Bohemian Gothic - Queen of Pentacles

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Thirteen's Avatar
Thirteen  Thirteen is offline
The Thirteenth Moon
Join Date: 17 Sep 2001
Location: Pluto
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Originally Posted by magpie9
In the first place I don't consider the prostitution slander to be true. It's based on one ambiguous sentence in one version of the story.
I agree entirely. But Jesus did say, "Come with me and sin no more" whatever that sin is, and he did argue that the rich should give up their wealth, and that the meek will inherit the Earth. Whoever Mary M. was before she met him, she did give up that life in order to follow him.

Where indeed is the charming husband, the happy family and the gilt-edged guarantee that she does not have it in her to give up anything for something greater, be it for love, duty or spirituality?
You're quite right that the husband isn't there, nor is the family. She might be alone with all that wealth. Though, yes, we assume as a Queen she probably has or *HAD* a King (King/Pent in this deck is a skull!). My point wasn't that she did, absolutely, have a great husband and kids. Only that I didn't buy your story that she had sold herself into a loveless and infertile marriage. That, to me, was not evidenced in the picture any more than my story of her having a happy marriage is.

We can make up any story of her marriage and family we like, but what I'm personally after is the story told by the card image. I didn't see anything suggesting a miserable marriage or family life because the one and only big clue to her life in that picture is what she is looking at--and it's a picture of Mary M. Not a mother with children, or lovers. So I presume that her biggest, uncomfortable issue isn't that her husband isn't happy with her because she's infertile.

Perhaps her reaction to the picture is simply because she thinks it shockingly bad art!
Given her good taste, I'd say that was a valid point. Which begs the question, why hasn't she gotten rid of it? Why must it ruin her otherwise beautifully arranged living room?

I am trying to speak for a different view of the Q of P, which --at least in this deck--is as likely as the traditional one. Look at Henry the VIII's first Queen, Katherine of Aragon. She felt it was her duty to be Queen, and under her sumptuous silks, velvets and brocades wore a hair shirt. She spent hours on her knees every day, praying, and spent most of her discretionary money on Charities of various kinds.
I know you'd cast her as Queen/Pents, and again, if that's how you see Queen/Pents it is fine with me. But personally, I'd cast Katherine as either Queen/Cups for her kind, spiritual heart, or Queen/Wands for her evangelicalism--as Wands are most often the card of those who are fanatics. But again, it begs the question. However sumptuous the silks and velvets Catherine wore, in HER rooms there were crosses, altars, statues of saints and Bibles. Yet this Queen, who is very much in her room has only one picture of Mary M. and she doesn't seem to like it. Detective wise, I don't think the evidence of her being a religious fanatic under that beautiful dress is likely.

To the contrary, maybe she hates that painting because she was raised in Katherine's house, forced to wear a hair shirt, pray all the time, etc. Now, she's free of it. And she's going to make sure her own castle is sumptuous and as free of reminders of religious aestheticism as possible.

Which by not means implies that she refuses to give generously to charities or being a kind person. Only that she might be more like King Henry VIII than Katherine. Henry, as a youth, was geared for the church and forced to pray all the time, and had a miserly father who made his sons live on the cheap; once given his father's wealth and power, Henry went in the opposite direction and indulged in all that he'd been kept from during his childhood and teens.
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Join Date: 31 Jan 2009
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swimming in tarot 

I should probably stay out of this but I think I can see this as a sensuous woman (Q of P) offended by the painting of an austere woman. No matter which old master painted it, no matter how much money it's worth, it's like the Queen is looking--SEEING--the content of the painting for the first time, and to her, it's HERESY.

Mary M's emblem is an ointment jar. Supposedly she had been a perfumer in her former days, dealing in scented, unctuous, luxurious, costly ointments. And she gave it up! Unthinkable! Goes utterly against Q of P's values! In her opinion, the ascetic Mary is the "fallen" one, not the unconverted Mary. I won't comment on the Q of P's taste, because Victorian taste is not my thing (and that's neither here nor there ), but she does love her rich colours, textures, sparklies, and spendies. So I readily agree that she is a sensuous, "material" girl.
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Alisa13's Avatar
Alisa13  Alisa13 is offline
Join Date: 06 Dec 2008
Location: Somewhere in the mist . . .
Posts: 132

Originally Posted by Thirteen

To the contary, from the evidence that I *see* in this card, this is a very confident, elegant, and generally satisfied woman. A Queen in her castle, and for the Queen/Pents that is a most beautiful and domestic home. The only story we have beyond the richness and taste of her furnishings and clothes is the picture of Mary that she clearly dislikes.
What that picture of Mary M. is about, ultimately, is a woman giving up pleasures and wealth to be spiritual. I think what bothers this woman is that the painting uncomfortably reminds her that being rich, tasteful, surrounded by beautiful things, and admired does not mean she's going to get to heaven.

And yet she knows that unlike Mary M. she does not and never will be willing to surrender it all in order to be on the side of light rather than darkness.
I must say I know very little of the Mary M story but I agree with Thirteen - strip away the Queen of Pentacles to her basics and you see -
1. A woman, richly dressed, dripping with jewels looking askance at a portrait of something baser, sensual and "more connected" (spiritually) than perhaps she is. The woman in the portrait looks at peace and satisfied with herself. When I saw the Queen of Pentacles my first thought was that she felt uncomfortable in the clothes she was wearing or that she had put on someone else's clothes that didn't fit quite right. Pentacles are about manifestation and the Queen of Pentacles gives us a view on the choices of what we wish to manifest - someone safely housed, well dressed "looks good" or something more earthly connected (the portrait looks like it is outdoors?) grounded. I know what I want to say I am not sure if I am saying it right! The portrait looks "earthy", the Queen represents another aspect of "earthy" by what she has been able to manifest for herself (clothing, jewels, nice home).
I think the Queen of Pentacles has just realized there are choices to be made . .
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