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Join Date: 13 Aug 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 4,236
Lovers: Woman instrument of Secret Law of Providence?

In the PKT Waite says:
"The suggestion in respect of the woman is that she signifies that attraction towards the sensitive life which carries within it the idea of the Fall of Man, but she is rather the working of a Secret Law of Providence than a willing and conscious temptress."
This is a perplexing mystery. The only way I can see of interpreting it is Providence preordained the Fall with the woman serving as an unwitting instrument for its accomplishment. I have a couple of questions:

1. Are there any alternative interpretations than that which I stated above?

2. Is there anything in the old literature from which Waite would've gotten this idea. I've done some digging but so far found nothing; every account of the Fall I've found mentions nothing like this.
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Old 15-09-2016 Limited time only: Chat live with a Tarot reader now and get 50% off!     Top   #1
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Ahh, just found something that could be an answer, though not a smoking gun necessarily.

It's in Waite's Secret Doctrine in Israel. He talks about the roles of Samael and the serpent in the Fall, according to the Zohar. The demon Samael—who rides upon the back of the serpent—plays the role of tempter, not the woman; both the man and woman give in to temptation and seal their fates, but Samael is God's messenger as the tempter.
"There is a distinction made in the Zohar between the serpent mentioned in Genesis and him who rode thereon. It is said that the serpent was female and was she who is called the Prostituted Woman. She was the wife of him who rode upon her back, and this was Samael the death-angel. . . .Samael is the tempter-spirit whose purpose is to put man to the test. . ."
"We shall have to take back into our hearts every primitive form of thought before we shall consent to believe that the Holy One, blessed be He, created the tempter-spirit so that He might put man to the test; but this is one of the theses, as we have seen, and it follows in such case that 'he is also God’s minister.' Perhaps it is for this reason that there is a counsel not to affront the demon, since in virtue of such an imposed office he would be sacred, like the executioner."
In the PKT Waite is clarifying the symbolism: she's not that "attraction towards the sensitive life. . ." nor is she a temptress; she is that through which "man shall arise ultimately. . ." and "the great mystery of womanhood."
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Old 15-09-2016 Limited time only: Chat live with a Tarot reader now and get 50% off!     Top   #2
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The idea of the Fall is in this card to a certain extent, especially the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and the serpent of temptation, suggesting what will happen; but that doesn't seem to be the main idea Waite's trying to get across.

After thinking about this some more, it seems to me the "Secret Law of Providence" to which Waite refers is specifically that Providence which makes the woman man's means of ultimate recovery. I thought he was saying the Fall was also part of that Providence; and it seems clear enough—from the Zohar at least—that the temptation was part of God's plan, but I don't think that's exactly what Waite is dealing with here. He seems to be illustrating the state of perfection before the Fall and womanhood as man's means of arising after the Fall.

Last edited by Abrac; 15-09-2016 at 06:28.
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Old 15-09-2016 Limited time only: Chat live with a Tarot reader now and get 50% off!     Top   #3
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Ran across something that provides some excellent insight to what Waite probably means here. It's from A Suggestive Inquiry into the Hermetic Mystery, 1850, by Mary Anne Atwood. It's from a personal correspondence dated 1901:
"Why he fell or was allowed to fall is not, either, inexplicable under the eternal free-will concept—of a yet higher good to be gained than was otherwise attainable. By the free-will return in grateful submission, the highest realisation of Deity is accomplished, and it will be accomplished when the times are ripe."
I can see a similar ideology in Waite, though he doesn't explain himself. They were allowed to fall because the Law of Providence had destined them for greater things, things that weren't possible any other way. The woman's "lapse" made it all possible; and because it was she who lapsed, it is through her regeneration that "man shall arise ultimately." I believe all of this is symbolic, the woman representing the soul, whether in a man or woman.

Waite acknowledges Atwood's influence in 1893 in his Azoth, or The Star in the East; and he refers to her book frequently throughout his writings:
"We refer to that epoch-making book which was published in 1850, under the title, A Suggestive Inquiry into the Hermetic Mystery and Alchemy. Without being committed to the entire scope of its doctrine, we gratefully acknowledge that it has been a source of help and leading, and has chiefly impelled our researches into the transcendental activities of Azoth, and the supreme mystery of spiritual evolution."
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Old 04-10-2016 Limited time only: Chat live with a Tarot reader now and get 50% off!     Top   #4
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I'm not sure if you're seeking an answer to something specific here - because we'll probably never get one!

What I will say is that before we were fixed in solid form we could enter and leave form at will. This may represent our state in the so called Eden/Spirit life. We know the snake as wisdom but also a bit of a cunning dude. The apple represents the sweetness and pleasure of that fruit - and any of the other physical pleasures we got attached to that meant we were no longer able to get back into the garden of Eden (leave and enter physical form at will).

