Jump to content

Weird question... situation involves my girlfriend and something from my past...


Recommended Posts

It's not like it's a huge crisis or anything. This is probably a more light hearted question than most on here. But it went a little longer than expected. If you want the short version just skip down to the last paragraph and avoid all the backstory.

 

So, my senior year in college I did a year long independent study. I was an art major with a focus on multimedia, film and digtal art. For my independent study I made a complete deck of Tarot cards. As in, I took all the photos myself. I did all the layouts myself, etc. And if you've ever looked at a Taort deck you know the imagery is pretty interesting. So some of the shoots I had to set up were pretty interesting. The photos were combined with digtial drawing, blending effects, etc. When it was done I had a show exhibiting them. I passed my independent study and graduated. I tired publishing them but no one was interested, the reason I kept getting was because there is no market for digital art. I also wanted to print them out and sell some. But back then it would have cost me over $100 to print each deck. So the whole thing just was forgotten about over the years. My computer crashed and I lost all my files. I had backups on CD, but I had moved since then and who knows where those CDs even were by that point.

 

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. My girlfriend and I were talking and she was saying she's always wanted to learn to read Tarot cards but doesn't have a deck. It is generally believed that buying your own Tarot cards is bad luck and that they should be given to you by a loved one. She was saying no one would ever buy her a deck so she never got to learn them. I was telling her about the ones I made years ago and how they were basically lost now.

 

Then last week I was going through some old boxes and found an external hard drive. Well, what do you think was on it? My entire Tarot deck and tons of old photos.

 

Now, printing the whole deck would only cost me about $25-30, so I plan to print a few out. I will print the first one for myself, obviously. Some of the people who modeled for some of the pictures (it was all family and friends) want copies, too. And I was thinking it would be really cool to have two larger prototype decks made, one for myself and give the other one to her. (my girlfriend.)

 

Ok, so here is the problem... the Lovers card. The Lovers card is a pic of my ex husband and I. And it's a pretty intimate picture. It's not dirty or anything. But it's the Lovers, and him and I were newlyweds at the time, so think about it. And my ex husband also was the Hierophant. (Of course it's harder to tell it's him on that one because he's dressed up and has a hood covering most of his face, but still. I don't want to change any of the cards because this was such a huge project and it refelected my style of art at that time. I feel like if I have to change a few of them I would have to change them all. Also, my ex husband is dead now. I feel like I need to leave those cards alone just as a memorial to him if nothing else. We weren't together when he died. But we were friends. I was just at his house a few days beforehand. His family didn't have a memorial service and I'm the one who has his ashes still.

 

So basically... would it be weird/in bad taste to give my girlfriend a copy of my Tarot deck that contains pictures of my ex? And as a disclaimer, if you are only going to attack me in the replies, don't bother replying. This is a pretty simple question and I don't feel like being judged today. Thanks in advance.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This deck sounds like very personal to you and should probably stay that way. As you said, a sort of memorial to your deceased husband.

 

I guess my question is why can't you just buy her one that would be hers truly and from you truly, rather than one packed with such heavy personal stuff regarding someone else??? Or if buy isn't proper, then create another one that's from your heart to her specifically? It doesn't have to be over the top that takes months of work. Keep in mind that simple and genuine to her is what counts the most.

Link to post
Share on other sites
This deck sounds like very personal to you and should probably stay that way. As you said, a sort of memorial to your deceased husband.

 

I guess my question is why can't you just buy her one that would be hers truly and from you truly, rather than one packed with such heavy personal stuff regarding someone else??? Or if buy isn't proper, then create another one that's from your heart to her specifically? It doesn't have to be over the top that takes months of work. Keep in mind that simple and genuine to her is what counts the most.

 

 

I wouldn't say it's full of "heavy personal stuff" involving someone else. It was a really time consuming art project I did 15 years ago. My ex was a model for two out of 78 cards. Pretty much everyone I know was a model somewhere in them. My Mom was both Lady Justice and the Queen of Disks. My sister was the Angel on the Judgment card. My brother was both Death and the Hanged Man. My other brother was the Hermit and the Mage. My sister in Law was the Princess of Cups. And all of my friends were various court cards. I also used myself as the High Priestess and I was on the Sun as well. So, I mean, 78 cards is a lot of photo shoots, a lot of time and a lot of work. I didn't have the money to hire professional models so I used people I knew (most of them I still know.) So it's not like I would be handing her a stack of pics of my ex. And there was really nothing heavy about doing this. It was actually really fun and has a lot of good memories attached to it.

