Tarot Symbolism: The Thoth Tarot – 3 Magi


In this post, I am exploring the symbolism of the 3 Magi. Did you know there were 3 Magi in the Thoth Tarot?

They are: I – The Magus, also known as The Magus of Power; V – The Hierophant, also known as The Magus of the Eternal; and IX – The Hermit, also known as The Magus of the Voice of Power.

Let’s look at the common definition of Magus. From http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/magus we find:

Definition of MAGUS

1a: a member of a hereditary priestly class among the ancient Medes and Persians
1b: often capitalized: one of the traditionally three wise men from the East paying homage to the infant Jesus

2: magician, sorcerer

of Magician we find:

Definition of MAGICIAN

1: one skilled in magic; especially: sorcerer

2: one who performs tricks of illusion and sleight of hand

and, of sorcerer, we find:

Definition of SORCERER

a person who practices sorcery: wizard

and finally, of sorcery, we find:

Definition of SORCERY

1: the use of power gained from the assistance or control of evil spirits especially for divining: necromancy

2: magic 2a

So, we have come full circle and can find the common theme to be: one skilled in magic.

The three magi in the Thoth Tarot are all quite powerful. They are in control of their skill and they each demonstrate mastery in their own unique ways. Let’s look a little more closely at them.
I – The Magus (The Magus of Power): This  young androgynous figure is the only one identified openly as Magus. He is so into himself isn’t he… all glorious and golden! On the Tree of Life, he joins Kether – the Crown to Understanding – Binah. His planetary trump is Mercury and he displays Mercurial properties magnificently! He looks like Mercury with wings on his feet. He is yellow and gray, Mercury in Atzilut (Emanation) and Yetzirah (Formation). He juggles eight tools which he uses to bring about his will. These eight tools are: the disk, censer, Wand of Double Power, the stylus/pen, the scroll, the Winged Egg, the cup and the dagger. Four of these represent the elemental weapons of the Magus. They are the disk, censer, cup and dagger. The Winged Egg represents Spirit. The Wand of Double Power is the symbol of energy and its function is to unite opposites under one will. The stylus/pen and scroll are instruments of Thoth, the Egyptian god of writing, wisdom and magick. His magick can be seen in the tools, the caduceus, the serpents, the infinity symbol, the blue dove, the winged sandals and the ape. Interpretation in a reading is around creative force of directed will, education, communication, change, messages, travel, commerce and business. You can find an image of the Magus here.
V – The Hierophant (The Magus of the Eternal): For a bearded old guy he really looks rather smug and know it all! He connects Chokmah – wisdom with mercy – Chesed. He wears the Crown of Osiris and radiates maturity and fatherly power. He rather bullish and this is Taurus in Atzilut (Emanation). His tools are the three-ringed wand symbolising the Thelemic (will) Aeons – Horus, Osiris and Isis. His magick can be seen in this card as the woman with the sword, the child Horus, the unification in the hexagram-pentagram symbol , the sandal strap, the oriel and Kerubim. Interpretation in a reading is around instruction, learning new things (like a child), intuitive understanding, esoteric knowledge, endurance, patience and physical labor. You can find an image of the Hierophant here.
IX – The Hermit (The Magus of the Voice of Power): He reminds me of a homeless figure being followed by his dog and, creepily, just a bit voyeuristic. Who knew? On the Tree of Life, he connects Chesed – mercy with beauty – Tipareth. He carries the Sun in his lamp and wears the white hair and beard of the Ancient of Days and the head of the ibis of Thoth/Mercury. His magick can be seen everywhere in this card from the Sun lamp to Cerberus to the Serpent Wand and finally, to the Orphic Egg. Interpretation in a reading is around illumination and isolation. You can find an image of the Hermit here.

I hope this has given you a beginning to understanding the symbolism of the 3 Magi in the Thoth Tarot. I have been studying using Lon Milo DuQuette’s book, Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot, Michael Osiris Snuffin’s book, The Thoth Companion and various resources from the internet. I would encourage you to look into these texts as well as The Book of ThothThe Book of Law and the Liber 777, all attributed to Aleister Crowley, which can be found on the internet as free pdf downloads.


