Notes of a Hermetic Conversation on August 21, 2018
August 21st, 2018
Five of Coins
We began with the protective practice.
We then invoked the guidance of Archangel Michael through performing the following in a five-pointed star:
Flame through the impotence of irresolute souls;
Burn out the egotism;
Ignite the compassion;
That selflessness, the life-stream of humanity
May well forth as the source of Spirit rebirth.”
After concentrating the mantra “I AM” in the brow chakra, we performed the fourth part of the Inner Radiance Sequence.
We then read from Revelation 3:1-3 (Letter to Sardis) and Matthew 6:19-21.
Observation of the Five of Coins and The Star (and eventually the Ace, Two, Three and Four of Coins as well as their “companions” in the Majors: The World, The Judgement, The Sun and The Moon):
– Suddenly we see the Four of Coins in a new light. For the first time, we see the central “box” as a manger or a stable or a cave (the Nativity). Surrounded by the Angels above and the Shepherds below, honoring the Christ child. Or the upper coins as Christ rising from the dead, and the lower coins as the guards at the cave. Or the Dove descending on Christ at the Baptism.
– The four flowers in the center of the Four of Coins have become leaves in the Five of Coins.
– The Four of Coins has a real fanfare quality, it’s almost a bit brash. Whereas the Five of Coins is serene and gentle. The central coin in the Five is so perfectly balanced—only just touching the blue leaves above and below it.
– The Three of Coins was forming/seeking the Fourth. The Four of Coins was even more explicitly forming/seeking the Fifth. The Five of Coins is in perfect contentment, there is no attempt to create a sixth. It is content within itself, yet it is still so lively, so mobile.
– Four is almost like a place-holder for Five. It’s not strictly a Four, a thing unto itself. It’s so ready to be a Five, so actively creating/manifesting the Five. Whereas the Three is much more a Three, even though it is still looking towards the Four.
Somehow, though, even at the very beginning, the Ace of Coins was also striving for the Five. In its form, with the central coin and the four flanking plants, it expresses both One-ness and Five-ness.
Both One and Four long for Five, unlike Two and Three. They have more eagerness to become Five. This is an interesting aspect of Qualitative Mathematics. Quantitatively, 2+3 and 1+4 both equal 5. But qualitatively, 1+4 is more eager to become 5, and 2+3 is more resistant to become 5.
Let’s look at our first, fundamental spread of the Divine Name Yod He Shin Vau He:
Ace (Yod) Four (Vau)
Two (He) Five (He)
We see here a more masculine quality in the Ace and the Four, they are boxier/more angular/more explosive. Whereas the Two and the Five are more feminine, more harmonious, graceful, flowing, softer. The Three holds the balance, and has qualities of all of them.
In fact if we look closely at the Three, the masculine qualities are in the two lower coins/plants, whereas the feminine qualities are in the two upper plants/single upper coin. The above (Ace and Four) has become the below in the Three, and the below (Two and Five) has become the above in the Three.
Connecting these lines of interaction yields a shape akin to the intersecting compass and ruler of the Freemasonic symbol.
This symbol is important due to its ambivalence. It is unfinished. Depending on how one finishes the symbol, it can either become a five-pointed star or a six-pointed star.
Now we can see very clearly that the Divine Name we are working with when it comes to the Minor Arcana is YHSHVH and not just YHVH. It would be hard to see the Four of Coins as a second He, as a completion. It yearns so strongly for the Five. Whereas the Five is most certainly a conclusion. It is the completion of the Name, the second He.
But this completion is different from the Emperor. It is not a solid finality like the Emperor, it is alive and flowing.
Do we feel like it is accurate to make this analogy/comparison:
or does our method of “reading backwards” through the Majors more accurate:
The former arrangement has its place and is occasionally helpful/accurate, but this latter arrangement seems to tell the story more accurately.
