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FOUR PILLARS TAROT – THE High Priestess (Silent Divinity)

 

Notes on The High Priestess

(Silent Divinity)

Four Pillars Society Tarot by Gary Rosenberg (GAR) and Nyxsaurius Fallsong

 

 

Artist’s Note :
 
A woman, dressed in white is reading from a stone that has Egyptian Hieroglyphs on its outer face. She has one hand to her mouth beckoning silence. On her right side a phoenix is dissolving into flame and on her left is an egg. In the sky, the moon is oddly showing all of its phases at once.
 
The Magus’s movement of energy is quite showy noticeably is loud. He speaks the reality he wishes to see into existence The High Priestess, on the other hand, is silent and represents an apprehension that is internal rather than external. Not only is she silent but with her fingers to her lips, she beckons our quietude as well.
 
In many decks, the High Priestess is surrounded by the two pillars Boaz and Joachim. The two pillars of Masonic tradition represent a boundary between that which is known and the unknown. In Greek mythos, these are called the Pillars of Hercules and the philosopher Plato suggested that Atlantis existed somewhere beyond. In this card, the two pillars are represented by the Phoenix in flames and the egg which symbolize respectively the undying and the never-born. Each of them in its own way is a boundary that separates the known from the unknown.
The Priestess reads from her stone that on the outward face has Hieroglyphs. What language she sees and reads from her side is yet another mystery that she contains. The stone emits a multi-coloured mist that obscures the scene for what she reads falls into the realm of that which can not be named by words but felt as internal knowledge, more lunar than mercurial in nature. For reality to exist it must be spoken. Comprehension is more likely to come with silence.
 
About the Archetype:
 
The High Priestess is feminine to the Magician’s masculine. Where the Magician represents Active Will, the Priestess represents Passive Intuition. The Magician gives forth and the High Priestess takes in. She represents the lunar current which ties into the subconscious. When our mind is silent and still any and all answers can arise from us from the abyss which links us to the all. We may not be able to consciously carry the answers back yet the knowledge remains.
 
Tho the High Priestess represents the feminine, the card also represents the balance between all dualities. After all, everything is contained within the temple of the subconscious. She is at the entrance to the temple between the two pillars, the dark and the light (each which like the yin-yang sign contains a bit of its counterpart). From the interplay of duality, almost anything can come forth. She is a figure of devotion, receptive to all. The number 2 (represented by the pillars among other things can be seen as symbolic of the vagina. In silence, she accepts all and in silence, she answers. Because we can’t hear the words she says, we often believe the answers come from our own minds.
 
 
Astrological Correspondence:
 
The Moon (☾) – The astrological moon relates to the unconscious and the messages that come from there. It casts no light of its own but reflects whatever light strikes it (and in turn reflects that light onto whatever it touches). The Moon lights our dark night and shows us what we need to protect ourselves. It goes through cycles of casting greater and lesser amounts of light and influences tides (both in the water and our bodies which are mostly water) and emotions. It is the part of us that knows on a deep intuitive level whether or not we can communicate our knowledge.
 
 
In a Reading:
 
When the High Priestess turns up in a reading it indicates that this is a time to be silent and tune into our own unconscious and listen to what it is trying to tell us. It tells us to pay attention to dreams and other symbols that may be appearing to us. This may be a time of incredible spiritual growth happening beneath the surface, not yet ready to manifest in the physical. Changes are coming if we but open ourselves to them. In a reading, it may also represent the need for us to turn to our feminine side and the understanding that that gives us. We may have grown inattentive to the Goddess force that lies within all of us (men included). The card may also represent a romance that we may wish for but will not manifest in a sexual way at least. At its most essential tho, the card means to be open to whatever intuitive messages are coming through in whatever area is being asked about.
 
 
 
When the High Priestess is reversed or badly aspected it can mean that we have not been listening to the guidance we have been given and are suffering because of it. It may mean that we are blocking our subconscious and need to find ways to open ourselves up to it. It is a good time to meditate and clear and try to reestablish connections with our inner self. It may be that while the querent is usually well-tuned to their inner nature, events of late have felt too rushed or too chaotic and so they have been blocking that voice. Nothing is ever so busy that a time out to reflect and meditate is not a good idea.
 
