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Eeviee  Eeviee is offline
Join Date: 20 Jun 2012
Location: NY, USA
Posts: 439
Book of Shadows, Vol. I: "As Above" - Symbolism

I'm creating this thread to be used as a place to discuss any general symbolism found in Barbara Moore's Book of Shadows, Vol. I: "As Above" Tarot.

To get things started, one of the things I noticed right off the bat with this deck was the reoccurring choker collar/necklace that is first found in 0 - The Summerlands (The Fool). This same device, or something similar, can be found again in III - The Goddess (The Empress), VII - Transformation (The Chariot), and XXI - The World. This symbol stuck out like a "sore thumb" to me and bothered me profusely! I referred to it as a "choker collar" and could not see how this "binding" device could relate to some of these characters...

Upon further inspection, apparently it only occurs in the Majors! The Trumps of 0, VII, and XXI all have lone figures; with III it appears on the neck of one of the three women. This collar is found in all but one case on women, where 0 is the only Trump where it is depicted upon a male... Looking to the LWB for any clues, and I've realized that all of these cards can have the meaning of "change" or "new beginnings"...

Upon doing some mildly extensive outside (of Tarot territory) research, I've finally come up with some possible terms for this device. My research leads me to believe it is quite possibly called a "posture collar" or a "neck corset".

In the BDSM community, a Collar can indicate submission, ownership, relationship, and can be used to create humiliation. While I do not believe this necessarily applies to the above mentioned cards in the context of which you read them here, I believe it is necessary to provide a general definition prior to the more specific ones which I do believe hold resemblance to the As Above Tarot.
SEE: Wiki Article -

A Posture Collar is used to "restrict movement of the neck" and helps to maintain proper posture "by keeping the chin high and the neck extended". Wiki defines this device as: "Posture collars typically flare widely at the front to reach from the chin down to the collarbone, preventing the wearer from hanging their head or looking downward." -This certainly seems to fit the bill for the device in question.
SEE: Wiki Article -

A Neck Corset can also be known as a 'Throat Corset' or 'Neck Lacer'. It is defined as a specific type of Posture Collar which mimmicks a waiste corset, but which is fitted upon the neck. It is "used to support the weight of the head on the shoulders, while its corset structure helps in maintaining posture by keeping the chin high and the neck extended."
SEE: Wiki Article -

Upon finding adequate definitions for this device, I came to believe that this choker collar is not just an image of suffocation and binding, but could be turned much more positive. I've come up with my own definition for this symbol to generally mean to be aware (look around you; do not focus so much on dreams [above] or desolation [below], but be present in the moment and take charge of what you can), hold your head high (be proud of who you are, where you have come from, what you have achieved thus far), act with integrity, take control (of your life/decisions/actions/words), etc.

0 - The Summerlands (The Fool): He must take 'ownership' for his place in the Universe; by reflecting upon his past in The Summerlands he can devise a plan for his future incarnations. In a way, he could be 'submissive' to the cycles of Nature; actively participating in the cycles of birth, death and rebirth; knowing he has little control over any, but seizing that which he can direct. As such, this man has a 'relationship' to both his past and future selves, and the cycles of Nature, The World, and The Universe. The collar could be used to keep this man's head head high. It could serve as a reminder to look around you, perhaps not above or below, but where you have come from and where you are going. Perhaps it could serve as a warning to properly "look before you leap".

III - The Goddess (The Empress): The collar appears upon whom I believe is the Maiden aspect, to the viewers right. She could show 'submission' in her 'relationships' to her Mother or The Crone (her grandmother), or 'submit' to the idea that she will eventually be a Mother and Crone herself. She could be 'owned' by Nature, and the Cycles of life. The collar could serve to hold her head high as a reminder that she will not always be young and inexperienced, perhaps even naive. With time she will have the knowledge and experience of the Mother, and the wisdom and reflection of the Crone.

VII - Transformation (The Chariot): I can see the collar resembling 'ownership' to herself and her life; she could take action and direct control over situations. I don't see this card as 'submission' to anything/one but herself (linking back to 'ownership' of self/actions/will/outcomes). I see this character as too proud to be 'humiliated'; but perhaps if she does not act (or acts foolishly) it could lead to 'humiliation'; for she did not take control when she could have, or direct herself in a way that she should. As the collar supports her head and neck, I believe it is a reminder to move forward and not look back. As the character here is certainly facing one way, leaving the other behind her and out of view. This supports the traditional definition of the card, pertaining to a hard fought or justly received victory over hardships.

XXI - The World: I see this card as the female character who has already taken 'ownership' of her life. This cycle is completed, she is victorious, and ready to move on to the next task/challenge that life has to offer. Her 'relationship' lies within the past and future, and again perhaps 'submits' only to Nature and her cycles. In fact, the LWB reads: "a sense of belonging to something bigger".

I should not that I am not well-versed in BDSM or this "collar-culture"; this is just the information I have gathered and made correlations to appropriate cards and themes. If you have any other information and/or insights, please do share!

This is just one symbol within the As Above deck (and one interpretation of it). What symbols do you find reoccurring, or feel the need to be evaluated further?
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