Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Tarot-Key 5- The Hierophant & The Wild Wood Tarot-Key 5- The Ancestor
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Thoth Tarot & comparisons

Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Tarot-Key 5- The Hierophant & The Wild Wood Tarot-Key 5- The Ancestor

Key-5 of the Thoth Tarot- The Hierophant & The Wild Wood Tarot-Key 5- The Ancestor, both of which are the universal principle of learning and teaching. This principle was well explained in the  publication of The-Course in Miracles:
"As you teach so will you learn." If that is true, and it is true indeed, do not forget that what you teach is teaching you."

This card requires us to have  faith in our inner-selves;"above all things know thyself" is often forgotten in outer family situations and in the mundane world of survival.  The family situations are represented in the Thoth Key 5 Trumph card by the images of Isis and Osiris and Horus,. In ancient Egypt, Isis was the image of Intuition (the dark lady with crescent sythe), and Osiris (Patriarch image), the image of wisdom, the symbols of which can be seen as the scepter of wisdom and the staff of moon. The Staff of the Moon was also known as representing instinct.

Horus represented Perception and Vision, as a child born of Intuition and Wisdom and in the now, represents us. We are the children of Intuition and Wisdom  born of the Virgin High Priestess- whose womb is the invisible Sephiroth-Daäth-Knowledge. Therefore, being born of Self-Knowledge, each of us are to be the purveyors of perception and vision.  We must have faith in following our childlike abilities of innocence and curiosity (the child in the star) We are to walk the mystical path with  the practical feet of the Magus/Mercury, the Intent of Self- Knowledge and the unshakable focus of the Hierophant.

Therefore the Hierophant is that inner part of ourselves that knows how to express our divinity into the outer world.

The HIEROPHANT is also seen as the administrator of the Yin Yang duality which emerges when the idea of Chokmah-Wisdom, is formed by Binah-Understanding, and which begins as manifestation below the Abyss in Chesed-Mercy.

Crowley's Thoth Tarot card is considered one of the most important in Tarot, containing many traditional elements intermingled with Crowley's own discoveries and philosophies. For instance, the image of a child in the Pentagram that is within a larger Hexagram, is explained as:
" This symbolizes the law of the new Aeon of the Child of Horus, which has supplanted that Aeon of the 'Dying God' which governed the world for two thousand years". Crowley believed that the rhythm of the HIEROPHANT is such that he moves at 2,000 year intervals. ]

Remembering that this is a Spiral Universe (Einstein), made of Multiple frequencies of the One Energy, that are administered into various ideas of Self. Hence there are many dynamic dimensions of One Energy, that are in rhythmic or cyclic movements within the multiple "States of Conscious Energy", of which the Intelligence that is the HEIROPHANT is a major guiding  or ancestral state.

It is also nice to know that within our own invisible infinity (inner self) resides our Librarian of Universal Tomes who will not hesitate to instruct the diligent student. But until we are no longer satisfied with the ludicrous fantasy of our own media run cultural "Group Soul", we will never be able to achieve the mental velocity to escape our imprisonment of Time-created indoctrinated perspectives and consciously enter the infinite depths of Our Spiral Energetic Self and/or our Intuitive Mind, i.e., our Soul ancestral library.

Each of us is a Tree of Life (in 10 dimensions!), and each of us makes his/her own Qabalah. When there is a shift in the 2,000 year Group Soul and or Ancestral Soul, from Mammon/Osiris to that of, Horus, those who can't behold the more advanced perspective, will have to live in a lesser intelligent fantasy of their own making, on the Astral planes; of which many now do! Without a sensual body in Malkuth-The Kingdom,  sensuality will be condemned to memory rather than new discernment producing learning and teaching experiences. As we should know from our own experiences, after a bout of time, sensual memory fades to a point where only the most extreme of sensual experiences are remembered. Luckily the HEIROPHANT, that is a Higher State of Conscious Energy, within our Tree of Life (our Spiral Pattern of Force and Form) gives us back our Psyche that has suffered from downsizing our Mind into a personality memories. Our Real Knowledge of Self is stored in the intelligence called Daäth,"the invisible Sephiroth"; known in English as-Knowledge and that resides just above the Abyss on the Middle Pillar (shown as the human form). 

