Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Astrology of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Part Two

We pick up our analysis where the Prologue left off, at the beginning of The Fellowship of the Ring. Here, Tolkien will set us off on our journey around the Great Wheel, beginning with the sign of the winter solstice, Capricorn. We'll move through a total of five Zodiac signs in this film, moving from Capricorn to Aquarius, then Pisces, to Aries, and making it through Taurus before stopping at the gates of Gemini (the next film, The Two Towers, picks up there. It's so obvious I can't believe I missed it!)

Capricorn, Kingdom of Mars, Domicile of Saturn

As I mentioned in part one, our King in this land is Samwise Gamgee. If there were any doubt, Tolkien is using the name of the Angel of Mars, Samael, as a key. And not only Sam, but Samwise, aka, a Wise Mars. Here we see Mars at his best: effort to irrigate the land and make it habitable for Life. Significations for the sign of Capricorn list laborers of the land, irrigators, and seafaring/sailing careers for its natives. Not only are we near water, we use our effort to move that water to other places. Images of Egypt populate this sign: its middle face is the image of a pyramid. The word "alchemy" means "art of the land of Khem", where Khem is the word for Egypt. Guess what Egypt was good at? Irrigating that Nile delta and engineering abundance! Among other things, of course (magic!). A dear friend of mine remarks that wonder is the root of care (aptly, she's a super Jupiter Cancer, the opposite solstice), but after watching LOTR and learning from Sam, I would add that care is the root of effort. 

The sign of Capricorn finds its beginning at the winter solstice (around Dec. 21-23 in the northern hemisphere). Solstices are unique in that they can be understood as stations of the Sun, points in time where the Sun appears to stand still (all of the other planets except the Moon do this). In fact, it's quite difficult to tell when exactly the solstice is because the Sun appears to be stopping and changing direction; to discern the difference takes a few days. (Weird how we made up this "calendar" idea and disengaged ourselves from the Planet Clock...why don't we celebrate New Year's on Christmas?) 

Capricorn Face One

This Face is ruled by Jupiter, and in the Tarot it is the Two of Disks (the terms Pentacles or Coins are also used). Crowley titles it "Change." (Can you tell when exactly Galadriel is speaking the Prologue voiceover? "The world has changed.") The Rider-Waite Tarot shows a figure holding two disks with a figure-eight infinity loop around them. This point is a handover, the old year handed over to the new. The Sun at this point has just poured out the last bit of its light and is now ready to begin the ascent back up again. 

We first see Bilbo, a Jupiter figure in this story. He is writing his history (a Jupiter theme), including a notation of the date that not only situates us in time (remember how Jupiter is about epochs and ages?), but which lets us know that there are multiple time frames going on in Middle Earth at once ("by Shire reckoning"). In describing for us the nature of Hobbits, Bilbo lets us know that in the Shire, "change comes slowly, if it comes at all." This picks up on the fact that this sign is about the station of the Sun. It also foregrounds the amount of effort required to get a big behemoth up and moving! Push! There's five more acres in the lower 40 I've got to plow! And Mama said it was a shame about Billy Joe anyhow.

The Sun functions as a major timekeeper (when particular stars, like Vindemiatrix in the constellation Virgo, made heliacal risings, it was time to do certain things like begin the grape harvest), and here in Capricorn/The Shire, time does not move at all. Those with strong Capricorn placements in their horoscopes tend to be conservative in nature, valuing the past and "the way it's always been" over new possibilities for the future. Yes, this includes the political sphere (I just heard a factoid that conservative Republicans tend to be statistically Capricorn). But lest we forget, in their most Samwise form, that's because these people care. They love and want to preserve. Capricorn is given the element of Earth in the Zodiac, an element given  to stability and nurturing. (Check out Dondi Dahlin's The Five Elements - it's based in Chinese medicine, and I love how it illuminated this missing Eastern perspective and provided fresh blood to my understanding of Western humors!)

