Knave of Batons (I)

He (She?) has such delicate hands. Long fingernails. Very feminine. Rough, but refined features on the face. The nose, the curls, the lips—delicate lines. More distinctly drawn than prior figures. Especially the nose. Level, a little prominent, but well detailed, refined.

The neck has shading, the face none. Only one hand has shading, the other none.

The hair is the same color as the flesh. With such detailed features, and this uniform color of face and hair, it’s almost like a wax figure?

Have we seen such a fine profile before? Maybe in the Queen of Coins?

…And in the Emperor.

But this figure is more “zoomed in” on then the Queen of Coins or the Emperor. More detail on the head, the curls in the hair, the eyes. Is it the eye of Horus? It’s like one of the curls is linked to the eye, akin to the eye of Horus.

The Knave is performing the same hand gesture that we see in the Lover, the dark-haired woman:

It’s a very distinctive gesture, it made Phillip think of Death.

Fascinating. We never saw this connection between the Lover and Death before, never brought them together.

The way he is holding the baton makes you wonder—is it a weapon? Is he about to wield this quarterstaff? Similar to Death “wielding” the scythe.

In Death, the skeleton’s head and arm are like a primal scepter. His skull as the ball at the top.

But it seems the Knave of Batons is lacking the Coin/Skull/Ball at the top of his scepter. He lacks that which bestows “scepterhood.”

Did the Knave of Coins take it, and that is why he has two? Should that be over the Knave of Batons’ staff?

It all moves in a massive circle…the school of learning how to learn is composed of learning how to build the scepter, i.e., combine coin and baton. We are full circle, back to the message of the Magician. Both the Knave of Batons and Coins have the plant between the legs like the Magician does.

The ground in the Knave of Batons is golden, like the Magician. And both of their hats are obscured, cut off by the upper frame of the image. This interesting three-layered hat. And so both the very top and the very bottom of the image are reminiscent of the Magician: the cut-off hat and the plant between the feet.

The Fool also has his hat cut off:

The Knaves are always these composites of Major Arcana. This started in the Knave of Coins.

There is some similarity between the hat of the Knave of Batons and the hat of the Knight of Coins. The Knight of Coins’ hat looks so weird if we consider it to be metal, like a metal bonnet. It doesn’t look manly/knightly at all. But if it is cloth, that’s different, then it makes sense, looks appropriate.

The canopy of the Queen of Cups also extends above the frame:

The Fool and Death have a very similar gesture.

It looks like the Knave of Batons is wearing an apron. A religious apron, to protect against the holy object, the Ark of the Covenant.

Open in the back, like a hospital gown. Part of the priestly function, covering the front. But it doesn’t necessarily call to mind the Pope.

Still can’t get over the impression that he’s backwards.

But if he’s looking backwards, and this is the front of his clothes that we see, his arm is reaching very far behind him. If it wasn’t for that, yes, it would just look like he was looking over his shoulder.

The collar is like a frontice piece, similar to that of the Magician, Emperor, Queen of Coins.

We never really see the back of any of the figures—except maybe in the Lover?

We definitely see them in the Pope—the acolytes.

Maybe the Knave of Batons is more of an acolyte, and not the Pope himself?

Is one of his hands growing out of the other? Like we began to see in the Fool, his hand growing out of his shoulder?

If he is facing us, looking over his shoulder, his legs are still backwards.

Is it only his torso that is facing us? The rest is backwards? Or is it just that the clothes are on backwards? Or is it armor under his robes? The neck piece is like decorative armor.

Clubs are weapons, but what he’s holding upright doesn’t look like one. Just a hunk of wood. But something in his gesture is like he is wielding a weapon.

There are lots of triangular shapes all over this image. A series of them.

In a way, it is like we are back to the Ace, only upside down. The same green piece of wood, very different from any of the other batons.

But the abundance of triangles make it full of the X’s from the Two through Ten of Batons. We never really thought of the X’s as sets of four triangles before.

So the Knave of Batons has integrated the Ace with the Two through Ten, which otherwise had no clear connection.

The arm growing out of the arm…recalls the Nine or Ten of Batons. A spinning motion. Like the arms spin, rotate, spinning the baton as well. Like a propeller.

It’s akin to the Ten. The Nine was more or less a vertical line, an axis, around which the whole thing rotated. But in the Ten, the leaves rotate in a propeller-like fashion akin to the way the arms would here, moving the “train” of the X along the “track” of the parallel white batons.

So the Knave is a direct outgrowth of the Ten, yet also a reaching back to the forgotten and mysterious Ace.

A link back to the Magician. The sleight of hand through which he unites the ball and baton. Here, bringing motion into the Knave’s arms is a critical piece of that transformation.

His arms create a triangle at the top of the baton, rather than a sphere. It’s like a pendant, a flag.

But if his arms are rapidly spinning, the rotation turns the baton into a circle, a “ball.” A scepter that is united to circle through motion.

Is this the first time the Knave feels directly linked to the Numbered? He is a summary of the Two through Ten, and a return to the Ace.

