Jeanne D'Arc (known in English as Joan of Arc) was a French patriot of the
early 15th century who led the French to victory against the English. Unlike
most of the other Ladies in this Oracle Deck, Jeanne was a real person, born
on January 6th, 1412, and canonised long after Her death by the Catholic Church,
who made Her Saint Jeanne. Operating from a somewhat loose definition of Goddess
as "divine female", folk like Jeanne and others such as the bodhisattvas
and White Tara have
Jeanne first heard voices when She was thirteen years old. She believed
they were the voices of God and the Saints Catherine, Margaret, and Michael,
who told Her that through Her deeds France would triumph in the long war with
England and the Dauphin would be crowned France's rightful King. At the age
of eighteen She convinced the Dauphin to let Her lead an army to the beseiged
French city of Orleans. Having cut Her hair short like a soldier's, and wearing
male clothing, She took part in the battle, planting the first scaling-ladder
Herself, and leading a company under Her own banner. She was wounded, but
in the end the French drove the English off, and a little over two months
later the Dauphin was crowned King Charles VII of France.
Jeanne was made nobility by the king for Her help against the English and
their Burgundian allies, and She continued to fight against them in battle.
But She was captured by the Burgundians at Compiègne, who eventually
turned Her over to the English. She was tried by an ecclesiastical court largely
made up of English sympathizers and condemned to be burnt at the stake. At
the threat of this She recanted, and was given life in prison. However within
four days She was forced into wearing male clothing again, and this was used
as a pretext to sentence Her to death.
On May 30th, 1431 in the Old Market Square in Rouen, Jeanne D'Arc was burned
alive at the stake. She had been dressed for Her death in a long woman's gown.
She was nineteen years of age.
While imprisoned, Her appeal to the Pope was denied; and Charles VII, who
owed his throne to Her, did nothing at all to help Her. Nearly twenty years
after Her death, Charles, on the urging of Jeanne's mother, and aware of how
Jeanne had been beloved by the people and fearing harm to his reputation,
did appeal to the Pope, and after an inquiry Jeanne's conviction as a heretic
was overturned. The Church, never one for hasty decisions, made Jeanne a saint
in 1920, nearly five centuries after it condemned Her.
This card in a reading indicates great forces at play, that you may be able
to ride at this time. A caution is given, however, to keep your wits about
you so you are not blindly caught up in these circumstances. Trust to your
inner voices and intuition in this; it may be a hard road, but it is the right
Alternate spellings: Joan of Arc
Titles: The Maid, La Pucelle