In Pixie Colman Smith's Tarot deck, the Fortitude / Strength card has a female figure on it petting a male lion. Since yesterday was the first day of Sikh New Year, it seems like a good time to tell you the story behind the Fortitude illustration in our book and deck.
Our friend Jairus once had a clever and sweet cat named Mothra. They loved each other very much and we were heartbroken when she developed kidney disease when she was just a few years old.
When it was sadly time for Mothra to cross the rainbow bridge, Jairus knew he wanted it to happen at home where Mothra felt safe. So he called a clinic and booked an appointment with someone who made house calls.
A few hours later, a vet arrived. He was a Sikh man, dressed head to toe in white. He told us all that we were doing a kind and loving thing for Mothra, which was such a comfort to hear.
It was of course a heartbreaking day. But we will always be thankful to Dr. Singh for how caring and reassuring he was to us, and how gentle and loving he was with Mothra in her last minutes.
The figure on the card is based on that man, the kindest veterinarian I have ever met. The lioness is based on Mothra, a beautiful dilute calico.
Cindy Fan has done a wonderful job of showing Dr. Singh's loving strength, and has made Mothra glowing and golden and strong.
The question that accompanies this card is "What does it mean to practice solidarity toward myself and others?" This sentiment is reflected in respectful interaction portrayed between animal and human.
For every Fortitude art print we sell for the rest of the month, we will be donating 100% of the proceeds to the Sikhi Awareness Foundation, a Canadian Charity working in India to provide economic, educational, and community support to those living in extreme poverty across the subcontinent.
p.s. The word Singh is derived from the Sanskrit word सिंह, which means lion!
p.p.s. Big thanks to Manveer Singh Sihota and Kirthan Aujlay for their feedback and insight during the process of creating this artwork