Taurus: Egyptian Tarot of Thelema Hathoor V

The Egyptian Tarot of Thelema trump for the 16th 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 traditional title of the trump is ‘The Hierophant’ or ‘Pope’.

Taurus: Egyptian Tarot of Thelema Hathoor VThe name of Hathoor, as given in the (Egyptian) Book of the Law, is derived from Het-Hor, literally, ‘House of Horus’.[1] The esoteric title of the Tarot trump is The Magus of the Eternal.

In the centre of the Tarot picture is Hathoor, seated on a cubical throne, for Taurus is the Foundation of the Earth. The throne is deep indigo, the colour of the 16th 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, and in her left she bears the 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] She is the Scarlet Woman of the Book of the Law, and the soul of the world. She is Venus, the goddess of Love under will, 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. As stated in the oracle of Nuit, Liber AL vel Legis, I: 57,

Invoke me under my stars! Love is the law, love under will.

The Word of Hathoor is the phallic image, the solar power of Horus, her sun-star, born by divine parthenogenesis. Thus by esoteric will, Nuit is manifested upon the earth, clothed in form. The word is thus veiled in flesh. 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 the phallic image for himself, he evokes the false crown of the Abyss. He is thus 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. As declared in Liber AL, I: 60,

But to love me is better than all things: if under the night-stars in the desert thou presently burnest mine incense before me, invoking me with a pure heart, and the Serpent flame therein, thou shalt come a little to lie in my bosom.

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 16th path, is to the right of the title. The Roman ‘V’ numeral is the letter-shape and number ‘5’ of the pentagram. The pentagram is expressive of the phi ratio or Golden Mean, symbol of the foundation of all creation. The Golden Mean is used in sacred architecture and forms part of the Egyptian hieroglyph for the ‘throne’. The planet Venus was anciently associated with the pentagram. 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, which is the Tree of Eternity, and Hathoor the indwelling soul. When the ‘five’ is added to the ‘six’ of the phallic image, the vav, the result is 11, the number of Magick and of Knowledge, and of all those who follow Nuit. As according to Liber AL, I: 60,

My number is 11, as all their numbers who are of us.

Maga of the Eternal

The 16th path of Vav connects Sophia or Chokmah, the sphere of the Zodiac, with Chesed the magnificent or glorious sphere of Jupiter.[3] The path is called the Triumphant or Eternal Intelligence, since it is the way of return to the Garden of Eden. The descent of the path is aptly figured in the letter vav, where the creative seed or essential fire is carried downwards towards manifestation. The letter’s name means ‘a nail’ or ‘pin’; it symbolises the power of fixing an image in consciousness, an act of will on the level of pure mind. The power of imagining is an attribute of Venus, the Egyptian Hathoor. The lunar nature of this path is to reflect the dark radiance pouring forth from the Ain Soph into the pool of cosmic memory in Chesed, the sphere of Jupiter.

The magical power of the 16th path is traditionally the Secret of Physical Strength. The secret bears no relation to athleticism, for it is the knowledge of that which animates all things that live and move and have their being—it is no less than the secret of life itself. The power may thus be construed as the Vitality of the Ka. It is Hathoor’s Word, the Serpent Hadit, who gives this life.


Notes

1. According to Liber AL, III: 38, the Song of the Stele, “I have made a secret door into the House of Ra and Tum, of Khephra and of Ahathoor”. This is a rare variant spelling of Hathoor’s name; we have adopted the spelling more commonly found in the works of the Golden Dawn and Crowley, based on transliteration from Coptic.

2. See ‘Ultraviolet Light of Set-Typhon’, Babalon Unveiled! Thelemic Monographs, for an explanation of the ‘miraculous intervention’ of indigo, when considered as a primary colour.

3. Qabalistic references are adapted from The Flaming sword Sepher Sephiroth [Ordo Astri].

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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Aspiration or Materialism

Aspiration was effectively abolished many centuries ago. Those who seek initiation, even those whose desire is genuine, must relearn what aspiration means. That will not be easy for them to do. According to Liber AL, III: 43,

Let the Scarlet Woman beware! If pity and compassion and tenderness visit her heart; if she leave my work to toy with old sweetnesses; then shall my vengeance be known.

