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Friday, 3 May 2013

Sit like a rock

Tarot of the Sidhe, 2010
Time to get back down to earth today with Maker Prince from Tarot of the Sidhe by Emily Carding. He is the Prince of Disks (Thoth), or Knight of Pentacles (RWS). He appears to me some kind of satyr, having horns on his head and the legs of a goat. The Maker Prince sits in rock pose (vajrasana), a yoga pose of sitting in a kneeling position on one's heels, feet and knees together. It is said to be a very grounding pose which also aids in digestion.

It seems appropriate that the Maker Prince would sit in such a pose, as he is possibly the most grounded and practical of the all the tarot courts. We see him in Tarot of the Sidhe depicted with elements of nature that echo his personal qualities. The trees, strong and slow-growing, are like his steadfast patience and slow pace. The dog represents his faithfulness and commitment to service. The hedgehog is his humble, retiring nature. The owl is his quiet wisdom, the butterfly represents the transformative potential of all these slow and patient qualities. 

The Maker Prince is decorated with woad tattoos of the faery glyph (featured on the backs of the cards), and on his belly is the symbol for the element of earth, an upside down triangle with a line across the bottom tip, which seems to cross his bellybutton. I'm not sure what the brown bit is that billows out behind him, but I like his wild green hair and the little tiny bird perching on his antlers. The dog beside him is a white dog with red ears. This is one of the faery hounds of otherworld, known as Cwn Annwn (which apparently is simply Welsh for 'hounds of otherworld'). In Welsh tradition, these hounds were said to ride the night skies at certain times of the year, times which also correspond to migration of geese; apparently the myth of the Cwn Annwn rose up because the noise of the geese sounded like a pack of hounds to the people who spun these stories.  In any case, the Cwn Annwn were said to accompany spirits of the recently deceased to the afterlife, and so they came to be associated with death. It is said that later Christians appropriated the myth and turned the Cwn Annwn into the 'hounds of hell' who dragged damned souls to perdition. So, looked at one way, this card depicts a demonic horned figure with blank, scary eyes and a hound of hell. But looked at another way, we have a nature sprite communing with the creatures and the environment that it understands itself to be deeply at one with. I know which view I prefer.

1 comment:

  1. Ha, I know which one I prefer, too! There is such an air of calm and patience to him :) Really like the way you describe the animals around him, never thought of them in that way...