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The Maat Study Group 5 of Swords

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The Maat Study Group 5 of Swords


I donít know if anybody wants to talk about the Maat System Guide Key on the foldout sheet after pg. xix. The guide seems pretty clear to someone who celebrates every full moon (and the new ones, too, for that matter) and the 8 traditional pagan solar feasts, but maybe itís not so clear to everybody else. It would need a new thread, I think.

Respond if you think that would be a good idea.

The week of the new moon in Scorpio began on Sunday, Oct. 22 when the moon sign went from Libra to Scorpio and continues until the first quarter (Oct. 29 around these parts) when the moon sign changes from Capricorn to Aquarius. So, onward to Scorpioís new moon which is now 6 days old. Just before sunset, I saw it: a lovely thin little crescent which looks entirely too blythe for the 5 of Swords which concerns itself with faulty outcomes to conflicts.

The card representing this idea is an adaptation of Caravaggioís I Bari, the Card Sharks, which he painted during the 1590ís about the time Shakespeareís popularity was gaining momentum. A five of spades(!) has just been played. Possibly the victim has two more spades, because the fellow looking over his shoulder is holding up two fingers. A confederate, his back to us, is pulling a spade from his belt. Guess whoís going to lose? Or maybe not.

In RWS, the 5 of Swords is likewise a card of defeat, but the defeat is not necessarily engineered nor dishonorable (though IMO, likely it was). In the Maat, the dishonorable behavior, if not the outcome, is certain. But what is really intriguing is that cards, not swords are its instruments. Most of us read cards and most of us have also been querents. The possibilities are intriguing. Is the querent being honest? What about those around him? What about the reader? Is s/he being honest with the querent? If you are reading for yourself, itís a card to give you pause.

And what about those feathers!
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A bit of cheating? With a complice?
Usually this card doesn't show 2 peoples working together to defeat another one. It's more somebody defeating 2 peoples who doesn't seems to work together.
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We're at 5's and 7's here


Quote:
A bit of cheating? With a complice?
Usually this card doesn't show 2 peoples working together to defeat another one. It's more somebody defeating 2 peoples who doesn't seems to work together.
You're right, Annik. In fact, the 7 of Swords, the one that shows the guy sneaking off with a hand full of swords, is the one that most people think of when they think "deceit" or "trickery." Not the 5 of Swords.

What the 5 of Swords shows in RWS is a really nasty defeat for a couple of people who have dropped their swords on the ground.

And it shows a guy who is really having a good time smirking at them while he picks up the dropped swords. Not a nice fellow, to be sure, but there's no sign that he has cheated anyone.

But, in the Maat Tarot book, Julie says, "the image for the 5 of Swords [is] a young man cheating at cards." Further down she says, "Look into the cheated man's face [.] does he know more than we think?

So, for sure, Julie intends this card to be about cheating and being cheated.

Then who is cheating whom? It's a good question.

The original title to this painting was I Bari, The Cardsharks. A cardshark is a cheater. But it's Cardsharks, so there's more than one. Therefore, I assumed there were 2 cheaters and one person being cheated. I figured the guy in the black was the person being cheated. On the other hand, he looks smarter than the other 2 guys, so maybe he's cheating them also and they don't any idea they're about to lose. Interesting! Maybe there are three cheaters. In any case, I'd say that more than one guy is cheating.

The reason I think that the guy holding up two fingers is an accomplice is that what he's doing is a very common way to cheat. Cheater #1 is in the game. Cheater # 2 walks around and sees what cards the other person is holding and then signals Cheater #1.

Still, who knows? Maybe he just has trouble counting.

The larger question is this: Julie has designated the 7 of Swords to be about defeat which is what the 5 of Swords is about in RWS. And the 5 of swords has the usual meaning of the 7 of Swords. Why the switch? Some lunar thing?

Well, maybe I'll know by the time I get there.

Or, Julie, if you're still about, maybe you could tell us?
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In the Maat tarot some of the sword cards look very grim and violent.
But this card is an exception, it looks more gentle in comparison. Losing in a card game does not seem a matter of life and death - it is possible to lose everything playing cards, but this card does not remind me of that though. It looks more playful to me. A bit like the five of wands - they are all testing each others capacities but they don't play by the rules. So they could all be thinking they are the most clever one but noone is really sure.
I love the expressions on their faces, they are priceless.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WolfSpirit
In the Maat tarot some of the sword cards look very grim and violent.
But this card is an exception, it looks more gentle in comparison. Losing in a card game does not seem a matter of life and death - it is possible to lose everything playing cards, but this card does not remind me of that though. It looks more playful to me.
I agree. And it's refreshing to see--so long as the knives don't come out.
After all, most of our conflicts don't result in maiming and death and most deceits are not devastating.

