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Numbers: what about three?

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Is there any concept or image related to the number three relevant for the I Ching (or even Chinese culture in general)?


I mean, we have the two types of lines, the four mythical animals (or cardinal points, or seasons), the five elements,  the eight trigrams ...


Nothing about the number three?

Edited by remod

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3 dantien: lower, middle, upper.

三丹田 (san1 dan1tian2): 下丹田 (xia4), 中丹田 (zhong1), 上丹田 (shang4)。



Edited by Cobie

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3 San Jiao

Jing Qi Shen

Earth Human Heaven

Line 1 Line 2 Line 3 (for a trigram)

Line 1,2 Line 3,4 Line 5,6 (for a hexagram)

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28 minutes ago, mcoolio said:

… Line 1,2 Line 3,4 Line 5,6 (for a hexagram)

This one is incorrect. It’s Line 1,2,3 Line 4,5,6. A hexagram is a combination of 2 trigrams.



Edited by Cobie

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9 hours ago, Cobie said:

This one is incorrect. It’s Line 1,2,3 Line 4,5,6. A hexagram is a combination of 2 trigrams.


Yes but can also make a split of a hexagram in 3 parts, earth (1,2) man (3,4) heaven (5,6).


I have seen this in books several times. Gotta admit I don't really know a clear practical application of that though.

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Thanks guys.

  I've also found the "Three Pure ones" that refer. to the earth/human/heaven concepts already mentioned.


  I'll try to get inspiration from this.

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10 hours ago, remod said:

Is there any concept or image related to the number three relevant for the I Ching (or even Chinese culture in general)?


I mean, we have the two types of lines, the four mythical animals (or cardinal points, or seasons), the five elements,  the eight trigrams ...


Nothing about the number three?



I specialise in number  3    ( and how it is the basic pattern of the 'ideal' world  and generates a '4th principle ' that causes a 'leap over' into the  basic 4 pattern in the material world  .... yeah, I know its five in traditional Chinese system )


I dont know much about the Chines system at all, but I bet , since this 3 : 4 system is universal , I can quickly find some .


I will go  with Daoism as it is the simplest  (ie it contains THE wisdom but in a very basic and essential form ) :


The Tao begot one.
One begot two.
Two begot three.
And three begot the ten thousand things.


Various ways of looking at that .


But essentially


The Tao begot one.
One begot two.
Two begot three.


That's the essential 3 step principle of the 'ideal'  world  (  or  mental world of concepts without form)


It causes 'manifestation' in the 'real' world   of the four-fold elements :  ... And three begot the ten thousand things.


In case you are interested in  'threes'   in other systems and traditions  ( Hindu Buddhist, astrology, Tarot, Kabbalah, hermetic, etc )  :



( sorry about any suspect editing ;  in pasting,  images and diagrams did not appear  but their titles did )



In some traditions numbers are not just symbols that tell us how many of a particular thing there are but can be seen as divine emanations.

In simpler form it goes something like this;

    The original primal unity. Some call it God - at the stage of God before creation. Others call it pure Self or pure Being. In cosmology it represents the singularity before the ‘Big Bang’. In geometry, it is represented by the ‘point’. (In the Thelemic system {which uses Ancient Egyptian Gods and symbols as metaphors} this is symbolised by the point or disc i.e. the Sun or Hadit.)

    There doesn’t seem to be much of a definition so far, as definition has not come into being. Concepts like self or even God require some level of awareness of the self or being, that is, it is postulated that being or self will have self-awareness. This concept or awareness of the self or being is a little different from the idea of self on its own. The idea of self, on its own, ‘implies’ awareness of self, one has within it the potential for two, duality, i.e. the self itself and the contemplation of or awareness of self. Now we have two concepts; the self and the self’s idea of itself. Subjective and (to an extent) objective. To contemplate the self requires one to ‘step outside’ of the self and ‘look back’ at the self. In geometry this is symbolised by ‘the line’. [This ‘dimension’ is perhaps the basis of the components of matter and energy; In the 1980s, a new mathematical model of theoretical physics called string theory emerged. It showed how all the particles, and all of the forms of energy in the universe, could be constructed by hypothetical one-dimensional "strings", infinitesimal building-blocks that have only the dimension of length, but not height nor width. (In the Thelemic system this process is seen as a moving point, and symbolised by the winged disc)


    As one implies two, two implies three. Via the process in 2 a new view is formed, a ‘new’ view of the self as gained by contemplation or awareness of the self. [Or the vibration of the ‘string’ forms a ‘particle’ or ‘energy field’.] Something has been gained, even if it is ‘just’ internal experience. In geometry this is symbolised by the concept of ‘surface’. It is also represented by the triangle. The triangle represents structure, order and form, definition and rigidity. It represents either; Singularity further explained by its polarities or a mediating ‘middle path’ between two polarities. With 3 ‘space’ has been created; up/down, left/right, forwards/backwards.


