Aeclectic Tarot
Tarot Cards & Reviews Tarot Card Meanings Tarot Books Free Tarot Readings Forum Community What's New

  Aeclectic Tarot Forum > Tarot Special Interest > Rider-Waite-Smith

Welcome to the Aeclectic Tarot Forum!

We are the oldest and largest Tarot forum community on the Internet. If you have any questions about any aspect of Tarot or using your Tarot cards, or you just want to connect with other Tarot lovers, you've found the right place!

Registering your account is completely free, and allows you to post your thoughts, share readings, search, save threads, view extra boards and more.

  post a reply
Thread Tools
Join Date: 13 Aug 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 4,338
Panels on Magician's table edge

I think I may have finally cracked Waite's meaning for those three symbols on the edge of the Magician's table. If I'm right, they're related to Salt, Sulphur and Mercury but not in a way I was expecting. The first and third ones aren't that difficult, Water and Spirit respectively; it's the middle one that's always had me stumped. I believe it's supposed to be Blood. Let me first share this quote that's found in the Latin Vulgate and King James versions of the New Testament, then I'll explain more with quotes from Levi and Waite.
"For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one." —1 John 5:7-8.
After doing some research I discovered this quote is found quite a bit in Occult and Hermetic literature. Levi and Waite actually explain it in a fairly straightforward manner. Here's Levi from Transcendental Magic:
"The double triangle of Solomon is explained by St. John in a remarkable manner. He says, 'There are three which give record in heaven—the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit'; and 'there are three which give testimony on earth—the spirit, the water and the blood.' Thus, St. John agrees with the masters of Hermetic philosophy, who attribute to their Sulphur the name of Ether; to their Mercury that of Philosophical Water; and to their Salt the qualification of the Dragon's Blood or Menstruum of the Earth.

Blood or Salt corresponds by opposition with the Father; Azotic or Mercurial Water with the Word, or LOGOS; and the Ether with the Holy Spirit. But the things of transcendent symbolism can only be understood rightly by the true children of science."
By "double triangle of Solomon" I assume he means this image; that's how he identifies it in the book at least. It illustrates the conjunction of Macrocosm and Microcosm, or heaven and earth if you will. He identifies the Blood, or Dragon's Blood with Salt; Ether (Spirit) with Sulphur; and Water with Mercury. These correspond below to that which is above: Salt (Blood) = Father, Sulphur (Spirit) = Holy Spirit, and Mercury (Water) = Word, or LOGOS.

Waite's correspondences are different but the idea's the same, that which is above in correspondence that which is below.
"Think for a moment of that which is signified by the versicles of the Chief Adept when the stigmata are impressed upon him. They refer to the Triad in the Archetype and because of the correspondence between things above and below they refer also to the Triad in humanity; to the Spirit, which is the Divine part; to the Water which is the psychic part; to the Blood, which is the life in Nephesh, the animal part;"—Gilbert, Hermetic Papers of A. E. Waite, "The Allocution of the 5 = 6 Grade."
"The triad of Supernals bears testimony to that triad which is below, the Spirit, the water and the blood; the spirit which is the self-knowing part; the water, which is the psychic part; and the blood which is the part of the body of man."—Gilbert, Ibid.
Waite also quotes from 1 John in his FRC Adeptus Minor initiation: "There are three that bear witness on earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one." So this idea of Water, Blood and Spirit wasn't something foreign to Waite. The middle panel looks to me to almost resemble a dragon with its mouth open, a play on Levi's "Dragon Blood," but that might just be coincidence.

Magician Table Edge Pic
Abrac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-08-2016     Top   #1
Join Date: 29 May 2016
Location: N/A
Posts: 46

Are you compiling these into a paper? If not then you absolutely should
didactic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-08-2016     Top   #2
Join Date: 13 Aug 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 4,338

I just have a lot of spare time on my hands right now to do research, and I enjoy it; but it's not something I see as a big part of my life long term.
Abrac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-08-2016     Top   #3
Join Date: 13 Aug 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 4,338

In the FRC Zelator initiatin ritual Waite makes a cryptic comment without much of an explanation, but I think I may have found the key. He says:
"In the mystical name Adam, the letter Aleph looketh toward the Supreme Crown; the letter Mem looketh toward the Great Mother in Binah, who is the Divine Mother of souls; but the letter Daleth looketh toward the Sephirah Malkuth and the Bride in manifestation."
I believe the statement "looketh toward" must mean something akin to "in correspondence with."

