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Double loop in the Zodiac


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II

ג The High Priestess
Pure, exalted and gracious influence enters the matter. Hence, change, alternation, increase and decrease, fluctuation. There is, however, a liability to be led away by enthusiasm; one may become "moon-struck" unless careful balance is maintained.
ג

ATU II

The High Priestess

The Priestess of the Silver Star

This card is referred to the letter Gimel, which means a Camel. (The symbolism of the Camel is explained later.)

The card refers to the Moon. The Moon (being the general feminine symbol, the symbol of the second order corresponding to the Sun as the Yoni does to the Lingam) is universal, and goes from the highest to the lowest. It is a symbol which will recur frequently in these hieroglyphs. But in the earlier Trumps the concern is with Nature above the Abyss; the High Priestess is the first card which connects the Supernal Triad with the Hexad; and her path, as shown in the diagram, makes a direct connection between the Father in his highest aspect, and the Son in his most perfect manifestation. This path is in exact balance in the middle pillar. There is here, therefore, the purest and most exalted conception of the Moon. (At the other end of the scale is Atu xviii, q.v.)

The card represents the most spiritual form of Isis the Eternal Virgin; the Artemis of the Greeks. She is clothed only in the luminous veil of light. It is important for high initiation to regard Light not as the perfect manifestation of the Eternal Spirit, but rather as the veil which hides that Spirit It does so all the more effectively because of its incomparably dazzling brilliance. [The tradition of the best schools of Hindu mysticism has a precise parallelism. The final obstacle to full Enlightenment is exactly this Vision of Formless Effulgence]. Thus she is light and the body of light. She is the truth behind the veil of light. She is the soul of light. Upon her knees is the bow of Artemis, which is also a musical instrument, for she is huntress, and hunts by enchantment.

Now, regard this idea as from behind the Veil of Light, the third Veil of the original Nothing. This light is the menstruum of manifestation, the goddess Nuith, the possibility of Form. This first and most spiritual manifestation of the feminine takes to itself a masculine correlative, by formulating in itself any geometrical point from which to contemplate possibility. This virginal goddess is then potentially the goddess of fertility. She is the idea behind all form; as soon as the influence of the triad descends below the Abyss, there is the completion of concrete idea.

The following chapter of the Book of Lies (falsely so-called), may assist the student to understand this doctrine by dint of meditation:
DUST DEVILS

In the Wind of the mind arises the turbulence called I.
It breaks; down shower the barren thoughts.
All life is choked.
This desert is the Abyss wherein is the Universe.
The Stars are but thistles in that waste.
Yet this desert is but one spot accurséd in a world of bliss.
Now and again Travellers cross the desert; they come from the Great Sea, and to the Great Sea they go.
And as they go they spill water; one day they will irrigate the desert, till it flower.
See! Five footprints of a Camel! V.V.V.V.V.

(For the classical description of the Abyss, the student should consult Liber 418, The Vision and the Voice, especially the Tenth Aethyr The Equinox, Vol. I, No.5, Supplement.)

At the bottom of the card, accordingly, are shown nascent forms, whorls, crystals, seeds, pods, symbolising the beginnings of life. In the midst is the Camel which is mentioned in the chapter quoted above. In this card is the one link between the archetypal and formative worlds.

Thus far concerning this path, considered as issuing downwards from the Crown; but to the aspirant, that is, to the adept who is already in Tiphareth, to him who has attained to the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel, this is the path which leads upwards; and this card, in one system entitled the Priestess of the Silver Star, is symbolic of the thought (or rather of the intelligible radiance) of that Angel. It is, in short, a symbol of the highest Initiation. Now it is a condition of Initiation that its keys are to be communicated by those who possess them to all true aspirants. This card is thus very peculiarly a glyph of the work of the A∴A∴

Some idea of the formula is given in this other chapter of the Book of Lies:
THE OYSTER

The Brothers of A∴A∴ are one with the Mother of the Child.
The Many is as adorable to the One as the One is to the Many.
This is the Love of These; creation-parturition is the Bliss of the One; coition-dissolution is the Bliss of the Many.
The All, thus interwoven of These, is Bliss.
Naught is beyond Bliss.
The Man delights in uniting with the Woman; the Woman in parting from the Child.
The Brothers of A∴A∴ are Women; the Aspirants to A∴A∴ are Men.

It is important to reflect that this card is wholly feminine, wholly virginal, for it represents the influence and the means of manifestation (or, from below, of attainment) in itself. It represents possibility in its second stage without any beginning of consummation.

