A dear friend of mine has recently took up a fitness challenge, and in order to stay on top of it, she is posting a song on Facebook every day for her workout. One day she has posted Boney M’s Rasputin, and it got me thinking. For one thing, I love this song, it’s one of my favourites from the band. On the other hand, I have always felt it is a little (very) unjust towards Rasputin. Just as most anything in pop culture is. But!
I always had a soft corner for history’s bad boys (and girls), so feeling sympathy towards the “mad monk” is not a surprise – here I feel the urge to insert that he was neither mad nor a monk, but let’s just carry on shall we. I am fascinated by how history is (re)written by those on the winning side, and how a perfectly normal human being can be made a monster. We are not talking about Nero, though; sometimes these bad guys really were monsters, and I am aware of it. But there are sheep wrapped in wolfs’ skins amongst them. So while I find him fascinating, I will try my best to be objective.
Anyway, I have decided to ask the cards about Rasputin and his life. Here are the positions:
1 What do we have to know about his relationship with Tsar Nicholas II?
2 What do we have to know about his relationship with Empress Alexandra?
3 What do we have to know about his relationship with power?
4 What do we have to know about his relationship with magic?
5 What do we have to know about his relationship with us later generations?
6 What do we have to know about his relationship with his family?
7 What do we have to know about his relationship with women?
And here are the cards I got from the Borderless Deviant Moon Tarot:
1. The Tsar – Eight of Wands
This was a very dynamic relationship full of action, probably a lot of emotions as well. They would interact a lot and Rasputin was known to put ideas into Nicholas’ head through the Tsarina. Although Nicholas II didn’t like him at first, Alexandra has made sure that Rasputin was welcome to the palace, especially after Rasputin has seemingly saved the tsesarevich Alexei’s life. The picture on the card suggests Rasputin has also been responsible for the killing of the tsar and his family, although I highly doubt that it was intentional. He wanted to protect them and given good counsel – that the tsar and the Duma haven’t listened is a different thing.
Update: you know that legend that Rasputin wrote a letter to the Tsar before his death. The Eight of Wands sums it up perfectly. The paper in the raven’s beak is of course the letter. The seven trees that the peasant woman is about to cut down are Nicholas, Alexandra and their five children. Rasputin’s letter said that if he is killed by a commoner, the Tsar and his family will live. But if he is murdered by a nobelman, they will all be dead within two years. We all know what happened next.
2. The Empress Alexandra – The Chariot
He had an even bigger influence on the Empress Alexandra. The Chariot is the 8 of Wands’ pair in the Major Arcana. It’s like its bigger version. The Empress was absolutely devoted to him as we know, but to be honest, I don’t see any clues of an intimate relationship. He has used her as a vehicle to get where he wanted to be, but this card for me doesn’t mean adultery. She took him to places but not into her bed. She has carried his advices to the tsar and as I said he had total control over her, but that is about it.
3. Power – 8 of Cups
Nah, political power was not in his interests. He wanted to influence the tsar to help Russia. Let’s not forget he was a peasant, the son of a farmer. Although he was uneducated, he was very intelligent and whenever he told something to the Tsar, it always turned out right. He has opposed to Russia entering the First World War, saying it would be disastrous and would mean the end of the Romanovs. We all know what happened to the Tsar’s family. So what I think is, while he wanted to and was influencing politics, he did’t do it for the power. He was a loyal royalist, wanting to save Russia and its ruler.
4. Magic – The Star
He was a powerful healer who received his knowledge from ‘above’. He listened to his guts and never had a minute of self-doubt. Good for him! 😀 According to his daughter Maria, he was able to astral travel and heal from a distance. If we can believe Maria, once when Alexei was near death because of an internal bleeding (he had haemophilia, so even a small bruise meant danger) he has locked himself in his room and hasn’t come out for a day, continuously praying or laying ‘unconscious’ on the bed. Shortly after he finally came out, a telegram arrived from Alexandra saying the boy is considerably better.
5. Later generations – 5 of Pentacles
I think it is safe to say he pities us, and thinks we are beggars looking for material goods only. He doesn’t have a good opinion about the fangirls seeking him for sexual pleasures either. At one point of time there was a group of women who took hold of an object that was allegedly his severed penis, and worshipped it as a fertility symbol. Later it turned out to be a sea cucumber but never mind.
6. His family – Seven of Swords
He was dancing on the sword’s edge, as we say in Hungary. He may have wanted to balance family life and ‘work’, but we all know that if your family lives thousands of kilometres from the Tsar in the middle of Siberia, it is just not possible; although he has almost always gone home for sowing and harvest, which says a lot about his attitude towards his family. If not very present, he was at least dutiful. He had three children, a son and two daughters. His daughters were living with him in StPetersburg. I feel he wanted to be a good husband and good father (in the traditional Russian sense), but with all the politics going on he just couldn’t manage it.
7. Women – Queen of Pentacles
My question in my head was: has he really had so many lovers, and was he really into SM? For me this card is a big and definite no. The Queen of Pentacles for me is loyal, loving, respectful, into sensual love making. It would be great to know his wife’s date of birth, to see if she is an Earth sign and if this card represents her. She was sitting at home in Pokrovskoye, tolerating her husband’s absences (not that she had any other options but still), taking care of the house and fields… I think she fits Earth/Pentacles well. Which would mean that other than his wife he has never had anyone. Which is the exact opposite of what we think we know of him. Empress Alexandra was a Gemini, Air, a Queen of Swords. This is definitely not her. Rasputin himself was an Aquarius, just to rule that out. So it seems he was given his bad reputation by his enemies and the doppelgänger they have employed according to his daughter Maria. There were multiple investigations ordered to find any proof of his monstrous behaviour, always ending up unsuccessful and with him back in the Tsars favours. On the picture you see him with his wife Praskovia.
So what have we learned? That Boney M, although an awesome band, is not a reliable source for the study of history.
Stay tuned, I might research ‘Ma Baker’ as well! 😀