Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Tarot-Key 1: THE MAGUS & The Barbara Walker Tarot-Key 1: THE MAGICIAN
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Thoth Tarot & comparisons

Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Tarot-Key 1: THE MAGUS & The Barbara Walker Tarot-Key 1: THE MAGICIAN

The Tarot of EliThe Thoth Tarot-Key 1: THE MAGUS, and The Barbara Walker Tarot- Key1: THE MAGICIAN;

The Thoth Magus, is often called THE MAGICIAN in other medieval art and/or traditional decks. Here it is Key-One, The Path of Beth. Beth is a Hebrew letter meaning House or Temple and is shown on the bottom left of The Thoth Magus card.

The Planet attributed to the Magus is Mercury, thus the winged heals on the Thoth Deck Magus.

Dr. 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

The 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 (Kether, Chokmah, and Binah), 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, as well as the Magus and Hermit, of which I shall show the correspondence latter in this blog page.

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 by the figure eight that is lying on its side (lemniscus: Greek word meaning, ribbon) and or Uroboros, the serpent that eats its own tail, 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 (Head), 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.]

However, 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 ! The Magus represents both the Will of The One, 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. The ejaculator, if you will. (The whole Supernal Triangle is the action of the inseparable Divine Phallus and Womb.). The Wand in The Magician's hand (Golden Dawn Deck and Barbara Walker-Tarot) 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 Roman , Mercury, is the GreekHermes and the Egyptian- Thoth, all represent the same deity, the amalgamation of their qualities having become inseparable in modern esoteric literature.
Hermes, 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 of the listener, as a type of 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 PRIESTESS)!
The Thoth Deck Magus is design on the Graeco-Egyptian Gnostic tradition. When these philosophies modified each other, they advance the idea further than any other traditions.

Again, the Egyptian Mercury was called Tahuti or Thoth and in that tradition he was Ibis headed. To the Egyptians, the Ibis was the symbol of concentration (meditation) because the bird stands  motionless on one leg. In the Crowley form of Thoth, he is seen bearing the phoenix wand that symbolizes resurrection through the generative process.

Shown in the depiction of the Thoth Magus, his left hand holds a stylized Ankh which not only represents a sandal strap [the means to travel through worlds] which is a distinguishing mark of the god-head, but also the Ankh (crux ansata) represents the Rosy-Cross; symbolizing the Phallus-Yoni union that is the God-head and/or The Divine Creative.

However, this is a deeper mystery than most fear based thought is prepared to go, so only determined will need apply their brain to such studies that will lead them to the central mysteries of the Aeon of Osiris whose great secret so diligently guarded from the profane, was that intervention of the Male is necessary for the production of children. In other words: The "I " ( will to force) intervened with "Am" (Will to Form) to produce the offspring of Force and Form, called a "Me" (Will to be). The well studied student of the mind knows that words, the instruments of Thoth and communication, are illusions, fantasy, mere theories and even trickery  and the symbol of this card can be studied and seen as : Manifestation implies illusion.

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.
In the Golden Dawn papers, this idea was conveyed by relating the Mercury symbol (planetary sign) to all the Sephiroth, with the exception of Kether. ( Illustration is from the Book: Qabalistic Tarot, by Robert Wang)

You may note that in the above illustration,  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 Knowledge (Daath), again reinstating that the intervention of the male is necessary for the production of children.
Consequentially the showing of Mercury on the Caduceus, properly places the Four Worlds,[ Atziluth, Briah, Yetsirah and Assiah ), that are transitions of the Wand of the Magus; Kether (Eheieh: meaning, "I Will Be") is the Winged Orb at the top.
Delving deeper 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. As before stated, She is the Mother of Form and the Magus is the "Idea of Being" (conscious/Thought) and/or Will. Consciousness is the masculine component of the One Mind, while Unconsciousness is the Feminine component.Their Union is "Will to Be".

The activity of the first motion (thought) acting on Saturn-Binah, is words or vibration and according to the Golden Dawn texts, 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 Magus.

Dr.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 card, unlike the, Barbara Walker Tarot, Golden Dawn or B.O.T.A. 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 YET an object form but rather a Motion. All Objects are formed by Binah, who is Will To Form. 

Victorian sensibilities has softened the ancient depictions of Hermes (shown here) 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 (thought), 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 of the Divine Creative. That Action, produced our the Womb of our Soul: the 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 called Knowledge, which produced from understanding the difference of I from AM. This concept should make your forehead itch!

Correspondences: 9-The Hermit & 1-The Magus.
The association of these cards with Astrology is in the sign Virgo and Planet Mercury. In astrology Mercury rules both Gemini and Virgo and in Tarot Mercury corresponds to both the Lovers and the Hermit.

The astrological form of the Hermit isI learn and the astrological motion of the Magus (magician in some tarot decks) isI seek myself through what I serve. The corresponding Rune-stones are: Hermit-Jera, the harvest rune-stone, beneficial outcomes, and the span of one year.  Also, the Magus-Algiz, the rune of protection, the spiritual warrior, the one whose battle is with himself.

The associated primary colors Yellow-Green, Secondary colors lime-green. This correspondence of the Hermit and the Magus is also associated with the Third Chakra (solar plexus/Manipura) which governs will power, wishes, metabolism, humor, wisdom, ego, reactions, ideas, intellectual analysis, and fear of rejection. The Third Chakra is the spiral energy of the intellect.

