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Numerology for the pips

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Melanchollic's Avatar
Melanchollic  Melanchollic is offline
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Melanchollic 

Quote:
Originally Posted by frelkins

ok interesting, but as Satori sez, "how do i read tarot with it, again?"
Well, it gives us a philosophical framework on which to hang our speculations about what a given pip card could possibly mean.

Every single serious tarot reader should be able to say "Why" a given card means what they say it does.

Waite said that five was the number of 'crisis'. Why?

Iamblichus called it 'lack of strife". Why? They are in complete disagreement. A 5, as a universal archetype, should have a consistent character, yet there is disagreement. From where does the disagreement stem? How can we know which meaning to use until we've grasp the reason for the idea. Just because Waite said so? Just because Camoin said so?

If a reader tells me the five of coins means 'financial trouble', I'll ask them 'why'? They may reply, "five means 'crisis'." I'll ask, "why"? Now I don't expect us all to come to the same conclusions, but I do expect a reader to know why a number can mean what they think it means, beyond saying, "Crowley said so!"





Little esoteric models like the one above are useful in developing one's views, and 'cross checking' the views of others.

I have several notebooks filled with stuff about the above model. I could go on all day about it, but I'll leave you with one useful example.

Notice how the 2 and the 9 sit opposed to each other on opposite sides of the triangle. We could speculate they are in some ways opposites. How does this affect their meaning? How could we interpret this in a spread if a querent is a 2 and the quesited is a 9 ? Indeed the whole decad could be viewed as having 'polarity':

01....2....3....4....5....6....7....8....9....10
10....9....8....7....6....5....4....3....2....01


M
Top   #41
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Bernice  Bernice is offline
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The 5s are said to be 'crisis' 'cos they are placed at Geburah on the Tree of Life in the Waite & G.D. systems. I don't equate 5s with Geburah.

I've been playing with a 5-sided diagram. Here's my current basic 'numeral' associations:



However, it's still evolving!

Bee
Top   #42
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Melanchollic  Melanchollic is offline
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Melanchollic 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bernice
The 5s are said to be 'crisis' 'cos they are placed at Geburah on the Tree of Life in the Waite & G.D. systems. I don't equate 5s with Geburah.

Bee
Now that's what I'm talkin' bout! There is nothing sexier than a educated tarot chick!

And Bee, that was your 666th post. So it's all the goat blood topped ice cream you can eat... on the house!


M
Top   #43
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Gotta post again - NOW, to get past the number of the beast!!

Forgot to say, that the 'divisible/stable' numbers are enclosed. the 'singular/active' numbers are at the points. I'm thinking that 9 should be at the top... but it's simpler to begin with 1. Why 9 at the top? because it's not a Prime number, the other singular numbers are.

"Ice cream topped with goats blood.......". I'm snacking on Halva. Plus coffee!

Bee

Mels diagram: The glyphs for the Elements are those used by astrologers & occultists. I've also been playing with Cardinal, Mutable and Fixed modes....
Top   #44
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*falls into the thread and can't get back out*

shiny!!

i have nothing to add (i'm new, lemme be), but i'm sponging like mad over here. i've been flipping back and forth between intellectual study and jumping into practice like i knew what i was doing, and it's about time for a "study" cycle again... tah-daaaahhhh!

this is exactly what i needed - a system. or, rather, a bunch of systems and a great brains-on tutorial on how to assemble your own system from bits you find lying around and philosophers you have loved and standing on yer head and peering at the gears of the decks themselves.

awe. some.

this is exactly the kind of thing i came here for, even if i've found the reading exchanges to be insanely helpful and the community to be pretty fun, too. there are probably a ton more similarly interesting threads i just haven't gotten to yet, some of them linked to in this one. but here's where i'm saying it: thanks, guys. y'all are wonderful. *grin*
Top   #45
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Melanchollic  Melanchollic is offline
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Here is another model which "squares" the decad. The Pythagoreans tended to praise every number, though 2, 7, and 9 are sometimes called into question. This model gives a geometric 'visual aid' as to why some numbers are considered 'critical' or 'challenging'. (That would be the ones on the corners! )








The observant viewer may also notice this model has different elemental correlations to the previous one, though both have their relative validity.



