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The Tarot of Eli-Major Arcana: Thoth Tarot- ATU 2-Priestess & Tarot of The Spirit-Key 2-High Priestess

Western Qabalistic and Tantric Tarot Card Comparisons.

For self is a sea boundless and measureless.

-K. Gibran, The Prophet

ATU/Key 2, THE PRIESTESS, is the image that represents an androgynous universal principle of intuition, independence, self-trust, self-knowledge and self-resourcefulness. This is the androgynous figure that represents balance known to Chinese scholars as the female magnetic force, curved, soft and receptive, that is Ying. From the navel down, this androgyny is all straight lines, strong, dynamic, electric Yang.

This card reminds us that we are all composed of the receptive female magnetic and the strong assertive electric forces of male.

The Priestess, wears a sun and moon crown to remind us that we are all are committed to have and achieve an equal balance in strength and softness.

The faceted crystal background of the Thoth card reminds us of the multifaceted aspects of intuition that are present at each level of consciousness:

  1. Mental intuition (the triangular crystal); 
  2. Emotional intuition (the round crystal); 
  3. Spiritual intuition (the diamond crystal), 
  4. Physically noted information (the octagonal crystal). 

Intuition is the Great calm Lake of spirit (the Soul) that is reflective, deep, contained and always present, waiting to be accessed and trusted---"A Womb with a View". However, we must first trust and love ourselves to be aware of this quiet power.

The Priestess is a powerful symbol to use as a visual skrying affirmation to enhance self-trust, independence, and resourcefulness. This symbol reinforces the trusting of one's intuition.

THE PRIESTESS: The Qabalistic Tree of Life Path of Gimel.

The Priestess (traditionally, The High Priestess) is not a literal return to the warm enclosure of the Cosmic Womb, as is THE EMPRESS. Rather, she represents the Supreme Mother, without her smiling mask, revealing a True face of cold yet beautiful countenance. All veils are removed, all illusion is dispersed, and we must face the crystalline reality of our own absolute free will; a task not for the weak. Her planet is the Moon, her Path is Gimel, meaning camel, which is most appropriate, as she is the one who carries our Personality across the vast desert of the Abyss. The first known High Priestess and author, was *Enheduanna of Sumner.

*The ancient Sumerian poet Enheduanna has a unique claim to fame: she was the first author in the world known by name. While there were previous instances of poems and stories written down, Enheduanna was the first to sign a name to her work. And what a work it was! Her text was so significant that it influenced hymns for centuries.

The Life of a High Priestess

Living in the 23rd century BC (approximately 2285 – 2250 BC), Enheduanna was the high priestess of the Temple of Sumer. She was a daughter of Sargon of Akkad (Sargon the Great) and Queen Tashlultum, Today, it is known that Sargon was the son of a priestess and Queen Tashlultum may have also been a priestess. Religion played a very important role in those tumultuous times, serving as a check against any intention of the populace to rebel (either against an established overlord or a newcomer).

The Akkadians were Semitic–speaking people from Mesopotamia. Under Sargon the Great, the Akkadian Empire absorbed several Sumerian city-states, some say as many as 34. One of Sargon’s most significant conquests was the Sumerian city of Ur. As a coastal city at the mouth of the Euphrates River, Ur had easy access to trade and transportation, as well as great fertile plains.

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25 June, 2019 - 17:35 Kerry Sullivan

Enheduanna: High Priestess of the Moon and the First Known Author

  • The ancient Sumerian poet Enheduanna has a unique claim to fame: she was the first author in the world known by name. While there were previous instances of poems and stories written down, Enheduanna was the first to sign a name to her work. And what a work it was! Her text was so significant that it influenced hymns for centuries.
The Life of a High Priestess

Living in the 23rd century BC (approximately 2285 – 2250 BC), Enheduanna was the high priestess of the Temple of Sumer. She was a daughter of Sargon of Akkad (Sargon the Great) and Queen Tashlultum, Today, it is known that Sargon was the son of a priestess and Queen Tashlultum may have also been a priestess. Religion played a very important role in those tumultuous times, serving as a check against any intention of the populace to rebel (either against an established overlord or a newcomer).

