Notes of a Hermetic Conversation on September 25, 2018
Tarot Conversation – Six of Coins
September 25, 2018
We began with the protective practice.
We then invoked the Risen Christ with the second stanza of the Foundation Stone Meditation.
After focusing briefly on the mantra “I AM” in the region of the brow chakra, we moved the fourth part of the Inner Radiance Sequence, and the letter Tsadi in the Tree of Life (related the the 18th Arcanum, The Moon).
We then read from Revelation 3:14-18 (Letter to Laodiceans) and from Matthew 10:5-10 (sending out the 12 disciples).
We then focused on the Six of Coins in its role as the 27th or 28th Arcanum: a 10 (1) or a 9:
Magician—Wheel of Fortune—The Sun—Six of Coins
Hermit—Moon—Six of Coins
– Last time we were struck by the gesture of the Six of Coins that it seems to point in all six directions (up/down, left/right, back/front), 3-dimensionality. This was something we noted about The Magician two years ago, that there is a left to right gesture with the table, an up/down gesture with the hat vs the leaf, and a back to front gesture with the baton and coin/sphere. Then in the Wheel of Fortune, we have the hub of the wheel with six spokes. This then transforms into the Sun, radiating in all directions.
– Something that immediately struck both of us, which we’re not sure if we’ve ever noticed in the Majors before, is the gesture of a sun rise: the yellow coin/sphere of the Magician rises higher as the hub of the Wheel of Fortune, than rises all the way as the Sun in the sky. Then in the Six, we could see this as the Sun like an egg which cracks and pours out; the uppermost coin in the Six of Coins is the Sun, and all of the other coins are pouring out of it. The Seven will have this same gesture, and can also be seen as a 28th Arcanum (and hence, a 1/10).
We should look back at the notes on the Ace to see whether we noticed this transformation from yellow sphere to Sun before.
(In fact, we did notice this. From our May 8 discussion: “This is a striking sequence. In the Magician, the baton is above the coin. If we see the Wheel as a transformation of the Coin, and the Sun as a transformation of the Wheel, and the Coin as a transformation of the Sun, we have a kind of ascent and enlargement of the coin in the Magician. The passage of the Coin through the Scepter.”).
– These 4 (Magician, Wheel, Sun, Six) are like one thing operating on different planes: the Magician is like Earth (fixed), the Wheel is like Water (changing), the Sun is like Air (reversing), and the Six is like Fire, inverting. Like all of the Minor Arcana, the Six is an archetype that rises above duality and hence dualistic expressions come out of it very easily. This is an interesting observation about the Minors in general. They are non-dual representations, and therefore one can tease out of them fundamental dualities very easily. The Ace was a very vivid experience of this. The Majors are more specific representations of archetypes, and in a sense are already dualistic (non-transcendent, more incarnated), and therefore do not “radiate out” polarities in the same way the Minors do.
– Answering the question, why does the Six of Coins summarize? The fact that it is a 1 or a 10 suddenly makes sense out of this quality. The Six spokes on the Wheel of Fortune (which is 10) is a confirmation of this strange relationship between 6 and 10.
On this note, it is interesting that both the Ace of Coins and the Six of Coins connect back to 1/10, but from different pathways, so to speak. The Ace is a One if treated as the first Coin Arcana; the Six is a One if treated as the 28th Arcana. Different expressions of unity (and the decad).
– The rays of The Sun feel connected to the Six of Coins very strongly. For example, the multi-colored rays feel related to the balanced coloration in the Six. Is the Six of Coins connected to the drops coming out of The Sun somehow? They are the beginning of this outpouring of The Sun that we referred to earlier. The outpouring becomes greater, the drops enlarge and become the bottom five coins in the Six of Coins. The Sun pours out its essence, decreases and becomes the uppermost coin; the drops receive more and more of the essence of The Sun and increase, becoming the bottom five coins. They become the Children of the Sun—which is what we see in the 19th Arcana, the two Children of the Sun.
– The overall Vesica Piscis shape of the Six of Coins is also related to the tear drop/rain shape. One giant drop from the Sun.
– For the first time, possibly (it’s hard to remember back), we notice that the drops coming out of The Sun are symmetrically colored. This Arcanum represents Gemini—very balanced.
– A different progression: one could see a progression from: the yellow sphere of The Magician—to the red hub of the Wheel—to the blue drop between the youths—to the red pearl in the center of the flower. Looking straight across rather than in the “sun rising” gesture.
– When we place the Six of Coins in the sequence of Magician—Wheel of Fortune—The Sun, there comes an emphasis on the uppermost coin and the lower pair of leaves. The upper coin seems related to the Magician’s head/hat; the Sphinx’s head/crown; the Sun. The lower leaves seem to relate to the legs of the Magician; to the scaffolding holding the Wheel; and to the legs of the youths. The leaf between the Magician’s legs is also very similar in shape to the red flame/tongue/leaf/dagger shape above the bottom coin.
– There is a similar overall impression to our prior conversation (which revolved around the Six of Coins as a 6)—the all-encompassing, three-dimensionality. But last time it felt like we were groping in the dark, on guard against an unseen enemy. Now the light has turned on. We are radiating in all directions. No longer waiting for an assault.
