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Sophie-David  Sophie-David is offline
Join Date: 11 Dec 2004
Location: Ucluelet, BC, Canada
Posts: 2,813
The Love Potion

Originally Posted by Lyones
I just realised that the boat in this card has a similar dragon to the 6 of Swords, but this dragon, instead of looking up and seeking, is looking ahead, it's ears up, somewhat content.
Thank you for that comparison, Lyones. Its yet another illustration of the depth of committment and loving involvement Anna-Marie entered into when she created this deck. In the myths of both cards there is that bitter-sweet mixture of pleasure and pain which is so typical when life is lived to its fullest.

Originally Posted by Lyones
The tale of Tristam and Isolt is rather tragic, but contains the realities of trials and tribulations of relationships. The picture on the card evokes the emotional "happily ever after" initial response, but on reflection of the story, the meaning is far deeper than romantic fairy-tale endings. It's a bit more like Romeo and Juliet in it's despair, re-uniting the couple in death.
I can't help but recall Richard Wagner's opera Tristan und Isolde which I have in the definitive contemporary Metropolitan Opera production on two DVDs, with Ben Heppner and Jane Eaglen in the title roles. I find a lot of the First Act pretty heavy going, but the rewards in the Second Act are absolutely sublime, centred in the exquisite duet, O sink hernieder, Nacht der Liebe - Sink Down Upon Us, Night of Love. Where words fail us, music plunges us into the very core of the erotic experience.

In the scene of this card, the love potion which Isolt's mother had prepared for her and King Mark, to reconcile her to an arranged marriage she did not desire, has been mistakenly consumed by Tristram and Isolt. Perhaps they drank it at the little table in the foreground, with its two royal stools finished in purple with what may be golden dragons, royal symbols of their high passion. Isolt still holds the fateful bowl of the love potion in her right hand as they are drawn into irresistable embrace, Tristram's golden cloak sweeping gloriously about his beloved, encompassing her in his magnificent passion. Tristram's upper body is suggestively naked as he clutches Isolt to his chest, heading east into the rising sun, the dragon ship echoing their erotic longings as it plunges into the foam. Isolt wears the white purity of a gown of love's initiation, her gold trimmings echoing the passion of Tristram's flowing cloak.

Originally Posted by Lyones
Being drawn to someone is the easy part, developing trust is harder, and maintaining the balance and harmony, even more difficult, and yet as I look on Tristam and Isolt's embrace, I feel that the depth of emotion keeps them in each others memories, even when they are apart.
They face a difficult and tragic journey together, but their soul-felt love makes their union eternal and irrevocable, and death will have no power over it.
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