Re: Deciphering the Sola-Busca Pips
Posted: 08 Jul 2010, 05:40
In the Two of Batons, the man's grotesquely enlarged testicles would seem to be a focal point.
Over 500 years of history in 78 cards
These words might reflect the relationship between the two men on the SB card, where the younger is looking to the older one for advice and support. This advice could either be well-intended or duplicitous (like that of the serpent in Eden), corresponding to the Etteilla Upright and Reversed meanings.TWO OF SWORDS: Friendship, Attachment, Tenderness, Kindness, connection, Relationship, Similarity, Intimacy, Concord, Association, Interest, Conformity Sympathy, Affinity, Attraction. REVERSED: False, Falsehood, Lying, Imposure, Duplicity, Bad Faith, Roguery, Trickery, Treachery, Deception, Superficial, Superficiality, Surface.
While these meanings are rather various, the overall trend fits well my comparison to Adam after his expulsion from Eden; it was not only a sad event but an unforeseen one: he did not expect to be dealt with so harshly.2 OF BATONS: Sorrow, sadness, Melancholy, Affliction, Displeasure, Distress, Grief, Mortification, Ill Humor, Quarrel, Affliction, Gloomy Ideas.--Bitterness, Anger, Spite. REVERSED: Surprise, Enchantment, Shock, Trouble, Unforeseen Event, Unexpected Occurrence, Fright, Emotion, Fear, Dread, Terror.--Dismay, Astronishment, Domination, Ravishing, Alarms.---Wonder, Phenomenon, Miracle.
These are simply the positive and negative aspects of Desire.2 OF CUPS: Love, Passion, Inclination, Sympathy, Appeal., Proclivity, Friendship, Kindness, Affection, Attachment, Liking, Union, Gallantry, Attraction, Affinity. REVERSED: Desire, Want, Wish, Will, Craving, Covetousness, Cupidity, Concupiscene, Jealousy, Passion, Illusion, Longing, Appetite.
Of these, only "Bill of Exchange" fits the Merchant, the card's representative of the Neopythagorean 2's materiality. In fact, the meanings listed for the Upright go totally against the optimism I found in the upper medallion on the card. However I can think of two possible explanations for this discrepancy.2 OF COINS: Embarrassment, Obstacle, Engagement, Obstruction, Hitch, Snag.--Trouble, Upset, Emotion, Awkward Position, Confusion, Difficulty, Unexpected Obsacle, In Error, Obscurity.--Agitation, Anxiety, Perplexity, Concern. REVERSED: Note, Written Dolcument, Handwriting, Test, Literature, Doctrine, Erudition, Written Work, Book, Production, Composition, Dispatch, Epistle, Missive.--Written Character.--Literal Sense--Alphabet, Elements, Principles, Bill of Exchange.
One example that I have already given is sculpture: the sculptor turns a block of marble into a beautiful representation of divine form. More to the point for the Sola-Busca threes is the example of God's descent into matter, as the divine man Jesus. The mechanism is precisely that described by Aristotle in his account of the generation of animals, a mechanism conformable to the Neopythagorean doctrine: it is the father who provides the form, by his sperm, and the mother who provides the matter, the egg that is formless without the father's sperm. (See http://www2.ivcc.edu/gen2002/Aristotle_Generation.htm: "...what the male contributes to generation is the form and the efficient cause, while the female contributes the material.") In Aristotle's analogy, the father's semen is like the carpenter with his tools, and the mother is like the wood. If so, the most divine animal birth is that of Jesus, in which Holy Mary provided the matter and God the Father the form. Like ideals imprinted into brute matter, Jesus is God imprinted into the matter of the human body. And unlike the sculptor or carpenter, God the Father's work is truly perfect; Jesus is without blemish or imperfection.The Triad has a special beauty and fairness beyond all numbers, primarily because it is the very first to make actual the potentialities of the monad--oddness, perfection, proportionality, unification, limit... (p. 49)
The monad is like a seed in containing in itself the unformed and also unarticulated principle of every number; the dyad is a small advance towards number, but is not number outright because it is like a source, but the triad causes the potential of the monad to advance into actuality and extension... (p. 50)
They call the triad 'piety': hence the name 'triad' is derived from 'terror'--that is, fear and caution. (Translator's note: Here trias [triad] is linked with trein [to be afraid]).
