Notes of a Hermetic Conversation on October 2, 2018
October 2, 2018
Six of Coins
We began with the protective practice.
We then invoked the presence of the Risen Christ through reciting the second stanza of the Foundation Stone Meditation.
After briefly focusing the mantra I AM on the brow chakra, we moved the fourth part of the Inner Radiance Sequence. We also moved the 18th letter of the Divine Alphabet, Tsadi (The Moon).
We then read Revelation 3:19-22 (Letter to Laodicea) and Matthew 12: 33-37
– The shape formed by the six coins is that of a larynx. Is the plant in the midst of them like a living Word emerging from the larynx of coins?
Koenig’s description of the 1st three years of child development (see here: https://rscbookstore.com/products/the-first-three-years-of-the-child). The child learns to walk which activates the pyramidal complex—the organ for the sense of word. Then the child’s speaking activates the parasympathetic nervous system which is attached to the vagus nerve in the larynx—the organ for the sense of thought. Eventually thinking is able to develop once this organ becomes active. The sympathetic nervous system, the organ for the sense of life, is related to the parasympathetic. Here we see the evidence of the etheric realm being both the realm of life as well as the “world thoughts.” Sense of life and sense of thought. Birth of Living Thought out of use of the Word in the larynx. Koenig calls the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems Trees of Life growing downwards out of the dead root of the brain.
It also makes one think of the tongues of fire descending at Pentecost resulting in a universal speech.
– Maybe we are looking at this from a bird’s eye view—like the perspective we had in the Ace of Coins. It could be six pillars that we are only seeing the tops of. In the midst of them is a tree growing. We only see the top of it branching out in…6 directions? 4? Or 7, if we imagine one of the branchings going straight up (towards the viewer)? This Arcanum is a foreshadowing of the Seven, just like the Four was for Five, only not nearly as explicit.
This brings in again the whole question of “Is this based on 22 Majors or 21 Majors? Is it a continuation of the Majors or a new beginning?” etc. There are no discreet numbers at a fundamental level. The numerical aspect is entirely fluid. But there is discreet geometry. The forms are fixed. It is, however, a multi-vocal geometry, since it has at least two sides to it (plant and coin). Sometimes there is a 3rd or 4th element, due to the plant and/or coin each having several distinct features.
This achieves a perfect blend or balancing of the permanent with the fluid.
– It is new for us to see that the Seven actually is foreshadowed. This is not a full stop or just a summary of the past. But it’s unnoticed, due to its orientation—hidden in the very center.
This image is operating differently tonight. We see two distinct parts:
The vertical branches of the plant are all Leaf. The horizontal branches of the plant are all Flower.
The four coins in the very center are reminiscent of the Four of Coins. But the two coins either above or below are reminiscent of the Two of Coins, with the elaborated Leaf and the cradled Coin. Four + Two = Six.
Whereas in comparison to the Three of Coins, this is like Three x Two. As opposed to Three + Three. In theosophical math, addition carries a different qualitative activity to it than addition. The Two is brought into relation with the Three in the former, and not in the latter.
– The middle four coins are spinning: the upper left and lower right counter-clockwise, the upper right and lower left clockwise (we both see this immediately, without speaking about it). When we see this as a group of four in the middle, with one above and one below, then it appears as though the spinning coins are effecting the plants through their motion.
But it is very different when we see this as two groups of three coins. Then it appears as though the plant is acting on the coins, through holding them in place. The activity is in the plant.
Once it is seen this way, one looks back at the Five of Coins as though one is seeing the top of a pyramid. The central coin is the pinnacle of the pyramid, and the four other coins are at the four corners of the base.
Then the Six of Coins is like the triangular “flaps” or sides of the pyramid unfolding and laying down. What was 3d becomes 2d. What was within is unveiled. With the Four of Coins, something is exposed, a gate is opened. Then in the Five of Coins, something is hidden. Then the Six opens back up again with this original object transformed.
– The Two, Three and Four are all embedded quite strongly in the Six. The Five only foreshadows. The Five embeds or absorbs Two, Three and Four, but the Six actually unveils their combination.
It’s almost logarithmic. Adding one doesn’t make it only one more. It’s not just 5+1, it’s 1, 2, 3, 4, as contained in 5 but unfolded in 6.
As we’ve said before, it’s cumulative, not just additive.
– The Ace is the primal, embedded state that unfolds Two, Three and Four.
They re-embed, nest in the Five.
Six then unveils the Two, Three and Four as a multi-vocal unity. Their natures intertwined.
There are, then, two types of unity: the Ace and Five are one kind: a unity that conceals, a seed with the multiplicity embedded.
The Six is the other kind of unity: one which reveals the multiplicity in its mutual harmony and interaction. Panoramic unity.
– Much changes if Four and Five are seen as Vau/He vs if they are seen as Yod/He.
Four as Yod is similar to the Ace, but completely inverted. Four is the first to make things explicit in the series. Full reveal—gushing. What exactly is it making explicit? The answer doesn’t seem to be “coin.” If anything it’s plant, and the coins are not playing their (up to that point) traditional coin role (i.e. the central role—after all, this is their suit).
It is interesting that the nominal or supposedly main feature of the suit is mainly playing a supportive role to something else, namely the plant.
Is the nature of the coin to serve that which is lower in some way? Like a washing of the feet? (The Coin being “higher” than the plant due to this being its suit, i.e. the “Suit of Coins.”)
The Father pouring out His essence so that the created world could come into being.
How different it would be if this was called the “Suit of Plants”!
Coins are holding the negative space. They are indicating activity within the negative space.
This highlights the revealed part in the Four, in the center. It isn’t strictly geometrical/symbolic—it isn’t just holding negative space. It’s more expressive, more authentically a symbol or Arcanum.
The coins hold the boundaries or are like the scaffolding on which the vines grow. But also they are like both seed and fruit, which one could say are the boundaries of a plant: its beginning (Seed) and end (Fruit). The connecting link between the two is the plant. The fruit and seed are the two extremes of the plant that aren’t otherwise depicted (i.e. in the plant portions of the Arcana). Alpha and Omega vs TauRho = Evolution. See Steiner’s lecture from Dec 17, 1906 on the Christmas Tree (https://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/Dates/19061217p01.html; or Wandering Fool, page 46). The Christmas Tree symbols make a cross. The horizontal runs: Alpha—TauRho—Omega. TauRho represents all world events from beginning to end. Tau Rho = The Way.
Coins as Sephiroth = Number = Names of God = I AM = Eternity = Alpha and Omega
Plants as Tau Rho/Tarot = The Way = Paths = 22 Paths on the Tree of Life.
– The Ace is the one instance when the coin itself stands at the fore. Otherwise, it is increasingly a placeholder, a scaffolding.
– The Four’s central icon expresses what both Alpha and Omega and Tau Rho are attending to. What is that?
Is it the fundamental unity of coin and plant?
The Four is the first one with astrality, with something beyond the solid/material (coin) and life/growth (plant). The central icon is evocative of the senses, of the psyche. But it’s only a momentary opening, since it disappears and never reappears again. Like the Moon Node—a brief opening to the spiritual world. Again, the Four as the momentary anti-eclipse, the unknown light shining in for a brief instant.
It then feels disjointed for it to be so suddenly, sharply, and momentarily present.
Like the Dark Night of the Soul—the Light of God shines so brightly it blinds and feels like deepest darkness. It makes our normal light of soul feel like darkness by comparison.
The central icon is a true presentation of the true being behind coin and plant, but it’s shocking to behold.
It’s only an image though. It’s an intrusion from another plane that is too much to take in in its fullness, and therefore only appears as momentary, and as image/representation.
– This momentary flashing in of the astral/sensory is, in a way, in the plant’s life cycle. When another (sensory) being is required for cross-pollination and hence fructification to occur (bird, insect, etc).
So the central icon represents that which weaves between and amongst the Arcana themselves—between and amongst Numbers—that allows growth from one number to the next to continue. We don’t usually see this “in-between the cards” as we are so occupied with the cards themselves.
