|Occult Code||Genetic Code|
|Letter Class:||SIMPLE||POLAR Amino Acid|
|I Ching Kua:||44 COMING TO MEET||GAA|
|50 THE CALDRON||GAG|
Crowley: ... Transmute all wholly into the image of thy will, bringing each to its true token of perfection. ... Combination of forces, realization, action based on accurate calculation; the way of escape, success after elaborate manoeuvres (BT p. 258)
For those of you who don't know already, Aleister Crowley was not a temperate man. His personal motto was: "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law." His life style and attitudes seem to me a fitting demonstration of the complementary opposite view of temperance. His motto might just as well have been: "Nothing succeeds like excess."
It is understandable therefore that he wouldn't be able to relate to this trump as long as it was called temperance, so he changed its name to "ART." Fortunately both concepts find their parallels in the two associated kua.
The image on this trump is of a half male, half female being, mixing fire and water in a caldron.
Crowley: Transmute all wholly into the image of thy will, bringing each to its true token of perfection. (italics added)
Kua 50, The sequence: NOTHING TRANSFORMS THINGS SO MUCH AS THE TING (CALDRON). (p. 641) (italics added)
As a symbol of art the ting or Chinese ceremonial caldron is most appropriate. In the I Ching there are only two kua which are named for man-made objects. The first one is kua 48, "THE WELL;" the second is kua 50, "THE CALDRON." Both of these kua have nourishment as a theme but one of the salient differences between them is in regard to who gets nourished. The well is for the nourishment of all people and is a mundane, often used, construct. The ting on the other hand was a work of art used only on special occasions; and then only to nourish the worthy.
Wilhelm: (kua 50) The caldron (ting) , ... was the vessel that held the cooked viands in the temple of the ancestors and at banquets ... as a utensil pertaining to a refined civilization, suggests the fostering and nourishing of able men. ... The present hexagram refers to the cultural superstructure of society. (p. 193) (italics added)
Kua 50, Commentary on the decision: THE CALDRON IS THE IMAGE OF AN OBJECT. WHEN ONE CAUSES WOOD TO PENETRATE FIRE, FOOD IS COOKED. THE HOLY MAN COOKS IN ORDER TO SACRIFICE TO GOD THE LORD, AND HE COOKS FEASTS IN ORDER TO NOURISH THE HOLY AND THE WORTHY. (p. 642)
Crowley: The fire burns up the water; the water extinguishes the fire. Fire and water harmoniously mingled. But this is only a crude symbol of the spiritual idea, which is the satisfaction of the desire of the incomplete element of one kind to satisfy its formula by assimilation of its equal and opposite. (This process represents) the spiritualization of the result of the great work. (BT p. 102-103) (italics added)
Wilhelm: (kua 50) Here it is the wood that serves as nourishment for the flame, the spirit. All that is visible must grow beyond itself, extend into the realm of the invisible. Thereby it receives its true consecration and clarity and takes firm root in the cosmic order. ... Here we see civilization as it reaches its culmination in religion. (p. 194) (italics added)
For the time being we will switch from the artistic and religious connotations of Crowley's card and study instead the traditional interpretation. Temperance is related to the custom of diluting wine by the addition of water. This signified restraint and moderation toward something tempting and potentially harmful.
Wilhelm: (kua 44) This hexagram indicates a situation in which the principle of darkness after having been eliminated, furtively and unexpectedly obtrudes again from within and below... It is an unfavourable and dangerous situation, and we must understand and promptly prevent the possible consequences... The inferior thing seems so harmless and inviting that a man delights in it; it looks so small and weak that he imagines he may dally with it and come to no harm. (p. 170-171)
The whole of kua 44 deals with the means whereby an inferior element which enters a situation may be dealt with in a manner which benefits all and everything concerned. The emphasis is upon a moderate and temperate attitude which smooths the interactions between superior and inferior or good and bad elements of life and living.
Crowley: (I Ching kua 44) Restrain weak folly - or woo melancholy! Here's fish - but ask not fishy folk to dine! Defeated, yes; but not at meat with swine! No fish - because thou hast mixed with thieves, in fine conceal thy virtues - cellars ripen wine! But hermits lose things human for divine.
Wilhelm: (kua 44) The time of COMING TO MEET is important in still another way. Although as a general rule the weak should not come to meet the strong, there are times when this has great significance. When heaven and earth come to meet each other, all creatures prosper; when a prince and his official come to meet each other, the world is put in order. ... It is necessary for elements predestined to be joined and mutually dependent to come to meet one another halfway. (p. 171) (italics added)
Crowley: combination of forces, realization, action based on accurate calculation, ... success after elaborate manoeuvres. (BT p. 258)
We have covered a good deal of conceptual territory during this analysis of content. Now we must perform a synthesis. All of the concepts we have mentioned here have a process in common. It is the union of or mixing of separate elements to produce something else. Water and wine, fire and water or fire and wood, an inferior and a superior, heaven and earth, prince and minister; all stand for something more basic, more fundamental.
All of these elements "COME TO MEET" in a "CALDRON," cup or vessel of some sort, in order to add their unique attributes to some form of creative synthesis. This creates a new entity which, in its highest form, expresses an attribute of the spiritual. All of this and the alchemical symbolism has but one focus; one primary and ultimate synthesis: the creation of a unique life form via the union of sperm and egg.
Crowley: ... (trump 14, ART is) the consummation of the royal marriage of (trump) VI (THE LOVERS). (BT p. 102) To sum up, the whole of this card represents the hidden content of the egg described in atu VI. (BT p. 103) ... This egg represents the essence of all that life which comes under the formula of male and female. (BT p. 83)
There is one more symbol, cognate with the egg, in the images of kua 44.
Kua 44, line 5: A MELON COVERED WITH WILLOW LEAVES. HIDDEN LINES . THEN IT DROPS DOWN FROM HEAVEN.
Wilhelm: (Kua 44) The melon, ... is sweet but spoils easily and for this reason is protected with a cover of willow leaves. (p. 173) ... No forcible interference takes place. The regulative lines of the laws upon which the beauty of life depends are covered over . We entrust the fruit in our care entirely to its own natural development. Then it ripens of its own accord. It falls to our lot. This is not contrived but is decreed by our accepted fate. (p. 613)
The union of two distinct life forces for the creation of a third, the ultimate alchemy, the creation of life. The fertilized egg, the Orphic egg, is the central symbol of this card. The caldron, the cup, and any other "container" are symbols of the womb. The opposites, predestined to meet, are all substitutes for the primary opposites of sperm and egg. The ultimate work of "ART" and the epitome of the concept of temperance. The essence of one life force mingling with another to provide a synthesis that partakes of both and yet tempers both to create a new expression of the life force.