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b and j on the high priestess

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LadyMarian  LadyMarian is offline
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I always thought they were from the Greek alphabet: Beta and Iota. The symbol for "i" looks like a "j" when written in Greek.

Beta: corresponds with the number "2"

Iota (smallest thing): corresponds with the number "10" and
two of the "j" symbols written together represent the Hebrew God Adonai.

When I pull the high priestess card I read the symbolism as "don't worry about the little things in life, a higher power is in control."

Lady Marian
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miztahfrawg  miztahfrawg is offline
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thanks everyone- i would have never guessed.
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I was reading Manley P Hall's "Initiates of the Flame" and ran across an image of the pillars with the B & J on them. I knew thIs was in the Tarot (High Priestess), so I went searching for what the B&J were and found this old thread here, so I figured I would drop in a bit more thoughts on the Pillars as written by Hall. I also knew that these pillars are in many references as well as in the Hierophant card, so I found it interesting the meaning that Hall gives them in this book.

The Pillars of the Temple:
These pillars symbolize the heart and mind, the positive and the negative poles of life. Those who would enter the temple must pass BETWEEN the pillars. Every extreme is dangerous. It is the point between all poles that is safe to stand upon. You cannot enter the temple by the development of either the heart or mind alone, but only by the equal development of both.

I figured if I went searching for the B&J meanings, someone else also would want to know a version of the meaning behind the pillars as well, because you see them in many esoteric and occult references. I found this interesting, so I hope it helps others. Thanks for the entries on what the B&J referenced as well, that was interesting and appreciated.

All the best - JLT
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TarotVerbatim  TarotVerbatim is offline
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Mercy and Severity re Kabbalah - and Thank you for the Biblical references


Severity and Mercy re Kabbalah is what I understand those pillars' initials to mean. Thank you for the Biblical references; I am unaware of them. I see High Priestess as the mental and spiritual planes: Passive, as the feminine principle, on the physical, and active on those.

She works for me, along those lines, in my Tarot inquiries, for many years.
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bogiesan  bogiesan is offline
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I love it when ancient threads are reborn.
My second deck was the Albano-aite, 1970 or so. I was doing readings at a party with Eden Gray's book in the other hand when some lovely young lady looked at the High Priestess and said, "Hmm, Joan Baez." And the pillars have been Joan and Baez for me ever since.
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Aries2014  Aries2014 is offline
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I got this card the other day and was wondering the same
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INIVEA  INIVEA is offline
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In reading the "THE DOCTRINE OF TRANSCENDENT MAGIC" by Levi. translation by A.E. Waite. I came across this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by page. 154
The permanent alliance of reason and faith will result not from their absolute distinction and separation, but from their mutual control and their fraternal concurrence. Such is the significance of the two pillars of Solomon's porch, one named Jakin and the other Bohas, one black and the other white. They are distinct and separate, they are even contrary in appearance, but if blind force sought to join them by bringing them close to one another, the roof of the temple would collapse ; separately, their power is one ; joined, they are two powers which destroy one another. For precisely the same reason the spiritual power is weakened when so ever it attempts to usurp the temporal, while the temporal power becomes the victim of its encroachments on the spiritual. Gregory VII. ruined the Papacy ; the schismatic kings have lost and will lose the monarchy. Human equilibrium requires two feet, the worlds gravitate by means of two forces, generation needs two sexes. Such is the meaning of the arcanum of Solomon, represented by the two pillars of the temple, Jakin and Bohas.
This gives a different view point of how to interpret the symbols J and B.
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Interesting! Who would have ever thought the Priestess means "separation of church and state"!

I like the graphic symbolism--if the pillars are too close together, the building will fall. Separation is more supportive. But I suppose if they get too far apart, they won't hold much either . . .
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INIVEA  INIVEA is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rachelcat View Post
Interesting! Who would have ever thought the Priestess means "separation of church and state"!

I like the graphic symbolism--if the pillars are too close together, the building will fall. Separation is more supportive. But I suppose if they get too far apart, they won't hold much either . . .
I think that is where "equilibrium or perfect balance" would come into play, by the perfect distance from each other.
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Actually there is a middle pillar which is at the equilibrium point between the pillars of Severity (Jachin) and Mercy (Boaz). As Grigori mentioned, in the Golden Dawn model of the Tree of Life, the High Priestess represents the upper part of this pillar (which links consciousness with the divine). Whether or not one accepts this as the proper position of Waite's High Priestess, it is certainly in accord with the image on the card, as well as Waite's comment in PKT at the end of the section on the Priestess: "There are some respects in which this card is the highest and holiest of the Greater Arcana."
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