Two of Alembics: Love
Historical: Lord of Love
Pent #2 “Illuminating”– Fire of 巽 (Sun) The Penetrating, Wind
Berashith: “and the ruach of Elohim”
Ruling Hexagram: Hex #23 (剝 bō), Splitting Apart
Tiered Bigrams: Air (Above), Water (Middle), Water (Below)
Element/Planet: Water of Uranus (Chokmah, Wisdom)
Planet/Sun Sign: Venus in Cancer
Keywords: Generosity, Charity, Surrender, Sharing, Harmony, Play, Affection
Keywords (Ill-Dignified): Danger, Confusion, Misfortune, Trials, Emotional Infidelity, a Gold Digger
Golden Dawn: Called The Two of Cups, The Lord of Love, the Two of Cups card corresponds to the planetary Venus and the zodiacal Cancer as well as the angels Ayoel and Chabooyah and places at Sephira #2 Chokmah in the Golden Dawn system.
Dolphins are iconic to this beloved card, and it is to the Golden Dawn that we owe their popularization for it. Many decks feature dolphins on this card, even if the follow Golden Dawn attributions nowhere else. A hand holding an open lotus is pictured near another lotus sprouting streams of water, with the dolphins bathing in the streams.
Thoth: “The Word and the Will” is what the two always represent, says Crowley in his The Tarot of the Egyptians. The card is seen as receptive due to its connection to Cancer. He urges us to study the symbology of the dolphin carefully as it is “very complicated” an idea of the “Royal Art” “peculiarily sacred to Alchemy”. Perhaps he is referring to their connection to Venus and Cupid, or perhaps he is talking about their outrageous libidos, capacity for interspecies sexuality and ability to fend off sharks and rescue humans. Perhaps we will never know.
Mutational Alchemy Interpretation: This card has always been associated with love, either with dolphins or without, and finding the dolphins perfectly suitable we paired them with Ra in his phase as Lord of the Horizon. Air above with two Water bigrams certainly infer the deep ocean and a pleasant sky and breeze above, as in our scene here. The trigrams speak of stability and strength, just as in the relationship of The Lovers, ATU XI.
Ken the mountain, easily recognizable as a curving hump (denoting two broken yins below and a solid horizontal yang above) over Earth (denoted by the classical Chinese symbol of Earth, the square) also reinforces this idea of immense strength and stability. This is a highly auspicious card that talks about invincibility, that of strong lover.
In Water of Ouranos we find the upheaval and revolution of the chaotic planet in its element, and so this accounts for the auspiciousness of the scene and title.
Venus in Cancer does indicate warmth, love, friendship and goodwill. Care, family and domestic stability will be foremost on the agenda for persons or situations.
The Scene: Dolphins, the symbol of Aphrodite and her son Eros, own the correct symbology to match the planetary correlations in this card. The double-wanded one, pictured in the previous three Aces as anthropomorphic, takes shape as the Lord of the Two Horizons, as the setting sun. The gilded ornamentation on the two dolphins symbolizes love and its gilded grace, that embraces Lovers in the harmony of civilization and beauty. Civilization was founded upon the idea of marriage, as illustrated in countless mythologies, from the tales of Aphrodite to Fu Hsi and Nu Kua of Chung Kuo. (China)
Dolphins can be charmed with music, something the ancient Greeks knew of. It was forbidden to kill a dolphin and anyone who did so was believed to have been cursed and shunned by the Gods. It is also believed that one who kills a dolphin will curse anyone who shares the same roof with them. (Dolphins by Chris Canton, Halientica Bk 5)