Nine of Cups (III)

Notes of a Hermetic Conversation between Phillip and Joel on October 16, 2021

We began with the protective practice.

We then invited the presence of the Holy Spirit through praying the Litany of St. Joseph, with which we have been working since September 30:

Litany of Saint Joseph

Lord, have mercy.Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father in heaven,have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit,have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God,have mercy on us.
Holy Mary,pray for us.
Saint Joseph,pray for us.
Illustrious son of David,pray for us.
Light of Patriarchs,pray for us.
Spouse of the Mother of God,pray for us.
Guardian of the Redeemer,pray for us.
Pure Guardian of the Virgin,pray for us.
Provider for the Son of God,pray for us.
Zealous defender of Christ,pray for us.
Servant of Christ,pray for us.
Minister of salvation,pray for us.
Head of the Holy Family,pray for us.
Joseph, most just,pray for us.
Joseph, most chaste,pray for us.
Joseph, most prudent,pray for us.
Joseph, most brave,pray for us.
Joseph, most obedient,pray for us.
Joseph, most loyal,pray for us.
Mirror of patience,pray for us.
Lover of poverty,pray for us.
Model for workers,pray for us.
Glory of family life,pray for us.
Guardian of virgins,pray for us.
Cornerstone of families,pray for us.
Support in difficulties,pray for us.
Comfort of the sorrowing,pray for us.
Hope of the sick,pray for us.
Patron of exiles,pray for us.
Patron of the afflicted,pray for us.
Patron of the poor,pray for us.
Patron of the dying,pray for us.
Terror of demons,pray for us.
Protector of the Holy Church,pray for us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,have mercy on us.
He made him master of his house,and ruler of all his possessions.

Let us pray.

O God, who in your inexpressible providence
were pleased to choose Saint Joseph
as spouse of your most holy Mother,
grant, we pray,
that we, who revere him as our protector on earth,
may be worthy of his heavenly intercession.
Who live and reign for ever and ever.

R. Amen.

After focusing the mantra SHE FEELS on the region of the heart, we then moved the second part of the Inner Radiance Sequence (“In purest love for all that lives radiates the Godhood of my soul”), and the 11th part of the Grail Knight’s Practice, in relation to the 11th Letter of the Divine Alphabet (Kaph—Force).

We then read from Revelation 17:21, 18:1-2

There are more stripes, more shading on the upper plant. Even on the undersides of the leaves. The middle set of vertical leaves are transitional vs those above and below. It’s unusual for something above to have the shadow cast on it. Usually the bottom is “under the shade” of the upper.

The upper plant is six-fold, and seems to be connected to the upper six cups. Six acting as one above. Whereas the bottom plant is connected to three cups, yet has four leaves. Is this lower plant sequestering the three to prepare for a fourth cup—for the tenth? Perhaps this strong horizontal gesture of the lower plant alludes to the horizontal tenth cup in the Ten:

Going back to the shading in the Nine—if we add the element of depth rather than just “upper” and “lower”, this makes the foreground (lower) in light and the background (upper) in darkness, which makes more sense of the shading.

It’s like two beings facing off against each other, these two plants in the Nine. An antagonism, a confrontation?

It’s more like birds of paradise. Two males competing for a female, or the male bird dancing for the female bird, trying to impress her. Or two bucks facing off against each other. The Eight of Cups also had this peacock or tom-turkey sort of display going on:

On the other hand, this could be two purely spiritual beings facing off—a violent interaction. In nature, it’s usually just a display of force or plumage to figure out who is the Alpha male, simply to find roles. This vs. the kind of mood that reminds you of the movie Alien—”now I will completely destroy you or be destroyed.” A final showdown.

Interesting to see the Nine as an upper Six vs a lower Three. Lover vs Empress?

The Eight of Cups isn’t at all confrontational. Which is unique; looking back, it was always the even numbered Cups that had this confrontation element, most strongly with the Two. But even the Four and Six have this military vibe:

Weird that in the Seven, there is a single cup in the center, then in the Eight there are two in the center. Now, in the Nine, with this division into six above and three below, it’s like what was meant to be the central three has been displaced to the bottom.

A gesture of “I’m taking something from you” or “I’m protecting something from being taken away.”

Breaking the pattern of the Suit, of the gesture of the odds vs evens. It comes back again to the Seven, Eight, Nine being there own One, Two, Three—emphasising that we are in the 3rd Suit, but also breaking the previous binary pattern of odd vs even.

