"This is the card of truth. It usually deals with matters of the heart. Represented by a blue octopus, three arrows pierce the angel’s heart. A Fetch has appeared in this angel’s time of duress. A Fetch is a familiar who is born out of sorrow not only as a comfort, but also as a reminder to the angel that beauty is born out of grief. Not everyone has a Fetch, and in fact, they don’t always appear to the person with the greatest loss. Pain is relative, and each person’s Fetch is different. This pug/sea anemone/Cthulhu hybrid character of a Fetch is named Rue. He has appeared to protect this angel as her octopus heart keens. No matter how painful, this is the card where the truth comes out. Once you know the truth, you know where you stand."
The Suit of Arrows will be populated by angels or winged creatures of some sort to portray their association with Air. This angel is adorned with a crest of stars only furthering the celestial theme. The shining spot on her head betrays my love of the book and movie The Last Unicorn. When the Unicorn transforms into Lady Amalthea, she is left with a mark on her head where her horn once shone. This card also suggests the loss of innocence.
Additionally, many of the angels will be positioned like famous funerary or art sculptures through the ages. The positon of this angel nods to Emelyn Story's Tomb as viewed from the front. (I'll put together a little reference photo next to the painting in a later post. Otherwise, Google Emelyn Story for bonus points! She comes up under the "Angel of Grief." It's worth it!)
While the Suit of Arrows is an Air card, and the octopus traditionally belongs to the Suit of Cups, or Water, I never back away from combining seemingly contrary elements in a card. My painting is largely intuitive and personal when it comes to symbols. Because the card is about loss, the arrows penetrating the octopus represent an assault on psyche, magic, creation, reason, etc. It is shattering an illusion. And besides being a beautiful color, blue is often associated with trust, loyalty, truth, and Heaven (water as well in its reflection of Heaven.) It fits nicely with the theme.
I have a longer post planned on why I chose to replace Swords with Arrows, but it deserves a brief mention here. I do not think arrows are too far from swords in their intention. They both rule the mind, and they cut straight through to the heart of the matter. I will still keep the Suit of Arrows as an angelic/faery energy. I like the idea of angelic creatures with weapons. Whether they are ardently wielding them or tragically bested by them, there is a certain romanticism in their depiction. There is something striking about a creature so gentle with such a fierce nature.
I know that each of you will have your own crossroads, your own Fetch, your own octopus heart. When the world shows you the truth, your Fetch will find you. Have you met your Fetch? Did you listen?