The River
from Tarot
30" x 18"
acrylic on canvas
Houston, Texas, August Open Studio, August 4, 2018
Houston, Texas, November Open Studio, November 10, 2018


During the development of Tarot, I will be inviting established tarot readers to share their impressions and interpretations of specific "cards" from the Tarot series. 

I have invited Sebastian Akesson - also known as  Father of Wands - to share his observations on The River.



In this card we’re met by an anatomical picture of the human arm, with skeletal details and the inclusion of the circulatory system. The circulatory system being the never-ending river within the human body, the blood being its water. The arm isn’t flexed but your mind still associates it with muscle, strength and action. Real strength is knowing when to use force and when not to, sometimes non-action can be even more powerful than action. The overall energy of the card is joyous, rich, prosperous, vibrant and abundant with all the multi-coloured flowers in the background and the life force of the physical human body, the blood, in focus in the foreground.

The colour red, which the blood is made up of, is associated with both the planet Mars and the Sun, the astrological sign of Aries and Leo as well as with the element of fire. Your eye is also drawn to a lot of purples in the flowers, which is a regal colour and hence associated with royalty and leadership. Mars is the planet of drive, determination and action. The Sun is associated with the Self, personality, ego and life force. This card screams dramatic flair, flamboyancy, self-expression, leadership, individuality and a deep-seated need to be in charge. There’s an element of Man over Nature, an age-old drive to control and dominate the chaos that the Universe represents.

The number VIII or eight is created here by adding 5+1+1+1 or 5+3. Five is the number of freedom and heart, one is the number of individuality and drive, whilst three is the number of expansion and communication. This tells me that this card is all about being true to yourself, your calling, your truth and the love in your heart. The overall number of eight has a long and deep history in almost all cultures and is often associated with abundance and prosperity but also with continual effort and the need for repetition. Laying the 8 down on its side it creates the ancient symbol of the lemniscate, which represents “absolutus infinitus” or absolute infinity. Much like the human bloodstream, a closed infinity like system, that keeps our body oxygenated by us on the one hand using up the oxygen and on the other replenishing it by breathing. Always kept in motion by our hearts. The lemniscate also represents balance and the equilibrium between the masculine and the feminine.

There’s a hint of half a butterfly to the left of the arm, this speaks of growth and transformation. You must achieve balance before you can attain true strength; the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual plane must all become one. As above, so below.

Divinatory Meaning

The River asks you to take heart, to trust in the process and the abundant and never-ending life force of the universe. A creative force that you can tap into for a limitless supply of energy. It asks you to be bold as fortune favours the brave. It’s time to face your fears and trust in your own strengths, abilities and talents. This is an auspicious time to initiate something you’ve been putting off, to explore and delve deeper into as well as to take charge and become a leader. Through determination and a step-by-step process you can move mountains. A gentle touch may serve you well now. Be kind.