Monday, 11 November 2013

Mothering Instinct

Tarot of the Masters
It's always great when a cross-section of cards come up from a deck, showcasing its different facets. Today, the Tarot of the Masters offers us a Court card: the Queen of Coins (Disks).

This image certainly emphasises the nurturing aspect of this Queen, who sits breast feeding her child.  There is a golden coin with a bunny rabbit over the child's belly.  To me, this is both a reminder of the rabbit in the RWS Queen of Pentacles and, by its placement, also indicates the continuity of family: rabbits being known for breeding, and this symbol being over the next generation.  It indicates just how important family is to this Queen, and how she thinks about the practicalities of ensuring that continuity: like a plant that you have to water and prune, families grow and prosper through practical, everyday care and wise use of resources. 

To bring a more spiritual focus to this card, James suggests in The Soul's Journey that we consider that, like a mother, the Universe will nurture us.  Also, that this is the ideal for how we should treat others, and he highlights that offering others a nurturing love does not need to deplete us - it can be a win-win situation.

Well, the reason this is posting late is that I've been on both sides of that equation already today.  As his mother, I took Big Boy to an early appointment at the hospital, for some advice from a specialist nurse.  She was very helpful, and I wrote her suggestions in his school book so the school nurse will also hear about them.  I also offered my seat on the bus to an older lady.  And then, walking the final few steps home, a woman who lives on the street, but whom I don't really know, smiled at me and said "Looking good, mamma!" as we passed each other.  Put a smile on my face :)

I am grateful for the kindness we can show each other.


  1. What a beautiful card for you! Yes those little acts of kindness, especially when you expect them the least, can make you so happy

    1. Very true, Ellen. I hope you experienced some kindness, too :)

  2. Just FYI, the painting that inspired this card is “Mother Jeanne Nursing Her Baby” by Mary Cassatt. An interesting bit of trivia about this artist: In her early thirties, Cassatt quit painting for several years in order to care for her ill mother and sister. When she returned to her art in the mid-1880s she began a series of paintings depicting the intimate bond between mothers and their children, of which Mother Jeanne Nursing Her Baby is just one of many.
    Also, here is a personal note about this card’s image and how a childhood memory gave me the idea for the oval outline around the woman in this card. I recalled a picture that my mother had hanging on a wall (the wall was covered with old family pictures) of my great-grandmother holding my grandmother when she was a baby. (The pose was somewhat similar to the one in Cassatt’s painting, but there was no breastfeeding going on.) That picture had an oval matting, and I wanted to echo that in this card’s image. A serendipitous result, which I only realized after the fact, was that this relates this card to the World card with its mandorla outline. I leave it up to the viewer to decide how that relationship may affect the meaning of the Queen of Coins.

    1. How interesting, James! I thought about mentioning the oval "frame", but didn't want to go too long in the post. For me, I saw it as drawing our focus inward towards the mother and child, a reminder that staying with the physical can be a way of grounding. A reminder, too, of the importance of awareness, bringing conscious intent and a spiritual focus to what seems mundane :) I shall have to consider more your connection between this Queen and the World card...