Now we begin to see how maps of 3 can be useful; The three Gunas – rajas, satvas and tamas, the three alchemical principles – sulphur, salt and mercury, The Holy Trinity – Father, Son, Holy Spirit, the three primary colours – red blue yellow and many other things like; Yin, Yang, Tao, even in electricity – positive, negative and current or temperature, moisture, light or Mother Father Child (to cut through all the mythic terminology). (In Thelema the ‘product’ of Hadit and Nuit {who represents zero or the circle – whose radius is infinite as Hadit represents the point or centre of the circle, which is located everywhere} is Ra Hoor Khuit; motion or ‘force’.


But with three we are still in the realm of idea, or the ideal world. It is a little beyond our normal comprehension and experience (which is why people have always used symbols, like maps or hieroglyphs or gods).

On the Tree of Life of the Qabbalah this ‘Supernal Triad’ lies above the ‘Abyss’.

Energies ‘travelling’ into manifestation pass through the third Sphere, Binah and become formulated, solidified, restricted and directed to become further manifest in the fourth realm. Alternatively, energies travelling ‘up’ the Tree, towards duality, unity and beyond, become liberated from form and restriction and Binah becomes a realm of liberation. [In the realm of physics this is the 3-D world of matter.]


    As two implied three, three implies four. The energies manifesting in four take on the ‘principles of four’ and are able to operate in a word of ‘double duality’ (2 x 2). Although many systems use the map of 4 it has its roots in 3 and extensions to 5. In four we have the map of the 4 elements; fire, water, air, earth, the four suits of the Tarot, the four worlds of the Qabbalah and many more which we will look at below. Four brings the concept of space from the 3 (up-down, left-right, forwards-backwards) which define space. The 4 is the result, ‘space’ itself. In physics it represents the concept of time.

    Five moves more into the world of action. One analogy is the pyramid; the four sides can be extended up into the point. We can get the idea of motion and action. It can also relate to the pentagram; the four elements and spirit. Some traditions have 5 elements, either including ‘spirit’ as an element or adding an element such as wood or metal. In physics this is the idea of motion.]

    Six solidifies the manifestation of the second triangle. It can be represented as the hexagram; two superimposed triangles, one pointing up, the other down. It can represent the four elements and spirit, with spirit in its duality of active and passive, or the four elements, their origin in spirit and their connection to ‘earth’.

[ “Height, width, and length constitute three-dimensional space, and time gives a total of four observable dimensions; however, string theories initially supported the possibility of ten dimensions – the remaining six of which we cannot detect directly. This was later increased to 11 dimensions based on various interpretations of the ten dimensional theory that led to five partial theories ... Super-gravity theory also played a significant part in establishing the necessity of the 11th dimension.” (Wikipeadia). The relationship of this model to the Qabbalistic model of 10 spheres of Creation (with an 11th  and ‘hidden’ sphere – Daath, situated in the ‘Abyss’) and its manifestation through the 5 elements is an interesting correlation but beyond the scope of this article at present.]

Since this article relates mostly to the map of four I won’t go further with the numbers. One thing to point out is, so far, I have been quiet lineal. There are concepts that relate to reflection (or refraction), that is, the Supernal Triad on the Tree of Life reflects through (or on the waters of) the Abyss and makes another downward pointing triangle (the first triangle implies a second, as 1 implies 2) and of course this requires a third triangle, and all three come together in the manifest realm, to make the 10th sphere of the Tree of Life.

 But there is also the idea (of lineal manifestation) within this system of the Lightning Flash, where the energy travels from 1 – 10.

This might seem all good so far but what about zero? The above system seems to be rather ‘patriarchal' and relating to cultures who have a singularity genesis. We adopted the concept of zero mathematically from the Islamic world but it can also be seen in Qabbalah in the worlds of pre-existence; Ain, Ain Soph and Ain Soph Ur (and again we can see how the Supernal Triad is a reflection from the triad of ‘negative existence’).

Adding the concept of zero we can see how that implies the number one. I am sure physicists  can explain how the ‘Big Bang’ came from nothing better than I can, but a simple mathematical equation will suffice here; if we consider the manifest world is duality and things appear in polarities, opposite pairs, we have + ‘side’ of one thing and – ‘side’ of another, if they are equal values , ‘n’,  then we have +n  +  -n = 0 , therefore, 0 = -n  +  +n.

