The 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.
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.
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
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
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".
- She is the Supernal Mother.
- The organizer and counterbalance of Chokmah. She is.the requiter.
- The dark Sterile Mother-The Crone
- She is the bright fertile Mother.
- She is the Great Sea . The Mari.
- 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.
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
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.
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.
is described in the Qabalistic Mysteries
as "The Dark Robe of
Concealment",the Great Dark Sea.In the Golden Dawn texts,
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"!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
that one inspires from within and could be a time of Deep inner
musings, thoughts focused within where the mind is engulfed in
- 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.
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.
find it easy to discuss or express feelings honestly and responsibly
around the Querent, with out fear of blame or judgment.
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
- 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.
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
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