Mary El Tarot - Six of Wands

Bat Chicken

The young man has slain the dragon. His fiery eyes bear the confidence of one who has overcome his fears, has discovered his inner strength and slain the guardian of the riches of his own inner temple. The test is necessary for victory is hollow if the greatest gifts of our journey were just handed to us.

There are many myths across Europe about the dragonslayer. The most well known in the English speaking world would be of St. George.

The sigil on the boy’s forehead is interesting. I figured it out when I realized that each of the sixes bear wings. Our boy is, in fact, bearing the sigil for the archangel Michael. He is the Sun and follows the 5 of Wands, Leo, quite nicely. Michael is the warrior, the leader and the slayer of Lucifer, bringer of Light.



Dragon killer:
Continuing on with the 6 of wands, which is supposed to depict archangel Michael. The card is dark brown overall with just the light skinned red haired human in the middle. Yes, I wrote human. See, he/ she killed the Dragon, a magical creature full of the wisdom of the ages. With a rather grotesque finger hold the pale lad grasps the dead Creature by the neck. In my opinion, he also grasps something else: The truth that with this kill, with murdering this being, that is also a sacred part of Great Mystery, just like he himself he lost his angle status and became human.
Are angels allowed to kill?
Are angels supposed to kill?
Is the christian god ordering them to do so? Ifff yes, he is sick and should see someone about it.... ( :0 should I give him my phone number? ;) )
They say, this guy is love and light.... but we all know better: Like soooo many other things in christianity behind the brilliant light there is darkness of righteousness, brutality, one-up-man-ship, vengeance and an attitude of superiority. “Me above everything! Me above all other religions – Or else!! And if not, I send my archangels...” – Like this one here to kill, or torture or ...worse.... This is -after all the old war god Yahweh from the old er religion that people are praying to. And he was a brute... still is....The bible is still full of nasty things he put people through.... and I wonder, what all was edited out over the years....
Now back to this fallen angel; His wings are dark brown supposedly like the mountains in the background... - or they are turning brown with the dried blood that cakes them and makes them useless for flight = rising above it all.... He is supposed to be god's warrior. What does this guy need a warrior for? Now this warrior has killed yet again – and once too often and – his face shows the apprehension and …... aversion about his own actions. To me he seems lost, confused even. Like, now what. Here, dear god is the last dragon. The last Wisdom Keeper of the old Earth centered faith. But with it also dies the angel's own power and all that is left is a burning lance. And the world around him turns to darkness, which is why we can not really see much on the card.

I think, I want to next put here, what the book says about the image:

Quote Text Mary ELTarot:
The 6 of Wands is the Archangel Michael. His name means "Who is Like God." He is a warrior that commands the armies of God. His fire and life force interact with things directly and with force, with vengeance and righteousness. His weapon, here, the flaming spear is like the lion from the previous card the 5of Wands, burning a trail through the dark forest, making a way forward. This dragon he destroys is darkness; he
destroys it with direct force and illumination, by going straight through it like a penetrating army. He bears the sigil of Michael on his forehead, a symbol derived from tracing a name over the rosy cross. Each of the four archangels have this
somewhere on their body. Names are very important to angels, as they define who and what they are, limit them from the limitless, and define them. Angels often bear the suffix" el" on their name which is an ancient name for God as in Allah, El, Elohim, Ba' al, etc. The el describes them as " of God" or an aspect, a portion of God charged with certain duties that support the creation and maintenance of the universe.
In this painting Michael's wings resemble dark mountain peaks and there are legions of angels flying in the sky. Michael comes down to the earth, to the pits of hell, and slays demons and dragons.
This card is to slay your dragons. The dragons are whatever opposes you or your situation. Spiritually the dragons are darkness and ignorance within ourselves. We illuminate this darkness with fire.
This is also a marriage of these seemingly opposite elements, the angel and the dragon, or demon. A being from heaven and a being from hell, but both are part of you, one is your higher self or genius, and one is your lower self, your subconscious. A marriage of heaven and hell, angelic and demonic.
Your demons are part of you, they protect you, they have purpose. You can remove them, kill them, suppress them, chain them, but that will be destroying a beautiful aspect of yourself; it is far better to cleave to them, integrate them, appreciate
them and become a well-rounded. strong human being of dark and light, than a shallow facsimile with a cracking facade using all of your energy to hold back the tide of things you deem unworthy to be you. It is all you, embrace it and integrate
it, marry it, love it, this is an important part of the Lovers. This is the last step of creation, where male and female, contrasting opposites are balanced and come together in symmetry and balance. Once you are whole, you have found the treasure of your being and you will ride off on the Chariot to do your will.
Michael is the patron saint of soldiers and warriors.

