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Friday, 21 June 2013

Hey Britannia, I dig that dress

Legend Arthurian, 1995
The Queen of Cups in the Legend Arthurian Tarot (Ferguson, Llewellyn 1995) is Britannia, also known as Brigit or Brigantia. To be honest, I'm having a hard time making a connection between Queen of Cups and Britannia. Surely the land would be the Queen of Pentacles. Perhaps this has to do with my innate aversion to the Queen of Cups, who I find a bit too fragile and needy for my taste.

Anna-Marie Ferguson clears up the confusion (sort of) in her companion book to the deck called A Keeper of Words: 'In the stories Peredur (approx 13th centuryWelsh) and Perlesvaus (13th century French,, the Grail bearer appears as both the beautiful maid and the repulsive crone. In light of this, it seems logical to assume that the figure who bears the Grail in the home of the Fisher King is the Sovereignty of Britain, sometimes called Brigid, Brigantia or Brittania.'

Oh. Is it logical? I guess it is to Anna-Marie Ferguson. So as near as I can figure, she's saying the Queen of Cups is the Grail Bearer from the Fisher King's palace, who is also Britannia, and might also be Elaine (the chick from 9 of Swords who starves herself and floats down the river to be buried at Camelot, for love of Lancelot). I can see how Elaine might be Queen of Cups (or at least her shadow aspect), and I can see how the Grail Bearer might be seen as Britannia, but I can't see how Britannia is Queen of Cups.

But no matter! It's still a female figure and a cup's on the card, so we can read it like any Queen of Cups in any deck. She's an emotional woman, quite empathetic to others, but she has a tendency to go a bit codependent if she's not careful.

1 comment:

  1. Hmm, maybe as a waterlocked nation, and Brigid is associated with a sacred well... Overall, though, I agree that I would have the land be the Queen of Pents, and that the Queen of Cups can be a bit sappy for sovereignty!

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