Desperate Planning – Thoth Tarot

By Odyn PenDragon

We humans (animals) tend to perceive structure (eye, ear, etc.), and from those, many tend to project from that a desire for some fantasy of “pattern”, and even further, the fantasy of “design”. Some passively accept this “design” model; but many others go further to then fantasize that there MUST BE A “DESIGNER”.

This Search-Desire for “A Designer” takes on many fascinating models, which unfortunately for many humans has produced the Fantasy of “A God”. Even my legacy-organization The Freemasons attempted a ‘renaming’ of that method by the term “The Grand Architect” — a desperate attempt to separate the “Great Designer” metaphor from the stupid ‘Control Freak’ monster they saw destroying the idea. But even they made a miss by clinging on to some ‘Grand Planner-Coordinator’ metaphor mixed in with some idea of centralized ‘control’.

Return to the ‘simplified’ method of ‘the’ YIN-YANG process: Enfolding & Unfolding. Sub-Atomic Processes enfold into Atomic Structure, and thereby unfold unto some ‘endurance’. Atomic Structure enfolds-combines into Molecular Structure, and thereby unfolds unto some further ‘endurance’ for those otherwise virtual sub-atomic ‘particles’. Molecules enfold into Cellular Structures, which even further unfold the ‘endurance’ of those very virtual sub-atomic ‘particles’ so deeply resident in the now growing complex structure. This “ladder” continues to cascade unto more complex structuring by serial enfoldings-combinations of the scale elements, and thus further unfolding of ‘endurance’.

Does this process describe “pattern”? Yes, according to our perception. Does this process describe “order” and/or “design”? Not necessarily ! The above described processes do not require any imaginary “Grand Planner”. Just because some “sentient being” perceives pattern and then projects a preconceived notion that such pattern MUST involve so-called “intelligent design”, is no proof of such a “Grand Planner”. It is simply proof of The Prover’s Obsession with their Model of Control. This all must, must, must make sense, yea?

This is where many make a miss in interpreting Atu III: The Empress. “She” is the Pure Happenings, which precede all considerations of the desperate attempts of all so-called ‘cognizant entities’ to make sense of the perceived patterns; and precedes the phase of Atu IV: The Emperor, who then attempts to configure his world as “Ruler” — ironically, “ruler” = “measurer”, “interpreter”. This newly-enthroned Emperor-of-one’s-own-empire MUST evaluate, coordinate, consolidate the vast array of otherwise non-sensical data into some semblance of order. The poor fool is now entirely dependant upon the ‘instructions-from-above’, to properly construct the empire.

This is here the danger of Atu V: The Hierophant. This figure has the awesome responsibility to properly instruct the Young Emperor on how to construct and conduct His Empire. If this figure-head has been poisoned with some Dæmon of Deception, the Young Emperor is now summarily cursed with the same poison, and the Empire is summarily distorted into that configuration. And this Hierophant does not get simple pass for ‘misunderstanding’. To achieve the Role of An Hierophant is not a light matter, and to bring poison to all the Young Emperors is HIGH CRIME. The simple Emperion of one’s own Empire is the business of that Emperor. Manipulation by the Hierophant deviant to the success of an Individual Empire, in favor of some Trans-Empire Poisonous Imagination is, again, High Crime in the Hierophantic Art.

All the “Priests of Plan” are Criminals, in the opinion of this ‘humble’ Mad Wizard. To promote the deception of any necessity for some “Grand Designer” to the Young Emperor desperately constructing one’s empire, is a direct violation of the time-honored Hierophantic Art. The tools of some ‘basic coordination’, and some hints at self-acceleration are the principal instruments — and then watchful instructions as the youngling stumbles.
And by the way, I would go so far to say that the Genuine Hierophants might be watchful of the Abberants who would poison the Young Emperors, and maybe take a blade to the necks of those Pretend Hierophants who would so joyously corrupt the Young Emperors into some Blind Allegiance with Their Dæmon. To be very clear — the “false path” is any ‘belief’ in some ‘Controlling Deity’.