Excerpt from The Rabbi's Tarot
by Daphna Moore

The Hierophant





VAV, spelled in Hebrew VV, means NAIL. It is the sixth Hebrew letter and the second SIMPLE LETTER. It stands for the faculty of HEARING, direction SOUTHEAST, for the TRIUMPHANT AND ETERNAL INTELLIGENCE, Zodiacal sign TAURUS, the Bull. The color is RED-orange, note C-SHARP, and the numerical value is 6. In Roman characters it is V.

The letter, which is written VAU in English, is pronounced VAV in Hebrew. When it is intoned it is pronounced WAW. It is intoned constantly because it occurs in the Hebrew word Jehovah, which is spelled YOD HEH VAV HEH, and when it is intoned it is spelled YOD HEH WAW HEH. This is the name of the Hebrew God JAWGET. You note at once that the HEH occurs twice. The Double "H" in the letter name HEH means the inductive reasoning of the subconscious.

In us there is both the self-conscious of God and the subconscious of God, or Nature. In the word YOD HEH VAV HEH you see at once that the VAV connects the two words that stand for Reason (HEH). The VAV connects the two HEH's. YOD stands for the Spirit, or Will. When the Will goes out into manifestation it divides itself into the self-conscious Reason, or will, and the Substance, which is subconscious, or Deductive Reasoning. The link between this Reason or Will is VAV, or the Higher Self.

The esoteric meaning of the letter VAV is very confusing because its application depends on the letters that are in between it. It stands for any link or anything that connects to other things. Sometimes it designates the Higher Self because the Higher Self is the link between the Spirit and the Personality. Sometimes it stands for the self-conscious, as in RVCh (Rauch), which means Life Breath. "R" (the sun) and "Ch" (the Moon) in us are united by the self-conscious. Sometimes it stands for the body. The body is our link with the Higher Self. It communicates with us through the body.

The two meanings this card particularly calls attention to are the Higher Self and the body. The Higher Self is the link of the human with his Spirit, and the body is the link between the Higher Self and the self-conscious.

In the Hebrew letters, the shape of VAV tells you how closely it is connected with YOD. The flame represents the spirit. The Secret Wisdom of the Hebrew says that the upper point of YOD, which you will note is very prominent and represents the Will, is the Small Point of our beginning. It comes forth in Its own Nature by pouring itself out and down and manifesting a Universe. It pours out its Will, or Reason, upon man, the product of Nature. The Agent by which it pours out Wisdom on man is his body. The agent by which it pours out its Wisdom on the rest of the world, is any form which the Cosmic Mind-Stuff takes in response to the image impressed upon it by the Will. All forms in Nature are an expression of the Wisdom of the Will, for man is the first form in Nature which possesses self-conscious Reason. All the rest of the forms possess only subconscious Reason, or the Wisdom of Nature. The Flame represents the Spirit and the Spirit is extended downward by a vertical line. You are at the end of that vertical line.

You will note that the form of the downward vertical extension in this letter is the letter "I" in English. The letter "I" is the most important letter of any alphabet. At its lower level it stands for sheer animal egotism. There are several words in the Bible meaning sin. One of them translates into "too much I." All the same, it is only through selfishness that one progresses, selfishness on its lower level or selfishness on its higher level.

A man begins his spiritual progress and takes his first step in it when he identifies another person with himself. When he identifies another's personal interest with his own (and that progress increases more and more with the number of persons you identify with yourself), he ultimately will be able to identify the whole world with himself. The Christ identifies the whole world with himself. The thing that we all have to do is to identify our personality with our Higher Self, THE HIEROPHANT. Therefore, it is with this identification with things outside of yourself, with yourself, that you take the Spiritual Road. Whether it taken at its lowest or its highest level, the letter "I" is responsible for all the evolution in the human kingdom. We have evolved through desire. In the beginning, it is selfish; at the end, it is altruistic.

First, we progress by mere animal selfishness; then we identify other people and their interests with ours. The literal meanings of the Hindu word Yoga is "union with the Higher Self." Yoga is a system of practice whereby one may so make over this body and gain intuitive perception of the eternal principles of the Universe by identifying himself with the Higher Self, who sees what these general principles of the Universe are. When we gain this intuitive perception we bring down, into the human plane, the knowledge of these principles on which the Universe is founded, and seek to improve our acts and thoughts in accordance with them. We seek to apply them to our problems; hence, the name of the type of Intelligence that goes with this card. We solve our problems by applying to them the eternal principles and the eternal intelligence.

The real meaning of the word, self-sacrifice, is to give up a smaller interest for a larger one, to sacrifice the lower for the higher. On this paradox all religions are founded. Any self-sacrifice is before you and is yet to be made. You feel it is a real sacrifice of self. When it is behind you, when it has been made, you see that what you did was to extend yourself rather than sacrifice yourself.


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