Five of Cups (III)

March 12 – Natalia had struggles on different levels, both outer and inner, from the Two through the Four of Cups, really experiencing some of the things we were talking of. Then some of these things resolved or released. Only then did she read Five of Cups, which has this same mood of release. The notes also brought out this picture of the Five of Cups as Taurus, and we—that is, Natalia, Phillip and Joel—had been having lots of conversations around synestry, noticing our common axis (amongst our three horoscopes) on the Aldebaran/Antares axis of Ancient Babylon. She thought of Taurus in relation to Isis. The horns as crescent Moon receiving this golden disc of the Sun. Like Isis having these phases in her development also in the artistic representations. Judith von Halle describes this, the Sun disc is in her head in the ancient representations, and then the Horus child descends later in the historical period of Egypt to her lap. An incarnation of sorts before Christ, before Isis and Horus become Mary and Child. What’s going on in the upper part of the Five of Cups, what’s coming out…the leaves are like the horns and it’s carrying something which is there in the middle. This brought to her this image of this Isis Goddess. Many images of this are available. 

979 BEST Isis Goddess IMAGES, STOCK PHOTOS & VECTORS | Adobe Stock

Natalia expresses a wish to have a regular time for all three of us to have a conversation…we move to a different rhythm, meeting one Sunday per month all three of us, with Phillip and I carrying on with our own meetings two of the Thursdays in between Sunday meetings. Our first Sunday meeting is March 21. Some build-up:

March 16/17/18—Natalia drawn to the red flowers…something similar in the red flowers in the Ace of Swords and Four of Coins…

Joel sees a significance here…definitely something inasmuch as the Ace of Swords is the 37th Arcanum, and the Five of Cups is the 55th—both a “One”, they reduce to a “One.” But where does the Four of Coins come in there? The flower is this traditional four-petalled flower, in the middle/bottom lower part of the Four of Coins. In the Ace of Coins it’s raised all the way to the top and becomes this weird stacked thing, flanked by related flowers. Then in the Five of Cups at first you notice that there are only two in the center of the image, they’re four-petalled again, but they have these triangular portions that make them seven-fold. But then you see there is a third at the very very bottom, oriented upwards rather than out to the viewer. He wonders if they could all be combined into one image or something? Or maybe it’s even like the Four of Coins is before, and the Five of Cups is after, and the Ace of Swords is what is done to make that change. 

Phillip agrees there is something significant here. His mind goes to the conversation he and Joel had about this. Really this Four of Coins has taken on such an incredible significance biographically at this time in our lives as this “emergence of a crisis”, not sure how to characterize this as an archetypal feeling from the card. Because the card is kind of like a premonition of something that is coming next, and it sort of dominates that time…you aren’t properly in the presence of the Four, the Four is just announcing the Five, announcing what’s next. So the “fourness” is overshadowed or occluded by the premonition of or anxiety towards the coming “fiveness.” There is something deceptive about it in that the Coins as a whole don’t have this foreboding quality…but it’s something big…it’s like whatever it is, this coming Fifth piece in the middle is bigger than the present Four. In the Five of Cups it’s finally fully expressed, it’s come full circle somehow. You’re finally there. These flowers are just amplifications. In a way like in the Four of Coins those four sideways flowers (the trumpet-like flowers surrounding the central flower-image)…somehow they’re represented as the two facing forward in the Five of Cups. But then again you have in the Four of Coins the four sideways and then the one there as a fifth in the center. But those two flowers flanking the fifth middle Cup in the Five of Cups….there’s Five, Six, Seven in a way…another Seven thing? Not sure how to make sense of that, just a feeling. The other odd thought that comes to him is these Three Great Arcana that Tomberg talks of in Meditations on the Tarot, which have to do with the Orthodox Cross and the three horizontal lines and three kinds of initiation (see pages 508-09 from the Letter-Meditation on The Moon). Maybe there’s something nodal, centrally nodal in those things there. 

The Four of Coins + Ace of Swords = Five of Cups. Is there another pathway that could be put together from that kind of math?

Natalia also sees a resemblance between the central flower in the Four of Coins and the central flower in the Four of Cups. The jump from Four of Cups to Five of Cups has a similar gesture to that between the Four of Coins to Five of Coins. The middle in the Four almost offering something, it’s highlighted so strongly. And then in the Five all this space around it. 

That made Natalia’s attention be drawn to this middle spear in the Four of Cups, and then how the Ace of Swords is more like a feeling that in between what happens between Four and Five there is this spear and sword kind of gesture, like if something happened as a leap, something of the Swords coming in between Four of Cups and Five of Cups. And this flowery thing downwards in the Five of Cups is what was drawing her attention to this Ace of Swords—if you turn it upside down, then the lower part of the Four comes also a little bit there (as well as the lower part of the Five). 

