Page of Cups

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Synthetic Meaning

            The Page of Cups, by the orientation of his movement, by the tall uncovered cup which he is presenting before him, and by his white hair, garlanded with four-petal flowers, indicates that all work, all effort either physical or spiritual, accompanied with an offering, is becoming the harbinger or the transmitter of a beneficial contribution.

Analytic Meaning

            The passivity of the Cup, joined to that of the Page, is indicated by his step towards the left. Not having any initiative, the Page would have to remain immobile; his movement indicates therefore that this is internal and that his step symbolizes a tendency and not a reality.

            On the other hand, it is useful to remember that his change of position is only towards the left from the point of view of the person looking at the card and that, for the Page, the movement he makes is towards the right. [1]  This contradiction is apparent. The activity of the Page towards the right is within him and suggests a pronounced internal elaboration; in its exterior manifestation, this activity reverses its meaning, as the act of a personfrozen in the moment, and this reversal symbolizes a strong psychic disposition, strong owing to the internal operation of the Page, who is altruistic since it is turned towards his right,psychic in its aspect since it appears on the outside as an expansion of the heart.

Specific Analogues

            The Cup, tall and narrow, indicates depth and the retention of that which it contains; it is open so that it can be filled, thus indicating that some things must be given in exchange for the promise made by the movement of the Page, so that there is a communion.

            He holds the cup in his right hand and the lid in his in his left hand to show that Man conceals or reveals his achievements according to the needs of his undertakings.      

            The red bulge in the middle shows that the offering must be a sacrifice made in the material world.

            The veil, flesh-colored against the cup, the underside of the yellow veil surrounding his neck, is the protection which an intelligent design and the use of vital forces provide for him, since the psychic gifts born by the Page are by necessity balanced and must be protecting against any forfeiture.

            Furthermore, these offerings, half covered and not plainly revealed, are hopes, promises not yet fulfilled, and thus possibilities and not realities.

            The large red vest, floating around him, unlike the one that tightly clings to the Page of Swords, shows that he is more free of matter than is the later.

            The garland of flowers indicates that the mental elaboration of what is given and what is received by the Cup are on the animistic level, but susceptible to turning into emotional feelings; the four petals, as a set of four, suggest their becoming concrete.

            The whiteness of the hair shows the impersonality of the Page, which is to say, the absence of individualism in the beginnings of a psychic operation.

            The red shoes indicate undertakings on the lower plane.

            The black ribbing, the yellow ground, uneven, specify resistances on all the planes; the green tufts of grass indicate sources of energy vital for overcoming them, and the yellow tufts of grass are intellectual contributions.

            While the cards in the suite of Cups from Two to Ten display cups entirely yellow, with the exception of their red interiors, symbolizing the vessel of human undertakings, passionate sentiments dressed in intelligence, and which, if they start with a sincere spirit direct at that which is Above, will come to fruition; but the Cup of the PAGE has a red center, round [2], implying an energetic effort which the soul must make in the material world in order to reconcile the universal and synthetic aspects with animistic intelligence, manifested by the sphere.  [?]

Meanings As They Relate To The Three Planes

            MENTAL. Comfort in spiritual thoughts, projects. Elimination of doubt.

            ANIMISTIC. Comfort even more powerful than in the previous one, because the Cups are psychic, comfort in hopes. Emotional support.

            PHYSICAL. Being set free from an emotional matter, liberation from sorrow.  For matters of health, the hope of being healed, if there is a serious affliction.

            INVERTED. The weight of distress, psychic neediness. A feeling of complete abandonment.

*

            In sum, in its Elementary Sense, the happy, spiritual contribution which comes to Man when his psychic evolution is accompanied by the offering of his soul.

[1] On this topic see the discussions about the position of the figures presented in n. 1 on the Magician.

[2] The same detail exists for the Knight of Cups and the Queen of Cups.

