Aries Equinox: Egyptian Tarot of Thelema Hrumachis IV

The Egyptian Tarot of Thelema 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, based on his image depicted on the Stele of Revealing. 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 the ‘space-marks’ or stars and the gift of divine prophecy. His nemmys is night-blue, the colour of the body of Nuit, which encompasses the whole horizon.

The 10 stars on the platform of the throne are the sephiroth in Malkuth of Assiah. The 22 stars grouped around the rectangular symbol of the Golden Mean (phi ratio) on the throne, the Foundation of the Universe, are the 22 scales of the Serpent of Wisdom. The god bears the Set-headed was sceptre of priestly will, ordinance or 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, who gazes eternally 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’. In Liber AL, I: 52, Nuit conveys a warning concerning the divination of space-marks:

If this be not aright; if ye confound the space-marks, saying: They are one; or saying, They are many; if the ritual be not ever unto me: then expect the direful judgments of Ra Hoor Khuit!

Space-marks have cosmic and earthly import; in the body of the Shakti or Scarlet Woman such ‘moments’ may equally be termed as ‘colours’, ‘kalas’, ‘shades’ or ‘emanations’.

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. In the (Egyptian) Book of the Law, Liber AL, III: 34, Hrumachis is the name of Horus as risen Khu, or Sphinx.

But your holy place shall be untouched throughout the centuries: though with fire and sword it be burnt down and shattered, yet an invisible house there standeth, and shall stand until the fall of the Great Equinox; when Hrumachis shall arise and the double-wanded one assume my throne and place.

Hrumachis is the ‘Lord of the Double Wand of Power’ of Liber AL, III: 72.

I am the Lord of the Double Wand of Power; the wand of the Force of Coph Nia—but my left hand is empty, for I have crushed an Universe; and nought remains.

The word is uttered at Thebes (Waset), the Place of Ordinance in the South. The sonic vibration or 93 Current 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 magical 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 (Thelemic) key-scale Qabalistic correspondences for Hrumachis are of Tzaddi, the 28th path of the Tree of Life. The path extends upwards from Yesod (Moon) to Netzach (Venus).[5] The title of the 28th path is the Natural Intelligence, for it is the perfection of the nature of all things under the orb of the Sun. The desire of Venus reflected into the mirror of the Moon makes impressions upon the Astral Light. Much of the work of occultism is to create new forms as suitable vehicles for the incarnation of the mystic will to transcendence. The magical arts require that key symbols are held and fixed by concentration of will. On the other side of the coin, forms are created to ensnare and enslave the soul, as revealed by the ‘fishhook’ of the letter tzaddi. As such, Hrumachis is the magical power itself. Indeed, there is a close identification between Hrumachis and Khephra when all images are combined into the one image called Sekher Neter, ‘Neter of Neters’.[6]

The magical power of the 28th path is the Power of Consecrating Things. To consecrate a thing is to reserve it for a special purpose; it is to make a thing sacred. Nothing is made sacred, however, that was not already sacred from the beginning. The mystic path thus involves travelling backwards, following the symbol back to its source with all other symbols in the infinite.

The Aries Equinox and 28th path embody the principle of Governance. Horus is the pharaoh or king in his life on earth. As Hrumachis or Hormaku he is all-transcendent. The governance of the life of earth is translated to that of world-systems. As Hrumachis, the Initiate has passed utterly beyond.


Notes

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 by Aiwass 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,

5. Crowley did not revise the tables in Liber 777 in accordance with the instruction of the (Egyptian) Book of the Law, I: 57: “All these old letters of my Book are aright; but Tzaddi is not the Star.” Therefore in 777, the magical powers, weapons, gemstones and other correspondences of Aries are with the 15th and not the 28th path. The 15th path is properly that of Tarot Atu the Star XVII and zodiacal sign of Aquarius.

6. Neter Neteru, ‘God comprehending all Gods’—see EA Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians Vol. One, facing pp. 492.

