Eight of Cups (IV)

June 28:

The Maitreya force came strong to Natalia this morning in meditation, somehow the portion “I rest within the Godhead of the World.” In this portion, during which Natalia usually feels the Christ-presence, there was suddenly something of the Maitreya, a warm golden embraced her heart. It was consoling, and the Ace of Cups mood was also there. These buddhist figures or bells in the Ace were now reminding her of Boddhisatvas and she came to think the Maitreya was the middle one, and the dagger could be his Word that he brings to the World Stage. Partly it is also just associations with Estelle’s visions and so on. The Maitreya having a City on a Hill, etc. Anyway, it all felt to be in the Ace for her…she looked to the Eight of Cups. These golden discs look like the Midnight Sun reflected on the water (the one disc below), or a kind of Shambhala Sun. But the Midnight Sun is also something initiates see through the Earth or something, she recalls. The outer Midnight Sun is like a reminder of it maybe.

July 9: 

Natalia just came from Lapland, and has a few reflections from there…things which became clearer this time about the quality of Lapland. The quality of crossing the Arctic Circle…it’s like expanding…like when you rise to a certain level in the mountains and the sky is much closer. You come to the “top” of something, or it feels that way. You are above the Earth in a way. This huge horizontal expansion. The sky is closer, and wider from side to side. Especially if you go in the Summer and have this enormous light experience. Because the quality of light is different when it’s coming from so close to the atmosphere. The angle or something…it’s getting very transparent, an extreme light experience. And this year there was also a lot of warmth, which isn’t so common. 

Then you move out from all manner of rhythm of night and day. You won’t actually be able to call anything a “sun rise” or “sun set.” Those concepts no longer make sense…there is just a constant being of the Sun. It moves very slowly. It is still light above the Arctic circle in the middle of the night. When the people come to this extreme light, it’s a kind of excarnation. You don’t have the forces to really keep it all, you can’t really go to sleep before 2 am or so. So you’re drawn by the light, or your ether body is probably pretty expanded. Some clairvoyants say that the very northernmost people have a larger ether body. 

And of course it goes to the other extreme in the winter. There you find this extreme darkness. And these polar forces of magnetism are drawing people to a certain negativity. You can experience this in people in a funny way…there is a lot of negativity, and then again a kind of “out of oneself” kind of talking, people talk you to death. The flow of talking is just associating and going everywhere and won’t stop until the other comes very strongly in. That’s the other extreme people experience.

In a way those forces of under-earth magnetism and very high solar, cosmic forces above…is really hard for people to combine, there is no center to hold that extremity enough. You go from one end to the other. She can find that in herself as well, and has tried to get the right kind of I-center. But it is still very extreme to go to Lapland, one has to hold a real space for oneself. To float in this summer excarnation, you have to be able to stand it in a way.

That also causes empathy towards people…it’s a kind of pioneer people living so far north, who we can’t yet behold in an I-conscious or centered way, which it will be that way in a few centuries more…toward these possible future Grail times….but that is an extreme polarity that needs to be taken hold of in the future. It might be similar to America, with its under-earth magnetism, but it has this other extreme in a different way. Probably though this magnetism is something which is to be felt or understood in the USA. And she can sense that in her karmic double, how it activates itself. This time she took more hold of it. She did a lot of work to keep the heart center present. Interesting experience this time, trying to be more conscious and testing herself. The beauty of the Midnight Sun helps there…people get a balance from that, a balance to the magnetic under-earth pulling quality of the winter. 

She can’t help to wonder what kind of a future image this is also, this Sun that is almost like an Ascension experience. There is a lot of water in Lapland, so there are all these reflections that get really really extreme. Taking a photo can’t really capture the reality, the roundness of the Sun. But this Eight of Cups is immediately bringing Natalia this impression of this kind of reflection moment one gets when the sky and the water come to reflect each other in an actually timeless state…or she has this background of experiencing it in a way that it’s not really a setting or rising Sun. Here it’s really the moment when it has stopped, it is at the lowest point and begins to rise at 1 am. But that doesn’t really make sense to say it that way.

