Nine of Batons (I)

Notes of a Hermetic conversation between Phillip and Joel on March 13, 2023

Is the central baton actually straight? Looks a little crooked/misaligned? Or maybe it isn’t only one baton, maybe it’s two separate smaller ones?

One side is definitely not entered (in the above image, the top). The other side (the bottom) is a thicker, longer baton, and therefore it isn’t as noticeable. We need a compass and a ruler or something to measure this as precisely as we’d need to!

If we fold along the horizontal middle, it’s an exact mirroring other than the blue weave.

But even the diagonal batons…when you look closely, it seems some are thinner, some are thicker? It’s only so symmetric on first glance, and then you look closely at the details and things are off.

The “in-betweens” are thicker, but more noticeably on the upper left to bottom right. It is less noticeable in the bottom left to upper right.

The diagonal batons differ, but are consistent along the paths outlined above—so the upper left to bottom right diagonal is consistent, but differs from the bottom left to upper right.

It’s like a loom. Something being woven, a product. And the diagonal reed pieces are attached to the central rods, creating tension. A pulling structure, allowing it to be like a loom. Adjustable. Weaving the blue in the middle.

Maybe it’s two Y shaped parts that are being manipulated, folded across each other.

Are the “sides” floppy, not all the way through the blue? Slide the Ys down, the red parts could join, meet each other. Part of a loom converting yellow into blue. A complex mechanism for adding rows.

If that continued, you would eventually end up with something shaped like this:

That kind of an instrument would make sense of a question Joel has had for a while—why does the center stay single while the diagonals multiply? If it’s the main part of a mechanism, then it shouldn’t.

Can’t find a connection between the two “handles”, it isn’t as though a single rod is woven amongst the blue. Perhaps it passes completely behind the blue weave, that’s possible.

The central baton as the primary Authority amongst other lesser authorities. The Emperor, the true Authority stays alone, doesn’t get woven into the “shield” or emblem of liberty, of freedom.

The Emperor—the Authority who makes freedom possible becomes veiled behind that very weave of freedom.

The paradox of the rigidity of batons going through a weaving process.

But in this sense, the only totally rigid baton is the central one—if it is even a single, united baton. At times it disappears completely, becomes two flowers. And even when it reunites, becomes a unity, we’re not totally sure that it is a unity. It shares in this ambiguity of “is it flexible/weave-able? Or stiff, rigid?”

It could even be a more complex contraption behind the weave that we aren’t even able to see.

Seeing it with these two separate Y’s, now it looks like two separate objects, not one united object.

It expresses a totally joyful enthusiasm. “I seek for myself in the spirit” from “I Think Speech.”:

If you gaze at the blue for too long…is it moving? Is it drawing me in? Is it flexible? But then the rest of the image is so powerful, a radiant star. A real diving into the center, and an expanding/explosion in the periphery.

The counter image to this is being stretched on the rack, drawn and quartered. Tortured. St. Andrew’s Cross—he was crucified in that position.

Judas’s suicide. Hanging himself, and being eviscerated. Spilling out of guts. The blue portion.

Forcing open a doorway. An opening to depth.

It feels more concrete. Different competing aspects, yet related to each other somehow. The image was still in becoming in prior Arcana. Now it could be a machine—the rack, a loom, a gateway.

There is almost the presence of a being, like we saw in the Coins and Cups. The white diamonds created by the negative space on the sides would be eyes. A face–no, many faces, like a Hindu God with many faces.

Cosmic, like a star—radiation. High pitched. Squeaking. The opening of heavy iron doors.

Those two white arrow eyes…a yellow trunk? Then a crazy mane or head dress. Or maybe ears? Kind of an elephant feeling here. Or a cow’s head, with those wide eyes on the sides.

A unicorn cow with a trunk?

Or a fly sipping nectar. Unicorn-bee-cow.

It’s like the total opposite creature compared to the re-enlivened head in That Hideous Strength. A cow head with wings, one horn, one proboscis. A holy living creature counterpart to this machine head.

A messenger from another plane—the scroll carried by the messenger is a being from a higher dimensional reality.

To have examined perception to the degree that one’s concept of perception shapes the will-act of perception in order to purify it—each subsequent perception has this deepening into relation with the concept. There is no finality. A living back-and-forth.

Is it a two-faced being? What is facing us becomes dorsal when switched around. This dialogue of perception-concept, which is one thing in reality, but in the human being it is experienced as two separate acts: of perception on one side and concept on the other, which we must reunite deliberately.

An elephant—with ears (upper diagonals), trunk (lower vertical), tusks (lower diagonals), and arrayed for war, an ornamental war attachment on the front (upper vertical), like the oliphaunts in Lord of the Rings.

And we’re back to that squealing sound we can feel emanating from it.

A cow makes this sound as well, when separated from the calf during weaning.

Now it is very hard not to see a being here.

But going back…it’s just an African tribal rug, made to represent a higher being. Very primal, pagan, Native American or African.

The feeling that it’s been leading to this place ever since the Ace. The most complex and completed of the earlier pattern which was leading here. The most archetypal. No plants at all. A totally full diamond. A six-pointed cross.

