Above all things, know thyself!
Thoth- ATU 1-The Magus
The Golden Tarot-The Magician ( IL Bagatella)
The Magus or Magician, the 1st Trump or ATU is associated with the Hebrew Letter-Beth and is called The Path of Beth, meaning House, 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, to the Great Organizer, Mother Binah. This relationship establishes the meaning of house, Beth, as that of the dwelling place (Womb) where Spirit resides before "falling" into manifestation. 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 (Spiral Energy-Vital Life Force) which is symbolized by THE FOOL tarot card.
The Supernal Triangle of the Upper Trinity (Azilluth), is represented by Tarot Cards whose activities are only separated by a degree or less. Therefore, the Aspects of the Magus/Magician 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 Intelligent Energy"/Sephiroth) is not sex as we know it. In the Upper Tree of Life, there isn't a species sexuality of any kind. Rather "sexual expression" here is of energy, as in Expressed Energy/Male or Receptive Energy/Female. The Golden Tarot, a modern version of the Visconti- Sforza deck, traditionally depicts this Magician/Magus in the dress of a trickster or carnival king who is the first guide towards wisdom. The Italian title of IL Bagatella, means " something of little importance" because he represents the Soul of Appetite which is considered the lowest rung on the ladder of self-actualization. He is shown sitting on an decorated trunk before a table of his implements; a covered dish, a cup, coins and a knife. His left hand is on a rod, while his right is on the covered dish. According to the Italian symbology, the cup represents a benign motive (Cups); the knife a clear plan (Swords); the rod, enthusiasm (Wands); and the coins (Disks), all that is practical. What's in the trunk is a mystery. However, out of these elements, all things are possible.
Scholars of the first 5 books of the Bible (the Pentateuch), point out that the letter Beth, seen on the Thoth Magus, 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 Primal Will of the One. Hence, it is called the First Matter of the Alchemist, the Philosophic Mercury and or "First Principle". Because to create a beginning one must create an end, 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 tale, as both represent the closed circle of One Energy,(0=2) 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- creating Male and Female infinite circles of Force in the ONE Energy and is also referred to as the Sexual Dance of God/Goddess; the Divine Creative. Because there is no Action in the Crown or Mind of God, until Will disturbs it. That Will is the Magus and the magical 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, 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-Wand)! The Magus represents both the One Life Energy which when transmitted to Binah (Understanding) becomes the Prima Materia (First Matter or Semen of Will which is commonly known as Thought). Here an understanding of the fact that the Magus (Mercury) is the "message bearer" of the Immortal Beings, 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. Therefore, the Magus is the ejaculator of will.(The whole Supernal Triangle is the action/Will of the Divine Phallus and Womb.). The Wand, Traditionally seen in The Magician's hand (Golden Dawn Deck and Golden Tarot Deck) but not shown in hand of the Thoth Card, symbolizes this phallic action. The usage of the wand implies that the Magic is merely the Transmitted will of the Greater Being that is the Supernal Triangle or Trinity. The Thoth Magus is the Wand on the Thoth Card, just as the human body is the magic wand of the Soul. In both Thoth and The Golden Tarot, tarot, The Magus/Magician's tools, The Cup, The Sword, The Pentacle (Disk), and the Wand are shown in various positions. However, Fire, is shown in the Thoth Card (by the Magus's right hand) but not shown separately on the Golden Tarot as it is usually lighted in the covered bowl, when it is uncovered.
The Roman, Mercury, is the Greek Hermes (shown with erect phallus) and the Egyptian- Thoth, all represent the same deity, the amalgamation of their qualities having become inseparable in modern esoteric literature. Hermes, as was Thoth, 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. Hence, we have Cynocephalus, included in the Thoth Deck card, laying at the feet of the Magus. person in the same way that the Magus transmits the Willed idea of Self-Creation of the One -Kether and/or The I AM. The Transmitted idea of I AM (I Will Be), from The Magus, Fertilizes the ONE Womb, (Understanding) that is the Great Mother Binah (The Creatrix of Consciousness) just as 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. The Truth is "I AM" what that "I AM" is produces only assumptions; Therefore Truth Must Be Made Manifest (THE PRIESTESS) as Knowledge. Before knowledge there is data/information, but information does not become knowledge before it can be intimately experienced. Hence, "Truth is made manifest", implies one must have a body on Malkuth, the goal of the "I AM", before information can become knowledge. Okay, this concept may be so subjective, that it may be difficult to understand, but try skrying the card. Your meditative observation will open your consciousness to the flow of the Collective Unconscious were greater knowledge is stored. For when an idea is Understood, it becomes information. Information, received, expressed and then experienced, becomes knowledge. Therefore, what is to become knowledge must be proven by in-form-action.
