Up early this morning. Very early for me and drawing a card over coffee, I assumed it would be a card for today but I have been thinking how this card has picked up on something which has been niggling at my subconscious beyond the here and now. This morning I took Julie Cuccia Watts’ MA’AT Tarot down from my tarot shelf, a deck which I love for its vibrant colours and classical painterliness. Although the images have always seemed very immediate and readable to me, the astrological system seems a bit cumbersome for me. It is a deck which I treasure (a limited edition; I have #200/1,000) and is definitely what I would consider a deck with substance, a decks worth investing time in. I feel I will never truly understand the varieties of astrological systems employed by all those tarot creators out there but if the images sing – as Julie Cuccia Watt’s do – then I feel over halfway there.
Thinking of nothing in particular I drew the 7 of Wands, representing the week of the “New Moon in Aquarius”;
It shows 18th century European fur traders arriving on Native American soil, bringing gifts, hoping for exchanges. There is a very striking and exquisitely rendered sunset at the back of the image, with the silhouette of a tree. Is it dawn or dusk? Beginning or ending? Promising or ominous? Traditionally, according to the Rider Waite Smith system, this card has been taken to represent the idea of defending your territory. I like the MA’AT rendering of the card as the key here – for me – is the idea of new territory. I am about to start work in a brand new department in brand new premises and I find it fascinating that this card came up, especially as I have been thinking these last few days about new relationships, the establishing of new footing with new colleagues, the creating of new “settlements” as it were. I have been thinking about the kind of first impressions we create, how we should procede with those we don’t know and as soon as I saw this image of the settler in the card, a warning came to mind; “be careful how you unfurl your wares”. Be careful of what you show. Be careful as your values might not be the same as those whom you meet. I am also reminded, when thinking of stories of trading, settling and colonising, how one culture sees the trash or everyday utensils of another culture as objects worthy of reverence, worth putting in a museum. I am reminded of pictures I have seen of African tribes-people wearing ornaments made up of rubbish brought by western colonisers. And in this image, do the Native Indians value the fur in the same way as the European? What each of us thinks is precious or worthless varies from culture to culture. It is interesting to see what Julie Cuccia Watts writes about this card, reinforcing certain points. I am pleased to see she writes that this card is “very powerful for beginnings and endings… The lesson here is to stay vigilant though you may have the advantage and you may think the culture you inherited is on solid ground… Understanding and sensitivity to the needs and perceptions of others will keep the peace.” (my italics). A very auspicious card to draw in the context of new horizons in the professional field.