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Join Date: 05 Aug 2001
Location: Northbrook IL / Woodland Valley Ranch AZ - USA
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Maat Tarot study group - 3 of Swords


The Maat Tarot 3 of Swords is assigned to the first quarter moon in Capricorn, which in 2006 began on Sept. 30.

Per the Maat Tarot book: "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."

An image of the Maat 3 of Swords and more info can be found at this link (scroll about half way down that page).

This 3 of Swords depicts a rather graphic variation of the RWS traditional 3 swords penetrating a heart, but in this case the swords are impaling a white dove in bloody detail. The hilts of the swords depict symbols of 3 major patriarchal religions:
- Cross: Christianity
- Crescent Moon and Star: Islam
- Star of David: Judaism

Per the Maat book, the dove "is the white dove of the 'spirit' or the love Goddess. This image implies the strong-armed dogma of organized religions suppressing spiritual growth and human unity. These religions tend to use human mortality and the fear of the unknown in manipulative ways to control the masses."

A similar but subtler approach to this imagery is depicted in Margarete Petersen's deck.

Julie clearly has strong feelings about this card and this topic. She was working on the sword cards for Maat around the time of the 9/11 attack, and took a 2 year hiatus from her tarot art after that event. From an interview on Tarot Passages:

"The violence in the external world combined with the violence in the swords was very harsh. I could not master the dove impaled by the three swords."

The intense imagery of the Maat 3 of Swords seems both cathartic and emphatic. Julie is not holding back at expressing her anguish over the destructive impact that religious fervour can have over the free flight of the Spirit. By putting her heartbreak on canvas, she acknowledges and focuses her strong reactions, and then continues on the path towards reconstruction.

From Robert Place's Alchemical Tarot:
"Remember that pain has a purpose and opens the way to growth."
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