Obviously, to get to this point of inner-journey, we have to experience the "Dark Night of the Soul", achieving "emptiness" so that we can be "refilled" or as I like to say, were we can claim our inheritance as the Divine Child of the One Universal Collective Mind.

The HEIROPHANT or Ancestor awaits us all, and will fill to capacity, the thirsty student!
As a Divine Child, a Titan or Demi-urge, you are denied nothing that "ever was or will be", only you have the god-like freedom to deny yourself! Thus, you should know that the HEIROPHANT or Ancestor does not have Authority over your Spirit, your freedom of choice is still intact. From Creation, your True Name is "I AM" which constructs by perspective your objective self called "ME". You are the One I  (All seeing eye) of your constructs, but you have closed your "I's" on the other "selves" of your whole Psyche; not because you are bad, or in error, but because in order to become solid enough to form sensuality, you had to "down size" your Titanic identity (Christians call this "the fall"). The problem is we forgot we did this! Luckily, the Hierophant or Ancestor is the keeper of your Akashic records (Soul Library of "Selves"), and you need to just go "inward", where the eternal you resides, and therefore, "remember" your Divinity.

The Wild Wood Tarot-Key 5-The Ancestor, displays the ice age creature of myth, who is half-animal and half-human. She carries the  wand of wisdom, and the drum of summoning, that summons all who can hear to gather and watch the sun rise.

She is blessed by the land, this Ancestor of Instinctual Mind and also by the knowledge that rains down from the Stars. Her coat is of white fur and evergreen leaves, showing winter doesn't end life, but only begins a new fertility.

She stands at the gateway, formed by 2 silver birch trees, marking a point of new commitment, without a way of turning back. The path is marked with tracks that lead onward, reminding you that you are on a path with a beginning and an end. Hence, the new moon signifies both an end and a beginning, as the morning star Venus, dawns with new hope.
According to legend, the Ancestor is linked to the part of our soul that is most ancient and most closely related to the archetypes that represent nature.

Upon examining the Thoth card, the HEIROPHANT sits on a Bull between 2 elephants, holding a wand of three interlocking rings, symbolizing the Aeons of Isis, Osiris and Horus who is represented as the Child in the Pentagram. According to Crowley, beneath is the veiled "Scarlet Woman", who is shown riding the "Lion Serpent", unveiled and pure in the LUST CARD.The nine nails above, symbolize Vau, the linking of the above and the below (the nine Sephiroth below the 1 that is Kether, who is Darkness/unlimited Light.) The Manifested Spirit, passes along the "Window"
( triangular ray of Light form the Scarlet woman upward) from the Microcosm to the Macrocosm.

Now all is not "sweetness and light" in the HEIROPHANT, and most authorities on tarot agree that there are some unpleasant aspects to this Key. I would recommend that the serious student read the book by Richard Cavendish: THE TAROT, where the implications of this State of Energy Consciousness are very cleverly related to Gnosticism. He points out that the Demiurge, the Lesser Creator which rules over manifestation, was also known by the Gnostics as the "Great Deceiver", and that initiates of the Valentinian Gnostics were taught to ignore the authority of this one who is a type of "Librarian" and only has authority over its library. Truth is, there is only one authority over us, and that is our own "Will to be" and/or Freedom to Choose (Observer) and we get to experience freely, the consequences there of.  Yes it is true, even our Ancestors can have errant data, so once again, examine all thoughts, and don't believe everything you think or are told. Besides, Only slaves need saviors!

