King of Coins

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Synthetic Meaning

            Not wearing a crown, his head covered with an intricate hat resting on white hair, and in a rich and elaborate outfit, the King of Coins, sitting, with one leg crossed over the other, his body turned to the left and his head towards the right, symbolizes thereby mental richness and the human sciences [i.e., psychology and sociology, which used to be grouped under the rubric “sciences morales”], allowing by their judicious use and, from case to case, the gradual or immediate realization in matter of constructs engendered by the mind.

Analytic Meaning

            The complexity of the hairstyle of the King of Coins indicates the ensemble of working plans which he embodies and which he reflects in the material world.  The absence of a crown shows, in effect, that he does not radiate in the Universal the way the other kings do, but that he operates through the  leans at the disposal of Man, in other words, through psychology which, by itself, cannot give communication with the Universal, that is to say, mastery through a higher plane.

Specific Analogies

            The triangles on his hat represent constructions, because the triangle, through its immutable balance, is the essential schematic element of every edifice [1].  The blue colors of his cap, the flesh color of the higher section, and the yellow of the lower section indicate deduction and inductions, exercised over vital work, which allows matter to be directed and controlled. Its shape in an 8 indicates an undertaking in a closed circuit, thus complete and with the possibility of being realized.

            The white hair below it is a rich supply of knowledge, in various currents and in the effluences from a higher plane; it denotes that in the King of Coins is powerful erudition, elaborate and luminous.

            His white beard, an indication of will and the means of carrying it out, confirms an emission of synthetic currents, while his moustache, flesh colored, represents the contribution of nervous force.

            The part of his blue cloak which his left hand is lifting implies, in as much as it is a coat, an envelopment by intuitive forces and, by his drawing it back, a willful condensation of auric fluids, a collection of psychic activities for a specific and precise action. That fold being made on his raised right leg accentuates a disposition towards action and makes it evident that it is soon.

            The numbers 3, 2, and 7, marked by the three black points on his yellow collar, two buttons on his red vest, along with six white diamonds and a white line on the black back of his armchair, by their shapes, preside over the nature of the operations which the King of Coins effects on the three planes: mental, animistic, and material. On his collar, the three units, or points, indicate abstractions in a ternary mode, and, consequently, the application of mathematics to the triangular constructions of his hair. The two circles of his vest constitute a polarity, one which implies the reconciliation of opposites and presides over all combinations. The seven white figures (four squares and a line) traced on the black part of the chair, raised over four legs, shows by the seven the range of knowledges acquired in the material plane, represented by the double quaternary. The overall consideration of these three numbers affirms the materialization of the designs of the King of Coin, since the last number can be found inscribed outside of him.  The six black dots on the flesh-colored crossbar of the chair define the small struggles which he encounters in the physical world; the four black lines connecting the base of the two visible legs of the chair represent the small points of resistance in his development, and the five black lines above are the small points of resistance in the transition that leads to the result.

            The coin held in his right hand, therefore active, and placed on his raised knee, representing therefore the hinge of a levering arm ready to act, confirms an imminent setting-into-motion and an almost immediate realization. The coin is small because it represents a gathering of the human sciences, which is to say, an ensemble of means of construction more abstract than concrete, the smallness symbolizing the synthesis which, at his greatest, is reduced to a point.

            On this Arcanum, the royalty of the figure is not indicated by the crown, this being absent, but by the richness and intricacy of his clothing, whose multiplicity of elements means an abundance of powers.

            The King of Coins the only one who reposes on uneven ground. Because of this he stirs up matter through his mental and material activity. The tufts of grass which grow on the rough ground are flourishes of intelligence, and the white part of the soil represents the equipoise which he brings.

Meanings As They Relate to the Three Planes

            MENTAL. Powerful, universal, insightful intelligence, the capacity for introspection in all domains.

            ANIMISTIC. Not very lively, it is neutral in matters of affection. The materialization of hopes, support in the material world.

            PHYSICAL. Diverse and very active affairs, changes in nature.  Health, with the conflicts due to changes of temperament, for it is charged with fluid currents.  

            INVERTED. Great disorder, failure. Complete absence of scruples, imagination led towards evil.

*

            In its Basic Meaning, the King of Coins represents the mastery of constructions in the material world through science and knowledge.  

1. We see it by noticing that the trusses and frames at the base of all constructions are an assemblage of triangles.

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King of Batons

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Synthetic Meaning

            Dressed in a rich military costume and fitted with a large hat surrounding a crown, the King of Batons, with his scepter directed towards the earth with a firm hand, his left hand positioned near his belt, and his knee raised, signifies that all material success can only be achieved by work which is precise and balanced, and carried out with resolve.

Analytic Meaning

            The military appearance of the King of Batons is meant to show that his work is enveloped in energy. His white hair represents his internal equilibrium.

            The heavy scepter, clearly directed at the ground, indicates that this personage, in order to obtain the realization which is incumbent on him as King, must take charge of situations and free himself from doubt while fixing things concretely.