 
Fate’s Whisper:
 
In the Legends passed down by the dragons they mentored, the Four Pillars were the first manifestations of Energy’s Will. Their undying nature and pure embodiment of balance meant they were meant to be a subtle part of their creation. In the High Priestess, it can be seen that the phoenix, a force that represents immortality, and an egg, which represents birth, act as the pillars around the high priestess.
This image shows the true nature of energy itself. Despite not being “born”, energy is very much alive even when it remains in potential
It is from this well of potential that the pillars were able to create the gods and dragons that were to flow from them.
This subtlety of existence is what is embodied on this card. The idea is that we, as people, hold this aspect within each of us, regardless of what the “norm of society” becomes with the changing times. Each and every person holds this subtle “infinity” in the very fibre of our being. This goes beyond the power or anything external to us. Instead, it manifests as each of our own “silent divinities” that minor difference we make using it is what makes it so unique for each of us.

Runic Lore Ansuz

Ansuz by GARAnsuz by GAR

The words came first silently
as if vibrated from within
Gradually though they increased in volume
“Listen to the flow of your will
and live to your purest instinct”
Looking around I saw nothing
Not quite true
I saw two birds flying overhead
Crows I thought or perhaps ravens

No, not flying in this dreamlike haze
But perched on the shoulders of a man
He was grey-bearded with a
blindly-twinkling eye
“Who?” I stammered
“Am I?” asked the man with a laugh
“Better to ask that of yourself
I am merely a traveller
while you have lost your way.

One bird cawed and I grew lost
In undistinguished memories
of life spent living the
despairing dreams of others
rather than discovering my own.
The other raven sounded
And I saw a road ahead
A difficult path where
I lost all that mattered little
Yet found my deepest self

The caw sounded again
And then stopped
The man and birds were gone
Did I awake with newfound clarity
with new purpose and meaning
or was it all some foolish fantasy
The answer came
with the falling of one black feather
and the release of inner chains.

Art: Ansuz (Rune Alchemy Oracle deck) by GAR

Four Pillars Tarot The Magician (Energy Working)

Notes on TheMagician (Energy Working)

Four Pillars Society Tarot by Gary Rosenberg (GAR) and Nyxsaurius Fallsong

Artist’s Notes  :
 
In the oldest tarot decks such as the Tarot de Marseille, the Magus (or Magician) was called the juggler and our magus does with energy what an old-fashioned juggler does with balls, knives, cards or anything else he might be driven to use. He throws the items around, ever seeking new challenges and new patterns in which to arrange them. He ever seeks to add more and a larger variety of items to the mix until he reaches whatever he perceives  as his limits. After all, aren’t all limits self-perceived and self-created? He is the embodiment of willed kinetic energy. Energy taken from one’s potential store and used for purpose?
 
You may ask, what this has to do with magic or mages? Science tells us that nothing is truly solid and that all matter is composed of energy. The magician, like our juggler, seeks to make active-willed changes to his environment, challenging himself to use ever more of that which is in all but endless supply. True that, for the most part, the energies the Magus uses exist in more rarified and virtual form, yet that only makes the show and the working that much more powerful. 
 
It should be noted that the Magus’s working is not merely metaphysical The props that were the raison d’etre of the Juggler’s trade now become the elemental symbols by which the Magus can alter both his external and internal reality.
 
About the Archetype:
 
The Fool falls and lands. Where before the Fool was whole with the potential to become everything, now polarization has happened. The Magician is male to the Priestess’ female and active to the Priestess’ passivity. One way of looking at the Major Arcana is the quest to reunify these two into a realized World / Universe at the end.
The Magician utilizes his will and channels spiritual energy into accomplishment. He uses all four elemental tools (The Wand, The Chalice, The Sword and The Disk) to aid in this.
 
Another way of saying this is that through his will uses the power of his spirit (wand, fire, spirit) his emotions (cup) and intellect and knowledge (Sword, remember that the Magician’s astrological attribute is Mercury which is connected to the mind) and his sexuality (pentacle) to effect changes in his environment.
 