Aspiration or Materialism: Sebek Egyptian Crocodile GodThe weeding out of “old sweetnesses” is not done overnight. In magick you have to be careful what you ask for because you might get it. When Zeus appeared to Olympia, she was burnt to a cinder. Zeus had to appear; it was her wish. We may, for example, confuse aspiration through unknowing acceptance of materialism, which is the dominant force in the world today. Materialism prefers to substitute ‘personal development’ for spiritual aspiration, because that places the focus on the satisfaction of base needs and desires. Personal development is a subversive notion, especially when it is thought to be cognate with spiritual aspiration. If we think we can find a True Will through personal development, we are making that will-force subject to all the complex layers of false reason that fragment the truth, dividing it into unrelated figures of latent wish-desire.

The ancient Egyptians had a harsh and very fast way of dealing with those seeking personal development in relation to a mystery temple. First of all, the person was stripped naked, splashed with holy water and fumigated with perfumes. Then they were directed to a small door that opened into a courtyard surrounded by high walls. In the centre of the courtyard was a shrine in an enclosure built of stone, with an open doorway. They were told that in the shrine they would learn how to realise all their goals, fulfil their every wish and desire. The shrine was surrounded by a circular lake. On the other side was a large and very hungry crocodile. According to the (Egyptian) Book of the Law, II: 32,

Also reason is a lie; for there is a factor infinite and unknown; and all their words are skew-wise.

It is also declared in AL, I: 57,

Love is the law, love under will.

There is no love in self-isolating fragmentation, which is the end result of skewed reason. Without love there can be no truth—for the Monad or Self-Alone-God is a projection of ego. The Monad is such a persuasive notion that even the Advaitans proclaimed it and unknowingly paved the way for the invasion of the East by Western materialism. By that time, the Western world was conditioned by centuries of humanism.[1] Humanism, essentially atheist, places the self before all else, automatically excluding the possibility of anything beyond it. Aspiration is strictly limited to personal goals.

Aspiration and Will

The matter of personal development raises the question of the will. Psychologists have assumed that there must be an unconscious will. When the person thinks and acts against that will, then neurosis comes about. That is the theory. The problem is we then assume that we (or other people) are unconscious of the will. Apart from its dependence on psychological theories, this is a presumptuous and very broad generalisation. We can take neurosis as particular to the human species, but does it arise from unconsciousness of the will? Is it not more the case that from birth we learn to work out reasonable but lying strategies about everything, because that is the way of the (human) world? Through the double-thinking power of the reason we learn that truth is adaptable according to circumstances, that it is ‘all relative’.[2] This notion has long existed but Descartes is known for putting it forward as a ‘truth’ in itself. This is a convenient truth for anyone whose primary wish is to dominate the will of others through power of reasoning. Reason does not require intellect or even thought, in any real sense. ‘Facts’ are selected and arranged to support the argument, however ignorant. Those who wish to control the minds and bodies of others do not want them to think, they want them to believe and obey.

Crowley accepted the notion of the relativity of truth (when it suited him to do so), and maintained that the True Will is ultimately a force of Chaos, which he called the ‘Beast’—and with which he self-identified. As a force of Chaos, it is unknowing of any truth.[3] It is all about impulse, action, doing. This is modified, in his scheme of things, by Babalon, Understanding (or Binah), but in his way and in spite of what he said to the contrary, he made Babalon (as woman) subservient to his idea of Will-Chaos. This notion is false; it comes from a condition of mind that owes to the threshold of the Abyss, where no truth is known, only relativity. No one is unconscious of the will-force. Instead, we have learned to divide and fragment it, in ever deepening layers of complexity. This complexity, this relativism, ultimately tends towards chaos and madness. We see this in the present world picture.

It is necessary then to seek truth above all else, and to seek that truth as wholly outside of and beyond the person, the self. Aspiration cannot, at the outset at least, be regarded separately from idealism. The ideal of the Order is, and always has been, selfless service given without any hope or thought of reward. While that will not protect anyone from their own ignorance, it might at least discourage those whose aims are entirely self-serving. Aspiration is placed outside of and beyond the person.

