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Legend: The Arthurian Study Group - The Moon

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Moon...18


Was just posting some thoughts on the Moon, how it can mean the phases sometimes, that things might happen when the moon is full as well as the unclarity and confusion that comes with it. Having trouble seeing your way through the woods, illusions, how things aren't the way they appear and the total sense of mystery and being lost in the dark. Sometimes it just means some things are just not meant to be known. For women I think of fertility issues and cycles, the changes as we age. Time to reflect and see things differently. Or to embrace and welcome this time, stand outside in the moonlight and dance or just enjoy the beauty seeing the world in another light.

I love the Moon card in this deck, to me she looks like she just threw up her hands and shrugged, "I don't Know!!!"
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I was looking at the Moon card again this morning and just noticed the raven in the tree. So that made me think of the Trickster...but in Tlingit-Hiada stories, Raven stole the Moon and Stars and Sun and gave them to us, so we wouldn't have to live in darkness any more. He did a lot of trickery to pull this off...so deception, trickery, deceit, but in a playful, joking manner perhaps?

Any thoughts?
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I know what you mean by the raven. I have always thought about the raven as the messenger from the Divine. Sometimes the Moon is all about visions and illusions, madness, genius and poetry. So the raven can have a good meaning, like, look for the unseen messages of life from a Higher Power. I really don't like the "A Keeper of Words" meaning for the raven which is a rather sinister one.
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The thing about a Raven is...they think they are a law unto themselves, like Coyote or Loki. What ever benefit they bring, they aren't doing it out of altruism, just for getting one over on someone else...just to see them grind their teeth and have a good laugh over it. So they may benifit us, but at someone's expense, so you never can trust Raven...or you may be the one on the short end of the stick next time. That has nothing to do with Keeper of Words, just common facts. Edgar Allen Poe poetry and stories are what most people think of when they hear "raven" and probably is a Western European view. Sorry for lumping and generalizing, but it just seems like that is the way it is. Ravens are dark and therefore suspect, in league with the devil so to say.

In real life they terrorize eagles and crows, well, they all terrorize each other, just depends on who is outnumbered at the time. They sit in trees and meow at cats...it's true! They have a language that sounds almost human at times, I think the Tligits/Haida people either "borrowed" that language from the Ravens or they've spent so much time together that they've begun to sound the same. They regard the Raven highly because of his resourcefulness and to remember the Raven, who brought them many gifts and helped civilize them. But that doesn't mean they trust Raven either. Many of the words sound like Raven speech. And they do have two clans, Eagles and Ravens, with other clans/moieties within them.

Ravens were also important in Norse mythology too, it seems like Odin used them for messengers and eagles. Then there are the ones in Aesop's fables, the thirsty one who filled an urn with pebbles until the water level was high enought to get a drink. They are smart and live over 80 years, maybe even as long as 100 or more. They pick up a lot of tricks in that time.

So it could mean if you get a message, consider the source and be wary of putting too much faith in it, there could be some ulterior motives or hidden agendas.
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I'm really enjoying these animal associations - makes me realise just how much I don't know about the symbolism in this deck.

I like the distortion of the moon in the water - it is huge compared to what we see in the sky above Morgan ... like when we're not clear about facts, it makes the problem seem so much bigger in our imagination, and yet it may not be the reality, only our perception.

I don't see any leaves on the trees - strange for plants so close to water.

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I love the Moon card in this deck, to me she looks like she just threw up her hands and shrugged, "I don't Know!!!"
I always thought it was some kind of ritual she was doing, but I like that interpretation
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well (red in face) I was trying to do a reading for my son about his indirect involvement some scary things that happened, what and why and how this was going to affect him and Moon came up as the last card...it stumped me and was the first thought that came in my head. It just looked like she was shrugging at me and telling us to figure it out.

I usually think of her as doing some sort of "power" pull, like she is drawing something toward her or commanding of some sort, a ritual of sorts. Makes me think of celebrating the cycles of the moon, the tie of women and the moon and all the history of women and the moon...the rites of passage, worshiping the Goddess...seems like there are two. One is pretty narly, primal and violent in her power, the other more benificient and peaceful...maybe I'm just getting all my stories mixed up. Not unusual for me to do at all. Every name in the world is coming up right now...not the right ones though. Athena and Hecita? Hestia? Argh!

I was thinking that it is fall or winter because the trees look so stark and lifeless...so maybe that is also that the situation is blocked from growth because of the uncertainty or unclarity. Then there is the "bare bones" factor of leafless trees, seeing the shadow side...the outlines without the details. It's hard to distinguish where one begins and another ends, but you can make out the general outline. Generalization, lumping things together rather than being able to differentiate specifics?

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I like the distortion of the moon in the water - it is huge compared to what we see in the sky above Morgan ... like when we're not clear about facts, it makes the problem seem so much bigger in our imagination, and yet it may not be the reality, only our perception.
I really like this idea too, so maybe our perceptions or even a tendancy to make problems larger than they appear is preventing growth and not allowing us to see there are more than one option available to us, we just need more information or illumination to see them.

