Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Lion Hunting

Another Arrows (Swords) card greets us today from the Babylonian Tarot (Llewelyn, 2006).

Here we have the Nine of Arrows, which shows a lion attacking the wheel of a chariot, with nine arrows hanging above it.  The companion book informs us that lion hunting was a popular sport among Babylonian kings, a way to show their power and prowess, and also to frighten and awe lesser nobles.  However, from our perspective, they did their hunting from the back of a chariot, with arrows and spears - hardly a fair fight!  The arrows are arrayed with eight pointing down and one pointing up, to indicate the lion's continued brave fight as, injured, it still tries to attack the chariot that seems the source of its pain.  The title of the card - Cruelty - certainly sums up Sandra Cicero's take on this "kingly sport".

From a more purely tarot perspective, I found it interesting that she includes self-blame and nightmares only as reversed meanings of the card, while those and a churning mind leading to insomnia tend to be my main interpretations.  Instead, she speaks of mental cruelty, despair, loss of a loved one, and suffering that brings new-found strength.

Certainly, there's a lot going on right now to send my mind whirling.  We have an important meeting regarding our house move today, and exchange of contracts is supposed to take place tomorrow.  That could well give me some sleepless moments...

I am grateful for the reminder that I could see this as an opportunity for growth, rather than a reason for worry.

5 comments:

  1. Cruelty is a Thothier interpretation. Think of the Haindl and perhaps your Vision Quest (though I traded mine long ago and can't remember what the 9 of Swords as in that deck!)

    As to the fair fight -- the lion's natural weapons are built in. Our natural weapons would be our ability to use tools and to think. So I think both competitors were using their natural abilities. That's kind of a fair fight. Man without his tools would be like a toothless, clawless lion.

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    1. It's true that man without his tools is pretty toothless, but if it was a fair fight you'd expect the lion to win about half the time, and that definitely wasn't the case! Plus, the kings were choosing pretty much everything about the battle. So, yes, using their natural abilities, but to kill in quite a determined fashion... does seem somewhat cruel to me! :)

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  2. I am sure everything will work out fine. In hindsight most of our worries are usually redundant :D

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    1. Yes, I've heard the saying, 'Most of the things we worry about never happen.' Thank goodness! :)

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    2. And then there's the bit of me that wonders how many of those things don't happen because we worried about them before the fact, and then planned for contingencies :) Maybe that's just me trying to justify being a worry-wort :D

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