Queen of Cups (I)

Hermetic Conversation between Phillip and Joel on June 15, 2022.

This vertical red arrangement…the red bauble in her crown, and the red stripe on her torso split into two parts by the yellow belt. It makes a kind of sceptre which passes through her neck and head. The bottom of this sceptre is a tear drop shape or hook, akin to that which Justice holds, attached to the scales:

Is it pinned to her skirt? Notice how the white of the background extends through in that triangular way, under her arm up to her hand.

The red bulb is like the sun descending into her head.

There is quite a bit of back and forth between the Queen of Cups and Justice. The Queen holds a unique cup: like two bowls have united. This is like the two scales held by Justice, two cups in their own right. And both of them hold swords—but in opposite hands. The red sun descends into her crown vs the sun sigil in the crown of Justice:

The red bulb in her head vs the red bulb in the stem of the cup she holds—is there a connection?

The banding on her crown is echoed in her belt, at her waist.

This central, vertical red line. It’s like a notch where the sword was kept.

Is the red loop at the bottom a handle to hold the sword by? Or is she gripping the blade directly, bleeding?

This idea of the red line being a notch in her body where the sword rested—it connects back to our previous conversation (last of the Knight, yet in a way the first on the Queen), where we saw this cutting activity, that the sword had cut away part of her flesh, which is now dangling at her left side.

The diagonal line of the sword continues down, it reveals her shoes/feet? An openness, or unveiling. Then above and to the left of this same line all is covered.

The flat surface of the flesh-coloured portion. It could have been folded over originally, united with the blue.

The Chariot and the Queen of Cups have the same crown. Even Justice’s is very similar.

The facial features are so different. The Majors are much cruder, whereas the Minors seem to get ever more refined. Compare the face of the Charioteer with the Queen of Cups, for example.

She has very large facial features. Big eyes and nose.

The only Arcana with the layered tiaras are High Priestess and Pope, Empress and Emperor:

The Emperor is the only one with no indication of a flower form at all. Even the Empress has fleur de lis.

The Queen of Coins has quite a unique crown. And the King of Swords has his covered with a hat.

The Charioteer is the only one of the Majors who has the crown form that is consistent throughout the Minors—that is, from the Ace of Swords on:

How does the cut occur? Maybe it goes down, then swings up and into the shoulder and back out again.

Why is there a need for Sword activity at all? This far into the Cups?

The cup she holds is closed. Whereas the sword creates an opening.

The sacrifice of balance.

To close the cup, something else must be opened.

In order to achieve the baton/scepter, one has to close the cup. And in order to close the cup, she must open herself, she must cut her self open with the sword that is within her.

When she cuts herself, removes the sword from herself, she creates this image of the “inner sceptre”, this red formation. This inner sceptre manifests itself as part of the process which caps the cup, turning the cup into the outer sceptre. The two activities are simultaneous, directly related.

And yet she is not unhappy or in pain—she is beautiful, quite satisfied actually.

The imagination that begins to come, which is somewhat gruesome…the sword was within her, with the point upward, piercing her crown and creating the red bulb—the blood on her crown from the point breaking through. She removes the sword by forcing it through her own back, rending her flesh—we see this in the flesh coloured veil/petal that curls out and up. She then spins the sword around, and it cuts through her side, leaving the draping flesh we noticed last time, and the triangular opening in her side. Due to this opening, the cup is capped—and sceptre within matches sceptre without.

Like a compass spinning…certainly in terms of the compass used to draw a circle, but also in some way like a compass needle finding north as well:

This veil behind her…it’s like an iris. And the iris has always mystified Phillip—why is it so overdone, so complex?

Like Cologne Cathedral or Gaudi.

The iris doesn’t seem like other natural forms in some way. And yet at the same time, it is totally consistent—consistent with the elaborate form of the insect that finds its way into the cup of the iris…this spreading, flowing beauty.

And so this petal exploding behind the Queen…she is like the stamen and the cup is like the pistil. The act of capping is like the successful germination or pollination process. Therefore she is happy, despite her pain and self-immolation.

The point of a flower is to pollinate and then die. The pinnacle of its beauty is so short-lived…this beauty is what we human beings most appreciate, but in terms of the plant organism as a whole, it isn’t the most essential.

Like life itself—if we experience the unfolding of our biography as we should, our satisfaction should have nothing to do with happiness.

(What is this smudging of flesh in the bottom left corner?)

This idea that our happiness or our pleasant experiences should not be the determining factor of our satisfaction with our biography, with our deeds and our destiny…it brings Joel back to an experience he had when he first began to get interested in Astrobiography. He began to get this impression that the stellar alignments that occur during gestation are like a piece of music, and that the main goal would be to remain true to that music. And that might not mean that I am happy, or striving to be happy, or even sometimes that I am a good person, or avoid painful situations, etc. But that the real mark of a satisfactory biography is that it matches the “music”. And that music could be a composition describing complete outer failure, suffering, etc!

