Cudahy Tarots

This is a series of animal tarots, I developed in Cudahy, therefore the
name. Each deck is dedicated to one kind of animal. Even if it is joke
and fantasy I’m trying to catch something of the character, living
circumstances and problems, those animals have.
All decks include the Minor Arcana, also showing the respective animal
and not only numbered symbols. Drawn with color pencils originally the
Cudahy Tarots are printed in an edition of 32. At all there are planned
12 different decks.

Elephant Tarot
What about elephants? Creating an ele-
phant-tarot you have to think about, what
an elephant is like, what his experiences
are,  his view of the world.  For us  ele-
phants show a  lot  of  typical  aspects :
They are strong , but good-natured, they
have  an amazing memory and  in  the
East they are honoured as wise and holy.
They also are patient workers in the ser-
vice of humanity, but sometimes violence
is bursting out.

Are  they really  afraid of mice?  In  any
case  we like  to set them  in  relation to
these little animals, as the contrast bet-
ween them  seems so  impressing  and
ridiculous in the same time. Forty years
ago there came up really a wave of mice-
and-elephant jokes.  Also  this tarot  is
picking out this relation as a central
theme. The
Fool is accompanied by a
little mouse as his alter ego. In
he puts a part of his drinking water
back into the bowl,  that the mouse can
drink too, and the
Sun shows an elephant
protecting three little mice before the
heat in his shadow.

Cards like the
High Priestess, the Empe-
or the Hierophant are fitting very well
to his qualities of wisdom and majesty.
Nevertheless the
Magicians  magic is
only  related to the fruits he likes  to  eat.
Elephants really know how to enjoy their
food and never  would swallow  it  down

His corpulence sometimes causes pro-
blems,  when  he for example is trying to
drive the
Chariot or to take the position of
Hanging Man. On the other hand we
know  from the circus  how amazing he
can control his body  balancing as he
does in this deck managing  the
Wheel of
an unicycle or the globe of the

We cannot think about elephants without
the aspect  of  their use and misuse by
mankind. The one  is shown  in  the
taking up the traditional motive of  The
Three Kings, the other in the
Tower with
an elephant as a war machine. From his
good-natured character he is abhorring
this misuse.

Death is related to mankind in the
figure of a cruel big-game hunter killing
only to get his tusks. Because of this bad
experience he doesn´t trust human
Justice at all, but is shaking her, that she
looses sword and scales. Even the angel
of  the
Judgement  cannot expect  any
confidence, but his reveille is terrifying
answered by his trumpeting trunk.

What is he afraid of beside of hunters and
warriors? That is fire, when the steppe is
burning. So his imagination of the
Devil is
a huge fire-breathing red elephant.

His true peaceful nature is demonstrated
Strength: Really strong as he is he has
not to prove his power, but let the little
mouse keep her illusions, that she is able
to lift his mighty foot. Always searching
for wisdom also in the depth of the tradi-
tional well of  the
Moon-card he can be
surprised,  what he is getting out. Some-
times the inner truth can also be distur-
bing hanging as a pinching crayfish at
his trunk. This experience  like  others
shown on these cards are not only related
to elephants. Think about it!