Wednesday 15 June 2016

Letting Rome burn - Margarete Petersen's Father of Flames

Father of Flames (trimmed): ©Margarete Petersen
Margarete Petersen’s Father of Flames sits astride a wall while a fire rages all around.  He looks inscrutable, rather than charming or persuasive!  I think of Nero, above it all while Rome burns... although clearly there's no fiddling going on here, and I suspect the motivation is somewhat different!
Petersen writes, in her accompanying boook, “Originating from the flame, my mind is a firework...”, and about being “part of the cycle of dissolution and renewal”.  This strikes me as rather Ten-of-Wands-like, but as a King he would be the final card in the suit, so there's an even more marked ending of a cycle here. As with other Fathers/Kings in this deck, she talks about cleansing and giving structure.
I can see the ‘end of a cycle’ aspect in the roaring fire, but then most of the Flames cards have a fire or flame in theme, so if it wasn’t for the ‘King’ sitting on the wall ‘above it all’, I’m not sure the fire helps much with the interpretation.  His pose does suggest a belief that he can do whatever he wants, even if he’s not actually doing anything at the moment!  Independent and master of all, resolute. Not so sure about the magnetism that is often associated with the King of Wands - what do you think?
A little nod to Mr Sinatra here....
Flames leap all around -
Above them, untouched, free to act
I do it my way.

Margarete Petersen Tarot, AGM-URANIA, 2004. 

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