(i) Thoth Priestess YouTube Presentation
Thoth Priestess : Below is a YouTube presentation of this tarot card on my channel DavidH071. You can click on the image below to start the video.
(ii) Thoth Priestess
Thoth Priestess : She sits behind a veil on her throne with a bow in her lap. There are fruit, flowers and precious stones in the foreground.
At first glance she may appear very similar to the Queen of Cups but as we will see in this presentation, the Thoth Priestess is more spiritually advanced than the Queen.
(iii) Rider Waite High Priestess
(iv) Thoth Priestess & The Tree of Life
The Thoth Priestess occupies the middle pillar linking Kether with Tiphareth as shown below and represents the ‘bridge’ over the Abyss:
This has been drawn on the Rider Waite High Priestess :
What is the significance of this path ? It links the Father (Kether,God) with the Son (Tiphareth, Christ). It is also the only path that crosses the desert of the Abyss and Daath (the hidden sephiroth), and it this that links the Camel (which crosses the desert) in the card with the Tree of Life as shown above. This is explained further in the next section.
It is interesting that in the Rider Waite card, the full moon is almost a representation of this Hidden Sephiroth in terms of its position on the Tree of Life.
Daath = Da’at is the location (the mystical state) where all ten sephira in the Tree of Life are united as one. In Da’at, all sephira exist in their perfected state of infinite sharing. Its has also been associated with the union on Chockmah and Binah.
(v) Thoth Priestess Hebrew & Astrological Attributions
The Thoth Priestess is associated with the letter GIMEL (which means Camel) as shown in the diagram below:
A Camel is seen in one of the symbols in the foreground of the card. The Camel holds water , water being one of the states of consciousness as identified by the Greeks and is associated with Baptism in the Bible. This water is INTERNAL not external.
The analogy here is that just as the camel carries physical water through he desert, so we must contact the spiritual water (sound) inside through meditation , when we are crossing the desert of our spiritual path. This is the desert of temptation that Jesus had to cross and was tempted by the devil. It is the path of the Son (Tiphareth) returning to the father (Kether)
The Thoth Priestess is also associated with The Moon.
Moon = the highest aspect of the divine feminine representing harmonious changeability and we will look at the Moon again in the next section on symbology.
(vi) Thoth Priestess Symbology
(a) Behind the Veil:
Crown of Isis = on her head representing waxing, full and waning phases of the Moon:
This represents the process of cycles, going with the flow of life.
Inverted Crescent Moon on base of throne = represents the unconscious/subconscious mind as its receptive part is hidden or pointing downward.This inverted crescent moon is also found on the Moon Card :
The Thoth Priestess has a positive relationship with her subconscious side with her intuition highly developed to make use of this usually untapped resource. She has a very positive and elevated position on the tree of life.
With the Moon however, it is much lower down and not on the middle pillar. It does not have a great relationship with the subconscious and this can result in emotional fears which hold us back.
Throne = represents stability.
So we have the aphorism “Change is stability” and it is telling us to engage in the flow of life, accepting changes rather than always trying to control events.
7 moon crescents underneath crown = 7 is the number associated with Venus and her link to the Empress
Infinity Sign Over Eyes = her connection to Kether/spirit which is formless and infinite.
Bow = symbol of willpower. The middle path of balance is attained by following ones true will and not fighting against it. Our truth is found this way. The bow in mystical terms is also the AUM sound which can be meditated upon. The harp also represents the same thing.
Lady Harris calls this a SISTRUM, a musical instrument ultimately associated with Isis :
Crowley though identifies it as the bow of Artemis
Close examination shows the instrument to be a LYRE, which is associated with Apollo, brother of Artemis.
Liber 777 attributes Tiphareth to Apollo amongst other figures, and so this links her symbolically to the path which she connects from Tiphareth to Kether
Arrow of Sagittarius = pointing to truth as Sagittarius is to do with wisdom and philosophy.
Book of Mysteries = (cannot really see the Book) underneath the lyre on her lap. This contains her esoteric knowledge as opposed to the outer exoteric instruction of the Hierophant. The book is closed and therefore hidden from view. Daath (Knowledge)= this is the only path on the Tree of Life to go through this hidden sephiroth and this again emphasizes the Thoth Priestess representation of hidden knowledge.
(b) The Priestess, Veil and Pillars
Traditionally as seen in the Rider Waite Card, the Priestess sits in front of the two pillars the veil behind her, however in the Thoth Priestess she sits behind the veil spreading it out to the 2 pillars at the side. This is the veil of illusion between form and formlessness, between truth and the world of Maya. Note there are no organic forms behind the veil. The Priestess therefore represents the conduit for truth which lies behind all the illusion of separateness which makes our creation unique. She represents the HGA (Holy Guardian Angel) taking us to our highest state in Kether.
Main Veil = of the abyss of which she sits behind. So we cannot see the true nature of the Thoth Priestess in the world, we need to be able to go behind the veil of appearances.
Two Pillars : representing Mercy and Severity and she sits between the two showing the path he rules on the Tree of Life. These pillars have J & B on them in the Rider Waite Card (Jachin & Boaz).
(c) In front of the Veil
Camel = associated with its Hebrew attribution (see above)
Fruits/flowers/crystals = Tiphareth is beauty and these outwardly represent it but the Priestess is truth CONCEALED within these forms which are ultimately illusion. We must be able to penetrate through the veil the veil the Thoth Priestess hides behind in order to see her true nature. This requires spiritual insight beyond the world of forms (fruits/flowers/crystals). Crowley associates these with the ‘seeds’ or beginnings of form and so we have illusion infront of the veil and truth behind it.
We use the camel filled with water (symbolizing our crossing the desert in our meditation using the water of truth inside) in order to pierce the veil which she hides behind
Flower on Right Side = yellow and has 10 petals = Malkuth & manifestation They are spiral in shape and represent force = Chockmah or Form
Petals on Left Side = concave petals = receptive = Binah
Pine cone = associated with Bacchus
Grapes = associated with Dionysus
They are associated with the creative potential of the Fool (who connects Kether with Chockmah) but also the intoxication with illusory things as they are in front of the veil.
Geometric Forms = 2 on each side of the Thoth Priestess and represent the manifestation of the formed universe. They look very much like Plato’s Solids :
(vii) The Magus to Priestess Transition
In this transition we have gone from structuring our lives and creating things that are useful in our spiritual quest (Magus) to actually being in touch with our higher intuition and spiritual energy that guides us internally towards union with spirit (Thoth Priestess). So the Magus does the external organizing and the Priestess connects us internally with our spiritual energy for higher work. Since she connect Tiphareth with Kether, she represents the energy which guides our soul or highest self (Tiphareth) with its final union with spirit(Kether). The fact that she appears so early in the card sequence does not mean that we have little work to do as we will see through the rest of the Atu.
As in all cards we are dealing with a duality and therefore with the Thoth Priestess there can be difficult transitions. These include not being able to access our intuition, higher self, divine light or AUM inside if our intellect is too dominant for instance. Also we can mistake ’emotional’ urges for higher intuition and this can lead to people following secular groups/cults in the name of spirituality where as their practice is very negative. Black magic is a classic example as well as extreme religions.
(viii) Thoth Priestess Divinatory Meanings
(a) Thoth Priestess Upright
- Can represent a platonic friendship based on spirituality
- A period of solace to get in touch with what you really want and let your mind process things.
- Changes on the inside are needed in order to bring about changes on the outside of your life.
- Need to connect and be more confident with your intuition/feminine side.
- An active spiritual path, inspired, intuitive and going with the flow of life. All in balance.
(b) Thoth Priestess Reversed
- Looking at the surface of things without any depth or understanding
- 2. Ignoring your spiritual side/intuition. Being mind dominant.
- Unwillingness to accept your feminine side (in either males or females).
- Not making enough time for spiritual study.
- Getting too caught up in the material side of life (things in front of the veil)
- Struggling spiritually, trying to get behind the veil but not succeeding and so your spiritual path is hard going at present.
(ix) Thoth Priestess in the Celtic Cross Spread
2 : Possible obstacle = too much engagement in material things/denying your intuition//spiritual nature
3 : Unconscious Influences = using our intuition to make life’s important decisions.
4 : Recent Past = could have been struggling spiritually, trying to achieve goals but they have been elusive (like the Priestess)
5 : Hopes and goals = developing intuition/spirituality/ spiritual development.
6 : Short Term Future = don’t deny your feminine side, changes on the inside need working on before we see what we want to manifest.
7 : Our Self Image = hold things back, don’t reveal our real self unless someone is showing genuine interest for the right reasons. They want to get to know us behind the surface.
8 : Environment = you like things gentle, where you can have a safe haven from people and you can develop your spiritual practice.
9 : Guidance & Warning = learn to trust to your inner voice/intuition and what feels right. Try not to over ride it with intellect. Learn to develop and trust your spiritual nature and use it as your inner teacher.
10 : Overall Outcome = spirituality/ intuition / spiritual development will be central to your life.
(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.
(xii) Thoth Priestess Links