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Bohemian Gothic - Queen of Pentacles

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Bohemian Gothic - Queen of Pentacles


Hi,

I've had this deck for a few weeks and did the secret fears spread with this and the cards have laid seperate until it's been calling me to think and write out the reading probably - something i rarely do for myself !

On first looking at the card, i find this Queen of Pentacles quite disturbing - perhaps i'm too used to the "earth mother" type of depiction with my other decks. It found it hard to see details in the card until you let your eyes get accustomed to it.

Anyway, the most disturbing bit for me is probably the picture on the wall. The first thought the comes to mind for me is the film of Picture of Dorian Grey. Notably, it's the scene where the friend of Dorian enters the room, find the covered picture and looks underneath it to discover what Dorian would look like if he'd aged, where all his bad traits and spiritual and moral ugliness have shown in the picture.

This raises a few questions to me -
Is this the friend of someone who is like Dorian Grey and just discovered their picture?
Is the queen having to face her own self how she would be if she hadn't become what she is ( for some reason, i tend to think of her as a Vampire),

Or is this in fact, a picture of her future self and she's trying to stave this off?

Has the candelabra in the corner been deliberate lit to draw attention to this painting as she passes through the room - it does appear to be the only light source in the room.

As an aside - I also drew the moon for the first card in the reading, and noticed that the chokers appear to be the same. It made me wonder if they were the same lady and she's just returned from her moonlit vigil or encounter.

Regards,
Sharon
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The woman seems to be thinking "Now, wait a minute! Did that guy's eyes just move?" She looks like someone who is visiting in this house and finding that there are some pretty eerie goings-on there, but she's not quite sure yet whether she's seeing what she's seeing. Maybe she's a new bride brought to a creepy old Victorian house where nothing is as it's supposed to be.
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It's certainly an interesting take on this Queen. I've been wondering about her messages for me because I am doing a series of shadow work readings for myself with this deck and the Queen of Pents has been coming up constantly.

Is the picture on the wall a Pentitent Magdalen? IIRC it is a fairly standard convention to depict the Magdalen with a skull as she contemplates her past sins: http://www.ladysmaidjewels.com/MTblo...es/000847.html

So one strong meaning of this card is that one is contemplating the error of one's ways.

M_M~
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She also has the whip, with which to punish herself. Hmm:

http://www.bohemiangothic.com/Blog/Rumburk-picture.jpg

By the way, I think one interpretation is that the young woman we see has, in a sense, been "bought" - I suspect she has married for money. She is now having her doubts about whether this was such a great move.

Edited to say. Sorry, I am not being very clear. I mean, yes, she has the skull and the whip (and the hair partly concealing the bare breasts) that are attributes of the penitent Magdalen.

I never really considered how very appropriate this was to this card - I was focused far more on the main figure - so this is fascinating.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baba-prague
By the way, I think one interpretation is that the young woman we see has, in a sense, been "bought" - I suspect she has married for money. She is now having her doubts about whether this was such a great move.
Yes, this is what I see---the woman in a Gothic novel who has found herself getting more than she bargained for in a marriage.

But I didn't know about there being a name for the painting on the wall. That's really interesting. It could be one of those foreshadowing things, foreshadowing for this young woman that the sexual proclivities of her husband were going to be S&M only she'd be too naive and innocent to know that.

OK---OK maybe not.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solitaire*
Yes, this is what I see---the woman in a Gothic novel who has found herself getting more than she bargained for in a marriage.

But I didn't know about there being a name for the painting on the wall. That's really interesting. It could be one of those foreshadowing things, foreshadowing for this young woman that the sexual proclivities of her husband were going to be S&M only she'd be too naive and innocent to know that.

OK---OK maybe not.
No, the Penitent Magdalen always uses the whip on herself, which adds yet another layer of meaning to the painting, and hence to this card.

