Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was an organization devoted to the study and practice of the occult and paranormal activities during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Known as a magical order, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was active in Great Britain and focused its practices on theurgy and spiritual development. Many present-day concepts of ritual and magic that are at the centre of contemporary traditions, such as Wicca and Thelema, were inspired by the Golden Dawn, which became one of the largest single influences on 20th-century Western occultism; the three founders, William Robert Woodman, William Wynn Westcott and Samuel Liddell Mathers, were Freemasons. Westcott appears to have been the initial driving force behind the establishment of the Golden Dawn; the Golden Dawn system was based on initiation like the Masonic lodges. The "Golden Dawn" was the first of three Orders, although all three are collectively referred to as the "Golden Dawn"; the First Order taught esoteric philosophy based on the Hermetic Qabalah and personal development through study and awareness of the four Classical Elements as well as the basics of astrology, tarot divination, geomancy.
The Second or "Inner" Order, the Rosae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis, taught magic, including scrying, astral travel, alchemy. The Third Order was that of the "Secret Chiefs", who were said to be skilled; the foundational documents of the original Order of the Golden Dawn, known as the Cipher Manuscripts, are written in English using the Trithemius cipher. The manuscripts give the specific outlines of the Grade Rituals of the Order and prescribe a curriculum of graduated teachings that encompass the Hermetic Qabalah, occult tarot and alchemy. According to the records of the Order, the manuscripts passed from Kenneth R. H. Mackenzie, a Masonic scholar, to the Rev. A. F. A. Woodford, whom British occult writer Francis King describes as the fourth founder; the documents did not excite Woodford, in February 1886 he passed them on to Freemason William Wynn Westcott, who managed to decode them in 1887. Westcott, pleased with his discovery, called on fellow Freemason Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers for a second opinion.
Westcott asked for Mathers' help to turn the manuscripts into a coherent system for lodge work. Mathers in turn asked fellow Freemason William Robert Woodman to assist the two, he accepted. Mathers and Westcott have been credited with developing the ritual outlines in the Cipher Manuscripts into a workable format. Mathers, however, is credited with the design of the curriculum and rituals of the Second Order, which he called the Rosae Rubae et Aureae Crucis. In October 1887, Westcott claimed to have written to a German countess and prominent Rosicrucian named Anna Sprengel, whose address was said to have been found in the decoded Cipher Manuscripts. According to Westcott, Sprengel claimed the ability to contact certain supernatural entities, known as the Secret Chiefs, that were considered the authorities over any magical order or esoteric organization. Westcott purportedly received a reply from Sprengel granting permission to establish a Golden Dawn temple and conferring honorary grades of Adeptus Exemptus on Westcott and Woodman.
The temple was to consist of the five grades outlined in the manuscripts. In 1888, the Isis-Urania Temple was founded in London. In contrast to the S. R. I. A. and Masonry, women were allowed and welcome to participate in the Order in "perfect equality" with men. The Order was more of a metaphysical teaching order in its early years. Other than certain rituals and meditations found in the Cipher manuscripts and developed further, "magical practices" were not taught at the first temple. For the first four years, the Golden Dawn was one cohesive group known as "the Outer Order" or "First Order." An "Inner Order" was established and became active in 1892. The Inner Order consisted of members known as "adepts," who had completed the entire course of study for the Outer Order; this group of adepts became known as the Second Order. The Osiris temple in Weston-super-Mare, the Horus temple in Bradford, the Amen-Ra temple in Edinburgh were founded. In 1893 Mathers founded the Ahathoor temple in Paris. In 1891, Westcott's alleged correspondence with Anna Sprengel ceased.
