(i) Thoth Hierophant YouTube Presentation
Thoth Hierophant : Below is my YouTube presentation of the Hierophant on my channel DavidH071. Clicking on the image below will start the video.
(ii) Thoth Hierophant
Hierophant = a person, especially a priest, who interprets sacred mysteries or esoteric principles. There are many symbols in this card and we will go through them systemmatically below.
Imposed upon him is a hexagram, with an inverted pentagram inside.
(iii) Rider Waite Hierophant
(iv) Thoth Hierophant & The Tree of Life
The Thoth Hierophant occupies the position between Chockmah and Chesed. This path may be summarised by the statement : “The learning and teaching of cosmic law”. The wisdom and force which flows through Chockmah, the 2nd sephiroth is organised in the 4th sephiroth Chesed into the word of God. So we have structure, traditions, organisations classically associated with this card.
(v) Thoth Hierophant Hebrew Attribution and Astrology
The hebrew association is Vau meaning NAIL = that which joins. So the Hierophant joins the macrocosm (universe) with the microcosm (the spiritual seeker) through esoteric teaching.
There are 9 nails in the top background of the card which fix the oriel (window) where the light from the higher sephira shines through to the spiritual seeker :
The higher sephira are the supernal triangle of Kether, Chockmah and Binah :
Rose = Venus so it is LOVE that unites the higher and lower of creation.
Associated with Taurus. Taurus is an Earth sign, and so pertains to the tangible, material aspects of life, and this means the Hierophant represents teachings though books, internet, spiritual study, classes and physical masters on the earth plane.
Vau = 6 or hexagram representing the macrocosm :
The cross being the unfolded cube, the 7 th side is the hidden dimension,spirit.
(vi) Thoth Hierophant Symbology
We can split the symbolism into 4 sections covering the Background to the Hierophant, The Hierophant, Isis and Horus, all of which are represented in this picture.
Background = dark blue representing NUIT = from which everything is born. Nuit in the Aeon card below is the dark N-shaped figure.
4 cherubs in corners = fixed signs of the zodiac and has been seen in church windows :
Window = already mentioned above
Snake and Dove around window = snake (internal, kundalini, goes from lower spine upwards through 1000 petal lotus, dove = spirit coming into matter). So both together represent the ever flowing information between spirit and matter.
Crown = of Osiris as seen below
Right Hand = The Thoth Hierophant is a glyph of the 3 Aeons as is represented by the staff in his right hand as shown below. For a summary of the 3 aeons please read my article on this subject here The 3 interlocking rings stand for the 3 Thelemic Aeons Isis, Osiris and Horus.
Upper Ring = scarlet = HORUS
2 Lower Rings = green for ISIS, pale yellow for OSIRIS (Crowley mentioned these colours in the Book of Thoth but the colours are not seen in the card. Horus represents the most recent Aeon and so is logically on the top.
Left Hand = sign of a blessing. He has 2 fingers pointing up and 2 fingers pointing down. He is therefore forming a bridge between heaven and earth similar to the gesture of the Rider Waite Magician :
Throne = of a Bull symbolising Taurus which is an earth sign. This represents the grounding of his esoteric teachings on the earthly plane so that he teaches in a practical way to the masses.
His link with Taurus is also associated with Apis, the Bull God of Memphis :
The elephants on the outside of the Hierophant are also associated with Taurus, being beasts of burden.
3. Isis (Woman)
Woman with sword in front of the Hierophant = similar sword to that in the adjustment card
The sword represents the phallus. The Moon astrologically is exalted in Taurus, and the influence of the Moon is therefore represented by the woman but also the 9 nails at the top of the card. If you look at the Tree of Life diagram above, the 9th sephiroth Yesod, is ruled by the Moon.
The moon also links her and therefore this card with the Priestess:
Crowley describes her as the ‘Scarlet Woman of the New Aeon’ which essentially puts women in equal importance to men. She is related to the 5 petal rose. The Scarlet Women also appears in the Lust Card.
4. Child of Horus
Child of Horus = emanates from the woman and appears in the 5 pointed star on the Hierophant. The woman represents Isis, wife of Osiris and mother of Horus. Thus we have the 3 aeons represented again.