Man is higher than the angels supposedly - something to do with them never having entered into physical form. So in that sense, they're pure and untainted and haven't been tempted by the entering and leaving at will aspect: but they're lacking a little something - experience. The woman being the vessel of childbirth and therefore the conduit for life which continues the evolutionary cycle which will clean us up so to speak, is providential, evidently. Sometimes I like to look at the origins of words, their dictionary meanings to get a fuller understanding of what is typically known, as words do seem to change their meaning through time. What does Waite understand providence to be?

Woman is written in the bible as the cause of our fall - but there are symbols with the apple and snake that tell us something more. Eve wasn't necessarily the temptress, because Adam could have said no - God told him not to eat from the tree, not her. Eve was created as a way out of the mess - even if she supposedly got us into it.

Doubt I've contributed anything to your search!

Last edited by JoyousGirl; 09-10-2016 at 22:15.
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Old 09-10-2016 Limited time only: Chat live with a Tarot reader now and get 50% off!     Top   #5
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The question I had, which perhaps wasn't framed very well, is about the "Secret Law of Providence." Why would it deliberately work to manufacture our Fall, or at least allow it? Mary Anne Atwood's explanation seems to be a pretty good one and satisfies for now; though not directly from Waite, she was an important influence.

By "Providence" Waite seems to mean Divine purpose or a conscious intent as these quotes from his memoir demonstrate:
"It may have been about this time that we were walking out, once on an afternoon, when it pleased God to send us rain in summer, and we were driven into the refuge of a Church. That gates may open strangely, on strange unknown realms, is on record full often in the high romance of mind. They open on the Land of Psyche and also on the Land of Nous. Moreover, rain in summer may itself be even as a figurative golden gate. It was eminently such in this case, for that towards which it led me was world without end in God. Was it not a Guardian Angel which set the Church-door ajar and took us safely in? It happened also, because of the Providence which works in sacred darkness to shape great ends and true, that a certain Father Rooke was found within. . . ."
"The books of my childhood were few and far between; but the Providence which shapes our ends to insure its own purpose was at work among them."
I've also entertained the idea of woman as the vessel of childbirth and conduit of life. It has a lot of things in its favor. As one example, God said to the serpent after the Fall, "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel." The woman's offspring will ultimately defeat the serpent, though only after many trials.

In Waite's description he says something specific so I believe there is a specific answer, it's just a matter of discovering it. It may take time, and may or may not yield fruit; but one thing's for sure—if one doesn't seek, one will certainly never find.

Last edited by Abrac; 11-10-2016 at 01:17.
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Old 10-10-2016 Limited time only: Chat live with a Tarot reader now and get 50% off!     Top   #6
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The seeking is like finding little hidden pieces of treasure as we go along. Perhaps life is a treasure hunt, and we're given maps such as the things we read, the sights and visions we see and find magic in - the little ecstasies we feel and epiphanies we are in awe of. Sometimes these treasures and other cannot be shared with others: they are our own precious secret, our own peculiar gifts. The musing is a delight, the answers that come tease us to keep searching.

Waite is likely leading you to a door: you search around the door for the hidden key, then find it and step through the door into a new universe of understanding. There are then other doors and universes. But on the way, we create doors and hide keys of our own which others may step through and they then create their own which we step through. But the keys need to be hidden, or at the least we should have many doors to try before a door opens.

Gene Wilder in the boat in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory comes to mind "The suspense is killing me, I hope it lasts". And I have learnt (however difficult it was to accept) that I will not know it all - for this divine providence you speak of is continually creating. Happy travels and Eureka moments!
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The following is from the 1918 updated version of Atwood's A Suggestive Inquiry. It has an Appendix which contains a series of her private memoranda and reflections on Hermeticism. This particular one gives a bit more detail on her metaphisics of the Fall and Restoration.
"94. The strength of the attraction of that which is above (the feminine principle,—Wisdom,—the heart life), forces, draws, attracts, as by a magnet, the self-willed source upwards, so that this latter becomes transmuted into a passive feminine principle. The draw up is sudden and as at an instant; a sudden force of admiration does it; it is love which attracts. Nothing else could move that principle from its self-conscious centre into self-oblivion. The seed of this life, the paternal principle, is drawn up. As the feminine spirit is the cause of the Fall, so is it in an advanced stage, you know, the cause of the restoration when it advances up there. When the attraction is placed above instead of below, a restoration of what was lost takes place and more also; if Paradise regained were merely the old Paradise regained, why, then, the Fall would be a thing to be wondered at and deplored; but seeing that it promises in the restoration a much greater good (for the second Adam is greater than the first) may we not regard it as in accordance with the "eternal purpose, purposed in Christ Jesus, our Lord?"

Last edited by Abrac; 13-11-2016 at 04:29.
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