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Page of Coins

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Synthetic Meaning

            The Page of Coins, wearing a hat in the shape of an 8, with one side drooping, standing firmly on grassy ground, lifting up Above a coin held in his right hand, the other hand touching his belt, while another coin is on the ground next to his right foot, suggests the existence of a plan to connect the mental and material states, resulting in a fertile yield on the planes of the material world.

Analytic Sense

            The place between the high and the low is established by the extreme placement of the two coins; the one below is not held by the Page because he does not raise matter up to mind, but rather brings mind down to matter.  The hat in the shape of an 8, with a brim bending towards the ground, also accentuates, though in an intellectual way, this action of the Page. His role as a mediator continues to be apparent because of his hand resting on his yellow belt with 4 triangles, separating the upper from the lower part of his body, thus marking the work of intelligence being exercised with a perfect balance between the higher part of matter, represented by his torso, and the lower part, indicated by his legs. The perfect balance results from the 3, a reconciled balance, repeated 4 times, as 4 constitutes material balance.

            The passivity of the Page is marked by his immobility, but the action of his right hand of holding the coin shows that this passivity contains willful activity and is the harbinger of actions to be carried out, since the right hand expresses the efforts of a human directed outward.[1]

Specific Analogies

            The hat’s figure-8 shape indicates as well that time does not exist, owing to the permanence of the balance represented by the 8, and the figure’s fixed regard for the coin he holds up indicates a persistent vigilance.

            The variety of the colors implies that the action is exercised in all the spheres.

            The tufts of green grass on the ground, flesh-colored, indicate the physical component of nervous impulses; the yellow tufts indicate the mental component, fighting against the inertia of matter represented by the black lines.

Meanings As They Relate To The Three Planes

            MENTAL. Creative intelligence, which is to say knowing how to choose the elements necessary for creation.

            ANIMISTIC. Choice of the elements necessary to arrive at one’s ends.

            PHYSICAL. Balance in business or in health.

            INVERTED. It is neutralized; the liaison officer no longer exists, and his action is rendered inoperative.

*

            In its Elementary Sense, the Page of Coins is presented to Man as a messenger announcing the realization of his projects because he has designed them in accord with that which Above and that which is below.

[1] v. the information about the Pages in the introduction to the court cards of the Minor Arcana.

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Page of Swords

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Synthetic Meaning

         The Page of Swords, through his figure turned to the left, through the use of his left hand to hold the sword, through his firmly-planted pose emphasizing immobility, expresses his passivity.[1] The large yellow sword which he holds vertically, while holding its red scabbard, indicates a strong mental action, disengaging itself from matter in order to orient itself towards the Above. The combination of all these things synthesizes the preparation of Man to detach his mental activities from matter and organize his spiritual powers on a higher plane.

Analytic Meaning

         The sword symbolizing the extension of a base (the pommel), in a specific direction (the blade), indicates the prolonging of an action whose origin is rooted in matter (the red scabbard).

         The passivity of the Page does not allow this extension to be effective and bring about a realization; it makes him accomplish a task standing in place, that is to say, a preparation in view of a future concrete action.

Specific Analogies

         The yellow lining of the cape indicates the potential of the powers of intelligence, all potential being latent and constituting a kind of envelope of forces, just as the cape envelops the man. This yellow also represents a mental action, protected by a spiritual force, designated by the blue, which will acquire its power of manifestation from physical force which, located on his shoulders, is indicated by the flesh color.

         The blade of the sword has at its base a double black line, extending into a single about two-thirds along its length, underlining thus the potential of strength [2]; its double edge and impressive pommel indicate that the man has, at the origin of his actions, a mental power with a double action, which is to say, the ability to be directed towards the good or the bad.

         The seven buttons on his tunic signify his affinity with the first seven cards and, most of all, with the 7th card.

         His hat with its large red brim, lined with blue, shows that it is being weighed down by matter, this not being able to act without the vibration of spirituality, but his yellow hair indicates that the intelligence which will motivate him and emerge from this state will come from Above.

         His head, inclined to the left, underscores his passivity as well, and his white hair his impersonality; it neither directs nor influences his undertaking, but it prepares him. The white trim of his collar, on his wrist and on the wrist guard of is sword, reinforces this notion, indicating a volitional absence of action, a negation of the personality.

         His blue legs, ending in feet shod in red posed in opposite directions, are the indication of a future progression by means of the spiritual, but now in a latent state.

         The two tufts of grass, one green and the other yellow, emerging from the rough yellow ground, offer vital and mental energy.

Meanings As They Relate To The Three Planes

         MENTAL. Events on the move, close by.

         ANIMISTIC and PHYSICAL. This card is inoperativein the physical, the blue legs and the red feet indicating a weak contact with the physical.

         INVERTED. Obstruction. Powerlessness in the face of superior forces. The inability to organize mental activities

*

         In sum, in its Elementary Sense, the Page of Swords represents the mental elaborations which are produced in the mental world of Man, when he is deciding to act.

[1]  The reader will want to refer to [p. 231]: the Page of Cups, the second paragraph of the Analytic Meaning and n. 1.

[2] With reference to this subject see the explication given for the Seven of Swords, as well as those for the Three and Five of Swords.

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Introduction to the Court Cards of the Minor Arcana

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            The Court cards of the minors are for synthesizing the polarity of numbers; activity and passivity, indicated by odd and even numbers respectively, are represented, on the one hand, by teh Knights and the Kings, and on the other hand, by the Pages and the Queens. Human representation has been used to mark a plane elevated over that of the numbers, a plan where responsibility and freedom are to be found in acts.

            More abstractly, one might say that the figures symbolize a synthesis of the quality of the numbers on a plane superior to that of the four Aces and that they are an adaptation of unity–the principle of ten numbers–to the Universal, in which Man finds himself situated.

*

            The conscious quaternary, formed by the figures, implies a terrestrial value and an evolutionary value, the first symbolizing the state of Man in the physical world, and the second, the need he has to disengage himself from the material in order to evolve.

            This is indicated by the quaternary of Pages who are distinct from that of the Knights, which differ themselves in turn from those of the Queens, as these later do from the Kings.

*

            These figures are characterized in the following way: THE PAGE, in his elevated form, is a point of departure representing consciousness, not yet with the breath of life, and enclosed in the immobility of 4; this is why it is conscious Chaos, ready to act, a potential under pressure. He is equally an annunciator and his costume and his attributes symbolize the character of an announcement.

            More elementarily, he points to things in power and in the process of being carried out, without having sufficient force himself to act because of his own passivity.

            The four Pages denote internal workings in the sense particular to each card. This is clear from the spin on each of their symbols. The Pages are represented by, in order, a very long sword, a large baton, a deep cup, and by two coins; no other court card has a doubled symbol.

*

            The KNIGHT is that Chaos which emerges from his own immobility under the influence of the spirit as it evolves. The figure is on a horse and not on foot, showing therefore that the principle of the Page is carried along in its evolution. From this it results that, not being his own master, he cannot direct his horse unless he maintains his balance.

            In its basic class, it is essentially active; it transmits and acts, pursuing the directives of the Page.

            To complete its evolution, the Knight must be in attendance of THE QUEEN who represents spiritual passivity, along with wisdom and temperance, since the feminine principle, by reason of its passivity, maintains the calm and the equilibrium necessary to receive wisdom. A fertilizing and thus creative, principle, which, in its elementary sense, brings the contributions of the Knight to light.   

*

            The three preceding figures permit the ultimate realization of THE KING, the principle of strength and power resulting from the fusion of the the passive element, the Queen, and of the active element, the Knight. The King represents domination over all the planes–the cosmic plane, for example, over the elements.

            In its elemental principle, it is a director.

*

            The court cards of the minors consist of a mix of Universal laws–ones which the set of four obeys–and the laws of matter which it directs. These cards are therefore placed last, since they are mediators.

*

            The Tarot consists, therefore, of three series relating to combinations of numbers: the first, formed by the Major Arcana, represent the action of the Universal over the combinations of the numbers; the second, formed by the Minor Arcana from 1 to 10, indicate the combinations of the numbers in themselves, and the third, formed by Court of the Minor Arcana, specifies Man’s reactions to the combinations of numbers. 

