September 8th, 2006

Madonna del "Magnificat" (detail)


Sometimes a card brings out one's worst fears. Often I am afraid that I do not give enough attention to my daughter. That is because I can be very single-minded when I work on a project, tending to forget everything around me. 


When I saw this card -which I pulled for my birthday to review the past year- I thought: "Oh, look, this little child wants to have these pentacles, and really needs these, but this woman does not want to give them. Look how stern she looks! She really is a bad woman! Yes, this is proof, oh yes, this woman is me! I am a bad mother, a very bad mother!"

"What sums up the past year of my life?" was my question when I pulled this card. I picked the Queen of Pentacles from the Tarot of the Saints. I wanted a card for my birthday, to review my past year, because it is my birthday today. The Saint on the card is Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-1231). She did lots of charity-work, helping the poor and the needy. The woman on the card is in fact handing out the pentacles to the child on that card, not keeping them for herself, on the contrary. The take of the author on this card is 'thinking of others, instead of oneself', 'that is her secret' he writes. I had to smile when I read that.

There are more meanings to this card of course. Another characteristic of the Queen of Pentacles is that she prospers. I did last year. In the past year I developed "The Twelve Days of Christmas" (during summer!), spreads for each of day of that season. I loved the workshops I taught to introduce these spreads, but especially I enjoyed The Twelve Days themselves. Knowing that I was not the only one who did these spreads I burned a candle each day, in a color that suited the theme of the day. The spreads themselves really helped me through this special period, a difficult period for me, the year before last (I develop all these tarot-things for myself in the end). The second highlight was the publishing of the "Tarot dierenorakel" (Tarot-Animal-Oracle), an oracle consisting of all the animals of the tarot, drawn by Matty van der Merk, and written by me. The publishing was quite unexpected and really nice. So, yes I prospered. 


Caring and attending to is already mentioned as a characteristic of the Queen of Pentacles. Last year I worried often about the health of my family members. One of them is on the mend, we found that homeopathic remedies and a diet helps; the other not yet.

Am I that bad a mother as I thought when I pulled this card? Now, I am not. But the fear I felt is real. There was and is a conflict between me being a mother and me doing my tarot-projects, I cannot deny that. But  maybe, I can see that if I take good care of myself -doing the things I like- my daughter will prosper as well.

On to another year of my life.