[ “String theory’s concept of supersymmetry is a fancy way of saying that each particle has a related particle called a superpartner. Keeping track of the names of these superpartners can be tricky, so here are the rules in a nutshell.

•         The superpartner of a fermion begins with an “s,” so the superpartner of an “electron” is the “selectron” and the superpartner of the “quark” is the “squark.”

•         The superpartner of a boson ends in “–ino,” so the superpartner of a “photon” is the “photino” and of the “graviton” is the “gravitino.”

Use the following table to see some examples of the superpartner names.

Some Superpartner Names

Standard Particle     Superpartner

Higgs boson  Higgsino

Neutrino       Sneutrino

Lepton          Slepton

Z boson        Zino

W boson        Wino

Gluon           Gluino

Muon            Smuon

Top quark     Stop squark.” – Wikipedia article on String Theory.]

 Now, looking at any ‘n’, + or –, we can understand it further by converting it to the world of duality that we operate in. So we have + and – of +n and + and – of –n. In the elemental world this is shown as a division into active and passive. Active elements are Fire and Air; passive elements are Water and Earth.

So, looking at maps of four the obvious place to start seems to be the four elements. But why do we need maps anyway? For the Hermeticist all things are interrelated but some vibrate within specific energy fields. It can be handy for comprehension of interrelationships to draw the line somewhere, so we develop maps of 1 - singularity, 2 - duality, 3 - trinities (as mentioned above), 4 - Elements, 7 - planets, 10 – spheres (Qabbalah), 12 – signs (astrology), 22 paths (Qabbalah), 64 Hexagrams (I Ching).



The Principles

The DEACON: “Mysterious Energy, triform , mysterious Matter, in fourfold and sevenfold division, the interplay of which things weave the dance of the Veil of Life upon the Face of the Spirit.” [From ‘The Collects’; The Mass of the Gnostic Catholic Church.]

 The important concept is the connection and interrelationship between things and not viewing things as separate from each other or ourselves as separate from the things around us. One versed in this philosophy will not just see a ‘thing’ but all things related to it will come to mind so one can understand the ‘one thing’ more holistically and how it relates to the self and the self relates to many things, the things within or outside of a  ’field’ or relationship. It is a way of increasing our knowledge and understanding of ourselves, others and environment, that hopefully leads to wisdom in our actions. (See above article on Hermetics.)

This is probably easiest understood by the relationship to the four elements and the psyche and it is my view that for correct operation they should be in a particular order of manifestation.

The four elements are Fire, Water, Air and Earth. They respond to;  fire, the Self - inspiration, intuition, individuality and connection to spirit, the True Will; water, the emotional body - the unconscious, the dream world, feelings, empathy, understanding, etc.; air, the intellectual and rational body, logic, thought, ‘mind’, etc. and lastly, earth, the physical body.

 The balance is important, consider this; we have a ‘Eureka’ moment (Some say great writing, music, creation, performance by a ‘Master’ comes from the otherworld. In moments like these we can become aware that it is more than ourselves creating, sometimes it is as though ‘we’ have little to do with the process, we are just a ‘channel’), we are ‘inspired’ with an ‘idea’, we make it our ‘own’ and begin to go about bringing it into manifestation. The fire is then tempered by water; next we should see how we feel about it, does it sit right, do we have emotive issues to sort out about it? Some say, “sleep on it first”, what is that but ‘putting it through the unconscious’? Next, with air, we should analyse it, see if it is possible, the how and where and why, think it through and make a logical plan. Lastly earth; we need to DO something about it - put the plan into action and bring it to manifestation, otherwise we are uninspired or unoriginal, we are doing something we don’t feel right about, or we haven’t used our intellect and logic, leading to inspirational ideas that can make one feel good but can leave one sitting out in a field for days waiting for aliens to come and dissolve all of our difficulties. And lastly, what is the use of any of it unless we DO something about it and ‘earth’ the current – we would be caught up in a ‘pipe-dream’.

The order of manifestation and hierarchy in the psyche is as important as balance. The difficulty with the standard modern mind set is that many of us don’t really understand our individuality, individuation, ‘True Will’ or spirit. Mostly our emotions are confused and run rampant. So what is left but mind, supposedly third place in the hierarchy, to fill the gap? Mind - this is one of our major problems, as well as a major asset. How can we not deny mind yet use it as an asset while moderate its difficult nature?  We need to get mind in its place, it should be third in the hierarchy. One cannot force it, it will rebel.

