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Raphael in The Lovers

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Originally Posted by Abrac View Post
smw, I just woke up and read this. I'll read it more thoroughly later on, but my first thought is Shekinah in transcendence makes sense. There's the higher Eden and the lower Eden with Shikinah manifesting from above in the form of Metatron (at least I think it could be).
Shekinah in transcendence.. yes... I'm still shocked this morning on reading the forum is closing.
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Okay, now that I've had my caffeine fix.

I can see the Trinick Lovers as representing the rising of Shekinah in manifestation. If I understand you though, I'm not sure I agree the W-S Lovers represents a split necessarily. To me the main difference between the W-S and the Trinick Lovers is the W-S Lovers seems to represent an unseen or essential unity whereas in the Trinick Lovers the physical as well as the essential is shown.

The W-S image represents Eden before the Fall, which to me suggests there would still be unity. Granted they aren't holding hands, but Waite says it is "the card of human love, here exhibited as part of the way, the truth and the life"; this seems to suggest an essential unity if not a physical one. Their palms are open in a welcoming gesture toward one another. In the Genesis account (1:28), it says, "And God blessed them. And God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.' " What we may be seeing in the W-S Lovers is God blessing them through His presence Shekinah. The man and woman have not yet been told to multiply and thus have not consummated their union. The PKT says, "The figures suggest youth, virginity, innocence and love. . ." I intentionally left off the last part of the sentence because it opens up a whole other can or worms and isn't particularly relevant in the present context.
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Cool The winged figure unites the two


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Originally Posted by foolMoon View Post
Looking at the Lovers card, the 2x trees in the image caught my attention. The one behind the female has a snake / serpent wrapped around it, and it seems climbing up the tree, and staring at the female as if it is talking to her, or trying to attack maybe?. The one behind the male is just a plain tree. Are they supposed to mean Tree of Life? and its significance in the practice and experience of the union perhaps?
From earlier quotes by Waite noted in this thread, it seems to me (excuse me if I'm stating the obvious) that the two trees are meant to represent the two pillars. This is why the Lovers are apart and not holding hands. It is the Winged figure that links them. That is how they "hold hands" and connect, by way of that divine spirit.

Thus, Waite makes sure to indicate that the Love between them isn't base and physical. But the serpent there indicates that they could give into temptation and fall into physical connection, into mistaking that a physical connection is love. It's rather socratic, actually. What we think is solid and real isn't, and we need to reach for what is.

Here in Eden, before the fall, the lovers have that connection, and so hand holding is not necessary. Even being in the same space is not necessary. The Pillars are "united" into one by the winged figure. Which makes that figure both outside of them as a power, but also emblematic of their twin souls united as one on a higher plane.
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Originally Posted by Abrac View Post
I found a really good quote in Lamps of Western Mysticism.
"...I am haunted with a feeling that it was used once by St. Thomas. Most of us have known its experience in the human order. The fall is from the sufficiency of self in its own centre. The love of any object in humanity decentralises the true lover. It transfers preoccupation from the self within us to the self without of another. It is an absorption in contemplation of the visible beauty. But mystic love implies the secret of contemplative absorption in an absent beauty, and it is the realisation of this beauty in the heart of mind. ...
This suggests to me that Waite does see Eden as a place where the lovers were united by their mutual love of the divine, and the winged figure is indicative of that love. It is a love which focuses on the divine, but in doing so, partners them as well. Physically, they're not together, but that's right because if they were, they'd be in love with each other, and that would mean that they'd lost their way, lost that higher connection.

If so, then for Waite, a true love, and a true marriage, has to be one brought together by a mutual love of the divine and dedication to a higher power.

The fall, it would seem, for Waite is giving into love for another and losing sight of the divine. The temptation to give into that is there with the snake behind Eve. Once it happens, men have to take a more difficult path to get back to that Eden. The path of the tarot, which goes between the pillars. The path between the Tree of knowledge and that of Life.

Maybe?
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Thirteen, I like your observation that their union is based on a shared love for the Divine, makes perfect sense.

The tree on the left suggests the sensitive life. Waite alludes to this by mentioning that there may be an inclination to think the woman signifies an attraction toward the sensitive life. By contrast the tree on the right seems like it would represent the opposite or the spiritual life. Would you agree? If so, how would this be reflected in the pillars? Do they have any corresponding attributes?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thirteen View Post
Thus, Waite makes sure to indicate that the Love between them isn't base and physical. But the serpent there indicates that they could give into temptation and fall into physical connection, into mistaking that a physical connection is love. It's rather socratic, actually. What we think is solid and real isn't, and we need to reach for what is.
I recall when I first time saw the RWS deck, and the Lovers card, looking at the naked wman and man, and the title "The Lovers", I immediately imagined physical love between man and woman. There are many RWS based Tarot decks with the Lovers card with only that theme such as "Morgan-Greer Tarot", "Robin Wood Tarot" .... etc etc.

But now, after reading about Kabbala and Tree of Life, and discussions in this thread, I can see the RWS Lovers card has multi layered symbolism - the divine union between the polarity through the two pillars and spiritual being for God. Many Tarot books depict the spiritual being as "Raphael", but it could easily be other angels or religious or spiritual energy that imputes the reader.

I guess that's what make the RWS deck great - it could be used by an atheist who grabs the deck and sees the images with no religious, kabala or Tree of Life concept at all, as well as an experienced Tarot reader who has well read in all the occult fields, magic, and with deep religious background.
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Originally Posted by Abrac View Post
I don't see anything that unreasonable in withholding certain ideas from those who may not be prepared to receive it. It's like trying to explain calculus to someone who doesn't have the prerequisite background material, it can't be done; especially in a book like the PKT which was intended as a basic primer. I don't think he means anything derogatory by it, just a plain statement of fact.
Aren't Esotericism and Occultism supposed to mean the hidden knowledge? Be it Crowley or Waite, were they not building the system under the frame? Nothing derogatory on their writings, just a plain statement of fact, I agree.
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The left pillar is black and definitely corresponds to female; the right one is white and corresponds to male. One way to look at it might be the tree on the left signifies Nature and the tree on the right signifies Grace. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil represents knowledge but it's natural philosophy as opposed to the Tree of Life which represents supernatural philosophy. It's the difference between the Mystery of Nature and that of Grace which Waite alludes to in the PKT description of the Chariot.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abrac View Post
The left pillar is black and definitely corresponds to female; the right one is white and corresponds to male. One way to look at it might be the tree on the left signifies Nature and the tree on the right signifies Grace. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil represents knowledge but it's natural philosophy as opposed to the Tree of Life which represents supernatural philosophy. It's the difference between the Mystery of Nature and that of Grace which Waite alludes to in the PKT description of the Chariot.
I'm going to miss your wisdom and exhaustless research. It's been very insightful to me.
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And I'll also miss barleywine and thirteen's wisdom. When it comes to tarot, kabbalah, occult all of you know so much. I've learned so much even if I don't reply to threads, I am reading them! So much knowledge. I love how you guys all quote occult sources. It helps me in my quest for reading literature as well. Amazing and thank you all so much.
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