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Maat Tarot Study Group: Judgment

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Maat Tarot Study Group: Judgment


Actually, the new moon in Scorpio occurs tonight, I think, but following the order in the book, Judgment comes first. So, I follow.

From the middle circle, we move into the inner circle whose rim is composed of the 8 significant feast days that many pagans observe. The names of these feasts may be unfamiliar but not the feasts themselves, because they have lingered on as secular rites in Western culture. The first of these marking the beginning of winter (and the new year in some traditions) is Halloween.

On Hallows Eve, the dead may rise, it is said, and look about the place where their remains lie. Or they may visit the places and people they loved during life. But they must keep time in the old style: they have from sunset one day to sunset on the next to roam the earth freely. Then they must return whence they came, or go elsewhere and leave the living behind. Of course, one wants to be certain of them. In Mexico, fireworks and other noisy revels aim to insure that the dead don’t overstay their time. In the US children disguise themselves and refrain from minor mayhem in exchange for treats. Dark times have arrived. The veil that separates the living and the dead becomes thin and then vanishes. Pagan and other folk leave out “suppers” for the dead and visit shrines and family gravesites.

Appropriate to both its theme and the time of year, Maat Tarot’s Judgment also pictures a grave site, a very ancient dolmen which looks somewhat like Trethevy Quoit in threatening weather. Against a cloudy, light struck sky, faces of some dead have become visible. They turn and look about: some remote, some confused, distressed, some peaceful. They appear to rise, riding a spume of light—one of several, perhaps, that encircle the dolmen. The crimson veil that concealed these departing ones in the Death card is being gradually overridden by that light. Above, a break in the clouds reveals a face that has become one with the night sky.

In the foreground is an interesting figure: the torso of a woman whose pregnant belly is, apparently, the Earth. And within the Earth just beneath its surface, is another image of a woman floating, her hair swirling toward the pole. She is awake and intent. Her arms are thrust behind her as if she were doing a butterfly stroke (swimming), which makes her collar bones seem to extend like horns.
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I haven't noticed what's in underground. My attention was on the dolmens and the rock on them. One sice point more higher than the other. And there is faces in the sky (maybe the spirits of the deceased?). From the picture, there is some hint about the coming of the cold and of winter.
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In the Sky


Yes, I think they are the faces of the dead. And they seem to be ascending as well, instead of hanging motionless as did the dead in the Death card.

And good point about the coming winter. I hadn't thought of that, but now that you mention it, it seems obvious. No grass, no green of any sort. Only rocks and some kind of dead-looking stuff at base of the dolmen's higher end.

Like you, I did notice the slant of the dolmen. In fact, I wondered for a while just what the structure was. I've seen pictures of some funerary platforms (platforms where the bodies of the dead are placed so that the carrion eaters may return the bodies to air, rather than to earth or fire as we generally do), but unless they were part of a shrine, these platforms were usually made of wood. Still, they have the same slant as the "roof" of the dolmen does.

OTOH, I thought that Julie Cuccia-Watts might have wanted to replace the usual churchyard cemetery with a pagan burial site, and that idea sent me looking at ancient pagan burial sites. I started with England for no particular reason other than ease of navigation and saw several sites that looked somewhat like the one on the card, but with flat cross pieces. Finally I came across the Trethevy Quoit site (near Cornwall, England) which looks very very similar to the Judgment card, slanted roof and all. (Google Trethevy Quoit if you want to see.)

Of course, for our purposes the structure could be either, both, or something else entirely. It looks ancient, solid, and ascending.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greycats
And within the Earth just beneath its surface, is another image of a woman floating, her hair swirling toward the pole. She is awake and intent. Her arms are thrust behind her as if she were doing a butterfly stroke (swimming), which makes her collar bones seem to extend like horns.
I had not even seen that woman until you mentioned her. There is so much in this card, things you don't notice immediately. I only know saw that there are three light circles on the ground. It could be light from the skies shining on the ground, or some other magical lights...

As for the burial stone, it immediately reminded me of the one I saw in Ireland (in The Burren): http://fr.trekearth.com/gallery/photo122826.htm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WolfSpirit
I only know saw that there are three light circles on the ground. It could be light from the skies shining on the ground, or some other magical lights...
I wondered about those. I don't know what they are either. But I thought they might be other avenues for ascending souls besides the one being used. If you look just below the projecting part of the dolmen's roof, you'll see an ascending arc of round, bright objects. (Link below.) I thought those might be souls too far away to see or souls just beginning to ascend--whatever. Below all this is one of the circles you describe. Might it be another "soul highway" that is not active? Or is partially active? Or one point in a magic circle? Or, as you say, a light shining on the ground. They're mysterious and intriguing though, whatever they are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WolfSpirit
As for the burial stone, it immediately reminded me of the one I saw in Ireland (in The Burren): http://fr.trekearth.com/gallery/photo122826.htm
Yes! the Burren dolmen resembles the Maat dolmen almost perfectly! Especially the rocky barrenness around it and that pointy rock in the rear. The site near Cornwall was grassy. (Certain, now, that she hasn't mistaken a burial chamber for a funerary platform, Greycats tucks her paws under her chest and relaxes. A nap, perhaps . . . )
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There are so many interesting images in this card!

