Who is HRU? Part III

Someone commented on one of the old posts that showed a video of my “Who is HRU?” esoteric pop up book. I realized that while I posted Part I showing the beginning pages and Part II showing the middle pages, I forgot to ever post Part III showing the end pages, including the solution to the riddle and the secret compartment in the book.

Here is Part I of Who is HRU?, first posted in July of 2016. This intial post has an explanation of the text, how and why it was written, and a little more info on the book. Part II shows the middle pages.

At the end of the poem, and the book, is a mathematical equation: – V = ∞

…or “infinity minus V equals infinity”. Since V and U historically were interchangeable (see explanation) and the Hebrew letter V, Vau or vav, was also used to represent the vowel U, the equation also reads as “Infinity minus U (you) equals infinity”, echoing HRU’s final message: “I’m infinity, minus you.”

The colophon at the books end tells you to “Remove the Vau” to find the secret compartment of the book. The Hebrew letter Vau means nail, which forms the linchpin of the book’s spine as seen in the photo above.

Unfortunately I can no longer upload videos here due to file size limits. However you can see a youtube video of all the pages that Nya Thyrce took at one of the Fortune’s Wheelhouse meetups (back when we were allowed to have meetups! Those were the days…) The parts of the book that would be in Part III starts at around 7:31.

In honor of this final reveal of the book at long last, for a few days I’ve added back the option to purchase a printable version of the Who is HRU? text, written in calligraphy and suitable for framing. The file also includes a second page with a Pronunciation Guide and Colophon, and a third page of in computer font with Roman numerals added. I’ll be removing this from the store in a few days to make room for new offerings so if you are interested get it while you can.

Tabula Mundi – past, present, and future

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about whether any new editions of Tabula Mundi are forthcoming, since the Colores Arcus edition sold out.

The short answer is YES, and soon. I am in the gathering info stage, and figuring out what changes will be made to any new edition, what the printing job will cost and what I can afford to do, etc. I only print using companies based in the USA, so once the decisions are made, the turn around time is quick. Details will be coming soon!

I wanted to also alert you to the fact that someone is pirating my work. If you see my decks (Tabula Mundi, Rosetta, Pharos) sold anywhere other than www.tarotcart.com or shop.rosettatarot.com, unless they are reselling their own used copy, it is an inferior PIRATED version.

There is one pirated version on a very popular site – printed on inferior GLOSSY cardboard, without the holograms or booklet or nice box – and they are asking for MORE money than I charge for a real version on real matte cardstock with the holographic foil backs, silk lined box, and booklet.

They are also pirating several other decks, not just mine. While I am sure this is happening all over the world, at least on the major commerce sites here there is a little way to combat it, by reporting infractions.

So don’t be fooled, and please report counterfeit decks and deck pirates, and get them kicked off their platforms. It’s easy, and if enough people do it, their sites will get taken down. On Etsy, for example, as long as you have an Etsy account it is easy to report an item or a shop as violating Etsy’s terms – which pirated products do! They can be flagged as “not handmade” (they have to be either “handmade” or vintage – and for handmade, they have to have the rights to be making them) and/or “prohibited item” as making something that the rights belong to someone else is prohibited. Here’s how: https://help.etsy.com/hc/en-us/articles/360000344568-How-to-Report-an-Item-or-Shop

I’ve done it – and it only takes a second.

It’s distressing to see how easy it is for someone to take a labor of love, something I worked on for more than five years to completion, scan it and start selling shoddy copies of it. And do the same for the work of countless others. I know how much effort goes into the creation of a deck – it takes over your life! So please report this when you see it.

I will always endeavor to keep self publishing my works and keep them available for as long as I’m able. What’s more it will be A+ quality, handmade and assembled by the artist, at a reasonable price. If something goes out of print for good because I can’t fund the printing, I’ll let you know. But I’ll try to release new editions as I’m able so please be patient – good things are coming! So please flag the pirated copies you see and buy direct from the artist.

Beyond Tabula Mundi, I have a few other new art and tarot projects to tell you about soon. But because of this pirating, I’m trying to think of a better way to only show so much, to those who appreciate it. New works coming, I just need to figure out the best way to show you the progress.

UPDATE: Well while Etsy will take stuff down, the scammers can deny it and then Etsy will relist it in a few days! I have to file a court order! Unbelievable!

Still, keep reporting these things. If a shop gets reported multiple times, supposedly they will take them down. Surprised they don’t see how obvious the store that is selling all these decks is a scammer, as not only did I provide actual proof of my own copyright, but the scammers have 25 other decks on there – all by different people and companies! Surely Etsy does not believe these people own the copyright for all of them?

