Aries Equinox: Egyptian Tarot Hrumachis IV

The Egyptian Tarot trump for the 28th path of Aries is Hrumachis IV. Hrumachis, the Egyptian Sphinx, has various names including Hormaku, Horakhty and Ra Hoor Khuit. The esoteric title of the Tarot trump is Son of the Morning: Chief among the Mighty.[1]

Aries Equinox: Egyptian Tarot of Thelema Hrumachis IVThe Egyptian hieroglyphic name of Hor-em-akhet, from which the Greek Hrumachis is derived, is at the top of the Tarot picture. In the centre is Ra-Mentu or Ra Hoor Khuit. As Hrumachis, Horus is fully raised to the sky or heaven. The Sun and Serpent crown affirm his identity with both Ra and Typhon-Apophis. He wears the leopard spots, emblematic of stars or worlds of being. His nemmys is night-blue, the colour of the body of Nuit, which encompasses the whole horizon.

The ten stars on the platform of the throne are the sephiroth in Malkuth of Assiah. The twenty-two stars grouped around the rectangular symbol of the Golden Mean (phi ratio) on the throne, the Foundation of the Universe, are the twenty-two scales of the Serpent of Wisdom. The god bears the Set-headed was sceptre of sacerdotal authority in his left hand. With his right hand he sends forth spiritual power.

The hieroglyph in the lower section of the picture depicts the akhet lion or Sphinx, that gazes for all of time at the equinoctial point on the horizon. The horizon is akha, or ‘sun in the horizon’. This has various meanings, which include ‘moment in time’, ‘appearance’ and ‘ordination’

The astroglyphs for Aries and the Sun are shown on the border at the top of the card, for the Sun achieves his exaltation in Aries at the vernal equinox. On the lower edge of the card is the astroglyph for Mars, the ruling planet. Next to that is the symbol of alchemical Sulphur.[2] Tzaddi, the letter of the 28th path of Aries, is to the right of the title.

The word is uttered at Thebes (Waset), the Place of Ordinance in the South. The sonic vibration is sent forth upon the light-flowing stream of the Nile until it is received by the priests of Heliopolis (Aunnu) in the North. There, in the holy city dedicated to the mysteries of the Phoenix, Hathoor gives birth to Horus by divine parthenogenesis (i.e., without the intervention of a father). Likewise, Nuit gives birth to Set, her star of manifestation—As above, so below. Horus ascends to the sky or heaven as an immortal Khu. Likewise, the soul achieves resurrection by the power of utterance.[3]

The mysteries of Hrumachis, the enigmatic Sphinx, are further revealed in the hieroglyphic name: Hor-em-akhet, ‘Horus in the horizon’. The variant form, Horakhty, is literally, ‘Ra who is Horus of the two Horizons’. The akhet, or aker, is a gateway or door. The double lion-gate of the sun’s ingress and egress to and from the underworld (spring and autumn equinoxes) refers to Horus as the abstract principle of the horizon itself. It is a particular part of the sky—for example, where the sun rises at the equinox—and an equivalent portion of the Egyptian underworld. The name of Horus as ‘horizon’ or ‘dweller in the horizon’ relates to the circle as does his eye. The horizon symbolises the primordial boundary or limit. It is the division or utterance (Logos) by which we define the shape and meaning of the universe. The horizon also designates the boundary or crossing, the way of passing all liminal thresholds.

Hrumachis was often depicted as a lion with the head of a woman as with the Sphinx of the Giza plateau. At other times the neter took the form of a hawk or ram—especially when linked to the god Khephra, the rising or emerging sun at dawn.

Hrumachis is sometimes called HU, ‘authority’ or ‘will’ in the Egyptian hieroglyphic texts. In some passages of the Book of Coming Forth into Light, Ra is said to divide himself into two parts, HU, Will, and SIA, Mind (Greek Nous).[4] These are Chokmah and Binah of the Qabalah. Kings of Egypt were ‘Sons of Ra’ (Horus) from at least the 2nd Dynasty onwards.

