[Original text: Thoth and The Book of Thoth – The Myths behind the Legend]
Tehuti was the principal deity of the city of Khemnu/Kemenu, which the Greek called Hermopolis (the City of Hermes). According to Kemet legend, the temple of Khemnu housed fragments of the cosmic egg that Thoth himself as the divine Ibis, had hatched on the Island of creation, from the egg the first Sun had risen.
Tehuti brought the idea of creation into existence by uttering the thoughts of the creator; Ptah then put those spoken words into effect. Tehuti was deemed the mind behind cosmic order, the architect of the universe. Tehuti’s association with the creation myth also extends to the divine birth of the pharaohs themselves. Tehuti was said to lead Amun, the king of gods, to the bedchamber of the waiting queen.
Ra was said to have appointed Tehuti ‘scribe of the Ennead’ before he retreated from the Earth knowing that Tehuti ’s wisdom would allow him to serve as humanities teacher and guardian. It was Tehuti who was appointed to keep the affairs of humanity in order. The written word was an essential tool for organising and administering the government of Kemet bringing order and structure to a vast territory.
Tehuti was not only associated with the creation of the physical world, as the originator of the written word in the form of hieroglyphs, he is also credited with the authorship of The Book of Am Tuat (The Book of the Dead ). The Book of of Am Tuat is a book of spells, prayers and rituals that would assist the dead on their journey to the afterlife. The deceased person would be judged by a panel of 42 assessors of the dead – which corresponded with the 42 administrative areas Kemet ruled over. From this originates the legend of ‘the 42 Books of Tehuti’.
Tehuti ’s many roles include being God of the Moon (=Mercury), the spoken word, writing, calendars, chronology, measurer of time (the latter being due to the fact that he rode with Ra in the solar boat), knowledge and magic. The most recognisable association is that of the god of writing, as such he is often depicted as a man with the head of an Ibis, holding a writing stylus and an ankh. He has multiple associations – an ibis, a baboon or as a dog headed ape wearing the combined lunar disc and crescent above his head.
Tehuti ‘s daughter was Seshat (although alternate myths state that she was his wife). Seshat, the female scribe, is depicted as wearing a panther skin dress and has a seven pointed star above her head. Like Tehuti she was also associated with measurement – temple reliefs from the middle kingdom show her recording gains made from foreign battles. She is often referred to as “she who is foremost in the house of books’ and “lady of the builders” (which some suggests shows her role as consort of Tehuti).
Tehuti and the Moon
Tehuti enabled Nut to give birth to her five children (Ausar, Auset, Heru the elder, Set, and Nebthet) by using his cunning to win a game of draughts with the Moon. By winning a seventy second part of the moons light, he managed to create five extra days (the Epagomenal days), which allowed Nut to give birth to her five children without breaking Ra’s decree that her children could not be born on any existing calendar day.
As the god of magic, Tehuti taught Auset the craft. Tehuti helped Auset when her beloved Ausar had been murdered by their jealous brother, Set, enabling her to resurrect her dismembered husband and impregnate herself, thus ensuring he had an heir. Ausar then became Lord of the underworld. It was Tehuti who restored the head of Queen mother Auset, when an enraged Heru had decapitated his mother. After the final battle between Heru and Set over Ausar’s throne, it was Tehuti who asked Ausar as Lord of the Underworld to intervene in the final judgment of the Ennead (the eight founding gods) and find in favour of Heru’s claim to the throne of Kemet.
In the underworld, one of Tehuti’s roles was to record the outcome for the deceased person who had entered the Hall of Judgement. Anpu (Anubis) would check the weight of the dead persons heart on the scales against the weight of the feather of Ma’at to see if they balanced each other. And it was Tehuti who declared the deceased to be ‘true of voice’ or vindicated if they did.
Medu Neter, the words of the gods
Priests, members of the ruling classes and scribes of ancient Kemet were all literate. Scribes (sesh) were known as followers of Tehuti and held a unique and respected position because of their skills and the connection with the words of the gods that those skills provided.
