The Number Six in Tarot

The biggest break in my career was getting into the Beatles in 1962. The second biggest break since then is getting out of them. (George Harrison)

If someone had told me years ago that sharing a sense of humour was so vital to partnerships, I could have avoided a lot of sex! (Kate Beckinsale)

I think I like playing the bad girl. I like complicated, I like flawed, messed up. It’s more interesting. (Kate Beckinsale)

In the Introduction, talking about Name Numbers, we characterised the Number Six like this: This number, as we have seen, has affinities with both 2s and 3s. Their love of celebrity, for instance, of being in the public eye, contrasting with their need for peace and privacy. Warm, caring, domesticated, reliable; lovers of home and family; community oriented; may end up feeling – and being! – used and taken for granted. They may be opinionated and self-righteous, they can become obsessed with trivial details, and they should always be careful to maintain their independence.

 That the number Six has a strong affinity with Threes and Twos probably explains its main significance when it comes to Tarot: There are two ways of looking at everything.

SIXES

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wands – Victory is someone else’s defeat; also winning a battle is not winning a war; also the war between Good and Evil is never over: that’s what Good and Evil are, the opposite sides in a never-ending conflict.

Cups – the magic of the past. It did not, could not, last

 

 

 

 

 

 

Swords – Now marks the end of the Past; it also marks the beginning of the Future

Pentacles – Is it more blessed to be poor than to be rich? And how do you rate what he is doing?

And are those from the Major Arcana with the numerical value of 6 the same?

The Lovers – the Fall up? Certainly there are two ways of looking at this.

The Devil – Mammon? We are all in captivity to Mammon … And these two poor souls … But look. The chains round their – our – necks are loose (the Devil wants willing slaves, not prisoners) but we cannot, will not, take them off until we are on our death-bed. Are these two helpless prisoners in the hands of Fate, or are they enjoying every minute of it? Look at her. Would you trust her? Or him, come to that?

Tarot and the Gemini Moon

Gemini is a Mutable Air Sign, its number is 6, its planetary ruler is Mercury, and its opposite Sign is Sagittarius: wherever it is a factor in the horoscope it will always involve curiosity, talkativeness and indecisiveness. 

The main distinguishing characteristic of people born when the Moon is in Gemini (whether they are male or female) is a childlike inability to be serious, to be grown-up; they remain children at heart, fickle, charming and flirty but (probably due to traumatic experiences in previous lives) profoundly unwilling – indeed unable – to trust their emotions and make a commitment.

The key phrases here are: Peter Pan; Can’t sit still; and Let’s discuss it and analyse it.

No, they can’t sit still for two minutes. They are hyperactive, rushing around, worrying and chattering – though probably not actually doing anything at all. What they really want to do is talk about doing it.

Which brings us to their desperate need to verbalise their thoughts and feelings and then, if the listener agrees and after talking it to death, to present the opposite point of view at even greater length and with apparently equal sincerity. So no one knows what they really think. They probably don’t themselves, but they will certainly believe it is what they are thinking and saying at that moment.

So, the partner must be super-attentive and above all a good listener!

The archetype for Gemini Moons is the young, quick-witted person who enjoys life but will not, cannot, tolerate any restrictions on his/her freedom – and will not, cannot, commit himself/herself fully to anything or anyone – which is what they should be doing. But I’ll come back to that.

The Moon Signs and compatibility: Gemini is an Air Sign and while it would be compatible with one of the other Air Signs (a Libra or Aquarius), it would not be a good match with another Gemini. Gemini Suns are best with people born when the Sun was in one of the Fire Signs (Aries, Leo, or Gemini’s opposite, Sagittarius), but this does not apply to Gemini Moons, who need the balancing (and dancing-together) effect of one of the Water Signs – someone born when the Moon was in Cancer or Scorpio or Pisces.

Health and diet for different Moon Signs. Understanding the peculiarities of your particular Moon Sign can help you decide on what constitutes a good diet for you. Remember, ONE MAN’S MEAT IS ANOTHER MAN’S POISON, and generalisations about what constitutes “healthy food” for everyone are not only unhelpful but downright dangerous.