Candidates for initiation are called ‘aspirants’. We must define our terms. What is aspiration? A modern dictionary is not much use here as the first definition will be something like ‘ambition of achieving something’, which is the materialist explanation of the word. Ambition throws the whole matter straight back on to the self, the perceived needs and desires of the person—the person who, in the present context, is not initiated. The Latin root, aspirare, suits our purpose much better, for it means to breathe. This may refer to both inhalation and exhalation, so we first must examine what kind of air we breathe.

Aspiration: Ra the Sun God (Egyptian Tarot Thelema)The ‘breath of Ra’ is not only the air that sustains life but is also light that forms and sustains the intellect. The intellect, in the real sense, is far more than reason, common to all. The air we breathe can therefore include language. Language shapes thought, and thought shapes the world we live in.[4] The very language used by materialists is corrupt, for it rests on the assumption that there is nothing beyond the material. Such information, which is no more than hypnosis through repetition of a single idea, carries an insidious message—a message wholly opposed to the work of initiation and what might be termed as ‘initiated thought’. That is to say, thought that might lead to initiation, or in other ways assist it.

Personal development is now applied by corporations in the work place, for the so-called ‘wellbeing’ of employees. That ought to give us a clue that there might be something wrong with both personal development and wellbeing—and yet these terms are also used in the Western world in relation to spiritual matters such as yoga. Yoga means ‘union’; placed in the traditional context, the word means ‘union with God’. If yoga is about the ambitions of the person, then what is there to unite with?

The present generations were born into the darkest of dark ages. They have been hypnotised from the day they were born. Materialism is the air they breathe, food they eat, and water they drink. They indoctrinate others without even knowing it. The very thoughts they have, which they imagine to be their own, are the death-dealing weapons of the force of that which Guénon termed anti-initiation.[5] They are the product of a wordless aeon, which means that generations are now born that have no logos, no mind in any real sense of the word.[6] Our so-called education systems suppress all independence of thought or expression, and yet they pretend to develop the individual. These systems are perpetuated because they are a reliable form of brainwashing, rigorously applied to every young person and continued through to so-called higher education. The sole aim is to produce efficient units of productivity. None of these systems encourage thought in any real sense. Humanities, which were once called liberal sciences, are taught with a rational humanistic bias, hence the name given. Nothing is considered to be of value unless it is seen to be of benefit to man. Everything of value is thus seen to be that which is the product of man. Man is therefore isolated from everything that could teach him to reach beyond himself, to aspire.

We are all born into generations that have a collective mind-set. We must first liberate ourselves from that mind-set before we can think and act independently of our generation’s influence. Most recently we have seen the emergence of a mind-set that will pretend to see both sides of any argument, switch from one side to the other depending on what company is kept, and in the end will deny the possibility of any truth existing at all. The sum product of this is sometimes called a ‘social revolution’, although the primary concern is individualism. Individualism means that everyone must conform to a lowest common denominator, formed by the base needs and desires of the majority. All true individuality is suppressed.[7]

It is a tragedy that the world we live in today discourages contemplation, even ruthlessly suppresses it. The machine-world of humans does not require that people think, only that they do as they are told, as obedient slaves. The most frequent complaint from our students is that they simply do not have enough time. And yet time is not a commodity, it is not even a thing in itself! What they really mean is that they are the slaves of a machine that controls every aspect of what they vainly think of as their ‘life’, from the moment they are born to the moment they die.

We sometimes hear of persons having a ‘career field’ in the realm of the esoteric, which is of course a contradiction in terms. Such a person is either completely insane or is out to take money from fools. Most often it is the latter case although there is ground for counting that as insanity too, only it happens to be a kind of insanity that is considered to be quite normal in the world today. That world has now reached the apotheosis of personal development, it is called isolationism.

