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Five of Disks, Mercury ruled decan of Taurus

Art by: Nicholas Kalmakoff

The first decan of Taurus, ruled by Mercury, invites us into a realm of nurturing stewardship, where the fiery will to power of Aries gracefully transitions into the more grounded and communal inclination to provide. Embodied by a woman with charred garments and intertwined with themes of worry, resilience, and cultivation, this decan prompts us to contemplate the duties of nurturing and sustaining sensual comfort and pleasure in both the physical and metaphysical realms.

The rough texture of the burnt fabric speaks volumes about the challenges and sacrifices intrinsic to nurturing and providing for others, while the tender gestures of care offer a contrasting sensation that underscores the complexities of our emotional landscape. Through the lens of affect scholars like Eve Sedgwick, we unravel the interplay of sensations that define our experience of this decan, from the sharp sting of adversity to the gentle embrace of comfort.

Transitioning from the fiery will to power of Aries to the nurturing instinct of Taurus confronts us with the textured intensity of our experiences. The worry and concern associated with this decan delve deep into our emotional responses, from the anxiety of scarcity to the joy of abundance. Affect theory provides a framework for understanding these complexities, illuminating the ways in which they shape our perceptions and interactions with the world.

Within the relational dynamics of the first decan of Taurus, we encounter fertile ground for exploring the communal body through the lens of affect theory. Here, the communal spirit of Taurus, grounded in resilience and mutual care, accentuates the interconnectedness of human relationships and the profound impact of our emotional experiences on the communal fabric. Relationality emerges as a pivotal concept, offering insights into how our bonds with family, community, and society shape the collective emotional tapestry of this decan.

Mercury’s influence, governing this decan, introduces a richness of verbal nuances that intertwine with the bodily, comfort-seeking nature of Venus-ruled Taurus. While Taurus embodies the softness and warmth of comfort and luxury, Mercury adds layers of complexity through its intellect, communication, and adaptability. Mercury’s influence prompts Taurus to engage in a playful exploration of its comfort-seeking tendencies, inviting skepticism and analytical inquiry into the mix. This interplay of verbal and non-verbal sensations challenges Taurus to reconsider its approach to cultivating comfort and security within the realm of goods and trades. Taurus is presented with two distinct choices of experience: one characterized by the mental gymnastics and anxieties fostered by Mercury’s guile and the other by the sharp clarity and logic offered by Mercury’s astute reasoning. Through an understanding of sensation and affect theory, we appreciate the interplay of emotions and sensations that define Taurus’ journey of communal reflection and growth.

In this exploration, we gain a deeper appreciation for the intricate tapestry of emotions and sensations defining our experience of nurturing stewardship. It is through this philosophical inquiry into affect and sensation that we come to understand the profound significance of caring for others and cultivating abundance in both our inner and outer worlds. As sensory beings, our emotions of scarcity and the need for stewardship are reflected in the communal body, highlighting our interdependence and interconnected relations.

The Five of Disks tarot card encapsulates the essence of a scarcity mindset and insecurity, echoing the themes delved into within the first decan of Taurus. Portraying individuals grappling with financial hardship or enduring the chill of exclusion, this card reverberates with the worry and anxiety synonymous with fostering care in the decan. The figures depicted embody the arduous journey of admitting we need each other when cultivating abundance, regardless of insecurities and apprehensions about inclusion or rejection. The poignant act of beseeching, be it directed towards the divine or fellow beings, underscores the depths of desperation experienced when confronted with the vulnerability necessary to face issues of scarcity.

Ultimately, the Five of Disks underscores the pivotal role of resilience and the need for communal support in navigating periods of economic or emotional turmoil. Just as the decan emphasizes the interconnectedness of human relationships with the communal body, this card serves as a poignant reminder of the solace and assistance available within our communities during times of need. It urges us to confront our fears and anxieties with courage and resolve, recognizing that vulnerability is a shared experience that can foster empathy and compassion among us. Ultimately, the Five of Disks inspires us to seek assistance when necessary and to maintain unwavering hope and determination in the face of adversity. Thus  echoing the resolute themes of resilience and stewardship central to the first decan of Taurus.


To Call a Cow for Nourishment


Annihilating augury of the Burnt Ones

the Red Moon lets the flame suckle at her breast. 


Eight nights and Five days

she dances 

circle center


exhaustion’s edging place,

I beg my head to lay.


The Oppressed live within the stomach of her dreams. 

the suckling, her curls wrapped umber 

turned to caress cheek, inside 


the utter

division of land to feed bodies,


to grow trees.


“How do I delineate the parts of my body that must be cut off for planting?

Nature doesn’t have much use for straight lines, but, I am 

contemplating geometries” 


Who has cried at the altar of your worship? 

Who weeps at your tender feet?

Oh, Mother, reveal the secrets of that milk 

dripping down the mountains of your body.


I did not intend to ignite your garments.

I am parched; I dream –




gowns of saffron, poppy;

I saw your face, a liminal stream in the resulting smog. 

“We sleep longer than we are supposed to,

our bodies weary from tending temples –


hold vigil”

I longed for an end to the fire’s hospitality, 

Root network,

Intimate home 


Bad communication

What could possibly go wrong?


McCalla Ann (she/they) is an interdisciplinary multimedia artist, diviner, ritualist, poet-philosopher, and witch residing in Houston, Texas, by way of New Orleans. McCalla’s current witchcraft studies focus on the extra-sensuous nature of ritual performance and expression as it intersects with meta-linguistics, poetics, and mystic embodiment. As an MA student of the GEM program developed for Religious Studies students at Rice University, McCalla puts particular attention to the study of mysticism, eroticism, and the monstrous body. McCalla supports her community by acting as host to the conversational and art-focused occult podcast SaturnVox, and her infamously affective and notoriously accurate tarot readings. In her spare time McCalla devotes loving attention to tending her garden, reveling in fashion and design, and has had a career in performance art and fire dancing for over a decade. She also has a deep appreciation for film and narratology, and can often be found consuming a story alongside her cat on the couch.

1 Comment

  1. An enchanting and neatly thorough description! Thank you. (I’m off to explore the site.)

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