This Dragon was supposed to be darkness. Well, when you kill darkness – in this card you have more darkness. Darkness is the balance of light. And contrary to the christian belief most First Nations wisdom from all around the world teaches us, that there needs to be balance. Not just one sided-ness. Too much of a good thing turns bad by nature....
The book says, that this angel is sent down to Earth, to the pits of hell...!?? Since when is Earth synonymous with the pits of hell ?
It also says, that the “el” in an angel's name is to bind the angel to his god, make it like him and force it to do his will. Obey his orders. These include orders to kill....

The book contradicts itself here in the end:
(I actually LIKE that, because it tells me, that this whole notion is not really making sense to the writer either.:)
Are you now supposed to slay your Dragons or are you supposed to integrate them into your whole being, because they too are beautiful and wise aspects of you? I think Marie first dutifully draws us the christian front line. This is the bible and how it is supposed to be. But inside herself she knows better:
If we kill our inner demons, which indeed are a part of us, that then we would kill a beautiful creative aspect of ourselves – and we would stand there, forlorn and with hollow eyes, just like the poor lad on the card...

Marie come and paint for me
another image so we see
holding Dragon in loving hand
Angel walks across the land......

Bat Chicken

I am not sure I can agree with the idea that this card needs a complete redesign, but I do see how the language of the book appears contradictory. It feels a little forced into the realm of the "6" Lovers. How can the dragon be both demons and ignorance if we must embrace our demons and slay ignorance? There is also the trouble with the traditional 6ofW and the Lord of Victory - which in itself has two sides.

However, I think that showing the boy 'embracing' the dragon would be an oversimplification and a more profound way of understanding the root of this card, as it is designed, would be missed. I would also struggle with the contradiction that a redesigned card embracing the dragon would pose - to embrace ignorance! I'd like to explore a different point of view.

The card shows a warrior. Why? What is it that we need to slay? I think we all agree with Marie when she says:

MaryEl said:
Spiritually the dragons are darkness and ignorance within ourselves. We illuminate this darkness with fire.

The dragon/darkness is, first and foremost, ignorance. If the dragon/darkness is not another ("an + other") creature, what is this 'dragon of ignorance' that must must be slain? What exactly is Michael killing?

Couldn't the dragon/darkness be the belief in the illusion of 'other'? Should we embrace this illusion or should we slay that belief/dragon (fantastic creature for fantastic thinking) in order to realize there is no 'other'? To slay the illusion/belief is to take true responsibility for our thoughts and actions, as well as those in our communities. We are all responsible, Christian or not, for the light and the darkness that results from our thoughts and our actions - whether rooted in our demons, our desire or our love. Therefore, the dragon/darkness MUST be in our thinking - the thinking in which all our fears are based and our demons feed. What kind of food do you feed your demons? ;)

It follows that the idea that "evil is over there" or "darkness is other" - even possibly that 'demons are other' - is also ignorance.

Let's look at the warrior in this card itself again. Michael is not actually killing a creature. He is 'killing' the belief in the illusion of our separateness from God/the Universe/Great Spirit represented by the dragon. Killing the dragon of the illusion of separateness is the only thing left for the spiritual warrior to do. Nothing is more deadly to the wholeness of a human being than embracing the thoughts that kill. To embrace this dragon is to embrace ignorance. It, therefore, must be the illusion of separateness that the dragon represents.

So the card is completely correct portraying Michael standing in victory over the dragon of ignorance, IMHO.

