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Thrice Armed Hierophant

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Thrice Armed Hierophant


For the past few weeks I've been pouring over J. Daniel Gunther's latest book, The Angel and the Abyss. Gunther repeatedly quotes a particular line from the Thelemic holy book, Liber A'ash vel Capricorni Pneumatici (Book Creation or the Goat of the Spirit). I've had this verse rattling around in my head for days now with an intuitive feeling that it is directly connected to the Hierophant card. But I just can't pin the connection down. It feels like something is on the edge of consciousness, but I can't give it form or verbalize it.

The verse in question:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liber A'ash
7. For two things are done and a third thing is begun. Isis and Osiris are given over to incest and adultery. Horus leaps up thrice armed from the womb of his mother. Harpocrates his twin is hidden within him. Set is his holy covenant, that he shall display in the great day of M.A.A.T., that is being interpreted the Master of the Temple of A.'.A.'., whose name is Truth.
In a certain sense The Hirophant card shows Isis and Osiris. In Egyptian myth these two, although married, are brother and sister - hence the incest. Their adultery (adulterate) is their union and mixing in a third thing - the Child Horus. (This also relates to the Three Aeons.) This Child, Horus, is said to "leap up thrice armed from the womb of his mother". Gunther relates this to three forms of Hoor as Initiator. In the Outer Order he is Hoor-Apep. In the Inner Order R.C. he is Hoor-Ra. In the Supreme Order he is Hoor-Set. My intuition seems to be telling me that this is, at least partially, represented by the pentagrams on the card. Is it just me or does anyone else get the feeling that the two central pentagrams have lept out of the woman? Maybe the Averse pentagram is possibly Hoor-Apep, the destructive star Wormwood? The other pentagram containing the child is possibly "Harpocrates his twin hidden within him"? Or maybe it's some other combination on the card.

But what of the hidden Hoor-Set? For some reason my thoughts keep being drawn to a verse from Liber Tzaddi.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liber Tzaddi
15. I have hidden myself beneath a mask: I am a black and terrible God.
The Black God is Osiris. Is the Hierophant wearing a mask that conceals the face of Set? A secret joke at somebody's expense?
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Originally Posted by Aeon418 View Post
Is it just me or does anyone else get the feeling that the two central pentagrams have lept out of the woman?
Yes, straight from her womb.

I thought I had more to say but lost it while remembering the quote code. :/
Has it been that long?

Thanks for the whole new look at this card this morning.
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What about the incomplete hexagram? Maybe it is incomplete because it Hoor-Set is "hidden?"
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Originally Posted by closrapexa View Post
What about the incomplete hexagram? Maybe it is incomplete because it Hoor-Set is "hidden?"
Maybe it is only displayed (completed) in the great day of M.A.A.T. when the final and full Union occurs with the Hierophant.

There's something bugging me though. In a way the 'covenant' mentioned in Liber A'ash is 'displayed' after a fashion by the union of the Phallic head-dress and the Rose of five petals. But in the story of Isis and Osiris the phallus was lost and had to be replaced with a substitute. Does that still hold true in the card though? This is one reason why I keep thinking the face of the Hierophant is a mask. But who is wearing the mask? The Hierophant pose is the exact opposite that you would expect from a traditional Osirian Hierophant. The sceptre is in his right hand instead of the left. And the benediction is formed with the left hand instead of the right, and it is inverted! It's like I said in another thread, this guy is like an anti-Pope. And anti-Osiris is Set - the Eye in the Triangle.

In Egyptian myth Set's wife, Nephthys, got off with Osiris. Is Set disguised as the Hierophant making the final Adjustment (Saturn exalted in Libra) with Isis in a way that relates to Crowley's comment about the Legend of Pasiphae? A very secret joke at somebody's expense!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by closrapexa View Post
What about the incomplete hexagram? Maybe it is incomplete because it Hoor-Set is "hidden?"
Look at the card closely: What looks like an incomplete hexagram is in fact another pentagram, albeit a stretched out one. Its peculiar form is determined by the second pentagram. Harris was studying projective geometry - such "distorted" geometrical figures are very common there.

So there are indeed three pentagrams on the card (but no hexagram).
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Sternbach View Post
So there are indeed three pentagrams on the card (but no hexagram).
Actually that's exactly what Harris said she painted in her exhibition catalogue.

Three pentagrams = Thrice Armed Horus?

Plus 5 + 5 + 5 = 15, XV The Devil on the throne of the Hierophant!

Also 555 = The Magical Number of the Pentagram or Pentalpha which is composed of 5 As. A is Aleph in Hebrew, and Aleph spelled in full is 111. 5x111=555=HAD spelled in full.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeon418 View Post
Maybe it is only displayed (completed) in the great day of M.A.A.T. when the final and full Union occurs with the Hierophant.

There's something bugging me though. In a way the 'covenant' mentioned in Liber A'ash is 'displayed' after a fashion by the union of the Phallic head-dress and the Rose of five petals. But in the story of Isis and Osiris the phallus was lost and had to be replaced with a substitute. Does that still hold true in the card though? This is one reason why I keep thinking the face of the Hierophant is a mask. But who is wearing the mask? The Hierophant pose is the exact opposite that you would expect from a traditional Osirian Hierophant. The sceptre is in his right hand instead of the left. And the benediction is formed with the left hand instead of the right, and it is inverted! It's like I said in another thread, this guy is like an anti-Pope. And anti-Osiris is Set - the Eye in the Triangle.

