Six of Cups (IV)

Notes of a Hermetic Conversation between Joel and Phillip on April 1, 2021

April 1, 2021

Six of Cups, pt 2

We began with the protective practice.

We then invoked the presence of the Holy Spirit to guide the conversation.

After briefly focusing the mantra SHE FEELS on the region of the heart, we enacted the second part of the Inner Radiance Sequence (“In purest love for all that lives radiates the Godhood of my soul”), the 8th letter of the Divine Alphabet, and the 8th part of the Grail Knight’s practice.

We then read from Revelation 16:2-4

– We began with a specific spread:

Six (Shin)

Five (He) Four (Vau/Yod)

Three (Shin)

Two (He) Ace (Vau/Yod)

…with the Major Arcana associated with them arranged around it:

– The eye at the base of the Six of Cups…where have we seen it before? This was a question from our prior conversation. We thought that we had only seen it on the Knight of Swords, but it is also right there on Justice’s crown. 

We have associated Justice with the Six of Cups in our method above. But these “eyes” only align if we flip one of them upside down. It’s interesting—this tendency to flip the cards upside down is something that Natalia does very often. Yet at the same time, it seems to be intrinsic to the Suit of Cups. 

The eye is also there in a different form at the top of the Ace of Cups—but there it is red instead of yellow.

And the crown of the Ace of Swords—Natalia noticed this last time.

It is in the Knight of Swords at the bottom. But in Justice and both Aces it is at the top. Although it is also on two different places on the horse’s bridle in the Knight of Swords.

– We’ve never noticed before how much the two pillars on her throne resemble the hilts of the swords throughout the deck. Especially the hilt of the Ace of Swords. And the back part of her throne doesn’t continue all the way down…notice the white part…or maybe there isn’t a throne there at all? Two pillars, and then the yellow striation would be her wings. 

This puts her somewhere in between the Empress (who has these solidified wings as her throne) and the Pope (who also has two pillars, except they are blue). Also somewhere between Empress and Temperance: what Justice has are not quite wings as in Temperance…but they are more than just wing shapes as in the Empress. 

Her crown glows at the top, just like the crown of the King of Swords.

Is the King of Swords pulling something out of his box that is akin to the pillars of Justice? Her pillars could be like the two handles on a scroll that is being unrolled behind her, like the “wings” are the paper of the scroll being unrolled. And we noticed this about the King of Swords’ baton: like it is also a scroll unrolling as he pulls it out of the box.

This brings her into relationship with the High Priestess as well…the blend of High Priestess’s veil above her and the book in her lap. The two combined make this scroll.

And the High Priestess also has a scroll that is rolled up, it is horizontal—from shoulder to shoulder. Presumably fabric, not paper. 

With Justice this scroll is vertical and fully opened. 

With the High Priestess it is horizontal and closed.

And with the King of Swords it is diagonal and in the process of opening.

– Justice upside down next to the Six of Cups right-side up…this accentuates the central bit of Justice’s red robe…like a tall and narrow hill. It stands out. It’s almost shaped like a tongue.

In the context of the scroll in the High Priestess not yet being unrolled…if it unrolled down to the book it would be like a tongue. 

This descent that Tomberg speaks of in the Letter-Meditation on the High Priestess…from revelation, to memory, to word and then to book. The tongue = the word. Taking us back to this etymology of word/blood/blade/tongue. Tongue as another word for “language”, speaking in tongues.

The High Priestess, then, is holding her tongue.

Does that mean she’s deferring judgement, holding her tongue? The book is somehow the pure imprint of her revelation, without her judgement or opinion present in it. It’s like she skips a step…only revelation—memory—book, no word/tongue. It doesn’t manifest in all planes, only in the book; she has restraint elsewhere, even in the head, restriction of thought. She is protected the whole way through until it manifests as book, it is pure.

Skipping the third stage—reminds Joel of Tomberg’s works on Jurisprudence. There was the initial doctoral dissertation, which was followed by a somewhat longer work, between 1944-46. Then there was a third text which was meant specifically for the rehabilitation of Germany after WWII, which wasn’t finished in time to be put to use, and so Tomberg burned the manuscript. Then he wrote an even longer, more exhaustive piece in 1952. So the third step, the “magical” step is burned. Is sacred magic always a hidden, sacrificial act? 

The scroll as tongue…beginning to see the scroll/wings as a being behind Justice that is speaking through her, like the tongue comes from the scroll-being behind her. The throne/wings/scroll are shaped like the muscles in the voice box, curved muscles like in the jaw, connective tissue of gastric muscles. 

Maybe the rope around her neck is also connected to this being? The red above this rope is different from what is below. A more restrained, set-aside quality vs the folds and shadows on the rest of the red robe.

As though from the rope up is her own being, and below the rope is actually this other being expressing itself through her.

