Ace of Cups (IV)

Holy Nights, 2020

Over the next few weeks after our third Ace of Cups conversation, a few more realisations and discussions happened, but not in our conventional mode.

First of all, around Christmas Eve, Joel realised that the gesture of the “being” in the Ace of Cups reminded him, not of an image of Christ, but of the Virgin Mary—specifically, the image of Our Lady of All Nations, who we had brought into relation with the Queen of Swords a few months prior.

Second of all, Joel had had a dream a few weeks prior. In the dream, he was a knight. He had to rescue Estelle Isaacson from an evil knight who was holding her captive. After he rescued her, they came to a field full of swords that had been buried in the Earth up to the hilt—many hilts sticking out of the ground in a long row. Somehow Joel realised that these swords had been put in the ground by knights who had fulfilled their tasks, and had retired from a life of fighting. Having successfully rescued Estelle, he proceeded to drive his sword into the ground. This, however, greatly upset Estelle—she began to yell at him, scolding him that she was still in desperate need of his protection. She began to try to take the sword out of the ground, and as Joel tried to stop her, he cut his hands badly on the blade. They continued to wrestle over the sword, and eventually Estelle began to strike Joel fiercely. She was so powerful in her response, all Joel could think was, “What on earth do you need my protection for anyway?! You’re clearly much stronger than I am!” And then he woke up. 

A few weeks later, during the Holy Nights, the entirety of Camphill Village Copake was honouring the 12 nights by reading a Persian legend of Ahura Mazda, Ahriman, Djemschid, and Zarathustra, in 12 parts. On the third evening (December 26), they read the portion of the story having to do with Djemschid and the first beginnings of agriculture. Although many other associations and messages came out of his dream, this particular resonance felt quite strong, and also began to feel related to this picture of the Cup as the hilt of the sword—as a sword buried in the earth up to the hilt. “Burying the hatchet.” Making swords to plowshares.

And then, coming out of a dream experience that Natalia had had, Phillip, Natalia and Joel had a miniature Hermetic Conversation via a WhatsApp group chat. This was not a live conversation over WhatsApp; rather, we utilised the tool on WhatsApp whereby you can leave a brief recorded message. One is able to listen to the message someone sent, and not respond to it immediately, but rather to really take in what the other said and respond with another recorded message at a later time, when one really has the chance to answer deliberately and fully. And so this was a conversation which gradually unfolded itself over a number of days during the Holy Nights among Phillip, Natalia, and Joel…a new way of carrying on a Tarot conversation:

– Phillip’s interpretation of Natalia’s dream: 

Hexagram above = city above. Two triangles interpenetrating, related to Holy Soul and Daughter in the Trinosophia. And then maybe the sphere in the center is the 7th emerging from the six of the two triangles? As a mother realm? Or if the base is considered a third triangle, just on its own, then that would represent the Mother, and the sphere in the center would be Christ being born from the hexagram above and triangle below. Or Christ descending to the Mother. That would make a six above, a three below, and one in the center—this yields ten, which is one—and this is an Ace.

– For Joel, the city as hexagram above, and the base as pyramid/triangle below, with the sphere as One in the middle is reminiscent of the portion from the 19th Letter-Meditation on The Sun, in which he describes the exercise of moving from the Triangle (3) of the Holy Trinity to the Hexagram (6) of the Luminous Holy Trinity, yielding 9. This is a level of understanding of the nature of Nine that he could not divulge in The Hermit, but had to wait ten further Arcana to reveal. And this is in a way showing us the next step—that this Nine in a way both emanates from and culminates in the One, creating Ten, which is One. Previously, the “wall” at the bottom of the image of the Ace of Cups reminded us of The Sun—and so there seems to be a strong relationship between these two.

– Phillip now recalls, yes this was the part of MOT he was thinking of. It isn’t that the Three becomes a Six…it’s somehow that the Three is side-by-side with the Six, and makes a Nine. And the One that comes from this Nine makes a 1+9…a 19…which is One. So in one sense it is a six making a seven, but it’s maybe more a nine making a ten? Coming back to the image…there’s something about that sphere in the middle. It’s so simple compared to the other parts of the Cup, which are so ornate. It’s mysterious.

– Natalia had had a dream a few weeks ago, that she wrote down but didn’t think much of, until after reading the notes on the previous Ace of Cups conversations recently. In the dream she was hovering above the Earth and then heard a voice saying that the “Mary Triangle” was descending from above, and the “Holy Soul or Mary Magdalene Triangle” was ascending from below. And when they intermingle, there is the 7th, the Child. Then she read the notes, where we were talking about the Holy Trinity intermingling with the Trinosophia, and this hexagram creating a cube in the middle, a new creation—like the New Jerusalem. And she began to think wow this might have something to do with this dream.

