Thoth Tarot Deck
Tarot Thoth is a very controversial deck that not all practitioners understand. Some sing odes to her, work with the spirits of the cards, and at the same time study the basics of alchemy. Others deny all the abilities of the author and therefore do not want to deal with this tool. But if disputes are still ongoing, then the deck deserves increased attention. And to a greater extent, the figure of the artist, Frida Harris, influenced the resonance in society. At one time, she was able to convince Aleister Crowley in order to go the untraveled path. And this couple managed to create a unique instrument that has been used for almost a century.
History of creation of the Thoth Tarot Deck
Aleister Crowley was an infamous occultist of the 20th century. He was a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, where he studied ceremonial magic. Aleister Crowley also studied Hindu and Buddhist practices in India itself. He traveled a lot, looking for the truth in distant lands. According to Aleister Crowley, while on his honeymoon in Cairo with Rose Kelly, an entity called Aiwass came to him and bestowed the "Book of the Law". Subsequently, the magician will create his teaching, called Thelema. It will be based on unbridledness and complete freedom of action. And Aleister Crowley associated all this with Egyptian culture. In 1937, the magician met the artist Frieda Harris and the following year, work began on the Tarot of Thoth. The fact is that each member of the order had to create his own deck.
The very name of this predictive tool refers to the Egyptian lunar deity – the patron of wisdom, libraries. And although initially Aleister Crowley wanted to slightly modify the decks already on sale, the artist acted differently. Frida received complete freedom of action and managed to realize her creative idea. As a result, the Tarot Thoth deck came out very bright, unlike any other magical tools of that time. The work was carried out for five years. The first edition was limited to 200 copies. And almost immediately after that, Aleister Crowley showed his tough temper – he went to court to establish copyright. But as a result, the conflict was resolved, and the mystical couple remained friends.
Key features of the Aleister Crowley Tarot
Tarot Thoth by Aleister Crowley was created in the tradition of the English school. The Jester does not have his number, and the World closes the magic circle. Justice and Strength are located in the classic version – 8 and 11, respectively. The Thoth Tarot suits also follow the traditional system. Only the group of Pentacles, renamed Disks, has undergone changes. Aleister Crowley explained the innovation with the theory of a flat earth. In the Middle Ages, people believed that the planet had the shape of a disk. The Major Arcana of the Tarot Thoth deck have also undergone some changes. The Lovers card received a second name – Brothers. Justice has been renamed to Adjustment. The Wheel of Fortune became simply Fortune. Strength transformed into Lust. Temperance has become an Art. Judgement became the Aeon, and the World became the Universe.
Minor cards have lost touch with both Waite and the old decks, becoming something of a third. In the Tarot of Aleister Crowley, the Minor Arcana do not show any plots. They simply depict the symbols of the elements in some chaotic order. However, such an arrangement in itself turns into a sign, an abstract composition. All cards of the minor group in the Tarot of Thoth have their own name, the name written at the bottom of the picture. Particular attention should be paid to the court Arcana. Aleister Crowley changed the traditional four. Now the ranks began to be interpreted as the archetypes of the Father, Mother, Son and Daughter. The cards are arranged in this order – Knight, Queen, Prince and Princess. The shirts of all the Arcana were decorated with the Rose and the Cross, the symbols of the Golden Dawn.
Style and symbolism of the deck
The Thoth Tarot deck is shrouded in a mystical halo. The images themselves are fantastic. But the entire creative flow of Frida is firmly connected with mathematics and geometry. The artist shared the views of Kaufmann and Steiner, was interested in theosophy. But Aleister Crowley himself did not like such delights. The author considered Frida his own student and was zealous of "foreign influence". As a result, the Tarot Thoth deck turned out to be strange and unlike anything else. She combined many currents, so every practitioner will see something of her own in her.
But the author himself said that the Tarot deck of Thoth is inextricably linked with Kabbalah and the Sephiroth Tree. All the images that the viewer sees on the cards are like illustrations of ancient Jewish knowledge. The drawings are very bright and memorable, made in acid colors. But, sometimes, it is not clear what exactly is happening on the Tarot cards of Thoth. The questioner can only guess about the true meaning of the plot and rely on his own intuition. It is best to first immerse yourself in a meditative state with the help of mantras, candles or a pendulum.
Interpretation of the Aleister Crowley Tarot cards
Despite all the mysticism of the deck, nevertheless, the interpretation of the Tarot of Thoth is not much different from working with the same Waite. The fortuneteller has the right to focus on the standard card reading system. All "spiritual emanations" can be transferred to real life. The fact is that the author of the deck himself was torn off the ground, which is why he found himself the glory of the “mad doctor”. It is not known for certain whether he really contacted Egyptian deities. Therefore, the Thoth Tarot deck can simply be taken as a fantasy of Aleister Crowley. But, nevertheless, the cards have already formed their own egregor, which should be treated with respect.
To better understand the Thoth Tarot, the practitioner needs to familiarize himself with treatises on astrology, Buddhism, Theosophy, Kabbalah and much more. And all this in order to make a love spread, for example. Or you can just use your own intuition and compare the card with the same one, but in the classic version. So, the terrible Aeon will turn out to be the usual catch-up from the authorities, and the Four of Swords will be the same stagnation in business. It may be that a person initially has innate knowledge, concepts about the world. The eternal study of new trends leads to chaos in the head, drives you crazy. Aleister Crowley himself at the end of his life became a real madman – he used drugs, mired in promiscuity.
What questions is the deck suitable for?
Fortune-telling on the Tarot Thoth deck is able to give answers mainly to spiritual questions. You can ask about the fidelity of the chosen path, ask for advice regarding the choice of a religious movement. In general, everything that is connected with the ego and logic, but at the same time in the spiritual field. All the hobbies of Aleister Crowley were reflected in his offspring. That is why there are both references to Egypt, and to India, China. Practice is only important to correctly interpret the answer. And for this deck, this is a whole art.
However, there are soothsayers who have mastered the Tarot Thoth deck well. They can look at absolutely any situation on it: from cheating to choosing a spiritual guru. But for beginners, such experiments are not recommended. It is better to give preference to issues that are not related to the domestic or love sphere. It is worth taking the spreads of Tarot Thoth as a kind of revelation, an opportunity to touch the world of mysticism and the occult.
Who are the Thoth Tarot cards for?
This deck is suitable for those who are looking for truth in ancient treatises. Tarot Thoth will appeal to lovers of alchemy and hermetic doctrine. But fans of simple and understandable cards will most likely not like this tool. An abundance of symbols, incomprehensible images can confuse an unprepared soothsayer. The prediction on such Arcana will turn out to be ornate and inaccurate. But it’s all a matter of experience. It is best to just keep a notebook in which you constantly write down the interpretations of the cards and their manifestations in real life.
As mentioned above, the Minor Arcana of the Thoth Tarot deck have their own names. You can perceive them as the names of certain spirits, emanations. Those tarot readers who are interested in magic will definitely appreciate Aleister Crowley’s approach. With the help of this tool, it is possible not only to receive predictions, but also to call deities for subsequent work. That is why Aleister Crowley’s deck will appeal to practicing magicians, adherents of the Kabbalah and lovers of astrology. In general, those who are more focused on mental abilities than the physical manifestation of strength.