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Six of Swords

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Synthetic Meaning

            To achieve the equilibrium of the two ternaries[1], one spiritual and the other material, as well as the activity resulting from their polarization, the Six of Swords is represented entirely by six stylized swords, symbolizing, consequently, the every more subtle currents of the subconscious. They surround a flowering branch whose five petals of yellow color with a red flower rest on a white base. This signifies an attempt to bring mind into balance with the material world through a state of internal consciousness which has already evolved.

Analytic Meaning

            In a circle, the center is regarded as an abstract point, because it is only understood as the convergence of equal rays, while the circumference is visible and in contact with the exterior of the circle. It follows that the elements destined for the interior of the circle will be especially more subtle as they get closer to the center and all the more concrete when they are situated on the periphery.

            This is why the black swords signify the currents of mental activity, in the depths or on the surface of the subconscious, depending on whether they are on the interior or not.

            That which is described above essentially applies to the branch which occupies the center.

            The comparison of this branch with the one which is depicted at the center of the Four of Swords shows the work which is accomplished between that card and this one; this is more complete, contains elements less disparate, less elementary, such as the two yellow leaves of the Four of Swords and, on the other hand, the small black fruit, which represent the necessity of selection and of elimination. It is closer to the Cup, which indicates a less complete suppresion.

            But the most important thing is the white support beneath the petals. As the black color characterizes invisibility, that which is in obscurity, the white indicates that which cannot be seen because it is indistinguishable from its surroundings. Put more generally, the white light, as a synthesis of colors and a simple of spiritual purity or of higher states. This white support indicates, therefore, the orientation of the flowery elements towards a higher state by the support which they have been given.

            In the Four of Swords, the red blossom (blooming in material activities) is separated from the sevel yellow petals by a blue corolla, while in the Six of Swords, the petals are five in number and the corolla which separates them is red; psychicsm (blue), found necessary in the Four of Swords to permit the transition between the mental (yellow) and the blossom, disappears since a white support (of a higher order) is added to the task of development of the branch and allows direct contact between the mental (the blooming of the yellow petals) and the surge into matter symbolized by the red blossom. The flower on the card represents a psychic power, one that is internal but conscious of itself; the blossom indicates the effect of this power which is red, blue, or yellow.

            The red cut of the stem has the same significance as it does in the Four of Swords. 

            The four exterior flowers are the branch’s emanations which are manifested outwardly.

            The semi-circular swords have the same meaning as they do on the Four of Swords, as do the hilts and and handles.

Meanings As They Relate To The Three Planes

            MENTAL. Creative ideas, the conception of undertakings to pursue, implementation of innovative ideas.

            ANIMISTIC. Comforting, effective protection. Useful relationships among people.

            PHYSICAL. Gestation, maternity, with the hope of success. In the case of a business matter: balanced development. Harmony. Security.

            INVERTED. Mental disorders. Torments in business. One’s hopes diminished or lost An affinity for evil or disharmony.

*

            In its elementary sense, the Six of Swords indicates the mental activity of Man directed by him in order to bring about organizing and conciliating material forces.  

            [1] See “Generalities on the Numbers from 1 to 10,” no. 6.

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Five of Swords

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Synthetic Meaning

            By representing four stylized swords across which passes the accurate image of a large sword, flesh colored, the Five of Swords symbolizes breaking through the thick layer of the material 4 through forceful mental activity which draws its power from the vital energies and giving access to a state of being on a higher plane.

Analytic Meaning

            As indicated in the previous card, the “Self” was interior, and the Five of Swords manifests it on the exterior. In effect, the branch has disappeared and nothing remains but the four exterior flowers (now a little more open), indicating contibutions from the card, directed outwards and offering mitigations, hopes.

            The point of the sword, passing through the circle formed by the stylized swords, after having been enclosed in their interior, marks the transition from the quarternary plane to another plane. From a psychological point of view, it shows the phase where the Sword, redirecting its activity outward, takes on a clearer design by comparison with the exterior; in other words, the Five of Swords symbolizes an awareness, through Being, of its own individuality, through communication with the Universal.

