Key 5 or ATU 5 of the Tarot is the universal Key of learning and teaching.
This key or principle was well explained in the publication of the-Course in Miracles-"As you teach so will you learn.’ If that is true, and it is true indeed, do not forget that what you teach is teaching you."
The Hierophant is also the High Priest or The Pope, in many decks.
This card requires us to have faith in ourselves; “above all things know thyself" is often forgotten in family situations and in the mundane world of survival. We can say that the family situations are represented by the blazing light images of a man and woman, being projected out of his right hand chakra, or the fact that this Hierophant is a amalgamation of man and wolf. When we look past all the vilification of a wolf, we see they are very family orientated. They mate for life, have family bonds, have a clear clan structure, and they deflect conflict whenever possible. Even though their clans are highly organized, they are also free spirits. The lone wolf howling at the moon at night, is the perfect symbol for representing the lonely path of journeying within (Tree of Life) to discover our true-self, inner power and strength.
Since the Hierophant is the guardian and custodian of religions knowledge, metaphysics and spiritual beliefs. He is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Hence the lamb at his side. In his left hand are the dual snakes of "Life-Death" often seen as the serpents of the caduceus. For just as religious beliefs can be a sanctuary for peace, they are also bringing a double edged sword. For, wars are often a source of religious conflict and often the most brutal, especially in the past 2 decades. Also often we are seeking peace from these violent conflicts formed by fanatical beliefs, by religious rituals. Often, as we can see today, religious beliefs are worn as a badge of identity fueling or abating conflict for political ends.
At the top and bottom of the Starman Hierophant card, is seen the "alien cartography" that Davide De Angelis is so fond of. Today, this is often called "light language".
The Hierophant is also considered the channeled male energy polarity. He is a form of Patriarch and if often called the "Pope" on Tarot Cards. Pope can certainly "bare their teeth" as they growl out the rule and laws of their special form of theology, inciting the very wars they later condemn.
Above the head of the Hierophant is the sacred geometry of the "flower of Life", with six-fold geometry resembling a hexagram. This replaces the oriel, that is behind the Thoth Tarot's Hierophants head. This is because the Hierophant is considered the window through which one can see the Macrocosm and/or Macroprosopus. This a universal depiction of the creation of existence and containing all the essential elements we call the Platonic solids.
In three-dimensional space, a Platonic solid is a regular, convex polyhedron. It is constructed by congruent regular polygonal faces with the same number of faces meeting at each vertex. Five solids meet those criteria, and each is named after its number of faces.
Platonic solid - Wikipedia
This sacred geometry can be seen in the temples within the Forbidden City of China, in ancient Temples of Israel, in the Temple of Osiris, in Abydos of Egypt. Temples or churches, have been used to reinforce the doctrine or stories of religious belief and by forming a type of "collective" of belonging as a "spiritual community". Also some are encouraged to lead a secular world of theological theory.
The Thoth Tarot, seems to be the foundation of the Starman Hierophant, as
family situations are represented in the Thoth card by the images of Isis and Osiris and Horus.
In pre-Christen times, Isis was the image of Intuition. Osiris, the image of wisdom which can be seen as the scepter of wisdom, and the staff of moon/ Isis; also known as representing instinct. Horus represented Perception and Vision, as a child born of Intuition and Wisdom and in the now, represents us. We are the children of Intuition and Wisdom who are to be the purveyors of perception and vision. We must have faith in following our childlike abilities of innocence and curiosity (the child in the star or pentagram on the Hierophant's chest); we are to walk the mystical path with the practical feet of the Magus. We are the All Potential of Daath, the Birth place of our Souls. The Hierophant is that inner part of ourselves that knows how to express our divinity into the outer world.
When thrown during a reading, this card indicates the desire for self-teaching and learning. The need to make things tangible and practical. The HIEROPHANT is the administrator of the Yin Yang (Osiris Isis) duality which emerges with Chokmah, is formed by Binah, and which begins as manifestation below the Abyss in Chesed.
