Above all things, know thyself!
Thoth- ATU V-The Hierophant
The SPiral tarot-Key 5-HIerophant
The Magus of the Eternal. The Oracle of the Gods is the Child-Voice of Love in Thine Own Soul; hear thou it. Heed not the Siren-Voice of Sense, or the Phantom-Voice of Reason: rest in Simplicity, and listen to the Silence.
The Tarot Hierophant, called "the Magus of the Eternal" by Crowley, is the Qabalistic Path of Vau. The Hebrew letter Vau means Nail or Hook, and is the 16th path, on the Tree of Life. Leading from the 2nd Sephiroth Chokmah (wisdom) down to the 4th Sephiroth- Chesed (mercy) and is known as the Eternal Intelligence, a name assigned to this ATU by Dr. Case. 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-(4 the Sephiroth- Chesed) the Yod of Microcosm (Microprosopus), is the Father in Manifestation, while the 2nd Sepiroth-Chokmah (the Yod of the Macrocosm (Macroprosopus) is the Supernal Father. The Path of Vau is therefore, the Wisdom Path of the Holy Guardian Angel and/or Higher Soul, the lower Soul is the Rauch.
Although 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, he is supported by the Dark Isis figure. Being "Fixed Earth"; therefore, He/She is a stable foundation for knowledge; a stabilizing extreme. This is the absolute foundation of the process of revelation where the inherited Knowing of the Creator, THE DIVINE CREATIVE ( often called the Great Father but is an androgyny), is expressing Its experience through the Supreme Spiritual Self to the Psyche of Tiphareth (The Sun/Son of Beauty). Therefore, memory is involved and the solid foundation of "Above all things, know thyself" is established as a Universal Inheritance for the Divine Golden Child-( Horus the Solar Self and/or Soul) shown in a pentagram on the Thoth Hierophant's chest.
As stated, 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 Matter, forever linking us to the Divine Spirit. Above the Thoth HIEROPHANT are shown 9 nails, representing the letter Vau, as well as, displaying the relationship to the teachings, which relate Higher ideas into Lower organisms that is often called, "As above so below". Here the fabric of Time/Space is nailed to the Abyss and/or Abyssal Womb, which can be entered/seen through the Oriel behind his head.
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." Therefore, the Hierophant gets the discriminating experience of the Body-operating-Personality, while teaching that very same Personality its inherited Divinity. Hence, 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. However, take a hard look at this card, for the Great Teacher here is not the Age-of -Osiris Pope, of Traditional Tarot, like the Golden Tarot, Rider-Waite-Smith or many traditional Cards but rather a Sumerian/ Babylonian High- Priest-King. A Bold, confident, and sexually active Osiris for he is not supported by a couple of pale and celibate acolytes which is often shown in traditional tarot, but rather by the sword bearing Scarlet Woman/Dark Isis. The union of the 2 creates the Child Horus shown in the Pentagram on his chest. Hence, this is implies a family "snap shot" of the Aeons of Osiris-Isis-Horus.
Crowley's main concept was the "grounding" of the 5th- ATU/Key-, using the corner symbols of the 4 Kerubim (Guiding intelligences of the Four Elements) as the tentative expressions of the primordial Elements of Kether (Crown) that are passed down to the 2nd Sephiroth- 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/He' (Window) and Vau (Nail).
The Administrator to the emerging duality that is the 2nd Sephirotic Intelligence- Chokmah (Phallus -Womb, male-female, electric-magnetic) is the Hierophant and it's given form or structure by Binah (Great Mother) which begins as manifestation below the Abyss ( from Dark Energy and Dark Máter) in Chesed (Mercy). Thus, relating to Tiphareth (Beauty-Synchronicity), the central point of manifestation and the Sun/Son of the Divine Creative. This relationship is shown in 2 ways, first as the letter Vau, which is related to "The Sun/ Son" (Child of the Divine Creative), and Tetragrammaton (YHVH) and the second is the image of Horus, itself related to the 6th Sephiroth-Tiphareth and the Sun. 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 and in that star rises Horus (Hawk-headed god of the Egyptians). 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 High Priestess and is exalted in Taurus and therefore, the Dark Isis/Dark Moon supporting him.