Specific Analogies

            The white scepter, aimed at the lower extremity and not resting on the ground with black oblique stripes, having on its tip a white part surmounted by a yellow ball with black stripes, and with a ponderous yellow ornament attached to its base, is an expression of the power of the King over matter and, although the king wishes to act impartially, the obstacles he must overcome on his way are numerous.

            Under his breastplate, on his blue skirt, the slats of the same color represent the rays flowing from the bottom; on his shoulders, the yellow slats indicate a flowing radiance emanating from Above, the power of Man radiating both upwards and downwards.

            Against the base of his cuirass, his left hand, of a passive nature and one finger of which points to the four dots, while his forearm rests on his bent knee, signifies that the interior work of his active thought, in the search for balance (the belt), is exercised in various ways and extends into the three planes of matter[1].

            The fourteen dots which are depicted on his entire set of clothing express this extension; their symmetrical position in relation to the center line of his doublet indicate that they are polarized and that they represent 7 x 2; or 7 gives the range of all the vibrations, and its polarization implies that in happens in an internal mode, as it does through sound, and in an external way, as it does through colors.  His hat, wavy and of regular shape [.e., symmetrical], as oppose to that of the Kng of Cups, indicates the personal, direct activity of the King of Batons in the physical world, and the position of his crown on this hat blue on the inside and red on the outside makes it clear that this activity is not the principle element of mental effort, but that this later is balanced in the interior, mostly by psychism, before cloaking itself in matter and that it extends as much into the active as the passive worlds. The black lines of the hat represent the forces of inertia which the activity of the King will have to overcome in the physical world.

            His elevated heel, as well as the shadow it casts to make it stand out, indicate that the immobility of the King is only momentary and that he will put himself in motion when he feels the need. This amounts to saying that every realization is not a function of a duration, but of an effort of preparation which can, suddenly, reach maturity.

            The throne on which he stands shows, with its black lines, the resistances which the King of Batons meets in order to commit an act, and the feet of the throne, resting on the flesh-colored plinth, show that this act is physical.

            The yellow feet, the visible blue part surmounted by a white ball, the yellow part of the chair on which the King is seated, along with the yellow base of the soil where his feet are resting, by avoiding the flesh color of the center, represent the forces which are accorded to him for overcoming the resistances which he will encounter on the planes where he is going to act with intelligence.

Meanings As They Relate to the Three Planes

            MENTAL. Sound judgement, clarity in investigations concerning businesses whose operations require energy.

            ANIMISTIC. A spirit of conquest, of enterprise. Material energy outcome. Procreation.

            PHYSICAL. Enterprising in business. Excellent health. A light but generous nature.

            INVERTED. This Arcanum, directing the heat of its energy towards matter, becomes something bad: drunkenness, debauchery through the excess of energy expended for enjoyment.

*

            In sum, in its Elementary Sense, the King of Batons represents the necessity of effort and firm determination of action for any success on the material plane.

1. Solid, liquid, aerial, and ethereal, this later making four states.

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King of Swords

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Synthetic Meaning

            In his right hand he holds a sword with a flesh-colored blade, and in his left is a scepter of authority; he wears a hat with a white interior and a blue and red on the outside, with an actual crown for the crown of the hat; his head is turned to the right and he is in a semi-sitting posture. The King of Swords suggests preparation for lucid action carried out with the higher knowledge that comes from mental activity.

Analytic Meaning

            The parts of the King of Swords depicted in white indicate, on the one hand, his impersonality and, without specifying a particular action, reveal a state of consciousness of Being, fit for being adapted to the invitations implied by the calls towards evolution and, on the other hand, an impregnation of light in the intimate organization of the part of his conceptions realized by the universal [?] (the white interior of his hat), in his mental activity (his white hair), in the balance of his desires with their physical operations (his white belt) and in the direction of his actions (the white scepter).

Specific Analogies

            The King is turned towards the left, his head towards the right and sitting with one foot forward; that is to say, that he is passive and stable, but ready for action.

            The sword is flesh-colored, showing that the action of the King is being exercised with a lively dynamism and extends to humanity, that is to say, that he is dressed in altruism; he animates the things which are presented to him. The hilt guard, large and yellow, symbolizes the intelligence behind his activity.

            On the other hand, his sword is resting on his knee. The circle depicted there is relate to activity, just as the two circles on his other knee relate to passivity. These circles reinforce their reciprocating effects when they meet each other.

            His scepter of authority, white with black stripes, suggests mastery over his subconscious, just as he has over his superconscious [superconscient], because it is held in his left hand, and indicates by that fact that the king no longer has to worry about acting outside of his own will. The black stripes show that his own impersonality remains below the divine impersonality, which is absolute. Finally, its gold pommel is similar to the pommel of the sword.

            The hat, with a wavy shape, specifies that the mental constructs of the King put him in touch with cosmic infinity. The crown on the interior of his hat and partly hidden shows that, while partly manifesting itself, there are spontaneous exchanges between the cosmic elements and the subconscious acquisitions of the mind.

            The two different masks on his shoulders indicates his action on contrary planes, because they are contrasting in their expressions.

