Seven of Staves: Valor
Historical: Lord of Valour
Ruling Pentagram: Pent #7 “Hidden” – Fire of 震 (Chên) The Arousing, Thunder
Berashith: “and Elohim said “Let there be a raki’a””
Ruling Hexagram: Hex #25 (無妄 wú wàng), Innocence (The Unexpected)
Tiered Bigrams: Fire (Above), Air (Middle), Earth (Below)
Element/Planet: Fire of Venus (Netzach, Victory)
Planet/Sun Sign: Mars in Leo
Keywords: Overcoming, Bracing, Movement, Courage, Passion, Brilliance, Dedication, Enthusiasm, Innocence, Virtue, Harmony, Perseverence
Keywords (Ill-Dignified): Naivety, Harmlessness, Loss, Theft, Ineptitude
Golden Dawn: Called The Seven of Swords, Lord of Valour, The Seven of Swords card corresponds to the planetary Mars and zodiacal Leo. It places at Sephira #7 (Netzach) in the Golden Dawn system.
Four swords flank three swords that touch in the center of the card at their points. The middle sword pierces The Rose. A hand is grasping it. There is a cloud in the background.
Thoth: Seven; a “weak, earthy, feminine number as regards the Tree of Life.” summoning “the brutal energy of Mars.” This weird opinion of seven explains why the Chariot, numbered ATU 7, is so malformed and dorky in the Thoth and other decks.
Crowley’s repulsive attitude towards the Venus and the feminine is tiresome and annoying. It is only in our understanding of his tortured psyche and our appreciation for the rest of his work as an occultist that his opinions are not thrown out entirely. Seven isn’t weak and all, it’s chaotic, unpredictable and mysterious, even to mathematicians. The rest of his synopsis in The Tarot of the Egyptians is useless garbage, so he isn’t as helpful as The Golden Dawn. The art itself is beautiful, but this is wholly due to Lady Harris’s hand and certainly not Crowley’s gibberish.
Mutational Alchemy Interpretation: Netzach is the place of Venus, the Goddess. Here is where the masculine principle comes to meet the female in the three lower Sephiroth, connecting to Tiphareth, where the Sun and the child resides, Yesod, the Foundation of Man, representing our inner potential and axiom “Male, Female Quintessential One,” the center of the triangle of the Moon Worlds. Finally it connects to Malkuth, Kingdom. Seven is a masculine number and is specially connected with the God the Father, as we see revealed in the Proximity Principle. The Emperor himself is chilling on the path from #7 Netzach to #9 Yesod.
This is not a weakness, it is his divine will and right. He is taking care of his realm – that’s his job. It is the mistake of the Gnostics to assume escaping and transcending the world is somehow virtuous. God doesn’t run from the world, he seeks to be down in it, to support it and engage with it. That is why There is No God but Man. He is here among us and in us. Those who wish to escape are mere cowards. That doesn’t mean that life doesn’t suck sometimes, but this is what’s on our plate at the moment, and there’s really nowhere to run to. So, down in the trenches we must fight.
In the Hexagram #25 we have the interesting Wu Wang, Innocence, also known as The Unexpected. “Under heaven thunder rolls: All things attain the natural state of innocence. Thus the kings of old, Rich in virtue, and in harmony with the time, Fostered and nourished all beings” (The I Ching, trans. Wilhelm/Baynes Princeton University Press 1967.)
What is innocence? It is the divine nature found in the young, the new, things, people, animals that haven’t been tainted by the world. The world has a decaying entropic effect on things and new birth can reset everything. People often seem confused when I use the word *world* even people who really ought to know better, so for clarification, I am not referring here to the planet and its ecosystems nor the entire scope of reality. I am referring to the *World* as it defined by the ATU of the Major Arcana. This decay and entropy effect is the very reason for death and reincarnation.
The shaman’s death which was discussed earlier in the Six of Alembics can bring about this new birth and innocence. After a hard rainfall things become new and fresh again. In the early shamanic practices of China storms were utilized as a way to connect with the divine, so they were thought to carry the special ability of Heaven to sanctify and purge evil, filling everything it touched with innocence, a kind of young energy that carries the power to fulfill wishes in concord with divine law. Storms can be scary though, and one has to be brave in order to withstand fleeing or avoiding the energy.
The words seem to encourage us to be protective of life and the people – the image of legendary and mythical rulers like King Arthur, Fu Hsi, Robin Hood, Raven, Gudea, David and other benevolent male rulers are fitting to the hexagram. We are meant to aspire to their example and protect innocence, which goes hand in hand with the unexpected. Bravery is important here, desires to be chivalrous and honorable mean nothing if one flees at the first sight of danger, or lacks the fortitude to carry through with difficult tasks requiring courage. This is what is meant by the Innocence line found in the Judgement “If one is not as one should be, nothing furthers;” a coward and those lacking honor and inner strength of will cannot succeed here. Therefore, the card’s meaning will be different depending on the individual and its placement.
The tiered bigrams reveal a strong Fire principle in the above, with Air and Earth in the below, as if the Father has his two small children, a boy and a girl following him. Heaven above Thunder indicates a dangerous situation, which the power of Heaven is controlling. One must be in concordance with the will of Heaven or nothing furthers. Heaven likes good, forthright, honorable and innocent people who are good, creative or beneficial to universe.
Fire of Venus hints at a surprising angle: the love and lust between Father Sky and Mother Earth, or Fire and Earth, where he is doing her some favor, extricating her from a bad situation, destroying those who would harm her, or some such scenario. The opposite is not true from the other aspects: Fire of Venus, is the consort of The Goddess. Hephaestus and not Mars in this case. He is the intelligent and holistic Father God, not the darkened son Mars, or airy Mercury. Mars of Leo confuses things a bit as it seems contrary at first, but then we remember the nature of the male lion at war is always to protect his females – or his progeny and this extends to his seed as he will kill other cubs upon taking over a pride with a few limited exceptions.
The Pentagram, in name, “Hidden,” reinforces the idea of the powers of the unexpected. The thought of the secret powers known by occultists around the globe is terrifying to most people, and absolutely real. In the case of the evil, their terror is justified. Father Nature is much more intelligent than a lion and unforgiving, despite what all the Christians yammer on about, as if there will be mercy for child rapists or serial murderers who kill for sport. The card is dangerous in this case, for the evil, again it will be entirely situational depending on your spread and the persons involved.
In the scene itself, we have an ordeal resembling a spirit wolf guarding an eternal flame. The flame is Venusian and the wolf is Martian. It may be a spoiler, but let’s just say there is very little to fear at all here for the upright and good. However, there are a good amount of people who are cowards. The card will mean little to them. The shaman’s death may await the receiver – it is difficult to say. The flame is Venus, in a form all know and love – the star splendour, her pussy which gives birth to the sun god, Ra.
The Scene: “Something ominous, maybe a forest, and something primeval that represents innocence and valour at the same time” m1thr0s had said to me. I didn’t know what else could be appropriate but a wolf and and the forest. The hot pink purple of the mysterious light, the spirit of the forest, was meant to call to mind the line in the Book of the Law where Hadit reminds us that he is present even if we cannot see him – purple beyond purple, the light higher than eyesight. (A Comment on the Verses of the Book of the Law, D.G. Mattichak JR.) I grew up with wolves, they crawled on me and slept with me in bed, we ate next to each other on the floor, we raced and hunted together, and shared a mother together. They do not scare me at all. I suppose that will be a problem for some people. Oh well.