured with the Empress.

Here's another view of this terrific dress.

Here’s another view of this terrific dress.

Here’s another view of this terrific dress. I particularly like the way the collar/cowl works with the body of the dress to bring the whole design together.

Don’t forget that along with the event, there’s a photo contest! It’s inspiring to me to make my own tarot cards, and I’ve enjoyed every round so far. You can find out more about the contest, and see past winners at the Create Your Own Tarot Flickr Group, and each month there’s a separate contest Flickr group as well that will give you an indication of the great variety among photographers and tarot card fans who’ve been enjoying this contest so far.

Here's another look at the cowl.

Here’s another look at the cowl.

Here’s another look at the cowl.

Style Cards:

First Photo:
Dress: BLOKC: Empress, Blue Ombre (Available at Create Your Own Tarot!)
Necklace: BLOKC: Crystal Necklace, Turquoise and Gold (Available at Create Your Own Tarot!)
Crown: BLOKC: Crown in Gold (Available at Create Your Own Tarot!)
Sceptre: Zuri: Scepter Of the Mist
Hair: Entwined: Elektra
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Daisey V1 (a gacha now available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Shoes: Muka: Feetwrap Rosa Dark
Ears: Lumae: Leevi Long Ears

All Other Photos:
Dress: Byrne: Empress Soon, Violet (Available at Create Your Own Tarot!)
Crown: Naminoke, Empress Crown S4 (Available at Create Your Own Tarot!)
Hair: D!va: Judy
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Daisey V1 (a gacha now available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Shoes: Muka: Feetwrap Rosa Dark
Ears: Lumae: Leevi Long Ears

Props:
Arch: Artisan Fantasy: Maiden Tor Stone Arch
White Deer: Alyxen Designs, Silver Deer
Brown Deer: JA: Deer Pack
Brown Bear: Sweet Revolutions
Rabbit: Raya Jonson
Goat: JA: Young Goat
Baskets of Fruits & Vegetables: Dysfunctional Designs [DDD]
Chair: Artisan Fantasy: Renaissance Faire Chair

Location:
The Great Seelie Forest

Create Your Own (SL) Tarot! The High Priestess

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

The High Priestess round of Apollo Scribe’s Ambitious Create Your Own (SL!) Tarot event kicks off tomorrow, and in advance of that, I thought I’d yammer on a bit about tarot, and about some of the stuff you might find if you visit the event.

The High Priestess

The High Priestess

The High Priestess is the third card of the Major Arcana in the standard tarot deck, numbered 2 (we start from 0, with The Fool).

The HPs is the incarnation of the divine. In most traditional decks, she’s pictured in blue or red robes (so I picked purple!), wears a horned headdress, and is pictured with the moon at her feet. The pillars on either side of her, lettered B and J, invoke the Temple of Solomon. She often carries a torah scroll or is pictured with a book.

Headdress and necklace detailing

Headdress and necklace detailing

There are always beautiful things at the Create Your Own Tarot events, and this round is no exception: I love that ZOZ added the torah scroll to the necklace Gwyneth is wearing here as she plays at being the High Priestess herself. The headdress is from Fuubutsu Dou!, with moon disks and feathers. The gown is from Stargazer, and the shimmery cloak really makes it shine.

The CYOT events include a photo contest.

The CYOT events include a photo contest.

The CYOT events include a photo contest, which I made mention of sometime last month (oh, yeah: it was here). Last round’s contest is done and dusted, and you can check out the CYOT Magician Group on Flickr to see the winners.

I’m busy coming up with concepts for this month’s contest (nope, nothing like the above photos!), and I hope that if you enjoy Tarot and Tarot symbolism as much as I do, you’ll find the event inspiring enough to put something together yourself. So far, contest entries have been amazing, and I’ve met some truly wonderful people over the last couple of months through this event.

The Create Your Own (SL) Tarot blog has a lot more information, links to pictures, and whatnot. Check it out!

Style Card:

GOWN: Stargazer, Cassandra in Purple (Available at CYOT!)
NECKLACE: ZOZ: DSignature Raven Necklace of Knowledge (Available at CYOT!)
HEADDRESS: Fuubutsu Dou! The High Priestess, Black (Available at CYOT!)
SKIN: Curio
HAIR: Analog Dog (natch!), Motive
MAKEUP: Lips: Pink Fuel; Eyes: MOCK (natch!)

PROPS:
TEMPLE: Fallen Gods: Odyssey’s Oracle (hunt gift from Fantasy Faire!)
MOON: anc Garden Lady In Moon (a gacha item)
BOOK: Pixicat: Spell Book (Light)
LETTERS: Riders: Font Set Celtic Ornate

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. Go look at the web page. Yes, I know they’re expensive. If you want to take amazing photos in SL, they’re worth every Linden.

The Create Your Own Tarot Photo Contest

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

So, my Loyal Followers (all three of you!) know that I entered the Create Your Own Tarot Photo Contest last month. When I posted about this last, I included some of the scratch images from my contest entries, but not the actual entries. I don’t know why I did that: I guess I was being precious.