And then there is this vision from Estelle, where she describes Mary as the Heavenly City, her robes contain the Heavenly City.

This brought to mind Our Lady of All Nations, and this idea of the New Jerusalem. Magdalene ascends after her death towards Mary, and embraces her. And in this moment, Mary recognises how Christ is always present inside of Magdalene. Maybe these two things can connect? The dream had this very geometrical composition of the intersection of two triangles, so similar to the geometrical interpretation of the Ace of Cups.

And then Phillip pointed out to Natalia, that in the dream she was hovering over the Earth—so Mary (as Daughter) and Magdalene (as Holy Soul) were connecting above the Earth, and below was the third member of the Holy Trinosophia, the Mother Earth below them. But it was more of Mary and Magdalene as the human representatives of Daughter/Sophia and Holy Soul in the dream.

Then Natalia wondered if there was this picture of the Heavenly City, the New Jerusalem in the Ace of Cups as the upper “city” portion, coming to meet the Earth below as this sphere or globe in the middle. But then the question became—what is this pyramid object below? And what about these three circles gathered together between the sphere and the pyramid? They kind of remind her of some kind of planetary spheres.

This brought to mind this need during our conversations to constantly change the perspective, to look “from above” and “from the side” etc., and this will change the number of the objects we’re looking at (e.g. it appears to be three small circles, but maybe it is six if all sides are taken into account?). It feels like this image is something you need to go around and about and all over.

– Phillip is wondering if the circle represents the Earthly realm. Maybe the Pyramid/Base is this descended Mother aspect that is in the heart of the Earthly realm, in the underworld. And then there is this Holy Luminous Trinity above—maybe this is a picture of the ascent of the Earth towards the Heavens. Perhaps there are multiple aspects occurring simultaneously in the process of reintegration. A New Heaven, and a New Earth. The Earth rises up into the Heavenly realm, and there’s a creation that takes place out of that activity. And then Heaven descending to Earth which is another type of creative/reintegration activity. And then maybe there is a third? He wants there to be a third, and that it should be connected to the Descent into Hell by Christ. Not sure if that really fits the image. In any case, it’s not just a singular “New Heaven and a New Earth, Holy City of New Jerusalem.” Maybe there are these three aspects: a New Heaven made by the Earth ascending, and a New Earth made by Heaven descending…and maybe a third in the middle somewhere? Perhaps, through the imagery of the card, this is depicting more concretely the archetype of the Earth ascending to Heaven and then the sanctuary that contains that.

– Natalia agrees that this lower part needs to play some role in this activity. It’s like this red part with horizontal lining, it’s more this earthly sphere, but these three red circles are maybe they then holding the blue part? If something would like to open up—like buttons or a wax seal on a letter—like they are holding that blue part curled together, twisted. It hasn’t spread like the three blue portions above. If that would open, would that mean something for the lower part? Like a potential…maybe this belongs to this lower sub-earthly part.

– Joel agrees, in the context of Natalia’s dream and also in the context of Estelle’s vision, that you have this Heavenly Mary descending from above as the City, and this more Earthly Magdalene ascending from below as this pyramid, and the red in between them is Christ. From that vision—Christ is inside of Mary Magdalene, and the Virgin can behold that Christ, and draw it out, and take on the wounds of Christ. And there is this wounding in the upper portion, these marks of stigmata, and water flowing out. You can kind of perceive it in the lower portion that Christ is like Osiris entombed inside of this pyramid, and it’s when the Virgin Mary approaches this pyramid from above, that Christ is born out of the pinnacle of the pyramid out of this swirling cloud and emerges fully as this red orb of Christ. It’s a bit of a different picture than normal, like in a Christian church you might have Christ between the Father and the Holy Spirit, the mediator between them. But here maybe you have the Virgin above in this realm of the Father, and Magdalene below in the realm of Spirit—or perhaps the other way around, the Virgin above in the realm of Spirit, Magdalene below in the “Father Ground”, depending on the perspective one takes—but Christ is being beheld between these two, between the two Marys. 

But he really loves this Tychonic perspective from Natalia about these three orbs. That Sun and Earth are both centres of gravity in the Solar System, and this weaving between them is the whole reality. So, Virgin Mary as this Heavenly city above like that which revolves around the Sun, Magdalene as this Earthly pyramid below as that which revolves around the Earth, and so it’s more of an ellipse, and the Christ Orb in the middle is what weaves between Sun and Earth in a way.

