The Thoth EMPRESS, is the Hermetic Qabalah's Path of Daleth (meaning-Door), and Her planet is Venus. THE EMPRESS, is also called the "Gate way to Heaven
as she is the transitional state of energy between the Above and the
Below. The effect of this transition is from One into many, so the key
to this card is multiplicity.
one looks at THE HIGH
PRIESTESS card, they'll observe a simple
diaphanous robe, while that of The Thoth EMPRESS is appropriately covered with
all the jewels of creation. As a Hermetic Qabalist, I am painfully
aware of the inadequacy of anthropomorphic symbolism when describing the upper
Supernal Triangle, the "as Above" of the so below; yet Tarot pictures unconsciously
communicate a great deal of information that words can only flail at.
Hence, the images represented in THE EMPRESS card are an attempt to convey the concept of pure fruition. As an exercise towards this goal of understanding, the initiate must try to conceive of pure emotion, which
is a feeling that has no subject or object, neither love nor hate, but
which is the raw material of both; a kind of Lust without need of
result. Armed with such an understanding, the initiate may begin to
understand something of the Great Binah,The Great Mother, THE EMPRESS, who is the Illuminating Intelligence or Birth Mother of the "Will to Form", who takes the ideas of Chokmah and through the transitional state of Understanding begins the Formative process. She is Mother Nature.
THE EMPRESS as shown in the Thoth Deck card, looks to be all
nurturing and light, however, the darkened crescent of the Moon suggests
transformation or change and to Hermetic Qabalists She is known as the Mother of
Life and Death. Growth and destruction are concurrent Empress-
activities, just as old cells die and new cells are born in a daily
cycle in your physical body
The transparent bubbles shown in
front of the Empress image, represent the veil that we must pass through
to realize the Path of Daleth (Door). Hence to pass beyond the veil is to
cross into a completely new level of collective-conscious energy, where her individual laws no
longer apply. The veil is a dramatic separation of imagined reality and
what is Real.
By now, the able initiate knows that God and/or The Divine Collective,
is the One Mind that created the Universe by a process of Self thought. We do the same thing,
as "images of god", we create reality by imagining it. Whatever we
create in our personal minds, becomes
our individual life. This
is an often ridiculed concept or precept of both metaphysics and the
mysteries; However, ridicule does not an understanding make, and as a
Personality attains greater Self-Awareness, the implications of
responsibility for what one thinks become most profound!
The consort of the Empress
is the Key 4-The Emperor, his Red Eagle (Sulfur) corresponds to her
White Eagle (Salt). For the student it is often necessary to understand
that sometimes, with these High Cards, it is necessary to work
backwards, as these are symbols of perfection
. In the Empress
and Emperor we have the initial perfection of Nature (a perfect economy
of energy) and the Perfection of the Art (...to be). I hope I am not
confusing anyone here, as I try to explain the inexplicable nature of
Dark Energy and Dark Matter as pro-creators of visible light. The fact
that Spiral Energy (Spirit) is Dark Energy, may go beyond our
understanding; However, realizing that Spirit makes forms out of light
by the process of "Self Reflection" in mirrors of electromagnetism, may corral
this elusive idea.
The Thoth Deck Empress,
as before stated, is illustrated in the alchemical image of Salt
, that is the inactive principle which is activated by the alchemical Sulfu
r (Emperor), maintaining the
whirling (Spiral) balance of the Universe.
The design for the Alchemical
symbol of Salt
, is a circle with a line bisecting it horizontally, as
is shown in the positioning of her arms and if you put the Thoth Empress and
the Emperor, side by side, her on the Left and Him on the right, there
faces are looking at each other. This is Yab Yum, illustrating the
Tibetan word that means, Goddess God, face to face, as well as, the
The twisted blue shapes on the Thoth Empress card
represent flames and her
birth from Water
, which we know to represent the Unconscious. The
Living Holy Grail, is the Lotus like chalice in her hand. At her waist
is the Zodiacal girdle or belt, above her head are the dove and sparrow, both are birds of Venus. At her feet is a white pelican that is
feeding her own young with her own flesh which is a common symbol of the
Great Mother, for even not so great mothers, build the young from their
own flesh. The white eagle shield corresponds to that red eagle shield
of the Emperor. To reiterate, The alchemical references for the
Supernal Triangle are, THE MAGUS which is Mercury, THE EMPRESS that is Salt, and
THE EMPEROR, that is Sulfur. Thus Kether is Mercury, Binah is Salt and
Chokmah is Sulfur. Therefore the Sephiroth united on the Tree of Life, once contacted, return
our leaden self-consciousness of materialism, back into the Golden Intelligence of the Son (Sun),
i.e. the Divine Child. The only blocking veil to this end, is material desire
consciousness. We must lose the reality of the "I Want's" known as
"Wanna-Be's" and become the I AM's of our original inheritance.
always, words make the reality of their meanings seem so simple, but in
truth, the simplest words are the most subjective, such as IT, or I .
One must cross the emptiness of want, of sense, of sight, before one can
visit the Great Mother, who creates the Am of us all.
The Arch or door
, at the back of The Thoth Empress card, is representative of the Gate of Heaven;
the transition from reflected light to the darkness of unlimited light;
from the unconscious to the conscious. The student who is dazzled by
any given manifestation may be led astray, for there is no other card
that explains the axiom,"Can't see the forest through the trees",
better than this one. The competent Tarot reader must look past the
parts to see the whole of the Empress, for the state of Divine
Feminine/Anima is more than the sum of her forms.
