The Babylonian Tarot- Queen of Arrows-Ishtar of Arba'il, chooses to depict the "many faced" Goddess as the Assyrian goddess of war. Rarely engaged in combat herself, she was more of a strategist whose forceful authority commanded obedience and respect. She was fond of battle, and stood besides the Kings as they fought. It was believed that the bond between the Goddess and King was a conjugal one. If she considered him to be her "husband", she would bestow upon him kingship, blessings, conquest and victory in War and therefore, naming him "husband". However if he was not in her favor, or fell out of favor, he would be defeated. Being "married" to Ishtar, would place the King in amongst the gods and their power and divinity extended to him. The name Ishtar is pronounced "Easter", which might give you an idea of were that particular spring celebration came from.
Ishtar of Arba'il, was often shown as a winged goddess, well armed, with a quill full of arrows and a bow, grasping her double lion-headed scepter. Her commands were not to be opposed. Therefore, on the Babylonian Tarot Card, she is depicted stern faced, red eyed, and wearing the horned crown of divinity, topped with a lion's head. The lion is her sacred animal. There is a large arrow next to her.
When the Queen of Arrows is thrown in a divination:
- Creative, resilient and enduring energy.
- A mature woman-or person who is intensely perceptive, alert, observant, intelligent, quick witted, decisive, confident, authoritative, confident and self-reliant.
- She may be domineering, selfish, malicious, cruel, ruthless, deceitful, and spiteful.
- A dangerous enemy.
- A widow.
- Mourning and sorrow.
Binah, the 3rd Sephiroth-Understanding who is also the placement of the Queens on the Qabalistic Tree of Life, is often called the Sanctifying Intelligence and known as the Parent of Faith. The Qabalistic Word Binah itself means Understanding. What is often not realized is that she is also Chronos who is the oldest of ancient gods. We may know him as "Father Time" but the highly restrictive nature of time, birth, aging and death are the ultimate result of the gift of Life bestowed by Mother Binah. So once again the Sexing of the Sephiroth on the Tree of Life, proves to be insubstantial for complete understanding. It helps to remember that each Sephiroth has an expressive-male-state and a receptive-female-state of consciousness and the Paths are not straight but more like figure 8's, as one travels from expression to reception.
The Queen of Swords is Water of Air, which is also called Specific Water in the Realm of Primal Air. Water is the element attributed to consciousness and emotions and air is the element attributed to mind/intelligence. Thus she is as Crowley stated in the Book of Thoth, "clear, conscious perception of Idea, the Liberator of Mind".
The Queen of Swords is the Queen of the Thrones of Air. Queen of Sylphs and Sylpides, attributed to the last Decan of Virgo and the first two Decans of Libra.
The severed head in her left hand reminds me of Kali Ma, the Hindu Goddess of Life and Death. Here the Queen of swords has the severed head of The Patriarch and the Sword of Geburah (and extension of Binah's authority) in her right, pointing downward toward earth; indicating that she removes the masks of deceit and definition supplied by cultural thoughts or as defined by Rulers. The severed head, also implies that The Queen of Swords is the Sanctifying Intelligence; one that removes the "head of man" bring us into the Understanding of the ways in which each of us are deceived by thoughts constructed of words, while also teaching us to transcend them. Thoughts made of words are the Trickster, the "devil inside", that fools us into believing survival and/or fear based thinking as true-consciousness, when all in all, Love is the consciousness of the Sanctifying Intelligence that has given our immortal Spirit Form. Immortals don't worry about survival. They love and created mortal being as Self-Awareness. When that Self-Awareness becomes profaned by the illusions of man-made identity, she will step in and through the sword of strife, "cleave away" all that is not worthy of that individual. Thus, “tough love”, can be the Sword in Her hand, which is the domain of Geburah that is called Severity. Another aspect of the Great Binah and her corrective abilities.
Yetzirah, (The world of Air) is the world of deception and only keen perception, and observation are the Sword that slices away all fantasy, delusion illusion and unreality.
The Queen of Swords also has upon her solar-crowned head, a child's head viewing upward, implying that only the innocent child is unfettered by sterile concepts and useless ideas, for they haven't been programed to believe in a Ruler's definition of themselves. Our individual soul's are that golden child.
Those born between September 12th and October 12th, have as an archetypal core of their personality, the Queen of Swords and have her characteristics, either positive or negative.
When the Queen of Swords is thrown during a reading:
- The querent desires to discard, pretense, masks, roles or defenses that hide their true self.
- Wishes to develop or is developing intellectual thinking.
- Is undergoing a sense of resolution and commitment.
- Is experiencing intellectual maturity and is experiencing well-tuned mental facilities. Sharp of wit.
- Experiencing the Wisdom generated by sorrow. Finding Wisdom through the acceptance of Pain with courage, and honesty.
- Strong willed and determined this woman or person, whose will can bear whatever life presents them with.
- Deep comprehension of frightening truths.
- Able to think the unthinkable and giving expression to the unspeakable.
- Seductive and provocative.
- The professional, who can handle situations capably, quickly and efficiently.
- If ill defined (surrounded with negative cards):
- One who is self-absorbed, malicious, domineering, cruel, ruthless and deceitful. Either the querent is acting such a manner or the querent is in a relationship with such a one.
- A dangerous enemy.
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