This card appears in the midst of writing an essay of praise for the annual renewal of eggs. It is our cultural celebration of Spring that bears itself the name of a goddess: Easter, Astarte, Oestara, Isis, Innana… The Star in the East and Queen of Heaven. It is also the last of our western holidays to be figured by a lunar calendar, being set on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring equinox each year. In the ancient tales it was this goddess who gave us agriculture and all things civilized. See the wilds at her back, and the field of grain at her feet? She sits on her dais at the edge of the forest. Her pedestal completely blocks our rushing headlong into the trees like… well like we didn’t know anything at all.
The wild world is a dangerous place. Big things would eat helpless, hairless you rather quickly, unless you have skills. Little things too. The Queen is willing to help, but there are rules. Being civilized isn’t easy. But cold, alone and hungry in the forest with no idea what to do is no fun either. The Laws of Mother Nature can be rather unforgiving, but here we see her benevolence.
In the ancient tales she is the goddess who brings early humanity knowledge of the crops, soils and growing food. Later, she gives us goats and sheep for milk and cheese and wool. And because she gave us wool, we may say the fiber arts of spinning, weaving and sewing also belong to her.
Because of her we are fed, we are warm. Our backs also ache from working the soil, the kitchen smells like fermenting cheese and fingers are stiff from the spinning – but all is well as the goddess, our Great Mother, the Queen smiles upon our various efforts. And like any good mother, that is her job – to see that we grow up safe and smart and strong enough to do it for ourselves. First to teach our children, and then to teach the grandchildren.
Look again upon her crown to notice twelve stars, in her right hand a scepter topped with the globe of earth itself. She is the fruitful, generous Mother Earth of many names.
Images from The Smith-Waite Tarot Centennial Edition Deck are used in this blog. They feature the artist, Pamela Colman Smith’s, original coloring and lovely back design. The cards are a bit oversized and printed on sturdy cardstock. This deck is one of my personal favorites. =:->AD
Rider-Waite images used with permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT 06902. c. 1971 by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.