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Maat Tarot Study Group Six of Swords


OK. We're caught up.
October 29th, first quarter Hunter's moon in the US.

Week of the first quarter moon in Aquarius.
And we have a water scene.

As All Hallows approaches, the crescent moon swells and looses its inner arc. We are still in the Taurian cycle, and we move to the moon’s first quarter. The key word remains “I have.”

The Six of Swords

We view the figures in this arcana from behind a fence of swords. What do they have?

Well, they have a past. Holding her child, the woman in the boat stares back at hers without pleasure. Does she regard the swords as protective or as a barrier reminding her that she cannot go back? And the man (I think it’s a man) in the dark hooded cloak: a companion or a jailer ? Her rescuer or someone charged to make sure of her exile? She’s probably keeping a close eye on him, too.

On her right are choppy waters. On her left the waters we can see are calm. As in RWS, her boat cleaves the the way between them. She wears a brown plaid skirt and a voluminous brown robe with which she shelters the child and herself. The child seems fretful; he looks as if he’s rubbing his eyes. At one time, Plaids indicated ones clan. Does she carry a little prince into exile? Or are they ordinary people fleeing bad conditions: war, poverty, oppression?

They also have a future which only the man rowing the boat is in a position to see. The approaching shoreline looks gentle and rich, like an ancient goddess lying on her side. A golden glow surrounds the place above and below. Even the waves are gilded by the light. The sky has been clouded but perhaps it is beginning to clear. The remaining clouds are colored rosy pink and soft violet. First quarter moons symbolize “the power of reconstruction,” according to the Maat Tarot Quick Guides section, p. 274, so we would expect to see an upward turn in fortune.

By and large, the Maat 6 of Swords seems pretty much in line with RWS with the exception of the backward facing woman and child. But here are some things to consider.

1. In RWS, we assume that some noncombatants are fleeing to safety, but we don’t actually see their faces. In the Maat, we do. How does that change things, or does it? The pair look very much like a madonna and child. Does that iconic image bring more to a reading?

2. There’s a lot of mythology about crossing water. Crossing water is supposed to prevent evil from following. Even if one is not actually immersed in it, one can be cleansed by the water beneath one. Also, entering or crossing a body of water can symbolize death and, sometimes, rebirth or entry into blessed realms. Some of the people who came to the North American continent thought they were throwing off the evils of Europe when they crossed the Atlantic. They planned utopias. Did they suceed in any way? Or if not, why not?

3. What else might the people in the boat have besides a past, a future, and each other? What else might be in the boat?

4. This moon is still being ruled by Pluto. Any problem with that?

5. What’s going on with those lights on the swords?
Top   #1
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6 of Swords


After reading the previous post my post seems rather lame. Tarot readers
are so smart, observant and curious. When I paint, I paint in terms of balance and color and what looks right to me. When people analyse the images later I am often taken by what they assume I intended to convey. So please don't stop yourselves from saying something if should show up here from time to time. So much of what I have painted in this deck and others comes intuitively and I let the paint do what it wants while I work. The questions and statements given here in this forum are as interesting and informative to me as anyone. Getting a new take on the images helps me to grow as well and it will help me to teach others about the cards. One thing about doing a deck, when you think you are done creating it you are not we always seem to be at the beginning. The following is from my weekly email alerts to subscribers who like to get updates when the moon of the week as it changes signs.

Week of the first quarter moon in Aquarius

“The first quarter moon phase symbolizes the power of
reconstruction. After foundations are destroyed rethinking and
reconstruction of a situation is brought to the forefront."

6 of Swords

Planetary ruler Pluto

The First Quarter moon in Aquarius has a humanitarian quality as it
suggests helping someone who is going through an emotionally
turbulent time get to a place of peace. This year the 6 of Swords
falls during Samhain when the veil between the two worlds are
thinnest. This is a good week for doing rituals honoring loved ones
who have passed. As we approach the doorway between summer
and winter when the laws of time are suspended this is a good time
for doing readings as well. Mercury retrograde also invites us to
redo, revisit and generally catch up with projects and other things
we have fallen behind on.

Julie
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What could I add after the two previous post? Not much.
I just wonder what's on the island. It seems to be the destination of the boat. We can't see anything right now, due to the distance of the boat.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juliecucciawatts
After reading the previous post my post seems rather lame. Tarot readers
are so smart, observant and curious. When I paint, I paint in terms of balance and color and what looks right to me. When people analyse the images later I am often taken by what they assume I intended to convey. So please don't stop yourselves from saying something if should show up here from time to time. So much of what I have painted in this deck and others comes intuitively and I let the paint do what it wants while I work. The questions and statements given here in this forum are as interesting and informative to me as anyone. Getting a new take on the images helps me to grow as well and it will help me to teach others about the cards. One thing about doing a deck, when you think you are done creating it you are not we always seem to be at the beginning.
Hi, Julie--
The study group is delighted to hear from you. An artist's comments on her own work cannot but help us appreciate it all the more--even though your hands do speak so eloquently.

