The Magician & The Wheel of Fortune
The High Priestess & Justice
The Empress & The Hanged Man
The Emperor & Death
The Hierophant & Temperance
The Lovers & The Devil
The Chariot & The Tower
Strength & The Star
The Hermit & The Moon
Ones & Nines
Twos & Eights
Threes & Sevens
Fours & Sixes
In The Numerical Tarot:
FOURS & SIXES
To The Numerical Tarot, 4s and 6s represent the coagulated cluster of the finite model of existence developed and put forth elsewhere on this site. In the model of existence put forth in the book "All Things Are Numbers," the 4 and 6 represent the exchange that occurs as converging opposites trade sides, making each, a part of each other (see the Apart/Together model elsewhere on this site).
An example of Numerical Etymology is given in the book All Things Are Numbers, using the idea of exchange as a starting point to other ideas. The idea of exchange leads to the idea of commerce and money. In this deck we see at least three examples of money in either a 4 or 6 card. In the 4 of Pentacles we see a good example of money in the form of a man holding close to his pentacle symbol. He is seated on a large chair, similar to the throne of the Emperor. Behind him is the skyline of a city (a cluster of people and dwellings) perhaps the product of this man's wealth. Some people however, accuse this man of being a miser. Indeed at his worst he is. At his best though he symbolizes the discipline of saving money for the building up of the mass [the mass of the abstract theoretical model used by The Numerical Tarot]. He represents an aggressive, strengthening force that establishes a stable and bearing foundation for growth.
Across from the 4 of Pentacles, the 6 of Pentacles shows us another product of wealth, that of charity, being symbolized here by a man dispensing alms to the poor. Together with the 4 of Pentacles, this card represents the give and take of the 4/6 exchange. Taking things in (4), and giving them out (6).
The 4 of Wands on the other hand shows us a more subtle expression of money. Altho a bit vague in appearance, The Numerical Tarot sees the idea expressed in this card as that of a celebration or party. The spending of money, required for such a celebration, represents the systematic decrease of wealth (or a theoretical mass of existence). Put together, we see the 4 of Pentacles as a working man, saving. While the 4 of Wands represents a vacationing man, spending. However as I attempt to show only the bad side of the negative, I would be inclined to view the 4 of Wands as a representation of a spending man wasting money. This idea of spending can be seen as a source of impotence and vulnerability, as the passive and weakening forces of this number yields to a compromised foundation and a lack of power.
Across from the 4 of Wands is the 6 of Wands. Here we find that whereas the 4 of Wands symbolized the spending of money in celebration, the 6 of Wands symbolizes the taking of something from another. In this card an army of wand bearing men are returning victoriously, having taken what they can from their enemy.
In actuality, from the perspective of The Numerical Tarot, any one of these cards, the 4 or 6, of either pentacle or wand, could represent giving or taking. This "in" or "out" idea applies equally to both cards. In this particular deck we simply see an inverted symmetry, which reveals reciprocity within the deck design. Thus we see how the 4 of Pentacles takes, and the 6 of Pentacles gives, while the 4 of Wands gives (or spends), and the 6 of Wands takes.
As we move on we see how the 6 of Cups shows us the give and take of the intangible side of existence, in the form of childhood memories that we hold on to, or that return to us, symbolized by the image of children playing in front of a house. Is this ourselves as we would like to remember, or 'The Lovers' as children? In the five senses model (seen elsewhere on this site) we identified the sense of smell as a memory trigger, this is the card of that association, symbolized by the boy who is sniffing the flower in the cup. In this way we come to view our memories as our personal possessions, equating this card with the idea of building up a mass of intangible existence. Also the image of children playing in the yard conjures up the notion of family and the sustaining, nurturing environment this number represents.
As the 6 of Cups associates us with reliable predictable memories of the past, the 6 of Swords associates us with the dubious, unpredictable uncertainty of the future. Here we see a family of people in a boat, heading out across a body of water, toward a distant shore, leaving the turbulent waters (to their right) behind. Are they leaving voluntarily or are they in exile, we don't know. They are in a dubious and detrimental environment. The distant shore represents their unknown destiny.
To complete our analysis of cards that represent the abstract, theoretcal 4/6 mass of a model of existence, we move back to the 4 of Cups. Yet another card that The Numerical Tarot would view as positive in a "good" way, but, which, in the view of many, has been chosen to be expressed in a more somber, deceptively "bad" way. Here a man sits beneath a tree, appearing bored or disinterested in the fourth cup, being offered to him from the waiting cloud. But believe it or not, there is a way of seeing this card as good, if we consider it to be a symbol of fulfillment, the emotional equivalent to the physical wealth of the 4 of Pentacles. In his denial, this man is not so much disinterested as he is passive. In other words he can take or leave whatever is being offered, he is secure with what he has and does not want to stir his greed. Thus, to The Numerical Tarot, he becomes a representation of a virtuous and fortunate man. This card symbolizes an established foundation, and stable and bearing power, symbolized by the firmly rooted tree that supports his weight.
If we choose to view the suit of Cups as representing aspects of a Holy Grail quest - as some do, then we could interpret the cloud-with-cup as representing something similar to the dream of Sir Lancelot, dreaming of the power contained therein. In this way, a dream of a Grail becomes a dream of empowerment. The idea of empowerment then equals an emotional wealth, that stands as a partner to the material wealth of the 4 of Pentacles.
In moving on, we see how the strength and security of the 4 of Cups is opposed by the vulnerability of the 4 of Swords. Here, the image of a carcophogus, topped with an effigy, relates this card to its parent card of Death in the Majors, thus symbolizing a feeble, impotent mass of yielding power - i.e. laying down to die instead of standing tall.
ON THE MATRIX - In this formation, the 4 of Pentacles represents the physical action of work as well as laying a foundation for a family, or common core, while the 6 of Pentacles represents the thought process of what to do with earnings. The 4 of Cups then represents the state of being secure in a job or family environment, while the 6 of Cups represents the emotions that tie families together and maintain loyalty among friends and family.
On the negative, deteriorate side, the 4 of Wands represents the action of dismantling a core in the form of spending all its wealth, while the 6 of Wands represents the thought process that causes people to hold on to things they should let go of. Then, the 4 of Swords represents the state of being poor; poor of wealth, poor of health, or poor of courage. While the 6 of Swords reveals the emotions of exile from friends, family, or the core of our theoretical model of existence.
BACK TO MAJORS - In relating these cards to the Majors, the coffin in the 4 of Swords and the Death card becomes an obvious association. While the working man of the 4 of Pentacles equates with the strength and wealth of the Emperor. Then we can see how the generosity in the 6 of Pentacles and the feelings of family in the 6 of Cups relate to the loyalty and sense of family found in the Lovers card. Likewise the dubious future in the 6 of Swords and the idea of steeling, or being stolen from, in the 6 of Wands, equates with the 'bad influence' found in the Devil card.
IN THE ISOMORPHIC TAROT DECK, the building of a mass of existence is symbolized by a construction site. While on the negative side, weakness is symbolized by a collapsing house. In the suit of Roses, a stable foundation is symbolized by a brick building. While on the negative side, a weak foundation is symbolized by someone falling through thin ice.
Progress, and the continued advancement of a theoretical mass of existence, is seen in the 6 of Coins with a wealth of corn growing in a field. On the negative side, poverty and the decay of the theoretical mass of existence is seen in a crumbling wall and unraveling linen. In the suit of Roses, a sustaining environment is seen in the drinking glasses of friends around a table. While on the negative side, animosity and exile are seen in the exclusion of one sword from the rest.