Much that is commonly termed, ‘occultism’, is no more than ordinary hypnotism. Such hypnotism is now the work of advertising agencies, media barons, governments and corporations.[8] That kind of ‘black magic’ is a perfectly ordinary thing in this final phase of the age of Kali Yuga.[9] It involves the manipulation of human minds through control of media, data, statistics and so forth. The Kali Yuga is the Dark Age, and the end of a great cosmic cycle on earth. We have arrived at the last phase of that and must make due preparations.

If aspiration is to satisfy the needs and wishes of the person, then it is a force of anti-initiation dressed up as something spiritual or holy. It is the worst kind of fraud. The Great Work alone provides the basis by which meaning is conveyed to ordinary life. When ordinary life is separated from spiritual principles it falls into meaningless confusion. There is then a pressing and urgent need for a Great Work, for there is no meaning in anything without it.


Notes

1. Advaita means ‘Not Two’, Non-Dualism. As a rational philosophy its argument is a numerical one. As a polemic against the apparent dualism of the polymorphic gods of previous times, which philosophers no longer understood, Advaita affirms the ‘One’, the Monad. The ‘One’ is the false crown of the Abyss, put in Qabalistic terms—it is a rational supposition. Advaita is then not different from monotheism.
2. ‘Double-think’ was a term coined by George Orwell in his novel, 1984, based on the world situation of 1948. The novel has been misunderstood and misrepresented ever since. It was not a dystopian fantasy but a disguised factual narrative based on Orwell’s experience of working for the BBC propaganda department. In the novel, he called this the Ministry of Truth; the department’s sole purpose was to disseminate misinformation. ‘Truth’ changed on a daily basis. That situation has not changed, in fact it has got worse, for it is greatly facilitated by new technologies.
3. Chaos is derived from the Greek for ‘vast chasm, void’ (καος). We use the word here in the conventional sense that Crowley intended. The conventional useage, and that used in physics, is a modern corruption, however. Originally, chaos did not mean ‘random or disorganised force’ and was the name of a god (Egyptian neter, ‘principle’).
4. Schopenhauer proposed that thought shapes reality (The World as Will and Representation, 1818). It does not, but it cannot be argued that thought shapes the human world. See ‘Lapis Philosophorum’, Babalon Unveiled.
5. René Guénon, Crisis of the Modern World.
6. The ‘wordless aeon’ is a term coined by Kenneth Grant, and used extensively in his Typhonian Trilogies. We use it here to describe the spiritual vacuum of the modern age.
7. We refer here in particular to the generation born when Pluto was in the sign of Libra, from about 1971 to 1984. The suppression of individuality is not of course limited to that narrow time span, it is the general and persistent trend of the modern world, which is now reaching its furthest limit in a total drive to uniformity.
8. The Great Work is to assist in the restoration of the earth to the governance of the original life-wave, that she might find her true place among the stars.
9. Kali Yuga is the Dark Age, and the end of a great cosmic cycle on earth as according to Hindu tradition.

Related articles: Crisis of the Modern World Revisited

© Oliver St. John 2020, 2021

Aspiration or Materialism forms part of a work in progress, Nu Hermetica.

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The Egyptian Tarot of Thelema

The Egyptian Tarot of Thelema is an entirely new concept in the field of practical magick and Thelema. Thelema sprang from an ancient Egyptian source. The source work, the (Egyptian) Book of the Law, veils the initiatory secrets of the Theban cult of Set-Typhon or Mentu.

Egyptian Tarot of Thelema Card BoxThe primary aim of the Egyptian Tarot of Thelema, therefore, is to assist in returning Thelema and the Book of the Law to its original custodians.[1]

Our Tarot nonetheless preserves traditional elements from the Marseille deck, some of the revised titles of the Crowley-Harris deck, and the esoteric assignations of the Golden Dawn. Unique to the Egyptian Tarot of Thelema is the use of Ithell Colquhoun’s brilliant understanding of the Golden Dawn colour correspondences.[2] This has enabled us to produce the first figurative Tarot that is fully integrated by colour correspondence and also accords with the Orbicular Tree schema of the Golden Dawn.