Taking the narrative a bit further into the body, Saturn, the domicile ruler of Capricorn, is said to rule the bones (and teeth) in astrology, and while muscles and the chubby bits can grow and shrink, once you're done growing the bones stay the same and support you. Of course, Saturn in astrology also rules the blunt-force trauma that breaks bones, or a gravity-induced fall from a great height (spoiler alert: Steward). Saturn makes 'em and breaks 'em. Extrapolate from bones to "supporting structures" of all kinds, both material and mental, both firm and supple (think cell walls or jellyfish), permeable or airtight, and you're in Saturn's substantial wheelhouse. 

In astrology, Jupiter and Saturn, while alike in power and scope, often feel like two sides of the same coin. Jupiter expands, Saturn contracts. Jupiter is hopeful, Saturn is cynical. Jupiter releases and frees, Saturn imprisons and binds. Here, Bilbo, being a Jupiter figure, has earned the reputation for disturbing the peace. Notice how the adults in the Shire view Gandalf in the same vein (Jupiter rules children in astrology, so naturally the kids love him). Gandalf-Bilbo represent the Change promised by the Tarot card/Face, the very pot-stirring of old into new. You know, crank the heat and get that film off the top of the soup!

But something is amiss. Bilbo feels like butter spread thin over too much toast. He feels old. The essence of the One Ring has created false time. The leaden Saturn-gravity has prevented the changeover from taking place. Time is out of joint. It's as if the Ring locks one in a moment in time, stops time in its tracks (which Capricorn likes!). We will see a Gold Sun handed over from one bearer to another, but it is a false Sun - it represents stasis, the very opposite of what this Face represents. Change is the foundation of Stability. The earth cannot be allowed to get hard and dry; the old must be let go to make way for new life. 

Most of the Seven Deadly Sins can be attributed to Saturn in one of his facets. Remember the  dire inversion of Mars and Saturn in this sign (Sauron-Sarumon)? The Deadlies are another way of seeing that. Imagining the Shire Soil getting too hard and dry puts us in the camp of laziness and depression (I know, depression isn't one of the Deadlies but it's also considered a biggie). Saturn's heavy sadness and immobility put out the Mars fire: ever put a campfire out by throwing dirt on it? Sadness leads to immobility, which leads to one hell of a pissed-off Mars fire on the inside that burns you alive with un-lived Life. Ever notice how depressed people tend to trigger lots of anger in the people around them? Guess where that pent up fire goes.

Capricorn Face Two

Speaking of fire, this Face of Capricorn is ruled by Mars (notice that this is also the Regent of the land), and  it is the Three of Disks. It's called Work in the Thoth Tarot, and this face bears the aforementioned image of a pyramid. This is Mars taking the elements (Three) and constructing something out of them: it is Mars the Engineer, Mars the Builder. Maybe even Bob the Builder. Weren't they called Dozers in Fraggle Rock? (Saturn is often imaged as a sleeping old man! Elemental inertia as Slumber!) 

Three is Saturn's number, so we should expect some additional Saturn themes to pop up. 

This is Bilbo's big birthday party to celebrate living to be The Oldest Hobbit Ever. Saturn rules old age, very old age, for which 111 qualifies. Notice that in numerology 111 = 1+1+1 = 3. Saturn also, by its nature, rules obscurity, invisibility, and blindness. While the ring is Solar Gold on the outside, it's also Saturn Lead, and when the One Ring's wearer puts it on, invisibility is the result. Bilbo uses this to "end it all," to vanish and leave life behind, echoing Saturn's role as the Threshold Gatekeeper ("Are you the Key Master?" Phallic symbol alert!) at which we leave a physical life behind and enter into the invisible realm of Spirit. For once and for all, that is; we can cross while still alive, too. Point being: Finality is another Saturn theme. But, by extension, so is Eternity. ("Change comes slowly, if it comes at all.") Final = Eternal.

