Sunday, April 21, 2013

Interview With Julie Cuccia-Watts with Her Upcoming Deck "Journey Into Egypt Tarot"

Julie Cuccia-Watts is an artist who has painted beautiful decks. She did the Ancestral Path Tarot, Blue Moon Tarot, Maat Tarot, and she is self-publishing her newest deck The Journey Into Egypt Tarot. 

I have only had the pleasure of working with the Ancestral Path Tarot as it was gifted to me by a very very good friend. It being out of print and all... it became quite pricey. U.S. Games has decided to run a second printing on the deck. 

I had the pleasure in asking Julie a few questions in regards to her new deck. Julie is a long time Astrologer who has taken up Real Astrology. This new Astrology is based off of the consideration of the procession of the equinoxes.  This takes in account the slight wobble of the Earth that is knocking us slightly forward. 

Right now the World is soon to celebrate a Full Moon in Scorpio... but by Real Astrology... we are still celebrating Libra. She gives information about this on her website. 

I consider Julie a pioneer in her field. She is unlike a lot of her fellow Astrologers who instead of re-thinking their entire construct of reality to the shifting times... choose to just brush it under the rug and pretend it isn't there. 

As a Tarot reader I give her a lot of respect. I consider each deck its own little Universe within the Muti-verse. Each deck created through the lens of the individual Artist. Divined through the energetic patterns of the universe into a unique deck of its own. But in Astrology... that is Universal. It may be Universal but it is not Constant. It is not only forever changing but always moving forward. 

For Astrologers to be doing their work based on an outdated system seems to be only stunting our growth. Embracing change is never easy... because as us readers know letting go is not always so easy. But this is the age of being more flexible in what we think we know in order to grow past our limitations. 

But what does this mean? 

  • It means that a lot of our so called Doctrine and Mythos stems from the cycles of the planet. It is up to us as professionals to keep up with the most present research. In every field a Doctor must keep learning. It never ends... there is always new ways of doing things. More efficient ways. New discoveries that overthrow the old standard.
    I think that if we can embrace one thing about all of this that everything changes. Not only is everything always changing... but it is also evolving. We are evolving and so is the planet... and the Universe. We are all growing together.
    Everyone is referring to these times as the "Return of The Feminine." We as a whole are re-discovering the unconscious in new and exciting ways. I want to know what the Value of this is.
    I am a firm believer that the Map is not the Territory. That each one of us is responsible for finding a map that suits our individual needs.
    With that I wanted to dive a little deeper into Julie's head in regards to her Maps.
    Mandy: There seems to be a real lack of information about the procession and how it affects Astrologers. What do you think about this?
    Julie: There is a great lack of information on the web because not many people are doing real sky. The closest you will find is Vedic Astrology.
    Mandy: We often give too much focus to our Sun signs. Where the Sun is and the movement of the cycles of life.... but the Moon... she is in charge of the Underworld. The Darkness. The Subconscious and its role in the Collective Unconscious. The Inner the Feminine. How do you see your system reflect what so many people describe as the "Return of the Feminine"
    Julie: I have been trying to return to the Feminine since Ancestral Path cam out in 1996. Finding the divine feminine in the mythologies of every culture. The goddess seemed to be cut out of the Eurocentric reality once Western culture got to the current era. While I was creating the Blue Moon and the MAAT Tarot I realized the month should belong to the moon no the sun and found it was a Roman invention that injected the sun into the study of the stars…astrology…Star study. The main event in studying the night sky would have been the culmination of the moon. And the waxing and waning light was a natural device for understanding why things have cycles.
    Mandy: Please explain how you see the procession of the equinoxes and the role of the Moon phases in your new deck?
    Julie: in my new deck I did not use the moon phases. I used the unique ancient Egyptian calendar that is in effect structured like a modern horoscope. 12 thirty day months with three 10-day “weeks” the structure blew my mind a bit so I had to go with it. I used one major card to represent the Month(moon cycle) I used a court card (King, Queen or Princess) to represent the full moon. And I used the minor numbered cards to represent the 10-day weeks. I precessed each month back one sign to align with the real sky constellation the full moon would appear in.
    Mandy: How do you see the precession of the Equinoxes in terms of evolution?