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

The Egyptian Tarot of Thelema is an entirely new concept in the field of practical magick, divination and Thelema. The 12 Zodiac trumps can be viewed here. The Tarot is available  as of December 2020. Preview and purchase the Tarot here. More information on our ‘Books’ page may be found here.

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Pisces: Egyptian Tarot of Thelema Khonsu XVIII

The Egyptian Tarot of Thelema trump for the 29th path of Pisces is Khonsu XVIII. Khonsu is the ancient Egyptian god of the Moon, the Sky Traveller.

Pisces: Egyptian Tarot of Thelema Khonsu XVIIIThe esoteric title of the trump is Ruler of Flux and Reflux: Child of the Sons of the Mighty. The 29th path of the Tree of Life extends upwards from Malkuth (the Kingdom) to Netzach (Venus). Khonsu’s hieroglyphic name is at the top of the picture. The hawk-headed god of the Moon is at the centre, going forth between two pillars. He bears the priestly was sceptre in his right hand and the Ankh of Life in his left.

Khonsu is regarded as the son of Mut and  Amoun, and he is closely identified with both Tahuti and Horus at Thebes (Egyptian Waset). The crown of Khonsu is the full disk and crescent of the Moon; it is not a coincidence that the shape formed from this composite glyph is identical to that of the hieroglyphic Eye of the Moon or Left Eye of Ra. The human psyche is reflective as the shade of the Moon; to see Ra with clear or pure perception is to know God and (therefore) to be known by God—the Ever-Becoming.

The Moon has three faces: white (or silver), black and red; she is white at the full, invisible in the dark phase and scarlet at the eclipse. The globed capitals of the pillars and lunar crown of Khonsu are also suggestive of the supernal triad of the Tree of Life, where Kether is the ‘higher moon’.

The figures are skryed through the domed hieroglyphic Gate of the Moon. This is a stylised version of the Egyptian determinative for ‘foundation’. In the lower section is the telesmatic name of Shad Barshama’ath Shartathan, the Spirit of the Spirits of the Moon, as drawn on the Kamea of the Moon. The name adds to 3,321, the sum total of all the squares on the Kamea and can be translated, ‘Elemental Child born from the Oracle of Joy’.[1] If the name is looked at Qabalistically, it yields some fascinating nuances. Barshama’ath can be construed as ‘Spirit of clear-seeing’, viz., clairvoyance.[2] Barshama’ath also has the meaning ‘pure name’, and Ma’at is the Lion of Truth.[3] Yesod, the sphere of the Moon, is called the Pure Intelligence.

Shartathan denotes Thoth as Chief of Scribes. Thoth, or Tahuti as known to the Egyptians, was originally a god of the Moon, like Khonsu. The Moon is typically associated with magical mirrors, skrying and clairvoyance. The magick ‘writing’ of Tahuti is that which appears in the clear mirror of perception.

The astroglyphs for Pisces and Jupiter, the ruling planet, are at the lower edge of the card. Qoph, the letter of the path, is to the right. The shape of Qoph emphasises the back of the head where the spinal column joins with the medulla oblongata. It is here that the most ancient memories are stored, including those vital for biological functions. Thus, the 18th Tarot card corresponds to Pisces and the Moon as regulator of organic life.

The Moon of Pisces

The Sun’s entry into Pisces near the end of the cold months is a reminder of the darkest hour before the dawn. The springtime is not far away. In the southern hemisphere it is a reminder that the cooler air of autumn will soon drive out the burning heat of a long summer.

Pisces is traditionally ruled by Jupiter, known to the Greeks as Zeus and to the ancient Egyptians as Amoun (or Amen).[4] Khonsu, god of the Moon, was thus ordained as the child of Mut and Amoun at Thebes. Jupiter, Zeus and Amoun were originally gods of the mountain, and of the seas and rains that replenish the earth with new life and growth. Amoun is a mysterious god. He is self-created, and his location, unlike the sky-gods Horus, Hathoor and Nuit, is below the horizon. He is the Hidden God.