Hugging the dragon does not demand one to look deeper. To understand one's path from ignorance to enlightenment, one cannot find anything useful from a picture of hugging Puff the magic dragon. There is this new age idea that it is all happy, positive thinking and it is enough to just believe that we are all ONE. Happiness or even joy is a point on the spectrum of good and evil, so wholeness must also include its opposite. I heard once in a lecture of ecological philosophy that in true moments of realization, we can also feel what can be described as more like profound grief.

Sounds like love, doesn't it? Hugging Puff is not very Mary El and not real.

MiShell said:
in christianity behind the brilliant light there is darkness of righteousness, brutality, one-up-man-ship, vengeance and an attitude of superiority.
Every religion and ideology carries this light and dark - even shamanism. This very statement represents an ideology. There are and have been too many who decry the dark side of ideology by using it against the 'other' and call it justice - but the root is control. See how difficult the warrior's path is?

This next statement makes me uncomfortable:
MiShell said:
It also says, that the “el” in an angel's name is to bind the angel to his god, make it like him and force it to do his will. Obey his orders. These include orders to kill...
The dragon still lurks? Hegel on evil might make for good reading here...

Thanks for your honest post, MiShell. It helped me see the true depth of this excellent card by forcing me to get a much richer understanding of the warrior.


Just visually, there's the thick penis and the flaming vulva.

Bat Chicken

:) Debra....
Perhaps you could explore that more?

I was just thinking about the Leo element to this card, Debra's comment made me think about the warrior's weapon. It is a weapon of fire - of light - of illumination. The death of ignorance is brought on by Michael bringing illumination.

When we see the light - we become conscious. And in so doing we no longer see our demons as "other" but we become them and they, us. What you now know, you cannot un-know.

This card has the depth of a Major. And yet it appears in the Minors. It is not a force outside of us. It is us.

I had to note this before I forgot it. Surprisingly I thought it while watching the fire take the shape of a lion in the last Harry Potter movie I have going here in the background! :laugh:

I think there will be more... It's percolating! :) What is alive? What is death? The flaming of the dark vulva...? Hmmm... Going back to my corner....


6 of Wands

After drawing this card I looked at it for some time and here's what I wrote about it in my Mary-El Journal:

A pale, delicate, almost fragile-looking, androgynous figure with flame colored eyes looks steadily out at you from the image. This angel has six fingers on both hands, one of which is subduing a serpent-like beast. The other holds a flaming spear. This card says to me, "Here is your champion". When I look at this card I get the sensation of staring in the mirror, for the angel has almost the same steady, yet penetratingly blank expression of someone staring into a mirror.

I agree with you Bat Chicken when you said: "It is not a force outside us. It is us.

The wings were designed to look like mountain peaks. Mountain peaks make me think of struggle, travail, passing through a valley and being safely guided through the other side. Strength, durability, support. Toughness. The last thing this card says to me is, "You may be feeling fragile, but you are tougher than you feel or think.


I seem to struggle a bit with all of the sixes, this one is no exception.

Just visually, there's the thick penis and the flaming vulva.

Hmm. I didn't see that. Still not really sure if I do, but now I'm trying to think about what it means for the flaming vulva to slay the penis. Flaming makes me think of inflammation. STI maybe?

I guess I'll have to think about this one some more.


I have spent some time thinking about this card, it's place in the reading I did, what it says in the book, what's been going on in the news, and what precedes it in the 5. The dragon or beast is our previous ignorance and struggles. Slaying the dragon is the lessons we learn through hardship and difficult experience. Then we carry it with us a reminder of what we have learned, and as a reminder to act upon that knowledge. The slay the dragon and then discard it, or to discard it without ever facing off is to remain or retreat to ignorance

The Six of Wands serves as a reminder that it is through our own suffering that we are able to develop empathy for others. Recent news coverage about 'affluenza' illustrates what happens when this is absent. By never having to contend with difficulties or darkness, or by having the dragon slain for us instead of confronting it on our own, we fail to foster a consideration for others. Privilege can end up crippling us spiritually and emotionally. In this instance, carrying the dragon makes us mindful of those who are still struggling and have not had the advantages we have had.

The dark wings representing mountain peaks serve as another metaphor for this concept: to earn the wings, you have to climb the mountain.