            The twelve twists on his belt refer to the twelve Major Arcana, marking the balance of these 12 principles between the animistic and the physical, as the points on the belt of the Queen of Swords. But since these later are points—that is, abstractions—they are associated with the intimate and deep role of the Major Arcana, while the twists are connected with the practical role of the King. The other points appearing on his garb are the fluid centers of condensation manifesting the action of the King on different planes, corresponding to the parts of of his clothing on which they are found, and in the reference implied by the number of points: the four placed under the mask which covers his right shoulder signify their role in the quaternary of elements, which is to say, in matter. The six points on his breastplate, on the left, show that which he must do to evolve through physical sacrifice or his animistic evolutionary role, and the eight on the right represent that which he must do to evolve through the rectitude of his judgement.

            The chair on which the King is seated is flesh colored with a yellow border, of which a part is striped with black lines, repeated on the ground under his feet, recalling the karmic shadows which contain a certain fatality as well as the resistances to overcome on the material plane.

            The black cracks traced at the bottom of the chair show the workings of the material world, based on past experience, as the chair is made of matter and providing support for the benefit of internal work. These cracks are composed of a spiral and some leaves, indicating by this that this work is manifested by geometric laws applied to the evolution of matter or nature, as the spiral is an extension of (nebulous) forces, and the leaves an expansion of vegetative life.

            Their black color indicates their hidden role and the karmic darkness which can ensue from it.

            The figure on the right shoulder, surrounded and framed in black lines, seems to smile; on the other side, the figure with lines has its mouth closed; these are the two faces of an issue, that on the left representing psychic activity; that on the right recalls, with its lines, the destiny which weighs on the King of Swords.

            All of his clothing, analogous to that of the personage of the Chariot, speaks to setting something in motion and to a psychic energy, reinforcing his mental activities and appropriate to the Sword.

Meanings As They Relate to the Three Planes

            MENTAL. Rich, complicated input, characterized by the importance of skill. His judgement is fair and profound. Influence in all domains. The ability to take stock, to give solutions for different things (action defined by the two masks on his shoulders).

            ANIMISTIC. Protection and solace.

            PHYSICAL. This card has rapport with the Major Arcana V, VI, and VIII. If some matter has been dormant, it is revived. State of questionable health, for the black flower on the chair indicates a danger coming from the past. The black lines of the chair, on the other hand, are the shadows of which the flower is the outcome and the part in the shape of a 9 is an element which detaches itself, a disintegration of this past. All together this indicates a certain fatalism in this card.

            INVERTED. The heaviness of this massive chair entails angers, profanities, low pleasures.

            In sum, in his Elementary Sense, the King of Swords represents the success of Man in every movement of his mental activities, whenever this is accompanied by reflection.

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The Tarots of TWIN PEAKS

[THE USUAL DISCLAIMER: These are notes and drafts, not a completed work. As such, I have not worried too much about the academic niceties of form, and everything I write is subject to change, and people are welcome to make suggestions or criticisms. In fact, I’m hoping that you do. –Kitos]

Usually when Tarot cards make an appearance in movies, they are laid out without any rhyme or reason. Or you’ll see them in a scene in which someone draws a single card and throws it dramatically face up on the table. And—gasp!—it’s DEATH or THE LOVERS or something a Tarot-naive audience can make sense of without foreknowledge.  Twin Peaks is a television series which aired on CBS in the United States between 1990 and 1991, the creation of Mark Frost and David Lynch. Twin Peaks shows some sophistication about the actual use of tarot. For example, the American villain Blackie has a Rider-Waite-Smith clone deck and the layout she uses is the Celtic Cross. That kind of deck and spread are in fact most popular among Americans and British. 

By contrast, the French Canadian Québécois villain Jean Renault (who just happens to be in the midst of a tarot reading when we first meet him) is using a French Marseille deck in a the three-card spread, both more common in the Francophone world. 

Clearly someone involved in setting up these scenes knew at least that much about Tarot culture.  Now to look at the cards to see if they seemed to be deployed with any significance. We are somewhat limited in making this evaluation, as there are only a few shots where the cards are visible and identifiable.

First Season: Episode 8

When we first see the tarot cards, they are presented in the same shot as the television monitors for the casino, obviously to establish their identical purpose: surveillance.  Blackie O’Reilly, the madame-manager of the One Eyed Jacks Club in Canada, is in her office laying out cards in what is clearly the traditional Celtic Cross arrangement. The King of Pentacles is clearly visible in the “What Crown You” (or Conscious Influences) position at the top of the cross. The deck O’Reilly is using is the Hansen-Roberts Tarot, by the way.

Blackie O’Reilly is the #2 in command of this moneymaking operation, working under Benjamin Horne, the richest man in Twin Peak, so it is easy to see how the King of Pentacles in this position would be relevant. King Benjamin Horne is what crowns Blackie.

And precisely when O’Reilly is in the act of laying a card in Position 8, or the What-You-Need-To-Know-About-The-People-Around-You, the door in the background opens and in comes her new hire, reporting for inspection.  

Triple Surveillance: the monitors, Position 8 of the Celtic Cross, and the in-person inspection.

And what Blackie really Needs To Know About Her, but doesn’t, is that this woman is actually Audrey, on a secret mission of her own, and the daughter of the club’s owner, Benjamin Horne. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to tell which card Blackie has just laid in Position 8.