The Akkadians were Semitic–speaking people from Mesopotamia. Under Sargon the Great, the Akkadian Empire absorbed several Sumerian city-states, some say as many as 34. One of Sargon’s most significant conquests was the Sumerian city of Ur. As a coastal city at the mouth of the Euphrates River, Ur had easy access to trade and transportation, as well as great fertile plains.

A modern reconstruction of the Ziggurat of Ur behind the ruins of the Giparu - the temple complex where Enheduanna lived and was buried in Ur. (M. Lubinski/ CC BY SA 2.0 )

Enheduanna was charged with the task of reconciling the gods of the Akkadians with the gods of the Sumerians so that the important city of Ur would acquiesce to Sargon’s rule. Not only did she succeed in that difficult task, but she also established standards of poetry and prayer that would profoundly influence the Hebrew Bible and Homeric hymns .

Sargon must have had enormous trust in his daughter to place her in charge of the Sumerian Temple at such a politically delicate time. Enheduanna most likely was born with a different, Semitic name. However, “on moving to Ur, the very heartland of Sumerian culture, she took a Sumerian official title: Enheduanna - `En' (Chief Priest or Priestess); `hedu' (ornament); `Ana' (of heaven)” (Kriwaczek quoted in Mark, 2014).

There are 3 Qabalistic Paths that represent the same energy, although as different but similar aspects, they are The Paths of Gimel (THE PRIESTESS), the Path of Samekh (THE ART) and the Path of Tau (THE UNIVERSE) which together make up the devotional middle pillar. The Indigo Middle Path color in Atziluth (the highest of the Four Worlds) is Indigo, a deep-dark- water blue that suggests the Moon, as all three Paths relate to the Moon.

The pure stateof Intelligence that is The Path of Gimel, will carry those cleansed of desire thinking, across the longest and most important Path on the Tree of Life; A path which radiates down from the Supernal Triangle, composed of unimaginable potential, to the Ethical Triangle, the "actual", also making this the path a position between God the Father in Kether, and God the Son in Tiphareth, a Path of the Highest Initiation.

The common Tarot description of the (High) Priestess is that she is the most pure essence of consciousness, symbolized in Tarot as the very source of all Water--- /Intuition/Emotion; However, to the initiate, she is considered The Lower Chokmah (Wisdom), wisdom is being expressed here as both masculine and feminine (The Goddess Sophia of the Greeks-means Wisdom). When applied to Chokmah the word Wisdom is masculine, yet he gives birth as the Priestess and is therefore Androgynous, for here it is "sent forth" and as the Seed of wisdom is ejaculated, it expands outward, in this action the seed of expansion contains its own limitation. She is the Diana who shoots his captured Force/Will out into the universe and it is her “sight” (imagination) that limits the expansion of his “seed”. She is the vaginal opening of the Supernal Triangle, known as the invisible Sephiroth of Daath. Here the Soul is born, as the Golden Child who is the "Sun"/"Son" and/or individual psyche, that are combined to form the Collective Unconscious of the Universe.

In Qabalah, The Feminine is Formative /Magnetic. Here Wisdom is taken into the most Spiritual manifestation of the feminine and formulates it into herself as any geometrical point into which to contemplate any possibility, i.e. the “All Seeing I Am” of the Original consciousness that is latter known to us as the Universal Collective Unconsciousness as it evolves. Now I know this concept is an impossibly difficult one to understand and the most descriptive of Qabalistic terms may seem nonsensical, but the Priestess is the Womb of Consciousness, and yet she is both Male and Female.......much like a Hermaphrodite (Hermes-Aphrodite) that can impregnate itself.