Here is a story to explain. One day, a factory worker (‘mind’) went to work, when he got there he found management had not arrived. Not even the foreman was present. He became concerned and started racing around, giving orders, taking orders on the phone, directing other workers and at the same time trying to take his place to do his normal job on the production line. Of course, chaos ensued, he did a bad job of everything and the things produced were faulty or imperfect, and at times the whole production line came to a grinding halt.

Someone tried to tell him that he was in the wrong place, “Get out of the office. Stop telling everyone what to do! Just do your own job.” But of course he could not and would not. Some tried to pull him away but he fought back. He was concerned that production would cease and there was no one to reasonably convince him otherwise. Eventually the owner and the foreman arrived and said, “Thank you for working so hard, here are the others, they are competent and will go back to their job and do it properly, but we can’t do it without the valuable work you do in your department, so now you can go back to that and do your job even better.”

And that was the only thing that convinced him to get out of the office, stop telling everyone else what to do, and do his job efficiently – with appreciation for his role.

As I go on looking at many maps of four, I will list them in this above order so we can see their relationship to other maps and themselves within this idea of a hierarchical order.


There are 3 ‘primary’ colours; red, blue, yellow.  There are 4 ‘natural’ colours; red, blue, yellow green : fire, water, air, earth.

We have 3 sets of colour receptors; black and white, blue and yellow and red and green. These three combine to give hundreds of possible hues like purple and magenta.

Within the eye the retina has two types of light sensitive cells called rods and cones. Cones absorb red blue and yellow but do not work well in detecting colour in low light.  Rods have ‘sacrificed’ colour reception to work as ‘night vision’ and detect black and white.

Signals travel from the retina along the optic nerves to the visual cortex for sorting and sending to the three relevant parts of the brain to analyse the signals in respect to three qualities; movement, colour, distance. These three parts of the brain send their processed information back to the visual cortex where it integrates the information.

Light – singularity, passes through two types of receptors to make three dimensions of colour, in a duality (or polarity) black / white, blue / yellow, red green, to process through the visual cortex to three parts of the brain and back again to make it possible to observe the four ‘natural colours’ and their combinations.

The four psychological truths.

1.    Stick to reality – Review the internal map. We all make our own internal map of how we make sense of the external environment. The external environment can change, sometimes greatly or very fast. We need to review our maps to make sure they serve us with the outside reality or we follow an old or irrelevant system to what we need to know, do or should be learning. (Fire. This is a form of projection as in extend Ki {see below}, but one has to make sure their projected reality, or understanding of reality is in tune with outward reality.)

2.    Delay gratification. Sublimation of desire (water - feelings). Hold off a bit, instant gratification sets up an unhealthy programme that can lead to addictive behaviours. In experiments children were given a choice; have all the sweets on that plate soon or have the one sweet on that other plate now. The children that could not wait exhibited more psychological dysfunction than the others.

3.    Withholding truth. (Air, mind, communication.) Modification of our own truth in communication to the level that the other is able to handle. Not to do this can cause trouble with the self and socially. (E.g. It might not be appropriate, YET, to tell little Johnny that there is no Santa, even though it is a ‘truth’.)

4.    Combine and balance the above.


The 3 Gunas.

This Vedic principle is an example of the primary triangle. In Samkhya philosophy, there are three major Gunas that serve as the fundamental operating principles or 'tendencies' of prakṛti (universal nature) which are called: sattva guṇa, rajas guṇa, and tamas guṇa. The three primary Gunas are generally accepted to be associated with creation (rajas), preservation (sattva), and destruction (tamas).

Beyond these forces or their influence or balanced within them lies a ‘supernal consciousness, depending on the tradition; Brahma, Krishna, etc. “The World deluded by these Three Gunas does not know Me: Who is beyond these Gunas and imperishable.” Who is this ‘Me’?

 Here we have another three implying a fourth, this time , ‘above’ (as opposed to ‘below’, a  pendant or result, i.e. 4, balance all three above or bring into manifestation, bring together back to a unity that has grown from the process of splitting the one into two / three).

A good example is the dialogue from the first part of The Rite of Jupiter (a series of planetary / mythic dramatic rituals). There are three central characters representing the Gunas and a central character; Centrum in Centri Trigono (C.I.C.T.) – the one in the centre of the triangle.

“The Temple represents the Wheel of Fortune of the Tarot. At its axle is the Altar on which sits C.I.C.T. On the rim, S. at East spoke, H. at North-West, T. at South-West.”

