Aries 2: Second decan of Aries – Three of Wands

The Three of Wands from my new deck in progress:

Three of Wands

I’m following 777 mainly and strictly for the decan descriptions but occasionally incorporating some symbolism from other decan descriptions.

Crowley’s description of the decan per 777, Succedent decan of Aries: A green-clad woman, with one leg bare from the ankle to the knee.

Picatrix: A woman dressed in green clothes, lacking one leg.

Agrippa: A woman, outwardly clothed with a red garment, and under it a white, spreading abroad over her feet.

Liber Hermetis: The second decan has the face of the Sun. It’s name is Sabaoth. It has a two headed face and the lotus of kings is open upon its head. In the compass of the lotus there are stars of the splendor of gold. He has in his right hand a water jug which is called life, in his left a scepter the extremity of which is bifurcated. This decan is clothed in linen and he treads under his feet a tortoise entirely covered with a net.

The Three of Wands card is Aries II, the second or middle decan of Aries. Whereas the Two of Wands has association with Aidoneus (Hades) per the 36 Airs of the Zodiac, the Three corresponds to his Queen Persephone or Kórē, the goddess who rises in the spring to green the world yet is the powerful ruler of the Underworld realm. As such, the three wands are shown in the form of a trishula or three-pronged staff behind her, that is a composite of the Egyptian forms of the soul: the Ba (personality), shown as the human-headed bird with outstretched wings, combines with the Ka (life force and vital essence of life), shown as the upraised hands, to form the Akh which takes the form of the crowned ibis. The Akh represents the “effectiveness” of kings, and the character and intelligence that makes up a person – which has a lot to do with the meaning of the Lord of Virtue.

The middle decan of Aries is ruled by the Sun, and in the springtime the solar force awakens the seeds of the Earth, cracking them open with the force of Mars (Aries) so they emerge. The idea of a woman in green upon one leg is reminiscent of a sprout, and indeed when seeds sprout with their initial two curling leaves they look just like the glyph of the sign Aries!

The Invocation for the Lord of Virtue is in sonnet form. I don’t usually write sonnets as I prefer something more freestyle with fewer constraints on form but was inspired by Andrew Watt’s decan walk series where he ritualized the process of sonnet writing, and had one burn the first one written as an offering to Persephone’s realm.

Invocation for Aries II, Virtue, by M.M. Meleen

A maiden I once was, but now a Queen.

Good governance my gift to lands beneath.

Each Spring I rise again and growth is green.

Obedience to me all souls bequeath.

I warm Earth, and crack seeds embryonic.

Crowned with the Sun I cause the primal surge.

I bear Earth-fire rising from the chthonic.

I wear the vernal bright as sprouts emerge.

My virtue drew the virile nether lord.

I, Kora, gathered blooms of the flowers.

With horses dark he took me as his ward,

enthroned and crowned with underworld powers.

He fed me pomegranate seeds of six,

and I became the Queen of Spring and Styx.

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5 thoughts on “Aries 2: Second decan of Aries – Three of Wands

  1. Really enjoying these so far. I appreciate the pairing of Crowley/Thelemic symbolism with actual human figures in the minors, something I’ve been looking for for quite a while in a Crowley inspired deck.

  2. These are really inspiring—hopefully this deck will be ready around the time Austin Coppock reissues “36 Faces” and I can really dig into the decans, which I’m admittedly pretty shaky on. (And greetings from a relatively new relative neighbor over in Easthampton!)

    1. Greetings! And thank you! I’m hoping these will be ready next year, but you know how it goes, another year may slip by so 36 Faces will probably be out before this is. Gives you time to dig in ahead of time 🙂

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