So… Here what I was getting at yesterday. This Decan could have been a warrior, or that falcon-headed man I did earlier, that wound up looking like a pigeon. Instead, I went with a combination of the Hindu, the Picatrix and the Agrippa description. (I’m deeply indebted to Ben Dykes for his list.) We have a pair of arguing petitioners in front of a judge. The judge’s throne has the head of Horus upon it, and the lance and the pitcher and the hanging bird are around the judge’s throne. So a lot of the symbolism of many different cultures wind up being framed within the image.
But I think about the underlying story for a moment. So many of the images are warriors or lords or monsters. But this one, as it turns out, winds up being an image of mediation and the solving of problems through communication and the objective sense of a third party. Rather than resorting to weapons, these angry petitioners are being heard in court. As with the merchant in another image, which has the potential to become larger by the addition of multiple symbols, the story here becomes larger by the addition of multiple figures.
And I think that’s kind of the point, actually — the thirty-six decans have variant meanings because as humans we need variant stories. We need a range of options to think through our decisions, and weigh our choices. And these images are not just a tool of divination — they’re also a way of communicating essential truths — going into business? Weigh your options, keep good books, pay attention to both income (selling) and costs (selling). Angry at someone? You can hurt them, sure. But you can also argue with them face-to-face, in front of an impartial third party as necessary.
I think I’m going to make a better effort to make the thirty-six decans tell those kinds of stories. Clearly, today, we need them.