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Raphael in The Lovers

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On a different Angel theme, the 'red' wings come to mind that are shared with the Angel on Judgement. Samael as been associated with Mars and Geburah and the fiery colour red.He seems to have conflicting roles, that of tempter and accuser, serpent (Eden,Lovers) etc.. while still working for God as one of the seven archangels, the Angel of destruction (Judgement).

He is supposedly from the fifth heaven, though resides in the seventh because of the presence of the throne of Glory. (Shekinah)
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John Michael Greer, in his Encyclopedia of the Occult, describes two traditions about Metatron:
"There are two different traditions about Metatron's place in Heaven. One pictures him as an angel created at or before the creation of the world, and sees him as the most exalted spiritual power created by God."
He goes on to describe the second as the Enoch tradition.

I'm not sure Shekinah in the Trinick image is supposed to be an angel. Waite often refers to Shekinah with wings, using the phrase "the wings of Shekinah."

The W-S Lovers appears to me to reflect ideas from the Zohar, including the mystery of sex and earthly matrimony. These are discussed in The Secret Doctrine in Israel and The Holy Kabbalah. Actually there's still a lot about this particular image I'm curious about. The Trinick image reflects Waite's own mysticism more clearly, especially the union of soul and spirit as illustrated by the holding of hands.
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The W-S Lovers appears to me to reflect ideas from the Zohar, including the mystery of sex and earthly matrimony. These are discussed in The Secret Doctrine in Israel and The Holy Kabbalah. Actually there's still a lot about this particular image I'm curious about. The Trinick image reflects Waite's own mysticism more clearly, especially the union of soul and spirit as illustrated by the holding of hands.

Do you have actual quotes reflecting ideas from the Zohar?
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Many people believe the RWS symbolism is supposed to be secretive. If figures in the RWS looks like obviously something or someone, then probably it isn't?
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I don't have quotes from the Zohar itself, only Waite's material in his books. In reading the section on "The Mystery of Sex" I seemed to see suggestions of influence for the Lovers, but it could just be me. The Secret Doctrine in Israel can be downloaded from Internet Archive. You might check it out and see if you find anything interesting.
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I did some digging and found quite a few references regarding Waite's use of the phrase, "the way, the truth and the life." The following should be enough to give a sense as to what he means; it's the mystic "path of attainment." This helps clarify his statement in the PKT, "This is in all simplicity the card of human love, here exhibited as part of the way, the truth and the life."
"I have no need to affirm that the secret tradition, either in the East or the West, has been always an open secret in respect of the root-principles concerning the Way, the Truth and the Life."—Occult Review, vol. 8, no. 4, October 1908, "The Hermetic and Rosicrucian Mystery."
"It is idle to decode books of secret doctrine unless they have something more definite to tell us concerning the way, the truth and the life."—The Secret Doctrine in Israel, "The Mystery of Shekinah," pg. 227.
"There is no question that Mysticism is much simpler on a pure theistic basis than on any Trinitarian hypothesis, but the Christ-process remains the Way, the Truth and the Life from either doctrinal standpoint."—The Way of Divine Union, ch. 16, The Way of Attainment, pg. 320
"By a dispensation given from above, as from a Great and Holy Assembly, abiding in a Sanctuary not made with hands, hidden within the Veil, the Hierarchic Mystery of Christ was declared in space and time, by the manifestation of our Lord and Saviour. He is to us in an especial manner the Great Exemplar of initiation—its way, its truth and its life. He exhibited the path and term, no longer in Rites and Symbols, but in the form of life. . ."—Fellowship of the Rosy Cross Adeptus Minor Initiation
"In the Grade of Adeptus Minor the Postulant is put definitely on the Path of Attainment, understood as the Way, the Truth and the Life which are in Christ. . . ."—Fellowship of the Rosy Cross Adeptus Minor Initiation
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I found a really good quote in Lamps of Western Mysticism. It's a little long but worth a read, imo. It's Waite talking about realization as a path of love, and the relationship between human love and love for God.
"I have been charged with dwelling on the difficulties of the mystic life, as if they were difficulties of so-called occult sciences: but the kind of love which is implied in the Thomist definition is not brought to birth easily, and it is implied from the beginning of the life. May I put it in the most familiar of all language by saying that it is proposed from the beginning that we should fall in love with God? The expression is very common and I suppose that it would be called vulgar, but like many such formulæ there is a real truth within it, and 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. Realisation depends on love, and the difficulty is to begin by loving that which is unrealised, or God before we have found Him. The absent Beauty is not indeed really absent if God is always within, but we have not found that centre wherein is His sanctuary. How are we to reach the 'pure and deep centre' wherein—according to Molinos—abides the Image? It is said that the deepest love is called forth by a known, experimental possession of God; but how is that love called forth which leads to this state when we are far indeed from its attainment? The very language of such love is an unknown tongue to those who have never fallen from their self-centre.

