I found The Queen of Hearts. Walking down the street with my work “mates” to our favourite Thai vegetarian restaurant, Padmanadi, I looked down and there she was… dressed seasonally in red and gold, big heart, beguiling smile, despite being unceremoniously dropped on the gritty ice.
I walked a step or two on, stopped and turned, realizing she might be waiting for me, or anyone who noticed. I bent down, picked her up and placed her carefully inside the warmth of my coat pocket. I felt a little charge of exhilaration and for a moment, my own beguiling smile. I claimed The Queen of Hearts and with it, her portent.
When I got home I searched for her meaning as I remembered our contemporary playing cards are the more “mundane” expression of the ancient tarot. The Queen of Hearts now, The Queen of Cups then, or more arcane, The Grail Queen.
What I learned is that The Queen of any deck is the essential feminine symbol, representing strength, and the cycle of creation, the archetypal mother. In particular this Queen emphasizes the heart connection to life and all beings, with deep empathy being her “strong suit.” Sensitive, aware, vulnerable and omniscient…a knife that cuts both way as she can become filled with the spirits of others and needs to be mindful of safeguarding her boundaries, and of being as tender to her own human frailties and responses to life’s ups and downs, as she is to those of others in her sphere.
This holds “well” my own knowing of self, in particular over these past few months. When I noticed The Queen during that walk to lunch, I immediately recalled a book, gifted to me by my friend for a birthday a few years back: The Queen of Her Self. Its author, Donna Henes, articulates a vision of regal self-empowerment in the shift from the Maid-Mother-Crone archetype to include the Queen who emerges with her sovereignty at mid-life.
“Not yet old, yet no longer young. She is a regal Queen standing in Her proper place – after the Mother and before the Crone in No Woman’s Land. She plants Her flag and claims her Space in this previously uncharted midlife territory. Still active and sexy, vital with the enthusiasm and energy of youth, the Queen is tempered with the hard-earned experience and leavening of age. She has been forced to face and overcome obstacles and hard lessons, including Her own self-limiting tendencies, and in so doing has outgrown the boundaries of Her old self. Impatient with the inessential and restless for authenticity, She sheds all attachment to the opinions of others and accepts complete responsibility and control over Her own life. She is the Queen of Her Self, the mature monarch, the sole sovereign of Her own life and destiny.” (3)
I claimed The Queen of Hearts.
Now to give myself fully the gift of claiming The Queen of My Self.