– For the first time (we think, it is hard to remember back so far), we notice that the Monkey is wearing a kind of enlarged cup (from the Magician’s right hand side) and the Dog is shaped like the satchel (from the Magician’s left hand side). The dice and daggers in the middle of the Magician’s table have become the spinning of the spokes, roulette, a gamble.
– We also notice a path of metamorphosis:
The Hat + The Baton — Magician
Crown + Sword — Wheel of Fortune
Raying Sun — The Sun
Coin + Leaves — Six of Coins
It is the Round coming together with the Straight until they become a unity in The Sun. Then when they separate again in the Six of Coins, each has been imprinted with the qualities of the other. The round coin is imprinted with the raying of the straight. The straight line has become the curved leaf.
– It makes us wonder: what is next in the sequence? 1, 10, 19, 28, 37. The 37th Arcanum would be the Ace of Swords. (In the alternate iteration, it would be Magician, Wheel of Fortune, The Sun, Seven of Coins, Two of Swords). (This is going to get complicated).
– We almost wonder: should we just lead off with the Ace of Swords, Ace of Cups, etc in their own right, as though they follow right after the World? Or include the prior suits as part of the sequence(s)? That just gives us a third option, e.g. Ace of Swords would then either be 1st, 36th, 37th, 22nd, or 23rd Arcanum. Let’s not open this pandora’s box. We’ll see if we even need to continue in the numerological fashion we’ve been working with for the Coins when we get to the Swords. Hopefully not: one feels a method of working intrinsic to the Swords would present itself [Edit January 2021: Ha! One would hope, eh?].
– Now looking at the Six of Coins as a 9 (27th Arcanum). Interestingly, this sequence includes The Moon, which we had already compared with the Six in a different context.
The 10 (Wheel of Fortune) and 19 (The Sun) are a real polarity. In the same way, the 9 (Hermit) and the 18 (The Moon) are also polarized.
10 = mechanization, folly, silliness, game, chance, inhuman.
19 = aware, conscious, inspired, intentional, human and soulful.
9 = illuminating the darkness
18 = darkening of that which normally illumines (eclipse).
– The Six of Coins is like both the lantern and the cloak of the Hermit. It is the light that shines in the darkness.
Now, looking at the Six of Coins as a 9, we are between light and darkness. An interplay of light and dark. Looking at just the head portion of The Hermit—The Moon—Six of Coins. The Moon shows us the erie moment of the eclipse. Transitory, illusory reality. The Six of Coins is the breaking out of the eclipse moment back into clarity.
– For the first time (we think, it is hard to remember back so far) we notice that there is a unique lack of geometry in The Hermit. This makes it difficult to connect to somehow. That’s why one is drawn to the Hermit’s lamp. It is the most geometric thing in the image.
– Noticing the blue/red on the outer portion of the Hermit’s garments, and the white/yellow within. The white by his arm could just be a gap in the garment, like we can see through—but more likely it is a white sleeve. He himself is an eclipse—outwardly blue and red, disguising the inner white and yellow. He can discern whether to conceal or reveal the inner light, and to whom he should do so. One type of eclipse is bizarre and strange: when something that is normally seen is hidden from view. But there are things that it is normal for us not to see. A certain type of eclipse is normal. Some things, even good things, ought to remain concealed until the right moment and the right stage of development is reached.
Wisdom is shocking. It comes from a different plane than normal (intellectual) consciousness. It remains concealed until we can handle the shock of it being revealed to us. It can’t just be given out to anybody—casting pearls before swine (the Pearl!). The Hermit is the master of tact and discernment. What can I share? What am I unable to share?
Hiding that which ought to be known (eclipse/Moon) vs hiding that which shouldn’t be known yet (Hermit). The eclipse hypnotizes. But to see the Light too soon would destabilize, destroy one’s sense of normalcy. Polar opposite of hypnosis.
– It’s remarkable that we are focusing much more on the Majors this time than the Minors. Maybe that is a reflection of this particular Arcanum? The harmony that it encompasses.
The Six of Coins is a “Shin” in the sequence Yod (Four) He (Five) Shin (Six) Vau (Seven) He (Eight). The Three was the previous Shin in the sequence Yod (Ace) He (Two) Shin (Three) Vau (Four) He (Five). And if we think back to the Three, we were forced in the end to focus quite particularly on the Majors associated with it in order to find our way into the nature of the Three, to break through. It took an effort related to the Majors. This time is similar, but opposite: the Six naturally draws our gaze back to all of the Majors: we see its reflection so clearly in them, but it also opens up new ways of seeing them. Maybe this is in the nature of the Shin: both to summarize as well as to relate us back to the Major Arcana.
We see that the Six of Coins is doing for the Major Arcana what the Five did only for the Four. Making one look back and see new things that one did not see before.