The Egyptian Tarot of Thelema is available  as of December 2020. Preview and purchase the  Tarot deck here from Printer Studio (USA and World) or here from Printer Studio (UK). More information, links and a PDF manual may be found on our Ordo Astri ‘Books’ page here.

The deck is suitable for practical magick, meditation or divination. In every true act of divination, in every true act of magick, something of the soul is born into the world. The soul will take with her something of the nature of the world she is in sympathetic accord with, even upon the death of the physical body that houses her. This is the great transformation, recounted in diverse ways in Egyptian papyrus spells.

Egyptian Tarot Deck

These images may be viewed at full size by clicking on them. The first Tarot card to be created was that which symbolises the Capricorn Solstice and 26th path, traditionally titled ‘The Devil XV’. The Egyptian Tarot of Thelema Atu is titled Set XV and depicts the Egyptian god, ‘First before the Gods’.

Egyptian Tarot of Thelema Set XVSet is here depicted 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 even than the Pyramids. Perhaps he is as old as the vast wilderness of the desert itself.

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.

The full description of Set XV may be read here.

Egyptian Tarot of Thelema Nuit XVIIWe next created the card for the Sun entering Aquarius, traditionally called ‘The Star XVII’. The Egyptian Tarot of Thelema trump for Aquarius is Nuit XVII. The traditional title is ‘The Star XVII’. The esoteric title is Daughter of the Firmament: Dweller between the Waters. Nuit is depicted here as she appears on the Stele of Revealing. She is shown bending over the Star Pentactys, a pyramid of 15 stars. According to the (Egyptian) Book of the Law, I: 15, to the Scarlet Woman “is all power given”. Thus, in the lower section of the image is the ma’a Lion of Truth, Nuit’s power in the underworld typified by Leo, the opposite sign of the Zodiac to Aquarius.

The hieroglyphs of Nuit’s name are shown at the top of the card. The pot determinative (nu) shows the nature of Nuit as the principle of containment in the cosmic sense, a body of stars. The hieroglyph for ‘sky’ or ‘space’ indicates the heavens above. Depicted on the lower left border of the card are the symbols of Saturn, the astrological ruler of Aquarius, and Uranus, ruler of the Kerubic signs. Saturn is the principle of limitation and form while Uranus symbolises the limitless expanse of space. To the right is Hé, ‘a window’, the letter of the path. The shape of the letter is that of a nomad’s tent, as with beth. The tent is shown from the side, with the aperture drawn open at the top for viewing. The letter Hé of Aquarius has the value of 5. The window of ‘five’ is the image of the starry goddess Nuit through which the seer may inwardly perceive the primordial wisdom.

There is a complete description of Nuit XVII here.

Egyptian Tarot of Thelema Khonsu XVIIIThe 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’. The 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 (God) with clear or pure perception is to know God. To know God is to be known by God—thus it is to become God, the Ever-Becoming.

The full description of Khonsu XVIII may be read here.

Thelema Atu IV HrumachisThe 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. The Egyptian hieroglyphic name of Hor-em-akhet, from which the Greek form 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 Egyptian Tarot of Thelema Hrumachis IV is described in detail here.

Egyptian Tarot of Thelema Hathoor VThe Egyptian Tarot of Thelema trump for the Sun entering Taurus is quite naturally Hathoor V. The traditional title of the Atu is the ‘The Hierophant’ or ‘Pope’. Hathoor is the Way-shower or revealer of Adam to himself. She is crowned by the lunar horns and weilds the lotus wand or sceptre of the creation of life. The name of Hathoor, as given in the (Egyptian) Book of the Law, is derived from Het-Hor, literally, ‘House of Horus’. The esoteric title of the Tarot trump is Magus of the Eternal.

In the centre of the Tarot picture is Hathoor, seated on a cubical throne, for Taurus is the Foundation of the Earth. The throne is of moon-white or silver, for the Moon is exalted in Taurus and is the fructification of earth and all her creatures. It is placed between two pillars of silver and gold. Lotus flowers surmount the tetrahedronal capitals. Hathoor is crowned with the solar disk and lunar cow horns. She bears the lotus wand in her right hand, symbol of the perfume of immortality, and in her left she bears the Rosy Cross of Life and Love.

