Heart & Sword


In 1970, Bea Nettles began to create a photographic Tarot card deck while she was a resident artist at Penland School in North Carolina. She used her friends and family as models and worked on the deck for five years in North Carolina, Florida and New York. She completed a one-of-a-kind hand colored and machine stitched deck. In 1975, a limited edition offset deck was published as the Mountain Dream Tarot. In 2001, it was reissued in 1000 copies and is available from her website at http://www.beanettles.com/works/tarot/

This Tarot deck was quite possibly the first photographic version in the history of the cards. The images were made before the advent of digital technology using black and white negatives and hand painted additions. The Three of Swords was created using borrowed weapons arranged and photographed on a white background. The heart, the landscape and rain were all handpainted on the print.

The image was seen by SONY in an issue of Doingbird Magazine from Sydney, Australia.

http://www.myspace.com/doingbird  An article featured over a dozen cards from the 1975 and the 2001 decks.

This particular card has ominous divinatory meanings. When viewed right side up, it can mean absence, delay and rupture...upside down can signify error, loss and confusion. When listening to the lyrics of Magic, it becomes apparent that this image had been put to excellent use.

The Story Behind the Heart & Sword artwork on Magic by Bruce Springsteen.