So to tie the raven back in here...our perceptions can trick us into seeing thing that aren't really there. Or maybe someone wants something you have and thinks you are being selfish by keeping it to yourself and maybe trying to defraud you. That is a real long shot I think.
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So to tie the raven back in here...our perceptions can trick us into seeing thing that aren't really there. Or maybe someone wants something you have and thinks you are being selfish by keeping it to yourself and maybe trying to defraud you. That is a real long shot I think.
Maybe not such a long shot ... we have Morgan ... under the cover of night ... doing something we can't really put our finger on ... what is she up to? what's going on? .... it's sort of sinister, but calm because we can't see any danger in what she's doing ... but we still feel that weirdness ... a twinge of fear. She's by herself - is it secret? If she is involved in some ritual or spell - what is she creating or invoking? What's in the water that may rise up at any minute? ... something good that will help the nation? ... something bad that will hurt her enemies? ... as it rises up out of the water, it's essence will become clear, but for now we can't see it.

Some legends have Morgan as High Priestess and healer, but some have her dealing out spells regardless of the consequenses to herself or her country. When I look at this card, she becomes the "chaotic, lawless imagination", the intermingling of fables with reality, I'm not sure what is fact and what is fiction ... a trick of the light or lie of the Raven or just the fantasy imagined as Morgan casts her spell on us?

As for the Raven ... I found this quite interesting, expecially with reference to her shape-shifting abilities and her commonalities with Morrigan the war-goddess http://www.delusional.com/morgan.phtml (paragraphs 2 & 5)
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Great article...Morgan Le Fay by Heidi Ziegler.
I know most of my thinking on this has been very biased from reading the Mists of Avalon and other books by Marion Zimmer-Bradley as well as the others by Mary Stuart...Hollow Hills, etc. It's been a while, the other titles are slow in coming back. Other books I have read that dealt with these times are about how the Celtic gods and the fey folk were forced from the land by Christianity and the changing times, plus all the influence of the Romans. If it has anything to do with the times or Arthur, I grab it, but don't keep reading lists...am I sorry now! Am not sure why, but so far I resonate the most with Bradley's portrayals, they seem to tie things together and make it more plausable and real.

What was interesting in this article was that pool of water, that Morgan changed a woman into a pool of water as punishment for something...tho' the author of this article doesn't say what for or who was the lucky receipient.

Well, that's another idea, transformation to pool of emotions as punishment/consequence for some sort of displeasure. Drowning in a pool of tears...
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Back to that article...Morgan Le Fay at Avalon to recieve and care for Arthur's mortal wound, standing on the shore and watching the barge coming closer through the mists.
So that's who is standing there in the Judgment card!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WalesWoman
well (red in face)
I usually think of her as doing some sort of "power" pull, like she is drawing something toward her or commanding of some sort, a ritual of sorts.
Yes, I think she is "drawing down the moon" -- that is, inviting the Goddess to enter her during ritual, so she becomes the Goddess.

For me, the moon is not magnified fears, but the magnification of the power of the Goddess, which can bring both positives and negatives. For a priestess who can draw down the moon, the power should be a positive one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by WalesWoman
Every name in the world is coming up right now...not the right ones though. Athena and Hecita? Hestia? Argh!
It is Hecate you are thinking of -- the dark Goddess, who is often associated with the crone aspect, with Death, the return to her dark womb. She is associated with spells, magic, including the darker variety. I believe Ravens are associated with her.


Quote:
Originally Posted by WalesWoman
I was thinking that it is fall or winter because the trees look so stark and lifeless...so maybe that is also that the situation is blocked from growth because of the uncertainty or unclarity.

I agree that it seems to be late fall, perhaps Samhain, a night very good for scrying in a pool, and for drawing down the moon. The Harvest moon is also exceptionally big at this time of year. (It doesn't seem to be winter -- there are leaves floating on the water, which hasn't iced over and there is no snow.)

While the Raven associations from other cultures are interesting, I'm more interested in the Celtic associations, in keeping with this deck. There is an old folk song that goes:

There were three ravens sat on a tree
down a down hey down a down
And they were black as they might be
with a down
One of them said to his mate
what shall we for our breakfast take?
with a down derry derry derry down, down

The song continues with the death of a knight who is mourned by a loving woman. The implication is that the ravens somehow feast on the death -- perhaps they would have eaten the body as well, had the woman not removed it. So the Raven as death aspect of the Goddess is definitely part of the Celtic worldview. (I'll see if I can find the rest of the lyrics.)

What is so scary about Morgan is that she is not bound by the Christian view of women that was coming into Britain at this time, women as weak, as nurturers, as daughters of Eve. Morgan can call on the power of the Goddess not only as creator and nurturer, but as destroyer -- a power that only men are supposed to have (as kings, knights, soldiers, etc.)

Need I say I love this card? Again, I am frustrated by the size -- I so want to see it in greater detail.
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