Hrumachis: Lord of the Equinox

The Sun’s entry into Aries signifies springtime in the northern hemisphere. The full Moon after the equinox is in Libra, marking the first of the two balances of the year. The equinoxes are the aker gateways of the year leading into and out of manifestation. The head of the Sphinx of Egypt points towards the vernal equinox on the horizon; her tail marks the ‘fall’ or autumnal equinox. Thus, Hrumachis is Lord of all Aeons in time and space and that which is beyond all.

Hrumachis: Son of the Morning

The key-scale Qabalistic correspondences for Hrumachis are of Tzaddi, the 28th path of the Tree of Life. The twenty-eighth path of Tzaddi connects Netzach, the sphere of Venus, with Yesod, the sphere of the Moon. The title of the path is the Active Intelligence. It is called thus ‘for thence is created the spirit of every creature of the supreme orb, and the activity, that is to say, the motion, to which they are subject’. The letter Tzaddi (fish hook) of this path is that of the holy king, specifically the fisher-king found in the lore of many traditions. This path is represented fairly by what is usually thought to be a ‘crook and flail’ carried by Egyptian kings; in fact, the ‘crook’ is more likely to symbolise an early form of needle for weaving, while the ‘flail’ is an instrument for threshing grain. Thus we have weaving and gathering on the one hand, and separation and purgation on the other, these being comparable to the dual and complementary principles of Peace and Justice.

The magical power of the twenty-eighth path is that of Consecration, which owes to the fire of Aries.


1. The esoteric title of the Tarot trump is Son of the Morning, Chief among the Mighty. Lucifer the ‘light-bringer’ or Dawn Herald is frequently confused with Satan. Lucifer is generally thought to be the ‘son of the morning’ referred to in the book of Isaiah, 14: 12, which is a title of Venus as the Morning Star. The title of the 4th Tarot Atu is incorrectly given in Crowley’s ‘acquired’ work, Liber 777, as Sun of the Morning. The title refers to Venus, not the Sun. Chief Among the Mighty refers to the original Golden Dawn placement of the trump on the 15th path from Chokmah to Tiphereth. Curiously, Son of the Morning adumbrates the change of placement to the 28th path of Tzaddi recommended in the (Egyptian) Book of the Law, I: 57. The path has its source in Venus or Netzach, the seventh sephira or emanation.

2. This is one of three Tarot trumps corresponding to the principles of Salt, Sulphur and Mercury: Isis-Urania, Hrumachis and The Priestess.

3. The transformation of the soul into a living Khu, the mysterious personification of Horus the divine hawk, and his relation with the Sphinx is revealed in our translation of Egyptian papyrus Spell 78. The translation and commentary is given in, ‘Liber 364 vel Lux Occulta’, Babalon Unveiled! Thelemic Monographs.

4. The Book of Coming forth into Light is the more accurate name of the book falsely named the ‘Egyptian Book of the Dead’ by tomb robbers and Egyptologists,

From the book, Egyptian Tarot of Thelema.
© Oliver St. John 2020, revised 2023

The twelve zodiacal trumps from Egyptian Tarot can be viewed here. Preview and purchase the Tarot here. More information on our ‘Books’ page may be found here.

Visit Ordo Astri (or return to) Home
Subscribe to Metamorphosis monthly Journal
Temple of Babalon YouTube Channel (podcast)


From time to time it has come to our notice that some people have very strange ideas concerning who or what our Lady Babalon is, or what she symbolises.

Blake: BABALONBabalon, as divine personification and Shakti, to whom is the power of ‘reversing time’ in the assimilation and reabsorption of all illusions of self, is integral to initiatic transmission and gnosis. Yet it is very common nowadays to find ‘devotees’ of Babalon that are only devoted to a kind of advertising agency notion of the ‘modern woman’. This involves a kind of sexualised ideal of women that is a contradiction in itself, a dissociated idea of the self that could only come about in the confusion that owes to the spiritual vacuum of the present times. It persists in the ambiguous realm of fantasy—which also happens to be the realm used for selling products. Sadly, the licentious trading on the name of Babalon typifies the total inversion of all spiritual knowledge. It denies any possibility of gnosis or initiation while pretending to sell ‘liberation’ through the cynical commercial exploitation of completely ordinary human weakness and delusion.