The triad, the first odd number, is called perfect by some, because it is the first number to signify the totality--beginning, middle and end. When people exalt extraordinary events, they derive words from the triad and talk of 'thrice blessed,' 'thrice fortunate.' Prayers and libations are performed three times... Among the virtues, they likened it to moderation: for it is commensurability between excess and deficiency... (p. 51)
The triad is the form of the completion of all things, and is truly number, and gives all things equality and a certain lack of excess and deficiency, having defined and formed matter with the potential for all qualities... (Translator's note: Since the triad is the first actual number, and qualities [and everything else] owe their existence to number, then the triad is the source of all qualities.) (p. 51f)
The image on the right is from Otaviano Nelli, Ecstasy of Augustine before the Trinity, c. 1420-1430, in Gubbio, Umbria (Cooper 188, but here from http://nibiryukov.narod.ru/nb_pinacotec ... escoes.htm. Here we have both the crucifixion and the exposure of the wounded heart. We have the other members of the Trinity as well. The Father is holding the cross; I am not sure exactly where in that mass of wings the Holy Spirit is. but I think I see a very small white dove just above the cross and below the Father's chin. Cooper comments:...a slit in his habit opens to receive a set of rays emanating from a light source above his head (figs. 56-57). Here the analogy with Francis stigmatisation is more emphatic, for the rays strike an open and bleeding wound in Augustine's chest.
The same imagery, showing the Trinity more clearly but without the exposed heart, appears in a painting by an anonymous Florentine painting, second half of the 14th century (Cooper p. 194).Nelli's fresco depicts Augustine kneeling in a chapel doorway, his gaze fixed upon an apparition of the Trinity, figured as the Throne of Mercy and enveloped by angels. ...The saint delicately opens a slit in his habit to reveal his heart, on which Nelli has traced a miniature, ghostly reflection of the Trinity. The Gubbio fresco takes its iconographic cue from the established visual repertoire of Francis' stigmatization. (Cooper p. 186)
It is this image that the designer of our card has used, it seems to me. Looking at the crucifixion, the believer receives the Trinity into his heart, mirroring the piercing of Jesus on the cross in the way that St. Francis' stigmatization did but in one place, the heart, rather than the usual five. In that way, the experience of Christ's suffering turns into a victory for the immortal soul, and for Jesus's mission. This victory is symbolized by the wreath hanging below the cross.Rather unusually, Lippi rendered the Trinity as three conjoined cherub heads, and he placed the scene in Augustine's study, with the saint wearing the Hermits' black habit but no vestments or mitre. Looking up from his scroll, Augustine is struck in the chest--and, one presumes, his heart--by three golden arrows.
Correspondingly, the illustrations, albeit done a century later, c. 1570, show for this section drops of blood coming from the heart area of a dragon and penetrating onto three black, or black and white, circles (for examples see https://www.compendiumnaturalis.net/the-ripley-scrolls/). Above the dragon is the same configuration of circles but now linked together and surrounded by a sun-burst and with distinctive three colors: in several examples (besides the three featured at the previous link, see http://lab404.com/misc/ripley.jpg, they are red and black on one level and white in the middle above them; in another, they are red and black on one level and silver above; in the third they are yellow and white on one level and red below I surmise that in the last version the artist has in mind the three stages after the nigredo, in the version in which there is a yellow stage between white and red. In that way each earlier stage is not canceled when another comes, but rather continues to be present in the heart of the believer. In an 18th version at levity.com the circles have a sun, a moon, and just blackness inside them.The Blood of mine heart I wish
Now causeth both joy and blisse
And dissolveth the very Stone
And knitteth him ere he have done..
Thou must part him in three
And then knit him as the Trinity
And make them all but one
Lo here is the Philosophers Stone.
Batons, it seems to me, presents Christ from the perspective of him as a young man starting his mission, but also with the negative aspects and melancholia reflective of the unpurified Christian and of Jesus's suffering on the cross:3 OF SWORDS: Estrangement [or Distance], Departure, Absence, Cap [or Deviation], Dispersion, Remote, Delay.---Scorn, Repugnance, Aversion, Hate, Disgust, Horror.--Incompatibility, Annoyance, Opposition, Unsociableness, Misanthropy, Rudeness.--Separation, Division, Rupture, Antipathy, Part, Cut. REVERSED: Distraction, Insanity, Delirum, Mental Alienation [Derangement], Absent-Mindedness, Crazy Behavior.--Error, Miscalculation, Loss, Detour, Gap [or Discrepancy], Dispersion.
