Perfection, realization, completion, making a matter settled and fixed.
FOUR OF WANDS, Lord of Perfected Work (Venus in Aries). Angels of the Decan: Nanael (ÍPNíO J) and Nithal (!?Kn>3)
This is Chesed in Atziluth, the influence of Chesed in the World of Pure Spirit. Here Venus, the Planet of love and luxury, is activated by the Mars energies of Aries. If this placement were to occur in an astrological reading it could mean a brief romance, or warm but fleeting feelings of some sort. But this is not the precise meaning of Venus in Aries on the FOUR OF WANDS. There are, in fact, a number of cards where the meaning of Planets in Signs differs from that commonly accepted, because the card combines Sephirothic and
astrological symbolism. Here it must be kept in mind that the Zodiac is the Mundane Chakra of Chokmah; it appears in the lowest of the Four Worlds. The cards represent the totality of that to which the Signs of the Zodiac refer. Venus in Aries is the outer attribute of the card. The greater meaning is the Chesed energy, the pure four in the world of Yod-Fire. It is, therefore, a perfection, a completion of the process initiated by the Supernals.
Crowley uses a very interesting device here, which is the crossing of four wands, each of which carries the head of the ram (Aries) and the dove (Venus). Waite's card is also a play on the wands, using them as the support for a garland-canopy. This illustrates the card's meaning of perfected work, settlement and rest after labor.
FOUR OF CUPS, Lord of Blended Pleasure (Moon in Cancer). Angels of the Decan: Hayayel (tw n) and Mevamayah (h>mn).
This is Chesed in Briah, the influence of Chesed in the unconscious mental realm. The Moon naturally rules Cancer, and here its alternating flow is mitigated. It is a card of pleasure, but with reservations: in the Golden Dawn and Crowley cards all of the Cups hold water, but the uppermost ones overflow, while those beneath do not, suggesting pleasure coming to an end. The energies of this card are very passive, almost indifferent as Waite's seated figure indicates. The meaning in divination is blended pleasure and success, receiving pleasure but mixed with some slight discomfort and anxieties.
FOUR OF SWORDS, Lord of Rest from Strife (Jupiter in Libra). Angels of the Decan: Leviah (rp iNi?) and Kelial (iwio).
This is Chesed in Yetzirah, the influence of Chesed in the Astral World. Swords are generally destructive, but here the love and munificence of Jupiter triumphs over the cutting qualities of Primal Air and the Golden Dawn Rose (as in the Chokmah card, TWO OF SWORDS) is restored. Thus, rest from strife is the meaning of the card. The position of Jupiter in Libra is compassionate and sensitive, often having religious overtones as are seen in the Waite card. There a Christ figure is shown, in stained glass, above a resting knight.
This is Chesed in Assiah, the material world. It is the fullest expression, the grounding, of the Chesed energies. Thus Crowley says that this card is like a "fortress."79 His card shows "Law and Order, maintained by constant authority and vigilence," each of the four elements being held in balance.
The divinatory meaning comes from the position of the Sun in Capricorn which, with its light and warmth assures material success, but nothing beyond the moment. Waite illustrates this condition of assured material gain, and earthly power completed but nothing beyond.
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The pathology of the poet says that the undevout astronomer is mad the pathology of the very plain man says that the genius is mad and between these extremes, which stand for ten thousand analogous excesses, the sovereign reason takes the part of a moderator and does what it can. I do not think that there is a pathology of the occult dedications, but about their extravagances no one can question, and it is not less difficult than thankless to act as a moderator regarding them.