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.
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 Tempe-
rance 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-
ror 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
the 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 World.
We cannot think about elephants without
the aspect of their use and misuse by
mankind. The one is shown in the Star
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
Also 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
in 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!