Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Tarot- Key 4-The Emperor & The Witches Tarot-Key 4- The Emperor
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Thoth Tarot & comparisons

Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Tarot- Key 4-The Emperor & The Witches Tarot-Key 4- The Emperor

The Tarot of EliThe Thoth Tarot- Emperor-Key 4 & The Witches Tarot-key 4-The Emperor:
Are both representative of the Warrior force, Mars, and the letter- Tzaddi-meaning fish hook. The Hebrew letter, Tzaddi (shown on bottom left of Thoth card). This is seen by many Qabalistic Scholars to be an error, including Robert Wang and myself. It is understood that the defining
Hebrew Letter should be the letter Heh or Hé-meaning Window, rather than the letter Tzaddi, that is properly on the Key 17 the Star; The Great She that connects the above Unconscious to the below consciousness . However, the Emperor is the Fifteenth path on the Tree of Life, that is beneath the Empress's Path. Dr.Paul Foster Case was right in his placement of the Emperor as path 15. For as he said, "Because she is the manifesting power which brings forms into being he has something to rule...The Magician who now appears as the Emperor, would have nothing to control or transform did not subconsciousness send up from its depths a stream of images to be classified the exercise of reason."

It is obvious that the Emperor is participating in the crossover  of the Yod and Heh (Hé) energies, for the Empress is the connecting balance between Chokmah and Binah. The Empress is known as the growth which comes from the interaction of the male and female, as in the fertilized cell. The Emperor, is Heh (meaning sight or window) on the Qabalistic Paths, meaning that its function is determined by Binah. For the Path of Heh, is a formative path, its activities are classifying and rational, as it is underscored by the bright red of Binah in the Aziluth, the pure world of Spirit.

The resulting combination of gold and red on the Thoth Card, also exalts the Sun. All of which implies that Aries and Mars  is a combination of energy in its most material form with the idea of Authority. That is to say, that when we close our eyes and allow free form images to float by, in any direction they choose, we are tapping into the life energy "ruled" by the Empress.When we begin to rationalize about the images, applying mental classifications, such as, color, subject, or any other criterion, we are acting upon form and therefore, calling the Emperor into play. Hence, Heh, the letter of sight and window.

In fact the Biblical story of the Hermetic Qabalah's Path of Heh ( Hebrew word: Hinenni which is a composite of Heh means "Here I Am") is known as Moses and the burning bush (Exodus:3:1-4) which tells us of a great miracle of enlightenment, where Moses mentally and physically climbs to new heights and witness a miracle beyond his normal perceptions of sight. To sum up this story: at first he can't believe his eyes, but after God spoke from the burning bush, and called Moses's name twice---Moses responded with "Here I Am'. Thus showing that he has heard and is ready to do as bid by God. The Emperor card-Key 4, is the first Conscious sense---the first enactment of Willed energy on form. Hence, it is the eye (I) sight of conscious energy. It is the Fire that is seen-Light from Darkness. It is the Window that looks out onto form. But this is not understood by worded definitions alone. Moses had to go through many actions before he could "See the Light":
(A). He had to go out into the wilderness;  seek solitariness of self contemplation leaving behind the definitions of society.
(B) He sees an angel; through  meditation processes that take us out into the unexplored areas of our consciousness(wilderness) where we find our inner "Holy Guardian Angel").
( C). He notices that a bush is burning but is not consumed; our perspectives of sight, change through greater awareness and we see the spiritual fire or as I see, the Human Aura which is a "solar Fire" around the human body that doesn't consume.
(E). And after all this, is when he hears the Voice of God but he must hear it twice to be sure its real.

