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Legend: King of Cups: The Fisher King

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Lyones  Lyones is offline
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Legend: King of Cups: The Fisher King


In some ways, the King of Cups reminds me a lot of Taliesin, the Hierophant. He is, according to The Keeper of Words, "A mature, dignified man of authority ... may be relied upon for guidance and assurance. A man of strong faith and liberal views. A person who displays an interest in the arts and sciences." He is a guardian of the secrets of Grail, and I see him as a mysterious, spiritual man of great depth.

The crashing waterfall in the background, seems to drown out any noise as he sits and watches for the line of the fishing rod to be pulled taught. His features and body-frame mirror Arthur, the Emperor - even in the way he sits with his arm resting on his knee, but where Arthur holds the sceptor, the Fisher King holds the rod. Where Arthur's passion seems contained by the building, the Fisher King's emotion is naturally free.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyones
Where Arthur's passion seems contained by the building, the Fisher King's emotion is naturally free.
I really love that idea Lyones! With recent thoughts of the Tsuami and my usual problems with a negative King of Cups, they could almost be too wild and free and very harmful. I get naturally suspicious when i see a King of Cups in a spread lol, i'm too much of a Queen of Pentacles kinda girl i guess

I also see the Fisher King, mirroing the Kingfisher i can just see behind him. Symbolically can be linked to beauty, dignity, speed, calmness, serenity.
heres a really interesting (if brief) website into animal symbolism which I think relates well to the Legend.http://www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/Files/animals.htm - the link to the mythology and animals paper is a really interesting read as well.
Kingfishers are also linked to the Halycon days, thats 7 days before and after the winter solstice as it was thought that the kingfisher nested then.
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KINGFISHER: also known as the Halycon, the Kingfisher is a long-time symbol of peace and prosperity. It has many legends and superstitions surrounding it with many originating in ancient Greece; the body of the Kingfisher -if dried - could ward off thunderbolts and storms. It is said the Kingfisher is the promise of abundance, of new warmth, prosperity and love about to unfold within your life. In Greek mythology Alcyone, daughter of Aeolus (king of the winds), found her husband drowned and cast herself into the sea; the gods rewarded her devotion by turning her into a kingfisher, and Aeolus forbade the winds to blow during the "Halcyon Days" (the seven days before and the seven after the winter solstice, when legend has it that the kingfisher lays its eggs). Kingfishers are associated with Pallas (one of the Titans,a race of godlike giants who were considered to be the personifications of the forces of nature), Hera (the queen of the Olympian deities, the eldest daughter of Cronus and Rhea, and wife and sister of Zeus), and Thetis, one of the Nereids, the fifty daughters of Nereus and Doris who dwell in the Mediterranean Sea. These beautiful women were always friendly and helpful towards sailors fighting perilous storms. The Kingfishers are beloved by sea-nymphs (in Greek mythology, nymphs are spirits of nature, and they are minor female deities and the protectors of springs, mountains, and rivers).
from http://shop.store.yahoo.com/4crests/herclipsym.html

just adds a little more depth into this card.

As he's fishing, could be be looking for the Salmon of Wisdom? (the Page).

The art on this card is just amazing, I would definately have this as a print on my wall if a little bigger. The water seems to flow just right, and the sounds all come to mind as well, beautiful!
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Wow! that's great stuff about the kingfisher Sezo - I love all the animal related things in these cards.

Quote:
Originally posted by innana_tarot
I get naturally suspicious when i see a King of Cups in a spread lol, i'm too much of a Queen of Pentacles kinda girl i guess
*lol* he does have a lot to hide and negatively aspected, he can be looking out for his own interests, which makes him a bit selfish in some ways - although I get the feeling that it might be because he doesn't want to hurt anyone by telling it like it is.