 

I just figured giving her one of only to copies would be really meaningful, especially since It's something I put almost 2 years of work into. Anyone could just go on Amazon and just order any generic Tarot deck. And as far as creating another one just for her... I don't think you realize what a huge undertaking this was. This was a massive project. You said don't do something over the top that takes months. But it seems like it would kind of insulting to just hand her something halfassed that I put very little effort into.

 

Not trying to argue. If you don't think it's a good thing to do then that's fine. But I think you are misunderstanding the situation a little. It sounds like you think the whole deck is focused on my ex husband. That wasn't the case. He was on two cards and on one you can't even tell it's him. They were made in 2005-06 and he died in 2017 if that matters.

Edited by Cynder
Link to post
Share on other sites

I can see wanting to link your past with your present might lend some continuity especially after your ex has passed away but I think the process of grieving and letting go and then transforming and recovering or creating a new future... shouldn't affect others in their journey (meaning your girlfriend's journey) or your new journey together as a couple. The deck carries a lot of personal history and weight. I'm more a fan of 'traveling light' wherever possible. My advice is to treasure the deck and share it with your girlfriend but keep it for yourself to look at, reminisce and altogether smile and be thankful about (in all those happy years and that happy experience of making it). I agree you shouldn't keep it a secret or feel you have to hide it. You can share it in the sense of showing it to your girlfriend at some point and sharing those parts of your life if you feel comfortable doing that but create some boundaries and a distinction between past and future, old and new.

 

Move on with your girlfriend with a new deck together. Why not share one? I'm not familiar with tarot reading so you'll have to forgive me if this is a no-no. Or explore tarot reading together and give her a new deck of her own.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well you almost seem to have made up your mind that you do want to give it to your girlfriend? Coz posters gave you some advice but you seem resistant to that advice? E.g. buying her a new Tarot deck. Personally I actually wouldn't want to receive something handmade that contains my partner's ex and also all THEIR friends and family. If it was something so personal like that then I would prefer they made something of us or something neutral. I understand it's not possible for you to make another deck for your girlfriend especially. So just personally I just wouldn't give this one to her. Also, I absolutely don't wish this for you, but if one day you broke up, this Tarot deck would have not just all your friends and your dead ex on it, but also your girlfriend's actual ex (you). I think that's kinda weird. Just personal opinion.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I write this as a person that studies and appreciates the tradition of the tarot.

 

I think its a lovely idea and could see why you would want to share with those that modeled for you. They would keep as a keepsake and remembrance.

 

but for someone so close to you? to use and learn to read them?

 

it might be hard to connect to the deck and have the images resonate with her because there is so much of you in them.

 

would it bother you if she chose not to use them but rather choose her own?

 

I disagree its bad luck to buy your own. How the cards get to you are of little consequence. much like other mysterious articles, they seem to pick you.

 

I have several decks. each ones has its own energies & were chosen for different reasons. If any had pictures of people I actual knew, it would probably influence how I read them.

Link to post
Share on other sites
It was a work of art you did at one time in your life. I would not hide it.

 

After reading these replies I've pretty much made up my mind that I won't do it. But I'm glad someone here actually gets it. To me, it would seem so silly (for lack of a better word) to get upset over the inclusion of someone's ex in an art project they did while they were still with them. And my girlfriend actually has a dead ex too, who died under similar circumstances. It's weird... that's one of the things we bonded over when we first started talking. Her and her ex weren't together when the death happened either, but they still were friends, etc. My girlfriend is a musician. She has written songs about her dead ex, and I've heard those songs. I see that as part of her past and part of who she is. We both lived pretty interesting lives before we met. We are both creative people. Personally I doubt my ex husband being on two of the cards would upset her. But I don't want to ask her because that kind of ruins the surprise. It's obvious she wants a Tarot deck. She was basically hinting around at it. So that's what I want to give her for Christmas this year. Anyway, thanks for replying.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Well you almost seem to have made up your mind that you do want to give it to your girlfriend? Coz posters gave you some advice but you seem resistant to that advice? E.g. buying her a new Tarot deck. Personally I actually wouldn't want to receive something handmade that contains my partner's ex and also all THEIR friends and family. If it was something so personal like that then I would prefer they made something of us or something neutral. I understand it's not possible for you to make another deck for your girlfriend especially. So just personally I just wouldn't give this one to her. Also, I absolutely don't wish this for you, but if one day you broke up, this Tarot deck would have not just all your friends and your dead ex on it, but also your girlfriend's actual ex (you). I think that's kinda weird. Just personal opinion.

