In tandem with the rain, the spring melt had softened the ground, weeks of slick mud coating the basilica’s geometrically tiled floor. The basilica’s vaulted ceiling and marble throne were only the beginning of the Mother Church’s blessings. Here, within the Hierophant’s holy seat, heavenly inspiration (had, should, once) flowed down into his body and, when the time was exactly right, out across this rock-tumbled earth.
Once upon a long-ago time, the Hierophant accepted his duty; on holy days he held both keys and scepter as he stood on the Mother Church’s portico, gloved hand raised in benediction, three-tiered hat forming the necessary connections: conscious, subconscious, superconscious — heaven and earth. Back in that time before, the Hierophant had loved his other names: High Priest to her High Priestess, Jupiter to her Juno.
Spring didn’t work that way anymore. Containing holy connections within tiered hats and stone walls had become as untenable as her containment within this space. The Hierophant’s worshippers had disappeared long days ago, the church pillars falling soon after. Memories, blessings, and truths now wandered free across the earth. Inside the basilica rested decapitated and mutilated statuary alongside charred and water-bloated wood — not even the Mother Church’s altar remained. Somewhere beyond the ruins, the Hierophant knew, his High Priestess stood with the shifting mass of humanity.
A reformation indeed.
Was she (or was he) the one who had broken the covenant? Even with his sacred keys, the truth remained elusive, a complicated flowering. Soon red poppies and the yellow blossoms of the mustard plant would break through the basilica’s cracked floor. Later, poplar and hawthorn trees would arrive and then — despite all that had changed, he could at least sense their future — her fertile symbol, her mistletoe, would rise up within this space,completing the building’s transformation.
Although the basilica remained, her new truths were seeded and already sprouting.
And still the rain kept falling, easily sighted through the now broken walls and clerestory windows.
The crops would do well this year. The people would walk among the groves, the scepter and the keys to the Hierophant’s heaven left behind, waiting to be forgotten. Even the term Mother Church was in the midst of a revolution. Perhaps there was hope for him, as well. The Hierophant reborn — a simple human — just one among many who belonged wholly to this earth. Perhaps,finally, the time had come to leave the promises of heaven behind.
Each contributing writer and visual artist was randomly assigned one card from the Major Arcana as inspiration and was asked to write a flash piece. The virtual event was available online for 1 month.
ARCANA is the result of caffeine injected conversations between writer, Steve Toase, and me. Conversations about the occult, ceremonial magicians, and eccentric filmmakers inspired us to start an invitational project based around the cards in hopes of presenting an international community of like-minded artists to the Munich arts scene.
In 2019, 14 artists and writers were invited to participate. The visual and literary interpretations were presented in the beautiful Orangerie in Munich, Germany. The show was beautiful and was written about by the Süddeutsche Zeitung and InMünchen Magazine.