Rohit Arya_ Creation of the Magician-Vishnu in the Sacred India Tarot

Vishnu, Lord of Maya:   Tarot One -The Magician

Rohit’s Notes: 


“Vishnu should be in a standing posture, in the Immovable Position that suggests perfection in the Indian sculptural tradition.  For God’s sake do not have any garlands of flowers on him!  He should be clad in shining golden armour, and I do mean full body armour.  The mace he wields should not be the silly onion bulb on a stick so beloved of Indian calendar art, but a real mace, something like Charles Martel the Hammer of God used in the battle of Tours in the 8th century.  A European knight’s battle club or mace would do very well, and if it has multiple faces, so much the better.  This should be held by his lower right arm/hand, and represents the earth element of the magician.  The lower left arm should hold a lotus, and represents water.  The upper left arm holds the chakra or quoit.  This too is represented in a foolish manner in India.  Please do not have the chakra held up daintily on the forefinger, that representation in art only shows the total ignorance in India about the nature of the weapon.  I want a real throwing discus-blade, something like Zena, warrior princess, uses on TV.  It should ideally be a ring of fire, as the chakra is a portion of the sun’s energy, and thus forms the fire element, in The Magician’s complete mastery over the elements.  He is also the lord of Maya, which further confirms him as the Magician.  A suggestion of the vast cosmos behind him or the ocean of milk upon which he floats, would complete the picture.  A somewhat difficult idea would be to have a small picture of Laxmi engraved on his armour above his left breastplate, to suggest the link between them, and to satisfy the traditionalists.  Vishnu’s complexion should be a brilliant dark blue or black.  The latter may be difficult if we are using a cosmic background.  If he is to be given a crown of any sort, please keep it small.  Let it look like a warrior’s helm, and perhaps a peacock feather in it could suggest his avatar as Krishna too.”

Correspondence: Gautam“Regarding Vishnu, the snake could be like a royal umbrella over his head, with a spread out hood.  No sword and shield.”

Jane’s notes: 

 “Maya also means “Measure” – that which is measurable by our limited or temporal frame of reference, as against the Immeasurable or limitless. Vishnu focuses the creative process which Rudra generates.  Concentration.  Buddha and Krishna avatars –  rebalancing of the Dharma when the worlds are in peril.   The serpent powers which burst out from Rudra are now contained, and crown Vishnu with the five headed cobra of the universe.”

Correspondence: Gautam and Rohit:  “We really fell in love with this illustration.  As you said, he is still and centered. The expression on the face is great.  The top of the mace is a bit off-centre which needs to be rectified.  Arms are thin and should be more muscular.  The snake is great and the disc is also nice.  He should be shown holding the disc with his fingers visible on the outside, rather than the disc resting like a plate on his palm.  In other words he should grip the disc.  The mace should be held more firmly, instead of daintily. The overall visual impact and emotion of the picture is great.  The shell is a creative touch, but should look more like a conch shell.  The crescent is a great idea.  However, there is the issue that Vishnu is primarily a solar deity.  What do you think about this point which could be raised by someone?”


Jane “Vishnu’s solar aspect is emphasized in his armour.  Can thicken arms slightly.  Problem with crowding and clarity in small scale paintings such as these.  Disc, mace and hand grips can adjust, no problem.  I think a small bright sun can go in heart region over breastplates.  Absolutely no room for Laxmi here, especially when scaled down to card size. 

Might develop a few sun rays in white lower background (milky ocean). His facial expression took a very long time to get right.  His vehicle the tortoise shows how slowly the aeons pass, which support his lightning Descent.”

Rohit Arya is an Author, Yogi and Polymath. He has written the first book on Vaastu to be published in the West, {translated into five languages} the first book on tarot to be published in India, co-authored a book on fire sacrifice, and is the creator of The Sacred India Tarot {82 card deck and book}. He has also written A Gathering of Gods. He is  a corporate trainer, a mythologist and vibrant speaker as well as an arts critic and cultural commentator. Rohit is also a Lineage Master in the Eight Spiritual Breaths system of Yoga

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