M_M~
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Mary Magdeline was widely believed to be a prostitute, so I think the painting is another indication that this woman has sold herself for money (maybe not literaly prostitution) but married a rich person for money. I have also had the idea that maybe she is a rich man's mistress or otherwise earned money in a less then honest way (murder? who knows?). I don't know if she is a vampire as in sucking blood, but maybe she lives off of other people's money. This time, she got more then she bargained for and may be realizing the danger she is in.
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She certainly does look a bit alarmed at suddenly coming across that painting. I don't think she's seen it before. I see her as having married a wealthy and powerful man many years her senior who has had a series of wives who he does not discuss. They are said to have died in childbirth, or of a fever, but there are other, darker insinuations whispered about. She doesn't know what to believe, but knows he frightens her. Certainly she would not have married him without the money...and without the family obligation to marry well, and repair all their fortunes. I see her as being loyal and family oriented enough to put their needs before her own desires. Her husband does not speak to her, or treat her as an equal, and his only real interest in her is in her fertility. He blames her for not conceiving; she wonders if he is the one who cannot make a child.
She is lonely, and aimlessly wanders into the closed off or unused rooms of this huge house. In this one the candles are lit and the picture shows her the future she fears emotionally alone and sad. Perhaps blaming herself for not having resisted this marriage that brings profit to her family and misery to herself.
There is a statue of a Knight on the table next to her. Will she notice it? Will it remind her of men her own age and class, will it tempt her to find someone who will give her the love and attention she misses so much?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magpie9
Her husband does not speak to her, or treat her as an equal, and his only real interest in her is in her fertility. He blames her for not conceiving; she wonders if he is the one who cannot make a child.
She is lonely, and aimlessly wanders into the closed off or unused rooms of this huge house. In this one the candles are lit and the picture shows her the future she fears emotionally alone and sad. Perhaps blaming herself for not having resisted this marriage that brings profit to her family and misery to herself. There is a statue of a Knight on the table next to her. Will she notice it? Will it remind her of men her own age and class, will it tempt her to find someone who will give her the love and attention she misses so much?
That's a pretty elaborate story, and if that's what you see, it's what you see...but I don't think it fits the picture, or relates to the Queen/Pents as we know her. You might want to take a look at the "Queens" thread we started. There an interesting point there that while this thread focuses on marriage and Mary the prostitute, there is much to be said about the tasteful and elaborate decor of the room and the Queen's outfit--which I think tells us far more than things that don't appear in the picture.

What we see would indicate to me that we are very much underestimating her as the Queen/Pents if we cast her in a story which puts her entirely at the mercy of her husband (who is where? what evidence do we have of him being...anything? Even alive?). To my mind, this card isn't at all like some other cards in the deck where there is a threatening male in foreground or background to help us formulate this woman's story as sad and victimized.

To the contary, from the evidence that I *see* in this card, this is a very confident, elegant, and generally satisfied woman. A Queen in her castle, and for the Queen/Pents that is a most beautiful and domestic home. The only story we have beyond the richness and taste of her furnishings and clothes is the picture of Mary that she clearly dislikes. Again, that picture isn't about marriage or children or romance of any kind. She's not looking at a picture of cupid or happy lovers or a wife with husband and kids, is she?

What that picture of Mary M. is about, ultimately, is a woman giving up pleasures and wealth to be spiritual. I think what bothers this woman is that the painting uncomfortably reminds her that being rich, tasteful, surrounded by beautiful things, and admired does not mean she's going to get to heaven. In fact, given the evidence, she could well have it all. The perfect (to her) husband with money, good looks; beautiful children who are seen but not heard, the admiration of neighbors and friends. She could be the Queen of Society, dictating who is in and who is out, the richest woman in the neighborhood. There could be not one thing in her life that she is not satisfied with.