Regarding the last, given that we manifest in the physical it could be said that the Magician’s most powerful tool is his staff (between his legs). This is also true of the Priestess also but until the Magician opens the way with his staff, it remains secret, then she becomes the Empress as her Nature becomes manifest.
 
For those who may be inclined to take the above statement too literally, remember that we each contain all the archetypes within us. This means that we all have our own Magician, Priestess and Empress and all the others as well.
 
The Magician also represents the trickster archetype and teaches usually by tricking the student into learning what he or she needs to know. (Consider Merlin, Carlos Castaneda’s Don Juan or Socrates in the Peaceful Warrior Books by Dan Millman.) In tricking others, tho it is quite possible that he will surprise himself with a lesson or two as well. One of his lessons is learning to discern whether his results are objective and tangible as opposed to subjective. Another is to use his powers in a way that is true to his authentic self as opposed to wasting his energies on a whim.
 
 
Astrological Correspondent:
 
Mercury’s energy is all about fast transmission and communication. It also relates to intellect and logic. In Greek mythology, Mercury was the messenger of the gods, always in motion. Thus those who have a strong Mercury are likely to move swiftly from thing to thing to thing, going in, doing what they can and then moving on to the next thing. Mercury also is related to sensory impressions and the moment-to-moment intake of information.
 
In a Reading:
 
When the Magician turns up in a reading it can mean that a time of great creativity and communication is at hand. We feel energized and can accomplish anything and the things and people we need to help us will show up. Indeed quite often they will be caught up in our enthusiasm and be swept along. It is a time of inspiration and manifestation where we are able to impose our will on the world around us. The Magician tends to utilize and channel all in this process so when the reading refers to a relationship, it may be one where manipulation is present. A question that may come up when the Magician shows up in a reading is, “Who’s agenda is being followed? Who does the Magician represent in this situation?”
The Magician can also refer to a situation where we need greater focus and concentration.
 
When the Magician comes out reversed or badly aspected in a reading, it often means that we are blocked in some way. It is possible that we either don’t believe in what we are doing or that we don’t feel like we deserve the outcome that we are trying to manifest. The other cards in the reading may give an idea of what is blocking us. It may mean that we are repressing something that we need to take into account. This blockage may come from external sources as well. It may also mean that we are misusing our energies and imposing our will on others irrespective of what they may wish.
 
 
Fate’s Whisper:
 
The Magus usually depicts a magician at work. However, it is easily overlooked that the greatest form of the Magus is the energy he works with. The primordial forces we all use in our manifestations empower us to achieve great heights. Like the forces of yin and yang, energy intermingles with little to no resistance. Thus giving birth to the first dragonic tenet.
 
Become one with the true nature of energy’s will by embodying the path of least resistance.
 
Mastery of this tenet leads one to the pinnacle of what it means to be the Magus in all forms. Just like energy working, we should demonstrate this mastery of balancing the forces around us so we can live on the path of least res

Four Pillars Tarot – The Wanderer (AKA The Fool)

The Wanderer (The Fool)

 

Notes on The Fool (The Wanderer)

Four Pillars Society Tarot by Gary Rosenberg (GAR) and Nyxsaurius Fallsong

 
Legend: Through the Tiger’s Maw and Cracking Egg, a new existence has begun
 
Artist’s Notes:
A black translucent egg is seen hovering over the mostly formless ground. Within the egg can be seen what appears to be a brain and a heart. The egg is cracking and there seems to be some kind of energy radiating through, enveloping the egg as if it were about to crack open. On top of the egg is a cream-coloured top hat with a pink band. At a strange angle, a tiger can be seen. Hanging from the tiger’s maw is the bindlestiff that is normally carried by either vagabonds or the Fool in many tarot decks. The Tiger is walking away from the egg. Around the card can be seen various barely formed sigils that seem to be almost shifting in a manner as if they were constantly reforming in synch with the egg.
 
