In this continuing series of the Tarot Comparisons of the Tarot of the Old Path and the Qabalistic Thoth Deck Tarot, we have arrived at the third Sephiroth Binah, Key 3 or Atu 3 . Both cards share similar characteristics, once again proving that if you master one Tarot Deck, you can pretty much read them all.
In both the Thoth Tarot and Tarot of the Old Path, Venus is the ruling planet and in both cards, the Empress is the personification of Isis (Binah on the Tree of Life) who is the Great Mother.
The Empress of the Old Path Tarot, is robed in the green of Nature while the Thoth Tarot Empress is robed in imperial vestments and the red garment of Binah.
As in the Thoth Deck Tarot, the Old Path Empress is seated upon a throne with a blue background, showing she is of Water. Water is implied in the Throne of the Thoth Tarot Empress as well, as it is of Blue flames, implying that She is borne of Water, the Feminine Element represented as active power (Magnetic force). There are also two crescent moons, another symbol of the Goddess and water.
When it comes to crowns, the symbols differ, as the Old path Empress has a crown of stars while the Thoth Tarot Empress wears an imperial crown. The Lotus Wand of Isis is shown in both cards, representing the passive power of the Feminine.
The Empress of the Old Path, is shown suckling a child and yet pregnant again, which implies Fecundity and sexual union of the Sacred Feminine and Sacred Male. We must remember that sexuality in this stage of development is Male-electric or active and female magnetic-or passive-receptive. The symbol of ruling Venus is seen on the Old Path's Empress's necklace, and her shield of golden hue. This hue of gold symbolizes the Sun, the Male aspect.
The Goddess symbol of the Hare, implies Hara which is Hebrew for both "holy mountain" and "pregnant belly". This symbol goes back to ancient Greek goddess called Harmonia," a daughter of Aphrodite" and bringer of peace, who is often shown with a serpent who is "Lord Python", the "first husband". Today that would be known as Spiral energy patterns and/or frequency.
The lamb is the oft occurring symbol of peace and the doves are the symbols of the soul or Holy Spirit. The link with the Tree of Life, also a Qabalistic symbol, is shown in the Tarot of the Old Path card as an antlered Stag. The Forest is also a symbol of the Great Mother.
The river, implies subconscious and psychic activity which are attributed to the alchemical Element Water and/or the Great Feminine.
Ripening corn is again a symbol reminiscent of life cycle and the harvest.
If you look beneath her right foot, the plant lore is shown as mistletoe, which is attributed to regeneration and reconstruction of family life. Here, the pomegranate is also shown which symbolizes the oneness of the Universe and fecundity (shown as the red shirt of Thoth Deck Empress). This comes from the ancient word Rimmon, meaning "pomegranate" and was a biblical name of the Goddess's genital shrine (2 Kings 5:18) from the root word Rim, meaning "to give birth". The red juice and many seeds, symbolized uterine fertility. Thus it was said, the pomegranates were eaten by souls, in the underworld, to bring about rebirth.
The Pine Beauty seen at the base of the Old Path card, carries on the soul symbols. The nearby cherries are attributed to Venus.
The Thoth Tarot- Empress-ATU 3, has perched on the flame uprights of her throne, 2 sacred birds, the sparrow and the dove. Both Soul symbols. On her robes are bees,(Symbol of Royalty and fertility) and dominoes surrounded by continuous spiral lines depicting the spiral frequencies (Numbers and spirals) of the Spirit. The Zodiac girdles her waist. At the feet of the Thoth Deck Empress is a tapestry of embroidered Fleur-de-lys (symbol of royalty) and fishes (symbols of the First matter). Beneath her throne is the Secret Rose, which is shown throughout the Thoth Tarot Deck as a symbol of the Great Mother or Holy Womb, known as the Grail.
The Thoth card displays heraldry and Motherhood, as the White Pelican, feeding its children from its own blood,(Nursing) and the White Eagle of the Alchemist (Salt). All this shows us that there is no break in the inheritance of blood (salt & water) that binds all life together. All breathing life, is of Mother's blood; we are nurtured by it in the womb, born from it and are of it. At the back of the Thoth Tarot card is the Arch or Door, the interpretation of the Hebrew letter Daleth and/ or "The Gate of Heaven".
WHEN BOTH THE TAROT OF THE OLD PATH AND THE THOTH DECK EMPRESS CARDS ARE THROWN:
- Universal love and fulfillment.
- Fruitfulness, fertility and pregnancy.
- Creativity and attainment.
- Motherly love and maternal feminine influence.
- Feminine power of manifestation.
- Love of nature.
- Harmony, marriage, happiness, pleasure.
- Sometimes feminine wiles, deviousness.
- Domestic upheaval.
- Wasting of resources.
- Loss of power due to self-doubt.
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