Jane Hudson’s Tarot

Vernissage and Reading

By: - Sep 23, 2023

The river that is Jane Hudson runs swift, wide and deep. Not just an artist she is an industry and apotheosis.

There have been many shifts, phases and extreme rebirths in the decades I have known her since the 1960s. Initially she was a poet teaching English at Lexington High School. A marriage ended and she partnered with gonzo, artist, videographer, musician, Jeff Hudson. Together they formed the legendary punk band The Rentals. Famously, they opened for the Clash in Harvard Square. They moved with a mutt, Jelly, to Soho where they hung out at CBGB’s.

Bouncing back to Beantown they got gigs at the Museum School where Jane acquired chops on critical theory passed onto the students she mothered. She has mentored and mothered with an S all who have known her.

Their albums and CDs as Jeff and Jane, which they continue to crank out, are coveted by fans and critics. Hunkered down in the Berkshires, not noted for its scene, the gigs dried up. Overall, I have seen them perform as much if not more that anyone.

And covered their exhibitions at the former Atlantic Gallery which Jeff does not want to acknowledge or talk about. He can be quirky and strange, a bratty man/child. When on Jeff is witty, charming and utterly hysterical.

The gang turned out last night for her Williamstown opening at Wild Soul River a wiggy herbalist and essences shop now a year and a half years on. In collaboration with these entrepreneurs Jane has produced a colorful set of Tarot cards. Some of the original paintings, at $400 each, are on extended display.

Some years back Jane had yet another incarnation as a visual artist. They closed Hudson Antiques and she had time for change. She has always been an artist but now with paint and brushes. She kind of exploded with cluster bombs of exhibitions in every available nook and cranny. There have also been talks as well as almost daily postings and updates on Facebook.

It’s hard to keep up with Jane particularly now that I hobble about and no longer run marathons. I’m in my tortoise phase though Astrid and I still get out and about.

Swarmed by well-wishers Jane introduced me as her oldest friend. It seems I have been promoted in rank as her high school friend passed recently.

We are scorpios born a few days apart in 1940 and met in Boston in the late 1960s. We were part of an emerging art scene and the birth of the seminal Studio Coalition. That was the nation’s first Open Studios event.

For our mutual birthday celebration Jane often cooked a festive duck. I was a rock critic and took them on some gigs. We had seats up front in the Hells Angels section of a Rolling Stone concert at Boston Garden. That tour ended tragically at Altamont when the Angels, hired as security, ran amuck.

Last night I sat for my first ever Tarot reading. Well, Kindah. Not a full reading but just one card and a brief analysis. The format was devised to accommodate many visitors.

With solemn intensity, morphing into Madam Blavatsky mode, she shuffled the cards and fanned the deck. I was instructed to pick a card, any card. She kind of gasped and gushed with an explosion of psychic energy when I pulled The Tower. OMG!

It signifies destruction and disruption that she urged me to embrace. It’s the sign of a rebel tearing down and rebuilding institutions.

Which, as a gonzo journalist, artist, and poet I have been doing all along. Winding down in fact and leveling off as a quasi retired total gonzo. No, Jane urged, get off your ass and back into the fray. You have the tool, your writing and poetry.

The “reading” was both inspiring and daunting. I went on line for more information.

“The Tower card depicts a high spire nestled on top of the mountain. A lightning bolt strikes the tower which sets it ablaze. Flames are bursting in the windows and people are jumping out of the windows as an act of desperation. They perhaps signal the same figures we see chained in the Devil card earlier. They want to escape the turmoil and destruction within. The Tower is a symbol for the ambition that is constructed on faulty premises. The destruction of the tower must happen in order to clear out the old ways and welcome something new. Its revelations can come in a flash of truth or inspiration. 

“The Tower represents change in the most radical and momentous sense. It is for this reason that the card itself visually looks so unnerving. But it doesn't necessarily have to be truly frightening or ominous. Because at the heart of this card, its message is foundational, groundbreaking change.

“The kind of event that the Tower card marks does not have to be something terrible, like a disaster or a great loss.  Change itself is a normal part of life that one has to embrace. But it can sometimes strike fear, for it means that we must abandon the truths that we have known prior to this event. The old ways are no longer useful, and you must find another set of beliefs, values and processes to take their place.”

Astrid’s card was “The World” which she embraced and required little explanation.

We went out to and Indian dinner at Spice Root with our friends Robert and Lisa. Looking about at the art on the walls he asked if they were by Jane? It was odd but plausible in her embrace of mandala forms.

It kind of confirmed Jungian notions of the universal subconscious. We are one. All is one and we are all together. The still pond is reflective but a stone tossed into it sinks deep with many surface circles.