For those born when the Moon was in Gemini, diet is not usually a problem, but they should drink plenty of water – and I mean a lot, not just a sip when they feel thirsty! And they should make a point of stopping, stopping moving, stopping talking, and simply doing nothing, sometimes; meditation would be a very good idea!

What to avoid? They should avoid bottling up their emotions – let it out, talk about it. Yes, I know I seem to be contradicting myself here, but a talkative Gemini Moon (and most of them are!) must stop sometimes, while a Gemini who doesn’t talk about it, who bottles it up, is doing something far more harmful to his/her health.

The Tarot Trump which represents and symbolises this Moon sign is The Devil:

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In numerology, 15 is seen as 1+5, which of course equals 6 – the number of Gemini. The Trump Card for The Sun in Gemini is number 6:The Lovers. Compare the two cards:

This poem sums it up perfectly:

XV – The Devil

Are these two slaves The Lovers?
Did they believe the lies,
and eat of the Tree of Knowledge
and grow out of Paradise?

Are these two slaves the know-it-alls
who lay beneath the Tree
and laughed at the Fool who knew nothing?
The Fool who knows nothing is free.

Better a Fool who knows nothing
and is happy with what he has got,
than be chained like a slave to the things of this world
and think you know the lot.

©James Munro – The Complete Tarot Poems

The Six (VI = 6) has a strong affinity with Threes and Twos. Indeed, 6 is the only number from 1 to 9 which is divisible by both 2 (2, 4, 6 and 8) and 3 (3, 6 and 9), which explains its main significance when it comes to Tarot: There are two ways of looking at everything.

Just look at the Sixes:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wands – Victory is someone else’s defeat; also winning a battle is not winning a war; also the war between Good and Evil is never over: that’s what Good and Evil are, the opposite sides in a never-ending conflict.

Cups – the magic of the past. It did not, could not, last

SwordsNow marks the end of the Past; it also marks the beginning of the Future

Pentacles – Is it more blessed to be poor than to be rich? And how do you rate what he is doing?

Now look back at The Lovers. Is what is happening there Good or Bad? It all depends, doesn’t it? Let’s do a Gemini, and talk about it – without, of course, ever coming to any conclusion. Though we might extend the discussion and ask whether the Biblical “Fall” – which this certainly seems to represent – was a Fall down (the loss of Innocence) or a Fall up (the leaving behind of Childhood)? – again without coming to any conclusion!

However, we are not concerned with Gemini Suns here, but with Gemini Moons, and The Devil. In the Tarot card image, we see two people who were perhaps Geminis in a previous incarnation, but now night has fallen and the sunlit garden of their childhood is a distant memory. Yet they are not grown up. They are caught in a kind of Goth teenage limbo. The bondage is voluntary (they can throw off those collars and chains any time), as is the worship of Mammon, the god of this world.

But let’s be quite clear about this. It is not just a matter of making (or not making) money the be-all and end-all of your life – your god, in effect. Look at this next picture. Would you believe me if I told you I know these two, and the one on the right, the one who looks as if she just stepped out of Trump Card 15 -The Devil, is actually a much kinder person, a much more human person, than the the rather sanctimonious one on the left; and that if I ever needed a helping hand, it would be her I turned to. Yes, you know that might well be true.

As I said before, the number six (and remember, in numerology 15 reduces to 6)  always signifies the universal truth that There are two ways of looking at everything.

BUT ONE OF THEM IS ALWAYS THE BETTER WAY 

Don’t forget that Jesus was accused by his detractors of finding tax-collectors and sinners more congenial company than the priests and pharisees of his day, whom he dismissed as white-washed sepulchres, beautiful on the outside but full of filth on the inside. Prostitutes, he said, would get into the Kingdom of God before them.

Growing up, and recognising real goodness when you see it, and making a choice, a commitment, is what the Gemini Moon is all about.