That made her think of this Eight of Cups. 

She doesn’t recall the notes so well, but maybe Joel and Phillip were having similar thoughts of the reflectiveness of the upper and lower plant formation. Only that the blue flower belongs to the lower part and this white dagger or feather belongs to the upper, a more masculine side to the upper and feminine to the lower. It made her think of the reflective quality of water, as the flower is blue. Also the soul side with the flower and more the spirit side with the upper white feather. And she can see what Joel and Phillip brought up in terms of bird figures. But she realised she’s more in this reflectiveness…and why are they very close to each other but then this blue flower comes in between? Then this upper feather, and this upper part is so connected to those two cups, to protecting and fulfilling in a way there. 

It does remind one of the Two of Cups, the fish mouths, drinking in something becomes strongly this yearning of something from above. 

She thought to share this again, because she was actually seeing this Midnight Sun in person that she had referred to earlier, and now it became a reality. It’s not usually so perfect, but this was really ideal for seeing this reflection in Lapland. Maybe that brings some thoughts, some sharing…

And of course one could see that as an astral body that is able to reflect perfectly the Sun of the I. That brings a little bit to mind also the earlier talk about the seers…how well are they able to reflect? How well do they know what influences them? It would have been a good thing if Estelle and Judith were able to meet, it was very close but didn’t happen. Judith could have talked with Estelle and maybe even helped her with some things in terms of control of the seership. And Natalia knows Estelle’s visionary capabilities were growing…Jim was talking about it…it got more structure during the years, she could enter the same doorway and return to something she had seen. But they could have talked about such things, and the way they perceive or enter their visions, and what they are able to revisit and confirm, which one should be able to do to a certain extent. But maybe Estelle had a different level of seership as Judith is describing her different states—what she had naturally in childhood, and then what she developed as anthroposophist, and then received through the phantom body. She goes into great detail, when she perceives different things, what clairvoyant capacity it is coming from. With Estelle you don’t find this clarity so much, e.g. when it is more mediumship vs her own research, etc. It isn’t so ordered. And it’s understandable that she could just throw up her hands and say “Oh, there was nothing really there”, it’s easier at a certain point to do that. But she could have benefited from having someone like Judith to share things with.

One more extreme from the North…it really has this ancient, Hyperborean, Ice Age quality. On the formation of the rocks, there are the waves from the Ice Age, and the formation of the land. There is really not so much a feeling that people would make much difference to that landscape. Yes, because there aren’t that many people there…but also because there is a feeling with the Midnight Sun that you are waiting for the future there. That image is future-oriented somewhat. On the ground, in the forms, you see the Ice Age, there is a lot of that still there. So this tension of the far past and the far future, and not so much being in the present.

July 10:

For Natalia in the card, when she saw it a while ago, there is this Midnight Sun impression from those sun-like discs, the two as reflections on the water. Like in the video she sent of the Midnight Sun in Lapland, this perfect reflection in the water. Which maybe one could also see as the spirit reflecting in the soul.

For her, the upper part gives more the masculine/spirit side and like Joel had in the notes, the lower part has more this feminine impression, with the flower coming closer to this Sun formation. So that was something which was drawing her to this card as having this connection or experience of the Midnight Sun reflecting.

Another impression she had is that the yellow disc feels as if it has a cave-like quality. That one could get into that yellow, one would be drawn inside to something.

And last night she had a dream that she was in a cave that was golden. She was restoring some part of it…restoring the gold it once had. And at the other side of the cave it was a bit burned. And when she awoke she was drawn again to the card, and remembered this impression of the yellow having this “drawing in to something” kind of impression. It has this fiery redness in a way, and probably that is the one also which gives this distance, this feeling of this dimensionality. 

