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Can we talk about the bastons a little?

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An additional note


One thing that I like in certain Marseilles-based designs, especially if they mimic the great-great-grandmother patterns of the Visconti...check the two of wands in this colorized version:

http://www.tarot.com/about-tarot/dec...php?newdeck=65

This yellow-green coloring pulls into the meaning for me the yellow of light and the green of the sapling growth. That they are batons at rest means they are not used for combat: they become like refined staves used for building banner ramparts, small gates and light fencing, or elaborate decorative patterns.

But these colorized versions may not work for everyone...

I have a good facsimile of the large Visconti and a pretty smaller version that emphasizes the greenery aspect, with gold embellishments...it helps me to think of the conversion of sunlight energy on green saplings and the leafy, flowering saplings remind me of small sticks taking root and growing from the mix of air, sun and internal energy. That this happens with a manmade interaction of pruning or gardening makes it more a domestic and energetic suit in terms of physical work activity.

I hope that helps you!

Regards,

Cerulean
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I haven't been a part of this particular study group but felt drawn to post as above.

With the Marseilles I am trying different things - moving away from traditional understanding. It is easier to do this with the Marseilles because there is so little written on it in English that one comes to it with fewer preconceptions.

So by saying that , for the time being, I'm not using elemental associations i.e. earth, fire, water, air is not sacriligious but simply trying a different way of seeing. For me only that is.

I understand there are no rules, only conventions, and I'm not the only person to have done this - here or in other places.
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Deuce of Batons


Two, the first of the numbers, is traditionally a number of bad luck. Don't know why, though there are many resources I could call upon to 'authorize' the remark. One most apparent reason, I suppose, is that in game playing it is in some dice/card playing games the lowest scoring number, thus 'bad luck' [and if your ever stuck in a reading, just ask yourself, according to the rules of your favourite card game, would this hand be a winning hand or losing hand? Never forgetting of course, with the right bluffing skills and sufficient resources even a bad hand can win the pot]. This bad luck aspect is exemplified in cards in that two's are called 'deuce', which also means 'devil' and in idiomatic usage is associated with confusion, frustration, rage, doubt, reprimand [possibly according to several etymology resources because of its lowest rating game score plus its similarity to 'deus' meaning 'god'], also used to add intensity or expletion to an expression.

In modern parlance it may mean 'speed', 'power' [car sport terminology] or the need in another wise balanced position to endure the extra mile to balance things in one's favour [for example, in tennis, 'deuce' means an equal position wherin each player has 40 points or 5 or more games, and one player needs to win 2 [deuce] successive points or games to win the game/match].

On the other hand we may associate 2 with any natural pairing, duet or duel, lovers or enemies. In that the image of sticks or swords can be crossed, where as cups or disks cannot and are therefore more easily imagined as two polar opposites of an axis; the two former may take on the more 'devilish' meanings [it is said in common traditional superstitions that one meets the devil at a crossroads or fork in the road], the latter more positive pairings [whether opposites or conjuctions, but even so the negative association of two's cannot be forgotten, so that even with the two of cups we may say with Thackeray "Love is a bodily infirmity....which breaks out the deuce [devil] knows how or why"]. One may associate of course any bi aspect such as twins, limbs, breasts, testicles, eyes, ears, nostrils, dawn/dusk, twilight, the midnight [witching] hour or any crossover period etc.

A Baton is a stick, maybe used as a weapon which we may associate with peasantry [but also with policemen, a truncheon or night stick], an emblem of office [sceptre], the notion of being led or leadership ['to be under the baton', as in an orchestra under the leadership of a conductor with baton, a marching band led by a person twirling a baton], it is french from latin baston, in heraldry used to signify bastardy; or a stick [wand] used by a magician or fortune teller; or something that lengthens a tool [thus phallic in connotation]. In class systems it denoted peasantry, and I personally associate with the lights [sun.moon] and thus the cycle of the year, agriculture/husbandy but by extention in modern times to our generally more urban lives work and labour in general. And in which times our awareness of the seasons is marked by festivals whose origin in marking the cycles of the year is but dimly connected. I think of the Baton suits as 'easterly'. Therefore on a square type horoscope one may lay the suit down the left hand [easterly]side of the square, from 2 at the top to 10 at the bottom [thus corresponding to the 9 decans from pisces to taurus], placing the ace in the middle on one side of these to mark the ascendant [the other aces marking the descendant, mc and nadir, and the rest of each suit marking a length of the square to complete the correspondence with the 36 decans].

So what meaning would you derive from putting the two together, deuce and baton?

