This is the twenty-third post in a series on the Tarot Rug Project (also known as "Exploring the Tarot: 23 Artists Hook the Major Arcana"). To view other rugs in the series, go HERE (that post will be kept up to date as new photos are published and the show travels).
JUDGEMENT: Here is the "classic" Rider-Waite-Smith image:
"Spirituality means waking up. Most people, even though they don't know it, are asleep. They're born asleep, they live asleep, they marry in their sleep, they breed children in their sleep, they die in their sleep without ever waking up. They never understand the loveliness and the beauty of this thing that we call human existence."
Anthony De Mello
"The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up."
"My appointed work is to awaken the divine nature that is within."
Let's have a look at what Linda Rae Coughlin has done to interpret this card in her tarot rug:
Linda Rae Coughlin is not only a rug artist herself, but also an author (she has at least 2 books on rug art in print), a curator of rug shows, and has traveled internationally to teach on the topic of creativity. Linda Rae has a website packed with wonderful images of rugs by her and also of rugs by others in the numerous shows she has curated. You can find more information about her background and her books on the site--just go HERE to see it, and don't forget to come back! There is so much to take in.
Let's look at these two portrayals of "Judgement" side by side:
One of the many things I have learned from writing blog posts about this tarot rug show is the concept of simplifying images when transposing a complex idea from a drawing, painting, or photograph into a hooked rug. This rug is almost the last rug in the show (only two more rugs to discuss in this series), and while I could write a book about what I've learned from looking at each artist's work, I promise to spare you--but I will say this: I'll take the idea of simplifying forward with me as I design rugs in the future.
As have many other artists in this show, Linda Rae went straight to the most powerful images in the card and simplified, simplified, simplified. As a result, we can really focus on those symbols in her rug. In the original card, we see the archangel Gabriel blowing his horn, from which flows a white banner with a red cross. Beneath the clouds just underneath him lie beautiful mountains, a pond or ocean, and six people responding to his call by standing and looking up at him. And are those coffins? Yes indeed. These folks are literally being resurrected, woken up. But more about that in a moment...
In Linda Rae's interpretation of the card, Gabriel and the horn are prominent. The banner has been twinned with itself on the bottom left and right, almost like flowerpots, and from them grow the shoots of new growth and development. The human figures are indicated by the large hands reaching up to cradle the horn against a background of brilliant light--a wonderful response to the call. And somehow that brilliant blue background is a tranquil and lovely "holding container" for what is portrayed here. This design puts the most meaningful symbols from the original card squarely into our view.
WHAT DOES THE CARD MEAN?
So...what IS being portrayed here? This card is about "answering the call." It is about resurrection, rebirth, forgiveness, and starting anew. The red cross on the white background is a Templar Cross, symbolizing protection for those who answer that call, who wake up and begin a whole new journey. What a wonderful and encouraging message.
“I believe there's a calling for all of us. I know that every human being has value and purpose. The real work of our lives is to become aware. And awakened. To answer the call.”
“What makes your heart leap?”
When you get this card, ask yourself:
I absolutely cannot resist closing this post with a hilarious clip on YouTube--Ethel Merman singing "Blow, Gabriel, Blow," a Cole Porter song. Ethel is definitely an acquired taste...as one critic said, "She couldn't sing, she couldn't dance, she wasn't pretty..." but she certainly was an American original and great fun to watch. Don't miss what happens about 2 minutes 30 seconds into the clip. Watching this piece will definitely "wake you up," although perhaps that's not QUITE what this card had in mind...!
Curious about the rest of the rugs in the exhibit? You can see all the posts by clicking on the link at the very top of this post. There is a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section here (NOTE: scroll down to the bottom of that post to get to the FAQ).
Thanks for reading. Your comments are always welcome.
I'm a textile artist (traditional rug hooking, punch needle rug hooking, and other textile arts), long-time meditator and coach, focused on learning about the interplay of art, creativity, and mindfulness every day.
NEXT INTRO TO ZENTANGLE CLASS:
No immediate group classes scheduled (I'm always open to hearing about a good venue in the Cambridge-Somerville area). I am always happy to teach 1-1 and/or in a small group in your home.
Come and amaze yourself!
SITES TO WATCH:
Insight Meditation Society
Oxford Rug Hooking School
Zentangle: The Official Site
Green Mountain Rug Hooking
Massachusetts Tarot Society
Skillful Meditation Project