The Babylonian Tarot- Key 1- The Magician-Ea, the Sumerian-Enki, was considered to be "Lord of the Earth", king of the underworld and ruler over the waters. He was the child of Anu, the sky god and the primeval sea goddess- Nammu. Hence, his primary domain was-Apsu, the freshwater abyss that was thought to have surrounded the earth and provided water to all springs, rivers and lakes. Therefore, you see him sitting on a stone throne, surrounded by the Abyss of fresh water, complete with fishes and a turtle. Since water, was the source of abundance, fertility and food and even considered the source of knowledge, Ea/Enki was seen as a good, and wise friend of mankind and counseled and shielded mankind from deities that tried to harm them.
As was Hermes to the Greeks and Thoth to the Egyptians, to the more ancient Sumerian and Babylonian people, Ea/Enki was seen as the giver of Wisdom. He taught mankind language, building crafts, farming, writing, and magic. Enki guarded the sacred "me" (pronounced, "may") which were divine decrees, ordinances, wisdom, and incarnations that promoted civilization. He was given the job to guard and distribute in an orderly fashion, the sacred "me" to mankind, by his older brother Ellil. This is all written in the clay tablets of Sumeria as they wrote down all the actions and decrees of the Anunna and/or Annunaki- meaning, "those who from the heavens and/or sky came".
The god Ea, just as is the Thoth Magus, is associated with Mercury. On the card, he holds a ram headed staff as the symbol of his power.
The Magus or Magician is the Qabalistic Path of Beth (Hebrew letter-bottom right), meaning House, and is between Kether (Crown) and Binah (Understanding) on the Qabalistic Tree of Life, making it the transition (Phallus) path of the One Undefined Energy, and the Great Organizer, Mother Binah. Thus, the relationship that establishes the meaning of house, Beth, as that of the dwelling place (Womb) where Spirit resides before "falling" into manifestation. In this case, it is appropriate to call the Magus that which builds the House. In other words, the Magus directs and encloses the One Spirit (Spiral Energy-Vital Life Force)) which is symbolized by THE FOOL tarot card. The Supernal Triangle, or Upper trinity of the Tree of Life, 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 closely 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 (Note* to a Qabalist a "Being" is an Immortal Intelligent Energy")
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) and/or Oroboros, the serpent that eats its own tale, as both 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 and the Sexual Dance of God/Goddess; the Divine Creative. Because there is no Action in the Crown or Mind of God, until Will disturbs it, 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.
The Magus is a channel through which the Energy of the Fool is organized and passes downward. The Magus is both active and passive, as the Magus is both the transmitter and the transmitted, i.e. the Life Force which becomes the primal material in the act of transmission. The Magus being the first step in evolutionary Universal energy towards matter. Thus, in the Thirty-Two Paths of Wisdom, by Paul Foster Case, the Magus is called the Transparent Intelligence, as light passes through a window from above, so does the Magus pass The Will.
[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 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)! The Magus represents both the One Life Energy which when transmitted becomes the Prima Materia (First Matter or Semen of Will which is commonly known as Thought). Here an understanding of the fact that the Magus (Mercury) is the "message bearer" of the Gods, meaning he is not Himself the Creator, only the bearer of his Will much as the semen is the bearer of the genes of the Father. Thus the Magus is the ejaculation of will. (The whole Supernal Triangle is the action of the Divine Phallus and Womb.). The traditional Wand in The Magician's hand (Golden Dawn Deck and traditional Tarot decks) symbolizes this phallic action, showing that the Magick is merely the Transmitted will of the Greater Being that is the Supernal Triangle or Trinity.
The Roman, Mercury, is the Greek Hermes and the Egyptian- Thoth, all represent the same deity, the amalgamation of their qualities having become inseparable in modern esoteric literature.
Hermes, was always associated with words, and was often shown with an swollen phallus. His association with words makes sense as a messenger must simply state the cause of the one who has sent him and the swollen phallus associated him with fertility and fecundness. Then there is the Ibis headed Egyptian- Thoth, who reportedly created the Hieroglyphs, which developed 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 their potential for deception and misunderstanding. 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, Fertilizes the ONE Womb, (Understanding) that is the 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)!
Okay, this concept may be so subjective, that it may be difficult to understand, but try skrying the card. Your meditative observation will open your consciousness to the flow of the Collective Unconscious were greater knowledge is stored.
To reiterate, THE MAGUS 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 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, with the exception of Kether. You may note that the Horns spring from Daath, often called the invisible Sephiroth but really, it is the conjunction of Chokmah (Great Father and Binah (Great Mother), a face to face union, that creates what is called: The Divine Child. This is understandable, since Wisdom (Chokmah) and Understanding (Binah) conjoin in the birthing of Knowledge (Daath). Here Mercury is placed in the Sephiroth to show further example.
Consequentially the showing of Mercury on the Caduceus, properly places the Four Worlds, [Atziluth, Briah, Yetzirah and Assiah], that are transitions of the Wand of the Magus, Kether is the Winged Orb at the top. 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) on Saturn-Binah, who is Will to Form or as I like to call her, "The Will to BE". As before stated, she is the Mother of Form 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 to "Pronounce 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.
Dr.Paul Foster Case, in his Book of Tokens, stated that, "all created wills are but reflections" …of the Will that is the Magus. This is an essential ideal of the Mysteries and acknowledges the fact that our Superior Nature (Divine I Am) acts through the Inner Magus.
In the Crowley card, unlike the Golden Dawn card, THE MAGUS is not holding a Wand, the primary instrument of the MAGICIAN cards; Rather, THE MAGUS is the Wand, He is the Phallus, 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, that were upright stone slabs with a bust and a very 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 of Understanding. This is a complex idea, and requires deep meditations on THE MAGUS card, and also a release of Victorian sensibilities, as we are describing the First SEX Action in the Universal Duality. That Action, produced our Higher Self called Daath, Knowledge, who is the Divine Child of the union of Will and Understanding; the Self Concept of I AM ME. Here, the -I is the Will and the Am is the form of that Will called Mind and the Me is the manifestation of the Union. Caution: This concept could make your forehead itch!
When The Magus/Magician 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 one’s self and others) and Gifts of Spirit (Divine senses).
- Thought becoming manifest.
- The ability to control one's environment.
- Skill and strength of will.
Thank you for your interest, comments, and supportive donations. May you live long and prosper.