Written By Priestess Hypatia
For Coven Life
I woke up this morning and decided to use my Masonic Tarot….
I have had these cards for a while, mainly learning to read them through deciphering their masonic symbols and meanings. They are in the style of the conventional Raider Wait tarot so following their general symbolism is somewhat achievable.
Today I pulled out the priestess card. Ow Yeah, who doesn’t want that card? But the more I looked into its meaning the more I realized it was what I was currently studying on my path. I have started to look deep within myself. Attempting to enter a place within the self that is not reserved for the faint hearted. A place where searching takes you into a vast space of nothingness that is often arid and hostile.
So why do so many of us searching to find our inner being continue to do so?
Here is my version of why
On the masonic high priestess card there is the letter V.I.T.R.I.O.L. Conventionally vitriol is sulfuric acid and generic conversation can lead it to mean caustic or hostile. In masonic tradition the letters stand for “visita interiora terrae, rectificandoque, invenies occultum lapidem”. This translates as “visit the interior of the earth, and purifying it, you will find the hidden stone.” The inner earth is the inner self, a hidden stone that symbolizes the Philosophers stone, the Holy Grail. How long has man searched to find this without, and only if they knew from the beginning it lies within? So the high priestess has in not only Masonic interpretation but conventional interpretation come to mean to look within. But what do we look for? Where do we start looking? How do we start looking? And when we are there, how do we come out of it? These are not only questions that I ask but many before me and I’m sure many after me will continue the infamous quest.
The masonic order talks about the chamber of reflection, a point that triggers inner reflection. It represents duality, as well as the presence of the Inner Master from whom we can never hide, lie, nor deceive. A thought that stems from the ancient Greek Pythia at Delphi, “Know thy self”. The only way one can truly know one’s self is by inner journeying through inner reflection. It’s what lies within that shows us what lies without. Another thought of the old religion is that, what is above is what is below. It all means the same, it all comes back to that one point of know thy self. Incidentally some of the modern well known Witches such as Gardner and Saunders were know Freemasons.
The Mayan civilization believed that the inner world is hollow, the hollow earth is a portal to the underground or the underworld. In ancient times it is thought many underworld Gods came through caves and crevices to the middle earth. Interesting comparison to the alchemical thought process where it has a metaphysical meaning rather than a physical one where the inner world is the inner self.
The ancient Greeks had Kore daughter of Zeus and Dimitra, where Kore (Persephone) entered the underworld and only to rise as Persephone. Her name in some translations means bringer of death. It all sounds so familiar to the elemental thought of metamorphosis. Where one must die in order to arise only to become more enlightened and much wiser.
In Shamanic traditions they have what is called the death initiation where if one does not have the power to pass through it correctly then permanent death may result. The link below is a colorful interpretation of a shamanic journey.
Also in the link below is a wonderful interpretation of a shamans experience in the process of life and death. Great read!
So once again here I am standing on the shoulders of giants who before me also thought of how to attain enlightenment through inner knowledge. I am just starting to realize that this is not something that you learn in one sitting or even reading several hundred books on the topic. This is a lifelong process and in some cases through different life processes. This is what life is interpreted as. We are not static, we are living in motion. An energy that is part of the universe. The same energy that created us also created the very earth we stand on, the universe and many other universes. Once we take a glimpse of knowing thy self I guess we have taken a glimpse into what the creator looks like. I believe only then can we see and know the true path of the Witch, healer and Shaman.
On my journey I will keep on searching for that little spark in the abyss. One that will hopefully guide me like a bright star in the night sky to the creation that lies within. Everyone has this ability it’s just a matter of whether we want to see it and then learn to use it.
A witch is someone attuned to nature, and the gentle flow of life, the passing seasons, and the phases of the moon. She senses the constant flow of energy and seeks to understand and shape it. She sees life and nature as sacred and beautiful, and so she strives to heal and nourish both. A witch is ruled by her heart and intuition, she holds nothing back as she faces the world with courage and a lust for adventure and life. She discovers the mysteries, the magick that lies within her, reclaiming them for women everywhere. She is the embodiment of love and compassion, always giving of herself to those in need. She will be aggressive in defending those who can not defend themselves, the oppressed and abused. Seeking justice for all the wrongs. A witch is independent and free, sexually liberated, and untamed. A witch is one who is inlove with the Goddess as well as herself.
I embrace the word witch wearing it proudly for all the world to see. It is a sacred word between those who seek wisdom from nature, the healers, the servants of the cummunity, and the priestesses of the Goddess. Witches were nonconformists, courageous, and intelligent women. They were sexually liberated and took charge of their own bodies as midwives, the first birth control practitioners and abortionists, they bowed to no man!! And for this they were labeled evil, shunned, persecuted, tortured, and murdered. These women did not call themselves witches. They were not evil and had no pact with any devil. They just chose to be free, to express themselves differently, and refused to let anyone tell them how they should act.
I embrace this word witch, reclaiming it and changing its image. I accept it as a sacred title, as an independent free woman on her own path. In doing so I strive to give back to my sisters this beauty, this power, this acknowdleged freedom. As I claim this sacred word, I show the world I am a woman, free and beautiful, joyous and untamed, a Goddess and a witch!
or more to the point magick.
I believe magick is life. It is the flow. Every breath I take, every heart beat, its all magick. Spells and charms, formal rituals, and prayers, all of this is just a way to bind yourself to this flow and shape it. It may seem all supernatural and scary but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. It is as natural as the gentle breeze. I do not hex anyone or send curses turning people into frogs. I can not get a million dollars or somehow control someone to do my bidding. If witches could, many many more people would be witches. It is about honoring the sacred. And taking control and responsibility for your own life.
It is a sacred craft, mixing new expierences with old traditions, ancient rites (well the best we can piece together of them) with, folk lore and myth. Its centered around nature, and the 4 elements- earth, air, fire, water combined with the 5th spirit (the divine, you, fae, etc..) No two witches practice the same way. You can be any religion and still be a witch, as it is a craft, a practice.
(No corrections made by me to spelling or otherwise)
Found on deviantart.com at this link http://www.deviantart.com/art/Witch-21681594