The third and last decan of Libra corresponds to the tarot Four of Swords. While Libra is Venus-ruled, both the decan and the numeric Four cards are Jupiter ruled (Wheel of Fortune, the Greater Benefic or Fortune). 36 Aires of the Zodiac gives the deity as Nemesis, who we think of as a goddess of retribution, but who was also, like Jupiter, sometimes called the Greater Fortune and associated with goddess Fortuna. The Wheel turns after all for better and worse; usually for the better but it revolves and evolves. The Four of Swords in Crowley’s Thoth tarot is called “Truce”, a simplification of the Golden Dawn title of “Rest After Strife”.
The magical description of the decan per Crowley’s 777 is “A man riding on an ass, preceded by a wolf“. Indeed there appears to be some sort of truce between the rider, the ass, and the wolf as they plod downhill, presumably after some arduous climb or encounter. The four swords revolve around a gyroscope – which is what Austin Coppock calls this decan in his 36 Faces. The wheel symbolism is echoed by the device the man holds, which echoes the wheel carried by Fortuna in some depictions.
And now, with all decans of the 7th sign of Libra completed, we are more than halfway around the zodiac, as the decan walk evolves and the wheel revolves. I’m currently working on the first decan of Scorpio. As we plunge into the dark half of the year here in the Northern Hemisphere, some crazy decan descriptions lie ahead. I’m not sure if I will post them all (piracy prevention 101) and will probably hold some back – appropriate for the darkness I suppose. But stay tuned as there will be more to come!
2 thoughts on “Libra 3: third decan of Libra. Four of Swords”
A Gyroscope is a demonstration of forces in balance. The Cube of Space has three cosmic forces flowing into it which the Magician must Balance. This constant Dance to keep the Forces in Balance is the Dance of Life. Every so often there will be pauses, like that pause just before your fall where things seem completely Balanced or Still. This is the 4 of Swords to me. You know you are on a Cycle, this is the Pause Between. The Stillness of the Season it has been called.
I like the “Stillness of the Season” idea. I’ve always thought of the Fours as a pause, plateau, or rest.