In our practice, these are the Major Arcana! They bring in a sensory aspect in comparison with the Minor Arcana. They also (in our practice) allow a weaving amongst the Minors. For example, The Moon has been equated with both the Four of Coins as well as the Six of Coins. This equivocation has allowed an illumination of the hidden meaning of the Four and Six to be revealed as well as brought these two cards into relationship (as evidenced by this conversation, which revolves around the Six but has turned out to be concerned heavily with the Four).
(Later on, as we walk home after this conversation, we realize that we were mistaken. The Major Arcana are the Paths on the Tree of Life. The numbered Minor Arcana are the Sephiroth on the Tree of Life. What the central icon on the Four of Coins shows to us is the Court Cards of the Minor Arcana—the Knave, Knight, Queen, and King. Notice that there are four of them = Four of Coins. They are also a “breaking in” of astrality/psyche amongst the more “organic” numbered Minor Arcana. They are also a combination of “coin” (numbered Minor Arcana) and “plant” (Major Arcana). And what they relate to is the four planes of the Sephiroth Tree. We have to view the Tree of Life as operating simultaneously in four dimensions. So the “breaking in” of the icon in the Four of Coins is a revelation breaking in from a higher plane—e.g. from the World of Formation into the World of Action, or from the World of Creation into the World of Formation. This influx from the higher plane is necessary for growth and development to continue in a lower plane. The Four of Coins, then, has given us a “sneak preview” of the Court Cards, and this is because it is the Four—the number of the court cards.)
– Seeing this as a zooming in on the pearl/gem stone. Like a zooming in on any of the Ten Sephiroth. When observed closely, they are shown to be miniatures of the overall Tree of Life. It is fractal in nature.
– The Minor Arcana are creating dimensionality and space within our own imaginative thinking. With the Major Arcana, the images had to be brought into life and movement, metamorphosis from one image to the next had to be pictured. But here, it is more about shifting of internal perspective. Needing to inwardly back up or zoom in, flip upside down or inside out in order to “see” or imagine the transition from image to image properly. The only experience we really had like that before was when we spoke about the Empress with Estelle there. We became the part that completes the imagery of the Arcana. Different, but similar experience.
When we see these as the 10 Names of the one God, we realize that God can only be grasped to any degree if one climbs around, on top of Him, backs up and runs towards, to see and feel Him from all sides. Like a small child playing with an adult.
– This was such a full but very quick conversation. The Six is so insistent and efficient! All three conversations were this way.
– The Four of Coins. The most prominent feature is not a coin. It is insisting that you see that coin as a plant. There’s a third party at work—something is presenting this. There’s a fertilization and cross-pollination happening. What the Four shows explicitly is the key to understanding the whole suit. Assume it is there in the others albeit unseen.
– Going back through the notes on the Magician. We noted so much of the presence of the Lion in the Magician. E.g. Magician (1) = Sun; Wheel of Fortune (10) = Lion and The Sun (19)—all of the “One” Arcana (1, 10, 19) are related to the Sun/Leo/Heart.
So up until now, using The World as the archetype, we have been working thusly:
(Bull/High Priestess/He(1)) (Lion/Emperor/He(2))
so moving through the name, with Vau/He(2) becoming Yod/He(1), the paths move horizontally:
But what if we made the Magician/Yod = Lion? And The Emperor the Angel/Water Bearer (he certainly bears his scepter like a pitcher of water)? Then we would have:
and our paths would then move from below to above—the opposite of the paths we formed with the Major Arcana. This in a way makes much more sense, if the Major Arcana move from Above (Magician) to Below (World), and the Minors move from Below (Coins) to Above (Batons):
This gives us a nicer structure for our sequence so far:
With the new formation, we can see a movement from the seed-like Ace, upward to the blossoming out of the Four, which will carry on in terms of the Seven. A gesture of unfolding.
Then with the animated Two it moves up into the more consolidated Five, and this consolidation will continue into the Eight. A gesture of enclosing.
The Three and Six clearly have the quality of holding all in balance. This is accentuated by this new vertical formation.
Let’s sit with it and see how we feel about it.
My my, the Six was like a bullet! Maybe the Seven will be more playful??
We ended with the fourth stanza of the Foundation Stone Meditation in eurythmy.