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The Thirteenth Moon
Join Date: 17 Sep 2001
Location: Pluto
Posts: 8,760
Bohemian Gothic-The Tens

I'm very interested in the "10's" in this deck. Three are very clear (or seem very clear to me). The last is a bit mysterious.

10/Wands: I love this card. I think, like so many other, most excellent cards in this deck, it's use of dark and scary imagery really illuminates the ultimate meaning of this card. We see an old woman hauling a bundle on her back. She wanders past a castle wall, under an illuminated window. Light from somewhere casts her shadow large upon the wall. This is one of those double-take cards. Unlike in other 10/Wands cards, the woman doesn't seem overly burdened, and quite able to handle this load on her back. But a double take shows us that the shadow she is casting has horns, and the window has a hot, orange glow to emphasize something demonic. Her physical burden in this world may not be so bad, but she is carrying around another burden, a spiritual/otherworldly burden that is far more heavily weighted.

10/Swords: One of the most beautiful cards in the deck; a kneeling woman buries her face in her hands and weeps before a grave marked with a cross (sword etched on the cross). In the typical 10/Swords we see a body stabbed by 10 swords, the usual meaning being that we've been stabbed in the back, killed by bad words, thoughts, plots against us, what-have-you. What I find fascinating about this card is that, like 10/Wands, it goes a step further. Our demise doesn't just affect us, but others. The pain and loss carries on beyond us to others who might be related, involved with us, or just care for us.

10/Cups: A very creepy card showing a very creepy family. They are a handsome family decked out in their very best, most especially the baby who is swaddled in elaborate baby clothes and lace-frilled baby blanket. The doted on daughter in the background has a toy horse, the mother gazes oddly but adoringly up at her husband, who stands at the ready, as if to protect his family. 10/Cups usually signifies a peaceful environment, love and accord, harmony in a family and between lovers. We certainly see there here. The family feel very much in accord, the children doted upon, the environment secure and comfortable. The step-beyond, or dark shadow to this seems to be that they are too much into each other. We feel that nothing exists for this family outside of themselves and their home. The card suggests the scary side of excessive love, of too much doting and focusing only on each other for happiness.

10/Pentacles: This is the 10 that mystifies me. 10/Pentacles usually signifies secure material wealth and or a legacy or inheritance; family fortunes or traditions. Yet the image here is of a poor but loving couple as they pass by a door opened by a wealthy old man. The couple are carrying their meager belonging in one over-the-shoulder bundle. The old man seems to be letting out his none-too-friendly dog.

Curious. I can certainly imagine a story to go with this card. The night is cold, the old man invites the couple into his warm home. That is the usual beginning of certain scary stories. Dracula, after all, starts with Jonathan Harker invited into the Count's castle. The poor couple are invited into the weird old man's house. Do they become his servants? His helpers in his unnatural experiments? A part of his experiments? It seems to suggest that while wealth may bring warmth and security, it may not bring happiness. Wealth, family legacies and inheritances, can be traps. Once you accept the invitation to step in, you might not be allowed to leave...not unless, as with the dog, the one who invited you in lets you leave. And by then, you might not be the same at all.

Other views of these cards?
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