Six of Coins (I)

Notes of a Hermetic Conversation on September 18, 2018

September 18, 2018 – Six of Coins/The Moon

We began with the protective practice

We then invoked the presence of the Risen Christ through speaking the second stanza of the Foundation Stone Meditation

After focusing briefly the mantra I AM on the brow chakra, we moved the fourth part of the Inner Radiance Sequence. 

We then read the entire letter to the Philadelphians (Rev 3:7-13) and Matthew 9:9-13 (the summons of Matthew, the tax collectors).

We also moved the 18th Letter of the Divine Alphabet (Tsadi) in order to connect with The Moon.

“Raising the Subconscious into Consciousness” (Quality of The Moon)

[In conversation during the preceding week, we discussed the distinction between Thelema as described by Tomberg in the Letter-Meditation on The Star (page 488) and that of Aleister Crowley. Joel is much more unfamiliar with the western occult tradition (Golden Dawn and its off-shoots), but Phillip was immediately struck by Tomberg’s use of the word Thelema. It is a provocative thing to do, as it flies in the face of Crowley’s methods and ideas, and brings Thelema back into the light. Joel had come to the intuition that “Thelema” is precisely the right word for the Yod experience expressed by the Ace of Coins, without realizing its connection to Crowley.

Joel has noticed the similarity of our structure of the Arcana to both the Freemasonic Compass and Ruler and also the Unicursal Hexagram:

1(Yod) 4(Vau)

3(Shin)

2(He) 5(He)

Again, he had no idea that the Unicursal Hexagram was directly attached to the Thelemic initiation of Crowley.

Prior to embarking on this adventure with the Minor Arcana, Joel had expressed that he had a feeling that doing so would be somehow a redemption of the fallen Western Occult traditions (Freemasonry, Golden Dawn and offshoots). Thelema cannot stand alone:  we cannot remain at mysticism alone or it becomes totally decadent and dangerous.  It becomes the unrestrained will:  to power, to pleasure, to eternal physical life. 

Yod/Thelemos (Desire, Longing, Spontaneity, Will) must carry on into 

He/Threnos (Lamentation, crying out)

Shin/Parousia (Presence, comfort)

Vau/Metanoia (Transformation)

He/Ecclesia (The Church, the Living Tradition).

Only with this entire process can the fallen tradition be resurrected.

We also discussed the following in connection to HRC as vessel for the “Whore of Babylon,” the anti-Sophia:  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babalon_Working%5D

Now to the conversation proper:

– This seems to be an inversion of the Five of Coins in several ways. The red tongues/daggers/flames in the center of the Six point outward rather than inward, as the blue daggers point in the Five. Similarly, the upper and lower leaves in the Six are directed inward rather than out as they are in the Five of Coins. They are cupping or holding the upper and lower coins in the Six.

– It’s almost as though one has doubled the central coin in the Five, and then flipped both the upper and lower halves upside down. 

– There is no white stone/pearl in this Arcanum. Unless there is a red pearl directly in the center of the image? This is the first time the pearl would be dead center, and also the first time that there is only a red one. 

– We have achieved true symmetry at last. The only other time we approached true symmetry was the Ace of Coins, but the 12 dots in the center of it made it asymmetrical. Except if one looks closely at the Six, one can see barely noticeable swirls on the blue extensions from the central image. They are like spiral/snail, whirl shapes. They almost look like fish. On that note, the overall impression one is given by the arrangement of six coins is that of a Vesica Piscis This is the first time we’ve had the impression of this form, which hearkens back to The World, and its central, prominent Vesica Piscis. 

– Looking at Four, Five, Six:  the Six inverts the Five but somehow recapitulates the Four. The Fourfoldness is so strong in the very center of the Arcanum (the cross-like flower image), but also if one were to cover the upper and lower single coins, we would be left with an image very much akin to the Four of Coins. It’s as though we are getting to see a more complete picture of the Four.

In fact, didn’t we observe that the Shin Arcanum of the previous name (the Three of Coins) was like zooming way out from the Yod Arcanum (the Ace of Coins) in order to get a holistic picture?

Yod (Ace) Vau (Four)

Shin (Three)

He (Two) He (Five)

And here we have the same thing happening:  the Shin Arcanum of this “Name” (the Six of Coins) is like zooming out for the Yod Arcanum (the Four of Coins) and getting a fuller picture.

You (Four) Vau (Seven)

Shin (Six)

He (Five) He (Eight)

So the Ace/Three relationship appears again in the Four/Six relationship. Zooming out, providing context.

Due to this zooming out, the craziness in the center of the Four of Coins has been somewhat contained and alleviated.

– The Six in a way contains the Three, Four and Five.  It is the Three doubled. It is the Four, zoomed out. It is the Five unfolded/inverted. And it also has the overall, fundamental form of The World and the Ace of Coins (Vesica Piscis made up of six Coins, surrounded by four plants, one in each corner). And in the center of this Vesica Piscis is the goal of the Ace of Coins; we not only have a flower in the middle as in the Four of Coins, but a flower geometrically identical to the flower inscribed on the Ace of Coins: two four-armed crosses laid on top of each other to form an eight-armed cross. 