Poulain expresses a great truth when he intimates, a little obscurely, that the will to love is the first secret of love. Now this lies within the capacity of us all, and this is the first step. It is the putting forth of such will in exercise, the continued maintenance of its activity, and unreserved abandonment to its direction. In the steadfast simplicity of the whole subject it may be termed otherwise the will to union. It is also the state of loving God always as the chief implicit of the mind. The great gifts of the spirit and the unspeakable gifts of understanding come to us in this way, by a continual occupation of the mind with the Divine object, in a practice followed by the whole mind. In the proper understanding this is a state of mystic prayer, and such prayer is a state of life. I have said elsewhere that the human lover needs no counsels of preoccupation with the beloved object and no processes to insure it. It belongs to the kind of devotion which cannot help itself. Devotion is love, says Ruysbroeck, or at least the flame of love. The work of the will can produce this state within us in respect of the Divine object. There is no question that at the beginning of the business the work of the will has to be done with our might, and if I must use the terms of convention there may be solitudes to seek and hours to set apart for the construction of loving purpose. The daily work indeed is auto-suggestion of the mind towards God, and that which it brings to pass later or sooner is a telepathic communication between the mind and God. I can tell you that the time comes, and rather soon in many cases, when the work does itself within us, and while it suffers little interference from the ways of life without, it does not hinder these.

When once the ground has been thoroughly broken up—to use rather a crass image—it is not essentially more difficult for a man of affairs who is a man of spiritual honour to be a true and living lover of God than it is to be a human lover in any houses of exchange. The condition is of course trueness, which seems to me another term for unconditional devotion. The secret is the leading of the spirit: and the 'kindly light' leads. It is even from step to step, from the wordless prayer of purpose, shaping will, to that ever deeper prayer which marks the stages of experience in union with Divine love. As the Curé D’Ars said, the best prayer of all is that of delight in the Presence, when the Lamp of the Sanctuary shines at the hour of Exposition on the Altar of the soul. But this is the Prayer of Attainment."—Lamps of Western Mysticism, pp. 285, 286.
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Originally Posted by Abrac View Post
I don't have quotes from the Zohar itself, only Waite's material in his books. In reading the section on "The Mystery of Sex" I seemed to see suggestions of influence for the Lovers, but it could just be me. The Secret Doctrine in Israel can be downloaded from Internet Archive. You might check it out and see if you find anything interesting.
Interesting sources from Waite's work. I have never known that Waite had written so much about Kabbalah and Mysticism before.

It looks like to me, his symbolism in the Lovers card is multi layered, and generalised meaning rather than the card to be framed into particular Angels or events in history or religion.

It seems would be more practical to understand that way, so the deck's symbolism could be applied into myriad of individual cases in life in divination, rather than the other way around.

ETA: For instance, if a buddhist tarot reader uses the RWS deck, he wouldn't resonate with the conjecture saying that the centre figure in the Lovers card is Rafael or whoever angel they are trying to say. It would resonate him more if the figure were a spiritual being existing in heaven or earth. Then he could try to see it as Buddah himself or one of Buddah's messenger / secretary in the readings?
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I agree, if a person wants to use the deck for divination and has no real interest in understanding Waite's underlying philosophy then there's really no need to; but I don't believe the symbolism is intended only in a generalized sense, that's the genius of Waite's symbolism. The deck was designed and presented as a divination deck, it can be used by anyone and they'll see in it what they want to see; but Waite had definite ideas as to what the symbols represent at their core. Their meaning is hiding in plain sight and can be understood if a person desires to do so and puts forth a little effort. As he explains in the PKT, the symbols represent "all the implicits of the human mind," that is, everyone has the potential to know the secret doctrine but few ever discover it. From the PKT, "The Tarot and Secret Tradition":
"The Tarot embodies symbolical presentations of universal ideas, behind which lie all the implicits of the human mind, and it is in this sense that they contain secret doctrine, which is the realization by the few, of truths imbedded in the consciousness of all, though they have not passed into express recognition by ordinary men."
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abrac View Post
I agree, if a person wants to use the deck for divination and has no real interest in understanding Waite's underlying philosophy then there's really no need to; but I don't believe the symbolism is intended only in a generalized sense, that's the genius of Waite's symbolism. The deck was designed and presented as a divination deck, it can be used by anyone and they'll see in it what they want to see; but Waite had definite ideas as to what the symbols represent at their core. Their meaning is hiding in plain sight and can be understood if a person desires to do so and puts forth a little effort. As he explains in the PKT, the symbols represent "all the implicits of the human mind," that is, everyone has the potential to know the secret doctrine but few ever discover it. From the PKT, "The Tarot and Secret Tradition":
"The Tarot embodies symbolical presentations of universal ideas, behind which lie all the implicits of the human mind, and it is in this sense that they contain secret doctrine, which is the realization by the few, of truths imbedded in the consciousness of all, though they have not passed into express recognition by ordinary men."
Waite a minute What was his underlying intention of hiding the Tarot symbolism? What was his underlying philosophy?

I roughly read from somewhere that he was critical to conventional Christianity with lack of mysticism practiced in churches at the time.

ETA: Ok, his idea that people can find the true symbolism in the Tarot, if they tried. But I am not quite understanding the reasons behind that process / philosophy - would there be some massive benefits in spiritual or divinatory sense? Or could it not be regarded as time consuming pointless treasure hunt game by some cynics? I am just curious.
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