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Thursday, 6 March 2008

Queen Of Cups

the circle
your eyes

come to my seat by the sea.

from the crown
over skin
to the cup

drink of the love of the sea.

Another topless queen - looking a bit more regal than the last. This is the fourth Queen out of the gates, and she's come up behind the Magician. I think that the way Queens serve, balance and apply their element is connected to the Magician, but he is less prone to becoming trapped within his spells.

This lady of the waters is looking me in the eye; hers are purple, as is the jewel in her crown, and her flowing cloak (she's not wearing anything else; yep, another bare-boobed queendom), and even the card's border. I'll take the leap of thinking that Conway was trying to show us this Queen's insightful nature. And no other Queen has her straight-backed, forward-looking posture; there is strength in her spine, and it provides a structure for the waves that flow to her cup. She's a queen of kundalini, of the snake that winds up the spine from root to crown.

Out in the world of other people, she's the port in the storms of your emotional journeys - you sail to her for validation, and to get your bearings and move on. She keeps many hearts afloat in her chalice. Like all Queens, she could be trapped in this role, but she enjoys her place by the lapping waters. She has a calm to share with others, and she accepts their storms in return.

Images of the Queen of Cups:

The Queen of Cups often looks pretty. Scapini has dressed her up as Venus.

The Osho Zen gives us Receptivity. Now, I've written before about having strong views wrt pictures of naked, headless female torsos; here the big idea is meant to be receiving without the mental filter, without an 'aggressive mind' to riposte with responses. The Osho Zen has stranger images, but...if you wanted to show the removal of an 'aggressive mind', why not use a headless male torso? Yeah, you could see the nod to female mental aggression as a positive, but I feel there's a reluctance to trash male bodily integrity in this way. hm.

There's no way in hell it really is, but Amano's Queen of Cups makes me think of Diaochan. Diaochan is a Three Kingdoms character; a nice girl who could sing and dance, and who had a fairly important father. Two tyrants united to rule the land together; the strong but not so bright Lü Bu, and the smart but not so tough Dong Zhuo. Together they were too strong for any other men to Diaochan sneaked her way into their company, and started flirting with both of them. They turned on each other soon afterwards.

She is Verse 43 of the Tao Te Ching: gentle water, wearing down the impenetrable stone. The softest thing can easily overcome the hardest. She doesn't need strength, substance, action; it's the very lack of these things that made her so powerful.

Unlike most other Three Kingdoms folk, Diaochan probably never really existed. There are varying stories about what became of the character, but all seem to revolve around Guan Yu; sometimes he sends her to become a nun; sometimes he is given her as a spoil of war, in the same way as he acquired Lü Bu's famous horse, but he beheads her out of distrust; sometimes Guan and his two brothers, Liu Bei and Zhang Fei, all fall for her and Guan kills her to protect their oath. Yunchang, what's your problem? Why is she so dangerous to you?

I haven't a scan of it, but the Mythic deck places Helen of Troy in this position. She, Diaochan and Venus are all bringers of temptation; some say Helen is now the will-o'wisp who shines false lights to sailors and leads them to the rocks. The Queen of Cups has that power. Don't mess with her, do not follow her out of lust - she's not yours, she is Queen to everyone who seeks her - and do not trust her blindly unless the waters of your heart are pure.

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