Monday, June 30, 2008

Thoth and an Emerald Tablet


Thoth is the Greek name given to the Egyptian lunar deity, Djehuty. The Egyptians had a thorough understanding of astrology and astronomy and understood the significance of the moon and it's obvious cycles; making Thoth an important figure in Egyptian mythology.

The Egyptians credited Thoth with the invention of writing and the calendar, creation of magic, a divine record-keeper and mediator. It is through his role as messenger of the gods that he is associated by the Greeks with Hermes, and by me with the archangel Gabriel for the same reason.

Thoth was known as:
  • the 'One who Made Calculations Concerning the Heavens, the Stars and the Earth'
  • the 'Reckoner of Times and Seasons'
  • the one who 'Measured out the Heavens and Planned the Earth.'
  • He was 'He who Balances', the 'God of the Equilibrium' and 'Master of the Balance'
  • 'The Lord of the Divine Body'
  • 'Scribe of the Company of the Gods'
  • the 'Voice of Ra'
  • the 'Author of Every Work on Every Branch of Knowledge, both Human and Divine'
  • he who understood 'all that is hidden under the heavenly vault'.
  • and 'He who Reckons the Heavens, the Counter of the Stars and the Measurer of the Earth.'
Thoth has particular significance for me because along with Isis (Asi) and Horus-Apophis (Hoor-Apep), Thoth presides over the Neophyte Temple of the Great White Brotherhood. August 6 is a date traditionally sacred to Thoth.

The Emerald Tablet

There is place for any discussion about Thoth (and therefore Hermes) for The Emerald Tablet; a series of tablets attributed to Thoth.

It is said that the tablet was written by Thoth, an immortal Priest-King who after the destruction of Atlantis founded the Atlantean colony of Egypt and ruled it from 52,000 B.C. to 36,000 B.C.

Thoth left his records and knowledge in the Great Halls of Amenti; concealed deep within The Great Pyramid and appointed guards. The descendants of these guards became the pyramid priests who deified Thoth as the God of Wisdom. In legend, the Halls of Amenti became the underworld, the Halls of the gods, where the soul passed after death for judgment.

Commentaries and translations of the Emerald Tablet have been published by Trithemius, Roger Bacon, Michael Maier, Aleister Crowley and Albertus Mangus among many others.

The Emerald Tablet can be said to be one of the cornerstones of Hermetic Philosophy. The text of the tablet has several modern translations, however my preferred translation is the one found amongst the alchemical papers of Sir Issac Newton:
  1. Tis true without lying, certain and most true.
  2. That which is below is like that which is above and that which is above is like that which is below to do the miracles of one only thing.
  3. And as all things have been and arose from one by the meditation of one: so all things have their birth from this one thing by adaptation.
  4. The Sun is it's father, the moon it's mother,
  5. The wind hath carried it in it's belly, the earth is it's nurse.
  6. The father of all perfection in the whole world is here.
  7. It's force or power is entire if it be converted into earth. Separate thou from earth from the fire, the subtle from the gross sweetly with great industry.
  8. It ascends from the earth to the heaven and again it descends to the earth and receives the force of things superior and inferior.
  9. By this means you shall have the glory of the whole world and thereby all obscurity shall fly from you.
  10. It's force is above all force, for it vanquishes every subtle thing and penetrates every solid thing.
  11. So was the world created.
  12. From this are and do come admirable adaptations where of the means (or process) is here in this.
  13. Hance I am called Hermes Trismegist having the three parts of the philosophy of the whole world.
  14. That which I have said of the operation of the Sun is accomplished and ended.
There are said to be thirteen tablets that make up the entire collection; the titles of which are:
  1. The History of Thoth, The Atlantean
  2. The Halls of Amenti
  3. The Key of Wisdom
  4. The Space Born
  5. The Dweller of Unal
  6. The Key of Magic
  7. The Seven Lords
  8. The Key of Mysteries
  9. The Key of Freedom of Space
  10. The Key of Time
  11. The Key to Above and Below
  12. The Law of Cause and Effect and The Key of Prophecy
  13. The Keys of Life and Death
Along with two supplementary tablets:
  1. Atlantis
  2. Secret of Secrets
A literal translation of these tablets can be found at


I've been a fan of the Invocation of Thoth as set to music by Israel Regardie on The Complete System of Golden Dawn Magic (audio); an invocation I regularly use when I feel the need to reach the divine wisdom within me that manifests itself as Thoth.