He claimed to have received word from Germany that she was either dead or that her companions did not approve of the founding of the Order and no further contact was to be made. If the founders were to contact the Secret Chiefs it had to be done on their own. In 1892, Mathers professed. Subsequently, he supplied rituals for the Second Order, calling them the Red Cross of Gold; the rituals were based on the tradition of the tomb of Christian Rosenkreuz, a Vault of Adepts became the controlling force behind the Outer Order. In 1916, Westcott claimed that Mathers constructed these rituals from materials he received from Frater Lux ex Tenebris, a purported Continental Adept; some followers of the Golden Dawn tradition believe that the Secret Chiefs were not human or supernatural beings but, symbolic representations of actual or legendary sources of spiritual esotericism. The term came to stand for a great leader or teacher of a spi
Hermetism and other religions
This is a comparative religion article which outlines the similarities and interactions between Hermeticism and other religions or philosophies. Christianity and Hermetism have interacted in such a way that controversy surrounds the nature of the influence. Some, such as Richard August Reitzenstein believed that Hermetism had influenced Christianity. Both religions hold redemption and focus on the knowledge of God as the meaning of humanity's existence; this knowledge of God comes upon a mystical experience dependent upon rebirth, the focal point of arguments for influence from one of these religions upon the other. The focus of this rebirth are the words "Life," "Light," and "Truth" as well as a moral attitude of the seeker in his attainment of higher knowledge. Both share a dualistic philosophy which comes from a shared philosophical background in popular schools of Hellenistic thought. Early Christianity and Hermetism both are esoteric without having an excessive emphasis on secrecy, relying upon inward experience, assisted by instruction and the result of revelation by God.
Former president of the American Academy of Religion, Catherine L Albanese, has theorized that Hermetic thought has had a profound influence in Mormonism, Unitarianism and the Shakers. In Prisci Theologi and the Hermetic Reformation in the Fifteenth Century, Lutheran Bishop James Heiser evaluated the writings of Marsilio Ficino and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola as contributions to a “Hermetic Reformation." The Fourth Gospel, or Gospel of John, is purported to have similarities with the Corpus Hermeticum in religious thought and religious questing. There are however, deep differences as well. Both texts utilize the concept of Logos and emphasize that the followers of their respective religions are apart from the rest of the world, suitable for only a few followers; each of the two texts stress the importance of redemption and rebirth to find knowledge of God and contain striking similarity in the wording of how moral attitudes promote higher knowledge in general. Opposed to the basis of the contemporary mystery cults, both texts relayed that the core of religious practice should be done internally through the personal experience of the believer rather than externally through sacramental ritual.
Dualism plays a strong part in each of the two works. Mary Lyman points out four distinct contrasts between the two works despite their similarities. First, that the Fourth Gospel is a homogeneous work while the Corpus Hermeticum is a work, found in fragments which she suspects were written by many authors over a wide range of time. Second, cosmic speculation is paramount to the Hermetic work while the fourth Gospel focuses on issues of religion. Third, the Hermetic text focuses on the asceticism of the day while the Fourth Gospel ignores it completely. Fourth, the Gospel's figures are all unique and grounds itself in the life of Jesus of Nazareth while the Hermetic text uses an "elusive literary tradition" which does little to identify or separate its characters. Though she relays that a scholar named Angus believed that the two would be more similar if they had the same proportion of Hermetic writings as Christian writings. A theory by John L. Brooke, an author and professor at Tufts University, suggests that Mormonism has its roots in Hermetism and Hermeticism after following a philosophical trail from Renaissance Europe.
The early Mormons, most notably Joseph Smith, were linked with magic, Freemasonry, divining and "other elements of radical religion" prior to Mormonism. Brooke attests correlations with the view that spirit and matter are one and the same, the covenant of celestial marriage, the ability of humanity to become deified or perfect. Further, Brooke argues that Mormonism can only be understood in conjunction with the occult and the Reformation-era sectarian idea of restoration, he sees ties to Hermeticism in Mormon support for Pelagianism, communitarianism and Dispensationalism. He does however digress that there was a change since the 1860s in the LDS Church which has removed Hermetic influence. Catherine L Albanese picked up on Brooke's work and further claims that Smith's heavenly realm is derived from Emanuel Swedenborg's Divine Man and Hermeticism in general, linking it in with several American Christian movements which move Christianity in odd directions. However, scholars at the LDS-owned Brigham Young University have denounced Brooke's work and scolded the publisher, Cambridge University Press, for printing it.
