Key 5 or ATU 5, in the Trumps of both decks, represent a Patriarchal figure. The Thoth Tarot key 5- is the Hierophant.
Key 5 in the Tarot of the Old Path is the traditional High Priest.
The High Priest is associated with Taurus and Earth, (The Hierophant is Taurus influencing Jupiter) he is the possessor of occult (hidden) knowledge, holding the key to the Mysteries, while guarding the spiritual threshold.
The translucent screen behind the High Priest, shows onlookers what lies beyond. The Taurian bull and the Elephant form the arm rests of his throne. The former a symbol of Earth power, and the latter, is associated with wisdom, strength,moderation, pity,eternity and is also a Ganesha (Hindu) god image for those characteristics as well as fertility. The Bull and Elephant are also illustrated in the Hierophant card of the Thoth Deck. The Oriel (or Transparent window) is also behind the Hierophant, held in place by nine nails, which refer to the Hebrew letter Vau which means nail part of the Yod Heh Vau Heh of Qabalistic doctrine.
The High Priest is accompanied in the foreground with the image of an eagle, a symbol of the Sun-spirit and in the Thoth Deck the symbol for the Cherub (kerub) of the Air. Both the High Priest and the Hierophant have one hand raised or lowered, in the sign of benediction; the Thoth Deck Card is lowered in a type of Mudra (hand yoga).
In the Left hand of the High Priest, in the language of Herbs, is a sprig of vervain which to Wicca is a protective herb. In that same language, Pine trees that form the background of this card, symbolize immortality while the mist they are arising from symbolizes arcane magics and rituals, the supreme knowledge of which belongs to the High Priest.
The Thoth Tarot- Hierophant's knowledge is also represented with arcane image. Around him are the four Kerubs or beasts, the guardians of every shrine whose Principle business, which is the center of all magical work, is the uniting of the Macrocosm and Microcosm (As above, so below). This explains the diaphanous oriel that looks out at the Macrocosm. The Macrocosm is also represent as the Hexagram that stands before the "Manifester of the Mysteries", (the Hierophant).
In the center of that Hexagram is a pentagram within which is a dancing child symbolizing the Aeon of Horus that is supplanting the Aeon of the Dying God, known as Osiris.
Before the Hierophant is the Scarlett Woman girt with sword, representing Venus and/or Isis as she is now in the New Aeon of Horus, militant and no longer a mere vehicle of her male counter part and stressing equal partnership, for there is no "him" until she "names him". The Moon is also exalted in this sign and is represent as her and the 9 nails, seen in the dark upper background. She is further represented as the 5 Petaled Rose behind the Phallic headdress of the Hierophant. All of this relating to the fact that the Patriarch is no longer the main force of this new Aeon, as the Divine Androgyny is now the driving force, i.e. the He/She in perfect Communion and balance.
In his BOOK OF LAW, chapter 1, vs 57 Crowley refers to the serpent and dove symbols in the Thoth Deck card: "there are love and love. There is the dove and there is the serpent." The dove stands for Life and the Serpent stands for Death, both are an act of love. The Dark Blue Starry night sky of Nuit, the Great Womb from which all phenomena are born, surrounds the Hierophant.
The Hierophant's wand is a three ringed symbol of the the Three Aeons, Isis, Osiris and Horus. The scarlet upper ring is representative of Horus, the two lower rings are green for Isis and pale yellow for Osiris. All of which are based on the indigo of Saturn, The Lord of Time, since the Hierophant is subject to a 2,000 year rhythm of motion.
Some say that the image of the Hierophant is that of a Pope. If so, this is not a Christian Pope, but the image that has come from the ruined altar of Bacchus: The Grand Master or Gypsy Prince associated with Magic, or even from the legend of the keeper of the Keys, the Roman Petra (Peter).
WHEN BOTH OF THESE CARDS, THE HIGH PRIEST OR HIEROPHANT ARE THROWN DURING A DIVINATION::
- The querent is seeking guidance by consulting with someone of knowledge and authority.
- Indicates a need for self-teaching and learning in order to make things tangible and practical
- The querent is aligning themselves to a particular philosophy or religion.and/or a set of beliefs that they feel a great loyalty to.
- Is a teacher that is problem solving, piratical in applying spiritual rhythms.One who learns by teaching.
- Dealing in some way with conventional morality and patriarchal law.
- Associating with a wise person on matters of spiritual guidance, needing to find spiritual meaning in life.
- Meditative awareness and philosophy that views every life experience as a learning opportunity for growth.
The Reverse meaning the High Priest is the same of the Hierophant if ill defined by accompanying cards.
- Indecision and weakness.
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