The complete description of Hathoor V may be read here.

Shenut Atu VI GeminiThe Egyptian Tarot of Thelema for Gemini, the Twins or Lovers, is Shenut VI. Shenut is the goddess of dual manifestation. We depict here a pair of ancient Egyptian sacred dancing girls, making the gesture, ‘As above and so below’. The esoteric title of the Tarot trump is Children of the Voice: Oracle of the Mighty Gods. The ‘voice’ is the oracle of Understanding and Wisdom. On the Tree of Life, these are Binah and Chokmah. The primary cosmic duality is personified in pairs such as Babalon and the Beast, Sophia and Logos, Eve and the Serpent.

In the centre of the Tarot picture are two Egyptian dancing girls, based on the tomb painting of Nebamun Osama. The hieroglyphic name Shenut, goddess of dual manifestation, is at the top of the Tarot picture. Related terms are shni-t, ‘spell’, ‘curse’, and shnem, ‘to unite with’. When the hieroglyphic determinative of a bird alighting is used, as shown here in the lower half of the Tarot picture, the word means ‘dancers’, or a company of dancers and musicians.

The full description of Shenut VI may be read here.

Egyptian Tarot of Thelema Atet VII: Sun Boat of RaThe Egyptian Tarot of Thelema for the Sun entering Cancer at the Solstice is Atet VII. This card, traditionally named ‘The Chariot VII’, is the original type of the solar chariot, the sun boat of Ra. The motion of Ra defines the expanse of the sky, the reach of heaven. Thus the invisible Sun of Spirit is concealed or clothed in light. The barque or sun boat of Ra is also therefore the marker of time. If the sun boat should be stopped in its tracks, as is told in the legends of Isis, time would cease.

The esoteric title of the Tarot trump is Child of the Powers of the Waters: Lord of the Triumph of Light. This is best explained through the Qabalistic title of the 18th path, Intelligence of the House of Influence. Cheth, the letter of the path, means ‘a wall or enclosure’. The enclosure of cheth is the sun boat itself. It is also the magical spirit-body called the Khu (or khu-t) in ancient Egyptian sacred texts including the (Egyptian) Book of the Law. In cosmic aspect, the Khu is the company of heaven referred to in Liber AL, I: 1–4.

Had! The manifestation of Nuit. The unveiling of the company of heaven. Every man and every woman is a star. Every number is infinite; there is no difference.

The full description of Atet VII can be read here.

Leo: Atu XI Sekhet the LionessThe Egyptian Tarot of Thelema trump for the 19th path of Leo is Sekhet XI. The Sun, the Solar Light, is the ruler of the sign of the Lion. Sekhet, the Egyptian lioness goddess of heat and fire, is depicted in the centre of the Tarot design. She is crowned by the solar disk from which projects the cosmic cobra serpent, the animating spirit and energy of the Occult Force or Kundalini. In her right hand she wields the ankh of eternal life and in her left the lotus sceptre. The lotus, as a symbol, combines the four classical elements. She has her roots in the fertile mud, floats upon the surface of the waters and grows upward through the air, opening her flower to the solar light or fire.

Sekhet wears a red dress trimmed with white, for she is the original type of the ‘woman of blood’, the Scarlet Woman as described in the (Egyptian) Book of the Law, I: 15.

The full description of Sekhet XI can be read here.

Egyptian Tarot of Thelema Isis IXThe Egyptian Tarot of Thelema trump for the 20th path of Virgo is Isis IX. Mercury, the Stellar Light, is the ruler of the sign of Virgo and is exalted therein. The trump depicts the twin sisters Isis and Nephthys giving life to the inert soul, suspended in the watery abyss called Aukert, neither truly alive nor truly dead. By dual manifestation the spiritual powers of the soul create the star or Khabs in the Khu. The twin sisters are placed in the Garden of Eden, which was at one time manifested on the earth as the gardens surrounding the Temple of Neïth in the Delta region, the House of the Lady of Sàis.

