Matter and Spirit: Deconstructing the Court cards and our Solar Year
Part VI of XVI, the Queen of Wands: The Red Queen’s Virtue and Fire’s reflection
March 10-19 last decan of Pisces Satiety
March 20-29 first decan of Aries Dominion
March 30-April 9 middle decan of Aries Virtue
The Queen of the Thrones of Flame bears as her court crest a leopard’s head winged. She is shown in a pose of reflection, eyelids lowered, gazing at the fires within. Her hand on the leopard’s head shows her control of the primal desires and passions. Her face is described as “beautiful and resolute.” The Book T description also says that her Throne has “steady flames beneath.”
Flames are used as a language in the Thoth tarot and in the Golden Dawn teachings to convey a message. The steady flames show a Queen’s receptivity and unshakable inner strength. As a Queen, she embodies stability and the will-to-form. Fire is active, but Queens are more passive. Water of Fire. Form of Force. Though she is enflamed with Shakti fire, she radiates a calm inner power. This is the power of Dominion, the composure that comes with absolute authority.
With the Queen of Wands we think mainly of Aries rather than Pisces, as like in all the court cards, the leading and middle decan of the element of the suit define the a large part of their natures. Since this is the suit of Wands, and Queen’s are Cardinal signs, we look to the cardinal fire sign Aries to tell us more about her. Fire signs are generous and impetuous. Aries is the first fire sign, and the first sign of the zodiacal sequence. It is the sign of the warrior and the pioneer. She can be vain and vengeful, ruthless, self centered, and impatient. But she also has the potential to be a true leader.
The sign Aries is at the head of the zodiac, the Ram heralding spring in the Northern hemisphere. At this point at the 0 degree of Aries is the “double Mars” point of the 36 decans, the only point in the tarot sequence that any planet repeats sequentially. Mars thus is the ruler of the decan for two of her cards: the Ten of Cups and the Two of Wands. Then she has the Sun as the ruler of the decan for the Three of Wands. Mars, Mars, Sun. The Spark, the Ignition, and Solar Fires of Spring. The Queen of Salamanders has both cards around the hinge point of the year known as the Vernal Equinox on March 20, Mars straddling either side. This is also the Thelemic celebration date for the Equinox of the Gods, the anniversary of the start of the Aeon of Horus in 1904. This date begins the 22-Day High Holy Season ending April 10th, so encompasses two of her decans; the first and second decans of Aries, ruled by Mars and the Sun – perfectly appropriate for Horus!
Of the three cards she rules, the first card (Ten of Cups) is actually the card for the last part of the preceding season, the final degrees of the last of Pisces heralding the end of winter.
In the last post on the Knight of Cups, he as the Knight of Pisces has the first two decans of the sign. Like all Knights, he looks ahead, but towards her decan at the very end of the zodiac, a place I call The Well at the World’s End. This is tarot card Satiety, the shadow decan of the Queen of Wands, or her place of retreat. In times of stress, she longs to dissolve fully into bliss and give up control. She drinks from the Well at the point of sweet oblivion.
But she climbs up again, stronger than ever. She is charismatic, magnetic, bold, and fierce, and with noble dignity of purpose and strong position. Her main two decans of Aries have her cards as Dominion and Virtue. The unquestionable authority wielded for good. Dominion is a card of Aries, whose decan is ruled by Mars, the planet that rules the sign Aries. No doubt about rulership here. The Emperor and the Tower. And in the sephira of Chokmah, the heavenly father with merely the entire zodiac as his domain.
When she rises she is a force of nature. She has true creative passion. She also has the middle decan of Aries, the stable part of the Aries sign. This is the Three of Wands, called Lord of Virtue, or Virtue in the Thoth Tarot. The decan is ruled by the Sun, which is exalted in Aries. Exaltation is arguably just as good as rulership. In some ways better. The Sun in its glory, exhibiting its full royal potential – in the sephira of the form of the great mother Binah. It is here that shows how she wields her power for altruistic purpose, when she looks within and is aligned with the inner light within her darkness, her highest self.
(To read about her consort the Knight of Wands, you can refer back to the first post of the series.)