[Two Asides, before I move on to the other tarot  deck we see in this series. If you like, you can skip over these asides to get to the other Tarot deck in Twin Peaks.

1.  The Lesbian Innuendo of the 52-Card Deck

After looking her over, Blackie tells Audrey to pick out a card from a standard 52-card deck (spread out face up), and Audrey picks out the Queen of Diamonds. What’s the point of having someone pick out a card from a deck face up? Is the Queen of Diamonds is obviously meant to represent Blackie herself, as the Club-cum-Brothel-cum-Casino’s Queen (Diamonds equate to Pentacles) and Second-in-Command under Pentacle King Benjamin Horne.

The two out-of-sequence Queens that don’t roll with the straight crowd.

After Audrey deliberately chooses this card, she and Blackie make prolonged eye-contact, Blackie puts her hand on Audrey’s, and we hear some cliched sexy music. Blackie has made a lesbian overture, and Audrey has signaled interest. (Later in the series, we will see Audrey, as if branded, wearing a Queen of Diamonds on her sexy clothing.)

The details of this exchange are interesting to note. 

When Blackie spreads out the deck with the cards face up, we see the cards in partial order: nothing but straight-flush runs of five or more cards. The Queen of Diamonds violates this pattern: she is all by itself between straights of spades and clubs. This can only mean that Blackie had deliberately positioned the card in the deck.

The visual pun is that the Queen doesn’t belong to the straight crowd.

Even though the Queen’s index number is only partially visible, it stands out as the only red card by itself, and Audrey picks it out right away. Did Audrey realize what the overture was and so signal her acceptance of it?

I also note, by the by, that the only other card that is by itself and not part of a suit sequence is the top card Blackie’s hand is covering when she fans out the deck, and it is another Queen: the Queen of Spades. So, true to her name, Blackie’s also a very dark queen.

It’s striking that we have a scene with both tarot cards and an ordinary poker deck at work in it.   Since one of the primary themes of  Twin Peaks is the juxtaposition of the ordinary with the mystical, perhaps this is being expressed in this scene by the juxtapositioning of an ordinary 52 -card poker deck and the Tarot.

Second Aside:. Other Peripheral Tarot Symbolism

When I first saw this scene, I wondered whether or not the roulette wheel in the second monitor was another Tarot reference (The Wheel of Fortune, obviously). The roulette wheel calls attention to itself, since is odd for the monitor’s camera to be aimed at the wheel itself and not at the table. And that in turn led me to wonder whether the figure in the first monitor, FBI Agent Dale Cooper was meant to suggest the First Arcanum, the Magician. Cooper is visible from the waist up before a table (like the magician) table and making a fortune with his usual aplomb and luck. He is even depicted at the same angle as the Marseille Magician always is. The fact that he’s wearing a tuxedo is also evocative of a stage magician. (Remember, the traditional Tarot magician is more like a stage performer than a magus. Cooper is a bit of both.)

So, subsequently I found out that someone had designed a Tarot deck featuring characters from TWIN PEAKS in the Major Arcanum. It turns out that the character used for the Magician card is, in fact, Special Agent Dale Cooper.

I don’t know much else about the deck besides this. It may be a splendid deck, but it makes it difficult to do internet research on tarot in Twin Peaks, since since virtually every internet search I try connecting Lynch with Tarot just turns up references to this Tarot deck.]

Now, on to the other Tarot deck in Twin Peaks. ]

Jean Renault’s Tarot

(Episode 4 of Season 2, also known as Episode 12)

Jean Renault is one of those villains whose veneer of elegance makes him all the more frightening.  As noted above, he’s using a Marseille tarot.

It looks to me like the deck Jean Renault is using is the 1974 U.S. Games CLASSIC TAROT,  which is a reproduction of the 1751 Claude Burdel deck. I was only able to tell after seeing this shot of the cards in a different scene.

The giveaway is the card with that red object on it.  Can you make it out? Here, I’ll invert the image.

It’s the lightening-struck tower of Arcanum XVI. The only deck I know with a red tower belongs to a deck in the Marseille genus: the U.S. Game 1974 TAROT CLASSIC, a reproduction of the 1751 Burdel deck.

As for the spread itself. The cards he has drawn are the Devil, the Three of Swords (inverted), and Death (inverted).  

We might start off by noting that, if nothing else, this at least shows an awareness that inversions in Tarot have meaning.

Is this spread relevant to the dramatic situation? Well, let’s consider this. The dramatic context is that Audrey, being held captive to work as a prostitute subsequently has had a heroin habit forced on her to render her more helpless. Since she has been refusing to have sex with clients, Emory Battis, her “manager” has dragged her to Jean to sort her out. But Audrey tells Jean that Emory has struck her for her non-cooperation. Jean finds this unacceptable promises Audrey that nobody will ever hit her again. By way of reassurance, Jean then shoots Emory dead right in front of her.  

