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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Old English Tarot: 4 of Batons

In today's blog entry, Helen Howell continues her exploration of cards from the Old English Tarot by Maggie Kneen (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)

Old English Tarot
Four of Batons
by Helen Howell

Today’s comparison of the Old English and the more traditional Rider Waite is  between the 4 of Batons or Wands if you prefer. The images on both of these cards have a good feel about them. Certainly the idea of completion is portrayed in both of these.

Let’s look at the Rider Waite first, and I choose the Rider Waite first in all my posts, because it is the Mother of all the modern decks that followed, in that they are based on the Rider Waite tradition from what I can see. In the RW image we see four wands support a flowered garland, a crowd gathered to one side, a couple in the centre with their arms raised, holding bouquets of flowers and to the other side a bridge. This is definitely an image of celebration. It’s a card that tells us you have completed the first round. The bridge indicates that you still have further to go, but right now it’s time to relax.

I love the image in the Old English. We see lush trees, green green grass and what appears to be a peacock or maybe a very colourful turkey? If we look closely we also see four baby chicks in the grass. Mama has hatched her babies and that is one cycle complete. That’s a reason to celebrate and to enjoy the achievement after all that hard work sitting on those eggs! But they are just chicks and that reminds us that there is still a new cycle to begin.  When we look more deeply into the image, we see it speaks to us of harmony, prosperity (those green trees are growing well), and the results of hard work (hatching out the eggs). It says take the time to enjoy where you are, but it also reminds you that you cannot stand still forever. Chicks have to grow up!

Both cards deliver the same message, but with very different images. The meaning of the Old English is not always immediately obvious, but if you just take the time to study the artwork you’ll see the message is very clear.

Positive: Romance, harmony, peace, prosperity, fruit of labor.
Reversed: Tarnished beauty, loss of tranquility.

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