Five of Alembics: Dissapointment


Five of Alembics: Disappointment

Historical: Lord of Loss in Pleasure

Ruling Pentagram:

Pent #5 “Root” – Fire of (Tui) The Joyous, Lake
Berashith: “And Elohim separated the dawn…”

Ruling Hexagram: Hex #16 ( yù), Enthusiasm

Tiered Bigrams: Water (Above), Air (Middle), Water (Below)

Element/Planet: Water of Mars (Gevurah, Severity)

Planet/Sun Sign: Mars in Scorpio

Keywords: Evolution, Experimentation, Putrefaction, Growth, Sexuality, Adolescence, Trials, Treachery, Death, Sadness

Keywords (Ill-Dignified): Codependency, Clinging, Abuse, Narcissism, Charity, Hope, New Alliances


Golden Dawn: Called The Five of Cups Lord of Loss in Pleasure, The Five of Cups card corresponds to the planetary Mars and the zodiacal Scorpio and places at Sephira  #5 (Geburah)  in the Golden Dawn system. Livoyah and Pehilyah are its associated angels.

Lotuses are again present, and the cups are empty. Fallen petals are present, and no water is flowing from the lotuses.

Thoth: The natural antipathy of Water in Geburah is discussed, with emphasis placed on the idea of disturbance when least expected. Crowley reminds us that the male principle is still quite strong and active in this station despite Water and Geburah having a strong influence. Crowley states that there is a discord between the element of the suite, Water and the element of its Sephira, Geburah, which is fiery. Here is the image of a frustrated male principle and (according to Crowley) the evil geomantic sign of Rubeus is associated with its Mars in Scorpio. Rubeus in called “Red” and according to Mutational Alchemy and the rational bigrammaton, is not evil, it is merely emotional and feminine, and belongs to the Princess of Alembics. So we’re again left with the superstitious, unsavory elements of the poisoned Christian well of Europe. He follows the Golden Dawn imagery closely, a decaying Rose and five empty cups with no water flowing into them are portrayed. “disturbance, just when least expected, in a time of ease” (The Tarot of the Egyptians, Crowley 1944)

Mutational Alchemy Interpretation: A lone Air symbol between two Water elements in the tiered bigrams reveals the principle of levity in Water, suspended but oppressed at the very same time. In the Trigrams we have the Arousing in the above and the Receptive in the below. Poseidon was a a natural choice for the card’s scenery. No one wants to stare at a pair of horses fucking all the time so we’ve opted instead for a more classical, mysterious and symbolical interpretation of the myth. It is up to the viewer to decide what it means.

Water of Mars paired with Mars of Scorpio is deadly and somewhat poisonous, though we might find some alchemical solace in tinctures, both modern pharmacy grade ones and old herbalist remedies. There is some inference of old military tradition and naval ships are particularly strong especially considering the bigrams.

Hex #16 was difficult with this card’s original title, as Enthusiasm and Dissapointment were quite the opposite. Rather than change it we decided to try to incorporate the Poseidon myth into the story of the card. Therefore we havea situation in which the disapointment is on the part of the Lady Demeter and the Enthusiasm is Lord Poseidon’s.

The hexagram is the image of , Chen, Thunder, over Kun, Earth, and it is one of six hexagrams which have a single yang line amidst all Yin lines. The position of the yang is a ruling one, and so all of the other Yin lines follow it and obey.

The text includes the subject of a great sacrifice to heaven. In this case it is Demeter and her ignorance. This reflects back on The Devil card and is the source of woe in the world.  

The Scene:A strange and dark  scene to be sure, although Poseidon’s ways are dark and strange in and of themselves. Shown with Demeter and the progeny of their union, Arion, it isn’t meant to be clear what is going on here.

The invocation was smooth but remarkably quiet, most of the drawing was automatic and minimalist. Mother and daughter carry two halves of one pomegranate. The obscure form of a nameless mare goddess was confined to a tiny tribe on one of the Greek isles. In Arcadia, the birthplace of Pan and Hermes, we find the mystery cult centered on this myth, where one of two daughters is called “The Mistress” to the people there and her name is secret. In the tale of Poseidon and Demeter, Demeter refuses Poseidon’s sexual advances because she was in mourning for Persephone’s kidnapping. She is relentlessly pursued, and so turns into a black mare to disguise herself in the herds of the wild horses at Onkeion. He transforms himself into a black stallion (representing the blackness of the abyss) or by some accounts, into a white stallion (representing the white crested waves of the sunlit sea) and by scent recognizes her as she is in heat. The god mounts the goddess, who, unable to resist because of her animal form which desires it and has no higher intelligence to refuse, allows it.  

This produces two progeny, the goddess Areion, a magickal talking horse, and the goddess “Despoine” who has another name which it is forbidden to speak of. The name Despoine means The Mistress, and she was worshipped with great sacrifices by the Arcadians. The river Styx is one and the same as the river of Arcadia, and may be a clue to her identity. It was said to have been created by the secretions of Demeter during her mating with Poseidon. “The water of the river of Arkadia known as the Styx cuts through all vessels, even though they be made of iron . . . It was Demeter who caused this water to well up in the neighbourhood of Pheneus” (Aelian, On Animals 10. 40 trans. Schofield) Is this one of the secret death cults of ancient Greece that is rumored of to this day by Grecian occultists? The cave of The Mistress is spoken of today as being one in which death rites were enacted, by inhalation or ingestion of various drugs which brought the practitioner close to death.