Procol oh procol este profani. Barlasti ompala.

In the name of the Mighty and Terrible One, I proclaim that I have banished the shells unto their habitations.

I invoke Tahuti, the Lord of Wisdom and of Utterance; the god that cometh forth from the veil.

Oh thou, majesty of the godhead, wisdom-crowned Tahuti, Lord of the gates of the universe.
Thee, thee I invoke.
Oh thou of the ibis head. Thee, thee I invoke.
Thou who wieldest the wand of double power. Thee, thee I invoke.
Thou who bearest in thy left hand the rose and cross of light and life. Thee, thee I invoke.
Thou whose head is as an emerald, and thy nemyss as the night sky blue. Thee, thee I invoke.
Thou whose skin is a flaming orange as though it burned in a furnace. Thee, thee I invoke.

Behold, I am yesterday, today, and the brother of tomorrow. I am born again and again. Mine is the unseen force whereof the gods are sprung, which is as life unto the dwellers in the Watchtowers of the Universe.

I am the charioteer of the east; Lord of the past and the future. I see by my own inward light; Lord of resurrection who cometh forth from the dust, and my birth is from the house of death.

Oh ye two Divine hawks upon your pinnacles who keep watch over the universe.
Ye who company the Bier to the house of rest, who pilot the ship of Ra, ever advancing onwards the heights of heaven. Lord of the shrine which standeth in the center of the earth.

Behold! He is me and I in him.
Mine is the radiance wherein Ptah floateth over the firmament.
I travel upon high. I tread upon the firmament of Nu.
I raise a flashing flame with the lightening of mine eye.
Ever rushing on in the splendor of the daily glorified Ra, giving my life to the dwellers of earth.
If I say come up upon the mountain, the celestial waters shall flow at my command.
For I am Ra incarnate, Kephra created in the flesh.
I am the idolar of my father Tnu, Lord of the city of the sun.
The god who commands is in my mouth.
The god of wisdom is in my heart.
My tongue is the sanctuary of truth and a god sitteth upon my lips.
My word is accomplished every day, and the desire of my heart realizes itself as that of Ptah when he created his works.

I am eternal, therefore all things are as my designs. Therefore do thou come forth unto me from thine abode in the silence, unutterable wisdom, all light or power.

Thoth.Hermes. Mercury. Odin.
By whatever name I call thee thou art still nameless to eternity.
Come thou forth I say, and aid and guard me in this work of art.

Thou star of the east that didst conduct the magi.
Thou art the same all present in heaven and in hell.
Thou that vibratest between the light and the darkness, rising, descending, changing ever, yet ever the same.

The sun is thy father; thy mother the moon.
The wind hath borne thee in it's bosom and earth hath ever nourished the changeless god head of thy youth.

Come thou forth I say, come thou forth and make every spirit of the firmament and of the ether, upon the earth and under the earth, on dry land and in the water, of whirling air and of rushing fire, and every spell and scourge of God the Vast One may be obedient unto me.

Esoteric Order of the Goden Dawn - Invocation of Thoth

A traditional invocation; based on ancient texts:

O Thou, the Apex of the Plane,
With Ibis head and wings of Night! Whose serpents strain
Their bodies, bounding the Beyond
Thou in the Light and in the Night
Art One, above their moving might.

Another very nice invocation that I found online, however it has no references or any other information available with it:

Hail to the Ibis Headed writer
of the world. Singer
of the first refrain that still
rings true. Hail to the describer
of forms and the final
judge of all his works

You brought the code to the code-
breakers and taught us
your secrets and your lore.
You’re the weaver
of the veil and you bear
the fire that may burn it away.

For I wear the head of an Ibis, at times,
and sometimes the form
of a baboon. I am Tahuti, called
Thoth, called Hermes: Thrice Great, called
Loki. Know this and know my deepest
mystery. I am the forger
of the real. The maker of a perfect
code, the breaker
of the thickest veil

I like it, but my personal preference for invoking Thoth is the Invocation used by The Golden Dawn.

