Stories of the Tableau 2

High Priestess – Hermit – Tower

The fast track to enlightenment is to travel directly down the second column of the Tableau. It is the monk’s path; one of self denial, discipline and exacting will power that ends in a shattering self realization of the nature of illusion. 

The High Priestess, dependable in her spiritual nature, is the Tarot’s initial symbol of the subconscious. Her crown, depicting the phases of the moon and her gown, being the source of all water in the deck speak to the rhythmic nature of spiritual life. Her spiritual goal is reached by honouring not only the knowledge gained through disciplined study of scripted texts (her scroll) but also an understanding of her intuition (the Water). In order to remain focused on her teachings she denies her binary nature, hence she sits as the neutral pillar of the the Tree of Life. Often the veil behind her is associated with her virginity but the concept of virginity is a mistranslation of the word intact. Which means she is beholden to no one but herself; self realized, self actuating and autonomous. 

The Hermit, disciplined and focused, is a symbol of the conscious. Denying all creature comforts and the distraction of community he has intentionally followed a path of isolation to obtain wisdom. It is the only thing on his mind as shown to us by the shape of his hat. (Yod – Hebrew letter referring to wisdom) He also denies his binary nature and stands as the neutral pillar of the tree of life. 

Primarily their journey must be a solitary one but in their rolls they are forced to make themselves available to others seeking guidance. This speaks to the idea that your spiritual path to enlightenment should be a private one yet you will still be distracted by daily life. As it is with us it is with them as during their dealings with their followers our duo may not notice the tower they build. It is easy to be distracted by power and ego especially if the teachings are highly regarded.

But, as the sun shall surely rise, the day of enlightenment will surely arrive. A realization that topples both the subconscious (The High Priestess) and the conscious (the Hermit) from their illusion of attachment. The success of this journey to enlightenment is determined by how well you land after the fall.

Today I contemplate the nature of enlightenment. It is easy to be distracted by self realization and the desire to share the revelations, but that is the path of ego and pride and will only take you further from your goal.  

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