The Ace of Diamonds

The Lia Fáil or 'Stone of Destiny' as it is sometimes styled, was said to have shouted beneath the true High King of Ireland. The same idea informed the Stone of Scone which was used in the crowning of the Scottish Kings. In Gaelic culture, kingship had an almost priest-like function in that the king was thought to marry the goddess of the land, securing abundance for his people through the fertility of their union. This abundance was understood in highly economic terms, and the basic requirements for being a member of the aristocracy was in being able to maintain a certain amount of wealth manifested in animals, primarily cattle, and dependents. Morfessa, the poet-sage whose name means 'great-knowledge', presided over the city of Falias where it originated, suggesting a connection between knowledge and the recognition of kingship by the learned classes.

The King of Diamonds

Midhir and Dealbháeth represent those faculties and forces that make society possible: Midhir's purview being contractual agreements and Dealbháeth's being the well-taken and thus wellfulfilled oath. Far from suggesting the legalistic, almost bureaucratic functions of modern society, these two figures are deeply involved with deeply intimate emotions, as every contractual agreement carried with it the kind of emotional resonances that modern marriage does. The term for an agreement or contract in Classical Gaelic wascairdeas , the same word as friendship and which could be applied to the cohabitation of marriage as much to the mutually beneficial treaty held by two communities or friendship as the modern word implies. The knotwork of this suit, simple in its conception but intricate in execution, is meant to underscore the close bonds that cairdeas creates.

The Queen of Diamonds

Among the Tuatha Dé Danann, Etaín and Danu are perhaps the most iconic of the less wellknown ladies. Etaín, as the wife of Midhir and representative of the moon, appears as the prototypical queen: beautiful, gracious, clever and with the power to heal. Like the moon, she is ever changing her form, and as a queen she manifests an unceasing fecundity. Danu, on the other hand, has almost no overt role in the mythology, but her name is preserved in the very name of the Sídh: the Tuatha Dé Danann, meaning ‘the People of the Goddess Danu.’ As such, she is often related to Áine just as her name is connected etymologically with those Celtic goddesses who gave their names to the Danube, Dniepr, and Don rivers. This card thus represents the feminine sovereignty of the Tuatha Dé themselves.

The Jack of Diamonds

The Jack of Diamonds presents two figures intimately related to wealth as it is manifested in society. On one side is the Bodhbh Dearg. The word bodhbh when used on its own refers to a crow, the war goddess Bodhbh, or any scary old woman who can see the future, but the name Bodhbh Dearg (the Red Bodhbh) is the name of a beautiful young lord of the Tuatha Dé Danann who presides over their youthful warriors and offers gifts of gold to the worthy. Eochu Airemh, on the other hand, was a legendary king who entered into an agreement with Midhir, the most preeminent of the Tuatha Dé, and thereby secured abundance and wealth for his people by bringing them into right relationship with the forces of the divine in nature.