Monday 23rd March 2020: 2 of Rods

The Two of Rods is known as the Lord of Dominion and is ruled by Mars in Aries; a fiery suit ruled by a fiery planet in a fiery sign of the zodiac. The Lord of Dominion has the world in his hands. As this is Monday let’s compliment that image with a watery one: it is as if the whole world were his oyster. Even in this time of travel restrictions and lockdowns, the Internet is a great enabler for this kind of potential.

The Two of Rods reflects back to the divine the creative fire that is incarnate in mankind; that is the inner potential of this powerful arcana, and with the Moon emptying herself out in spiritual Pisces, the reflective aspect of the Two of Rods – in which the globe becomes a scrying glass into which our Lord of Dominion gazes – should be emphasized.

with the Moon emptying herself out in spiritual Pisces, the reflective aspect of the Two of Rods … should be emphasized.

Mars in Relation to Venus and Pluto

Speaking of the relationship of the fiery and watery aspects, Mars, who governs today’s arcana, is in trine with Venus in sidereal Aries, the zodiacal sign for today’s arcana. Such a trine boosts the positive sense of self and of happy dominion peace, self-reflection and self control, and also helps us to love and respect others as beings special unto themselves.

Meanwhile, with Mars currently moving over Pluto we may tap into feelings of empowerment that could be intense and constructive provided that lunar non-attachment is maintained. We may put our energy into things that could empower and transform ourselves if we are willing to face our fears.

The Dual Nature of the Two of Rods

These are the deeply positive aspects which today’s arcana offers. If they sound fanciful or “off message” given the heavy Saturnian restrictions being placed upon our physical movement and freedom at present, it is likely that the other side of the dual nature of the Two of Rods has been impressing itself upon you. That should be no surprise given the current global situation, the media coverage and social media chatter.

Here we note the influence upon the outer world of the conjunction of Saturn and Pluto in sidereal Sagittarius, enlivened and stirred up even more by the transit of Mars through the sign and over Pluto.

On the Toxicity of Saturn, Pluto and Mars

I first mentioned the toxicity of the combination of Saturn and Pluto and the disruptive energy of Mars in this sign when Mars arrived in it on the 11th February 2020.

The toxicity that we see “out there” manifesting in the world today is of course dangerous and we should take measures to protect ourselves and our loved ones from it.

The Two of Rods suggests that we look closely at the world situation, consult expert advice from those whom we trust (the second person whose gloved hand we see in the Morgan Greer illustration), and stay in a higher and positive mode of consciousness (suggested by the clear sky and by the nice touch of the feather in the Morgan Greer version) as we take appropriate measures.

Moreover, the lily and the rose, symbols of purity and love, point to the spirit in which we should live, move (or stay put in current circumstances!) and have our being. Yet the rose does not bloom without thorns or the lily without the cross.

“We, who for our evil deeds…”

Not only should we guard against the toxicity that we may encounter out there in the world, whether in the form of viral infections or the toxic attitudes and actions of others, but most importantly, against the toxicity of our own minds.

Not only should we guard against the toxicity that we may encounter out there in the world … but most importantly, against the toxicity of our own minds.

That brings me to today’s meditation in The Daily Stoic upon an extract from one of Seneca’s “moral letters” in which he writes,

The diseases of the rational soul are long-standing and hardened vices such as greed and ambition – they have put the soul in a straitjacket and have begun to be permanent evils inside it. To put it briefly, this sickness is an unrelenting distortion of judgment, so things that are only mildly desirable are vigorously sought after.

Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman, The Daily Stoic, p. 93.

I want particularly to draw your attention to the use of the word “evil” in this context. The diseases of the rational mind – ingrained bad habits of thought and desire – are “evils” which lead to distorted judgments and misguided actions, that is, in the words of this week’s collect, “evil deeds.” Here again is the collect for the Fourth Sunday in Lent :

Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that we, who for our evil deeds do worthily deserve to be punished, by the comfort of thy grace may mercifully be relieved; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Book of Common Prayer

In the Christian context, we may find relief from the agitation of the mind through the grace of Christ who knocks at the door of the rational soul, calling it back to itself. Yesterday’s arcana of (8) Strength along with today’s Two of Rods, supported by the planetary associations we have discussed, offer us clues as to how we may open ourselves up to the inflowing of such spiritual grace and the stoical meditations offer a practical mental discipline to give such grace good soil in which to grow so that the good things that are on offer, of which I spoke at the beginning of today’s meditation, may be enjoyed – even today.

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