Ten would be the 4th in that line-up, prefiguring the 4th Suit somehow. Therefore the Ten is in some way empty of content, since we aren’t quite there yet.

We’ve still been stuck in the binary gesture of the Swords all the way through the Six. We finally attain a trinity for the first time in the Seven, Eight, Nine. Up until then, we had been in the realm of the Three, but only understanding it as One plus Two, a binary combination of unity and binary.

Even up to the Nine, this persists. It’s finally all threes, three groups of three! Except…it’s actually two groups, one dominating group of two threes (the upper six) and a lower dominated single group of three. It expresses this fact that the Cups are a fulfilment of the Coins (One) and the Swords (Two), but are still incomplete in their own right. There is then so much pressure to fully complete—to get to the Four.

This gesture of six vs three is intrinsic to the first nine Cup Arcana—Ace through Six stand together as one group, then Seven, Eight and Nine as their own. The Nine summarises this. A true trinity (the Three) is vying for its space against this pressure of the duality (the Six) that is above or beyond it. Hence the conflict, the struggle of these two beasts. Then there is this inversion, this flipe, due to the heightening of conflict and pressure—the 10th Cup, the singular, the One, manifests above in the Ten. Only then can the true ninefoldness—the 3×3—come into being—i.e., in the presence of the Tenth, which is also the Four:

It takes us back to Weinreb’s systematism, where the Three always contains a fourth within it. The three needs the fourth to contain it. The Three is always a twin (2!) that has both Three and Four in it. E.g. Jacob is the third, and he is the twin of Esau. Or the third day of Creation, in which two words of God are said (Both dry land as well as vegetation are made on this day).

Notice that a fully formed Tetractys is a representation of 1+2+3+4 = 10. It is four stages which are also ten simultaneously. 4 = 10.

But notice, if we remove the top of the tetractys, if we only have the bottom three stages, we have a 3 = 9 situation. But it does not form a triangle, it forms a quadrilateral. So three stages leads to four sides, whereas four stages leads to three sides!

Usually, when one is working with the idea of the tetractys, it moves as something from above to below—that one begins with the “One” at the pinnacle, and then it develops downward from there. Here it feels more like something that one is constructing from below to above—”I only need one more, the capstone, to make it perfect.” Like the all-seeing eye on the dollar bill:

The capstone is transcendent.

Is there a coin in the top of the Ten of Cups?

Yes, but the shape of it is somewhat different than the standard coin shape. It’s more like a baby with a star in it. Not a flower with a dot. It’s less plant-like than before. And it’s red, not yellow. Is this the “other side of the coin”? As well as a transformation of the pommel of the sword?

It’s like we’ve moved through seed (Coin) to stem (Sword) to flower (Cup) and now…back to seed again? It actually looks a bit like a cross-section of a fruit. So it would be a movement from seed to fruit:

Coin = seed and root

Sword = leaf and stem

Cup = flower and fruit

Looking again at the Seven through the Ten:

It’s like the Seven emphasises leaf + stem, the Eight emphasises the flower, the Nine is like the bud…the kind of forms you see in marijuana or hops. Or a spiny fruit before it is plucked, like a pineapple. A nut still in its shell. Then the Ten is like the harvested fruit, getting sliced up.

Maybe in the Nine, the bottom “bud” fell off of the upper “flower.” That would indicate that the Six, as a matter of course, produced the Three as fruit. “Lest the fruit fall to the ground and die…” So there is a battle, and the fruit/Three lost…but only to proliferate.

It’s like the Angel in the Lover falls down and becomes the Empress…with her stone wings:

There is quite a bit of thorniness, that same bud/pineapple gesture, in both the Lover and the Empress.

Switching gears a bit, and looking at the Nine of Cups as the 59th Arcanum, the seventh of the sequences of “Fives” (5, 14, 23, 32, 41, 50, 59):

What is the gesture here? Notice the explosion in the center, the Ten of Coins, as the transitional moment. Then the stark representatives on either side: Ace of Coins and Five of Swords.

Looking back through the Court Swords, we see that the King of Swords is the only one bearing a flesh-coloured sword:

So in this sequence of “Fives”, he takes up this flesh-coloured sword produces out of the Ten of Coins’ explosion.

Notice the flesh-coloured wings in Temperance. Drawing her together with the King of Swords, as a mirror image…we’ve never noticed before that he too seems to have some kind of “flesh wings.” We’d always thought of those as part of the throne, or a scroll unrolling from the baton…but it could also be a flesh coloured cape of sorts.