By the way, you'll see me playing with the equal sign ( = ) quite a bit, and you should be noticing that it's the astrological glyph for Gemini simply turned sideways. Remember our Gemini story of Romeo and Juliet? The Two Towers? Sadly in Shakespeare's version, Sauron wins and Helm's Deep is lost. But I digress. 

We get a little Mars action on the side in this Party scene, too. We meet Sam, our Shire King, and get introduced to his Queen, Rosie (whoever guesses which sign/planet she is gets a kiss from me!), a beautiful woman to whom Sam is bound in love and yearning (remember how Saturn rules binding? He rules marriage, too! I do, I do, I do!)

Since this is a Mars-ruled Face, and Mars = 5, we can expect some wizard stimulation in the story here, too. Gandalf's action serves to separate Bilbo from the ring; Mars' action is to sever, divide, and disperse (often unwillingly if you're not careful). Think iron ploughs dividing the black soil, iron swords dividing flesh, iron penises dividing...oh you get the idea.  But this Ring has peaked Gandalf's wizardly interest, prompting him to kick Bilbo out the door again and mediate the Ring to Frodo. The Change promised in the first Face has by now been achieved: the "Sun" has passed from Bilbo to Frodo, new year divided (Mars) from old. 

Capricorn Face Three

The last Face of Capricorn is ruled by the Sun and is the Four of Disks. It's called Power in the Thoth Tarot, and Crowley goes on to say that it is the principle of Law and Order. Which means that for all of you fans of the TV show (and it's many Hydra-head reiterations), this is the Face! I've honestly never watched an episode. 

This face in particular emphasizes the way in which the Capricorn solstice is a point around which the year turns. The astrological glyph for the Sun is a circle with a point at the center. (Buy yourself a compass just like in geometry class and play!) Here, the Sun's energy it consolidated in matter, and its power moves energy around to fortify and defend. The castle walls are a symbol of defensive Law and Order itself, the King (or if you'd simply rather: Leader) its central focus.  

The Sun in astrology relates to a kingdom and its leadership, and whenever the Sun is symbolically active in Tolkien's story, he takes us to a new kingdom (or, a new episode of Law and Order). In this case, we get a peek into the kingdom of Mordor where the Nine (remember, 9 = Moon = Men) set out for the Shire. However, we also get to see the most Solar kingdom of all, the City of Gondor where the King of Men resides. Gondor, being the seat of power for the Sun, is the Zodiac sign of Leo. There is no planetary exaltation or kingship here, because Leo is the very principle of Leadership itself. However, things are not all Leonine in Gondor since there is no King, but the exploration of Gondor and its dynamics comes later in Return of the King. We spend a lot of that film sussing it out, so stay tuned. 

Since this Face/Tarot Card is one of the Fours, we should expect some Jupiter action along with the Solar rulership of the Face. Gandalf goes to Gondor (Sun) and does Jupiter things: he goes to the library reads a history and does research (Jupiter rules books in astrology). Looking ahead, we should also note that it is Jupiter which crowns the King and confers kingship. While Gandalf will perform this function for Aragorn later at the end of the story, for now Gandalf meets a King (Sun) of a past age (Jupiter) only through his written account (Jupiter). 

It's also worth noting that Gondor (the Sun) dwells ever int he presence of the Shadow, Mordor. The Sun and the eclipse's shadow are bound together in essence. Eclipses are always a potential!

This final Face of Capricorn also sees Frodo offer Gandalf the ring, a test which the wizard passes. Sun = Gold =  One Ring. Frodo remains the bearer of this Sun's tainted light, and Gandalf sends him on the road. However, not before attaching Sam to Frodo, and we must remember that Sam is the true King here. Sun = leadership. This Face presents as the image of a Throne, after all. 

While he sends the hobbits out the door and onto their Destiny, Gandalf must go and see the head of his order (Sun = leader), Sarumon. And once we leave the Shire, we're off to the next Zodiac sign!

