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The Thirteenth Moon
Join Date: 17 Sep 2001
Location: Pluto
Posts: 8,760

Originally Posted by Willow Huntermoon
Is this random or symbolic?
I doubt it's random. Deck creators are very careful folk who often nuance and put symbolism into every leaf, every color choice, every button on a vest and filigree pattern. Which is not to say that they won't get lazy and use the same pattern more than once

Look at the Ace/Cups for your answer: Light from above (and within--from the inner eye) coming through the clouds to reflect upon the waters; Moonlight rather than Sunlight, the light of changing emotions, intuition and visions. Yes, there are dark clouds in the Queen/Cups card, and she's gazing at them and the water. These clouds reflect the emotional, melancholy mood cups can bring. But there is also a silver lining under at least one cloud and the hint of moonlight (?) cutting through and playing on the water.

I think this reiterates the Ace/Cups theme that through Cups may give the feeling of being under a cloud (synonymous with being underwater) there is inner vision which can cut through those clouds and or give them a silver lining. Rays of truth and insight. The King/Cups hovers above but within these clouds.

Now take a look at the Ace of Swords: it floats among similar clouds--but there is no inner, unconscious eye providing light that cuts through. Instead, the swords themselves, their sharpness of intellect, must cut through all kinds of mental clouds, like a breeze breaking them apart to let in the light. This breeze is metaphorically show in a silvery-blue ribbon that appears and vanishes among the clouds, part of them and not part of them.

The Queen/Swords has her back to the clouds and is cleverly using her polished sword to double the light in the room, like a mirror. And the the King/Swords floats above the clouds into a clear night sky of starry (and mental) clarity and sharpness. The stars are very bright and there's the suggestion of astronomy, of science and a higher wisdom.

All the Kings, by the way, are floating up into night skies. The King/Pents is looking away from the moon. The King/Swords has, I believe, Uranus in the background (don't let the ring fool you; Uranus has a ring and, as compared to Saturn, it's radically tilted--check out this picture of Uranus and compare: King/Wands has what looks like Mars above him, and King/Cups has a very definitive Saturn. Now I may be reading way too much into this, but Astrologically, signs connect, and even "flip" to the opposite sign on the wheel under certain circumstances. Saturn, hanging so low and near to the King/Cups might be clueing us to the fact that the king is Cancer in this deck, which has a lot in common with it's opposite number on the wheel, Capricorn, including a melancholy nature.

Nice of you to make us give these cards a closer look, GB and Hunter! It seems that the deck makers took great care to make the skies as well as the backgrounds reflect the meaning of each card.
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