Saturday, 28 September 2013

Oppression

Inspired by the TABI contribution to the Mabon Tarot Blog Hop, I decided to pull out some of those mythologically-influenced tarot decks, and their companion books.  This week, then, I'll be drawing from the Babylonian Tarot by Sandra Tabatha Cicero (Llewelyn, 2006).  The deck comprises 83 cards: the standard 78, an additional Major (Genesis), and four additional Court cards (the Kerubs) to represent the element of Spirit.

This deck is influenced by the Thoth Tarot, as well as exploring the mythical characters and stories of ancient Mesopotamia, birthplace of the Sumerian and later Babylonian cultures.  We can see the Thoth influence in the card titles and keywords, such as today's Ten of Wands: Oppression. 

In the background are ten wands, while in the foreground we find a frightening demon.  This is Pazuzu, king of the evil wind demons.  What, you might ask, does a demon king have to do with burdens and responsibilities, things that oppress us?  Well, I guess the demon himself could threaten to oppress us.  However, the author's commentary states that in Babylonian cosmology there were rivalries between the various gods and demons.  So, Pazuzu was called upon to combat an evil goddess who killed babies.  In this way, the image links to choosing the lesser of two evils.  It might also be taken in the sense of having to manage more than you really want: trying to control and direct a demon rather than man-handling a bunch of wands.  Altogether, the card gives us plenty to work with, both for traditional and more intuitive readings. 

It's been quite a busy week, definitely in Ten of Wands territory juggling lots of jobs and deadlines.  However, most of that can't leak over into my Saturday, so I'm a little surprised to see this card today.  Still, perhaps this is about my own demons driving me on.  Though I can't liaise with business professionals, there are several of my off-hours projects I'd still like to make in-roads on.  Yet, do they really need to be done today?

I am grateful for the reminder not to push myself too hard.

2 comments:

  1. The art of this deck reminds me of The Dark Goddess Tarot. It as the same Mythological feel.
    Anyway let's hope for some quiet moments this weekend. :D

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    1. Yes, I can see where you're coming from on the artwork. And yes, quiet moments are to be valued :)

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