 Here are the three principles. The Gunas with the “me who is beyond these Gunas” in the middle, on the Great Wheel.  At one stage the ‘self beyond the Gunas’ addresses the ‘others’;

C.I.C.T.  “Feeling, and thought, and ecstasy

Are but the cerements of Me.

Thrown off like planets from the Sun

Ye are but satellites of the One.

But should your revolution stop

Ye would inevitably drop

Headlong within the central Soul,

And all the parts become the Whole.

Sloth and activity and peace,” (as the three ‘gunas are referred to here)

“When will ye learn that ye must cease?

TYPHON. How should I cease from lethargy?

HERMANUBIS. How should I quench activity?

 SPHINX. How should I give up ecstasy?

C.I.C.T. What shines upon your foreheads?

S.H.T. (together). The Eye within the Triangle.

C.I.C.T. What burns upon your breasts?

S.H.T. (together). The Rosy Cross.

C.I.C.T. Brethren of the Rosy Cross! Aspirants to the Silver Star! Not until these are ended can ye come to the centre of the wheel.”

Later, the ‘Gunas’ argue, C.I.C.T. admonished them;

 C.I.C.T.  “Irreconcilable, my children, how shall ye partake of the Banquet of Jupiter, or come to the centre of the wheel? For this is the secret of Jupiter, that He who created you is in each of you, yet apart from all; before Him ye are equal, revolving in Time and in Space; but he is unmoved and within.”

 Although it appears as a map of three it is describing a process of four (or 3 ‘implies’ 4 – as in the example above). One example is a three sided pyramid that creates an apex or a three sided pyramid and its base. Models of three often include a fourth principle (originating) above or within the triangle (the eye within the triangle symbol) or extending ‘below’ to show an ‘outcome’, e.g. all three elements combine to make earth.

The 4 worlds of Qabbalah.

In Qabbalah (a form of Jewish mysticism) the Tree of Life has four divisions;

Atziluth, Archetypal World – Fire.  The term Atzilut is usually translated as "Emanation" - the first emanation out of God's unique and pure Essence, and is therefore the "World" closest to Divinity. This Substance corresponds to Philosophic Fire, ‘living light’. This is the primal spiritual Substance from which all other matter evolves.

Briah, Creative World – Water. Briah translates as "Creation". The function of Briah is to define specific Form and function which begin to occur at this stage.

Yetrizah, Formative World – Air. This is the stage where analysis is applied to matter, and where these qualities are synthesised and formed into archetypal compositions with a view towards various specific applications.

Assiah, Material World – Earth. Assiah is the actual physical universe in which all things live and carry out their functions.

Divisions for the Soul.

The Hermetic Qabbalah also has similar divisions for the soul; the four parts of the soul;

1. Yecidah ("single one") relates to the ultimate unity of the soul in God, as manifest by pure faith, absolute devotion and the continuous readiness to sacrifice one's life for God.

2. Ruach ("spirit") relates to the emotions.

3. Neschamah ("inner soul") relates to the mind and intelligence.

4. Nephesch (Animal soul – ‘creature’ -- the lower soul) relates to behaviour and action.

The 4 DNA letters GACT.

The genome of an organism is inscribed in DNA, or, in the case of some viruses, RNA. The portion of the genome that codes for a protein or an RNA is called a gene. Those genes that code for proteins are composed of tri-nucleotide units called codons, each coding for a single amino acid. Each nucleotide sub-unit consists of a phosphate, a deoxyribose sugar, and one of the four nitrogenous nucleobases; the purine bases adenine (A) and guanine (G), the pyrimidine bases cytosine © and thymine (T).

Four Systems in the Body.


FIRE - nervous system .      WATER  - circulatory system.     AIR- respiratory system        EARTH -  skeleton , muscles, etc .

If we add a ‘fifth element’ – spirit we can include ‘mind’.

The Four principles of Divine Living (from Buddhism).

Loving kindness, Compassion, Equanimity (balanced mind) and Appreciative Joy (or Sympathetic Joy).

The 4 principles of Aikido.

Briefly, Aikido is known as a non-violent/confrontational martial art that generally uses gentle and fluid movements to contain or control energies that come into one’s sphere of operation. It can work on any level, spiritual, emotional, intellectual or physical.

The four principles of Aikido are; 1, project Ki. 2, concentrate on your one point. 3, ‘empty’ your mind. 4, keep weight underside.

