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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Fire: Egyptian Tarot The Aeon XX

The trump for the thirty-first path of Fire and Spirit is The Aeon XX. The path also corresponds to the dwarf outer planet Pluto. Judgement is the traditional title of the trump, viz., the Last Judgement when souls are called to the resurrection.

Fire and Spirit: Egyptian Tarot The Aeon XXThe esoteric title of this Tarot trump is Spirit of the Primal Fire. The spirit-fire is that which animates all living beings. It is the seed of the resurrection body. The mysteries of transformation are summed up in the alchemical phrase, Igni Natura Renovata Integra, ‘Nature is renewed and perfected through fire’. The ‘seed’ or eternal source is not actually within the body or mind; all that belongs to the corporeal state is adjunct to the Real. From the point of view of the human individuality, it seems as though that were the case. It is by analogy when it is said that the soul bears within herself the seed of her own resurrection. In the scriptures it is symbolised, for example, that Magdalene, as ‘soul’, is the devout follower of Christ-Jesus

Shin is the letter of the thirty-first path and is formed from three flames joined at the base. Shin literally means ‘tooth’, but the significance is of spirit or that which endures—bone (by analogy), thus eternity and the immortal life.[1] The ancient Egyptian source of the word is shen, the ring of indefinite cyclical return and the ‘round’, which is shown here being carried through the air by Horus in the form of a falcon.[2]

At the top of the picture, to the left, are the Egyptian hieroglyphs for the Eternal (heh). In the centre, between the two lampwicks, is the solar glyph of circle and principial point. The wick of a lamp burns and gives forth a flame of light without perishing. It is fed on pure oil, the perfection of life. There is a comparison to be made with the Caduceus, which symbolises the dual power of Kundalini. When the twin serpents of the Shakti Power cease to oppose and are, so to speak, woven together, the immortal state is within reach. In the case of the yogin, the appearance of things no longer deludes him.

Horus carries the shen ring over a symbolic representation of the step pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara Necropolis outside of Memphis, Egypt. Necropolis (Greek) means ‘city of the dead’, but this is really a misnomer as the Egyptians saw it as a place of eternal life. The Egyptian name is therefore heh, ‘Eternity’, identical in sound and meaning to the woven flax hieroglyph but spelled in such a way as to indicate a specific earth location.[3]

The base of the four-sided, seven-stepped pyramid is a trapezium or trapezoid. The parallel but unequal sides are indicative of the fourth dimension or non-Euclidian space-time. Beneath the desert of Saqqara is a labyrinth, as previously mentioned.[4] Very large granite vessels are situated there in cells only big enough to fit them. It is unknown as to how these large and heavy objects could be placed in such a manner below ground. What we do know is that the vessels, shaped somewhat like a sarcophagus or ark, were never designed to house a mummy. The insides of the sealed boxes are polished to mirror-like perfection. They are very precisely placed in the underground labyrinth. According to some, the vessels are subtle repositories of knowledge predating the Ice Age and built to endure a catastrophe.

Aeon, the title of the trump, indicates a cosmic cycle and in this case it is specifically the ending of the present Manvantara. The number 20 links The Aeon with Destiny X (Kaph), or the Kalachakra Wheel. Kalachakra yoga or Yidam is the Tibetan way of uniting the self with deity to obtain Pure Mind. Ishtadevata is the principle deity, and is associated with the Kalachakra, whose name means, ‘desired’ or ‘adored’ (ishta) and ‘divine soul’ (devata). As a pair, Kalachakra and Kalachakri look both inside and outside of time.

Pluto is one of the three ‘new’ planets discovered in modern times and so symbolising the disruption and chaos that comes about near the ending of a great cycle of aeons. Pluto is sometimes corresponded to Kether on the Tree of Life, but this is an inversion, for the Lord of Hell is an apt title for the forces of greed and materialism that have characterised the epoch, not to mention unmitigated violence.

Spirit of the Primal Fire

The thirty-first path of Shin connects Hod, the sphere of Mercury, with Malkuth, the sphere of action and elements (or visible universe). The path is called the Perpetual Intelligence, and is so-called because ‘it rules the movement of the sun and the moon according to their constitution, causing each to gravitate in its respective orb’. This path connects Malkuth with the left hand pillar of Form. The Perfect Intelligence of Hod is here realised ‘in the flesh’. From the human point of view, the fruits of such knowledge come to pass as future events, though in reality there is only simultaneity. From the point of view of eternity there is no past or future; there is nowhere to go as eternity encompasses all possibilities—time in the earthbound sense simply ceases to exist.

The magical powers of the path are Evocation and Pyromancy. These are derived from the correspondences of the path; firstly the traditional Tarot trump Judgement, which depicts the dead arising from their graves (evocation), summoned by a blast from the trumpet of the Angel Israfel.[5] Secondly, the element of fire (pyromancy). Both powers may be regarded as analogous. Necromancy is not the power of this path and so the notion of evocation here has more in the way of meaning the return of the self to the (greater) Self at the end of a cycle or at the end of time. It is not the ‘dead’ that can actually arise but the living spirit. Divination by fire is the means of seeing the past or future, for example, by gazing into the flickering firelight. The higher meaning of this involves ‘fire’ when that is understood as coming about through the discipline that strengthens the mind and will to become engrossed in the Great Work. It is by the elimination of all distractions that one may see things clearly.


From the forthcoming book and Egyptian Tarot deck.

1. Eternity and immortality are not the same. Eternity is Infinite, without qualification; immortality is within the realm of existence or being.

2. For an explanation of the multiple perspective drawing of the falcon, based on ancient Egyptian art, see Lucie Lamy, Egyptian Mysteries pp. 18 [Thames and Hudson 1981].

3. The Egyptian name for the Necropolis or Eternal Place is spelled with three mounds or hills and the circle-cross determinative. See Budge, An Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionary, pp. 507 b.

4. Cf. Sokar XIII.

5. Some sources have the Angel of the Last Judgement as Gabriel. The Angel is also associated with Raphael, Uriel and various others.

6. A symbolic ‘pathworking’ of the 31st path formed part of the ceremony of initiation to the grade of Hod in the historical Order of the Golden Dawn.

© Oliver St. John 2020, 2024

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