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0 of (VOID)

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Jul. 5th, 2009 | 11:15 am
music: Plaid's Double Figure : Ooh Be Do
posted by: shatterstripes in silicon_dawn

The 0 of (VOID). It started as a joke but it became unexpectedly serious.

I was working on the Aces, all of which my main references titled "The Root of the Powers of (element)". Being an occasional programmer, with the tendency to start counting at 0, I found myself asking "what's at zero units of each element?". The answer was this card. It is a number card, but it is not suited. There is next to nothing to see because everything is undifferentiated - metaphorically, the Aces are the Big Bang, and this is what was sitting there, quiescent and full of possibility, before that happened. (This also ties in nicely with the kinda-bubble-chamber-looking designs in some of the Aces. I should probably go back and put them into all of them now that I think about it.)

If I was being truer to programmer lingo, this would probably be the 0 of (UNDEFINED). The suit is a null reference here, it is none of them. But "void" is a much more evocative word that brings in the pre-Big Bang metaphors.

It is a card of initial conditions; the butterfly is a reminder of how sensitive a chaotic system can be to those. We all know the "butterfly effect", the thought that the vortices of air coming off of a butterfly's wings could be the root of a tropical storm halfway across the world. Move carefully, for what you do may have long-reaching and unforseen consequences; move uncaringly, for your life is as short as a butterfly's in the grand scheme of things.

The butterfly trails a rainbow, which touches all four of the colors I used for each suit. This is a reminder that all things are potential here in the Void - nothing is firm, you can sculpt the nothingness into whatever the hell you want. It is raw Chaos.

The same butterfly can also be found in the Star. I think that's the only other place it shows up but I'm not entirely sure - the connections in this deck still surprise me sometimes! (It even recurs in the alternate Op art take on the Star that fell out of my hand one day.)

In general, this is a card of beginnings. This is the void of raw potential, not the void of the end of all things. Or perhaps it is both, if you like the cyclical-universe theory - everything collapses into a Big Crunch, with seethes for an unknown timeless time, then explodes, starting the universe anew. How will we define the universal constants this time?

From my original post of the art:
It has no elemental associations. It has no astrological associations. The void was there before the constellations were lit, and will be there when the last one burns out.

It is emptiness; how will you fill it?

Divinatory meanings (tentative): The Butterfly Effect, chaos, raw unformed possibility. Potential. Things are about to happen, and might happen fast. If ill-dignified, it is 'analysis paralysis', illusions of conspiracy, insignificance. Clusterfuck.

Also, if you have a severely different take on this particular card, I'd love to hear it! I know it's struck a deep, powerful chord with several folks; your interpretations could well end up superseding or enhancing my intended meanings!

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Comments {2}

Nathan McCoy

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from: nmccoy
date: Jul. 7th, 2009 07:40 am (UTC)

I seem to recall that the Discordian tarot has a 0 of each of the five suits.

But I like your tarot deck much better.

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from: shatterstripes
date: Jul. 9th, 2009 01:29 pm (UTC)

I did think of doing a 0 in each of the suits here, but it felt wrong - it felt too specific. Looking at the general trend of meaning in the number cards, the sequence is (to some degree, from a certain perspective) about the same amount of stuff, divided into increasingly finer details. The 10s are "furthest from the Source", while the Aces are right there. Push back beyond the Aces and you get all the Big Bang metaphor. A 0 of each suit would be about the total absence of that "element"; the 0 of (VOID) is about the absence of differentiation.

That said, when I get around to doing the (VOID) Court, those will be about the absence of that element...

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