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Greater Arcana Study Group—The High Priestess

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Abrac  Abrac is offline
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Waite's The Tarot and the Rosy Cross is indeed very interesting. He advances the idea that Shekinah manifests in The High Priestess at path 13, Temperance at path 25, and The World at path 32. Each is a guardian, or keeper of the Sephira directly above it. For example, The World is keeper of Yesod, Temperance is keeper of Tiphareth, and The High Priestess is keeper of Daath. They're all on the central pillar which for Waite was the way of advancement. I made a diagram of this awhile back and I'll post the link.

Diagram

Here's a quote from Waite's paper. It's not very clear taken out of context, but it's a summary of the three manifestations of Shekinah:
"We have now completed our study in summary form of the manifest cards of SHEKINAH on the Tree of Life. It should be noted, however, that each emblem is the synthesis of the world to which it guards the entrance and into which it leads the Postulant. The High Priestess before the door of DAATH, representing at once the Path of Descent from KETHER and of going back thereto, is really in the position of AIMA ELOHIM, covering with her wings the three Supernal SEPHIROTH, as she is shewn in the Diagram of the 3 = 8 Degree. Above her is that state wherein there is no distinction between SHEKINAH and the Holy One. The Angel of Temperance is termed in the Portal of the Rosy Cross the synthesis of TIPHERETH, and TIPHERETH in its turn is the synthesis—as we know otherwise—of the whole Second Order. So also the Divine Presence represented by the 21st card, is typical of that state which is delineated by the work of YETZIRAH in the Order of the Golden Dawn—the re-making of manifested man, male and female, in the likeness of ELOHIM, the restoration of man in the perfect terms of the archetype."
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yelell View Post
Shekinah, the pomegranates, the moon, "she is the spiritual Bride and Mother,"etc, in a dozen ways what I see is biblical.
The Blessed Virgin Mary is indeed a manifestation of the Supernal Mother.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LRichard View Post
The Blessed Virgin Mary is indeed a manifestation of the Supernal Mother.

As Mother & Bride (Mother of Christ, Bride of God, Spouse of the Holy Spirit), she may be considered as encapsulating both (Binah & Malkuth, Mother & Bride, the two 'H' of the holy name) ... (?)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abrac View Post
The same symbolism is on the Ace of Cups as the solar cross on the wafer, and the lunar chalice.
In as much as her figure, with crown, encompasses the sephiroth below Kether, I wonder if there is a relation to the Cup of Stolistes (which also encompasses the sephiroth below Kether). In the GD version, the priestess carries the Cup of Stolistes (the 'preparer') -- which I think forms a link with the Ace of Cups.

The Cup or Chalice of the Stolistes (Book "T")

"The Laver of Water of Purification refers to the Waters of Binah, the Female Power reflected in the Waters of Creation."

The cup is a symbol of spiritual receptiveness, the desire to open one's self up spiritually, and as such should be meditated on regularly in this grade, thus allowing yourself to become the cup and to open yourself up to the Celestial Waters.