Crowley's Thoth Deck card is considered one of the most important in Tarot, containing many traditional elements intermingled with Crowley's own discoveries and philosophies. For instance, the image of a child in the Pentagram that is within a larger Hexagram, is explained as." This symbolizes the law of the new Aeon of the Child of Horus, which has supplanted that Aeon of the 'Dying God' which governed the world for two thousand years". Crowley believed that the rhythm of the HEIROPHANT is such that he moves at 2,000 year intervals. Remembering that this is a Spiral Universe, made of multiple frequencies and dimensions (harmonies) of One Energy, and that there are rhythmic movements in the multiple States of Conscious Energy, of which the HEIROPHANT is a major state, making this cyclic movement seem plausible. It is also nice to know that within our own infinity (inner self) resides our Librarian of Universal Tomes who will not hesitate to instruct the diligent student. But until we are no longer satisfied with the ludicrous fantasy of our own cultural "Group Soul"/Group Psyche, we will never be able to achieve the mental velocity to escape our imprisonment of Time- created perspectives and consciously enter the infinite depths of Our Spiral Energetic Self.
Each of us is a Tree of Life, and each of us makes his/her own Qabalah. When there is a shift in the 2,000-year Group Soul from Patriarch/Osiris to that of, Horus, those who can't behold the more advanced perspective, will have to live in a lesser intelligent fantasy of their own making on the Astral planes of another planetary system. Sensuality then, will be condemned to memory rather than new experience and as we know from our own experiences, after a bout of time, sensual memory fades to a point where only the most extreme of sensual experiences are remembered. Luckily the HEIROPHANT that is a Higher State of Conscious Energy within our Tree of Life (our Spiral Pattern of Force and Form) gives us back our memories. These discarded memory bites are stored in the intelligence called Daath---"the invisible Sephiroth"---known in English as –Knowledge, residing invisibly just above the Abyss on the Middle Pillar. Obviously, to get to this point of inner-journey, we have to experience the "Dark Night of the Soul", achieving an emptiness of perspective so that we can be refilled or as I like to say, where we can claim our inheritance as the Divine Child of the One Mind. The HEIROPHANT awaits us all, and will fill to capacity, the thirsty student!
As a Divine Child, you are denied nothing that "ever was or will be", only you have the freedom to deny yourself! Thus, you should know that the HEIROPHANT does not have Authority over your Spirit, your freedom of choice is still intact. Your True Name is "I AM" which constructs, by self- perspective, your objective self-called "ME". You are the one I (eye) of your constructs and as a manifested I-dentity, you have the Magic Power of Observation, that controls reality!
Upon examining this card, the HEIROPHANT sits on a Bull between two elephants, holding a wand of three interlocking rings, symbolizing the Aeons of Isis, Osiris and Horus (the Child in the Pentagram) Beneath is the veiled "Scarlet Woman" (Crowley), who is shown riding the Lion Serpent in the Lust card of Thoth Tarot, unveiled, depicting purity. The nine nails above, symbolize the Hebrew word- Vau, representing the linking of the above and the below (the nine Sephiroth below the 1 that is Kether, who is Fiery-Darkness/unlimited Light.) The meaning of Vau is nail and is shown as the nine golden nails forming and arch above the Hierophant's head. The Manifested Spirit, passes along the path (triangular ray of Light form the Scarlet woman upward) from the Microcosm to the Macrocosm.
Now all is not "sweetness and light" in the HEIROPHANT, and most authorities on tarot agree that there are some unpleasant aspects to this Key. For Yahweh/Jehovah, was considered the Hierophant of the Jews. I would recommend that the serious student read the book by Richard Cavendish: THE TAROT, where the implications of this State of Energy Consciousness are very cleverly related to Gnosticism. He points out that the Demiurge, the Lesser Creator which rules over manifestation, was also known by the Gnostics as the "Great Deceiver", and initiates of the Valentinian Gnostics were taught to ignore the authority of this one who is a type of staunch librarian and only has authority over its library. Truth is, there is only one authority over us, and that is our own "Will to be" and/or Freedom to Choose Observation and we get to experience freely the consequences there of. Only slaves need saviors!
The Path of Vau (Nail or Hook), is the 16th path, on the Tree of Life. Leading from Chesed (mercy) to Chokmah (wisdom) and is known as the Eternal Intelligence. The Path of Vau is the uppermost path on the Pillar of Mercy (Right hand Path). In the Golden Dawn texts, this path is described as, “The Zodiac acting through Taurus upon Jupiter". Here, Chokma is Jupiter, and his action is the spermatic potential of the Manifested Universe Chesed, the Yod of Microcosm (Microprosopus), is the Father in Manifestation, while Chokmah, the Yod of the Macrocosm. Hence, Microprosopus is the Supernal Father.