And of course the blue which is drawing in, and it feels like the lower disc is more behind the upper one. 

And is there a kind of similarity of gesture between the Eight of Cups and The Sun?

Notes of a Hermetic Conversation amongst Joel, Phillip, Sabrina, and Natalia on July 12, 2021:

We began with the protective practice.

After inviting the presence of the Holy Trinosophia to guide the conversation, we briefly focused the mantra SHE FEELS on the region of the heart, and moved the second part of the Inner Radiance Sequence (“In purest love for all that lives, radiates the Godhood of my soul”).

We then moved the 10th letter of the Divine Alphabet (Yod) in connection with the tenth part of the Grail Knight’s Practice (4th Level of Trespass, Communion, and Healing Miracle).

After reading from Revelation 16:15-17, we turned our attention to the sequence of the Six, Seven and Eight of Cups:

In the Seven of Cups, the four corner cups appear somewhat magically. After the two columns of three cups in the Six combine with the plant in the center, they become a single column of three cups in the Seven, and the four corner cups explode or emerge out of this combination. These four corner cups remain onward into the Eight. There is then some kind of mirroring or replicating of the plant in the Seven for it to become the blue flower and stems in the Eight. The blue flower is lifted out of that bottom cup in the Seven somehow, it is raised up and revealed.

Maybe it’s like a firework is lit in the Seven, and then shoots into the air in the Eight. But it’s like a surprise, unexpected. What you perceived as the last ember burning out in the Seven was actually a volatile firework—you thought Seven was the end, and then Eight is the encore performance after the false ending.

The single forms that are in the Seven become reflections all over in the Eight. This Midnight Sun imagery, with the Sun perfectly reflected in the lake.

Looking at the Eight of Cups as an Eight, in connection with Justice:

Sabrina is preparing for her graduation ceremony from the School of Choreocosmos. She will be dancing the Moon in Libra—Justice represents Libra, and so this Arcanum has been present with her quite a bit as she prepares.

She sees the scales in the Eight of Cups in these two central cups. And this symmetry and reflecting all throughout the image as well conjures balance and justice. The pointer on the scale is important. In the Eight of Cups she sees this flame or flower petal, this daisy on top of the blue flower as a sword, having a sword quality. But the little petal…the one that is red on the opposite side…that is more the pointer of the scale. In German, the name for this pointer of the scale is the “tongue” of the scale. So Justice has the sword in one hand and the “tongue” in between the two pans of the scale in the other hand. Tongue and sword. And in the Eight of Cups, it’s like the two implements have been put one above the other rather than side by side.

In one of Joel and Phillip’s conversations on the Six of Cups, they had begun to perceive Justice completely differently…like there was a being who was speaking through Justice, one with a very large tongue, which in a certain sense matches the placement of the “pointer” petal in the Eight of Cups (the “tongue” of this “creature” in Justice is just to the right of the left-hand pan in the scale…almost in the very center of the image, just like the “pointer” petal in the Eight of Cups).

This implies a perfect balance in the Eight of Cups between heaven and earth. Ore et Labora in balance.

It’s really both the act of balance, as well as the act of reflecting that come together in the Eight of Cups. In Justice, it is really only balance that is expressed. There is not a lot of symmetry (reflecting) in her image. So something other than just “balance” is expressed in the Eight of Cups.

In the Letter-Meditation on Justice, the introductory question is how to keep the balance one has achieved in the Chariot.

Interesting that to see both aspects in the Eight of Cups—both reflection and balance—is to see the Moon (reflection) in Libra (balance).

There is a reflective soul realm below, reflecting the spirit realm above. The Moon as soul, watery, the reflective aspect. Somehow this reflective soul aspect is so ideal, so perfect in this representation.

It is symmetrical side to side, but not above to below. There are differences. Therefore, this is not a complete reflection, not a mechanical one. The differences between above and below, and the fact that the seemingly central blue flower is actually just below the center, give this image true balance, a lively symmetry.

