Lovers and Devil Comparison


I decided to make a comparison of the Lovers and the Devil. I also included Levi's Baphomet to illustrate how Waite drew on it for inspiration. In Transcendental Magic Levi says the torch between the two horns represents the balancing intelligence; a little further down he says, "On its forehead, between the horns and beneath the torch, is the sign of the microcosm, or the pentagram with one beam in the ascendant, symbol of human intelligence, which, placed thus below the torch, makes the flame of the latter an image of divine revelation." The torch and flame together seem to symbolize Divine intelligence and a harmonizing factor. In Waite's Devil everything's reversed. The elements are in the highest position over both Divine intelligence and human intelligence; but human intelligence is superior to Divine intelligence. All this makes for an unbalanced and chaotic situation.

This is by no means a finished product; it's an illustration of my understanding of things at this point in time. :)

Lovers, Devil and Baphomet


Regarding the "sign of "Mercury"

In Waite's description of the Devil he says there's the sign of Mercury at the lower part of the stomach. This presents some problems as there's nothing resembling a Mercury glyph. All I see is something that sort of looks like a crescent, but it's not all that convincing of a crescent either.

Pit of Stomach

My conclusion is it's neither, but a regular belly button like what's in most Marseille Devils. It's a sign of Mercury because that's what Waite says it represents (not necessarily what it looks like); and its importance is in its location and what Mercury represented to Waite.

Waite saw the return journey to Oneness as a series of steps primarily on the central pillar of the Tree. For him, the central pillar represented Mind, or Mercury (the left pillar being Desire or Sulphur and the right pillar Will or Salt). Progress involved stages of progressively more "fixed and volatilized" states of Mind. Yesod represented the natural mind (the Moon card with its "nameless and hideous" tendencies); Tiphareth was a yet higher state of Mind in fixity, and so on through Daath to Kether.

"The Mercury of the Sages is that which must be fixed and volatilised—naturally it is fluidic and wandering."—Hidden Church of the Holy Graal, 1909​

To me it seems Waite is indicating by the "sign of Mercury," Mind in its natural state in Yesod. :)