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Join Date: 26 Aug 2002
Location: Deep East Texas
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Maat Tarot Study Group: Judgment


Actually, the new moon in Scorpio occurs tonight, I think, but following the order in the book, Judgment comes first. So, I follow.

From the middle circle, we move into the inner circle whose rim is composed of the 8 significant feast days that many pagans observe. The names of these feasts may be unfamiliar but not the feasts themselves, because they have lingered on as secular rites in Western culture. The first of these marking the beginning of winter (and the new year in some traditions) is Halloween.

On Hallows Eve, the dead may rise, it is said, and look about the place where their remains lie. Or they may visit the places and people they loved during life. But they must keep time in the old style: they have from sunset one day to sunset on the next to roam the earth freely. Then they must return whence they came, or go elsewhere and leave the living behind. Of course, one wants to be certain of them. In Mexico, fireworks and other noisy revels aim to insure that the dead don’t overstay their time. In the US children disguise themselves and refrain from minor mayhem in exchange for treats. Dark times have arrived. The veil that separates the living and the dead becomes thin and then vanishes. Pagan and other folk leave out “suppers” for the dead and visit shrines and family gravesites.

Appropriate to both its theme and the time of year, Maat Tarot’s Judgment also pictures a grave site, a very ancient dolmen which looks somewhat like Trethevy Quoit in threatening weather. Against a cloudy, light struck sky, faces of some dead have become visible. They turn and look about: some remote, some confused, distressed, some peaceful. They appear to rise, riding a spume of light—one of several, perhaps, that encircle the dolmen. The crimson veil that concealed these departing ones in the Death card is being gradually overridden by that light. Above, a break in the clouds reveals a face that has become one with the night sky.

In the foreground is an interesting figure: the torso of a woman whose pregnant belly is, apparently, the Earth. And within the Earth just beneath its surface, is another image of a woman floating, her hair swirling toward the pole. She is awake and intent. Her arms are thrust behind her as if she were doing a butterfly stroke (swimming), which makes her collar bones seem to extend like horns.
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