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(For a list of all card articles, open March 2008 on the sidebar).

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Queen Of Swords

the sky is black with smoke
look away

the tide goes out, the waters failing
look away

the fire comes, the earth's red blood spit burning
look away

may your eyes be hard and steady
may the line you walk be true

I love her. I love her so much it's very hard to describe what she is.

I once made up a story about a god who had no divine powers, no cause to embody, no priests, no churches. Her name is Pallasra. She has no followers, but is known to the exiles and vagabonds abandoned by every other god. She has nothing to offer them, no way to help them, so they do not pray to her. When they(we) walk in dark places and cower, she walks beside them, and sometimes she takes their hands in hers.

I'm writing these in the order the Intuitive Deck is telling me to write them; she's the last of the first three I drew - the first was the Fool, and the second was the Empress. The Queen of Swords is everything I did and was because I would not be, was not, the Empress. Where majors are archetypes, or are powers that are without and within, court cards are social roles. The Queen of Swords is the widow's card. She knows sorrow, but is the wiser for it. (Those who read reversed cards say a reversed Queen of Swords is trapped by her sorrow, even indulging it or abusing it, not walking along on that straight line, not learning).

I got over her. It took colour, good friends, a little self-esteem. (The Queen of Swords does not have esteem for what she is, only for what she thinks and knows and does; this is far safer than daring to love what you are, unconditionally).

Like all queens, she is a leader but not a commander - she tells the wind which way to blow, but only so it will go the way it should, not in order to benefit herself or those dear to her. She's not all Air - she has feelings, possessions, ideas. She just doesn't think those things are important.

She's not good. She's not nice. She's just right. But she is kind; as N&Mn are wont to show me, being kind doesn't make someone good or nice.

She's often framed as a widow, very sexually aware but not sexually active; I find there's less and less reason to assume that every time I draw the card. Her sexuality is not a product of convention - it happens on her own terms. It is possibly quite unusual, edgy.

Images of the Queen of Swords:

(funny that one of these is looking right at us, the next looking back towards us, but not right at us, and the third is shown in profile - as is the Intuitive queen who I was looking at at the top of this entry - and the fourth has her eyes closed).

Roots Of Asia. A bird girl. They see everywhere, and all she has to do is look to them. There's the suggestion here that the Queen isn't really there; she's a function of the flock, but there's nothing there except eyes and beaks and wings. And a tiny tree in the middle.

Amano. (I use a headcut of this as an LJ icon). Amano likes to remind us that not every sword runs straight. I don't know if it's what he had in mind, but in Chinese astrology the snake is a sign of prosperity. This Queen directs all things that come of the Air; rainbows, winged things, clouds.

Rider-Waite-Smith: a famously grim-faced image, looking the way her sword points. But look at those tiny hands, at the gull in flight above her.

Morality, from the Osho Zen. The Osho Zen editor was down on the Queen of Swords; he sees her as being stuck in a black-and-white world, dependent on morality to make decisions when choices are better made through simple awareness, rather than from a list of preset rules. (Agreed, but, remember who it was who said that sin is when you start thinking of people as things). So in the Osho Zen she's restricting her life to her mind and her good judgement, not experiencing godliness.