Therefore, the Path of the Hierophant is a powerfully masculine one (Electric Force), to which the Bull-Taurus is applied and image definitively applied to this card. Being "Fixed Earth", this is a stable foundation; a stabilizing extreme. This is the absolute foundation of the process of revelation.... where the inherited Knowing of the Creator, where THE Great Father, is expressing Its experience through the Supreme Spiritual Self to the Personality or Ego of Tiphareth (The Sun/Son of Beauty). Thus memory is involved and the solid foundation of "Above all things, know thyself" is established as a Universal Inheritance for the Divine Child.
The meaning of the Hebrew word Vau, is nail or hook, implying a nailing together, or binding, and links the Macrocosm (The Great Universe) and Microcosm (Manifestation), and/or The Greater Self to the lesser Self of material manifestation, forever linking us to the Divine Spirit. THE HIEROPHANT is related to teaching, which relates Higher ideas into Lower organisms that is often called, "As above so below". The Hierophant is a state of conscious energy that is the only source for our understanding of the inner Spirit/Spiral energy conscious. This "Magus of the Eternal" is stated by Dr. Paul Foster Case in his text," THE THIRTY-TWO PATHS OF WISDOM, as being the," .... Pontifix, the 'bridge maker' who provides a connecting link between outer experience and interior illumination." Thus, the Hierophant gets the discriminating experience of the Body-Operating-Personality, while teaching that very same Personality its inherited Divinity. Thus, The Hierophant can be said to "Learn by Teaching" and the Eternal Intelligence can be called "Life" and/or the Reasoning behind manifestation, implying that a teacher who learns from his students, is a great teacher.
Crowley's main concept was the "grounding" of the 5th- Key-, using the corner symbols of the Four Kerubim (Guiding intelligences of the Four Elements) as the tentative expressions of the primordial Elements of Kether (Crown) that are passed down to Chokmah as the Sphere of the Zodiac. Interestingly, we think of the Zodiac as 12 signs, but it is really four ternaries... Where each element is broken down to three signs. To the Qabalist, this relates to Yod (hand) Heh (Window) and Vau (Nail).
The Administrator to the emerging duality that is Chokmah (Phallus -Womb, male-female, electric-magnetic) is the Hierophant and it given form or structure by Binah (Great Mother) which begins as manifestation below the Abyss (Dark Energy and Dark Matter) in Chesed (Mercy). Thus, relating to Tiphareth (Beauty-Synchronicity), the central point of manifestation. This relationship is shown in two ways, first as the letter Vau, which is related to "The Son" (Child of God), and Tetragrammaton and the second is the number six itself is related to Tiphareth. Crowley shows this by the Pentagram on the chest of the Hierophant as the four elements are combined under the fifth Element-Spirit, thus forming the 5 pointed star. The Pentagram image, confirms the Great Work known as "As above, so below", a process in which the symbolic Moon always is a key part. For the Moon is both above and below the Sun on the Tree of Life, as it is both implied as Yesod (Foundation) and is the Path of the Priestess and is exalted in Taurus.
Let us not forget that Taurus is also ruled by Venus, referring us to the Empress, the Path of Daleth, between Chokmah and Binah. THE EMPRESS is Mother Nature, and/or the fertilized Universal Consciousness that is the foundation of the HIEROPHANT'S teaching.
THE HIEROPHANT'S teaching is intuitive, as it is on the "feeling" side of the Tree of Life (Venus-Netzach side), applying intuition to concepts collected by reason and built up by memory. I would recommend you meditated on the Thoth Tarot ATU/ Key 5 card.
When the HIEROPHANT card of Thoth and Starman Tarot is thrown during a reading:
• The querent is experiencing the Principle of learning and teaching which is a desire for making things tangible.
• The querent may be seeking guidance from a counselor who has knowledge and authority or is wishing to.
• There is a choice here, of aligning oneself to a philosophy, religion and/or set of beliefs to which one feels a sense of loyalty.
• Being free to disentangle one's-self from any belief system, the querent still chooses to be involved.
• There is an espousing of moral, ethical, and spiritual values which may attribute to oppressing others, especially when espousing orthodoxy.
• There can be an inner sense of obedience to authority, imagined or otherwise, contributing to gullibility.
• Life is the teacher here, as the querent experiences growth through a meditative process of Buddha like philosophy that views every experience as a lesson-learning opportunity.
If ill defined:
- Esoteric arrogance.
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