Justice bears symmetrical implements (the sword and scales are each symmetrical in their own right), but she lacks an overall symmetry. This is true balance—not strict equality, but equity.

The Full Moon was in Libra at the death on Golgotha. These yellow discs in the Eight of Cups simultaneously express Christ rising to the Father during the Ascension, yet also the descent to the Mother at the death on the Cross.

There is a strong Mother feeling. Natalia’s dream of coming into the cave, this golden cave imagery.

Joel and Natalia then characterise to the others the Midnight Sun experience in Lapland (her reflections from July 9 had been directly to Joel). How there is this extreme Ascension experience in the summer vs a strong Descent in the Winter

It is not an easy state. People can also try to hold themselves together in a certain negative/aggressive way to counteract this strong excarnation state in the summer.

The magnetic forces in the poles, they draw in the Aurora Borealis. Something beautiful above, yet a lot of addiction and depression and tension drawing one down in the winter.

What is the future? Something to be learned. Natalia questions how she can visit home, visit Lapland without losing herself in these two directions. She has to take a step away for years at a time. This time she managed well! To go with awareness, Prayer Eurythmy, the Foundation Stone, and to say the words from the Footwashing with the promise to the surrounding Nature, “We will do this for you someday soon”…she felt more compassion and understanding from and for the elemental world.

An older anthroposophist told her 15 years ago that the elementals in Lapland try to steal one’s center and use it, take advantage of the extremes. She could fill herself and balance this dilemma with all that has come in the last year or years. A mystery/dilemma causing pain. The Mother Ritual/Footwahing as something she’s destined to bring as a mutual healing.

The Two of Cups is like a personal portion, whereas the Eight of Cups is a zooming out, an answer, the broader context.

Dreaming into the lower astral Lapland past…uncomfortable…Mother angst…She knows all these contexts but still couldn’t respond with balance in prior visits. But the biographical work, etc. that we’ve done over these past months helped a lot in this current visit.

The Sun as not setting, but tracing the horizon, creating a circle or a hole.

Justice—the Sun sigil in her crown, rolling along a horizon line. She bears the horizon in her head, shining to the above. That’s how the Earth is at the Arctic circle…head of the Earth. Open too much. How would we experience this?

For Phillip, Lappeenranta is very different landscape-wise than anything else he’s experienced. Never dark—twilight all night. From about 11 pm – 4 or 5 am. He just got a taste of it, but felt he didn’t need to sleep as much. Over-energized, a different level of energy. His head got light. You couldn’t avoid feeling totally dispersed.

Joel’s experience at the Equator was so different…feeling claustrophobic, hemmed in by the lush growth, the constant feeling of late spring/early summer. The need to break out, to escape. In comparison, the Arctic circle sounds lovely!

Back to the Six, Seven and Eight of Cups…

The Six as a tomb…the flowers in the center like a ditch. The Cups fall in symmetrically. Then in the Seven…Magdalene comes to the tomb. It is empty, but the Gardener is there. Eight is the road to Emmaus—the archetypal Hermetic Conversation! In fact, all of the post-Resurrection meetings with Christ are situations of Hermetic Conversation, where “two or three are gathered together in my Name.”

Bringing in the Three of Coins…the form of the Three of Coins is a bit there in the Eight of Cups…where the central cup in the upper three is the upper coin, and the two cups in the center are the lower two coins. And the Three of Coins was the original Arcanum where we experienced this “zooming out”, this gaining of context, akin to seeing the Eight of Cups as the “zooming out” of the intense Two of Cups.

Maybe this zooming out begins even with the Seven, as the “zooming out” of the Ace of Cups.

Context comes after the Seven, after the Resurrection. The Ace is given its greater context through the Seven—maybe it is the bottom cup with the smoke rising from it? And then the Eight is the greater context of the Two:

Things are no longer so extreme…the cups are smaller, more distant.