The Higher Chokmah is a specific Sun, and the Lower Chokmah is a specific Moon. Thus when viewing THE PRIESTESS Thoth Tarot card, you will see a slight feminine figure with arms raised, behind vibrations of light and a strong lower masculine leg section with the a bow across the knees, reminiscent of Diana the Huntress. Yet she is a virginal force, because no "Outside" Male force fertilizes her. Therefore the myth of Diana adds even more understanding to this card. From her, the source of Water, is the idea behind the idea of form. I think Dr.Paul Foster Case said this best in saying that,"... no matter how many forms develop from it, the virgin substance is itself unchanged. Like Water, which holds matter in suspension or solution, this substance remains over itself. Here is one key to the alchemical mystery of the First Matter. Here, too, one may find a clue to the inner significance of the Virgin Myths of all Religions." The Priestess is often called the Prima Materia, or Root Matter (First Matter) as she can be considered the result of Imagination.

[Remaining "over itself" may also be a clue as to why Lilith, "The First Wife", wished to lay on top of the First Male Form called Adam, in the Hebrew book of Genesis and was banished from the Garden for a more complaint Eve. This seems to me to be a propagandized story so the Patriarch could be in charge of sexuality. A fun and enlightening study for the curious who are curious about religious- misogyny.]

In his text, THE THIRTY TWO PATHS OF WISDOM, Dr. Case calls the Path of Gimel, the Uniting Intelligence, because it is the "Essence of Glory" and/or "The Grace of God". No matter the terms, the fact is that your personality must be shed of all the reality and desires that our conscious has constructed before she is able to carry one across the Abyss, into Daath (Knowledge) that is the invisible Chakra of the Tree of Life which resides below Kether, on the Middle Path. It is that Knowledge that our conscious essence "consumed", so that it could become the operator of the Images of God.

[.Daath is no longer invisible to one who has entered the Garden of inherited Knowledge that resides between the Mother named Understanding and the Father named Wisdom. She often appears as one's Muse**]

**Muse meaning

The definition of a muse is a spirit or source that inspires an artist. An example of muse is someone having a thought about the origin of life. May 2 2019

Reference: computer.yourdictionary.com/muse

Now the MAGUS, (Will of -Kether), symbolizes a condition prior to Unconscious thought. This condition acts upon THE PRIESTESS in such a way, that the Path of Gimel becomes the mind capable of carrying the "thought forms" (knowledge) of which the Universe will eventually be composed. Being that she is the source underlying all vibratory patterns that compose form, she is shown on the Thoth Card as a figure composed of vibratory waves of energy. Moreover, nothing can grow in the Garden of the Empress without this wave structure that underlays energy. It is for this very reason that the Moon is assigned to this path, for it is a pattern of waxing and waning, fluctuation, dualities and tides, just as the waves of energy in a vibratory pattern. Here, the Goddess is both Force and Form, and as a Dark- Moon she controls the tides of consciousness.

Now if you wish to skry this card, remember, she is Pure Virginal Conscious and without empathy; she is as Durga of the Hindu or the the Ice Queen of the Norse named Hel, Goddess of the Underworld. Unless you have a mentor who has been through the initiation of THE PRIESTESS, you may find her Cold Beauty destructive to your sensibilities. For she strips your personality of all that is not worthy of Pure Self. Oh, by the way, I know her as Elizabeth (Chosen of El), as She is permanently aware of her initiates and often renames them, she calls me Prometheus (through an automatic writing I received in the mid 1970's) which I translated into the Qabalistic Eli Serabeth ( Temple or House of the Fiery Daemon). She is a scary Beauty who will assist you in self-dissection....often without permission when familiarity is gained by initiation. To those who think bravery is an ego trip, don't try this ....ever! Ask a Mother of many children, what bravery is, then do your best to incorporate that idea into your heart, you may then survive the ordeal of the "Dark night of the Soul". For She is the "gateway" to the Abyss and/or the Abyssal Womb.

The Wisdom of THE PRIESTESS, is in regulation, as her fluctuation rates establish the direction for the First Matter as it descends into greater and greater density. Therefore, she is easily compared to THE MOON that regulates the tides of the Waters of consciousness.

As before stated, the 4 paths rising into the Supernal Triangle, each represent a Alchemical element, each a composite of the "Garden of Eden". THE PRIESTESS, is the Uniting Spirit, the Fifth element, symbolized as the top point of the Pentagram. THE HIEROPHANT= Earth, LOVERS= Air, THE CHARIOT= Water, THE EMPEROR =Fire and THE HIGH PRIESTESS= Spirit.