    Project Ki. Ki or Chi is the visualisation of life force coming out from you, through the hands mostly (e.g., someone grabs your wrist, first response should be, project Ki out through your fingers) but also other parts of the body, including the eyes (one can notice a distinct ‘sparkle’ in the eyes when another does this), this is the internal life force and fire. This is generated by absorbing the Ki from the ‘infinite’ (or time and space being curved it may be ‘one’s’ own Ki returning?) into the Hara (the centre just below the navel).

    Keeping the one point; visualise the universal Ki concentrating and flowing into the Hara, visualise your Hara as black hole at the centre of the universe. This is absorption and relates to water.

    No mind. Have ‘no mind’, just don’t think about it, keep the mind blank, and calm, like a clear blue sky - air. If you can’t, only think about the things that directly relate to what you are doing.

    Keep weight underside. Earth - body and balance is held by keeping weight underside, i.e. visualise one’s weight as concentrating on any part of the body that is underside, bottom edge of arms (when extended) bottom of feet, inside of thighs (if feet apart) even under the chin, nose, brows and ear lobes. Of course, it all changes as one moves.

I know from personal experience if one can master all these and bring them together one can achieve seemingly abnormal feats (throwing three attackers at once with little effort, not being able to be lifted off the ground, not being overcome by three gripping a staff you grip with one hand, not being able to have your arm bent, and even, as personally demonstrated to me by a teacher, not being able to be pushed over by 20 people all behind each other, all pushing, while the other squats on the balls of the feet, etc.)


The 4 Male Archetypes.

In ‘King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine’ by Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette an extensive use of the 3 / 4 model is utilised. They divide the male psyche into four components; King, Warrior, Magician and Lover.

[By now you should be able to match each to its element.]

Each of these is explained with a triangle model and shown in duality. In the ‘mature psyche’ the warrior triangle has warrior at top and sadist and masochist either side of the base; the king has tyrant and weakling; the lover has addict and impotent and the magician has detached manipulator and denying ‘innocent one’.

Within each triangle is another showing the immature self. Unsuccessful development shows attachment to either polarity of the underlying principles. Within the warrior triangle is another with hero at its apex with bully and coward underneath. Within the king the divine child is at the apex with the high chair tyrant and the weakling prince. Within the lover the apex is the oedipal child with the mamma’s boy and the dreamer. Within the magician the apex is the precocious child with the know-it-all trickster and the dummy.

We develop according to four factors; what we ‘bring’ with us in this incarnation, genetic material from parents and ancestors, environmental and social influences and individual choices we make (for whatever reasons).

This system also uses another astrological division of 4; the ascendant, the mid-heaven, the descendant and the I.C. (midnight position).

Four inner ‘planets’ make up the nature of our selves (considered to be the earth and Moon); Mars, Sun, Mercury and Venus and four outer planets represent processes that affect us; Uranus, Jupiter, Neptune and Saturn. [And now Pluto has been ‘conveniently’ removed from the planetary list.]

The 8 Circuits of Exo-psychology.  (Four for the left brain and four for the right brain.)

(Left Brain)

1. The oral bio survival circuit. This circuit is concerned with nourishment, physical safety, comfort and survival, suckling, cuddling etc. (Earth)

  2. The emotional–territorial circuit. This circuit is imprinted in the toddler stage. It is concerned with domination and submission, territoriality, etc. (Water)

 3. The symbolic or neurosemantic–dexterity circuit. This circuit is imprinted by human symbol systems. It is concerned with language, handling the environment, invention, calculation, prediction, building a mental "map" of the universe, physical dexterity, etc. (Air).

 4. The domestic or socio-sexual circuit. This fourth circuit is imprinted by the first orgasm-mating experiences and tribal "morals". It is concerned with sexual pleasure. (Fire)

(Right Brain)

And their ‘higher octaves’; 5 - the neurosomatic circuit (water), 6 - the neuroelectric or metaprogramming circuit (fire), 7 - the neurogenetic or morphogenetic circuit (earth) and 8, the psychoatomic or quantum non-local circuit – ‘Overmind’ (air).

The 3 Emergency Drives of Psychology.

Fear, anger and excitement (The 4th being the actual responses to the drives.)

Anger – fire; flushed, muscle tensing, feeling like one wants to explode, let off steam, heated in an argument, hot under the collar, boil with rage, etc.

Fear – water; cold, trembling, frozen with fear, etc.

Excitement – air (and its opposite; sleep - earth).

The Three Psychic Divisions of Freud and the Four of Jung.


