The Popessa of Rennes-le-Chateau sits on a thone which has been set up on the rampart leading out to the RLC tower
which is behind her. From there we have an excellent view of the Chateau d` Hautpoul which was rebuilt in the 16th c.
by the Hautpoul family, Marie d` Ables of the famous tombstone was the descendant who lived there. There is a room of
the castle which dates back to the original structure constructed in the time of the Visigoths. The fortress was destroyed
by the Albigensian crusade against the Cathars and also by the Spanish. To this day it is inhabited, the owner has a collection
of artifacts discovered on the grounds. Plantard`s Popessa holds a large book as do other High Priestesses from different decks -
those ladies probably hold the Bible. The Popessa of the Wirth deck holds a book with a Yin-Yang symbol on the cover while Plantard
uses other alchemical symbols. The Yin-Yang sign is actually an ancient Chinese alchemical notation denoting the combination of elements
in the heated crucible. The triangle and Infinity symbols on Plantard`s tome are the triangle with a dot - purifying fire, and the
Infinity sign which is also used as the brim on the hat of the tarot Magician and the hat of the tarot Strength card. "The Yellow Book" was a famous alchemical
book by Hermes, so her book yellow. In her other hand she holds the two crossed keys which are an ecclesiastical heraldic device, they
are also used by the Freemasons as a Masonic jewel. Plantard has cropped this card so her crown does not show. As with the other
trumps, this setting is a night scene. Plantard is telling us that the Popessa is a learned adept and an alchemist - she is a student of chemistry.
Pierre Plantard, the Priory of Sion, and the Tarot are all champions of the spiritual importance of women.
Look closely at the original Jester or Fool card from the Marseilles French deck and it is obvious that
this character portrays a member of the Saracen forces who fought the Templars. His skin tone is different, darker, and he is wearing
a huge turban. Pierre Plantard is more modest in his version of the #0 card, the Fool, this fellow at least has his pants up even though
he is being bitten by a cat. As usual, there are other subtle differences in the Plantard card. Our Jester is strolling through
the backyard of Rennes-le-Bains (Baths) near Rennes-le-Chateau in southeastern France. The Rennes-le-Bains church is the backdrop for
this major arcana character. Instead of using the yellow brick masonry as a frame as on his Pope of Rennes-le-Bains card, Plantard has
constructed an equilateral triangle as the central focus of the painting. When giving a lecture about the Hermetic sciences, he
began with the geometry of the map of France - an equilateral triangle of French cities with Bourges in the center. What is the
significance of these two triangles on the map and the card? Note the fool`s staff, the church bell and the "X" marks the spot within the three
sided map. Where does the "X" fall, can you solve the puzzle? Our Jester has the sign of the planet Mercury on his shoulder, it refers to more
than that small wandering planet in space. The substance liquid mercury was all- important to alchemists throughout history, indeed Pierre
Plantard was known to be an alchemist himself as well as being a fine draftsman. He used the characters of the Oswald Wirth tarot
deck in his tarot-themed paintings and drew the architectural backgrounds himself displaying perfect perspective. The sign for
Mercury also denotes the important Greek oracle called "Hermes Trismegistus" author of "The Divine Pymander" and many other
arcane volumes, Hermes Trismegistus is one of the authors of the ancient Gnostic codices discovered at Nag Hammadi in Egypt.
Alchemy was an all important science in Greco-Roman Egypt. During the Crusades, the Templars learned the alchemy of the Holy Land
and in Egypt, sometimes when they were held captive by Moslem forces. When the Templars returned to Europe with this new knowledge,
it caused a Renaissance of their culture. New building techniques such as the pointed arch came back with them as well, and their Gothic
style of architecture flourished. Each town competed to construct the most grand cathedral. This method of building and weight-bearing
opened up the walls for stained glass windows and the alchemical art of colored glass. The tarot and the history of the Rennes-le-Chateau
area is all about the Templars. In the Fool/Jester card Plantard expresses all of these subjects brilliantly. Is this our Jester returning from
the Holy Land with the secrets of the alchemical sciences? In Plantard`s version, the Fool has rosy cheeks but he is wearing a Saracen costume. does he
portray a Templar who was a prisoner and a student of the Islamic sciences? On his turban there is the alchemical sign for water, the inverted
triangle. The dot in the center means that the water is either distilled or enhanced by the alchemist`s art - our Jester is an adept. I have colored
this card according to the tones utilized by Wirth on his 19th c. deck. Can you figure out the triangle puzzle of Pierre Plantard? What does the
location of the "X" within the triangle tell us about him?