Kavad 4.8 – rectifying a Decan

Well. This was interesting. First, I talked with a friend of mine who’s been through Chris Warnock’s astrology course, and my friend gave me some pointers on looking at the Decans. First, most ‘modern’ traditional astrologers (or is that most modern ‘traditional astrologers?’) don’t use the decans at all, or simply use them to determine certain ways of reading the data about the planets. Second, it’s important not to mix Sidereal and Tropical data — thus, limit the information borrowed from Hindu sources, unless you want to precess the data from Hindu stuff back 25 degrees (putting this beach scene in the first Face of Libra). And third, use the Chaldean order of the planets for determining ruling sign of each face, so that certain other rules continue to apply further down the road. Fourth, have fun with the images as best you can within the previous limitations.

So, I tried to do that. I don’t know that I succeeded. Given that this is an image of disappointments and plotting, it seemed appropriate to combine a lot of information here: hence, we have the Hindu snake, but also Picatrix’s man with a lance a a severed head. She’s not being struck, as Agrippa suggests, but she’s clearly being threatened, and the violent threat is clearly a real one. The woman isn’t eating, but she is on a beach and the sea is in the background — a lightning storm behind her and a sunset makes this a dark day for her.

All in all, it’s a striking visual image, even in rough sketch. It’s also clear that a student, or a storyteller, could work with this image quite well, and tell a rollicking good scene. Someone working with this image magically would want to go a step further, and meditate on the image or even ‘skry’ the image — imagine themselves stepping into the image, walking around the scene, and seeing what else there is to be seen from another point of view, and using that information to expand on the meaning of the image.

I’m going to have to go through this process for a lot of the Decans, I think, before I can know what comes next for the Kavad.

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