Understanding The Painter Card
Many people have asked me about "The Painter" card in The Southern Gothic Oracle. If you're a Tarot reader, you may have noticed that it's card #8, a nod to the Strength card in the major arcana of (most but not all) Tarot decks.
Often people think I misspelled "panther," especially since the studio is called La Panthère Studio! But then the obvious fact that the animal depicted is neither black nor in an African setting makes them wonder, why a "Painter?" Well the answer is, it's mean to be a mountain cougar, also known as a Florida Panther.
In Appalachia, mountain lions and cougars were often referred to as “painters,” probably a mispronunciation of the word “panther.” These animals, now nearly extinct, were fierce and majestic hunters who struck fear and awe in the hillfolk, who were inspired by the animals’ strength.
The Florida panther is a majestic and iconic species that has captured the hearts and minds of people for generations. Unfortunately, these beautiful creatures are currently listed as an endangered species due to habitat loss, poaching, and other human-related factors.
The Florida panther is a subspecies of the North American cougar, and is the only known population of cougars that exists east of the Mississippi River. Historically, the Florida panther ranged across the southeastern United States, but by the 1970s, their numbers had dwindled to just a few dozen individuals due to hunting, habitat loss, and other factors.
Today, the Florida panther population is estimated to be around 120-230 individuals, and they continue to face a number of threats to their survival. One of the biggest challenges facing the Florida panther is habitat loss. As more and more land is developed for human use, the "Painter's" natural habitat is disappearing, leaving them with fewer places to hunt, roam, and raise young.
This card summons your divine sovereignty to navigate difficult challenges with the fire of your inner light. Your soul has the ferocity of a mountain lion when you harness the energy within. Watch for a signal: the painter is a phantom, waiting to send you a sign that your battle is about to begin. True power rests within your soul.