Tuesday, May 1, 2012

My Favorite Majors: Death

Well, If I had to choose one major - the one I found most interesting, most compelling, both visually and conceptually - it would likely be Death. What can I say? There's just so much in this card, tightly woven together: the positive and the negative. Death, withering, ends to things you do not want to end, and yet also the necessary, rebirth, the new that you find in the ash of the old...

It tends to be a really interesting card to look out for in decks, in that...it is one of those cards that varies HUGELY, from those decks that portray it as happy-happy 'transformation' to those that present some pretty grim scenes, and everything in between. You have it as a hooded figure, a skeleton holding a butterfly, a phoenix...sometimes it is cute, and sometimes it is disturbing...many things to look out for, really.

In terms of favorite, there was absolutely no consideration. I KNOW what mine are, for this one. Also, unlike all of my other posts in this series so far...there is no favorite and a runner up. They are both simply co-favorite. I just cannot choose between the, cannot say which I like more.

XIII. Death

The Silicon Dawn is an awesome deck in general, but this card in particular grabbed my attention in a very intense way from the first moment I saw it. First of all, I love monochrome color schemes. Monochrome on a Death card? Most excellent, most appropriate. I love the details - the large, full moon, the rain, the big black puddles underfoot. The downpour, the washing away of the old. You lose, but you also grow lighter, freer as a result. The black rose in the foreground - things are still growing, new things...the people running and riding away and toward in the background...

Most of all though, I just love that death figure. I love how wild she looks, how strange, how primal, how free and careless, how recklessly she leaps, jumps forward, the white ribbons streaming behind her. Death as a force that moves, unstoppable. Death as something you leap into, grinning. A silhouette against the backdrop of that mad, unknowable glow of the moon... Death, both terrible and amazing, the most difficult and most simple change, transformation of all...

As much of a fan as I am of it now...I hesitated to get the Thoth for quite a while. RWS-based was my system, after all, was what I knew and liked and could read with. Looking at scans, this major was one of the cards that helped convince to me to give it a go. Aesthetically, this take on Death just really appeals to me. I love the contrast between the bold blackness of the skeleton and the colors that surround him. I love the unusual perspective and composition, the clever way that his arms wield that scythe, cut those life-strings, while his legs form an arch, a gateway, opening up to new things. The Thoth is a deck packed with symbolism and this card is no different: we have the ancient Egyptian double crown on his head, the scorpion, the fish and in the corner the eagle, hope...death and life again. I love how striking the colors are. I love the geometry in the card. It just...draws me in, again and again. To me, it perfectly represents the major, all of the concepts that Death is supposed to encompass. It's bold and dynamic and I just...really, really enjoy it.


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