Cheers,

M


Key:

Red = Fire
Yellow = Air
Blue = Water
Green = Earth
Top   #46
Kircher Tree  Kircher Tree is offline
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Very interesting and suggestive. It will take me several days (or perhaps a lifetime) to study this one. Two quick questions: Would the element "Gold" relate to your model in any way? What is the reason or motivation for the different (alchemical) element positioning (e.g. flipping alchemical mercury to the middle numbers) on this chart vs. the previous chart?

Thanks for taking the time to post these models.
Top   #47
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Hi Kircher Tree,

Thanks. There's really only about an hours worth in there (if you're familiar with Pythagorean number philosophy).

The basic idea is the same in both models:

The Monad (1) is Unity, the Divine. From the Monad (the Divine) matter descends (2, 3, 4) its purest expression being the Tetrad (4). I equate 1 - 4 with THE BODY, or Alchemical Salt. (The square diagram shows Salt as the process from 1 to 4, the triangle diagram shows it concentrated at its peak, 4.)

The Monad is the prima materia, an undifferentiated unity, the seed of everything. It evolves through stages - the Dyad (2) being separation, differentiation, the principle of change, the Triad (3) being the principle that joins the duality of the Monad and Dyad, a mediation, a synthesis of opposites, the Tetrad (4) is the consolidation of the synthesis which brings completeness and stability, and ultimately petrification and stagnation.

From the Heptad to the Decad (7 - 10) matter ascends to the divine and in the Decad (10) we have circled back to the unity of the monad (1 + 0 = 1). The Pythagoreans called the Heptad (7) the second monad, and the Decad (10) is a second tetrad (1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 10), so 7 through 10, is basically 1 through 4 on a higher level - Impulse, Separation, Completion, Consolidation. This ascension (7 - 10) I equate with THE SOUL, or Alchemical Sulphur. (Again, the square diagram shows Sulphur as the process from 7 back to 1, the triangle diagram shows it concentrated at its peak, the 1.)

At the bottom of the square (or triangle) is 4, 5, 6, 7. The two marriage numbers, 5 and 6 are centered here. Not only are the 'marriage numbers' the result of the union of the first female number (2) and the first male number (3), but they are a means between the descending phase and ascending phase of the cycle. I equate these with THE SPIRIT, or Alchemical Mercury. (The square diagram shows Mercury as the process from 4 to 7, the triangle diagram shows it concentrated at its peak, the 7.)





On the square diagram critical points and challenges sit on the corners. 1 and 10 occupy the top line, being undifferentiated unity. 5 and 6 represent the 'marriage' of the differentiated. 3 and 8 are means. The first 'challenging' point is the 2, as it is the separation, and polarization of the Monad. The next critical point is the 4. Here the danger is in stagnation. 1 to 4 is in itself a natural cycle, and the stability and comfort of the material solidity of the 4 can be an obstacle to moving to the next level. The next 'corner' to turn is the 7. The Heptad is the critical moment to breakthrough to the upward ascent. It is an opportunity easily missed. The last 'challenging' number is 9. As it falls just short of the perfection of the Decad, it was called by the Pythagoreans, 'Failure', the 'Near Perfect', and 'Shortcoming'.

On the two different diagrams (triangle and square) I give different examples of elemental correspondences to the numbers. In traditional texts, one will find both examples. The difference being in the switching of Air and Water.
  • 1 = Fire
  • 2 = Air or Water
  • 3 = Water or Air
  • 4 = Earth

Both ways illustrate essential points, and I've found both of them are useful for getting a full understanding of how it all works.

