Portraits of Pips by Elizabeth Hazel

This is the eleventh in a series of "portraits" of the Minor Arcana, written in Liz's unique style.  All cards are inspired by and illustrated with the Vala Tarot, a deck designed and illustrated by Elizabeth Hazel.

Five of Wands

Hey - no pushing! Get your foot out of my face. My plan is better - see how high I can climb? Faster and farther than you guys - what a bunch of LOSERS! This is the real world, the power jungle, where survival is the only rule and only prize. If someone gets hurt, knocked from branches to ground - too bad! No pity from the guy at the top. His ambition towers over the others; he will be remembered forever. His petty cruelties are obscured by the glory of his conquests. Stay out of his way - he's the alpha gorilla in this pack. He sneers at those beneath him on the ladder of success, and is ever wary of encroachers. Honor is for athletes and cowboys; Queensbury rules for fighters in the ring. In the real world, dirty, underhanded combat is just another way to win.

Four of Swords

This is silence. The calm rest of meditation soothes away the cares of the world. Thoughts are poised to settle and take form, or to flit away like moths. All is remembered, all is forgotten. In sleep I have no name, only breath and dreams. In waiting, I have no breath to breathe, no thought to think. Suspended in hope, long-laid plans give way to a labyrinth of confusion. No breath to breathe, I rise above the maelstrom of doubt, levitate toward airless heaven. No urgency disrupts the calm - here I can think and dream and remember the sweet rhythm of breath. An answer will emerge. There is silence.

You can read the first installment of this series here.  You can read the last installment of the series here.


Elizabeth Hazel
is a tarotist, astrologer and rune reader. Her original art for the Vala Tarot was inspired by a life time of reading the cards, and she is seeking a publisher for the deck. Liz enjoys music and gardening.

Column 2002 Elizabeth Hazel
Page 2002 Diane Wilkes