A variant of the square q.v.. It carries the inherent symbolism of the quaternary, here implied in the four horses drawing the chariot. With this in mind, Dio Chrysostom worked out the following analogies: the charioteer corresponds to the Pantokrator and the chariot to the halo indicating two different levels of the manifest world through the intersection of the circles of heaven and earth; and the four horses relate to the four Elements and the tetramorphs. The symbolic relationship of the horses with the Elements is the key to the following passage:
'The first horse is very fleet. His coat is shining and bears the signs of the planets and the constellations. The second horse is slower and is lit up on only one side. The third goes slower still and the fourth twists round and round. But there comes a time when the hot breath of the firstsets fire to the mane of the second, and the third drowns the fourth with his sweat.' The four horses correspond to fire, air, water and earth respectively, beginning with the most energetic of the Elements and ending with the most material or lento. The quadriga, then, becomes a symbol of the universe of space-time .
The quaternary bears the same relationship to the number-series as does the tetramorph on the mystic plane; if they are not identical they are certainly related or analogous. It is based, of course, upon the number four. In the words of Plato: 'The ternary is the number pertaining to the idea; the quaternary is the number connected with the realization of the idea.' Hence within the septuple pattern of space, the ternary is situated on the vertical line because it is associated with the vertical division into three worlds on three levels, whereas the quaternary is located on the surface, that is, on the intermediate of the three planes, or, in other words, it is situated in the world of phenomena.
The quaternary, then, corresponds to earth, to the material pattern of life; and the number three to moral and spiritual dynamism. The human anatomy confirms this concept of the number four. The spatia] or surfacesymbolism of the number four is described by the Renaissance writer, Cartari, in Les Images des deieux des anciens: 'The square figures representing Mercury, possessing only a head and a phallus, signified that the sun is the lord of the world, the sower of all things; furthermore, the four sides of the square represented what the four-stringed sistrum portrayed as an attribute of Mercury, that is, the four regions of the world, or, in other words, the four seasons....'
There is a clear connexion between these 'herms' and the Indian figures of Brahma with four faces , corresponding to the four Kumaras who were four angels in Persian tradition, related to the four so-called 'royal' stars Aldebaran, Antares, Regulus and Fomalhaut and represented by the four fixed signs of the Zodiac, in turn related to the tetramorphs. Another obvious connexion is the symbol of the four rivers of paradise which rise at the foot of the Tree of Life or the world-axis . This fourfold orientation conforms with the cardinal points which, according to the Zohar, correspond to the four Elements and to all quaternary forms. The most interesting of these correspondences are these:
East corresponding to spring, air, infancy, dawn and the crescent moon; South, to summer, fire, youth, midday and full moon; West, to autumn, water, middle-age, evening and the waning moon; North, to winter, earth, old age, night and the new moon. As is the case with symbols based upon seven the week or the planets, for example or upon twelve the year or the Zodiac, analogies with the symbolism for four may extend to cover every possible process in life . The Elements correspond to the so-called elemental beings as follows: Air—sylphs and giants; fire—salamanders; water—undines and mermaids; earth—gnomes and dwarfs. Gaston Bachelard considers that the four temperaments are related to the Elements , in which case the pattern of correspondences might be seen as follows: Air linked with the sanguinary; fire with the nervous; water with the lymphatic; earth with the bilious .
Bachelard, in his psychoanalytic work upon the significance of the Elements, studies the significant way in which dynamic images are related with a particular Element, such as the image of fire in Hoffmann, water in Edgar Allan Poe, air in Nietzsche. To return to the question of the cardinal points, there is not complete accord about which of them—West or North—is the most negative, but there is complete agreement that the East is the luminous source of the spirit. In China, the Emperor once used to perform a strange rite whereby he identified himself with the annual course of the sun, embracing also the points of the compass. This he did by living in one quarter of his square-shaped palace at a time, depending upon the season and the compass-point corresponding to that season in accordance with the pattern we have just mentioned .
The mystic animals corresponding to the cardinal points are: East, blue dragon; South, red bird; West, white tiger; North, black tortoise . But in the Western world, according to Schneider, these animals become: East or the morning—lion; South or midday—eagle; West or the evening—peacock; North or the night—ox . The importance of the number four is borne out statistically: the square is the shape most frequently used by man, or, where necessary, the rectangle. According to a Hindu belief—comparable with the Platonic—completeness has four angles and is supported on four feet . Jung has shown profound interest in the symbolism of the quaternary, and upon its basis he has built up the pattern of the human psyche as one endowed with four functions: sensing, intuiting, feeling and thinking.
These four functions he relates to the four ends of a cross, postulating that the three placed respectively at the left, the right and the top are conscious, while the fourth is unconscious or repressed. But the placing of the functions varies according to the individual personality . These four functions cluster around the essential component of volition or judgement, just as the tetramorphs are ranged around the Pantokrator. Jung adds that the principal components—the archetypes—of the human being are disposed similarly in quaternary order; they are: the anima, shadow, ego and personality forming around the Selbst or 'the God within' .
The phases of the alchemic process may also be placed in quaternary order, from lowest to highest: black, white, red, gold. Diel's 'life-urges' may be similarly ordered, for although Diel mentions only three conservation, reproduction and spiritualization or evolution this is because the hidden function, in this case, is thanatism.
This is a group of five elements. It is represented formally by the pentagon and the five-pointed star, and also by the square together with its central point. Traditionally, the number five symbolizes man after the fall, but, once applied to this order of earthly things, it signifies health and love . Esoteric thinking sees this, not as the effect but, in fact, as the cause of man's five extremities with the number five inscribed also on each hand and foot .
This association of the number five with the human figure, common during the Romanesque period, is found all over the world, from England to the Far East. Agrippa of Nettesheim depicted the image of man with arms and legs apart and related to the pentagram. Many amulets and talismans are based upon the number five, not only because of the associated ideas of the human figure, health or physical integrity and love, but because the quinary is symbolic of the whole of the material world denoted by the quaternary plus the centre or quintessence. In Morocco, for example, to protect oneself against the evil eye one repeats the phrase hamsa fi ainek 'five in your eye'. Certain Islamic rites and concepts were patterned after the quinary: there are five religious duties, five keys to secret knowledge, five daily prayers and a solemn oath is repeated five times .
For the Chinese, five is the most important of all the numbers. The quinary, in sum, represents the natural rhythm of life, the order of the cosmos. The following groups among others are based upon the quinary 'model': the five planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn; the five elemental forms metal, vegetable, water, fire, earth; the five colours white, black, blue, red, yellow; the five musical timbres of bronze, stone, silk, wood and clay; the five essential landscapes of mountains and woods, rivers and lakes, hills, fertile plains, springs and swamps . In the Near East and in the West the number five has been used solely as an expression of the human figure as a whole, and of eroticism; here the predominant model-numbers have been four and seven, and it is according to these numbers that the cosmic components of the universe and of man have been ordered.