Id, ego and super-ego are the three parts of the psychic apparatus defined in Sigmund Freud's structural model of the psyche; they are the three theoretical constructs in terms of whose activity and interaction mental life is described. According to this model of the psyche, the id is the set of uncoordinated instinctual trends; the ego is the organized, realistic part; and the super-ego plays the critical and moralizing role.

Jung's concepts of the unconscious differed. Jung saw Freud's theory of the unconscious as incomplete and unnecessarily negative. According to Jung, Freud conceived the unconscious solely as a repository of repressed emotions and desires. Jung agreed with Freud's model of the unconscious, what Jung called the "personal unconscious", but he also proposed the existence of a second, far deeper form of the unconscious underlying the personal one. This was the collective unconscious, where the archetypes themselves resided, represented in mythology by a lake or other body of water, and in some cases a jug or other container.

[Jung's work on himself and his patients convinced him that life has a spiritual purpose beyond material goals. Our main task, he believed, is to discover and fulfil our deep innate potential. Based on his study of Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Gnosticism, Taoism, and other traditions, Jung believed that this journey of transformation, which he called individuation, is at the mystical heart of all religions. It is a journey to meet the self and at the same time to meet the Divine. Unlike Sigmund Freud, Jung thought spiritual experience was essential to our well-being.]

Jung identified four major archetypes, but also believed that there was no limit to the number that may exist.

The self is an archetype that represents the unification of the unconsciousness and consciousness of an individual. The creation of the self occurs through a process known as individuation, in which the various aspects of personality are integrated.

The shadow is an archetype that consists of the sex and life instincts. The shadow exists as part of the unconscious mind and is composed of repressed ideas, weaknesses, desires, instincts and shortcomings. This archetype is often described as the darker side of the psyche, representing wildness, chaos and the unknown. Jung suggested that the shadow can appear in dreams or visions and may take a variety of forms. It might appear as a snake, a monster, a demon, a dragon or some other dark, wild or exotic figure.

The Anima or Animus. The anima is a feminine image in the male psyche and the animus is a male image in the female psyche. The anima/animus represents the "true self" rather than the image we present to others and serves as the primary source of communication with the collective unconscious. The combination of the anima and animus is known as the syzygy, or the divine couple. The syzygy represents completion, unification and wholeness.

The Persona is how we present ourselves to the world. The persona represents all of the different social masks that we wear among different groups and situations. It acts to shield the ego from negative images. According to Jung, the persona may appear in dreams and take a number of different forms.

Vegetative life.

A plant needs four elements plus the ‘fifth element’ to grow; ‘Spirit’– light. Fire – temperature. Water – moisture. Air – CO2 and O2. Earth – ‘growing medium’. Most consist of 5 basic components; seed, fruit (or seed container), flowers (or their equivalent), leaves and stems and roots.

Primary nutrients for good plant growth; N, P & K.  Further to this we can construct another triangle of nutrients with N, P & K at one point, secondary nutrients at another (  Ca, S & Mg) and micro-nutrients ( B, Cl, Mn, Fe, Zn, Cu, Mo & Se) at the third.

Four principles for agricultural consideration; cosmic forces, earthly forces, location and type of plant.

In Astrology.

These four elements are often applied to personality to describe temperament.

‘Fire people’ are often spontaneous and impulsive.  The Fire signs: (a map of three) Aries, Leo and Sagittarius.

 ‘Water People’ with are often feeling types and are very sensitive with deep imaginative and emotional traits. Water signs: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces.

‘Air people’ are often quick and animated. They tend to intellectualize.  The Air signs: Libra, Aquarius, Gemini.

 ‘Earth people’ can be quiet and slow but they apply themselves with endurance. The Earth signs: Capricorn, Taurus, Virgo

The map of 3 is also described in another way in astrology. Each of the four elements occurs in three states or qualities, respectively named the cardinal, fixed and mutable. Water is a good example (the substance, not the element), when it is a liquid this would be the cardinal state, when ice, fixed and as a gas, mutable. The placement of planets in cardinal, fixed or mutable signs also reveals basic traits of the personality.

People with an emphasis on cardinal signs can be leaders and initiators. Cardinal signs: Aries, Libra, Cancer, Capricorn

People with an emphasis on the fixed signs can organise pre-established things for efficiency. They tend to work within the system and are preservers. Fixed signs: Leo, Aquarius, Scorpio, Taurus

People with an emphasis on the mutable signs like to seek change and renewal. They like to find new systems. Mutable signs: Sagittarius, Gemini, Pisces, Virgo.

The Four Forces in Physics.

1. The Strong Force - This force binds neutrons and protons together in the cores of atoms. Fire.

2. Weak Force – Radio-active decay. This causes the conversion of a neutron to a proton, an electron and an antineutrino (and other particles). Water – a medium for dissolution and coagulation.

