On the Wand of Double Power
By Michael Osiris Snuffin (1997)
In 1997, I was inspired by a vivid dream to construct a Wand of Double Power, the implement held by Ra-Hoor-Khuit on the Stele of Revealing. I rode that sudden wave of creative inspiration, and by the end of the week I had a beautiful wand with a carved head and foot, ready to paint. It was at that point that I realized I had no idea what the Wand symbolized, let alone what color it was! Here are the results of my investigation.
Three Aeons, Three Wands
The Wand of Double Power is actually the latest incarnation of a Wand that has evolved throughout the Aeons. The first incarnation of this Wand was the Waas Sceptre of the Egyptians, corresponding with the Aeon of Isis. The second incarnation was the Phoenix Wand, which corresponds with the Aeon of Osiris. The Wand of Double Power corresponds with the present Aeon of Horus. In each Aeon the symbolism and color of the Wand is different; thus each wand must be examined in order to fully understand the symbolism and significance of the Wand of Double Power.
The Waas Sceptre
The wand pictured in the Stele of Revealing, taken in historical context, is the Waas Scepter. The waas sceptre was a symbol of health, happiness, and divine prosperity1 but also of power and dominion.2 The waas scepter was associated with the qualities of divine rulership, and was carried exclusively by gods and goddesses until late in Egyptian civilization, when the pharaohs took on this attribute in funereal works. In Egyptian art as well as in the Stele, the waas scepter is green in color. To the Egyptians, green was a symbolic of fertility, life and resurrection.3
The Phoenix Wand
The Phoenix Wand of the Golden Dawn is described by the Second Adept in the Adeptus Minor Ritual: “Mine is a Wand terminating in the Symbol of the Binary, and surmounted by the Tau Cross of Life, or the head of the Phoenix, sacred to Osiris. …It symbolizes Rebirth and Resurrection from Death.”4
Crowley gives us his own definition of the Phoenix Wand as it appears in the Five of Wands of the Thoth tarot deck: “They have the head of the Phoenix, which gives the idea of destruction (or rather purgation) through fire, and the resurrection of the energy from its ashes.”5
The Phoenix Wand also appears in the Prince of Wands, Crowley's personal court card, and here it is red in color. He describes it thus: “In his left hand he bears the Phoenix wand of the Second Adept (in the Ritual of 5°=6° of R.R. at A.C.), the wand of Power and Energy.”6
Finally, in 777, Crowley describes the Wand as “the Phoenix-crowned phallus of animal-life creation through the initiation of Fire.”7
The Wand of Double Power
Crowley never directly explains the symbolism of the Wand of Double Power, but he gives us an idea of its import in a comment from The Law is for All: “The general meaning is 'I control alike the forces of the active and the passive.' ”8
When we apply this definition to the Tree of Life, the nature of the Wand of Double Power becomes clear. The Waas Sceptre symbolizes the various attributes of divine rulership, a quality of Chesed. The Phoenix Wand is attributed to Geburah as the Wand of the Second Adept9, as well as due to its fiery and destructive nature. Geburah is the active force, and Chesed is the passive force. That which controls or mediates the forces of Chesed and Geburah is Tiphareth. Furthermore, the “Lord of the Double Wand of Power” is Ra-Hoor-Khuit, the Sun-god.
If we link the colors of the first two Wands to those of the Sephiroth, the same pattern emerges. The Waas Sceptre is green, the color of Netzach and Venus, the passive force. The Phoenix Wand is red, and is associated with Geburah and Mars, the active force. Therefore the color of the Wand of Double Power is yellow or gold, the colors of Tiphareth and Sol, the mediator of the active and the passive forces.
1 Lurker, Manfred. An Illustrated Dictionary of the Gods and Symbols of Ancient Egypt, page 127.
2 Wilkinson, Richard H. Reading Egyptian Art, page 181.
3 Wilkinson, Richard H. Symbol & Magic in Egyptian Art, page 108.
4 Regardie, Israel. The Golden Dawn, 6th Editions, page 224.
5 Crowley, Aleister. The Book of Thoth, page 191.
6 Ibid, page 152.
7 Crowley, Aleister. 777, page 109.
8 Crowley, Aleister. The Law is For All, page 333.
9 Regardie, Israel. The Golden Dawn, 6th Edition, page 221: “The Second Adept who had represented Netzach [in the Portal Grade], now represents the Fire of Geburah, and so bears the Phoenix Wand of the Seven Double Letters.”
Copyright © 2010 Michael Osiris Snuffin
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