 

Ok... So because one person replied and thought the whole deck was a memorial to my ex and I pointed out that it wasn't (they were made over a decade before he died, memorials don't work that way.) that means I'm resistant to advice? Wow, lol.

 

I can see not wanting to get something that an ex was involved with... but family and friends too? Honestly, if she had a problem with my family and my friends being a part of this project I did 15 years ago I would seriously rethink this relationship. Sorry but that is just asinine. There is only one person who modeled that I m no longer on speaking terms with. No falling out, we just drifted apart. Everyone else involved is still currently in my life on some level even if they live far away now and we are friends on Facebook. My significant other should be accepting of my loved ones and I wouldn't be with anyone who isn't. (And she is.)

Link to post
Share on other sites
I write this as a person that studies and appreciates the tradition of the tarot.

 

I think its a lovely idea and could see why you would want to share with those that modeled for you. They would keep as a keepsake and remembrance.

 

but for someone so close to you? to use and learn to read them?

 

it might be hard to connect to the deck and have the images resonate with her because there is so much of you in them.

 

would it bother you if she chose not to use them but rather choose her own?

 

I disagree its bad luck to buy your own. How the cards get to you are of little consequence. much like other mysterious articles, they seem to pick you.

 

I have several decks. each ones has its own energies & were chosen for different reasons. If any had pictures of people I actual knew, it would probably influence how I read them.

 

I don't think it's bad luck to buy them either, and I've been reading for over 20 years. But I've heard that a lot from other people. And if that's what she believes then she has a right to believe that. I only use one deck. I bought it and I've been using it since 2002. (The Crowley Deck, if you're curious.)

 

I can see your point about images of people who are familiar, etc. The photos are digitally manipulated and everyone is made up/dressed up to the point where they don't look like themselves. I wanted the whole thing to be really dramatic.

 

I'm not going to do it. I am pretty amused by people telling me to just make a new deck likes that's just something you do just on a whim. You probably understand that. And her and I live together, so it would be inda hard to just do that under the radar and surprise her.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't think it's bad luck to buy them either, and I've been reading for over 20 years. But I've heard that a lot from other people. And if that's what she believes then she has a right to believe that. I only use one deck. I bought it and I've been using it since 2002. (The Crowley Deck, if you're curious.)

 

I can see your point about images of people who are familiar, etc. The photos are digitally manipulated and everyone is made up/dressed up to the point where they don't look like themselves. I wanted the whole thing to be really dramatic.

 

I'm not going to do it. I am pretty amused by people telling me to just make a new deck likes that's just something you do just on a whim. You probably understand that. And her and I live together, so it would be inda hard to just do that under the radar and surprise her.

 

oh sorry! I didn't catch that its her belief about the bad luck. I agree. if that's her thing, then she needs it to be gifted

 

I totally love that you created a deck. I've thought of doing one, too. but it is such a huge undertaking. one card would take forever! lol I know I couldn't do it.

 

There is a book I highly recommend. it is way more than just interpretation. 78 Degrees of Wisdom A Tarot Journey to Self -awareness by Rachel Pollack

Link to post
Share on other sites

Your ex was an important part of your life for a long time. They passed away. I would hope that your current partner would understand that and not feel bad that he was a part of the project. Clearly this project means a lot to you and I think it should stay intact. As long as the image isn't anything that would make someone uncomfortable, keep it as it is. Give it to her. It's a unique, romantic gesture that would be really significant for the two of you.

