Thoth (Toth)

Thoth (Toth) The Egyptian god who created the universe and all mystical wisdom, Magic, learning, writing, arithmetic, and Astrology. Called The Lord of the Divine Books and Scribe of the Company of Gods, Thoth usually is portrayed as an ibis-headed man with a pen and ink holder. The exact symbolic meaning of the ibis has not been discovered, though it is believed to be associated with healing. Sometimes Thoth is portrayed as a baboonheaded man holding a crescent moon. As a healer and magician, Thoth restored the eye of Horus, which was torn to pieces when Horus battled his evil uncle Seth (Set) to avenge the death of his father, Osiris. The eye of Horus became a funerary AMULET and magical, all-seeing eye. Because of his restoration of the eye, Thoth became the patron god of oculists in ancient Egypt. Thoth also was petitioned in many of the spells contained in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, such as the opening-of-the-mouth spell to reanimate a corpse, which was spoken over a mummy by the high priest. The Greeks associated their god HERMES so closely with Thoth that the two blended together. Thoth/Hermes became identified with Hermes Trismegistus, a mythical figure who was patron of magicians and thaumaturgists and alleged author of the Hermetic books on occult, philosophical, and religious subjects. According to legend, Thoth/Hermes gave to his successors the Book of Thoth, or the Key to Immortality, which contains the secret processes for the regeneration of humanity and for the expansion of consciousness that would enable humankind to behold the gods. The Book of Thoth was kept in a temple in a sealed golden box and was used in the ancient Mysteries. When the Mysteries declined, it was carried to another, unknown land, where, legend has it, it still exists safely and leads disciples to the presence to the Immortals. Eliphas Levi saw the Book of Thoth as the occult Bible. The TAROT has been called the Book of Thoth.


Levi, Eliphas. The History of Magic. 1860. Reprint, York Beach, Maine: Samuel Weiser, 2001.

The Encyclopedia of Magic and Alchemy Written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley Copyright © 2006 by Visionary Living, Inc.