Sacred Circle Study group, graphics

Red Emma

Watch Red Emma get drummed out of the corps!

I've been thinking this over for several days, to make sure it's me talking and not -- I've been kind of depressed for a few days. But here it is.

I've never particularly like the graphics of this deck. I thought it was just that they were photos, until a couple of days last week when I drew "The Warrior." As I studied the picture trying to find clues to the meaning, I realized that it wasn't that they were photos. But the subjects seem to just be standing there in an approved posture but without feeling. Their body language is all wrong.

Taking the Warrior as an example, the woman warrior is a very attractive lady. She has a fierce, warrior-like scowl on her face. But her body posture says, "Hey I'm standing here in this meadow and the flies are biting the back of my neck. I wish he'd hurry up and click that shutter!"

In my opinion, she should have a very aggressive pose, look fierce in her whole stance, look as if she's about to lunge.

I'm thinking that the knight of swords is even less knight-like. Actually he looks as if he barely has the strength to lift the sword. Let alone do any damage with it.

I hope no one's too offended. I'm hoping this can be the impetus for discussion...I really don't want to hurt anyone at all!

Goddess Bless.


hope no one will shoot me, either, but I kinda agree. I notice a lot of the times that the characters have not facial expressions, or just don't seem to "fit". However, I wonder if this isn't a little like the reaction I get when my favorite books are adapted to movies and the characters don't look how I imagined? In the illustrated tarot decks the people sometimes looke equally as rigid or out of place, don't you think?



You are right about the faces..sometimes they seem to have strange or no exprressions. Other times the speak volumes.

Do you ever look at the cards and see different expressions?



Red Emma


cjtarot said:

You are right about the faces..sometimes they seem to have strange or no exprressions. Other times the speak volumes.

Do you ever look at the cards and see different expressions?



Actually, I never thought about that -- different expressions for different readings. As a former photographe, I guess I just plain expect that once a picture is printed it'll never change. Unless I get the negative and do some fancy work in the dark room.

I'll have to pay attention.


i have to agree with you on this, Red Emma, the models do look like they've been at it toooo loooong.
Years ago, when I was young and interseting-looking, I did a lot of modeling for artists and photograhers (ART ! ART! ONLY ART !!) and it was realy difficult to keep the pose at all lively with some of the photogs, what with setting the pose up, light meters, light meters again, and again,and finily, half-an hour later snap-anap-snap, just when you think the bee on your bare foot is about to sting!

What the model in the warrior has done is to loose the dynamics of the pose--she's hip-shot, with all the weight on her back leg, from standing there too long. I think the scowl is at the Photog, if he dosn't snap the shutter soon, she will use that sword on him.
Poor thing, she's wilted.

I have some snaps of my grandchildren lined up in a row while I took a few too many shots of thier Haloween costumes. Snarling Angel. Drooped Cowbow, P'O'd Oriental Princess, Unspeakably Annoyed Gypsy.

The knight of swords looks pretty wimpy to me, too. :D


How an image is perceived may be influenced by the mood of the moment, the expectations &/or the pre-conceived notions.

Appearances can be deceiving. A warrior need not look particularly war-like to be an efficient warrior or soldier. Granted the era & the culture may have demanded such a personage appear every inch "the part", but if something appears lacking, perhaps the omission is by the creator or the photographer & not the model for the card.


Its a strange combination of limited technology and what appears to be a rushed completion. Mason's other work, the Faery Ring, is reminecent of this deck but has a more complete effect. The lovers of the Sacred Cir. is one of the cards that while although portray the Lovers, it also looks like a Highlights Magazine cover.


Well, I don't know what I might add to this discussion, other than I do know what you mean.

Do you think perhaps, we've gotten use to a painted face on the cards?

I do like the idea of it being real people, though, am a bit disappointed in some of the pictures.

And I do like the other symbols in the cards, such as the real life animals, and the stone border. And the plantlife as well.

And we have to keep in mind that this is someone's rendition of the cards.


I like the overall look of the deck. The borders which reflect the associative element of each card from Major Arcana to minor arcana (which are of the non-illustrated type) also tend to enhance each card.

Tend to agree with Floracove that this deck represents a view of Tarot.

Since Tarot imagery & symbols largely of a subjective nature, it does not hurt to try to meet the Sacred Circle on its terms.


Yes I agree with the people posing and bored faces. I have the tarot of timeless truth too and that has the same problem, by the way.

Okay, back to the Sacred Circle. What I do love about the deck is the nature elements: animals, plants and herbs and even the background scenery all chosen to fit to the meaning. That makes me forgive them for the goofy facial expressions, LOL.