It is especially to be observed that the three consecutive letters, Gimel, Daleth, He' (Atu II, III, XVII) show the Feminine Symbol (Yin) in three forms composing a Triune Goddess. This Trinity is immediately followed by the three corresponding and complementary Fathers, Vau, Tzaddi, Yod (Atu IV, V, IX). The Trumps 0 and I are hermaphrodite. The remaining fourteen Trumps represent these Primordial Quintessences of Being in conjunction, function, or manifestation.
777
I
Key Scale
13
II
Hebrew Names of Numbers and Letters
Gimel
III
English of Col. II.
Camel
VII
English of Col. VI.
Luna
X
Mystic Numbers of the Sephiroth
91
XII
The Tree of Life
Pathjoins 1–6
XIII
The Paths of the Sepher Yetzirah
Uniting I.
XIV
General Attribution of Tarot
The High Priestess
XV
The King Scale of Colour (y)
Blue
XVI
The Queen Scale of Colour (h)
Silver
XVII
The Emperor Scale of Colour (v)
Cold pale blue
XVIII
The Empress Scale of Colour (#)
Silver rayed sky-blue
XIX
Selection of Egyptian Gods
Chomse
XX
Complete Practical Attribution of Egyptian Gods
Chomse
XXI
The Perfected Man
Hathor—the Left Eye
XXII
Small selection of Hindu Deities
Chandra (as =)
XXIII
The Forty Buddhist Meditations
Wind K
XXIV
Certain of the Hindu and Buddhist Results
Vision of Chandra
XXXIV
Some Greek Gods
Artemis, Hekaté
XXXV
Some Roman Gods
Diana
XXXVI
Selection of Christian Gods (10); Apostles (12); Evangelists (4) and Churches of Asia (7).
Laodicea
XXXVIII
Animals, Real and Imaginary.
Dog [[Stork, Camel]]
XXXIX
Plants, Real and Imaginary
Almond, Mugwort, Hazel (as =), Moonwort, Ranunculus [[Alder, Pomegranete]]
XL
Precious Stones
Moonstone, Pearl, Crystal
XLI
Magical Weapons
The Girdle
XLII
Perfumes
Menstrual Blood, Camphor, Aloes, all Sweet Virginal Odours
XLIII
Vegetable Drugs
Jupiter, Pennyroyal, & all emmenogogues
XLV
Magical Powers [Western Mysticism]
The White Tincture, Clairvoyance, Divination by Dreams
XLVI
System of Taoism
Kan and Khwan
XLVIII
Figures related to Pure Number
Greek Cross (Plane), Table of Shewbread
XLIX
Lineal Figures of the Planets, &c., and Geomany
Octagram
L
Transcendental Morality. [10 Virtues (1-10), 7 Sins (Planets), 4 Magick Powers (Elements).]
Contentment [Idleness]
LI.II
Numeration of Col. LI.
3
LI.III
English equivalent of Col. LI.
G
LIII
The Greek Alphabet
Γ γ
LXXVII
The Planets and their Numbers
Luna - 9
LXXX
Olympic Planetary Spirits
Phul
LXXXI
Metals
Silver
LXXXII
The Noble Eightfold Path
Samma Sankappo
LXXXIII
bar
Bottom Point
CLXXV
Hebrew Letters
ג
CLXXVI
Numerical Value of Col. CLXXV.
3
CLXXVII
Geomantic Intelligences
Gabriel
CLXXIX
Numbers printed on Tarot Trumps
2
CLXXX
Title of Tarot Trumps
The Priestess of the Silver Star.
CLXXXI
Correct Design of Tarot Trumps
A crowned priestess sits before the veil of Isis between the Pillars of Seth *
CLXXXII
The Human Body
Lymphatic Systems
CLXXXIII
Legendary Orders of Being
Lemures, Ghosts
CLXXXIV
Numeration of Arabic Alphabet
3
CLXXXV
Numeration of Greek Alphabet
3
CLXXXVI
Diseases (Typical)
Menstrual Disorders
CLXXXVII
Magical Formulæ (see Col. XLI)
ALIM
CXCII
English of Col. LXXXII
Right Aspiration
CXCIII
Spirits of the Planets (transliteration)
Chasmodai
CXCIV
Intelligences of the Planets (transliteration)
Malkah Be Tarshishim va A’ad Be Ruah