February 28, 2009 § Leave a comment
Haindl’s Emperor stands in front of an ancient oak. He is naked, and his body resembles the tree in many ways. He is strong and muscular like the oak and his skin is almost camouflage against the tree’s rough bark. It is as if he has emerged from the tree – as though he is the tree or they are each other.
The oak must be hundreds of years old with such a wide trunk. I can just make out the shapes of younger, greener trees beyond but this tree is the ancient; it has stood the test of time. The landscape has changed around it and people have lived and died, but the tree is solid, reliable, always there.
The oak is dependable even in its various guises. In Spring, it sprouts green leaves and over Summer its leaves thicken until Autumn when they turn brown and fall, scattered with acorns. In Winter, the oak waits with bare branches; then early in the year, the cycle begins again – constant, unwavering.
In most other decks, I like to see the Emperor as hard, distant, dictatorial. He commands armies and maintains the status quo. Not so the Haindl Emperor who is warm, protective, and strong. The Haindl Emperor is the Daddy Emperor – not the father, but the one in whose strong arms you fall asleep after a long day, nuzzled in his familiar smell.
I’ve been apart from my Haindl for a while. After working my way through six new decks in the last three months, and finding nothing but dead ends, I’ve returned to the calm, beautiful images of the Haindl. The Emperor was the first card I drew; it was the perfect card to welcome me home.