Art for Element Brewery

Just wanted to share this with you. One of my favorite local places is Element Brewery and Distillery in Millers Falls, MA. They started with beer and branched out to spirits. I really like their vibe, and their beverages!

I visited them on my birthday not too long ago and took home a blank bottle, as they were inviting local artists to handpaint bottles for them. They are filling these hand painted bottles with spirits and raffling them off. I have always wanted to design for a brewery so I offered to do one.

Their schtick is science-y – the alchemical elements are part of their branding and they sell spirits in Erlenmeyer flasks. So for their bottle I decided to go retro-science-y and do a design based on an old alchemical series of illustrations called “Genesis in the Retort.”

So after the first batch of Pharos tarot decks ship, I’ll be paying them a visit to deliver this bottle. They will be raffling it off – full of some delicious spirit – so if you visit the area check them out and buy a raffle ticket!

More border experiments

Just an update that I’ve delayed the release of the new Pharos Tarot majors until the new year in 2020. I’m hoping to make both a bordered and a borderless version. The bordered one will have standard (Thoth based) titles, with the Pharos word keys underneath, probably looking something like this:

The borderless cards are a bit harder to decide on. I’m experimenting with completely borderless, or with a bottom border. Here is an example of a completely borderless Fool card, using the just the Pharos alternate title:

It’s also been suggested that I try using a black bottom border. I see pros and cons with this, but thought I’d try it. I could do black borders with white text or black borders with text in one of the Golden Dawn color scale colors of the card. Here are two examples, white and colored text with alternate titles on the Chariot:

I could also do the ones above with standard titles (just use your imagination on the Chariot or Fool for now).

Of course I had to try one with both the standard title and the alternate word key underneath, just to see.

I’m not crazy about having both titles on the borderless ones. It looks too busy to me, which defeats the purpose of borderless cards which is spaciousness. Though it does solve the problem of getting regular titles on there, but also providing the Pharos concept titles too.

So where do things stand now?

  • All of the card art is done.
  • The card backs are done.
  • The bordered cards are decided on (see Lust card above)
  • The borderless cards, I’m still trying to decide on.

Since I’m the most indecisive person in the world sometimes, that is the next step. Meanwhile since I know about what the bordered cards will look like I can continue working on the card files to add the borders to all of them. But those borderless ones – I guess I have to decide.

I kind of like the idea of completely borderless, since the card art is sized to make that possible – and that is a rare thing. But the titles sure are easier to read on a plain bottom border. Black looks nice, though it shows wear more. I think I like them with just the Pharos concept titles, in the Golden Dawn scale colors. But I know lots of people dislike alternate titles, so it’s risky. And I’m sure some won’t like them in different colors either…

I’m leaning towards doing bordered ones like in the Lust example, and borderless ones like in the Fool example. But the Chariot example works too. Or either of those with just regular titles could work. I don’t think I like having both titles on the ones with the bottom black border, like in the Emperor, and both titles definitely won’t work on the completely borderless ones, as the font needs to be substantial to be read against the background picture.

So these decisions, plus holidays, plus working on the Fortunes Wheelhouse book which is due to come out in 2020, have made the release of these later than I’d hoped. I don’t want to take pre-orders until I have it all worked out.

Coming soon in the New Year though. My printers have a fast turn around time since I print in the USA where I’m located, so I don’t have to worry about slow boats etc. I just have to make a decision on those borderless ones so I can finish making the print files.

Crowleymas, Stardate 2019

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.

Another year here already?

Crowleymas is a Thelemic holiday, a celebration of the birthdate of Aleister Crowley, born October 12, 1875 at 11:42 PM e.v. Comedic rites, good food, and plentiful drink are all welcome.

For this year’s Crowleymas, I decided to check out Uncle Al’s solar return chart. Where I live, the Sun returns to the degree of his birth this year on October 12th at 4:59 PM e.v. Hey, that’s perfect as that’s close enough to “cocktail hour” and we have a tradition of celebrating with a special cocktail each year, designed in honor of the beast.

Last year (2018) it was called “Al’s Libation”.  For 2015 it was a “Debauch cocktail”. What will it be for 2019?

The Thelemic date for Oct 12th at his solar return in 2019 would be written as: ☉︎ in 19° Libra : ☽︎ in 8° Aries : Saturn’s Day : Ⅴⅴ

2019 is a double Hierophant year in the Thelemic dating system (thus the V v). So watch this space on the 12th to see what special libation comes up. Double Hierophant? Reminds me of a joke. A guy gets into a confessional booth in church, and looks around appreciatively. There’s a bottle of scotch and a box of cigars, and it’s all very plush with red velvet. “Wow Father” he says “this new booth is nice. I appreciate the upgrades! Very hospitable.” The priest says “Get out – you are on my side.”

