Thoth-ATU 5-The Hierophant
ATU 5-The Hierophant, represents the universal Key of learning and teaching.
This ATU/ 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 in many decks. However, this is not your Aeon-of-Osiris-Pope tarot card. It is loaded with Thelemic symbolism. Here we see presented is the shrine of the Aeon of Horus. Illustrated is a bold Priest-initiator of Babalon. At his feet, in servitude, there are no pale acolytes or monks, but rather he is supported by a sword and sickle bearing Scarlet Woman (Crowley called her Babalon) and/or the "Dark Isis", who seem to be the same feminine manifestation, both of them are aspects of the "Heavenly Venus" who rules Taurus and covers/influence the entire Tree of Life. In his Book of Law, Crowley commands, " Let the woman be gifted with a sword, before me.", he also states that "This woman represents Venus as she now is in this new Aeon; no longer the mere vehicle of her male counterpart (Mars), but armed and militant. This militant lady, carries the Moon, which is exalted in Taurus. In this new aeon, we also see initiated a new love relationship that is implied in the ornate oriel window behind the Phallic headdress of the Hierophant, as the 5 petals are in blossom (fertilized). The Oriel is the traditional Christian Window behind and above the altar, representing the "Virgin Mary". Hence, the Divine Feminine. She supports him and then through his teachings, one gets a view into her Universal Collective Unconscious and/or Great Dark Sea of the Goddess which is often called the Abyssal Womb. In the Book of Law-chapter 1, verse 57, Crowley refers to the dove and the serpent that are shown with the Oriel. He states:" there are love and love. There is the dove and there is the serpent.
The 9 nails that fasten the Window to the Abyss, are a symbol of the 9th Sephira, Yesod, the sphere of the Moon. Guarding this Hierophantic shrine are the 4 Kerubic beasts, that represent the 4 fixed signs of the Zodiac:
- Leo (symbolized by the Lion and representing Fire),
- Scorpio (symbolized by the Eagle, representing Water).
- Aquarius ( symbolized by a Man or Angel, representing Air).
- Taurus (symbolized by the Bull and representing
The perspicacious may note that Lady Frieda Harris, seems to be breaking with the Traditional Tarot placement of these 4 Kerubi Beasts that are placed in the corners of the traditional wheel of Fortune and the World card, or that she really didn't know their correct placement. Traditionally, the lion of Leo is usually in the lower right corner; the eagle of Scorpio is traditionally in the upper right;the man or angel of Aquarius, is usually presented in the upper left; and the bull of Taurus is placed in the lower left. For a long time this has been the natural order of the fixed signs. However, Harris seems to break with traditional placement in her Hierophant, and Universe- Major Arcana cards. The bull and lion appear in their traditional corners, but the angel/man and the eagle have switched traditional positions. Truth being, she is following Crowley's version of the 23rd Enochian Æther, where it is revealed that the symbol for Aquarius is now the eagle, and Scorpio, the symbol for fixed water, is now the man/angel.
"The Beast and Scarlet Woman are attributed to Leo and Scorpio. They are the 2-in-1 Chief officers of the Temple of the new Æon of Heru-Ra-Ha (Horus). (*Note:Eagle Kerub in the 23 Aire is Aquarius. Scorpio is the Woman/Serpent.)
Further viewing of this card, shows the throne flanked by Elephants. The Hierophant is seated upon the Bull. In his left hand is the sign of benediction, in his right hand is the wand with 3 rings, representing the ascendancy of Horus from the preceding Aeons of Isis and Osiris. All this Thelemic symbology is wonderful but it must not distract one from realizing that the Hierophant is Vau of YHVH (Tetragrammaton). He is the 6 of the Divine macrocosmic consciousness that we must "nail" the 5 of our earthly microcosmic consciousness. We are the child dancing in the pentagram on his macrocosmic chest. The Hexagram encloses the entire Hierophant.
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. The family situations are represented in this card by the images of Isis and Osiris and Horus.
In pre-Christian 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); we are to walk the mystical path with the practical feet of the Magus. We are the All Potential of Daath, the Birthplace 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 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 HIEROPHANT 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 HIEROPHANT 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", 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 and/or Solar Self (Soul).
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/Universal Collective Unconscious and/ or must experience "Self" on some other newly emerging planet. When confined to one's own aspect of the Universal Collective Unconscious, sensuality then, will be condemned to memory rather than new experiences 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 HIEROPHANT that is a Higher State of Conscious Energy within our Tree of Life (our Spiral Pattern of Force and Form gives us back our dimensionally shedding of 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", and/or the destruction of our ego, 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 HIEROPHANT awaits us all, and will fill to capacity, the thirsty student!
As a Divine Self-Image, you are denied nothing that "ever was or will be", only you have the freedom to deny yourself! Thus, you should know that the HIEROPHANT does not have Authority over your Spiritual Will, 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 mental self-constructs.
Now all is not "sweetness and light" in the HIEROPHANT, and most authorities on tarot agree that there are some unpleasant aspects to this Key. 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 who tries to set the rules 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 and we get to experience freely the consequences thereof. Besides, Only slaves need saviors!
The Hierophant is 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 (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 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 letter 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. 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 receives the discerning 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 4 Kerubim (Guiding intelligences of the 4 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 4 ternaries... Where each element is broken down to 3 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 its 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 6 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 (another aspect of Venus) that 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 ATU 5 card.
Tarot Illuminati-Key 5-The Hierophant
The institution of the Sacred
The Tarot Illuminati- Key 5-The Hierophant depicts the Traditional Tarot image of the Pope in the Age of Osiris. In medieval tradition, the Pope was the representative of Sacred Wisdom , gleaned from the millennia of the coming and going men and women, that has deposited this wisdom in history. Eventually this wisdom became the teachings from which the institutions or organisations of man were built as the most effective means for passing on to the masses, this wisdom. Such institutions and/or organizations were considered the means to safely pass on this collective of tradition and wisdom. But is the nature of man to form hierarchies, from which emerge rulers, who profane the original wisdom to suit their own needy ego. The Traditional Tarot Hierophant represented this ancient tradition and wisdom before it was profaned. Here is the Hierophant who passes on the Wisdom of the Ages as revealer of the Sacred. completely decked out in the very ornate robes and papal tiara. The papal tiara is a crown that was worn by popes of the Catholic Church from as early as the 8th century to the mid-20th. It was last used by Pope Paul VI in 1963 and only at the beginning of his reign.
The 3 tiered staff, represent the God-Trinity and the golden keys of sacred knowledge are presented. The lamb is a symbol of the "Son/Sun of God", where the war like father,(Osiris) has resurrected as a peace loving deity. Here is where the Thoth Hierophant and the Tarot illuminati Hierophant seem to have different meanings.
When the THOTH 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.
- Knowledge and enlightenment as experienced independent of science, and dogmatic religion.
When the TAROT ILLUMINATI HIEROPHANT CARD is thrown in a divination it implies that the querent is experiencing:
- Organizations and Institutions.
- Spiritual authority.
- Traditional teachings.
- Knowledge and book learning.
- Revelation of the sacred.
- A teacher.
- The priesthood.
- History and learning from the past.
When the Hierophant, ATU/Key 5 is surrounded by ill defined cards:
- Esoteric ignorance.
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