And the Two of Coins exists in the S-curves of the plants in the Six of Coins. 

In other words, the Six of Coins represents a complete synthesis of everything up to this point.

– It does mirror the Ace, but it is also a bit of an inversion/modification. For example, the four plants in the corners are leaves and not flowers. 

– The central flower in the Six is very strange, especially the blue portion, and particularly in the horizontal portion of the blue. It’s like a brand new portion of the plant has been unveiled. Maybe what it is, is that we’re finally seeing the complete, whole flower blossom. Up until now we’ve only seem the blossoms from the side. This is the first central, upturned flower, the first full view, with leaves growing out to each corner of the card. 

– Why would the Six encompass all that came before it? The others have not done that. Except for the Three? We noticed that the Three contained a combination or meeting of the Ace and Two. Maybe the Shin Arcana (3, 6, 9, Knight) take stock of all that preceded, and not just within their own “Name” (Four, Five, Six in this example). 

We end up with this picture:

Where there is an extreme polarity between the upper Yod/Vau Arcana (Ace, Four, Seven) and the lower He Arcana (Two, Five, Eight). Meanwhile, the middle Shin Arcana form a bridge or harmonization between Above and Below. This is part of their cumulative aspect.

– Ace = Sun or Saturn?

Two = Moon or Sun?

Three = Mars or Moon?

Four = Mercury or Mars?

Five = Jupiter or Mercury?

Six = Venus or Jupiter?

The Ace also does have a rather strong Jupiter quality to it (kingly, expansive). 

– The cupping leaves in the corners—a gesture that has been approached but never really achieved. In the others, especially the Three and Five, it is more of a guarding or framing activity. Now it is more of an offering up, an honoring, an embrace.

– The transition from Three to Four is still the most unnatural and jarring of all the transitions. Like the coins in Three were swept away and the Four of Coins emerges purely from the form surrounding the white pearl. Actually we discussed something like this:  that the Ace was one perspective of something, then the Two was an alternate perspective. Then the Three returned to the perspective of the Ace, but zoomed way out. In this zooming out, a kind of self-consciousness, an ego-awareness was achieved. Therefore the Ace becomes the White Pearl (the Ego, “I”-hood). After this point, ego-consciousness (the presence of the Pearl) is retained. But this zooming out to observe the Ace of Coins, and the realization of self-consciousness, has transformed that which is being observed. Upon zooming back in, the Ace has transformed into what we see in the Four of Coins. It has turned inside out. 

The Pearl begins in the Three by being in the lower portion and white; then in the Four, there are two pearls:  a lower white pearl and an upper red pearl; then in the Five, there is an upper white pearl only; and in the Six a central red pearl. This makes the Four of Coins a kind of turning point. 

We could place the pearl portion of the Five over the lower portion of the Four, as though the Five is a continuation of the lower portion of the Four. Then we could place the pearl portion of the Six over the red pearl in the Four, as though the Six were a continuation of the upper portion of the Four. Putting them together thusly:

shows us the fully developed or unfolded Four of Coins.

– What does the flower image central to the Four have to do with the pearl? We might associate it with the presence of both pearls. Only the Four has the red and white pearls together, and only the Four of Coins has this odd flower/box. We can think of the two pearls as related to the two streams flowing from the heart of the Etheric Christ:  the red ray of the etherized blood, and the white ray of purity.

– We assumed that the white pearl in the Five of Coins was in the lower portion, but technically it could be upper. It isn’t clear which orientation is correct in the Five.

– The Six’s pearl could be a union of the red pearl and red flower in the Four of Coins. Ah, so we have seen another flower from above rather than the side:  the red flower in the Four of Coins. But it only has fourfoldness, not the eightfoldness of the central flower imprinted on all of the Coins (the ideal).

– There is a real symmetry in the equal number of coins to plans or plant parts (stems). Six and Six. This brings out a clear 12-foldness. 

– Is the central flower emerging like the flowers that we see a side view of on its right and left, blossoming off of the blue stems? Is there a fourth flower directly behind, blossoming outward into the back of the card? So four flowers, showing right/left and front/back. 

This makes the Arcanum three-dimensional, which implies a central cube, with an upward pointing pyramid on top (upper coin at its peak) and a downward pointing pyramid below (lower coin at its bottom point). 

This is a twelve-sided shape. It also would imply that four coins are invisible, hidden directly behind the four central coins. This would make ten coins total, which would make more sense out of the cumulative nature of this Arcanum, and its relationship to the Ace.

Notice that a cube, taken on its own, has six faces.

white cube with a perspective. 3d box model with a shadow

Another six-foldness: the underlying geometry of The Moon is a hexagon, formed out of a rectangle flanked by a triangle above and a triangle below (see page 517 of Meditations on the Tarot)

Also the form made by the first six Sephiroth:

Keter

Binah Chokmah

Geburah Chesed

Tiphereth

When one draws a cube two-dimensionally, the outline is that of a hexagon. 

