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Join Date: 26 Aug 2002
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Maat Tarot Study Group Six of Swords


OK. We're caught up.
October 29th, first quarter Hunter's moon in the US.

Week of the first quarter moon in Aquarius.
And we have a water scene.

As All Hallows approaches, the crescent moon swells and looses its inner arc. We are still in the Taurian cycle, and we move to the moon’s first quarter. The key word remains “I have.”

The Six of Swords

We view the figures in this arcana from behind a fence of swords. What do they have?

Well, they have a past. Holding her child, the woman in the boat stares back at hers without pleasure. Does she regard the swords as protective or as a barrier reminding her that she cannot go back? And the man (I think it’s a man) in the dark hooded cloak: a companion or a jailer ? Her rescuer or someone charged to make sure of her exile? She’s probably keeping a close eye on him, too.

On her right are choppy waters. On her left the waters we can see are calm. As in RWS, her boat cleaves the the way between them. She wears a brown plaid skirt and a voluminous brown robe with which she shelters the child and herself. The child seems fretful; he looks as if he’s rubbing his eyes. At one time, Plaids indicated ones clan. Does she carry a little prince into exile? Or are they ordinary people fleeing bad conditions: war, poverty, oppression?

They also have a future which only the man rowing the boat is in a position to see. The approaching shoreline looks gentle and rich, like an ancient goddess lying on her side. A golden glow surrounds the place above and below. Even the waves are gilded by the light. The sky has been clouded but perhaps it is beginning to clear. The remaining clouds are colored rosy pink and soft violet. First quarter moons symbolize “the power of reconstruction,” according to the Maat Tarot Quick Guides section, p. 274, so we would expect to see an upward turn in fortune.

By and large, the Maat 6 of Swords seems pretty much in line with RWS with the exception of the backward facing woman and child. But here are some things to consider.

1. In RWS, we assume that some noncombatants are fleeing to safety, but we don’t actually see their faces. In the Maat, we do. How does that change things, or does it? The pair look very much like a madonna and child. Does that iconic image bring more to a reading?

2. There’s a lot of mythology about crossing water. Crossing water is supposed to prevent evil from following. Even if one is not actually immersed in it, one can be cleansed by the water beneath one. Also, entering or crossing a body of water can symbolize death and, sometimes, rebirth or entry into blessed realms. Some of the people who came to the North American continent thought they were throwing off the evils of Europe when they crossed the Atlantic. They planned utopias. Did they suceed in any way? Or if not, why not?

3. What else might the people in the boat have besides a past, a future, and each other? What else might be in the boat?

4. This moon is still being ruled by Pluto. Any problem with that?

5. What’s going on with those lights on the swords?
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