Tarot Card Comparisons: Thoth Tarot- Queen of Cups & The Barbara Walker Tarot- Queen of Cups/Virginal
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Thoth Tarot & comparisons

Tarot Card Comparisons: Thoth Tarot- Queen of Cups & The Barbara Walker Tarot- Queen of Cups/Virginal

The Tarot of EliThe Thoth Tarot-QUEEN OF CUPS & The Barbara Walker- Queen of Cups/Virginal:
The Tarot Queen of Cups,represents the Watery aspect of Water; therefore, it's the virginal power of reflection and reception. That is why there seems to be no Queenly Human form in the card, yet under close examination, she is there under gossamer light. The Queen of Cups represents a "mirror" which reflects the nature of the one "looking" at Her. To see the Truth of the Queen of Cups is hardly possible, as she not only reflects the nature of the observer but that she is also associated with dreaminess, tranquility, and illusion. She rules in the zodiac from the 21st degree of Gemini to the 20th degree of Cancer.

In the Thoth deck tarot of the Hermetic Qabalah, she is enthroned on still water, and bears the Lotus cup of Isis, and the Crayfish of a shell cup; crayfish represent the regenerative state of water as they shed their shell to become anew.

The endless curves of light robe and veil her and the sea of Unconsciousness, upon which she is sitting, reflects her almost unbroken images of the consciousness. Being the perfect agent of reflection and reception, she is unaffected by  what she is transmitting. She is also resting her wand on an Ibis.

  • The Crayfish relates to the Moon and one of the characteristics of this card is that  its flow changes to the influences around it.
  • The Ibis is in the Egyptian tradition, a bird associated with Thoth-Hermes who has an aspect of being The Moon God.
  • The lotus in her right hand is a flower sacred to Isis. These waters on which the lotus float are a means of transmission of Forces (emotions).
  • As a Personality archetype court card the Thoth Queen of Cups projects a core Personality of a mature, motherly woman, with deep sexual powers and fertility that may manifest as actual motherhood  or through a creative line of work.
  • Her ability to give birth to new forms, new talents, new identities and new life is symbolized by the stork.
  • The Queen of Cups represents a "womb-with-a -view", who is the expression of emotional authenticity and congruity about motherhood issues and issues surrounding maternal or female authority figures in one's life.
  • She does not use feelings to attack nor does she feel the need to apologize for her feelings.
  • The crayfish shell in her hand, is a reminder that she chooses integrity over illusion.
  • The double water reflection, symbolizes "as above so below" which is the axiom of western metaphysics and simply points out that she expresses inner and outer feelings as well. Hence, her outer self is always the accurate reflection of her inner self.

When the Queen of Cups is divined for men, she represents the
anima (Latin word meaning-Spirit) figure of his inner Nature and is committed to expressing feelings honestly and responsibly.

Often in Qabalah, the fabric of time-space is called the "mirror"
and  image we on this reflected surface of light (time-visible light), is merely a faux self image as we are really "standing on" the "other side of the mirror" (space - dark energy) and therefore, one might say that the body of visible light, is merely a Self-Reflection of the Real Person/Soul. Hence, the Queen of cups is the silvery sheen of Spirit that is impossible to see, because She reflects back to you your own self-image. Like I said, She is "a womb with a view" and anything that we truly feel internally, she reflects as our form externally, no questions asked, and no judgment given. This reminds us that our inner divinity is best expressed as action rather than expressing our reaction to the convoluted identities bestowed on us by environment and others.

The Axiom of "above all things know thyself"
shows particular importance here. The Third Sephiroth on the Tree of Life is Binah/Understanding, who is "Will to Form". For Wisdom (Chokmah), once understood, can only then be made into form. The four Threes, and the four Queens are ruled by Binah. Binah's symbols are:
  • The Yoni
  • the Triangle
  • the Cup
  • and the Hebrew letter-Heh
Her planet is Saturn and Her color is Black. She is the Dark Womb, before form, and as such she is known as the "will to form". Light is born of Her, out of Understanding of "self-image".
  1. She is the Supernal Mother.
  2. The organizer and counterbalance of Chokmah. She is.the requiter. 
  3. The dark Sterile Mother-The Crone
  4. She is the bright fertile Mother. 
  5. She is the Great Sea . The Mari.
  6. She is the Blood: The Great Whore.
The Principle symbol of Binah, is the Yoni, a Sanskrit word for female vagina. I know her as, "The womb with a view", indicating that she is the "all understanding" Will to Form, from which all Life emerges. This Great Womb, is known to every culture, with many names. She is the completion of the Upper Supernal Triangle, which began as a Point, in Kether, and a Line in Chokma and a Triangle in Binah.
Now before you get all Victorian, and shudder at the sexuality, think upon this: The Primary Female, Binah, stands at the head of the Pillar of Severity . While the Primary Male Sephira is Chokma and he stands at the head of the Pillar of Mercy.
The Qabalistic definition of sexuality is about qualities rather than static forms of sex. The Soul is ultimately hermaphrodite.
The Male quality is called Mercy because it is unrestricted, energy ejaculated outward; Electric. The Female qualities of Energy are restrictive, thus form is made out of energy-in-motion, a type of oppression we call Magnetic. Thus a Severe limiting quality is necessarily applied when building a form.

