I think I know why the suit of swords is so unhappy – whoever was codifying the meanings, long ago, when they got to swords, they said “hold on! we haven’t put in enough bad cards!” and then they got carried away.
That’s my explanation, and I’m sticking to it.
very traditional image for this card – usually the swords are in the boat with the boatman and passenger, but I thought it might make the boat leak. Really.
Once again the design is traditional – it’s always someone stealing five swords and leaving two. Another less modern meaning for the card was ‘dishonesty’ or ‘treason,’ which fits the picture. However, when the card’s meaning changed, the image remained, because, well, tradition.
Another tradition – there’s got to be a blindfolded bound figure on the rocks on a beach. This one makes a lot more sense.
And then the 9 of swords. There’s no iconic pose for this, but there should be blood and it should be painful to look at. I hope I got that effect here…
In order to get into the right frame of mind for Cruelty, I listened to the biographies of serial killers while working on it. You’ve heard of ‘method acting,’ this is ‘method photoshopping.’ Hah.
So on to the ten of swords – the iconic pose for this one is a dead body with ten – count ’em, ten – swords stuck into its back. So much fun.
The good news is that i only have 18 cards left to do! then comes editing and writing up the book, and I’ll be able to sell it by Yule.