Thursday, 11 April 2013
What are all those foxtails for?
The first time I saw this Ace of Wands card from the Golden Dawn Magical Tarot I thought, 'What are all those fox tails for?' It looks like a three-pronged stick with a bunch of wagging animal tails mounted on it, and some leaves blowing about. But, no, that's not it at all. I'm still not sure why the wand has three prongs, but I suspect it might have something to do with the three mother letters of the Hebrew alphabet, aleph, mem, shin, which represent the three elements air, water, fire. Not sure about that, but you can see that there are 10 'tails' on the wand, which certainly correspond to the 10 sephira of Tree of Life. And on each 'tail' there are four colours, corresponding to the four suits. So actually, they are not tails, they are forty flames, the forty minor cards.
Those green leaves are actually yods -- the Hebrew character which makes up the first letter of YHVH - Yod Heh Vav Heh - the Tetragrammaton (literally '4-lettered name'), or name of the most high. The yod is also linked to the element of Fire, the element of the Wands suit. Scrawled down the central part of the wand are sigils representing the Hebrew names of the four worlds: Atziluth (the World of Archetypes, the domain of Primordial Fire and the World of Archetypes, associated with Wands); Briah, the domain of Primordial Water and World of Creation, associated with Cups; Yetzirah, the domain of Primordial Air and World of Formation, associated with Swords; and Assiah, the domain of Primordial Earth and World of Action, associated with Coins. The sigils have been created using the Rose Cross Lamen.
The card is made up of the flashing colours associated with Fire and Wands by Golden Dawn, red and green.
It's a very powerful card for a rainy Thursday morning. The title of the card is Roots of the Powers of Fire, and the divinatory meaning given by Golden Dawn is simply 'Force, strength, energy, rush, vigor; it implies natural as opposed to invoked force.'
I wonder when that force is going to kick in today. Guess I'd better go have my first cup of coffee and find out. :)