The Number Five In Tarot

I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.
(Isaac Newton)

No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.
(William Blake)

In an earlier post, talking about Name Numbers, we characterised the Number Five like this: It is the Magic Number. They are lovers of adventure, daring and persuasive; they have innovative, visionary ideas and are often writers; on the downside, they tend to be restless and are easily bored. They are naturally lucky, but there is usually something lacking in their lives.

Five is Three plus Two, the number of male sexuality, of sexual dominance. It is also, however, a number of instability and uncertainty, and indicates an obsession with material security and the things of this world.

The key to this number is Luck + Lack – lucky and often very successful, reaching the top! But there is always something lacking, they always seem to miss the point in some respect.

And the “something lacking in their lives” is often because they won’t listen, they have to do it their way.

Obviously here, for the Five also to be a Fourteen is going to be the exception rather than the rule. Of the 5s I have named so far here and in pevious posts, only Shakespeare was also a 14.

FIVES

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wands – a lack of organisation, thought, planning; may well succeed, though, by luck
Cups – a lack of will to go on; but two Cups still stand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Swords – winning by sheer luck
Pentacles – a lack of money – but may be lucky here
In all four cases it is the things of this world that matter above all else.

KINGS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wands – the King of Faerie; head in the clouds, out of touch with this world
Cups – the King of the Waves; ice cold, liked a carved iceberg afloat on a sea of emotion

 

 

 

 

 

 

Swords – the King of Justice, ultimate enforcer of the stone tablets of the Law; devoid of human sympathy
Pentacles – the King of the Forest; lack of time; it is coming to an end

The cards of the Major Arcana which have the numerical value of Five are, The Pope/Hierophant, and Temperance (which like the KIngs – above – is a 14, and  4+1=5.

The Pope – a lack of spirituality; all is done by the book – and he is aware of that!


Temperance – the angel here is watering the wine (perhaps; or maybe this is alchemy) but he is missing the point; behind his back, ignored, lies the path that leads to the golden crown – a path where the wine is not watered?

I must say though that here I like the idea of this card as representing more overtly The Art (ie Alchemy – note the connection between 14 and 7): the alchemist, working on his own system may be blinding himself to the truth, may be missing the point. And note that Isaac Newton, so famous as an orthodox mathematician and astronomer and founder of modern physics, was at heart an alchemist.

Card of the Day – The Chariot

There is no question that this is a very beautiful card, and the “intersex” charioteer is stunning and unforgettable. But let’s compare it briefly with The Chariot from the Waite-Smith pack I always use (as opposed to admire).

Here is a poem which draws out some of what I sense when I study the Waite-Smith card:

The Chariot (by James Munro)

A man in his prime
full of lust and thrust
and bearing the emblems of Siva and Horus.

Tree-feller, Flower-crusher!
Now is the time to listen,
turn left, turn right, turn back – go back!

Go anywhere but on,
on to your destiny, your fate,
archetypal Father-killer, Mother-fucker,
forcing the very sphinxes themselves to go your way.

One day they will send you back,
blinded and broken, old and alone.

Notice that here we have the victor, the hero (coming from the conquered cities depicted behind him) and heading off, like Alexander the Great, in search of more armies to defeat, more cities to conquer and plunder, more victims to murder and rape. Notice, too, the red phallic symbol – the lingam and the penetrated yoni – on the front of the chariot, the emblem of Siva that the poet refers to, along with the hawk-wings of Horus:

Amulet representing a ram-headed falcon. Ancient Egypt, 1254 BC (26th year of the reign of Ramses II, XIXth Egyptian dynasty), found on the mummy of an Apis bull in the Serapaeum of Memphis at Saqqara. Gold, lapis, turquoise and cornelian.

We are in ancient India, ancient Egypt and ancient Greece here. And the basic meaning of the card is clear. “You are suffering from hubris. Pride comes before a fall. Never forget that the Wheel of Fortune keeps turning for everyone, even for you.”

I cannot get much at all from the other card. It is beautiful, as I say, but the Reader has to rely on knowledge of its meaning drawn from her studies and her familiarity with other packs.