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Abrac  Abrac is offline
Join Date: 13 Aug 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 4,466

This card and the Lovers have conspicuous mountains. They’re not mountain ranges but one lone mountain. In Waite’s Secret Tradition in Freemasonry, there’s a picture which has the following caption: “Beneath the belt are the four other planets of ancient lore, the sun immersed in the sea, and Mercury presiding over a mountain which I take to be that of initiation.”


Waite’s Pictorial Symbols of Alchemy has a picture of a similar mountain with a caption that reads: “The next picture is intended to set forth this vision, when the soul and spirit are seen on the high mountain of initiation. . .”

Mountain 2

The description goes on to say:

“That which is expressed, however, as a result of the vision is that the soul remembers the body—spoken of here as the father—and longs to return thereto, to which the Spirit Guide consents, and they descend from that high eminence. Two things are illustrated hereby—(1) that the soul in its progress during incarnate life has the body to save and to change, so that all things may be holy; but (2) that it is possible—as is nearly always the case in parables of this kind—to offer a dual interpretation, and the alternative to that which I have given would be an allegory of return to the House of the Father in an entirely different sense. But it is obvious that I cannot speak of it—at least, in the present place.”

I’m not concerned with number 2, seeing as Waite doesn’t explain what it is, but number 1 and that which precedes it—that is, the soul’s return to the body. I can see in in the Lovers the soul beginning its journey up the mountain of initiation, with the help of the Guide (angel). This card seems like it could be the soul after its return from the mountain top; the raging lion (body) has been brought under control by the soul, or “higher nature” as Waite puts it.

In this card Waite calls the lemniscate a symbol of life but in the Magician he calls it a sign of the Holy Spirit. I tend to believe in both cases it represents Divinity.
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