Six of Staves: Victory


Six of Staves: Victory

Historical: Lord of Victory

Ruling Pentagram: Pent #6 “Transparent”– Fire of (K’an) The Abysmal, Water
Berashith: “and Elohim called to the Dawn”

Ruling Hexagram: Hex #6 ( sòng), Conflict

Tiered Bigrams: Fire (Above), Air (Middle), Air (Below)

Element/Planet: Fire of Sol (Tiphareth, Beauty)

Planet/Sun Sign: Jupiter in Leo

Keywords: Great Success, Breakthrough,  Cooperation, Good News, Reward, Recognition. A Royal Authority, Defense of the Realm

Keywords (Ill-Dignified): Infamy, Cost, Unease, disloyalty


Golden Dawn: Called, The Six of Wands, Lord of Victory, the Six of Wands card corresponds to the planetary Jupiter and the zodiacal Leo. It places at Sephira #6 (Tiphareth,) in the Golden Dawn system. Its angels are Saitel and Olmiah.
     Two hands hold a shining disc in the center of the scene, over six crossed wands. One pair has winged discs, with lotus blossom ends, one pair has eagle heads, with hooked ends, and the last pair are lotuses with disced ends. Flames issue from clouds in the background and from the center of the crossed wands themselves.

Thoth: The card represents an earthquake at the foundations of matter itself, signified by the elemental disks, and the intense strain of intellect applied to labor, resulting in no progress. This is from the planet of Mercury in Taurus as well as the disruptive effects of Geburah.

Mutational Alchemy Interpretation: So many of the small cards have just been given the attributes of being negative, without much more of an explanation than summarized in the idea “It’s farther from God and that’s not good, in fact it’s bad.”  While this may be slightly true in some cases,  it is not helpful and it is not accurate. Earth is different, not better than Heaven. In some ways, Heaven can also be a terrible environment, but in other ways. A more adequate explanation must be found, and Mutational Alchemy affords us a way to do it.
     The hexagram here could not be possibly more appropriate, it is #6 called Conflict, with Heaven in the above and Water in the below. “You are sincere And are being obstructed.” it says. The time has come to stop doing anything and not continue further, to do so will bring misfortune. This is the image of Victory for one, and a defeat or truce for the other inferior element.  
     The card may indicate a breakup, over a disagreement, especially romantic ones. Continuing an endeavor related to this card will most certainly bring about misfortune. The I Ching advises us to examine the beginning of the problem or endeavor. Perhaps there is a fault or divergence somewhere that should not have been partaken of. Geburah, Severity, infers punishment.
     The pentagram and the hexagram are numbered 6, as is the station. What then, are we to think of this card other than to assume it is solar in nature? The zodiacal of Leo agrees. In the tiered bigrams, we have two Air elements rising up to meet a single Fire element. In the elementals, it is Fire of Sol. This will be the creator god par excellence, the Father of Fathers, Amun-Ra himself, in his war aspect, signified by the hexagram #6, Conflict. So, there is a special relationship to Ra Hoor Khut, or Montu, and even Khensu, the Lord of Thebes depicted on the Two of Staves, Dominion.
     Conflict warns us that the issue may need to be dropped. In this station, we are dealing with a strong, primordial, male force who owns absolute authority and the divine prerogative. It means that while the danger is great, he is also a wise, ancient and just ruler and not prone to petty actions or ugly behavior. Caution is advised in all directions, except, there is a chance of impressing him with boldness, even if it is a small chance. It is ill advised to continue with this approach however.
     The pentagram is named after the 6th line in Berashith, a command to Dawn. How absolutely fitting for Amun-Ra.
     The primary feel of this card is one of unbeatable victory, an opponent who cannot be defeated or dismissed so easily. It is an image of The Lovers, quarreling, or of a King and a peon, or the Will of Heaven against the Will of a Man, or Earth. There can be ONE outcome, and all parties know this. In some instances, foolishness will persist and that one will be cut down. In the end, it will all be sorted out to conform to the natural order.