The Ace is the green baton in the hand of God, the shield, the mission. It works from Two through Ten, and finds attainment in the Knave, total manifestation.

And it is upside-down. Note that the hands align:

It’s weird to see it from this angle, the shading seems wrong.

Remember in the Ace, we perceived the portal through which the hand comes as a saw blade. Again, a rotating circle. We didn’t imagine the hand spinning with the blade, only the blade cutting the wood. We were stuck in Sword-mode. The hand spinning in the Ace, casting flames everywhere as it spins.

We have the urge to unite the two green batons where they are split, at the small ends of each.

The Hand of God operating through the Knave is the “extra hand” growing out of his hand.

He is all potential. He is not able to fully realize the movement. Actions that he can only perform with the aid of the Hand of God—but he has accomplished the basis for these actions to come about.

When the two are joined, the “sawblade” becomes the missing coin/ball at the top of his scepter.

We never thought of the Coin moving. Instead, we always perceived those images as different orientations of a single object (Ace as the object from above, the Two as the same object from the side, Three as a massive zoom out, etc). There is life within the Coin, sprouting, rooting, radiating.

But there is movement and life in the Baton, even though it is cut.

The coin and baton need to be united somehow.

The curve of the blue vines would align with the triangular shape of his two hands/arms.

There is an implied oval in some of the Numbered Batons (e.g., Two, Four). But mostly angular.

Whereas the Ace of Coins has these truly round vines, in a truer vesica piscis curve.

We play with combining the Knave of Batons, the Ace of Batons, and the Ace of Coins in different ways.

He ends up beheaded…

If the Ace of Coins could shrink, it would fit so nicely on the baton of the Knave.

The Knave of Batons is conspicuous compared to the other Court Arcana. There isn’t a gaping empty space in any of the others. It really stands out.

In the Knave of Coins, for example, what’s conspicuous is that there is something extra. If there was no coin in the ground, you wouldn’t think twice, you wouldn’t say, “hey, why isn’t there a coin in the ground?” Whereas here, he is staring at a relatively large blank space.

He is looking at something that has no physical representation. Looking at the void, the Tsim-tsum.

“The thing” in Jeremy’s sense.

The Knave’s sleeve is a garment in its own right. Blue head. Yellow collar.

Or it is a door, a curtain. A passageway.

Is there any other figure with bare legs? Only the Lover.

There is a set of six other Arcana in particular called up by the Knave of Batons: Magician, Emperor, Fool, Lover, Queen of Coins, Death.

The Ace of Batons and the Knave of Batons could be seen as the two trees in the Hanged Man. This would indicate that the Two through the Ten of Batons have something to do with the Hanged Man himself, what is in between the trees.

Like the 4th Apocalyptic Seal. The Knave is the pillar of Jachin, the red pillar, Mars, incarnation, coming to solidity. The Knave is full incarnation, the turning point of time. Mystery of Golgotha. Earth. The Ace is the pillar of Boaz, the blue pillar, Mercury, excarnation, becoming fluid again.

So then it is a little weird to have gone from Ace to Knave, like going backwards in time. From excarnation to incarnation.

The crossings in the Hanged Man—like the crossings that are all through the Two through Ten of Batons.

Inasmuch as the Hanged man is powerless, there is an unfolding in the Two through Ten, of the invisible, inner activity of the will while it is outwardly restrained.

Two through Ten is a series of nine—and he has nine buttons!

The nine subearthly spheres. Being lowered.

The new work by Judith von Halle. The subearthly spheres as bearing the potential “fuel” for future evolution, but if that fuel is unleashed now, or too soon, at the wrong time, it becomes evil, damaging. The Hanged Man as image of this.

Perhaps both are happening in relation to each other, a both-and not an either-or.

The Knave of Batons has a hat with distinct layers. Looks like a chef’s hat. Layers of a cake.

Akin to the tiara of the High Priestess. Tomberg focuses quite a bit on this in the 2nd Letter-Meditation. What could these layers indicate here? Perhaps these three layers are three activities that precede the Baton, as opposed to the book in the case of the High Priestess.

The layers are white, yellow, red. Interesting that there is no blue. Usually there is blue or green along with the red/yellow/white.

Noticing the notches on the baton. One yellow, one white, and one large one that faces away from us, it is obscured. What is the significance of that? Is the obscured one sprouting?

And what about the dots on the trim of his clothing? Have we seen that before? It seems significant.

Is it two separate outfits sewn together? Half man, half woman?

It really does look like a sweatshirt hoody over his one arm, with a blue “head.” With a face that has an arm growing out of it…we are back to the elephant trunk imagery as in the Nine and Ten.

The dots are so familiar, but as we look through, we have not seen that before. There’s something of them that is reminiscent of the knee-bugs of the King of Swords:

Not the same shape at all—these are dots in a square, not small circles as in the King of Swords. But they are nonetheless eye-like. Are they linked to the pearl form? No, they are not like that.

Seeing his arms as creating a flag or pendant at the top of the baton—the only other place we have seen a flag is in the Judgement—but there it was rectangular: