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Pearls of Wisdom - The Empress

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Pearls of Wisdom - The Empress


A Woman with child at the breast sits in an upholstered chair on the edge of a river. Her foot and pearl-topped staff are dipped into the water. Goldfish swim past her. There is life everywhere - even the chair carries a pattern of roses and leaves.

The Empress isn't looking out at us. She is watching the child.

The Empress wears a glowing headdress with small roses and leaves and pearls dangling at the sides. Her necklace is pearls with a crystal pendant which rests between her well-filled breasts. She is robed in royal purple. The glowing headdress seems to be a companion to the beaming sun above her. Her staff is gold with red and pink ribbons at the top near the glowing pearl top.

The background is filled with life. Vibrant greenry, flowers, an evergreen on the right and a bush I don't recognize on the left. A hawk on the wing and bee in flight are also present. A butterfly flutters in the lower right-hand corner; the Empress's headdress rests in the lower left-hand corner. Vines with pink buds trail along the edges of the card and across the lentel. Two Earth Spirits form the far horizon.

The Elements are represented:
Earth => the vibrant growth; flowers and grass around her
Air => the hawk, butterfly, and bee all in flight; there are clouds in the far distance
Fire => The golden glow of the Empress's crown and the sun in the sky
Water => the river filled with fish at her feet
Spirit => The Empress-Mother's expression as she watches her nursing child; as Empress she could easily summon a wet-nurse, but here she chooses to bond with her child herself. She may not be able to set aside all the trappings of her office (the staff and headdress) but her child is an important part of who she is...and she will sit in a comfortable chair not a gilded throne while tending to her child...

The Rune Berkano is marked on the left column; Jera is marked on the right. Berkano is the Rune of the Birch Goddess, of birth, of things concealed and nurtured until released upon the world. Thorsson describes it as 'New beginnings based on old patterns...' (ref: At the Well of Wyrd). Jera is the Rune of Nature and Her Cycles; it is the orbit of life; Process that dictated quality of the Product.

Berkano = third Aettir, second Rune = 18
Jera = second Aettir, fourth Rune = 12
Berkano + Jera = 18 + 12 = 30 = 3 + 0 = 3 = Thurisaz, an odd connection until we look deeper into the 'Thor Rune'. The Rune Thurisaz is used when working love/sex magic as an energizer for the 'dance' to come.
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Another Earth Spirit


Hi RS,

What a wonderful description...

However I wanted to add that there is indeed a third earth spirit, within the tree on the left.

Another thing that struck me is that the glow from her headress extends all the way around her entire body and the child has one of her own (I say her, because of the pink she is swaddled in)...

Could the surrounding glow be a symbol of her powerful life force? and if so, then the child in her arms that she is taking such great delight in nurturing, could this be "the one" who in time to come, would take her place on the throne?! For as with all things when one cycle ends, it makes room for another to begin - so in this case, it is a show of her wisdom to ensure that the cycle she is representative of continues?!?! any thoughts?
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What keen eyes you have, Marli


Thank you for pointing these things out.

I searched the tree and found the Earth Spirit's face among the leaves.

I saw the glow around the child and the Empress, too, after you pointed them out. It reminds me of the nimbus that often surrounds the Madonna and Child in Renaissance paintings.

I think the child is a girl, too, based on the colors she wears. Perhaps she is the Child of Promise. Angeles Arrien shares this poem, described as an European ancestral song, in her book 'The Four-Fold Way':

Oh, may this be the one who will bring forward
the good, true, and beautiful in our family lineage.
Oh, may this be the one who will break the harmful
family patterns or harmful nation patterns.

I can imagine the Empress, watching her child and heir, and singing this to her as a lullabye.

The two of them together, plus the Berkano and Jera Runes, reinforce the idea of continuation.
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Three White Rabbits


Busy, Busy, Busy - this deck is very Busy, it's a delight to find what's embedded in the artwork.

There are three little white things among the flowers on the right-hand side, just above the red tulips. I checked them out with a magnifying glass - they are rabbits all in a row.
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The Glow...


You know now that you mentioned it... yes the glow does remind me of the nimbus from the paintings... Ooooh I luv this exchanging of ideas!!!

And yes I did also notice the rabbits, which just reinforced the whole fertility theme for me..
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