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Tarot Essays

Lord Hanuman’s Scroll

By October 30, 2009December 20th, 20175 Comments

Last night, I dreamed intensely. I don’t usually remember my dreams, but this one was uncharacteristically lucid and strange.

I dreamed I was looking through my trusty tarot deck, and the Two of Swords caught my eye. I had never seen it before, and I was completely surprised. I examined it intently, so close it was all I could see. The card depicted a knight in the sky, clouds around him. He faced towards a monkey, which flew ahead of him with it’s gaze turned over its shoulder. It had a strange headdress with human hands mounted on either side of it, one side held a scroll and the other seemed to gesture onward. At the top, the numeral was offset, similar to the ten of pentacles, and the scene was repeated in reverse in the corner.

A had a friend with me, a composite dream friend that seemed to mostly be my companion Morgan. I showed her the card and we were both surprised through all our study, we’d never noticed this card. Looking through my deck again, I saw the usual Two of Swords, and I got a strange pit in my stomach. I had forgotten that there had been any other Two of Swords but the new one I’d just found – I felt both afraid and excited. We both started looking through the deck, and new cards I can’t remember quite began to appear. More and more, one I almost remember was an elaborate card, visually similar to an Ace of Cups or Pentacles and the Ten of Pentacles; It was ornate and incredibly different from anything I’d ever seen before, but still everything had the Waite-Smith ‘feel’.

As we looked through, I flipped over one of the new cards, and was breathtaken that a normal tarot card was on it’s reverse. All of the new cards were printed on the back of the old cards. Sharing this with Morgan, I began to explore all the cards and found that they could come apart – peeling the cards apart left them with white unfinished backs, with minor symbols and decoration somewhat similar to the BotA deck – but sparser. With that discovery, the dream faded and my memory ends.

I drew the dream card, trying to emulate a Patricia-Coleman Smith feel. I thought of the term ‘Monkey Mind’ when I saw it, and speculate on why no swords were present. Sketching it this morning, I imagined placing the swords horizontally at the top and bottom of the card, facing opposite directions. I also imagine some birds, and some yellow somewhere – I remember yellow but couldn’t find where it belonged in my sketch. I tried to keep it as close to the dream as possible to try to keep my waking mind from changing the message too much.

My card this morning was the Two of the major arcana. Having pulled that exactly a month ago, I drew a second; the Six of Cups, which makes me think of love, balance, and emotional readiness for teaching and learning. Though it wouldn’ve been amazing if I pulled the Two of Swords this morning, I think I might have hit a critical mass for synchronicity in my life. Even so, it was an amazing image. If I dream more, maybe after a few years I’ll have enough cards to make a strange new deck for everybody!

Join the discussion 5 Comments

  • Karinjenny says:

    Dear Lionel – This is breathtakingly far-out! The card is a crossbreed between Dali and Hindu scripture lol! Your mind seems to indeed have “gripped” the meaning – the hands point and grip – the mind is going in the right direction – pointing the way, and it is carrying a scroll of ancient knowledge – just to bring a few associations to it. The monkey mind is also Hanuman, the most intelligent amongst the Hindu Gods.
    So the association chain
    Swords – air – mind – intelligence is illustrated by the monkey/Hanuman figure, and the knightly armour of the cloud-rider (what an image!!!!) is also in tune, because Hanuman, the divine monkey, is also a warrior and associated with the planet Mars. See the entry under
    This dream is what I would call a “great dream”, bearing witness to the fact that you are firmly grasping the symbolic wisdom of the Tarot indeed and that your higher mind is going in the right direction!!!! What a blessing! Hanuman’s attributes that mark all of his conduct are:
    Bal (Energy) Buddhi (Wisdom) Vidya (Art) Sheel (goodness)! That about sums it up – and the 2 of swords – which is normally rather an equilibrium card or a stalling/caution card – has found its resolution in your dream – the mind and intuition have merged into higher insight!
    I bow to the dreamer!

    • digiacom says:

      Karin, Thank you so much for bringing that symbolism in!

      Your specialty in dreamwork is perfectly suited to look at this strange card; I suspect this strange image will be a theme I will return to many times in my life, and my understanding of the two of swords is slowly swelling trying to relate all of the different ideas of what it could mean. Having drawn the High Priestess, a Two, afterwards affected me quite a lot and I’m convinced that trusting my intuitive associations are part of the lesson of the dream.

      I’m renaming this post after Hanuman to remind me how important that association really is!

  • submerina says:

    Oh no! I saw this card and immediately clicked to read the full entry because I MUST HAVE THAT DECK!!! And it doesn’t exist 🙁 Beautiful. I LOVE your sketching style and if those other cards ever visit you again, I strongly encourage you to formally build this deck. Yes, it is all about me and my needs 😉

    All in all though, what a wonderful experience for you. I hope you have many more great dreams!

    • digiacom says:

      It does exist, at least a little bit 🙂 I would love to make a whole deck like this! Maybe eventually one will manifest; With all the decks out there, the Waite-Smith deck still strikes me for its age and archetypal, bright images, and another in that style would be fun to produce.

      Thank you!

      • submerina says:

        This is the RWS to the power of 10! I am not a fan of the original RWS, but this… this is deep and light at the same time and the style is so free. I keep coming back to it and can’t quite describe what it is that draws me in. Let’s just say it’s got personality! 🙂