The Scene: This card was one of those completed much later on and was fairly straightforward. I just needed a strong, masculine, solar deity to represent the elemental traits, who was triumphant and wealthy. So we went with Nergal, the Akkadian Solar deity who closely associated with the Sumerian state, via a marriage to their goddess Ereshkigal. The tale of Nergal and Ereshkigal reveals implicitly the ancient priesthood killer sense of humor and their adoration of fierce desert gods. It was these earliest recorded deities who reflected the truth of survivalism inside the tough women and men of the desert and fertile plain in those early days.
     Nergal is a fascinating deity, a very respectable war god, with connections to pestilence and death, who is the sun itself, especially in its noon aspect. In some places, he is associated with the setting sun. He destroys evil, as told in a tigi to Nergal  “When …… you command the storm which flattens the hostile land, you devastate its evil; you pour it over for as long as it disobeys.” (A Tigi to Nergal [B] The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature, Faculty of Oriental Studies, The University of Oxford, 2006) Another Sumerian text states  dšamaš u nergal(U.GUR) istēn(1)en Šamaš and Nergal are one and he is equated to the West Semitic deity Rašap, “Flame,” who is a god of war and pestilence. (Enenuru,
     The attributes of the deity are fierce – in at least one text, he is referred to as a “dragon;” “Nergal, dragon covered with gore, drinking the blood of living creatures!” and his future wife, then just a recent pissed off one night stand,  Ereshkigal demands of the heavenly host that Nergal be returned to her palace in Irkalla, lest “I shall raise up the dead, and they shall eat the living. The dead shall outnumber the living!”( Enenuru Forums, accessed October 25th 2015) So he is a solar deity, King of the Underworld, with a wife who can raise an army of the undead. Erra, literally “The scorched (earth/matter,)”  who is an incredible warrior, a terrifying force of destruction, and associated with pestilence and the sun, is shown as giving obeisance to Nergal in the following line: “Then Erra welcomed his king: “They have come! You surpass An! (The King of Heaven) Perform the stewardship for An the king! In accordance with destiny you determine fates with him, Nergal!” Ninšubur, the minister of the great place, the underworld, greeted Nergal: “You are the lord who has made the bandits come forth (?) from the mountains. As with Enlil ……, no part of a foreign land escapes your grasp. Hero, for Enlil you piled up Enlil’s enemies (?) in a single day. Hating ……, Nergal, …… as fire, you rise up in the lands where the sun rises.” The Anuna gods stepped forward: “Like …… cracks ……, ……, you are Nergal!” 50-57. 5 lines fragmentary …… son of Enlil ……, Lugal-era. Praising you is sweet. (A Tigi to Nergal [C], ETSCL, Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford 2006)
     There are no depictions of Ereshkigal surviving today – the Burney plaque is considered to have shaky provenance and is only the above ground or heavenly aspect Inanna or Ishtar in the nebulous doctrine of the twin or dual goddess Inanna-Ereshkigal. SO we were left to fill in the blanks with someone…I used a photograph of myself for reference and wrapped her in darkness then caught up in the flame of Nergal, reflecting back on The Lovers card. And she has red hair, the color of flame, like Madame Pele, an volcanic underworld goddess with very similar attributes.
     Nergal himself, on the other hand is depicted very simply. He carries a lion-headed mace, the same as an artifact excavated in Ancient Mesopotamia and one of his sacred weapons (this is, unfortunately, hidden behind the hexagram.) The circlet on his brow conveys his authority as a King and is set with a lion’s face. He needed little in the way of trappings. Fire and Death suited him best, and the love and adoration of his Queen Ereshkigal.
     It is worth noting his name also means “Cock” or “Dung-Hill Cock” and another epithet means “fighting cock” Lugal-banda. This synchronicity takes a stronger turn towards Abrasax when he is compared to Istaran, as one who is a judge. (ETSCL, Oxford) The deity Istaran and his son or herald Nirah was given an alcove in the Temple of Ningishzidda at Lagash and was depicted with serpents for legs, making him the earliest proto-form of Abrasax.