The Thoth Deck MAGUS, is often called THE MAGICIAN in other decks, as well as, the Ryder-Waite deck of Tarot.
Here it is Key-One, The Path of Beth. Beth is a Hebrew letter meaning
House or Temple. The Planet attributed to the Magus is Mercury, thus the
winged heals on the Thoth Deck Magus.
Paul Foster Case, in his text, THE THIRTY TWO PATHS OF WISDOM, calls the Path of Beth, the Twelfth Path that is the Intelligence of Transparency.
Path of Beth (The Magus) is between Kether (Crown) and Binah
(Understanding) on the Qabalistic Tree of Life, making it the transition
(Phallus) path of the One undefined Energy, and the Great Organizer,
Binah. Thus, the relationship that establishes the meaning of House,
that is the "dwelling place' (Womb) where Spirit resides before
"falling" into manifestation.
In this case, it is appropriate to
call the Magus "that which builds the House", in other words, the Magus
directs and encloses the One Spirit (Spiral energy-Vital Life Force))
which is symbolized by THE FOOL tarot card. The
Supernal Triangle(top triangle on the tree of life), is
represented by Tarot Cards whose activities are only separated by a
degree or less. Thus, the Aspects of the Magus and the Fool are closely
linked. For those who wish a glaring example of this "degree of
Separation" it is about as much as the Testes and Phallus are separated
in a human male, albeit the One Great Being (Note* to a Qabalist a
"Being" is an Immortal Intelligent Energy")
Scholars of the first five books of the Bible (the Pentateuch), point out that the letter Beth is the First letter, as the book of Genesis begins with "Bereshith", commonly translated as "in the beginning". Interestingly, Fabre d'Olivet
translated Bereshith as meaning "At First, in principle", knowing that
Beth symbolizes the "Beginning of the Beginning"; The Will of the One.
Thus, it is the First Matter of the Alchemist, the Philosophic Mercury
and or "First Principle". Because to create a beginning one must create
an end, the Magus also represents the key polarities of creation, Life
and Death. This process is indicated in the Ryder-Waite card, by the figure eight (lemniscus) that is lying
on its side, above the head of the Magician. This symbol is also called Uroboros, the serpent that eats its own tale, as both represent the closed circle of One Energy, begun by the number One -Beth, acting on the Zero-Aleph,
THE FOOL (The Lemniscus symbolizes the Act of Turning upon oneself as a
Twisting or Spiraling-Thus creating Male and Female infinite circles of
Force in the ONE Energy).
Because there is no Action in the Crown,
until "Will" disturbs it! Thus the Magus chant of ," I am the will . I am the way. I am the wealth, I own the Day." is most apropos to this card.
[For an entertaining story of the first relationship between the letters Aleph and Beth, i would suggest one reads the Zohar, a Qabalistic text.]
even though the Magus is associated with Mercury, the Messenger of the
Gods, it is not all active. In fact, it is both active and passive, as
it is both that which Transmits and that which is Transmitted ( A phallus and semen). The Magus represents both the One Life Energy which when transmitted becomes the Prima Materia (First Matter). Here
an understanding of the fact that the Magus (Mercury) is the "message
bearer" of the Gods, meaning he is not Himself the Creator, only the
bearer of his Will or the ejaculatory. (The whole Supernal Triangle is the action of the Divine Phallus and Womb.).
The Wand in the Ryder-Waite's -The Magician's hand (Golden Dawn Deck also) symbolizes this "phallic action", showing that the Magick is merely the Transmitted will of the Greater Being that is the Supernal Triangle or Trinity.
The process of the one life energy directed down through the Magician, is the evolution of the first process of Universal energy towards matter. This process is illustrated in the Ryder-Waite deck by the Magician's raised arm holding the downward pointing wand, implying power brought down in a willful manner. The suggested activity of the Supernals is shown by the inner and outer robe color of The Magician, the inner being white, suggesting Kether and the outer robe is red, suggesting Binah in Atziluth (The Archetypical World) and the serpent belt is the blue of Chokmah in Atziluth.
On the table in front of The Ryder-Waite Magician, are the actual Elemental Weapons of modern Hermetic Qabalism, the wand/staff for Fire, the Cup for Water, the dagger for air and the pentacle for Earth. All are very generalized, but greater detail can be found in the Golden Dawn Tarot Deck. The Crowley Thoth deck has somewhat modernized the Magician as the Magus, who is the wand of fire, rather than holds one. This implies that the Magus is Mercury, who is both the messenger and the message. The indication that focused will instills fertility in self and others, is shown as blooming roses surrounding The Magician and his implements of magick.
The Roman , Mercury, is the Greek Hermes and the Egyptian- Thoth, all represent the same deity, the amalgamation of their qualities having become inseparable in modern esoteric literature.
was always associated with words, this makes sense as a messenger must
simply state the cause of the one who has sent him. Then there is the
Egyptian-Thoth, who reportedly created the Hieroglyphs, developing the
necessary means by which a message could be transmitted and recorded.
