Consider this the “bonsai” version of the Tree of Life spread. It cuts right to the Abyss and doesn’t sweat the small stuff. (Don’t try this at home, kids!) The “Fifth Element” of the title is that of Spirit – the “Quintessence” – here represented principally by the hidden Sephiroth Da’ath, suggesting that Spirit knows things the human consciousness in any of its forms does not. The spread is constructed on J.E. Cirlot’s equal-armed Cross of Spirit, and its goal is to link the “mixed-element” realm of Earth directly to the quaternary domain of Spirit as embodied in the three “higher octave” planets – Uranus, Neptune and Pluto – and their “foot-soldier” Saturn, the “ring-pass-not” or “Watcher on the Threshold.” Its purpose is to answer metaphysical questions like “What are the spiritual, ethical or philosophical implications of this situation?”
For this reason I’ve disregarded the spheres of the Sun through Jupiter in the design. However, I’ve kept the paths of the Moon, Venus and Saturn, the idea being that the Moon and Saturn are complementary expressions of “form,” the Moon as the creatively dynamic manifestation and Saturn as the more structurally coherent one. The concept of the two abutting paths is that the latter transforms into the former through the intercession of Spirit. The Empress (Path of Venus) was retained both to show the organic relationship between Understanding and Wisdom (ideally integrated through the agency of Knowledge) and because the Empress is, in the words of Phillip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm, the “numerological counterpart” of the World (2+1=3).