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Divine Politics

In 2016, compelled by the U.S. Presidential election and politics, artist Tamiko Rast created a series of woodblock prints featuring political figures matched to the symbolism of tarot cards. The series was displayed at a Westfield Valley Fair pop-up shop hosted by The Arsenal and at their gallery in San Jose.

Divine Politics by Tamiko Rast

Divine Politics by Tamiko Rast

Artist Statement

Divination is the practice of tarot, and the recent political and social climate — both deeply interwoven — has been anything but magnificent.

Bullying, overt racism and xenophobia, misogyny, sexual assault, even references to the sizes of one’s genitalia during Republican debates…it’s been ugly.

Formerly respected politicians are shown to be flawed, if not dangerous humans. There is a divide between classes, issues about race and the law, and even a political shift being felt globally. The entire climate is fraught with tension.

But there remains champions of civil rights and liberties, and new leaders — on all sides of the political spectrum — and they are making their voices heard.

We can only imagine what the future holds, and I felt that tarot cards expressed that sentiment. As many of my artistic peers have remarked, at the very least, now is a good time to produce art.

– Tamiko Rast

Divine Politics by Tamiko Rast
XI - Justice / Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Divine Politics

XI - Justice: Fairness, harmony, objectivity, making decisions. Justice simply implies that some kind of judgment is being made or will be made by the archetypal "lady of the scales."

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a Supreme Court Justice. She is the second female justice and has long championed women's rights as a Constitutional principle.

XIV - Temperance: Moderation, blending of ideas, compromise, need for cooperation, healing energy. Temperance represents this blending -- of stirring and mixing the right proportion of this or that -- to make your life harmonious and balanced.

Thank you, Barack Obama, for your service as President. Your class, articulation and temperament are unparalleled.

XIV - Temperance / Barack Obama, Divine Politics
IX: The Hermit / Bernie Sanders, Divine Politics

IX - The Hermit: Discretion, looking for direction, wanting solitude, soul-searching. There are times when we need to withdraw from the world and think about ourselves, our goals, our needs -- what is life really about?

Bernie Sanders is a U.S. Senator from Vermont. He is the longest serving independent in the U.S. Congressional history. His campaign for the 2016 U.S. Presidential nomination galvanized millions of young voters, inspired disenfranchised voters, and yet he was unable to clinch the Democratic nomination.

VIII-Strength: Gentle force, inner strength, compassion, tolerance, overcoming obstacles. The lady taming the lion knows that strength is needed to conquer weaknesses or ignorance.

Elizabeth Warren is a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts. She is the state's first female Senator. She is a former law professor who specializes in bankruptcy law and she leads advocacy for consumer pteoction. Check out her interrogation of Wells Fargo's CEO.

VIII: Strength / Elizabeth Warren, Divine Politics
XIII: Death / Donald Trump, Divine Politics

XIII - Death: Change, transformation, letting go of the past. This card always means change is in the air.

Those desirous of "change" by electing a wholly inexperienced and unqualified President -- ignoring his xenophobia, bigotry, misogyny, racism and fascism -- this may not be the change you wanted.

XVI - The Tower: Eternal disruption, turmoil and upheaval, chaos all around. This card is one of the most revolutionary in the deck, signifying chaos, turmoil and sometimes emphasizing a shocking personal experience.

Ann Coulter is a conservative political commentator known for her hateful rhetoric. Actual quote: "If you don't want to be killed by ISIS, don't go to Syria. If you don't want to be killed by a Mexican, there's nothing I can tell you."

XVI: The Tower / Ann Coulter, Divine Politics
XV: The Devil / Hastert, Weiner, Putin, Divine Politics

XV - The Devil: Illusions, materialistic or sexual desires, living a lie, you as your worst enemy. It is that part of you who lives a lie or believes that by having power, we can maintain control.

Dennis Hastert is the 51st Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and admitted child molester. He is one of the highest ranking politicians in American history to be sentenced to prison. Anthony Weiner is a former Congressman from New York and didn't learn his lesson about sexting...too many times to count. Vladimir Putin, current President of the Russian Federation, embraces anti-gay politics, jails his detractors, sold weapons to the Syrian government, and comically enough, stole New England Patriots owner, Robert Kraft's Super Bowl Ring.

XVIII - The Moon: Illusion, self-deceit, blind to the truth, hanging on to the part, confusion, imagination. The moon is deceptive and yet align with intuitive wisdom.

Hillary Clinton's storied career as First Lady of the U.S., Senator from New York and Secretary of State was not enough to win the 2016 Presidential election.

XVIII: The Moon / Hillary Clinton, Divine Politics

Tarot card definitions are from The Key to Tarot: From Suits to Symbolism: Advice and Exercises to Unlock Your Mystical Potential by author Sarah Bartlett.