Potential and Possibility have amazing potency. The only limits come from the imagination or lack of it. If you combine the Fool’s (0) Possibility with the Focused intent of the Magus (1) then manifestation will occur. Nothing and Everything in a constant dance. Yet no matter how much becomes manifest, potential never becomes diminished. Each time the egg opens, an existence runs its course, the fool’s quest begins and ends again and it all returns and begins again. The realized heart of the Fool from earlier existences finds its way by chance into a new cycle of becoming.
 
About the Archetype:
 
Many people see the sequence of the Major Arcana as representing a journey towards self-actualization. This journey may be a physical one, a psychological one, or a spiritual one. Following the Golden Dawn teachings, this journey starts with The Fool. The Fool’s number is 0 and as such he or she holds the potential for all things. The Fool is beyond duality and indeed one way of looking at the Major Arcana is as the journey back after the fall into duality (represented by the Magician and the High Priestess) and the reconciliation thereafter. The Fool is both seed and egg, representing the potential to be all. He / She is the hero of Joseph Campbell’s Hero cycle. We represent the Fool anytime we embark on a new phase of life, especially ones where we leave our safety zones and enter the unknown. Consider Alice jumping down the rabbit hole or Jack about to climb the beanstalk. It is not accidental that so many of these metaphors seem somewhat Freudian. In adolescence, we individuate from our families and awake to our own sexual identities, almost a literal fall to adulthood.
 
Above everything else this breaking away and embarking on our own adventure is exhilarating as it is frightening. Jack joyfully climbs the beanstalk as Alice slides down the rabbit hole as Dorothy travels to Oz. They maintain their curiosity, their nerve, their instincts, and their intelligence.
 
In typical depictions of the Fool, he has his belongings tied onto a staff he carries representing the qualities he brings into the adventure. In my version, the guitar symbolizes exactly that. The dog barking at his feet represents the Fool’s instincts and intuition which help guide him or her along their way
 
Astrological Correspondence
 
Planet: Uranus (Element of Air) When the tarot was first popularized, the only planetary attributes that were used were the Sun, Moon, and the five classical planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn). Uranus was not discovered until 1781. This was followed by the discovery of Neptune in 1846 and Pluto in 1930. Originally The Fool, The Hanged Man, and Judgement were said to be ruled by the elements of Air, Water, and Fire respectively while the World had both the planet Saturn and the element of Earth attributed to it.
 
Air is the element of thought and any undertaking begins with an idea. We wish to learn something or find out what will happen when trying something and we do it. Often this requires a leap of the imagination if not faith. Air is the element of Spring and of all new beginnings and starts.
 
Uranus is often called the ‘awakener’ astrologically there can be many startling changes in whatever area of our chart Uranus is travelling through at the time. The influence of Uranus is innovative, intuitive, and inventive and encourages us to use the talents we have in ways we had never thought of before.
 
In a Reading:
 
When the Fool turns up in a reading it is often an indication that we cannot reason ourselves out of our current state. Instead, we need to trust the adventure and our instincts and jump. It may indicate that we have embarked on a new stage of life and we need to go with it in a spirit of openness and joy. The Fool tells us to trust our hearts and let go of fear-based thinking. It is possible that the Fool is cautioning us against reckless behaviour and telling us that we are close to ‘falling off a cliff’. Usually, we seldom come that close to disaster without feeling it on some level so once again the Fool is telling us to trust those instincts.
 
The reversed or badly aspected Fool quite often tells us we need to reason things out more than we have and that our actions of late may have been a bit foolhardy. It may indicate that in pursuing our own path we may have been inconsiderate and neglectful of those around us. It may also be an indication that we need to connect more with our inner selves.
 
Fate’s Whisper:
 
At first glance, the most relatable part of the card is the Fool’s bindlestiff. Traditionally it was held by the Fool however he is nowhere to be seen. The Tiger of Chance, which holds the Spark of Life in the Four Pillars Legend, could be easily blamed for eating him. That isn’t the case though, the mind and heart of the fool seem to be in this egg of sorts. Knowing the Fool it could be another leap he is about to take.
 
It is also worth noting that the top hat seems to be a part of the egg as if they are both a part of the same being. Could this be another trick of the Tiger? It would seem that until the egg hatches anything is possible.