The Qabalah throws further light on the association between the Hidden God and the mysteries of Pisces, sign of the Fishes. The 29th path connects the material universe (Malkuth) with the animating power of Venus (Netzach), the morning and evening star. The magical power of the path of Pisces is the Twilight of the Place. As the days begin to lengthen in the northern hemisphere, the twilight is very noticeable. This is especially so with the lengthening of shadows near sunset, before Venus, the first and brightest star of the evening sky, appears in the west. The magical twilight is also the special light of a room prepared for ritual. Candles and the smoke of incense provide ideal conditions for the arising of spectral images. The Magical Mirror is thus the magical weapon of Pisces.

Child of the Sons of the Mighty

The title of the 29th path is the Corporeal Intelligence, so-called because it is concerned with the incarnation of all bodies according to the revolution of the Zodiac. The root of the word that is translated ‘corporeal’ (gosham) implies a violent rainstorm or shower—the ‘shower of the life of earth’ that comes through the seed of the Unborn Spirit or Holy Guardian Angel in the ritual called the Bornless. The ‘seed’ is alchemical and refers to the fluidic or formless fire from which all forms receive their essence. The “revolution of the Zodiac” is explained by the operation of Sol and Luna as the governance of Spirit acting upon the Zodiac through the four classical elements of nature. All bodies are composed of these elements. Each creature has a unique astrosome, the symbol of which is the natal horoscope, varying according to the time and place of birth. The twelve signs of the Zodiac are cosmic archetypes. Merely knowing the sign of birth does not reveal a person’s nature. The sign alone symbolises a type, not an individual.

The descent of this path is the incarnation or embodiment of each creature, while the ascent of it implies knowledge of the Occult Intelligences.

The magical powers of the 29th path are of Bewitchments and Casting Illusions. When the light of the Moon is shed upon the earth (as ego), then the mind is bedazzled by magical glamour. It becomes absorbed in its own reflections, attributing objective reality to that which is no more than fleeting shadows. The shades (spirits, shadows) of the Moon may therefore deceive the foolish and profane. The gift of clairvoyance (‘clear sight’), on the other hand, is bestowed on those who truly desire to seek out the hidden stone of the wise. It should be understood that ‘clairvoyance’ or clear-sightedness as intended here has nothing to do whatsoever with any kind of psychic vision.


Notes

1. All Qabalistic references are from The Flaming Sword Sepher Sephiroth.
2. ShThM, 740, means ‘to open the eyes; to see clearly’.
3. BR ShMATh, ‘pure name’, also ‘first created’, i.e., to see the whole world as new or freshly born.
4. Most modern astrologers have substituted Neptune as ruler of Pisces. They similarly assign Uranus to Aquarius and Pluto to Scorpio, discarding the traditional rulerships and throwing the whole scheme into disorder.

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

The Egyptian Tarot of Thelema is an entirely new concept in the field of practical magick, divination and Thelema. The 12 Zodiac trumps can be viewed here. The Tarot is available  as of December 2020. Preview and purchase the Tarot here. More information on our ‘Books’ page may be found here.

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Capricorn: Egyptian Tarot of Thelema Set XV

The Capricorn Solstice is depicted here by our Egyptian Tarot of Thelema image of the god Set. The Devil XV is the traditional title of the trump, while the esoteric title is Lord of the Gates of Matter: Child of the Forces of Time. The Egyptian god Set is no devil as such but is the Opener of the Year and Lord of Initiation.

Capricorn Solstice: Egyptian Tarot of Thelema Set XVSet is shown here as God of the South, wielding the was sceptre of priestly authority in his left hand and the Ankh of Life in his right hand. His colour is black, his nemyss and apron of blue-black and indigo. His ornaments, sceptre and ankh are black, gold and grey as according to the Key-Scale colours of the 26th path and the ancient Egyptian title that was afforded Set, ‘the black and gold one’ (Set-Nubti). His peculiar ass-head with truncated ears has caused much bafflement. Some have thought he was modelled on a creature that has long been extinct. Whether this is true or not, Set is certainly among the most ancient of gods. Like Sokar, Lord of the Necropolis, Set is older than even the Pyramids. Perhaps he is older than the vast wilderness of the desert expanse.

