View Single Post
Thirteen's Avatar
Thirteen  Thirteen is offline
The Thirteenth Moon
Join Date: 17 Sep 2001
Location: Pluto
Posts: 8,760
Cool "A Great Winged Figure..."

Originally Posted by Abrac View Post
To me the first question which must be asked is if the figure is indeed Raphael. Is there a reason you believe it is that archangel?
A very good point. To quote Vincent from an old thread on Angels in this forum:
Paul Foster Case at one time says the 'Angel' on the Lovers is Raphael and another time says it is Michael. There are some reasons as to why someone might believe it to be either. For example, Raphael is associated with the sixth Sephira Tiphareth, and on the other side, the flames on the angel's head suggest it could be Michael.

But all this speculation, begs the question of whether the figure in the Lovers is an angel at all. Waite simply calls it a "great winged figure". And, if Waite fails to identify it as an angel, what else could it possibly be?

The Golden Dawn symbol/diagram called "The Garden of Eden before the Fall" is closely associated with this card. You can see a modern version of it here;
but if you have a copy of Israel Regardie's Golden Dawn, there is a much more detailed version.

If you read the essay, you should be able to see why the "great winged figure" might not be an angel, but something else entirely.
So, you're quite right that Waite never labels the winged figure as Raphael or even an angel at all.

You can read more of this thread on Angels here: Another poster argues that it's Gabriel. Note that the URL Vincent mentions in the original thread is no longer there, so I exchanged it in the quote above for one that shows picture and essay. The essay suggests that the winged figure is not an angel but "the neshamah, or Divine Feminine, of the Qabalists."

I don't know about the "divine feminine" but one succinct quote on Neshamah/Neshama is: "The word neshama has the same root in Hebrew (NShM) as the word for breath. This soul level is associated with higher awareness and angelic realms, it is a defining quality of human consciousness. In many ways, the neshama is an essential aspect of creation. As the neshama is an aspect of soul that is directly connected with the divine source of life, it is via the neshama, and the higher levels of soul, that we co-partner with God in the continuous unfolding of creation. The neshama is pure in its essence. It cannot be blemished. When we die, it immediately returns to its source." For more see here:
Top   #4