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Smile MAAT Study Group 10 of Swords


Card of the Week beginning later today
December 10th, 2006
Last Quarter Moon in Virgo

10 of Swords
Planetary ruler Jupiter

The 10 of Swords is no doubt one of the most graphic images in the MAAT Tarot. One should know that this card should be taken symbolically and not literally. It is a card of burning emotions as are many of the sword cards. This image should be taken as how we feel on the inside when we are betrayed and backstabbed. This card puts us on notice to watch our need for perfection, domination or control of others BEFORE it comes to this... Overkill. This card which traditionally means overkill or being backstabbed by friends or co-workers can and should be taken as a warning to ease up a little.

Sometimes in the quest to create our reality we may overstep our bounds and start to create the reality of others. This can lead to conflict if other people don't see things your way. Be sure your dreams stay your own and don't infringe on the dreams of others.

This week we find ourselves in the midst of the holiday season. There is a lot of pressure to make the holiday perfect, making sure that all the traditional tasks get done while every year it seems we MUST improve as well somehow make it even better than the year before. This pressure realized or unrealized can have our nerves as tight as a bow string. Take a moment and take a breath if the kids put all the ornaments in the same three lower branches its okay. No one will care. Enjoy the moment forget what you were expecting the holiday to be and allow it to be what it is. If some of the traditional cookies don't get baked this year that's okay too.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For a deeper look at the Virgo moon check out the other Virgo moon cards;

Virgo symbolized as ~ Our Dreams for ourself, single minded and inner knowing through the phases of the moon...

New-(Aug 23 - Sep 22)-4 of Coins-Traditionally 'the miser' this card depicts a farmer and his wife in their root cellar storing away their harvest for use through the winter. A card that reminds us to save some of the abundance of the now for the future.

First Quarter(May 21 - Jun 20)-9 of Coins Traditionally the 'wish' card reminds us to be careful what we wish for as the person in the card blows dandelion seeds(wishes) into the air we see the results as a field of dandelions.

Full-(Feb 19 - Mar 20)-Princess of Wands- an unabashedly naked pre-European contact native American girl stands in defiance. She is symbolic of the infertile earth of late winter. Her prepubescent body symbolizes un-awakened potential. Her body, her talents, her hopes and dreams are all on the edge of awakening. She is innocence.

Full Moon Cycle(Feb 19 - Mar 20)-The High Priestess-The sleeping goddess, The dormant virginal earth on the verge of awakening. She is the dream within, inspiration, the muse, the wisdom that comes from within.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Have a stress-free week,

Julie

*This article may be reproduced for personal use and educational purposes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Free upgrade to overnight express delivery or 2-3 day global airmail from now until Dec.21st on all MAAT Tarot orders. Happy Holidays!
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There is a sense of confinement in this card. The drama/action is inside. The windows have wires. There isn't much furiture. No people either. It is pretty much empty.

The killers don't have hide their crime nor the traces of the crime. There is blood splatters on a uncarved stone. On another stone, there is a fresco. There is a family on it. On the same side of that fresco there is a roman statue (Is it Julius Ceasar? From afar, it seems so).

Maybe one side is represent a living person and the other, the nothingness that death bring. Seems to be a forced stop, a dead end (mental or physical level)
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a good idea


Hi Julie!

I am glad this is starting. I have been working with these cards for two or three weeks and I am just knocked out.

We saw your original oil of the 4 of Cups last night and were similarly Just Knocked Out. I guess Dallas has three of your oils now!

I tend to notice the blood on the marble in this card, rather than the person. The evidence which will remain after the body is discovered and removed.

I think of the echo of the energy of malice in the space.
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more from the 10 of Swords


The image in this picture is supposed to be Julius Caesar. Historically he is the one who was murdered by his fellow senators. I looked for images of the real senate of Rome online and was led to a reconstructed Roman senate I was surprised by the tall ceilings and high metal windows allowing light to enter the building but too high for anyone to look in or look out. This one was a hard picture I wanted to create the crime scene(thank you CSI) but yet I wanted to give the idea that the spirit of the man lived on...the statue, with his family and I wanted the sunlight reflecting on the back wall to look like his spirit hovering just above his body.