In a sense, the cup becomes an effervescent endless flow of the Laver of Waters or collector of the Celestial Waters, and as such the initiate can later learn to access these waters to aid his own spiritual development and growth.
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Ran across an interesting tidbit in R. A. Gilbert's The Sorcerer and His Apprentice. It's from an article by Mathers which first appeared in Walford's Antiquarian Magazine in 1887. Mathers quoting from Abraham Rees' Cyclopaedia:
“The Jews derive the mysteries contained in the Cabbala from Adam; and assert that whilst the first man was in Paradise the angel Rasiel brought him a book from heaven, which contained the doctrines of heavenly wisdom; and that when Adam received this book, angels came down from heaven to learn its contents, but that he refused to admit them to the knowledge of sacred things entrusted to himself alone; that, after the Fall, this book was taken back into heaven; that after many prayers and tears God restored it to Adam; and that it passed from Adam to Seth. The book being lost, and the mysteries contained in it almost forgotten, in the degenerate age preceding the flood, they were restored by special revelation to Abraham who transmitted them to writing in the book ‘Yetzirah’; and that the revelation was renewed to Moses, who received a traditionary and mystical as well as a written and preceptive law from God. Accordingly the Jews believe, that God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai, not only the Law, but also the explication of that Law; and that Moses, after his coming down, retiring to his tent, rehearsed to Aaron both the one and the other. When he had done, Aaron standing on the right hand, his sons, Eleazar and Ithamar, were introduced to a second rehearsal; this being over, the seventy elders that composed the Sanhedrim [sic] were admitted; and lastly, the people, as many as pleased: to all of whom Moses again repeated both the Law and the Explanation as he received them from God. So that Aaron heard it four times, his sons thrice, the elders twice, and the people once. Now, of the two things which Moses taught them, the Law and the Explanation, only the first was committed to writing; which is what we have in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers; as to the second, or the explication of that Law, they were contented to impress it well in their memory, to teach it to their children, and they in turn to theirs, etc. Hence the first is the written Law, and the second the Cabbala.”
And from Mathers:
"A system which could captivate such men as Reuchlin, Athanasius Kircher, Knorr de Rosenroth (whose Kabbalah Denudata is the leading work on the subject), Picus de Mirandola, Dr Henry More, Cornelius Agrippa, and Robert Fludd, is surely worthy of more than a passing and superficial examination, especially when it is considered that the Hebrew Scriptures require some key wherewith to unlock the mysteries of the Prophecies and the Apocalypse; and that key, I venture to assert, is to be found, and found only in the Kabbalah."
I recall reading somewhere in Waite where he recounts a legend that says before the flood, twin pillars were erected to preserve the secret wisdom. It's been awhile but I think it said the secret wisdom was carved on the pillars to insure its survival. In the secret tradition, Boaz and Jachin refer to those ancient pillars. I'd hunt down the reference but I've got too many other things to do right now. Maybe if I get motivated at some point I'll look into it.
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Wasn't as difficult to locate as I thought. It's in The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry. First a reference to Enoch:
"The imputed founders of Egyptian Masonry were Elias and Enoch, the most mystical among the prophets of the Old Alliance, well chosen for this reason, and more especially as they left nothing in writing, some reputable apocrypha notwithstanding. Elias connected through Paracelsus with the tradition in Alchemy, and his rebirth in an artist of that name, seems to have been expected; great things were promised to the City of Hermetic Triumph when Elias Artista should come. Enoch and the pillars on which he perpetuated the knowledge of the world before the Flood have always stood up as beacons on the more external side of the Secret Tradition."
and
"There may be remembered in this connection the story of the so-called pillars of Seth on which was inscribed a memorial of the knowledge before the Flood. It is old in Jewish fable, and as it is certainly at the root of much occult symbolism concerning pillars, so it has perhaps some analogy with similar symbolism in Masonry."
It doesn't mention Boaz and Jachin, but I remember thinking that to myself when I read it.
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Pillars of Enoch:
The legend goes on to inform us that after Enoch had completed the subterranean temple, fearing that the principles of those arts and sciences which he had cultivated with so much assiduity would be lost in that general destruction of which he had received a prophetic vision, he erected two pillars-the one of marble, to withstand the influence of fire, and the other of brass, to resist the action of water. On the pillar of brass he engraved the history of creation, the principles of the arts and sciences, and the doctrines of Speculative Freemasonry as they were practiced in his times; and on the one of marble he inscribed characters in hieroglyphics, importing that near the spot where they stood a precious treasure was deposited in a subterranean vault.
http://www.masonicdictionary.com/enoch.html

[The pillars of the High Priestess are those leading into the inner Sanctuary.]

The pillars of Enoch were the "outer" pillars of the temple. They are more like the pillars of the Hierophant (and also Justice). They are also the model for the original GD pillars that were covered with hieroglyphics. As mentioned above: "he engraved the history of creation . . . inscribed . . . in hieroglyphics."

The GD Pillars are described in detail by Mathers in his "Lecture on the Pillars," including the entire Egyptian text that was to be inscribed on them. "These were called in the Ritual of the Neophyte the "Pillars of Hermes" of "Seth" and of "Solomon"."

quotes are from Mathers.