    Julie: Since the sky is in constant motion slipping back a degree about every 72 years it makes sense to allow this to happen to use it as part of the dynamics of astrology rather than lock ourselves into a static dogma. Though I have no problem with astrologers keeping astrology the way they have it if they want to. I guess if what I am doing here doesn't render the old way obsolete. I for one was ruined for the old traditional astrology after I started using the real sky. Especially because there are so many cool apps you can get for your smart phone that you can watch the planets moving in real time.
    Mandy: What do you think is the most valuable tool that you can learn from working with the Moon Cycles. How it effects the psyche and our emotions and how the process of Death is a repeated pattern and how we can use that to empower us rather than leave us feeling vulnerable and victimized.
    Julie: I think that is exactly right. If we are in tune with the moon we are flowing with the natural energies of waxing and waning light. The moon is very immediate. The Sun too goes thru waxing and waning light and that too should be considered. Working with these energies just helps things to flow better.
    Mandy:How would you compare the old paradigm to the new... or in your language the old Astrology to New?
    Julie: We have moving from the Piscean Age to the Aquarian Age. From an age of Believing into an age of Knowing. The information age. When I looked at the old zodiac wheel at the temple of Dendera and recognized the symbolism for Pisces as being part of a greater story I was struck by how much it reflected the Piscean Age. “ I looked closer at the ceiling relief at Denderah under closer inspection I could see a figure holding a staff connected to two fish, the fish were separated by a box and on either side of the two fish there were two circles with symbols. The figure’s face looked like a lion to me at first and then I realized it was a baboon. I realized what I was seeing was an illustration of the story of the first test in the afterlife. Because baboons would come out at sunrise and sunset and because the sunset and sunrise were thought to be the portal to the far world or the Duat they saw the baboon as the first guardian or gatekeeper to the after world. The figure standing behind the baboon has a human face. Now the story goes that if you were not spiritual you would be caught in the nets of the “fisherman” as the fish was the hieroglyph for the physical body that would rot. So if you were just a body your life in the Duat would end right there caught in the net. But if you could convince the baboon that you too were a fisherman tell him all the sacred words (god’s and goddess names) that described the parts of the net you would be allowed to pass on to the next test. There would be numerous other world beings that would try to steal your heart (the seat of your wisdom) and you would have to trick all of them into thinking you were a god."
    Wouldn’t the powers that be love to keep us in a state of fear so they could continue to feed off of us? People who KNOW they are immortal and will come back aren't affected by someone threatening their life. They know how karma works.
    Mandy: How do you think this system shines a light on the validity of several systems in Tarot?
    Julie: I think tarot works because everything happens for a reason. So other systems work. I think everyone should be free to use whatever system they are comfortable with. I can only tell you what I am thinking not what to think. I am just experimenting with the onionskin of my reality and working on my own spiritual evolution. I just keep asking new questions and the universe keeps giving me more new questions.
    Mandy: How does this Moon system benefit the changing world. What benefits are offered to consciousness with this knowledge?
    Julie: Well I guess this Moon system just takes a whack at the real sky, it is my correction of MAAT Tarot which I finished in 2006. It is also utilizing what I learned on my trips to Egypt in 2007 and 2009 as well as feeling that Egypt is the source of the study of Astrology.
    Mandy: By this system... we are coming up to a New Moon in Aries full moon in Libra. Can you sense and explain the old and the new and how it works in the psyche. (I guess I am asking for a little report of this month as an example so me, and others can connect to it)
    Julie: The Full Moon Cycle of Libra- Major card: Justice features the lesson of learning what the rules are. The Libra symbol found in the Dendera ceiling medallion shows a scale topped by the child Horus. The modern astrological Libra (The Scales) is somewhat similar to the Egyptian sign which is illustrated as the scales with the figure of Horus the child sitting atop the balance. The symbol of the scales is found in ancient Egyptian judgment of souls. In these stories it is Ma’at, the Goddess of Truth and Justice, weighs men's souls against a feather before they can pass on into the next world. Though Ma’at is an archetypal symbol of balance, Horus is often portrayed as One-Who-Brings-Balance-to-Injustice. The symbol of the young Horus sucking his finger in the Dendera motif may be symbolic of keeping the heart light and childlike, or perhaps the young Horus is placing his finger to his lips in sign of silence, or possibly Horus is making a statement that no one should speak against him.
    The great hall of Judgment the deceased is questioned to judge his innocence. With each question his heart is weighed against Ma’at's Feather of Truth and Justice. If the heart balances with TRUTH then all was well, but if his heart weighs heavy he would meet his doom, which is to be devoured by Ammut. (See Judgment)
    The Full Moon in Libra
    The Full Moon in Libra personified by Maatkare Hatshepsut female pharaoh of Egypt known for making her own rules. (See King of Wands)
