January 4, 2021
For the past two days, I have been studying The High Priestess card. Right from the beginning of my Tarot studies, I disliked the right-left point of view in the interpretations. Usually, the point of view one finds in Tarot interpretations is based on the observer. However, I am naturally inclined to interpret the left-right symbolism from the figures’ perspective in the cards.
That means, in the card of the High Priestess, the pillars seem to be placed wrongly. The pillar said to symbolize the yang-principle (Jachin) is placed on her left-hand side, whereas the pillar said to symbolize the yin-principle (Boaz) is located to her right-hand side. The pillars should be switched, and here is why.
The two pillars in The High Priestess card are said to represent the pillars called Boaz and Jachin (Heb. יָכִין בֹּעַז) located at the entrance of Solomon’s temple. I would interpret the High Priestess sitting at the temple entrance, the temple behind her (although we are not speaking of a physical temple here; you can see the sea behind the veil symbolizing the unconscious). I think, we should look at what the Bible says about the construction of the temple and the placement of the two pillars.
According to my understanding, the entrance of the temple is facing east. In 2 Chronicles 3 (NIV, ESV, CEB, GNT, LEB, NCV, NLT, RSV → these translations mention the directions south and north, look here) as well as 1 Kings 7, we read that Jachin is placed on the south and Boaz on the north of the temple. That description suggests that, from the perspective of the High Priestess, Jachin should be placed to the right and Boaz to the left side.
During my research, I found some pictures that display Solomon’s temple with the pillars and directions, as I understand the Bible describes. Below is one of them.