The image at the same time depicts the legend of Isis as recorded by Herodotus, when she raised Horus to life after he was poisoned by Set in the form of a scorpion. The card thus depicts Parthenogenesis, Invisibility and Initiation, the three magical powers of the 20th path. These were reflected in the Staff, Cloak and Lamp of the traditional Tarot designs.

The full description of Isis IX can be read here.

Egyptian Tarot of Thelema Maat VIIIThe Egyptian Tarot of Thelema trump for the 22nd path of Libra is Maat VIII. Venus, the Glittering Splendour, is the ruler of the sign and Saturn is exalted therein. Maat is here depicted as a young woman clothed in green and blue, the colours of the key scale of the 22nd path. She has little in the way of ornamentation and is crowned with the ostrich plume, which declares ‘Truth’, her name. She bears the ankh of life and lotus sceptre. She stands between the two pillars of dual manifestation, or Form and Force. In ceremonial magick these are also called Knowledge and Wisdom. They are shown here as silver and gold, indicative of the Moon and Sun as the governance of spirit acting upon the Zodiac through the four classical elements of nature. Lotuses surmount the tetrahedronal caps of the pillars to show that all life pours forth from the power of dual manifestation.

The full description of Maat VIII can be read here.

Egyptian Tarot of Thelema Sokar XIIIThe Egyptian Tarot of Thelema trump for the 24th path of Scorpio is Sokar XIII. Mars is the ruler of the sign of Scorpio; Uranus is also given here as Lord of the Kerubic signs. The esoteric title of the trump is Child of the Great Transformers: Lord of the Gates of Death. Sokar is here depicted as a hawk-headed god, with black nemmys and white apron. He bears the was or Set-headed sceptre and the Ankh of Life. He is standing upon the hennu boat of the sun’s journey through the night and the underworld. The boat is shaped like a sledge with runners and was never intended to sail on water. It was built to be carried, and was said by some to be steered by the dead. The navigation took place among the stars, for the hennu boat is an astral vessel. The higher end of the sledge is fashioned in the shape of the head of an oryx, a species of desert antelope and the original type of the unicorn. The hennu boat was in the charge of the high priest of Memphis called Ur-kherp-hem, ‘Great One of the Hammer’. The title is a reference to Ptah the cosmic creator god, with whom Sokar was identified.

The full description of Sokar XIII can be read here.

Thelema Atu Neith XIVThe Egyptian Tarot of Thelema trump for the 25th path of Sagittarius is Neïth XIV. Jupiter, the Sapphire Star, is the ruler of Sagittarius. Neptune is also figured as governor of the mutable signs. Neïth is depicted here as a young woman clothed in blue, with yellow ornaments and trim. She bears a green ankh of life in her left hand and priestly was sceptre or phoenix wand in her right hand. She wears a fillet armed with a serpent. The hieroglyphic name of Neïth is shown at the top right of the Tarot picture. The first letter is net, the ‘shuttle’ determinative. Next comes the hieroglyph for the ‘sky’, identical to that of Nuit. The name is completed with the phonetic ‘t’. Behind Neïth stands a composite symbol formed from the djed pillar, the shuttle, which spells her name (net), and the Arrow of Sagittarius. The Egyptian djed pillar is the origin of the letter samekh, which defines the 25th path of Sagittarius. The djed is a symbol for the spinal column, especially when that is taken as the subtle channel for spirit-fire in the occult anatomy. It thus signifies spiritual strength and endurance. It is also a type of alchemical retort for the transmutation of iron, the dross of experience, into gold, the invisible radiance of spirit.

The full description of Neïth XIV can be read here.


Notes

1. Esoteric Thelema is set forth, with many applications both practical and philosophical, in the book, Babalon Unveiled! Thelemic Monographs [Ordo Astri].

2. Ithell Colquhoun produced her abstract designs for the Tarot in 1977. Our Tarot is the first figurative and symbolic Tarot to utilise her ingenious understanding of the key-scales in the four worlds, so that the whole Tarot is internally related through colour as well as design. See the book, TARO as colour [Ithell Colquhoun, Fulgar.]

© Oliver St. John 2019, 2020

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