Double loop in the Zodiac

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5 of Disks

5 of Swords

5 of Cups

5 of Wands



The Four Fives

In the "Naples arrangement", the introduction of the number Five shows the idea of motion coming to the aid of that of matter. This is quite a revolutionary conception; the result is a complete upset of the statically stabilized system. Now appear storm and stress.

This must not be regarded as something "evil". The natural feeling about it is really a little more than the reluctance of people to get up from lunch and go back to the job. In the Buddhist doctrine of Sorrow this idea is implicit, that inertia and insensitiveness must characterize peace. The climate of India is perhaps partly responsible for this notion. The Adepts of the White School, of which the Tarot is the sacred book, cannot agree to such a simplification of existence. Every phenomenon is a sacrament. For all that, a disturbance is a disturbance; the five of Wands is called Strife.

On the other hand, the Five of Cups is called Disappointment, as is only natural, because Fire delights in superabundant energy, whereas the water of Pleasure is naturally placid, and any disturbance of ease can only be regarded as misfortune.

The Five of Swords is similarly troublesome; the card is called Defeat. There has been insufficient power to maintain the armed peace of the Four. The quarrel has actually broken out. This must mean defeat, for the original idea of the Sword was a manifestation of the result of the love between the Wand and the Cup. It is because the birth had to express itself in the duality of the Sword and the Disk that the nature of each appears so imperfect.

The Five of Disks is in equally evil case. The soft quiet of the Four has been completely overthrown; the card is called Worry. [See Skeat, Etymological Dictionary. The idea is of strangling, as dogs worry sheep. Note the identity with Sphinx.] The economic system has broken down; there is no more balance between the social orders. Disks being as they are, stolid and obstinate, as compared with the other weapons, for their revolution serves t9 stabilize them, there is no action, at least not in its own ambit, that can affect the issue.