Nocturnal Goddess (April 2018)

 

The Welcome unto the Goddess
Honour I give to the Hecate, Blessed am I in your presence.
Thaks I give unto thee Mighty Queen of Hell;
I Call forth thy Power and thy Guidance;
The Teachings of Goddess and Horned GOd;
Light the Torch of Gnosis Dark Lady;
The Path of Hecate Illumined;
Through Elven Blood and Dark Wich Night.
–Mark Alan Smith

 

“The goddess is red with the fire of life; the earth, the solar system, the galaxies of far-extending space all swell within her womb. For she is the world creatrix, ever mother, ever virgin. She encompasses the encompassing, nourishes the nourishing, and and is the life of everything that lives.
“She is also the death of everything that dies. The whole round of existence is accomplished within her sway, from birth, through adolescence, maturity, and senescence, to the grave. She is the womb and the tomb: the sow that eats her farrow. Thus she unites the ‘good’ and the ‘bad,’ exhibiting the two modes of the remembered mother. The devotee is expected to contemplate the two with equal equanimity.”
–Joseph Campbell

 

She whispers in my ear and speaks in my dreams. I have awareness of her even when I don’t directly feel her presence. She is there in my choices and in my understanding and now I will seek her more often

 

Click on images to see full-sized:

 

From Her Lunar Tower by GAR

 

The Night Is Hers (Redux) by GAR

 

Awakening Shadows (March 2018)

 

The process of delving into the black abyss is to me the keenest form of fascination.
— Howard Phillips Lovecraft.

 

I seek not to comfort
but to be a gardener
planting dark seeds
awakening the shadow within
inspiring deeper understanding
of our inner world
and what dwells there in the depths

 

Click on images to see full-sized:

 

Faces of Transition (redux) by GAR

 

Random Sacrifice

 

Vampyric Observances (March 2018)

 

I awaken hunger
I feed the occulted beast
I rip off this civilized façade
and feel the raw power surge
from the seeds of the self
too long repressed.
I offer myself
with no hesitation
I receive all that is due
I will journey through
shadowed tunnels and vaults
and the light shall shadow become
Click on images to see full-sized:

 

Vampyric Observation by GAR

 

Moving On (redux) by GAR

 

Dispersion (March 2018)

 

“There is no escape. You can’t be a vagabond and an artist and still be a solid citizen, a wholesome, upstanding man. You want to get drunk, so you have to accept the hangover. You say yes to the sunlight and pure fantasies, so you have to say yes to the filth and the nausea. Everything is within you, gold and mud, happiness and pain, the laughter of childhood and the apprehension of death. Say yes to everything, shirk nothing. Don’t try to lie to yourself. You are not a solid citizen. You are not a Greek. You are not harmonious, or the master of yourself. You are a bird in the storm. Let it storm! Let it drive you!”
— Herman Hesse

 

Do not be content
Learn your innermost secrets and fears
Reveal the delusions that hide within you
Throw yourself into the abyss
and let the flames burn you
How can you transcend
if you blind yourself
to your depths
fall into those depths
writhe and rise
No liberation comes without owning your chains

 

Click on images to see full-sized

 

Star Reach (Redux) by GAR >/h5>
 

Ravens Dispersing by GAR

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Inner Voidance (March 2018)

 

“Here is the Path written in blood, blood fresh fallen from the Stars in their seasons, fallen to the opened hearts of Those who look beyond both themselves and the Stars in heaven. That which is seen is not that which should be sought. Seek it in the Pearl that is set upon the Dragon’s brow.”
–Andrew Chumbley

 

“I have seen beyond the bounds of infinity and drawn down demons from the stars…”
— H.P. Lovecraft

 

Sanatas
Feel the flow of power
flood into you
connected and apart
you are the darkness within
the black sun at the centre
projected outwards
Feed from the universe
and project your will.
Transform with dark alchemy
finding liberation in immolation
and ascend amidst the desolation

 

Click on images to see full-sized

 

Heartbreak Ends With Time (redux) by GAR

 

Unlocking the Inner Mystery by GAR

 

Above the Tree by GAR