So, you’ve got the Devil card, associated with bondage and imprisonment. The Three of Swords (inverted) is associated with sorrows of some sort. It is sometimes said to represent the resolution of a conflict with coworkers (!). Or, one could get visual about it à la readers like Camelia Elias and see the card as a heroin needle being plunged downward into Audrey’s arm. But however you take the Three of Swords, the inverted Death card is not hard to work into the reading in some way. Is it the imminent murder of Emory—a murder which ostensibly is committed to reassure Audrey but is probably intended more to intimidate her? An evil sophisticate like Jean Renault might relish a double-entendre like that.

Obviously Jean’s reassurances are meant to seem hollow and insidious.  As if to drive this point home, when he’s trying to reassure Audrey, he inadvertently keeps flashing the Maison Dieu (Tower) card at her. 

Later, when we see Jean and Blackie together, the Death card is visible on the counter as they discuss killing Audrey. 

But in actuality Jean is preparing to kill Blackie herself. As if to conceal his intentions, he places his glass on top of the Death card.

To be continued…

[THE USUAL DISCLAIMER: These are notes and drafts, not completed works. As such, I have not worried too much about the academic niceties of form, and everything I write is subject to change, and people are welcome to make suggestions or criticisms. In fact, I’m hoping that you do. –Kitos]

The King of Cups

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Synthetic Meaning

            Sitting comfortably, his body oriented towards to the left and his head to the right, wearing a crown, extended boldly to the left and right with material blue on the inside and red on the outside, the King of Cups holds in his right hand a tall cup with a small opening to show that every effective achievement must be accompanied by a passive state which permits Being to orient itself towards what is Above through the extension of his psyche, such as prayer or any other form of mystical elevation.

Analytic Meaning

            The extensions of his crown are animistic impulses, energies driven by feelings to open themselves up to the Universal and characterizing great psychic activity with a very impersonal feeling.

Specific Analogues

            The crown, firmly placed on his head and covering it completely, shows that the extent of its influence embraces his whole mind and enables him to communicate directly with the Universal.

            His white hair under the crown is a synthetic element interleafed to establish a transition between his mind and his means of expression (the crown and its wings). The part which covers his ears serve as protection for him to avoid the mixture of currents and shows that he will not allow himself to be distracted in his mission. The black lines drawn on it represent his resistance, and the white material which runs from his neck to meet the cup indicates the impersonality which, as a last resort, synthesizes his contribution. His white moustache and beard separate into two points, characterizing his impersonal judgement.

            The comfortably-seated posture of the King is meant to affirm the passivity which the nature of the cup has imposed on him, but his head, turned towards the right, indicates the obligation of an activity in his internal thought, which he affirms by the fact that the cup is held in his right hand.

            The cup is tall to underscore the period of incubation of altruistic or mystic sentiments and the extent of what Being has to give by itself; the cup of the Page was equally tall, bearing nothing but hope, and it was receive it instead of give it.

            The Page and the Knight only were bearing the cup, while the King and the Queen hold it firmly to indicate that the previous two receive it: the Page to incubate it, the Knight to bear it somewhere; while the latter two represent, for the Queen, a capturing force ensuring intuition and, for the King, a force of diffusion making his psyche manifest.

            His left hand, resting on a golden belt, implies an interior effort to establish through his mind and equilibrium between conscious sentiments (his chest) and instinctive ones (stomach).

            The four buttons on his blue thorax indicate the four stages of elevation, going from the psychic to the spiritual, while passing through the animistic and the mental.

            The red of his mantle represents his psychic activity, and the yellow border and lining represent the intelligence behind this activity, directed towards psychic realization. The black stripes are the resistances which he encounters.

            The bottom of his seat, flesh-colored, with its numerous black stripes, represents the obstacles which the King encounters in the domain of his nervous system before materializing in the physical his psychic contribution underlined by the blue color of his feet.

            The yellow ground, oddly covered with black lines in all directions, confirms his passivity.

Meanings As They Relate To The Three Planes

            MENTAL Security in judgement.

            ANIMISTIC. Very extensive love, very comforting (like Saint Vincent de Paul), very dynamic, like feeling.  Psychic protection.

            PHYSICAL. Rapport with the two Major Arcana XVII and XXI. Abundance. Major business, going well, or rather social or general importance, like an international exposition.

            INVERTED. Very heavy weight, with great difficulties in unloading it after a long time.

*       

      In its Elementary Sense, the King of Cups represents the renouncing of personal will in order to open up with confidence to the Universal.

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Knight of Cups

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Synthetic Meaning

     The Knight of Cups, hatless, supporting on his right hand a large open cup and trotting to the left, indicates the enthusiastic impulse of beings called to that which is Above and carried towards altruistic growth.

Analytic Meaning

      The Knight of Cups signifies a pledge in exchange for an offering; the Knight is coming with this pledge, one of an animistic order, first by virtue of the innate significance of the Cup and then because he is turned towards the left.

Specific Analogies

      This Knight has the appearance of a mounted Page. The Cup, which he holds positioned on the palm of his right hand just like that of the Page of Cups, symbolizes accumulated earthly treasures, that is to say, all human knowledge, but these treasures, which motivate the bearer of the Cup, are transitory, such knowledge not being able to be crystalized in a state of immobility.