Tolkien is nice and neat about letting you know when you're in a new sign for the most part; the characters leave a kingdom or realm and enter a new one. Tolkien occasionally use the ruler of the last Face of a sign to instigate the changing of scenery, like the way in which Gandalf must now go and see a leader (the Sun). 

Aquarius, Domicile of Saturn

Boy do I love this sign now after watching LOTR! There is such mystery and beauty here! The experience of the characters in this part of the film isn't what rocks my world, but the entire story as a whole does it. 

Let's start with some basics. This is a sign that has no exalted ruler, so we get to feel deeply into Saturn him/herself. The him-/her- binary does not, in fact, apply to Saturn, for Saturn is not sexed. It is beyond sexuality. Governing old age and senility, it Rules the part of life where procreative generation and all its attendant sexual roles and identities have faded, releasing humans into a phase of Life and Mind outside of the body's passions. (Pharmaceuticals have since made a dent in this stage of life, however, with chemicals that stiffen the plough and moisten the soil.) Remembering how the elves are Saturn beings, notice how androgynous and dispassionate they are? I somehow think there are no Rivendell orgies happening. Venus in astrology governs sex and the genitals, and Venus and Saturn are often imaged as rivals (their combo in a horoscope makes for "issues" around sexuality and desire). Remember how Saturn got castrated? He rules eunuchs and people without genitals, but for the love of fucking God, people, it's a metaphor! Don't cut your balls off! The castration is simply Old Age. Sheesh. Oh, however, Jupiter rules semen (as well as the ova and womb), and that's the part where Saturn is vulnerable, which is why Saturn's son Jupiter went right for dad's balls. Semen = wetness and water, all aspects of Jupiter, and Saturn is Old Dry-as-Dust. It's like when you're about to "get there" but all that comes out is a flag that says "Bang!" on it. 

Lest we get overly physical, Saturn would also rule the emotional hangups in your Head-Heart which would prevent you from having and enjoying sex in the first place.

There's an Elemental Saturn story at play here, too. Remember what I said about Elements wanting to resist coming out of the earth and changing? Many of Saturn's issues about sex come from an intense yearning to remain one's Essential Being, un-mingled with the Essence of another. The elves (Saturn) don't like the dwarves (Venus). An especial favorite example of this is Agatha Christie's Poirot and Miss Marple characters: Christie herself had Saturn in Virgo, and both of her characters could be described as "stuffy virgins." They're also geniuses, but we'll get to that in a minute. 

People with Saturn strong in their horoscopes (by the planet's accidental place on the Wheel or by emphasis on his Kingdom/Domiciles) often come off as cold, dispassionate (unless it's anger - melancholia), and unfeeling. They're "hard as stone," "cold-hearted." This is to be expected and natural, however, for they are in touch with the inner Coldness inherent in all things. 

Ordinary human relationships, however, require more than a little mastery of the water element, and while our friend Saturn here in Aquarius is the Water Bearer, the water it bears is no ordinary water. Saturn's Capricorn domicile would correlate more toward oceans (from which Saturn's daughter Venus emerges - there was something left in those testicles!) and terrestrial waters. Aquarius, however, is heavenly waters. 

I once heard astrologer Michael Lutin say that Aquarius is the potential for Genius, and I love that more every day. I like to think that the sign of Aquarius places its natives on a little tiny boat in the vast sea of stars that is the Heavens. Remember when God divided the waters? Capricorn = the waters below, Aquarius = the waters above. Oh, and didn't Gandalf mention something about two blue wizards? 

Let's take a moment to imagine how seafarers (Capricorn) used to navigate by the stars (Aquarius). Can you see yourself out on the Mediterranean at night under a breathtaking Blue Vault as bioluminescent algae and plankton glow in Answer? And hasn't some ancient Greek computer been found that is for navigation by stars? Capricorn gives the substance, Aquarius the technology and genius to navigate it, and both are Saturn. Nautical metaphors abound in astrology - there's a place in the horoscope to determine who's steering the ship (that planet equates to your mind, your body, your health and well-being). Here in Aquarius, we are with Ezekiel, sailing among the stars. 

