I got the idea for this card by looking at pictures of ancient Greek pottery. They do wonderful drinking cups in this shape with stylized eyes on them, so I thought it might be fun to make the eyes more lifelike.
Wine, dancing, music, communion in cups. This is a real human connection that is very powerful but often also illusory and temporary. It’s wise as Crowley of all people points out, to distrust the good things in life. And yet without experiencing those moments of Bacchanalia we can never really grow to our full potential. People who never lose control are living in fear of their own inner beast. And fear is a half life.
In a more literal sense these are three muses that appear so often in this card, three women in fact, whose coming together is so often the catalyst of great things in life. Certainly it has always been this way in my life. It also depicts the increasing effect of each glass of wine. I think it is very often women who make the connections between people blossom. Without the great sea of common affection and support that exists between women, the human race would have gone extinct millenia ago.
When you hurt a spider
You hurt the goddess.
This card is the suit of form in the sphere of form, Binah. Binah is the dark mother so I chose spiders to represent her. The spiders are Arachne, the weaver, who creates beautiful but useful art. Anyone who has seen a spider web sparkle with early morning dew knows the meaning of aesthetic functionality.
Personally I am a great believer in useful art. Art that is used every day becomes a part of people, seeps into their consciousness much more effectively than art that sits on a gallery wall. It is devalued by the establishment because of its feminine attributions, just as Binah, the dark mother has been, and by association, the beautiful spider. These are the type of spider that decorate my garden, and in fact the whole city, dangling everywhere from trees and power lines and reaching sometimes the size of a mans’ hand. They aren’t white though…that is my artistic license and a symbol to me of trying to subvert the cliche of evil dark spiders. My spiders are the good guys. There is certainly nothing to fear from Golden Orb Weaver spiders, whatever colour they are, unless you are an insect. They are such industrious and creative creatures, but they also know how to wait, which seems to me the perfect formula for work of a spiritual and artistic nature.
If you want to understand more about the Qabalah and the system and meaning it gives to the minor arcana there is no better book on the subject than Dion Fortunes “Mystical Qabalah”. Witty, amusing and crystal clear…there are very few occult tomes you could say that about. Quite often she makes me laugh out loud.