To reiterate: THE MAGUS/Maiden 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 which is described by the Hebrew as Eheieh-"I Will BE". This First Vibration encloses Spirit, the Will that holds all things together, 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 Priestess" who in turn is the Sephiroth Daath from which emerges The Divine Child (The Soul). This is understandable, since Wisdom (Chokmah) and Understanding (Binah) conjoin in the birthing of information (Daath), the Womb of the Supernal Triangle, and knowledge becomes in-form-ation after the 6th Sephiroth-Tiphareth-Beauty, establishes form. Before Tiphareth, there are no forms, below Tiphareth, forms begin.
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 as I like to call her, "Time/Space". As before stated, she is the Mother of Form and the Magus is the Idea of Being and/or Will. The association with writing and words, is shown on the Thoth Magus card , by the goose feather pen on the right and the parchment scroll on the left of this "head dress" wand that is intertwined with the twin serpents of "life and death". The activity of first motion acting on Saturn-Binah, is words 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.
Dr.Paul Foster Case, the best known American Qabalist, 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 AM) acts through the aspect of Higher Self called the Magus. In the Crowley card, unlike the Golden Dawn card, or Rider-Waite-Smith card or the Haindl Tarot 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 of Expressed Will, which Crowley understood. This Subjective Phallus, is not an object. All Objects are begun as the idea/potencial of form by Binah, who is the Will to Form but do not manifest until after Tiphareth, the Soul, builds them as "Self-Images". Due to victorian peccadilloes, Lady Frieda Harris didn't illustrate an erect phallus on the Thoth Magus, although the ancient statues of Hermes show him as a bust with an erect phallus. Hence, the Whole Body of the Magus, is the erect phallic agent.
This acknowledgment of "First Motion" is also shown in the symbolic 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 of Understanding (Thought Form). 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 of 0=2. That Action, produced our Higher Self called I AM, who is the form of knowledge expressed by the Abyssal Womb as the Divine Child of the union of Will and Understanding; the Self Concept of I AM ME as a Soul (Tiphareth) and/or Sun of the Divine Creative has produced the establishment of form as "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. Caution: This concept could make your forehead itch! So let us just say that the Will of Kether, called "Eheieh", meaning "I Will Be" is the first Exhaled-Breath of Spirit in the Universe and carried with it the fertile idea of "Being", establishing the "Will to Form", Grail-enclosure, that is Mother of Understanding, Binah.
The illustration of the Tree of Life upper Triangle, that shows a path of Aleph-the Fool- to the 2nd Sephiroth-Chokmah and the Path of Beth of the Magus to Mother Binah, the 3rd Sephiroth of Understanding, connecting both "First Feminine"-Understanding and "First Masculine" expressions of the Will To Force and/or Wisdom can mislead one to think there was some kind of linear "first and last created" Sephiroth in the Upper Trinity. However, this is not so, the whole trinity is a simultaneous creation of I AM. 0=2. O being I and 2 being I AM. I Am is the name of the Divine Creative and it is our inherited name of the Soul. I Am/Establishment of Existence, begins all ideas of Self. ( I Am healthy, I Am Sick, I Am wealthy, I Am impoverished, I Am Joy, I Am Sadness, I AM Life, I Am human......etc. ). This ability to define yourself, is pure magic! So beware how you use your power of "I AM", for here be Dragons as well as, Saints.
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 your-Self; 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).
- Being in control of one's life.
- Transforming old situations, bringing in new ones.
- A burst of energy.
- Focused Will.
- Study and control.
- Manifesting the Masculine divine.
- Auspicious card for beginning something new.
If ill defined by the surrounding cards:
- Blocked natural expression of energy.
- Inner resistance.
- Misuse of personal power.
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