February 14, 2021:
In the time between conversations on the Four, Natalia wanted to read Parzival further, to find out more about these three red drops and what happens afterwards. She had forgotten that it happens three times that he gets captured by these drops and enters this sleepy phase, and different knights come to fight with him and he hardly remembers that he has fought with these Arthurian knights because he almost immediately falls back into his trance again after fighting. It happens until Gawan appears, who can diagnose the situation, he puts a blanket over the three drops so that Parzival comes back to himself fully. Then it is also said in the story that this goes in his bloodline, his hereditary line on both sides (Herzeloyde and Gahmuret) of being hypnotised or captured when one sees blood.
She looked to the Four of Cups, and her immediate impression is that there is an army-like, military feeling to it. Why is that so? Maybe because it goes into two pairs, like a confrontation. Like a division. It makes it more of a competition somehow. Also that this stick, this thing in the middle, that like Joel says this plant-like part of the Cups so far always has something both mechanical and living that are coming together. This stick gave her the impression of something to do with the army once again, as it is reminiscent of these martial batons, these military batons, which they take when you have a military parade or march through the streets. A bit like this stick, with all these different things coming out of it, even more mechanical than before, with only these two leaves coming out of it as evidence of plant.
Joel finds these interesting observations, and enjoys the refresher on Parzival—he had remembered the three different battles that Parzival has while hypnotised by the face, but had totally forgotten that it was Gawan who is the one who can snap him out of it. What’s interesting is that reminds Joel of Gawan’s role in the middle of the book, where it switches from a focus on Parzival to a focus on Gawan. And he is the one who performs this role of rescuing those who are in Klingsor’s castle from being under the spell. So he has this power of rescuing someone from being under a spell. And he’s the one with this Norwegian blood, right? He has this Scandinavian impulse coming through him. He plays this very key role to make it so that Parzival can accomplish his mission. Gawan is the other main character of the book in a way. And what is really interesting, and Joel hadn’t thought of this till the conversation on the Four of Cups this past Thursday, is that we ended up seeing a Lion in the Four, the face is in the plant forms in the bottom, and the four cups are like the four legs or four paws of the lion.
And when Gawan is rescuing Klingsor’s castle, he has to pass through all of these trials, and he ends up on this bed that is shaking all over the place, and he’s attacked by this giant lion. And he cuts off one of his paws, and there is blood all over the place from this, like a pool of blood on the floor. So Joel feels very strongly that we’re moving through the Parzival story quite deliberately as we move through the Suit of Cups—the suit of the Grail. As Joel has been typing up the conversations from the previous Suits, they seem to focus much more on Kyot—these adventures of Kyot prior to the time of Parzival, of the Grail story. But now with the Ace of Cups being Monsalvaesche, and the Two of Cups the witnessing of Anfortas, the Fisher King, and the Three of Cups being when he sees the drops of blood in the snow right after the expulsion from the Grail Castle, and now the Four of Cups as representing Gawan, the unfolding mission of Gawan, you’re really moving quite deliberately through the main story of the Grail, which is fascinating.
Natalia now sees the lion, yes! At first she had seen a cat, but those legs! And maybe this army feeling is connected to the strength and courage of the Lion and Gawan. Yes, he has a Norwegian background! Really there is something triumphant in the image as well. And frankly, Norwegians do have this “nothing can come in our way,” with a smile, kind of attitude. There is something Mars-like now, with the Four. Natalia always imagines Gawan as ruddy, healthy, strong while Parzival is more feminine, beautiful, etc. More Venus vs Mars of Gawan.
Natalia jokes that “life is leonized” as she has a cappuccino under the rule of the lion (see image)—or rather protection. The espresso machine’s name “La Rochetta” means “little fort.”
Another hero who had to face a Lion was Heracles, who kills the Nemean Lion. Some sources say this lion was then put into the sky as the constellation Leo. After that, Heracles performs 11 further heroic deeds, often associated with different constellations, but starting from Leo. It is said the Moon Goddess Selene created the Nemean Lion.
Joel just saw this coffee machine image, and what is funny is that he has the Fleur-de-Lis, which we had noticed in the Three of Cups. In terms of the martial or military feeling of the Four, Joel once again thinks of the cups as chess pieces, like some game of military strategy.
It is a strong contrast that these cups can be so masculine/Martian when one would at first see or assume only Venusian/feminine.
It brings to mind what Tomberg points to in the Wheel of Fortune, or maybe the Hermit in terms of uniting these two forms of magic and/or life, of Dove and Serpent: “May you be gentle as doves and wise as serpents.” As chess pieces, they have this aspect of cunning, the craftiness of the serpent.
Natalia feels that it is almost like only one or the other quality hits one, not both at once, in terms of masculine/feminine.
