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greycats  greycats is offline
Join Date: 26 Aug 2002
Location: Deep East Texas
Posts: 916
The Boatman and other tales. Sterns. Make that 1 stern.


Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. Iím sure it resonates with more than a few members. I, myself, was a single mother for 6 years. The experience certainly focuses the mind.

Originally Posted by juliecucciawatts
The island is supposed to look like a woman's body( Mother Earth) but is also meant to represent the island of Avalon( Summerland or Appleland)
The island where Arthur was taken by the 3 queens at his death. It also represents the land of the dead. The sun was intended to be setting and my original intension was that the boatman was taking her and her son to this mythical island like the famed Charon who ferried the dead across the Styx.
Thank you also for reminding us about Avalon and Charon, and that in the Maat, weíre not only moving away from conflict but also toward the nadir of the year. It's the theme of any number of mythologies (ancient Roman and modern Hindi, to name two more), nearly all of which stress the necessity of a period of trial before the joyous realization of a sacred advent. The journey metaphor is very apt.

Originally Posted by juliecucciawatts
The original colors for this image came from a cheap abstract hotel print in a hotel room my husband and my kids and I were staying in the color combination caught my eye and I drew it out as patches of color with the name of the color penciled in. I took that piece of paper home with me and used it.
The basic layout is from a painting by Mary Cassatt called The Boating Party(1893-94). The color for the water and the water itself was influenced by Benjamin West(1778) a painting called The Battle of La Hogue as well as John Singleton Copley's Watson and the Shark (also 1778).

I did wonder about Mary Cassatt, if only because your treatment of children seems similar: one senses tenderness and passionate concern without the often excessive sentimentality. I plan to address the issue of children later (itís come up in other threads) but for now Iíll just say that the Maat & the Blue Moon are the only tarots I can recall in which both men and women appear separately in activities with their children. Result: a tangible sense of an individualís parenthood, and, one might argue, a welcome addition to the tarot. (Note: we do see a woman interacting with her child on several cards in the Lo Scarabeo Pagan Tarot.)

Originally Posted by juliecucciawatts
My husband Peter's comment which shattered my original intention was that the man was rowing away from the island and not to the island as I had intended.

Did you want it back?

Well look, I think it works the other way, actually. The boatman is going to have to turn his body around in order to row, no? Because they appear to be in a rowboat, not a canoe and heís sitting in the sternóor at least towards the stern. Sterns don't present a very fluid-dynamic profile. I suppose one can row a boat stern-first, but not very effectively. The woman is sitting in the prow of the boat which is pointed toward the island. So one would assume that's where they're going eventually. At the moment we see it, the boat doesn't appear to be moving very much.

My thought on seeing the boatman was that he had paused at the end of a stroke to turn around and look at the woman and child, or maybe to speak to them. I like the way they're facing each other because it opens the possibility of some interaction between them.

Or another interpretation: he could just be taking a good look at where he is going. While he's rowing, he can only catch glimpses over his shoulder.

Originally Posted by juliecucciawatts
And these are the secrets of the 6 of Swords.
We adore secrets--especially those about tarot.
Thanks so much for your comments and your stories. We really appreciate your taking the time to to give us the additional information
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