Kwaw
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I like elemental associations and one learns them very early. They '"fit" so well with alchemy, astrology and other systems.

I am a "Wands" person in the Golden Dawn scheme of things and "Fire" in astrology and it is fun to think outside those frameworks.

The Marseillles perhaps lends itself to this because it is mediaeval. It was really only in the 20th century that people got into attributing psychological ans spiritual meanings to the Tarot images, I suspect - at least in such a big way. I know alchemy is really old but people give psychological perspectives to alchemy all the time now.

I wonder if, in earlier times, things were a lot simpler. My Tarot encyclopaedia tells me that the following attributions were often used:

Batons: Peasants and lower classes
Swords: Knights, nobility and aristocracy
Coins: Commercial classes
Cups: Clergy and other educational classes

Batons: Courage
Swords: Justice
Cups: Faith
Coins: Charity

Batons: Summer
Swords: Spring
Cups: Autumn
Coins: Winter

There are kabbalistic and geographic attributions as well. Playing with the cards like this is quite fun and refreshing. It helps me think of history and story telling - the Canterbury tales and other wonderful things like that.

Sorry if this is too much of a digression but I wanted to respond to the association of batons with fire. It's easier to try these different ways with he Marseilles because of the art and the history.
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What an incredibly helpful thread this has become! Thank you

Its seems like I have two tasks to do. First, I need to explore what bastons are. Then I need to put my numbers and bastons (and card images) together to explore possible meanings.

Right then; bastons first. (leaving aside fire for the moment)

I've started by just looking at the 4 aces. I'm thinking that one way to understand what something is, it to consider what it is not And straight away I notice that the other aces have all been crafted in some way, prehaps out of metal? The ornate denier, the fantastic crown at the top of that well forged sword, the detail of the castle of the Coupe. The Ace of bastons is no where near as ornate, it seems primal and primitive in comparison. Its quite rough and untamed, like a branch that has just been cut from a tree and not made into anything yet. It contains all that raw life force within in it. Its green - living energy. I'm also thinking that without the baston, you wouldn't be able to make coupes or deniers or swords at all. You wouldn't have the energy or fuel to heat the metal. The bastons seem to come first now that I look at them.

Ah-ha! Now I see why Silvia says;

Quote:
They seem to carry such vitality! It’s true that I seldom associate them with actual fire, when I see them I tend to think of fire as life force, like blood running through our veins. Green blood, the blood of nature, or a spiritualized blood, that is
I've put the 4 court cards next to the ace. The wand caried by the Chevalier de Bastons looks just like the wand of the ace, except in reverse. The chavalier's hand is on the opposite side of the baston to the hand in the ace. These are the only 2 bastons where I can see inside of the top. Inside they are lined with yellow and red. And its a lighter shade of red than the colour of the clothes the court are wearing. And thats strange... if you cut a branch from a tree, the inside is green and damp with sap, not red at all. Prehaps this is to symbolize the blood of nature that Silvia speaks of?

The next thing I notice is how the bastons of the chevalier and vaslet are quite different to the ones of the Roy and Royne. The bastons of the Vaslet and the Chevalier are still like the branches just cut from the tree. But the Roy and the Royne's bastons have been shaped and crafted into powerful tools. All of them are facing the right. The right hand side of the card is the masculine side and to do with action I think?

I'm also noticing the phallic shape of these bastons, and I think that is important. I've noticed that in some of the baston minor cards, the 2, the 4 and the 6, that the shapes of those flowers seem to reflect the same thing. They just look that way to me, so I think that prehaps one of the kinds of energy to be dealt with when thinking about the bastons is sexual energy? It seems to fit with what Silvia says about the primal nature of man being represented in this suit and the connection to the Green Man;

Quote:
The Wild Man is linked to the image of the Green Knight, thus becoming a sort of knight who uses a “green spade” (a club) instead of a metal blade… This figure is therefore balancing between its savage nature, and the ideal of redemption to which refers the colour green, the relation to chivalry, etc.
So, the bastons relate to our instincts and drives? The part of us that is connected with the earth and nature, all that is inherent to us, that we are born with as part of our human inheritance. They also relate to our energy (wether we are tired and drained, or bursting with enthusiasm), our creativity and to the way we use those things. I am also thinking of courage and daring and risk taking, how we must use our energy and power constructively. Kind of, taking what we are naturally born with and making it work for us so we end up with a cool carved baston like the Royne and Roy have that we can weild to full effect.

