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Silverlotus  Silverlotus is offline
Join Date: 31 Oct 2002
Location: Vaughan, ON, Canada
Posts: 991

VII - Mastery

Astrological Influence - Cancer
Element - Water
Month - June, July
Contributor - Kim Tracey

The strange thing about this card, to me, is how much it doesn't look like the rest of the Major Arcana. By that I mean the lack of a background. All of the Majors, with the exception of Mastery and The Wheel of Fortune, have nearly fully coloured backgrounds. Mastery and The Wheel both have backgrounds that are mostly white, resembling the Minor Arcana. I think this might be done as way to draw your focus into the figure. The meaning of these two cards come from these figures, and perhaps would only be confused by including a background that has no really bearing on the meaning. That's not to say that there isn't a background that wouldn't be appropriate. Perhaps the artist could not think of one that wouldn't have taken away from the meaning or the figure.

The plant in this card is hazel, shown as the wand in the Charioteer's hand. Hazel wands have a long tradition in magical working, but I don't think this is what it is meant to symbolise. I think it is meant to mean luck, protection, and mastery. (Imagine that! )

I like the replacement of two sphinxes/horses shown in most cards with the four horses representing the elements. They certainly do bring to mind the idea of uniting and controlling all the diverse elements of one's life. I think it is interesting that the air horse and earth horse both seem to have one ear pointing towards the Charioteer. I wonder why those two elements and not the others. Cancer is a water sign, so it would seem to me that the water horse would be one of the ones that was easier to tame.

I can also understand how Two of Wands sees this figure as the same one in the Emperor. The signs they represent, Taurus and Cancer, have some personality traits in common. Both are protective, loving, and moody; as well as being feminine signs. I can see this figure as an older Emperor. He has grown out of the stubbornness (and passive sign) of Taurus, and into a more active role with Cancer.

As for the meaning of this card, as I said already, I see it more as pulling together different threads of your life. But you are doing this while moving forward. There is no retreat to regroup, you are learning as you go.
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