Philip I Barlow criticizes the work as carelessly seeking out relations to Hermeticism which Brooke knows better than Mormonism, believes that Brooke's links to Hermeticism can be explained away with "a particular and selectively literal reading of the Bible." Albanese was criticised by Richard J Neuhaus as having denied Christianity the metaphysical in order to minimize its influence and that she is avoiding theology by calling her book a cultural history. Albanese believes that the metaphysical denial in scholarly research is due to its strong feminist qualities. Neuhaus believes. Albanese portends; the Shakers had been influenced in their belief of a dual God, being both male and female: Heavenly Father and Holy Mother Wisdom. She claims that Universalism was a clear mix of Christianity and Hermeticism where they come together, much like Rosicrucianism. Hermeticism is related to Gnosticism. Both flourished in the same period in Alexandria, in the same spiritual climate, sharing th
A ritual is a sequence of activities involving gestures and objects, performed in a sequestered place, performed according to set sequence. Rituals may be prescribed by the traditions including a religious community. Rituals are characterized but not defined by formalism, invariance, rule-governance, sacral symbolism, performance. Rituals are a feature of all known human societies, they include not only the worship rites and sacraments of organized religions and cults, but rites of passage and purification rites, oaths of allegiance, dedication ceremonies, coming of age ceremony or rites and presidential inaugurations and funerals, school "rush" traditions and graduations, club meetings, sporting events, Halloween parties, veterans parades, Christmas shopping and more. Many activities that are ostensibly performed for concrete purposes, such as jury trials, execution of criminals, scientific symposia, are loaded with purely symbolic actions prescribed by regulations or tradition, thus ritualistic in nature.
Common actions like hand-shaking and saying "hello" may be termed rituals. The field of ritual studies has seen a number of conflicting definitions of the term. One given by Kyriakidis is that a ritual is an outsider's or "etic" category for a set activity that, to the outsider, seems irrational, non-contiguous, or illogical; the term can be used by the insider or "emic" performer as an acknowledgement that this activity can be seen as such by the uninitiated onlooker. In psychology, the term ritual is sometimes used in a technical sense for a repetitive behavior systematically used by a person to neutralize or prevent anxiety; the English word ritual derives from the Latin ritualis, "that which pertains to rite". In Roman juridical and religious usage, ritus was the proven way of doing something, or "correct performance, custom"; the original concept of ritus may be related to the Sanskrit ṛtá" in Vedic religion, "the lawful and regular order of the normal, therefore proper and true structure of cosmic, worldly and ritual events".
The word "ritual" is first recorded in English in 1570, came into use in the 1600s to mean "the prescribed order of performing religious services" or more a book of these prescriptions. There are hardly any limits to the kind of actions; the rites of past and present societies have involved special gestures and words, recitation of fixed texts, performance of special music, songs or dances, manipulation of certain objects, use of special dresses, consumption of special food, drink, or drugs, much more. Catherine Bell argues that rituals can be characterized by formalism, invariance, rule-governance, sacral symbolism and performance. Ritual utilizes a limited and rigidly organized set of expressions which anthropologists call a "restricted code". Maurice Bloch argues that ritual obliges participants to use this formal oratorical style, limited in intonation, vocabulary and fixity of order. In adopting this style, ritual leaders' speech becomes more style than content; because this formal speech limits what can be said, it induces "acceptance, compliance, or at least forbearance with regard to any overt challenge".
