Door Number 12: The World Card

Door Number 12 is another commissioned piece, located in the same hallway as Door Number 11. I hadn’t planned to paint a second door there, but the patron felt so happy with Door Number 11 and the bathroom door kept “talking” to me, so we agreed it needed “to express itself.” I know it sounds weird, but all three of us discussed the vision for this door — in ordinary conversations and then in dreams. I had not planned to paint a tarot card on this one, but The World Card hijacked my dreams, reminding me of how Freya and Frigga jumped in ahead of The Lovers for Door Number 6.

The World Card, Door Number 12 by Laura Bruno

The homeowner wanted the Runes for Joy and Flow in this door, and I had intended to create something entirely different, but the World Card or “Starry Dancer” appeared every time I closed my eyes. When I began researching this card, I realized why. We had decided to make this a “backwards portal,” with the image inside the bathroom instead of in the hallway. Door Number 11’s faery dominates that space and having another full image just seemed too much with the patterned rug. A small mantra, on the other hand, seemed like a nice accent.

Synchronously, the World Card is number 21 in the tarot deck, a backwards version of 12. It’s also an upside down and opposite image of the Hanged Man Card, number 12 in the tarot deck. The Hanged Man is, in turn, associated with Odin, the “father of the Runes” who hung suspended from a tree for nine days, saw the Runes upside down, understood their meaning and claimed them as his own. The back of the Freya and Frigga portal features Odin’s Rune Song. What does all this “mean”?

Heck if I know, but it seems relevant! These portals arrive in dreams, nudges and synchronicities. The Hanged Man stands for stasis and uncertainty, masculine suspension, whereas the World Card celebrates a union of male and female and a joyful fulfillment and dance. These portals do seem to have their own order and method, so I just follow along as best as I can. 🙂

That said, I think Door Number 12 is my favorite one so far. I loved the opportunity to expand outward onto the molding. To me, the bathroom seems like twice the size with this addition.

Detail, Door Number 12 by Laura Bruno

Typically, the World Card contains images for the four fixed signs in astrology: Aquarius, Scorpio, Leo and Taurus (clockwise from upper left), which translates into a man, a scorpion, a lion and a bull. The patron really did NOT want these images in the bathroom, but it felt important to include their energy in their door. I opted for the astrological symbols themselves, which you can see surrounding the laurel wreath.

Speaking of laurel wreaths, this door also seems to tie in to Door Number 3, the Daphne Door/Tree of Life, which also features laurel leaves and a woman (in that case with only her feet dancing). In tarot the third card would be the Empress, and Door Number 3 has a Chakana (the navel of the Earth) on Daphne’s belly. These cards and the Chakana also play key roles in Schizandra and the Gates of Mu.

All these 3’s! What do they mean? I don’t know, but I find the patterns and interconnections curious and fun to explore. I don’t consider this portal series “mine.” I custom design them according to patron request and dreams, but they seem to present themselves in interesting and insistent ways.

If you look closely, you can see all the patron’s intended elements encoded into the dancer’s hair and the laurel leaves:

Runes in the hair and leaves

The bottom quote announced itself in the usual “can’t get it out of my head” way and seemed perfect in meaning and feel:

For the back, which is really the front of this door, the Gayatri Mantra wanted to go there. Trouble is, the Gayatri is long, and we had opted for mantra-side out in order to minimize the details in the hallway. I remembered that the Gayatri is preceded by an introduction of sorts: oṃ(ॐ) and the formula bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ (भूर् भुवः स्वः), known as the mahāvyāhṛti (“great utterance”).

We decided to include the great utterance and a red lotus, which also appears on Door Number 7, the Lovers. Interestingly, to me anyway 🙂 , the full Gayatri Mantra covers the other side of Door Number 2, The Alchemy Door.

I find these doors a curiouser and curiouser process. The more I paint, the more interconnected and layered they become. The homeowner from Door Number 10 just asked me to paint Door Number 13 in her home. Fun, but also synchronous, as I have had Dan Brown’s “The Lost Symbol” sitting around on my bookshelf for months. For some reason, I got the sudden urge to start reading it this weekend, right after the patron and I determined which door to paint. Lo and behold, “The Lost Symbol” tells a story about portals and features a very important Door Number 13! I don’t know what to make of all these things, but I do know this: I felt light and free after finishing the World Card. Here’s a spontaneous photo taken the following day:

Laura Bruno on the edge of The World

Blessings and joy to you! Thanks for sharing the journey …

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Giacinta on September 1, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    omg… totally amazing photo! have to run but will read the post tonight! 🙂 ❤

    Like

  2. […] Bees have close associations with faeries and the Divine Feminine. When I painted doors 11 and 12 in 2010 in Canada, a shaman came to see me at my request. I had been “told” I’d […]

    Like

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