Coins, on the contrary, has the sanguine optimism of the Christ-child taking on the most important of burdens with every prospect of success:3 OF BATONS: Enterprise, Begin, Start.--Usurp, Seize.--Daring, Brashness, Boldness, Carelessness, Adventurous, Audacious, Temerity, Bold, [Foolhardy, Rash].--Undertaking, Muddled..--Disconcerted.--[Crippled or] Paralyzed, Effort, Test, Temptation. REVERSED: Interruption in: Misfortunes, Troubles, Pain, and Toil.--End, Cessation, Discontinuation, Respite, Rest, Influence, Intermediary, Intermittence.
Here the theme of success is in the Uprights (the competion of his task, in the language of the Theology of Arithmetic), and that of the child and associated weakness in the Reverseds.3 OF COINS: Important, Noble, Consequential, Celebrated, Big, Great, Extensive, Enormous, Manificent, Renowned, Famous, Powerful, Lofty, Illustrious.---Illustration, Esteem, Grandeur of Soul, Nobility of Conduct, Acts of Generosity, Magnificently, Splendidly. REVERSED: Puerility, Childhood, Childishness, Frivolity, Weakening, Debasing, Reduction, Courteousness, Lowness, Medicrity, Trifle, Trinket, Servility, Weakness, Child, Infant, Puerile, Puny, Low, Grovelling, Lowly Contemptible, Humble.--Abjection, Humility, Humiliation.
Again there is the element of completion that the Theology of Arithmetic attaches to the Triad. In the Trinity, God is complete.3 OF CUPS: Success, Science, Fortunate Outcome, Happy Issue, Victory.--Healing, Cure, Relief.--Fulfillment.--Perfection. REVERSED: Expedition, Dispatch, Execution, Achievement, [Completion.] End, Conclusion, Termination, Accomplishment.
It seems to me that the "four terms" at the end of this passage might simply be the four points that determine a tetrahedron. Let me try to explain, as far as I am able. The Tetrad is an advance upon the Triad in two primary respects. One is that it is the number pertaining to three-dimensional existence, whereas the Triad only has to do with figures in a plane. The Monad designates a point; two monads, i.e. points, make a line; three points are the minimum needed to determine a plane figure, namely, the triangle; and four points are needed to determine a solid figure, namely the tetrahedral pyramid. And with that geometry has reached its limit, the Theology declares. Five points do not determine any more dimensions than four points do.Everything in the universe turns out to be completed in the natural progression up to the tetrad, in general and in particular, as does everything numerical--in short, everything whatever its nature. The fact that the decad...is consummated by the tetrad along with the numbers which precede it (Trans. note: 1+2+3+4=10), is special and particularly important for the harmony which completion brings; so is the fact that it provides the limit of corporeality and three-dimensionality. For the pyramid, which is the minimal solid and the one which first appears, is obviously contained by a tetrad, either of angles or faces, just as what is perceptible as a result of matter and form, which is a complete result in three dimensions, exists in four terms (Trans. note: perhaps the four Aristotelian causes, mentioned on p. 58, or perhaps the four elements...). (p. 55)
But the tetrad completes "everything in the universe" in another sense as well. I get this one from a string of examples that the Theology gives. For example, from Aristotle we know that there are four types of causes:...as regards 1,2, 3, 4, the decad...is a measure and a complete boundary of every number, and there is no longer any natural number after it, but all subsequent numbers are produced by participation in the decad, when the cycle is started a second time, and then again and again on to infinity. (p. 55)
.the by which, the from which, the by means of which, and the with what end (that is, God, matter, form, result). (p. 58)
Now let us turn to the cards.The tetrad is the first to display the nature of solidity: the sequence is point, line, plane, solid (i.e. body). (p. 63)
The first set of Upright meanings fit the SB Four of Coins quite well. The first set of Reversed meanings fit the idea of a whole by indicating the three-dimensional space which contains it, a similar orientation to the Theology.4 OF COINS: Charity, Present, Gift, Generosity, Liberality, Child’s Holiday Gift, Favor, Offering, Donation, Bonus, Assistance.—The Color White, Lunar Medicine, Pierrot [Pierre au blanc, [White Stone]]. REVERSED: Enclosure, Circuit, Convolution, District, Circumference, Circle, Circulation.—Intercept, Obstruction, Blocking, Cornering, Cloister, Monastery, Convent.—Immutable, Fixed, Determined, Definitive, Extremity, Borders, Limits, Bounds, End, Barrier, Partition, Outdoor Wall, Hedge, Interior Wall.—Obstacles, Hindrances, Difficulty, Suspense, Delay, Opposition.