The White Swan, feeding its blood to the young, represents her nurturing of all through her own "Force of Life".
Esoterically, this card is the "Mother" of the ternary Goddess, "Maid, Mother and Crone".
that is Life on Earth is the providence of THE EMPRESS, as she builds
life forms around the Spirit of Life, establishing the Laws of the
Universe that have to do with restriction and formation. She is the Supernal Female Will to Form. She is also Venus-Aphrodite the Goddess of Love; Love is the Law of Creation, for if it wasn't loved, it isn't created!
The Luminous Intelligence of Chokmah, becomes the Illuminating Intelligence of THE EMPRESS, inferring filling up and emitting Light. Thus, bestowing the title of Mother of Light on the Great Mother.
is a Door, and one may pass through a door in any direction; to pass
through Her on the Return Path
, is to pass into Supreme Darkness. The
dual dynamic of the Door, has often been shown as Janus
, the Roman Two-Faced god;each face looking in opposite directions. In fact the Latin word janua
means door and this god was stated by the Romans, to have presided over
communications and the affairs of men.
Here then, as THE EMPRESS, Janus
resides over the passage of ideas. Originally, Janus was a Solar
Entity, and THE EMPRESS is the Mother of the Sun, so the comparison is
not only viable but pertinent as well, so anything that can be said
about Janus can be said about THE EMPRESS as well, even though she is
anthropomorphized as Venus-Aphrodite.
Nature with each facet so compelling, being both
beautiful and hypnotic, it is possible for the student to lose sight of
the Overview of the Path of Daleth. This point was acknowledge by A.
Crowley in his Book of Thoth, where he warned,"..the student who is
dazzled by any given manifestation may be led astray. In no other card
is it so necessary to disregard the parts and to concentrate upon the
We know that the Venus-Aphrodite is the "Goddess of
Love' but many forgot that She is also named the "Goddess of Desire".
Desire, being born with the most abstract principle of Form, holds a
very specific meaning for the Student of the Mysteries, as to feel is to
desire, but to unite wholly with the Universe, requires the "want of
nothing", and desire becomes just "Being". Thus, the coming to or the leaving
of material desire is another aspect of the Door Way that is THE
EMPRESS-- Path of Daleth.
however, there is much more to realize if one is to be a powerful reader of Qabalistic Tarot.
is necessary for the reader to understand that all nature is bound
together in a continuity of life-blood. The Great Mother Ocean flows in
all of us as our blood PH that of the Ocean PH; salt.The Great Ocean of Binah is the Unconscious, that gives birth to all of our consciousness.
The Thoth Deck key 3, The Empress, thus flows in our "Life Force" and both Male and Female are her "children/daughter"; all Form belongs to her.
We must also see
that there is no break between light and dark. The Dark is the
foundation substance that light reflects on. This phenomena is often
called the two sides of the mirror; dark side and light side. Isis
(the reflected)is not a different Goddess than Nephthys (the darkness),
She is the "other side" of Her. When these considerations are fully
understood, it is possible to reconcile Quantum Theory with
Electromagnetic equations. Also the fact that in our universe is the
phenomena of the "Dark Hole", whose fantastic gravity sucks in even
light, and stars, only to eject all that darkness consumes, into another
Universe as a "White hole". This is the a great example of the Dark and
The Empress-key 3 of the B.O.T.A. Tarot, represents creative imagination. Again, this is the Union of the "Fiery Creative Father"-Chokmah, and the Watery Formative Mother,
On the Builders of The Adytum card, the Empress is shown a a pregnant matron and all of the card's symbolism refers to reproduction, multiplication and growth..
She is the Great Mother principle in nature and represents the activity of the Unconsciousness.
The Maid, Mother and Crone are also symbols on this card. We know the Mother to be the Empress. Therefore, the stream and waterfall symbolize the flow of consciousness from the robe of the High Priestess, as do all the streams pictured in tarot. The Crescent Moon at her feet, represents the Crone.
The Water falling into the pool represents the positive and negative potencies of Life-Force (electric into Magnetic). Further illustration of these potencies is shown as her scepter.
Being Aphrodite, who is assigned the Planet Venus, the heart, dove, pearls, wheat, and trees are all Venusian symbols.
The astrological planets are also symbolized by the Empress's necklace of seven pearls, while the 12 stars above her head represent the signs of the Zodiac.
When the Empress card is thrown during a reading, the querent is experiencing:
- The principle of wise love.
- The power of owning your own inherited maternal and loving nature that resides within.
is an opening to all sensuality and delighting in luxury of the senses,
as does a child, before they are taught to fear them.
- One finds comfort among the natural, having no need of control.
surge of Creative imagination, as imagination is everything in our
reality, this promises achievement and success in our goals.
- The querent may experience a high dedication to healing and nurturing.
- All in all, THE EMPRESS, represents happy, stable, relationships, growth and fertility.
- Beauty, happiness, pleasure, success, and also luxury.
- There is also wise-love implied here.
(the Womb with a View) is everything here and there is an opening
towards all sensuality, implying a welcoming person who is receptive and
finding great comfort in Nature;creatures and people without need for
In order for this card to be ill defined, some very "evil" cards must accompany it in order to imply a certain self indulgence and intemperate living.
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