The rope makes one think of a noose—like she’s under threat of death. A compelling factor in terms of her ability to set aside her personal drives. If she doesn’t, her consequence is death. Justice dies when personal opinion/preference holds sway.

Both the Six of Cups and Four of Cups = Justice.

This scroll-being, with one eye (in the crown), pushing the scale through her, like it’s dripping out…like she’s a sieve. 

It’s kind of alarming to look back at the Majors after the Suit of Swords! All the images become much more visceral, full of strange beings.

– Creating a particular spread, based out of the progression of the scroll…

High Priestess (Horizontal, closed scroll)—King of Swords (diagonal, opening scroll)—Justice (vertical, open scroll)

So we begin with these three images:

High Priestess—King of Swords—Justice

Now let’s add in the Arcanum that comes after the High Priestess, the Empress…since it comes after the High Priestess, it aligns with the King of Swords:

We can see its connection to the King of Swords. Then if we add in the Arcanum that comes before Justice, The Chariot:

There, too, we can see its strong connection to the King of Swords. Then if we add in the Arcana that come before and after the King of Swords, we have the full spread that expresses the “unrolling of the scroll”:

And here we see the strong connection of the Queen of Swords with the High Priestess. This places the Ace of Cups into connection with Justice. Maybe the Ace of Cups is the being working through Justice? This same strange creature that we see emerging out of this city/cup?

– Really, the Eye was there in the center of almost every single one of the coins in the Suit of Coins—except for the Ace, Knave, Knight and King—but it is there in the Queen, who expresses the Suit of Cups within the Coins. The Eye is the core of the Coin. 

– And what about the Fool? Does he have eyes on his belt? Almost like a profile view of the eye…there would be four eyes on his belt. When you look at the Fool sideways, this belt almost reminds you of one of these central plant/spear beings in the Suit of Cups. It also looks like a recorder, or bells.

– Looking at another arrangement…placing the Cups that we’ve worked with so far in such a way that the development of the “yellow Eye” can be seen. The Four of Cups has no yellow on its plant, it is the only one so far…placing the others in an organic order, we have:

You wonder how many different parts of the plant could you track the development of, their different manifestations in different modes throughout the Cup Arcana?

– Some reflections from doing the notes from last time. Realising that this central plant in the Six of Cups goes upwards (yellow), downwards (blue), and outwards (red/blue center). This is reminiscent of the Foundation Stone Meditation, where the Father works from above to below, the Spirit works from below to above, and the Son works in the encircling round.

Joel also realised that what we called the YHVH cross at the top is related to the Father, and the yellow eye at the bottom is related to the Mother, whereas this central cross of red and blue is related to Christ and Mary-Sophia, weaving their activity together in order to reunite Father and Mother. 

This makes sense that it expresses itself in the Six of Cups, six in terms of the Luminous Holy Trinity…even though it doesn’t indicate the hexagram form of the Luminous Holy Trinity at all, not the way the Six of Coins does.

In the Chemical Wedding, there were three pairs of King and Queen that were beheaded. Maybe that’s what each pair of Cups is, a beheaded royal couple. And this central object is the seventh, the beheaded executioner. There is something spear or weapon-like about it.

The noose around Justice’s neck…the idea of beheading, of each of the cups throughout the whole Suit as beheaded somehow.

– The development of the plant-being up through Five we were able to discern. There was this kind of exploding and elaborating that went on from Ace to Three, then a kind of consolidation in the Four, then a split and further elaboration in the Five. The Five was a culmination of sorts. It is now more difficult to see how this form could have reunited and developed into the plant-form of the Six. How do you get to the Six from the Five?

You could imagine that this upper plant in the Five of Cups is in the act of beheading, kind of karate-chopping the central cup. Maybe it then becomes two cups. Then the plants rejoin together. Again this gesture of beheading.

From the Ace to the Two, it’s a bit of a magical leap…but the Three is really already envisioned quite clearly in the Two. Then the Three-Four is a pair, where the single cup at the top of the Three is cut in two. Then a leap to the Five, then a more natural transition to the Six as we understand it now. A bit like the Suit of Swords, a pairing off is happening. You can’t see the transition from Four to Five, or from Six to Seven…no seamless, continual transition. 

The difference with the Suit of Cups vs the Suit of Swords is that you can imagine the transitions even when they’re difficult. With the Swords it was impossible. Yet this gesture of pairing up does continue, and of cutting.

From Three to Four you have a natural evolution due to a cut. Then between Four and Five you have to do some real mental gymnastics to imagine the metamorphosis, akin to the activity we had to do throughout the Suit of Coins. A trickier metamorphosis, not just a simple development from a cut.

– Going through the metamorphic gesture Arcanum by Arcanum:

We begin with the Ace of Cups, which has this being embedded in it, ready to explode out.