Many of the Upright meanings do seem to reflect the card as I have interpreted it, especially these : "Federation, Union, Group, Company, Cohort, Army." Such organizations are usually created to defend the interests of its members as defined in a certain way, against competing interests. There is no "us" without a "them," unfortunately; and "contract, convention, pact, treaty" are typical terms to define and secure those interests. The Reverseds just indicate the attainment, to a significant degree, of the whole of what one desires.4 OF BATONS, ETTEILLA, UPRIGHT: Society, [Company,] Association, Assembly, Connection, Federation, Union, Assembling, Reunion, Circle, Community, Gathering, The Masses, Crowd, Throng, Group, Band, Company, Cohort, Army.—Convening, Accompaniment, Blending, Mixing, Alloy, Mixture.—Contract, Convention, Pact, Treaty. REVERSED: Prosperity, Increase, Growth, Advancement, Success, Attainment, Happiness, Flourishing, Felicity.—Beauty, Embellishment.
4 OF CUPS: Weariness, [Boredom,] Displeasure, Discontentment, Disgust, Aversion, Enmity, Hate, Horror, Anxiety, Mental Suffering, Mild Dejection, Vexation, Painful, Annoying, Unpleasant.—Distressing, Troubling. REVERSED: New Instruction, New Light.—Sign, Indication, Conjecture.—Omen, Presage.—Premonition, Prognostication, Prediction, Novelty.
An excellent death gains one the admiration of those left behind and a special place in Hades, which the Renaissance understood as the pagan version of Heaven. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elysium. Thus it is victory over death.And just like Solon's apothegm about "seeing the end of a long life," (Translator's note: Solon said, "Count no man happy until he is dead." See Herodotus I.30-33) it is possible to understand from Homer that those who are still alive are only thrice blessed in point of happiness, since thre is still the uncertainty of change and alteration, while those who are dead have happiness securely and are out of the reach of change in a more complete manner--i.e. four-fold. For he says of someone still alive only "thrice blessed son of Atreus," but of those who have died an excellent death, "Thrice and four times blessed are the Greeks who perished then." (Trans. note: the first quote is perhaps from a variant of Iliad 3.182; the second line is Odyssey 5.306.) (p. 60)
The Uprights reflect that very theme of death that I see in the ox-skull, coupled with that of an arid place where such skulls are often found. Yet such places are not merely places of death, but also of solitude and retreat, as the "Etteilla" list suggests, places to contemplate death and triumph over it, as the early hermits did. In that sense, the X suggests the Christos.4 of SWORDS, ETTEILLA, UPRIGHT: Solitude, Desert, Retreat, Hermitage.—Exile, Banishment, Ostracism.—Uninhabited, Remote, Abandoned, Given Up.—Tomb, Sepulcher, Coffin. REVERSED: Economy, Good Management, Wise Administration.—Foresight, Direction, Household Management, Savings, Avarice.—Order, Arrangement, Relationship, Agreement, Concord, Accord, Concordance, Harmony, Music, Disposal.—Testament. Reserve, Limitation, Exception.—Circumspection, Constituency, Discreet, Wisdom, Sympathy, Care, Precaution.
There follows a discussion of musical harmony in relation to the tetrad, observing that there are three fundamental harmonies, definable as ratios using only the numbers 1-4; the tetrad thereby contains "the category of soul." However this type of soul would seem to be one that does not survive the destruction of its harmony and dies with its possessor.The tetrad comprehends the principle of soul, as well as that of corporeality; for they say that a living creature is ensouled in the same way that the whole universe is arranged, according to harmony. (p. 63.)
