Knight of Cups (II)

Notes a Hermetic Conversation on May 1, 2022, with Joel, Phillip, Richard, Gail, and for the first part also Jim and Nette. Another gorgeous day preceded the conversation, which would become a keynote of the Knight of Cups. The first conversation with Richard and Gail in many years (since 2017? 2016?).

The blue fabric that curls at the bottom…like a kind of curtain.

He seems to make the Virgo gesture, with the left hand on the hip.

Is he worried? Yet the horse has a happy face.

Prior to the conversation, we had enacted the 8th part of the Grail Knight’s Practice, which focuses on the second healing miracle/level of communion, in relation to the Venus chakra—therefore we had done the Venus gesture in eurythmy. Perhaps there is something of the Venus gesture in the Knight of Cups? Offering the Cup? And is he offering it directly in front of him? It’s possible he is holding it to the side.

The horse is holding on leg up, and there is a kind of patch on the kneecap—is this pointing to the cup?

What is that strange shape around his (her?) belly? It looks like a pouch. Or like a pot, with a red plant sprouting out of it. It has some similarity to the visor of a knight’s helm. A portion of it has the same coloring and stripes/shading as the substance within the chalice. Maybe the yellow arm is like a little cup? This region reflects the colors and shape of the cup to some degree.

The horse’s mane and hooves are blue. Is this unusual? This gradually develops over the course of the Knights:

Notice that the horse in the Knight of Cups has tan hair, whereas in the Knight of Swords it is partially tan and partially blue. Only in the Knight of Cups does it become completely blue. The stirrup is different in each one—tan, blue, white.

This is the first Knight (indeed, the first Royal altogether) without any kind of head covering. And rather than the face on the shoulder as in the Knight of Swords, there is the cape.

In both the Knight of Coins and Knight of Cups, the red shoe matches the rider’s garment, whereas in the Knight of Swords, it matches the adornment of the horse instead.

The horse in the Knight of Swords is much more decorated and animated than that in the Knight of Cups. It is rearing up, charging.

The curved stripes around the “pot” at the belly…gives the impression of an open chest, a cavity above it. This brings it into relation with the Knave of Cups, in which we perceived a kind of rectangular shelf (like the shelf that holds the Tabernacle in a Church). Perhaps the theme of the cup having been removed from the chest, or being housed within the chest of the figure is carrying on in the Knight.

If we turn the Knight sideways…

…we notice something like a window with curtains, or like the opening to a tent. Or maybe the curtains on a stage? When we look at the image it its normal orientation, on the other hand, it seems like a kind of slit. Like a white dagger or spear tip is piercing the Knight and his horse, goading them on. Then we can notice how similar this is to a certain aspect of the Ace of Cups. At one point we perceived it as a grand stage, with a curtain in the back. This curtain seemed to be held open by a yellow dagger above. This makes the same shape, the same impression as the “opened curtain”/white dagger between the rear of the horse and the back of the Knight:

Notice the strides of the three horses:

There is a kind of fancy trot in the Knight of Cups, a rearing up in the Swords, and in the Coins, it is just barely lifting its front hoof. The Cup is very graceful. In the Coin, the hoof is curving inward a bit. This is the position a horse holds when it is resting one hoof, taking the weight off of it for a little while.

Notice the position of the central object—Coin, Sword, and Cup—in relation to the horse’s head. In all three, it is just above it, in the crown area.

The Knight of Cups is the only one holding the reigns—but is he? Such a delicate touch. Maybe the reigns are free still.

He is the first Knight with two hands…but only just! As we noted last time, he is not really holding the cup. Rather, he is approaching a floating cup and hand with a severed arm, which he lifts in order to reunite it with the hand—perhaps a hand he lost in combat? The Knight of Coins has a severed/hidden left hand, while the Knight of Swords has a severed/hidden right hand…now the Knight of Cups receives his right hand, he is healed.

Or perhaps, he removed something from within himself, like the Knave, and his hand is going along with it. Maybe he is in the process of losing/sacrificing his hand.

But really, though, the Knave carries much more this gesture of release and death, whereas the Knight feels more like healing, putting something back in its place.

The bulge at the waist could be a pregnant belly—a theme from throughout this Suit, especially in the Five of Cups, but also in the Ace. This red bulge is so reminiscent of the big red orb in the middle of the Ace of Cups:

The Knights of Coins and Cups gaze at the object in question, whereas the Knight of Swords…? Hard to tell, he gazes straight ahead it seems. The grass is partially green in the Knave of Cups, but golden in the Knight of Cups—in fact, golden in all of the Knights:

Is the Knight of Cups going somewhere, or not? It’s more as though he has arrived at the Cup—this magical, floating cup, miraculously levitating—or is it just a mirage? He is following the Cup, maybe it leads him along…his eyes are on it, not on any particular destination past that.

None of the Knights move out of their own will. They are guided and/or dragged along. The Knight of Coins is like the Magi following the Star; the Knight of Swords is going through an intense transformation into a multiplicity of beings, he is a stable head floating on a raging sea of evolutionary progression. In the Cup, there is an attempt to make contact with the Cup, to become one with it, whereas in the Coin he is impressed, he admires the Coin, but not trying to become one with it. There may even be an element of recoil in the Coin.

In the Cup, there is smooth movement below, while above he is actively making contact. There is a harmonious, balanced movement here. It is not a horse at rest (as in the Coin) nor is the horse active, rearing and charging (as in the Sword).

