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What's with the mitt????

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firemaiden  firemaiden is offline
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I think when it comes to interpreting literature, or art, or tarot cards, all signs are game for interpretation, intended or not.

Honestly, I don't think there is such a thing as "reading too much" into a tarot card, ultimately the interesting thing is the act of reading, itself. As Tournier said, and I am fond of quoting, "il suffit de regarder une chose longtemps pour qu'elle devienne interressante" = it suffices to look at something a long time for it to become interesting". And as others (who?) have said, if you look deeply enough into something, you will see everything.

Reading cards is a little bit like scrying. Are we to tell the scry-er who sees images in the swirling steam in her tea cup that she is reading too much into the steam?

It's just steam for heaven's sake...
Yes, but she is scrying! The images are not coming out of the steam! They surge up in the steam through her seeing art...

So sure, the cards are just cards, the mitt is just a mitt, fine -- yet we give them their significance by how we read them at that moment. Today the mitt is leaping out as an interesting detail... one of many very odd aspects of this card, I might add!

It is also not at all required that what we interpret in a work have been consciously intended by its creator. After all, the art of interpretation is itself a creative act!

So in the six of cups, the artist need not have meant anything by the mitt, for us to be allowed to enjoy reading into it!
Top   #11
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Quite so, firemaiden... and so well expressed as usual. Re-reading my rather brief earlier post makes me realise I may be interpreted as wanting to imply that one needs to know what the artist intended. I do not think this is necessary.

For sacred art especially - and I include Tarot in this - the art plays the artist as much, or possibly more, than the artist plays the art.

In the sacred art of reading likewise.
Top   #12
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Seems to me the meaning changes with each reading.
And that different symbols will jump out for each reading, indicating a meaning for that querent.
Top   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by celeste
I actually started thinking that maybe her white mitt stands for purity and perhaps instead of the boy giving her the flower he is taking it from her instead(virginity-innocence?).
Actually, this makes a great deal of sense--not the giving away of virginity, perhaps, (possibly, but it seems way too innocent for that interpetation), but that the girl might have just given the boy the flowers.

For me, that opens up three ways of looking at this:

1) The girl has a crush on the boy and she's given him the flowers. Polite and kinder than other boys his age, he's amused and touched rather than annoyed, and so he accepts.

2) The girl, with her pretty shawl, is from a higher class family than the boy. She's also sweet and innocent. The boy offers her the flowers either as an older boy might who's trying to amuse a little girl or as a lower class kid to a higher class kid.

3) Finally, don't forget those other five cups of flowers. Perhaps the boy works for his dad helping to sell cups and flowers. The little girl arrives (running up from her guardian who just gave her the money: "Can I have a cup of flowers?") points out the one she wants and is now receiving it from the boy. Of course, the real reason she wants one is because she has a crush on the boy and wants to talk to him.

Quote:
Although the lone adult with his back to the children bothers me...Why is the boy alone with a little girl? She is too young to be on the same level of companionship as a boy his age would normally seek out....He could also be watching her for someone, but even then his friendliness seems too overt and unaccustomed to the situation.
You're thinking in modern terms. First, keep the time and place in mind--an isolated village back in the day. Everyone knows everyone. And the village raises the kids, not just the parents. In short, these kids can play and talk and interact, can be on their own unsupervised, because the time and place allows it--everyone in the village keeps an eye on them. Remember also that kids were expected to act older as well, were apprenticed at age 7 to a job. The older kids looked after the younger routinely. So really, there's no sinister underpinnings to a missing adult or an older boy looking after a younger girl for a moment. It's only our modern minds that put this evil spin on a really, really innocent scene.

Second, keep in mind that this is a memory. And memories are usually MOMENTS in time. We don't remember a whole day at the beach when we were kids, just moments of that day at the beach. So this isn't a boy and girl playing--it's a moment in time when they interacted. Maybe the boy did act like a boy his age most of the time. Telling the girl to "go away," ignoring her, not playing with her. But on this one day, at this one moment, he was kind to her, gallent even. She admired the flowers and he gave her a cup of them.