 To Reiterate: THE THOTH TAROT-HIEROPHANT- Key 5,  is the Path of Vau (Nail or Hook), of the Hermetic Qabalah and also is the 16th path, on the Tree of Life. leading from Chesed (mercy) to Chokmah (wisdom) and is known as the  Eternal Intelligence, a phrase coined by Dr. Paul Foster Case. Sincethe meaning of the Hebrew word Vau, is nail or hook, it implies a nailing together, or binding, and links the Macrocosm (The Great Universe) and  Microcosm (Manifestation), and/or The Greater Self to the lesser Self of matter, thereby, forever linking us to the Divine Spirit.

The Path of Vau is the uppermost path on the Pillar of Mercy (Right hand Path). In the Golden Dawn texts, this path is described as, " The Zodiac acting through Taurus upon Jupiter".  Here, Chokma is Jupiter, and his action is the spermatic potential of the Manifested Universe known as Chesed, the Yod of Microcosm (Microprosopus). Therefore, Chesed is the The Father in Manifestation, while Chokmah (the Yod of the Macrocosm/) Macroprosopus) is the Supernal Father.
Therefore, the Path of the Hierophant is a powerfully masculine one (Electric Force), to which  the Bull-Taurus is applied as the image definitively applied to this card; Being "Fixed Earth", this is a stable foundation; a stabilizing extreme which is also seen in the Ancestor image of the Wild Wood Tarot. This is the absolute foundation of the process of revelation where the inherited Knowing of the Creator, where THE Great Father, is expressing It's experience through the Supreme Spiritual Self to the Personality or Ego (Whole Self) of Tiphareth (The Sun of Beauty). Thus memory is involved and the solid foundation of "Above all things, Know thyself" is established as an Universal Inheritance for the Divine Child/Son of God, which is our Soul/Psyche.

  Both THE HIEROPHANT and THE ANCESTOR  are related to teaching, which relates Higher ideas into Lower organisms that is often called, "As above so below". The Hierophant is a state of Ancestral-conscious energy that is the Only source for our understanding of the inner Spirit/Spiral energy conscious.This "Magus of the Eternal" is stated by Paul Foster Case in his text," THE THIRTY TWO PATHS OF WISDOM:, as being the," ....Pontifex, the 'bridge maker'  who provides a connecting link between outer experience and interior illumination." Thus, The Hierophant or The Ancestor, gets the discriminating experience of the Body-operating-Personality, while teaching that very same Personality it's inherited Divinity. This places the Ancestor or Hierophant in the Past and the Present, therefore, The Hierophant can be said to "Learn by Teaching", for by the students example, errors of the past can be exposed and corrected. Therefore, the Eternal Intelligence  can be called "Life" and the Reasoning behind manifestation and/or "the Alive" and implies that a teacher who learns from his students, is a great teacher, i.e. Life learns from the "alive".
So let us not forget the fact that Life is related to teaching, not only the action of teaching but also the reaction of learning by teaching! The Hierophant is the only source for our understanding of the inner spirit, as he is the intelligent or ancestral energy which binds inner spirit to the outer aspects of manifestation.

Crowley's main concept was the "grounding" of the Fifth-Key-, using the corner symbols of the Four Kerubiim (Guiding collective intelligence of the Four Elements) as the tentative expressions of the primordial Elements of Kether (Crown) that are passed down to Chokmah as the Sphere of the Zodiac. Interestingly, we think of the Zodiac as 12 signs, but it is really four ternaries, where each element is broken down to three signs.

To the Qabalist, this relates  to Yod (hand) Heh (Window) and Vau (Nail).

The Administrator to the emerging duality that is Chokmah (Phallus -Womb, male-female, electric-magnetic) is the Hierophant and it given form or structure by Binah (Great Mother)  which begins as manifestation below the Abyss (Dark Energy and Dark Matter) in Chesed (Mercy). Thus relating to Tiphareth (Beauty-Synchronicity), the central point of manifestation. This relationship is shown in two ways, first as the letter Vau, which is related to "The Son" (Androgynous Child of God) , and Tetragrammaton; the second is the number six itself is related to Tiphareth. Crowley shows this by the Pentagram on the chest of the Hierophant as the four elements are combined under the fifth element-Spirit, thus forming the 5 pointed star and combining with the Ancestral Hierophant equals 6.