Phillip described the following meme:

…that we perhaps know—or as a human species once knew—on a somewhat instinctual level this reality of “staying true to the script” being the whole point of a lifetime…and then we go through a period where that is forgotten, as we mature and develop and become “smarter.” But like the prodigal son, this then goes through a reversal…we eventually realize in full consciousness what we only recognised in a dim instinctive way long ago.

If we really recognise the reality of reincarnation and God, eventually we have to realize that the picture of evolution that the cosmos that we adhere to is a kind of false infinity. For example, the fact that most people have only 3-4 more incarnations before the Moon reunites with the Earth, and sexual reproduction, the cycle of birth and death, etc as we know it ceases completely for “normal” humanity! Only a short time period during which to accustom ourselves to living on the etheric plane as the “deepest” level of our incarnation and activity. It isn’t that the materialistic scientific picture of cosmic evolution just keeps carrying on the way it is now. The analogy that Steiner uses: materialistic science could just as well look at a nine year old child’s bodily functions and then figure out what its body looked like 200 years ago, and what it will look like 200 years in the future. That’s all very well and good, and even logical, but has no connection to reality! There was no child 200 years ago, and there won’t be in 200 years. Something similar can be said of the Hawking-esque interpretation of the observable facts of our current material universe.

But to only have 3-4 more lives…to really own that…one realises that there is not really that much time to sort out all of the details, all the dangling karmic threads. That maybe at this point the totality of things converges into just a few essential things…not as vast as we conceive. Perhaps, for example, the geocentric picture of the cosmos bears those essentials within itself just fine, even if it is “false” or “inaccurate”.

Sometimes maybe that’s what makes it hard to get into the archetype, into the Arcanum at hand—they don’t attempt to explain all the random bullshit and unimportant details. They are bringing us to the heart of things, the essentials.

And this brings us to the strategy of the adverse powers, here at the end of things, when we should be reorienting to the essentials: flood the world with granular bullshit such that we lose sight of the few, key, contained essentials (*the Cup*—that somehow incorporates sacrifice as natural and essential).

Self-sacrifice is integral.

And in this imagery of the Queen, with her as the flower achieving germination, it is related to consummation, as in sexual ecstasy. That the act of self-sacrifice is an act of consummation of higher worth and effect than sexual reproduction, and perhaps we could or should feel the ecstasy of self-sacrifice. Death as consummation.

The flower dies. It is not hung up on any part of the process once consummation has occurred. The focus becomes the seeding process.

Couldn’t we think of the above diagram in these terms? Where plant reproduction would be at the far left? Then animalistic procreation would be on the upward trend…then the peak would be this outright “sex for pleasure” that dominates more and more in our time. Then on the downward slope would be human reproduction, the union of love with the sexual life for the sake of procreation and the raising of a family. And finally, on the far right, would be the reattaining of a plant-like form of procreation, yet now having passed through that passionate center—to passionately adore the act of self-sacrifice for the sake of bringing others into being.

This goes back to Solovyov and what he writes in the Meaning of Love. The spectrum of procreation, number of babies….then humans transcend sex as the peak expression of intimacy.

Again…only 3-4 incarnations to transcend biology as the peak expression of love/intimacy.

This carnal passion, this kundalini which draws us to incarnation…couldn’t that become the passion of Mary—”A sword shall pierce your heart”—instead? This urge of self-sacrifice becoming what draws us towards the Earth/incarnation?

Before, the Elohim were active within the procreative and hereditary, guiding both karma and the essence of love amongst human beings from that sphere. But now they begin to withdraw—and more and more the Asuras begin to find their sphere of activity within the sexual life. It is no longer the sphere that will bring us to the true experience of love on its own accord, and can no longer draw us into incarnation in a healthy way (i.e. guided by Elohim). So now, the moth must become its own flame, so to speak. The human being will have to find its way into Earthly activity more and more outside of the procreative/sexual/kundalini.

The Queen of Swords was like the baby growing in the womb. The Queen of Cups is like the afterglow, the consummation. Again showing us a reverse timeline…or else an alternate form of gestation…(past = Queen of Swords, future = Queen of Cups).

Does there really need to a be a deliberate cultivation of “living on the etheric” over the course of the next 4000 years? Or is it more the act of recognising that we are the petal, falling off the flower. A shift in perspective that allows us to become more fruitful.

All the Queens—and only the Queens—have notched belts:

The Queen of Swords has a notched crown and collar as well. Whereas the Queen of Cups has only a notched crown and belt. Perhaps they were blocking the sword, keeping it from being pulled out the front? It could only be pulled out of her back.

Notice the Knight of Cups…his wrist is tied…the line of the cuff goes “under” the horse’s hair to connect with the “ear”/hook of the horse. That ear is white like his cuff, the other ear is flesh coloured. If the hand is actually attached to the cup, and is attempting to align with his wrist…the hand would be cradled by the horse’s ears if it were to fully attach to the wrist.

The Knave is this first encounter, then it expands…the Cup itself expands…an ever-increasing passion. The Knave = death. The Knight = renewal. The Queen = an even greater self-sacrifice at a higher level.

In the Court Arcana in all Suits, the object alters, changes in shape or size, in relation to the being that is holding it. In the Court Cups, this seems to be a kind of mutual alteration.