“Frost, sheep, and little burning boats”
I’m stopping for a moment to reflect on who this blog is for. The snow is blowing outside my window and my room is a cell of warmth and light embedded in the huge winter night.
In order to see my computer screen I have reversed black and white. I type white letters on a black background (a blackground?), and like frost on a dark window they freeze into some kind of pattern. Is it a window, or is it a mirror? Can you look through the other side and see this, or is the shape forming simple doodle-art, myself entertaining myself?
Years ago I read about a blizzrd in southern England. Sheep were lost, but when the farmer went digging in the snow he found that the heat of their bodies had created bubbles in the snow, each sheep sleeping in a globe of ice. I wonder what they dreamed?
I have some friends who live by a river in southeastern British Columbia. On the night of their only child’s birthday they would go together to the river, the parents and the little girl. One by one they would set little boats on the river, each with a candle burning on it, one boat for each year of her life. Then they would watch the little flotilla travel bravely down the river, into what?
So maybe that’s what this blog is. Lighting candles, one at a time, and setting them on little boats to travel away into the darkness where you, I hope, are waiting by the shore the meet them. Or at least to wave as they pass by.
When I was young I learned that a spider web has eight sides. I also learned that spiders have eight legs. No one ever connected these facts for me. I didn’t connect them myself until years and years later. Does science connect them? If you know this, please let me know.
Eight sides, eight radial arm from the centre. The spider can place one leg on each of the arms of the web, and receive information from all corners of the web. The Tree of Life has 6 in a central position. There are paths connecting it to all of the numbers except 10, making an eight-sided figure. A final path connects nine to ten, this path acting as the cable that moors the web. Not to big a jump to see the energy of six as in some way related to the Spider.
Six is the home of Sacrifice. Here the Sun dies and is reborn. It is also the home of the King (the King is dead, long live the King!). And the Spider understands sacrifice herself, many spiders feeding their young on their own juices, dying when the children leave.
Like all the energies of the Tree of Life, six carries a rsadiance. The light gradually incarnates, builds itself a body, transitioning from a clear radiant pink to gold, to a rich slmon colour, and finally, as it crystallizes into physical existence, into golden amber. You could call six the Palace of Amber, the Home of the Amber King, or the Home of the Amber Spider.
The form of the Web is and extension of the form of the Spider. If the form of the Web determines the form of the Manifest, then Six is the place to be. It’s the place where Intention creates Manifestation, and in so doing, dies itself. You might call it the home of crystallization.
There’s some guidance here. Hold your intention and find your way into the Six. If you’re looking to manifest, let the light you find there deepen and crystallize finally into golden amber. There will be a moment when you think you have lost, when the intention seems to die. This is the moment of Incarnation.
The Six of Pentacles is sometimes called the Lord of Material Gain. It is when plans and intentions crystallize, and the Tree bears fruit.
Christian Kabalists connect the Six with Crucifixion. Six is the Will of God, the S
The Big Bang, the Black Hole, and the Knight of Swords.
Do you believe in the Big Bang? Did it all begin with some super-particle blowing? The idea (can’t really say ‘image’ here – how can we have an image of a particle containing the mass of the entire universe, a billion-degree spark, opening like a nuclear-powered rose?) is fascinating and compelling. I think it probably has another pole, and that we’ll soon enough connect the huge explosions, novae, spawning galaxies, universes exploding outwards, with the inward movement, the ‘black hole’ where, once again, inconceivably large things are compresses to billions of tons per cubic millimetre. Breathe in, breathe out.
So, let’s suppose it is/was that way. Physics can certainly take it from there. As that explosion flung out galaxies and super-galaxies, they all formed and travelled outwards according to the principles of physics, controlling velocity, the gravitational pull among themselves, and so on. Planets formed and were accrued to the young stars, the whole thing a glorious multi-dimensional web that mathematics can read.
As particles coalesced, drawn together by gravity, there were no options for them. Force, thermo-dynamics, and what we might call Cosmic Time are ineluctable on all matter. The huge arcing sprawl of the Milky Way with its little chips of burning gold suspended in the sweeps of angel hair cloud are held in an inexorable moving equation.
Okay, okay, you say. We know all this. Quit the flowery stuff and explain why this is relevant.
Because if the Whole Thing, the Mother of All Circumstances, works according to the ineluctable laws of gravity, etc., then presumably all sub-sets of circumstance are going to have to be doing the same thing. If the whole thing is a concatenation of moving particles behaving consistently to certain laws, how are we, ourselves only evanescent clustres of particles, going to behave any differently. We don’t DO, we simply HAPPEN.
(If there a philosopher or a scientist out there who wants to set this straight, please go ahead.)
Our minds have the mandate of making a reality we can move around in, creating terrain, objects, situation, characters, and narrative. They are structured so that they need to see themselves in the driver’s seat, assessing situations and taking action.
So, I ask myself, in all this pseudo-science, where does the Knigh of Swords come in? The Knight is the active agent. In Fire he drives the will. In Water he is the Solvent. In Air he carries the Intention across the gap – he is the spark crossing the empty synapse. You might say that he is the arrow, not the bow or the bow-string. He can stand for the power of mind to lcarify the goal, to steady the arrow. We didn’t get to draw the bow, but we get the chance to incarnate in the arrow. Our still mind is the arrow’s tip, and steadiness of heart brings the opportunity to participate in the shot. As we cross that empty synapse there is a chance there for us to bring ourselves to bear. In fact I wonder a little if that isn’t finally what the human mind is – the point of the arrow after the arrow has been shot, and before it penetrates.