stella manus omnium deum
stella manus omnium deum
"Ars Zorot" is a 12-part illustration series that artist explores the signs of the 12 sun-sign Zodiac, through the interpretation of the Tarot. Each Zodiac sign is characterized by it's adjacent cardinal (meaning "guide" or leading figure) Tarot card. The symbolism is illustrated throughout by incorporating both Tarot and Zodiac meaning in character props and other animal figures, such as their weapons and/ or attire.
This series is presented in order of the Gregorian (Western) calendar year, as to simplify readings, and via Society6 feature black & white line drawings as 1st editions.
Aries - The Emperor
The ram symbols on the Emperor's throne refer to the idea of God in the Arien Astrological Age or dispensation, in which the deity was seen as a stern ruler demanding sole loyalty and adherence to His laws. The Emperor's steel armor and the red tones of the imagery represent the planet Mars, and its correlations with self defense and initiation of new ideas. The sign Aries starts at the Spring Equinox, when nature is renewing itself, this key is secondarily ruled by the planet Pluto, planet of transformation and rebirth, and more commonly known as ruler of Scorpio.
Taurus - The Hierophant
The Hierophant represents hearing, both outer and inner. Associated astrologically with the Earth Sign Taurus, this key has many symbols of the ears and throat, in which the larynx, used in singing, is housed. Ruled by Venus, associated with the throat Chakra and thyroid gland, this sign and tarot key also represents physical growth and stamina. The figure actually represents feminine or subconscious principles underlined by Taurus' Venus rulership and Moon's exaltation within. Rather than representing a visible form of rulership such as seen in the previous key, The Emperor, The Hierophant represents our inner hearing or intuition, which seems to come from within, sometimes perceived as an "inner voice". The [bull] kneeling in front of the Hierophant represent our personality functions of intellect and desire, which must be submitted to this higher teaching from within.
Gemini - The Lovers
The Lovers represents the spiritual and psychological function of discrimination, or the ability to tell things apart, separating them by comparing them. This intellectual ability corresponds to the Zodiac sign Gemini and its astrological ruler, Mercury. A standard of occult law is that our consciousness outer world perceives opposites, such as night and day or good and evil, and the most obvious pair of opposites represented in this key is Male and Female. The man represents our self-conscious mind whereas the female represents subconsciousness, and together the imagery represents inner light and outer space meeting at one point; infinity and eternity joined in time. All of existence is love.
Cancer - The Chariot
The Chariot is really a combination of all the spiritual and psychological principles represented by the preceding tarot keys and represents the idea of Will, or at least the illusion of it, which seems to come from inside the vehicle, or chariot of our souls, controlling the mind and the emotions. This idea of a vehicle of the soul corresponds to this keys association with Zodiac sign Cancer, and the glyph illustrated behind the figure represents that cyclic flow of essence, particularly emotional energy. The charioteer's canopy is filled with stars indicating the receptivity to cosmic influences represented by Cancer's ruler, the Moon. Although Cancer is a feminine, receptive sign, it is Cardinal, or initiating, corresponding again to this idea of Will.
Leo - Strength
Strength represents the Zodiacal sign Leo and connects the spheres of Justice and Mercy on the Qabalistic Tree Of Life. The lion represents the life power known in Indian terminology as Kundalini, and the woman opening the lion's mouth symbolizes the gradual activation of this power. The roses around the figure's feet indicate that the only safe way of activating this kundalini energy is through love and creativity, opening the heart chakra represented by Leo's ruler the Sun.
Virgo - The Hermit
The Hermit represents completion, as can be seen by the old man - Mercury having climbed the mountain and shining his light of wisdom down for all aspirants below him. The Hermit's service to others and solitude correlates with the sign Virgo, as does his staff, which represents Virgo's physical function of digestion. It is this Mutable Earth Sign's functions which transform energy in food to "light" or wisdom represented by the 6-pointed star lamp held by The Hermit, taking place in the small intestine. Mercury's rulership and exaltation in this sign indicate that it is correct selection and discrimination in food choices which affect both our physical and mental health.
