The Egyptian Tarot of Thelema trump for the 15th path of Aquarius is Nuit XVII. The traditional title of the trump 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 perceives the primordial wisdom.
Aquarius: Invocation of the 15th Path
Upon the entry of the Sun into Aquarius we invoke the Genius of the sign:
Thy gateway is Dream beyond Dream,
Thy celestial portal glowing.
Come to us and drink amrita,
Amid the twilight shade of all-knowing.
O thou messenger from the starry abode,
Come to us through thy silvered veil!
To thee! On thine ocean of stars set sail.
Then we that hath descended into hell and night,
Shall tread the path of eternal light!
Thou art the Daughter of the Firmament: Dweller between the Waters. Thou art the Intelligence of Constitution, and the essence of creative force that arises in pure darkness. Thou art Space, and the Infinite Stars therein. Thou art the Star of Nuit. Thou art love, and the seven lamps of Venus! Thou art the window of heaven and about thee is the glittering girdle of the stars. Thou art the Holy Graal itself, and the amrita with which it is filled. Thy gift is the ambrosia of the Gods. Thou art the Waters of Space and thy cup is Binah on the Tree of Life. Thy veil is the firmament of heaven. Thine are the Marks of Space, and thine art is Occult.
In the abyss the clouds are broken up and drop down dew. Therefore thy magical weapons are the Censer for the perfumes, as clouds carry the distillation of the water of earth, and the Aspergillum for the sprinkling of the lustral water. For it is as the shedding of rain from the clouds.
The ‘seven lamps of Venus’ is the cluster of stars called Pleiades in the constellation of Taurus, ‘seven sisters’ or ‘doves’. The Tarot of Marseille, the first printed Tarot deck, depicted Nuit as Venus in the constellation of Taurus with seven stars surrounding a larger one.
The 15th path begins in Chokmah, root of the will, and terminates in Tiphereth, the radiant beauty of love. The path corresponds to Aquarius according to the correction given in AL, I: 57,
All these old letters of my Book are aright; but Tzaddi is not the Star.
The mundane chakra of Chokmah is the Zodiac. Tiphereth appears in visible nature as the Sun, the life-giving spirit animating the zodiacal signs through the course of the year. The key to the Zodiac is the Sun acting through Spirit in governance of the Four Elements. The Zodiac is called ‘Mazloth’ (MZLVTh) in the Qabalah. In the word is a key to the transmission of consciousness. The priesthood of Set, builders of the oldest pyramids, convey the secret of the starry wisdom or primordial gnosis. The (Egyptian) Book of the Law is itself such a transmission.
The root of the word ‘Mazloth’ is mezla, a type of influx or influence from Kether or the North Pole of the universe. Mezla has the meaning of ‘flowing, to flow down in drops’. It signifies a whirling, spiralic or radiant force. As Mazloth is the name of the Zodiac, mezla refers to the stars of Draco and Thuban at the North Pole. The Dragon constellation is thus named because at one time it coincided with the Nodes of the Moon, the Dragon’s Head and Dragon’s Tail. The Dragon is a cosmic symbol of the Occult Force or Serpent Power embodying the polar electro-magnetic force of the universe.
The description of mezla as ‘flowing’ and ‘drops’ alludes to the fact that the true crown or lotus of Kether is feminine. The equivalent sahasrara chakra of the Tantras is described as a ‘moon’ or ‘moonflower’. It is unique among all other chakras in that its lotus flower is turned downwards, so as to pour forth starry dew or nectar. The ‘one’ that is afforded Kether in the scheme of things is not a singular state of affairs but is the principle of love or union.
Nuit is the Star Goddess particularly concerned with the occult or hidden side of nature; her mysteries are those of sex and generation—not the generation of physical progeny but the generation of the magical ‘child’ that is the true ‘son’ or sun-star of Nuit.
The magical weapons of the 15th path are the Aspigillum for the sprinkling of the lustral water, and the Censor for the perfumes. The magical power is that of Astrology; the starry wisdom of the 15th path should not be confused with popular notions of astrology.
1. The Pentactys extends the baseline four of the Pythagorean Tetractys by one, to five. It is the geometric symbol of Nuit and her company of heaven. There are 15 stars in total. The number 15 is the Grand Number of the Pentagram and the extension of the letter and path of Nuit as ∑ (1–5) = 15. There are altogether 75 (Nuit) radiations of the Khabs (5 x 15). The pyramid and star together form the hieroglyphic determinative for Sirius, the star of Set and the Isis (Aset) of Egypt.
2. From ‘The Ceremonies of Nuit and Ra’, Ritual Magick—Initiation of the Star and Snake [Ordo Astri].
3. See Star and Snake of Egypt for a detailed examination of the cosmic serpent.
4. Crowley’s isolationist statement in Liber 777, that the number one is “the goal not the means”, and that it is therefore “too simple to serve the purpose of the magician”, is false (‘Gematria’, pp. 43, 777 and other Qabalistic Writings of Aleister Crowley, Samuel Weiser 1973). The ‘one’ is the means of yoga, as concentration of thought and the uniting principle. It is not an end or goal. There are no goals beyond the Abyss. Thus, Crowley was chastised by Aiwass in AL, I: 48: “My prophet is a fool with his one, one, one; are not they the Ox, and none by the Book?” The number of the verse, 48, is that of Kokab or khu-khabs, the Star of Nuit. Furthermore, the ‘one’ is not an ‘opened out circle’; it is the axis formed when a point is moved within a circle or sphere. It does not exist without the circle of Nuit, or as in any way separate from her circumference. When imaged, Hadit is not depicted as a straight line but as a Serpent or winged disk going forth. As a figure, the ‘one’ has no meaning without the infinitude of all other possible numbers. As declared in the oracle of Nuit in AL, I: 2, “Every number is infinite, there is no difference.” And of the Star of Nuit, it is said in AL, I: 9, “Worship then the Khabs, and behold my light shed over you!”
The Egyptian Tarot of Thelema is an entirely new concept in the field of practical magick, divination and Thelema. The Tarot is a work in progress. The 12 Zodiac trumps can be viewed here.
© Oliver St. John 2019