    ****Week 1- the first ten days of this moon cycle is symbolized by the 5 of Wand signifies the rules of the “game”. If the full moon falls within the first 10 days of the month will learn about what the rules of the game. This card is not necessarily as serious as it is annoying it is related to the power games people play with each other.
    Week 2- the second ten days of this moon cycle is symbolized by the 6 of Wands signifies the rules of magic. If the full moon falls during this week you will be focused on what it takes to make something miraculous happen.
    Week 3- the third ten days of this moon cycle is symbolized by the 7 of Wands signifies the laws of the universe. If the full moon falls during the third 10 days of this month you will be dealing with the laws of universal balance and karma.
    The Full moon falls in the first 10-day week this year so the month will reflect as mentioned above.
    Mandy: From my reading on your website this was a time of rebellion. It corresponds with the Aries energy now of moving forward. Standing up to oppression. Perhaps the timing of this bombing could be this representation of nature and the psyche. A warning by the oppressors.
    Julie: We are actually moving into a time a synchronicity when what we need will just be there if we are in harmony with our truest self. We are entering a time of knowing. When we will just “know” and trust our inner voices more. We will start to see the universe is always on time. We need to get right with ourselves and when we do it is easy to be in harmony with others. Empowering others empowers the self. We can’t get power by stealing someone else’s power only by helping others. Power never comes from power over.
    Mandy: I read from your Blog the old Pagan tradition as you explain on your website the following:
    "The Full Moon in Libra is the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox. For Wiccans and pagans, Eostar Vernal Equinox signals the rebirth of the earth just as the Winter Solstice signals the rebirth of the sun. During this the time of earth rebirth when the increasing sunlight has awakened the earth, trees begin to show buds, flowers begin to emerge from the dormant ground of winter. The name for the Christian holy day known as Easter has its roots in the pagan holiday Eostar. Eostar the spring equinox was named after the Germanic goddess Ostara, Eostre or Eostar. Eostar's sacred animal is the hare. The hare is associated with fertility and magic. The goddess Eostar whose name means the dawn is also similar to the goddess Ishtar, Babylonian goddess of morning and evening star.
    Even today the modern Easter bunny that hides eggs shows the lingering remnants of the goddess Eostar. The egg and the rabbit or hare symbolize the mystery of life that returns from a seemingly dead earth.
    The Libra moon represents a time for balance between winter and summer. It is the time when Light overtakes Darkness and the winter surrenders to springs warm days. The Libra moon has the attributes of life awakening from death and the weak and oppressed finding liberty and justice from the forces that oppress them."
    You go on to explain the cruxifiction of Jesus:
    "It seems apparent to me that the timing of a rebellion was critical to the Jews for reasons of sympathetic magic established for them by their history. Although a favorable outcome could not be guaranteed this was the optimum time based on past success commemorated by the Passover holiday to stage such an act. Any rebellion that may have occurred against Rome did not make it into the historical record, however. This rebellion may have been squelched by the Romans as there is not much evidence handed down to the 21st century to prove there even was a rebellion. Only trace evidence like the crucifixion itself, a political act, sending the public a form of warning against political rebellion. There is evidence of a rebellion waged approximately 30 years later that speaks of the continued unrest. The new religion 'of women and slaves' born of this cause was not so easily squelched. This religion became so powerful that the only way for Rome to control it was to adopt it as the state religion some three centuries later. This is when Rome was able to gain back full control over the hearts and minds of the Christian people. As the state religion of Rome, Christianity was given the attributes of the previous state religion Mithraism. 'Jesus the Savior', rebel against Rome, has been put to death every year and will be for as long as the religion exists. One of the most telling and peculiar attributes of the Christian religion is its need for conversion and constant and vigilant quest for members. I feel this behavior is a remnant of the recruitment for the cause and the need for large numbers of rebels to wage a rebellion against Rome."
    How do you feel about the misuse of such a natural occurrence by religion?
    Julie: It is a form of black magic in my opinion to have thousands/millions of people picturing this execution each year. It keeps the Roman Empire now a church in power in my opinion.
    Mandy: So to me... this is now and the rest of the world is still conditioning for a deep plunge in a 
    Full Moon in Scorpio. It is the seed struggling through the dirt to find light.
    The real sky does seem more resonating... why the difference?
    Julie: In real sky the Scorpio Moon comes next month and Scorpio is really only about 5 days the rest of the month the degrees of the sky is in the constellation of the Serpent Bearer in Egypt it was the only constellation named after a human being. Imhotep (hotep) means peace. Imhotep brought medicine to Egypt and built the pyramids he was compared to Aesclepius and also the Christ by the Coptics (Egyptian Christians) When the Greeks adapted the Zodiac to 12 signs they eliminated the 13th sign.
    Mandy: I consider Tarot "Maps in Consciousnesses" how do you feel your/ this "map" in this new deck will bring more awareness to the process of human nature?
    Julie: Well I can only hope this will shift a paradigm for some people, I know it has for me."

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