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Observations placeholder

Tarot - 04 Minor Arcana - 06s Union



Type of Spiritual Experience


We saw, right at the start of this cycle that the Ashrama system is part of the mystic component of Hinduism.  An ‘Ashrama’ is one of four life stages discussed in Indian texts of the ancient and medieval eras. The four ashramas are:

·       Brahmacharya (student)

·       Grihastha (householder)

·       Vanaprastha (retired) and

·       Sannyasa (renunciation).

It tends to be a sequential rather than age related system and is intended to ensure a person – any person – leads a life of fulfilment, happiness and spiritual liberation. 

And after rebirth one automatically enters the stage of Sannyasa (renunciation).  This stage is marked by renunciation of material desires and prejudices, represented by a state of disinterest and detachment from material life.  The person becomes focussed on Moksha, peace and simple spiritual life.


It is worth adding that in the Hindu yoga system and in many shamanic or indigenous cultures, a naturally talented or gifted initiate could enter this stage after completing the Brahmacharya stage of life, although they may still go through the tests, and rebirth to ensure they were able to complete the course and stand the hardship.

Thus you will find the 06 cards reflecting this stage – there is gratitude, contentment, an almost reckless giving away of material possessions, and retiral from normal everyday life, often represented by a ferry going to a distant shore or a hermit giving out his ‘wealth’, where wealth can simply mean material wealth, but also spiritual wisdom.


A description of the experience

Disks [Earth] – Success

The Six of Pentacles is a card of giving away, as explained above.  Renunciation of all that is of the earth.

Symbolically the coins don’t just represent money – they may represent – as in true charity – your time and effort.  If you are wealthy and simply give your money away, it actually has no real meaning, as presumably to get this money in the first place you received it from someone else and in a sense overcharged!  Thus although the card, for simplicities’ sake, shows coins being distributed, it is often better to give yourself in areas in which you excel. 

Giving of your time or your wisdom is often more helpful spiritually as the giving of money simply produces dependency in those who receive it and often attracts people who not only have no need of it, but will in effect waste it – the ‘slothful’ and ‘indolent’ shown on the other cards.

Be careful that you are not trying to prove to others that you are generous because you can give. Aim to give selflessly rather than selfishly.

Cups [Water] – Pleasure

This stage of the spiritual path occurs just after rebirth has occurred.  The period is a time of joy with periods of bliss and peace as well as what is often called ‘rapture’ or ecstasy.  At the start of the spiritual path the masculine [conscious] and feminine [sub-conscious] functions were separate.  After rebirth however, they are reunited and governed in this by the Major Arcana card of the Lovers.

“In the Six of Cups, a young boy leans down and passes a cup filled with flowers to a younger girl. The girl looks up to the boy with love and respect as he offers the flowers to her. Love, harmony and co-operation – all key elements of the Six of Cups – shine through this gentle act. The young children represent innocence”.

So this card very specifically represents the bliss and peace and joy that comes from the Union of masculine and feminine and the return to a more innocent and childish state, where one can appreciate a gift of flowers, more than a gift of money.

If we look at the Sephirot, the bubble that corresponds to this stage is Ti’feret.  Tiferet ("Adornment", Hebrew: תפארת ) is the sixth sefira and is commonly associated with "Spirituality", "Balance", "Integration", "Beauty", "Miracles", and "Compassion"!

In the background, an older man walks away in the distance", this figure may represent one’s Higher spirit or it may simply be your helper during this process.  The process is complete and is successful

Swords [Air] – Science

The Rider-Waite tarot deck was originally published in 1910.  The Rider Waite card [and its derivatives shown here] shows the escape of the newly united masculine and feminine with their ‘child’, child in this sense being entirely symbolic – the project or work which is to come next.  There is a slight sense of menace, but the overall sense is one of escape to better things.  Her ‘child’ nestles in close to her body, looking for safety and comfort as they make this journey together. In the boat stand six swords, suggesting that the battle is not yet over.  While the water on the right of the boat is turbulent, the sea ahead is tranquil. This imagery suggests that they are leaving behind a tumultuous situation, bound for a more peaceful and supportive environment.

If we compare it with Dante’s Divine Comedy, they have plunged through Hell (Inferno), Purgatory (Purgatorio), and are now heading together to Paradise (Paradiso) represented by an island with a mountain on it [the same mountain allegory is used in the Divine Comedy].  So despite the usually negative connotations often found with swords, this card manages to be quite hopeful.

But then we have Crowley’s card.

Crowley originally intended the Thoth deck to be a six-month project aimed at updating the traditional pictorial symbolism of the tarot. However, due to increased scope the project eventually spanned five years, between 1938 and 1943 and he died before publication in 1969. 

