Stories > Splendor Solis > Plate 14 - The Triple-Headed Eagle (Mars)
A crowned flask with a sealed top holds a crowned three-headed bird with wings outspread. Here the three birds are fused into one. The flask stands upon a red wreath of leaves, or tongues of flames. The chariot of Mars (who is fully armed) is drawn by two wolves, with a coiled serpent on the forepart. The wheels are Aries and Scorpio (half-hidden). Martial scenes depicted: soldiers, a burning house, a battle, slain warriors, the taking of cattle (the spoils of war).  (Stephen Skinner's Splendor Solis commentary)
The Triple-Headed Eagle vs The Adventurer
Psychologically, the three-headed bird could represent a situation where the intellect feels ungrounded, dissociated, and thrown into an immobilizing state of confusion. Things that used to make sense just don't.
"At this point, a person may fall into utter despair, regress back to intellectualization or frantic activity, decide to join in the spoils ('Living well is the best revenge'), or trying to renounce the world and lead an ascetic life."
"The analyst, as well as the patient, must bear this new darkness and not try to move out of it with suggestions or impatient withdrawal of interest."
The Adventurer expresses a conflict of the will with the instincts.The house or psyche, wants to keep moving ahead while the dog (conscious ego) is literally "driven" by compulsion. There is a strong conflict between the instinctive and spiritual, conscious and unconscious, pushing in different directions similarly to the armored knights (conscious) and the peasants (Nature, or the unconscious) in the alchemical plate. Whether the ego is in sync with the instincts or not makes the difference between being thrown into an adventure, totally out of control, or willingly going on the adventure.
Note: the quotes in italic are from the book by J.L. Henderson and D.N. Sherwood, Transformation of the Psyche: The Symbolic Alchemy of the Splendor Solis

More From The Splendor Solis

Back to Top