For example, we can read here The World = Adam; The Judgement = Eve; The Sun = Cain and Abel; The Moon = The Flood; The Star = Receding of the Waters (notice the intimations of the Dove and Olive Branch). Next in the “story” would be the Tower of Babel, which would go with the Tower of Destruction.
As we reflect on the Letter-Meditation on The Star, we recall that on page 466, for example, Tomberg emphasizes the “Rainbow of Peace” that is The Star.
This adds a new depth to our understanding and perception of The Star. The largest multi-colored Star above has aspects of a Rainbow.
– We can begin to think of the Four of Coins as an Ark/Rainbow. The Moon is the Flood—the Flood that purifies, the Storm. The Flood is all encompassing, but stagnant.
The Star as water that flows, that is in balance, is renewed.
We could also see the centerpiece of the Four of Coins as Ark of the Covenant or the Temple of Solomon. There are also stormy aspects to each of these. We can think of the lightning associated with the power of the Ark of the Covenant, and the “molten sea” of Hiram Abiff in the construction of the Temple.
– We see that the Five is illuminating the Four in totally new ways, ways that we never would have thought of with just the Four. The Four longs for the Five, and the Five brings it into clarity.
This is actually very similar to our experience with the Ace and Two. When we were first speaking of the Ace, we focused on the explosive quality, and on the blend of unity and duality. The primal expression of exchange. Then when we moved to the Two of Coins, suddenly this aspect of deep longing, of suffering was cast on the Ace. It longed to become a true polarity rather than a confusion of unity and duality, and this satisfaction was achieved in the Two of Coins like a great out breath.
So the Four is illuminated by Five, and the Ace is illuminated by Two. But the Three stands alone. It contains parts of everyone. It’s a different kind of balance than the Five of Coins is expressing. It is more dynamic, referencing a variety of other qualities.
– This reflective quality that simultaneously brings in something new is also in the structure and coloration of the Five—in one way perfectly symmetrical (i.e. a perfect mirroring) but also not (especially in the coloration, but also in the shapes of the two flowers). The colors are patchwork or checkerboard in parts of it. There are only two flowers blossoming (this is unusual). Each is quite different from the other and from any flower that has come before.
– The Four is all explicit. The Five is all subtlety.
– The White Stone has remained a constant ever since the Three, as have the forms inscribed onto the Coins (12-fold with a 4-fold flower within). Gradually, though, the white stone/pearl gets slightly larger, while the coins have gotten somewhat smaller.
– The transition from the Four of Coins to the Five of Coins is reminiscent of the transition from the Mercury Seal, which is almost exploding with complexity, to the Jupiter Seal, which is deceptively simple.
It’s like Teilhard de Chardin’s description in The Phenomenon of Man of the development of organisms and processes in the universe: a system reaches maximum complexity to the point that it becomes unstable (for example, organic chemistry). At the point of maximum complexity, a “flipe” occurs, and suddenly a new simplicity emerges out of this complexity (for example, cells). Organic chemistry is incredibly complex and unstable, whereas cellular structures have a beautiful simplicity and fluidity that allows for even more completed order (i.e. organisms) to arise vs the order that arises out of organic chemistry (the basis/food for organisms). It is the flow that allows the simplicity to return.
– Amongst the five Arcana we have observed thus far, the shift from the Three to the Four is the most mysterious transition so far. A move from primarily leaves to primarily flowers. And a greatly decreasing emphasis on the Coin, they are no longer of central focus in the Four.
– The change in perspective from Ace to Two. In the Ace we are looking at a structure from above. Then in Two we are looking at the same structure from the side, seeing it in a totally new light. With the Three of Coins, it is as though we have zoomed way back from this structure. We wanted to see it in its larger context, and suddenly we get a picture of its origin. What we thought was a Unity (the Ace) is really created out of a Trinity (in the Three of Coins we see the three coins focusing their energy/intent on the pearl/white stone, which is like the Ace from far away). Then we zoom back in to see the Ace up close again—and in the meantime, it has changed. Something has changed without us being able to see it, and the Ace form has become the form in the Four of Coins. Totally transformed and turned inside out.