The fact that our concepts of gender are insufficient to describe the subtleties of polarities and interactive energy in this Universe is shown throughout history. For instance, The Egyptian Goddess Isis, is the key figure for Binah. Yet, the male Gods, Chronos and Saturn are also attributed to this Sephira. Here, we can see the Dark side of Time, as Saturn, heavy and gloomy and as Chronos who symbolizes Time itself. Time is the Greatest Predator of All living things on this planet. Thus we have the fanged Crone/Kali image of Binah. 

Yet this isn't all, for beneath Binah on the Pillar of Severity we find the God Mercury in Hod and at the base of The Pillar of Mercy, we find the Goddess Venus in the Sephira Netzach. The anthropomorphism of the qualities of Intelligent Energy, binds us to Sexual figures as energy is at once expressed and then confines.  By understanding the 1st Law of Thermodynamics, you may see the problem of sexing the qualities of energy. 
The 1st Law states: "There is only one Energy that cannot be created nor destroyed, only transformed (and Transmitted)." These Transmissions and Transformations, are caused by Qualities of expression-he and repression-She. Yet words often confuse the communication so I find it best to say that She is Magnetic and He is Electric. Thus, the value statements of the mundane are not involved in any misunderstanding.

So the restrictive nature of Will to Form (Binah) is a discipline imposed on the ejaculation/expression of Chokma who is Will to Force . At the same time She is the Great Unconscious Sea from which all life emerges.

Binah is described in the Qabalistic Mysteries as "The Dark Robe of Concealment",the Great Dark Sea.In the Golden Dawn texts,  She is described thus: "In Binah is thick darkness which yet veileth the Divine Glory in which all colors are hidden, wherein is mystery and depth and silence, and yet it is the habitation of the Supernal Light." Supernal light is often called the Bright Dark Fire and/or the Dark Energy.  Many us also consciously know that "our dark-side" resides in the Unconscious. I find this a marvel, since the Dark Side of I Am, is the side of Dark Energy and Dark Matter, and is the Real Person, while the visible light is merely a "me", a self-conscious reflection. So again we are seeing things "upside down", for the Darkness that I AM, is the Real One, while the light-visible me is but a "reflection of Darkness"!

As Brightly Dark Fertile Mother, Binah (Understanding) gives life by Understanding which is a form of restriction---the First Law of Form. And as Law giver she is the Dark Sterile Mother of Death as well. This duality is found in Yesod--The Moon, who reflects the "illusion" of Moon-light into Malkuth-the material plane. Mythology has given us the Bright Moon-Diana and the Dark Moon-Hecate, one is the adverse of the other. 

However, Binah is not a belief system,even though she is also called the "Parent of Faith" in the Qabalistic mysteries. In reality, she is an organization of discipline behind faith...a Sanctifying Intelligence, as Dr. Paul Foster Case named her in his text, THE THIRTY TWO PATHS OF WISDOM.  Therefore she is known as the Parent of the organized disciplines of reason, science, and intellectualism. 

The Great Mother Intelligence is Binah, the third Sphere/Sephira on the Tree of Life. She is the Sanctifying Intelligence and/or Imagination and as the Queen of Cups Binah is represented as the Queen of the Thrones of the Waters; Water being the flowing Unconsciousness of the Universe and/or the Universal Divine Collective Unconscious.  And if you are into the Elemental Mysteries, The Queen of Cups is the Queen of the Undines and Nymphs.

To reiterate: Astrologically, the Queen of Cups is in the last Decan of Gemini and the First two Decans of Cancer.
The Queen of cups is Specific Water (Imagination) in the Realm of Primal Water (Unconscious). Here the "Will to Form" of Binah is "reflecting on consciousness".

Crowley's card shows this reflective nature in an abstract way. Here The Queen is enthroned on still Water, her image is of purity and beauty and is robed in veils of pure light. She is the Virgin Mother, who was named so long before Christianity developed such a legend.

In fact, the Qabalistic- Binah is the merger of the Virgin-Kali, and Mother-Kali ; a merger that formed for the East, the Mother of the Gods called Durga the inaccessible.  Durga being the chosen image for the Queen of Cups of the Barbara Walker Tarot. Durga, was also known as the "Ice Queen", as an example of her inaccessibility giving one the "cold shoulder". Also, just as the bright reflection off of ice, The Truth of her is not seen by the observer, who can only see themselves in reflection of visible light.
 Durga was known for being invincible in battle, as well as, glacial and remote. Hence, it was only logical to place her residence in the Highest mountains of the Himalayas,known as the Mountains of Heaven.
The original Indian art that depicted Druga, shows her of multiple talents (many hands and arms), ruler of life and death, and her inaccessibility was seen as she was shown standing upon the God Shiva, whom she kills and resurrects.