He has these two pillars of water running through the middle of him, while Temperance mediates the flow of water between the two pitchers…he’s a reconfiguring of Temperance. There gazes are mirror images of each other.

The star-like cross on the central flower of the Ten of Coins…this is similar to the star in the center of the red “coin” in the Ten of Cups:

Going back to the mirroring above…if the Ten of Coins holds the center, and the Ace of Coins is mirrored in the Five of Swords, and Temperance is mirrored in the King of Swords…then we ought to be asking ourselves what the relationship is between the Pope and the Nine of Cups?

Perhaps the upper plant is the Pope? And the lower plant is the Acolytes? The Six sending the Three off to produce the One. Transmitting the capability of “One-production” to the Three.

Notice that the group of Six above has the central cup, and they seem to be offering it over to the Three. Yet when the give it, they don’t lose it. Therefore, Nine becomes Ten. The central cup will receive the lower fruit.

The Pope becomes the vessel to receive the fruit generated from the Acolytes. He opens the robe…yet they are the ones who perceive in the realm of the robe that which calls forth substance in that space. The fingers of his right hand point directly to the portion of the image in line with the red of the central cup in the Nine.

The Pope and the Nine of Cups are the same spiritual being…with the Pope this being has put on a kind of garment, to represent itself in the “world of appearances”, whereas the Nine of Cups is this same being unadorned, in its true spiritual form.

Notice the alignment of the upper vertical leaves with the blue pillars. The top cup is the Pope’s head; the central part of the upper plant is the stone on the Pope’s collar (his larynx). The lower blue plant is this night landscape, this river that the Acolytes enter into through his robes. The heads of the Acolytes are like the tops of the cups. The Pope’s tiara has something of the form on the Ten of Cups on it.

We’ve never noticed before that his left arm might not really be there? It seems to be fading. Before we had noted that his right hand is holding a mask, that this is not his true appearance. Then maybe on the other side there is this triple cross with a hand or glove attached to it, but not actually belonging to him? Is his arm actually down below, kind of embracing the Acolyte on our right? Whose arm is that? It makes the image more like Death, with dismembered pieces strewn about. The difference being there are many hands here, and no feet:

There are three heads and four hands in the Pope. And one weird, blue hat. The crowns of the Acolytes rotate in opposite directions.

So…do we know any better from diving into this…what is Five? Is the nature of Five-ness expressed by this sevenfold sequence?

It’s interesting to perceive the Ace of Coins and Five of Swords as part of this sequence of “Fives”, but it’s not immediately apparent how they fit in?

It’s like there is a distillation happening from the Pope through to the Ace, something being condensed down to its essence. Then in the Ten of Coins, it’s like it’s put through a kind of particle accelerator or something. It’s transformed into something totally new, a new essence—the Five of Swords. Then out of this new essence, something begins to unfold and develop. This seems to be the overall “gesture” of the “Fives.”

We then went into a longer conversation, looking at the different sequences of the fundamental numbers so far:

The “Ones”

The “Twos”

The “Threes”

The “Fours”

The “Fives”

We then looked at how these “number streams” can be aligned along the lines of YHVH to create a “Tarot Organism”, where One begets Two, Two begets Three, etc.:

This “Tarot Organism” is almost too vast to even think or speak about, one is left a bit dumbfounded and awestruck, with mouth hanging open. This organism can be turned on itself, so to speak, and make a continuous loop both vertically and horizontally. This continuous loop could never really be properly created in reality—it could be approximated sometime by combining our two decks perhaps. But it can really only come to life in one’s imagination:

In a way, the Tarot then offers the fullness of the cognitive path. These images can be worked with metamorphically, in a Goethean sense, by allowing one image to transform into the next. But they are also completely sense-free, they have nothing to do with any external reality, like the Rose Cross meditation. And then when they are arranged in the above sense, they must be imagined in the sense of objects in projective geometry—that the vertical streams upward into infinity and returns below, and likewise that which streams to the right and the left disappears into infinity and returns on the other side. So three different forms of Rosicrucian meditation—metamorphic, symbolic, and projective—are brought together. Joel wishes that he could work with this Tarot field to the point that it becomes the fundamental image-content of his etheric body. A “coat of many colors”!

They closed with the second stanza of the Foundation Stone Meditation.