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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Lovers - Wonderland Tarot

Valentine's Day is approaching, and it is with pleasure that I turn the blog over to Helen Howell for one of her fabulous rambles.

Love is in the Air:
A Ramble through the Wonderland Lover’s Card

by Helen Howell

The Wonderland Tarot was designed by Christopher and Morgana Abbey, based on the illustrations by Sir John Tenniel, and published by U.S. Games Systems.

The Wonderland Tarot (U.S. Games Systems)

"Tweedledum and Tweedledee
Agreed to have a battle!
For Tweedledum said Tweedledee
Had spoiled his nice new rattle.
Just then flew down a monstrous crow,
As black as a tar-barrel!
Which frightened both the heroes so,
They quite forgot their quarrel."
Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll

Now you may be thinking what an unlikely pair Tweedledum and Tweedledee make to represent the Lovers Card. I grant you that on first sight I too had to think about it. But the answer lies in the poem up above and that last line ‘They quite forgot their quarrel.’

Here we see the couple standing together arms around each other's shoulders. I grant you that the look on their faces is grim, but hey that’s how they always look! Above their heads the crow that broke up their battle hangs in the sky and behind it the sun shines down.

Did they forget their quarrel or did they choose to forget? The thing about this image on this card that got me thinking, is that there is more to this than first meets the eye. It seems to say it’s how we choose to interact with each other that brings us together. The Wonderland tarot emphasises to me at least, that love can be expressed by true friendship.

If I look at the colours in this card then I get a sense of the deeper meaning: The yellow representing positive mental activity and awareness. The crow itself is black with purple edged wings. It is a bird and flies in the air, so I put this colour combination to mean something from the higher consciousness—here we have the wisdom of the subconscious emerging into the day light. Blue is a colour that often symbolises reflection, and as a sky colour, can indicate the balance of the spirit and body. Purple again on the mountains (mountains can represent changes in circumstance and or goals) could indicate the wisdom to meet those changes/goals that a relationship offers. And finally the green grass where their feet are firmly planted can represent growth, balance, expansion and adaptability.

It looks like Tweedledum and Tweedledee had enough self awareness to recognise that their relationship was worth more than a little quarrel, in order to overcome the challenge of a disagreement. Perhaps it sometimes takes an unexpected change, e.g. the crow turning up, to make people realise that they always have the choice of how to interact within their relationships.

I think the biggest message the Wonderland Tarot delivers with this cute image of the tubby boys is the importance of interaction and how we express our love towards our family and friends. From a more personal point of view, its message deep down is fundamentally about the reconciliation of opposites, or dualities, whether it be with another person or within oneself.

So Tweedledum and Tweedledee
are now the best of brothers.
With their friendship so secure,
They're now the Wonderland’s Lovers.
ditty by Helen

"They looked so exactly like a couple of great schoolboys, that Alice couldn't
help pointing her finger at Tweedledum, and saying 'First Boy!'
'Nohow!' Tweedledum cried out briskly, and shut his mouth up again with a
'Next Boy!' said Alice, passing on to Tweedledee, though she felt quite certain
he would only shout out 'Contrariwise!' and so he did.
'You've begun wrong!' cried Tweedledum. 'The first thing in a visit is to say "How d'ye do?" and shake hands!' And here the two brothers gave each other a hug, and then they held out the two hands that were free, to shake hands with her."
~ Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll

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