Thoth-ATU 3-The Empress
#3-Filled with Understanding of its perfect law, I am guided, moment by moment, along the path of Liberation.
The Empress is associated with the Hebrew letter Daleth; the Path of Daleth-meaning-Door, and her planet is Venus. THE EMPRESS, is also called the "Gate way to Heaven", as She is the transitional state of energy between the Above and the Below. The effect of this transition is from one into many, so the key to this card is multiplicity.
If one looks at THE PRIESTESS card, they'll observe a simple diaphanous robe while that of THE EMPRESS is appropriately covered with all the Jewels of Creation. As a Qabalist, I am painfully aware of the inadequacy of anthropomorphic symbolism when describing the Above- Supernal Triangle, the upper Trinity on the Tree of Life,yet Tarot pictures unconsciously communicate a great deal of information that words can only flail at. The images represented in THE EMPRESS card are an attempt to convey the concept of pure fruition. As an exercise towards this goal of understanding, the initiate must try to conceive of pure emotion., which is a feeling that has no subject or object, neither love nor hate, but which is the raw material of both; a kind of Lust without need of result. Armed with such an understanding, the initiate may begin to understand something of the Great Binah, The Great Mother, and THE EMPRESS, who is the Illuminating Intelligence or Birth Mother of information through a transitional state of Understanding. She is the Universal Mother Nature.
All that is Life on Earth is the providence of THE EMPRESS, as she builds life forms from the Spirit or Spiral Frequencies of Life, establishing the Laws of the Universe that have to do with restriction and formation. She is the Supernal Female Force of "Will to Form". She is also Venus-Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love. Love is the Law. The Path of Daleth, is the path that takes the Luminous Intelligence of Chokmah and transforming it into the Illuminating Intelligence of THE EMPRESS; Illuminating, inferring filling up and emitting Light, thus bestowing the title of Mother of Light on the Great Mother.
She is a Door (Daleth means- door), and one may pass through a door in any direction. Therefore, to pass through her on the Return Path, is to pass into Supreme Darkness, which is the Dark Matter (Mother in Latin is Mater). Hence, the ancients often depicted this door way as the exposed Vagina of the Great Mother, Sheela Na Gig of the Irish being one. The vaginal image illustrates a one-way birth and the other way the “Little death” or Petite Mort of the French. Here before her, the worn and often battle weary dead are ready to “pass over” as she commands power, sincerity, and fertility.
- (in some cosmological theories) nonluminous material that is postulated to exist in space and that could take any of several forms including weakly interacting particles (cold dark matter) or high-energy randomly moving particles created soon after the Big Bang (hot dark matter).
The dual dynamic of the Door, has often been shown as Janua Coeli (meaning “gateway to heaven”) which is derived from the “Yoni gate” (vagina) of the Goddess Juno (later as the Roman Two-Faced god Janus) in a few presentations, Juno had two faces, each face looking in opposite directions. One face looking in the direction of birth and the other in the direction of death. In fact, the Latin word janua means door and this goddess was reinstated by the *misogynistic Romans, as male and to have presided over communications and the affairs of men,( explaining the "2 faced" position of politicians).
- strongly prejudiced against women."deeply ingrained misogynistic attitudes"
Here then, as THE EMPRESS, Janua/Janus resided over the passage of ideas and affairs of a man. Originally, Janus was a Solar Entity, and THE EMPRESS is the Mother of the Sun/Son, so the comparison is not only viable but pertinent as well. Therefore, anything that can be said about Juno/Janua/Janus can be said about THE EMPRESS as well, even though she is often now anthropomorphized as Venus-Aphrodite the Womb of life and death.
The Luxurious Proliferation of Nature with each facet so compelling, being both beautiful and hypnotic, it is possible for the student to lose sight of the Overview of the Path of Daleth. This point was acknowledged by A. Crowley in his Book of Thoth, where he warned, and “the student who is dazzled by any given manifestation may be led astray. In no other card is it so necessary to disregard the parts and to concentrate upon the whole". Due to popular myth, we know that the Venus-Aphrodite is the "Goddess of Love” but many forgot that She is also named the "Goddess of Desire". Desire, being born with the most abstract principle of Form, holds a very specific meaning for the Student of the Mysteries, as to feel is to desire, but to unite wholly with the Universe, requires the "want of nothing". Thus, the coming to or the leaving of desire is another aspect of the Door Way that is THE EMPRESS— the Path of Daleth.
THE EMPRESS, as shown in the Thoth card, looks to be all nurturing and light; However, the darkened crescent of the Moon suggests transformation or change and to Qabalists She is known as the Mother of Life and Death. Growth and destruction are concurrent Empress Activities, just as old cells die and new cells are born in a daily cycle in your physical body. The transparent bubbles shown in front of the Thoth Deck Tarot- Empress image, represent the veil that we must pass through to realize the Path of Daleth (Door), to pass beyond the veil is to cross into a completely new level of conscious energy, where her laws no longer apply. The veil is a dramatic separation of imagined reality and what is real.
By now, the able initiate knows that God is the Divine Creative Mind that created the Universe by Willed thought. We do the same thing, as "images of god", we create reality by "I-maging- it" and/or imagination. Whatever we create in our personal minds, becomes us or our personal creation as Self. When a Personality attains greater Self-Awareness, the implications of responsibility for what one thinks become most profound!
The Thoth Empress, is illustrated in the alchemical image of Salt, that is the inactive principle which is activated by the alchemical Sulfur (Emperor), maintaining the whirling (Spiral) balance of the Universe. The design of the Alchemical symbol of Salt, is, a circle with a line bisecting it horizontally, as is shown in the positioning of her arms,. In her left hand, she holds the Lotus Scepter and her right hand and arm curve delicately as if she was holding an infant to her breast. This is the magical gesture known as the Mater Triumphans (Isis suckling the infant Horus) . By looking carefully at the Empress image you may note that she is pregnant where her baby floats blissfully in a salty sea of aminiotic fluid.