And that's all. End of moment. But that's the thing, right? Those moments stick with us. So now the little girl is a grown woman, the little boy a man, and this moment rises to the surface in their minds. Just a moment, frozen in time, of kindness, sweetness, innocence and happiness. A memory of over-sized mittens, a pretty shawl, a cup of beautiful white flowers that smelled so sweet on a cold day.

Replay memory...and wonder, perhaps, about that girl/boy. They lived right next door or down the street...maybe they still do? Wonder if maybe you can't go back, can't connect up with them again, share that memory with them...and bring back it back to life....That's what this card is all about. Looking for people who share our memories, so that we can restore them, relive them, and renew ourselves from them.
Top   #14
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Cool


The artist intended for me to ‘see’. Perhaps not to see what they saw, but to see nonetheless. In “Concerning the Spiritual in Art”, the author Wassily Kandinsky discusses the detachment that most folks have from art. It tends to be non-participatory. Our art, the art of Tarot is participatory. I am allowed to see.

I see that the Mittens remind us that Pentacles rule the north/winter. They remind us that what appears to be a joyful scene is tainted by the cold. “We must go in soon” the girl says to the boy as the last of the flowers are cut. “These are the last flowers we will see until spring, when the snows melt. Winter came on fast this year – at least we get one last bouquet.” The boy looked up and said, “I hope the roof holds…Dad's trying to get it fixed in time...”
Top   #15
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"You're thinking in modern terms. First, keep the time and place in mind--an isolated village back in the day. Everyone knows everyone. And the village raises the kids, not just the parents. In short, these kids can play and talk and interact, can be on their own unsupervised, because the time and place allows it--everyone in the village keeps an eye on them. Remember also that kids were expected to act older as well, were apprenticed at age 7 to a job. The older kids looked after the younger routinely. So really, there's no sinister underpinnings to a missing adult or an older boy looking after a younger girl for a moment. It's only our modern minds that put this evil spin on a really, really innocent scene. "

Your probably right , I am thinking in modern terms,but that is the times I am living in now, and reading for others in now. So my interpretation of the cards are for what situations come up in the now. Some older people may in fact have this sweet reminiscing of thier childhood this way. But for others the modern more 'sinister' spin may be more accurate. It depends on the other cards in the spread as well too.

I may be totally off-base with this interpretation but given the times I don't think that its implausible at all.
Top   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by celeste
But for others the modern more 'sinister' spin may be more accurate. It depends on the other cards in the spread as well
Yes, that's the thing. My point is that the card *itself* isn't sinister or bad. The cards around it can certainly add that sinister spin (or if it's upside down), can let you know that the memory is pretty on the surface, in the photograph where everyone is smiling--but not underneath. And in such a reading, by all means--tell the querent, "A nice photograph, but the truth was not so nice, was it?"

But here's the thing--and I think this is REALLY important. In the Western world we go OVERBOARD putting sinister spins on things, because we live in a climate of fear (Watch *Bowling for Columbine*--the main message of the film is how the news thrives on scaring us). Worse, we destroy people's lives because we're too afraid to trust in innocence. After the McMartin school fiasco, pre-school teachers stopped hugging their charges. Why? Out of fear that someone would accuse them of molestation. Kids started hugging each other because their teachers wouldn't give them hugs.

THIS is a terrible MODERN virus. And we somehow believe we, in Modern times, have it worse than any other time. But the truth is, there is less molestation now, less problems, less damage done to childen NOW than there's ever been in history. There is no reason to see the sinister in the innocent because "these are the times we live in." That's a lie. We don't live in those times. We live in good times. And we ought to see the innocence MORE often in 6/Cups, not less.

6 Cups can teach us modern folk a valuable lesson: Not everything has sinister underpinnings. Search for such underpinnings, and you may see them, as the Salem Witch trials found witches. But in the end, after you've destroyed the innocent, trampled the truth, ruined the lives--burned the "witches"--you're going to have to live with what your modern mind, not reality, has sullied.
Top   #17
gloria  gloria is offline
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I think at the end of the day we have to make our own minds up as to how we see a card. There is fantastic advice to all here at the forum. And as I said before, we can ether take it on board or discard it. It will be what we feel is right for us, this is where our intuition will take over.