Quote:
Originally posted by innana_tarot
Kingfishers are associated with Pallas (one of the Titans, ...
I thought it was really interesting that the name of the Titan was Pallas, as the original Fisher King was supposed to be Pelles (related to the Welsh Pwyll) according to the Keeper of Words. Coincidence or maybe the two stories are related? Some good research going on there Sez
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Quote:
Originally Posted by innana_tarot
The art on this card is just amazing, I would definately have this as a print on my wall if a little bigger. The water seems to flow just right, and the sounds all come to mind as well, beautiful!
Hi Sezo

I just wrote a letter to Anna-Marie at http://www.annamarieferguson.com/ asking if Legend posters or prints were ever made or if there were any plans to do so. I would love to have one or more of the Legend images on my wall also.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyones
The crashing waterfall in the background, seems to drown out any noise as he sits and watches for the line of the fishing rod to be pulled taught. His features and body-frame mirror Arthur, the Emperor - even in the way he sits with his arm resting on his knee, but where Arthur holds the sceptor, the Fisher King holds the rod. Where Arthur's passion seems contained by the building, the Fisher King's emotion is naturally free.
Beautifully put, Lyones!

Not that I am a fisherman, but I can imagine myself sitting on the rock, staring at the water, on a comfortable but not too hot spring day when the water is still fast and energizing, mermerized by the flow, with the waterfall's lively noise masking out any other distractions, passing into a pleasant reverie, or perhaps a meditation on this very card...

Everything on this card speaks of the flow of water, the King's cape, the rocks, even the roots of the trees encroached by the pond beneath the falls. The trees, rocks and waterfall focus our attention both on the Fisher King below and on the pale golden light at the mouth of the falls. This King is well grounded on the rocks, but also suffused by the divine light of inspiration, the air energy of Spears. As you say, the Fisher King is very much the mirror of Arthur, both in position and elements - and where Arthur lacks in water, the Fisher King lacks in Fire - life is all about balance. The Kingfisher reinforces the motif of air energy, and as a diving bird equally at home in the water as in the air, perfectly expresses the theme of this King of Cups, the Air of Water.
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One of the strange things about the story of the Fisher-king, is that after spending a night in his castle which is beautiful beyond all others, Percival? (is it Percival or Gawain?) wakes to find the castle empty. No one is home. But the drawbridge is left down so that he can leave.

Now this is very different from many stories of Faerie, where one awakens and finds themselves in the woods, their horse a skeleton, no sign of the castle anywhere -- or maybe a small shed or lean-to the only shelter. Nothing has been taken from him, he hasn't lost a year of his life. But what has he learned?

It seems right somehow for the character of the King of Cups -- he's there, then he's not. There is something secretive about this watery man. He is hard to grasp, perhaps like a fish himself.

There are versions of stories that connect the Fisher King to Cuchullain and the salmon of knowledge. I particularly like that idea. That is so different from the Christ-image often imposed on this king. I don't think this king is a "fisher of men," I think he is a "fisher of knowledge."

I love that the king is all about rivers and flowing water -- movement and change. He is not a king of the ocean here, but of clear, fresh water.
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This King brings me a sense of peace when I see it. To me the waterfall is all about the turbulence of emotions, maybe the falls are like falling in love, or falling tears, some sort of drop of emotion, maybe the letdown that comes after gathering your courage enough to take the plunge, the peace that comes after. He is downstream from this, removed from it, yet draws from it...the salmon, yes. Wisdom that comes from those emotions without becoming immersed in it. He has a comtemplative objectivity.

Fisher King-King Fisher, seeing what he wants and darting like lightening to snatch it for his own. Very decisive, not a waffler, but selective, so he puts a lot of thought and consideration in his decisions before making his choices, is very deliberate in his actions.

Stillness and movement, that constant flow of emotion, the river that brings new life, never stagnant, but full of quiet pools and eddies and the current that pulls it along, ever changing. He sits there, relaxed and in charge of his emotions, watching it all pass beneath him, waiting for opportunity to present itself, poised to jerk the line and haul his catch in.