Thinking of the Eight of Cups as the Road to Emmaus…the archetypal Hermetic Conversation…this does bring it into relation with The Sun, as Natalia proposed a few days ago.

It’s like Christ embracing Luke and Cleophas from both sides in the Eight of Cups.

Last time Phillip and Joel had noticed this accordion movement of expansion in the Odd Cups and contraction in the Even Cups…at least, up until the Seven and the Eight, when the pattern shifts. And Joel realised back in April Sabrina had brought up Goethean metamorphosis in reference to the gesture of the Cups:

Well, in the final portion of the Letter-Meditation on the Wheel of Fortune, he brings this expansion and contraction of Goethean metamorphosis into relation with the Four Holy Creatures—where the winged Eagle’s daring counterbalances the concentration of the Bull, and the winged Angel’s objectivity counterbalances the reckless courage of the Lion. This is on page 258-59. The Eight of Cups and the Two of Cups in particular are related to the Wheel of Fortune, but it would seem this movement through the Holy Creatures of the Merkabah are embedded in the imagery of the Cups. This imagery of the Merkabah is expressed explicitly in The World, and we have noticed a similarity also between the Eight of Cups and The World, where the four corner cups are the animals and the four cups held by the plants form either a cross or a vesica piscis.

Had we seen the Two of Cups as Aquarius, the Angel? Or what?

No, we had come to the Ace of Cups as the Eagle since there is this bird-image within in. The Three of Cups has the face of a man, and is therefore the Angel. The Four of Cups looks like a Lion. And the Five of Cups is like a Bull. Therefore, we thought perhaps the Two of Cups is the Dancer, is perhaps Pisces, the Fish…related to the vesica piscis shape around the central dancer in The World. But the Two of Cups could also be seen as the head of a bull, or the head of the Ram, or the arrow of the Archer…multivalent…

And now we bring the Eight of Cups into relation with the Two, which is the central dancer…and the Eight of Cups once again conjures the World, especially this central dancer in a way. There is a little bit of dancing going on in the Eight…like the peacock showing off his tail feathers. A shaking of the “hands” of the central flower.

Markku and Natalia recently embodied this in their video of the two of them dancing by the lake reflecting the Midnight Sun…male and female, husband and wife, like the two central cups…with the still lake reflecting the Midnight Sun.

This is our last conversation on the Eight…shall we look ahead to the Nine?

It looks like bats.

A lot is going downwards. No flowering. All autumn, wilting leaves. Overdone. Thickening, hardening.

Seven is fresh shoots. Eight is showing leaves and flowers. Nine has this thick woody stalk.

There are two separate plants again. Perhaps there is some kind of strange flower in the bottom plant? What is that? It is not so well differentiated. Each pair of leaves is different from any other pair. The sharpness of the leaves. Blade like. Four of the leaves are much more horizontal. Death forces.

They closed with the second stanza of the Foundation Stone Meditation.

July 14:

Natalia is drawn to an icon she bought in Patmos. She had not looked at it closely ever before, at all these circular branches. Maybe there is a bit of the gestures of the Eight of Cups?

July 25:

Natalia has been reading Answering the Call of the Elementals by Thomas Mayer and finds it interesting how the author describes the Persona. In a body-free state of mediation he saw or met his own bodily elemental who keeps his “elemental universum together” so to say. He says these thoughts, feelings, etc….elementals, this “Universum”, our karma effects our surroundings and relationships, like when he has a conflict with a person he can usually see old elementals coming up to the surface and bringing in old energy so that the elementals could be redeemed, they wait for that. She has been pondering the Persona as it has come up in the Tarot notes often. Also Daskalos writes a similar way concerning the Persona and elementals.

It is funny to think how we are the mothers and fathers of myriads of elementals and how our everyday consciousness is their “playground.” 

In the Cups we often have this “elementary” side come up, appearance of faces and animals etc. 

The Nine of Cups is so strange, it does not have any flowers…faces do not really appear.