The rabbit exists in both the domestic and wild spheres, proliferate everywhere, and have a complex relationship to human culture. They symbolise trickery and violence, but also fertility and love. Their feet are lucky. Their bones were used for spells and divination. As a spirit animal, the rabbit teaches personal growth in overcoming anxieties and obstacles. In creating a full Tarot deck using rabbit imagery, I continue this tradition of the rabbit as magical, exploring a multifaceted view of what it can invoke.
The title of the deck, Leporcalia, is a Latin play-on-words, a portmanteau of Leporidae, the scientific family name, and Lupercalia, the Roman spring festival of fertility and violence. In order to preserve the Fate aspect of a Tarot reading, the process has utilized the random-draw. My Rider-Waite-Smith reference deck was shuffled daily, with one card pulled to meditate on and then translate into a rabbit-inspired image that reflects the card’s purpose.
As a full deck, the cards have the potential to become living objects for divination in the hands of a Tarot reader. Throughout the process, this sense of latent life in the cards has dominated. Although the work is highly symbolic, my personal empathy comes out in the mark and imbibes the rabbits with a subtle vivacity. Each image of a rabbit feels like a distinctly different being. I felt obligated to treat the rabbits with respect in their handling. I learned their anatomy and psychology in order to portray their existence realistically. The familiarity of the animal serves as a jumping-off point, something tangible to hold onto while the viewer explores the spiritual and sometimes uncomfortable nature of Tarot.
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