Joel shares High Priestess, Pope, Chariot, Death:

He went back a bit and felt like maybe this flower is in other places. Where he found it in the Majors are listed above (Tiara of High Priestess and Pope, more fully formed in High Priestess, general outline in Pope). Kind of there as well in the crown of the Charioteer. And in Death you can see in Death a root vegetable, like a beet, at the base of the skeleton’s spine, then it’s like a plant that grows up and flowers at the neck, there is a small four-petal flower there on his neck or throat. So there is something of these four from the Majors that are part of this. Almost like the Pope has this imprinted on the back of his hand as well, not sure.

And Joel never noticed before…the Pope has a very large thumb that’s holding this triple cross. The triple cross of the Pope makes Joel think of what Phillip brought up in terms of Three Great Arcana—the Cognitive path between Light and Warmth in the head…then…is there an Aesthetic one between Peace and Activity (right and left shoulders)? Or a Moral one? And then a Magical/Creative one between Force and Radiance (right and left hip)? But Phillip might be right that this flower form might have something to do with that. Those crossing points in the Tree of Life have something to do with the interface between astral organs (Lotus Flowers) and etheric organs (Sephiroth). [The crown chakra aligns with the crown sephiroth (Kether or Eternity). The brow chakra aligns with Daath, the Cognitive path between Light and Warmth (the right and left sides of the head). The larynx chakra aligns with the Moral path between Peace and Activity (right and left shoulders). Then the heart chakra aligns with the heart sephiroth (Tiphereth or Glory). The solar plexus chakra aligns with the Magical path between Force and Radiance (right and left hip), and the sacral chakra aligns with Yesod, or Power. The root chakra aligns with Malkuth or Kingdom.]

So then Joel looked through other Suits, and he noticed that in the Coins there is the Four of course, but then in the bottom flower of the Seven there is something very similar to the bottom flower of the Five of Cups. But also that central flower in the Seven of Coins is like the central flower a bit in the Four of Coins and the Four of Cups. The Seven kind of brings those two together.

In the Queen of Coins it’s like the crown of the Chariot, maybe a bit blended with the High Priestess’s tiara. And she’s really representative of this Suit of Cups within the Suit of Coins. He’s also noticing…not sure if we thought of this before…but the top of her sceptre looks like a Fleur de Lis, and there’s speculation that this symbol is actually based on the form of a honeybee…and that’s always how we saw the top of her sceptre, was as a honeybee flying away. 

Fleur-de-lis - Wikipedia

And the only time this form occurs in the Swords is in the Ace of Swords. But it really struck him as he was looking through…really this form is imprinted on almost all of the coins in the Suit of Coins—this four-petal flower right in the center of each coin. It isn’t that way in the Court Coins. It’s a different kind of flower in the middle. But it’s like that’s what you’re trying to bring to expression, and you almost get there in both the Four and Seven of Coins, but it’s not quite at the right part of the plant. In the Four of Coins, that flower isn’t the flower, it’s like a root that these larger flowers are coming out of, and it’s definitely the same way in the Seven of Coins, it’s in the very bottom of the plant. And in the Queen of Coins and Ace of Swords it returns to being just an adornment on a crown, it’s not longer a real flower, so to speak. It keeps vacillating between being a root or just an adornment on a crown (or a bone on a skeleton) as it was in the Majors. 

Then you finally get to it again in the Cups, and it’s finally the flower it’s supposed to be. And it’s being presented in the very center with the fifth cup, like “We did it!” And it’s still integrating this flower as a root down at the bottom, but it has attained this true presentation that was first attempted in the Four of Coins. An attempt that was, in a way, given up on after the Ace of Swords, because that’s the last time you see it in that entire Suit. Now here it is. Now what’s interesting is if you look further in the Suit, it returns in the Ten of Cups on that top cup, the one that looks almost like a seal or a stamp. It’s what’s inside the cup, so to speak. And the Knave is wearing a crown, but it’s a flower crown made of those real flowers, it isn’t an ornamental crown, it’s made of real flowers. 

But then one last thing he noticed as he was going through the deck, is the Queen of Swords crown is totally distinct, as her crown has actual Fleur-de-Lis on it, not those clover-shaped flowers we see on the other crowns. That’s interesting because she too is predicting this Suit of Cups within the Suit of Swords, and she is prominently displaying the Fleur-de-Lis form similar to the Queen of Coins. 

Joel just realised he missed one as he was putting his cards away…but it’s hard to tell with Temperance…is it a four-petal or five-petal flower on the top of her head?