A sweat lodge…you’ve been in there for three days, starting to enter into this atavistic consciousness…suddenly someone appears, wearing a face mask like this being. A moment of terror. How long has it been there?? The whole time?? And this stranger won’t speak to you…

An out of body experience, experiencing the spiritual world, and then it imprints on the chakras when you return. The moment of imprint is important. Is it done correctly, accurately, safely?

Strong symmetry—front/back, higher/lower. So well matched, representing each other.

These hard reed-poles are interwoven when they shouldn’t be able to do that.

Something shocking is happening.

Looking at Five, Six, Seven in comparison to Nine:

It’s the lack of plant that makes it shocking, gives the feeling of terror.

The plant reassures that there is earth, life. Not just cold cosmic space—that shrieking again.

It complements the weave. Makes it organic, like the plant is.

Changes the whole shape, rounds it out.

We forgot the Eight somehow…

The Eight is transitional. There the batons predominate over the plants. We are at high altitude, stunted plants. In Nine, outer space, atmosphere.

The two faces that we saw in the Eight, these ahrimanic forms. They have joined together in the Nine and become greater. Like the flowers flew “up” (away), turned, joined, and landed.

The faces are contrasting in the Six, lost in the Seven, identical in the Eight, and joined in the Nine.

This face in the center of the Nine is in stark contrast to the kindly fellow, the “Green Man” in the center of the Two!

A real nature spirit in the Two. A lion. A cloud-being. The lenticular clouds over Mt. Shasta, shaped like UFO’s, the “Mother Ship.”

A move from the totally chthonic/earthly in the Two to the utterly cosmic/detached in the nine. Aldebaran. Taurus. The elephant. Solidity. Not wispy at all. The consonants of the Zodiac.

The oval shape in the Two opens by the Four. It’s reminiscent in the Six, but angular, opening the sides and top.

Now just a breathing material object with no plant/oval medium. Like an egg or a cocoon cracking open. Revealing—a butterfly? Or an absence of anything? An invisible being stirring.

The elephant butterfly.

When Phillip’s mom was dying (of cancer)—he was absolutely certain that her being was physically present but invisibly so. Cracking open by something you can’t see, like the light.

The painting therapist in Camphill Village says that cancer is a preponderance of light, of the cold nervous pole.

Ace as a caterpillar. Goes into its cocoon, becomes a butterfly by Nine. The Ace and Nine are both images related to the Lover:

They are paired—the larva and the imago.

In the Six, the cocoon is open. In the Seven, it is splitting into two. In the Eight…two fly out? There is something of mitosis happening here as well. The cocoon splitting like a cell.

The pulsing of One/Two throughout the Batons. A central baton that is a unity in the odds, and split flowers that are a duality in the evens:

Notice that it is clearest that the central baton is a unity in the Ace, and it gradually becomes less and less clear. Still pretty clear in the Three, less so in the Five, etc.

The Nine could be two (yellow and red) beings attached in the blue middle, flying in opposite directions…not one central baton and eight diagonals.

That baton “Y” shaped from before…that shape is very much akin to the handle and stumps of the Ace baton. Fairly Y shaped.

Did the flame of the Ace become the weave? Was the handle duplicated and flipped?

Why in the 4th Suit is there a pulsing of One and Two? Will we get to Three? Four?

Was there something similar in the 3rd Suit? Something between One and Two?

The Coins were a clear progression of One, Two, Three, etc. But maybe by the time you get to Five, you’re reorienting pattern already seen…Five is 3+2, or 1+4 or something. A recombination after that?

Well, there was always Four in the Coins, from the Four on. Even though each Arcanum was clearly expressing its given number, there were always four coins in the center or in the corners.

But here, it’s One-Two-One.

So is it more: Coins – Five-Four; Swords – Four-Three; Cups – Three-Two; Batons – Two-One?

It all started with that fateful Four of Coins. Working its way back to One?

So excited to go back through the Majors.

The Cups were the purest expression of each number as a unique number. No overarching/repeating pattern. Each one was unique, but always clearly the number in question.

Whereas the Swords were always ONE. And never doing anything else. One sword, one flower, one sword, one flower. The scimitars were simply an increasingly thick frame, always with one special object in the center—until the Ten of Swords (which was finally Two).

Here in the Batons, the X is the consistent frame. If we split the image in half, then we have something like this: /\, /|\, /\, /|\—a Two/Three pulsing.

Or is it then Four-Six, Four-Six?

And yet also Three (an X which is two objects with a single baton through it, making Three) and Four (an X which is two objects with two separate vertical objects, one above and one below).

Always pulsing—but a multivalent pulsing.

So…where does that leave us?

The Coins give us 1) all numbers and 2) a steady Four

The Swords give us 1) pulsing of 2) a steady One (which is wrong, inharmonious)

The Cups give us all number—plain and simply.

The Batons give us 1) all number and 2) pulsing.

So we begin with the Coins as All Number, and Swords as Pulsing, but both are hampered by a “steady”—a Four in Coins, and a One in Swords. The Cups do away with the “steady” but lose the pulse. The Batons bring a kind of fulfilment—they bring back the pulse, and retain all number, but not in any real linear sense…a multivalent sense, where a variety of numbers are present simultaneously in each one of them.