Again this is all the symbolism of betrayal the knives remain long after the perpetrators have left the scene. Still both the victim and the perpetrators have brought each other to this point, both are responsible for their part in creating this scene.

This is the time of the year when both the sun and the moon are waning the darkest moments getting darker, the new moon is darker still but at least the new moon is at the point of the light returning much like the Winter Solstice/Devil and prince of Wands at this point a change for increasing light is in progress. The 10 is still losing light.

hey Ferol! I am glad you got to see the 4 of Cups in person.:-) Here's hoping you get to see more. As I don't feel too compelled to paint more when my house is busting at the seams with paintings at the moment.;-)
Julie
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What to do when the worst happens


“And you, too, my child?” were the words Julius Caesar was reported to have said when he recognized the man he had long mentored among the band of assassins attacking him. Others report that Caesar said nothing at all, that he only grunted at the first dagger thrust. First he tried to fight back; then he tried to run until he tripped and fell. With neither defense nor escape possible, witnesses say, he maintained stoic silence under repeated dagger blows until he was no more. He knew it was over. And, he would have known how to behave in this circumstance: like the Senate, (which might be better translated as the Council of Elders since “senate” is derived from the word, “old,”) assassination was also a Roman tradition.

Caesar was killed on the steps leading to the porch attached to a theatre where the senate sometimes met. Some sixty men participated in the slaying. No question but that his life was ended and with consequences to follow. These must be sorted out. In the Maat, he has been removed to a mausoleum whose clerestory windows make it seem rather like a dungeon. Beneath him lies his toga, bloodstained and edged in purple. His left arm, out flung, points to a tomb whose decoration depicts the theme of traditional Roman family values. His right arm lies in the opposite direction toward a blank tomb marked with impressive blood spattering. On the far wall an oblong area of light appears. This area, and not the corpse, is more or less the focus of the room’s perspective.

So let us also focus our attention there and see if we can gain perspective. The oblong of light, if it is natural in origin, would seem to come from a high window behind the viewer. The sunlight shining through this window produces an elongated shape possibly because the light enters at a horizontal as well as a vertical angle. Which way will the sunlight travel: to the right toward traditional Roman values or to the left toward an unknown but bloody future? Will the Julian gens whose flower was Gaius Julius Caesar be obliterated or will it rebound and flourish? Which archway leads to the exit? Having historical perspective, we know that the Roman Senate continued but as a marginalized institution much like the House of Lords which it somewhat resembled. And we know that Julius Caesar's adopted son, Octavian, became Augustus Caesar, the first true Emperor of Rome. Both of these eventualities were precipitated by the very assassination that was designed to prevent them.

But what of personal tragedies? It’s hard to gain any sort of perspective when ones best laid plans and policies dissolve into gaudy disaster. We’re so wounded, so devastated by our losses. But we must try. Divorces need not turn into murder-suicides; bankrupt companies do not have to be the death sentence of a community. Malice and public scandal become yesterday’s news. Grief will release its grip, given time, and allow us to see again beyond the walls of our prison. The ten of swords has an “ace” as well as a zero. Time is the test of these things.
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musing on overkill...Julie's back from Egypt or is she?


Today's card the 10 of Swords- the last quarter moon in Virgo.

Well folks I am back from Egypt.. at least most of me is back...
My 16 day shamanic journey down the Nile was a tremendous journey an eye opening experience that brought both validation and inspiration. Much of this journey was personal validation about past lives and loves in Egypt. Things I wondered about proved to be true validating and bringing form to old assumptions.

The 10 of Swords, story of Sekhmet trials of the newly initiated and a painter's musings follow...
Sekhmet a lion headed goddess of the noontime sun, the burning rays of the sun also known as the flame. In Egypt this sun in the midst of summer could be a killing sun. Sekhmet is actually a version of Hathor in her vengeful aspect. There is a temple to Sakhmet-Hathor at Kom el-Hisn in the western Delta.

In this legend the sun-god Re fears that mankind plots against him. The gods urge him to call down retribution on men by sending his avenging Eye down to Egypt as Hathor-Sekhmet. As the goddess slays men, leaving them in pools of blood in the deserts where they fled, she transforms into the 'powerful'. During the night the god Re, trying to avert a total massacre of the human race by the goddess who clearly has become unstoppable in her bloodlust, orders his high priest at Heliopolis to obtain red ochre from Elephantine and grind it with beer mash. Seven thousand jars of red beer are spread over the land of Egypt sometimes told as wine. in the morning Sakhmet returns to finish her task of destroying the human race, drinks what she assumes is blood and goes away intoxicated, unable to complete her slaughter.

Now personally I never really cared for Sekhmet she was just too intense and her husband Ptah god of arts and crafts/a mason was said to also be a potter who formed men from clay on a potters wheel this seems to me to be the source of the whole idea of god the father forming Adam and his first wife Lilith out of the dust of the earth. Anyway I always felt drawn to the cat goddess Bast the daughter of Isis twin sister of Horus and the goddess of joy, and dancing. Turns out Bast is version of Sekhmet as well. Bast is dressed in green and represents the east where Sekhmet-Hathor represents the west and the color red. It has also come to my attention that Tufnut(twins with Shu in MAAT's Strength card) is an older version of Sekhmet.

So why this sudden interest in Sekhmet? During our visit to the temple of Karnak in Luxor everyone on the Egypt trip was sent into a small dark temple dedicated to Sekhmet, Ptah(her husband) and their son Nefertum. We one by one each walked alone into the dark temple to face the gods, first Ptah, then Nefertum and then finally Sekhmet. When I stepped into the presence of this ancient stone statue of a human form with a cats face the energy was palpable. When I looked at her her eyes they seemed to glow green it seemed at the time that I was face to face with her and for the first time recognized her as the cat who had accompanied me on all my un-beckoned OBE's of my early adult life. She in her bast form had peaked my interest in Egyptology when I was in grade school by appearing and then disappearing from a book I had been looking at. This mysterious cat who turned up in my dreams and appeared as a ghost to friends who visited my college apartment, was also the cat from the Queen of Wands that spurred my curiosity in tarot in the first place. And here she was standing before me in Egypt. I have to say I was suddenly furious with her. I stared her down and said. OKAY I have done what you wanted (meaning MAAT Tarot) now I would like to have my life back. At that moment I felt empowered I felt yes indeed I could get my live back the one I dreamed of the simple life I had imagined for myself of home, husband and children. A normal life, life like everyone else seemed to live a life that seemed to elude me because I was always headlong into hundreds of paintings that needed to be painted.

Upon returning home there was this feeling of not really knowing what was next. MAAT is done now. The Thanksgiving celebration filled the week and when it was over. There was silence and an empty house and everyone was back to work and school.

This morning I was mulling over Sekhmet again thinking I want to paint her thinking about the symbolism surrounding her,
thinking about the initiation rituals we were introduced to in Egypt. The priests and pharaohs of Egypt went through a secret initiation called passing through the skin. A rite where the initiate is eaten and passed through the body of the animal. This is where the leopard skin clad priests come into play. Only those who had passed through the skin were allowed to wear animal skins. Anyway I was suddenly struck with the idea of how I felt when we stood between the paws of the Sphinx. Visualizing the sphinx with Sekhmet's face instead of the king.
The image in my head right now is the lioness head with the sun shining behind her her face in shadow except for her eyes shining and looking at the viewer like the perfect glass eyes in the statues at the Cairo museum. The sphinx aligns perfectly with the rising and setting sun clearly anyone able to pass though the body of the sphinx would be following the path of the sun.

