Book of Shadows, Vol. I: "As Above" - Symbolism


> Tarot Forum > Tarot Special Interest > Tarot Study Groups



 
Eeviee's Avatar
Eeviee  Eeviee is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 20 Jun 2012
Location: NY, USA
Posts: 439
Eeviee 
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 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collar_(BDSM)

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 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posture_collar

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 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neck_corset

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?
Top   #1
Eyebright's Avatar
Eyebright  Eyebright is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 17 Nov 2010
Location: South Devon, England
Posts: 2,221
Eyebright 

Hmmm lol you seem to gone down a different route to me!
I looked through the cards last night and to me it was only 0 The Summerlands and XXI- the World that had the neck collar on. If you look there are many similarities in the two cards such as the posture of the central characters which mirrors the other card, the colour of their hair, and the fact that one hand absorbs the dark energy and the other emits the white energy, so to me it was just another similarity to help the reader link the two cards together in their mind.
I thought that in VII Transformation it was part of the helmet headpiece she was wearing and not an individual collar, and I can't see anything in III The Goddess it's too dark for my poor eyes to make anything out!
I thought maybe it was to link the two cards together so that we understood the central character in both cards was the same person, maybe in different incarnations which is why in 0 they are male and in XXI female.

I had come to the conclusion that it was something similar to the neckrings that women in certain African tribes wear, which as far as I can tell so far, are worn as status symbols, indicators of wealth, beauty, maturity, as good luck talismans and to prevent tiger bites! It depends which tribe as to which attributes they associate with the neck rings. Apparently they don't actually elongate the neck, that is a myth and an illusion, they just press down on the clavicle which shifts down 45 degrees giving the appearance of an elongated neck!
There are also some tribes in Burma who also wear similar but apparently they do it to make themselves unappealing to slave traders :O
Top   #2
Eeviee's Avatar
Eeviee  Eeviee is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 20 Jun 2012
Location: NY, USA
Posts: 439
Eeviee 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eyebright View Post
Hmmm lol you seem to gone down a different route to me!
I looked through the cards last night and to me it was only 0 The Summerlands and XXI- the World that had the neck collar on.
That it appears on both The Summerlands and The World makes plenty of sense seeing as they both represent beginnings. Also, The Summerlands coming both before and after The World is an appropriate placement of the card.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eyebright View Post
I thought that in VII Transformation it was part of the helmet headpiece she was wearing and not an individual collar [...]
This is certainly possible!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eyebright View Post
[...] and I can't see anything in III The Goddess it's too dark for my poor eyes to make anything out!
This I am not positive on. I'm pretty sure I can make it out, but as you say, it is very dark and hard to be certain!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eyebright View Post
I had come to the conclusion that it was something similar to the neckrings that women in certain African tribes wear [...]
That is also a good interpretation! I didn't even think of that aspect! Thank you for bringing that link to my attention (and the attention to others)!
-I just searched about 10-15 terms and descriptions of the collar/necklace until I found images that were similar! x]
Top   #3
Disa's Avatar
Disa  Disa is offline
The last in line
 
Join Date: 14 Aug 2006
Location: Moon Gazing: Georgia, USA
Posts: 6,150
Disa 

I hadn't even noticed the collars except for the one ont he Transformation card. The one on the World card now seems very clear. I can also see them if I look very closely on the Goddess, and the Summerlands cards- but I don't think I'd ever see them if you hadn't brought it up (I may need to get out my magnifying glass as I look through the rest of the cards.)

Could the collars be as simple as a reminder of: hold your head up as we are doing important work here?

So I was looking through all of the Major Arcana cards to see if I could find any recurring symbols and it struck me that not all of the men have beards. Is there symbolism in beards?

The men in the Yule card, The God, The Circle, and Initiation all have beards (maybe the man in the Lovers, but if it's there it's very faint.

The men in The Summerlands, Lammas, and Litha do not have beards.

I thought, at first it could be the length of their beards represent their stages of development along their paths, but then I would think the man in the Litha card would be pretty wise and he hasn't a beard at all. Maybe since it's the heat of the summer he was wise enough to cut it off for practical reasons, ie it's HOT!
Top   #4
Elsewhere on the Tarot Forum
Popular Tarot Boards
· Using Tarot Cards
· Talking Tarot
· Tarot Spreads
· Tarot Decks
· Rider-Waite-Smith

Special Interest Boards
· Astrology
· Crystals & Herbs
· Divination
· Lenormand
· Spirituality

Popular Tarot Threads
· Pet Peeves
· Timing of cards
· Interesting tarot pairs
· The Moon as how someone feels
· The World as feelings

More Tarot Threads
· Cards for certain events
· Tarot meanings for health
· List of Tarot Questions
· Can Tarot be Dangerous?
· List of Tarot Myths



Elsewhere on Aeclectic Tarot
· Tarot Cards & Reviews
· Free Tarot Readings
· Tarot eBooks
· Tarot Card Meanings

Copyright © 1996 - 2022 Aeclectic Tarot. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy. Contact us. Advertise with us.