The stones/minerals associated with this correspondence are: Peridot, moldavite, jade, jadeite, aventurine, green kunzite, green containing tourmalines of uvite, feridavite, verdelite, watermelon-yellow green fluorites and chalcedony.

Musical notes for the Hermit-F and for the Magus-E.
Letters of the Qaballah are: Hermit-Simple letter- Sexual Love (English translation) The Hermits Path is : Yod , The Intelligence of Will. The symbol of meaning is : Hand.

Qaballistic letter for the Magus; Double letter- Life-Death and the Path is: Beth or Bet, the Intelligence of Transparency. Symbolic meaning-House.

The plant essences: The Hermit- Sage, wintergreen, and caraway. The Magician- Dill, lemongrass, sorax or Benzoin.

The psychic energy involved in the correspondence of the Hermit and the Magus, is associated with meditation and the ability to surrender the conscious mind to the super-conscious (self to Greater Self) which unlocks exploration and knowledge of the whole self for the expansion and liberation of the personality from self-imposed limits of knowledge and understanding. In other words, the key to "Holy Spirit".

To be an excellent reader of Tarot-a Tarot Seer- we must remember that the conscious mind learns only by association. From letters, to word, to idea, all of which is an association in the subconscious mind. A correspondence that has taken effort and years to the point of automatically producing associations with out any conscious effort. The conscious mind functions solely through associations/correspondences in everything it learns, and thinks. Sharing common associations produces success in communication which is why we have a "school system". This is ability to see correspondence also aids the Tarot Seer in communicating messages from the Invisible (Divine) to the querent (asker of questions) so that clarity in communication is served. Messages from the Divine are in energetic form and must be given image to be understood by the process of association. To someone who is not a Qaballist, this all may seem "deep" which communicates too much effort to some, but to the diligent seer---deep is where we reside.
The Barbara Walker Tarot-Key 1;THE MAGICIAN:
Carries on the tradition of a medieval character, with the magician tools, wand, cup, pentacle, and sword, (The Four Elements and Tarot Suits) on an altar. All suggesting that the Magician is a manipulator of the elements.

In Renaissance Europe, the image of the Magician was associated with the god Hermes Trismegistus (Thrice Great), the inimitable manipulator of the elements.
The Magician as Hermes was first shown in the Mantegna Tarot, with flute, winged hat, his caduceus,and winged boots. Other Tarot decks the Magician posed was with arms forming the alchemical glyph for Mercury, his Roman name, and the metal he used to for elemental transformations.
Both Alchemists of Europe and Arabia claimed Hermes Trismegistus as the patron of their craft.
A collection of magic texts called the Corpus Hermeticum, after Cosimo Medici received a Greek version of it, became  the alchemical bible and was common fodder of Renaissance mystics, philosophers, alchemist, and occult fraternities.  Renaissance scholars were sure that Hermes was a real person and wrote the Corpus Hermeticum, himself. In fact, his portrait was done in mosaics at the Cathedral of Sienna, with the inscription: " Hermes Trismegistus, contemporary of Moses." The Renaissance artist/author Lazzarell's text, Calix Christi et Crater Hermetis (Chalice of Christ and Cup of Hermes)stated that all learning was invented by Hermes and then given by him to Moses in Egypt.  The list of proclamations about Hermes is a long one.
Even Sir Thomas Browne wrote that hermetical magic was the "mystical method of Moses bred up in the Hieroglyphical Schools of the Egyptians".

Hermes was also called the "Good Shepard' who guided the souls of the dead and therefore associated with Osiris, Mithra, Tammuz, the Hindu Yama, the Persian Yima and other versions of the Savior figure. Therefore, he was considered a Psychopomp by the Greeks and that's also why he corresponds to the Hermit Tarot card.
Since Hermes was originally the hermaphrodite, Hermaphroditus, he could travel the nether worlds that were run by Mother Demeter; Hermes was considered the most approachable and/or accessible of the Divine Trinity
formed by Demeter.

There is a lot more history to the Magician Tarot Card, involving Thoth/Hermes, that is well explored by Barbara Walker in her book: The Secrets of The Tarot.

  • When THE MAGUS 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.
  • An 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).
  • Occult wisdom, skill, and is adaptive.
  • There is craft and cunning as well. All depending on the dignity of the accompanying cards.
  • A Magi or Mystic knows that thought is what we manipulate by will, into forms and since thought is a tool we the Willful Spirit, are not thought! You cannot identify yourself by words, only your actions will sound out your name! Again, above all things know thyself! Upon so doing, you'll easily see that everyone you meet is another way of being you. Another Way, is the operative term here. So let them alone! Let them be "another way"....that's why The Greater Self built and builds so many of us. The Divine Creative loves "another way", because then the journey of Self-Awareness has infinite possibilities! Each of us is "The Will and the Way": the Spirit is Will and the Body is the Way of Spirit. We are also the wealth of idea and because our bodies are magically made out of time-space formed by Understanding; we are the "Will and the Way, the wealth and We own the Day". For only bodies give us the, Endless Will, a Day. Day's are built of time space. To study Thoth Tarot or the Hermetic Qabalah-----is to know the deepest secrets of Self!

Thank you for your interest, comments and supportive donation.  May you live long and prosper!

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