Arthurian Legends Study Group - 9 of Shields


I'm so excited about this thread! I loved your story RedMaple :)

What must Ragnell have been thinking and feeling? It is possible that she needed recognition of her wisdom, to shed the outward appearance and reveal the inner one as the most important, to be cautious about when to reveal her secret. She was given the right to make her own decisions and the power to give the best of herself to someone special - someone she had chosen for herself. Her choice would not have been purely emotional, as she needed a man with certain qualities to release her from the spell. As RedMaple pointed out, the Knight was her brother, so she used her resources and timing well. She had to coax Gawain gently to achieve her goal.

I do feel sympathy for Gawain, not knowing how to deal with the situation, feeling that he'd done the best for his country and king, little realising that the reward for his loyalty was far more than he'd imagined, not expecting his chivalry to be repaid. He must have felt lonely, humiliated, yet accepting his fate because he felt his conduct was correct. The fact that he did not insult her through his actions or his speech, shows good manners, kindness, and selflessness as he put others' opinions and view points before his own, not only to make Ragnell happy, but to keep peace and protect Arthur.




Yes, and though he had to think about it, he understood finally that the choice had to be hers, that it was her right. I think it is important that he recognizes her sovereignty (It is not for me to choose. It is your choice), and not that he gives her the right. She has always had it.

Yes, Gawain embodies the chivalric code in this story. And he does it from the heart. There is that interesting phrase at the beginning of the story, where it says that Gawain has a way with the ladies, or alternately, that all the ladies of the court were sweet on Gawain. Well, of course. He knew what every woman wanted, he just didn't know that he knew. ;)



RedMaple said:
There is that interesting phrase at the beginning of the story, where it says that Gawain has a way with the ladies, or alternately, that all the ladies of the court were sweet on Gawain.

Maybe Ragnell had the hots for him too, but I'm thinking that she picked him for that very reason...that reproductive/regenerative male essense needed by life giving/source/land/female.
Kind of like the Druidic sacrifices made in the early spring (Beltaine?) long ago, where a new king a (Stag) was chosen to marry the HP (Earth embodiment of Empress), had their fling... the act of impregnating the earth/land, renewing it and then sacrificed the King and placing him in a bog. His blood would fertilise and feed the land, and the bog waters actually preserved him, keeping his memory/sacrifice in safekeeping, not discarded at all.

Sovreignity, but that doesn't mean to the exclusion of others. So she needs the male input, but isn't subjective to it.


Just a ramble on this card for this morning :)
Thinking on the traditional RW version of the card, thinking of Sir Gawain as the lady next to the roses and the gates would still make the cards meaning and the tale ring true. For Dame Ragnell is the land, but also, in making the right choices, in having foresight and just letting women be women around him, he has given his deeds the time to grow. Even from the penence of killing the woman in the 5 of swords, it sort of scortched the earth, getting rid of the waste debris to form fertile soil, to let ideas and deeds be seeds and planted happily to grow :)
Even the penence, can be seen as a mixed blessing turning out good, like marrying the Crone turned out good.

I like Gawain more and more.

Oh another note, the story did remind me a little of Shrek LOL



Shrek! I didn't have this deck the first time I saw this movie, but this is right on...and the theme carried into the second movie as well! They both allowed the other to be who they truly felt themselves to be, they both gave each other the option of choice and acceptance no matter what that the other chose to be. It's one of the best love stories I've seen, warts and all!