Six of Pentacles: Success
Historical: Lord of Material Success
Ruling Pentagram: Pent #6 “Transparent” – Fire of 坎 (K’an) The Abysmal, Water
Berashith: “and Elohim called to the Dawn” Ruling Hexagram: Hex #36 (明夷 míng yí), Darkening of the Light
Tiered Bigrams: Water (Above), Earth (Middle), Earth (Below)
Element/Planet: Earth of Sol (Tiphareth, Beauty)
Planet/Sun Sign: Moon in Taurus
Keywords: Generosity, A Strong Woman in a Position of Power, a Superior Person at the Mercy of the Inferior but Powerful, Status, Fairness, Equality, Justice, Authenticity, Truth
Keywords (Ill-Dignified): Begging, Insecurity, Conditions, Measuring, Miserliness, Being Stuck
Golden Dawn: Called The Seven of Wands, The Lord of Material Success, The Seven of Wands card corresponds to the planetary Mars and zodiacal Leo and places at Sephira #7, in the Golden Dawn system. Its angel correspondences are Mahashiah and Lelahel.
A central wand is a caduceus, or at least capped with the winged disc and two serpent heads. It is crossed with six other wands, two have winged disc tops and lion tails at the end, two have lotuses in bloom, and the last two in the center are topped with flames. The bottom of the central staff has the symbol for Mars. Flames issue from the junctions.
Thoth: Called the 6 of Disks, Failure. As you’ve probably noticed by now, both of the authors find the Rosy Cross incredibly boring, so we don’t use it anywhere. There’s a few circular schematics such as the back of the card, called the Kaos Star, that could be equated to The Rose, but we never use the old Golden Dawn version. The cross is especially meaningless to us. Crowley did like it, and here it is on the 6 of Disks again. The disks are blue surrounding a hexagon. (Crowley refers to it as a “hexagram” in his Tarot of the Egyptians,) The sun is irradiating the disks and being idolized as the Rose and Cross. It has 49 petals “the interplay of the Seven with the Seven” (The Tarot of the Egyptians, Aleister Crowley 1944.)
Mutational Alchemy Interpretation: Darkening of the Light is the ruling hexagram, representing a situation where darkness has a temporary advantage or the ability to wound the bright in some way. The image is of the sun in the underworld, and of Hell. It may share a connection with The Hermit. The text advises us not to be rude or abrasive, in order to protect ourselves. The scene is of the throne of Ereshkigal. She is the sovereign ruler of Irkalla, the underworld, and although her power is limited to Irkalla and by proxy, Earth, she is omnipotent in her domain. The situation is very dangerous and caution must be exercised. But the Hexagram seems to conflict with the title of the traditional card. It is called “Success”. There is no answer for the conflict, and the reader must decide for themselves what it could mean.
In the tiered Bigrams, we have a curious image of two Earth elements under a single Water element. This implies great strength and solidity, under a body of water. Fire under Earth is an image of the Father element, Fire, changing the Earth from within. The fierce, powerful and warm element of Fire is well suited for the dark, cold and yet, malleable Earth element.
Even though the situation is difficult, it is not horrible. Earth of Sol is very close in nature, if not identical to the hexagram, so this is auspicious at least for the discipline of Mutational Alchemy. It seems to be a reversal of the warning to the light, here, the Earth element is in the Court of Ra, and must offer obeisance. The line from the Book of the Law “if thou love, exceed by delicacy; and if thou do aught joyous, let there be subtlety therein! But exceed! exceed! Strive ever to more!” (The Book of the Law, Had, rcvd. by Aleister Crowley 1904.) The image of a kind of love affair, or relationship is pictured, and perhaps the hexagram is more lovely if we imagine a kind of romantic relationship, rather than a political one.
The text accompanying the Changes is not infallible; only the hexagrammal structures themselves, are unfailingly accurate. These attributions were written by humans, who may have been divinely inspired, but we are not chained to the old text alone. The reader is encouraged to examine everything about it, from the Trigrams to the Nuclears, and even the ideogram and number itself.
