Just a Spoonful of Tarot…
September 27th, 2006
A New Shining Light Amongst Tarot Decks:
The MAAT Tarot
I have discovered the perfect deck for intuition, feminine wisdom, and the lunar mysteries: The MAAT Tarot, by Julie Cuccia-Watts. Self-published by its creator, it is a lushly (and darkly) illustrated deck of 78 cards with a sound astrological basis; however, rather than the traditional foundation of solar based astrology that you find in other astrological tarot decks, Julie has conceived and successfully executed (and illustrated, I might add) a deck based upon the moon's phases and seasonal cross-quarter days of the year.
I can already tell that this will become one of my favorite decks to use when reading for myself.
Julie is the illustrator of the now out-of-print Ancestral Path Tarot (the deck that my son loves most) as well as the Blue Moon Tarot, a self-published majors-only deck that I was lucky enough to discover (and acquire) at the Los Angeles Tarot Symposium last year.
The lunar emphasis of this deck, naturally, required a complete restructuring of the traditional order of a tarot deck. The 56 Minor Arcana Cards became the 52 weeks of the year, with the four Aces each representing a Season of the year; each month of the year the Minor Arcana follows the course of the phases of the moon: with one card representing the New Moon in a particular sign of the Zodiac, another the First Quarter Moon, another the Full Moon, and another the Last Quarter Moon. The 22 Major Arcana cards, on the other hand, became the 13 Full Moons of the year (including the Blue Moon) and the 8 cross-quarter days of the year (Autumnal Equinox, Halloween, Winter Solstice, Candlemas, Vernal Equinox, Beltaine, Summer Solstice, and Lammas), with The World serving as the Center Card of the Lunar Wheel of the Year. MAAT begins with the Witch's New Year, the first lunar cycle after the Autumnal Equinox, when the Moon is in Aries.
Sounds complicated? It's not. But just like any good tarot deck, you don't have to understand any of the system to be able to use it for your tarot readings, for this deck comes with a 291 page hardcover book explaining in great detail how to use the cards, with the necessary key words in the back. (However, taking the time to understand MAAT's system definitely expands the mind delightfully.)
The illustrations of the MAAT Tarot deck are evocative…haunting…full of hidden meanings and symbols to inspire deeper introspection. Ten cards that have particularly spoken to me on a personal level (with my own insights) are:
1.The Devil (Winter Solstice/ Yule)a dark haired woman giving birth to the light.
2.Queen of Swords (Full Moon in Gemini)reminiscent of Waterhouse's dark paintings.
3.The World (Central Card)the fecund native Mother Earth.
4.8 of Swords (New Moon in Sagittarius)blinded to the truth by the American Flag wrapped around her head.
5.7 of Cups (Last Quarter Moon in Aquarius)gazing into a pool of lost ideals.
6.The Hanged One (Lammas/ Lughnasad) a stalk of grain contains an upside down gestating fetus.
7.3 of Coins (First Quarter Moon in Sagittarius)Leonardo Da Vinci paints the Last Supper (clearly with Mary Magdalene in the place of John the Beloved)
8.6 of Cups (First Quarter Moon in Leo)Renaissance children watch a Punch and Judy show
9.The High Priestess (Full Moon Cycle of Virgo)intact and complete within herself, but still spread out in all her sensual glory
10.Ace of Wands (Season of Winter)Mercury's caduceus wrapped around a glowing wand with phoenix wings at the top
Finally, in preparation for writing this review, I thought it appropriate to draw one card to epitomize the future of the MAAT Tarot…and guess which I chose: Justice, the Full Moon of Libra, emblazoned with the laughing image of the Egyptian goddess Ma'at, the deck's namesake. Julie's book describes this card with the following attributes: "time for initiations; puberty rites; tests of Soul and self; Rites of passage; Death and resurrection ceremonies; Divine comedy; harmony; balance; the Law is Love; honesty; light heartedness".
And this is precisely what this deck promises which makes it so unique: it is a card for spiritual transformation through our feminine side, rather than our masculine. This deck is maiden, mother, and wise woman to our soul's daily journey; it is not about "the grand scheme of things", but instead about today and now.
For it is here within the cycles of the moon that we actually live.
To read on online reviews of Julie's Blue Moon Tarot:
Please feel free to email: email@example.com with your questions, comments, or ideas that you'd like to see addressed in future newsletters! If you have any fellow tarot enthusiasts who might be interested in receiving Just a Spoonful of Tarot…, have them email us as well!
Until next week,
© 2006 by Juno Lucina
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