Seven of Cups (IV)

Notes of a Hermetic Conversation amongst Natalia, Phillip, Sabrina and Joel over the phone on April 18, 2021

April 18, 2021

Seven of Cups

First conversation of Joel, Phillip, Natalia, and Sabrina

We began with the protective practice.

We then invited the presence of the Crucified Christ to guide our conversation.

After briefly focusing the mantra SHE FEELS on the region of the heart, we moved the second part of the Inner Radiance Sequence, the 9th letter of the Divine Alphabet (Tet, in relation to The Hermit) and the 9th part of the Grail Knight’s Practice. 

After reading from Revelation 16: 9-11, we turned to the Seven of Cups:

– The bottom cup seems like it has incense, or smoke rising from it.

Like the colors in a candle flame…blue at the bottom, then red/yellow. The red has a real flame feeling. Not so much a plant-like feeling.

The plant is outlining a cup shape. 

– When it is placed next to the Ace of Cups, there is the same basic geometry. It’s like a sketch, or a line-drawing of the form.

A wine flute or whiskey flute shape. Still a cup shape or a curved vase shape that the plant is making.

Three cups at the top are like the three sections of the “city” in the Ace of Cups. The three cups below are like the three sections of the pyramid. The central cup is the red and blue portion of the Ace.

– Only leaves and curling shapes on this plant; no flowering. A little tormented, like it’s trying to avoid touching these hot cups. 

– Are the lower cups in the front, closer to us?

Two different perspectives: 

They could be stacked vertically, in three tiers.

Or if we add the element of depth, and the upper cups are further away while the lower cups are closer to us, it’s like a game of double dutch, or a trampoline made out of a blanket, with the central cup bouncing up and down.

Then it would be a more playful twisting rather than a torture or a pain.

– It’s very feminine. Another level of metamorphosis. The Six of Cups was so stretched vertically. Now with the Seven, we are breathing again, broadening out.

There is an element of levitation or floating expressed here. 

Or a pregnant belly with a baby in it.

– Joel seeing more fire, vs Sabrina seeing more water. A very floating experience, inspired by the playful plant stretching out. 

A warm cup, and then gaseous smoke forms coming out of this cup.

Are they ashes? Burning producing ashes. What you see in the fire is ashes burning at different temperatures and therefore creating different color gradations. 

They float in the air, as sparks.

– It’s hard to tell the focal point. The middle cup is presented, central, focused on. But then there is the central cup at the top as well perhaps? And then the bottom central cup…it’s much quieter—but it is the support, it’s actually doing more in terms of creating the framework for the rest. It creates resting places for the central cups through the plant, yet simultaneously it offers a kind of support and protection for the four corner cups as well. 

This is reminiscent of YHVH, as the Elohim who decides to leave the six solar Elohim in order to operate from the Moon. From there, he is the “Cosmic Crossbearer”, he is like a shield towards both humanity and the cosmos in terms of Evil. He descends to a lower station in order to support the other six, just as this lower cup does.

Is there a kind of upside-down cross formed by the three central cups and the whispy white leaves?

– There is a lot of resemblance to the Three of Cups. There are these blue curls to begin with in the middle realm. They are smaller and simpler in the Seven. Then the red comes in. The same gesture. The blue part is almost like something to hold onto—you don’t get the impression of plant leaves. Something strong and solid to act as a support. 

This resemblance between Three and Seven of Cups is a kind of confirmation of our way of working:

Force with the Ace

Wheel of Fortune with the Two

Hermit with the Three

Justice with the Four

Chariot with the Five—The Five is a turning point; then…

Justice with the Six (mirroring the Four)

Hermit with the Seven (mirroring the Three)

The tender kissing poppies in the Three of Cups…they are more playful, less traumatic. 

The blue gives you something to rely on, like the Hermit has in his staff. It makes it possible to balance, the focal point.

The exercise of the Hermit—a central point uniting the two streams.

The kissing poppies in the Three of Cups are repeated under the upper cup in the Seven. 

But in the Three we have the man’s face, the genii coming out of the bottle. 

This contrast of playful kissing poppies vs creepy man’s face…there is the same polarity in the Seven, of this painful twisting vs playing. 

The Seven upside-down is more face-like. An animal-like face. A bull.

It is much more fluid upside down. Fluid pouring out, running in rivulets around the other Cups. You could see it as a spring. 

– There has been a leap of form. There is a relatively natural progression from the Three through the Six. But then the leap from Six to Seven (and then, peeking ahead, to the Eight)—???…an intellectual shock!

The two rows of three in the Six switch from vertical orientation to horizontal in the Seven. This horizontal orientation gives the impression of breath.

On the other hand, in the Seven there is an emphasis on the central column of three. Perhaps this central column arose out of the joining together of the two vertical columns of three in the Six of Cups into one column. Then the four corner cups are born out of this combination, this union of six into three.

It’s like two different movements happening at the same time—both a turning from vertical to horizontal, yet also this joining in the middle and then growing out of that. A quantum leap required in thinking in order to think both movements at once.