Thinking of this in the context of the “Turning Point in Time.” Everything changes after Christ. The beginning isn’t actually One, it’s Three; in a way, “Shin” is the beginning of the Name Yod He Shin Vau He—not in terms of sequence, but in terms of Essence. It is the source of this Divine Name. A bit like Joel’s perspective on the life of Christ as the origin of the World from the end of his “Cosmic Communion of Fish” article. That Christ’s life is the beginning of time, not in terms of its sequence, but in terms of its Essence, like a seed that unfolded the root (past) and the stem (future).
– The Pearl/White Stone is the gateway. It is the transition point, or the reference point for the transition. It is the only point of continuity, it maintains its presence.
– One returns to the Ace after zooming out, just with a new perspective. One has zoomed out and seen the Pearl, the White Stone, and now it has become part of the Ace/Four (and also the Five, which is what the Ace/Four wished to become).
– The breathing process is part of the metamorphosing of the form—a breathing process focalizing around that white point. Somehow the “zooming out” and the “zooming in,” this respiration of perspective, aided in a process of metamorphosis.
A bit like quantum theory—respiration, in this case, is like intention, attention, observation. Because you observed it in a new way, you’ve changed it. Your subjectivity as observer has brought about/effected objective change.
Perhaps the plant forms are representing this respirational aspect, the etheric process within the Coin Arcana.
Yes, in fact Ace and Four show us the fundamental “Coin” quality of the Coin Suit. They show us “that which is and longs to be known.”
Two and Five, on the other hand, show us the fundamental “Plant” quality of the Coin Suit. They show us “that which reflects, observes, gives attention, nurtures—and thereby transforms that which is reflected upon via the reflection.”
We had the same experience between Ace and Two that we have had between Four and Five. We see Ace and Four in their completeness due to Two and Five.
It seems intuitive and natural to us, this fundamentally key relationship of One and Two. They are like the Magician and High Priestess in the realm of Number. But one doesn’t usually see the same kind of relationship existing between Four and Five.
The Three, on the other hand, has a twofold role. It is both completely alone, standing apart, and also somehow a part of everything, sharing pieces with everything.
Notice the Ace and Four are Yod and Vau (male aspects of the Name), and Two and Five are the two He (female/reflective aspects of the Name).
Notice the Shin is the Three. Shin = the Wandering Fool. He is both a part of everything (united with every card), but also completely alone and unique. Isn’t this like Christ? And Shin = “Fire of Love,” Fire of Love as the essential origin of all things.
– The banner on the Two of Coins is in a way much simpler than the rich symbol in the center of the Four of Coins. The Banner is representative of this reflective aspect in Two and Five. The Box is more like an elaborate product (Vau or Child) or transformation of the Banner (representing the mutual activity of Yod and He or Mother and Father). Then in Five, we have a central Coin rather than the box: the coming to completeness, maturity.
The Banner = instructions based on reflection of the Ace
Box = putting these instructions into action
Central Coin in Five = a miniature of what we started with. Completion of the intention.
So the Five of Coins also has this “presentation in the Temple” aspect to it, like the Emperor (the second He of the first Yod He Vau He in the Majors). The “finished product” of the Majors. But the Five of Coins has more of an Adoration of the Magi, a nativity feeling to it.
– The Five of Coins has an acrobatic feeling to it, Acro-yoga, balancing hands on hands where the leaves are. Maybe we’ve been learning to juggle this whole time, and now we finally can? Learning how to be “The Juggler” (i.e. The Magician). Now we’re putting on a performance—effortless, balanced precision and flow. How delicately they hold that coin in the middle!
– The Five of Coins displays the most direct interaction between Coin and Plant thus far, or maybe the most direct relation. It’s ambiguous, but there is a balance in the way they’re interacting as well.
