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« Hello and Welcome, May 2005 | Main | Suit of Swords - The Minor Arcana Reviewed »

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droid

i'm reminded of this passage from Thoreau's Civil Disobedience:

A man may grow rich in Turkey even, if he will be in all respects a good subject of the Turkish government. Confucius said: "If a state is governed by the principles of reason, poverty and misery are subjects of shame; if a state is not governed by the principles of reason, riches and honors are subjects of shame."

laura andersson

Hi,
i'm thinking about "levels". the traditional [i think] has coins=earth=physical at bottom, ranked below swords=air=mental, ranked below cups=water=emotional, ranked below wands=fire=spiritual/inspiration. what's often forgotten is the SPIRAL nature of evolution... so that while "being wands" and opening to these higher aspects leads one to evolve, there comes a time when the highest on the spiral stair is now pentacles, the 2nd level of earth, and etc.
pentacles/$$ used for gifting/charity of the heart and compassion are not the same as pentacles/$$ used solely for self-aggrandizement. there are givers who give for recognition - not truly charitable- and givers who give from spiritual largess and a true home in the "universe of yes".
i've recently read that when we fulfill the reality of SURRENDER, the hanged man, we enter a reality where b/w & night/day required contrasts of the mind realm no longer apply.
hardest is seeing the generous spurned, and then my reaction shows me my own attachment.

christine

Hmmm, what to respond to here?

For one thing, I am used to the "tradition" where Swords is at the top, followed by Wands, then cups, then coins as the elements spill over into each other and finally into manifestation. This seems to be the order that prevails on the oldest Marseilles-style decks (but I'll get into that in the November Arkletter, I think.)

That still leaves the Coins at the bottom, but when you consider that in Gnostic mysticism, the Sophia is identified with Earth (in that she "falls" with humanity during the war in heaven), one can say that one "rises" towards the Father but "falls" towards the Mother, with the Coin as the "top" of her inverted hierarchy and symbol for Her immanence in Form.

Meanwhile, your idea of Levels reminds me of the Trees growing from Trees of the early Kabbalists. In other words, the material Tree of this world is grounded in Makluth, but from the Yesod above it grows another Tree that defines the next level (making that Yesod of the first Tree into Malkuth of the second), and so on. Hence the the Tiphareth of the first tree is the seed of the third level up, and finally the Kethir of the first Tree is the Malkuth of the fourth and highest level. Therefore, everything on the Tree is not only itself, but also part of other "selves" higher up on the Chain of Being.

Really, since we know now that space and time are curved, it seems like all of our linear metaphors need to be "bent" commensurately.... and then there go our brains, around the corner too....

Blessings,

Christine

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