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Bohemian Gothic - Nine of Cups

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Bohemian Gothic - Nine of Cups


This lovely card departs from the more usual bluish hues to emphasize gold (his desk positively glows!) and emerald green in the color scheme. I think the tilted glass on green liquid is intended as the focal point of the card.

I think there is a suggestion that this green liquid might be absinthe, the famed Green Fairy. As an absinthe drinker myself I would like to point out that although absinthe as it comes out of the bottle is frequently a vivid green, most typically one dilutes the absinthe down with water before drinking it to produce a cloudy, whitish liquid called the louche (which has also become a fabulous adjective in English). If that's absinthe in his glass, he is drinking it straight, which would in my mind be an act of desperation.

I've always associated the man in this card with Dr. Jekyll AND Edgar Allen Poe, because I think he looks a bit like Poe in his younger days. He looks oddly calm but it's the calm before the storm. Hard to remember that this is a card about emotion. What does his seeming impassivity mean? Perhaps that is not his first glass of straight absinthe! I also love the way his face is half in light, half in shadow, strengthening the possible Jekyll/Hyde suggestion.

When I first saw this card, I thought there was a cityscape outside the window. Looking at in in a bright light, I now see that there are a number of jars on the windowsill and that there is no landscape distinguishable outside, only the moon. The companion book has the photograph from which the jars come.

This is one of my favorite cards in this deck.

M_M~
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One side of me sees on this card some scientist/chemist who has finally reached a conclusion in his work and was successful at making this drink. The bottle is in the back and he has poured some in his glass. Now, like any fool/mad scientist, he wants to test the liquid on himself. He has taken a sip and he awaits anxiously the results. Considering the theme of the deck, it cannot be good.

The other side of me sees this man as taking some well deserved break in the silence of the night. He is closed off in his world, his place, with his treasures he has found here and there. He gets to finally sit and relax and appreciate this moment. He drinks the glass slowly, sip it, savouring it. He makes me think of those wine testers as he savours the drink, concentrated, focused. And he knows the moment is short for in a few hours it will dawn and he will be tossed back in the chaos of the world again.
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Arrow Another Thought....


I like the Jeckyll and Hyde connection. Also the Edgar Allen Poe likeness as Edgar is connected to too much drink. And I also thought of absinthe--I suspect the green color is deliberate to make us think of this concoction as that sort of "bohemian" drink. The sort with a reputation for being decadent and a kind of psychedelic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WolfyJames
Now, like any fool/mad scientist, he wants to test the liquid on himself. He has taken a sip and he awaits anxiously the results.
I kinda doubt that. I expect such a scientist to look excited or, as you say, anxious as he gives that drink a test run. This man looks to be very much at his ease. The lab is clean and fairly neat, not brewing and bubbling, and he's seated with legs crossed, looking relaxed and thoughtful. Hardly the look of a scientist who, after months or years, finally "did it" and is about to taste the fruits of his labor. He looks more like he's having an after dinner treat.

In favor of that, the card does seem to reflect the traditional meaning: harmony and happiness; abundance, satisfaction, an assured future. Though there is the danger of self-indulgence.

I see all this in the gentleman's posture. And I'd like to propose another scenario given all the empty bottles on the table: What if he's been giving out deadly brews to others? In typical RW, the image is that of an Innkeeper with wine for all. Perhaps this is the "innkeeper" and all the drinks he handed out this day have been drunk? And now he can rest back with a victory drink of his own, satisfied that he had--and still has--more than enough to transform? kill? his "friends"? Thus, assuring, for him, happiness, harmony and a future?

Questions: What is hanging on the wall to his right? And does any one know what those symbols on the labels of the jars behind him mean?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thirteen
I'd like to propose another scenario given all the empty bottles on the table: What if he's been giving out deadly brews to others?
Wow, I hadn't thought of that. You're right, all those bottles are empty.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thirteen
Questions: What is hanging on the wall to his right? And does any one know what those symbols on the labels of the jars behind him mean?
I thought that what's on the wall was a bunch of herbs hanging up to dry. The cut stems are face up and the flowers/leaves are hanging down. I don't know about the symbols; I assumed they were alchemical. This looks like it might be a handy visual reference.

M_M~
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Master_Margarita
This looks like it might be a handy visual reference.
Alas, no! When you click on the letters nothing comes up! Try here.
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