In that sense, the woman in the Four of Coins could well fit the last sentence of Di Vincezno's description of her (p. 69):If the universe is composed out of soul and body in the number 4, then it is also true that all concords are perfected by it.
Since the universe was seen as round, the soul of the universe would be just such a figure as that corpulent lady, or even more rotund. But since she is the soul, not the body, artists could be given a certain license. More popular was the type of image that Durer gave of her in 1502, under the name "Urania" rather than "Diana." (I do not know any alchemical texts illustrating the soul of the universe as such, as opposed to the soul of the earth, also round, shown as the "philosopher's stone's" nurse; Luna or Diana was sometimes portrayed as the "stone's" nurse, too.)...It is the image of Diana, the celestial nymph, the corporeal soul of the universe, vestal of the higher intelligence that is concealed in all belongs.
Since in the realm of embodiment there are, according to natural scientists, three life-engendering things--vegetative, animal, and rational--and since the rational is subsumed under the hebdomad and the animal under the hexad, then the vegetative necessarily falls under the pentad, with the result that the pentad is the minimal extreme of life. (pp. 72-73).
As related to increase--and, I think, decrease, for plants also wither--there is a connection with justice and injustice, which has to do with unfair increase and its rectification. The Pentad, situated halfway between 1 and 9, is a mean between extremes and has a position like the fulcrum of a balance.When it is squared, it always encompasses itself, for 5x5=25, and when it is multiplied again, it both encompasses the square as a whole and terminates at itself, for 5x25=125.
says the first paragraph of the chapter (p. 65). And:It is the midpoint of the decad...
So, you see, the pentad is another thing which as neither excess nor defectiveness in it, and it will turn out to provide this property for the rest of the numbers, so that it is a kind of justice, on the analogy of a weighing instrument. (p. 70)
The pentad is the first number to encompass the specific identity of all number, since it encompasses 2, the first even number, and 3, the first odd number. Hence it is called 'marriage,' since it is formed of male and female. (p. 65)
The "special diagram" is the scales with 5 as the fulcrum and the other numbers at either side. There is more to the Theology's analysis of the Pentad, to be sure, but this is what seems to me relevant to the Sola-Busca.Because it levels out inequality, they call it 'Providence' and 'justice' (division, as it were) [Translator's note: the word for 'division' (dichesis) is similar to that for 'justice,' (dike)], ... and 'Aphrodite' because it binds to each other a male and a female number. Likewise, it is called 'nuptial' and 'androgyny' and 'demigod'--the latter because it is half of ten, which is divine, but also because in its special diagram is is assigned the central place. (pp. 73-75)
One should not assume that only material gold, etc., is indicated by this list, at least in earlier centuries, given such riddles as those, for example, in the tale of the three caskets in The Merchant of Venice. That tale, typical of the genre, derived from Italian sources, including Boccaccio's Decameron (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Merchant_of_Venice).5 OF BATONS: Gold, Riches, Opulence, Splendor, Sumptuousness, Brilliance, Luxury, Abundance, Fortune.—Physical, Philosophical, and Moral Sun. REVERSED: Legal Proceeding, Lawsuit, Disagreements, Discussions, Disputes, Fights, Litigation, Pre-Trial Investigation, Judicial Proceeding.—Annoyances, Conversation, Squabble, Harassment.—Contradiction, Inconsistency.
Di Vincenzo sees this melting down by fire as having an alchemical meaning. That may be true. However her alchemical interpretation does not fit any alchemical text I know of. She says,5 OF SWORDS: Loss, Falsification, Waste, Degradation, Detriment, Decline, Destruction, Deterioration, Deprivation, Reduction, Injuries, Defeats, Prejudice, Wrong, Defect, Fault, Miserliness, Decline in Business, Damages, Disadvantage, Devastation, Squandering, Dissipation, Misfortune, Afflictions, Setback, Reversals of Fortune, Ruin, Downfall, Rout.—Debauchery, Disgrace, Defamation, Dishonor, Vile Abuse, Infamy, Affront, Meanness, Deformity, Humiliation.— Theft, Robbery, Abduction, Plagiarism, Kidnapping, Hideous, Horrible.—Opprobrium, Corruption, Dissoluteness, Seduction, Licentiousness. REVERSED: Mourning, Despondency, Ailment, Grief, Distress, Mental Suffering, Funeral Rites, Interment, Obsequies, Funerals, Inhumation, Sepulcher.