Luna of Taurus indicates a kind of stubborn attachment to the world of fantasy and dreams. This may be the source of the problems – if any arise. If the fantasy is a pleasant one, then it is alright. Injustice may inspire extreme vengeance and insane measures may be taken to set things right (for example, the tale of Ereshkigal and Nergal is quite accurate.) It is worth noting that Luna, not Earth, is the correct Foundation of Man. The planetary therefore carries with it the weight of evolutionary imperative and pressure to exceed, just as the line from the Book of the Law commands. The foundation must be raised up to meet the expectations of a dark force.
Finally, the pentagram is called Transparent, indicating that this someone can see through situations and people clearly. Fire of K’an, the Abyssmal is reflecting the attribution of Earth in Sol again, reinforcing the idea of a relationship, where one must show appropriate respect beyond what is normally called for. Water and Fire may seem contrary to each other, but it is a mistake to assume so. It is also a mistake to always believe what Aleister Crowley tells you, as I know he states that Water and Fire are opposed to each other. In fact, it is these two great elements which are called The Father and The Mother, and they are the foundational elements of life.
When we visualize these two great progenitors, instead of picturing a small campfire being put out by water, it is better to imagine a lava vent under the ocean, causing all life to explode on the planet, and the rays of the sun piercing the ocean. Fire and Water produce Air and Earth and their relationship is complicated and delicately balanced, but it is perfect.
Therefore, it may be that the Success promised by this card, is the outcome of careful and dedicated alchemy. Gender roles need to be considered in the draw, as the meaning and method of attack should change, depending on this variables.
The Scene: The parable of Inanna visiting her sister was the inspiration for the scene. For the crime of hubris, of behaving in a crass and rude manner, she is tortured and killed by Ereshkigal’s guards. In the tale of Nergal and Ereshkigal, we have an image of a situation where delicacy was not used and things went awry, but after proper procedures and consideration, success is had. Nergal is owner of the title Meslam-ta-ea Nergal, or, “Nergal who comes forth from the temple.” Notably, the word mezla in Hebrew and Jewish Kabbalah is used to denote the scintillating diamond light of Ain Soph Aur, and in Hermetic Qabbalah can be associated with both White and Black Akasha. The term Meslam-ta-ea represented the left, while Lugalirra his brother represented the right. So Nergal is a sinister God of the left-hand path, if that was not clear enough by his associations with his wife, the Queen of the Dead and his blood-drinking draconic warrior aspect.
In Tantra, the goddess, or Shakti, expresses herself as a prepubescent young child. She represents the element of Earth manifest, the element in which the Mother Goddess reinvents herself in response to new data. (As opposed to Fire reinventing itself in the Son, Air.) This is a concrete doctrine that is the cornerstone of any Tantric practice. For whatever reason, Shakti watches through the eyes of young girl children and causes changes in the world according to her judgements from this perspective, according to the Vedas. So it is that young female children must be treated very carefully in case terrible curses befall the offender. Such judgements can lay whole nations low and destroy dynasties. One should always address young girl children with respect and not insult them. Shakti is wild, untameable, chaotic and infinitely creative.
The story of how this card came to be has ties to a situation bound up in one of the curses hinted at in The Book of the Law, and is a mirror of the Hexagram. The success in this case is one of very lofty success, the kind only acquired through extreme sacrifice and hardship. In the right hand of the scene the large white monster is the Xiezhi, the Chinese symbol for justice. This legendary creature has its roots in the unicorn goat owned by magistrate Gao Yao, who used it to judge the guilty. The goat reputedly would try to butt some people and the magistrate made decisions based on its behavior. In Japan it is known as the Kai Tsi. The animal is engraved on gavels and embroidered on military personnel patches in China. The image is thought to bestow law and order where it is found. This one is modelled after the one found on the Ming tombs walkway, in Beijing. The statues along the Ming tombs walkway were restored by the French, after morons and enemies of The Dragon from the “cultural” revolution tried to destroy them.
The creature on the left represents the hellhound, and he resembles Anpu (Anubis.) He has a dead rabbit which is a burrowing creature that must stay hidden from predators above ground, by necessity it must succumb to a “darkening of the light” as outlined in the Changes.The hellhound is her pet, as shown by the diamond collar. This and the crown and ebony throne depict the great wealth of the palace of Ereshkigal. The background is the color of earth, and furthermore it is a portal to the deeper hells, the cast off skins of the Ouroboros and the empty husks of the Qlippoth.