Card Number Seventeen, with its multi-coloured stars; seven small ones, plus the bigger one placed dead centre–is the card that brings it back most vividly–the moment of Nea’s first sighting of the tarot trumps. Not because it was the first card she saw, but on account of its brilliance which reflects the overall impact of the trumps as collective object. The colours scintillating amongst the workaday rubble of the father’s desk. Immediately she’d appropriated it; expecting he’d indulge her in this, as in most things. It contained a glimpse of something: the peacock’s tail, that flash of iridescence that offers a preview of the coming transformation.
By Karen Whiteson.