The Blasted Tower


The Blasted Tower
aka House of the Devil or House of God
Lord of the Hosts of the Mighty
Hebrew letter Pé (mouth)


Hello, I am still here. Are you surprised?


First a brief mention that I recently received back about 20 Rosetta decks that someone was holding for me. These are numbered in the mid 500 range, while currently the first edition of 777 is selling in the mid 600 range. So if anyone wants an earlier number or has a number five fetish, these are now available.

I fully realize that it has been quite long since I sent anything out to you. I got really sidetracked over the summer and stopped working on this tarot for several months. First I got all obsessed with doing this 3D sculpture for a contest called Mystery Build, where you get a box of random stuff and had to recreate a famous work of art using nothing but that. (If you are wondering, I did Dali’s “The Disintegration of the Persistance of Memory“). It took like three months as it involved hand cutting a small block of extremely hard walnut wood into like a hundred tiny rectangles with a hobby sized Xacto hand saw and miter box and then sanding them all, among other challenging things. If you are interested, I will share the site with the pictures in November as I think that is when the contest entries are posted for public viewing.

After that got done it was garden harvest time, and time to can and freeze stuff and go nutting . Yes, nutting! And on the Devil’s Nutting Day and several Sundays too I might add though he did not appear, directly at least. (I now try to say “as black as the Devil’s Nutting Bag” as often as possible in conversation though.) Then it was time for going shroom hunting and making beer and mead and all that food and drink preservation stuff so more time lapsed. Total obsession with hickory nuts and how best to crack them and what to do with them then ensued for a stretch, and continues, as I gathered gallons of them. Another few months pass. And I got really seriously into a phase of making homemade bitters and, um, using them too in classic prohibition era drinks. I even am attempting to make the hickories into nut liquor. (Haha, “Nut Liquor”, said the bishop to the actress.) I tend to get obsessed with one thing after another it seems. If only there was more time in a day. Or better yet, fewer necessary day job hours!

Then it was time to get back to it as I missed Tarot M and intend to obsess about that instead for awhile and so I started back in and right off I got totally stuck. Momentum lost, artist blocked, locked up, imprisoned. The paper for the Tower mocked me from the table top for days, maybe weeks. I drew and redrew until the paper was grey with graphite smudges and still it was not what I felt was the Tower I saw inside. Got new paper ready.

Finally, the lightning flashes. Of course, the breakthrough came on the day of the October full moon lunar eclipse in Aries. Since the Tower is the trump of Mars (which rules Aries) and a full moon eclipse is also a culmination or ending, it felt right. One door closes and another opens and all that. I always marvel that there seems to be an astrological event that brings the cards through, especially when I get stuck for a while.

It is Samhain or Hallows Eve season too, when it is said that the veil is thin and there was something that happened that felt sort of spooky too. So finally this image of the Tower comes through and I get the sketch fully drawn in pencil. At first my vision was just of looking up “worm’s eye view” at a blasted and falling Tower whose entrance is the gaping mouth of a Caledonian boar with flames shooting out of it. At some point strange hybrid flying creatures (chimaera, giant hawk, dragon and gryphon-like lion serpent) appear out of nowhere in place of the usual human falling figures. Immediately, I mean minutes, AFTER the completed concept and pencil drawing is done I happen to go on the internet and start to reading about the Tower, and through some synchronicity am led right to this, first thing before the pencil has cooled:


“Moakley (95-6, 98-9) interprets the XV.Tower as Hellmouth into which XIV.Devil is carrying Judas (XII.Hanged Traitor). Hellmouth, often shaped like a giant dragon’s mouth, was a typical fixture of medieval stage sets. It was sometimes shown with winged demons flying around it, which she thinks may be the origin of the falling figures of modern tarot decks. For Crowley (107), the Tower represents “the Jaws of Dis” (cf. XIII.Death).”

Now I knew about the Jaws of Dis from the Thoth, but this mouth door with winged demons flying around it otherwise came from my own head. Or so I thought. Anyway I got chills. What memory or thing just came through this eclipse portal?

 Tower Tabula Mundi Tarot

The Blasted Tower
copyright 2013 M.M. Meleen




4 thoughts on “The Blasted Tower

  1. dennis

    Hi, really like the design but the colour of the demon’s head on the bottom should be more ditinguished from the tower one.

  2. Seshet

    The chimaera type one? You must mean the lion of the three heads. I do know what you mean, coloring this one was tough as the color scales for this card are “red, venetian red, scarlet red, and rayed azure or emerald”. Not a lot to work with there so I already took a few liberties. I will think about a solution but it is very unlikely that I can change it much at this point. But I appreciate the comment so i can look at it differently.

    Unless of course you mean the demon head growing out of the third eye of the boar? That, and the boar, are part of the Tower itself and that is why they are the same color.


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