Thoth-atu 1-the magus
The Magus or Magician is the Qabalistic 12th- Path of Beth, meaning House, on the Tree of Life and is between Kether (Crown) and Binah (Understanding) on the Qabalistic Tree of Life, making it the transition (Phallic) Path of the One Undefined Energy, and the Great Organizer, Mother Binah. The letter Beth establishes the relationship between The Will (Magus) and Understanding (Binah). Hence, the meaning of house, Beth, as that of the dwelling place (Womb) where Spirit resides before "falling" into manifestation. Physically, in Tantric philosophy that would be the lingam and Yoni.
In this case, it is appropriate to call the Magus that which builds the House. In other words, the Magus directs and encloses the One Spirit ("I Will Be")) which is symbolized by THE FOOL tarot card. The Supernal Triangle, is represented by Tarot Cards whose activities are only separated by a degree or less. Thus, the Aspects of the Magus and the Fool are closely linked. For those who wish a glaring example of this degree of separation it is about as much as the Testes and Phallus are separated in a human male, albeit the One Great Being (Note* to a Qabalist a "Being" is an Immortal Intelligence").
**Often the scholarly student will notice that everyone seems to spell the words denoting a Hebrew letter differently. This is because they are really numbers and have no English spelling. Hence, as they sound to the individual, they are so spelt. I would say they are phonetically spelled.
Scholars of the first 5 books of the Bible (the Pentateuch), point out that the letter Beth/Beit is the First letter, as the book of Genesis begins with Bereshith --commonly translated as "in the beginning". Interestingly, Fabre d'Olivet translated Bereshith as meaning "At First, in principle", knowing that Beth symbolizes the "Beginning of the Beginning"; The Will of the One. Thus, it is the First Matter of the Alchemist, the Philosophic Mercury and or "First Principle". Because to create a beginning one must create an end Hence, the Magus also represents the key polarities of creation, Life and Death. This process is indicated by the figure eight that is lying on its side (lemniscus) and. or Oroboros, the serpent that eats its own tail, as both represent the closed circle of One Energy, begun by the number One -Beth, acting on the Zero-Aleph, THE FOOL . The Lemniscus symbolizes the Act of Turning upon oneself as a Twisting or Spiraling- and thereby, creating Male and Female infinite circles of Force in the ONE Energy and the Sexual Dance of God/Goddess; the Divine Creative. Because there is no Action in the Crown or Mind of , until Will disturbs it, the Magus chant of," I am the will. I am the way. I am the wealth; I own the Day." is most apropos to this card.
[For an entertaining story of the first relationship between the letters Aleph and Beth, I would suggest one reads the Zohar, a Qabalistic text.]
However, even though the Magus is associated with Mercury/Hermes, the Messenger of the Gods, it is not all active. In fact, it is both active and passive, as it is both that which Transmits and that which is transmitted (A phallus and semen). The Magus represents both the One Life Energy which when transmitted becomes the Prima Materia (First Matter or Semen of Will which is commonly known as Thought/"I will Be"). Here an understanding of the fact that the Magus (Mercury) is the "message bearer" of the Gods, meaning he is not Himself the Creator, only the bearer of his Will much as the semen is the bearer of the genes of the Father or as much as the personality is the bearer of the Psyche's will. Thus the Magus is the ejaculator of will. (The whole Supernal Triangle is the action of the Divine Phallus and Womb.). The Wand in The Magician's hand (Golden Dawn Deck) and/or the Caduceus symbolizes this phallic action, showing that the Magick is merely the Transmitted will of the Greater Being that is the Supernal Triangle or Trinity.
The Roman, Mercury, is the Greek Hermes and the Egyptian- Thoth, all represent the same deity/Being, the amalgamation of their qualities having become inseparable in modern esoteric literature.
Hermes/Mercury, was always associated with words, this makes sense as a messenger must simply state the cause of the one who has sent him. Then there is the Egyptian- Thoth, who reportedly created the Hieroglyphs, which developed the necessary means by which a message could be transmitted and recorded.
The companion of Thoth/Hermes, was shown as a dog-headed Ape (Cynocephalus), representing words themselves, and their potential for deception and misunderstanding. Thus, we have Cynocephalus, included in the Thoth Deck card, laying at the feet of the Magus.
