Above all things, know thyself!
Thoth-ATU IV-The Emperor
The Golden Tarot- Key 4-The Emperor
Attributed to The Tarot- Emperor-ATU 4 is the Hebrew letter Heh; the Path of Heh that runs between Tiphareth (Beauty-the Solar Logos) to Chokmah (Wisdom-Lesser Creator who rules over manifestation) and is known as the Constituting Intelligence (Paul Foster Case). When one looks at the Emperor card they see the Hebrew Letter Tzaddi rather then the Hebrew Letter Heh, they will find the letter Heh on the Star Card. Confusion reigns here, as even Crowley seemed uncertain about the Path of Tzaddi and the Path of Heh. He wrote: "It is finally to be observed that the white light that descends upon him indicates the position of this card in the Tree of Life .His authority is derived from Chokmah, the creative Wisdom, the Word, and is exerted upon Tiphareth, the organized man".[page-78 of the Book of Thoth]. This puts the Emperor on the 15th Path of Heh that is from Chokmah to Tiphareth.
Then there is the amalgamation of multiple states of the One Energy (upper triangle), known as the Garden of Eden. Here again Crowley proposes and interchange of the Emperor (Tzaddi) with the Star (Heh) which most Tarot Scholars of Qabalah disagree. In dealing with the Star, the scholars describe the Emperor as the "fiery aspect of the Garden of Eden", to which the Higher Self relates, while the Star is the Eden of personality. Therefore, the Emperor is the Self-Observation of the One (Self-Awareness) and therefore, Heh/He', meaning "window or Sight", which is Heh-The Window that reveals the Light (Energy) of the Father. It is also the first path to which a sensor function is attributed in the Sepher Yetzirah (primary book of Qabalah), suggesting that "I" (eye sight) sight is the first of the senses as Aries is the first house in the sequence of the Zodiac. Aries, as the first sign, emerges directly from Chokmah, the Sphere of the Zodiac.
Also, as shown on the Rider-Waite-Smith, Triple Goddess, Golden Dawn, and most traditional Tarot cards, the Emperor sits on a grey granite throne which is the color attributed to the sphere of Chokmah, and completing the throne on the Traditional and Thoth Cards is the Aries Rams decorating the throne-crown. Because of our Divine Inheritance from the Demiurge (Lesser Creator-Chokmah) and the Great Mother (Binah-Female aspect of the Demiurge) we are all Souls who are the "Shades/Copies" of Divine-Consciousness. Modern psychology has called these "Shades/Copies" of Higher Consciousness, the Unconscious, the Subconscious and the awake Self-Consciousness which just about every elementary school child, of my day, has heard of. However, hearing of a thing is not knowing the thing. Because of the evolution of subjective thought, from Mythology, to fundamental Religions, and now to the modern science of Psychology, we are beginning to easily deal with the "shades" of higher consciousness within ourselves and are experiencing a New Age (The Age of Aquarius/Horus) of enlightenment, eliminating the separation of these aspects of One Mind. The Higher we realize ourselves in consciousness or on the Self Tapestry of the Tree of Life, the more the student understands that the Trump or Cards of the Major Arcana, only point the way towards understanding concepts that the ego- mind/brain cannot otherwise grasp.
By beginning to understand the Top 5 Trumps/Paths, [THE EMPEROR, THE EMPRESS, THE PRIESTESS, THE MAGUS, THE FOOL], the initiate will be developing the consciousness of the Sun/Son of The Divine Creative- Horus----the 22nd century human awareness.
Because of modern Physics, we know that there is only One Energy that cannot be created nor destroyed, only transformed, and the student of the Tarot knows that all the 78 cards of the Tarot deck represent Transformations of the One and/or ourselves. From the One, emergence the opposites, which are activating the formative, Male (Electric) and Female (Magnetic) communion and/or the original High Mass. Therefore, it is accurate to state that all Male figures are Chokmah (Jah) and Binah (YHVH Elohim) is that of all female. The robes they wear, represent the different planes and/or dimensions of our mufti-verse, which are actually vibratory rates that are either Force (male) Kether or Form (Female) Binah, and/or their intertwining of vibration (The Divine Union of Goddess/God) that makes all things possible. Unlike a normal tree, the Tree of Life developed from the top down; from Kether to Malkuth. Malkuth being the goal of "I Will Be".
