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.

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, traditionally called ‘The Hierophant’, 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. The throne 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. 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 deep red and indigo, which is nature’s fourth primary colour.[2] Thus 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 ‘V’ 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.

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 is 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].

© Oliver St. John 2019

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Magical Philosophy of Thelema

In the year 1904 while in Cairo, Egypt, Aleister and Rose Crowley unwittingly earthed the magical transmission or prophetic utterance named Liber AL vel Legis, the (Egyptian) Book of the Law.

Book of the Law: Stele of Revealing, Bulaq Museuem CairoThe contents of the Book of the Law are rooted in the Egyptian Gnostic Tradition. More particularly, the book reveals the Great Work of the Egyptian priests of Ankh-af-na-khonsu, Initiates who vow to become Ma-Kheru—one whose ‘word is made perfect in Maat’.

The Great Work of the initiatic cult of Ankh-af-na-khonsu is the magical transmutation of the soul and the knowledge of the spiritual and natural law governing the operation. The formula of the opus is recorded on the funeral stone of one such Initiate, called the Stele of Revealing, of which the Book of the Law, Liber AL, is a theurgical activation.

Thelema is frequently described as a ‘magical system’ but it is no such thing in reality. Neither is it any kind of religion, though it has some affinities with Gnosticism. The magick of Thelema is a transmission. The function of a Thelemic magical Order is to transmit a particular stream of consciousness—which we term as the 93 Current—by which men and women can obtain Gnosis, direct revelation. The purpose of such revelation is to become free from imprisonment in the artificial construct that is commonly thought to be reality. Such an aim cannot, ipso facto, be fulfilled through any social or political agenda. As declared in Liber AL, I: 11,

These are fools that men adore; both their Gods and their men are fools.

The Book of the Law was dictated to Aleister Crowley through the cosmic mediation of Ouarda the Seer (born Rose Edith Kelly). This required the agency of a praeterhuman intelligence, named Aiwass in the book.[1] It is the aim of magick to obtain direct contact with the inner planes. The diagram called the Tree of Life best explains the term, ‘inner planes’. The material or objective world of things and objects is called Malkuth the Kingdom, and is placed as the tenth emanation at the foot of the Tree. The greater part of the universe is therefore invisible to the ordinary human senses and reason.

The Greek word Thelema (Θελημα) is the ‘word of the Law’ as stated in Liber AL, I: 39. It is not a law of scriptures, decrees or any exoteric doctrine or body of religious teachings. According to Liber AL, III: 49,

I am in a secret fourfold word, the blasphemy against all gods of men.

The fourfold word is Do what thou wilt. The Law of Thelema is wholly a spiritual and natural one, not a human one. Some but not all human beings have this secret nature within them, and of those, some are destined to discover it. There is nothing new about Thelema; it is not limited by time. The word Thelema means, ‘will’—not the personal will that imagines it has deterministic power but the impersonal will-force that is personified as Hadit. A comparative and perhaps better-known deity is Shiva in the Tantrik tradition, the supreme creator and destroyer of the universe.

Thelema, ‘will’, and Agape, ‘love’, both add to 93 by Greek Qabalah, expressive of the 93 Current. As the word Thelema is Qabalistically identical to Agape—spiritual love, not romantic or erotic love—the 93 Current expresses the spiritual intelligence of the universe going forth. Consciousness exists everywhere in the universe, though it is not of the universe that we perceive, and can never be known for it is the Knower, otherwise termed Hadit. As declared by the Serpent of Knowledge, Hadit, in Liber AL, II: 3–4,

In the sphere I [Hadit] am everywhere the centre, as she [Nuit], the circumference, is nowhere found. Yet she shall be known and I never.

As consciousness is everywhere, it is not limited to the earth and the human species that has infected the planet with an artificial construct it likes to think of as ‘intelligence’. Wild birds and creatures are sentient, in contradiction to the prevailing scientism that has formed its doctrines around the need to preserve and continue the artificial hell in which Adam and Eve are imprisoned until they come to know the true state of affairs.

Book of the Law: Thelemic Cosmology

All cosmologies are misleading. The best sense of the word ‘cosmology’ is the literal one, from the Greek: ‘a conversation about the universe’. However, that is not the meaning of the term as it is commonly understood. Metaphysics is also misleading, because the academic understanding of that word is only ‘about the matter’, the physics, which paved the way for scientism. The ancients had an entirely different way of thinking that cannot be grasped by dogmatic reasoning, whether that is slanted towards scientism, religion or religious theology. As it is succinctly put in Liber AL, II: 32,

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

Ancient metaphysics, aeons before the term was coined, was based on detailed observation of nature, no different from the Thelemic love under will. Originally, there was only one Tree of Life that was also a Tree of Knowledge. To assist the restoration of the Tree of Life, we can happily forget the old word of Moses and instead invoke AShRH, the ‘woman’, as deity name in Kether. From the fragrance or Shakti emanations of Nuit-Babalon comes forth the tree from which the gods are sprung. As a cognate study, Ishtar is the happy goddess of the three worlds, heaven, earth and the underworld. The same three worlds are depicted on the obverse of the Stele of Revealing.

The gods of the Book of the Law are interchangeable, as are all Egyptian gods or neters (‘principles’). They can be different things on different planes—as is the Holy Guardian Angel, another metaphor. There is a Thelemic Trinity implied in the structure of Liber AL, and also in the Stele of Revealing, the only fragment we have of the original Theban Thelemic cult of Ankh-af-na-khonsu. There is also a trinity of sorts in the title of the book’s manuscript, ‘L’, as 30. The primal trinity is the Qabalistic Binah, the root of all form, the cosmic Matrix or womb. The Sethian Gnosis, among the books ascribed to Hermes Trismegistus, asserts a trinity of spirit or fragrance, light and dark. The light and dark had no moral implications of good or evil, for the Gnosis precedes, by vast ages of time, all dualistic theologies. The fragrance, or spirit-intelligence, permeates the light and dark equally; it knows them; thus the cosmic womb or Matrix is formed.


