Notes of a Hermetic Conversation between Phillip and Joel on August 5, 2022.
The flaps of his hat are like beetle’s wings opening. Also his crotch area, this could also be the back of a beetle. Both are reminiscent of the “Bee’s Knees” of the King of Swords—his knee caps are shaped like beetles as well. What is the connection? The floor has a bit of a beetle-patter to it as well.
Lining up all three Kings:
All three Kings sit in a very similar way. A lot of similarities amongst them. The hat is in a process of opening up—gradually revealing the crown that is veiled in darkness in the center of the King of Coins’ hat. The unfolding wings.
Is the King of Coins’ hat slightly transparent, with the crown under the hat? Or is that crown just painted on?
It’s like a sunrise—like the hat of the King of Coins is Night, the crown-hat of the King of Swords is dawn, and now the winged crown of the King of Cups is daylight. From dark to light.
The hair as well. In the King of Coins, if we consider the white around his hat as his hair, it is all above, almost attached to the hat. Like icicles (winter, dark). Then in the King of Swords, it all comes cascading down, like a spring thaw (dawn). Now in the King of Cups, there is some above and some below, it has split into two parts. Some of the water has “settled” into a lake, summertime (daylight).
The Knave’s cup is somewhat covered, with his scarf. Then the Knight’s is fully opened, wide and sturdy. The Queen’s is entirely covered up. With the King, maybe it isn’t being re-opened? Maybe something new has been added to the top? Like the proto-Cross, the seed of the cross which must be added to the Queen’s globe to make the scepter of the Empress and Emperor:
Or perhaps it was the rising of the central knob? The bright red knob in the previous Court Arcana now stretches out, creates a stem.
With the Knave and the Knight, perhaps something went into the open Cup. With the King, something is emerging. The Queen is like the womb, the oven, the incubator. The Knave—the insemination; the Knight—the conception; the Queen—gestation; and the King—the birth.
Is the King really even holding the cup? His hand is touching the lower part, which is breaking off. He could take that away and the top would still remain there.
This bottom part is tied up with the blue water pouring out on either side of his knee. It mirrors the beetle shells. The upper part of the cup is sewn onto his sleeve and shoulder. In fact, maybe his real arm is obscured by all this weird growth on the right side of his body. A kind of intestinal tube in the red in the middle of it. A being. That would explain the strangeness of his shoulder line. Perhaps the hand does not even belong to him—it is someone else’s, coming from behind him, pushing their hand through and sprinkling him with water, or ringing a bell.
Or attaching the final piece to the bottom?
He is mostly a man, but partly an object.
“Um, no it’s all fine, this is just a cup!” He’s holding that piece on to the bottom to make it look like a cup, to avoid anyone questioning what exactly it is that is attached to and/or growing out of his right side.
We’re back to this kind of metastasizing metamorphosis of the Knight of Swords, only he’s not becoming animals, he’s becoming an object.
Actually, they are opposites. He’s like the chapter in Fellowship of the Ring when the hobbits get swallowed up by the Willow. It’s like he’s slowly disappearing into the woodwork, the surroundings, turning to stone or something, rather than this explosion into manifold beings that the Knight of Swords is going through. Like he’s being digested by the cup itself—like a boa constrictor (the snake/intestine coiled within?).
The Grail King. His festering wound is inflamed by Saturn. Soothed by the bloody spear with which we was wounded. The Grail feeds him, keeps him alive, but can never heal him. Never healed, and not allowed to die. A perpetual suffering/limbo.
Or maybe the King is the exact inverse of the Queen? Pop open her cup, and its the King (his crown-hat has “popped” open), whereas she has this red opening at her crown, she becomes the cup. The two Arcana show two different sides of two beings—welded together, married together. Like Repanse de Schoye and Anfortas?
Let’s remember this is the 3rd Suit, and therefore in some sense the Queen as the third Royal is the culmination. The development doesn’t need to, or can’t, go any further. It just breaks down. The Knave of Coins is the culmination of the Coins, the most satisfying, still entirely focused on the previous ten Numbered Coins:
Then with the Knight of Swords, he is the culmination of the Swords. He breaks down in the Queen, he is slaughtered:
The Knave of Coins…we know him! He’s so familiar in some way. In terms of stages of development/consciousness, he’s as far as we’ve actually reached. He’s like when you hit the place on the hike where the view becomes crystal clear of where you’re headed. We only know the other Court Arcana/states of consciousness from our perspective at the bottom of the mountain, from the “Knave of Coins”-eye view. Very clear, but so distant from actual experience.
