The Tarot of The Ages, Key II-The High Priestess, uses the traditional Tarot name of this card. Mario Garizio, the illustrator, has kept to the Egyptian Tarot just as Lady Frieda Harris has for the Thoth Tarot. However, hers was in the Avant Garde style while his style is more modern. In the Tarot of The Ages High Priestess, we have the attributions of the Moon and the Knower of Secrets. The Hebrew letter of Beth has been applied to this card, meaning "House or Temple" where the secrets are kept. The Thoth Tarot applies Beth to the Magus and Gimel to the Priestess, as a inner Path of the Psyche.
Patrizia D'Agostino, the author of the instruction booklet, states that the occult history of the world began with the differentiation of the sexes. Male and Female, became a God/Goddess and/or 0=2. In every primeval form of man hides the personality as every primeval form of man is a manifested archetype.
In the illustration, on the right side of the High Priestess, the Word (Logos) is written in hieroglyphs and on her left is where the measure of things is taken. Her beaded necklace she shows the moon insignia of Diana. She has the black penetrating glare of the Pythoness. Know thyself is the only true knowledge.
When the Tarot of The Ages -Key II-The High Priestess and the Thoth Tarot-ATU 2-Priestess, is thrown in a Divination it implies:
- Sound judgment.
- Serene knowledge.
- Common sense.
- Platonic relationships.
If ill defined by surrounding cards:
- Short sightedness.
- Selfish passion.
- Physical ardor.
- Improper judgment.
- Acceptance of superficial knowledge.
For self is a sea boundless and measureless.
-K. Gibran, The Prophet
THOTH-ATU 2, THE PRIESTESS, is the image that represents an androgyny 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 Deck card reminds us of the multifaceted aspects of intuition that are present at each level of consciousness:
- Mental intuition (the triangular crystal);
- Emotional intuition (the round crystal);
- Spiritual intuition (the diamond crystal);
- Physically noted information (the octagonal crystal). Intuition is the Great calm Lake of spirit 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 Path of Gimel
The 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. She is Diana the huntress.
There are 3 inner 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 3 Paths relate to the Moon.
The pure state of 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 description of the Priestess is that she is the most pure essence of unconsciousness/consciousness, symbolized in Tarot as the very source of all Water (intuition); However, to the initiate, she is considered The Lower Chokmah (Wisdom), wisdom is being expressed here as both masculine and feminine, she is the vaginal opening, Daath, of the Supernal Triangle Womb. The Goddess Sophia of the Greeks-means Wisdom as does the Hebrew feminine noun that is Chokman. However, when applied to Chokmah the word Wisdom is masculine, 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 then the Diana who shoots his captured force out into the universe and it is her “sight” (imagination) that limits the expansion of his “seed”. Sexing the upper Supernal Triangle will get confusing, unless one understands that to be receptive is considered to be a feminine action, while being expressive is considered a masculine action. The Priestess is an androgynous state of Mind.
The Feminine is Formative. 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. 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 (Unconscious), 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. Hence, 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. Yet she is a virginal force, because no "Outside" Male force fertilizes her. Therefore the ancient myth of Diana adds 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 Self-Conscious.
[Remaining "over itself" may also be a clue as to why Lilith wished to lay on top of the First Male Form called Adam, in Genesis and was banished from the Garden for a more complaint Eve. So the Patriarch could be in charge of sexuality. A fun and enlightening study for the curious who are struck by the ignorance of 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 becomes a Muse, who takes the form of the perfect female, as realized by the initiated.
Now the MAGUS, (Will-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 Moon she controls the tides of consciousness and is known as Elaine the Moon Goddess.
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 Ice Queen of the Norse. 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 Conscious. 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 which I translated into the Qabalistic Eli Serabeth ( Temple of the Fiery Daemon) She is a scary Beauty who will assist you in self-dissection....often without permission when familiarity is gained. 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".
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. Thus, she is THE MOON that regulates the tides of the Waters of consciousness.
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 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 4 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, 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, 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 as well being subjective potential. These veils, are shown as Light in vibratory form, on the Thoth Deck 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 one of mundane persona or material consciousness, cannot look upon it, and will be shocked right back into their Malkuth realm of Race sponsored consciousness. If the desire conscious is conquered, the one that holds one to body senses, the Light of the Priestess is welcoming, and brilliantly beautiful...but without heat. Hence, it is a cool light resembling the dazzling brightness of Ice in full 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 consciousness.
Obviously, when considering Light, the Qabalist must rethink the essence of Light. 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/Son of 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. Thus, visible light is measurable (186,000 miles per second) and finite.
As does the Moon, so does the PRIESTESS go from brilliant light to absolute darkness. She is responsible for 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 Underworld.
The Thoth 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 triple Goddess, represented as the Maiden, then the Orgiastic Nymph, then the Old Crone. As some say, Maid, Mother and Crone.]
To reiterate: THE 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.
THE PRIESTESS also represents what Carl Jung called the "virgin anima", related to "virgin milk" which he called the "life giving power of the unconscious."
Anima and animus
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The anima and animus are described in Carl Jung's school of analytical psychology as part of his theory of the collective unconscious. Jung described the animus as the unconscious masculine side of a woman, and the anima as the unconscious feminine side of a man, each transcending the personal psyche. Jung's theory states that the anima and animus are the two primary anthropomorphic archetypes of the unconscious mind, as opposed to the theriomorphic and inferior function of the shadow archetypes. He believed they are the abstract symbol sets that formulate the archetype of the Self.