      While the Cup has the shape of a hourglass, it is able to be inverted and the knowledge which it contains in a passive state can become unconscious; it is also able to be oriented towards that which is Above as well as below and to be good as well as bad; the Knight’s Cup violates this symmetry; it is mostly uncovered to show that the treasures of knowledge in its possession are no longer able to change their qualities; they are good or evil.   

      His head, without a hat, and the open cup are indications that he is receiving inspiration and apport directly from Above.

      The horse, flesh colored, symbolizes the nervous energy and the vital forces expended for the things imported into it;  the trotting of the horse expresses impulse and shows that these forces could overtake the power of the Knight if he does not keep it restrained with a mere pair of reigns held in his left hand, indicating therefore that he is not wholly able to direct it, but only restrain it.

      The red sphere at the center of the cup has the same significance as that of the Page of Cups, the effort which the soul must exert in the material world.

      The blue mane as well as the four hooves have the same meaning as they do for the Knight of Swords.

      The four points on the collar of the house answer to the quaternary and to Lame IV, the Emperor, and indicate the powerful force of the apportand his solidity; the four points and the three points on the rump straps show that the Knight operates on the three planes of consciousness and under the four constituent aspects of the material plane, which is to say, with a great expanse (3+4=7=the range).

      The yellow ornaments which decorate the horse show that intelligence is at the foundation of his action, and the white stirrup shows that the Knight’s fulcrum is neutral: we do not hold onto knowledge: it departs, it spreads out.

      The variety of colors on his clothing has the same meaning as it does for the Knight of Batons.

      Same meaning for the ground as for the Knight of Swords.

Meanings as They Relate to the Three Planes

      MENTAL. The contribution of fertile ideas, inspiration, ideas which spontaneously emerge.

      ANIMISTIC. Flowering of artistic gifts, especially for a musician, since the scale is represented by 4 + 3 = 7.   

      PHYSICAL. Happy marriages, good matches, very good health.

      INVERTED. The power of the Card is halved, being too active to be eliminated; there is delay or embarrassment.

*

      In its Elementary Sense, the Knight of Cups represents the sensible and affective part of Man, susceptible to great enthusiasm and devotion.

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The Knight of Swords

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Synthetic Meaning

            This card depicts a Knight dressed in armor, holding a while sword and mounted on a galloping horse, flesh-colored, partially covered by fabric and whose shoes are blue. It symbolizes therefore the force of sudden propagation, powerful, enlightened, and disciplined, depending on the vital energies of the physical world and propagating themselves through animistic qualities.

Analytic Meaning

            The blue armor of the Knight of Swords shows an energetic will, one disciplined by an animistic nature. The mask which he wears on his left shoulder marks the fact that the power granted the Knight is transitory and does not belong to him, since it disappears along with the armor from which, moreover, he can be detached.

            The long sword, not colored, as well as the hilt, indicate by their whiteness a synthetic force from the light and, consequently a force directed towards the higher planes; it still specifies an abstract note, that is to say, that it does not reveal the plane on which its action will be directed.

            The fabrics which cover the horse, while covering it with flexible substances, but still material, show that the fulcrum and the transmission of the force of the Knight (the flesh color of the horse) is surrounded and protected by the vital energies of the physical world.

            These fabrics, forming a caparison, are for the most part red, with a yellow border above and below, connected in front by a white band, thus signifying that his actions will be intelligent and balanced. The various patterns, arabesque and black points appearing on the yellow part represent the material parts which have not yet evolved.

            The shoe, the point of contact with the ground, is blue.[1] This indicates the spiritual basis of his progress. The iron of the horseshoe is fastened with five nails,[2] five being the number of the vibration, which is to say, of the propagation of a state or a plan to another state or plan. The number 10, figured by the ten nails which border the visible part of his helmet (or 2 x 5) accentuate this idea, but moreover it recalls the 10th Arcanum, the Wheel of Fortune, because the Knight of Swords introduces, depending on the environment, the promotion of evolution, or a renewal of something in the events, a change of situation; in a word, the unexpected.

            The blue of his breastplate and helmet show that the spiritual is protecting him him in his struggle, and the yellow shows that this protection is a matter of intelligence. His white belt, on the blue background of his breastplate, indicates that his spirituality is based on purity. The Knight must stand firmly in his spirituality by the blue stirrups which are fitted to his red feet, and the yellow of his leg touching the top of the stirrup signifies that intelligence must proceed to the spiritual. His knee pad, blue in front and yellow on the back, confirms the preceding.

            The mane serves to swat away insects; it is here depicted in blue, showing therefore that it is the spiritual flyswatter which will shoo away the parasites disposed to attach themselves to his will.

            The galloping of the horse indicates the sudden apparition of force propagatedby the Knight of Swords. The oblique direction of the horse, while marking the passive orientation of the Knight, shows that while it is not the origin of what the Knight is pursuing, it is permitting a rapid advance towards an engaging activity. Its four blue shoes underscore its spiritual direction.

            The flesh-colored mask which the knight wears on his shoulder also symbolizes the physical heredity which his struggles waged at sword point must destroy and dissipate their defects as well as the burden which this heredity imposes on him.  It is on the physical plane that he must strike them, for his upper part of his sword arm is red, and his forearm and hand are flesh-colored.