Bloch argues that this form of ritual communication makes rebellion impossible and revolution the only feasible alternative. Ritual tends to support traditional forms of social hierarchy and authority, maintains the assumptions on which the authority is based from challenge. Rituals appeal to tradition and are continued to repeat historical precedent, religious rite, mores or ceremony accurately. Traditionalism varies from formalism in that the ritual may not be formal yet still makes an appeal to the historical trend. An example is the American Thanksgiving dinner, which may not be formal, yet is ostensibly based on an event from the early Puritan settlement of America. Historians Eric Hobsbawm and Terrence Ranger have argued that many of these are invented traditions, such as the rituals of the British monarchy, which invoke "thousand year-old tradition" but whose actual form originate in the late nineteenth century, to some extent reviving earlier forms, in this case medieval, discontinued in the meantime.
Thus, the appeal to history is important rather than accurate historical transmission. Catherine Bell states that ritual is invariant, implying careful choreography; this is less an appeal to traditionalism than a striving for timeless repetition. The key to invariance is bodily discipline, as in monastic prayer and meditation meant to mold dispositions and moods; this bodily discipline is performed in unison, by groups. Rituals tend to be governed by a feature somewhat like formalism. Rules impose norms on the chaos of behavior, either defining the outer limits of what is acceptable or choreographing each move. Individuals are held to communally approved customs that evoke a legitimate communal authority that can constrain the possible outcomes. War in most societies has been bound by ritualized constraints that limit the legitimate means by which war was waged. Activities appealing to supernatural beings are considered rituals, although the appeal may be quite indirect, expressing only a generalized belief in the existence of the sacred demanding a human response.
National flags, for example, may be considered more than signs representing a country. The flag stands for larger symbols such as freedom, free enterprise or national superiority. Anthropologi
A deity is a supernatural being considered divine or sacred. The Oxford Dictionary of English defines deity as "a god or goddess". C. Scott Littleton defines a deity as "a being with powers greater than those of ordinary humans, but who interacts with humans, positively or negatively, in ways that carry humans to new levels of consciousness, beyond the grounded preoccupations of ordinary life". In the English language, a male deity is referred to as a god, while a female deity is referred to as a goddess. Religions can be categorized by. Monotheistic religions accept only one deity, polytheistic religions accept multiple deities. Henotheistic religions accept one supreme deity without denying other deities, considering them as aspects of the same divine principle. Although most monotheistic religions traditionally envision their God as omnipotent, omniscient and eternal, none of these qualities are essential to the definition of a "deity" and various cultures conceptualized their deities differently.
Monotheistic religions refer to God in masculine terms, while other religions refer to their deities in a variety of ways – masculine, feminine and without gender. Many ancient cultures – including the ancient Mesopotamians, Greeks and Norsemen– personified natural phenomena, variously as either deliberate causes or effects; some Avestan and Vedic deities were viewed as ethical concepts. In Indian religions, deities were envisioned as manifesting within the temple of every living being's body, as sensory organs and mind. Deities were envisioned as a form of existence after rebirth, for human beings who gain merit through an ethical life, where they become guardian deities and live blissfully in heaven, but are subject to death when their merit is lost; the English language word "deity" derives from Old French deité, the Latin deitatem or "divine nature", coined by Augustine of Hippo from deus. Deus is related through a common Proto-Indo-European origin to *deiwos; this root yields the ancient Indian word Deva meaning "to gleam, a shining one", from *div- "to shine", as well as Greek dios "divine" and Zeus.
Deva is masculine, the related feminine equivalent is devi. Etymologically, the cognates of Devi are Greek thea. In Old Persian, daiva- means "demon, evil god", while in Sanskrit it means the opposite, referring to the "heavenly, terrestrial things of high excellence, shining ones"; the linked term "god" refers to "supreme being, deity", according to Douglas Harper, is derived from Proto-Germanic *guthan, from PIE *ghut-, which means "that, invoked". Guth in the Irish language means "voice"; the term *ghut- is the source of Old Church Slavonic zovo, Sanskrit huta-, from the root *gheu-,An alternate etymology for the term "god" comes from the Proto-Germanic Gaut, which traces it to the PIE root *ghu-to-, derived from the root *gheu-. The term *gheu- is the source of the Greek khein "to pour"; the German root was a neuter noun. The gender of the monotheistic God shifted to masculine under the influence of Christianity. In contrast, all ancient Indo-European cultures and mythologies recognized both masculine and feminine deities.
