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firemaiden  firemaiden is offline
keeper of the toaster
Join Date: 07 Jun 2002
Location: Poitiers, France
Posts: 10,828

Not "magic is an instrument" - but the instrument is magic, and symbolic of magic, it allows the magical transformation of breath and strumming into sound, sound which expresses and invokes spirit.

As for the bird I do not see it, but it must be there, because Margerete's text refers to it. And I do not quite understand why the birds are in this text. I want you to know, before the English translatiaon was published, there was only the original German available, which is why I spent so much time translating her poems and putting them up here - (and why I began the study group). This way I really got to know her texts, they are not easy to translate, because her poetry is extremely economical. That means she says thousands of things in only a few words, and her words really need to be paid very close attention. When she writes:

* Sun-winds stroke the strings of a Sitar--
the songs of the birds -- air vibrates and pulsates --
it resonates through the mask - I AM.
The soul glides into the new body--
Always new self-configurations.
She makes a poetic correspondence between the sitar, the song of the birds and the mask. The mask being an empty vessel, is like a body which allows new souls to glide into it, and that is symbolic of how we are capable of transforming ourselves always into "new self-configurations". The sitar, is like the mask - in that it too is a sort of an empty vessel, which only a bit of wind can make sound. It itself is not spirit, but it is a container which allows spirit to blow into it and say "I am". It is the container which allows the spirit to take form. The same way the human body is the container, or, if you prefer, the channel which allows spirit to take form. That is how it is magical.

I do not know for sure, but I have a sneaking suspicion some of her ideas are inspired by Heidegger. I didn't read Heidegger, but took a course on his influence on French poetry. We spent a long time with his ideas about what an icon is - an icon being not spirit itself, but a vessel which allows spirit to slip in - thus a person who uses icons to be with spirit, is not worshipping the icon itself, but the spirit housed temporarily in the icon.

Masks in sacred cultures as you know, have a similar function in ceremonies, of being used to bring the presence of a spirit. Music is also used to invoke spirit, the music and the mask go together.

As for the birds, I do not know how they fit in with this concept -- they sing in the sun and they sing in the wind. To me they are always the pure expression of spirit. I don't know. Perhaps the bird you see is a manifestation of another kind of spirit - one of the many new "self configurations". I do not know. Perhaps there is a sacred bird spirit that would have been invoked. This warrants a bit of googling.

I do think Margarete's text makes a bridge between sacred rituals of ancient peoples - using masks and sitars etc. - and the modern psychology: in modern terms, it is not that our own bodies house many different spirits, but that we ourselves are limitless, and capable of morphing into many different selves.

So I think this card expresses the magic of self tranformation, self actualisation, the magic of channeling spirits, and then on the flip-side - also the potential shallowness of the instruments themselves when there is no air, no vibration, or sun or wind to make them say "I am" - the puppet without a hand to made it live....

There is the magic of animation - and then there is also the deception....
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