The Tarot of Eli-Major Arcana: Thoth-ATU 5-The Hierophant & Gothic Tarot- Key 5-The Hierophant

Western hermetic Qabalah, astrological, numerical, Tantric, and Alchemical Tarot Card Comparisons.

· Gothic Tarot

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Thoth-ATU5-The Hierophant

The Magus of the Eternal.

The Oracle of the Gods is the Child-Voice of Love in Thins Own Soul; hear thou it. Heed not the Siren-Voice of Sense, or the Phantom-Voice of Reason: rest in Simplicity, and listen to the Silence.


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The Tarot Hierophant is the Qabalistic Path of Vau (Nail or Hook), and is the 16th path, on the Tree of Life. Leading from the 2nd Sephiroth Chokmah (wisdom) down to the 4th Sephiroth- Chesed (mercy) 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. The Path of Vau is therefore, the Wisdom Path of the Holy Guardian Angel and/or Soul.

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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 Psyche of Tiphareth (The Sun/Son of Beauty). Therefore, memory is involved and the solid foundation of "Above all things, know thyself" is established as a Universal Inheritance for the Divine Child-Soul.

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The meaning of the Hebrew word 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".

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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 gets the discriminating 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. However, take a hard look at this card, for the Great Teacher here is not the Age-of -Osiris Pope, of Traditional Tarot, like the Rider-Waite-Smith Card but rather a Babylonian High- Priest-King. Bold, confident, and sexually active for he is not supported by a couple of pale and celibate acolites as shown in traditional tarot, but rather by the sword bearing Scarlet Woman. The union of the 2 creates the Child Horus shown in the Pentagram on his chest.

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Rider-Waite-Smith- Key 5-The Hierophant

Crowley's main concept was the "grounding" of the 5th- ATU/Key-, using the corner symbols of the 4 Kerubim (Guiding intelligences of the Four 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 four ternaries; Where each element is broken down to three signs. To the Qabalist, this relates to Yod (hand) Heh (Window) and Vau (Nail).

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The Administrator to the emerging duality that is Chokmah (Phallus -Womb, male-female, electric-magnetic) is the Hierophant and it 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 and the Sun/Son of the Divine Creative. This relationship is shown in 2 ways, first as the letter Vau, which is related to "The Sun/ Son" (Child of God), and Tetragrammaton and the second is the number 6 itself is related to Tiphareth and the Sun. 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 High Priestess and is exalted in Taurus.

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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 Militant Venus of the Age of Horus, and the embodiment of the Heavenly Venus that rules Taurus, is shown as the Sword bearing Scarlet Woman figure that supports the Hierophant. In his Book of Law [Equinox IV] Crowley commands, " This Woman, represents Venus as she now is in this new Aeon; no longer the mere vehicle of her male counterpart, but armed and militant." She also carries the Moon, which is exalted in Taurus, as a crescent shaped sickle in her hand. More evidence of this new intiatory love relationship between Venus and the Hierophant is shown in the Oriel (the ornate window ) with a serpent boundary, behind the Hierophants phallic head gear. The Sexual Serpent force represents the first masculine microwave of energy in the Universe and the Oriel represents the Virgin Mary (Venus), as found behind and over the altars in Churches. Crowley describes this as:" This symbolism is further carried out in the oriel where, behind the Phallic headdress, the rose of 5 petals in blossom. The symbol of the snake and dove refers to this verse of the Book of Law-chap. 1, verse 57;' There are love and love. There is the dove and there is the serpent". [Book of Thoth, Pg. 79]

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The Oriel is held in place by 9 nails, hooking the Microcosm to the Dark Abyss of the Macrocosm; 9 is the number of the Sephiroth of the Moon, Yesod. The 4 Kerubic Beasts guard this shine of the Hierophant, but there seems to be an error in their placement, according to the traditional placement of Tarot (Wheel of Fortune). Fear not, one most endowed with perspicacity, The bull of Taurus and the Lion of Leo, seem to be in their proper traditional placement, but the Angel (human face)and Eagle have switched places. However, in the new Aeon of Horus, it is not the position of the kerubs that has change but the symbols of the kerubs has changed. In Crowley's version of the 23rd Enochian Aether, it is revealed that the emblem for fixed air is now the eagle, and the emblem for fixed-water, Scorpio is now the angel: The Beast and Scarlet Woman are attributed to Leo and Scorpio. They are the 2-in-one Chief Officers of the Temple of the New Aeon of Heru-Ra-Ha. (Note the Eagle Kerub in 23 Aire is Aquarius. Scorpio is the Woman-Serpent. This is important for the old attribution is of the Eagle to Scorpio). 

[Crowley-The Vision and the Voice, Pg. 67]

For those who don't know, Heru-Ra-Ha is both Horus and the Angel over the Tarot. Heru Ra Ha, literally means "Horus, Sun Flesh".

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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.

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Gothic Tarot-Key 5- The Hierophant

Keeper of the old ways.

The Gothic Tarot of Anne Stokes, leaves the male Hierophant totally out of the picture on this card. One can say, here is the Scarlet Woman-the Dark Militant Venus, wrapped in her Dragon (serpent) lover. Very good fantasy art, but not so very Qabalistic. The meaning for this card is that of the Thoth Hierophant card.

When the 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.
  • Search for the Truth.

If ill defined by the surrounding cards of the layout:

  • Intolerance.
  • Presumption.
  • Esoteric arrogance. 

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