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Misty Monster (Benson)

Idaho USA

Nine of Arrows from the Morbidly Adorable Tarot


Art: Nine of Arrows from the Morbidly Adorable Tarot by Artist Misty Monster (Benson)
Welcome to my nightmare! Yep, we've had our first snow, but here I am creating monsters like it's still Halloween! I'm a monster-for-all-seasons kind of girl! Give me a good, complex monster story any day of the year!

I think of the Nine of Arrows as the Nightmare card. Though it isn't necessarily about nightmares ripping you out of sleep, it speaks of anxieties in your life. It speaks of the thoughts that run through your mind keeping you up at night. Those thoughts are never satisfied. It's time to break the cycle and send them on their way.

For this card, I deviated from the beautiful girl/angel theme that I had been following for the suit of Arrows. I think "monster" stories can be quite beautiful, too. I loved creating a card about a character who himself is often considered the stuff of nightmares, Frankenstein's Monster. For the sake of ease, we'll call him Frankie. Frankie, the monster who has been the stuff of horror lore for over 200 years, was a sentient being who dealt with his own nightmares. In this image, you may view him as an adult being reduced to a child by his fears, or maybe in another reality, there was a Little Frankie who started as a child and grew to adulthood. In either scenario, his anxiety is palpable.

Frankie is surrounded by his wonderful friends, the cloud pups, my Morbidly Adorable take on sheep. They serve a dual meaning here. In the novel "Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus" by Mary Shelley (1818), Frankie started out as a sensitive soul that wanted to live a simple life, free from harming others. "I do not destroy the lamb and the kid, to glut my appetite; acorns and berries afford me sufficient nourishment." (There are entire theses on the vegetarian and environmental messages in the story.)

The sheep also stand in for the age-old practice of counting sheep. Frankie is surrounded by his fluffy friends, plenty to count; yet, he still has mental anguish. The vulture is the backdrop of nightmares with arrows shooting from his form. He is an omen of conflict or danger. While vultures have both dark and light aspects, Frankie may have a particularly fraught relationship with them. He has been both living and dead. Does the vulture see him as carrion?

Monsters are the stuff of nightmares, but nightmares can also make monsters. Stop the little voices in your head!



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