Many people have been incensed by the lack of a known grave for Pamela Colman Smith, artist of the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot. But how many people have made pilgrimage to the gravesite of Arthur Edward Waite? Please let us know if you have. It turns out that Waite lived in his later years and died not far from where Pixie Smith drew many of the cards for their mutual deck. For those who are interested go HERE for the location and some pictures of his grave. At least you can have a virtual look at the place where he was buried. Photo by Julia&Keld.
ADDED: On the end of Waite’s grave are the words “Est Una Sola Res.” Someone asked me what these words meant. “There is only One Thing.” But, I’ll let Waite himself explain his understanding of this phrase, from his book The Hidden Church of the Holy Grail, published the same year as the Tarot deck:
“Within the domain of the Secret Tradition the initiations are many and so are the schools of thought, but those which are true schools and those which are high orders issue from one root. Est una sola res, and they whose heart of contemplation is fixed upon this one thing may differ but can never be far apart. . . . I know not what systems of the æons may intervene between that which is imperishable within us and the union wherein the universe will in fine repose at the centre. But I know that the great systems . . . do not pass away, because that which was from the beginning is now and ever shall be–is one motive, one aspiration, one term of thought remaining, as if in the stillness of an everlasting present. We really understand one another, and our terms are terms over which our collective aspirations are united world without end.”
Looking further we see the alchemical roots of this phrase in Wilmshurst’s Introduction to Mary Anne Atwood’s A Suggestive Inquiry into the Hermetic Mystery—a book which was said to reveal too explicitly the great secrets of alchemy:
“Est una sola Res ; and it is this ‘One Thing,’ this basal substrate and reality underlying phenomena, this pure matrix around which has accreted the impure (because disordered) matter of the sense-world that one must consciously possess as a passport to the regenerative work.”
And, of course, we find its origins in The Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus. Here, in the translation of Sir Isaac Newton:
“That which is below is like that which is above & that which is above is like that which is below to do the miracles of one only thing.”