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The Magical Tarot – The High Priest

August 14, 2013

At this point, the series has lost its original name, ‘Forgotten Secrets of the Tarot’, and taken on its new title:- THE MAGICAL TAROT

The Priest Within Us

by Madeline Montalban

“There is a hidden priest in most of us” is a common occult phrase implying that all humans are fascinated by religious mysteries, mystic symbols and traditional ritual, and would like to know more about them.

This is one of the interpretations of the Great Priest of the Tarot, which can represent the questing soul in search of truth. Yet it is not everybody who develops “the priest within”, for the tradition that occult studies may be dangerous dies hard.

One of the most disheartening things any teacher of the mysteries has to deal with is the fallacy that there is something wicked about wanting to know. The idea was originally put out in order to keep knowledge out of the way of the masses, lest they should become above themselves and critical, and there could be no better method for such a purpose than to say all such studies were of the Devil and so frighten people off.

Yet the true basis of all occult study is a reverential desire to understand what is divine. To this end were the great occult schools of the past created. Occultism is no more nor less than the study of religion; of the links between the Godhead and mankind.

It implies and accepts that positive and negative are necessary; that light and darkness are twins, and that both are bound together. The idea that “Symbols turning to the left are negative and evil, and to the right positive and good” is utterly wrong.

“As above, so below” is an occult maxim. Are we then to argue that any road which has a left-hand turn means that people who go, or live, there are evil? Of course not. It is as impudent an assertion as that which says that right is good and left is wrong.

scan0011Mankind is born ambidextrous. Occultism is ambidextrous, and to prove it let us study one of the symbols of the Great Priest. (See illustration.)

We have two interlinked Pentagrams with a dependent sigil representing planetary forces in amalgam. One of the Pentagrams has one point uppermost, the other has two. In the sigil some signs turn to the left, others to the right. Therefore the main lesson of the symbol is that the correct way is neither right nor left, but in between.

True occultists do not accept two separate forces of good and evil. They know it is not so simple as that. Good intentions and actions, if misplaced, can have an evil effect. Equally so, if somebody tries to do you a bad turn, it could turn out to your ultimate benefit, for, in the long run, man is not the arbiter.

The Pentagram, one point uppermost, represents a human being: head, arms and legs. It also represents solar force, or the Pentagram of summer. With two points uppermost, it is the Pentacle of winter, when the earth is moving away from the sun, nights are longer and the moon rides the sky longer by night than the sun by day.

So we get solar and lunar force, or male and female, as the basic teaching of the Pentagram. Sun and males are not necessarily good and positive, or the moon and females evil and negative. Both are, in fact, essential to each other. So is light and darkness, for plants need first the dark of the earth to nurture them, then the light of the sun to develop their growth. Winter is as necessary as summer; the moon as important as the sun.

The correct interpretation of the solar or Light Pentagram is growth and development of power and ideas; that of the lunar two-pointed Pentagram is conception of power and ideas, which is why there are two Tau crosses, like T’s, in the design.

One of the most absurd translations of the two Pentagrams is to regard the solar one as representing Adam and Eve and the lunar one as Samael and Lilith. This fallacy crops up over and again. To begin with, Samael, an Angel of God, has been confused with Samiatz, the destroyer, and Lilith wrongly accepted as the evil counterpart of Eve. The whole idea that a two-point-up Pentagram is evil comes from this ignorant confusion of Samael, an angel, with Samiatz, or the destructive urge within mankind.

The mystic sigil below the dual pentagrams is no more than a signature of planetary forces working through solar and lunar seasons to bring about results. Examine it carefully, and you will see it is composed of the astrological signs for Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn, the seven planets known to the ancients. Yet, in recent years, somebody told me of terrible things happening because they had copied out this symbol to use as a mascot.

In fact, nothing dire could have happened through the use of such an innocent device. It is as absurd to believe that as to try to use it as a mascot. It is merely one of those blanket-term symbols which say a whole lot in a very few lines . . . a kind of magical shorthand.

Simply translated, these symbols of the Great Priest (and he has many more) represent the acceptance of the need for light and dark, or positive and negative, of male and female forces, and of sun and moon, while the Tau Cross is a reverential symbol just as is the Cross of Christianity, but a much older one.

Their placement means that “by understanding and reverence I desire to know”.

The planetary amalgam signature is alchemical, representing inter-acting elements and forces, based on the idea that all planets and powers work by and through each other. At the same time it is an Invocation that, by their respective angels, such forces and powers should lead to understanding and love of the Divine (or occult) laws, and the betterment of mankind.
[Prediction, February 1963]

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