In Four, the plants care all about the box, not really interacting with the coins at all. In this Arcanum, it’s as though the Coins don’t even matter, they’re just place-holders.
In Three, the plants and coins almost play together. But the plants are more of just a frame and support, they aren’t really interacting with the coins. It’s a bit like the coins organically, but still accidentally, ended up where they are in relation to the plants. Whereas in Five, there is purpose and intention. The upper coin in Three very much has this organic/incidental quality. Whereas the lower two coins in Three are a bit similar to the situation in the center of the Five, only the inverse: Two Coins delicately touching into a Plant form, vs two Plant forms delicately touching into a Coin.
– It still feels as though we are just bumping up against the imagery of the coins and plants. The imagery is rich, but it feels like there is something else behind it that we just can’t access or take hold of all the way.
We wonder if we will continue to feel this way all through the Suit of Coins? Looking at the end of The World (bottom of 655-top of 656), we see that the Suit of Coins is a world, a wealth of images that must be paid when one comes to the Suit of Swords. All that one has created in the Suit of Coins must be destroyed in the same (Sephirothic) order in which they were formed. Then one is emptied out and ready to receive in the Suit of Cups. Subsequent to this, one achieves the Suit of Batons, in which one becomes an active co-creator with what has been received (via divine revelation) in the Suit of Cups. Only then, at the very end of the process of moving through the Minor Arcana, do we even have the possibility of moving “behind” or beyond the images that we are currently “bumping up against.” Only at the Batons—perhaps only at the King of Batons—can we access the fullest Truth possible to us.
– Going back to The Star: the theme of this Letter-Meditation is continuity, flow, tradition, duration, tranquility, peace. But also look at page 469: this is a two-fold flow, one of peace and the other the Flood of fallen instinctivity, the collective (unredeemed) unconscious.
The Moon could be seen as the flow of instinctivity/the Flood. But more in a cosmic evolutionary sense—something occurring in a wise sequence, not as something solely negative.
For example, we can see the Flood as a kind of meeting with the Guardian of the Threshold, a destructive force that is simultaneously a purification and a gateway to a higher place. At the time of ancient Atlantis, black magical practices abused Nature to the point of bringing about the Flood. The Flood was the natural result and remedy for the fallen magical practices. The lower nature brings about its own punishment and destruction; then purity can emerge.
This is like the Q phenomenon. The Flood = The Storm. It is a correcting force, a destructive force towards the black magical practices. The ramifications of this Storm/Flood may be quite large (financial collapse, uprisings, etc.) but ultimately it is a cleansing, a purification from the Evil that has taken hold over the past century.
Even down to our personal lives, the Floods/Storms that seem to sweep us away and leave destruction in their wake are really processes of purification. This can give one hope, in the coming of the “Rainbow of Peace.”
The tie between Hope and Promise on page 471. The Rainbow is God’s Promise.”There is only that which is new under the sun.”
Like the Five of Coins. It could have just been purely symmetric, self-repeating, self-contained. But it is an incredibly dynamic balancing of movements and forms. It is a completion that speaks “Each day is a unique event and revelation that will never be repeated.”
– Going back to the Turning Point of Time, and Unity actually emerging from Trinity. We can think of the universe having three different points of origin. One comes from the perspective of the Father “In the Beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth.” God’s activity at the beginning of Time is the origin of all things. Then we have the perspective of the Son: “In the Beginning was the Word.” The life of Christ is the origin and essence, the archetype of all things. Time unfolds in two directions from this point. The third perspective is that of the Holy Spirit, “In the Beginning was Memory.” The unfolding of time is really the Holy Spirit remembering, contemplating from the Future (the end of time). The perspective of both the Father and the Holy Spirit are referred to on page 472 of The Star. “I am Primordial Action” vs “I am Eternal Waiting.”
We closed with the fourth stanza of the Foundation Stone meditation in eurythmy.