However, in the Thoth Depiction of the Queen of Cups, created by Lady Freda Harris, the Queen's ethereal left-hand holds a shell like cup with a crayfish climbing out of it, a symbol relating to the Moon and its reflective qualities. Her right hand holds a lotus with stem pointing downwards over and Ibis.

The Lotus is the Eastern Rose, and is the Sacred flower related to Great Mother Isis an Egyptian form of Binah.  Rather than through the touch of her hand, as the Queen of Wands is shown controlling the Leopard, the Queen of Cups uses the intermediary of the Lotus (Womb)  to cause the Ibis to do its work. The Tranquil waters, on which the Lotus float, are the means of force transmission. Here, also we see the influence of  Thoth-Hermes. The Ibis is a traditional Egyptian symbol of this Moon God. Thus again the Male (Wand) and Female (Cup) influences are never separate. Truth being, one of the characteristics of this card is that like water, the flow of consciousness changes according to the influences around it.

Chokmah, is often represented as Python, the First Husband, thus as a snake or Serpent Force, i.e. a Spiraling Force. In Mythology, the Ibis  eats the eggs of the Snake, which relates to her "consuming the seeds of ideas"  from Chokmah who is represented as Wisdom.

However, in Egyptian theology, the Ibis also consumes the corpses of the dead as does Kali Ma. This may seem contradictory, but the corpses of the dead are "Conscious seeds", personalities recycled so that data is consumed and recycled in the Universal Collective Unconscious. Thus we have reference to the Great Sea of Binah (Universal Collective Unconscious)  from which life flows out, and also flows back into. Here the understanding of the Moon and the cycle of tides add to the knowledge the image conveys. 

The key characteristics associated with The Queen of cups, are dreaminess, illusion and tranquility. As is Water the perfect agent and patient solvent, the Queen of Cups, as a persona, is able to receive and transmit everything without affecting herself in so doing, therefore giving her the appearance of "the ice queen".

When the Queen of Cups Tarot card is thrown:
  • One is either experiencing emotional or intuitive maturity.
  •  Or too much imagination is focused on our life  while no action is being taken by that person to acquire or solve the imagined  errors.
  • The Queen of cups is the emotional reflector.
  • Often our emotional reaction to others, is a self-reflection.
The chief pleasure of this type of Archetypal personality:
  • Is to lead and attract  others.
  • Such a person seems not to have a great character of their own as they are reflecting those around them. Of course, to do so requires a skill in receptivity.

Generally speaking, as an archetype her characteristics depend on the influences which affect her.
Personality wise, the Queen of Cups personality will often be very popular, as she seems to "fit in" were-ever she goes.

 When the Tarot Queen of Cups is thrown during a divination:

  • The querent is showing issues surrounding motherhood.
  • Suggesting emotional empowerment, as the querent is able to express feelings honestly, blamelessly and without judgment.
  • Implies too much imagination about issues and not enough action taken to solve them.
  • Emotional and Intuitive capabilities that show highly evolved interpersonal interactions and psychic abilities.
  • Implies the querent is extremely empathetic and thus must watch out for moodiness and fluctuating feelings.
  • Suggests that one inspires from within and could be a time of Deep inner musings, thoughts focused within where the mind is engulfed in Imagination. 
  • That a mature woman of deep sexual and fertility powers, where everything in her life is related to nourishment, sexual exchange, passionate giving and receiving maybe involved in the life of the querent or is the querent.
  • Motherhood, or new ideas formulating for a creative line of work.
  • An ethereal person of the highest ideals imagined....sometimes an unattainable high in this the physical  world of constant change.
  • Wisdom and virtue, Can denote a perfect spouse and a good mother.

In a more esoteric vein:
  • The Queen of Cups is the Emotional Reflector.
  • People find it easy to discuss or express feelings honestly and responsibly around the Querent, with out fear of blame or judgment.
  • However, the Querent has probably been blamed for too much imagination which one easily does with this much water (subconscious mental influence) allowing easy creation of fantasies but lacks the motivation to fulfill them.
  • The shimmering, beautiful , and tranquil aspects of the Queen of Cups, reflects well on the Querent whose maternal love and stable support make her very popular with others.
 The only ill defined aspects of this card:
  • Is that fantasy becomes more popular in her mind than reality----making it difficult for her to deal with "real world" problems. 
  • She is also mainly unseen, as she reflects the feeling, emotion and image of the one examining her.  This card is usually well defined, especially if other Cup  or Wand cards are around her. She mixes well with Sun-light.

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