There is no universally accepted consensus on what a deity is, concepts of deities vary across cultures. Huw Owen states that the term "deity or god or its equivalent in other languages" has a bewildering range of meanings and significance, it has ranged from "infinite transcendent being who created and lords over the universe", to a "finite entity or experience, with special significance or which evokes a special feeling", to "a concept in religious or philosophical context that relates to nature or magnified beings or a supra-mundane realm", to "numerous other usages". A deity is conceptualized as a supernatural or divine concept, manifesting in ideas and knowledge, in a form that combines excellence in some or all aspects, wrestling with weakness and questions in other aspects, heroic in outlook and actions, yet tied up with emotions and desires. In other cases, the deity is a principle or reality such as the idea of "soul"; the Upanishads of Hinduism, for example, characterize Atman as deva, thereby asserting that the deva and eternal supreme principle is part of every living creature, that this soul is spiritual and divine, that to realize self-knowledge is to know the supreme.
Theism is the belief in the existence of one or more deities. Polytheism is the belief in and worship of multiple deities, which are assembled into a pantheon of gods and goddesses, with accompanying rituals. In most polytheistic religions, the different gods and goddesses are representations of forces of nature or ancestral principles, can be viewed either as autonomous or as aspects or emanations of a creator God or transcendental absolute principle, which manifests immanently in nature. Henotheism accepts the existence of more than one deity, but considers all deities as equivalent representations or aspects of the same divine principle, the highest. Monolatry is the belief that many deities exist, but that only one of these deities may be validly worshipped. Monotheism is the belief. A monotheistic deity, known as "God", is u
Manly P. Hall
Manly Palmer Hall was a Canadian-born author, lecturer and mystic. He is best known for his 1928 work The Secret Teachings of All Ages. Over his 70 year career, he gave thousands of lectures, including two at Carnegie Hall, published over 150 volumes. In 1934, he founded The Philosophical Research Society in Los Angeles, which he dedicated to the "Truth Seekers of All Time", with a research library, lecture hall and publishing house. Many of his lectures can be found online and his books are still in print. Manly P. Hall was born in 1901 in Peterborough, Canada, to Louise Palmer Hall, a chiropractor and member of the Rosicrucian Fellowship, William S. Hall, a dentist. In 1919 Hall, who never knew his father, moved from Canada to Los Angeles, with his maternal grandmother to reunite with his birth mother, living in Santa Monica, was immediately drawn to the arcane world of mysticism, esoteric philosophies, their underlying principles. Hall delved into "teachings of lost and hidden traditions, the golden verses of Hindu gods, Greek philosophers and Christian mystics, the spiritual treasures waiting to be found within one's own soul."
Less than a year Hall booked his first lecture, the topic was reincarnation. He soon took over as preacher of the Church of the People in 1919, at Trinity Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles. Hall was ordained a minister in the Church of the People on May 17, 1923, "a few days he was elected permanent pastor of the church."His first publications consisted of two small pamphlets, "The Breastplate of the High Priest", "Wands and Serpents." Between 1921 and 1923 he wrote three books, The Initiates of the Flame published in October 1922, The Ways of the Lonely Ones published in 1922, The Lost Keys of Freemasonry published in March 1923. Hall did not become a Freemason until 1954. During the early 1920s, Carolyn Lloyd and her daughter Estelle—members of a family that controlled a valuable oil field in Ventura County, California—began "sending a sizeable portion of their oil income to Hall," who used the money to travel and acquire a substantial personal library of ancient literature. Hall's "first trip around the world to study the lives and religions of countries in Asia and Europe," which commenced December 5, 1923, was paid for by donations from Carolyn Lloyd and her congregation.