In Jung's theory, the anima makes up the totality of the unconscious feminine psychological qualities that a man possesses and the animus the masculine ones possessed by a woman. He did not believe they were an aggregate of father or mother, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, or teachers, though these aspects of the personal unconscious can influence a person's anima or animus.
Jung believed a male's sensitivity is often lesser or repressed, and therefore considered the anima one of the most significant autonomous complexes. Jung believed the anima and animus manifest themselves by appearing in dreams and influence a person's attitudes and interactions with the opposite sex. Jung said that "the encounter with the shadow is the 'apprentice-piece' in the individual's development … that with the anima is the 'masterpiece'". Jung viewed the anima process as being one of the sources of creative ability. In his book The Invisible Partners, John A. Sanford said that the key to controlling one's anima/animus is to recognize it when it manifests and exercise our ability to discern the anima/animus from reality.
Anima originated from Latin, and was originally used to describe ideas such as breath, soul, spirit or vital force. Jung began using the term in the early 1920s to describe the inner feminine side of men.Animus
Animus originated from Latin, where it was used to describe ideas such as the rational soul, life, mind, mental powers, courage or desire. In the early nineteenth century, animus was used to mean "temper" and was typically used in a hostile sense. In 1923, it began being used as a term in Jungian psychology to describe the masculine side of women.Levels of anima development
Jung believed anima development has four distinct levels, which in "The psychology of the transference" he named Eve, Helen, Mary and Sophia. In broad terms, the entire process of anima development in a man is about the male subject opening up to emotionality, and in that way a broader spirituality, by creating a new conscious paradigm that includes intuitive processes, creativity and imagination, and psychic sensitivity towards himself and others where it might not have existed previously.Eve
The first is Eve, named after the Genesis account of Adam and Eve. It deals with the emergence of a man's object of desire. The anima is completely tied up with woman as provider of nourishment, security and love.
The man at this anima level cannot function well without a woman, and is more likely to be controlled by her. He is often impotent or has no sexual desire.Helen
The second is Helen, an allusion to Helen of Troy in Greek mythology. In this phase, women are viewed as capable of worldly success and of being self-reliant, intelligent and insightful, even if not altogether virtuous. This second phase is meant to show a strong schism in external talents (cultivated business and conventional skills) with lacking internal qualities (inability for virtue, lacking faith or imagination).Mary
The third phase is Mary, named after the Christian theological understanding of the Virgin Mary (Jesus' mother). At this level, women can now seem to possess virtue by the perceiving man (even if in an esoteric and dogmatic way), in as much as certain activities deemed consciously unvirtuous cannot be applied to her.Sophia
The fourth and final phase of anima development is Sophia, named after the Greek word for wisdom. Complete integration has now occurred, which allows women to be seen and related to as particular individuals who possess both positive and negative qualities. The most important aspect of this final level is that, as the personification "Wisdom" suggests, the anima is now developed enough that no single object can fully and permanently contain the images to which it is related.Levels of animus development
Jung focused more on the man's anima and wrote less about the woman's animus. Jung believed that every woman has an analogous animus within her psyche, this being a set of unconscious masculine attributes and potentials. He viewed the animus as being more complex than the anima, postulating that women have a host of animus images whereas the male anima consists only of one dominant image.
Jung stated that there are four parallel levels of animus development in a woman.Man of mere physical power
The animus "first appears as a personification of mere physical power - for instance as an athletic champion or muscle man, such as 'the fictional jungle hero Tarzan'".Man of action or romance
In the next phase, the animus "possesses initiative and the capacity for planned action...the romantic man - the 19th century British poet Byron; or the man of action - America's Ernest Hemingway, war hero, hunter, etc."Man as a professor, clergyman, orator
In the third phase "the animus becomes the word, often appearing as a professor or clergyman...the bearer of the word - Lloyd George, the great political orator".Man as a spiritual guide
"Finally, in his fourth manifestation, the animus is the incarnation of meaning. On this highest level he becomes (like the anima) a mediator of...spiritual profundity". Jung noted that "in mythology, this aspect of the animus appears as Hermes, messenger of the gods; in dreams he is a helpful guide." Like Sophia, this is the highest level of mediation between the unconscious and conscious mind. In the book The Invisible Partners, John A. Sanford said that the key to controlling one's anima/animus is to recognize it when it manifests and exercise our ability to discern the anima/animus from reality.Anima and animus compared
The four roles are not identical with genders reversed. Jung believed that while the anima tended to appear as a relatively singular female personality, the animus may consist of a conjunction of multiple male personalities: "in this way the unconscious symbolizes the fact that the animus represents a collective rather than a personal element".
The process of animus development deals with cultivating an independent and non-socially subjugated idea of self by embodying a deeper word (as per a specific existential outlook) and manifesting this word. To clarify, this does not mean that a female subject becomes more set in her ways (as this word is steeped in emotionality, subjectivity, and a dynamism just as a well-developed anima is) but that she is more internally aware of what she believes and feels, and is more capable of expressing these beliefs and feelings. Thus the "animus in his most developed form sometimes...make[s] her even more receptive than a man to new creative ideas".
Both final stages of animus and anima development have dynamic qualities (related to the motion and flux of this continual developmental process), open-ended qualities (there is no static perfected ideal or manifestation of the quality in question), and pluralistic qualities (which transcend the need for a singular image, as any subject or object can contain multiple archetypes or even seemingly antithetical roles). They also form bridges to the next archetypal figures to emerge, as "the unconscious again changes its dominant character and appears in a new symbolic form, representing the Self". - the archetypes of the Wise Old Woman/Man
[To the inquiring mind, I also 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:
- 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.
- Foresight 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.
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 Law of inherited Wisdom.
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