Saturday, 14 September 2013

Saying Goodbye

For this week, I dug out another classic deck: the Victorian Romantic Tarot (Baba Studios, 2012).  Although, I've used this deck on the blog before, that was the Russian language edition from 2010, while this is the newer, English second edition.  Quite a few cards have been changed for this edition, including today's card: the Five of Cups.  In the original and Russian editions, this card showed a woman with her back to us in a garden, a black dog behind her, obviously weeping.

In this version, a woman walks down the last few steps from a grand building, probably a church.  She is wearing fine clothes: a purple scarf with gilt embroidery and tassles, a white blouse and under shawl, and a velvety-looking green skirt.  She throws a melancholy glance down towards three overturned, tarnished cups near the bottom of the stairs.  Two more cups, shiny and upright, sit a couple of steps higher up. There are quite a number of people at the top of the stairs, by the church entrance, but the woman is the primary focus of the image.

The woman's sad gaze is fixed on the three spilt cups, and she holds a lacy tissue in her hand.  There is a definite sense of mourning here, as well as the obvious and traditional symbolism of the two bright cups she has her back to.

It's funny, we often treat melancholia as a bad thing.  However, having worked as a bereavement counsellor, I recognise the importance of allowing our sadness its place and time. This week has been incredibly hectic, mostly  in a good way.  We have put an offer in on a house and, fingers crossed, look set to move in November.  It's easy to get drawn into planning for the move and thinking about where to put the bookshelves and who gets which bedroom.  And so perhaps today is a good time to honour my regret that we are leaving a house we have loved and been very happy in.

I am grateful for six happy years in our home.

6 comments:

  1. Well, that is one fantastic house you're leaving. The new one must be amazing!

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    1. As you know, we've got a lot of stairs where we are, and that's tough both for Big Boy and for whoever is helping him go up and down. So, the new place is much more lateral. If it weren't for that, we'd never really have thought about moving...

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  2. I have the standard and gold sets of this deck, but it's not one I ever use. After the build up (and there was a big build up), even though nice, I never really hit it off with the deck. I wonder why they chose to change card images for the later printings. Do you know?

    Because of your previous line of work, I imagine that empathy and experience was a great asset. Even though you probably kept it away from your work, it's a way of being able to connect with the person you are counseling. I like the idea for this card. Using past hurts to assist someone else or depart wisdom through experience.

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    1. Hi PLN,

      I don't know why they decided to change some of the images. Perhaps so that a reprinting would not detract so much from the re-sale value of the previous printings, and might also tempt collectors to get both?

      It's funny you say about using past hurts to help someone else. Although that wasn't quite what I was thinking of, it's true that most counselling courses specifically look for people with "life experience". I know when I was younger I hated the thought of listening to other people's problems, but now I value having someone willing to listen, and am glad when I can offer that...

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  3. It is beautiful how she is slowly walking down the stair . She is definitely not running
    That symbolizes for me that is important to go slow when sad or melancholic feelings are to be considered. We often are too busy and life is to hectic to pay attention what goes on inside

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    1. That's a good point, Ellen. She is taking her time, and while some may think people are wallowing in their sadness, some things do just take time!

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