Nine of Staves: Strength
Historical: Lord of Great Strength
Ruling Pentagram: Pent #9 “Pure” – Air of 乾 (Ch’ien) The Creative, Heaven
Berashith: “And Elohim called to the ra’kai”
Ruling Hexagram: Hex #9 (小畜 xiǎo chù), The Taming Power of the Small
Tiered Bigrams: Fire (Above), Earth (Middle), Fire (Below)
Element/Planet: Fire of Luna (Yesod, Foundation)
Planet/Sun Sign: Luna in Sagittarius
Keywords: Lofty, High Minded, Benevolence, Science, Strong Intelligence, Keen
Keywords (Ill-Dignified): Newbie, Mulling, Nihilism, Intellectual Depression, Stuck in a Rut, a Poor Scholar, Lack of Education
Golden Dawn: Called The Nine of Wands, Lord of Great Strength, The Nine of Wands card corresponds to the planetary Luna and the zodiacal Sagittarius and places at Sephira #9 (Yesod) in the Golden Dawn system.
Eight crossed wands over a single primary wand are decorated with bird skulls, suns, flowers and arrow heads, implying strength of life. the bottom of the wands are also decorated, with feathers, serpents, discs and feathers.
Thoth: Rich, red arrows, cross over a double-wand, capped with a crescent moon and a solar disc. The card is called Nine of Staves, Strength. It has an almost tribal feel to it, like an American Indian or Celtic design. The arrows are all capped with crescent moons for points. The background is black. “The Nine may be considered as the best that can be obtained from the type involved, regarded from a practical and material standpoint.” (The Tarot of the Egyptians, Aleister Crowley, 1944) He states the energy is directed downwards.
Mutational Alchemy Interpretation: In Mutational Alchemy, fiery energy directed downwards is called Heaven Descending, or, the *Descending Serpent.* The *Ascending Serpent* is called Earth Ascending and relates to the doctrine of the Kundalini Shakti.
In the tiered Bigrams, we have two fire elements below and above, the single Earth element, indeed a fitting picture for *Earth Ascending.*
In the Trigrams of the Hexagram, which is #9 The Taming Power of the Small, we have Heaven in the below, Sun, The Gentle, Wind in the above. The image is lofty, serene and good. It is an image of Heaven being active and focused. Indeed the pictograms look like a face with a wizard hat, or thinking cap on.
In Fire of Luna, we have lots of fiery, lunar, creative energy flowing, and Luna in Sagittarius makes for an enlightened and futuristic philosopher, with an eye towards uplifting the people. If drawn in the case of a person, it will often be a scholar of some kind. They will follow a moral code and shun falsehood.
The Pentagram is called Pure and relates to the communication between Elohim and the ra’kai,) often translated as “firmament.”) As Air of Heaven, it certainly corresponds perfectly to the Hexagram, which is Wind over Heaven. The Pentagram will have an airy and intellectual stance, and also be the source of great strength.
Generally speaking, it will always be a good omen, and represent internal strength of mind, primarily.
The Scene: The great legendary Fu Hsi, who may or may not have been an individual, or perhaps a pack of sages, is shown here, gazing at a version of the famous Lo Shu tortoise, as if contemplating its meaning. This tortoise came out of the River Lo and inspired and spawned the Changes, the Trigrams and Bigrams, the Lo Shu, and everything else pertaining to ancient China’s amazing mathematical systems of binary and ternary structures.
The tortoise is standing on an astrolabe, a device used to chart stars found in the Imperial court and in the houses of scholars, all over Chung Kuo. He is wearing a necklace representing wisdom and a red robe symbolizing his auspiciousness. He is holding a map representing science, in his left hand, and a staff representing occult wisdom, in the other. In the background, is the similarly mythical Shangri-la. It is up high in the mountains like the airy and lofty hexagram. The dragon tortoise carries a golden pearl in its mouth.