In the Two of Cups, this being has burst forth. The upper “city” portion of the Ace of Cups has flipped off the top and become one of the cups in the Two, while the lower “pyramid” portion of the Ace of Cups has become the other cup. This crazy dolphin-flower in the center is the gestating being from the Ace of Cups fully exposed, developing visibly.

These dolphins are concentrating their crazy energy on this central flower, which through their activity develops into the upper cup in the Three of Cups. The dolphins are sucking all the blue out of that top flower, and thereby all of this red blood, the puddle at the base of the Two, which came forth out of the explosion of the Ace of Cups, is sucked up the stem of the central flower in the Two. This transforms the upmost portion into a cup, and the rest (the dolphin-plant hybrid) becomes merely a plant, a very harmonious form.

This plant-form in the Three of Cups has a fourth cup gestating as a kind of seed-husk, below the upper cup. This is released and rises as the fourth cup in the Four of Cups, which in a way combines and inverts the two stems coming out of the seed-husk in the Three, turning them into the single stemmed plant-form in the Four.

Then the central red flower in the Four of Cups transforms into the central cup in the Five of Cups, splitting the plant into two distinct plant-beings for the first time: one above and one below. The upper plant “karate chops” the central cup in the Five, splitting it into two cups in the Six; this simultaneously reunites the two plants. But how?

With the upper portion, there has been a further differentiation, refinement, a transfer of color. For example, the uppermost form of both the Five and the Six is similar, but in the Five it is all yellow, whereas in the Six it is red and blue.

There are no leaves in the Six, whereas the Five has very prominent leaves. This blue “Aries” shape is the closest, but all contracted.

Perhaps the big leaves and the bottom red flower of the Five combine with each other somehow to become the central red and blue flower of the Six? This flower has very leafy petals. Like when the karate-chop happened, it flipped the lower plant upside down. Notice the red and blue portion just above the lowest red flower in the Five of Cups is very similar to the blue and red flowers just below the central flower in the Six. 

There is no white in this plant; whereas the Four had no yellow.

Placing the Four next to the Six, there are similarities up to a point. There is a direct analogy from the top half of the Four’s plant to the top half of the Six’s. The blue “mop” becomes the YHVH cross; the red “mohawk” becomes the red blossom; the blue triangle face becomes the blue Aries sigil. So each portion becomes more elaborate and beautiful in the Six vs the Four, no longer a bunch of weird tools or bugs stuck together. 

The bottom half has separated out into two different forms in the Six rather than this more unified cross that we see in the Four.

And the central part as changed completely. 

The whole gesture is one of pulling in, more concentrated in the Six. 

Looking a bit ahead, the remaining numbered Cups go in a totally different direction. Crazy bat forms. No real continuity with what we’ve seen so far.

Three, Four, Five, Six—here we have something individualised, through a distinctive pulsing. The Ace as a solid beginning, the Two as a tension and splitting, then the Three a harmonious display, then the Four a consolidating, then the Five an even more harmonious and expressive display, the the Six an even more richly concentrating gesture. 

And then a different story starts…the Cups shrink in size. A pretty consistent trajectory from here on out rather than this polarising back and forth of expression and contraction.

Maybe Seven, Eight, and Nine tell a whole tale, but then the Ten stands apart because it’s so stark and crowded. Much less efficient to fit ten cups on a single card vs ten swords…

Which never even happened! Those weren’t real swords…it’s all a lie…What are these things, anyway?? We still don’t know.

Like in Weinreb, the six represents completion. The fruition of something which transfers us to the next world, the next story in the seven.

Entombment. Seed. Full formation of a seed—the inverse of a seed in a way. The full completion, and richly concentrated process. The last moment of the pre-resurrected body. After that moment, it’s completely different for the rest of time. 

– Each pair of Cups in the Six goes with a blue plant form between red plant forms…But then at the very bottom there is this yellow all of a sudden. This yellow is “extra”, the 7th cup gestating or rather the story of Seven, Eight and Nine gestating. 

Protruding as a new thing—like a snake shedding its skin. Maybe you could see the upper part of the plant as the fraying of the old skin of the snake, giving glimpses of the new skin underneath. But the head of the snake really pokes out at the bottom, really exposes itself. 

An Eye really brings in a human element to this central plant-creature. 

The Mother as witness, as the beholder, responsive to what she perceives. E.g. the fratricide of Abel by Cain; she beholds this, and is totally responsive to it—she cannot respond otherwise than to descend with the spilt blood of Abel into the depths. 

This is the development of sensory organs in the plant—the stones thirst for warmth, the animals for tone/word, and the plants for light. Here is the plant seeking the light.

In Goethe’s Fairy Tale, the snake eats all the coins spilt by the laughter of the will-o’-the-wisps. This makes the cave glow, and transforms the snake into a bridge at the end. One could also see this Six of Cups as a bridge.

We closed with the second part of the Foundation Stone Meditation.