The central plant of the Six is there again in the Seven, in its central column. E.g. the yellow “eye” is there as the bottom cup; the central red and blue flower becomes the central cup.

– In a way we’re back again to this contrast of immanent and transcendent, above vs below, in that the Three through the Six are on the same plane, but then the Seven is a kind of leap to a different plane. Akin to the transition from Lover to Chariot.

There is much more air and lightness in the Seven vs the heavier and bigger, in a way more grounded cups in the previous Cup Arcana.

Much more of a levitation feeling.

Certainly in the Two of Cups, they seemed like they were floating. It hasn’t really been that way since then. Even the Five of Cups is grounded in comparison.

Here the Cup is floating, nothing is touching, these are smaller cups, everything is airy. 

Only the bottom cup is grounded—all the others are free.

– Therapeutically…maybe one could look at the Seven if one had breathing problems. Enough space to breathe finally. The others have no space. Maybe a pulsing—focusing on Six then Seven, Six then Seven. Like doing the “Love E” in eurythmy.

– The Lover vs the Chariot—a leap to a higher plane. He is the first character on another level—he is raised up. Not standing or sitting like those that came before. He can control the seven planets. He is no longer a slave to their forces. This gesture of being elevated to a higher plane, like the middle column of the Seven of Cups…this is the Charioteer. Then the four corner cups would be the four pillars holding up his canopy. The four beasts of the Merkabah. Or maybe they are the two wheels and two horses. 

Page 165 of Meditations on the Tarot

– Why is it missing a flower form? Also missing a flower form in the Three. The flower takes up a lot of attention. There is more innocence in just the leaves. The focus is all around the card a bit more. In this floating…the leaves become big and central…the connection with the air…the breathing element again.

– In the smoke, when the ash is produced, is it killing the air? In the process of burning?

Steiner speaks of gazing at a phenomenon like smoke in such a way that we can set free the elemental spirits that are trapped in matter. They require conscious recognition in order to be set free. And so maybe the face, this elemental being or genii, that is trapped in the Three is released in the Seven, in the smoke of the Seven…Maybe we’re seeing the back of his head.

– Seven is wholeness. Seeing it as a unity. It seems like an eye (the central cup surrounded by plants). Is this the same eye that was in the Six?

Or like it’s a keyhole. Having to look through the keyhole in order to see the other side.

– All three of the central cups could be the focal point, but are maybe the foundation for something more central—this eye or keyhole. 

– Ostwald’s colored body from the Letter-Meditation on the Hermit…bringing this into connection with the Knight’s Practice. The exercise of “streaming the light of thinking into depths of will…” which ends with “…thus you will become bearer of the circumstances of your weaknesses.” And during which you make a five-pointed star, yet simultaneously the gestures of the Rosicrucian mantra.

Perhaps the “eradicating the karmic consequences of the past” involves being totally prepared to let karma arise and actually bear it. Not put it off to some later incarnation, not attempt to avoid or duck it. Like with Ostwald’s colored body…there is the Light pole and the Dark pole, and only by embracing and bringing together both are we able to traverse the coloured round as the Hermit does.

Looking at the Three upside down, focusing on the blue…it’s like we have an inverted triangle’s nadir touching the apex of a right-side up triangle. Like a hallway with a door at the end. Whereas with the Five of Cups, it’s like those two triangles are reverse, upright above and inverted below. A bit strangely shaped though.

The arrangement of the triangles in the Three of Cups is like an inversion of Ostwald’s coloured body. 

And then the Seven upside down is again a bit cone-like.

– Reiterating…the Hermit is able to take up darker karmic content and enlighten it in his present life.

– A very reciprocal thing going on all through the Cups—in the Seven, the presentation of the upper central cup relies on two other processes happening below it. They need each other in order to be what they are, yet they are certainly each their own thing. And in a balanced way, on top of that.

The Ace through Seven…

Looking at the Two upside down…then the Three…and the Five as well…

A meditation of Rudolf Steiner’s…with two triangles approaching each other with their points facing…one moving down and the other moving up…then they cross and become a hexagram…then go even further and become a diamond. A bit like the movement from Two to Five.

Then what happens in Six? Is it just a line? A total merging? Is Seven a dissolving? Like in the Rose Cross meditation? Or a new (younger, smaller) triangle and an older/bigger one?

– The whole process of Ace through Ten. It’s like for the Ace through Six, each one really depends on that which came before and builds on it. Whereas the Seven presents itself as self-sustaining, self-created. It’s at the very beginning of something, and doesn’t really need the other’s for its existence anymore.

And yet it needs what came before, otherwise it wouldn’t have been possible to achieve the state of the Seven.

The three parts that need each other (the three central cups) are a kind of taking up of the divided Six and making it into a unity. 

It’s more horizontal for the Ace through Six…the Two needs the Ace, etc. But then in the Seven it transforms into more of a vertical relationship: the lower needs the higher and vice versa. It is a summary. The unity of the Six.