            The yellow ground, rugged and streaked with black lines, represents points of resistance; some yellow tufts of grass represent intellectual contributions coming to his aid.

Meanings As They Relate To the Three Planes

            MENTAL. Source of clarity brought to bear on projects and their solution, unexpectedly, by showing their multiple aspects.

            ANIMIQUE. Exchange, something quickly supplied and vibrant, since the horse is galloping.

            PHYSICAL. Unexpected achievement which nothing predicted.

            INVERTED. Great embarrassment, disputes, decline in business.

*          

   In sum, in its Elementary Sense, the Knight of Swords represents Man’s quick command; a reflexive decision before an unanticipated event, one not foreseen by fate.


[1] The horseshoes of the four Knights’ horses are all blue, marking thus the spiritual basis of their action.

[2] This detail may also be found in the other three Knights.

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Knight of Coins

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[A very rough draft]

Synthetic Meaning

            Mounted on a walking horse entirely flesh-colored, and the fact thatthe Knight of Coins is directed to the right, resting a baton on his shoulder and gazing at the point positioned in front of him at eye level, symbolizes the balancing of constructive actions by the sureness of his action, his calmness, in the continuation of his movement forward and the perfect direction of his instructions.

Analytic Meaning

            The coin, placed near the top of the card–that is to say, in the spiritual area–clearly before the eyes of the horseman, is like a star fixing his direction and towards which he calmly directs himself.

            The baton, firmly resting on his shoulder, asserts his self-assurance and symbolizes his will, his personal energy, because it is in his right hand.

            The Knight of Coins has no incubation period. Like the Page of Coins, he has already received the message (the Page is exhibiting the coin in his right hand, carrying it in peace with whatever energy is required.

            The Knight of Coins, with the idea of progression evoked by the horse, symbolizes the transformation of words as well, and the yellow baton, held in his right hand, indicates their eventual intelligent destruction on the physical plane.

            His activity is drawn entirely from the vital forces, since the horse is flesh-colored, except for its blue hooves which mark the necessity of supporting the animistic (see the Knight of Swords). The horse by walking indicates a certain advancement, a calm and measured effort; the orientation towards the right affirms the resolve behind the action.

            He rides in the opposite direction of the other Knights, having turned around to underscore clearly that his path is opposite of that which has been drawn for others, their directions having the quality of an outcome, while his is completely isolated and has no contact with human thoughts.

            His hat, round and red with a blue border, signifies his irresponsibility for his eventual destruction and that this takes place in the material world under spiritual influence. We do not see the hand which holds the yellow reigns, this force being directed by an invisible but intelligent hand, not being a destructive force without purpose.

            The red stirrup shows the material fulcrum which the Knight takes up to bring about these transformations.

            The yellow ornaments of the horse have the same meaning as they do for the Knight of Cups, along with the points on the harness and the reigns.

            The colors of his clothing have the same meaning as the Knights of Cups and Batons, along with the ground.

Meanings As They Relate To The Three Planes

            MENTAL. The representation of all that which intelligence devises for construction in the material world: geometric problems, architectural plans.

            ANIMISTIC. emotional stances, stable and progressive.

            PHYSICAL. Necessary guidance given to some matters which progress without worrying  about repercussions, since if they get in the way, he or she will break through them with the baton. Good health. Healing a certainty in the case of a serious, long, or chronic affliction.

            INVERTED. No longer able to act, it is neutralized and has no meaning.

*

            In its Elementary Sense, the Knight of Coins represents Man carrying on in peace with his mental energies to construct something which is solid and durable.

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Knight of Cups

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Synthetic Meaning

     The Knight of Cups, hatless, supporting on his right hand a large open cup and trotting to the left, indicates the enthusiastic impulse of beings called to that which is Above and carried towards altruistic growth.

Analytic Meaning

      The Knight of Cups signifies a pledge in exchange for an offering; the Knight is coming with this pledge, one of an animistic order, first by virtue of the innate significance of the Cup and then because he is turned towards the left.

Specific Analogies

      This Knight has the appearance of a mounted Page. The Cup, which he holds positioned on the palm of his right hand just like that of the Page of Cups, symbolizes accumulated earthly treasures, that is to say, all human knowledge, but these treasures, which motivate the bearer of the Cup, are transitory, such knowledge not being able to be crystalized in a state of immobility.

      While the Cup has the shape of a hourglass, it is able to be inverted and the knowledge which it contains in a passive state can become unconscious; it is also able to be oriented towards that which is Above as well as below and to be good as well as bad; the Knight’s Cup violates this symmetry; it is mostly uncovered to show that the treasures of knowledge in its possession are no longer able to change their qualities; they are good or evil.   

      His head, without a hat, and the open cup are indications that he is receiving inspiration and apport directly from Above.

      The horse, flesh colored, symbolizes the nervous energy and the vital forces expended for the things imported into it;  the trotting of the horse expresses impulse and shows that these forces could overtake the power of the Knight if he does not keep it restrained with a mere pair of reigns held in his left hand, indicating therefore that he is not wholly able to direct it, but only restrain it.