Notice how the elves are always giving out stars to people? Elves = Saturn = Aquarius = Stars = Firmament = Water. (The one Galadriel gives Frodo is Venus Herself. We'll see why.)

Take a moment to ponder: Elves = Elements = Stars. Now hear Joni sing "Woodstock." God, I love, love, love that Sainted Woman. She sings, "We are stardust, billion-year-old carbon. We are Golden, caught in the Devil's Bargain, and we've to to get ourselves back to the Garden." And where's that garden? You guessed it. Aragorn knows. 

Looking ahead into Return of the King, we'll learn through Gandalf that the old kings of Gondor (Leo) let their line dry out (Saturn) and instead of taking Action out in the world and Leading (Sun), they spent their time in towers asking questions of the stars (Aquarius). Leo and Aquarius are opposite signs, and this line of Gandalf's paints a picture of what the Sun in Aquarius looks like. Without the King, Gondor becomes Saturn's kingdom. Saturn is associated to three different signs in astrology by either their Regent or Governor, and we'll see later in the story how Gondor and the Steward are rocking all three. Gandalf's disparaging turn of phrase points to the Sun's exile in Aquarius, so I wanted to bring that up here. 

Now, I love me my astrology, but Gandalf's words are worthy. Astrology is knowing when to act. Divorcing Action from Time is one way of defaulting on Right Effort and Leadership. We've all got Saturn somewhere in our horoscopes, and we've all got the Sun. Welcome to the reconciliation of opposites! Piece of cake, right?

By the way, each of the seasons in astrology correspond to one of the four elemental humors of the cosmos. Spring is sanguine, summer is choleric, autumn is melancholic, and winter is phlegmatic. It's winter, the phlegmatic one we're interested in here, because phlegm = cold and wet. In the northern hemisphere, Capricorn begins the season of winter, and Aquarius follows. While the season of winter itself is considered cold and wet, the solstitial Capricorn is cold but it's not wet. It's dry. Aquarius, on the other hand, is considerably wetter. Aquarius brings to mind the rainy season which visits many other parts of the world. Monsoons anyone? Water itself saps heat out of an organism 25 times faster than air does, and one can imagine Saturn's Aquarian Jug spilling heat-sapping star-water all over the land. Venus' fires of passion are soaked and cold, for she's journeying with Her Husband the Sun as far away from his warm Summer Palace as can be. (Don't worry, she's doing better in the next Kingdom over from Aquarius where it gets a little warmer.)

Aquarius Face One

The first Face of Aquarius is ruled by Venus and corresponds to the Five of Swords in the Tarot. It's notable here that this is the first time Frodo and Sam encounter the Saturnine beings of the elves on their journey. The pair get a glimpse of the Elementals leaving Middle Earth, to which Frodo replies that, although he doesn't know why, their leaving makes him sad. Remember how Saturn is depression and sadness? 

Venus, ruler of this Face, is often used in Tolkien's story to signify release due to an oath fulfilled (this picks up on the sign of Libra, a Venus-Saturn duo = words that bind). It is bondage finished, and this image of the elves leaving speaks of link to Middle Earth which has expired and freed them.

Crowley's Book of Thoth calls this Face/Tarot card Defeat, and it is here we need to remember that we are dealing with another of the Fives (wizards). Gandalf arrives to speak with his leader Sauromon, only to discover that Sauromon has joined forces with the Shadow. Check out Crowley's words on this Face: he says that the Five "as always produces disruption; but as Venus here rules Aquarius, weakness rather than excess of strength seems to be the cause of disaster. The intellect has been enfeebled by sentiment. The defeat is due to pacifism. Treachery may also be implied."

