Bitcoin Tarot : Card Back
SLAYING THE DRAGONS
Among all the illustrations created, the card back was particularly significant, as it would be present on all the cards.
I had several requirements for this:
- The design needed to be symmetrical to keep the orientation of the cards ambiguous.
- I wanted the illustration to be simple yet impactful.
- The Bitcoin symbol was a must-have element.
- There needed to be a reference to blockchain technology.
- I desired the card back to mimic the intricate patterns found on traditional playing cards.
I began by sketching an imaginary world where each card would serve as a snapshot of a moment within that realm. For instance, if you examine The Judgment card, you can spot many previous Major Arcana illustrations in the distant background. If you invest more time, you'll realize that every card fits seamlessly into this imaginary world. Locations such as Cafe Bitcoin, towers, a bank building, a dark city, the ocean, rivers, and a lake recur in various cards.
I began by illustrating the Major Arcana cards, starting with The Initiate and progressing sequentially to The World. I then proceeded with the coin-themed cards (Bitcoin and others). The cards are arranged in their box according to the order of their creation.
The image for the card back only came to me midway through the card creation process. I didn't want to force an illustration but rather allowed my intuition to guide me towards the image. One morning, the vision finally materialized before my mind's eye. However, the process was not as straightforward as I had hoped. Some cards were completed in a single attempt, but the card back required multiple tries. Initially, I settled on a black background, but soon realized that dark blue would be more suitable. Thankfully, with modern technology like computers and Photoshop, I could easily alter the image without having to start from scratch.
Now, let's delve into the symbolism of the snake or snakes - or could it be two dragons?
Dragons and snakes have been integral to ancient mythology; dragons often symbolize fears that need to be conquered and snakes represent elements that frighten us. These creatures may signify internal struggles or external fears. It is in our best interest to overcome them.
Snakes often instill fear in people, a sentiment that dates back to the biblical story of Adam and Eve. The snake, an embodiment of temptation, led to mankind's expulsion from the Garden of Eden. With its scales, cold-blooded nature, undulating movement, hissing sounds, and venomous strike, the snake symbolizes our deepest fears and uncertainties - the unknown. This is akin to how many people perceive Bitcoin today. As of 2021, with only 64 million wallets globally, it's evident that only a small fraction of the world's population understands it. From my experience, those unfamiliar with Bitcoin tend to fear it and often label it as a scam. The dark web is often associated with illicit activities, providing a platform for individuals to make quick money or risk losing their life savings. Its decentralized nature offers no guidance or assistance, leading to various excuses and misconceptions. However, it's time to change this perception.
Just like facing a snake, understanding the dark web requires knowledge and courage. My three daughters enjoyed watching Australian wildlife experts like Steve Irwin and Austin Stevens interact with snakes. Their encounters were thrilling as they sought out these creatures, played with them, retreated briefly, then bravely took selfies within arm's length. Despite the apparent danger, their extensive knowledge about snakes meant they weren't really taking unnecessary risks. This analogy can be applied to navigating the dark web - with proper understanding and caution, it doesn't have to be a dangerous venture. As spectators, it often feels as if we're hesitant to even glance at the TV, apprehensive about the impending doom. The key takeaway is to conduct our own research (DYOR), learn, and thereby become resilient to our fears, enabling us to delve into the world of Bitcoin.
But why settle for one metaphor when we can have two?
The ouroboros is a historic symbol that portrays a serpent or dragon consuming its own tail. Originating from ancient Egyptian iconography and the Greek magical tradition, it was later adopted as an emblem in alchemy. The ouroboros is commonly interpreted as a symbol of eternal cyclic renewal or a cycle of life, death, and rebirth. The ouroboros, resembling the infinity symbol, forms an eternal figure eight. The Bitcoin standard can be perceived as an unending cycle of financial prosperity, a stark contrast to the devaluation of wealth through money printing. Imagine a world where all of Earth's wealth is contained within 21 million Bitcoins, leveling the playing field and allowing products to find their true free market value.
There's a saying that peace equates to war and vice versa, implying that in our capitalist system, one cannot exist without the other. This creates devastating highs and lows, leading to the destruction of civilizations and countries for survival. Now, envision a peaceful world where money is owned by the people, not governments. The image depicts the Bitcoin symbol linked to the ouroboros, representing the blockchain, which originates from the flower of life.
This concept is intrinsically tied to personal development. We are responsible for understanding what Bitcoin is. By expanding our knowledge, we begin to follow in the footsteps of Satoshi Nakamoto.