In fact, I'm usually on the side of the guy stealing the swords in the 7 of swords. Seems a better way to defeat your enemy than to kill him. The 5 of swords in the Maat has something of the same feeling. Yes, there's deceit and cheating, but no one seems seriously disadvantaged and it is a game, after all.

Something else might be going on as well. There's a tendency in pagan oriented decks to rehabilitate the number 5. I'm glad to see it, as I don't know why Golden Dawn/RWS influence considers the number so malignant. Yes, reasons are given, but they don't seem sufficient to me considering that Five is the number of Man. The Da Vinci drawing of the man in the circle has the man intersecting the circle at 5 points. We have 5 fingers on each hand, etc. Five is the essence of things: it is "quintessential."

So, it's nice that we have a gentler #5 under the slender new crescent moon.
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MAAT Tarot 5 of Swords new moon in Scorpio


The new moon in Scorpio Monday November 20th.
This year the last moon phase for the month of the Full moon in Taurus cycle is the new moon phase. This sets a tone for the need to tie up loose ends before moving forward to something new. The new moon phase symbolizes the point where something is ending and something new is just beginning, the moon literally becomes completely dark from our point of view as it merges with the sun and then slowly becomes visible again as it moves past the sun and begins to catch more and more light.

The month of Full moon of Gemini cycle begins on Wednesday. For more information visit:
http://www.newmoontradingco.com/moon/fullmoongemini.htm

The Five of Swords is a tricky card that tells us, looks can be deceiving and sometimes people, places or things we trust can end up being unpredictable. This is a good card for warning us to keep our eyes open not everyone is playing by the rules. This is the time of the year when weather can also be unpredictable being unseasonably warm or cold. The surrounding landscape can do strange things too. For example our forsythia decided to bloom.

The moon in Scorpio beckons us to look into the unknown a little further... to connect with what we are attracted to. To do what we have always wanted to do. Sometimes what we are attracted to can be more than we bargained for, provoking us into new and greater awareness as well as personal growth.

For deeper insights into the lessons of Scorpio moon check into:

5 of Wands- last quarter moon in Scorpio with unraveling and resolving energies- The mock battle

Queen of Cups- full moon in Scorpio with complete and giving energies -the newly married wife

6 of Coins First -quarter moon in Scorpio with creative and developing energies- the gift

Have a great week,
Julie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greycats
I donít know if anybody wants to talk about the Maat System Guide Key on the foldout sheet after pg. xix. The guide seems pretty clear to someone who celebrates every full moon (and the new ones, too, for that matter) and the 8 traditional pagan solar feasts, but maybe itís not so clear to everybody else. It would need a new thread, I think.

Respond if you think that would be a good idea.

I think it is a great idea, I want and need help understanding the lunar phases aspect of this deck..

My thoughts on the 5 of Swords:
When I look at this card my initial thoughts is 'cheater' and 'deception'...but as I look at the young man being cheated I think of innocents, desire for acceptance, youthfully nieve...hard life lessons about to be learned.

I question the man in the middle...is he trying to help the young man or is he part of the deception? It appears he is part of the con...but maybe not? Maybe he is trying to be a mentor so to speak without exposing the con artist....
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gayla
I think it is a great idea, I want and need help understanding the lunar phases aspect of this deck..
I can post general information on lunar phases and their implications and I know a little about lunar astrology in general, but Julie does a newsletter on her website that's specific to the Maat. In fact, I see she's just posted the November newsletter on this thread, right ahead of yours. What I was offering to do was to explain the System Guide Key if anyone was having trouble with it. A couple of the responses made me think that not everybody was picking up on what order we were following and why. Maybe I'll do that after Thanksgiving.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gayla
My thoughts on the 5 of Swords:
When I look at this card my initial thoughts is 'cheater' and 'deception'...but as I look at the young man being cheated I think of innocents, desire for acceptance, youthfully nieve...hard life lessons about to be learned.
Yes, I'd say that's a good read. It's the one Julie Cuccia-Watts recommends in her book.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gayla
I question the man in the middle...is he trying to help the young man or is he part of the deception? It appears he is part of the con...but maybe not? Maybe he is trying to be a mentor so to speak without exposing the con artist....
If you're talking about the guy with the blue gloves, note that the tip of the middle finger and of the thumb are exposed. Those two fingers allow one to do extraordinary things when one deals cards. An expert can deal from anywhere in the deck. He's also plainly looking at the cards of the man in black and he is holding up two fingers. I'd say he was signaling the fellow across the table. I wouldn't exactly call him a mentor, but I suspect the guy in black is going to learn something one way or another. He does look like he's being hustled.