Another idea that is intriguing me in is the idea about the blood being substituted with wine and Sekhmet being put to sleep by the wine. The idea of blood being substituted with wine reminds me of the Dionysian and Christian rites where the god's blood is turned to wine. The mass includes the eating and drinking of the god's(initiate's?) body and blood. Now the Dionysian (and Pentheus stories) have the god being torn to bits by priestesses after he witnesses their secret rites (moon lodge(menstrual) rituals?) In the story of Pentheus, he is torn to bits by priestesses for the same transgression only one of the priestesses is also his mother who in the frenzy doesn't recognize him. The Dionysian/Bacchus rites were symbolic of the grapes being made into wine. So there it is blood turning to wine, secret rites, cave/tomb/womb initiations, secret rites of the sun/moon, death and resurrection, The priestess/Goddess, put to sleep... and in Christianity put out...or not?? certainly put off -Mary Magdalen???
("Touch me not...I have not yet ascended to the father)

All this seems to be saying something to me.

Your thoughts are welcome,
Julie
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It sounds like a fascinating trip, Julie! (More on that later...)

Concerning the 10 of Swords, on all sides of the tragedy in the middle are ways to move beyond it. Concentrate on the message of hope in the light on the wall, focus on the family still with you, look to the heavens suggested by the high windows, etc. But the trap is to wallow in the death and gore in the center of the picture, to think of how you've been betrayed.

And I almost forgot, there is also the path to the left, which is where the streaks of blood are. Blood for blood, perhaps? Not exactly the 'high road', but there it is.

About your ideas about blood and wine, rituals and Mary Magdelene: For some reason the first thing that came to my mind was the gnostic gospel, "Thunder, Perfect Mind".
For I am the first and the last.
I am the honored one and the scorned one.
I am the whore and the holy one.
I am the wife and the virgin.
I am <the mother> and the daughter.
I am the members of my mother.
I am the barren one
and many are her sons.
As I said, I don't particularly know why this came to mind...perhaps just the idea of rituals where one thing is really another thing.

Peace,

Melvis
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I just went to the link and read the whole passage, quite a long piece but it could have been written about Sekhmet. Why do I always feel as though I am looking into a vast dark hall of treasures with a tiny flash light? one only gets tiny glimpses of what is there and it takes forever to figure out the picture...

Thanks for your response,
Julie


Quote:
Originally Posted by Melvis
It sounds like a fascinating trip, Julie! (More on that later...)

Concerning the 10 of Swords, on all sides of the tragedy in the middle are ways to move beyond it. Concentrate on the message of hope in the light on the wall, focus on the family still with you, look to the heavens suggested by the high windows, etc. But the trap is to wallow in the death and gore in the center of the picture, to think of how you've been betrayed.

And I almost forgot, there is also the path to the left, which is where the streaks of blood are. Blood for blood, perhaps? Not exactly the 'high road', but there it is.

About your ideas about blood and wine, rituals and Mary Magdelene: For some reason the first thing that came to my mind was the gnostic gospel, "Thunder, Perfect Mind".
For I am the first and the last.
I am the honored one and the scorned one.
I am the whore and the holy one.
I am the wife and the virgin.
I am <the mother> and the daughter.
I am the members of my mother.
I am the barren one
and many are her sons.
As I said, I don't particularly know why this came to mind...perhaps just the idea of rituals where one thing is really another thing.

Peace,

Melvis
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Card/Number: 10 of Swords/18

Card Image: see attached

First Impression: A powerful 10 of Swords- most artists will draw the swords piercing through, but few truly show the horror of the act. This card does, blood splattered and running freely, no soft or silent act, but utter and violent brutality.

Card Description: A man lays on the floor of an ornate room with vaulted ceilings, sun-filled windows, marble statues/altars with a gorgeous woven rug. His white robe is flung off his body, which lies pierced by 10 swords. Rivulets of blood seep from the body, onto the cloak, into the carpet, while an arc of blood streams on one nearby marble slap- almost in testament to the brutal slaying in this church-like building, aghast at the carnal scene that lies within.

Masculine/Feminine/Neutral: Masculine

Colors: red, white, blue, yellow and brown

Senses: the violence permeates the room, the force of it hitting you, rattling your bones. The smell of blood, dust, decay and death fill your nostrils as the taste of tears, bitterness and hopelessness sit heavy on your tongue. The anguished, horrified cries of silence ring in your ears.