            The blade and the hilt of the central sword, flesh-colored, indicating as in the Three of Swords, its activity and the fact that it is firmly grounded in the physical; the yellow guard shows that an intelligent Will presides over its action in the material world in order to direct it towards the spirit, and the red hilt indicates that the mental activity of the Five of Swords draws its reserves from an already-refined matter.

            The shape of the pommel and the swords in semicircle have the same meaning as they do in the Three of Swords, and the same meaning for the guards andhiltsas for the Two of Swords.

Meanings As They Relate To The Three Planes

            MENTAL. Willed, clear thought. Decision. Comprehensive understanding of events.

            ANIMISTIC. This card is less animistic, because it addresses the intellectual aspect of a psychic question. If it is a matter, for example, of a union, there will be a marriage based on reason and not out of impulse, because the activity of this card, coming as it does after the Four of Swords, implies an effort alongside a passivity which leads to a sacrifice of the animistic.

            PHYSICAL. On the road to success. On a path towards results. Power of action over accessions.

            INVERTED.  Obstinacy, heaviness, obstacle, because the point enters into the ground and finds itself stuck. Matters difficult to negotiate. Very serious halting.

*

            In its Elementary Sense, the Five of Cups represents the decision which Man makes to plough through the difficulties which are presented to him through his crystallization in the world of the elements.

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Four of Swords

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Synthetic Meaning

By enclosing within their oval a branch with with a complete set of elements (stem, leaves, buds, flower, etc.), the four stylized swords symbolize the constructive energy of 4, ordering and consolidating things in order to give them security in their future development; they are still enclosed, but the branch which represents them has been cut and is ready to use when the oval will be unwoven; in fact it will have disappeared with the split that takes place in the Five of Swords.

Analytic Meaning

            The number 4 indicates here the quarternary forces brought together, the “ego” is inside, its work, represented by the cut branch, all being ready for use, potentiated, and it will require the next card to be externalized.

            The central flower, with its blue corolla, its red pistol, its yellow petals and its flesh-colored twig, synthesizes the four elements, and, as it is in its budding state, shields them but also presents them ready to be be born.

            The two blue-and-yellow leaves are ramifications, the means of communication and expansion of these forces or fluids, they indicate a realization.

            The small yellow leaves are the beginnings of activity, they are folded and unite at their base to suggest the idea of an inchoate polarity, a potential of activity. The small black fruit above them indicates matter as it evolves, as well as the necessity of selection and elimination.

            The red interior of the cut twig represents the life current or the blood, the force of the physical plane.

            The significance of the swords in a semi-circle is the same as that for the Two and the Three of Swords, but one will note here, as well as on the following Sword cards, that at their junction above and below and midway, the blue and yellow parts of the swords are colored in blocks. This is to mark the fact that, together, the currents of activity represented by the swords have contact with the impersonal and represent a relaxing of strength, while still being distinct in their individual courses.

            This relaxation, always blue above and below, and yellow on the left and right, indicates that mental activity is developed in its spiritual form on the higher planes and in a physical form on the lower planes, while while being dressed in mentality in the work of the interior Self and in its contact with exterior forces (the “Self” is situated on the left side of the card, and the “Not Self” on the right side).

            The four exterior flowers, smaller on this card than they are on the preceding ones, represent dispersions caused by the animistic activity of construction. [?]

Meanings As They Relate To The Three Planes

            MENTAL. Fluid richness.

            ANIMISTIC. Feelings which are certain and deep, union without disturbance.

            PHYSICAL. Creation, organization with a great potential permitting a realization of a project, whatever it is. Matters very rich in spirituality.

            INVERTED.. If the flower is aimed downward, the card indicates grief, depression, sorrow, a feeling which tarnishes and persists.

*

            In its Elementary Sense, the Four of Swords represents joy,  the internal ardor of Man, created by effort and constructive activity.

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