Laying out the sequence of 1, 6, and 9 Arcana (all of which relate to the Six of Coins):
Magician—Lover—Hermit—Wheel of Fortune—Devil—Moon—Sun—Six of Coins
All are triangular except for the Hermit. Why? This is why he lacks the geometry. One could guess where his body is under the robe, we suppose. It’s like he’s looking the wrong way—really we ought to be facing him, seeing him head on, with the lamp on one side of the image and the staff on the other. This would bring about the normal triangular geometry of the Majors. But he hides his true nature from us—which is exactly his nature! We aren’t worthy to see the full truth. This is also the nature of Arcana in general: they are a twilight experience which conceal and reveal the truth simultaneously.
There is not much distinctive in this image for the eye and the mind to latch onto. Lantern, staff…hat tassels? Nothing else distinctive.
In the progression of the Arcana without the Hermit, we see:
Magician—Lover—Wheel of Fortune—Devil—Moon—Sun. There is an alternation of high and low triangles in this sequence.
– We notice in the Hermit that there is also white inside of his hood. It is confirmed, then, that the inside of the red is white, and the inside of the blue is yellow.
– Why on earth is he different from the other Arcana??
– Looking at the Sephiroth Tree when all paths have been connected: the outer perimeter of paths forms another hexagon
– What about the Three Great Arcana? As mentioned in the Letter-Meditation on The Moon (508-9). It looks like the plant form of the Six of Coins more or less follows these Three Great Arcana (two upper stems, two middle stems, two lower stems)
– Answering the question that we ended with last time: What is this stone? The gem/jewel formed by the Six of Coins. What if this stone is the pearl that we have been focused on since the Three of Coins? With the Three of Coins, we zoomed way out to get a more holistic picture of the Ace. Maybe we haven’t zoomed out from the Four of Coins. Maybe we’ve zoomed in, and now we’re getting an in depth look at the pearl. This would be another feature which would explain its incredible unity: we are actually looking at a unity, we’re just looking so closely we see differentiation within it.
Therefore, the Three and the Six have an equal but opposite relation to the Majors: one gives context by zooming out, and the other by honing in.
The Pearl is the root, the non-dual connection of both the coin and plant. Somehow it is the source of the plants, and the product of the coins? The Six shows us the Pearl in a new and different light: the pearl we are seeing in the Six of Coins is the “Pearl within the Pearl,” the essence of the essence.
The Hermit looking into his lamp, and seeing the Whole.
– Six of Coins as equivalent to the cloak of the Hermit. It is the unity/synthesis of Truth from which the Hermit draws any particular form of knowledge (the cloak/mantle). See page 221 in the Letter-Meditation on the Hermit. The initiate does not know everything consciously; he bears the truth within him as a deeper level of his being, from which he draws the answers to questions as they present themselves. The Six as the summary, the synthesis. No memorization: only Presence.
– Going back to the Great Arcana: The upper plants create a kind of upward “A” gesture: The Father. The lower leaves create a downward “A” gesture: The Mother. The middle is the “Love E” of Christ. Christ between Father in the heights and Mother in the depths.
Or we could look at the coins. The upper triangle of coins: The Holy Spirit (Per Spiritum Sanctum Revivisimus). The lower triangle of coins: The Father (Ex Deo Nascimur). The middle square of coins: The Son (In Christo Murmur). Here we have the Rosicrucian Mantra/gesture.
In the upper plants/coins, we have the Great Gnostic Arcanum (Daath).
In the lower plants/coins, we have the Great Magical Arcanum.
In the middle plants/coins, we have the Great Moral Arcanum.
What an amazing adaptability in this arcanum! It is so solid (a jewel, armor), but so adaptable at the same time, able to illumine and become almost anything. It shows us the total inflexibility and total flexibility of Truth.
– A numerical quality that is different than what we’ve seen in the Majors. The Majors are like Light Ether, Image, Form. The image is imposed on us, it is already finished. Visual.
The Minors are Tone Ether (Number Ether, Chemical Ether). They are what makes things manifest, they are potential. They are not what is manifested or finished. Unformed, therefore more fluid. More like tone than image.
So for example, The Lover could be considered the primal or archetypal 6, because he is the 6th Major Arcana. But he is too formed to represent overall “sixness”—he might be first, but he is not Primal. The Six of Coins is primal.
The Suit of Coins overall shows us this combination of adaptability and mutability combined with crystalline completion of structure: plant and coin simultaneously. Finished and unfinished.
– Thinking about the transition from Judaism to Christianity. The movement from a strictly monotheistic God to a Trinitarian God and how radical that must have been. Something similar is happening in our time. More and more it becomes clear that in the beginning there was both Father and Mother, not just Father (The Spirit of God—the Father/Fire—brooded over the Face of the Waters—Mother). And that they were a unity, yet distinct simultaneously, just like the Trinity is a Unity yet Triune simultaneously. Due to our familiarity with Robert’s work, one can forget just how radical the whole reality of the Mother is to our theologies. We come to the Luminous Holy Trinity, the Most Holy Trinosophia in union with the Most Holy Trinity: the Seal of Solomon, which in a way summarizes the Six of Coins in the highest way possible.
We closed with the fourth stanza of the Foundation Stone in eurythmy.