The Thoth Deck MAGUS, is often called THE MAGICIAN in other decks, as well as, the Ryder-Waite deck of Tarot.
Here it is Key-One, The Path of Beth. Beth is a Hebrew letter meaning House or Temple. The Planet attributed to the Magus is Mercury, thus the winged heals on the Thoth Deck Magus.
Dr. 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) 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, Binah. Thus, the relationship that establishes the meaning of House, that is the "dwelling place' (Womb) where Spirit resides before "falling" into manifestation.
In this case, it is appropriate to call the Magus or 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(top triangle on 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.Magician 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, Faber 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 in the Ryder-Waite-Smith card, by the figure eight (lemniscus) that is lying on its side, above the head of the Magician. This symbol is also called Uroboros, 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 of One Circle-Thus creating Male and Female infinite circles of Force in the ONE Energy).
This Acting upon the Fool, by the Magus/Magician, is Because there is no Action in the Crown, until "Will" disturbs it! 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 and the beginning of any creation.
[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 and semen). 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 (Mercury) is the "message bearer" of the Gods, meaning he is not Himself the Creator, only the bearer of his Will or the ejaculatory. (The whole Supernal Triangle is the action of the Divine Phallus and Womb.).
The Wand in the Ryder-Waite's -The Magician's hand (Golden Dawn Deck also) symbolizes this "phallic action", showing that the Magic is merely the Transmitted will of the Greater Being that is the Supernal Triangle or Trinity, and is from the above to the below.
The process of the one life energy directed down through the Magician, is the evolution of the first process of Universal energy towards matter. This process is illustrated in the Ryder-Waite deck by the Magician's raised arm holding the downward pointing wand, implying power brought down in a willful manner. The suggested activity of the Supernal is shown by the inner and outer robe color of The Magician, the inner being white, suggesting Kether and the outer robe is red, suggesting Binah in Atziluth (The Archetypal World) and the serpent belt is the blue of Chokmah in Atziluth.
On the table in front of The Ryder-Waite Magician, are the actual Elemental Weapons of modern Hermetic Qabalism; the wand/staff for Fire, the Cup for Water, the dagger for air and the pentacle for Earth. All are very generalized, but greater detail can be found in the Golden Dawn Tarot Deck. The Crowley Thoth Tarot deck has somewhat modernized the Magician as the Magus, who is the wand of fire, rather than holds one. This implies that the Magus is Mercury, who is both the messenger and the message. The indication that focused will instills fertility in self and others, is shown as blooming roses surrounding The Magician and his implements of magick.
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, 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 reportedly 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 their potential for deception and misunderstanding. Thus, we have Cynocephalus, included in the Thoth Tarot 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) 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.
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".
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 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).
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 Womb-with-a-view". 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 refereed 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/Magician.
Paul Foster Case, 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) acts through the Magus.
In the Crowley-Harris Thoth Tarot- Magus, unlike the Ryder-Waite- Smith, The Magician 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, 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.
Crowley understood the Wand/Mercury as the Phallus but Victorian sensibilities has 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 sensual manifestation of that Union. This concept should make your forehead itch; However, we are all I-Spirit, Am-Mind and Me-personality/body. This knowledge is acknowledged in the declaration: I Am the Will, I Am the Way, I Am the Wealth and I Am the day.
When THE MAGUS or The 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 ones self and others) and Gifts of Spirit (Divine senses).
Thank you for your interest, comments and supportive donations. May you live long and prosper!