Aleph = Kether = Divine Essence.
Daleth = Malkuth = Manifestation.
Mem = Binah = Waters of Creation.

These three are in correspondence with the panels on the edge of the Magician's table.

Bird = Divine Essence.
Blood = Life substance of the physical body.
Water = Source and sustainer of life.

They also correspond to the human triplicity to which Waite refers frequently.

Bird = Spirit.
Blood = Body.
Water = Soul.

These are the parts which make up "Adam." This also gives a bit more meaning to Waite's comment in the PKT: "It is also the unity of individual being on all planes . . ."

Last edited by Abrac; 03-01-2017 at 06:17.
Abrac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2017     Top   #4
Join Date: 16 Jan 2014
Location: Abu Dhabi UAE
Posts: 35
Panels on Magicians Table and Temperance

Great insight Abrac .
Could the Magician's three panels and four tools be linked to the triangle and square on Temperance I wonder ?

Perhaps the next thing to try to understand would be if there are correspondences between the Father , Word ( Son ) and Spirit , the Body Soul and Spirit , the Salt Sulphur and Mercury , and the three columns of the TOL as Desire Will and Mind ?

And what this all might mean.

Last edited by parsival; 04-01-2017 at 04:16.
parsival is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2017     Top   #5
Join Date: 13 Aug 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 4,338

I never thought about it, but the four and three might connect with Temperance. In Waite's comments above in post #1, he draws correspondence between the Supernal triad and the triad in humanity. Those panels on the Magician's table could symbolize the influence of the Supernals working within the material world. By the same token in Temperance, the triangle could represent something similar, the ternary working within the quaternary. It makes you think.
Abrac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2017     Top   #6
Join Date: 13 Aug 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 4,338

Have a look at this pic of the Magician. One picture's worth a thousand words.

He might represent Adam Microprosopus (Lesser Countenance). If so, you have Microprosopus side-by-side with the Shekinah card, the High Priestess.

Last edited by Abrac; 04-01-2017 at 10:31.
Abrac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2017     Top   #7
  post a reply

Latest Threads in Tarot Decks

Latest Threads in Talking Tarot

Latest Threads in Using Tarot Cards

Go ad-free and support us too - upgrade your account to subscriber today

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On

All times are GMT +10. The time now is 18:23.


Tarot Forum Categories
· Tarot Decks
· Using Tarot Cards
· Tarot Trading
· Talking Tarot
· Reading Exchange
· Your Readings
· Tarot Games & Fun
· Tarot Deck Creation
· Marseilles
· Rider-Waite-Smith
· Thoth Tarot
· Tarot Study Groups
· Lenormand
· Oracles
· Divination
· Spirituality
· Chat
· New Members
· Advertisements
· Forum Help

Aeclectic Tarot Categories
· Dark & Gothic Decks
· Steampunk Decks
· Goddess Decks
· Angel Decks
· Fairy Decks
· Dragon Decks
· Beginner Decks
· Pagan & Wiccan Decks
· Ancient Egyptian Decks
· Celtic Decks
· Fantasy Decks
· Tarot Books
· Lenormand Decks
· Rider-Waite Decks
· Marseilles Decks
· Thoth Decks
· Oracle Decks
· Doreen Virtue Decks
· Popular Tarot Decks
· Available Decks
· Upcoming Decks
· Solandia's Top Ten
· Top Ten Decks
· List All Decks

Who is behind the Aeclectic Tarot Forum?

My name is Kate Hill (also known as Solandia) and I'm a Tarot reader, deck collector, and lifelong student of the beauty and diversity of Tarot cards.

I created Aeclectic in 1996 to share my passion for Tarot with the world, and started the forum in 2000 so others could share theirs too. Read more about me, contact me or connect in the forum.

  Contribute to Aeclectic

· Add your deck
· Advertise
· Write a review
· Join the community

  Aeclectic Tarot Resources

Copyright © 1996 - 2017 Aeclectic Tarot. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy. Contact us.