Sunday, May 18, 2014

Victoria Day and the Queen of Pentacles

This weekend, Canadians celebrate Victoria Day in honour of the birthday and long reign of Queen Victoria. It falls on the Monday before May 25 each year, and is the unofficial signal for:

  • opening up the cottage
  • planting out this year's batch of annuals without fear of them freezing to death
  • fireworks

When I was growing up, we called it Fireworks Day. (Actually, as I sit here writing this there are fireworks going off in the neighbourhood!)

A picnic to Point Pelee with my best friend's family started off the day. The weather was often a bit cool, and the trees weren't fully leafed out yet, but the charred hot dogs were always yummy!
The highlight for me was her Dad singing all the way there (in his reedy voice) songs like Found a Peanut, Don't Tell a Lie, and I've Got Sixpence. They all had one thing in common: their multitudinous verse structure, along the lines of 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall only with more plot.

Then it was back home for my family's fireworks, which my Dad launched from the front sidewalk while we sat on the porch steps and were appropriately thrilled. When the big box of rockets was nearly empty, it was time for the Burning Schoolhouse; all I remember about it was watching a small red cardboard school building being devoured by flames. Pyrotechnically it wasn't much, but I liked the concept.
I don’t remember it ever raining on Fireworks Day, although I suppose it must have…

Back to Queen Victoria, her beloved husband Prince Albert, and their nine children. 

It was during her sixty-four year reign that Britain reached such magnitude globally that it could be said “the sun never sets on the British Empire”. This was made possible after the Empire managed to pull the whole of India under its umbrella, causing Victoria to refer to it as “the jewel in my crown”. 
Given that she presided over this period of acquisition and power, it seemed fitting to link Queen Victoria with the Queen of Pentacles.

Touchstone Tarot
What else, besides an aquiline nose, alabaster skin, and a regal demeanour, does Victoria share 
with these other Queens of the suit of Earth?

Teaching her brood                                                                                     Presiding over India's wealth 
the rules of etiquette                                                                                       as did the Goddess Lakshmi
Goddess Tarot (Waldherr)

             Fantastic Menagerie


Hiding from the tabloids a la                                                                       Like Gaia, she had the whole
Taylor and Burton                                                                                                    world in in her hands
Golden Age of Hollywood
Inner Child

Queen Victoria as she might be today? Not bloody likely!
Tarot of the Burroughs