Horus dances and is playful with an open body, where as the 2 adult figures are somewhat rigid. He is the son, or Vav of the Tetragrammaton, like the Hebrew association of the Hierophant himself:
The Child of Horus has a sandle strap on the right foot symbolic of the FIFTH POWER OF THE SPHYNX.
The 5 powers of the sphynx are :
- To Know
- To Dare
- To Will
- To Keep Silent
- To Go , Spirit (added by Crowley). Spirit = freedom like the dancing child.
The first 4 correspond to the 4 elements.
. The upright pentagram containing the child of Horus is within the pentagram similar to the image below implying the GOLDEN RATIO:
Golden Ratio = PHI = can be thought of as the number of Beauty, of perfect proportion and hence Harmony.
Required in the Great Pyramid (which is why the base is actually 8 sided) to set up communication with higher dimensions. Also features in growth patterns in plants.
Child of Horus = the new Aeon of Horus with an increased consciousness of mankind. With the hexagram (macrocosm) and pentagram (microcosm) together in this card it means that the Thoth Hierophant is symbolising spirit being brought down into the world through teachings which are far different to orthodox religion. The child dances, he is set free, not restrained by religious boundaries.
(vii) The Emperor to Hierophant Transition
The Emperor stands for leadership, responsibility, self control, discipline and focus which we talked about in the previous video. Its taking command of your spiritual path and actions. The Hierophant emphasises the importance of applying ones spiritual realisations in the day to day world as he links the two. He represents our spiritual group, and rules of conduct on our path (some paths have their members being free of meat and alcohol for instance). He also represents our self study of spiritual topics. Many of the cards represent internal change whereas the Hierophant is concerned with external actions and how we apply our knowledge.
(viii) The Hierophant and High Priestess Compared
Hierophant = our outer guide: practical spiritual actions, structuring our lives, reading spiritual books, having a spiritual master, going to church, going on spiritual courses, learning traditions in our quest for knowledge.Connects the will of God (Chockmah) into structure (Chesed).
Priestess = our inner guide, using intuition, meditation, connecting with our source. Connected DIRECTLY to Kether.
(ix) Thoth Hierophant Divinatory Meanings
Thoth Hierophant Upright
Indicates the need to follow rules, regulations or traditions in your life. These can be beneficial in that they give our lives structure and meaning. It could mean joining a spiritual group or even a gym, but the underlying theme is structure.
A period of intense learning and education such as going to university, night class, learning a trade
A spiritual teacher (he links the spiritual with the mundane)
Marriage (it’s also an institution) or a position in a company where there is an established order.
Thoth Hierophant Reversed
- We are trapped by following religion or doctrine blindly without questioning its purpose, or in conflict with it.
- Problems in the workplace due to rules and restrictions stopping us from reaching our potential.
- A spiritual master who is over controlling
- too much reliance on intellectual teachings (spiritual or otherwise) and not following our inner guide and intuition (High Priestess).
- We have lost control over the structure of our life. We may now be rebelling against the social norms which the hierophant in his lowest aspect stands for. So we refuse to fit in with what society expects of us.
(x) Thoth Hierophant in the Celtic Cross Spread
1 : Heart of the Situation = learning about spiritual matters is upmost in the querents mind.
2 : Possible obstacle = trapped by religious doctrine or a repressive work environment.
3 : Unconscious Influences = feeling the need to conform to societies rules.
4 : Recent Past = a period of intense learning, university etc.
5 : Hopes and goals = to be part of a spiritual group and having people to relate to. Seeking wisdom !
6 : Short Term Future = may find a spiritual teacher or group useful at this time
7 : Our Self Image = struggle fitting into societies norms
8 : Environment = could be a work environment which is particuarly restrictive and oppressive
9 : Guidance & Warning = the need to connect with your inner guide as well as looking at books and going along to groups. Trying to find the balance between the two.
10 : Overall Outcome = Finding a practical outlet for what you are now learning such as teaching Yoga, meditation, spiritual practise.
(xi) Thoth Hierophant Video Links