      The red sphere at the center of the cup has the same significance as that of the Page of Cups, the effort which the soul must exert in the material world.

      The blue mane as well as the four hooves have the same meaning as they do for the Knight of Swords.

      The four points on the collar of the house answer to the quaternary and to Lame IV, the Emperor, and indicate the powerful force of the apportand his solidity; the four points and the three points on the rump straps show that the Knight operates on the three planes of consciousness and under the four constituent aspects of the material plane, which is to say, with a great expanse (3+4=7=the range).

      The yellow ornaments which decorate the horse show that intelligence is at the foundation of his action, and the white stirrup shows that the Knight’s fulcrum is neutral: we do not hold onto knowledge: it departs, it spreads out.

      The variety of colors on his clothing has the same meaning as it does for the Knight of Batons.

      Same meaning for the ground as for the Knight of Swords.

Meanings as They Relate to the Three Planes

      MENTAL. The contribution of fertile ideas, inspiration, ideas which spontaneously emerge.

      ANIMISTIC. Flowering of artistic gifts, especially for a musician, since the scale is represented by 4 + 3 = 7.   

      PHYSICAL. Happy marriages, good matches, very good health.

      INVERTED. The power of the Card is halved, being too active to be eliminated; there is delay or embarrassment.

*            

In its Elementary Sense, the Knight of Cups represents the sensible and affective part of Man, susceptible to great enthusiasm and devotion.

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Knight of Batons

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Synthetic Meaning

            Richly dressed, mounted on a horse in mid step with its white head turned to the right, the Knight of Batons, holding his baton in his left hand, indicates a pronounced passivity and an internal undertaking, but as he holds his baton vertically and towards the right, he shows that he nevertheless manifests energy for which he is the transmitter, and that he himself represents the transferring of physical energies across the material until they may emerge.

Analytic Meaning

            The Knight of Wands would the energies which nature places at the disposition of man, but he, enclosed in matter, can only gain use of them after the work of hatching them in himself.  All powers used by Man undergo preparatory work before being put into play: the slow  processing of coal, of chemical products, of minerals in their gangue, etc….

            With the Knight of Batons, this internal processing is indicated by the horse, force organized but without personal action, for its head is white, and if its blue mane is suggestive of the energy in spiritual things, its caparison, flesh colored, weights him down by enveloping him in matter, but as it is woven of the vital forces, it assures the activity of its internal undertaking. The immobility of the horse shows the passivity necessary for this internal work; it equally serves as a seat supporting the certainty that matters will be firmed up on the physical plane.

            The thrust of energy across matter to ascend onto a higher plane is indicated by the vertical direction of the baton and its up-and-down position.

Specific Analogies

            As opposed to the Page who leans on his staff planted on the ground, symbolizing thus someone ready for the hike through earthly life, the Knight of Batons, through the advancement suggested by his horse, represents someone moving towards his own evolution.

            The horse has its head turned to the sight and its legs hidden in order to indicate that man in his physical life is unaware and must not know of the advancement he is stepping towards; however, his shoes are visible and colored blue to show that he is surely guided by a spiritual force. The appearance of the horse, its knowing gait, its pointed ears, its blue mane, all show that the abstract plane is not inattentive to the physical plane.

            The yellow baton and its red top signify that Man, having started out by trudging through matter, is drawing its strength (the symbol of the Baton) and is advancing with intelligence from Above, while remaining in contact with matter, but without being directed by it. The Knight looks attentively at his baton, because his glance, a symbol of intelligent whiffs [“effluves intelligents”], is turned towards a symbol of force.

            His hat, in the shape of an 8, shows by the arrangement of its colors—blue, yellow, and red—that the forces have been set up in balance at the instigation of the anima, clothed in intelligence, expressed in the physical world by mental activities.

            The sumptuousness of his clothes represent the knowledge acquired through successive lives, and his general appearance represents the mastery which a man is able to acquire by drawing on inspiration from the forces Above.

            The four points on his hip, along with the flower with four petals on his knee, indicate the material doings of the Knight, while the seven points of the harness show that the work of energies is done in all its modes, because the septenary symbolizes symbolizes all vibratory ranges. These numbers also establish a link between the Knight of Batons and the Emperor (Card IV) in the same way as the Chariot does (Card VII).

            The flesh-colored stirrup emphasizes that the fulcrum which permits this accession, this evolution is on a physical plane, and the red strap, the nerves supporting physical activity.

            The significance of the ground is the same as it is for the Knight of Swords.

Meanings As They Relate to the Three Planes

            MENTAL. Intelligent and intuitive activity in the material world, happy achievement.

            ANIMISTIC. Reconciliation in matters of feeling of any kind: amity, affection, fellowship. Protective activity: things veiled for incubating them more easily.

            PHYSICAL. Harmonious achievement. Success in business. A happy result in a current case. From the point of view of health, hope for people convalescing for the recovery of their health, for a renewal of life.

            INVERTED. Delay, resistance.

*

            In sum, in its elementary sense, the Knight of Batons represents the incubation by Man of material energies put at his disposal, until he is able to make use of them at his convenience.

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