This “window” at the back of the Knight of Cups…this is reminiscent of the Swords. It could even be a one half of an angular, diamond-version of the vesica piscis from the Swords. A goading or splitting. The Swords motivating from behind, the Cup from the front.

In the Knight of Coins, he is transformed by witnessing it. Letting the light spill over him, organising the chaos.

In the Knight of Swords, he is dispersed into a multiplicity of beings.

In the Knight of Cups, he is transformed through contact, through reunion.

The stillness arising in the Cup.

The rearing/charging in the Sword.

The gentle movement of the Cup.

This is akin to the three gunas referred to in the Letter-Meditation on the World (pp. 651-52), the three colors of the garland: red/active, blue/passive, and yellow/balanced.

This squarish pouch or paunch—it’s shaped a bit like a stamp, with a handle. Reminds one of the Ten of Cups, the upper cup looks like a stamp, or something that impresses a wax seal:

The cup could maybe fit on top of it, or maybe be turned upside down, so that the rim of the cup meets the “pouch.”

The Cup as reverse of the Sword—the Sword is all splitting and amplifying. The Cup is really reflecting back to him an aspect of his own being. A wholeness is being created rather than a new growth.

The golden cape flowing from the shoulder, then there is something blue extending out. Then the red sacral, generative region—something is growing, this “stamp” or “pouch.”

The cape is a bit like the cap of the Knave—resting on his body rather than his head, and larger? Maybe it is billowing or built up some how? Layers?

Actually, there is a tiny version on the back of the Knave:

The Knight of Cups is the first to be truly hatless—the Knave has only just taken off her hat, and she still has the flower crown. He is the most naked, the most exposed. And he has no armour? Perhaps that is a breast plate. The Knight of Swords seems fully armed. The Knight of Coins is not armoured either, but at least he has some sort of weapon.

Actually, the only armour that the Knight of Cups has might be around his waist, this helmet-like bulge. Adam realising he’s naked and covering himself. Tasting, reaching for the forbidden fruit.

This is a Knight, but performing a priestly service.

There seems to be some kind of conversation between the Cup and the Coin in their respective Knights:

He seems penitent in his approach to touch the proper version of that which he conceals in his own being. Penitential gesture/face. Slightly downcast gaze. Whereas in the Knight of Coins, he stares straight ahead. The Knave of Cups could be penitent as well. Sorrowful—something is broken.

“I took off the lid…and it is empty…”

“I finally found it!…but only just too late…it contains nothing.”

He is either bearing it back, or just coming upon it. It’s progressing into fourness (as we noticed last time, indicated by the cup’s geometry)…it is piquing his interest, yet he feels it as a failure.

Growth is more pronounced in the dying Knave (presence of green grass vs Knight). In fact, all the Knaves have green grass, and the Knights do not.

The gold on his back…maybe they are wings, still folded together? Maybe if they unfurled, they would be akin to the throne in Justice? This throne creates a half of a vesica piscis in the white negative space above it, like the “tent opening” shape. There is both the sword and the cups (scales) in Justice.

We can even see a kind of throne on the rear part of the saddle of the Knight, just under this “tent opening.”

It’s almost like he (or she?) is the flip-side to Justice. The Knight comes bearing Justice behind, on his back and the horse’s rear.

Justice holds the Cups, the Scales—she is passing out Justice…the Knight is finally attaining the precious object…but a little too late. A victory, but one with irrevocable losses.

Both the Knight of Coins and the Knight of Cups express less motion than the Knight of Swords. They are more relaxed, both in stance as well as in garment. In the Sword Knight, both the Knight and the horse have many layers and coverings. A whole different gesture. In the Coin and the Cup there is connection, stillness. In the Sword, there is motion, he is restless, needs protection (armour).

Justice bears the three Rosicrucian gestures: EDN in her robes, ICM in the hand touching her heart, the throne/crown PSSR.

Comparing the three Knights:

The Knight of Coins is partially ordered, partially chaotic. The Coin is radiating harmony into his disorganised being. As the baton falls, he becomes ordered. All above and to the right is ordered; all below and to the left is chaotic.

The Knight of Swords is totally chaotic, all is in disarray.

Now with the Knight of Cups, all is in order. The raised knee, the raised Cup.

In the Knave, there is a square base to the cup and a square tunic. A flame/tongue-like dagger is in the robes. In the Knight, the tunic equally matches the gesture of the cup. The sword is coming through in the white point stabbing from behind.

What about the Coin? We can find Sword and Cup here, where is Coin? Is the cap of the Knave a coin? Or the backpack of the Knight—a kind of layered build-up of coins?

The head of the Knight is much smaller than the Knave’s—or maybe the Knave’s is too large…she’s crumbling under the weight of her head. Maybe the Knight’s is too small? Whereas the opening of the Knave’s cup is too small, and the Knight’s seems too large.

The tongue-scarf in the Knave…like she is being eviscerated…it plays the role of the canopy over the tabernacle, the Host. The barrier of the wind of the spirit that allows atmosphere to build up, radiating from within the tabernacle from the Host…like a warm breeze wafting upwards and lifting up the scarf.

This is the big reveal, the lifting of the curtain that was implied all the way back in the Ace of Cups…like the Knight of Swords, the Knave is in the midst of activity, we are seeing something in action. The Knave is really holding onto something that has weight, pulling him down—whereas the Knight is not. The Knave is the act of unveiling, the Knight is that which is revealed.