And if I'm writing for the group, I won't be the least inhibited by your presence. What I usually try to do is to suggest avenues of interpretive approach by describing what I see to be important features in the arcana under study. I try to refrain from extensive interpretation myself. (But, yes, sometimes I lose control. Too much temptation! )

In this arcana, however, I went full bore into minute description (and still didn't cover everything on the card), because it's such a wonderful one for readers. It has all the familiar features of the RWS version, but each of these has been opened up, so to speak. A whole range of new interpretations are there to explore, and I wanted to point this out. I didn't want people to say, "OK, journey by water. Got it," and then stop thinking about the card.




Quote:
Originally Posted by juliecucciawatts
The following is from my weekly email alerts to subscribers who like to get updates when the moon of the week as it changes signs.
We'd love to get it, too, while we're studying the Maat. Is there a fee for subscription? If the information is in the Maat book, I usually won't quote very much of it since I assume that everyone who has the deck also has the book. But some of the information in your email alert seems to be new, or at least summarized. Both non-pagans and persons new to lunar astrology might find it helpful.

Oh, about Pluto: I should have put a "smiley" after the question which was something of a joke. The scientific community has downgraded Pluto's status. It's no longer fully a planet. I don't expect the astrology will change soon if it changes at all. But I thought someone might like to comment.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annik
What could I add after the two previous post? Not much.
I just wonder what's on the island. It seems to be the destination of the boat. We can't see anything right now, due to the distance of the boat.
You can always jump in and tell us what you would like to see discussed more thoroughly. Or what you think too much time is spent on. It's something I'd like to know.

Anyway, yes, the Island is the future which we cannot clearly. Still, it is greenish (a healthy place) and is surrounded by that beautiful, golden light. Makes you want to go there. In RWS, by contrast, the island(s) are the same color as the sea. With gray trees. Not an inviting prospect, though perhaps the coloring is supposed to indicate late evening or pre-dawn light when colors are indistinct.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greycats
And if I'm writing for the group, I won't be the least inhibited by your presence. What I usually try to do is to suggest avenues of interpretive approach by describing what I see to be important features in the arcana under study. I try to refrain from extensive interpretation myself. (But, yes, sometimes I lose control. Too much temptation! )
Greycats please don't control yourself, it is such a pleasure to read your posts
Julie thanks for popping in too.

I was just looking at the sky in this card: it is either sunset or sunrise.
I like the thought of sunrise, as it would symbolize the new beginning the woman is travelling towards.
She must have started her journey very early to get this far at sunrise; both she and the kid look very tired. They just have to rely on the skipper, although it looks like she is keeping a close eye on him. Or maybe she is thinkin she is lucky to have found him.
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6 of Swords- creator secrets...


Quote:
Originally Posted by greycats
Hi, Julie--
The study group is delighted to hear from you. An artist's comments on her own work cannot but help us appreciate it all the more--even though your hands do speak so eloquently.

And if I'm writing for the group, I won't be the least inhibited by your presence. What I usually try to do is to suggest avenues of interpretive approach by describing what I see to be important features in the arcana under study. I try to refrain from extensive interpretation myself. (But, yes, sometimes I lose control. Too much temptation! )

In this arcana, however, I went full bore into minute description (and still didn't cover everything on the card), because it's such a wonderful one for readers. It has all the familiar features of the RWS version, but each of these has been opened up, so to speak. A whole range of new interpretations are there to explore, and I wanted to point this out. I didn't want people to say, "OK, journey by water. Got it," and then stop thinking about the card.






We'd love to get it, too, while we're studying the Maat. Is there a fee for subscription? If the information is in the Maat book, I usually won't quote very much of it since I assume that everyone who has the deck also has the book. But some of the information in your email alert seems to be new, or at least summarized. Both non-pagans and persons new to lunar astrology might find it helpful.

Oh, about Pluto: I should have put a "smiley" after the question which was something of a joke. The scientific community has downgraded Pluto's status. It's no longer fully a planet. I don't expect the astrology will change soon if it changes at all. But I thought someone might like to comment.
"Anyone wishing to receive the MAAT Tarot -card/s of the week- emails just send me an email notice and I will add you to the mailing list. There is no fee. I am not sure if its allowed to post email addresses here or websites.
So if you need to find me just google me my email is on my website.

The Pluto demotion happened almost the very week that MAAT came out. This made me wonder about what that will mean symbolically. Pluto which I consider the planet for getting rid of stuff that has served its purpose, the planet of getting rid of the dead wood is now itself defunct. Does it speak of outmoded models of the afterlife? and does it mean that we may be on the edge of discovery in this area?

I am glad you all don't mind if I pop in. It really helps me to know what people's questions are about the cards. I love it when you all come up with new ideas I didn't even intend. It helps the cards to grow in meaning. Like the question about what the light reflecting off the swords could be... that is a great question."
****

continued from last night... When I posted last night I was nearly falling asleep at the keyboard but now I am awake and refreshed and woke up with a dialog about the 6 of Swords running through my head, its inception and my husband's comments when it was finished. First and foremost I don't want my view to be the paramont card meaning just one view in a multitude of unique perseptions okay?

The 6 of Swords for me it is a personal card. The first quarter moon in Aquarius is my natal card. I am a Scorpio with an Aquarius moon. So this card is a birth card and its symbol has played out in my life.

One thing that I think is important for people to do is take notice of all the Aquarian moon cards(The Star, the King of Coins, the 7 of Cups, and the 7 of Wands all have a river prominent in the image... see the star for the deeper meaning of the river)

The original colors for this image came from a cheap abstract hotel print in a hotel room my husband and my kids and I were staying in the color combination caught my eye and I drew it out as patches of color with the name of the color penciled in. I took that piece of paper home with me and used it.
The basic layout is from a painting by Mary Cassatt called The Boating Party(1893-94). The color for the water and the water itself was influenced by Benjamin West(1778) a painting called The Battle of La Hogue as well as John Singleton Copley's Watson and the Shark (also 1778).

The island is supposed to look like a woman's body( Mother Earth) but is also meant to represent the island of Avalon( Summerland or Appleland)
The island where Arthur was taken by the 3 queens at his death. It also represents the land of the dead. The sun was intended to be setting and my original intension was that the boatman was taking her and her son to this mythical island like the famed Charon who ferried the dead across the Styx.

This card as a mirror of my own life, illustrates my spiritual journey as a young adult(at age 21) I was spiritually reawakened by a man(my teacher in college who taught Native American Studies) whose last name was actually Boatman, during a time when I was a newly divorced and a single mom on my own with my young (18 month old) son. This encounter started me on my spiritual path and rekindled my interests in all things metaphysical.

My husband Peter's comment which shattered my original intention was that the man was rowing away from the island and not to the island as I had intended. This which was not apparent to me while creating this image also had meaning.

And these are the secrets of the 6 of Swords.
Julie
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The Boatman and other tales. Sterns. Make that 1 stern.


Julie,

Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. I’m sure it resonates with more than a few members. I, myself, was a single mother for 6 years. The experience certainly focuses the mind.


Quote:
Originally Posted by juliecucciawatts
The island is supposed to look like a woman's body( Mother Earth) but is also meant to represent the island of Avalon( Summerland or Appleland)
The island where Arthur was taken by the 3 queens at his death. It also represents the land of the dead. The sun was intended to be setting and my original intension was that the boatman was taking her and her son to this mythical island like the famed Charon who ferried the dead across the Styx.
Thank you also for reminding us about Avalon and Charon, and that in the Maat, we’re not only moving away from conflict but also toward the nadir of the year. It's the theme of any number of mythologies (ancient Roman and modern Hindi, to name two more), nearly all of which stress the necessity of a period of trial before the joyous realization of a sacred advent. The journey metaphor is very apt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by juliecucciawatts
The original colors for this image came from a cheap abstract hotel print in a hotel room my husband and my kids and I were staying in the color combination caught my eye and I drew it out as patches of color with the name of the color penciled in. I took that piece of paper home with me and used it.
The basic layout is from a painting by Mary Cassatt called The Boating Party(1893-94). The color for the water and the water itself was influenced by Benjamin West(1778) a painting called The Battle of La Hogue as well as John Singleton Copley's Watson and the Shark (also 1778).

I did wonder about Mary Cassatt, if only because your treatment of children seems similar: one senses tenderness and passionate concern without the often excessive sentimentality. I plan to address the issue of children later (it’s come up in other threads) but for now I’ll just say that the Maat & the Blue Moon are the only tarots I can recall in which both men and women appear separately in activities with their children. Result: a tangible sense of an individual’s parenthood, and, one might argue, a welcome addition to the tarot. (Note: we do see a woman interacting with her child on several cards in the Lo Scarabeo Pagan Tarot.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by juliecucciawatts
My husband Peter's comment which shattered my original intention was that the man was rowing away from the island and not to the island as I had intended.
Julie

Oooohhh!
Did you want it back?

Well look, I think it works the other way, actually. The boatman is going to have to turn his body around in order to row, no? Because they appear to be in a rowboat, not a canoe and he’s sitting in the stern—or at least towards the stern. Sterns don't present a very fluid-dynamic profile. I suppose one can row a boat stern-first, but not very effectively. The woman is sitting in the prow of the boat which is pointed toward the island. So one would assume that's where they're going eventually. At the moment we see it, the boat doesn't appear to be moving very much.

My thought on seeing the boatman was that he had paused at the end of a stroke to turn around and look at the woman and child, or maybe to speak to them. I like the way they're facing each other because it opens the possibility of some interaction between them.

Or another interpretation: he could just be taking a good look at where he is going. While he's rowing, he can only catch glimpses over his shoulder.


Quote:
Originally Posted by juliecucciawatts
And these are the secrets of the 6 of Swords.
We adore secrets--especially those about tarot.
Thanks so much for your comments and your stories. We really appreciate your taking the time to to give us the additional information
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WolfSpirit
Greycats please don't control yourself, it is such a pleasure to read your posts
Julie thanks for popping in too.

I was just looking at the sky in this card: it is either sunset or sunrise.
I like the thought of sunrise, as it would symbolize the new beginning the woman is travelling towards.
She must have started her journey very early to get this far at sunrise; both she and the kid look very tired. They just have to rely on the skipper, although it looks like she is keeping a close eye on him. Or maybe she is thinkin she is lucky to have found him.
Thanks, WolfSpirit, for the compliment. Don't you believe what they say about flattery; you just go right ahead.

Sunrise works well for this card. If you've read Julie's latest posts, you know that she was thinking sunset, because of, among other things, the time of year its astrology points to. But, the 6 of Swords, considered as only that, works very well as a sunrise card: a new day, a new land full of promise. The folk in the boat are not quite there yet, they're still partly in the darker regions, but the destination looks very positive.
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Maat tarot IDS


Card/Number: 6 of Swords/11

Card picture: see attached

First Impression: This is a very different feel for the 6 of Swords. The woman is not looking forward in this picture, rather, she is looking back at what she has left, as if to make sure that she is truly leaving it behind. She is not ready to face the new land yet, she needs to make sure that the old is truly gone before she can feel safe for herself and her child, and be able to look ahead.

Card Description: A woman sits in a boat, holding a small babe, as a cloaked figure rows the boat toward and upcoming shore/island. She is looking back at where she left, as if to ensure that she is truly safe, and has escaped successfully. The sun is setting behind her, behind the shore of the upcoming island.

Masculine/Feminine/Neutral: neutral

Colors: Black, brown, blue, yellow and red

Senses: you can feel the water mixed with wind as it lightly mists your face. The only sound you hear is the soft slap of the oars against the water. The air tastes cool and sweet. As the old shoreline vanishes, you have a sense of relief.

Symbols: water, boat, cloaked figure, woman with babe

Story (intuitive): I am so glad to be leaving, I cannot believe that I have made it. I have escaped that hell, how I have done it I do not know. Though I am relieved to be gone, I am also afraid. I worry about my babe, I worry about what I have done. What will this new land hold for us? Will we be safe? I sit in the boat and contemplate in the silence. I do not fully trust this boatman- but what choice do I have? None, I whisper to myself. My babe is quiet, as if understanding the enormity of this flight. All I know for certain is this- I had to go, I had to escape that prison, that life. It had become so toxic, filled with hatred and bitterness and greed. I had to fight for freedom, not only for myself, but for my child. Whatever comes in this new land is what Fate has led me to. Though I have fear, I know that this journey is my path, the hand of Wyrd made manifest. I watch the old shoreline vanish, then close my eyes. I whisper a silent prayer for me and for my child. The wind caresses my face, and I hear Her voice and feel her embrace. I smile, and open my eyes. Now, yes now I can know peace. And I turn in the boat- to gaze on the approaching shore, hope filling my heart and love warming my soul.

Astrologic: first quarter moon in Aquarius. Planetary ruler: Pluto.

Element: fire, water and air

Keywords: separation from chaos, peace, solitude, journey

Meanings: leaving a chaotic situation behind you, a journey by water or a journey out of danger

Quote: "Faith will guide me on my journey to peace."
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