Twelve Days 5: Flying Witch

Let’s just keep going with the magical posts, right? It’s in the middle of my wheelhouse, so I may as well. A friend of mine once mentioned that the magic in this show seemed to track, to some degree, to the way real life witches actually practice magic. I haven’t seen anything so far that struck me as that boldly spiritual, but the practical side is interesting. There’s a great deal of focus on harmony, cultivation, and helping people. Maxine Sanders, who was the wife of Alex Sanders (from whom we get Alexandrian Wicca), said once in an interview that most of the people who visited them, back when they were a famous coven, just needed help. They never turned anyone away, though they would be open about how maybe they weren’t the best option for whomever. While Makoto doesn’t go around trying to right wrongs, she and her friends cheerfully try to help out when they can. It’s just part of being a witch. That, certainly, is true to the spirit of the thing.

I think we’ll use something other than the past/present/future spread this time. Given that the show is in the slice-of-life vein, the passage from past to future may not be the most appropriate thing to examine.

I think, instead, we could do the four quarters, the four elements. That’s from the Persian system, mind you. There are plenty of other elemental systems. You know this one, though: earth, water, air and fire. The tarot cards are, themselves, mapped onto that quarternary scheme. Pentacles are Earth, Cups are Water, Swords are Air, and Wands are Fire. At the same time, Earth is materiality/corporeality, Water is emotion, Air is intellect, and Fire is passion/spirit.

Let me lay those out for you a little more clearly:

Pentacle = Earth = Body

Cup = Water = Emotion

Sword = Air = Intellect

Wand = Fire = Spirit

So we’ll deal a set of four cards, in that order, to just examine where Makoto is in her life just now.

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I’ll be using the Thoth deck for this, designed by Aleister Crowley and painted by Frieda Harris.

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Right away, in the slot for body and materiality, we got a disk, which means the materiality is doubled. Maybe that’s why it’s such a running joke that Makoto is always sore when she rides her broom. She knows how to soar into the sky, how to be a witch, but she tends to forget and stick with earthly, material things. Certainly, later in the show, her sister has to come visit because Makoto isn’t practicing magic at all. The Princess of Disks is ready to explore the forest around her. She draws power from the earth, and couldn’t really do without it.

In the slot for emotions, we don’t have a double elemental sign. We got the Knight of Wands. It’s certainly true that Makoto isn’t emotional. Her emotions are settled into her passions, which are slow-burning but strong. The knight of wands is not slow burning, not typically, but he’s in a slot associated with water — so he’s sort of dampened (haha). That leads to a steady, almost placid demeanor — her emotions are mobile and reactive, but lightened, so they’re not overpowering. She reacts to everything around her, often with a sense of delight, but she doesn’t lose her shit.

Meanwhile, in the intellect, we got the Aeon. I think the bifurcation is important. In the “lower” areas, body and emotion, Makoto is fairly chill. She got minor cards, though both are court cards. In the “upper” realms, though, she got major cards. That shows us where the important stuff is. The Aeon is more typically called Judgment. Crowley changed the card because he felt the judgment of Christ had passed — we were, and are, in the age of Horus instead. That is, the world turned from Christ to  Horus, as it had turned from Isis to Christ (I think I’m getting that right, feel free to correct me). So The Aeon depicts both a huge change and the place the change puts us. If you look closely, though, you can see fetus shapes in the lower portion, and the figure in the center is childlike. Going back to Makoto, she’s learning, so she’s “child like,” but she has moved to a new place and is learning things she didn’t think she needed to know before. Her life has changed, just because her mentors, like her sister, thought it should. So we can see that the show is about the education of a young witch (I mean, we knew that), and specifically about the transformation a witch must make in herself.

Finally, we got Lust in the passions slot. This is more typically called Strength. The woman rides the lion: the card depicts the use of personal lust and strength to overcome obstacles. Crowley’s Thelema was about Will — which maps to Fire. If we follow our Will — which is not what we want, but what we are here to do in the cosmic sense — then we will encounter no serious obstacles. We know what we “want,” what we need, so we have to get out of our own way. Makoto doesn’t quite know what she wants, it seems like. So the show depicts her learning what that is, and how to allow herself to chase it in a way that helps everyone. And that’s probably the solution finally: she likes helping people, because she reacts so easily, but placidly, to others. That shows us how the cards work together: Makoto is a person who reacts quickly and with a firm, but loose, material foundation. The fact that she’s undergoing her education means her strength comes not from herself now, but from the self she is building for later.

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One thought on “Twelve Days 5: Flying Witch

  1. Pingback: 12 Days of Anime 2017 Omnibus – Better Living through Symbolism

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