There was a knight, and a lady bright
and three little babes had she
“Three Little Babes” (traditional), as sung by Joanna Newsom (The Milk-Eyed Mender, 2004)
A woman sits in a chair in a house, holding a distaff with unspun fibers against her right shoulder and a spindle in her left hand. A small table before a window next to her is set with a loaf of bread and a bottle of wine. She looks out the window at three small silhouettes of people moving across the fields.
The woman sits in front of a mainly red tapestry depicting a bird flying out of flames. She wears many layers of clothing in yellow, red, green, and blue with different patterns. Around her waist she wears an apron featuring a painting of a burning heart.
This version of the Queen of Batons follows the Etteilla tradition, where she is a woman of the country. She is inspired by the mother of the traditional ballad “Three Little Babes,” waiting at home to welcome her children whenever they may return. Her baton is a distaff, a tool for crafts as well as a symbol of the domain of women. Thus, this card can represent a spinner or textile artist.
Her positive qualities are warmth of spirit, hospitality, and attentiveness. Her negative qualities are pride and difficulty letting go.