 

Would it be possible to re-do the Lovers card with her? Would you be comfortable with that? You can still keep the original deck intact, but you would have one card specifically for her. It could be a fun experience, something to share and bring you closer together. I don't know much about Tarot cards or the process, so sorry if that wouldn't be practical. But it could be an interesting alternative.

Link to post
Share on other sites
How about you just print those ones out for yourself & family- who want it?

 

And just get her another kind of set of cards? Since i feel what you did & all the work- is more personal, for you.

 

They weren't created as a personal way for me to work through emotions, etc. They were created to publish/sell.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Your ex was an important part of your life for a long time. They passed away. I would hope that your current partner would understand that and not feel bad that he was a part of the project. Clearly this project means a lot to you and I think it should stay intact. As long as the image isn't anything that would make someone uncomfortable, keep it as it is. Give it to her. It's a unique, romantic gesture that would be really significant for the two of you.

 

Would it be possible to re-do the Lovers card with her? Would you be comfortable with that? You can still keep the original deck intact, but you would have one card specifically for her. It could be a fun experience, something to share and bring you closer together. I don't know much about Tarot cards or the process, so sorry if that wouldn't be practical. But it could be an interesting alternative.

 

Thank you for actually getting it. To me it seems like giving her one of only two prototype copies would be a really meaningful thing. Like she is a musician. If she found some really old recorded stuff her band did and only could afford to have two CD made, and she have me one that would make me really happy even if her ex was somehow involved.

 

Traditionally the Lovers are a man and a woman. I feel like if I made the Lovers two woman I would have to make other changes because it would be taken as this huge feminist statement etc... especially now when everyone is offended by everything. But I could do another version of it just for her copy. How to do that without giving away the surprise wo u old be hard but I'm sure I could figure something out. The original.pic was him and I standing fave to face looking each other in the eyes. It is both of our profiles against a textured background. I might be able to recreate that with her and I without even having to shoot it as one picture. She also hates having her picture taken, which would create a whole other set of issues.

 

I'm on my phone so sorry if there are typos. Thanks for replying.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Ok... So because one person replied and thought the whole deck was a memorial to my ex and I pointed out that it wasn't (they were made over a decade before he died, memorials don't work that way.) that means I'm resistant to advice? Wow, lol.

 

I can see not wanting to get something that an ex was involved with... but family and friends too? Honestly, if she had a problem with my family and my friends being a part of this project I did 15 years ago I would seriously rethink this relationship. Sorry but that is just asinine. There is only one person who modeled that I m no longer on speaking terms with. No falling out, we just drifted apart. Everyone else involved is still currently in my life on some level even if they live far away now and we are friends on Facebook. My significant other should be accepting of my loved ones and I wouldn't be with anyone who isn't. (And she is.)

 

Well at the end of the day this is your relationship and needless to say, you are totally free to do as you prefer. You just asked for advice, so I was trying to give advice. I'm not a paid therapist here so my advice was just my own personal opinion. I would say the best thing to do would be to actually ask your girlfriend how she feels about it. Unless you're not able to ask her because you want it to be a surprise? At the end of the day you only have to care about your girlfriend's feelings, not anyone on this forum.

 

I do actually understand your situation and that these Tarot cards were really special to you. If it was me though, to me these Tarot cards would signify a time in your life when you were with your husband. And that Lovers card is about the love you had with him. Absolutely this is a special project, but it wouldn't be special to ME because it's not about me or my relationship with you. It's from your past and has your previous relationship on it.

 

Also regarding friends and family. I wasn't implying at all that your girlfriend has any problem with your friends or family. I just think if it was me, I would want it to be MY friends and family on it. Unless you share all the same friends. For example, my best friend made me a custom made photo album for my 30th Birthday. She took photos off Facebook of me with all my friends, my parents. She didn't have her friends on there because she wanted it to be about me. If one day you broke up, these Tarot cards would have her ex and people who are not even in her life anymore.

Link to post
Share on other sites
If she found some really old recorded stuff her band did and only could afford to have two CD made, and she have me one that would make me really happy even if her ex was somehow involved.

 

Yes, but her music doesn't include the same type of "problem" that your tarot deck includes, even if it is influenced by her ex.

