Mary El Tarot - Knight of Disks

Bat Chicken

Air of Earth. Has this Knight tamed the tiger?
The Tiger is a symbol of wealth to the Chinese and the White Tiger symbolizes metal. The tree is in full leaf with its roots dipping into the still water beneath. That tree might be that sycamore fig again that lets its roots soak in water during the wet season, indicating a coming harvest of wealth. Even the tiger’s paws dip into the water ever so slightly. The boy’s pants are torn indicating a lot of struggle has passed, or simply a very accomplished day of play. The fig and being ‘fruitful’ in one’s work according to the Bible is a high goal.

Bat Chicken

There was something familiar about this image to me and it took until now, and a return to my Blake studies, to see it. The elements of the image are similar to that of Blake's own engraving for the poem "The Tyger" from "Experience" book of the Songs of Innocence and Experience. The main differences being the child, of course, and the whiteness of the tiger - sitting instead of standing (at least from my edition). The presence of the tree and the direction of the tiger's gaze are the same - I might even go so far as to say the same colour palette is used!

Now, Marie relates this card to the journey of the young Buddha. I see a different picture that I don't think conflicts with hers. I see the child of 'innocence' sitting on the 'tyger' of experience. The spirit sitting on the material plane where good and evil exist.

Blake sort of pairs this poem with the "Lamb", where the wisdom of the child knows that the lamb is made by God, IS God. So what made the Tyger? The question Blake is asking is did God also make the frightening things in the world?

The card seems to address the question with the quietly sitting child on the back of the beast. By combining the images, there is a confidence that the answer is known, even if not fully and the viewer looking at the child questions his safety. The calm seems to present the moment, where for a blink of an eye, we too can see the answer in our own hearts. Everything is not as it seems.