Chapter 13 - The Great Rite - part e
There is a Qabalistic reference in the Great Rite which was probably drawn from the writings of the Golden Dawn. This is the reference to the twin black and white pillars, Boaz and Jachim. These two pillars are the Black Pillar of Severity (Goddess) and White Pillar of Mercy (God) of the Tree of Life. As you look at the image of the Tree of Life, the Black Pillar is on the left, and the white Pillar is on the right.
This symbolism is clearly expressed (significantly) in the High Priestess tarot card in the Rider Waite deck. This deck was first published in 1910 and illustrated by the magickal artist Pamela Colman-Smith. In the trump, the High Priestess is seated on an altar between the two pillars, with the black pillar on the viewer’s left and the white pillar on the viewer’s right. The pillars are marked with the letters B and J respectively, representing Boaz and Jachim. This symbolism is also why in some traditions the Goddess candle is placed on the left on the altar, and the God candle on the right on the altar.