Tarocchino Arlecchino: The World

Harlequin-as-Mercury stands triumphant above the disk of the World. For The Chariot, I mentioned the shared affinity between Mercury, Harlequin, and the tarot. The Chariot features a snappy winged helmet, but here we find the full mercurial regalia, with winged red shoes and the caduceus, entwined in white and black snakes. The horns on his mask echo Mercury’s glyph (☿️). The coloring of his motley also recalls a rooster, another animal associated with the god.

Keywords (translated from Julia Orsini)

Upright: voyage, route, movement, pilgrimage, peregrination, steps, walking, tour, running, incursion, emigration, transmigration, flight, escape, reroute, rotation, circulation, change of scenery, change course, disconcert, call off the dogs

Reversed: earth, cold, thick, matter, mud, sludge, lime, raw material, land, leaf, virgin earth, world, state, realm, empire, terrain, rural, pastures, nearby, orchards, fields, vineyards, reptiles, countries, regions, places, site, local, landscape, aspect, constancy, perseverance, tranquility, stagnation, banks, shore, beach, coasts, rock, reef, plains, mountain, hill, valley, quadrupeds

The World is represented by four quadrants, one for each classical element. Well, that is a bit of an assumption on my part – in my reference the top two which I turned into air and water are pretty hard to make out.

Reference image. The bottom two quadrants are unambiguously flames and towers. The top left looks kind of like clouds, and I have no idea on the top right. Note the question mark next to the 21 from whatever French librarian was annotating this.

I especially love this card as the “flat earth” motif is one of my favorites (as is drawing tiny towers and spires). I used it a bit in Anecdotes Tarot as well.

Detail from VII The Chariot in Anecdotes Tarot.

This is the last card I had to draw for the tarocchino! Because of the timing, if I do crowdfunding to print this deck, it won’t be for another couple of months (I learned my lesson about production times and annoying tax situations from my autumn Kickstarter campaign last year, won’t be doing that again).

So what’s left to do in this time? I have to make the card back and the box design. I also want to put together an accompanying ‘book’ – this will likely be a digital deal like with Anecdotes, but I still have to fill in the blanks with the keywords and lay things out.

I also still have to finalize the card layout. I am not completely convinced whether to keep the keywords or not (I like the way they look), and whether they should be English or French. If you happen to be reading this and have an opinion, please do share.

Besides that, I suppose I will have to come up with another project to fill my time… it has not come to me yet, but it will.

Thanks for reading, and hopefully it will not be long until the next update!

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