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Margarete Petersen : Eight of Cups - a path to the Unknown

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Margarete Petersen : Eight of Cups - a path to the Unknown


  • Description
    I see, or imagine I see, a deep canyon. At the top of the canyon, the hills are bathed in golden light, the earth shapes suggest a woman with golden hair lying on her side with her back to us, in a white dress. All appears dreamy, warm and pleasant. However, a blanket of mist hovers just beneath the surface, and below the mist, the colors grow darker and more dramatic as we progress deep into the crevasse. At the depth of the canyon, obscured in blue darkness, solders -- or the ghosts of soldiers - advance from right to left amidst the chaos of hurtling grenades and bombs, - it is a battle scene filtered through a murky lense, its horror softened into an eerie dreaminess of indefinite shapes, dark blues, purples and greens.

    A narrow vertical opening offers a way out towards the light for both the plunged-in-darkness war-world, and world of somnolence above. See the image: Acht der Kelche

This is one of the most interesting cards yet, and the first one from this Berlin artist, in which I see the shadow of war. The dreamy scene above, resting on a foundation of fire and brimstone, moves me greatly, after my two years living in Berlin -- now one of the safest, most free and open societies in the world.
  • Translation
    Come down to earth. The narrow path to the deep gorges of the unknown requires determination and courage. Lose form. Be open to dark, formless, intangible feelings, which wish to come to the surface, unveil themselves and be seen. You must do part, and part happens without your having to do anything. Here it is a matter of precise emotions and feelings. Experience the hair-fine differences between the borders. A subtle balancing act between action and reaction requires careful attention.

    Return to MP Index
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A strange card in many decks? In Thoth-alikes an image of "indolence" to be contrasted with Waites "explorer under eclipse". One of the somewhat harder-to-reconcile ones? But Crowley's description fits the Waite to a tee Thoth-like Indolences seem to suggest a journey by sea (over troubled/stagnated/polluted waters) - if only the central character could "get started". In Waites image he already has! In Thoth, he leaves little but decay, in Waite something of more substance.

MP has her polluted "chasm" and sleeping giant. The latter rising above, yet ignoring the turmoil below? "If we do nothing... the past will repeat itself"? Or, from opposite perspective, complacency destroying mother earth? Alternative options are always there - the boat or the path to the light. I'm sure Eco-warriors and peace-niks of the Haindl-Pollack ilk would heartily approve. j/k

Do I sense MP uses a lot of these as metaphores for "internal" change, whereas I persist with the external! Nevertheless a moving and powerful image...

Macavity

P.S. I did check with (only!) the book of Thoth on this one. "The psychopathology of the path" The "German Measels of Christian mysticism". And who/what are Kundry and Klingsor?
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Hey Macav! What a great analysis of indolence and how it relates to this card. It makes sense of the sleeping lady I see.

I just love Crowley, he is so hilarious -- the German measles of mysticism!!!!! what a hoot!

Kundry and Klingsor characters in Parsifal. (Kundry is the mezzo role in the opera, I think she is mostly a creation of Wagner from a bunch of earlier sources: see Kundry: the High Messenger of the Grail )

Klingsor's palace has a magical garden of maidens that traps knights, and Kundry is one of those maidens -- she is a bit like the sorceress Circe who prevents Odysseus from continuing on his path with her love and enchantements.
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are the soldiers more visible here?
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This card reminds me of those programmes on tv. When they put people in those little pods and suspend them further into the depths of the sea to film the underwater animals of the deep. Further down they go. And the further they go, the more dangerous and mysterious the journey becomes. It gets darker and darker as you drop out of what was once comfortable.

What will you find beneath the safety of the surface?

This card, in places, feels slightly claustraphobic. We might see it as a journeying to the depths as I already have, but it might be a returning to the surface after a hard and difficult time.

Whatever it is, it represents some kind of obstacle to me. One that needs to be overcome, in order to progress. If this card came up for my friend right now, I would consider that she needed to find a way of leaving her husband. Where she is at the moment is dark, and she will remain there until she finds the courage to stand up and be who she really wants to be. This would be a trip into the depths to defeat obstacles, before returning to the surface for that life-saving gulp of fresh air and sunlight.

LB
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Hi LB. Wow, I'm so glad you are ressurecting this study group. I had forgotten how much I loved studying this deck. That's a really neat image you thought of - like a submersible to explore the deep sea - and tied in with a voyage of Dante, descent into the underworld...
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Thanks FM. I have made it from Ace to Eight, and so far, I am REALLY enjoying the journey.

LB
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