The Astrological sign, 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 Militant Venus of the Age of Horus, and the embodiment of the Heavenly Venus that rules Taurus, is shown as the Sword bearing Scarlet Woman figure that supports the Hierophant. In his Book of Law [Equinox IV] Crowley commands, " This Woman, represents Venus as she now is in this new Aeon; no longer the mere vehicle of her male counterpart, but armed and militant." This is also true of this new Aeon of Horus, as the Matriarch is now clearing the way for the New Age. She also carries the Moon, which is exalted in Taurus, as a crescent shaped sickle in her hand. More evidence of this new initiatory love relationship between Venus and the Hierophant is shown in the Oriel (the ornate window) with a serpent boundary, behind the Hierophants phallic head gear. The Sexual and/or Vital Energy of the Serpent force represents the first masculine microwave of energy in the Universe and the Oriel represents the Virgin Mary (Venus), as found behind and over the altars in Churches. Crowley describes this as:" This symbolism is further carried out in the oriel where, behind the Phallic headdress, the rose of 5 petals in blossom. The symbol of the snake and dove refers to this verse of the Book of Law-chap. 1, verse 57;' There are love and love. There is the dove and there is the serpent". [Book of Thoth, Pg. 79]
the spiral tarot-key 5-the Hierophant
The Spiral Tarot- Key 5-The Hierophant, uses the image of Chiron as its primary meaning. Chron, a Greek Centaur. In this image, he is raising his hand in blessing and in his other hand lies the High Priestess's key of knowledge. Above, on the primary image's right, is the sign of Sagittarius, his symbol of the zodiac and/or sign is a Centaur armed with arrows following an old tradition coming from Ancient Greece and from other cultures of the past. Underneath that sign, is a image of the Tree of Life. Stars and planets surround Chiron's head, showing his consciousness is Macrocosmic. The above and below of his hands show that this Macrocosmic and Microcosmic conscious connection is through him, as does the rainbow bridge connecting "heaven and earth". A horse is shown in the art work, again suggesting Sagittarius.
For those who don't know the Greek Myth of Chiron, I have established a link below and some of the Wikipedia information for your perusal.
Chiron, Peleus and infant Achilles
Chiron was notable throughout Greek mythology for his youth-nurturing nature. His personal skills tend to match those of his foster father Apollo, who taught the young centaur the art of medicine, herbs, music, archery, hunting, gymnastics and prophecy, and made him rise above his beastly nature. Chiron was known for his knowledge and skill with medicine, and thus was credited with the discovery of botany and pharmacy, the science of herbs and medicine.
Like satyrs, centaurs were notorious for being wild, lusty, overly indulgent drinkers and carousers, violent when intoxicated, and generally uncultured delinquents. Chiron, by contrast, was intelligent, civilized and kind, because he was not related directly to the other centaurs due to his parentage. He was the son of the Titan Cronus and the Oceanid Philyra, and thus possible brother to Dolops and Aphrus, the ancestor and eponym of the Aphroi, i.e. the native Africans. Chiron lived predominantly on Mount Pelion; there he married the nymph Chariclo who bore him three daughters, Hippe (also known as Melanippe meaning the "black mare" or Euippe, "good mare"), Endeïs, and Ocyrhoe, and one son Carystus. A different source also stated that his wife was called Nais while a certain Aristaeus was called his son.
Like the other centaurs, Chiron was later expelled by the Lapithae from his home; but sacrifices were offered to him there by the Magnesians until a very late period, and the family of the Cheironidae in that neighbourhood, who were distinguished for their knowledge of medicine, were regarded as his descendants.
Thoth- ATU 5-The Hierophant
Rider-waite-smith- key X-Wheel of fortune-Traditional placement of the 4 Kerubic Beasts
The Oriel (window) behind the Thoth Hierophants head, is held in place by 9 nails, hooking the Microcosm to the Dark Abyss of the Macrocosm; 9 is the number of the Sephiroth of the Moon, Yesod. The 4 Kerubic Beasts guard this shine of the Hierophant, but there seems to be an error in their placement, according to the traditional placement of Tarot (Wheel of Fortune). Although the bull of Taurus and the Lion of Leo, seem to be in their proper traditional placement, the Angel (human face) and Eagle have switched places. However, in the new Aeon of Horus, it is not the position of the kerubs that has change but the symbols of the kerubs has changed. In Crowley's version of the 23rd Enochian Aether, it is revealed that the emblem for fixed air is now the eagle, and the emblem for fixed-water, Scorpio is now the angel: The Beast and Scarlet Woman are attributed to Leo and Scorpio. They are the 2-in-one Chief Officers of the Temple of the New Aeon of Heru-Ra-Ha. (Note the Eagle Kerub in 23 Aire is Aquarius. Scorpio is the Woman-Serpent. This is important for the old attribution is of the Eagle to Scorpio).
[Crowley-The Vision and the Voice, Pg. 67]
(Heru-Ra-Ha is both Horus and the Angel over the Tarot. Heru Ra Ha, literally means "Horus, Sun- Flesh".)
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 ATU 5 card to open the ego (lesser-mind) to Higher Thought.
When the HIEROPHANT card 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 oneself 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.
- Search for the Truth.
- Tradition, community and teachings.
- Marriage, or any social commitment.
- Teaching by way of discovery.
- Connecting to your divine source.
If ill defined by the surrounding cards of the layout (there is no reverse meaning for both cards):
- Esoteric arrogance.
- Social pressure.
- Doctrines or ideas that have lost meaning.
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