The Qabalist knows that the "Big Bang" came from what is the Source of Will and Energy, Kether/Eheieh, thus the ejaculation of Energy, making the Kether male (Male is not a sex here, but an action). The One became Two, Androgynous, when I became I Am,which is known as Chokmah and Binah, which should be stated Chokmah/Binah, just as Yin/Yang or Time/Space are known to be inseparable and established at the same moment. Therefore, with some authority we can say that the “I “is male and the “Am” is female, for one is Wisdom (Chokmah) and the latter is Understanding (Binah)...and we can't experience one without the other! In the wisdom of Tarot, THE FOOL represents the One Energy. THE MAGUS and the PRIESTESS, are the Macrocosm transforming into Microcosmic, creating the first differentiation of Male and Female energy polarity. Pure Consciousness, known as the "root of Water" is represented by the PRIESTESS and her consort, THE MAGUS, is considered psychologically as the Will. Hence the term I Am, is understood as the intercourse of consciousness and will. Like I've said before, "I AM" is your Real name, what the "I AM" thinks it is, is all assumption. Thereby, creating "freedom of Choice", implying that you the "I AM" is free to choose whatever it "thinks it is" as a "ME". This creation of a "Me" falls under the rules of the Emperor, who sets Measurement/Law. Although the Thoth Emperor is shown passive, it is his authority that rules, while the The Golden Tarot also displays a passive Emperor, whose throne isn't shown but whose authority is displayed in the imperial globe in his left hand, and sceplicure in his right. The Heraldic Devices of both families, Visconti crown and Sforza triple rings adorn his robe. On his crown is the Holy Roman Emperor's coat of arms, the imperial eagle. His flowing white beard is an archetype of ancient wisdom. Hence, Chokmah.
This mating of the PRIESTESS, to the MAGUS, is described in Robert Wang's book: THE QABALISTIC TAROT as, ".... the activity of the directing Will of the One on the Great Ocean of undifferentiated consciousness which It has Itself projected” [Big Bang] ( The bracketed words are my own). Here we think of the reflexive qualities of the Divine Creative; He creates, idea/thought, then the Mother Binah and her Ocean of mind/understanding/Will to Form, begins to mold that thought into information. Now we have the concept of the Universe as a Mirror, where everything is the perception and reflected activity of the Divine Spirit on its Dark Energy/ Matter Self, a process which the various and varying symbols of the Tarot are attempting to suggest. We also begin to approach the understanding that information is not the goal here. Knowledge is. For information to become knowledge it must be experienced as in-form-action and/or the "lower tree".
The reason Crowley has positioned THE EMPEROR, so that the body forms a triangle and a cross, is because he is representing the alchemical symbol of Sulfur (red eagle on his shield). This representation is because of the Alchemical explanation of the Divine-Self Interaction in terms of Sulfur, Salt and Mercury. In Tarot, Mercury is THE MAGUS;
THE EMPRESS is Salt (white eagle on her shield);
This may seem as little more than obscure abstraction: However, when we consider that THE MAGUS, (Philosophic Mercury) acts upon THE PRIESTESS (Pure Mind) and by Union they are transformed into THE EMPEROR (Sulfur/Rational thought) and THE EMPRESS (Salt) Unconscious/Imaginative/Intuitive Thought), we are actually considering the quite basic alchemical attributes of our own Psyche into consciousness.
From the previous blog one should be familiar with THE EMPRESS as the Path of Daleth (meaning door) which is above the Path of THE EMPEROR, simply because without her manifestation of form, he would have nothing to rule and/or set measure to. On the Path of Heh, the Emperor is a transformation of the 4th Sephiroth-Chesed-The Architect, who is also a transformation of the Second Sephiroth-Chokmah . Basically, when we are classifying images according to color, subject, or other criterion, we are calling THE EMPEROR into play. As does THE EMPEROR, we are acting upon form via perspective/observation and giving it measurement in the Universal Collective Unconscious. Another way to see this exercise of rule, is that if the Imagination (mind of the Empress) didn't send up form from its depths, as a stream of images to be classified by the differentiating exercise of reason, the Emperor would have nothing to control or transform into measurement. Therefore, THE EMPEROR, albeit a potent masculine force, functions as determined by THE EMPRESS. Hence as I have stated, THE EMPEROR, is the Path of Heh (Window) and its function is determined by Binah/Empress (Door) who is pure fruition, making The Path of Heh a formative path of rational and classifying activities.