Ok back with an update on the special day. Happy Crowleymas!!

Today’s libation is based on the classic cocktail the Negroni which is equal parts gin, compari, and sweet vermouth. Since it is fall though, a variation called the Boulevardier, which replaces the gin with whisky. And in honor of Crowley, who was fond of Scotch, we used a mix of a fine peaty single malt from Scotland for Bolskine and an Indian scotch, because dinner will be a curry and chappatis. The drink has a drop of Green Dragon and fresh fig slices as a garnish. A toast to Aleister!

Love is the law, love under will.

To Border, Or Not To Border:

That is the question.

See the bottom of the page for a POLL after the examples.

Since all the Majors of Pharos Tarot are done now and I’m not planning on doing the minors yet, I’m deciding whether to publish them as Majors only, and if so, in what format. The size would be large, 4×6.25 inches. But they could work in that size either as bordered or borderless cards.

The Pharos images were designed so that they could be bordered or borderless. They have enough extra bleed and length that they could be completely borderless, but the important parts of the image are centered in a same-sized area so that they could be cropped and bordered.

Here are a few roughs of what the Pharos deck might look like with borders. For now I just put them into the Tabula Mundi tarot’s borders to see how they would look. So below see how they might look as bordered, with traditional titles, vs. borderless, with alternate titles.

Note these colors and fonts and border styles are all subject to change. This is just to compare the look in general.

Note also that even though the borderless art looks bigger in one version of the Fool, there is also a way to crop these with the art the same size as the borderless, placing the image more to the edges of the frame. The second Fool below shows the art cropped closer but larger. The first shows more of the overall image. So there are different ways to do the bordered cards, it’s just deciding whether or not to have borders.

I like the look either way. But bordered has the advantage of being more protective of the art, which can chip at the edges in a more noticeable way on borderless decks.

We also have to decide on traditional Thoth based titles or the alternate Pharos concept titles. (And whether or not Lust should wear the “Scarlet Woman” dress or be naked!) It’s a wonder anything ever gets done as I’m pretty indecisive sometimes.

To see the alternate titles check the Pharos home page.

Would you like Pharos Majors as bordered or borderless cards?

Do you prefer the standard Thoth titles or the Pharos alternate titles?

The Works

From Pharos Tarot, in progress:

The (Wheel of ) Fortune card is called The Works in Pharos Tarot. The Works as short for The Clockworks (but also as in “give me the works, Jupiter!” LOL) .

The clockworks turn to power the turning of the lighthouse’s light, just as the wheel turns by the hand of the gods. The Hebrew letter is Kaph, which has a meaning like Yod, hand, except Kaph is the action of the hand, such as the open palm or the closed fist. Ever moving ever changing Fortunes.

We see a clockwork hand here as a stand-in for Typhon. Could it be that chaos turns the Wheel, or is it the ghost in the machine? A mechanical sworded sphinx is on top and a steam powered hermanubis climbs.

The Pivot

from Pharos Tarot, in progress:

The Justice card is called Adjustment in the Thoth deck. The Adjustment card is called The Pivot in Pharos Tarot.

It’s one of only two cards that does not directly show the Hebrew letter pictorially. The letter is Lamed, meaning Ox-goad. The other is the Fool, meaning Ox. An Ox-goad, like a Pivot, offers movement, a change in direction as a response to conditions, just a the light of the lighthouse turns in various directions. Here the Adjustment/Justice figure of Ma’at is masked, but not blindfolded, balanced on a finely tuned pivot .

She was inspired by a well known sculpture of the Art Deco era by Chiparus, depicting Semiramis, a semi-divine Queen of Babylon associated with Inanna/Ishtar.

Subject to revision!

The Enclosure

from Pharos Tarot, in progress:

In Pharos Tarot the Chariot is called The Enclosure, that protective wall or fence, for the corresponding Hebrew letter Cheth, meaning fence. Lighthouses often have an enclosure: a  wall surrounding and enclosing the base to protect it from waves. The armored Charioteer both guards and transports the treasured pearl.

This image is in homage to the Thoth tarot Chariot card. (And LoTR.)

The Door

From Pharos Tarot, in progress

The earliest card done, since 0 thru II were redone at some point. The Door is also known as The Empress, whose Hebrew letter is Dalet, meaning Door.

Since it’s such an early card, I wonder if I should redo it, just because my painting skills have improved since then.