An amphora, vas genitrix of alchemistic memory, here a symbol of the receptive aspect of the human mind, contains five swords, phallic symbols which in thies case are symbols of the fertile ideas from without and tied, so to speak, by the intellence agent, which knows how to join concepts from diverse directions to each other. (p. 127)
Hind quite rightly noted that the "representation of the penis in the form of a bird dates from antiquity," and that accello is still used ideomatically for "penis" in Italian...
The three-pointed tuft at the top of the head might also have a sexual connotation.The color red '"brings to mind vital energy, blood, fire, the desire for conquest and power. (Sola Busca Tarot, p. 71)
The Waite-Smith perhaps shows two such lovers, after they have been found out: they have loved outside the bounds set by the Church. At least that is what his word-list would indicate, borrowed from the "Etteilla."5 OF COINS: Lover, Person In Love, Chivalrous Man [Galant], Refined Woman [Galante], Husband, Wife, Spouse, Friend.— Paramour, Mistress.—Love, Cherish, Adore.—Harmony, Accord, Suitable Character, Presentable, Decorum.REVERSED: Muddled, Disorganization.—Debauchery, Disorder, Trouble, Confusion, Chaos.—Damage, Ravage, Ruin.—Dissipation, Wasting [Consumption, therefore also Tuberculosis?].—Dissoluteness, Licentiousness.—Discord, Disharmony, Conflict.
Waite sees this card more negatively, although such is not suggested either by the SB card or the "Etteilla" list, which he tries to reconcile with this negative attitude (see http://www.villarevak.org/td/td_10.html). Smith's card is similarly negative, corresponding to the SB only in that there are three cups on one side and two on the other.5 OF CUPS: Legacy, Succession, Bequest, Gift, Donation, Dowry, Patrimony, Handing Down, Will.—Tradition, Decision—Conspiracy. REVERSED: Consanguinity, Blood, Family, Forbears, Ancestors, Father, Mother, Brother, Sister, Uncle, Aunt, Cousin.—Filiation, Extraction, Race, Lineage, Alliance [Union].—Affinity, Contact, Relationship, Connections [Junctions].
Here is Durer's St. Jerome in his study:
Batons shows a man carrying a gourd and five large arrows or spears. Di Vincenzo, in Sola-Busca Tarot p. 100), calls the gourd a "symbol of human stupidity," since it is "dried up." But perhaps it conceals something, inside or symbolically. We might ask, what did gourds mean in Renaissance art? A cursory look on the Web shows a few possibilities. At http://academic.evergreen.edu/curricula ... r%2009.pdf, p. 7, we find it identified in Durer's Jerome in his Study as a symbol of divine favor, referring back to a gourd that God provides Jonah for shade and then destroys in the night, an act that makes Jonah upset and perplexed. God uses the gourd as an explanation for why he spared Nineveh, after it repented of its sins: it is for him to decide who he will favor and not. According to Ferguson (Signs and Symbols in Christian Art, with Illustrations from the Paintings of the Renaissance, p. 31, in Google Books) its association with the story in Jonah made the gourd a symbol of the Resurrection. In a Crivelli Madonna and Child, according to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/food/hd_food.htm), it has the meaning of salvation. That is especially clear if it is pictured with an apple, the fruit of death to which the gourd is the antidote. Ferguson also mentions that pilgrims carried water in gourds (p. 31); it was particularly associated with the pilgrimage to Compostela (p. 124). When shown with a fig, however, a gourd could be a phallic symbol (http://aob.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/mcj025/). Moreover, Levenson (Circa 1492: Art in the Age of Exploration, p. 294, in Google Books) says that the gourd, especially if shown with a skull, as in Durer's engraving, might also have been seen as a symbol of transience, because in the Jonah episode God destroys the gourd overnight. Similarly, Parshall (at http://www.jstor.org/pss/3048864, Art Bulletin Vol. 53 No. 3), refers to its use as a symbol of vain pride.
As usual, we have an ambiguous image. Drawing from the above, I would say that the man is either a thief who has stolen something of only transient worth, or a pilgrim seeking salvation while warily walking a path where danger lurks. A relevant detail might be that the batons are divided into a group of three and a group of two (forming an X), suggesting the unification of male (as in the man and his gourd) and female that produces new fruit, i.e. rebirth.
