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Maat Tarot Study Group Four of Swords

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Maat Tarot Study Group Four of Swords


I usually wait for someone else to post first, but this time I decided to go for it. Constructive criticism would be appreciated.

By sun and by moon we are going into the dark. It’s a good time, by the moon: a water sign for the last quarter’s beginning. We can drift and let the self-regulating processes of our bodies take care of us—deep within where no one sees. The tides within echo the tides without. The sea, in autumn, grows more mysterious by the hour.

On land, too, are tides. Lakes and rivers swell and recede, as do other bodies of water crystallized into icepacks and glaciers. Glaciers are truly going into the dark and are leaving behind such flotsam as one expects to see on the beaches at low tide. In the Alps signs of a journey interrupted, a traveler stranded while thousands of years rushed over him.

“For me,” writes Cuccia-Watts, “this card represents our connection with the past.”

Indeed the elements themselves, represented by the 4 triangles balanced like a tent upon sword points, combined to preserve this man and, finally, to reveal him. To scientists he is a veritable encyclopedia of information, yet no one knows yet why he was killed, where he was going, who he was. He is the Traveler Beset upon the Road who has waited 5000+ years to tell his story.

Obviously, the connection to RWS would be in the time of withdrawal from “the madding crowd,” so to speak. Yet there may be more, if one could grant that the guy lying on the catafalque in RWS is, indeed, dead. I’ve no wish to quarrel with the massive weight of interpretation that claims “not dead, only resting.” But, I’d like ever so tenatively to advance the idea of “dead but so long ago that it is beside the point.”

Then we might say that the knight is resting eternally beneath the Lady of Peace in the stained glass window. Looks a little an echo of courtly love from very very far in the past, when the union of Venus and Mars was possible.
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When I first browsed the image of the deck, I must have been quick with this card. It's just now that I look more carefully at the card. And as soon as I sat my eye on the man, I realized who he was. At the first browse, I thought more of an image of Ceasar or something like that.

But having him with a picture of the Alps is really a good idea. I always thought that mountains are calm and serene places. And this man coming from there, frozen in time, have a bit of this calmness with him (even if the latest hypothesis is with a more violent death).
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greycats
“For me,” writes Cuccia-Watts, “this card represents our connection with the past.”

Indeed the elements themselves, represented by the 4 triangles balanced like a tent upon sword points, combined to preserve this man and, finally, to reveal him. To scientists he is a veritable encyclopedia of information, yet no one knows yet why he was killed, where he was going, who he was. He is the Traveler Beset upon the Road who has waited 5000+ years to tell his story.
This card divided by the 4 swords into triangular color sections reminds me of the effect of a prism, which disperses white light into its spectral colors.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prism_(optics)

This color effect on the Maat 4 of Swords could represent examining things "in a new light", to gain new insights by looking at the situation from different perspectives. As Julie intended this card to represent connections with the past, the prismatic effect could indicate this reflection on the past, to learn from the past, to explore and reveal the mysteries and histories of those that came before us.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strange2
This card divided by the 4 swords into triangular color sections reminds me of the effect of a prism, which disperses white light into its spectral colors.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prism_(optics)

This color effect on the Maat 4 of Swords could represent examining things "in a new light", to gain new insights by looking at the situation from different perspectives. As Julie intended this card to represent connections with the past, the prismatic effect could indicate this reflection on the past, to learn from the past, to explore and reveal the mysteries and histories of those that came before us.
It may indeed. What a striking metaphor! It's the only permanent structure swords can build, is it not? One made of air and colored by thought? Annik mentioned that when she first saw the image, she thought it was one of Caesar in the Alps. That's another association from the past.
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4 of Swords card of the week for Oct.2,2007


