Maat Tarot Study Group Nine of Wands


It looks like the story of Moses in the Bullrushes, but maybe not.

A young woman in a blue gown with her head covered in the biblical manner, holds the lid of a basket with one hand and steadies the basket with the other. Her face expresses neither joy nor surprise. Instead she seems immersed in solemn thought as if she beholds her fate in the open basket. Sleeping in the basket is an infant (but not a newborn) on a cushion of rich, red cloth. A swath of blue cloth covers his/her waist. From between the child’s arms a leaf emerges like a scepter. Tiny fingers touch it lightly. At the base of the basket, the water expands in rippling circles which widen into the circle of rushes that conceals everything within it. The child in the basket is the focal point of this scene. One sees it first, the woman second.

In RWS, the nine of wands depicts a struggle, a desperate endeavor that occupies body, mind and will to the fullest. The arcana has traditionally meant something like “resolve in the face of grave difficulities.” The Maat shows us the moment before the resolve is formed, while one is still making up ones mind. The challenge—the gift or test, whatever it is—has only just appeared. It is the moment of decision: shall one accept the challenge or not? It’s up to you; what will you do? Remember: if you pick it up, then this cause, this job, this child will always be first. It will rule your life. And if you let it pass. . . well, it may have been your great chance.

Thousands of women face this particular challenge everyday: to carry a child or not, to raise it or not. The woman holding the basket lid in the 9 of wands: has she only just opened the basket or is she about to close it? Is she about to accept a beautiful gift or about to give one? There are understandable reasons for doing either. Will she become like the old woman in the 10 of wands and still be weaving her family close after her children have already had children? Or is her path a different one whose sorrows and joys are unfamiliar and whose end is not so easily seen.


MAAT 9 of Wands-Thought I would add the image... your sensitively written text. Thanks Greycats!

This from my blog...
We experienced the first quarter moon in Aries Wednesday, December 27, 2006 Like all the other minor cards associated with this full moon in Cancer lunar cycle the planetary ruler is Saturn. The planet of struggle, restriction boundaries and rules but also of structure and creating structure.

The 9 of Wands is traditionally a rest between battles. The image in the MAAT Tarot 9 of wands depicts the archetypical hero god being
raised in secret for his own protection. Traditional archetypes, who fit into this role, the Egyptian god Horus who was raised on the marshes in secret to protect him from his uncle Set( the god of desert and destruction). King Arthur who was taken from Uther and Igraine by Merlin and raised by common farmers his identity kept secret. Moses who was floated down the Nile in a basket to be raised by Egyptian royalty. Jesus whose parents fled into Egypt to protect him from Herod. All of these hero/god archetypes were raised in secret and when they matured became the saviors of their country/people.

The first quarter moon is of the waxing/ creative power of the moon. Aries is the beginning of the zodiac cycle. Together the message seems to say in order to get the job done right we must pace ourselves and delay self gratification. This signifies the beginning of an important long term project.
This is not a quick project that is just for fun that can be completed in a couple of hours. This project will take careful planning and meticulous and steady work over time. You will also need to take time away from this project for contemplation and renewed inspiration. In the end however all the time and effort will be worth it. This is the project or event of a lifetime and how you begin now is very important. Do not rush take your time be thorough in your plan and execution.

Other Aries cards to think about:
New Moon(March 21-April 19)planetary ruler Mars- 2 of Cups- partnerships of all types create an ending and a new beginning for the self. Marriage especially marriage with children creates the beginning of new mortality.

Full Moon- (Sept.22-Oct)-King of Swords- planetary ruler Venus-The Archetypical hero/god, the annual king, savior/hero of people and country. Faces mortality and realizes one has a duty to act for the sake of his people. He acts out of love for country and culture

Last Quarter Moon-(June 21-July 22)- 8 of Coins-Planetary ruler the Moon-The apprentice- trying new things learning from the master craftsman and becoming the master with the obligation to pass on the knowledge to the next generation.



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We can't guess if the woman is thinking of keeping the child or to send it away. If she send it away, there is the risk nobody will find and adopt him. So there is a certain danger in this situation. And the woman, if she is sending him away, will probably never know what will happen to the child.


Sometimes the greatest love of all is giving up what you most cherish, because that is the best thing you can do for your love. To me this card evokes motherhood, no matter if you raised your child or not, or raised an adopted child or not....the love is there, and the fear that must be faced, of what will happen to the child. This is still true when a grown child leaves home, going to you know not what. You can no longer protect them, only hope that you have taught them what they need to survive, flourish, and be happy in the greater world.
There are no guarantees. There is not even the guarantee that you will actually know the truth of their lives.

This card shows that moment of decision for the woman, as greycats so beautifully wrote. It also shows the ongoing decision to protect and defend and put first before all others, including yourself, your child--however it came to you, or however it left you--for as long as necessary. It's funny, adopted children often assume they were unloved and unwanted by the birth parents, but I have observed that a child is rarely given up for those reasons. It is nearly always in hopes of the child's best good, and better life.