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Three of Wands, Sun ruled decan of Aries

art by: Hector Ayala

In the dance of a monist cosmic creation, each facet of existence emanates from the One Being, and every aspect of being can be said to be an expression of various fragments of this grand unity. Thus, every act, every impulse, becomes a sacred thread woven into the fabric of the universe’s devotional tapestry, this play called Experience.

Having explored the primal scream of creation in Aries 1, we now turn to Aries 2, the decan where the spark ignites a blaze. Here, the raw potential of “becoming” finds a channel, a direction. If Aries 1 represents the initial rubbing of flint stones together, then Aries 2 embodies the impulse to cause a spark, the moment of ignition that sets the potential for creation ablaze. It is the difference between the drive to spark and the moment of the spark itself.

Aries 2, the decan of the Sun’s exaltation, symbolizes a regal essence where the urge for agency and ownership over our passions burns in fierce tension. It is a mental image of shooting forward, declaring, “I own my passions, my desires!” Yet, this fiery ownership harbors a potent duality akin to the surge of raw martial energy, capable of both creation and destruction.

The myth of Phaethon can serve as a cautionary example of this, reminding us of the perils of wielding power without awareness and responsibility. Phaethon’s reckless ambition to control his father Helios’ chariot led to a burning and scorching of the shared land we all inhabit, emphasizing the importance of harnessing power with intention and an orientation towards the interwoven ecology we inhabit.

Within the context of Nietzsche, the will to power is often destructive in insidious ways, and people are often unaware of just how unruly the reflection of their solar flares truly are. One can often be destructive even when one is trying to be helpful, for example. Nietzsche refers to this as false generosity, wherein one does an act of kindness to another that actually subjugates the other person under the first’s agency. It is fishing for men instead of teaching men to fish, essentially.

Drawing from these ideas, philosopher Georges Bataille attempts to solve this problem with the concept of the chthonic sun, embodying unbridled primal energy and chaos and highlighting the continual flux of identities. Bataille advocates acknowledging and integrating the implicit nature of change and degradation to channel its power for creation rather than succumbing to its destructive potential. By harnessing agency with awareness and responsibility, we engage in “sacred expenditure,” the controlled release of excessive energy fostering growth and transformation.

In the context of Aries 2, the chthonic sun serves as a reminder of our interconnectedness and multiplicity of identities. Phaethon’s downfall, then, underscores the importance of harnessing our fiery energy productively and embodying an ethos of care towards our fellow beings. Just as Nietzsche warned against “false generosity,” acts of kindness must empower rather than disempower.

This leads us into our conversation on the Three of Wands and their reflection on ethics and virtue. Hermetic philosophy, assuming the stance of monism, posits all phenomenal and ultra-phenomenal beings as emanations, or reflections, of the One. Every human expression, then, becomes a sacred fragment of that cosmic unity. It is through this lens that we perceive all acts as integral components of the divine tapestry known as Experience.

Embedded within the Three of Wands lies the energy of Binah in Atziluth, which implies an understanding of the ever-evolving creation of ourselves, alongside the 2nd decan of Aries. Here, we encounter the receptive vessel of creative will intertwined with the pure expression of will in relation to others.

Thus, when this card is drawn, it signifies a nod toward the receptive quality of one’s Will and the facets of the One Being each individual is destined to encounter. Consequently, I have long interpreted this card as a manifestation of one’s Morals, transcending mundane conceptions. Atziluth, the highest realm of Kabbalistic understanding, embodies the pure idea, passion, and drive of the One Being as it begins its journey into multiplicity. Here, nothing is fixed or rigid.

The Morals implied by this card do not adhere to conventional dichotomies of right/wrong or good/bad. Instead, they prompt introspection: are our actions aligned with our personal set of virtues? Do our choices and desires honor the vitality within us? Are our words an authentic reflection of our motivations? Do our companions comprehend our values, and do we truly understand them ourselves? Have we set appropriate boundaries to separate ourselves from those who do not match our values without stealing away their agency?

These questions transcend judgment; there is no absolute objective right or wrong as long as we are honest with ourselves. The essence of this inquiry lies in embracing what is alive within us, igniting our journey toward understanding our individual Will within our shared physical

Kingdom. Furthermore, the Three of Wands advises us to approach all interactions with joy and reverence. It invites us to recognize that every experience, whether shadow or light, conflict or intimacy, is a sacred interplay of the All. With this realization, we can respond to each situation with awe, regardless of its nature.

In essence, the Three of Wands beckons us to navigate life with integrity, honoring our personal virtues and embracing the interconnectedness of all experiences. Through this conscious engagement, we embark on a profound journey towards self-realization and spiritual fulfillment.


Aries Decan 2 – To Whom is the Trespass but to Self

I have come to the altar of myself,

pounding heart, pouring gold,

mumbling the mystery and

madness of the maenad’s marrow bones.


Oh mistress! You

who softly pulse sonnets, singing of my sovereignty;

pollen, syrup, producing

royal fantasy, mastery of will.


I am not That,

yet I am

every meadow, every sorrow, every mountain, every sore.


Upon the sword I stand starward,

motionless, yet moving mighty mounds

of moss

and pillars of swampy earth.


I touch all things, yet

I too am her servant

Mother, may I


murder the merging to claim my own soliloquy?

We danced upon one leg,

siren sounding


in symbiotic bulging.

Together, one body made


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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