The Egyptian god of the Sun, Horus hawk and the Greek god Apollo, were both lords of
prophecy. The piercing eyes of the hawk could see long and far, and this high flying
bird brought messages from above to the below. While above the door of Apollo's
temple at Delphi were the words, "Know Thy Self"
. At his shrine, Apollo's oracle was
spoken by a python priestess. The prophecy or prediction was given in the form of a
riddle or story and it was left to the sitter to go away and work it out. Here we
have the linking of self-knowledge with prophecy.
Eyes are central to Egyptian religious thought. The left eye of Horus was to them
the Moon, the mirror of the Sun. This lunar eye symbolized according to their
writings; "the divine light imprisoned in matter, which must be liberated. Thus it
is said that the Eye is the seat of the Soul and is all powerful, for it possesses
in itself the means for this deliverance."
Developing this EYE OF LIGHT is what the Egyptians called this work with the Tarot
images, being able to see patterns, see core issues, see and read the story line in
a tarot layout.
In myths, the Eye of Horus is wounded and fragmented by the dark shadow Set. It is
the job of Thoth - God of Wisdom, Science and Divination - to heal the Eye by
putting it back together. Here we experience the eternal story of the search for
wholeness and unity of life in order that we can truely see wholes.
By remembering who we essentially are (the sun within), we can draw on our universal
potentials. By re-membering our dismembered form we evolve and expand our
capabilities to become truely human.
"Thee I invoke, IAO, that thou will send HORUS,
the Great Angel that is set over the
operations of this Secret Wisdom,
to lay his hand invisibly upon these consecrated
cards of art,
that thereby we may obtain true knowledge of hidden things,
glory of thine ineffable Name.
- Tarot opening ritual taught by the Order of the Golden Dawn, invoking Gnostic
sources & calling upon the services of Horus,
representing the transcendent portion of a person's being, what Jungian
psychologists would call the "Self".
Reading the Cards
It was from this secret magical Order of the 19th. Century that emerged two new tarot
decks by its famous members, Aliester Crowley (Thoth tarot) and Arthur Waite (Rider-Waite deck).
Tarot - Overview