This seems to be saying that the Venusian weakness involved is Gandalf's trust of Sarumon, and it comes to bite him in the ass! I've gotta love, however, that in this scene of the film, we see Sarumon give Gandalf a helluva put-down by saying that his love of the halflings' weed as made his mind weak and enfeebled his judgment! Because he loves the Hobbits, Gandalf is "too sentimental" and thus did not see the One Ring right under his nose! Notice how Sarumon gets down on his wizards buddies for doing drugs (the shaman's toolkit of cannabis and psilocybin), while it is Sarumon himself who has the weak and feeble mind! He accuses others of being weak-minded and unreasonable, yet remains blind to his own madness. 

As the wizards converse, Sarumon, mentions that the Nine have left their fortress and crossed the River Isen on Midsummer's Eve. Since we know that astrologically our story begins with Frodo and Sam leaving the Shire in the winter solstice Kingdom of Capricorn, we learn that the Nine left at the same time on the summer solstice, in the opposite Kingdom of Cancer. This says to me that we are dealing with two inverted worlds overlapping, and that Sauron has indeed created a cursed Inversion of time and space. While the Nine actually live in the Kingdom of Scorpio, the sign of the Moon's "fall" in astrology (aka, Life enslaved to Death), it is interesting that the Nine leave from the solstitial sign of Cancer, the Moon's Domicile. Remember that connection of 9 = Moon = Men? 

Aquarius Face Two

The second Face of Aquarius is ruled by Mercury and is the Six of Swords in the Tarot. In his Book of Thoth, Crowley states that this card is called Science, and that the Six (Sun) in all its forms is the Intellect. Here, we have a combination of speed (Mercury) and intellect (Sun) that results in considerable brilliance of mind. 

The bulk of the themes in this scene go to Mercury, for it is here that we meet our Mercurial Gemini twins of Merry and Pippin as they join the journey. Notice how Tolkien has even given them double repeating letters in their names! 

The names of these two trickster Hobbits are very important in delineating the nature of Mercury in astrology, for Merry and Pippin are not their full names. Nicknames are a Mercury thing, too, though. Check the dictionary: a familiar or humorous (Mercury) name given to a person or thing instead of or as well as the real name. Origin: late Middle English from an eke name (eke meaning addition), misinterpreted by wrong division to result in a neke name.

Can you believe it?! Not only does "nickname" imply doubling with the aim of fun (Gemini), we have it because somebody divided the word and put it back together incorrectly! Pippin's full name is Peregrine, and in astrology we use the word Peregrine to mean a planet has absolutely no strength or "dignity!" Pippin is fucking up and creating accidents all over the place like a Fool! (Look ahead to when he knocks that dwarf skeleton down the well in Moria and sets in motion a chain of events that leads to Gandalf's death. The film does not profile what has to be a ton of Mercury-Pippin's survivor's guilt.) 

Also, take a moment to ponder the ambiguous role of Accidents in your own life. Were they really accidents? Mercury, Our Patron of Synchronicity might beg to differ...

At any rate, many of us have peregrine planets in our horoscopes (yup, four of the seven are for me), and in these arenas we may expect to be pulling a Pippin and not knowing what do to or how to behave. If our head isn't on straight and causing blunders, we may find ourselves overcompensating in these areas and fucking up for trying too hard. Right Effort = Dignity. (We can circle back to the comedy team of the Straight Man (dignity) and the Funny Man (peregrine), because Pippin's gifts can be used to great comedic effect! It's fun to humiliate Apollo and bring him down a few pegs!)

Not leaving out Merry, his full name is Merriweather, which to my mind scans as: a climate of mirth, joy, and laughter; a festive atmosphere. We must not forget that Mercury, and his Gemini Domicile in particular, carries with him the capacity for Joy and Delight. It would also resonate as the love between siblings (mine are incredible - I love you so much!). But: if you can't laugh (which by its nature includes at yourself as much as at others), you know a One Ring Binding Spell has got you and you've lost your Mercury. Or maybe he's not doing so well in your horoscope and his broken feet need to be rehabilitated! 

