Beginning with your pinkie, count from the outside of your hand – pinkie finger, one; ring finger, two; middle finger, three; index finger, four – and stop precisely there at your pointer digit, holding the four stretched and enumerated digits out and open and exposed, contemplating them in the earthy light. A rustling dawn of hidden correspondences can be revealed within these four fingers – not with any direct physiological implications of the human body’s occult significance, but rather our four fingers – and, in a way, our opposable thumb – are ripe symbolic outgrowths of the very architecture of the body of the universe itself. Riding the winds of last week’s esoteric derive, let us wander aimlessly further down the path of four, that overlooked but power pregnant digit.
We find ourselves enraptured and entrapped in a terrain of civilization that spews itself without restraint in the wind’s four directions. Nothing, in itself, can contain the monstrous outpouring of control and systemization that has swallowed nearly every crevice of space and time, suffocating the the globe’s resources and bodies and minds. To encounter free space, untainted by the tendril feelers of State or Capital, that work to rout out any trace of land that cannot be marked with their signs, is impossible; and to abide in free time, untouched by the regimentation and numerical codification of Calendar, has been forgotten in the mists of history’s ascent.
But our task of freeing up space and time, to reveal the potentials of what could be, rather than swallow the meat of what is, is not one devoid of hope. The complete, and seemingly final, domination of the Control virus has at its root very simple and readily comprehensible elements. The original two culprits in the spread of this disease, name and number, carry with them the weight of defining the total landscape of civilization, and this is apparent by the appropriation of language to stratify the social, and the appropriation of numbers to regulate time. The past fifty years have been replete with arguments and methods for the deterritorialization of language and the realm of the social – to negate the whole castle of concrete alienation, built by the bricks of our own making. These methods are unnecessary to repeat here. Let us instead come back to the pleasure of our hand, with its four digits, and follow a line of playful thinking that could reveal a new strategy.
Relevant strategies come in many packages, sometimes overlooked for their obvious or seeming inconsequential natures. To prove this, we can look at something as simple as a deck of cards. Nothing much there – four suits, a king, queen, jack, ace, and a series of numeral cards. However a very casual reading and tracing of the evolution of the modern deck of playing cards reveals a plethora of detailed and forgotten symbols that can be used in our project. The modern deck is, of course, linked directly to the long winding history of theTarot, and carries with it emblems of the Tarot in its veiled nature. The four fold arrangement of the suits within the deck point to useful and egalitarian potencies found in both the individual and social territories.
On face value, the spontaneous appearance of the Tarot can be correlated with the late medieval and early Renaissance culture of royal and court power, and the figures on the cards are the players in that social realm. Even so, the artists and seers that crafted the Tarot worked with symbols that traveled deeper than the faces of the forces of power. The suits compose the hidden narrative of the cards and can be understood when exposed to a Hermetic light. We can begin with the suit of swords, the dynamic and piercing set, clearing a path in the dense and overgrown land of the civilized. It is the destructive power, clean, singular, spontaneous, the will that is realized and submitted to action – of the alchemical elements, it is air. What follows is the suit of wands, the ascensional and dreamy set, intent on the commencement of construction and knowledge. It is the will power, soothing, enchanting, variegated, independent, and necessary for rebirth and magic – of the alchemical elements, it is fire. Continuing this logic, we have the suit of cups, the receptive and nurturing set, holding the totality within itself, embracing the contradictions of imposed striations. It is the power of consent, the agreement and harmony of the multitudes in relation to each other, the centrifugal dispersal and dissolution of control – of the alchemical elements, it is water. Finally, we land on the suit of coins, the stabilizing and foundational set, crafted and borne from the body itself. It is the power of the real, the space without word and time without number, a glimmer of truth as it is in the great desert of illusion – of the alchemical elements, it is earth.
The appropriation of the suits throughout history to signify warfare, production, or other symbols of control is a reality that can be reversed through these contemplations. What has been passed down and given to us in the playing deck is a set of veiled liberating potentials that have survived under multifarious guises. In later posts we can work to reterritorialize each of the cards in the Major Arcana, those looming and strong personalities and objects. We might even venture further into the number four, and find ourselves bearing witness to the appearance of chess, and its strange relationship to the Tarot.
For now, let us leave our speculations and look directly into the sky. Monday April 11th will reveal itself as a positive day for the lunar natured folks out there. The Moon will exit the chaotic shadow of the south node – Ketu – and enter into its own sidereal sign, Cancer. The Moon’s cool rays radiate naturally from the calm, shallow waters of Cancer, and these will be amplified by the fact that it will be the eighth night of the waxing phase, the half-Moon, which is a turning point in positive lunar expression. Couple this with it being on the Moon’s very own day – Monday – and it should turn out to be a pleasurable evening. Go outside to encourage the absorption of lunar rays in the body, and healing will commence, indeed. This lunar and planetary arrangement continues through Thursday.
The last two days of the week, Friday and Saturday, prove themselves to be the showcases in planetary flux, however, as the Sun exits the crowded and confounded sign of Pisces, and Venus fills the void that the Sun has left. On Friday, the Moon enters Leo, that regal sign of the Sun, and the Sun itself becomes exalted in the sidereal sign of Aries. This is a great time for renewal and celebration, and the lean and unimpeded glow of the exalted Sun will shine encouraging light on our personal endeavors and desires. As the seasons change, and we do begin to see more Sun, the movement of the Sun into Aries represents a shift that will form the basic dynamic of the year to come. Make the most of it – get out there into the world, relish in the Sun, and harness its limitless potential. Saturday shows us that the independent and cloistered nature of our recent creative endeavors, with Venus walking alone in the dreamy sign of Aquarius, is coming to an end as the morning star moves into Pisces. When Venus unites with a retrograde and confuddled Mercury, a comfortable and expansive Jupiter, and the fiery and unpredictable Mars, there is good reason to believe that our creative passions will unite in collective and joint efforts. All can benefit from this transit.