Monday, 30 July 2012

Venus

©Virginijus Poshkus
Today's card from the Radiant Rider Waite (U.S. Games, 2003) and the Tarot of the New Vision (Lo Scarabeo, 2003) is another Major - the Empress.

What a beautiful card to receive at any time.  She feels particularly appropriate, though, just two days before Lammas.  This sabbat is associated with the first harvest of the year, often of corn.  And so, this beautiful Empress sat by a field of wheat, promising abundance, creativity and fertility feels just right.  

In the Radiant Rider Waite version, she has a crown of stars on her head (11 here, though I believe there were 12 in the Original Rider Waite Smith deck), and a pearl necklace on.  In her right hand she holds a short golden baton topped with a globe.  She reclines against rich red cushions, with Venus markings on them, and there is a stone with a Venus emblem just below her, too.  Venus, as a Goddess of beauty and love, fits well with the Empress, who is nurturing and generous, beautiful and graceful.  Her dress is white (colour of purity) with red flowers (for passion), green stalks (for growth) and a yellow trim (warmth and enlightenment).  Behind her we see a verdant forest, and a stream that flows into a waterfall, cleansing and nourishing all that grows around it, as well as speaking of an easy flow of emotions.

©Cestaro & Alligo
What do we see from the other side?  The Tarot of the New Vision also has the elements of the blonde woman on a stone plinth with red cushions and Venus embroidery.  We still see some wheat growing in front of her, too.  However, in front of that we also see open gates leading onto a winding path up a gently hill.  Creativity takes some work, even when it is joyful.  It also leads us to new horizons.

Behind her, we see two naked children, a boy and a girl, petting a swan.  The children clearly speak of fertility, nurturing and creativity, as well as of innocence, kindness and joy.  The swan represents beauty and strength.  The Empress protects these children behind her.  She is also swan-like: she may look beautiful and serene, but that doesn't mean she isn't very active with it.  Just that we may not always realise all that she is doing, nor the strength that it takes.

I have several projects to complete this week, and so today I'd be glad of some of the Empress' creativity to help me on my way.  This card also makes me think of the pain involved in some forms of beautification - such as plucking your eyebrows...  Childbirth, too, is a painful process, be it an infant, an artwork or a project.  I'll draw on her strength, if I can.

I am grateful for creativity and strength in whatever form.

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