It’s a bit like the Hermit, with his three self-supporting implements. He is on his own after what came before. The previous Arcana needed each other. But he is solitary, he walks alone. He is an oasis. An ending that comes in the middle of the 22 Letter-Meditations. How did this old man come to be here? Does he have the ending already, and magically, as a kind of grace? But he worked for that…he didn’t have it already, ready-made.

– Two points of view in the Seven. The horizontal development over time, vs. the vertical causality, the irreducible complexity, like the spontaneous emergence of the highly organised single-celled organism in the midst of what is lifeless and chaotic.

The Seven as realised ideal. But without the ideal, the Seven would not have happened.

– The Seven upside down is reminiscent of The Star, the pouring out of water. The Star has this geometry of stars above, then the head of the woman as the central point, then the vases below. It’s like the Seven of Cups upside down is a zooming in on the two streams of water that are pouring out of the vases.

– This idea of karma comes full circle. Karma as we know it in pre-Christian times was a time-bound process. You make a mistake, and all these events need to arise so that you can revisit and eradicate that karma. But now we develop a new organ that can bear our karma—an awareness, a memory, an inner nature of karma. Out of this new organ we can develop to be co-creative of the circumstances to voluntarily eradicate our karma. Orchestrating events, rather than feeling forced to submit to seemingly random strokes of destiny that we can’t even consciously connect with a past deed or circumstance. 

– A musicality in this. Play your music in a new way. Use the same elements but arrange them in a musical way. You’re no longer just an instrument being played, or playing someone else’s song as a stand in for a self-created one. Becoming an orchestrator and conductor rather than an instrument that has no choice.

The Mastery of the Chariot. The one who directs and moves things, rather than being moved.

The Lover is the image of being moved, pulled from many sides.

Whereas the Charioteer seems to be holding a baton, perhaps a conductor’s baton. We are working toward the Suit of Conducting, of Batons.

– (Something about elementals, and the Eight of Cups as a warning…I can’t read my own writing!)

– In The Star, the large central star has the colors of the Cups. Are the Cups themselves these karmic stores?

– The Hermit. He looks into his lamp, which is also a Cup, and also the Wheel of Fortune—destiny, karma. 

But then it could be that he is like a priest, wearing priestly robes, with a censor before him. Two ways to think of fire. There is destructive fire, but then there is sacramental fire and smoke. Or a scrying, a telling of the future by reading the smoke. Seeing into the Wheel of Fortune.

A controlled blaze. Controlled burning of the forest before it becomes a calamity, mass destruction. 

It is an alchemical work to sustain that activity.

– The organ of bearing karma, bearing suffering, makes this possible.

– The Gabriel organ vs the Michael organ. Gabriel is the Lunar Archangel. He transformed the human brain in the 16th-19th centuries so that it could engage in reflective, abstract, scientific thinking and observation. A lunar activity. This organ is like a mirror in the forebrain, that reflects back to us our earthly personality, our mask. Michael creates the karmic organ, which makes this mirror transparent, into a karmic lens through which we have “future memories,” through which we know what we are to do, and see ourselves as multi-life beings rather than single personalities. We become radiant like the Sun—Michael is the Solar Archangel.

– This Bergsonian picture of intuition as instinct (sympathy) that has become completely illumined by the intellect. Instinct is not yet intuitive, it is still time bound, full of our own personal sympathy and antipathy.

But you can train that. Learn to recognise that which is not in alignment with your karmic needs. Allowing karma to unfold in a healthy way rather than a catastrophic way. Learning through failure. The first stage of the Rosicrucian path is study, learning. 

– Is that forehead organ present in the upside-down Seven? This bull has his impulsivity and rage transformed. The Mother realm of the pure Will is the guiding star for this collaboration. 

– This karmic memory of the future, to really be able to see through to the karmic consequences of potential deeds…that would be nice to know sometimes…

It’s probably all very complicated. But it would be nice to be able to see—“Do this! It would be good for you karma”

The blockage here is that we are probably not actually willing to follow through on what we would be shown. Tomberg says in his notes on The Moon from Wandering Fool that the reason that Christians don’t have karmic memories is because they don’t actually want to, they have no love for their own past. You have to actually want to see—not just consciously, but down into your whole being. 

We would be shown clearly what is the right course of action, but then we would want to avoid doing it, as it would probably be the most uncomfortable choice. We would rather avoid our fate and make it worse in the end.

The goal of karmic development is not, however, to align with some pre-fabricated outcome. It’s to become a good composer. Rather than reading the sheet music all the time. 

– Before the conversation began, Sabrina attuned herself to it, got to an inner calmness, relaxed. Suddenly she sensed a being touching her collar bone, indicating her collar bone. And she was left wondering, “what does that mean? Why there?”

Then at the beginning of the conversation, when Joel said we would be moving the 9th Letter of the Divine Alphabet, which is from Peace (Right Shoulder) to Activity (Left Shoulder)—Aha! The question and the answer…

Joel had noticed she had laughed when he was describing that exercise, and was curious what lay behind it…

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