Hieroglyphs were known as ‘medu neter’, which translates as ‘words of the gods’. When temple priests carried out services in the temples and read from the temples texts they were thought to be reading and speaking the magical and divine words of the Gods themselves. The words were considered so sacred and so powerful that as a precaution, certain hieroglyphs were inscribed in two separate halves to diminish their power. The words were considered highly potent and capable of causing havoc if activated by mistake. Priests conducted magical rituals to activate the divine power the texts contained.
Thoth and the Tarot
True, without falsehood, certain and most true, that which is above is the same as that which is below, and that which is below is the same as that which is above, for the performance of miracles of the One Thing. ~ The Emerald Tablets of Thoth
Thoth is known as Hermes Trismegistus or ‘Thrice Great’. The Trismegistus title seems to originate from the fact that the Lower Egyptians knew him as Thoth, the Greeks called him Hermes and the Romans named him Mercury. The Thrice great association also links in to the fact that there are three pyramids on the Giza plateau and certain esoteric texts such as the Alchemy of the Soul refer to three temples of knowledge.
According to Flower of Life teachings the Pharoah Akenaten and his wife Nefertitti where instrumental in trying to steer Kemet to help unlock the key to mankind’s existence found in the Egyptian mystery school network that Tehuti himself was said to have founded.
As Thoth the Atlantean, Tehuti was said to be an Atlantean priest who left Atlantis prior to its destruction and moved to Kemet where he founded a new civilisation based on the higher knowledge of the Atlantean society. As a priest, he had knowledge of the gift of immortality. He was said to have created the three pyramids at Giza to instruct initiates in the art of transforming the physical and spiritual body using the Merkabah, which is symbolised by the star tetrahedron we see Tehuti holding in his palm.
The magickal association of Thoth extends into his title of Hermes Trismegistos. Hermeticism (derivative European magical, astrological and alchemical doctrines) depends on this this association. As Hermes Trismegistos, Thoth became the legendary author of various treatises including the Emerald tablets and claiming the Hermetic axiom ‘As above so below’.
The Roman version of ‘Thoth’ was Mercury. This god of thought was somewhat androgynous in nature. A symbol of magic and intelligence Mercury was associated with quick silver, the element mercury and the planet closest to the sun. Mercury is one of the three principals of alchemy.
When you look at the variety and depth of the mythology concerning Tehuti and Thoth, it comes as no surprise that he should be credited with authorship of The Book of Thoth and the Emerald Tablets of Thoth. According to esoteric legend, the book of Thoth was said to be the repository for the greater Egyptian mysteries. This was said to be a book of magic that was so powerful that one single spell that it contained it would give the person that spoke it access to all knowledge beyond book learned knowledge and to wisdom of Thoth himself.
Pythagoras, a mystery school initiate, is said to have written that Thoth had taken him by the hand, led him under the great pyramid and taught him about the sacred nature of geometry and the true nature of reality. Certainly there are many people who claim to have had direct communication with Thoth as a god form, which leads us to the starting possibility that Thoth is more of an interdimensional being than a myth.
Because many occultists believe the Tarot to be an esoteric remnant of the Book of Thoth, the tarot as a system, regardless of the deck origin, is often given the generic name of The Book of Thoth. According to some the tarot was intended as a tool that would guide the initiate on a journey of enlightenment and discovery that would lead to both inner and outer knowledge and wisdom which parallels the Greek understanding of the significance of the hieroglyphs.
The path of the Magus card on the Tree of Life is the 12th which runs from Kether the ‘Primum mobile’ or first swirlings to Binah or ‘understanding’. This emphasises Thoth’s position as a conduit for the will of the ruler to be conveyed to humanity. The magus card represent the three in one Thoth – Hermes – Mercury aspect of him as a deity.
Source: http://www.the-book-of-thoth .com/content-192.html