 

Ok, so here is the problem... the Lovers card. The Lovers card is a pic of my ex husband and I. And it's a pretty intimate picture.

 

I also very much like the idea of creating another Lover's card for her deck. Sounds like a worthy challenge for a new love.

 

But I could do another version of it just for her copy..... I might be able to recreate that with her and I without even having to shoot it as one picture. She also hates having her picture taken, which would create a whole other set of issues.

 

Digital art is so flexible. The limit is your creativity.

 

But if you find yourself absolutely stymied, the easiest way to solve this problem would then be to ask her how she feels about it. Maybe show her a print of the deck before you give it to her. If she likes it, surprise her with her own copy.

Link to post
Share on other sites

"This is a pretty simple question and I don't feel like being judged today."

"Thank you for actually getting it"

 

So - I'm confused -is it simple or is it maybe not so simple - for you? Of course no one is judging you and no one likes to be judged! My take is that part of this is you want to see how your girlfriend will react -it sounds like this is a newish relationship - what her comfort level is, what her boundaries are and you are using the tarot cards as part of the test. As you wrote, if she reacts a certain way you'll rethink the whole relationship. That's fairly dramatic - especially since it's just about her expressing interest in tarot cards and perhaps also believing that it's bad luck to buy one's own deck.

 

My other take is that perhaps you want her to accept you as a whole package -and your artistic/creative side is part of the deal -so you want to see if she truly accepts you as an artist. To you, that acceptance means she has to accept also that you as an artist are not an average person with more typical boundaries -that art takes precedence over any discomfort being given this gift that includes your ex as a lover and includes other personal stuff about your past. Have you had discussions about this general topic and do you feel that she respects you as a creative and artistic person -that she "gets it"?? Are you looking perhaps for drama (I say this because of your hypothetical that you'd rethink the whole relationship based on a potential reaction you'd see as asinine).

 

I chatted with an artist through a dating website many years ago (I have dated artists, worked with artists, many friends who are artists of all different types) - and in our chat he told me about Burning Man which i didn't know about till then (but I do now!) - and I knew from what I knew about Burning Man that his proclivities and what he intended to do there/why he wanted to attend meant we would not be a match dating wise. We are actually connected on Linkedin -this was over 15 years ago -and I like seeing what he's doing with his career every couple of years that I come across his profile. But I knew I wouldn't be a match for someone who was a Burning Man fan. So your question -which to me is NOT simple in the least - at least to me -made me think particularly about boundaries with artists/creative types especially if the girlfriend or SO is not one.

Link to post
Share on other sites

What a FABULOUS gift, and so timely!

 

Speaking only for myself, I would be honored to receive the full deck, even if it included my partner's ex at that point in life. Everyone in those images contributed to the life and the creativity of someone I love, and I would value it always.

 

If you have doubts about how GF might react to certain images, you could either ask her before presenting her with the deck, OR, you could gift the deck, and ask for a discussion about it before she reviews all of the cards.

 

I'm so happy for you, Cynder, for finding these files and for having someone special to share them with--especially because she's already expressed an interest in the tarot.

 

EnjOy!

Link to post
Share on other sites
"This is a pretty simple question and I don't feel like being judged today."

"Thank you for actually getting it"

 

So - I'm confused -is it simple or is it maybe not so simple - for you? Of course no one is judging you and no one likes to be judged! My take is that part of this is you want to see how your girlfriend will react -it sounds like this is a newish relationship - what her comfort level is, what her boundaries are and you are using the tarot cards as part of the test. As you wrote, if she reacts a certain way you'll rethink the whole relationship. That's fairly dramatic - especially since it's just about her expressing interest in tarot cards and perhaps also believing that it's bad luck to buy one's own deck.

 

My other take is that perhaps you want her to accept you as a whole package -and your artistic/creative side is part of the deal -so you want to see if she truly accepts you as an artist. To you, that acceptance means she has to accept also that you as an artist are not an average person with more typical boundaries -that art takes precedence over any discomfort being given this gift that includes your ex as a lover and includes other personal stuff about your past. Have you had discussions about this general topic and do you feel that she respects you as a creative and artistic person -that she "gets it"?? Are you looking perhaps for drama (I say this because of your hypothetical that you'd rethink the whole relationship based on a potential reaction you'd see as asinine).