On the square diagram, the 1 is Fire, as the Monad is like a burning urge, an impulse. Fire is formed from the Powers of Dryness and Heat. Aristotle tells us in On Generation and Corruption, that Heat is what causes things to separate. The 2 is Air, formed by Heat and Moisture. The common Power of Heat between the 1 and the 2 can be seen as the cause of the 2 arising from out of, and separating from the 1. As the Heat cools, Air is transformed into Water (Moist and Cool). Traditionally Fire and Air are ascending energies (as shown by their symbols, upward facing triangles), and Water and Earth are descending energies (as shown by their symbols, downward facing triangles). The 3, being Water, descends. During this descent, the Cool moisture of the Water is dissipated, resulting in the Cool Dryness of Earth, the 4.

The first rotation through the four elements has not yet built up the momentum (to generate Heat) for Earth (Dry, Cool) to break across the divide and become Dry, Hot Fire, so the pendulum swings back, and Earth slips back into Water (5). The 7, like the seven planets it represents, is seen as a unified 'cluster' of energy. Called 'fortress' by the Pythagoreans, it is a powerful energy that slowly pulls like gravity, eventually reigniting the heavy, stable Earthy energy of the 4, first warming Earth into Water, then heating it into Air, then becoming Fire. This powerful upward moving energy of the 7 makes the ascent back to unity possible. This upward energy, when becoming the 8, gains moisture. Air is also an ascending element, but the moisture smoothes out the explosive power of the 7. The moisture of the 8 eventually cools the heat as it becomes the Watery 9. The 9 is one of the four 'trouble' spots, and there is a real danger of everything just falling back down, so the flexible Moist energy of the 9 must quickly solidify into the form holding Dryness of the 10. The Earthy 10 (Cool and Dry), by its mathematical relation to the 1 ( 1 + 0 = 1) shows its inclination to move from the Cool-Dry state back to the primal Hot-Dry state of the 1. The cycle is complete.



M
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Again, Mel, this is fantastic, but before I leave for India tomorrow for 3 weeks, how do I use it to read cards????
Top   #49
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It is always best if one draws their own conclusions from these things, assuming one has sufficient metal capacities (and assuming Aristotle, Pythagoras, Plato, and their respective schools of thought are philosophically sound).

"Reading with the cards" is of course the most mundane and vulgar of possible uses for these systems. If we can correctly construct a meaningful model or 'map' of creation, we have something that can illuminate and enlighten us, bringing untold insights and revelations. Certainly the ancient thinkers saw 'number' as such a divine catalyst. We of course, wash in the wake of the one-sided world-view of 18th and 19th century 'scientific thinking' and materialism, which stripped number of all qualities, reducing them to mere quantities. (The danger of such an imbalance is of course exactly what we got, the 21st century.) I think of 'number' as the knocker on God's door.
Knock, knock!
Never the less, the implications of the above diagrams are loaded with applicable uses for card interpretation. It shows us, at least one version, of how the numbers can reflect specific tendencies in the way energy (situations) develop and behave as they do. I've never sat down and wrote out a list of specific meanings because it is fairly easy to get the gist of how a 2 or a 5 would behave in a given situation. We can see not only what a given number could mean, but why it would mean that. We see the big picture of how the simple numbers relate to each other, we also have a reasonable (at least in my opinion) relatedness of how numbers work in union with the four elements, the four powers, and by extension, the four humours and temperaments. I find this very useful to determining the 'character' of a card.

Let's say that we view the suit of Swords as being representative of being forceful, decisive, courageous, rash, and arrogant. We know from history these are the characteristics of the CHOLERIC humour. We also know this to be a manifestation of FIRE energy. Now let's say we've decided that the nature of the number 3 is best expressed by the element of AIR (as in the triangle diagram). Air is Sanguine, so the 3 of Swords would be Sanguine-Choleric, a blending of Air and Fire. If we are familiar with Aristotle we know the common Power shared by AIR and FIRE is Heat. We know Heat is what causes separation, differentiation, causes change, and is representative of speed. Swords are generally malefic thus these energies may manifest in unpleasant ways. So we could say one of the possible interpretations of the Three of Swords is a swift and unpleasant change or separation.

By knowing the 'hows' and 'whys' we really see how the cards are actually reflecting the subtle dance and interplay of energy.
Top   #50




 


 


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