3. Electromagnetic - This acts between electrically charged particles. Electricity, magnetism, and light are all produced by this force and it also has infinite range. Air, particularly its astrological rulership of Mercury which in turn rules things such as electricity and light.

4. Gravity - This force acts between all mass in the universe and it has infinite range. Earth - ‘substance’, mass.



Modern physics attempts to explain every observed physical phenomenon by these fundamental interactions.

Perhaps this gives us some understandings of the interaction within the world of the first three elements and as we see the fourth, Earth, is apart or a pendant to the others?

Also considering that gravitation is the only interaction that acts on all particles having mass; has an infinite range, like electromagnetism but unlike strong and weak interaction; cannot be absorbed, transformed, or shielded against; always attracts and never repels.

[The modern quantum mechanical view of the fundamental forces other than gravity ( 4. and Earth) is that particles of matter do not directly interact with each other, but rather carry a charge, and exchange virtual particles (or information) which are the interaction carriers or force mediators.

This reminds me of the subtleties of the transference of coded DNA information (via the RNA) into the arrangements of enzymes


(so their natural ‘tendencies’ fold and form into the required structure of the ‘building block’ required to make cellular components … which in turn build ‘cellular micro-machines’ to carry out functions within the cell).

Some theories beyond the Standard Model include a hypothetical fifth force, and the search for such a force is an ongoing line of experimental research in physics. Another reason to look for new forces is the recent discovery that the expansion of the universe is accelerating, giving rise to a need to explain phenomena such as dark matter.

Some have called this Quintessence. In physics, quintessence has been proposed by some physicists to be a fifth fundamental force. Quintessence differs in that it is a dynamic equation that changes over time, unlike the cosmological constant which always stays constant throughout time. It is suggested that quintessence can be either attractive or repulsive, it is thought that quintessence became repulsive about 10 billion years ago (the universe is approximately 14 billion years old).

 Some special cases of quintessence are phantom energy, which has a non-standard form of kinetic energy.

From Wikipedia; “Quintessence is dynamic, and generally has a density and equation of state that varies with time. By contrast, a Cosmological Constant is static, with a fixed energy density …”

We could postulate this fifth state is the relation of the ‘element’ spirit and its relationship to the four elements.

This is shown in Western Hermetics as the attribution of the FIVE elements to the pentagram, with spirit being the top point. In this system ‘spirit’ is seen as active or passive; that force that creates the elemental differentiation or that force that maintains elemental essence and identity – the spirit of the element itself.

In 2004, when scientists fit the evolution of dark energy with the cosmological data, they found that the equation of state had possibly crossed the cosmological constant boundary from above to below.

 Also we see that a form of the pentagram is shown as ‘averse’ or upside down. Now ‘spirit’ is ‘below’.

To have it all together we approach the hexagram, that which is above and that which is below.

This is the basic premise of Hermetics and its basic document; The Emerald Tablet.




Quintessence (from Wikipedia): “The name comes from the classical elements of the ancient Greeks. The aether, a pure "fifth element" (quinta essentia in Latin), was thought to fill the Universe beyond Earth. This seemed fitting to modern scientists, since quintessence was the fifth known contribution to the overall mass-energy content of the Universe.”

This has been a basic introduction to some of the concepts behind ‘psychological maps’ or ‘models of realities’ using number. We can see how the natural world uses divisions of four (which is generated, by esoteric number theory from triplicity, which in turn is generated from duality, unity and originally, no-thing). The reason we study such maps or schema is, not to confuse the map with the territory but a way of helping to understand and hence, in some cases, predict the territory. A person exploring their own psyche without a map is as lost as an explorer in a strange country. He will eventually be able to make up a map from his experience but most of his time will be used up in that. The idea of spiritual, religious, psychological or cosmological maps is that they show us forces inherent in nature and allow us to figure out territory we may be unfamiliar with by applying natural principles or laws. Any laws, principles, ‘discoveries’ or systems we follow that are not based on or attuned with a process in nature come from an unrealistic human  ‘head trip’ that has not been balanced by the other four ‘worlds’.

A prominent Paracelsian physician, astrologer, mathematician, cosmologist and Qabalist, Robert Fludd was the first person to discuss the circulation of the blood and also produced the influential diagram used in the study of perception, consciousness and psychology in his Utriusque cosmi maioris scilicet et minoris (1619).


Rosicrucian Schema. The true symbol of the Rose and Cross - the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn




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