And yet she knows that unlike Mary M. she does not and never will be willing to surrender it all in order to be on the side of light rather than darkness.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thirteen
That's a pretty elaborate story, and if that's what you see, it's what you see...but I don't think it fits the picture, or relates to the Queen/Pents as we know her. You might want to take a look at the "Queens" thread we started. There an interesting point there that while this thread focuses on marriage and Mary the prostitute, there is much to be said about the tasteful and elaborate decor of the room and the Queen's outfit--which I think tells us far more than things that don't appear in the picture.

What we see would indicate to me that we are very much underestimating her as the Queen/Pents if we cast her in a story which puts her entirely at the mercy of her husband (who is where? what evidence do we have of him being...anything? Even alive?). To my mind, this card isn't at all like some other cards in the deck where there is a threatening male in foreground or background to help us formulate this woman's story as sad and victimized.

To the contary, from the evidence that I *see* in this card, this is a very confident, elegant, and generally satisfied woman. A Queen in her castle, and for the Queen/Pents that is a most beautiful and domestic home. The only story we have beyond the richness and taste of her furnishings and clothes is the picture of Mary that she clearly dislikes. Again, that picture isn't about marriage or children or romance of any kind. She's not looking at a picture of cupid or happy lovers or a wife with husband and kids, is she?

What that picture of Mary M. is about, ultimately, is a woman giving up pleasures and wealth to be spiritual. I think what bothers this woman is that the painting uncomfortably reminds her that being rich, tasteful, surrounded by beautiful things, and admired does not mean she's going to get to heaven. In fact, given the evidence, she could well have it all. The perfect (to her) husband with money, good looks; beautiful children who are seen but not heard, the admiration of neighbors and friends. She could be the Queen of Society, dictating who is in and who is out, the richest woman in the neighborhood. There could be not one thing in her life that she is not satisfied with.

And yet she knows that unlike Mary M. she does not and never will be willing to surrender it all in order to be on the side of light rather than darkness.
First of all, Thirteen, I want to say I have great respect for you as an interpreter of this and many other decks. However, I am going to argue my case because I think it will be an interesting thing to do. I do see your points, overall, even though I do not agree with all of them. And certainly I will read the "Queens" thread.
I have a different view of the whole St Mary Red Dress mystique, perhaps because my given name is Magdalin. In the first place I don't consider the prostitution slander to be true. It's based on one ambiguous sentence in one version of the story.
To me this Queen of Pents is not about what she will or will not give up, but more about what all this comfort and luxury costs in other ways. I don't see her soul imperiled at all, but I do see her in this card as isolated, and perhaps lonely. Where indeed is the charming husband, the happy family and the gilt-edged guarantee that she does not have it in her to give up anything for something greater, be it for love, duty or spirituality? I don't see any of that here, anymore than you see her as emotionally isolated and lonely. Perhaps her reaction to the picture is simply because she thinks it shockingly bad art!

I assume her married because just as there is a Queen of Pentacles in every deck, there is also a King. I don't see her as a victim. Her marriage may not be happy, but nowhere do I see self-pity or weakness in her. I think she may not know or care about the price of everything, but knows the cost of everything that really matters.

I am trying to speak for a different view of the Q of P, which --at least in this deck--is as likely as the traditional one. Look at Henry the VIII's first Queen, Katherine of Aragon. She felt it was her duty to be Queen, and under her sumptuous silks, velvets and brocades wore a hair shirt. She spent hours on her knees every day, praying, and spent most of her discretionary money on Charities of various kinds. Certainly she could be easily seen as a Queen of Pentacles, at least until her husband got the hots for a Sword Maiden. Having it all did not mean having it all, she died in poverty, neglect and squalor because she would not give in to her husband on the religious issue of the legality of their marriage. She was no weakling, and I do not see the BG Queen of Pents as a weakling, either.
I know my view of this card is not the usual picture of the Queen of Pents, but nothing in this deck is the usual picture. It's part of its wonderfulness! I thought it would be interesting to roll with the very non-traditional --but possible--view of this Queen that came to me.
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