Taurus III: third and last decan of Taurus, Seven of Disks, is the Lord of Failure – otherwise known as Success Unfulfilled. I like to think of it though as in, unfulfilled as of yet. Because there is always, or should be, a Plan B.
The image described in Crowley’s 777 is a challenging one: “A swarthy man with white lashes, his body elephantine with long legs; with him, a horse, a stag, and a calf.”
The image is done, and yes it was done during the decan period – there was no failure! I think it may be my favorite decan card yet, which is funny because actually getting this card usually feels like some form of bummer! Just finally getting around to posting about it.
So doing a black and white drawing and having “white lashes” show up is one thing. Ok, I think I managed but it will show better in the color version, making it obvious that this older gentleman has white lashes and brows. Next is that he has to have an “elephantine” body, with long legs. The word “elephantine” is interesting, as while of course it means “like an elephant” I figured it probably had an additional archaic meaning. And when I looked into it, it does, for it also means very large in size, and also “ponderously clumsy”. I suppose one might be clumsy if one was both enormous and long-legged as well as old enough to have white lashes. I suppose another meaning of “white lashes” could also be scars – it would fit, though is more Martial. But I chose the other meaning as I saw him as an old farmer (Saturn) working the Earth (Venus, for both Taurus and Sevens).
All this reeks of Saturn, and yes indeed Saturn is the decan ruler. One inspiration for this card was the painting “Man with a Hoe“. That guy looks long-legged, swarthy, and clumsy! But the guy in this card is instead sharpening his scythe, for he has to have a Plan B.
He also is long-legged and swarthy with white lashes, large and clumsy, and elephantine, with those large old man ears and nose, wrinkles, and that scythe blade suggests an elephant’s trunk!
Crowley’s 777 also says that with him is a horse, a stag, and a calf. Those are his Plan B. His crops have failed; does he harvest and replant? Is there still time (Saturn)? The horse in the disk representing his thought-bubble is pulling a plow, perhaps he can plant again. If that fails though, he might have to hunt this winter (the stag) and/or kill off his cattle to eat in the spring (his calf).
The fragmentary text 36 Airs of the Zodiac lists the deity for the card as “Litae“. Litae is Greek for “prayers”, and these goddesses surround the person who prays, trying to prevent the calamity or failure. These wizened daughters of Zeus follow after his other daughter Atë (Folly) goddess of ruin who brings death or downfall. The seven Litae goddesses shown praying here among the disks are not just old and lame, but skeletal, fitting the Saturnian theme. They alternately could stand in for the Pleiades and Hyades – each a group of seven sisters associated with the decan.
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