Most descriptions of Set focus on the later dynastic periods of Egypt, where he was demonised and known only as the slayer of Osiris. However, Set is the first and only begotten son of Nuit, the goddess of space and stars. His birth is by divine parthenogenesis. No paternal intervention is required for a star to manifest the mother, for Hadit to evoke the appearance of Nuit. To discuss Set-Typhon in terms of Osiris is therefore a diversion from understanding Set’s true nature and function.

Set is the most difficult of gods to ‘pin down’; his very nature forbids it. He is on the other side of wherever we happen to be in terms of consciousness. Thus, the Egyptians tended to think of Set as Mercury, the shapeshifter. In northerly locations, typical Setian totems are corvids—the raven, crow, jackdaw and magpie. The function of Set is dual. Firstly, Set veils the invisible in an infinite variety of forms. Secondly, he destroys the illusion of the appearance of things. Small wonder then, that Set is not only ‘First before the Gods’, but is also the most misunderstood of all gods.

Set’s hieroglyphic name is shown at the top of the Tarot picture. The first two letters are phonetics (‘s’ and ‘t’) while the rectangle provides a further clue to Set’s mysterious origins. The rectangle means ‘stone’. This has agricultural and building connotations, as well as that of the graven image. Some of the earliest Dynastic kings of Egypt were Setians, and were noted for their great feats of architectural magnificence as well as introducing irrigation canals.[1]

Capricorn Solstice: Iset ThroneEsoterically, Set is the layer of the foundation of the universe from ‘before the beginning of things’. The Iset throne of Isis typifies the foundation stone. Set and Isis, though portrayed as enemies in more recent times, are in fact inseparable. Set is the elemental nature of Isis and is, through her identification with Nuit, her only begotten child. The identification is made clear in the (Egyptian) Book of the Law, AL I: 22, where Nuit reveals herself as I.S.I.S.

I am Infinite Space, and the Infinite Stars thereof.

The Thelemic year begins for us not on the 20th March each year, but on the winter solstice, when the Sun crosses the zero degrees mark of Capricorn. The 26th path of Capricorn is the Renewing Intelligence. The time of year marks the first light of the star of awakening consciousness sounded in the depth. In Thelemic terms it is the Khabs (‘star’) in the Khu (‘radiance’). As declared by Aiwass and then the oracular voice of Nuit in AL, I: 8–9,

The Khabs is in the Khu, not the Khu in the Khabs.
Worship then the Khabs, and behold my light shed over you!

Cancer and Capricorn mark the height and depth of the Sun through the year. The equinoxes mark the seasonal crossing points. The four cross-quarters mark the Kerubic signs, Aquarius, Taurus, Leo and Scorpio. Commencing from the winter cup of Capricorn and Aquarius, we can follow the course of the Lightning Flash on the Tree of Life through the year. Capricorn and Aquarius, ruled by Saturn, send the current from the supernal Eden to the sphere of Jupiter, ruler of Pisces. The next station is Aries, ruled by Mars, in which is the Sun’s exaltation. Next comes Taurus, ruled by Venus, the lovely star. We then pass across to Mercury, ruler of Gemini. Arriving at the solstice of the summer cup, the Moon and Sun are conjoined and the Holy Hexagram declared, with the Earth as witness. The current then streaks back up the Tree in reverse order until the Capricorn solstice is again reached.

The 26th path of Capricorn connects Tiphereth, the sphere of the Sun, with Hod, the sphere of Mercury. The latter is also the abode of Set.[2] The Renewing Intelligence is the renewal and perpetuity of all created forms. Nature provides a useful analogy for the human psyche. Unless the intellect is able to adapt, it atrophies and becomes petrified, ‘turning to stone’. Tales of people being turned to stone are common in myth and legend. It is notable that in Cornish folklore, the origin of the prehistoric megaliths and stone circles that abundantly populate the land is illustrated by stories of the petrification of men, women and giants. For example: the Merry Maidens, the Nine Maidens of Boskednan, the Tregeseal Dancing Stones, and the Hurlers.