The Pentagram image, confirms the Great Work known as "As above, so Below", a process in which the symbolic Moon always  is a key part. For the Moon is both above and below the Sun on the Tree of Life, as it is both implied as  Yesod (Foundation) and is the Path of thePriestess and is exalted in Taurus.
Let us not forget that Taurus is also ruled by Venus, referring us to the Empress, the Path of Daleth, between Chokmah and Binah. THE EMPRESS is Mother Nature, and/or the fertilized  Universal Consciousness that is the foundation of the HIEROPHANT'S teaching. As such would also be the Ancestor of the Wild Wood Tarot.

THE HIEROPHANT'S or THE ANCESTOR'S teaching is intuitive, as it is on the "feeling" side of the Tree of Life  ( Venus-Netzach side), applying intuition to concepts collected by reason and built up by memory.

Illustrated on the Thoth Tarot, the Hierophant's wand is composed of three circles which maybe considered as the three Aeons of Isis, Osiris, and Horus, interlocking their magical formula.

 Also, the fact that the Hierophant is the path of Vau, meaning nail, relates to memory and/or ancestor; memory binds together, as does the nail.

The Hierophant is considered to be the Triumphal or Eternal Intelligence  and is the solid base of experience between the Supreme Spiritual Self and the Soul-Ego of Tiphareth. Memory is one aspect of this ; however the Primary function of The Hierophant is to link the Macrocosm and the Microcosm and the binding nature of this consciousness is described in many ways; one is linking the Sun and the Moon, another is that The Hierophant links together the Collective Unconscious and the Conscious to the Son. Therefore The Hierophant ties together the Above and the Below.

 Esoterically, he or she is the "Magus of the Eternal". If you are acquainted with the Gnostic Christian teachings of Simon the Mage, you'll have a greater understanding of the Hierophant in each of us. Crowley uses the word "oriel", meaning window, (a window on the "outward curve"), as the dark back ground of this card, as yet another symbol of the Hierophant's linking the Macrocosm and Microcosm, i.e. The Creator with Creation.

When the Hierophant or the Ancestor card is thrown:
  • The querent is experiencing divine wisdom.
  • Manifestation and explanation.
  • Teaching mainly in occult wisdom and/or seeking guidance in that area.
  • There is also a choice implied here, of self alignment to a particular philosophy, religion or a set of beliefs to which a great deal of loyalty is felt.
  • There is a marriage occurring between the Anima (Spirit) and Animus (Soul).
  • The Principle of  learning and teaching which is a desire for making things tangible.
  • The querent maybe seeking guidance from a counselor who has knowledge and authority or is wishing to seek one.
  • There is a choice here, of aligning oneself to a philosophy, religion and/or set of beliefs to which one feels a sense of loyalty.
  • Being free to disentangle one's-self from any belief system, the querent  still chooses to be involved.
  • There is an espousing of moral, ethical, and spiritual values which may attribute to oppressing others, especially when espousing orthodoxy.
  • There can be an inner sense of obedience to authority, imagined or otherwise, contributing to gullibility.
  •  Life is the teacher here, as the querent experiences growth through a meditative process of  Buddha-like  philosophy that views every experience as a lesson-learning opportunity.
  • The desire for self-teaching and learning.
  • The need to make things tangible and practical.
    Now if ill defined, this card implies:
  • Patriarchy and the resulting oppressive law of orthodoxy.
  • Some one acting as judge and jury, telling the querent how to morally be.
  • In general, conforming to the cultural indoctrination and surrendering responsibility to social codes of behavior.

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


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