Not only dowords affect the personality, as cause and effect due to reaction, but they also transmit ideas from person to person in the same way that the Magus transmits the "I Will Be" of Self-Creation of the One -Kether. The Transmitted Will, from The Magus, Fertilizes the ONE Womb, (Understanding) that is the Great Mother Binah. Just as some words fertilize Consciousness! Thus, the power of Words, is about stimulating the birthing of unconscious ideas into conscious images of understanding, by the Power of Expression, but not necessarily the Truth of Creation, for that Must Be Made Manifest (THE PRIESTESS)!
Okay, this concept may be so subjective, that it may be difficult to understand, but try skrying or meditating on the card. Your meditative observation will open your consciousness to the flow of the Collective Unconscious were greater knowledge is stored.
To reiterate:THE MAGUS is the Path of Beth (house or temple), and it transmits the idea of Self-Creation of the One from above-known as Kether (Crown). A spoken word is a sound that carries an idea, so the Magus is associated with the First Vibration or Word of God. The First Vibration encloses Spirit/Energy, beginning the process of creation, thus encompassing all that is.
In the Golden Dawn papers, this idea was conveyed by relating the Mercury symbol (planetary sign) to all the Sephiroth, with the exception of Kether. You may note that the Horns spring from Daath, often called the invisible Sephiroth but really, it is the conjunction of Chokmah (Great Father and Binah (Great Mother), a face to face union, that creates what is called: The Divine Child. This is understandable, since Wisdom (Chokmah) and Understanding (Binah) conjoin in the birthing of Knowledge (Daath). Here Mercury is placed in the Sephiroth to show further example.
Consequentially the showing of Mercury on the Caduceus, properly places the Four Worlds, [Atziluth, Briah, Yetzirah and Assiah], that are transitions of the Wand of the Magus, Kether is the Winged Orb at the top. By deeper delving into the Golden Dawn tests, the student will find that the Primum Mobile, Latin for "first motion”, is acting through Philosophic Mercury (Magus) on Saturn-Binah, who is Will to Form or Understanding. As before stated, she is the Mother of Form and the Magus is the Idea of Being and/or the Primal Will.
The activity of first motion acting on Saturn-Binah, is sound or Vibration and whoever can willfully direct the Vibration of the First Motion, (often referred to as to "Pronounce the word-YHVH") shall command the Universal Force. This Mastery of the Universal motion, is called the "moves-Moves" among certain Native American nations, and/or the "motion within the movement" of the Mysteries. Quantum physicists would call it the "Dark energy that pushes the Universe", while Qabalists call it the Magus, who as an unseen Will pushes forth Life.
Dr.Paul Foster Case, in his Book of Tokens, stated that, "all created wills are but reflections" …of the Will that is the Magus. This is an essential ideal of the Mysteries and acknowledges the fact that our Superior Nature (Divine I) acts through the Magus.
In the Crowley card, unlike the Golden Dawn card, THE MAGUS is not holding a Wand, the primary instrument of the MAGICIAN cards; Rather, THE MAGUS is the Wand, He is the Phallus, which Crowley understood. This Subjective Phallus, is not yet an object. All Objects are formed by Binah, who is Will to Form.
Victorian sensibilities have softened the ancient depictions of Hermes as the Herms, that were upright stone slabs with a bust and a very large stone phallus curiously attached to the front of the column. This acknowledgment of "First Motion" is also shown in Lingam worship of the Hindus and or the Phallus- God Priapus of the Romans. Without the Transmitted Will of the One, understanding of an idea, cannot become a Form built by Understanding and/or in-form-action. This is a complex idea, and requires deep meditations on THE MAGUS card, and also a release of Victorian sensibilities, as we are describing the First SEX Action in the Universal Duality---the 0=2. That Action, produced our Higher Self called Daath, Knowledge, who is the Divine Child of the union of Will and Understanding; the Self Concept of I AM ME. Here, the -I is the Will and the Am is the form of that Will and the Me is the manifestation of the Union of Wisdom and Understanding. Caution: This concept could make your forehead itch! However, it is okay to scratch your head for you are the in-form-action of your Soul which by the action of divination (tarot reading is one)strengths the link between personality and Psyche.
