The High Priest

Hell Really Exists

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Number: 5 Letter: H He

In this picture we see a male figure with all the insignia of an important dignitary of the church. He is the high priest. He sits upon a throne of which only two posts are visible. There is no longer a curtain between them, for there is nothing to hide any more. The face of the high priest, too, is without a veil. He shows us his face openly, he also has nothing to hide.

His white hair and beard show that he is a spiritual being which will itself never become earthly even though it is active in the earthly-material world. He always remains spiritual.

The high priest wears a yellow tiara with three golden circlets, ending at the top in the symbolic sign of the material world, a cross. The three circlets symbolise the three worlds over which the high priest has power: heaven, earth and hell. He can open or close these to man: he can lead him into or out of them.

His clothing is similar to that of the high priestess. His innermost being is imbued with universal love. For that reason he wears a blue robe on his body. Over it he wears a flowing red cloak covering his whole figure. Through this cloak he reveals his high spirituality. The yellow border indicates that he manifests his spirituality through thoughts and words. The green inner side of die cloak signifies sympathy, goodwill and friendliness.

He wears white gloves with blue crosses on the back. This means that even though he comes into contact with the world of matter, his hands always remain clean in spite of all the impurities of this earthly world. In his left hand he holds a sceptre which ends in a triple cross. Like the golden circlets on his tiara, it symbolises the three worlds: heaven, earth and hell.

Two figures kneel before him. Their clothing in itself reveals that they are two complementary opposites. One has a red collar and dark robe, the other a dark collar and a red robe. One has fair, the other dark hair. Together they symbolise the positive and the negative pole, but at the same time also the two sexes, the positive-masculine and the negative-feminine. They listen to the teaching of the high priest. The dark-haired male figure looks up at him and listens reverently. The fair female figure buries her face in her hands and appears to be afraid. The dark-haired man lays his hand encouragingly on her back. They symbolise the inner spiritual state of a man who is at the level of the tarot card 'high priest'. His positive-masculine nature already has die courage to follow his inner conviction, but the earthly-physical part of him is afraid and makes him feel that he might lose something of value. The trudi, however, works strongly within him and through each new experience he grows more spiritual. This gives him power to live by his deepest conviction. He senses that we do not have to be of this world, even though we live in this world. He knows that he must come to terms with his impulses and bring them under control. He has made such progress in acquiring self-control that he has triumphed over the instinct of self-preservation. He no longer needs food and drink as stimulants. In other words, he has conquered his appetites. Now he still has to put his sex life in order and direct it into the right channels. He understands that he is not only a sexual being but, over and above his sexuality, a human being. He realises that his spirit is sexless, and that if a person awakes and grows conscious in his spirit, he will no longer think of himself as woman' or 'man', but as a 'human being'. He knows that when we reach our goal we become androgynous. Even though his body manifests only one half of the whole, thus one sex, his consciousness is above sexuality. He tries to live according to this insight and to become childlike, even if he does not always succeed.

During this period of work he learns many new truths. He learns from personal experience that his body is not merely an empty shell for his spirit, but that the powers of the spirit pervade the body in the same way as water can saturate every pore of a sponge. And the powers of the body, which flow from the spirit, but already act as physical forces on his consciousness, are just as strong as he is himself because, in the form of matter, these powers are himself. That is why it is so difficult to control these powers in oneself and to remain above them in one's consciousness: because we are confronting ourselves. His higher Self instructs him just as the high priest teaches the two figures. And he sees and understands ever more clearly the close relationships between his spiritual Self and his primitive drives which as yet refuse to release him. The truth, however, is stronger, and he realises that he is able to experience real joys and true, fulfilling love in physical union only if that union is the manifestation of a much deeper spiritual oneness. And he begins to seek in his partner, first and foremost, understanding and friendship, thus an inner relationship and a meeting of the minds. He realises that parallel to his inner life he must also create order and harmony in his outer life in order to solve his problems; and in order to achieve inner satisfaction he must not fail to bring the external and the inner world to a common denominator. Strange to say, fate helps him in this, for as if an invisible power witnessed his inner struggles, Providence brings him fresh possibilities and tasks in his earthly personal life. The mere fact that more and more people come to him to ask his advice and help forces him to abandon his previous way of life. He has got to organise his life in such a way that he can devote more time and energy to his fellow-men. In so doing he himself gets to know life from different angles and learns to occupy himself with the many difficult problems which those seeking help submit to him. And thus he perceives that heaven, earth and hell, do, in fact, exist, not as places but as human states. Just where his good or evil way of life will take him ultimately depends upon man himself. It gradually dawns on him that a suffering man suffers because he has become ready for a new, higher level. The suffering man has reached a new milestone on the great path. The suffering compels him to climb the next step at which his afflictions abruptly cease, because the problems which had hitherto seemed difficult and oppressive now show themselves to be less serious when seen from an entirely different angle.

Thus man struggles within himself as well as in the outer world. Through this struggle he makes progress, climbs higher, his horizon widens and he grows increasingly conscious in his being.

The fifth tarot card, the 'high priest', carries the number 5 and the letter he.

Initiates call the number 5 the number of Christ or the number of Logos. The divine number of fulfilment, of creation, is the number 10. Half of this sum is 5. The symmetry in the bodies of living creatures implies that Logos divides the divine number 10 into two symmetrical sides, and in both parts half of the number 10 is at work, that is, the number 5. Human beings have 5 fingers on each hand, thus on both hands together 10 fingers. Likewise we have 5 toes on each of our two feet. We have 32 teeth, the sum of the digits is 5. The upper jaw has 16 teeth, total of the digits is 7, the lower jaw also has 16 teeth, total sum 7. Together these sums add up to 14, sum of the digits again 5. Thus the number of Christ appears again and again. The number of the senses is also 5: sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. And if we add up the limbs, two arms and two legs together with the head, we have the 5 extremities of the human body, or again the number 5. The human body fits into the five-pointed star and the vital current circulates in the body in the shape of this star. That is why the right side of the body is animated by positive current, and the left side by negative current. Since the number 5 is itself half of the number of perfect creation - the number 10 - it has an inner relationship to the number 2 which is always retained. For multiplying by the number 5 means dividing by 2 and multiplying the result by 10 (a very simple operation). Dividing a sum by the number 5 means multiplying the number by 2 and then dividing by 10. The numbers 5 and 2 are complementary and together make the key number 7 which, by cabbalistic reduction, leads again to the number 10 as the sum of the digits, 1 + 2+3 + 4+5 + 6 + 7 = 28, 2 + 8 = 10. The fact that the number 10 manifests itself in Nature as two complementary, symmetrical halves - as twice 5 - as the five fingers on each hand, etc., curiously emerges also when we add the numbers from 1 to 10: 1 + 2+3 + 4+5 + 6 + 7+8 + 9+10=55, together, 5 + 5 = 10! Tarot card 5, the 'high priest', complements tarot card 2, the 'high priestess', for the same reason.

In the Cabbala, the letter he corresponds to the fifth sefirahj which is called Gevurah, meaning fear, judgement and strength. In hieroglyphics it means breath. Life is continuously created and preserved by breath and from this arises the idea of complete spiritualisation.

Tarot Card 6

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The Illustrated Key To The Tarot

The Illustrated Key To The Tarot

The pathology of the poet says that the undevout astronomer is mad the pathology of the very plain man says that the genius is mad and between these extremes, which stand for ten thousand analogous excesses, the sovereign reason takes the part of a moderator and does what it can. I do not think that there is a pathology of the occult dedications, but about their extravagances no one can question, and it is not less difficult than thankless to act as a moderator regarding them.

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