But he also really appreciates what Philip is bringing—that Heaven needs to descend all the way into the center of the Earth, and what is in the center of the Earth needs to ascend all the way to Heaven. There needs to be this full exchange. And Natalia pointing out the blue parts. The city above does have this pyramid shape in the center, but then it is surrounded by these six walls and turrets. It then has these blue parts which radiate out so it’s like a cap or an opening. It has this “Ah” gesture opening below it. Whereas the pyramid below has three blue streams pointing upwards rather than downwards. And they’re like the prayer hands, they are concentrated into a point. 

And so it’s like this “cap” of the city was originally on the pyramid, and has been taken off; or is descending down onto it to meet it or match it. And those blue sections are going to exchange. The blue parts above will go all the way to the base of the pyramid, and the blue parts at the base (below the three red circles, at the pinnacle of the pyramid) will ascend all the way to the pinnacle of the city above. And so this exchange of above and below is happening, via the large red center.

It also reminds Joel somehow of the Astrosophy coming from the cosmos, and the Ecosophy radiating from the center of the Earth as he wrote about for Star Wisdom this year. Almost like a 12-foldness above, and a 12-foldness below, and this mysterious 13th in the center that allows them to interweave.

– The base was not being referred to as a pyramid for the entire conversation, only when Joel was sharing in this previous section. And Natalia could feel that this was coming, she too was beginning to feel the need to call this bottom portion a pyramid. Later she will reflect how powerful the interweaving effect of a Hermetic Conversation is, even when it is digital and happening in this somewhat odd way of leaving WhatsApp messages (rather than a “live” conversation).

Natalia wonders where in the unfolding of time do we place this completion of the New Earth and New Heaven, the New Jerusalem? Maybe Jupiter Evolution? It’s a bit abstract, can’t really remember so well. There must be phases. It makes one think of the process that unfolds with the New Earth process, but then on the other hand the time when Sophia descends to the Earth, this Apocalyptic picture, and incarnating. Is that 2600 or 2700 AD or so? It makes her think of this Sventa Zventana time that’s already having a little bit this Heaven coming to the Earth for a period of time. Wondering actually what happens then after that? And always these changes of cultural epochs. Where is the process of the Earth transformation going on in time? And then at some point it’s more like the Earth really going to rise above to the Heavenly. But what Phillip said made her think of this approach of Sophia, visiting the Earth. Does that happen more on the etheric level? How do we imagine that to actually be like?

And one can definitely see this coming together of the upper and lower blue sections, this unfolding. It makes one also wonder, when this process of them interweaving completes, when they complete each other…it again makes one think about this process unfolding in time, in human and world history.

Natalia looks again at this portion of the Letter-Meditation on The Sun on the Luminous Holy Trinity, this definitely makes more sense of her dream. 

But also today, Natalia has been observing the image of Our Lady of All Nations, kind of watching her from the wall. And as Mary she seems so in a way young, close to a Sophia image. And already having her feet on the Earth. It makes one already think she is partly already having this Sophia coming through her, incarnating this Sophia. And this is really the last Marian dogma she proclaims, that must be accepted, that she is Co-redemptrix, Co-creator, etc. There is a lot of emphasis that she is already doing something beside Christ that makes Natalia think of the New Jerusalem again, that her role is increasing and she needs to be known more and more as the Lady of All Nations, of All People, like a pre-figuring of this Sophia being connecting with all nations, being the Mother of All. And this image has already been connected with this Ace of Cups. She has a bit of a Magdalene in her as this younger, more Earthly version of Mary. But on the other hand she is very luminous as well.

And just now, during our conversation, something has come on the television at Natalia’s place about the Great Pyramid and a phenomenon called the Khufus horizon, when the Sun reaches the top of the Pyramid.

– Joel points out that it is interesting, Magdalene is often portrayed all in white, similar to Our Lady of All Nations. Whereas the Virgin is usually blue over red. The time of the incarnation of Sophia into an etheric body is meant to happen at the start of the Russian/Slavic cultural epoch, in 3575. Perhaps Magdalene will in a way be the vessel for this, when she becomes this luminous, angelic being as written about in Through the Eyes of Mary Magdalene…Maybe, somehow, this moment of incarnation will be exactly what is expressed in that vision of Estelle’s (see above), and in the Ace of Cups? The Virgin Mary as Sophia incarnating into the etheric vessel of the angelic Magdalene, and this beholding of Christ is the fruit of their union?

