swofford

The Riddle of the Echo Tarot came about as a way for me to explore some of the archetypes and symbolism of Tarot cards in the course of studying them. I first heard of Tarot cards as a child in line at the Winn Dixie in a rural Virginia town called Bedford. I was ten and was with my grandmother as she shopped for groceries. I saw a little booklet for sale as an impulse item and, on impulse, I grabbed it and asked my grandmother to buy it for me. It was a book about the Rider Waite deck put out by US Games to promote those cards. It had black and white line drawings of the twenty two Major Arcana and a description about each one.

Since then Tarot cards have been a constant presence in my life, sometimes active, sometimes forgotten on a shelf, but always around. Lately, however, I have been studying the cards with more intensity than I have before. The images presented here are part of a larger project called The Riddle of the Echo which is an examination of the image producing capacities of the unconscious mind and the archetypes that live in each of our psyches.

The images for the Riddle of the Echo Tarot draw from astrological correlations set forth by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, mythologies from around the world, and my own inspirations. Physically each piece is a paper collage that has been set up on a table top and photographed on 4x5 black and white film then developed and printed in the darkroom. Other than simple exposure adjustment these images are not digitally manipulated in any way.

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