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Alchemical Study Group - Nine of Staffs

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Alchemical Study Group - Nine of Staffs


In this card we see the grey wolf being consumed by flames. Place explains that he is being sacrificed in order to restore the King, who was devoured by the wolf.

So this card, which I find difficult to connect with, can represent quite a few things. It can represent a sacrifice, or martyrdom, for a higher purpose. Or it could represent being burnt out to the point of exhaustion.

Perhaps also, the fire, represeting our energy, passions, spirit, has got out of hand and we are not longer feeling in control of our actions....the result is a disaster as we end up getting burnt.
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(from the book)


A wolf is sacrificed in a fire. This is an alchemical symbol representing the restoration of the king, who was devoured by the wolf.

Tarot wisdom: You face a calamity, a fire out of hand. Fire consumes you to exhaustion or illness. The message also suggests sacrifice, especially for a higher purpose, like suffering for the good of others, or being a martyr, or subduing the animal passions for spiritual purpose.
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Will it ever end


This card came up for me in a reading last night. The position was what is my delusion.

It felt like it represented feeling like the struggle/transformation would never end. It almost looks like being caught in the flames of hell.
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I got this card in a reading today and came by to see if I could find more about it b/c frankly, it kind of scares me. I thought at first it was a dog in the flames, and as a dog lover that was disturbing (not that a wolf is any better...is it one of the wolves that was fighting in the seven?) I wonder how this card connects to the eight —cutting or trimming back b/c the fire is getting out of control— and the phoenix of the ten?

I love this deck, but I confess I'm often befuddled by it!
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I have to say this card is one I still find difficult to connect with also. Generally I see it as exhaustion, burning ourselves out. The idea of the wolf being sacrificed in order to restore the king is something I keep trying to work out. I wonder if it's about exhuastion but perhaps a message for us to sacrifice some of what we are doing (ie. to avoid burning out) in order to restore the king, the part of us that is more in control of our lives. I'm not even sure if that makes any sense! I think what I'm trying to say is that the card could be a warning that if we keep on going at the speed we are going then we'll burn ourselves out completely.

So, mj07, I suppose it would relate to the 8, if we didn't heed the warning of cutting back, then we end up consumed by the fire of the 9. Not sure if that's of any help at all but it's all I can come up with at this stage.

I love this deck and can't imagine ever using another one, but I agree, there are cards that challenge me constantly....probably why I enjoy working with it so much
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I was thinking the same thing: if we don't heed the warning of the eight, then a great sacrifice may be required. How does this relate to the ten, though, the phoenix emerging from the flames?

If I didn't have the benefit of the LWB or this forum, if I were only reading the card by looking at the artwork, I doubt I would get "sacrifice" from it. For one thing, the wolf is not tied down, nor is he in any way fenced in or constrained. What's to stop him from jumping out of the fire? To me, he doesn't look trapped. So then I ask: is he staying in the fire voluntarily? If so, it's a self-sacrifice. But to what end? (To free a the king? I wouldn't know about that if I hadn't read it here. And if the wolf ate the king, why is he suddenly having a change of heart about it?)

See how confused I am? Thankfully most of the cards in this deck don't give me this much trouble!
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I also wonder when looking at this card whether it could indicate here, that there is a time to stay and a time to go, that perhaps even the sacrifice may just be a little too much in order to achieve the goal.

Then again it may well speak of the courage to do what is necessary in order to move forward, perhaps in the giving up of one thing, one stands to gain so much more. The flames burn high in this card, the energy is overwhelming perhaps to be able to purify one's soul, one needs to go through an ordeal in order to appreciate the next stage. In other words you must be willing to make the sacrifice, for in doing so you actually lose nothing but gain so much more.

When I put this card together in a line with the 8 Staffs and the 10 Staff the picture does become clearer at least for me. In the 8 we have the Woodcutter, cutting down the flaming staffs, one by one this is the point where movement begins, new opportunities arise, one starts to become more discriminating about things, thinks them through and 'thins out' that which is not necessary so much for progress. That then takes one on to the 9 where the realisation that perhaps in the thinning out process you begin to realise that it is those sacrifices that enable you to gain the clarity needed to make the next step. Which results in the Phoenix either being consumed by the flames and reborn, so we reach the point where we can look back reassess and see if we have done enough and re-evaluate what the next step will be. The ten here seems to mark the final point of realization but also markes the next step to the next idea or thought.......

Just some musings on this card on a Sunday morning.

I actually have the Alchemical Renewed and it is a new deck to me.

~HoneyBea~
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Interesting ideas Honeybea, thanks for sharing I particularly liked paragraph two. This makes a lot of sense to me as I still have trouble interpreting this card.

I look forward to hearing more of your musings. Very helpful indeed
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoneyBea

Then again it may well speak of the courage to do what is necessary in order to move forward, perhaps in the giving up of one thing, one stands to gain so much more.
~HoneyBea~
I just read through several books´ interpreting the Nine of Wands in general and what you say here to me seems to make sense:
The card could be about "retirement", give up something and go into a new direction, time to give up constraining defenses or perhaps an untenable position for a better way, releasing to get what is truly ours, on the other hand giving up perhaps too early.
In the Bright Idea deck this card is called "Release" and shows a woman setting free her pet pigeon.
Does this make sense?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marchal
I just read through several books´ interpreting the Nine of Wands in general and what you say here to me seems to make sense:
The card could be about "retirement", give up something and go into a new direction, time to give up constraining defenses or perhaps an untenable position for a better way, releasing to get what is truly ours, on the other hand giving up perhaps too early.

Does this make sense?
I think when you look at the 9 Wands in general, and remember that most of these modern decks are clones of the RWS, with variations on a theme by their creators, that the overall meaning of this card seems to me to be one that denotes a reserve of strength, even when everything seems to be overwhelming there is the ability to push on to the end. It is often a card about courage and determination, having said that, it does take courage to admit when enough is enough and move on!

So in the Alchemical we have the wolf who is sacrificed in a fire, perhaps this is the courage that the card 9 speaks of, the ability to make the sacrifice in order to complete something for the greater good, something that goes beyond just yourself here.

~HoneyBea~
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