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Four of Wands, Venus ruled decan of Aries

In the labyrinthine journey along the zodiacal path of Aries, the third decan emerges as a crucible. Here, the fiery essence of desire confronts the complexities of navigating relationships within a social framework.  Drawing inspiration from Sappho’s liminal fragmented verses, we embark on a quest to unravel the enigmatic tapestry of this Venusian decan nestled within the heart of Martial Aries. It’s a realm where passion finds a sanctuary, and the delicate dance of relational ethics takes center stage.

Sappho’s poetry is a landscape of fragmented cliffs, beckoning exploration and offering the potential for exhilarating plunges and arduous ascents. Her words resonate with the eternal echoes of love, longing, and the exquisite intimacy of human connection.  She paints a picture of eros as a dynamic force. This acts as a captivating pull intertwined with a hint of resistance, binding individuals in a perpetual dance of yearning, prowling, and boundaries that delineate the shape of both ceremony and resistance. This interplay mirrors the fiery energy of Aries 3, where passion and pleasure surge amidst the inevitable storms of life.

At the core of Aries 3 resides the notion of “giving a spark a home”. Here, passion thrives when nurtured and supported within the context of intimate connections. Sappho’s poetry, while not explicitly invoking the “home” as a symbol of love, offers invaluable insights into the dynamics at play. Her verses brim with warmth and emotional depth, encouraging us to cultivate environments where passion can flourish.  However, she also reminds us of the importance of establishing boundaries and fostering self-awareness within these relationships.

In navigating the terrain of Aries 3, Sappho’s insights into relational ethics guide us in grappling with the complexities of desire and intimacy. Her poetry underscores the importance of mutual respect, consent, and communication in fostering healthy relationships. Within the fiery energy of Aries 3, where the assertive influence of Mars converges with the harmonizing essence of Venus, Sappho’s wisdom reminds us of the ethical responsibilities inherent in human connections. This interplay between Mars and Venus reflects the delicate balance between passion and harmony, urging us to navigate relationships with both ardor and sensitivity.

As we navigate the terrain of Aries 3, Sappho’s poetry becomes a captivating map, not just of desire, but of the subtle dance of consent coursing through the electric circuits of our bodies. Her verses shimmer with an ageless wisdom, a language that transcends time and speaks directly to the themes of relational ethics in this decan.  Through the manipulation of distance – the searing closeness or the chilling remoteness of the beloved – Sappho illuminates the unspoken language of connection.  The poems themselves become charged circuits, alive with the potential for a spark when desire aligns, or the cold emptiness of a circuit left unclosed.

Traversing the landscape of this decan presents its share of obstacles. Recognizing the transience of intense emotions and the boundaries of passion is paramount. The accounts provided by Ibn Ezra, the Picatrix, and Agrippa shed light on the intricate nature of desire, emphasizing the importance of self-reflection and empathy in navigating human connections. Ibn Ezra’s depiction of a figure desiring to do good but facing obstacles, Picatrix’s portrayal of an individual unable to fulfill noble intentions, and Agrippa’s description of restlessness despite aspirations towards goodness collectively underscore the necessity of delving into our innermost selves to comprehend the complexities of desire and relationships.

Navigating the intricate dance of passion and power requires awareness.  We must learn to distinguish between genuine desire and intensity fueled solely by external forces. Cultivating such awareness allows for a deeper understanding of the dynamics within relationships, fostering resilience and growth through life’s inevitable challenges.

The Four of Wands tarot card finds ground in the powerful image for this harmonious expression of passion in Aries 3. Traditionally, the card depicts figures celebrating within a structure adorned with flowers and wands. It represents a time of joy, shared success, and the celebration of strong bonds.

However, one can also understand the Four of Wands as the affective sensation of the “moment of bliss that follows after orgasm,”; or any such metaphor that holds ground for that feeling of release of tension and the deep sense of connection that can follow passionate, or even violent encounters.

This perspective aligns with the Venusian influence in Aries 3. While Venus is typically in detriment (weakened) in Aries, here she can be seen as offering a “sigh of relief” after the bloodied battle. It’s a time to celebrate the connection forged and acknowledge the shared victory.

Importantly, it’s crucial to remember that the Four of Wands doesn’t represent the end of the journey.  As some interpretations point out, “there is still work to be done ahead.” The celebratory energy of this card is a temporary respite, a moment, a home, to savor the accomplishment before diving back into the ongoing process of building and nurturing relationships.

This nuanced understanding of the Four of Wands resonates with the complexities of navigating the relational ethics of Aries 3. It’s a card of both fiery intensity and the need for harmony and stability. A harth makes a home, but it requires reverent tending for its proper feeding.


Sappho Fragment #31(translated by Anne Carson: If Not, Winter

He seems to me equal to the gods that man 

whoever he is who opposite you 

sits and listens close 

to your sweet speaking 


and lovely laughing — oh it 

puts the heart in my chest on wings 

for when I look at you, even a moment, no 


is left in me 


no: tongue breaks and thin 

fire is racing under skin 

and in eyes no sight and drumming 

fills ears 


and cold sweat holds me and shaking 

grips me all, greener than grass 

I am and dead — or almost 

I seem to me. 


But all is to be dared, because even a person 

of poverty  


Sappho. If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho.
Translated by Anne Carson, Vintage Books, 2002.


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.

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