But is there any chance that he could also be a hustler in disguise?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greycats

If you're talking about the guy with the blue gloves, note that the tip of the middle finger and of the thumb are exposed. Those two fingers allow one to do extraordinary things when one deals cards. An expert can deal from anywhere in the deck. He's also plainly looking at the cards of the man in black and he is holding up two fingers. I'd say he was signaling the fellow across the table. I wouldn't exactly call him a mentor, but I suspect the guy in black is going to learn something one way or another. He does look like he's being hustled.

But is there any chance that he could also be a hustler in disguise?
Ahh...yes, I see. I didn't pick up on that...I was focused on his facial expression...hmm..

And yes, perhaps so...a unique twist...perhaps the younger man is the hustler. But that would probably need a strong clarification card to support the theory in a reading.
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Maat tarot IDS: 5 of Swords


Card/Number: 5 of Swords/10

Card Image: see attached

First Impression: This card clearly demonstrates deception. The younger man in the card is clearly deceiving the woman he is dealing cards to, but- what of the other man? Is he helping the young man in his deception? It would certainly appear so. The woman's expression shows that she is aware that it is occurring, but who to trust? Though the deceptive young man keeps an innocent face, his tell-tale blush gives him away. The older man however, is much more sly. Perhaps he is teaching the young boy the trade of deception- with the woman being part of the teaching.

Card Description: A woman is playing cards, an older male standing beside her, looking at the cards in her hand. The older male holds up two fingers, but his expression gives nothing away. The younger male, the dealer, stands across from the pair, with his right hand pushing two cards into his belt behind his back. His face shows no expression, though a flush is seen on his cheeks. The woman looks off to the side, with a pondering expression.

Masculine/Feminine/Neutral: neutral

Colors: blue, black, white, maroon, tan

Senses: you feel the tension in the air, a sense of wrongness pervades your being. You smell the sweat and nervousness of the boy as you hear the gentle rustling of his clothes. The air tastes stale and metallic.

Symbols: cards, feathers, swords, young and older male figures

Story (intuitive): I stand off to the side, watching the card play, seeing the dealer in his deception. Just as I start to warn the woman playing, she glances out of the corner of her eyes, looking at me, a contemplative look on her face. I can hear her voice in my head, "I know that treachery and deceit are afoot. I am caught in a situation of mistrust- where I know at least one of my enemies, though I wonder at how far this deception goes, and who is truly involved. You have been here, in my situation, I see it in your eyes- you know how this feels. Your first instinct- what was it? I bet it was to deceive back, to lie in order to survive- to WIN. But, in reflection- did you not see the truth? By doing that, you would be exactly the same as they are. A hard truth to deal with, especially when you are surrounded by liars who care nothing of who you are, or what they take from you. You wonder- how can they be so cold, so callous? How on earth did they become like this? It is by taking that first step which we are all tempted to do- to lie and deceive, to hurt them back. So, I ask you- is it truly defeat to walk away? Not when the alternative choice leads you down that path. You cannot fight deceit with deception- it only crumbles in the light of truth. Do not let them kill your trust in mankind, do not let them turn you into what they are! Walk quietly away with your head held high, knowing that the ability to be true to yourself is intact and that is something that they will never know.".

I nod at her, and smile. She is a pistol! What a courageous woman. Someone that I would enjoy having as a friend. She looks each man in the eye as she deliberately folds her cards, sauntering away from the table, toward me and my friends. The men smirk at each other as she walks away. She comes to our table, sits and we laugh and have a drink together. The mens' smirks turn to confusion and anger- they hate that they have failed in hurting her, but mostly that they have failed in their becoming of who they are. She looks at me softly- and we understand each other well. We finish our drinks and walk away, going out into the night, our heads held high, our pride intact. No, we are not victims, we are the wise ones, living true to ourselves and being part of humanity.

Astrologic: Week of the new moon in Scorpio, planetary ruler: Pluto

Element: fire and air

Keywords: deceit, liar, loss, dishonor, failure

Meanings: mischief is afoot, deception is taking place, something is not what it seems to be.

Quote: "I will not dishonor myself by becoming part of the deception around me."
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