Our Lady Babalon has vastly ancient origins. Her name derives from a corruption of the Egyptian per-hapi-en-aunnu, ‘Nile Temple of Aunnu’. The Nile Temple, dedicated to Hathoor the goddess of the sky and the divine pillar or initiatic axis, refers to the nome centre of the place named by the Greeks as Heliopolis, the City of the Sun. Hathoor is notable for giving birth to Horus without any need for a father, which is indicative of a pure metaphysical understanding of reality beyond the cosmological level, identical to the Advaitan knowledge path or Non Dual gnosis.

The name Hathoor, Egyptian Het-hor, means literally ‘House of Horus’. Hathoor, or Babalon, is thus cognate with Nuit as personification of the supreme principle. As ‘clothed with the sun’, she is both the manifest and unmanifest principle. The relatively modern spelling of her name was derived from the Enochian Keys. By regular Qabalistic values the name ‘Babalon’ adds to 156, which is the number of the Zodiac as a unified principle (12 x 13). It is also the number of squares in each of the Enochian Watchtower Tablets. From that we can ascertain that while the absolute principle is not altered by any conditions of manifestation, Babalon, in her manifest aspect, is the ruler of the cosmological sphere. As we know that Horus in his earliest form as Set-Mentu is the Legislator or Lord of the Cosmic Cycle, we can understand how it is not really possible to separate Horus from Hathoor in the same way that Hadit is not separate from Nuit, for these are dual aspects of the supreme principle.

From the corporeal and human point of view, Our Lady Babalon is the type of the human soul, especially when named the ‘Scarlet Woman’ in the Book of the Law. As such, the soul suffers the burden of ‘good’ and ‘evil’, which resides in the human heart. Some insights may be gleaned from a name of the Garden of Eden (ODN KBVD), which also has the value of 156. According to our Flaming Sword Sepher Sephiroth, the Scarlet Woman or soul is warned that the gates of paradise will be closed if she is herself closed to the word of the Holy Guardian Angel. The “compassion and tenderness” mentioned in the (Egyptian) Book of the Law, III: 43, has negative implications for the soul. The sympathy or feeling that the soul has is very closely associated with her bodily emotions and mentality. Such ‘feeling’ thus easily becomes a mask for pride and egotism. While there is nothing wrong with love and kindness when it springs freely from the heart, the human mind has an immense capacity for deception. We must also discern a difference here between the ‘heart’ as an analogy for spiritual intelligence and the conventional meaning of the word as merely emotion, instinct or sentiment.

Scorpio, ruled by fiery Mars, the energy or ‘blood’ of life, is sometimes understood as a correspondence of Babalon as the ‘Scarlet Woman’ referred to in the Book of the Law. It is worthwhile looking at a further correspondence of the number 156, KMVTz (Kemotz). Our Flaming Sword gives this as the Ruling Angel of the 1st Decanate of Scorpio. The name suggests ‘essence of darkness’, which seems rather abstruse until we consider that darkness or blackness can symbolise the unmanifest or primordial state, which is identical with the supreme principal. In its inferior aspect, darkness is simply the darkness of ignorance, so we are at once confronted with the dual nature of symbolism. Both aspects apply to the Scarlet Woman or human soul, for she must choose, as according to the Book of the Law, I: 57:

There is the dove, and there is the serpent. Choose ye well!

The dove is the symbol of the Deliverance, also the avatar that ascends and descends the axis or world tree as an intermediary. It is inseparable from the symbolism of the Holy Graal. The serpent itself has a dual aspect, superior and inferior. Here it is played against the bird of heaven, as the Adversary or tendency towards evil that is in man. To a certain extent then, the soul must undergo trials in the underworld or infernal realm that has its equation with ‘ordinary life’, before reaching the centre of the labyrinth. Once the centre is reached—if it is reached and not denied—it becomes possible for the soul’s initiatory death and resurrection or ascent.

Notes on our Lady Babalon

This article further develops themes explored in our books Babalon Unveiled! Thelemic Monographs and Nu Hermetica—Initiation and Metaphysical Reality.

© Oliver St. John 2021

Books by Oliver St John
Subscribe to Metamorphosis monthly Journal
Temple of Babalon YouTube Channel (podcast)
Visit Ordo Astri: Thelemic Esoteric Collegium