Overall, THE PRIESTESS, is the vessel for all operations of the Supernal Triangle, she is the crucible where the Alchemical activity of Mercury, Sulfur, and Salt take place. She is also the source of the Four Rivers of Paradise, The Pison (River of Fire), The Gibon (River of Water), The Hiddikel (River of Air) and the Phrath (River of Earth).Which goes a long way in describing her fluctuating nature, as rivers are often waves of serpentine flow.

As I have mentioned before, the journey up the Paths of the Tree of Life, is about Remembering our beginning and/or returning to the Womb of our Psyche's creation which is a critical part of "Above all things, Know thyself”…the Qabalistic axiom. THE PRIESTESS, conceals within Her Vibrations, all the knowledge/memories of the Race (s) Homo Sapiens, as well as, those of the Cosmos. She is the circle in which all is created.

Behind her resides Daath (Knowledge), invisible because of Vibratory Veils that is Light, as well being subjective potential. These veils, are shown as Light in vibratory form, on the Thoth Card. The Qabalist knows that it is Light that conceals the True Spirit---the one we've called "The Fiery Darkness", because Dark Energy is the True Light, as it is the substance of Supernal Potential and has no measurement, making it eternal.

To "look upon" the Light of the PRIESTESS, one must become Virginal in the nature of consciousness. For it is a Light so bright and yet invisible, one of mundane persona or material consciousness, cannot look upon it, and to try, one will be shocked right back into their Malkuth realm of Race sponsored consciousness. If the desire-conscious is conquered, the Light of the Priestess is welcoming, and brilliantly beautiful and seen by the "I" of the Soul...but without heat and therefore, it is a cool light resembling the dazzling brightness of Ice in full Sun or Moon Light. Passing through the "Light", one enters the Abyss of Dark Matter/Dark Energy where the only sense is the original "I" sight of the One; also known as “the seed atom” (Theosophy) of your beginning as a Psyche.

Obviously, when considering Light, the Qabalist must rethink the essence of Light, for all of us, each to their own, are the evolution of light as Self. I AM light. Light is the first form all of us took as Self. It is apparent to the researcher that all religions which stress "the Light" as a high state of consciousness, are based on Tiphareth-The Sun God. For instance, religions based on the teachings of Christ, Buddha, Apollo, Osiris, Ahurda-Mazda, Mithra, etc. However, the Gnostic Mysteries, unlike organized religions, states that Light conceals, rather than reveals, by its very brilliance. Since visible light is measurable (186,000 miles per second) and finite, it hides the Dark Energy/Dark light which has no seeable limits.

As does the Moon, so does the PRIESTESS go from brilliant light to absolute darkness. Hence the Mythology of the Moon and her deities, such as, Dianna-Artemis, Hecate and He- el-Aine (Later as Helen, Elaine and Eleanor), better known to those of Celtic origin as Elaine the Moon-Goddess and to the Norse as Hel the Goddess of the Frozen Underworld.

The Thoth Deck Card Shows THE PRIESTESS as Hecate-Selene (The Triple Goddess as described by Hesiod) which means -The Far Shooting Moon, and is an aspect of Artemis. Artemis is also known as the "maiden of the silver bow", suggesting the lower aspect of THE PRIESTESS, (The ART card), which is Sagittarius, the archer. That is why she is illustrated on the Thoth card, with a bow across her knees. [Artemis is the Greek triple Goddess, represented as the Maiden, then the Orgiastic Nymph, then the Old Crone. As some say, Maid, Mother and Crone.]

To reiterate:

THE (HIGH) PRIESTESS acts upon the First Matter of the MAGUS, causing it to function in the pattern of a figure eight lying on its side. This represents a total unified energy cycle of both opposed and duplicated vibration. This holding, enclosing, and duplicating function is that of the first female quality on the Tree of Life. Hence the Circle, which becomes the unbroken line of the lemniscus (lemniscate) and/or Western Infinity Symbol, which illustrates the 0=2. Now we have the sexes that are One.  