 

I chatted with an artist through a dating website many years ago (I have dated artists, worked with artists, many friends who are artists of all different types) - and in our chat he told me about Burning Man which i didn't know about till then (but I do now!) - and I knew from what I knew about Burning Man that his proclivities and what he intended to do there/why he wanted to attend meant we would not be a match dating wise. We are actually connected on Linkedin -this was over 15 years ago -and I like seeing what he's doing with his career every couple of years that I come across his profile. But I knew I wouldn't be a match for someone who was a Burning Man fan. So your question -which to me is NOT simple in the least - at least to me -made me think particularly about boundaries with artists/creative types especially if the girlfriend or SO is not one.

 

No boundary testing, no mind games going on here, nothing like that. Someone said she might have a problem with my friends and family all being involved in this project and I said I would rethink the relationship in that case. (But I already know she wouldn't have a problem with that. I was just trying to make a point.) I don't think that would be dramatic at all. Someone having a problem with my friends and family would be a huge red flag, not just to me but to most people.

 

She is a creative person too. She's a musician and she's also been a Chef in five star restaurants. (I don't care what anyone tries to say, cooking is an art form in itself, especially at that level in the industry.) She has an ex who died under similar circumstances as my ex, and they were together around the same time, still friends when the ex passed, etc. She wrote songs about her ex, which she played for me one night. It was back when we first started talking. I was showing her some of my old short films from back in college and right after, and she started digging through all these old CDs and found a bunch of her old music. To me, personally, I just couldn't even imagine getting all butthurt over songs about her ex from 15 years ago. That is just ridiculous. I know everyone has a differing opinion but the past is the past. Someone else said the music doesn't present the same problem as the pictures but I don't really agree with that either. First of all why does it have to be a problem? And secondly, one is visual and the other is auditory, but it's still the same principle in my book.

 

I already decided I'm not going to give them to her.

Link to post
Share on other sites

But if you find yourself absolutely stymied, the easiest way to solve this problem would then be to ask her how she feels about it. Maybe show her a print of the deck before you give it to her. If she likes it, surprise her with her own copy.

 

Actually I already did that. I showed them to her when I first found them on the hard drive and she loved them, that's why I was considering this in the first place.

Link to post
Share on other sites
What a FABULOUS gift, and so timely!

 

Speaking only for myself, I would be honored to receive the full deck, even if it included my partner's ex at that point in life. Everyone in those images contributed to the life and the creativity of someone I love, and I would value it always.

 

If you have doubts about how GF might react to certain images, you could either ask her before presenting her with the deck, OR, you could gift the deck, and ask for a discussion about it before she reviews all of the cards.

 

I'm so happy for you, Cynder, for finding these files and for having someone special to share them with--especially because she's already expressed an interest in the tarot.

 

EnjOy!

 

This was exactly my thought process. I was honored when she played a bunch of her old music for me, even the songs she wrote about her ex. That's not something she shares with hardly anyone so I felt really privileged. Right now I can only afford to have 2 copies made on the first run. I wanted to make the first two copies a little bigger and keep one and give her the other one, then all the other ones printed after that would be a little smaller. I showed them to her when I first found the hard drive and she loved them.

 

I was pretty convinced not to do it based on the replies I got here... until this one. I know her better than a bunch of strangers on a forum do. And the outlook here is generally negative (Why I hardly ever post anymore.) Some people here seem to think everyone is just out to get their SO. From my perspective I am thinking wow, this would be such an amazing thing to give her since she wants a Tarot deck and loves my art. I do think I will make a different image for that card, though. An image of her and I would almost be out of the question though since she hates having her picture taken.

 

Anyway, thanks so much for replying. And yea, I was ecstatic when I found them. And since it was all data recovery files, none of them were named. I just opened this folder with hundreds of Photoshop files in it and they all were just file1, file2, file3, etc. I opened Photoshop and started going through them and almost started crying. And then I had to go through and rename every single file and organize them into folders which was a chore. Worth it though.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×
×
  • Create New...