– Both the Four and the Six connect to The Moon in different aspects. The Four may be the Moon in its eclipsed form, its germinal form (voodoo magic). But the Six is the Moon in non-eclipsed form, seen directly (earth-bound intellect). 

The Six is perhaps The Moon in terms of the tendency to get stuck. The Six is all-too-neat of a system. An overlay of all the previous Arcana, but they don’t really synthesize. Maybe because there’s no opening to the future, it’s too complete and backward-gazing. No gesture towards the Seven, towards what is coming.

– Comparing the Six of Coins to The Lover (another Six), there doesn’t seem to be any connection at all. But what if we look at the sequence:  Lover, Devil (15=6), Six of Coins. Do we see a degradation? A movement from Temptation (Lover) to Submission (Devil) to Imprisonment (Six of Coins, like a cage).

– The cube; the Sephiroth; the unicursal hexagram; the compass and ruler. But also, the Seal of Solomon, two interpenetrating triangles. This is the Grail symbol. It is Christ and Sophia, the Illuminated Trinity.

We can see from these examples that the nature of Six expresses itself either as very holy or very dark (the unicursal hex and compass/ruler having black magical connotations). We see the same thing with the Vesica Piscis, which can be used in a very holy or depraved way.

– The white stems look like stag’s antlers. The upper leaves look like the alert ears of a mammal (a cow, deer, horse etc). 

– We’ve associated both the Four of Coins and the Six of Coins with The Moon. Let’s look at both the sequence of Four and the sequence of Six and compare:

4:  Emperor—Death—Four of Coins

6:  Lover—Devil—Six of Coins

We have both Death and the Devil coming into play.

With the Four we see the expression of loneliness/isolation, death—the process of limitation as related to the Moon. But also, with the Four of Coins, an expression of the Descent into Hell and the Resurrection. The power of self-sacrifice.

With the Six it seems to have more to do with chastity vs perversion. The overcoming of Evil rather than Death. But if the Four of Coins expresses resurrection (the overcoming of death), what does the Six of Coins show us?

Both the Devil and the Lover have the quality of a false ending, a false conclusion. The Lover’s inspiration from the Angel might seem like “the Answer,” but it is only the beginning. He still must choose. And the servants of the Devil think they have found “the Answer” but they are only enslaved to their own awful creation. It may be the same with the Six of Coins:  a false ending.

We now see more geometric connection between 6, 15 and the Six of Coins.

There are also parallels between The Lover and The Moon. The Lover:

This gives us the same overall hexagon structure.

The Lover is holding himself in check like The Emperor, holding up the belt—keeping the lower impulses under control. And there is a reflection from above to below—the naked Angel and the bare legs of the Lover.

– The Lover really expresses so well the first time falling in love when one is young. The experience is so intense and overwhelming because one has no benchmark, nothing to compare it to. It feels like everything but it’s not actually the whole. Another false ending.

– Looking at the Six of Coins in this context (the battle with the lower nature and the “false ending”). Also keeping in mind our inner picturing of it as 3-dimensional—like a jewel, a diamond. It gives one the impression of a kind of military boundary. A vigilance on all sides (in all 6 directions: up/down, left/right, back/forth). Complete, absolute awareness. After the Lover and the Devil, the Six of Coins is either a cage, or it expresses the striving to develop full awareness: raising the subconscious to consciousness. Not suffering under the delusion that one has actually or ever will achieve full awareness (a false summary, a false ending), but alway striving to raise more and more to consciousness—i.e., to conscience. 

It is an image of conscience, which can so easily become dogmatic and rigid.

The Lover shows us the more or less conscious level (feeling level, chaste emotion). The Devil shows us the unconscious level (the enslaved passions). The Six of Coins shows us Conscience, but a conscience that may or may not be fully illuminated, i.e. penetrated by and married to intelligence.

The image of Conscience as a Stone, a Gem. This is a question/image/arcana to live with and carry.

The shadow side of the stone is the “voodoo magic” expressed on page 517. The issue here is the enslaving vs the mobilizing of conscience. 

It is the choice between the Star of David and the Unicursal Hex. Star of David = Union of human and divine Will (Sacred Magic). Unicursal Hex = “Do as thou wilt”, My Will be Done (Black Magic). When magic is accomplished due to the union of two wills, it implies there is always something there to hold our human will in check. There is no check there in the thelemic axiom of “My will be done.” Sacred Magic involves sacrifice and the effort of harmonization. Black Magic is actually completely empty of content.

– What is this Stone?

– The Six of Coins is solid not because of a (false) confidence in its finality, but because it is a check to the tendency of the Five of Coins. In both of our conversations around the Five, we noticed its wish to fly apart, to dissolve into the periphery. The Six is keeping everything contained. The Five and the Six are so similar, but are on opposite extremes of one scale.

– The Moon aspect of the Four of Coins has more to do with the Guardian of the Threshold, with the leap into the dark. The Moon aspect of the Six of Coins has more to do with the conscience that has developed out of that leap into the dark. What has been called forth within us due to the meeting with the Guardian.

We closed with the fourth stanza of the Foundation Stone Meditation in Eurythmy