– Natalia agrees, that’s why the appearance of Our Lady of All Nations feels strange. Her robe and appearance is more like Magdalene. 

Rereading these pages about the Novena from the end of The Sun reminded her of a dream she had last night, when a gypsy cab driver gave her a Crucifix Rosary chaplet, a green one, which she was quite happy about. Thinking of the tradition of Novena, of it being from Ascension to Pentecost. Again this theme of ascending and descending, after nine days the Holy Spirit comes down to Mary. Maybe that is the fulfilment in the Ten? After Nine, what is Ten? Is it One again? Somehow one feels that after nine days of prayer, the ten is the fulfilment, we are made one again.

– The next day (Dec 29), Natalia shared a dream she had that she was in Spain with her friend, with whom she has Tarot conversations. She doesn’t really enjoy Spain so much, was wandering around feeling a bit threatened, and then got a message on her phone from Joel, saying he was a bit upset with Natalia and Phillip for not picking up on something he was trying to say yesterday during the Tarot conversation on the Ace of Cups. Something about Parzival, recognising the role of Parzival in what we were talking about…then she woke up…

She also has realised that in the hexagram of the Luminous Holy Trinity, there are six smaller triangles created, one for each “person” of the hypostatis:

Later on, Natalia realised that, according to Robert, the second chakra (sacral chakra) is related to Mani—who later incarnated as Parzival. This chakra takes the form of a hexagram. And that in terms of Spain, Parzival makes one think of Santiago de Compostela, which passes through St. Guillem as well. Parzival must have travelled some portion of that at least.

She also awoke with a renewed point of view on the three red circles. That maybe they are entering into the pyramid structure at the base of the cup. That there are doorways or gateways on these three different sides for them to enter in.

Revisiting the Khufus Horizon. At first glance when it was on the television yesterday, she thought it had to do with the Sun appearing to be at the pinnacle of the Great Pyramid. But actually it has to do with all three Pyramids at Giza. It is a phenomenon where, when one looks at the Pyramids from the point of view of a certain Temple of Hierophants some distance away, at the winter solstice the Sun appears to set at the left hand corner at the base of the left hand pyramid; at the equinoxes it sets at the left hand corner at the base of the middle pyramid; and at the summer solstice, it sets at the left hand corner at the base of the right hand pyramid. It also seems to have something to do with the proximity to the equator, the elevation of that area, and was connected to some kind of initiation ritual and the underworld. More information here:

And so now this picture comes that those three red discs might be representative of the Sun at these four different times of year: Winter Solstice, Equinoxes, Summer Solstice, in relation to the pyramids. Especially with this imagination that they are somehow going to enter into the pyramid. 

– Joel really appreciates this picture offered by Natalia of the Khufus horizon. It’s like the big central red orb is the central Sun, the galactic center, or the eternal/archetypal Sun. And the three smaller orbs below are the “temporal” Sun as it presents itself over the course of the year. These three positions at four times of year. Like the eternal aspect is above and is reflected or enacted temporally below.

He is also getting this feeling that the Egyptian aspect of this image is getting stronger and stronger. He gets the impression from these Holy Nights readings of these Persian myths—of Ahura Mazda and Ahriman, of Djemschid and Zarathustra—that the sword, the blade, the dagger is such a central motif of this mythology, and therefore of this time period of the Persian cultural epoch. And so the Suit of Swords was more expressive of Ancient Persia. And now as we move into the Cups, maybe we’re moving to the motif of Ancient Egypt, moving forward in time. The Cup or the Grail is not necessarily something Joel would have associated right off the bat with Ancient Egypt.

But then the more he thinks about it it makes sense. With Kyot a reincarnation of Mensor, the Gold King, the representative of this Ancient Egyptian wisdom. The Grail Stream as a resurrected Ancient Egyptian stream. A Grail Castle instead of a Pyramid. And Joel’s immediate thought hearing Natalia’s dream was also that the sacral chakra is the chakra of Parzival. And this Ace of Cups is the Holy Grail. You can get lost in all these other forms that are emerging from it, but beneath all of that, its essence is that it is the Cup, the Holy Grail. And the symbol of the Holy Grail is this six-pointed star. Interesting that it has these names like “Seal of Solomon.” That means “Seal of Abel, Magdalene, Repanse de Schoye.” And she is clearly deeply involved with this mission of Parzival. And Magdalene goes through this Egyptian initiation, and kills Lazarus through performing it. The other name, “Star of David,” King David reincarnated as Herod, the “Fourth King” who slays the children. And he’s Klingsor in the Grail story. So he is also wrapped up in this Parzival mystery. And David and Solomon, together they bring about the Temple. So it’s all woven together and contained somehow in that picture of the Ace of Cups. 