The companion of Thoth/Hermes, was shown as a dog-headed Ape
(Cynocephalus), representing words themselves. and their potential for
deception and misunderstanding. Thus, we have Cynocephalus, included in
the Thoth Deck card, laying at the feet of the Magus.
Not only do
words affect the Will, as cause and effect, but they also transmit
ideas from person to person in the same way that the Magus transmits
the idea of Self-Creation of the One -Kether. The Transmitted idea, from
The Magus , Fertilizes the ONE Womb,(Understanding) Great Mother
Binah. Just as words fertilize Consciousness! Thus the power of Words,
is about stimulating the birthing of unconscious ideas into conscious
images of understanding, by the Power of Expression, but not necessarily
the Truth of Creation, for that Must Be Made Manifest (THE HIGH
Okay, this concept may be so subjective, that it may
be difficult to understand.
To reiterate, THE MAGUS is the Path of Beth (house or temple), and it
transmits the idea of Self-Creation of the one from above-known as
Kether (Crown). A spoken word is a sound that carries an idea, so the
Magus is associated with the "First Vibration"
The First Vibration encloses Spirit, beginning the process of creation, thus encompassing all that is.
the Golden Dawn papers, this idea was conveyed by relating the Mercury
symbol (planetary sign) to all the Sephiroth, with the exception of
may note that the "...Horns spring from Daath", often called the
invisible Sephiroth but really, it is conjunction of Chokmah (Great
Father and Binah (Great Mother), a face to face union, that creates
what is called "the Divine Child", This is understandable, since Wisdom
(Chokmah) and Understanding (Binah) conjoin in the birthing of
Consequentially the showing of Mercury on the
Caduceus, properly places the Four Worlds,[ Atziluth, Briah, Yetsirah
and Assiah --see past blogs), that are transitions of the Wand of the
Magus, Kether is the Winged Orb at the top. By deeper delving into the
Golden Dawn tests, the student will find that the Primum Mobile, Latin for "first motion", is acting through Philosophic Mercury (Magus) on Saturn-Binah, who is Will to Form or
as I like to call her, "The Womb-with-a-view". As before stated,She is the
Mother of Form and the Magus is the "Idea of Being" and/or Will.
activity of first motion acting on Saturn-Binah, is words or Vibration
and whoever can willfully direct the Vibration of the First Motion,
(often refereed to as to "Pronounce the word-YHVH") Shall "command the
Universal Force". This Mastery of the Universal motion, is called the
"moves-Moves" among certain Native American nations, and/or the "motion
within the movement" of the Mysteries. Quantum physicists would call it
the "Dark energy that pushes the Universe", while Qabalists call it the
Paul Foster Case, in his Book of Tokens, stated that, "all created wills are but reflections"
of the Will that is the Magus. This is an essential ideal of the
Mysteries and acknowledges the fact that our Superior Nature (Divine I)
acts through the Magus.
In the Crowley Thoth deck Magus, unlike the Ryder-Waite- The Magician card, THE MAGUS is not holding a Wand, the primary instrument of
the MAGICIAN cards; Rather, THE MAGUS is the Wand, He is the Phallus,
without a human body, which Crowley understood. This Subjective Phallus,
is not an object. All Objects are formed by Binah, who is Will To
Crowley understood the Wand/Mercury as the Phallus but Victorian sensibilities has softened the ancient depictions of Hermes as the Herms,
that were upright stone slabs with a bust and a very large stone
phallus curiously attached to the front of the column. This
acknowledgment of "First Motion" is also shown in Lingam worship of the
Hindus and or the Phallus- God Priapus of the Romans. Without the
Transmitted Will of the One, Understanding of an idea, cannot become a
Form of Understanding. This is a complex idea, and requires deep
meditations on THE MAGUS card, and also a release of Victorian
sensibilities, as we are describing the First SEX Action in the
Universal Duality. That Action, produced our Higher Self called Daath,Knowledge,
who is the Divine Child of the union of Will and Understanding; the
Self Concept of I AM ME. Here, the I is the Will and the Am is the form
of that Will and the Me is the manifestation of the Union. This concept
should make your forehead itch!
When THE MAGUS or The Magician,is thrown during
a reading, it implies:
- communication and timing and that all things are
possible, with applied Will and understanding.
- There is an implication
of the magic of Universal Vital Force traveling through the human body
making one in-tune with the most creative and powerful aspects of
your-Self; As above,so below.
- Changing the structure of your living
situation by focused action: Will and focused consciousness.
awareness of Power, and possession and communication of the Powers
(Focused will that fertilizes creativity in ones self and others) and
Gifts of Spirit (Divine senses).
Thank you for your interest and comments. May you live long and prosper!