I didn’t win any prizes in this contest, though I had a great time doing it and enjoyed creating all the personae for my tarot cards. I’m pretty sure I don’t have permission to post pictures of the winners here, so I’ll link you to the CYOT Tarot Card Photo Gallery. The winners are listed prominently. For the most part, I agreed with the judges’ choices. All the people I’ve met who are involved with this even, including the other contest participants, have been loads of fun and just generally great people.

The second event, based on Card 1 from the Major Arcana, The Magician, is slated to begin today. Well, it’s already 15 April in this part of the world, anyway! I don’t have any advance information about when the event will open today or even any knowledge of what will be there, but if you follow the first link above, you’ll come to the general CYOT gallery, and some creators have put photos of items that look suspiciously like they’ll be part of this event there.

Anyway, just because I feel kind of stupid about being precious last month, and also because I’m pretty proud of these, even though they were not winners, here are my entries into this photo contest. You could enter five cards using stuff from the event and one card not using stuff from the event. I found my imagination stirred up like crazy and actually invented six separate personae, which I originally intended to follow through the event’s ambitious 21-month course. I will probably change at least one of these this month.

First Fool, Gypsy Dancer.

First Fool, Gypsy Dancer.

Actually a mistake, this series of photos was taken before I’d read the rules of the event completely, and it doesn’t contain anything featured at the CYOT event. I was kind of gutted, because I love and collect harlequin-themed clothing and outfits in Second Life, so I had so many things to choose from. I finally went with this one, which was featured at Fashion For Life earlier this year. I won’t provide complete style cards for all these looks, since they’re most of a month old now and you don’t want to know about the archaeological dig that is my inventory. If you’re curious about anything, just leave me a comment and I’ll reply with details.

Second Fool, Blurry Girl

Second Fool, Blurry Girl

Created in a panic because I am terrible with deadlines and I didn’t want to screw up, Blurry Girl was not enough herself, although by this time I was entranced with the concept of having her step off a city house rooftop. She’s firmly in the tradition of The Witches Tarot, which was one of the first tarot decks I owned as a teenager: the very blunt lines and loud imagery spoke to me as a kid, though in this card I’ve used more muted colours.

Fool 3: Teenage WasteFool

Fool 3: Teenage WasteFool

Fools 2 and 3 have too much in common, so I’ll be replacing Fool 2 with another persona for the next round of this photo contest. I know you’re all dying to know who I’ll pick (yr). Teenage WasteFool is still teetering on the edge of the roof, but I’m pretty sure she’s doing it because daddy told her not to.

Fool 4: Jongleur

Fool 4: Jongleur

Jongleur might be my favourite fool out of the set. I had this idea for a village fool. Even though I’m not always attracted by Fool concepts that rely too heavily on Harlequin imagery, I like this one. I put her in a latex catsuit (because naturally she’s a contortionist), cropped her hair, and gave her a traditional cap-and-bells attitude I think, even without the cap. She may be a little bet Pierrot in this photo: I imagine she’s somewhat sad because her audience has left her and she’s not sure what to do next.

Fool 5: City Fool

Fool 5: City Fool

City Fool appeared when I discovered that someone had made some fun modern-themed clothing around The Fool idea for the event. I actually went back and bought the sneakers specifically for the photoshoot. I imagine her as having only recently come to Dublin. Maybe she’s had a bad night; maybe she’s just reckless, but she might just go into the Liffey here at any point. You can’t see it but the necklace she’s wearing is styled after a Rider-Waite  Magician.

Fool 6: Seeker

Fool 6: Seeker

Probably my second favourite of these shots. Seeker Fool was built around the concept of the Fool on a journey. I wish you could see her face: I didn’t want to pose her with her back to the camera, but the view of her looking toward this lighthouse on Frisland (told you I took a lot of pictures there!) really captured my imagination. I dug into my personal wardrobe for this one: only the hat is actually from the event.

I’m already thinking of what to do for this round of the photo contest. I’m going to be maniacally blogging Fantasy Faire after the 23rd of April, so I need to make my personal deadline a week earlier than the actual contest deadline (which I assume will be on 30 April as it was on 31 March last month).

I know my style is simplistic compared to the other entrants, and I can only assume that’s what kept my cards out of the running for any contest awards. Having judged (writing) contests before, I know how nearly impossible it is to give feedback to individual contributors when you’re the judge for a contest. Sometimes because so many people who enter contests just have no clue how far their work has to go and you don’t want to be mean, and sometimes because you aren’t sure what made you go with somebody else, and frankly, sometimes because being a judge is tiring and continuing that role after you’ve already made decisions, with somebody who might disagree with you when you tell her what’s wrong with her entry is just a conversation you don’t want to have. So I didn’t expect to get any feedback, and I haven’t asked for any. That said, if you’re dying to tell me something I could have done to make any of these photographs stupendously wonderful, please get in touch!

More details on CYOT as soon as the event opens and I’ve visited it. 🙂