Notes

1. The Egyptian name Aiwass means, ‘He who was ordained in Thebes’.
Abridged from ‘Romance of the Magical Orders’, Babalon Unveiled! Thelemic Monographs [Ordo Astri].

© Oliver St. John 2016, 2019

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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, traditionally called ‘The Emperor’, is Sun of the Morning: Chief among the Mighty.

Egyptian Tarot of Thelema Tarot Atu Hrumachis IVThe 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 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.[1] 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, while with his right hand he sends forth spiritual power, which is as joy to the blesséd and woe to the Evil Ones.

In the lower section of the Tarot picture, beneath the throne of Hrumachis, is the hieroglyphic name of the Sphinx who gazes eternally at the equinoctial point on the horizon, depicted here by the akhet or ‘sun in the horizon’.

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—for this is one of three Tarot trumps corresponding to the principles of Salt, Sulphur and Mercury. 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. And likewise, by the magick power of utterance, the soul achieves resurrection.[2]

The mysteries of Hrumachis, the enigmatic Sphinx, are further revealed in the ancient Egyptian form of the 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, the first division or utterance of Logos, by which the universe is defined as having shape and meaning. The horizon also designates the boundary or crossing, and the way of passing beyond all boundaries.

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.

In Egyptian hieroglyphic texts, Hrumachis is sometimes called HU, ‘authority’, and therefore Will. 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).[3] 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.

Sphinx of Nature

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).[4] 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, of ‘passing beyond’. 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, and indeed there is a close identification between Hrumachis and Khephra when all images are combined into the one image called Sekher Neter, the ‘Neter of Neters’.

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.

Qabalah of Hrumachis

The name ‘Hrumachis’ is given in the Book of the Law, III: 34. By Greek values, Hrumachis (Ερυμαχις) is equal to 1,356. The number 1,356 is symbolically the ‘love of Nu’, as ‘love’ or ‘union’ (13) and ‘Nu’ (56). As declared in Liber AL, II: 77,

But remember, o chosen one, to be me; to follow the love of Nu in the star-lit heaven; to look forth upon men, to tell them this glad word.

When 1,356 is divided by its factor of 2, Hrumachis is equal to 678, ATh H-KRBIM (Eth ha-Kerubim). The Kerubim guard the Garden of Eden, as recounted in the book of Genesis, 3: 24.

So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

The Kerubim are likened to the Sphinx, having four ‘faces’ or cardinal quarters and zodiacal types, which are the Lion, Eagle, Angel and Bull. The number 678 is also that of ORBVTh (Araboth), the 7th Heaven, which is the mystic pyramid of the three supernal sephiroth beyond the Abyss.

When 1,356 is triangulated, Hrumachis is equal to 452, ThBN, the ‘Head of the Dragon’. Thuban is the true pole star, the perfect alignment of heaven and earth.

When 1,356 is divided by 6, Hrumachis is equal to 226, the number of ChQH ChQH, ‘Likewise the same’. ChQH is associated with the Khu as immortal body and risen soul. The transformation of the Khu involves the magick of becoming ‘alike unto the God’. DBRK (davrek), also 226, is ‘Thy word’, from the book of Psalms, 119: 105,

The word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

The word DBRK may also be construed as ‘Door of Avrek’, that is, the Gate of Sirius, the Star of Egypt and manifestation of Nuit. TzPVN, 226, is identical in sound and meaning to Typhon, the Greek name of Set or Apophis. The meanings of the word include, ‘profound; hidden’ and ‘North’, for the North is the place of Set-Typhon and therefore the arising of power in the magick circle between the two pillars. The number 226 is also equal to the Enochian URAN, the ‘Ancient Ones’, who preceded the race of men.

When 1,356 is divided by its factor of 113, Hrumachis is equal to 12, the number of the Zodiac. The number 12 is also the mystic number of Kether, as HVA. The name HVA is etymologically related to HU, ‘Will’, an Egyptian name of the Sphinx. HU also happens to be a Druidic name of the Sun, and the name of a Babylonian sky god.

Finally, 1,356 concentrates to 15, which is the Grand Number of the Pentagram and a number of Set-Typhon. In the rituals of the pentagram, the four ‘faces’ of the Sphinx of Nature are made manifest about the magick circle of the place. The will of the magician, Hadit in the midst, is the mysterious or esoteric ‘cause’ of the apparition. The 15th day is that of the full Moon, when Horus is fully revealed as Khonsu, the Sky-Traveller. The first full Moon after the spring equinox is the ‘real’ or natural Easter, the Eostre, and ancient festival of flowers, kalas or ‘moments in time’. It is by ‘seizing the moment’, the correct divining of the space-marks in time, that Horus is transformed into a Khu and the soul achieves her resurrection as an immortal star in the company of heaven.


Notes

1. The akha hieroglyph of the Sun on the horizon, shown it the lower section of the picture with the akhet lion or Sphinx, has various meanings, including a ‘moment in time’, ‘appearance’ or ‘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’.

2. The transformation of the soul into a living Khu, the mysterious assumption 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.

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

4. Crowley did not revise the tables in Liber 777 to accord with 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 path and not the 28th. The 15th path is properly that of the Tarot Star XVII and sign of Aquarius.

© Oliver St. John 2019

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