This is obviously a story about the inner path journey, as depicted on the Qabalistic Tree of Life, that we all must take to be able to claim our inheritance as "Children of God:" and our purpose is then made clear. On the Red Path of Heh, that connects Chokmah to Tiphareth (Father to Son) we now have a Window, in which to see through illusion and view the Real.
In order to get a glimpse of understanding about the Emperor Card, we have to Know the Empress. I know this sounds odd, but realize for a moment that Binah (The Great Mother) is a Yod unconscious energy that crosses over to the Heh conscious energy, thought the Path of the Empress; the Empress being the balance between Chokmah and Binah. As stated before,  The Empress is the growth process that comes from the union and/or the interaction of male and female as the fertilized cell. She is fruition, The Emperor, although he is a potent masculine energy, is Heh on the Paths, meaning that its function is determined by Binah. In fact, Chokmah (Wisdom); the primary quality of maleness (electric force) is a female noun in Hebrew. Often Chokmah is considered feminine in action, because we have taken the point of view that whatever gives birth is exercising a primary female quality at the moment of birth.  To make a long story short, the male is inherent in the female and the female is inherent in the male, which is a real transformation function of a given energy consciousness. The Emperor is a window into the Divine Collective Unconscious.

The Thoth Tarot Emperor is illustrated as an imperial figure bedecked with crown and imperial vestments.

  • His throne shows capitals, behind him, that are representative of Himalayan Ram heads which also represent Aries the Ram. The Aries Ram is depicted on both the Thoth Tarot, behind his throne and The Witches Tarot-Emperor, on the shoulder of his silver armor and arm rest of his throne.
  • The blazing golden-exalted- Sun Disk, is also represented behind the Thoth Emperor.
  • The couchant lamb and upright flag at his feet represent his domesticated attribution on the lower planes. As is noticed in both government (the flag) and Rams, if untamed they both are  wild and courageous, lonely in lonely places. Whereas, when tame they both are made to lie down in green pastures becoming docile and cowardly.


The Emperor also represents the alchemical chemical, Sulfur, as shown by The Thoth Tarot's Emperor's posed head and arms, forming a triangle; below his crossed legs form the cross, making a complete sigil of the alchemical sulfur. In the Gnosis of Alchemy, Sulfur is the male creative fiery energy of the Universe and corresponds to the Qabalistic Fiery- swift creative energy, the initiative of all Being.

[From the Symboldictionary.net]
Sulfur (“Leviathan Cross”)

A symbol for the alchemical element Sulfur, (Brimstone) which is spiritually analogous to the human soul. Alchemically, sulfur has the qualities of masculine, hot and dry. Combined with Mercury (feminine, cool and moist), the pair were considered the parents of all metals. Alchemical drawings often portray Sulfur as the sun. (In some views, sulfur and salt are the parents of Mercury) The symbol of sulfur is often used as an identifying symbol by Satanists, due to sulfurous historical association with the devil. This glyph is often referred to incorrectly as the “pontifical cross of Satan” by Christian tract writers, due to its adoption as an emblem of Satanism by Anton LaVey in the 1960s. The emblem has no history as a symbol of Satanism outside of LaVey’s usage, and the attribution is most likely a product of anti-Catholic sentiment, as it is often compared in this context to the Catholic Pontifical Cross. A more common symbol for sulfur is a fire triangle surmounting a cross of earth:

The Bee and Fleur-de-Lys, depicted on the Thoth Emperor's robes and bottom of the Card, both support the Imperial image as ancient signs of imperial power. The quality of this power is prone to sudden, violent but impermanent activity, so this fiery power must not persist for too long or it  burns and destroys.

The Rams head scepter is a  obvious continuance of authority and Aries. The Orb with the Maltese cross  and the Aries scepter, on the Thoth Emperor's Card, imply that his authority and power are now established governance. The shield at the feet of the Thoth Tarot Emperor, represents the two headed eagle crowned with a crimson disk which  is symbolic of the Alchemist's red tincture or the nature of gold. The golden eagle, the Sun, is consort to the white eagle, the moon, and/or silver, of the Empress.
In the final observation of this Thoth Emperor card, the white light descending upon his head is the 2nd Sephiroth-Chokma, Wisdom, and symbolizes Chokmah's authority of creative wisdom, the Logos, and that it is exerted upon Tiphareth (Beauty), representing the organized Psyche built of the Whole Soul Collective. As stated the Alchemical Sulfur, also represents the soul.  This makes sense, if you understand that Beauty is a perfect organization of opposites; a Jungian synchronicity.
There is much about the collective of "I Am", the Divine Creative, that is both masculine and feminine, and  is as inseparable as the circles in a figure 8.