The Relationship of the Fool and the Magus
Kether, the Source of All, is connected to Chokma, the first activity towards creation, via the 11th Path of the Fool. The Hebrew letter Aleph-meaning OX, is assigned to this Path. In the Zohar, the letter Aleph is considered representative of absolute unity. This supports the Qabalistic interpretation of, Aleph-Ox, as the symbol of the Life-Power, and/or creative energy. As I have stated before, the Fool Card, demands multi-faceted and fluid interpretation. The Path of Aleph, is called the Fiery or Scintillating Intelligence which proceeds from the Limitless Light of Kether that is darkness to us (Dark Energy). Residing in the Fiery Darkness is the possibility of motion or vibration and the First Perception or Will of the One that is the potential for activity.
Qabalists know this One Mind/Energy as the Primal Creative Energy of the Universe that acts upon itself to emanate the Cosmos. To a physicist this is the, "One energy that cannot be created nor destroyed, only transformed.”. There are many attempts to explain the 'First Thought, that created Mind, such as, The Word of God (Logos), the first vibration, the singularity, etc.; However, all we can say is that from the invisible and limitless no-thing (Ain. Ain Soph, Ain Soph Aur) comes the potential for thought, thus thought appears and emanates Mind which is the vessel that contains thought...this makes the Mind the First Vessel of Magnetic form or Womb. And yet, A. Crowley called the letter Aleph, a plough shares in shape and thus a phallic symbol of 'Expression". Thus the Potential Androgyny is conceived of, as the potential for Sexuality, male-electric and female-magnetic which then unlocks the potential for creative- diversity. When considering all of this, it helps to stay fluid in your thinking! Also availing yourself of a diagram of the Tree of Life and its connecting paths will help in the enabling visuals. In past and present blogs, I continually have shown such diagrams, so I would recommend scrolling back to one.
The Magus-Key 1, is attributed to the Hebrew Letter-Beth, meaning House, and connects Kether (Dark Energy) to Binah, the Great Organizer. Binah, known as the Sephiroth- Understanding, is the Potential for Womb, becoming the House or "dwelling place" for Spirit (spiral energy) descending towards the density of manifestation. The Magus represents that which builds the house, i.e. Will. Will or the Magus is the first “I” that directs and encloses the One Spirit which is represented as THE FOOL The Actions of directing is Phallic and the action of enclosing is that of the Womb. Thus, I call the Sephiroth Binah---"The Womb with a View" and/or Imagination. The word Imagination if examined as I- Magi- Nation....will not only titillate our brain, it may also shed some light on this potential of Understanding the Will.
One may note, that the higher one works up the Tree of Life, the differences between the cards is much subtler and fluid than the lower levels. This subtlety is even more pronounce in The Fool and The Magus (Magician) that are only separated by a slight degree, as is electric and magnetic force, a fact that is not seen in the anthropomorphized symbolism of the cards or of the Spirit as human male and female forms!
All Worship and rationale aside, suffice it to say that Beth (house) is the First in Principle, the first in creation, the beginning of the beginning, i.e. the place of will-To- be! To the Alchemist, Beth, is the Philosophic Mercury or First Matter. The Alpha, which is never without Omega! The female that is never without the Male. To create beginning is to create end, thus the opposites of life and death which are the key polarities to creation, are attributed to the letter Beth. Specifically, without the energies of the Magus, life and death would not exist, nor would beginning and end; all would be formless. The infinity symbol (Lemniscus-Latin word for “ribbon”), seen as a figure 8 laying on its side, a type of Mobius loop, as well as, the symbol of the Serpent that eats its own tail, Oroboros, initiates and represents this multidimensional cyclic process of life and death. Both represent the closed circle of energy in the Universe begun by number one Beth acting upon the zero; Aleph. What may also aid in the thought of Male-eclectic and Female-magnetic force being separated by a slight degree, is that infinity symbol is merely a circle twisting to looking upon itself, an action that creates a female circle of force and male circle of force where One= Two. The same can be said for the electromagnetic spectrum of light. Electric-Male and Female magnetic, combine to form One Electromagnetic spectrum of great diversity!
