So today’s Mothers’ Day. I wanted to commemorate this day by talking about how we can mother ourselves and how we can use the Tarot Four Queens to achieve this.
The Archetype of the Mother is a very important figure in everyone’s life. It might mean different things to all of us, but I think it is safe to say that the Mother represents origins, creation, bringing forth.
Understood like this, we all have a Mother. We were all brought into being by a woman. This woman gave us life from her own. She carried us around, she gave us warmth, she nurtured us, she brought us into this world.
Of course, not all relationships to our mothers will exemplify the stereotype of motherly and filial love, unconditional, neverending, all encompassing. We will all have had different experiences of what being/having a mother is, and, as I wrote in my previous post about letting go of the past, we cannot let go of our mothers. They are all in our very being, in our voices, our eyes, our mannerisms, our thoughts. You only have to look in the mirror and see how your physical mother contributed to construct what you are today.
And I say physical mother, because there are all kinds of different mothers. Your physical or biological mother is the person who gave birth to you. Regardless of your personal history, whether you got to meet her or not, she is engrained in your own body, she is part of you as much as you are part of her, and in that you keep her alive, always.
Perhaps you lost her when you were very little, for a number of different reasons, and perhaps then you were raised by someone else, a feminine figure such as a grandmother or an aunt, or a female relative. This person would have, to a certain extent, taken the place of your mother, or at least whe would have fulfilled that function. But it needn’t have to be a female figure, it might have been your father, or a male relative who had to take on the role of the mother.
Maybe nobody fulfilled that role, or they were so deficient that you had to mother yourself out of childhood, you had to guide yourself as best you could towards real life. Unprotected, unguarded. But even if this is the case, the Mother archetype will surely be an important aspect in your life, not a presence but a vacuum, the lack of that motherly figure that in turn becomes loneliness, helplessness, sorrow, sometimes dread.
Regardless of whether you had the presence of your Mother or a susbstitute Mother of any sort, I believe it is an important step to maturity to become your own mother, to provide for yourself whatever you may need, to protect yourself or love you unconditionally. Some people will have had a better example from their youth, some others will have to construct it out of scratch. In any case, as you become an adult, you have to get better and better at giving yourself what your soul most needs or wants.
This is where the Four Queens of the Tarot come into play. Traditionally thought of as representing people in the life of the querent, they can be seen to represent different aspects or energies in the personality of an individual. They can be considered to portray a more “feminine” type of energies, which is why they were usually intepreted as women.
However, because of these potential feminine energies, they are cards whose influences can apply to any of us, at any age. The queens are, in a way, like the mothers of each of the suit. They represent nurturing, maturity, they embody the energy and elements of their suit, they can manage their element to perfection, and as such they can serve as little divinatory role models of the energies we need to develop and control.
I chose the Four Queens or Guardians from the Spacious Tarot because of the sweet, soothing energy I get from them, and because I perceive them as soothing and sound at the same time. The fact that they are called Guardians, and not queens, helps us remember that regardless of our gender identity, it is in our own hands to mother and nurture ourselves.
GUARDIAN OF SWORDS
This scene takes place in winter. There are what seems to be dead trees in the background, some cut trees in the foreground, snow, a pale moon, a crow perching on a sword stuck on the ground. There is peace in this scene, what is not necessary is gone. What needs to be reborn will be back in Spring, and in the meantime the Guardian looks at what she’s done peacefully, in stillness.
When everything has been cut down, only the necessary, only the essential remains. The only living being in this scene is the still crow, and that is what matters. Your possibilities, your potential is there, and you know exactly what to do with it. You have survived hard times and your suffering, and your head is clear.
GUARDIAN OF WANDS
A tiny salamander stares at the flames, mesmerised. I picture it standing on a magic wand, sending its own magic, enery and potential unto the fire. The Guardian of Wands tends the fire, feeds it and keeps it burning. There is no need to use extreme force, an excess of energy or resources, the Guardian knows how to keep it alive by feeding it its own strength.
This card calls you to create new things, to shine your light into the world, to tend the fire within and with your light you will illuminate and keep others warm.
GUARDIAN OF PENTACLES
This is a beautiful card, so calm and clean and expansive. A bear is sitting on the grass, at the edge of a forest, a paw on her pentacle. She seems to be contemplating the beauty and the mystery of the forest she is about to enter, or perhaps she has just emerged from. The autumn is nigh, already the first leaves are falling, the green canopies are about to turn yellow, orange and red. You can hear the silence interrupted by the rustling and whispering of the leaves as they fall to the ground.
This card is a contemplation of nature, in all its richness and fertility, the love of what is real, physical and immediate. This card invites you to listen to your body, to what it has to say to you. How can you nurture it and protect it? How can you bring your projects and ideals into being?
GUARDIAN OF CUPS
The blue on this card is exquisite. The fish swims in a pond, amongst water lilies and towards a clear crystal bowl, nesting a pink lotus. The bowl protects the lotus, and the fish seems to guard over it, while admiring its beauty. The fish not only guards the flower, at the same time it is submerged in these emotional waters in the pond. The water seems clear, pure, and deep.
The guardian of cups shows you how to navigate your emotional life. Submerge yourself in it, explore it, but know that you are ultimately the master of your emotions. Just like the fish, protect the fragile flowers of your feelings, your loved ones, hold your dearest projects close to your heart while you swim into the depths of your soul.