Thoth Emperor YouTube Presentation  

Thoth Emperor : Below is my YouTube presentation of the Thoth Emperor from Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Deck on my YouTube Channel DavidH071Clicking on the image will start the video.

thoth emperor

Thoth Emperor



thoth emperor

The Thoth Emperor looks towards the Empress. In terms of the cards themselves, The Empress stands for the universal, the totality and the LOVE that binds them. The Emperor is Lord of his own Universe. The Emperors body forms the shape of a Triangle on a Cross as summarised by the image below. This is also the symbol for SULPHUR.  There are lots of red colouration symbolising Mars in Aries. The word Emperor means “he who sets in order”.

thoth emperor

Crowley notes that the energy of Sulphur is violent and non permanent and compares this to the creative energy of aleph (Fool) and Beth (Magus)

Rider Waite Emperor

thoth emperor


Thoth Emperor & The Tree of Life

thoth emperor

In the Book of Thoth the explanation is that the white light in the far right corner represents the wisdom of Chockmah, which is the Emperors authority, and this is directed upon Tiphareth, the heart of man.


However as we see in the next section he later swaps the position of the Emperor with the Star !

So the Emperor sits on the path between Netzach and Yesod.

Netzach = ruled by Venus which links him the Empress. This is to do with the emotions, enjoyment, pleasure, bliss.

Yesod = The final FILTER through which the forces of the Tree of Life are organised before being manifested in the final sephiroth MALKUTH. Yesod is also associated with ASTRAL LIGHT which is what the occult magicians manipulate. Its corresponding chakra is the root chakra which is associated with sexuality and drive as see below :

thoth emperor

So from this we can conclude that the Emperor regulates his emotions and desires and redirects his sexual energy to manipulate what he wants to happen in the world. This is similar to the Yogi who awakens the Kundalini through redirection of his sexual energies.


Thoth Emperor Hebrew Attribution

Tzaddi = Fish Hook. Phallic like. The window (receptive to light more suited to the Star)

Originally the Emperor was associated with the letter He meaning ‘window’. This change was made by Crowley as he outlines in the Book of the Law. It was channelled to him to swap the Hebrew associations of the Emperor and The Star, the latter being originally assigned Tzaddi which is now attributed to the Emperor.

This also means that on the Tree of Life, the Emperor and Star Cards also swap places & this is shown in the section below.

thoth emperor


Thoth Emperor Symbology

Triangle above cross = domination of spirit over matter. Also sulphur is the fiery element of the universe according to Crowley. Can be volatile and fiery. Active personality, not passive.

Crown = Has 4 points representing Chesed. The jewels also have 4 facets to them. His Gold  crown is symbolic of the sun which is behind him and this is relevant as the Emperor is associated astrologically to Aries. The rules and is also sun is exalted in Aries.

Number Four = seen by the shape of the Emperors legs. This stands for Chesed, the fourth sephiroth on the Tree of Life.

This strong association with Chesed is also represented by the image of the Thoth Emperor himself. The archetypal image of Chesed is as below. The sephiroth Chesed is ruled by Jupiter . Clicking on the image will take you to the link.

thoth emperor

sceptre with Rams Head = held so it receives light from the right side of the card and this is channelled down to the shield.

Orb with Maltese Cross above = this is in his left hand and is over the naval chakra or pro creative area. This symbolises his creative energy and ability to govern.

Bees on garment = energy, industriousness. They are also very organised and so this represents his ability to govern others. A leader. 

Looping lines terminating in arrowheads = directed energy and activity to specific tasks. does not waste energy but directs it to gets things accomplished

 Star Disk = these are on each arm of the throne. There are 16 points on each star and this is the atomic number of sulphur. 

Fleur-de-lis = a symbol of rulership from the French monarchy thus emphasising the theme of rulership in this card

Shield = red tincture representing purified sulphur analogous to Gold and the Sun compared to silver and the moon in the shield of the empress. So both cards have contrasting energies.