You are going to notice through out the MAAT Tarot that I have rephrased cards that feature war. In my opinion war needs to be less of a feature in western culture and I since a deck creator gets to have the option of creating their reality I took this route. The 4 of Swords is one of those card. I have replaced the traditional war memorial/rest card and combined it with the energy of the waning Cancer moon as well as the planetary ruler for this month Venus. For a new look at remembering a lost warrior as the ice man may have been. In other Cancer cards I have addressed the symbolism of Mother and Child as it comes to us from ancient Egypt. Isis as mother magician, the mother as protector, spinner of wool, spinner of fate. The 4 shows the unraveling of this moon as the iceman is the lost one without warm clothing lost in the snowy mountains for 5,000 years. His death is felt by us his gift is the new knowledge he gave us regarding his era. From him we learn more about ourselves.
Week of the last quarter moon in Cancer
“The last quarter moon phase symbolizes the power of an acute awareness of ideals and high standards and implementation of these standards into daily life. Disappointment can occur if these standards are not met.”
4 of Swords
Planetary ruler Venus
The image for the 4 of Swords is the 5,300-year-old 'iceman' found in 1991 on the Hauslabjoch pass, which cuts over the main Alpine ridge and divides Austria from Italy.
When the ice melted it revealed the iceman and offered world a peak into a Bronze Age window that we had never seen through before. Like a traveler in a time machine the iceman brought us knowledge of his world. His tools, clothes and weapons told us about his life.
His body revealed what he ate and perhaps what people of his time were eating. His body 's back wound told us it was ambush that caused his death. Anyone who learned of this man couldn't help but wonder what was he doing out there? Who missed him when he didn't return? We can't help but feel grateful for the knowledge he has brought to us because knowing him is to know more about ourselves.

Consider for a moment what you would want the future to know about you. If you keep a diary someday your diary could keep you. Unless you preserve a clear message for the future how will your descendants remember you? What do you want them to remember about your life? About who you are, about your traditions, foods, clothes, likes and dislikes? How curious will the future be about your day-to-day life? How much do you treasure the stories passed down in your family.

Traditional tarot meaning: rest, or taking a rest, although sometimes defined as a monument to a war hero or monuments in general.

In a Reading: For me this card represents our connection with the past. This card invokes the use of archeological evidence, forensic sciences, as well as cultural histories, to open new doorways to our ancestral past in an effort to learn more about ourselves.
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IDS 4 of Swords


Card/Number: 4 of Swords/7

Card Image: attached

First Impression: A very unique and colorful 4 of swords. The card doesn't show the typical rest after battle motif, but rather the idea of an eternal rest/hibernation that allows a glimpse into the past.

Description: From each corner of the card, swords stand at a diagonal, with the tips meeting in the center, which creates four triangles; one above, one below, and one to each side. The triangles are colored in a scheme that relates to the direction; the top (north) is green, the bottom (south) is pink/light red, the left (west) is blue, the right is purple (not typical for air), but in this card it seems appropriate and feels right. Taking up the left side of the card is the corpse of the Iceman, who seems to be looking out from the picture.

Masculine/Feminine/Neutral: Neutral

Colors: green, purple, pink/red and blue pastels for the triangles, silver in the sword with bronze hilts, and the brown of the iceman's skin

Senses: you can feel the cold wind biting through your coat and hear it howling around you, tasting the snow.

Symbols: swords, the four directions, the Iceman

Story (intuitive): I sit, humbled, staring at the body before me. The gaunt face, the leathered skin, preserved by ice for so long. I reach out and touch his hand. Suddenly, I am transported back in time, standing at the base of the mountains with field and forest before me, untouched by civilization. I look to my right, the Iceman stands beside me, looking out into the distance. His wizened face reminds me of the King of Swords, and I realize that I am now looking at one of his ancient ancestors. Without changing his gaze, the Iceman speaks, "Look around you, this is the world that I knew, a world and time where man and nature were one. A time of simplicity, a time of hardship. Men fought over food and survival, there were no political agendas, wars. We were one with the earth and spoke to our ancestors often, as you are speaking to me now. Remember this image, keep it close to your heart; so that someday you may return and learn the lessons of old. Sleep comes to all men, the great hibernation of death. But the bones of your ancestors will always be present and, if you ask, they will grant you the wisdom and serenity that you seek.". I gaze ahead, imprinting this landscape into my memory. I close my eyes, and when I open them I am back in this time. I look down at the Iceman and say "Thank you.", for his lesson is a valuable one indeed.

Astrologic: last quarter moon in Cancer, planetary ruler: Venus

Element: fire (swords suit), but this card depicts them all

Keywords: rest, ancestor, bones in the earth

Meanings: connection with the past, taking a rest, hibernation

Quote: "Speak to the bones of your ancestors, they remain with you to show you the way."
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I hope we meet sometime I think it would be great to do some shamanic journey work with you! Again this was a fun journey to go on much like painting the picture in the first place!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juliecucciawatts View Post
I hope we meet sometime I think it would be great to do some shamanic journey work with you! Again this was a fun journey to go on much like painting the picture in the first place!
I would love to
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