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Join Date: 26 Aug 2002
Location: Deep East Texas
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Maat Tarot: 9 Swords
First Quarter Moon in Pisces

The nines seem to ask what, as individuals, we can accomplish with regard to the possibilities that the suit presents. Swords present challenges and, often, double edges. They require us to think. The woman in the Maat’s 9 of Swords seems to be doing just that.

Her surroundings are comfortable, even luxurous: the deep red velvety hangings and bed cover, the embroidered sheets, and the lacey nightgown indicate material wealth and a stable household. But she wakes at night and peers into the dark. Roses emerge from the dark, ten of them in a circular bouquet, bright as a small, private sun. That bouquet is the most eye-catching feature in this scene, but the woman does not look at the roses. Instead, she looks at the shadowy, indistinct figure floating above her bed who offers them to her. In the foreground, upper-left, are nine swords blades which are substantial enough to reflect light at the hilt, but which fade to near invisiblity at their tips.

One of the most beautiful and interesting of the Maat’s arcanas, the 9 of swords offers a variety of interpretations. Clearly, there is an attractive offering—a spiritual enlightenment of some sort—and clearly the woman is hesitant to accept.

Is she wrong to question the gift? Spiritual gifts are precious and can bring great joy. On the other hand they can also bring great loss and profound sorrow. Is she using the wrong tools to aid her decision? Her strength is swords (i.e. logic and reason) which seem to be fading away in the presence of the sprite who holds the roses. Ought she to leap at this chance (she may not get another) without thinking about the responsibilities that might follow? Some certainly would! And what about the giver? More than the gift itself, its source seems to worry her. Should it?

Whatever her decision, she has engaged the issue. Unlike the woman in the traditional RWS whose terror won’t allow her to see, the Maat’s woman looks straight at the source of her disturbance. She’s thinking about it, and while she does so, she may discover different modes of thought some of which might be more applicable to her problem. The timing is good: the quarter moon “symbolizes the power of reconstruction” in a lunar cycle whose key phrase is “I think.”
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