Matter and Spirit: Deconstructing the Court cards and our Solar Year
Part VII of XVI, the Prince of Disks
April 10-19 last decan of Aries: Four of Wands Completion (Perfected Work)
April 20-29 first decan of Taurus: Five of Disks Worry (Material Trouble)
April 30-May 9 middle decan of Taurus : Six of Disks Success (Material Success)
The season of the Prince of Disks begins around April 10th in the last decan of Aries. The decan ruler is Venus, and while she is not well placed in Aries itself, she does make a good match with her trump the Empress and Aries’ trump the Emperor. Around April 20th, we pass into Taurus season, the main sign we think of when we encounter the Prince of Earth. Taurus the sign is ruled by Venus. The first two decans of Taurus in the Prince’s domain are ruled by Mercury and the Moon, respectively. The Prince of Disks is shown with his bull driven chariot, looking more like a farmer plowing the fields. Yet there is a bit of the accountant about him as well, with that shield in the Tabula Mundi card looking a lot like a copper coin (copper is the metal of Venus). He may have times of Material Trouble but watches his pennies and plants them well, and in time, they bear fruit, turning to gold at the end of the season (gold is the metal of the Sun, a reference to the Six of Disks, a card of the solar sephira Tiphareth).
Mercury rules the first decan of Taurus: he uses his mental faculties to balance the books, one slow step at a time. He has Worry; and questions if there will be enough to go around. With the second decan of Taurus he is much more fortunate. This decan is ruled by the Moon, which is very happy in Taurus, and is also a Six card in the beauty and harmony of the center of the Tree of Life. The Moon, that changeable orb of phases, gives him the ability to adapt to his circumstances and eventually he reaps the benefit of the fullness; the sweet taste of Success.
But what of Completion, and the fact that his shadow decan is a fairly positive card of work perfected? The idea of achieving perfection gets him to make a move, to keep up with the debits and credits in all his interactions, rather than stand like a stubborn bull in the fields. If he yields to the idea that all is indeed well enough as is, inertia would take over. We want him moving, where he can apply his talents for fecundity, increase, and steady multiplication. We can’t forget also that though the Empress and Emperor pairing of this card (Venus/Empress ruling the decan of Aries/Emperor) is a match, that part of every relationship is a bit of friction. Love and War, and all that entails.
His crest is of a winged bull’s head. The bull is a symbol of Taurus, but also of wealth, strength, and fertility. Though he can be a bit practical, plodding, and dull, we mustn’t forget that he is a creature of Venus, sensual Venus who loves her fine materials, her comfort, her lovers, foods, and pleasures. After all, the motto of Taurus is “I have”.
As a Prince, he is given one of the four Royal stars. His is the Watcher of the East, Aldebaran, the Eye of the Bull. Seems fitting to have him paired with the East, the direction of Spring and the place of the Hierophant, since the Hierophant card is the trump of Taurus. The Princes all have a common goal: to find and awaken their sleeping Princess, and remind them of the powers they have and their royal status as children of the supernals. This Prince bears one of the most potent powers, Tacere or To Keep Silent. Which really means, to take Action, and put Will, Love, and Reason into play in the real world. Only then go we Go, or evolve, reaping the gold of our inborn potential.
The Prince of Disks has a pleasant time of year in his sector. Here in the northern hemisphere the Earth is finally warming up, April’s showers bringing May flowers as the saying goes. My guess is that it is also a pretty nice time in the southern hemisphere, as heat gives way to golden fall. He has both “Earth Day” a holiday where we go out and do Earth clean up and trash pick up (or we should) and the fertility festival Beltane or May Day. Right around the start of Taurus, around here at least, it really is time to plow the fields, or at least for the early cool weather crops. And we dig our parsnips, that have wintered over underground, the roots becoming sweeter. Finally after the long winter, the earth is thawed and soft and ready for us. We can plant our little coppers, our seeds of potential whether literal or figurative, and anticipate the golden harvest to come, when our bounty can be shared.