In 1928, at the age of 27 years, he published An Encyclopedic Outline of Masonic, Hermetic and Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy: Being an Interpretation of the Secret Teachings concealed within the Rituals and Mysteries of all Ages, more referred to as The Secret Teachings of All Ages. The major books which followed include The Dionysian Artificers, Freemasonry of the Ancient Egyptians, Masonic Orders of Fraternity. Hall became sufficiently known and respected as a lecturer and interpreter of the writings of the ancients, the most useful and practical elements of classical idealism, that he appealed, through advertisements and word of mouth, for funds to finance the book that became The Secret Teachings of All Ages - An Encyclopedia Outline of Masonic, Hermetic and Rosicrucian Symbolic Philosophy, whose original cost of publication in 1928 was estimated to be $150,000, although the price of individual copies varied. According to original subscription agreements on file at the Philosophical Research Society, editions were sold by subscription for $75 on a pre-publication basis, but "the price of this edition after delivery by the printer is understood to be One Hundred Dollars."
Under the subscription terms, $15 was due at signing of the agreement, "the balance of Sixty Dollars in four equal monthly payments each." The H. S. Crocker Company of San Francisco agreed to publish the book "if Hall could secure the interest of book designer John Henry Nash, who once worked as a printer to the Vatican."After The Secret Teachings of All Ages was published, Hall "went from being just another earnest young preacher in the City of Angels to becoming an icon of the influential metaphysical movement sweeping the country in the 1920s. His book challenged assumptions about society's spiritual roots and made people look at them in new ways." Hall dedicated The Secret Teachings of All Ages to "the proposition that concealed within the emblematic figures and rituals of the ancients is a secret doctrine concerning the inner mysteries of life, which doctrine has been preserved in toto among a small band of initiated minds." As one writer put it: "The result was a gorgeous, dreamlike book of mysterious symbols, concise essays and colorful renderings of mythical beasts rising out of the sea, angelic beings with lions' heads presiding over somber initiation rites in torch-lit temples of ancestral civilizations that had mastered latent powers beyond the reach of modern man."
In 1988, Hall himself wrote: "The greatest knowledge of all time should be available to the twentieth century not only in the one shilling editions of the Bohn Library in small type and shabby binding, but in a book that would be a monument, not a coffin. John Henry Nash agreed with me." Hall and his followers went to extreme lengths to keep any gossip or information that could tarnish his image from being publicized, little is known about his first marriage, on April 28, 1930, to Fay B. deRavenne 28, his secretary during the preceding five years. The marriage was not a happy one. Following a long friendship, on December
Thoth is one of the ancient Egyptian deities. In art, he was depicted as a man with the head of an ibis or a baboon, animals sacred to him, his feminine counterpart was Seshat, his wife was Ma'at. Thoth's chief temple was located in the city of Ancient Egyptian: ḫmnw χaˈmaːnaw, Egyptological pronunciation: "An Egyptian god called Khemenu", Coptic: Ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Shmun, known as Ἑρμοῦ πόλις Hermoû pólis "The City of Hermes", or in Latin as Hermopolis Magna, during the Hellenistic period through the interpretatio graeca that Thoth was Hermes. Known el-Ashmunein in Egyptian Arabic, it was destroyed in 1826. In Hermopolis, Thoth led "the Ogdoad", a pantheon of eight principal deities, his spouse was Nehmetawy, he had numerous shrines in other cities. Thoth played many vital and prominent roles in Egyptian mythology, such as maintaining the universe, being one of the two deities who stood on either side of Ra's solar barge. In the history of ancient Egypt, Thoth became associated with the arbitration of godly disputes, the arts of magic, the system of writing, the development of science, the judgment of the dead.