"In the 125th Chapter [of the Book of the Dead], they are represented by the sacred gateway, the door to which the aspirant is brought when he has completed the negative confession. The archaic pictures on the one Pillar are painted in black upon a white ground, and those on the other in white upon a black ground, in order to express the interchange and reconciliation of opposing forces and the eternal balance of light and darkness which gives force to visible nature."

Mathers explains how the initiate "is no longer called the man, but Osiris with whom he is now symbolically identified. . . . Between the Two Pillars of Flame. I am RA when he fought beneath the Ashad Tree, destroying the enemies of the Ancient of Days. . . . Let priestly offerings be made to me as one of the train of the ancient of Days."

Mathers then links them to the pillars of Justice:
"The 125th Chapter is concerned with the entry of an Initiate into the Hall of the Two Columns of Justice. . . . The illustrations in this chapter represent the Hall of Truth as seen through the open leaves of its door." The initiate "makes his Negative Confession in front of the Judges, invoking them to do him justice. He is then brought to the actual Pillars, and has to name them and their parts under the symbol of the Scales of Balance."

"Thus, these two chapters, which are represented by their illustrations upon the Pillars, represent the advance and purification of the Soul and its union with Osiris, the Redeemer, in the Golden Dawn of the Infinite Light, in which the Soul is transfigured, knows all, and can do all, for it is made One with the Eternal God."
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Found a couple of references re the "Second Marriage of the Prince who is no longer of this world" from the PKT. They indicate a mystical marriage that takes place in the afterlife.
"Speaking still within measures of the symbolism, there are—from one point of view—two mystical marriages; the first is celebrated in this life, while the other may be begun here but is only completed hereafter. It is the real and unending marriage, for it is certain that Christ goes back with the soul to the Eternal Father when God becomes all in all. This is a high prize at the end of a long journey. Perhaps it would be more correct to say that we are betrothed here and wedded hereafter."—The Way of Divine Union, 1915.
"The consensus of sacred experience, as found in the records, distinguishes two mystic marriages, one of which is celebrated in this life, while the other may be begun here but is completed only hereafter. To make use of accepted terminology, the first is an union of our psychical and spiritual part in a state of consciousness irradiated by the light and grace of the Christ-life. This description must be understood, however, as approximate to the truth rather than truth exact: it would require a considerable thesis to justify a less simple but more precise form of expression. The second is an ineffable union between the spirit of man and God: it is the only real and indissoluble mystic marriage."—Lamps of Western Mysticism, 1923.
It sounds like he's saying the second marriage involves a union between Christ and God the Father, making the "Prince" Christ.

But still a lot of unanswered questions, like what he means exactly in the second quote by "an ineffable union between the spirit of man and God." If the second marriage is a union between Christ and God the Father, how can it also be a union between the spirit of man God? And how does the High Priestess fits into the equation? More things to ponder, but these two references offer some good clues.
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I happened upon a pretty good clue to the meaning of the "Prince" in Waite's Hidden Church of the Holy Graal, 1909 edition, p. 669. Writing on the "secret school," i.e., the keepers of the secret doctrine, he says:
"It was a school of Christian mystics, and it was Latin for a long time on its external side. It is of necessity catholic at heart. The doctrine concerning it is that there are High Princes of the Spirit whose experiences surpass not only those of devout souls but of many of the great saints. Their time was not 'about half-an-hour,' but an experience in perpetuity."
The first thing we notice is "Prince" is capitalized, as in Waite's description for the High Priestess. It refers to certain mystics who have acquired high levels of attainment. The statement, "Their time was not 'about half-an-hour,' but an experience in perpetuity" refers to Revelation 8:1, "When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour"; it means those Princes to whom Waite refers have acquired the ability to experience the silent center not merely for a short space and then return, but continuously. Nagging questions remain though, like what the High Priestess has to do with the "Second Marriage." In the next sentence he says she's the "spiritual Bride," so this seems as good an explanation as any. One thing to me it seems almost certain, and that is "the Prince who is no longer of the world" refers to an accomplished adept who is either (a) no longer of this world in a literal sense, or (b) in a figurative sense.
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