The Thoth Card’s bright Red color is that of Fire/Aries/Mars-and the Blood of Binah (The Great Mother) in the World of Pure Spirit known as Atziluth (The Golden Tarot gives him red slippers for Fire (male) and blue undergarments for water/female) . Albeit, that the male and female forces are seen as more interwoven in the lower levels as we go down the Tree of Life, the assumption that Chokmah and Binah are the only "Pure" states of Male and Female force is in error; As Chokmah(Wisdom), meaning the primary quality of maleness, is a Hebrew female noun. Taking the point of view that whatever gives birth is exercising a primary female quality at the moment of birth,then all that is inherent in the male is inherent in the female and visa versa. We can mentally see this by understanding that the Creation of Chokmah, gave birth to maleness, and femaleness.
The students of Carl Jung know that he stated the "male harbors the perfect female image in his unconscious, as the female harbors the perfect male image in her unconscious, these being the "counter sexual component" necessary for the transformation of force and form. Jung also called the "counter-sexual components", the Latin word- Anima (female) in males and the Latin word Animus (Male) male in females. The Animus means courage, vivacity, bravery, will, spirit, soul. and the Animus is Latin and in the English translation, anima, means life, breath, vital energy, (sex energy) and Soul. Thus we can see that THE EMPRESS is Anima/Soul/Psyche/Breath and THE EMPEROR is Animus/Spirit/Will, making the perfectly developed male type on the Paths, THE EMPEROR, and the perfectly developed female type, THE EMPRESS. These are the pure intelligent forces that we meet and actually converse with on the Paths. Both exist as one in the Soul, and If we think of the One Soul as a Human Brain, albeit a simplistic and artificial comparison, then one has become two in the brain, female Right side and male Left side in One Intelligent collective organism and/or 0=2. The Tree of Life on the Path of Heh points to such a union. Since the Sun of Tiphareth is also linked to the sign of Aries, which is the sign of this Path fo Heh, we have another indication that THE EMPEROR exercises some control over the solar forces of the Higher Self. Therefore, we justify the term Constituting Intelligence ( Coined by Dr. Case) meaning that THE EMPEROR assists in the building up of Golden Sun /Son-Light in Tiphareth from the utter-darkness of Limitless Light of the Supernal Triangle. This Path of Heh, could also be considered as the "start of Time" in infinity.
In the Thoth Emperor card, this importance of Tiphareth to THE EMPEROR is illustrated by the Sun behind his head and the overall 2 colored scheme of Martian-reds and Sun-yellows. These two colors also suggest a furious/"divine frenzied" rush of often short-lived activity-Vital Life Force and/or "sex energy". This Path of Heh, THE EMPEROR, is what I call the First "I" sight, while the EMPRESS is the "Am" of understanding (an inner sight I call a "Womb with a view")...Together they are the "I AM", the Counter Sexuality of the One Mind/Energy/Soul/Psyche. All this contributes to the understanding that the Constituting Intelligence is the first phase of a natural cycle, such as Aries bringing forth Spring. This understanding is also shown as the lamb at the Thoth- Emperor's feet, implying this is a young non-aggressive Aries and the Ram headed wand is the symbol of the aggressive nature of Aries. Paternal Power is shown by the bees and Fleur de Lys. The two headed Eagle in front of a crimson disc that is on the Emperor's shield, one head symbolizes the Alchemist's red tincture related to the Sun/ Gold and the other as Sulfur. There is a similar eagle on THE EMPRESS card where one head refers to the Moon/ Silver and the other to Salt.
As is common in Traditional Tarot, there is a lot less esoteric imagery in the Golden Tarot-Emperor than that of the Thoth Tarot. Hence, Hermetic Qabalah uses the Thoth Tarot.
When THE EMPEROR card is thrown during a reading it emphasizes:
- The Principle of Personal Power and Leadership.
- Building a pure base of Knowledge while remaining open minded.
- Pointing towards success, authority, stability and ambition in gain or achievement.
- Self-realization of Life Force and Personal Power.
- Influence of society.
- Resurgence of energy
- Sexual potency.
- Setting personal boundaries and sticking to them.
- If ill-defined by attending cards, the querent is:
- Up against a dominant boss, or authority figure (s) who sets rules, boundaries, definitions and analysis.
- Blocked possibility.
- Development of sensitivity.
- High handedness.
- Rationality as a prison.
- The restriction of reality.
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