Thoth- ATU 1-The Magus
The Thoth Tarot-ATU 1-THE MAGUS, is often called THE MAGICIAN in other decks. It also depicts some of the Arcana of this Tarot. This is a card dedicated to Mercury (Hermes), the Messenger, and instead of carrying the caduceus, as in many Magician cards, the Thoth Magus is the Caduceus.
Here it is Key/ATU-One, The Path of Beth. Beth is a Hebrew letter (shown on the Magus card on the bottom right of the card) meaning House or Temple. The Planet attributed to the Magician or Magus is Mercury, thus the winged heals on the Thoth Magus.
Paul Foster Case, in his text, THE THIRTY-TWO PATHS OF WISDOM, calls the Path of Beth, the Twelfth Path that is the Intelligence of Transparency.
The Path of Beth (The Magus or Magician) is between Kether (Crown) and Binah (Understanding) on the Qabalistic Tree of Life, making it the transition (Phallus/Fecundating) path of the One undefined Energy, and the Great Organizer, Binah. Thus, this relationship establishes the meaning of House, which is the "dwelling place' (Womb) where Spirit resides before coagulating into manifestation.
In this case, it is appropriate to call the Magus/Magician "that which builds the House", in other words, the Magus/Magician directs and encloses the One Spirit (Spiral Energy-Vital Life Force)) which is symbolized by THE FOOL tarot card.
The Supernal Triangle (Kether, Chokmah and Binah), 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 intricately 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 can be said to communicate as the Phallus male and the Testes female; The Testes being the womb of spermatozoon and thus making Chokmah (female noun in Hebrew, meaning Wisdom) a testicular womb as the Magus/Magician is all about "expression" and thus ejaculation of information from the Kether to the rest of the Supernal Triangle. Chokmah thus forcefully expresses to Binah, the Womb of "Will to Form". (Note* to a Qabalist a "Being" is an Immortal Intelligent Energy"). It is to be noted that, the God name of Kether is Eheieh ("I Will Be") and the Magus carries that "shout" and/or "Word of God" to the "Will to Form" of the Great Womb-Sea of Mother Binah.
Scholars of the first five books of the Bible (the Pentateuch), point out that the letter Beth 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, 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), shown on the Magus card as a twisted serpent, or often shown above the traditional Magicians head, or Uroboros, the serpent that eats its own tale, as all 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-Thus creating Male and Female infinite circles of Force in the ONE Energy-form O to 8. Because there is no Action in the Crown, until "Will" disturbs it and the Magician /Magus represents the Will that "stirs up" the energy of the Kether! Thus, 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/Magician 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 and testes)! The Magus represents both the One Life Energy which when transmitted becomes the Prima Materia (First Matter). Here an understanding of the fact that the Magus/Magician (Mercury) is the "message bearer" of the Gods, meaning he is not Himself the Creator, only the bearer of his Will. The ejaculator if you will. (The whole Supernal Triangle is the action of the Divine Phallus and Divine Womb.). The Caduceus-Wand in The Tarot Mercury's hand symbolizes this "phallic action", showing that the Magick (High Magic is traditionally spelled with a "K") is merely the Transmitted will of the Greater Being that is the Supernal Triangle or Trinity of "I Will Be", " I Will Force" and "I will Form".
The Roman, Mercury, is the Greek Hermes and the Egyptian- Ibis headed Thoth, all represent the same deity, the amalgamation of their qualities having become inseparable in modern esoteric literature.
Hermes 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 created the Hieroglyphs, developing 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 the trickery of communicating them. Thus, we have Cynocephalus, included in the Thoth Deck card, laying at the feet of the Magus.
Not only do words affect the Will, as cause and effect, but they also transmit ideas from person to person in the same way that the Magus transmits the idea of Self-Creation of the One -Kether. The Transmitted idea, from The Magus/Magician, Fertilizes the ONE Womb, (Understanding) Great Mother Binah. 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, for that Must Be Made Manifest (THE HIGH PRIESTESS)!
To reiterate, THE MAGUS /MAGICIAN 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" and/or "Word of God".
The First Vibration encloses Spirit, 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, apart from Kether.
Consequentially the showing of Mercury on the Caduceus, properly places the Four Worlds, ( Atziluth, Briah, Yetsirah and Assiah), that are transitions of the Wand of the Magus. Kether is the Winged Orb at the top, Chokmah (Wisdom) and Binah (Understanding) are the twin serpent heads. 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/Magician) on Saturn-Binah, who is Will to Form. As stated before, she is the mother of Form-The Creatrix, and the Magus is the "Idea of Being" and/or will.
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 "Pronouncing 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 or Magician.
Dr. Paul Foster Case, the creator of B.O.T.A., in his Book of Tokens, stated that, "all created wills are but reflections" of the Will that is the Magus/Magician. This is an essential ideal of the Mysteries and acknowledges the fact that our Superior Nature (Divine I Am) acts through the Magus.
In the Crowley card, THE MAGUS is not holding a Wand, the primary instrument of the MAGICIAN cards; Rather, THE MAGUS is the Wand, He is the Fecundation of the Energy Phallus, without a human body, which Crowley understood. This Subjective Phallus is not 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, which were upright stone slabs with a bust and an exceptionally 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 created by Understanding. This is a complex idea, and requires deep meditations on THE MAGUS card, and a release of Victorian sensibilities, as we are describing the First SEX Action in the Universal Duality. That Action, produced our Higher Self-Knowledge called Daath, meaning-Knowledge (High Priestess), The birther of the Soul, who is the Divine Child of the union of Willed Force and Understanding; the Self Concept of I AM ME. Here, the I is the Will and the Am is the Mind and the Me is the manifestation of the Union. This concept should make your forehead itch! The Idea of Qabalah, which means "receiving", is to make a personality that is a Magus, therefore, one who can receive the Word of the Creator, and make it manifest as an action in the body. Hence, the Caduceus. Our personality was created as an awake consciousness that operates between the Psyche/Soul and the world. However, this representative of the Soul (Solar Self) has been corrupted by the indoctrination and dogma of the Patriarchy. Hence, we must spend a lot of time removing the false ego that has been produced by the word hypnosis of the media-controlled reality called "the world of Man".
When THE MAGICIAN/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 oneself and others) and Gifts of Spirit (Divine senses).
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