If you put the Empress and the Emperor, side by side, her Salty Self on the Left and His Sulfury Self on the right, the order of English writing, and their configuration on the Tree of Life, their faces are looking at each other. This is Yab Yum, illustrating the Tibetan word that means, Goddess God, face to face, as well as, the activating activity of the Empress Card. The Venus Aphrodite depiction is carried on in the unashamed nudity of the Female Goddess in the Universe Card. And in Mythology, The Aries-Mars Emperor is the Husband of Venus-Aphrodite. The twisted blue shapes on the Thoth card represent flames and her birth giving Water. The Living Holy Grail, is the Lotus like chalice in her hand. At her waist is the Zodiacal Girdle. Above her head are the dove and sparrow, both are birds of Venus. At her feet is a white pelican that is feeding her own young with her own flesh which is a common symbol of the Great Mother, for even not so great mothers, build the young from their own flesh. The white eagle shield corresponds to that red eagle shield of the Emperor.
To reiterate: the alchemical references for the Supernal Triangle are, THE MAGUS is Mercury, THE EMPRESS is Salt, THE EMPEROR, is Sulfur. Kether's will is the Magus- Mercury, Binah is Salt and Chokmah is Sulfur, the Sephiroth united on the Tree of Life that turn our leaden consciousness into the Golden Intelligence of the Son (Sun), i.e. the Divine Child-Tiphareth/Horus. The only blocking veil to this end, is Desire consciousness and/or our lesser ego. We must lose the reality of the” I Want's" known as "Wanna-Be's" and become the “I AM's” of our original inheritance.
As always, words make the reality of their meanings seem so simple, but in truth, the simplest words are the most subjective, such as IT, or I. One must cross the emptiness of want, of sense, of sight, before one can visit the Great Mother, who creates the “I Am” of us all. However, as Crowley has said: "It is impossible to summerize the meanings of the symbol of the Woman, for this very reason, that she continually recurs in infinitely varied form.'Many-throned, many-minded, many-willed, daughter of Zeus". [Book of Thoth, pg. 75]
Haindl Tarot- Key 3- The Empress
The Haindl Empress is shown with the Hebrew letter Daleth on upper left of card, and the Rune-Thom or the rune of Thorn. Thorn is referred to an ancient, dark, supernatural demon that bestows great power upon someone who was possessed by it, dating back to the time of the Druids. Haindl puts the meaning of Thunder or Door to this Rune. This is due to the historical use of the Thom rune.
Historically: The “Thorr” Rune According to Guido Von List📷📷 thorr, thurs, thorn = Thor* [Thorr ] (Thunder [Donnar ], Thunderbolt [Donnerkeil ], Flash or Lightning [Blitz ]), Thorn [Dorn ].A third I know, which is good to me, as a fetter for my enemies. I dull the swords of my opponents; neither weapon nor defense will help him.The “Thorn of death” is what Wotan used to put the disobedient Valkyrie, Brünnhilde (a female warrior), into a death-like sleep (compare Sleeping Beauty).But in contrast to this, it is also the “Thorn of Life” (the Phallus), with which death is conquered through rebirth.This threatening sign surely dulls the opposing weapon (of the one headed to their death), as well as the force of the powers of death, through a constant renewal of life in rebirth.Therefore: “Preserve Thy Self!”-Paraphrase from The Mystery/Secret of the Runes [Das Geheimnis der Runen] (1908) by Guido Von List
* NOTE: Thor is the hammer-wielding Æsir god of thunder, lightning, storms, oak trees, strength, hallowing, fertility, the protection of mankind and of the fortress of Asgard.
The Thorn, Torn or Dorn Rune – Gnostic Studies
Shown is the "All seeing Eye (I)" of the Card; the Eye (I) being placed in an "upper Triangle" such as the Supernal Triangle on the Tree of life. Below that is Woman, in the form of Venus-Aphrodite, standing on a crescent moon rather than a scallop shell, and behind her is a door way symbolizing culture. The door is decorated with the scales of fish (symbol for the first matter) and the arch represents a Cathedral or Church. Here, she holds a scepter topped with a pine cone (resembling the Greek Thyrsus reed wand of Dionysis) and supporting a snake that wraps around her arm. The serpent represents transformation and enlightenment. Above her head are radients of golden light and a crystaline shape of the Tree of Life, most likely representing the fact that she is the "Will to Form" and that crystaline light is the material of matter. As if bringing the Word of Heaven/Kether, a golden bird flies toward her ear. Which would be Magus/Mercury on the Qabalistic Tree of Life -the Path of Beth-connecting Binah-the3rd Sephiroth-Understanding to Kether the Original "I". The symbology works well with the explainations of the Thoth- ATU 3- Empress card.
When the Thoth or Haindl Empress Card is thrown, the querent is experiencing:
- The principle of wise love.
- The power of owning your own inherited maternal and loving nature that resides within.
- There is an opening to all sensuality and delighting in luxury of the senses, as does a child, before they are taught to fear them.
- One finds comfort among the natural, having no need of control.
- A surge of Creative imagination, as imagination is everything in our reality, this promises achievement and success in our goals.
- The querent may experience a high dedication to healing and nurturing.
- All in all, THE EMPRESS, represents happy, stable, relationships, growth and fertility.
- Love of Nature.
If ill defined (or reversed if Haindl) by the surrounding cards:
- Passion blocked.
- Difficulty expressing oneself.
- Problems with one's mother.
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