Continuing my exploration of the “meditation patterns” for the Minor Arcana from Jim Eshelman’s Liber Theta, here are the patterns for the Leo trump card, Strength (Lust in the Thoth Deck), and the three decans of Leo; I call this sequence “The Three Trials of Lust.”
The Minor Arcana for the Leo decans are 5 of Wands (“Strife,” Saturn in Leo); 6 of Wands (“Victory,” Jupiter in Leo); and 7 of Wands (“Valour,” Mars in Leo). The secondary Majors are the Universe (Saturn); Fortune (Jupiter) and the Tower (Mars)
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This series is not as compelling as that of the Emperor for the purpose of meditation; however, there is some commonality among the cards that pull it together. All of the secondary trumps exhibit a clockwise circular motion suggestive of the “inexorable march of time.” Strength/Lust represents the dominion of the True Will over the unevolved self. However, Crowley talked about the Will requiring delivery from the “lust for result” before it can be perfected. The three secondary trumps represent the process by which that liberation is achieved. The three Minor cards give the impression of conflict, temporary respite and a resurgence of confrontation that propel the Will into its apotheosis (Universe), its redemption (Fortune) and its eventual catharsis (Tower).
The Will moves slowly and ponderously to assert itself in the face of stiff opposition (Lust-5 of Wands-Universe). Five is a number of frequently chaotic change (Crowley called it “disruptive”) while Saturn is the planet of delay and denial, here implying an excess of caution and self-control. Together they generate gradually-building volcanic energy. The Universe does not so much “put a lid on it” as patiently prepare for the inevitable eruption. It resembles a crucible in which the fervor is intensified.
The middle sequence (Lust-6 of Wands-Fortune) represents a lull in the action as strength is marshaled for the final thrust. Change is in the wind (Fortune) and the salutary energies of Jupiter (6 of Wands) are aligned for success. The urge is to “strike while the iron is hot,” but the advice is to let that impetus for change take its course without undue haste. Crowley mentioned that such change is usually fortunate given that the “fact of consultation” shows the present circumstances to be less than satisfactory; any change must therefore be for the better. However, the benefits may be fleeting.
With the concluding subset (Lust-7 of Wands-Tower), the Will reaches a flash point (Tower) that is soon ignited by an instance of renewed hostility in the 7 of Wands (“Valour” means extraordinary courage in the face of daunting odds); it suggests a “hair-trigger” response and thereby the chance of “going from the frying pan into the fire.” The 7 of Wands also suggests “taking the moral high ground” in any altercation; it cautions against burning bridges behind oneself. The purgative side of Mars is unleashed, puncturing the illusion of grandeur that momentary success has birthed before it has a chance to harden into arrogance and sophistry.