mutational alchemy tarot

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Naomi Ningishzidda  Naomi Ningishzidda is offline
Join Date: 07 Aug 2011
Location: Olympia, Washington, USA
Posts: 72
Naomi Ningishzidda 

Originally Posted by devilkitty View Post
Oh, my. Very sad to hear of m1thr0s' passing, if a bit late. (The Fanged Terror doesn't "do" Facebook...)

Makes the lovely little Saturn talisman they sent along as a surprise when I ordered my extra two packs all the more special.

And how, may I ask, did they know that Saturn sits conjunct Sun right on my Ascendant?

The mind boggles.
Heh. Well I remember you were the first...hmm, only person to buy three copies, right at the beginning before we had even started putting up announcements for it. I told m1thr0s I wanted to send you one of those new talismans I had been making. I had him pick it out from large assortment. I had printed out a lot of his art as little Epson giclees as test runs to see which ones would be effective as mini art. He thought it was the best looking one. I can't remember the signed cards you got, for some reason. The Hierophant? Remind me, as I'm curious now.

I'll write a little here as I know I owe Aeclectic some storytime and I'll explain a little background intrigue on why I sent you the medallion.

So you said something about the deck, that first week we announced the release, near Samhain. I can't remember what it was you said off the top of my head, but it was cool. m1thr0s was very nervous about the launch. I had to drag him kicking and screaming into the last two years of the deck - the Temporals anxiety was only half the battle. I had to promise to him, just to get him to agree to release the deck WITH his work, that is, the corners, that I would finish the Temporals as their own tarot deck, as he was very upset about the Temporals being discovered halfway through the deck's creation. I didn't want to do that, as I had painted each and every seen in trance, using the corners from The Primordials arrangement (the hexagrams) But he had limited time due to his illness.

So I agreed to finish it even if he passed away before the Temporals could be finished. The way things have fallen out for me since his greater feast indicates to me that it will be entirely possible to do that.

We're in the middle of Abrahadabra: The Anatomy of the Body of Light. That project is enormous and it's been in progress now for nearly 20 years, not to mention the half a century of his own life dedicated to Abrahadabra. He didn't want to touch another tarot deck. It was a tough, rigorous and fruitful journey - but tough.

He's a researcher at heart, I couldn't blame him for wanting to hand off all of the publication, editing, accounting, and coding onto me. I was good at it, I was a lot younger, and had a lot more energy.

Even then the various projects, he hated thinking about them. Putting a theoretical physicist in the position of a writer/publisher even gallery artist was cruel and unusual, but he always wanted to do everything himself so it was hard to get him to hand off the finalization of the deck to me.

At the end of a year, he had barely scratched the surface of the book we had promised to finish at the end of that year. Eventually he did cave in and let me handle everything - funding, the factory, the book itself. He wrote all but one of the Major Arcana blurbs, and then couldn't bring himself to finish it.

So, I started writing his portions. It was tough, but the sort of work an apprentice should be expected to have to do. Then I'd sit and read them all to him, and he became quite satisfied with my mimicry of his style, and thought my writing was "killer" (I personally don't - everyday I look at that book and know it needs a thorough editing) and just decided I should write the rest of everything. Gee, thanks m1thr0s. Well, to be fair, he had sorted out all of the corners and attributions and we had been working on the thing since 2007. In every way, it was our child, and dad just didn't want to make its lunch every morning. -_-

He had encountered so much personal failure and tragedy in his life he couldn't allow for the hope of any success with anything. Tied to the work and all, as it was the only thing that got him through the tough times growing up. I have to say my experience with Mutational Alchemy has been the same - it gets one through the weirdest hardest stuff the world can throw at one's self.

m1thr0s was a street kid from the age of 13 on, and ran into Crowley early on at homeless shelter across from Berkeley U when he was 14. He used to say to me, when I would pester him about working on MAT, or the books, "Honey, you seem to forget that I have been working on this stuff for a long time. I don't want to talk about it anymore. I want people to start working on Mutational Alchemy and producing work of their own for me to learn from." And then we both just decided, in the end, we were 300 years too soon for anyone to ever do such a thing, and we just needed to keep the signal alive.

It seems everyone wants more of those medallions, but they're a right pain in the ass to make. I've ruined a lot of them. I won't make any more of that one, it's the only one in the whole world. So back to the point of this whole story - your comment really brightened his day - calmed him down a bit, and most of all, I got to say to him "I told you so. You said I wouldn't finish the book by myself - I did. You said it wouldn't sell any copies - and it did." And I stuck my tongue out at him. We have our friends and long term fans of course, but catching the eye of a seasoned tarot collector, and a stranger, it meant a lot to him.

So thank you for that devilkitty. It was one of the top successes in his life to see people appreciate the deck in a litany of horror and betrayal that constituted his life. That's counting the human side of things of course - Abrahadabra is another story entirely.

The only other medallion I sent out, that I remember, was one to Fr. Novum Organum, a long time friend, who was very sick at the time of the deck being published. He happened to order one, and as it so happened - i was sending out the signed cards in order of, well, the orders, he got his favorite - The Chariot. The Chariot being the best cure for the Hanged Man, which is what he felt like his life was defined by. And because he was very ill I sent him the Tridosha Shield in gold - it was on the Chariot of course. I sat on my couch as I assembled the package, and whispered to the medallion "Please bring lots of luck to Fr. Novum." Well the week he wore it he won a huge sum of money gambling. Something like $20,000 or whatever.

I hope to Tetractys you didn't get an acceleration of your Dharma for the Saturn sigil/Lo Shu combo. These Mutational Alchemy sigils can be a bit explosive.
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