Taurus: Egyptian Tarot Hathoor V

The Egyptian Tarot trump trump for the sixteenth path of Taurus is Hathoor V. Venus, the Egyptian Hathoor, is the ruler of Taurus, while the Moon, the Lunar Flame, is exalted therein. The name is derived from Het-Hor, literally ‘House of Horus’.[1] The Magus of the Eternal is the esoteric title of the Tarot trump. The Hierophant or Pope is the traditional name of the trump.

Egyptian Tarot Hathoor VIn the centre of the Tarot picture is Hathoor, seated on a cubical throne, for Taurus is the Foundation of the Earth as the fixed or most stable aspect of the earth element in astrology. The throne is deep indigo, the colour of the sixteenth path in the Queen Scale. It is placed between two pillars of silver and gold. Lotus flowers surmount the tetrahedronal capitals. Hathoor is crowned with the solar disc and lunar cow horns. She bears the lotus wand in her right hand, symbol of the perfume of immortality or ‘essence’, and in her left she bears the Ankh or Rosy Cross of Life and Love. She is naked but for a translucent garment worn on the lower half of her body and legs. Her ornaments are a collar and armbands of red-orange and indigo, which is nature’s fourth primary colour.[2] Thus she is the soul of the world and the light of the world. She is Venus, the goddess of love, and the ruling star of Taurus, the Bull of Earth.

The Egyptian hieroglyphic name of Het-Hor is at the top of the Tarot picture. It is the simplest and most elegant expression of Hathoor’s name, the ‘house’ with the Horus falcon within. On either side are the symbols of Hathoor, her mirror and her sistrum rattle. The nature of the Moon, as with the human psyche, is cathodic, reflective. The world is the mirror of the soul; Venus appears to us as a star in the morning or evening by virtue of the fact that she reflects the rays of the sun, as does the Moon and other planets. The sistrum rattle is the emblem of music and dance, and is at the same time the sharp call to attention, to ‘wake up’!

Word of Hathoor

As Magus of the Eternal, Hathoor is the will to love, which is at the same time the innate knowledge of the true Self that inspires the return of the self or individuality to the integral Self. The Word of Hathoor is the eidolon, if this is understood as divine Idea, of the solar power of Horus, her sun-star, born by divine parthenogenesis.

In older depictions of the Tarot trump the Hierophant or Magus of the Eternal is shown as a pope or mysterious patriarch, or otherwise masked. When man seizes the power of sacerdotal authority and attributes it to his self, he is enslaved by that power and it matters not whether the slave calls his master Satan, God, Religion, Fate or Science. The goddess of truth and beauty will reveal nothing and mean nothing to those who do not seek her only, and with a pure heart. Thus she looks serenely and steadily straight back at the observer of the Tarot picture.

The astroglyphs for the Sun and Taurus are shown on the border at the top of the card. On the lower edge of the card are the astroglyphs for Venus, the ruling planet of Taurus, and the Moon, who achieves her exaltation therein. Vav, the letter of the sixteenth path, is to the right of the title. The letter vav has the Hebraic number value of six, the macrocosm. Venus was anciently associated with the pentagram or microcosm. Her conjunctions with the sun, as viewed from the earth, form two pentagrams, aright and averse. The apple, a Venusian symbol, is cognate with the Garden of Eden or of Paradise, which is otherwise symbolised as the Holy City in various traditions, which is the ‘return to the Self’. When the ‘five’ is added to the ‘six’ of the divine image, the vav, the result is eleven, the number of the perfect unity of the microcosm, man, with the macrocosm of the celestial worlds or higher states of being.


From the forthcoming book and Egyptian Tarot deck.

1. Hathoor is the spelling more commonly found in the works of the Golden Dawn, based on transliteration from Coptic.

2. As according to R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz.

© Oliver St. John 2020, 2024

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Enterer of the Threshold: Apprentice

Book for the Student and Apprentice (Probationer): The Enterer of the Threshold. This book has been substantially revised since 2024. This book serves as an introduction to the Hermetic Order of the Star and Snake. It is in every way a concise theoretical and practical guide.

