Come see my lasted piece at the Wellington Museum & Archives on February 9th at the opening of Tarot Lovers
A little history…The Tarot Lovers: This is how I came to create this imagery.
In the 1500’s, the Tarot cards were used to play a card game similar to bridge or euchre, where tricks are taken. Tarot cards have a fifth suit, called the trump suit. The trump suit is also called the major arcana (which means big secrets), the other suits constitute the minor arcana (lesser secrets). The suits are related to regular playing cards, and are the cups (hearts), swords (spades), wands (clubs) pentacles (diamonds) and the trumps. The trump suit reflects allegorical and archetypal images well known in the Renaissance.
1909, The tarotist Edward Waite used many Christian references in his deck. He has Eve standing in front of the tree of knowledge, the snake entwining the tree. Adam stands in front of a tree with 12 flames, the tree of life, and archangel Raphael, overhead, offers a blessing. In the RWS deck, the Lovers card represents a significant pairing, even a sacred pairing, but also maintains the older interpretation of a difficult choice.
In the Tarot de Marseille there is a second figure in the card. There are many theories about this, but the most common understanding is that the person is being faced with a choice between a sensual and a practical lover or a soldier vs royalty. The interpretation of “a difficult, even moral, choice”.
I looked at many significant lovers and did sketches before picking. The Gemini symbol is also a part of the Lovers Card, so the fact that Luke and Leah are twins seemed to fit. I spent time looking into whether George Lucas knew that the Luke and Leah were brother & sister at the beginning, I still don’t know for sure. But think not, just based on how people responded to sexual issues in the 80’s.
I combined the RWS imagery with the Marsalis dilemma. The “lovers”, Luke, Leah & Han Solo are from different time periods in the story and that has its own significance. The planet is Tatooine, where Luke and Leah’s parents first met, it’s also a desert planet, a safe place and often is depicted as an unhappy place. The doorway is significant for two reasons, Darth & Obiwane’s epic fight on the Death Star; a battle of dark and light, inside the doorway is the city of clouds, where Leah and Han were a couple for the first time.