Hermenautic Tarot (54)
February 4, 2016
John Hilgart has asked 54 friends of HiLobrow to contribute to the Hermenautic Tarot — a comic-book rorschach creative writing experiment in symbol-making and oracular speechifying. Each contributor was randomly assigned a card from the 4 COLOR PRINTING CMYK deck, which was created by Tom Hart — using images from Hilgart’s own 4CP archive — to fundraise for the Sequential Artists Workshop. This series of posts will eventually become a booklet. UPDATE: In 2018, we are adding an additional 24 cards to the deck, in order to arrive at a cartomantically correct 78 in total.
Imprisoned between two time zones, the past and the future, your first impulse is to feel trapped. Guilt from the past rises up into your back, settling promptly into the itch you can’t scratch. The future is drawn with vague storylines that refuse to meet up until you’re so close that they blind you, giving you the impression that predictions are just pointless electronic waves. This is false. The pattern is your life, and you’re spinning it; you’re just sitting too close.
It is highly recommended that you do not look at clocks right now, nor even count. Your anxiety, the feeling that you’re not paying out in either the past or the present, increases with numbers, rows of knobs, stitches, shit lined up in rows, dots. The depth of this card reveals some relief: stagnation is a state. It’s okay. To escape guilt, the weight of all the wrongs, you must look in both directions like a fly and try to see the pattern. To unlock guilt’s hold, you must first trace the lines, then learn to dodge them — and eventually you must gain the speed to traverse them at such a speed that they blur. You are fast. Faster than ever before.
REVERSE: The truth is painful: VELOCITY is necessary, but it’s still imaginary. Speed is an illusion. VELOCITY’s gift here is the permission it gives you to think of the past as flat and the future as fleet — or the same in reverse.
HERMENAUTIC TAROT SERIES: INTRODUCTION by John Hilgart | Annie Nocenti on THE KUBRICK | Deborah Wassertzug on AS YOU LIKE IT | Douglas Rushkoff on PIXELATED | Kim Cooper on THE GREAT INTEGRATION | Tom Nealon on THE MYOPIC CAPTAIN | Stephanie Burt on ENTANGLEMENT | Mark Kingwell on THE WARY WATCHERS | Allegra Huston on PARANOIA | Flourish Klink on THE MULTIFACETED MAN | Jason Grote on THE UNEXPECTED | Jessamyn West on THE SHIFT | John Hilgart on THE B-MOVIE MONSTER | Josh Glenn on THE SELL-OUT | Judith Zissman on THE EXPLODING SUPERNOVAS | Mandy Keifetz on THE INVISIBLE MAN | Gary Panter on THE PASSAGE | Jordan Ellenberg on THE FALSE FACE | Jonathan Lethem on THE GRAVE ROBBERS | Douglas Wolk on DEXTERITY | John Holbo on THE HEAVIEST HEADS | Colin Dickey on KAIROS | Molly Sauter on THE GRAND EXIT | Matthew Battles on ADUMBRATION | Anindita Basu Sempere on THE DETECTIVE | Gordon Dahlquist on THE STREAMER | Jen Collins on OFF COURSE | Karinne Keithley Syers on THE HIGH BEAMS | Sara Ryan on RORSCHACH (NOT THAT ONE) | Deb Chachra on FLYING | Mimi Lipson on EUPHORIA | Cintra Wilson on FEELING CORNERED? | Alice Boone on THE FLAWS | Shelley Jackson on HESITATING HORSE | Jacob Covey on THE PANE | Claire Lehmann on THE APPARITION | Kio Stark on THE FLIGHT RISK | Joanne McNeil on THE RELUCTANT COMMUTER | Lynn Peril on THE WAITING MAN | Jenny Offill on THE VALLEY OF UNREST | Luc Sante on THE OLD DARK HOUSE | Erik Davis on FORBIDDEN FRUIT | Devin McKinney on THE ATOMS | Dan Fox on THE OBFUSCATOR | Patrick Cates on THE MASKED ASSESSOR | Chris Spurgeon on OVERWHELMING TEMPTATION | Jenny Davidson on THE ALL-SEEING EYE | Lauren Oliver on THE HERO COMPLEX | Brian Berger on THE WHITE VISITATION | Tim Spencer on DISILLUSIONMENT | Chelsey Johnson on THE BEARD OF SHADOWS | Alix Lambert on THE EYE FLOATER | Ed Park on THE TWINS | James Parker on THE NO-NO-NOBOT | Amy Thielen on VELOCITY | Lisa Jane Persky on EXPECTATIONS | Veda Hille on THE DUSTY REVEAL | Wayne Chambliss on THE RIDE-ALONG | Kenya (Robinson) on BALANCE BEAM | Ken Layne on THE DOPPELGÄNGER | David Levine on THE GROOVY | Joe Alterio on THE DROP-OFF | Jennifer Krasinski on PREDATORY VIGILANCE | Libi Rose on ELECTROMAGNETISM | Carl Wilson on THE TRACKER | Mimi Zeiger on THE RED MOON | Vanessa Berry on DARK MATTER | Peter Doyle on THE CHAIN OF FOOLS | Joy Press on THE WAYLAYER | Sarah Weinman on IN THE CORNER | Stephanie De Gooyer on THE INVASION | James Hannaham on THE URBAN HAWK | Annalee Newitz on THE PUBLIC CHARIOT | Jace Clayton on THE BLEACHED FLAG | Chenjerai Kumanyika on THE VEIL | Mike Watt on THE FLOCK | Molly Wright Steenson on PILE-ON PYLON | Melissa Gira Grant on THE FRONT DESK | Madeline Ashby on THE DEVILS.
MORE HILOBROW/4CP SERIES: BLOW UP YOUR COMICS — John Hilgart glosses 30 favorite 4CP images | The HERMENAUTIC TAROT: 54 Writers, on 54 4CP Tarot Cards | The Art of 4CP | SUBSUPERMEN — Golden Age heroes who didn’t make the grade | MASKED MAN | LIMERICKANIA | MEET THE L.I.S. — Implicit superheroes, concealed within comic-book mastheads | 4CP FRIDAY — themed comic-book detail galleries, curated by 4CP fans
MORE COMICS-RELATED SERIES: KIRB YOUR ENTHUSIASM — 25 writers on 25 Jack Kirby panels | ANNOTATED GIF — Kerry Callen brings comic book covers to life | COMICALLY VINTAGE — that’s-what-she-said vintage comic panels | DC — THE NEW 52 — an 11-year-old reviews DC’s new lineup | SECRET PANEL — Silver Age comics’ double entendres | SKRULLICISM — they lurk among us
CLICK HERE for more comics and cartoon-related posts on HiLobrow.
CLICK HERE to read HILOBROW’s Erik Davis on the origins of the Rider-Waite Tarot.