Moon crescent under High Priestess foot, why?

Michellehihi

Good evening,
I wonder what the moon crescent under the foot of the high priestess in the RW deck means? Yesterday I was in a church for a concert, and there was a painting of Mother Mary. She was standing on a cloud and had the same foot under a similar moon crescent. There must me a link?
 

Zephyros

The Moon and the High Priestess share some similarities in the Golden Dawn system. The High Priestess is attributed to the Moon as a planet and the Moon itself is attributed to Pisces.

Can't give as long an answer as I would like since I'm on my phone, but in a nutshell the Priestess embodies the higher qualities of the Moon such as intuition, spirituality, the archetypal feminine figure, etc. The Moon conveys the lower aspects of the symbol such as fear, sleep, paranoia and drug use.
 

Michellehihi

The Moon and the High Priestess share some similarities in the Golden Dawn system. The High Priestess is attributed to the Moon as a planet and the Moon itself is attributed to Pisces.

Can't give as long an answer as I would like since I'm on my phone, but in a nutshell the Priestess embodies the higher qualities of the Moon such as intuition, spirituality, the archetypal feminine figure, etc. The Moon conveys the lower aspects of the symbol such as fear, sleep, paranoia and drug use.
Thank you! I don't know much about golden dawn...
But there must be a reason why she is stepping on the moon?

Regarding the painting in the church, this is a very old church in Montreal, so the painting must have been done by a catholic in the years 1800. No chance that he/she knew the golden dawn. Still, Mary is stepping on the moon...
 

Nemia

The Virgin Mary "replaced" many pre-Christian goddesses as feminine aspect of the divine. She shares attributes with the moon goddess Diana, emphasized by the choice of Ephesus, the city with the most famous Diana temple, as place where the dogma of the Theotokos (Mary as bearer of God) was proclaimed in the 5th century (I hope I remember the date correctly).

Christianity consciously "sanctified" Pagan mysteries, beliefs and gods by integrating them. In some Marian prayers, you can still feel the traces of the earlier goddesses. Also Tolkien's Elbereth is an aspect of Mary, associated with the Stars. The hobbits at least twice twice call out to her in emergencies, like a spontaneous prayer, and Elbereth helps. Tolkien, a deeply pious Catholic, knew of course what he was doing in "transposing" the figure of Mary.

The link posted by Crystal Seas explains it better than I can! My personal favorite depiction of the moon sickle madonna is by Albrecht Duerer.
 

Abrac

The crescent symbolizes a couple of things. 1) It represents reflected light. 2) It's a symbol of Shekinah in transcendence, the Moon of heaven as opposed to the Moon of earth. From the Pictorial Key:

"In a manner, she is also the Supernal Mother herself—that is to say, she is the bright reflection. It is in this sense of reflection that her truest and highest name in symbolism is Shekinah—the cohabiting glory. According to Kabalism, there is a Shekinah both above and below. In the superior world it is called Binah, the Supernal Understanding which reflects to the emanations that are beneath. In the lower world it is Malkuth—that world being, for this purpose, understood as a blessed Kingdom—that with which it is made blessed being the Indwelling Glory."​

The symbolism in Christian iconography comes from Revelation 12:1, "And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars." If you read the full passage you'll see it refers to Israel—in a general sense—giving birth to the Christ child; and to Mary in a more specific sense (at least that's my interpretation). This passage of scripture has been interpreted mystically in a variety of ways. Catholics see the woman as Mary, Queen of Heaven. This isn't too far from Waite's "Queen of the borrowed light" or Shekinah above.
 

Michellehihi

Thank you all for your answer, they open new doors for me and I will dig deeper this subject. Such a wonderful forum!!!!!!
 

Michellehihi

I found an image of the painting (internet is such a wonderful invention). It is located in the "Chapelle de Notre-Dame du Bon Secours" in Montreal.

ETA: and we could start a whole new thread on the reaon why she has dozens of flying babies around her!
 

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rachelcat

My mind always goes to Revelation 12: A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.

Mary and this woman of prophecy are both closely associated with the Church, so depictions of Mary often show these attributes.

In tarot, the Priestess has the moon, and the Empress has the stars. Who has the sun? So Waite and Colman Smith divided these attributes of the divine feminine between 2 or 3 cards. Which makes some sense, I guess . . .