When I was a child, I admired the other girls who could jump double dutch. I could never do it myself, although the others graciously allowed me to try.
Girls playing double dutch in a schoolyard stayed in my mind as an image of female friendship that was joyful and dynamic. The excitement of the movement, the pleasure the girls take in their own bodies, the enjoyment of mastering a skill, the team work required, the appreciation of each other’s accomplishments all demonstrate the cards meanings of friendship and exuberance.
Here the King of Wands is interpreted as a steelworker, someone who works with fire in a way that combines skill with bravery. In a reading, this card indicates someone who is passionate, forceful, daring, and creative. I depicted the King of Wands wearing a Mohawk Warrior Flag decal on his helmet (partially seen) to honor the many Mohawk and other First Nations ironworkers who have worked on the skyscrapers of New York City, including the Empire State Building and the World Trade Center. On 9/11 Mohawk ironworkers then working in Manhattan rushed to the scene of the bombing to help survivors escape. Subsequently, many volunteered in the clean-up, dismantling the buildings some on them had previously erected decades before. A Mohawk group of ironworkers worked on the raising of the new World Trade Center building known as Freedom Tower.
The cards in traditional decks that touched me the most were about the regular people: laborers, peasants, and homeless people. As someone whose father, paternal grandfather, and uncle were union carpenters, and whose maternal grandfather was a coal miner, I respect the dignity of labor. I want to celebrate with love and beauty the lives of the workers, the disenfranchised, the so-called lower classes. The word that seemed appropriate to encompasses the entirety of my vision was the word proletariat.
The Proletariat Deck is in process. I’ll be posting new cards as I finish them.