Thursday, January 15, 2015
Step By Step
In Ozma of Oz, the titular Empress of the Emerald City manages to cross the Deadly Desert with her entire army (headed up in this John R. Neill drawing by The Cowardly Lion, The Hungry Tiger, Ozma herself, the Scarecrow and the Tin Man) by means of a magic carpet -- not the flying kind, but one that unrolls endlessly ahead of them, allowing them to cross in safety without touching the lethal sands. For my part, I thought "What's a desert without a sphinx or a scarab?" So I ripped one of the former from Pamela Colman Smith's CHARIOT card, and found a long-dead example of the latter prick the fingers of anyone drawing this card.
I personally regard scarabs as Bad Luck, although I know that's not common to their symbology. I once had an antique scarab ring given to me by my father. He never told me how he got it -- but every time I wore it, the worst things happened. It was finally stolen in a house break-in that I now Deeply Suspect was organized by my own sister, during her junkie years. I can only hope that it gave the criminal the same bad luck it had given me.
Step by step Ozma advances across the desert, and step by step I am closer to finishing the deck. Six cards to go, chaps.