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Join Date: 20 Jun 2012
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Book of Shadows, Vol. I: "As Above" - II - The High Priestess - Wisdom


*This card is shown on the front of the stand-alone deck's box, the front of the kit's box, on the cover of the companion book, as the image on the bag that Lo Scarabeo made to match the deck, and on the journal that matches the deck.*

A woman standing in the Goddess Position is the central image of the card.

The woman is pale, glowing and lit by moonlight. Her hair is golden red to light brown; it is down, slightly curling in wisps. Atop her head she wears a band, presumably silver, decorated with the Waxing, Full and Waning Moons. The Full Moon is set with a blue stone. Her eyes are closed, her face concentrated.

The woman wears a white to light blue robe. It is hard to tell if it is truly white; blue from reflections of the sky above and water below. The robe is secured in an elaborate wrapped fashion by a white cord, which drapes upon the woman's hips and thighs. The robe is decorated by a swirling embroidery upon the bell-like sleeves.

This Priestess stands with arms upraised to the skies. In her right hand she holds a golden blade, decorated in similar fashion to the embroidery on the hem of her sleeves. In her left hand, a crackled but shining silver chalice is presented.

This woman stands in a still pool of water. The surface is calm, but for a slight rippling about her robe's hem. There is no indication of what body of water she stands in; the background is dark and non-discerning.

Above her, the skies are a cloudy blue-grey. Directly atop her head an orb glows mysteriously. One would assume this is the Moon; perhaps at the time of an eclipse. This orb is shown with the symbol of a Yin-Yang; a circle, halved by a curving line, one part black - the other white, each half containing a circle of the other.


This is Moore's equivalent to the Traditional RWS High Priestess Card, appropriately re-named Wisdom. While in the companion book Moore challenges the traditional meanings of "non-rational/non-logical sources of knowledge" (p. 41); Wisdom can be defined as "scholarly knowledge or learning" (dictionary.reference.com). To me, wisdom is "the practical application of knowledge through learned experience". While it may not be rational or logical, is is information obtained through accumulated experience; it is not a "book" knowledge, but a knowledge of life through lessons learned. Like from the RWS Priestess who is "not sharing" her knowledge; it is up to the seeker to find that knowledge for themselves.

This card is full of opposites and represents the ultimate union of them. The yin-yang, the chalice and the blade, the sky and the earth are all representative of the dual and Divine forces present in each and every moment and aspect of our lives. Moore writes:
Quote:
The magical combination of opposites: intellect (as in rational/logical thinking) and intuition. When these two aspects work together, we can find true wisdom. Again, this is the alchemical balance most tarot readers seek: combining an intellectual understanding of the tarot with intuitive responses to the symbols and images of the cards.
In the LWB: "wisdom, combining intelligence and intuition, seeking the whole truth. [reversed] Withholding information." (p. 5).

The imagery on this card is deceptively simple: easily understood symbols for a complex meaning.

...More on "The Goddess Position" later.
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