And as for Spain—Joel’s understanding is that the Grail Castle or center was established in Spain by Titurel in the early 8th century, and then was moved to Monsalvaeche later on (French/Swiss border). And Parzival was born in Toledo, wasn’t he? So there is this Spanish element in the story of Parzival, but it’s all about moving the Grail impulse from Spain to France.

– Phillip points out what we observed in one of our other conversations that we perceived the upper portion, the triangular portion of each panel of the “pyramid” at the base as a kind of doorway—especially the central one, it really gives you the impression of depth.

He also gets this strong feeling from Natalia’s initial dream, and the text of MOT, and from the card itself, this idea of the Trinity as one entity (3) and the Holy Luminous Trinity (6) as another. And that together they make Nine. That the Trinity is a different being in a way, vs the Trinity and Trinosophia in the Holy Luminous Trinity. There is also this feeling of a six becoming a seven, yet from another perspective a nine becoming a ten. And maybe even something of the twelve here, becoming a thirteen?

Bringing it back to the card itself, it’s almost like the essential gesture of this card is the step forward through its synergy, from the six to the seven, the nine to the ten, etc. It’s characteristic of the Holy Grail, this foundational aspect of the Ace of Cups, that it is productive, it’s the fruitfulness of the synergy of polarities meeting.

And that’s something that never occurred to Phillip before, this question of what is the corollary in the Grail Stream to Ancient Egypt—is it still this small group of individuals maintaining this pure stream, this strand of connection with the spiritual world, the true religion? His thought had always been that they didn’t really need that preserver of the pure stream during ancient times, because the connection to the spiritual world was much more pervasive, still accessible to most people. But maybe that is incorrect to some degree, certainly Zarathustra had to carve out a space for something, with his blade amidst the Turanian opposition so to speak. So there must have been the same need in Ancient Egypt to maintain a pure stream.

Something else to consider, is that Anastasy always maintained that one of the Hermetic Priest/Initiates in Christian Hermetic Astrology was also an incarnation of Mensor/Kyot. He didn’t ever say exactly who. But it speaks to this thread of continuity of the Grail Stream, from Ancient Egypt up through the time of Parzival into the present day.

– Natalia points out that really in the Khufus horizon phenomenon the focus is on the central pyramid, the equinoxes, and the focus here is also on the middle one. One’s eye is drawn to the fact that there are these three red circles, and right beneath them there is this kind of blue dagger shape, overlapping the triangular doorway. And this is very similar to what is at the top: three circles, two yellow and the middle one red, with a yellow dagger shape overlapping a yellow triangular “gate” or “entrance.”

And going back to Phillip’s point that the Heavenly really has to descend all the way into the Earthly or sub-Earthly, Natalia wonders if that upper portion described above would descend all the way to the lower portion that matches it, and the lower portion ascends to what matches it—would they at one point be inside of each other? One really wishes one could push together, to match these yellow parts. Then maybe these blue portions at the top of the pyramid would open up, and the red discs would somehow rise inside the city. She doesn’t know where the big red ball would then end up? But the shape of the upper city and lower pyramid could fit together, could match geometrically.

– Joel then points out that the 1st chapter—if not the whole book—of Astrogeographia might bring a whole lot to this. The book centres around Orion (the bridge of Gemini/Zarathustra to Taurus/Hermes, also where the Sun traveled between Ascension and Pentecost, the ur-Novena!), probably reveals much about this Arcanum:

In it, Robert talks about the shaft in the Great Pyramid aligning exactly with Alnitak.

Orion’s belt of 3 stars, just like the 3 red circles. 

Maybe the upper and lower pyramids can change places through the agency of the red sphere? Like the whole Cup is in movement, constant exchange of above and below.

– Natalia points out that in the Khufus horizon video, they show that the Great Pyramid aligns with other places, like Heliopolis. And that this Khufus horizon was observed from a temple area where there was a Sphinx. Joel had felt yesterday that the red orb was Osiris rising out of the tomb of the pyramid below. The Khufus horizon phenomenon must have some connection with the Great Pyramid and Alnitak. Osiris is Orion, right? And the Sun would be Ra? And if Orion is the reflection of the Tree of Life, that would make the Great Pyramid Chesed.