Libra - Justice
Justice corresponds to the Zodiac sign Libra ruled by Venus. On the Qabalistic Tree Of Life, this key connects the Severity/Geburah sphere to Beauty/Tiphareth, and balances the path of The Hermit, which connects the Mercy/Chesed sphere to Beauty. The spiritual principle illustrated is of course Karma or the result of action, represented by the female figure's robes. The scales represent balance, as Libra seeks equilibrium, and the weights on its scale symbolize equality by means of value.
Scorpio - Death
Tarot's ominous Key 13, Death, becomes less foreboding when we examine the symbolism and astrological rulership in detail. Representing the sign Scorpio, which is traditionally ruled by Mars but more modernly by Pluto, everything about this key signals the process of change or transformation and the life-death continuum, kept in motion via sexual reproduction. The figure points on out, to imply movement or change, while the rising sun (at the far left of figure) suggests the passing of the night and the rebirth of a new day. The figure is poised upon a skull, which at an end, marks the death of the past and tittering upon "the brow of Time" the potential future leaps forth. The white rose on the banner carried by the figure indicates both purity and unity. In tarot symbolism, red roses symbolize personal desire, whereas white roses symbolize universal desire.
Sagittarius - Temperence
Temperance is associated with the Zodiac sign Sagittarius. The path leading up the mountain in the background symbolizes spiritual aspiration guided by higher principles which correspond to this sign's ruler, Jupiter. In some versions of this key is a rainbow, the result of sunlight shining through water vapor, which underlines the symbolism here of mixing fire and water in the idea of Temperance. The flowers in the imagery of this key are Irises, since in Greek Mythology, Iris was the goddess of the rainbow.
Capricorn - The Devil
The Devil shows the image of a mythical creature appearing as a bat, eagle and goat, however in its features elude to a mysterious energy. The latter's horns also point to this key's association with sign Capricorn. All these clues point to the fact that what exoteric religion calls The Devil is an idea that we ourselves have created by putting too much emphasis on external appearances, without penetrating to how they were caused. The upside-down pentagram on The Devil's head also indicates the wrong assumptions made about the physical level of creation. The chains around the figures attached to this half-cube are loose and can easily be removed once the illusion of separateness is realized. The human-like figures are representations of Oblivion (Darkness of Space) and Inception (Light of Energy), both bound to the goat, and the realm of Reality.
Aquarius - The Star
The Star represents the calm after the storm represented by the previous key, The Tower. Psychologically, it represents the process of meditation, and astrologically it represents the sign Aquarius. The central figure, which is in this instance positively female, is naked to show that she is open to the teachings revealed by meditation on nature, and is free from any preconceived ideas based on the illusions of separateness. Her depth of knowledge appears as vast as the depths of Space.
Pisces - The Moon
The Moon, represents the astrological sign Pisces, ruled by the outer planet Neptune and the imagery suggests the principles of evolution, both physical and spiritual. The illuminated fish emerging from the pool in the foreground can be seen as the animal soul evolving as it progresses up the rolling path towards the two towers and beyond, through firstly the mineral level of creation, then the plant level, then the animal and human levels and beyond the two towers to humanity's next stage of evolution. The dog and the wolf on either side of the path represent the process of adaptation which is essential to evolution, as organisms which do not have the genetic mutations which adapt them to their environment do not survive. On a more psychological and spiritual level, this adaptation comes through art and sacrifice. Scientific research shows that it is our moon which has been paramount on the process of natural evolution from simple life forms in the ocean. It is the constant motion of the tides, produced by the gravitational effects of our moon upon earth's oceans, which has forced organisms to adapt and change. The Moon also represents the subconscious mind, active in the process sleep of dreaming associated with this key.