Associations with Other Traditions

  • Hermes was worshiped especially fervently by travelers, pilgrims, thieves and poets. Though temples to Hermes existed throughout Greece, Arcadia was a center of his cult. Hermoea were the festivals in his honor, also especially prevalent in Arcadia.
  • Mercury was the messenger of Roman mythology; god of trade, profit and commerce. Most of Mercury's characteristics and mythology were stolen from Hermes. Through his association with Mercury and the attributes to do with Balance the astrological sign Gemini.
  • The Roman historian Tacitus refers to Odin when he talks of Mercury
  • Archangel Gabriel as Messenger of the Gods.
  • Quetzalcoatl and the Mayan Calendar - Time with an end date of December 21, 2012.
  • The Incan God Viracocha.
  • Legend has it that Tehuti was the ruler of Atlantis for an unspecified period of time; coming and going throughout it's history and who recorded His message in the Emerald Tablet of Thoth the Atlantean.
  • In some Masonic traditions; Thoth played a major role in preserving the knowledge of The Craft and re-establishing the tradition after The Flood.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Thought for Today: Being and Becoming

Something to dwell upon over the next day...

All the Buddhas of all the ages have been telling you a very simple fact: Be - don't try to become. Within these two words, be and becoming, your whole life is contained. Being is enlightenment, becoming is ignorance.

Friday, June 27, 2008


Dove of PeaceRosicrucian Peace Day is observed on the fourth Sunday of June each year, worldwide by over 1,200 affiliated bodies in all jurisdictions of the Rosicrucian Order.

To honor this in my own way, I would like to share with you the Rosicrucian Contribution to Peace:

I contribute to Peace when I strive to express the best of myself in my contacts with others.

I contribute to Peace when I use my intelligence and my abilities to serve the Good.

I contribute to Peace when I feel compassion toward all those who suffer.

I contribute to Peace when I look upon all men and women as my brothers and sisters, regardless of race, culture, or religion.

I contribute to Peace when I rejoice over the happiness of others and pray for their well-being.

I contribute to Peace when I listen with tolerance to opinions that differ from mine or even oppose them.

I contribute to Peace when I resort to dialogue rather than to force to settle any conflict.

I contribute to Peace when I respect Nature and preserve it for generations to come.

I contribute to Peace when I do not seek to impose my conception of God upon others.

I contribute to Peace when I make Peace the foundation of my ideals and philosophy.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Om Namah Shivaya

Shiva Meditating
A short walk on any esoteric or inner-wisdom based tradition requires the seeker to develop at least some skills in the ancient art of meditation. So much so I believe the importance on practicing many different types of meditation and experimenting with meditation that I decided a short while ago to begin developing a set of audio based meditations that included a participatory element and a instructional/history/background element also. I have started writing some of the scripts and putting together an outline of the program and the way it progresses; but as part of that I wanted to discuss in particular one mantra that keeps popping up in my life; and as a result - one I am personally drawn to and practice regularly.

Om Namah Shivaya .. Om (Listen)
Om Nama Shivaya

The potency and resonance of this mantra to me personally was awesome to say the least, which is understandable, once a little digging below the surface is done. The mantra itself can be found at the core of the Vedas and Tantra and used to awaken Spiritual awareness, encourage Self-Realization and help guide on the spiritual journey they are undertaking - an appropriate place to start for a first (non-welcome) post to this blog.

I first encountered this mantra on Israel Regardie's "The Complete System of Golden Dawn Magic" (audio recordings). The first time I sat and listened to Israel chanting the mantra for around 20 minutes I felt deeply moved and as a result started to use it, and continue to use it more and more regularly.

At the time I had my head in a million other things so I continued practicing it without doing much research into what it was about. (Logically, this isn't something that I ordinarily would have done if the initial exposure to it hadn't been so positive, motivating and uplifting). Weeks passed, and the mantra came up in discussion over dinner one night. I wasn't able to explain it's meaning to the person who asked me about it and so triggered some elementary research into what it was all about.

An interesting analogy could be drawn here, and it's to do with the spiritual impact of something and an understanding of it. You don't need an understanding of something for it to have a spiritual impact on you; but an understanding on some level helps empower the concept more so, at least in my experience and while the most perfect place to find this understanding is within, a look into the history and meanings can be equally rewarding.

It can been seen in the Missa Tridentina or Roman Rite Mass; a spiritual experience that can be rewarding without a gnosis or even knowledge of what words are being used or what it represents. However the Tridentine Mass is even more mystical and meaningful with greater understanding of the symbolism involved; and from my personal experience, the same can be said of this mantra (and any other spiritual encounter or experience)..

Back to our mantra; let me take the opportunity to break it down a little, with what it means to me at this point in time.


It's hard to say what Om means.

"In the beginning was the Supreme word, and the word created everything. That word is Om. This divine sound has the power to create, sustain and destroy, giving life and movement to all that exist."