Merry and Pippin, our comic relief team in the story, come to us in another of Mercury's guises: as thieves. We meet them as they're making a getaway after stealing vegetables from a farmer. They're running quickly and blindly, and sprinting and speed are themes we'll see repeated when Mercury rears his head in the story. Indeed, once Merry and Pippin complete the foursome, they spend the rest of the Face outrunning the Nine. Mercury does not win the battle with superior force and strength; he wins with speed, strategy, and cunning. (What'd you just call me?!) My favorite image for this, by the way, is my Patronus, Bugs Bunny. He never engages in battle and is willing to let it go, but once you cross him three times and he says, "Of course, you know, this means WAR!" he will win!

Finally, in what is one of the most blatant depictions of a Rider-Waite Tarot card Tolkien borrows, Mercury's Six of Swords depicts a man in a boat rowing two huddled figures across a body of water. Buckleberry Ferry, anyone?

Final thought on this Face: it's one of the most generative, and for some reason a favorite of mine, because it's also called Heaven and Earth. As Austin Coppock begins his description of this face:

"While the first decan of Aquarius pictures rebellion against established order and the exploration of what lies outside it, the second builds bridges between the exile and the citizen, beggars and kings, heaven and earth, inside and out. Its wise and independent inhabitants ply the rivers between established kingdoms, charting liminal spaces."

Isn't that great? There's just something so beautiful to me about that metaxical image which fills my soul with starlight and makes me feel as tall as the sky! Which to many of you who see me in person, I may appear to be...What can I say, I've got a Gemini body!

Aquarius Face Three

The third face of Aquarius is ruled by the Moon and is the Seven of Swords in the Tarot. 

This face finds our party arriving at The Prancing Pony. I find this image and interesting riff on the theme of horses. Mercury has association to horses through the taming bridle, a technology which allows the domestication of horses (check out Lewis' The Horse and His Boy). Notice, too, how this allows humans Horsepower, aka, Speed. Back to Mercury facilitating speed! But the horse itself bears Solar symbolism and is connected to "spiritedness," akin to the Vital Spirit which we experience as our heartbeat. The Sun is said to rule the heart in astrology (we'll meet a horse = king example in Rohan later), and here we have a pony. If I may extrapolate, the big light of the Sun = Horse, smaller light of the Moon = Pony. 

Connecting to the Moon rulership of this Face, we find ourselves again in a locus of Men (9 = Moon = Men), and it is here that we meet perhaps our most important Man of the story: Aragorn! But we do not meet him by that name here; instead, we meet him as Strider.

Our King-as-Ranger here is the image of what the Sun in Aquarius looks like: a man as far removed from King (or Duty) and Country as can be. He is even incognito and unrecognizable to his fellow men, a perfect image of how a leader in a foreign Wilderness must feel. The King cannot Lead in Aquarius and is instead Led by the laws of others. He is divorced (opposition) from this Wild Kingdom, completely alien to it. Yet Aragorn has chosen this in response to the binding curse of the One Ring, and Aragorn is excellent at most things he puts his hand to. He is well-adapted to the Wild (remember that second Face, Science, the union of Mercury and Sun?) and can in fact Lead others through it. All is not lost! 

There's a line Aragorn says to Frodo that makes me delight in his Solar turn of phrase. After he sees Frodo wear the ring, he says, "I can avoid being seen if I wish, but to disappear entirely, that is a rare gift indeed!" If I imagine the Sun itself saying that, I think of not only the Sun's blinding brilliance which forbids anyone to look at it and thus see it, but also of the Sun disappearing under the horizon and avoiding view. The Sun knows how to stay out of sight!

According to Crowley, Venus' sephira, the number Seven, is called Victory, and in this Face we have the victory (Venus) of a man (Moon) over the Nine (Moon). Once the Nine are tricked, the band can make their escape, leave the Prancing Pony, and leave the Kingdom of Aquarius altogether for the land of Pisces.