Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Six and the hexagon symbolize perfection, stability, harmony, structure and efficiency. The hexagram, the six-pointed star, the Seal of Salomon, is made of two intertwined equilateral triangles, one pointing up, one pointing down, symbolizing the fusion of water and fire, and the symbols of the other elements and their properties (fire: warm and dry / air: warm and humid / water: humid and cold / earth: cold and dry). It’s Tiphareth, the sixth Sephiroth of the Kabbalah, meaning “beauty”. Six is “perfect” because it’s both the sum (1 + 2 + 3) and the product (1 x 2 x 3) of the first three numbers. So six is rooted in the triad.
In nature, hexagons are omnipresent. Natural forms are energy made visible. Six sided plants and animals use the hexagon because it’s the most efficient way to combine structure and function. In the human body, cells cluster together into a dense six angled structure. And there are of course the honeycombs, used by the bees because a hexagonal structure uses the least material to create a lattice of cells within a given volume, a nice example of efficiency. And many crystals show six sides.

Ice crystalls, basalt rocks, honeycomb

Lincoln and Reims cathedral

Saint Peter church, Caen, France

19th century Tibetan mandala Naropa tradition (Vajrayogini)

Milan cathedral

Six on the Qabalistic Tree

Alet-les-Bains, France

Saint Martin’s church, Laon, France

Monday, November 7, 2011

33 A Tarot intermezzo (1)

I have always been intrigued by the Tarot, the card deck consisting of 78 cards, 22 major Arcanas and 56 minor Arcanas, without knowing why. But since Arcana means “mystery” … I think that the minor Arcanas are the “playing cards” of the Tarot, while the major Arcanas are the survival of an archetypical old “wisdom” about life and conscience. The most ancient complete Tarot of “Marseille” is the tarot of Jean Noblet, preserved at the National Library of Paris, and dates from around 1650.
The contemplation of a major Arcana card is done by the interpretation of various symbolisms inside the cards, like space, the body, clothing, the colors and the numbers, among others. The details are not arbitrary.
This old song of the French Compagnons du Devoir (the Companions of Duty) is supposed to inform us a little on the colors: white, the tears of Maître Jacques / black, the earth which bore him / red, the blood he shed / Blue, the blows he suffered / yellow, perseverance / green, hope.
The symbolism of space: a figure sitting or looking at us often expresses the “static”, turned towards the left it expresses “the materiality”, turned towards the right interiorisation, and upright it expresses dynamism and activity.
The body: the head symbolizes thought, the neck affectivity, the abdomen the instincts, a beard virility.
Clothing: the belt is the domination of the instincts, a necklace means dependence.
This varies from deck to deck.
The 22 cards of the major Arcana are in a medieval style (I speak here about the Tarot of Marseille, mother of all modern Tarot decks). Since they are composed of 21 numbered cards + The fool without number, we can see seven ternaries (7x3) and three septenaries (3x7). And 22 is the number of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Each ternary expresses a kind of trinity. The law of three: + = and -, two polarities and their balance. For example: father-child-mother, spirit-heart-body etc…
One finds the same symbolism in the three septenaries: the cards I to VII symbolize the spirit, cards VIII to the XIIII the soul, XV to the XXI the body. It is really necessary to have the cards at hand to see it. Since The Fool has no number, it’s a free card.
The Fool, a kind of vagrant, is dressed like the buffoon of the king, who can say everything without consequences, as if he didn’t exist. Pushed by the dog, The Fool is like the wandering Jew, without stopping or stabilizing himself. The fool represents man directed by external circumstances, without the will to tackle them. He symbolizes the zero and potentiality. He is also the principle of the endless new beginnings.
Traditionally, The Magician symbolizes reason, will, activity and initiative. Man who masters in a logical way the material world he lives in. This implies also his “swindler”side, materialistic superficiality and action without morality . The cards have always  a “positive” and a “negative” side. The accessories on the table represent  the tools and talents he has at his disposal.
The Popess represents intuition, receptivity and passivity (in the sense of patience and discretion). The veil suggests Isis: the Popess raises the vail to show the interior side of things, the esoterism if you want. While The magician represents spirit and consciousness, the animus of Jung, The Popess represents the soul and the unconscious, the anima. The first three cards already tell us much about ourselves, and it is interesting to observe how their properties work in our lives of every day.
The Empress, the third card of the first ternary of the Tarot, is the female side of “power”. She symbolizes comprehension, wisdom and intelligence, or reason supported by intuition.
After the presentation of the first four cards, one can wonder: so what? Well, the goal is: to learn to know yourself. And there is much to know… And it should be seen as a game, not too seriously. One can for example observe oneself consciously from time to time (emotions, reactions, reasoning) to see when one is on the level of The Fool, The Magician, The Popess or The Empress, in simple daily situations…
0 The Fool  • directed by external circumstances • potentiality.
I The Magician • reason • will • activity and initiative (Spirit).
II The Popess• intuition • receptivity • passivity and patience (Soul).
III The Empress • comprehension • wisdom • creative intelligence (Body).

Jean Noblet Tarot

 Crowley-Harris Tarot

Dio Raman Tarot

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Five is the number of man in action in the world: five fingers on each hand, five senses (touch, taste, smell, hearing and sight), five members (two arms, two legs and the head), the “five pointed star” or pentagram inscribed in a pentagon by connecting its angles, man as the microcosm. One can be seen as the child in the womb, undifferentiated; two as birth, the child coming into the world, the first differentiation; three as the relation with the mother in the new environment; four as the relation with the father, the mother and the environment; five as the first development of the four functions of the psyche.
Kore and her apple
To Pythagorean mystics the pentagram was the symbol of spirit over matter, showing the ‘accomplished’ adult, able to balance his four elements: sensations, thoughts, feelings and intuitions. The pentagram appears in the earliest writings of Mesopotamia around 3000 BCE. Some authors think that the pentagram originated as a symbol of the goddess Kore. Her sacred fruit is the apple, and indeed, when an apple is cut through horizontally, both halves show a pentagram shape at the core, with each point containing a seed. Kore represents the female spirit of the universe. 
The geometric proportions of the pentagram are those of the Golden Ratio (F Phi, 1.618) or Golden Mean. This ratio also forms the foundation of the Fibonacci series of numbers 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144..., where each number is formed by adding the previous two numbers. The Golden Ratio and the Fibonacci series are found everywhere in nature, from the human body to the spiral of our galaxy, and in everything in between. It seems to be the ratio of creation. It’s inside us, in our minds and bodies, and outside us, in everything existing.

Construction and proportion of the golden ratio

The golden ratio is also the most pleasing proportion to the eye. Shapes that resemble the golden ratio facilitate the scanning of images and their transmission through the vision organs to the brain. When we see the proportions in the golden ratio, we feel ‘pleasure’, and we call it beauty. No wonder the proportion is called 'sacred' and 'golden'. Man uses it in all the places and buildings where he celebrates his unity with the rest of the universe.

The stone circle on Borrowston Rig, Lauder, Scotland, consists of two intertwined circles of different sizes, as measured by Alexander Thom. He concluded that geometry has been used in the design of most megalithic sites. The overall area encompassed by the Borrowston Rig is some 48m x 41m. There are around 30 stones, none of them reaches more than 0.60m high. The Golden Section, the ratio 1.618, can be clearly seen in the lines A-B and B-C.
The ground plan of the church of the little village of Méolans, Haute Provence, France, shows the golden rectangle, golden triangles, the square and the equilateral triangle.

A few ‘golden ratio lines’ on the western façade of the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral.
Northern rose window of Amiens cathedral

Laon cathedral 'analyzed'

Golden ratio inside a sunflower