In Egyptian myth Set's wife, Nephthys, got off with Osiris. Is Set disguised as the Hierophant making the final Adjustment (Saturn exalted in Libra) with Isis in a way that relates to Crowley's comment about the Legend of Pasiphae? A very secret joke at somebody's expense!
Those thoughts are very interesting Aeon and do make sense, but I can think of another way that follows the same line of thought in a different manner, for the sake of more than one interpretations of your really interesting thoughts: In this card, we can see all the Deities of Thelema, in one way or another: The Hierophant being Osiris (HGA, Tiphareth etc), Isis being our lady in front of him and Horus, their son, dancing joyfully with his Ankh (To Go) on his foot.

If we do assume that our Hierophant is Osiris because of his headress, I think the mask -if he is wearing one, which may be true considering his eyes- is covering a part of him. I once saw a painting on a wall writing "What mask are you wearing today?", implying that all of us present the part of us that we want to show per instance. With this in mind, I think Osiris as Tiphareth, God the Son, is wearing a mask to saw us what we need to see from him: That his pose, face, attitude may be different, but his function is the same through the Aeons. The mask is what is his own illusion to present himself as the times require (thus we get to his "motion" every 2000 years), his essense though is to be what he is, meaning fulfilling the vital -from the Tree's perspective- functions of Tiphareth.

Along the same line of thought, he may be pulling a secret joke about someone he knows fully well: Himself. The same gift in a different gift box depending on how time (each Aeon's perspective) sees fit, if you prefer.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Owl Tarot View Post
With this in mind, I think Osiris as Tiphareth, God the Son, is wearing a mask to saw us what we need to see from him: That his pose, face, attitude may be different, but his function is the same through the Aeons. The mask is what is his own illusion to present himself as the times require (thus we get to his "motion" every 2000 years), his essense though is to be what he is, meaning fulfilling the vital -from the Tree's perspective- functions of Tiphareth.
I like this. It also may provide a clue as to why Crowley removed the Kerubim from their traditional place on the ever 'revolving' Atu X and put them on Atu V instead. This is the latest revolution of the masks, including the Hierophant's. The Perennial philosophy may not change, but the method of delivery must change to accomodate the evolutionary needs of the target audience. This is what Crowley was getting at in the introduction to The Book of Thoth where he explained his reasons for changing the design of the cards. The cards still serve the same funtions, but they need to be re-imagined to allow for increased awareness and an expanded viewpoint that fits the needs of a evolving humanity at present and on into the future.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeon418 View Post
I like this. It also may provide a clue as to why Crowley removed the Kerubim from their traditional place on the ever 'revolving' Atu X and put them on Atu V instead. This is the latest revolution of the masks, including the Hierophant's. The Perennial philosophy may not change, but the method of delivery must change to accomodate the evolutionary needs of the target audience. This is what Crowley was getting at in the introduction to The Book of Thoth where he explained his reasons for changing the design of the cards. The cards still serve the same funtions, but they need to be re-imagined to allow for increased awareness and an expanded viewpoint that fits the needs of a evolving humanity at present and on into the future.
My thoughts are the same. The new Aeon has the same Tree and the Tree functions the way it does, but the 22 Paths are highly subjective. Using new images according to the New Aeon's spiritual needs is the mask of Osiris. His essence is the same, but the way his essence is presented and subjectively interpreted is different, because his change ensures his stability through the Aeons. Maybe the 4 Kerubims are masks to encourage the importance of images in understanding and building your own Temple within (since Vau also means a nail). With the new sexy image of our Hierophant, Osiris is presented in a way more appropriate for this Aeon, the Aeon of Horus, presenting his functions as he sees fit for this Aeon to help us examine him from more points of view.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Owl Tarot View Post
Maybe the 4 Kerubims are masks to encourage the importance of images in understanding and building your own Temple within (since Vau also means a nail).
Quite possibly. Although I do like Gunther's idea that they, and their repositioning, are emblematic of a new Pentagrammaton that signifies the formula of The Woman Satisfied. The function of the Hierophant goes beyond Tiphareth in this Aeon to fulfill the 'Holy Covenant' that now allows the Abyss to be crossed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Owl Tarot View Post
With the new sexy image of our Hierophant, Osiris is presented in a way more appropriate for this Aeon, the Aeon of Horus, presenting his functions as he sees fit for this Aeon to help us examine him from more points of view.
Agreed. Although it's important to remember that in this aeon all manifestations of the Hierophant are ultimately forms of Hoor. In the scheme of initiation the aspirant is initially Osiris. See Liber AL I:49. This may be another reason why the Hierophant appears to be wearing a mask.

One more observation. Is the Hierophant casting a shadow? The window behind him would appear to be bright. The Hierophant appears to be blocking the light thereby creating a triangular shadow that forms part of the penta/hexagram.
Interstingly Set is the hidden (shadow) aspect of Horus and is symbolic of the HGA. Set (ShTh) can be spelt Shin-Tau = 700. This is also the numeric value of Paroketh, the veil before the Holy of Holies.

More commonly Crowley used the spelling Shin-Teth, ShT. This is prominent feature of the LAShTAL formula used in Liber V vel Reguli. The essay appended to that ritual is an many respects a commentary on Atu V.
http://hermetic.com/crowley/libers/lib5.html
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