Good Queen Bess and all the Queens
“It is extraordinarily entertaining to watch the historians of the past ... entangling themselves in what they were pleased to call the "problem" of Queen Elizabeth. They invented the most complicated and astonishing reasons both for her success as a sovereign and for her tortuous matrimonial policy. She was the tool of Burleigh, she was the tool of Leicester, she was the tool of Essex; she was diseased, she was deformed, she was a man in disguise. She was a mystery, and must have some extraordinary solution. Only recently has it occurred to a few enlightened people that the solution might be quite simple after all. She might be one of the rare people were born into the right job and put that job first.”
― Dorothy L. Sayers, Are Women Human? Astute and Witty Essays on the Role of Women in Society
On the 15th January 1559, Queen Elizabeth I was crowned Queen of England.
The daughter of beheaded Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII she took on the daunting task of leading England, indeed Europe, at a time of great turmoil and political change.
It is interesting to note that previous coronations were in keeping with holy days but in this instance Queen Elizabeth I was advised by her astrologer John Dee who suggested the 15th January as all the planets were aligned as favourable and generous. So, she took up the crown and sceptre with the courage of a man and the heart of a lion and became the desire of historical academics the world over.
Good Queen Bess was certainly an imposing figure both in our imagination and on the political and social field but can we relate our Tarot Queens to her?
In the Court cards we can see that the Queens share a rulership with the Kings but each have their role to play. We can see that they make up the anima and animus of the creative and manifesting dynamic. The Queens take the active principle from the Knights and refine it into a concept which is then manifested through the King.
The Queens bring inquisitiveness and creativity; sensual and passionate they process everything in preparation for bringing into being in the world. In some ways they are the consciousness of the physical and sensual world.
We could say that the four Queens are the quarters of a whole.
As we observe the characteristics of a Queen we are getting a perspective on part of a bigger picture.
Queen of Pentacles.
Mercury. Quartz. Earth.
This Queen is the mother.
She is the nurturer; she can see what it is that you require in order to thrive and succeed and very often it is all down to common sense. She ensures good food, exercise, time in nature, a solid base and a comfortable home. Queen of Pentacles ensures that we have optimum health and if not, why not?
She also encourages us to feast on life and be joyful in our pleasures. Her ability to love and be loved makes the world go around for all that come close to her. However she must be careful she does not attach too much emphasis on earthly pleasures or be distracted in her search of all that is beautiful. She reminds us that we must face relationships that frustrate us and transform it into something more truthful, without flattery or domination.
This Queen is excellent at making an environment into something that can be desired yet homely.
Queen of Cups.
Venus. Sapphire. Water.
The Queen of Cups is a visionary, highly perceptive and has a strong psychic ability.
She reads others like a book and is also very connected to the spiritual world. She has the ability to inspire others and motivates them towards a spiritual path. This Queen experiences joy that is other worldly and believes in a higher power.
However, she can become confused and indecisive. She abuses her own power for the sake of searching for something more powerful and potent. Queen of Cups does not always see her own power or how others may like her and seek out her company.
She relates to the world on an emotional level and this is not always healthy. She must take time out for solitude and regeneration.
Queen of Swords.
Jupiter. Emerald. Air.
The Queen of Swords is a powerful and daunting presence.
She plans out her path to achieve goals and can be ruthless in acquiring what she wants. It is better to have this Queen as a friend than an enemy, however she is no stranger to suffering and can recognise it another. Little escapes her notice, she has mastered her emotions but is passionate about getting results and receiving rewards from challenges.
She has to be careful that she does not become too controlling or demanding. She can be self absorbed which makes her preoccupied with her own plans and can forget that others also need attention.
Her wisdom is her best ally and this will always earn her respect.
Queen of Wands.
Mars. Ruby. Fire
This Queen has a light above her head which everyone will naturally gravitate toward.
She loves to transform things and she is good at gathering people around her. Another Queen who could be a formidable enemy if crossed yet is warm and loyal to those who support her. She also has powerful mothering tendencies and will try to solve the problems of the world.
However she can be indecisive and fluctuates emotionally. She can deem herself to be superior and as a result can be unaware of the feelings of others. Yet she can overcome things in the face of adversity.
The Queen of Wands has much to teach about surviving the ups and downs of life.
An itty bitty exercise!
Take what resonates from each Queen and maybe add your own insights; what does this say about you?
You can also merge all your notes together about the Queens so they make a description of a single character. Give her a name and perhaps other personal details.
Observe your thoughts and feelings as you do so; what is being expressed?
Choose one of the Queens as a companion for a week and see how she interacts with the events of that week and how they work themselves through.