Golden Eagle with 2 Heads = similar to the phoenix and has regenerative powers. The red disk behind them

Lamb and Flag = (Agnus Dei) = the Lamb of God. The lamb was often a blood sacrifice in the Old Testament and is a Christian symbol for Christs Sacrifice for others. This represents the old Aeon of Osiris which was referenced in my article on the Three Aeons of Thelema. The lamb here is tamed and subservient to the Emperor. It has lost its independence and drive.

So we can say that alchemy rules in this card because looking at the brightness, the left corner of the shield in much brighter than the darker right corner. This emphasises Crowley’s vision of alchemy being the foundation of the tarot and the New Aeon of Horus, rather than the traditional association with the Ram, Aries and religion.


The Empress to Emperor Transition

thoth emperor


 emperor = leadership responsibility , self control discipline focus. Once we have set out our spiritual path goals with the Magus and connected with the soul in the Priestess, tasted the LOVE inside with the Empress, we must take responsibility for our life and actions in the Emperor stage. The Emperor is not about shrinking violets, and the same goes with any spiritual path. We must stand for something and live our lives accordingly or we stand for nothing.

This stage also involves fostering a discipline on our spiritual journal. There are potentially many distractions in the world and we learn self discipline and focus in this stage.


Thoth Emperor Divinatory Meanings


(a) Thoth Emperor Tarot Card Meaning Upright

thoth emperor

  1. Primarily concerned with power control over other people or yourself.
  2. A natural leader and organiser
  3. Willpower and self control through experience and learning lessons in life
  4. Good relationship/ similar to father
  5. Success through self discipline and application
  6. thinking logically/ rationally
  7. Status is important to you, as is material security, stability.




(b) Thoth Emperor  Tarot Card Meaning Reversed

thoth emperor


  1. Over intellectualizing a situation
  2. Lack of ambition and direction 
  3. Poor relationship with your father
  4. Over controlling a dominant. Cruel, violent or insecure
  5. Suppressing feminine/softer side




Thoth Emperor in the Celtic Cross Spread 

thoth emperor1 : Heart of the Situation = have you got control over your life and the direction it is heading

2 : Possible obstacle = lost control of a situation, an outcome is out of your hands

3 : Unconscious Influences = need to control people due to insecurities.

4 : Recent Past = a period of discipline and hard work

5 : Hopes and goals = to be your own boss, self employed

6 : Short Term Future = need to focus on a task and organize your time effectively to achieve it.

7 : Our Self Image = organised, efficient, leader, business like, goal orientated

8 : How others see you = controlling, hide your emotions

9 : Guidance & Warning = need to be balanced whilst working to your goals otherwise your life will become barren like the background of the Rider Waite card. Need some fun and time to express your emotions/intuition. Dont over intellectualize things.

10 : Overall Outcome = material security, stability, achieving your goals through hard work and focussed effort



(x) Summary of the Fool’s Journey to Enlightenment

0. The Fool = an openness towards spirituality and willingness not to judge it. Putting aside the world in order to achieve an emptiness or open mind.

1.  The Magus = making goals and organising our life for spiritual practise.

2. The Priestess = the souls alignment/connection with our spiritual source (without which the journey would be purely academic/intellectual/philosophical), NOT spiritual.

3. The Empress = connecting with the Universal energy with is LOVE. This may well take time to merge with but the sooner we do, the more intimately we will know the nature of spirit and ourselves. Many people still struggle with the distraction of the mind at this point. 

4. The Emperor = we need a sense of discipline and organisation if we want to achieve what we have created in the Magus stage and felt in the Empress stage. The Emperor teaches this valuable lesson and so we must achieve a balance between our heart and head.





(xi) Thoth Emperor Links.

Polyphonic Tarot

Paul Hughes Barlow

MarVeena Meek

Angel Paths


Thoth Emperor Tarot Card Tutorial

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