THE PRIESTESS represents what Carl Jung called the "virgin anima", related to "virgin milk" which he called the "life giving power of the unconscious."

[To the inquiring mind, I really recommend one gets the book: THE WOMAN'S ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MYTHS AND SECRETS, by Barbara G. Walker and looks up the Moon Goddess Myths. THE PRIESTESS relates a concept so subjective, that much repetition of information, in differentiating perspectives are required.]

When the PRIESTESS, is thrown during a reading/divination:

  • for the non-initiated, the querent is experiencing the principle of self-trust, indicating an easily working state of harmony and inner independence;
  • A self-knowing.
  • Accessing hidden Knowledge from the unconscious. Self-sufficiency, self-trust, and intuition,

To the initiated male,

She represents the Spiritual Bride of the Just man (The Prince, no longer of this world) When he reads the Law, she gives the Divine Meaning. The Arcana is revealed, the Mystery is unfolded, and futures are seen.

THE PRIESTESS represents what Carl Jung called the "virgin anima", related to "virgin milk" which he called the "life giving power of the unconscious."

[To the inquiring mind, I really recommend one gets the book: THE WOMAN'S ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MYTHS AND SECRETS, by Barbara G. Walker and looks up the Moon Goddess Myths. THE PRIESTESS relates a concept so subjective, that much repetition of information, in differentiating perspectives are required.]

The Tarot of The Spirit- Key 2-The High Priestess, where's the symbol for the All Seeing "I" and/or the One Identity of I Am. Her face is veiled by the "Light". Yet she is the connection between the world of Homo Sapiens Sapiens and the Realm of the Ternary Divine Creative. She polarises male and female, light and dark, yin and yang, positive and negative action, flux and reflux. Hence, the dark and light pillars and the checkerboard as her temple flooring. The Hebrew letter, Gimel, is shown on the left bottom of card, near her feet and on the right near her feet, is the crescent moon. Her symbol as Elaine the Moon Goddess. Above her is the "Pure light of Kether", which is known as the light"too brilliant to behold". In her right hand is the scroll of the essence of everything that is made manifest. She is the holder of Knowledge, not of the image and shapes, but rather of the abstract forms of essential energy/Light forms. The Secret Sphere of the conjunction of Chokmah (Father God) and Binah (Mother God) is called Daath, meaning "Knowledge". Her gown is the blue of Water, for she is the "opening" from which comes the eternal flow of Mind/The Universal Collective Unconscious.

The Art may be more Traditional Tarot on the Tarot of The Spirit but the divinatory meaning is comparable to the Thoth Tarot, so both will be united in implications. This is the point on the Tree of Life where the Soul realizes itself and its connection with the Divine Creative.

When the PRIESTESS, is thrown during a reading/divination, it implies:

  • For the non-initiated, the querent is experiencing the principle of self-trust, indicating an easily working state of harmony and inner independence.
  • A self-knowing.
  • Accessing hidden Knowledge from the unconscious. 
  • Self-sufficiency, self-trust, and intuition.
  • Change and alteration.
  • Increase, decrease.
  • Fluctuation. (Change, that decreases, and fluctuations of instability,  are the ill definition of this card that are defined by the surrounding cards in the divination.)

To the initiated male,

  • She represents the Spiritual Bride of the Just man (The Prince, no longer of this world) When he reads the Law, she gives the Divine Meaning. The Arcana is revealed, the Mystery is unfolded, and futures are seen. A Muse. 
  •  

    To the Initiated Female, She is the Papess, associated with St. Mary Magdalene, or the Great Shakti of the triple Hindu Goddess Kali, or the Greek Gnostic Sophia, the original Mother of the Holy Trinity. Considered one of the Highest and Holiest of the Major Arcana. Complete development of Feminine Powers (Womb rite) that go deeper in meaning than the words, intuition or insight, can convey. She is the Feminine Law of inherited Wisdom/The wholly DNA of Divine Self. 

     

Note: Initiation, comes after the "dark night of the Soul", and is decided by the Priestess.

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