The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
The literature I chose was The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum published in 1900. I thought it was a great piece of classic American literature as well as touching on the sensibilities that many lovers of tarot would appreciate.
“When Dorothy stood in the doorway and looked around, she could see nothing but the great gray prairie on every side. Not a tree nor a house broke the broad sweep of flat country that reached to the edge of the sky in all directions. The sun had baked the plowed land into a gray mass, with little cracks running through it. Even the grass was not green, for the sun had burned the tops of the long blades until they were the same gray color to be seen everywhere. Once the house had been painted, but the sun blistered the paint and the rains washed it away, and now the house was as dull and gray as everything else.“
The tornado was the first major source of movement that took Dorothy out of her bleak, gray existence, broke it into a rainbow of color, moved her past what was insurmountable and placed her in a fertile land where she could explore, know and integrate all aspects of her self. Her companions were the horses that she would commandeer along the course of the Sun in her Chariot; beastly, courageous, filled with knowledge, and heart. Dorothy would also meet and usurp her shadow, the Wicked Witch of the West, and free all she had enslaved. This whole journey takes place along the yellow brick road, so similar in color and shape to a ray of sunlight. Illumination of her self is what allowed her to return home triumphant.
At the end of the yellow brick road is the Emerald City, a perfect color as green is the middle color in a rainbow, or the visible spectrum of light, and Gods in myth and legend are often portrayed as riding an emerald chariot or sitting on an emerald throne. Of course this is where she meets Oz who, singly bespectacled like a modern Odin and Magician, gives Dorothy the tools she needs to complete her journey; faith and understanding that she possesses all the knowledge and attributes she needs to get back home by her own skill.
The painting shows Dorothy and Toto aloft in the tornado and beneath them the path they are taking from the cracked dry earth of the Kansas farms up to the insurmountable mountains, on to Munchkinland, then the yellow brick road through forests and fields of poppies, and finally to Emerald City surrounded by mountains, clouds and a glorious rainbow.
Standing at the start of the yellow brick road is the Wicked Witch of the East, hands on hips, looking indignant, knowing something was not right but not guessing she would shortly meet her doom when Dorothy’s house lands on her. She is wearing the ruby slippers (silver in the book, but ruby in accepted iconography) and perhaps she is ignorance.
The Wicked Witch of the West and her flying monkeys are in the upper left corner of the painting and my favorite part of the painting is the Fool weathervane on the house!
Meanings for this card: Knowing and remembering what you are innately capable of, gaining control and mastery of all aspects of your self and then moving along the yellow brick road of your life in balance and good character. Freedom from slavery. Autonomy.
Marie White is a stay at home mom by day and a tarotsmith by night, plying her trade with brush, hue and pulp. Combining her love of mysticism and art, she has been creating the Mary-el Tarot for the last 9 years and is finally nearing completion. Born and raised in Southern California, she recently packed up her 3 wonderful kids, Sophie, Rex and Freya, and soulmate Michael, and moved to the sultry forest in North Carolina where she can paint under the rolling thunder and the moving shadows of trees. Web: http://www.mary-el.com/