Interesting…you can find a sword in all three of these “culminating” Arcana. The Knave has one in his sleeve—or you could consider the pricking of his thumb sword-like. And the cup of the Queen is no longer strictly speaking a cup, at least not like it was in the Cup Arcana up until that point. The sword persists.
With the Knave, you can find all of them in a way. He holds the coin, but also the combination of the coin and the dagger in his sleeve is like a baton or sceptre. And perhaps his hand gesture is cup-like/ Or his scoop-like hat?
Whereas the Knight of Swords is purely sword, nothing of coin, cup or sceptre.
No coin in the Queen of Cup? Perhaps the top of her cup? A coin-cup becoming a baton?
Perhaps there is something of the middle realm of the King of Swords related to the open head of the King of Cups. This opening/flowing breastplate. Lifted up.
Can we see the ball of the Magician in the King of Coins? And the wand in the King of Swords? Then blue dagger and/or the leaf between his feet can be found in the leaf over the King of Cup’s generative organs?
Like the Kings are a deconstruction of the lower portion of the Magician. Akin to all the Minors living simultaneously in The World, all the Kings are in the Magician?
The progressions: crossed legs (Coin)—bee’s knees (Sword)—single leaf/beetle (Cup)
wooden chair (Coin)—marble throne being cut in two (Sword)—golden gateway opening (Cup)…
And then he flies away—”Goodbye!” Again like the Wizard of Oz. He’s all transitions, transitioning. The other two Kings are holding court. “Please, sit down, join me for a meal.” He’s more like a character out of the Jetsons or something.
The very item in question in regard to the entire Suit—the Cup he holds—is broken! Why does he have a broken implement?? Did it just happen in the moment?
Or was it carefully wrapped? Not a break, instead a cloth? To protect the metal from the oils of his hands. Or was it too hot to the touch? Is that white cloth related to the white above, on the shoulder/ear flaps? Connected to the scarf of the Knave or the canopy of the Queen? Some remnant of the silk covering?
He would be the opposite of the Knave, then. In the Knave, the scarf of the person is covering the cup, whereas in the King, the cloth of the cup is attaching itself to the person.
It is transforming him—not extruding from him, rather into him.
This is all transitional…we won’t know what’s going on until we go to the Batons. It’s the feeling of a connecting flight, a pit stop. You can’t stay here for long.
The arm coming from somewhere else, bearing a strange object…this also applies to the Ace of Batons:
It’s like his cup is radioactive, emanating into what’s nearby. The red snake is an extension of the yellow knob in the center. Something hatching from the middle. Reminiscent of Jarrod Fowler’s work on insects as “purifiers of the landscape.” The hat hatching. The sheaths are coming off. Like the Queen of Swords, something is going on inside of him.
He is pulling back the robes. The whole room is transforming. All is changing.
There is a strong recapitulation of the Ace of Cups.
The shape of the base, the flow, the water moving down. But now it’s like we’re in the castle, this is what is actually going on inside of the beautiful palace. But it’s also falling apart. Decomposing, metamorphosing. Perhaps due to our unlawful entry? Like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade again. She tries to take the Grail out of its hiding place unlawfully, causes an earthquake. All of it is destroyed. We’ve made all of this fall apart, we interrupted the mystery.
There is a sadness in his gaze. “Oh, now you’ve done it…” Not the kingship of the Cups. He’s witnessing the post-peak, post-Queen. “It’s not my time…I’m just witnessing things fall apart…I’ll leave a clever facsimile of myself here, and slip out behind myself with the necessary item.” (ie, the Ace of Batons). He escapes through the magic portal. Or at least he passes it on—”Someone please take this Baton, save it from ruin.”
We began to play with Ace of Batons, King and Queen of Cups, and the Lover:
Relating the King and Queen to the themes of the Lover…Temptation vs Chastity. The King and the Queen are both temptation and chastity. They both see the other, hold a piece of each other.
Arranged the other way, it is as though her sword goes into his arm/shoulder. Perhaps this is where they merge.
Earlier in the evening, Phillip had been describing a training he had just attended. Using pressure and torsion in order to work on parts of the body that are otherwise inaccessible. Applying pressure, torsion to the head, in order to work on the inside of the head, creating a feeling of something rising within. This is like the two wings on the head of the King of Cups, and perhaps the Ace of Batons is the verticality that occurs within, arising from this pressure. It’s akin to magnetism running parallel to electrical current. The Sword vs the Cup. Tension/torsion reaching something otherwise unreachable.
