Thoth-ATU 2-The Priestess
Tarot of the Illuminati-Key 2-The High Priestess
For self is a sea boundless and measureless.
-K. Gibran, The Prophet
ATU 2 THE PRIESTESS, is the image that represents the universal mental androgyny of Self, the 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/Male.
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 of Hathor, 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:
- Mental intuition (the triangular crystal);
- Emotional intuition (the round crystal);
- Spiritual intuition (the diamond crystal), and 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 Qabalistic 13th 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 Mind 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 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/Water.
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/Sun-Tiphareth, a Path of the Highest Initiation.
The common description of the Priestess is that she is the most pure essence of consciousness, symbolized in Tarot as the very source of all Water (Consciousness); 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 and the Hebrew word Chokma is a noun which is feminine) 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 the Diana who aims and accurately shoots his captured force out into the universe and it is her “sight” (imagination) that limits the expansion of his catalytic seed.
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 that is Knowledge 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 her are curved vibrations of light and a strong lower masculine leg section beneath the a bow across the knees with a background of masculine straight lines of light. Yet she is a virginal force, because no "Outside" Male force fertilizes her. Thus the myth of Diana adds understanding to this card. From her, the source of Water, is the knowledge 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/Awareness.
[Remaining "over itself" may also be a clue as to why in the Hebrew book of Genesis Lilith, the First Wife of Adam, wished to lay on top of the First Male Form in sexual union, 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 disturbed by misogyny.]
In his scholarly text, THE THIRTY TWO PATHS OF WISDOM, Mr. 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 of Self comes from, so that it could become the operator of the Images of Self. For knowledge is nothing without experience! Once experienced knowledge becomes information, which is form in this universe.
Therefore, 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.]
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 carry data and are used to 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.
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 HIGH 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 Spirit) 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.
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 .
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, 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 Light of the Priestess is welcoming, and brilliantly beautiful...but without heat thus 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 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 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. Thus 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 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 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 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.]
Silence Gestating Mystery
The Tarot Illuminati- Key 2 - The High Priestess, uses the traditional tarot title for key 2. The author of the accompanying book of the Tarot Illuminati-Kim Huggens, compliment Eric C. Dunne's art in a way that can't be explained any better by anyone. So I will quote part of her text:
Know thyself. silence is the only vehicle by which you may pass, and thereby, drink from the river of memory. I am the gatekeeper of mysteries, the oracle within you that gestates inner wisdom in the darkest, most silent part of yourself. Only when you silence yourself, can you know the subtle web of the world and its underground rivers; only when you stop speaking will your mind be truly open to knowledge. The rest you'll have to read yourself.
The symbology used in this extraordinary rendition of the High Priestess is all Moon/Water and Light. She stands before the pillars of Darkness and Light, holding a scroll of memory in her hands, as she is the gateway into the Abyss. Her headdress is of silvery crescents and full moons, with wings of Mercury, the messenger of the gods, and a circular symbol of the 4 Universal Elements. And as if in a temple, behind her is an oriel, giving sight to the mysteries of the Moon; she is the unfathomable feminine.
When the Priestess or High Priestess is thrown in 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.
- Intuitive perception.
- Spiritual wisdom.
- Psychic ability and vision.
- Seeking inner wisdom.
- Qabalah (means-receiving).
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 Female;
She represents the powers and mysteries of the woman as the initiatrix. The Anima who hunts by enchantment. Initiation means "beginning" and it is through Her that he is initiated into the mysteries.
If ill defined by the surrounding cards:
- Escaping from reality.
- Existential dread.
Thank you for your interest, comments and supportive donations. Your generosity blesses you. May you live long and prosper.