Daily Draw February 12th, 2010
It’s Dame Fortune’s Wheel day since I received it in the mail yesterday after scraping up the money from next month’s budget. I have a friend in the UK who pays awfully high prices for decks, we are so lucky in North America to be able to get decks at half the price.
TWO OF BATONS
I had a chuckle over this. After distributing the deck in piles and then shuffling several times, I have drawn my absolute favourite card from the deck. I love this composition and the death’s head lord at the centre with the winding river behind him. Aren’t the colours marvelous?
Sadness and melancholy, things left undone. What a gloomy fellow. The oak leaves and acorns are a symbol of Jupiter but they are also symbolic of Hercules who is the ruling Cardinal Virtue of the suit of Batons in his guise as Fortitude.
This is a much different interpretation than in the Rider-Waite tradition, but I always think of Twos as balance cards and polarity, which this certainly is in its upright and reversed aspects as reversed it means extraordinary surprise or astonishment.
I seem to be getting cards all week about positive thinking and about thoughts trapping you in negative moods. This fellow is the epitome of crabbiness, hanging on to the marble balustrade and becoming as cold and white as the stone while behind him is water and life and all kinds of green growth.
I am a great proponent of the healing power of Nature and the benefit of getting outside to lift one’s mood and make the day go better. Fortitude can mean physical strength but also strength of mind and resolution. If you resolve to think a different way, you will find the strength to do so. Just think what Hercules did when he put his mind to it.
The corresponding 2 ~ Wands card from the Vacchetta Tarot also shows a youth, who may be melancholy, but he has lit the torches to fire his mind into a better journey. Looking ahead, he sees a warmer existence than merging with cool marble barriers. He is like a herald of better things.
To go with this I choose a random passage of Petrarch from the Triumphs.
“That jealous Juno with Eliza shared,
Whose more than pious hands the flame prepared;
That mix’d her ashes with her murder’d spouse.
A dire completion of her nuptial vows.
(For not the Trojan’s love, as poets sing,
In her wan bosom fix’d the secret string.)”
This is from the Triumph of Chastity and has a hint of learning from the past mistakes of others and feeling some solace that other people have felt the same things in love.
It’s all very tragic. Eliza in this case is another name for Dido, the Queen of Carthage who killed herself with a sword and then hurled herself on a pyre because Aeneas, the Trojan hero would not stay with her after she received him and his crew with generosity and then fell in love with him. Although in fact, she died because she had been trapped into marrying a neighbouring king who threatened to wage war on her if she didn’t marry him. Dido pretended to sacrifice several people on a pyre to her first husband’s memory and then claimed to want to stay true to him and never marry again and thus killed herself. Petrarch is alluding to the real reason for her death, which had nothing to do with love of Aeneas although poets often sing of her as sacrificing herself for unrequited love. That Virgil, I’m telling you, he started a trend.
Juno, called Hera in Greek mythology, was Zeus’s wife. Zeus was not faithful so she took her anger out on others including Hercules. Zeus was apparently very fond of oak trees and it was his sacred tree.
I gather Petrarch believes that Chastity is a greater virtue than Love. I believe Fortitude is a greater virtue than either Chastity or Love.
This young fellow on the Two of Batons might feel better for a walk by the river under the trees and a read of Petrarch.
And a long-ago joke of mine comparing two cards in the French facsimile playing card deck Jeu Henri IV by Editions Dusserre. The original deck is conserved in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris and was printed circa 1600. It is attributed to V.G. Cartier.
No melancholy here!
Unfortunately, shortly after I posted this I learned of the death of a former library patron of mine, who was killed in a horrendous traffic accident where she was rammed from behind and her vehicle crossed into the opposite lane and was hit and exploded in flames. I’m afraid it made me very melancholy, it is just the saddest thing.
There’s my Two of Batons for the day.