This bears repeating :
In the Zohar, the relationship of Aleph-The Fool and Beth- the Magus to creation, are discussed in a most charming matter, which is unusual for esoteric literature. I would recommend that the discerning student of the Tarot read this Qabalistic book. The relationship between The Fool and The Magus (magician) is so subtle that our best hope of even approaching an understanding, resides in meditation on spiritual text, like the Zohar, combine with the imagers of the Tarot cards. To speak directly of the Invisible, is impossible, so a circle of ideas must be formed, each giving a suggestion about the nature of the inner Truth. Each Sephiroth on the Tree of Life is each a Circle of ideas, and each Form is an understanding of these circles while each Force is a potential to Form. I may have lost you with that one, so let me say, that The Magus is a channel through which the Energy of the Fool is organized and passes downward. The Magus is both active and passive, as the Magus is both the transmitter and the transmitted, i.e. the Life Force which becomes the primal material in the act of transmission. The Magus being the first step in evolutionary Universal energy towards matter. Thus, in the Thirty-Two Paths of Wisdom, by Dr.Paul Foster Case, the Magus is called the Transparent Intelligence, as light passes through a window from above, so does the Magus pass The Will.
the tarot of the spirit-key 1-the magus
The Tarot of the Spirit-Key 1-Then Magus, is totally comparable to the Thoth Magus, even though Joyce Eaking decide to chooses a more traditional tarot card imagery. With Hand raised high, indicating "from above", and the other hand pointing down and/or the below, the Magus is surrounded in a swirling light that is in the lemniscus shape of the "figure eight laying on its side" and/or western symbol of infinity. It is the symbol of 0=2. For it is an unbroken circle, twisting upon itself. In physics that would be called a Mobius Loop.
On the square granit altar are the tools of the Magus:
Cup, Sword, Wand, granite and fire radiating from the pentagram. The symbol of the pentagram that is on the altar, represents a symbol for the 4 points of fire, water, air and earth. The 5th top point represents spirit. There is also 4 admonitions of Western Magic;
- To Will.
- To know.
- To dare.
- And to be silent.
The colors represent:
- The black outer coat of the magus represents the unknown.
- The lining is red, representing the desire to know.
- The garment is white, representing purity, innocence, and sacred intention.
It is also noted that white, red and black represent the life cycle. White is the beginning; red is the middle time. a time of healing. Black is the end, a time of Wisdom. These are also the colors of the Hermit and the 3 mysteries of Woman, Maid (white), Mother(red) and Crone (black).
Also symbolically the Universal Elements represent directions and forces of Spirit (Will). Fire is South, Water is West (emotion), intellect is Wind that is East. Matter is Earth that is North. However, there are 3 more directions, Above, Below and Center. The Greater Self or Superconscious is Above. The subconscious is below and center is the considered the "waking consciousness". In Western Magic there is final direction that is called the Ether. The Ether represents the summation of all that is. It is also called the "Astral" and is the direction that is everywhere and nowhere , simultaneously. Therefore, through combining and recombining (transforming) the forces and forms of the elements and eight directions, the Magus transforms the World.
While studying the Qabalah and Tarot, one might realize the ancient alchemical process of transforming the world. This is the process of "As above, so below" that is discovered by the Magus, who uses that discovery to transform the world. Through this alchemical process, the baser metals of the animal self and world are transformed into the purer gold and elixir of perpetual life. To understand this secret alchemical process the Magus must discover the power of revelation--the I AM! Everything is a declaration of I AM. I Am unique. I AM separate! I AM a Collective! I Am The Will! I Am the Way! I Am the Wealth! I AM Life! I create the world (Me) as I Am. I Am the Creator! The Magus knows that all who can imagine themselves are a copy of the Divine Creative. One changes their world by altering their perspective. I AM Wealth. The Magus represents your second mode of power-known as focused action.
The magus is masked in the Tarot of The Spirit art, implying that the power of illusion is inherent in manifestation.
Upon the forward face of the altar is also the symbol for Mercury/Hermes. All of which was explained earlier in this blog.
The Tarot of The Spirit- Key 1-The Magus has the same implications as does the Thoth Magus, when in divinatory layouts.
When THE MAGUS is thrown during a reading, it implies:
- Communication and timing and that all things are possible, with applied Will and understanding.
- There is an implication of the magic of Universal Vital Force traveling through the human body making one in-tune with the most creative and powerful aspects of yourSelf; As above, so below.
- Changing the structure of your living situation by focused action:
- Will and focused consciousness.
- An awareness of Power, and possession and communication of the Powers (Focused will that fertilizes creativity in one’s self and others) and Gifts of Spirit (Divine senses).
- Sometimes occult wisdom.
Since focused action/ Will can used for both good and evil. There is only good and evil implications in all that is done by Willful intent. Hence, when using focused will, cunning, and skill to enslave others, or make them dependants, is considered the ill definition of this card. Hence aggressiveness,egotism and misuse of power. This definition is supplied by the surrounding cards.
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