Three of Staves: Virtue


Three of Staves: Virtue

Historical: Lord of Established Strength

Ruling Pentagram:

Pent #3 “Sanctifying” – Fire of (Li) The Clinging, Fire

Berashith: “And Elohim said “Let there be dawn.”…

Ruling Hexagram: Hex #13 (同人 tóng rén), Fellowship with Men

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

Element/Planet: Fire of Saturn (Binah, Understanding)

Planet/Sun Sign: Sol in Aries

Keywords: Stability, Mastery, Perseverance, Determination, Methodology, Honor, Tradition, Patience, Kindliness

Keywords (Ill-Dignified): Difficulty, Pressure, Hindrance, Waiting, Foolishness, Sloth


Golden Dawn: Called The Three of Wands, Lord of Established Strength, the Three of Wands card corresponds to the planetary Sol and the zodiacal Aries as well as the angels Hechashiah and Aamamiah and places at Sephira #3 (Binah) in the Golden Dawn system.

A hand grasps three crossed wands together. The clouds in the background are issuing flames. A solar disc and a ram’s head cap the central staff, while the flanking wands have lotus heads and symbols of the planet and zodiac sign on them.

Thoth:  The scene is pleasant and bland, a set of three lotus wands is crossing a ten pointed star, signifying harmony. The sigil of Sol is at the top and the sign of Aries at the bottom. Although Crowley has little to say about the card, he tells us that in this station the Sun has “enkindled the Great Mother.” (The Tarot of the Egyptians, Crowley 1944)

Mutational Alchemy Interpretation:  Once one gets into the small cards it can be difficult for authors to find anything particularily interesting to say about the cards, especially considering how complex the ATU can be. This is where Mutational Alchemy has a huge leg up on things, as we can see from the hex there is a lot more to the card than meets the eyes historically. The ruling hexagram is # 13 Fellowship with Men. “The organization of the clans” as the sages put it so many thousands of years ago. This calls to mind the intelligent organization of mankind, shifting into a less barbaric landscape and into the mould of great civilizations. Perseverance furthers, but mainly for the “superior man”. The tiger is a highly intelligent, meat-eating, predatory and beautiful animal, much like Man. It is a good signifier for Fire in the below and Heaven in the above. This is the earthly fire in flesh, immortalized in William Blake’s poem, “Tyger”. It is also the mount of Durga. The is a destiny for the keen, the strong, and the lofty. This card is auspicious only if the person receiving it has discovered within themselves an inner strength and virtue by which to succeed in perseverance.

In the pentagram we have evidence of the purpose of all of this, in “And Elohim said “Let there be dawn.”” (Usually translated as “God said let there be light”) This calls to mind the birth of the sun, from the body of Nuit in the morning. Ra ascends into the sky and all is well. This station refers to Nuit’s vagina. Fire of Saturn further confirms it. The process of creation via The Great Black Mother has been accomplished.

The card also alludes to cloaked or underdeveloped potential, as in a gifted child. This is the dawning sun.

The Scene: A Durga Yantra is set on the wall in a cavern housing a mother tigress and her two cubs. The tiger is the mount of Durga, and here the goddess is portrayed in a more mundane sense. She is the penultimate goddess-protectress, similar in nature to the Gorgon of the Ancient Roman Empire or Athena of Ancient Greece. Durga is created through the power of the triumvirate: Siva, Brahma and Vishnu combine their potency and bring her forth to defeat a previously invincible demon army. With Sol in Aries it is certainly most appropriate that this family belongs to a species that is a carnivore and well known for its dominance in the jungle. Furthermore the tigers are virtuous without folowing any proscribed human rules. They kill and eat flesh, and don’t follow any religious laws, but they still retain purity and virtue. This is often grossly misunderstood by humans, who proscribe attributes to the divine outside of Nature itself which is inappropriate and heretical as far as The Abrahadabra Institute is concerned.

Durga’s name means “invincible” and she is given other epithets outlining her characteristics of protecting and removing the suffering of devotees.