The Egyptian pronunciation of ḏḥwty is not known, but may be reconstructed as *ḏiḥautī pronounced * or *. This reconstruction is based on the Ancient Greek borrowing Thōth or Theut and the fact that the name was transliterated into Sahidic Coptic variously as ⲑⲟⲟⲩⲧ Thoout, ⲑⲱⲑ Thōth, ⲑⲟⲟⲧ Thoot, ⲑⲁⲩⲧ Thaut, as well as Bohairic Coptic ⲑⲱⲟⲩⲧ Thōout; these spellings reflect known sound changes from earlier Egyptian such as the loss of ḏ palatalization and merger of ḥ with h i.e. initial ḏḥ > th > tʰ. The loss of pre-Coptic final y/j is common. Following Egyptological convention, which eschews vowel reconstruction, the consonant skeleton ḏḥwty would be rendered "Djehuti" and the god is sometimes found under this name. However, the Greek form "Thoth" is more common. According to Theodor Hopfner, Thoth's Egyptian name written as ḏḥwty originated from ḏḥw, claimed to be the oldest known name for the ibis written as hbj; the addition of - ty denotes. Hence Thoth's name would mean "He, like the ibis", according to this interpretation.
Other forms of the name ḏḥwty using older transcriptions include Jehuti, Tahuti, Zehuti, Techu, or Tetu. Multiple titles for Thoth, similar to the pharaonic titulary, are known, including A, Lord of Khemennu, Khenti, Hab, A'an. In addition, Thoth was known by specific aspects of himself, for instance the moon god Iah-Djehuty, representing the Moon for the entire month; the Greeks related Thoth to their god Hermes due to functions. One of Thoth's titles, "Thrice great" was translated to the Greek τρισμέγιστος, making Hermes Trismegistus. Thoth has been depicted in many ways depending on the era and on the aspect the artist wished to convey, he is depicted in his human form with the head of an ibis. In this form, he can be represented as the reckoner of times and seasons by a headdress of the lunar disk sitting on top of a crescent moon resting on his head; when depicted as a form of Shu or Ankher, he was depicted to be wearing the respective god's headdress. Sometimes he was seen in art to be wearing the Atef crown or the United Crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt.
When not depicted in this common form, he sometimes takes the form of the ibis directly. He appears as a dog-faced baboon or a man with the head of a baboon when he is A'an, the god of equilibrium. In the form of A'ah-Djehuty he took a more human-looking form; these forms are metaphors for Thoth's attributes. The Egyptians did not believe these gods looked like humans with animal heads. For example, Ma'at is depicted with an ostrich feather, "the feather of truth," on her head, or with a feather for a head. Thoth's roles in Egyptian mythology were many, he served as scribe of the gods, credited with the invention of writing and Egyptian hieroglyphs. In the underworld, Duat, he appeared as an ape, the god of equilibrium, who reported when the scales weighing the deceased's heart against the feather, representing the principle of Maat, was even; the ancient Egyptians regarded Thoth as One, self-begotten, self-produced. He was the master of both physical and moral law, making proper use of Ma'at, he is credited with making the calculations for the establishment of the heavens, stars and everything in them.
The Egyptians credited him as the author of all works of science, religion and magic. The Greeks further declared him the inventor of astronomy, the science of numbers, geometry, medicine, theology, civilized government, the alphabet, reading and oratory, they further claimed he was the true author of every work of every branch of knowledge and divine. Thoth has played a prominent role in many of the Egyptian myths. In the Osiris myth, being of great aid to Isis. After Isis gathered together the pieces of Osiris's dismembered body, he gave her the words to resurrect him so she could be impregnated and bring forth Horus. After a battle between Horus and Set in which the latter plucked out Horus' eye, Thoth's counsel provided him the wisdom he needed to recover it; this mythology credits him with the creation of the 365-day calendar. According to the myth, the year was only 360 days long and Nut was sterile during these days, unable to bear children. Thoth gambled with the Moon for
Hermetic Qabalah is a Western esoteric tradition involving mysticism and the occult. It is the underlying philosophy and framework for magical societies such as the Golden Dawn, Thelemic orders, mystical-religious societies such as the Builders of the Adytum and the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, is a precursor to the Neopagan and New Age movements; the Hermetic Qabalah is the basis for Qliphothic Qabala as studied by left hand path orders, such as the Typhonian Order. Occult Hermetic Qabalah arose alongside and united with the Christian Cabalistic involvement in the European Renaissance, becoming variously Esoteric Christian, non-Christian, or anti-Christian across its different schools in the modern era, it draws on a great many influences, most notably: Jewish Kabbalah, Western astrology, Pagan religions Egyptian and Greco-Roman, gnosticism, the Enochian system of angelic magic of John Dee and Edward Kelley, hermeticism and the symbolism of the tarot. Hermetic Qabalah differs from the Jewish form in being a more admittedly syncretic system, however it shares many concepts with Jewish Kabbalah.