In terms of Dove and Serpent, that made her think of her first impression of the Four of Cups, this kind of electrical energy that flowed from it. She had to struggle with it, because it was so strong. She started to think of times she had experienced that before, like when working with Force and Wheel of Fortune, which are both somehow connected with the Lion as well, if the Wheel of Fortune represents the Sign of Leo.
And how strong it is to read of Gawan laying next to this lion he has killed. Blood everywhere. All this struggle in the castle, culminating in the laying next to the Lion. Saying that makes her think of the blood in the snow again, of contrasts getting stronger by being placed next to each other.
Natalia had been reading the old notes of the Suit of Coins where we were working with the Sola Busca deck, and then Kevin sent out his new initiative featuring images from SB. So she got curious. Started looking through the deck, so beautiful, so poetic. Kind of the start of Tarot decks. It’s strange how different the Majors are from the Marseilles. The Minors feel more connected. She looked through the Suit of Cups, and these angels are playing music in the Ace and Two of Cups. Then in the Third it becomes more quiet, and plant like—although very weird, almost like Japanese anime or something, something more alive. And then this Four appearing and having this Angel and Man—this strong male quality coming in with the Four as with the Marseilles. It isn’t clear whether this big man is taking this Cup out of his black bag where the Angel is watching. Makes one wonder about this fourth cup—is he stealing it? Is there something in this bag or what? Fascinated by the Sola Busca.
Joel agrees it would be interesting to go back into the Sola Busca again. We haven’t worked with them for a long time. They influenced the Rider Waite.
Natalia suggests that maybe the Suit of Cups is connected with Neptune, these watery forces, and therefore the Second Temptation, to plunge from the heights? Joel actually originally, years ago, had the image that the Coins have to do with the classical planets, or maybe just the Saturn sphere, and this stage of Preparation. Then the Swords show us this more revolutionary Uranus attitude—both the Luciferic Temptation but also Imagination. Then the Cups show us Neptune, the Luciferic-Ahrimanic Temptation and the development of Inspiration. Then Batons are Pluto, the Ahrimanic Temptation and the development of Intuition. But maybe the Coins have to do with the Node? Joel did some astrological biography work with Molly and a coworker from Plowshare back in 2019, and they tried to understand the planetary spheres through the seven planetary seals of Steiner. But then they wondered, what would these seals look like for the Node, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto? They each created their own versions, then came together to compare them, and there were remarkable similarities. Later, Joel stumbled on the seals that Steiner created for the Four Mystery Dramas—and they were quite similar to what we had created independently! So maybe there is a connection between Node (Coins), Uranus (Swords), Neptune (Cups) and Pluto (Batons) and the Four Mystery Dramas:
February 21, email from Natalia to Joel and Phillip:
I hope you had a good weekend. I am reading a bit of Tarot history of decks.
And The Sola deck is quite expensive I found out.
I wonder how The Four of Cups is revealing itself for you! I must say after starting with Four there has been first a strange bit of electric energy releasing, like each card releases some energy too, at least for me. That made me more irritated at times…
My general state this week is something to struggle with “military like” in me alternating with apathy, loneliness, need to releasing something which is not really to be happening, a bit stuck in an old “something”, a bit burning quality too, overheated…
I had a strong dream Image last night where I spoke to some people, at least one of you two guys was present too! The colours of Cups (red and yellow) were somehow present around an old card; like the one they used to collect people’s name, address, death or so in archives or an office. One card, black came up more, surrounded by these colours of red and yellow and more black (a bit strong, like when Tarot card colours in dreams appear).
I was crying out loudly, “It is really hard for angels to be able to rebuild people’s karmic ties when they have died in war. To be able to rebuild karmic meetings/connections again with people (in the next life).”
I woke to my own voice and was a bit in this Tarot angst again but fell back to sleep.
It’s quite obvious that it must be hard for angels to collect karmic ties back in different life… but why I would I say it so strongly out for people (with such conviction) and including to my remembrance you two! I wonder if you two together represent a witness element in that dream or that I was addressing words for you too.
It feels often a bit stupid to share one’s dreams but some of the images get so strong in Tarot work that I can’t help it.
Anyway, the only way to open up them is to share them. Maybe there is nothing really but if you have something to say, please.
Have you ever wanted to throw a Tarot card “away” ? I feel I don’t even want to look at the Four of Cups and as I tried to overcome this feeling, I have lost The Card actually, nowhere to be found…
Anyway, looking forward, especially for your notes on Four of Cups! In Sola Busca its so strange this Black hole sack with connection to Fourth Cup, I found.
And the 23rd:
Finally I found The Four of Cups card! It had layed inside Parsifal book, next to Gawain and lion.
I still have a lot of Ahrimanic/ Lion type of quality to struggle on me but its getting a bit better.
Looking the card now it drew my attention to this arrow thing coming out below. That together with the upper part of those blue and red ” flower-ears” give me a mood of Africa. Like a Masai tribe or so…
To look that way would mean that lion would be pierced by an Arrow or so.