Tuesday 17 May 2016

The strength of Fire - Margarete Petersen’s Nine of Flames

For once I can see a similarity between Margarete Petersen’s image and the RWS-based decks. A figure rests his head on one hand and – although it might be my imagination – I see his other hand on his head! A fire rages in the background – more focused than in previous cards, more reminiscent of the Ace’s flame. 
Nine of Flames (trimmed): © Margarete Petersen Tarot
I can also make out a faint outline of a feline, but nowhere near as defined as in the Six, Seven, and Eight. It’s as if the energies of the previous cards have been internalized (for want of a better word) in the Nine – which could be seen as inner strength, my usual take on this card - using our internal resources to keep on keeping on, and perhaps defending what we hold dear. Margarete Petersen calls this the ‘fire of healing and maturing’; having learned how to handle fire through experience we can now ignite and direct the fire ourselves. 

Astrologically, there’s a link to the Sun in Sagittarius - Fire and Fire!. The Sun rules Leo, the lion, which we often see in traditional RWS-versions of Strength.  The Sun also suggests a sense of the individual; here in the Nine of Wands the focus is using our strength to stand up for what we belief in - and perhaps holding a more optimistic philosophical view of the world (through Sagittarius and its ruler Jupiter).  

Fire rages within,
Creating and destroying:
Strength controls passion.
Margarete Petersen Tarot, AGM-URANIA, 2004. www.tarotworld.com

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