Crowley’s card describing the 6 of swords is chilling.  All 6 swords are aimed at the centre of the cross, the very heart of man incarnated, implying that there is real danger from this state.  Daggers, as it were, have been drawn.  And as his is about the most recent card, his naming is not just telling and chilling, but proving to be very true – the attack of the truly spiritual - in fact the planet and all its species - by so called science – the new ‘religion’ of Scientism.

In the story of Jesus, his spirituality was attacked and destroyed by the High Priests of the existing religion.  What Crowley is thus saying is that this is an archetype, whatever religion is in place, the High Priests will attack anyone who seems to threaten their status quo – and the religion that Crowley saw to be the greatest threat was ‘Science’.

To be the new gods, one has to destroy the old gods, and science is systematically attacking not just the old religions but spirituality itself. 

In doings so, it is threatening the very planet we live on, as science without any ethical or moral underpinning is the greatest threat we have probably ever faced.  The Sign at the top is Mercury, indicating that the threat was and is posed by secrets,  'fake news' and 'lies'.  And indeed the atomic bomb - that child of the nuclear age had been developed in secret during the time Crowley was developing these cards.  On August 6, 1945, during World War II (1939-45), only 2 years after his card was completed, an American B-29 bomber dropped the world's first deployed atomic bomb over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The explosion wiped out 90 percent of the city and immediately killed 80,000 people; tens of thousands more would later die of radiation exposure.

Spiritual people are a threat to Scientism.  Why?  Well first and foremost, Scientism as yet has no answer to how the spiritually gifted can do what they do, as such they cannot claim to be ‘superior’.  Furthermore many spiritual people have powers that scientists will never be able to obtain and knowledge they will never be able to understand.  Scientism and spiritualism are opposites.  Mystery still belongs to the pure in heart:

From The Doors of Perception - by Aldous Huxley - 1963

…………..Reflecting on my experience, I find myself agreeing with the eminent Cambridge philosopher, Dr. C. D. Broad,

"that we should do well to consider much more seriously than we have hitherto been inclined to do the type of theory which Bergson put forward in connection with memory and sense perception.
The suggestion is that the function of the brain and nervous system and sense organs is in the main eliminative and not productive..
Each person is at each moment capable of remembering all that has ever happened to him and of perceiving everything that is happening everywhere in the universe. The function of the brain and nervous system is to protect us from being overwhelmed and confused by this mass of largely useless and irrelevant knowledge, by shutting out most of what we should otherwise perceive or remember at any moment, and leaving only that very small and special selection which is likely to be practically useful."

According to such a theory, each one of us is potentially Mind at Large. But in so far as we are animals, our business is at all costs to survive. To make biological survival possible, Mind at Large has to be funneled through the reducing valve of the brain and nervous system. What comes out at the other end is a measly trickle of the kind of consciousness which will help us to stay alive on the surface of this Particular planet.

In other words, the physical brain and mind, the physical nervous system and the functional system that support it are acting as ELIMINATORS not processors.  Information is being ELIMINATED by the brain and mind, and sensory systems, not 'processed'.  Those with enormous funnelling brains are basically excluding all but their own thoughts - somewhat like a stand alone computer.

In other words, scientists – the High Priests of Scientism – those with over active Intellects and egos are the very people furthest away from ever knowing about Reality.  They are also furthest away from the source of wisdom and inspiration.  They are neither wise nor inspired.  They are actually dangerous.

They have set themselves up as the only authority worth listening to ‘Science says’.  Yet the vast majority of our truly dire and destructive problems are caused by Scientism, with problems they have no idea how to solve - pharmaceutical abuse and dependence, climate change, pollution, the sixth major extinction  ..........

And thus the new High Priests of Scientism [see right] block the door to real science and the spiritual, crushing with words those who would question what they are doing, and attempting to keep subservient a whole swathe of indoctrinated supporters, all of whom have been crushed and made impotent, by an education system that serves only the purpose of the new religion.

Wands [Fire] - Victory

The Six of Wands depicts a man wearing a victory wreath around his head and riding a decorated white horse through a crowd of cheering people. His horse represents the successful progression of the challenge he was given, and the group of people marks the public recognition for the man’s achievements. The rider holds an upright wand with a wreath tied to the top, further emphasising success and achievement.

In part, this is a sort of reward for having reached this far, the Six of Wands suggests that not only are you achieving your goals, but you are also receiving a certain amount of public acknowledgement for your efforts.

'The Six of Wands is intended to represent positive encouragement to believe in who you are and your accomplishments so far. Have faith in what you’ve done and how others will receive it.  But whilst the Six of Wands marks an important milestone, this is not the end.  You still have some way to go, and challenges and even more difficult tests and adversity may await you on the path ahead – but take heart knowing you have the support of those around you.'


The source of the experience

Tarot, the

Concepts, symbols and science items

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps