Two Stories

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 Let me start with a story you probably already know well – the story of the Pentacles.  The story, very simply put, runs like this:   We want material increase (Ace) and so we juggle the possibilities and options (2) and gain useful skills and employment (3).  This is the recipe for wealth, it seems!  We work – we earn – we keep (4).  But when misfortune strikes and we are thrown back on our own resources we may struggle to survive (5).  At the pinch-point of the story we come to the realisation that life is not just about our wants and desires.  We need the support and help of others in the widest sense.  We are never complete when we are alone (6).     And so with this new understanding we begin again but with a new perspective.  Now we have a different intent and focus: we give matters the appropriate time and effort (7).  We do the work for its own sake and we do it with a higher purpose than just for our immediate interests – we do it to connect.  Now our thoughts and actions are solidly grounded and we tread correctly.  We develop as master-craftsmen (8), and eventually progress and gain what we seek.  We reach a satisfying, (rather than merely gratifying), reward (9) when we can finally share and pass on our abundance in full to others (10).

My particular interest is in the Oracle of Geomancy – divination by the 16 geomes, or ‘earth runes’.  Each domino-like symbol is composed of one or two ‘taps’ or dots at each of four Levels… and you can see them clearly in the minors of the tarot!  Get out your deck and see if you can find them.

My Jean Noblet Marseille deck shows the six of pentacles as Saturn’s geome Carcer, the seven is either Mercury’s Albus or, reversed, Pluto’s Rubeus, and the eight is the Moon’s Populus.  Seen and interpreted geomantically the original story is reflected in microcosm:      The six of Pentacles, Carcer, in geomantic terms shows that while we might have what we need for ourselves alone (two taps at Levels 2 and 3), we are not connecting with the outside world (only single taps at Levels 1 and 4).  We are therefore trapped by what we think we know and what has served us in the past.  (This is an intriguing aspect of Saturn and one which resonates with Crowley’s Thoth deck description as ‘Success’.)

To free ourselves of the prison we have created one of two things has to happen.  We either need to change our mental approach through wisdom (Mercury’s Albus) or we will need to revolutionise our physical world (Pluto’s Rubeus).  This is the pinch-point again, equating to the Thoth’s ‘Failure’.

In essence, our chrysalis-prison of the six will keep us trapped and unable to progress unless we transform ourselves.  We are the key to our own freedom.  Our liberation comes through our realisation of the need to work with others externally, not solely for ourselves.  Whether we do this by changing our thinking and approach through true wisdom (Mercury), or whether it is by drastic shifts in what we do physically (Pluto), the the seven is the path by which we create the full expression of the eight (two taps on all four levels).  The Thoth indicates the eight as ‘Prudence’ or ‘practical wisdom’.  And practical wisdom is a beautiful way of expressing the duality of the Mercury-Pluto power to transform us within the element of Earth.

There is clearly a parallel story in the Oracles of geomancy and tarot, written in plain view all this time.  It prompts us to ask another question:  Is the geomantic story a synopsis of the story of the Pentacles, or is it a story within a story?   A question for the practical and wise to consider, perhaps. © Les Cross

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