Friday, 17 June 2011


For this last draw with the Vision Quest Tarot by Gayan Sylvie Winter & Jo Dose another Major appeared (so much for showing off this Thoth-alike's semi-illustrated pips!  Only two have come up all week.)

In this deck, Temperance has been renamed Integration.  It shows a spider on her web, and an old woman weaving a beautiful blanket on a loom.  From the blanket, the woven birds break free and fly away.

I find it curious how often a loom is used in tarot Majors.  An old woman weaving appears on the Moon card in the Ancestral Path Tarot, and several different decks, including the Mythic Tarot, show the Fates or Norns weaving on the Wheel of Fortune Card.  The Wildwood, too, shows a loom on the Wheel card, but there we see no weavers, just time and the seasons, and the decisions we ourselves make.

It's interesting that weaving still resonates with us, in this age of mass-produced materials, where many people have never seen a real loom, never mind used one.  Still, it was such an important symbol for so many people at so many times that it's meaning still chimes with us, and still echoes in many myths and images.  As well as showing the phases of life - from the thread being spooled, to being woven and then finally cut - it also represents creativity - in the patterns that can be designed - and protection - blankets to keep warm at night and in winter, clothes to wear during the day in all life's situations.  On top of that, more implicitly, the Fates weaving also speak of social status.  After all, not everyone could afford soft fabrics or expensive dyes, so clothes were (and of course still are, though in different ways) symbols of wealth and social position - of where the Fates had placed us.

Here, though, the birds woven into the fabric fly off, leaving the loom behind.  They have taken in the colour and pattern given to them in their creation, but having integrated these now they seek out their own path in life.  So, combining what is innate with our life choices, a sense of structure with freedom.

I am grateful for the gift of my life, and the ability to choose what I do with that gift.

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