Quote:
The dead tree is obviously the tree of the cross, a symbol of Christ Himself, only apparently dead, but about to become green when the proper time arrives.”
Ah, now this suddenly helped the bastons to click a little more Silvia! I remember learning in science lessons at school about how energy cannot be destroyed ever, it just gets changed into another kind of energy. Like how chocolate contains energy, and although once we have eaten it, the chocolate is all gone the energy of the chocolate is now transformed into fuel and energy in our bodies. And so on, in an endless cycle, just like the seasons. Birth, death, rebirth - transforming the energy of the cut branch into something that we can use.

I liked what you wrote about building elements too Silvia, especially this bit!

Quote:
The club you pick for protection or as an instrument, and the one that will hit you on the head.
It makes me think that its the way that we use the bastons, it is how we make them work or not work for us that is important. I wonder if it will be this that is reflected in the minor cards when I explore them more closley? As obstacles or as tools depending upon how we work with them.

I've looked through the majors to find bastons too...

Le Basteleur and Le Monde both carry what looks a bit like a baston in their left hands. Although Le Monde is holding her baston the opposite way up to Le Basteleur. These bastons look like smaller and simpler versions of the Baston help by the Roy. I'm not sure what the purpose of these basons are though? Is it to do with transmuting energy or something like that?

L'Hermite and Le Fol both have walking sticks, which reminds me of what Jewel-ry wrote;

Quote:
Its raw and has potential growth. There are so many things (already mentioned) which can be related to the batons but one that I came across the other day was the walking stick which of course offers support.
Both are journeying (although in different directions), the bastons have become tools to be used to help them along their paths.

Le Pendu; he seems to be dangling from a construction made of bastons. It seems like in this card too, the bastons have been used to make something. The bastons as tools for building things with. Without the bastons, le pendu would not be le pendu at all, he would be standing upright holding piece of rope, and not gaining the enlightenment and new perspective that he seeks. The bastons can serve us, they are the tools we build with.

Le Diable is holding what looks a bit like a baston. And is that flames coming out of it?? arrgghh!!! I need a bit of help to understand this one I think, I'm not sure what I am seeing.

And that's enough for now. I think I have more questions and observations than answers though. But its been helpful to put the idea of fire to the side for the moment, the bastons are making a little more sense!
Top   #15
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Perhaps I will add my 2-cents? (I think I'm getting the hang of this Forum-thing. It's a bit addictive! But, I'm a psychotherapist, we see addictions everywhere, right?)

I take the suits from a Medieval p.o.v., as type of caste system, similar to Hindu social classes.

{SUIT} In Medieval terms, the Bastons represent the peasant, the laborer, the commoner. My modern equivalent would be that which is associated with our work, projects, and neighborhoods. So, I give the Wands a modern flair of my 3 C’s: Career, Community, Culture.

{NUMBER} As I’ve mentioned, I basically follow a Vedic numerological system with a Papus/Golowin parallel. The Two’s are ruled by the Moon; Papus calls them “opposition to the commencement {of something in the suit}.” This is Siva (Hindu) opposing the Wands-matter brought forth by Brahma in the Ace. I take the Two’s as vacillating, the opposition is hidden (La Papesse) and like the discombobulation (Le Pendu) of a cell splitting. However, the conflict is weaker than higher numbers.

{SUIT + NUMBER} So, the Deuce de Bastons may be “mild subversive conflict in Career/Community/Culture.” Well, herein you see why trying to find a priori meanings for the minor won’t work, but also the strength of having a systemic overlay for the minors. In fact, Papus said that you wouldn’t want to memorize all of those meanings anyway.
But, let’s say the reading is for a woman who is asking about her marriage. Perhaps, this card indicates that she and her partner are conflicting over the amount of time she spends at work and the partner is feeling the Moon-like beginning pangs of jealousy. How would you get this specific? Well, in my experience, this kinda stuff pops into your head in-the-moment, or you notice some disparate detail on the cards that clues-into this specificity. As far as the Minor Arcana numbering system is concerned, it guides you, corrals you, so to speak, into a certain range of interpretation. It keeps you honest.
Top   #16
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Could someone provide a link, or post an attachment
showing the Hadar ten of bastons? I'd love to see it.
Top   #17
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Here's the Hadar 10 de Bastons Fulgour....

http://www.tarotforum.net/attachment...&postid=364270

I have been thinking a lot about the Bastons recently. I've just got a Grimaud deck, and its been really interesting to compare the cards. In trying to understand the differences, new layers of meaning have surfaced for me.
Top   #18
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Many thanks, Charming Pixie


How beautiful. It reminds me of a poem:

For a kiss I'd forgive anything,
for a kiss, I'd ask for more...



*
pdc
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