Joel forgets whether he and Phillip talked about the connection between the Four of Coins and Five of Cups only in the most recent conversation or the one before…it would be interesting if they hadn’t noticed the relationship between these two until the most recent conversation, because those haven’t been sent to Natalia yet, and she would have made this connection independently of us. But the whole biographical gesture that is involved is fascinating…Four of Coins was when Phillip’s marriage fell apart, and when Joel and Molly decided to leave Plowshare. But it was also the time that Joel went to Kinsau and met Natalia and Markku for the first time. So that’s very interesting. That was the Four of Coins (July/August 2018)…then the Ace of Swords, they got there basically right after the Tarot Retreat in Santa Fe, when Joel and Phillip presented their work publicly for the first time (June 2019). That’s right when Joel actually left Plowshare, and the first time Phillip had been allowed to see his children for about 9 months. We stayed with the Ace of Swords that whole summer, because Joel had moved away and they were busy with different things. But that was also the time when Phillip joined the board of the Sophia Foundation, which Joel had done only a few months previously (March 2019), and that was also when Phillip went to the Scandinavian conference and re-connected with Natalia and Markku after who knows how many years (August 2019). So…then still under the sign of the Ace of Swords, that’s when Joel moved to Copake (also August 2019). Now here we are with the Five of Cups…and we’re explicitly bringing Natalia into our process. Which has just been the two of us pretty consistently for years. And Phillip is now at the point where he’s going to be living half an hour away from his children. A real turning point in his situation. All of that is fascinating….the dovetail between outer life and this work. 

He guesses the other one that’s important for Joel personally is that it was in Santa Fe that he got this tick bite and had these crazy health problems. And now he feels as though he is on the other side of that. 

Phillip thinks of the two flowers in the Five of Cups as akin to the two swords in the Ten of Swords in the sense that they have this quality of “suddenly they’re doubled,” doing something they don’t normally do, a completion in a way. Maybe similar also in a way to the Two of Coins that there’s…in the realm of Coins, it’s almost like you’re prefiguring, or seeing in a prototypical way the fullness of an archetypal reality, but expressed through a material dualistic realm. It’s like this transcendent-materialist…or the material aspect, the substantial, manifest aspect of the archetypal. There may be something of this nature of the wholeness trying to break through in this disjointed way because this material, manifest realm is not able to…it’s not all worked out yet. The sequence is kind of like: maybe this is expressing the biography, the karmic and destiny needs of the archetypal as it enters the manifest. The archetypal has a kind of destiny or karma that has to play itself out, and it can’t just reveal and express itself in the most harmonious way. There is some kind of sequence that it has to follow. So this confusion between root and flower, and the arrangement of this plant form in relation to the other parts of the plant, the leaf and flower…Perhaps this Four of Coins is this shimmering, shining through of “Here’s the picture of the full harmony of the thing we’re approaching”, but we’re not yet at a place that that can express itself, there’s something that prevents that and imposes itself on that. 

He loves the images that Natalia sent. They speak so much, the way the Four of Cups is in a way like the re-framing of this Ace of Swords. Then the Five of Cups jumps back and fulfils the Four of Coins, there’s just something there that’s really beautiful. Like the two cups above in the Five of Cups are the hand, the two cups below are the crown (from the Ace of Swords). And it’s like the plant is entering into manifestation finally in a way that is intrinsic to itself and not determined or limited by its environment. Not needing to comply with the material restrictions of things. The two flowers in the center of the Five are this reversal, not like the Two of Coins of this kind of material manifestation imposing its limitation on the archetypal, it’s the other way—it’s the archetypal finding its unfettered, true expression and then this material dualism crowning it or flowering in relation to it. 

What struck Joel the most in what Natalia laid out was placing the Ace of Swords upside down and the similarity…the higher becoming the lower, the flower as part of a crown transforming itself into a root instead of trying to escape from it or something. It’s the higher becoming the lower that allows the fullness to unfold unfettered as Phillip is saying. 

Natalia also noticed the four-petal flowers on the all of the coins. She’s been reading the notes from those conversations and Joel and Phillip bring up the four-petal lotus in the Two or Three of Coins. Could that root chakra be somehow present in that four-foldness? 

What struck her with these two flowers is that they seem to be almost central in a way, something has finally come to a point that it hasn’t been at before. The central cup is almost secondary in a way, but also maybe manifesting something like that: that finally that cup is there. Like the notes said, the upper part is like someone carrying the soup or something to drink, and the flowering up would have to do with this, taking part of what is in the cup.

Funny that both Phillip and Joel both brought up these different life periods, as Natalia’s meditation this morning had brought up her different life periods and this question came up of when she met Joel, and when Phillip came to Finland…then these questions were answered later during the conversation! Also Joel discussing his tick bite, this came into Natalia’s Majorca dream from the night before, as this was when she was first suffering from Lyme—when she was in Majorca. Joel brought up the Queen of Swords, and it was around that time that she and Joel were first really talking a lot about Borellia, and also perhaps about Estelle? In reference to the Footwashing Ritual, which also came into this dream in Majorca. 

Natalia was also really drawn to the Ten of Swords, back when she was talking with Joel about Queen of Swords. There is some kind of inner connection, as Phillip described, between Five of Cups and Ten of Swords. You would think the Ten of Swords is releasing something, even though they are very tightly woven together. But there is something different happening in the hilt that gives this feeling of release as well.