The turbulent sky indicates a new weather front or season is moving in: ...changes are a-coming.

The standing stones with the upward slanting capstone gives the impression of a ramp or launch pad to the heavens. Or it could be viewed as a giant scale, used to weigh souls against Maat's feather.

Those faces on the upper right contained within an upward (or downward) sweeping arc (or uterus?). These may be souls awaiting judgment and "direction", or awaiting new incarnation. Or departed family/clan members. Perhaps they represent masks, the different personas that a soul wears during its incarnations.

The faint circle of stars rotating on the horizon, these may be new souls, spiralling towards creation. Similarly, the three faint rose-colored orbs that hover over the rocky landscape may represent soul seeds, about to take form on earth. Or they may represent non-corporeal beings from the next phase of evolution, who have come down to observe and provide direction (judgment).

The nude pregnant body with the belly like the planet earth definitely looks like Mother Earth / Gaia. The ghostly green woman at the base of the card could represent a new incarnation, or the dream of what once was or will be.

The mixture of the old (the ancient rocks, the primeval landscape), the new (the pregnant Gaia, the incoming weather front), and the in-between (the ghostly visages and half-formed orbs) depicts that aura of timelessness that Julie mentions in the BBB (big brown book). This is where time, space, energy, direction, spirit, and form intersect, at the crossroads on this Cross Quarter day.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strange2
There are so many interesting images in this card!

The turbulent sky indicates a new weather front or season is moving in: ...changes are a-coming.

The standing stones with the upward slanting capstone gives the impression of a ramp or launch pad to the heavens. Or it could be viewed as a giant scale, used to weigh souls against Maat's feather.
Yes, that's why I kept wanting to make it a funerary platform. I didn't think the resemblance to a scale, though. Good point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Strange2
Those faces on the upper right contained within an upward (or downward) sweeping arc (or uterus?). These may be souls awaiting judgment and "direction", or awaiting new incarnation. Or departed family/clan members. Perhaps they represent masks, the different personas that a soul wears during its incarnations.
Indeed, maybe even the "born again" sort of experiences that one undergoes even in a single lifetime.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Strange2
The mixture of the old (the ancient rocks, the primeval landscape), the new (the pregnant Gaia, the incoming weather front), and the in-between (the ghostly visages and half-formed orbs) depicts that aura of timelessness that Julie mentions in the BBB (big brown book). This is where time, space, energy, direction, spirit, and form intersect, at the crossroads on this Cross Quarter day.
Oh! Great stuff, Strange2! Delightful to read the way you've stuck the intersecting multi-leveled crossroads and the Cross Quarter day. It brings everything into a sharper focus because now one can see the parts in relation to the whole so much better. And the movement: kaleidoscopic, even. Thanks so much!
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Maat tarot IDS


Card/Number: Judgement/9

Card image: see attached

First Impression: The flowing theme of death and re-birth continues into this card, yet the image here is more ethereal, as if to signal a more divine presence. This card doesn't signify being "called to action" as much as the influence of divine intervention.

Card Description: a stone monolith, reminiscent of an altar, stands in the center, on a grassy/rocky mound of earth. To the right of the stones are the faces of souls- released to their journey, moving upward into the sky. Below the earth and rocks you see the abdomen and breasts of a pregnant woman, a spirit residing in the womb of a full grown female, who's gestation is close to ending as she is ready to leave and take flight on her own journey.

Masculine/Feminine/Neutral: Neutral

Colors: Blue, purple, green and pink

Senses: The winds sifts softly through your hair, the earth most and rich but rocky against your feet. Soft, so soft they are barely heard, the voices of those souls winding up to being their journey. Like whispers playing inside of your head, rather than in your ears. You can smell the nearby ocean, tasting the saltwater on your tongue and it drifts through the air.

Symbols: stones/altar, spirits, womb with child

Story (intuitive): I sit, my soul turbulent, pain and fear welled up inside me. I call out to my goddess in need- "HELP me, please mother, help me!". There is no ceremony, no robes, incense, drumming or casting- yet she appears at my side- drawn by the depth of my emotion and frightened cry. "I am here daughter," she whispers in a sad voice, "I am here. Change is upon you child, you knew that it was coming, yet you fear as you sit in the unknown. You have learned Death daughter, now you must learn another great lesson, that of Fate. For remember, there will be times in your life in which you have control, but there will be moments- like this- where things are out of your hands, marked by Wyrd. Remember my daughter, whatever comes today IS what was meant to be. You are marked by the divine, be proud of those moments that Wyrd extends It's mighty force, no matter how painful it can be. There are so many that live outside their path, they never have Wyrd enter, as they are too far away. Remember daughter, I am with you. Live true to your Wyrd as it brings you ever closer to home.". I am comforted, though still frightened. The last time Wyrd came into my life it was if the rug had been pulled from beneath me, leaving me spiraling down a black chasm. But I know that whatever comes is what was meant to be, and my Mother will help guide my along the way.

Astrologic: Samhain, cross quarter day of October 31st

Element: this card incorporates all elements, most significantly ether/spirit

Keywords: crossroads, judgement, fate, timelessness

Meanings: spiritual intervention, a matter out of your control, historically represents karma

Quote: "I live within the will of Wyrd."
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