I guess it would be nice to know what he uses for a lure, if one is suspicious and doesn't want to be eaten for lunch. But one thing I do think is, he is judicious, if something becomes hooked and tangled in his line, that he would gently toss them back if they aren't what he is looking for. But one thing, he is looking for a keeper, but has a philosophical attitude, that there is always going to be another fish out there if any get away before he can land them.

That's a good thought too, landing those fish, grounding that knowledge of emotion, creativity, dreams to make them a reality, rather than elusive shadows flashing in a distorted way beneath the surface of our subconscious, just beyond our grasp.

Just had another thought that has to do with the nature of salmon, they are compelled to go upstream, to try to surmount that waterfall and go up it. The waters may be flowing down to the ocean, another collective pool, but the salmon seek the source, struggle against the current and basically are coming toward the king. So there is also that perserverance, courage and determination to go against the flow, to meet challenge and not be swept away by emotions.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WalesWoman
... He is downstream from this, removed from it, yet draws from it...the salmon, yes. Wisdom that comes from those emotions without becoming immersed in it. He has a comtemplative objectivity.

Stillness and movement, that constant flow of emotion, the river that brings new life, never stagnant, but full of quiet pools and eddies and the current that pulls it along, ever changing. He sits there, relaxed and in charge of his emotions, watching it all pass beneath him, waiting for opportunity to present itself, poised to jerk the line and haul his catch in.

...That's a good thought too, landing those fish, grounding that knowledge of emotion, creativity, dreams to make them a reality, rather than elusive shadows flashing in a distorted way beneath the surface of our subconscious, just beyond our grasp.

Just had another thought that has to do with the nature of salmon, they are compelled to go upstream, to try to surmount that waterfall and go up it. The waters may be flowing down to the ocean, another collective pool, but the salmon seek the source, struggle against the current and basically are coming toward the king. So there is also that perserverance, courage and determination to go against the flow, to meet challenge and not be swept away by emotions.
Great meditation on this card. To seek knowledge is to go against the flow in our culture, at this moment in history. But I love the idea that the salmon are moving towards the king. It is like when the right book falls into your hands, or "when the student is ready, the teacher will appear." If you are a true fisherman, knowledge will swim your way. Of course it helps to be just downstream of a waterfall.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedMaple
... But I love the idea that the salmon are moving towards the king. It is like when the right book falls into your hands, or "when the student is ready, the teacher will appear." If you are a true fisherman, knowledge will swim your way. Of course it helps to be just downstream of a waterfall.
Very cool concept! Sort of like the synchronicity King! Lot of strength and determination, soul urge that in a sense is what pushes against all odds and obstacle, peril and adversity to take emotional aspirations to their one true destiny. Salmon only return to the stream and the place in it that they were born. The Destiny card!

I just thought of the giant sturgeon (NOT salmon/but major source of caviar) and what Pelles would do if he found himself barefoot waterskiing behind one! The King of King Salmon, so far under 6 feet long, that I've heard of, but some are pretty huge. Doubt he would have the same look on his face!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WalesWoman
This King brings me a sense of peace when I see it. To me the waterfall is all about the turbulence of emotions, maybe the falls are like falling in love, or falling tears, some sort of drop of emotion, maybe the letdown that comes after gathering your courage enough to take the plunge, the peace that comes after.... Just had another thought that has to do with the nature of salmon, they are compelled to go upstream, to try to surmount that waterfall and go up it. The waters may be flowing down to the ocean, another collective pool, but the salmon seek the source, struggle against the current and basically are coming toward the king. So there is also that perserverance, courage and determination to go against the flow, to meet challenge and not be swept away by emotions.
WalesWoman, thank you for such a well written, evocative post. I don't think the salmon would be able to jump falls that tall, so this pool is probably the last in which they can spawn. So the Fisher King is identified with the highest source of this river's creative energy.

David
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