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Sophie  Sophie is offline
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Join Date: 10 Oct 2004
Location: moving again
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Sophie 
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Nature and the City


This is a wonderful card. I just have to look at it to feel more in tune with myself and with nature - or know when I am not. She is beautiful and graceful, clothed in field flowers. I like the waterfall behind her - nature cannot thrive without water. And the river that leads - where?

That city on her head - she carries the civilised world, because without food and fertility, civilisation comes to a full stop. It is a strong image of the depedence of urban man on nature - I see this as an ecological card. On our good husbanding of the earth depends our own comfort and survival.

A reminder too - that city-crown - of the creative quality of the Empress.

It reminds me of the City often represented in the ancient Tarot decks to represent the World. A divine city, a mirror of a human one - only the divine city will have married nature, not declared war on it.

Demeter is one of the most ancient goddesses of Greece, far older than the Greeks themselves. And her worship evolved over time, eventually to reach its most philosophical and spiritual expression in the mysteries of Eleusis, the Orphic rites, which, we think, influenced the Hermetics, and therefore, the later makers of the Tarot. We might say that Demeter is the mother of the Tarot, like Thoth-Hermes is its father.

Demeter here is shown in all her fertile glory. When her daughter Persephone (the High Priestess - I didn't see a thread on her?) was kidnapped by Hades, Demeter became infertile with sorrow: she roamed the dying earth looking for her beloved child and neglected her cultures. This is a reminder that fertility, creativity, are not only solar and positive, but linked to invisible, underground forces, and to love. When we are cut from these sources - the invisible, the unconscious, and love - we dry up.
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