A primary concern of Hermetic Qabalah is the nature of divinity, its conception of, quite markedly different from that presented in monotheistic religions. Hermetic Qabalah holds to the Neoplatonic conception that the manifest universe, of which material creation is a part, arose as a series of emanations from the godhead; these emanations arise out of three preliminary states. The first is a state of complete nullity, known as Ain; the emanations of creation arising from Ain Suph Aur are ten in number, are called Sephiroth. These are conceptualised somewhat differently in Hermetic Qabalah to the way they are in Jewish Kabbalah. From Ain Suph Aur crystallises Kether, the first sephirah of the Hermetic Qabalistic tree of life. From Kether emanate the rest of the sephirot in turn, viz. Kether, Binah, Chesed, Tiphareth, Hod, Malkuth. Daath is not assigned a number as it is considered part of a hidden sephirah; each sephirah is considered to be an emanation of the divine energy which flows from the unmanifest, through Kether into manifestation.
This flow of light is indicated by the lightning flash shown on diagrams of the sephirotic tree which passes through each sephirah in turn according to their enumerations. Each sephirah is a nexus of divine energy, each has a number of attributions; these attributions enable the Qabalist to form a comprehension of each particular sephirah's characteristics. This manner of applying many attributions to each sephirah is an exemplar of the diverse nature of Hermetic Qabalah. For example, the sephirah Hod has the attributions of: Glory, perfect intelligence, the eights of the tarot deck, the planet Mercury, the Egyptian god Thoth, the archangel Michael, the Roman god Mercury and the alchemical element Mercury; the general principle involved is that the Qabalist will meditate on all these attributions and by this means to acquire an understanding of the character of the sephirah including all its correspondences. Hermetic Qabalists see the cards of the tarot as keys to the Tree of Life; the 22 cards including the twenty-one Trumps plus the Fool or Zero card are called the "Major Arcana" or "Greater Mysteries" and are seen as corresponding to the twenty-two Hebrew letters and the twenty-two paths of the Tree.
While the sephiroth describe the nature of divinity, the paths between them describe ways of knowing the Divine. According to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn's interpretation of the Kabbalah, there are ten archangels, each commanding one of the choirs of angels and corresponding to one of the Sephirot, it is similar to the Jewish angelic hierarchy. Traditionalist Judaic views of Kabbalah's origins view it as an original development from within the Jewish religion expressed through syncretic terminology from Medieval Jewish Neoplatonism. Contemporary academics of Jewish mysticism have reassessed Gershom Scholem's theory that the new doctrine of Medieval Kabbalah assimilated an earlier Jewish version of Gnosticism. In contrast, Hermeticists have taken different views of Qabalah's origins; some authors see the origins of Qabalah not in Semitic/Jewish mysticism or ancient Egyptian Gnosticism, but in a western tradition originating in classical Greece with Indo-European cultural roots adopted by Jewish mystics.
According to this view, "Hermetic Qabalah" would be the original Qabalah though the word itself is Judaic Hebrew, over the Christian Cabalah or the Jewish Kabbalah. Jewish Kabbalah was absorbed into the Hermetic tradition at least as early as the 15th century when Giovanni Pico della Mirandola promoted a syncretic worldview combining Platonism, Aristotelianism and Kabbalah. Heinrich Cornelius Agripp