I have no idea where many of the Reverseds come from. Some, e.g. "Declaration," "Proclamation," etc. perhaps have something to do with the meaning of "messenger" in the Uprights. Others, i.e. "Vision, Revelation, Apparition," may be connected with another aspect of the Hexad, its connection with Hecate (p. 81). In ancient Alexandria, she was the goddess of witches and curses (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hecate). In medieval Germany, hexagonal designs were painted on buildings as protection against hexes, perhaps because of the linguistic similarity; but I can find no evidence for an actual etymological connection between "hex" meaning "witch" and "hex" meaning "six."ETTEILLA 6 OF SWORDS: Road, Path, Lane, Walk, Passage, Footpath, Route—Walking, Trafficking, Canvassing, Thoughtfulness [the text reads: Prévenance; but if Provenance is meant, then the translation is: Provenance], Driving, Means, Manner, Way, Expedient, Voyage, Course, Stroll, Pattern, Tracks, Trace, Envoy, Commissionaire [Messenger]. REVERSED: Declaration, Declaratory Act, Exposition, Discussion, Interpretation.—Charter, Constitution, Diploma, Manifest Law, Ordinance.—Publication, Proclamation, Conspicuousness, Public Notice, Publicity, Authenticity, Fame.—Denunciation, Counting.—Enumeration.—Knowledge, Discovery, Exposure, Vision, Revelation, Apparition, Appearance, Admission, Confession, Protestation, Approval, Authorization.
But what do childhood, the past, and the future have to do with the number six? The Theology speaks of six as divisible by three, and hence, like the Triad, pertaining to beginning, middle, and end (p. 78). But in the 6, these three are in the context of the animal soul, which unlike the plant remembers its past, has these memories available to it in the present, and can use them in anticipating the future. Beginning, middle, and end have become past, present, and future. In cups, we see the past in the "Etteilla" Uprights and the future in the Reverseds. In the SB illustration, as well as the Waite-Smith, we see one universal part of that past for humans, childhood and our memories of it.ETTEILLA 6 OF CUPS: The Past, Times Gone By, Wilted, Faded, Formerly, Earlier, Previously, Long Ago, In The Olden Days.—Old Age, Decrepitude, Antiquity. REVERSED: Advent, Future.—After, Following, Subsequently, Later.—Regeneration, Resurrection.—Reproduction, Renewal, Repetition.
When squared, it includes itself, for 6x6=36; when cubed, it no longer maintains itself as a square, for 6x36=216, which includes 6 but not 36. [Translator's note: That is, 36 is circular, 216 is spherical.] (p. 75)
...it is the function of marriage to make offspring similar to parents. (p. 75)
Thus 216 is the number for regeneration or rebirth into childhood as well as generation in the womb resulting in a self-moving child.Since the cube of 6 is 216, the period pertaining to seven-month offspring, when to the seven months are added the six days in which the seed froths up and germinates, [translator's note: Greek months consisted of thirty days. The first six days of pregnancy were commonly held to be different from the rest, a preliminary period leading to pregnancy proper (see also pp. 93-4). Interestingly, in modern embryology, the fertilized egg is reckoned to be implanted in the uterus on or about hte sixth day] then Androcydes the Pythagorean, who wrote On the Maxims, and Eubulides the Pythagorean, Aristoxenus, Hippobotus and Neanthes, who all recorded Pythagoras' deeds, said that the transmigrations of soul which he underwent occurred at 216-year intervals; that after this many years, at all events, he came to reincarnation and rebirth as Pythagoras, as it were after the first cycle and return of the soul-generating cube of six (and this number is in fact recurrent because of being spherical), and that he was born at other times after these intervals. (pp. 83-84)
Waite, in borrowing from this list, seems to have thought that the French word "present" had the same two senses as the English word, and so included "present" in the sense of "gift." We see both senses in his list of Upright meanings:ETTEILLA, 6 OF COINS: The Present, At the Moment, Presently, Now, Forthwith, Suddenly, Instantly, At This Time, Today, Assistant, Witness, Contemporary.—Attentive, Careful, Vigilant. REVERSED: Desire, Wish, Ardor, Overzealousness, Passion, Affectations, Cupidity, Envy, Jealousy, Illusion.
