Rohit Arya_ Sacred India Tarot#Creating the Empress

The Empress card in a Tarot pack based on Indian mythology was always going to be Laxmi. I think we sent some calendar print images which are now lost and the famous Laxmi sculpture at Ellora which I show here. That was all, I think .This bit of correspondence was interesting for I was already thinking of two Death cards.. we ended up with 82 cards to the deck! On an immodest note, I am really  knowledgeable about my culture!! That makes me an anomaly, an oddity in the current scenario of proud ignorance that prevails.


Correspondence:  Jane: You mentioned in your notes a picture of Laxmi sitting on conch shells, and some writing about No 4, Brahma (Emperor) …”

Rohit’s Notes: 

“I would love to see a Sri Yantra worked into the figure.  Laxmi should be red in complexion, but not so that it repulses.  Use a lot of gold liberally both in ornamentation as well as in the illustration.  Ideally there should be a bower of vegetation, perhaps golden, over her head.  She should be seated in the lotus position of yoga – this should be plainly visible – and this card can indulge the Indian love for over-ornamentation as much as is needed.  There should be two white elephants on either side of her showering her with water.  Her right hand should stream out golden coins, perhaps inscribed with pentacles on them.  Beside her there should be a highly decorative pot made of metal.  Instead of seating her on a lotus, we could seat her on a lotus made of conch shells as the sculpture of Ellora did.  The idea is to convey all the various aspects of fecundity, fertility and prosperity.  It might be an idea to illustrate her as the verses say, Kumbha Sthani, pot breasted.  This sets her up firmly in the Yaksha tradition from which she was borrowed to begin with, as well as associating her with all the fertility goddesses of all the mythologies of the world.

Jane’s notes: 

“Clouds – the “elephants of the sky” – pour a rainbow over her!  a sign of wealth.  She presides over an auspicious green landscape and lake, over which is traced the Sri Chakra Yantra of male-female fertility.  Drawn in perspective, the yantra forms an ellipse or cosmic egg of interconnectedness and thus prosperity.

Correspondence from Gautam & Rohit         19 November 2001:            “Very nice composition for laxmi, especially love the yantra.  The elephants and rainbow matka are inspired, just some minor tweaking required.  The wrists could do with more heavy jewelry (e.g. gold bracelets) because they seem slightly bare, which is regarded as inauspicious in India.  The coins should be in a stream, like a shower of coins from her palms.  Her face could be more joyful and less pensive, as she is life-affirming and very participative in the pleasures of the world.”   (This was adjusted, later.)

Correspondence, Rohit to Gautam:  “Urgently send Jane a message that I want the Brahma to be the same red colour as the Laxmi.  I think I have forgotten to say that.

 “I am also in a bit of a fix as to the death card.  Yama is right, but so is Kali.  Only prob. is Kali has bad odour outside, and weight of conditionings may be too much to overcome.  On the other hand, Kali provides balance.  Lakshmi, Saraswathi, Kali red, white and black, just as the male deities Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma are represented.  This needs some thought, what do you feel?  I am slightly prejudiced in favour of Yama as it gives an opportunity to give a Vedic perspective.  Perhaps we should ask Jane?  or even better idea – have TWO death cards, for various levels of awareness, with text to justify both – a male death and female death.  I think no pack in the world has such a concept, it would be wonderful.   Rest later – with regard, Rohit.”

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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