Connection between Ace of Cups and the Star


I've noticed something I don't recall noticing before. In the Star, the water being poured from the left-hand jug divides into five streams; and the fountain in the Ace of Cups also has five streams. Coincidence?

It's been established, in my mind at least, that the upside-down M on the cup represents the Supernal Mother principle, or Matrona, reflected from Binah above into the cup below; so it's of special interest that the Supernal Mother Binah is likewise represented in the Star.

Waite frequently refers to Divine source of being as the "fontal source." Here are some examples:

"As this book is by no means intended for an advanced student, but is exclusively addressed to the postulant in the pronaos [portico, porch] of the mystical temple, as its information is therefore elementary, although practical, the supreme altitudes of magical science (where the adept passes into the saint, where communication with spiritual intelligences is transcended, and a union is said to be established with the fontal source of souls, with the divine, universal life) are not described herein, and the way of attainment in this transcendental branch is not delineated."—The Occult Sciences, 1891.​

"To accomplish the end of evolution in the intellectual order, it is necessary to derive illumination from the fontal source of light."—Azoth, or The Star in the East, 1893.​

"But Miss South, who became Mrs. Atwood later on [Mary Anne Atwood, author of A Suggestive Inquiry into the Hermetic Mystery and Alchemy], was persuaded that Animal Magnetism was the Golden Key of Alchemy and all its Mystery; that no texts, whether written in Greek, Syriac, Latin or in comparatively modern vernaculars, had anything except on the surface to do with transmuting metals. They were concerned with the liberation of the Soul from the trammels of sense and its fruition of dilucid [clear, lucid] contemplation at the fontal source of being."—Shadows of Life and Thought, 1938.​

Waite makes it fairly clear in his Fellowship of the Rosy Cross rituals that the Divine source and Mother of Souls is Binah, as this example from the Zelator initiation shows:

"In the mystical name Adam, the letter Aleph looketh toward the Supreme Crown; the letter Mem looketh toward the Great Mother in Binah, who is the Divine Mother of souls; but the letter Daleth looketh toward the Sephira Malkuth and the Bride in manifestation."​

To the question of whether it's coincidence or not, I'd have to say I don't believe so. In both cases it appears to me they represent an infusion of the Divine from the Supernal Mother into the material. Waite often symbolizes this by a pentagram. In his Azoth, or the Star in the East is found such a reference. The context concerns the liberation of mind from the senses and ways of accomplishing it. Toward the end of Part 2, Chapter 9, he says:

"Like a five-fold fountain of living water, these consolations will continually refresh our minds; by them shall we also be illuminated as with the radiation of a burning pentagram."​

I tend to think as well that all this lends support to the idea that Waite's use of "four streams" rather than "five" in his PKT description of the Ace is likely a typo. :)


To reinforce your suggestion: I see three streams pouring into the water, and two onto the land, 2+3=5.