Om it could be said, is the sound of the underlaying divine cosmic power; that intoning Om in the right tone places you in vibratory harmony with the entire cosmic. From my experience of Om, I can personally say that Om is in vibratory harmony with something much greater than myself, my inner master and the physical world. Just what it is in vibratory harmony with, that is hard to say.

Something I often like to do is point out when I find something seems similar to something from another tradition (as I did above with the Roman Rite Mass). While I said in my previous post that I don't subscribe to any particular religion as such; I have an affinity and respect for all belief systems and religion. I would also like to point out the similarities here between the above paragraph and John 1:1-3 -
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All tings were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made."
And another reference in Psalm 33:6 -
"By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth."
As interesting as comparative creation myths are; I think that is a subject area suited to a whole series of posts at some time in the future; but once again, it seems like a good place to start this blog.. In the beginning... Ommmmmmmmmm


Namah is a much easier word to describe. Namah is simply a salutation or greeting. I've read some alternative meanings, however I personally do not feel that these alternatives alter the meaning of the translated mantra, and for the sake of simplicity leaving it to the reader to further research should they feel it necessary.


Shivaya is the destroyer and the restorer, the great ascetic and the symbol of sensuality, the benevolent herdsmen of souls and the wrathful avenger. This duality of destroyer and restorer or creator and destroyer I personally see as reincarnation, evolution, changing ever, yet ever the same.

Shiva was originally known as Rudra; a minor deity mentioned only three times in the Rig Veda. He gained importance after absorbing some of the characteristics of an earlier fertility god and became Shiva; part of the trinity, or trimurti with Vishnu and Brahma. Shiva, the word, means auspiciousness and perfection; it refers to the "God Who is Perfect", without any kind of dependency on anything to make It complete - the perfect state, the state of the Rose-Croix, a state that human consciousness and spirituality are gradually evolving toward.

Looking Deeper

Further research also revealed that this mantra is also known as the Holy Five Syllable mantra or panchakshara due to it containing five syllables, without the Om (panch meaning five). The mantra is said to increase awareness in particular awareness of the source of all manifestation.

Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami breaks down the mantra to each of the five syllables:
  • Na is the Lord's concealing grace
  • Ma is the world
  • Śi stands for Śiva
  • Va is His revealing grace
  • Ya is the soul
The five elements, too, are embodied in this ancient formula for invocation:
  • Na is the earth
  • Ma is water
  • Śi is fire
  • is air
  • Ya is ether or akasha.
The relationship between Shiva and the number five doesn't end there. Shiva is often depicted with five faces; said to represent those five elements, with each of these faces also have specific attributes associated with them.
"One should know all things of the phenomenal world as of a fivefold character, for the reason that the eternal verity of Śiva is of the character of the fivefold Brahman."

Pañcabrahma Upanishad
The mantra first appears in Shri Rudram Chamakam a vedic stotra dedicated to Rudra, an early example of worship by repeating multiple deity names. Om Namah Sivaya appears with
another famous mantra, "Om Namo Bhagavathe Rudraya"; which I hope to share with you in another article soon.

I hope you have enjoyed delving into Shiva and the five syllable mantra; I look forward to taking another step of this journey with you soon.



One would think that the first thing to do in a new blog is to introduce myself; and I do plan to do this a little in this post; but for the most part, joining with me on this; the next stage of my personal journey will reveal to you far more about me as a person than any labels or categories I could list in any post.

This blog is about spirituality, it's about life, the universe and everything, to borrow a catch phrase from the great Douglas Adams. It's about connectedness, it's about discovery and it's about my desire to share with others some aspects of the experiences on the path I chose to take.

In a nutshell; I don't subscribe to any mainstream belief system; there are aspects of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hindu, Shinto (and every other mainstream belief system) that ring deeply true within my being. I could go as far to say that none of them have anything that I find particularly distasteful, at least in their scriptures and teachings, unfortunately this can't always be said for the institutions, people and hierarchy.

I do believe in a supreme being; the Egyptian mythos works particularly well for me, personally; but I'm happy to use the word "God" to refer to the god of my heart and a particular name from a particular mythos, religion or tradition if I wish to stress a particular aspect of divinity (e.g. I'll happily use the name Thoth/Tahuti to refer to scholarly, wisdom, scribe-like aspects of divinity).

I'm starting this blog purely as an outlet for my spiritual/esoteric creativity; for writing about experiences and thoughts, sharing them with you and meeting fellow brothers and sisters who are happy to walk with me, even for just a few steps.