Friday, 26 August 2016

Bliss: Margarete Petersen’s Ten of Cups


Ten of Cups (trimmed):
© Margarete Petersen Tarot

The final card in the Cups Minor Arcana – the Ten.  Margarete Petersen’s version is suffused with light, dancing over the soft, gold-soaked waves.  Petersen writes, in her accompanying book, that the sea has “welcomed you, held you, absorbed you, thrown you around, gently rocked you, washed you up onto the shore and pulled you back" – how beautiful is that?!  When I look at the image, I feel at peace, as if I’ve finally ‘arrived’.

Ace of Cups (trimmed):
© Margarete Petersen Tarot
When I look back to the Ace, at the beginning of our journey through Petersen’s Cups suit, I see the focus on one specific thing – that lotus, full of promise of love, ready to open its heart. 

Now, in the Ten, the expanse of ocean feels all-compassing; the seed of the Ace has grown into its fullness.  

 “Accepting all facets of your emotions”, to quote Petersen,  and perhaps beyond, to satiety.

Sustained by the sea 
Ebb and flow of emotions 
The tideline’s treasures.


Margarete Petersen Tarot, AGM-URANIA, 2004

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Pain and pleasure? Margarete Petersen’s Nine of Cups


Nine of Cups (trimmed):
© Margarete Petersen Tarot

No traditional jolly-looking chap appears in Margarete Petersen’s version of the Nine of Cups! Instead we have a pearl in a shell, bathed in bright (sun?) light, possibly on a beach… the colours conjure up evening, for me  - the Cups correspondence with twilight-evening, perhaps. Pearls are metaphors for something rare, fine, admirable, and valuable – so I can see why Margarete Petersen has used this to represent the penultimate goal.  You’d think there was nothing more to gain after this, but it is the ‘almost but not quite’ idea.

In the accompanying book, Petersen talks about the pain involved in the process of reaching this goal: the pearl forms from a grain of sand embedding itself in the soft flesh of the mollusk, and the continuous pain the creature feels as its shell covers the grain of sand with calcium carbonate to create the pearl.  So it’s not all happy-happy in this version – there’s a need to accept the pain in order to truly appreciate the gift from the ‘depths of the ocean’ (i.e. from within ourselves, if we allow it to surface).

There is a connection to the Three, I feel. The Three of Cups shows three dancing people, seemingly free from any pain, but the Nine illuminates the deep joy that comes from having been through the darkness. 

Pearl rests in its shell
Born from pain, appreciate 
the gift from the depths.

Margarete Petersen Tarot, AGM-URANIA, 2004.