Ordo Astri Books: Apprentice (Probationer): The Enterer of the ThresholdWhile it was not written exclusively for those who seek membership of such an organisation, the foremost aim was to serve the interests of the latter. So far as a wider readership goes, it was always hoped that it might help in some small way to bring clarity to an area that has suffered utmost obfuscation, and not least of all from the many persons who are considered to be experts. Indeed, confusion abounds today on all matters that really belong to the esoteric domain. And for that very reason, this book, and all other books we have written, were never intended for those who are merely curious or that have a passing interest in a subject they are in no way prepared to study with serious intent. Even this modest volume, a sort of handbook or manual, was not written to be a quick digest, so minimising any effort put in by the student; it requires deep thought and contemplation. The subject concerns preparations needful to the person that earnestly pursues the path of initiation, comprising a vast array of topics inclusive of traditional sciences such as magick, astrology, and the science of numbers as well as essential methods for acquiring real knowledge, including ritual and yoga meditation. Of all these, it is concentration of the mind that is foremost, and ‘concentration’ is meant here in the technical sense (dharana), by which real yoga and discriminative knowledge is alone made possible.

Apprentice degree is the most important one in the Order because it lays the foundation for the development of initiatic possibilities. At the very beginning there is the intellectual matter of books, study and thought, which is the work of the Student. This intellectual work continues through all the grades. The ritual circle is next constructed by taking the Great Work from theory into practice.

In ceremonial, the drawing of a circle is the key to all. It must be a true magical vortex—raising about the sphere of the mind an absolute barrier to all extraneous impressions—thus enabling perfect spontaneity.[1]

The Apprentice must define or mark out the circle of the place. ‘Squaring the circle’ implies bringing to form or manifestation all that we are and can ever be. Towards this aim, the Apprentice must practice and understand an elevenfold formula:

0. Intellectual Thought and Study.
1. The Fraternal Name.
2. The Oath and Task.
3. The Holy Obligation.
4. The Powers of the Sphinx.
5. The Keeping of the Record!
6. The Mudra of Horus the Enterer and Silence.
7. Vibration of Words of Power.
8. The Ritual of the Gates of Babalon.
9. Asana and Pranayama.
10. The Sword and Serpent.

From Apprentice to Neophyte

Since we must get away as far as possible from reductionism and psychologisation of the mysteries, we use the traditional term Sacred Science to describe the subject of our interest. The Sacred Science is obviously not the same thing at all as conventional or profane science, and will never be understood by the methods of the latter. With profane science, theories rest on the belief that they can be ‘proved’ by repeated experiments with control conditions. Material science is quantitative while ours is qualitative.

Alchemy involves repeated operations, as demonstrated in a host of anonymously written treatises, but the ‘proving’ is not the same, and these were never meant to be material operations or effects. All experimentation is irrelevant from the metaphysical point of view. The immortal stone of the wise cannot be weighed, measured or otherwise calculated. According to profane sciences, the human soul does not exist for likewise it cannot be weighed or measured. The soul is the basis of our work.

The proving of what might be termed as ‘spiritual alchemy’ is not that of rational persuasion, but is akin to the proving of bread when the action of yeast causes it to rise. Bread thus became a widely used metaphor for the ‘substance’ of the soul, and wine a metaphor for the spirit. Soul and spirit are unknown to material science, for that which is not material in its basis cannot be proven by material experiments or actions; so it shall always be—never the twain shall meet. The Christian Hermeticist Meister Ekhart expressed this in lucid terms when commenting on the book of Matthew, 6: 24, ‘no man can serve two masters’.[2]

The two eyes of the soul of man cannot both perform their work at once: but if the soul shall see with the right eye into eternity, then the left eye must close itself and refrain from working, and be as though it were dead. For if the left eye be fulfilling its office toward outward things, that is holding converse with time and the creatures; then must the right eye be hindered in its working; that is, in its contemplation. Therefore, whosoever will have the one must let the other go; for ‘no man can serve two masters.’


1. Paraphrased from Golden Dawn Flying Roll lecture XXVII.
2. From Theologia Germanica, Meister Ekhart.

The Enterer of the Threshold: View book on author’s website at Lulu.

See also: Hermetic Astrology (2024 Revised Edition) on this website. Also:
Hermetic Qabalah Foundation—Complete Course

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