Symbols: slain man, bloodied, marble statue/crypt, swords, light filled windows, church-like room

Story (Intuitive): My gut clenches as I walk in the room, the wrongness permeating my core. I am a priestess and daughter of Death, yet this is not Death alone, but a pervasive and ugly bastardization tinged by oppressive cruelty and injustice. My heart, my whole being, aches for the loss. This time, this place though- seems wrong. And as I begin to wonder, the scene changes before my eyes. And now, I stand in the place that I stood just last night, the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A place with similar horrors and pain, souls lost in a cataclysm of fear, betrayal and brutality. "Oh Mother", I whisper, as I did last night, "help me give them peace. At the very least, let them feel my tears and compassion for their suffering and loss.". I weep in silence, as I remember the macabre scene of last night, of the gaity of the Halloween crowd laughing/squealing at the makeshift haunted prison-castle which ground like salt into the wounds of the wrongness of the spirits remaining. I hear the whispers- the same voices of last night, the voices of the lost- floating around me. "If you never believed in evil before, believe in it now- because you can see that it exists. But, it does not exist in the stories of hell and demons, but rather in the depravity of man, whose actions are self-explained by a deranged sense of morality, fed by societal movement and religious beliefs.". Oh, how it hurts! The ache, the pain! The nauseating permeation of corrupt evil that lingers in these stone walls. I see the dove, the dove from the 3 of swords, mourning in her death cry, bloodied carcass on the roof- mixed with the sounds of madness and fear. It is too much! I do not know what to do. How do you stop this madness, this evil? HOW? There is no way to right this wrong- no words of solace that will remove this black mark. "Bring them home daughter", my Mother whispers in my ear, "for that is part of your gift, as well as your curse. You feel their spirits, but also their pain, but that allows you to take their hand and guide them home.". I close my eyes, the realization filling me, the understanding and wisdom taking hold. I cannot change the wicked, that is their work- either in this lifetime, or the ones to follow. But I can bring the suffering home, and in the midst of this strange scene, I somehow become disconnected from the crowd- being truly in this space, and I begin my work- showing them the way- one by one. They are grateful, their empty eyes now filled with purpose, their misery lifted as they realize their suffering has ended. And as one young man walks by, he stops and looks at me with appreciation in his eyes, "Fear not the dead, my lady, it is the living your must show caution with. Please, try to teach this to the others, the ones here that do not understand.". I nod, this too is part of my work. He walks toward his rest, head held high, and I thank him softly for his words and hold them close to my heart.

Astrologic: week of the last quarter moon in Virgo, planetary ruler: Jupiter

Element: fire

Keywords: overkill, the end of a situation

Meanings: betrayal, backstabbed, hitting rock bottom, the worst of a situation

Quote: "Fear not the dead, my lady, it is the living your must show caution with."

Evil does not reside in hell, or even within demons, but can often find a comfortable home in the heart of the self-righteous man.

***I no longer doubt the significance of the syncronicity that has occurred between events in my life as I study this deck. The trip to Eastern State Penitentiary yesterday, followed by the 10 of Swords today, is a marked reminder of that bond. It was in the loving words of a spirit finally allowed to depart that the quote for this card was found. Heed his words, feel the pain of those whose lives were lost in a horrific manner, then you too can help ease their pain, and guide them home.

I would encourage anyone interested to read the history of ESP- founded by the Anglican/Quaker movement in Pennsylvania- the idea was that forced confinement with no human interaction, "honest" labor and reading of the bible would produce penitence and reform in prisoners. Many grew mad. Unable to help themselves, deprived for human interaction, they were tortured mercilessly when they tried to speak to other inmates, or even themselves. These methods were considered "humane" by the guards of that time and included atrocities that often ended the lives of the inmates. Many of these, in the early days of the prison, were people incarcerated for stealing due to the poverty and depression of the times, stealing in order to feed their families and live under a solid roof. Let us never forget their story, for we risk returning and repeating history when the past gets long buried.
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