My point being, we can be advised, but not forced to think in a certain way.

Experience and keeping an open mind will take us down the right road I’m sure.

Editing to add how important I think the symbols on RW deck are. From the snail on 9/Discs to the birds in the Swords/Courts. Easily dismissed and sometimes not even noticed, but there for a reason.
When we discover and explore these symbols, we are then able to see other levels of interpretation.
Which for me is the exciting thing about the Tarot.

Gloria.
Top   #18
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"In the Western world we go OVERBOARD putting sinister spins on things, because we live in a climate of fear."

That may be true, but I don't think that's what's going on with the Six of Cups. If you examine the whole card, something's just not right: (a quick sum up for those who haven't read the thread Jmd referred to)
  • A guard is walking away from the scene. Things are obviously happening here outside of the 'protected', official area.
  • Why does the smaller figure show no sign of taking the cup offered? She's holding one of her arms under her scarf, as if she's really refusing to take the cup. And she has a white mitten on her other hand. Someone said that "the wearing of white gloves by Freemasons is a symbol of purity, preventing unwitting and direct contact with anything unclean." And that little girl couldn't carry that cup, it's way bigger than she is!
  • And what about that second face in the hair of the girl? A face that's looking toward the ground, facing away from the taller person.
  • Also notice that noone on the card is smiling--happy and joyful, I think not!
  • ...

I really don't think we're looking way to far here and seeing things that aren't there...
Quote:
The little girl arrives (running up from her guardian who just gave her the money: "Can I have a cup of flowers?") points out the one she wants and is now receiving it from the boy. Of course, the real reason she wants one is because she has a crush on the boy and wants to talk to him.
To me that seems a little more far-fetched than the 'there's something wrong here'-interpretation...

If I had to draw a card meaning happy memories I sure as hell wouldn't draw it this way! I don't think anyone would.

As said before, Mary K Greer in Tarot Reversals also notices that something's not right. According to her on rare occasions it represents 'childhood abuse, denied or forgotten, like happy family photographs that hide a dysfunctional truth'.
Top   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by spoonbender
As said before, Mary K Greer in Tarot Reversals also notices that something's not right. According to her on rare occasions it represents 'childhood abuse, denied or forgotten, like happy family photographs that hide a dysfunctional truth'.
In TAROT REVERSALS and let's reiterate, I've no problem defining or intuiting the card that way IF it's reversed or surrounded by other cards that would suggest that meaning.

But if it's by itself--well, shall I go down the list?

Crowley: Pleasure, harmony.
Douglas: The past working through the present.
Grimaud: Equilibrium, assured success.
Khan: old friends, return home, sexual fulfilment.
Thierens: Happiness, riches, good health, impressions of the past.
Waite: Memories, nostalgia, pleasant memories, an inheritance.

My point is simply that JUST because it can mean something sinister in childhood doesn't mean it MUST. And my point is that we tend to think INSTANTLY of the sinister rather than the innocent. And I think you just proved my point.

Witness:
Quote:
A guard is walking away from the scene. Things are obviously happening here outside of the 'protected', official area.
But there is a guard suggesting that the children are protected!

Quote:
Why does the smaller figure show no sign of taking the cup offered?
I don't know what you're looking at but on my card she looks like she has her hands open--awed at the cup and the flowers, ready to embrace it. And yes, she could carry it. Not easily, but in her arms.

Quote:
And what about that second face in the hair of the girl?
Don't know what the heck you're talking about there.

Quote:
Also notice that noone on the card is smiling
To the contrary, both the boy and the girl seem to me to be smiling. Are they laughing? Singing? Dancing? No. But they're not weeping, or crouched in pain and misery like 5 cups or 5 pentacles either. There's nothing to suggest that any harm is intended, or that they're depressed, scared or in danger.

If you want to interpet it as sinister and evil, by all means, it's your world. But I'm finding it really sad that in a deck dominated by overtly frightening and depressing cards (almost all the swords, several pentacles and cups), you'd toss aside one card that WAITE himself says is positive and filled with "pleasent memories".
Top   #20




 


 


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