Thinking back the King’s situation…what if he had the cup covered, rolled up into his arm originally? Then he flings the cup back, unrolls it, and it leaves an imprint on his arm—because it was hot? Or squeezing it so tightly? Maybe that’s what this snake-like mark is.
Maybe the “unrolling” of the cup happens simultaneously with the beetle-hat breaking open. And the cup breaks. Beings and objects are born out of this cup’s revealing and breaking. Like in Raiders of the Lost Ark, he moves the gold idol and a whole process is initiated (boulder rolling, etc).
If the King of Coins represents “moments before”…not on display until you step on the square on the floor that triggers the whole thing. Sitting down to eat with the mob boss. Keyser Soeze. A feeling of sudden doom and destruction. This individual (King of Coins) once they spring into action (King of Cups) is much smarter, much more agile than you ever imagined. Vengeance rains down. Total destruction. King of Coins = Durham 2019….King of Cups = Durham 2022?
The Baton is coming. Laying down the law. The heretofore inaccessible finally being squeezed out.
The Ace of Batons has this lovely dark olive green. An unusual color.
Maybe it isn’t the top portion of the cup that turns into the baton, perhaps it’s the base. The stone that the builders rejected = base of the cup which is breaking off? It becomes the cornerstone = Ace of Batons?
With the Ace of Coins, we saw this image of the scarab beetle. A jewel with closed wings. If you can find the magic conditions, or the right phrase to say, it will open its wings, take you to the treasure.
A seed—what causes the seed to open? Warmth, moisture, earth…and chaos. It must go to chaos and return again. There must be nothing of the seed left. But, what allows it to go to chaos?
Sometimes this is quite a process. Cherry pit…knick the outside, sink it in the water, and the seed will be revealed. Then you wrap it in tinfoil and a paper towel, sprinkle it with water, keep it dark. Some seeds need to be digested by certain animals to be broken down. This elaborate process to get from “Ace of Coins” (seed/pit) to King of Batons (opening/sprouting).
Wow, to imagine that the Minor Arcana have only been the first stage of the growth process—from a seed to the first sprouting, the path to chaos and back out again which allows a seed to begin growing.
Quite a different time lapse than before. Before we had looked at Coins as seed/root, Swords as leaf/stem, Cups as flower/fruit, etc. But maybe this is like the different “time algorithms” of the life of Christ, e.g. the 3.5 years are a “gestation period,” yet simultaneously the 39 hours in the grave are a “gestation period.”
The Ace of Coins is so beautiful. Is it the beginning of Creation? The beginning of the human essence within the human being, birth of ego-potential? A seed, an embryo, the glimmer of the “I”…human as a being in the cosmos…always a beginning, perhaps it is all beginnings.
Thinking of our path so far as…formulating a big plan, an intention—the Ace of Coins. Working out all the details, worrying about all the nitty gritty, trying to plan for all the possibilities. This is the Suit of Coins. And then falling asleep in the midst of planning…and dreaming that you’ve accomplished it in all different directions…as a great failure, as an amazing victory…and this dreaming is the Suit of Swords and the Suit of Cups…and then you wake up and realize you haven’t done anything with your plan yet…but you’ve prepared it, honed it, perfected it in the night. And prepared yourself to meet the reality in a million different ways. Lived through the possible consequences. And this is the King of Cups. The waking up from the dream of accomplishment. Only now is anything really going to happen. The first sprout, not even a leaf and flower yet.
Is he kingly then? If so, he is like Arthur, just a boy. He’s not feeling ready. He is looking for Merlin. He is like young King Solomon, who can only become King inasmuch as he feels unworthy and unready to be King.
It is momentous to move to the Batons…yet feels understated. We are hesitant based on the last three Suits, and how they have been interwoven with events in our lives. The Coins began so well, and then turned to torment around the Four of Coins (pre-figuring the 4th Suit). The Coins became a descent into despair. And for Joel, he felt as though beginning this new venture at Camphill Copake would be a new beginning, a positive turn…and instead, Covid began, plunging the whole world into a darkness akin to the darkness that up until then had been solely personal for Joel and Phillip. And then some kind of victory was meant to happen when we transitioned to the Cups…but then the election was stolen, and the world has in many ways become only darker and stranger since then, despite the lifting of covid. We have had the optimism beaten out of us, Suit by Suit. We cautiously approach the fourth Suit, properly humbled by existence. “Lord have Mercy, please!”