The Witches Tarot-Key 4- The Emperor, shows an image of a kind Emperor watching over 2 playing children. The Ankh septure in his had, depicts the Divine Creative, and/or the Infinite, that is both She, subconscious and He, consciousness. The golden orb in his right hand, represents his solar power. The Purple robe and the purple tulips, represent his royal authority. Here is represented the loving father figure, watching over his children. The blooming sorrel at his feet, represent parental affection. He is armored but has no weapons, as he relies on his Wisdom and experience to rule and keep the peace. The Ankh is the Symbol of the Divine Androgyny, and the 2 children are of both sexes, both implying that you can't have and Emperor Father, without an Empress Mother.

We may understand this inherited androgyny, as the "contra sexual component" postulated by Carl Jung which states that in the unconscious of the male is harbored the perfect female image and the female harbors the perfect male image in her unconscious. Dr. Carl Jung, called them, the Animus (male-Soul) and Anima (female-Spirit). In truth for one energy to not be created nor destroyed, it only transforms, is both a process of male-electric dynamic motion and female formation (magnetic form). It may boggle the Mind, but there really isn't a separation of male and female. We are both conscious (male) and unconscious (female) because she-imagination, produces the "form" that he-reason, must act on. Imagination, is both active idea and form, therefore, it is the Divine Creative who is both She and He! I have already described the Emperor card in detail, and  have covered the path of Heh extensively. However, to reiterate, we know that the Hebrew letter, Heh, represents a window: a Path to a window of "insight" about Union rather than the "outsight" of divisionism. And without this window of insight. we can't see God-Logos! The Emperor is "I" sight  of the "I AM", the first sense enacted on Form. In truth, the Emperor and the Empress, in the Thoth Tarot, are designed to always face one another, for they are inseparable in their devotion.

Again, THE Qabalistic  Tarot, EMPEROR-Key 4, is the Path of Heh, Window, that runs between Tiphareth (Beauty-the Solar Logos) to Chokmah (Wisdom-Lesser Creator who rules over manifestation) and is known as the Constituting Intelligence ( Dr.Paul Foster Case).
Because of our Divine Inheritance from the Demiurge (Lesser Creator) and the Great Mother (Binah-Female aspect of the Demiurge) we are  all  a Psyche composed of the "Shades" of consciousness.

Modern psychology has called theseShades of Consciousness, the Unconscious (Universal Collective Unconscious), the Sub-conscious (the body collective unconsciousness) and the Consciousness (Self-conscious) which just about every elementary school child has heard of; However, hearing of a thing is not knowing the thing. Because of the evolution of subjective thought, from Mythology, to fundamental Religions, and now to the modern science of Psychology, and Parapsychology we are beginning to easily deal with the shades of consciousness within ourselves and are experiencing a New Age (The Age of Aquarius or Aeon of Horus) of enlightenment.

The Higher we realize ourselves on the Self Tapestry of the Tree of Life, the more the student understands that the Trump or Cards of the Major Arcana, only point the way towards understanding concepts that the human- objective or pattern seeking-brain cannot otherwise grasp.

By just beginning to understand the next Five Trumps/Paths, [THE EMPEROR, THE EMPRESS, THE HIGH PRIESTESS,THE MAGUS, THE FOOL], the initiate will be developing the consciousness of the Horus; what Crowley called, the 22nd century human psyche.

Because of Modern Physics, we know that there is only One Energy that cannot be created nor destroyed, only transformed (and transmitted), and the student of the Tarot knows that all the 78 cards of the Tarot deck represent Transformations of the One, as aspects of Self. From the One, emergence the opposites, which are activating the formative, that is the Male (Electric) and Female (Magnetic)  communion. Thus, it is accurate to state that all Male figures in Tarot are Chokmah (Jah) and Binah (YHVH Elohim) is that of all Female.

The robes they wear, represent the different planes and/or dimensions of our mufti-verse, which are actually vibratory rates that are either "will to force" (male) Kether or "will to  form" (Female) Binah, and/or their intertwining of vibration (The Divine Union of Goddess/God) that makes all things possible.
The Qabalist knows that the "Big Bang" came from what is the Source, Kether. Thus, the ejaculation of Energy, making the Action of Kether -male( Male is not a sex here, but an action) and therefore defining the Divine Feminine, the Formative Intelligence, as itself "Formless" (virgin dark energy- magnetism) in the three formless states of Ain, Ain Soph and Ain Soph Ur.

