Hermenautic Tarot (22)
November 24, 2015
John Hilgart has asked 54 friends of HiLobrow to contribute to the Hermenautic Tarot — a comic-book rorschach creative writing experiment in symbol-making and oracular speechifying. Each contributor was randomly assigned a card from the 4 COLOR PRINTING CMYK deck, which was created by Tom Hart — using images from Hilgart’s own 4CP archive — to fundraise for the Sequential Artists Workshop. This series of posts will eventually become a booklet. UPDATE: In 2018, we are adding an additional 24 cards to the deck, in order to arrive at a cartomantically correct 78 in total.
The Liminal Ape walks away from a scene of domestic conflagration, tall and strong. Though naked, his skin is still colored with the palatte of the burning house behind them, indicating an unwillingness to shed aspects of a situation, which can only harm him. However, whether he has burnt his last bridges or is merely a lucky escapee, there is no turning back now. Even so, he shows uncertainty, torn between the (at least familiar) carnage behind him and the cool blue unknown forest before him. This card indicates a conflict between a known, but suboptimal situation and new paths, unknown and uncertain. New beginnings and bad ends. Cutting ties or allowing familiarity to lull you into a smoke-blanketed sleep. The questioner may feel they are trapped in a steadily shrinking island of normality, cut on all sides by chaos and uncertainty. Above all, this card indicates the need for movement. One cannot remain on the grassy knoll forever. One must either reckon with their merry destruction or attempt to walk a new, uncleared path.
REVERSE: The situation appears clear, but clarity may be masking an unacknowledged complexity. Pause and undo the traces before committing to a plan of action.
HERMENAUTIC TAROT SERIES: INTRODUCTION by John Hilgart | Annie Nocenti on THE KUBRICK | Deborah Wassertzug on AS YOU LIKE IT | Douglas Rushkoff on PIXELATED | Kim Cooper on THE GREAT INTEGRATION | Tom Nealon on THE MYOPIC CAPTAIN | Stephen Burt on ENTANGLEMENT | Mark Kingwell on THE WARY WATCHERS | Allegra Huston on PARANOIA | Flourish Klink on THE MULTIFACETED MAN | Jason Grote on THE UNEXPECTED | Jessamyn West on THE SHIFT | John Hilgart on THE B-MOVIE MONSTER | Josh Glenn on THE SELL-OUT | Judith Zissman on THE EXPLODING SUPERNOVAS | Mandy Keifetz on THE INVISIBLE MAN | Gary Panter on THE PASSAGE | Jordan Ellenberg on THE FALSE FACE | Jonathan Lethem on THE GRAVE ROBBERS | Douglas Wolk on DEXTERITY | John Holbo on THE HEAVIEST HEADS | Colin Dickey on KAIROS | Molly Sauter on THE GRAND EXIT | Matthew Battles on ADUMBRATION | Anindita Basu Sempere on THE DETECTIVE | Gordon Dahlquist on THE STREAMER | Jen Collins on OFF COURSE | Karinne Keithley Syers on THE HIGH BEAMS | Sara Ryan on RORSCHACH (NOT THAT ONE) | Deb Chachra on FLYING | Mimi Lipson on EUPHORIA | Cintra Wilson on FEELING CORNERED? | Alice Boone on THE FLAWS | Shelley Jackson on HESITATING HORSE | Jacob Covey on THE PANE | Claire Lehmann on THE APPARITION | Kio Stark on THE FLIGHT RISK | Joanne McNeil on THE RELUCTANT COMMUTER | Lynn Peril on THE WAITING MAN | Jenny Offill on THE VALLEY OF UNREST | Luc Sante on THE OLD DARK HOUSE | Erik Davis on FORBIDDEN FRUIT | Devin McKinney on THE ATOMS | Dan Fox on THE OBFUSCATOR | Patrick Cates on THE MASKED ASSESSOR | Chris Spurgeon on OVERWHELMING TEMPTATION | Jenny Davidson on THE ALL-SEEING EYE | Lauren Oliver on THE HERO COMPLEX | Brian Berger on THE WHITE VISITATION | Tim Spencer on DISILLUSIONMENT | Chelsey Johnson on THE BEARD OF SHADOWS | Alix Lambert on THE EYE FLOATER | Ed Park on THE TWINS | James Parker on THE NO-NO-NOBOT | Amy Thielen on VELOCITY | Lisa Jane Persky on EXPECTATIONS | Veda Hille on THE DUSTY REVEAL | Wayne Chambliss on THE RIDE-ALONG | Kenya (Robinson) on BALANCE BEAM | Ken Layne on THE DOPPELGÄNGER | David Levine on THE GROOVY | Joe Alterio on THE DROP-OFF | Jennifer Krasinski on PREDATORY VIGILANCE | Libi Rose on ELECTROMAGNETISM | Carl Wilson on THE TRACKER | Mimi Zeiger on THE RED MOON | Vanessa Berry on DARK MATTER | Peter Doyle on THE CHAIN OF FOOLS | Joy Press on THE WAYLAYER | Sarah Weinman on IN THE CORNER | Stephanie De Gooyer on THE INVASION | James Hannaham on THE URBAN HAWK | Annalee Newitz on THE PUBLIC CHARIOT | Jace Clayton on THE BLEACHED FLAG | Chenjerai Kumanyika on THE VEIL | Alexandra Molotkow on TBD | Molly Wright Steenson on TBD | Melissa Gira Grant on TBD | Mike Watt on TBD.
MORE HILOBROW/4CP SERIES: BLOW UP YOUR COMICS — John Hilgart glosses 30 favorite 4CP images | The HERMENAUTIC TAROT: 54 Writers, on 54 4CP Tarot Cards | The Art of 4CP | SUBSUPERMEN — Golden Age heroes who didn’t make the grade | MASKED MAN | LIMERICKANIA | MEET THE L.I.S. — Implicit superheroes, concealed within comic-book mastheads | 4CP FRIDAY — themed comic-book detail galleries, curated by 4CP fans
MORE COMICS-RELATED SERIES: KIRB YOUR ENTHUSIASM — 25 writers on 25 Jack Kirby panels | ANNOTATED GIF — Kerry Callen brings comic book covers to life | COMICALLY VINTAGE — that’s-what-she-said vintage comic panels | DC — THE NEW 52 — an 11-year-old reviews DC’s new lineup | SECRET PANEL — Silver Age comics’ double entendres | SKRULLICISM — they lurk among us
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CLICK HERE to read HiLobrow’s Erik Davis on the origins of the Rider-Waite Tarot.