Thelema Tarot Deck
The teachings of Aleister Crowley shock many people. The free will of a person is not always equal to harmony and balance. Often, the inability to restrain one’s own vices leads to destruction. Renata Lechner decided to take all the best from the scandalous magician and dress it up in a beautiful, harmonious system. As a result, the Thelema Tarot turned out. We can say that this is an ideal teaching, devoid of all sorts of shortcomings. The author cut off all unnecessary, leaving only the beautiful utopian impulses of the soul. Yes, old age, poverty and death are still present here. But they are also shown from a less painful side. Renata’s approach gives hope for the future. After all, everything is in the hands of the person himself.
History of creation of the Thelema Tarot Deck
The Thelema Tarot is a relatively new deck, albeit with a well-known name. It was first released in 2015 and immediately won the love of the audience. The author of the cards was Renata Lechner, also known for the Arcanum deck. She was able to translate the secret language of the teachings of Aleister Crowley, superimposing it on the familiar Tarot system. The idea of human free will was taken as a basis. Master Therion urged everyone to become like deities and not obey rigid teachings. Crowley emphasized sexuality and permissiveness, which was condemned by society. However, the author of the deck decided to take only noble manifestations as a basis, omitting vulgarities. The companion book to the deck was written by Jaymi Elford. She brought practitioners even closer to Crowley’s worlds.
As a result, the Thelema Tarot became a breath of fresh air, the teachings of the master sparkled with new colors. Separately, it is worth noting the artistic talent of Renata Lechner. The woman gave charm and attraction to the heroes of the Arcana, immersing them in a beautiful world. This creative person showed Thelema from a different, more attractive side. The word itself signifies will. As legend has it, it was in Egypt that a spirit first appeared to Crowley. He sent messages to Aleister so that he would write down the new laws of being. It is not known for certain whether this was true. Renata Lechner, on the other hand, offers to touch the worlds of Crowley in order to see in them a reflection of reality.
Key features of the Thelema Tarot by Renata Lechner
The Thelema Tarot deck belongs to the English school. There are 78 Arcana here, the Fool goes without a number. Strength – 8th, like Arthur Waite. The cards themselves have nothing to do with Crowley’s Thoth Tarot. All minor arcana have a plot, and the courtiers repeat the standard hierarchy – Pages, Knights, Queens and Kings. The similarity with Crowley’s approach is visible only in the images themselves. Often the symbols will float in the sky, surrounded by a mysterious veil. The emphasis here is on energy, astral projections. The base remained "Waite".
The Major Arcana of the Thelema Tarot deck show the classic archetypes. However, on some cards, male heroes are replaced by females. Such an approach may be dictated by the teachings of Thelema itself. The whole world, the Universe was symbolized by the goddess Nuit – a naked woman. Therefore, in the deck, the ladies have a separate place. The Fool and the World – the beginning and end of the path, are represented by female characters. On the card of the Moon, female outlines reappear, but only on the luminary itself.
The Minor Arcana of the Thelema Tarot deck continue the trend. For example, on the Seven of Wands, the Eight of Pentacles and even the Ten of Swords, the heroine is a girl. Arthur Waite has men on these cards. At the same time, on some Arcana there are no characters at all, the emphasis is on the symbols of the elements, like in Crowley. Ten of Pentacles, Two of Cups, Four of Wands are examples of this. Often animals and birds will appear instead of people. Swans, doves and falcons also have a special place. It is possible that they symbolize the sublimity of the deck or the freedom of human.
The suits of the Thelema Tarot remained the same. The structure of each group corresponds to Waite. On the Wands are depicted staves with gold knobs; on Cups – shining bowls; on Swords – blades with decorative forged handles; on Pentacles – coins with pentagrams. The back of the cards is decorated with a symbol designed by Crowley himself – a six-pointed star, inside which is a flower or clover. Petals five, one of them directed downwards.
Style and symbolism of the deck
The Thelema Tarot is a beautiful deck made in the technique of photorealism. The characters are based on real people. Both men and women are attractive, even on the most repulsive Arcana. The characters are immersed in a fantasy world. Often the background is the starry sky. Renata Lechner deliberately “highlighted” some of the details, shrouded the image in a haze. Looking at the cards, it seems that the artist combined two realities at once. Clothing is reminiscent of medieval times, but modern silhouettes appear here and there.
In the Thelema Tarot deck, there are no frames on the cards themselves. At the bottom there is only a short signature. Astrological and Kabbalistic signs are not indicated. But, if you look closely at the blurry images of the Arcana, you can notice various symbols. Somewhere the zodiac circle is shown, somewhere – the "mirror of Venus". Also interesting is the interpretation of individual parts of the overall picture. For example, a castle on the Four of Pentacles will denote a stable position, wealth. The flag with the moon and the sun on the Six of Wands standardly represents victory in any endeavor, leadership.
Interpretation of the Thelema Tarot cards
The interpretation of the Thelema Tarot deck can be made based only on the images of the cards. The author does not refer directly to any doctrines. Plots on the Arcana are easy to interpret according to Arthur Waite. This is the main difference from the Thoth deck. The questioner may not immerse himself in esoteric knowledge in order to find out the answer on Renata’s system. Prediction can be built on deciphering the symbols, postures and gestures of people. It is also worth taking into account the color scheme, building analogies on it.
However, work with the Thelema Tarot does not imply reversed meanings. The position of the Arcana is immediately visible from the flower on the back of the cards. Also, all cards have their antipodes, so reading the opposite position would be redundant. Beginners can only interact with the older group to feel the vibrations of the archetypes. It is possible to conduct meditations with this or that card. And the minor group will not be an exception. Each image transmits a certain energy, attracts the necessary changes in the character of the fortuneteller or in external circumstances.
What questions is the deck suitable for?
Fortune-telling on the Thelema Tarot does not imply any narrowly focused topics. It can be considered a universal deck. It combines the worlds of Waite and Crowley, which means it is suitable for viewing a whole range of issues. These include both the love sphere and the financial one. The deck perfectly conveys the character and appearance of people. For this, only the court group can be used. Photorealism helps to see in the characters of specific people from real life. Girls can even ask about changes in appearance that will definitely suit them.
But the “spiritual” questions of the Thelema Tarot also perfectly answers. The deck shows hidden talents, the call of the soul and the right path. Symbolism and blurry images can interpret dreams, guide the querent. The Major Arcana can be correlated with certain deities. Therefore, the deck is a universal key that opens the door to the other world, but also to a confusing reality. It helps to decipher the signs of fate.
Who are the Thelema Tarot cards for?
The spreads of the Thelema Tarot will help beginners who have just mastered Waite to touch the ancient knowledge. Maps will not overload with information, they will be easy to read. The author managed to maintain simplicity and at the same time sublimity. But even those people who have never worked with mantic systems will also be able to read images correctly. Ease of perception is due to the study of characters. And the radiant smoky background will plunge you into a light trance, allowing you to enter a meditative state. After all, it is it that helps to find the right answers, tune in to the right wave.
Also, the Thelema Tarot deck will appeal to fans of the work of Renata Lechner. The style of photorealism helps a lot in work and simply pleases aesthetes. However, for some people, this approach, on the contrary, may be repulsive. It all depends on tastes and personal preferences. Some tarot readers buy the original Thelema Tarot deck in a case and never use it. It simply serves as an exhibit in the collection – the cards are so beautiful. For the usual work with clients, they take, for example, a Chinese replica.