The One became Two, Androgynous, whenbecame Am , which is known as Chokmah and Binah, which should be stated Chokmah/Binah, just as Yin/Yang or Time/Space are known to be inseparable and established at the same moment. Thus, with some authority we can say that the I is male and the Am is female, for one is Wisdom (Chokmah) and the other is Understanding (Binah) and we can't experience one without the other!

In the Qabalistic Tarot, THE FOOL represents the One Energy, THE MAGUS and the HIGH PRIESTESS, are the Macrocosm into Microcosm;  first differentiation of Male and Female electromagnetic energy polarity. Pure Consciousness, known as the "root of Water" is represented by the HIGH PRIESTESS and Her consort,  THE MAGUS, is considered psychologically as the Will. Thus, the term I Am, is understood as the intercourse of consciousness and will, i.e "existence" which is not yet alive, but "will to force" and "will to form". Like I've said before, I AM is your Real Psyche Birth name. One might say, that our self-definitions, and/or "I Am's", are definitely a window into our Soul.

The mating of the HIGH PRIESTESS, to the MAGUS, is described in Robert Wang's book: THE QABALISTIC TAROT as, ".....the activity of the directing Will of the One on the Great Ocean of undifferentiated consciousness [Binah] which It has Itself projected. [Big Bang]  ( The bracketed words are my own).

Here we begin to think of the reflexive qualities of the Divine Creative; The Divine Feminine/Masculine creates, idea/thought, then the mind/understanding to hold that thought in a "net of magnetism" (emotions). Thus, we have the concept of the Universe as a Mirror, where everything is the perception and activity of the Divine Spirit, reflecting on Itself, a process which the various and varying symbols of the Tarot are attempting to suggest.

The reason Crowley has positioned THE EMPEROR , so that the body forms a triangle and a cross. is because he is representing the alchemical symbol of Sulfur. This representation is because of the Alchemical explanation of the  Divine-Self Interaction in terms of Sulfur, Salt and Mercury. In Tarot, Mercury is THE MAGUS,  THE EMPRESS is Salt and THE EMPEROR is sulfur. This may seem as little more than obscure abstraction: However, when we consider that THE MAGUS, (Philosophic Mercury) acts upon THE HIGH PRIESTESS (Pure Consciousness) and by Union they are transformed into THE EMPEROR (Sulfur) and THE EMPRESS (Salt), we are actually considering the quite basic attributes of our own consciousness.

As stated before,THE EMPRESS is on a Path of Daleth (meaning door) which is above the Path of THE EMPEROR, simply because without her manifestation of form, he would have nothing to rule. Therefore, on the Path of Heh, the Emperor is a transformation of the MAGUS (Will). Basically, when we are classifying images according to color, subject, or other criterion, we are calling THE EMPEROR into play.  As does THE EMPEROR, we are acting upon form. Another way to see this exercise of rule, is that if the subconscious didn't send up form from its depths, as a stream of images to be classified by the differentiating exercise of reason, consciousness would have nothing to control or transform. Thus THE EMPEROR, albeit a potent masculine force, functions as determined by THE EMPRESS.

When the Emperor Tarot card is thrown during a reading, it implies:
  • War, strife, conquest, victory and ambition; all the martial arts. 
  • But these traits aren't always so destructive as the Emperor also implies, personal power and leadership; power from insight, possessing a global sense of issues and serving those around you.
  • The character of the Emperor is Patriarchal, which could also implies that the querent is up against an angry patriarchal structure of some kind, which includes rigidity and maybe even nastiness.
  •  A confrontation with authority or even with some  part of ones self which is feeling rigid and afraid.  Interpretations of which depend on the dignity of the accompanying cards.
For the student of Higher Magic, the septure in the Emperor's right hand also represents:
  •  The Lightning- Phallus of Shiva, giving rise to the Tarot Wand. This was originally the Trident (ternary Phallic symbol of Father, Son and Holy Ghost) born by the Western gods, Neptune, Jupiter, Hades, Poseidon, Pluto and Lucifer. Also the Trident was associated with Osiris and later on, to the Guardian of the Holy Grail.

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