Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Lord of Shadows

The Maat Tarot (Julie Cuccia-Watts, 2006) has quite a different perspective on many of the Majors.

In the case of the Emperor, instead of him being a rather distant figure on a throne, with symbols of authority in either hand, instead we meet a Green Man.  Around him grows an abundance of grape-bearing vines, and he leans against a tree which seems to already have lost it's leaves, or else be dead.  This symbolises the fact that this Green Man is in fact dying, transitioning into the Lord of Shadows as the days draw in after the Autumn Equinox.  Still, he has a great deal of strength, wisdom, and an enduring connection with nature - helping manage the last of the harvest, the storage for winter, and the allocation of resources needed to husband them through the dark times.  This is the aspect of rules and boundaries that may seem authoritarian, but is done for the best of everyone involved.

Rules and boundaries makes me think of my counselling clients.  I have one who was a no-show this week, and if that happens again, the service suggests they try again at a later time.  Another pushes quite a few of my buttons, so I have to be very firm and clear about what is my stuff and what isn't.  My third client I forgot to tell last week that we're going to have a break at Easter - my bad!  So, I need some of this Emperor energy to keep my on the straight and narrow today ;)

I am grateful for clear boundaries.


  1. Do you use tarot in your counselling? What service do you work for? (If you can say).

  2. Hi Carla,

    No, I don't use tarot in my counselling, though I do use counselling in my tarot :) I am certainly considering changing that when I'm qualified, but for the moment I have to do things by the book :( I work for a local bereavement charity, which may not exist any more after June, due to funding cuts :(

  3. Bloody funding cuts! That's how I lost my art related school work, which students of all kinds got so much from.

    Great cards from The Maat. I always though it looked visually interesting. I owned her first deck, then traded it, then bought it again recently for a fiver. She has a very warming artistic style. I like the twists in these cards you've shown so far.

  4. nice comments on boundaries, they are quite useful indeed. although i must say, this deck would be so unreadable for me personally, ha.

  5. Hi PLN,

    Oh, my gosh, you traded away the Ancestral Path! *faints in horror* ;) Glad you got it back, and are enjoying the Maat. I think her art is just beautiful. And there's the app, too, which is relatively cheap...

    Yeah, funding cuts suck big time! There are so many things that we could well do without, but they cut the things that actually help everyday people *gets off soapbox quickly*

  6. Hi Bonkers,

    I'm curious as to why you'd find this deck unreadable? After all, I've seen you work with quite different decks, even if you seem to prefer Thoth-based ones...

  7. the thoth-based thing is a current preference/phase, for the longest time i was an RWS based on gal...

    as for why, i can't quite put my finger on it in words, it's artistic more than conceptual, i think...in some ways this deck reminds me of the Gaian, which was another deck i had that kind of NO reaction to :0

  8. Fair enough, Bonkers, everyone has a right to their own emotional reaction to decks. I'm a big YES to the Gaian, too - though I know a few people who don't like it. It'd be boring if we didn't have opinions and preferences ;)