Corresponding to the mistranslation rather than to the words that Waite got right, Smith's design shows a man giving alms to beggars.WAITE, 6 OF PENTACLES: Presents, gifts, gratification; another account says attention, vigilance; now is the accepted time, present prosperity, etc. Additional Meanings: The present must not be relied on.
The hexad is the first perfect number; for it is counted by its own parts, as containing a sixth, a third, and a half. (p. 75)
The Uprights are consistent with the interpretation of the man as a servant. The Reverseds convey what he is feeling: it is again about time, but now about emotional attitudes about the future from the perspective of the present: hope, fear, confidence, etc., all emotions that the higher animals might have as well. Since he is traveling, we again have locomotion in space; but the fourth dimension of time is there, too.ETTEILLA 6 OF BATONS: Domestic Worker, Servant, Valet, Lackey, Maid, Mercenary, Subordinate, Slave.—Courier, Messenger, Domestic Help.—Interior of a House, Housekeeping, Family, All Domestic Servants. REVERSED: Waiting, Expectation, Hope [Desire], Believe Deep Down, Base Yourself On, Trust, Promise Yourself.—Confidence, Foresight.—Fear, Apprehension.
Etteilla transferred the meanings of the French suited piquet pack from his first book on cartomancy to the tarot cards in his later book. e.g.,
Etteilla 10 hearts = Town, 10 cups = City; 10 clubs = house, 10 coins = house.
Etteilla used the reverse meanings of the piquet cards to make up for the additional cards in the tarot, e.g.,
Etteilla 10 hearts R = inheritance, 5 cups = inheritance; 10 clubs R = lover, 5 coins = lovers; 7 spades R = friendship, 2 swords = friendship; 7 clubs R = embarrassment, 2 coins = embarrassment; 7 hearts R = desire, 2 cups = love.
In general but not always the fives are reversed tens, twos reversed sevens, fours reversed nines.
Etteilla's 'authority' for the the correlation of french to italian suits ~
was probably Mellet:
Mellet also associates the 10 hearts / cups with the town/city:
V. Comparaison de ces Attributs avec les valeurs qu'on assigne aux Cartes modernes pour la Divination.
Nos Diseurs de bonne-fortune ne sachant pas lire les Hiéroglyphes, en ont soustrait tous les Tableaux & change jusqu'aux noms de coupe, de bâton, de denier & d'épée, dont ils ne connoissoient ni l'etynologie, ni l'expression; ils ont substitué ceux de coeur, de carreau, de trefle & de pique.
Mais ils ont retenu certaines tournures & plusieurs expressions consacrées par l'usage qui laissent entrevoir l'origine de leur divination. Selon eux,
Les Coeurs, (les Coupes), annoncent le bonheur. Les Trefles, (les Deniers), la fortune. Les Piques, (les Epées), le malheur. Les Carreaux [Il est à remarquer que dans l'Ecriture symbolique les Egyptiens traçoient des carreaux pour exprimer la campagne.], (les Bâtons), l'indifference & la campagne.
V Comparison of these Attributes with the values assigned to modern cards for the purpose of divination.
Our tellers of good-fortune not knowing how to read hieroglyphics, withdrew all the images and changed the names of cups, batons, denier & swords, while understanding neither the etymology nor the expression; substituting hearts, diamonds, clubs & spades.
Nevertheless, they retained certain turnings & several expressions by which we can retrace the origin of their divinatory meanings to the original suits.
According to them, the Hearts (Cups) announce happiness. The Clubs (Coins) fortune. Spades (Swords) misfortune. Diamonds [note that in the symbolic writing system of the Egyptians diamond squares represent the countryside] (Batons) indifference & the countryside.
Recherches sur les Tarots, et sur la Divination par les Cartes des Tarots par M. Le C. de M. ***
Les coeurs & plus particulierement le dix, dévoilent les événemens qui doivent arriver à la ville.
The hearts & more particularly the Ten, reveal the events that must arrive at the city.
A wicked pack of cards by Decker, Depaulis and Dummet, p.74 & 94
*The correspondence of latin to french suits has also been made recently in the Dame Fortuna tarot deck, which is based on Etteilla.