The identification of the personal ego with the forms or constructs that appear in Hod increases the limiting or restricting power of Saturn, ruler of Capricorn. According to Liber AL, I: 41,

The word of Sin is Restriction.

It is the desire to become free of material limitations that drives man to seek freedom. It is necessary, though, to understand the principles of nature and their operation in the world before any limits can be transcended. The primary limitation is man himself and his ignorance of natural laws.

Capricorn, Set and the Eye of God

The magical powers of the 26th path are the Witches Sabbath and the Evil Eye. The so-called Witches Sabbath is largely fictional, owing to the paranoid imaginings of medieval clerics, but the symbolism is peculiarly apt.[3] The backwards dance of the revellers, for example, is a recollection of exceedingly antique rites as well as the whole underlying theology of ancient Egypt. Egypt recognised no ‘progress’ or ‘evolution’, the ideal was always to go back to the source, before the beginning of things. This is a spiritual truth known by every yogi and mystic; it is not a symptom of a reactionary disposition among the Egyptians, as superficial commentators have supposed. The naming of the Evil Eye, known as a mark or sign of protection against evil in many countries around the world, mirrors the letter of A’ain, the 26th path, ‘an eye’. Set, as with most important Egyptian deities, is the upholder of the Eye of Ra or of God. In the Tantras, the ‘eye’ is the particular attribute of Shiva, who shares many of the attributes of Set. The letter a’ain has the value of 70, which is the manifestation of Venus (or Nuit) through the power of Saturn (or Hadit).[4]

Saturn is the planetary ruler of Capricorn. Mars, the energy required for renewal, is exalted therein. As with Shiva, the number 3 of Saturn or Binah is fundamental to an intellectual understanding of the god. The number 3 is the geometric foundation of form and likeness. It is the ‘stone’ or Set, the angular sides of the pyramid. It is the cipher of the matrix for all life and existence. It requires a triangular prism to split white light into seven colours, for only the triangle can reduce a phenomenon to its components. Therefore the rainbow spectrum is the sevenfold veil of Set. The number 7 is that of Venus, who doubles as both morning and evening star, and Saturn is the ‘power behind Venus’.

Set is identified with Sirius, the star of Egypt, and as such is the manifestor of the seven stars of Ursa Major. Sirius is the birthplace and home of the gods. It is the star of the ‘one in eight’ as Set-Hadit, manifestor of the seven and revealer of Nuit. Sirius is the sun-behind-the-sun of our solar system, the transcendent regulator of all terrestrial aeons.


Notes

1. Even Seti I, the grandfather of Rameses II in the relatively late Middle to New Kingdom, was named after the great god and ensured the continuance of his cult.
2. If a ‘star’ determinative (seba) is added to the name of Set, the hieroglyphs spell ‘Mercury’, the planet. Thus Set and Mercury, and the qualities of Mercury, are identical. See Budge, An Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionary Vol. I, pp. 707 A.
3. The fictional origin of witchcraft is explained in ‘The Witches Sabbath and the Curse of Monotheism’, Babalon Unveiled! Thelemic Monographs [Ordo Astri].
4. Qabalistically, 70 = 10 x 7, the manifestation (10) of Venus (7).

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

The Egyptian Tarot of Thelema is an entirely new concept in the field of practical magick, divination and Thelema. The 12 Zodiac trumps can be viewed here. The Tarot is available  as of December 2020. Preview and purchase the Tarot here. More information on our ‘Books’ page may be found here.

All books available by Oliver St. John
Visit Ordo Astri (or return to home): Thelemic Magical Collegium
Subscribe to The 93 Current monthly Journal
Temple of Babalon YouTube Channel (podcast)