THE THOTH TAROT REVIEW
Lady Frieda Harris created the striking and fascinating artwork found in the Aleister Crowley Thoth Tarot. It was designed by Aleister Crowley, an occultist and member of the Golden Dawn. This deck contains 80 cards and three versions of Magus.
Aleister Crowley EUR (TM)s Thoth Tarot is a classic deck of modern tarot. It has been a favorite deck for decades. This deck is available in many editions and sizes, with new editions on their horizon. It has been praised for its stunning beauty and its portrayal of the occult knowledge gained through a lifetime of dedicated study since its 1969 publication.
The Thoth is also one of the most controversial tarot cards. Because of its reputation, you will often hear the deck called aEURoedarkaEUR. Although it doesn’t have the same personable appeal as decks like the Fey and fluffy bunny cuteness, it offers a balanced view of the basic features of our world.
The Thoth Tarot is built on the Golden Dawn tradition. For those who are familiar with the Rider Waite deck or any Golden Dawn derivatives, a lot of the deck will be familiar. The cardaEUR(tm), border and the astrological and Qabalistic attributions are included on each card. The bottom of the minor cards has the esoteric title. These systems can be used with the deck, but I find it immensely rewarding to study them, as well to my knowledge about the tarot. These same features can be applied to any deck but they are best visible and beautifully rendered in The Thoth.
THE THOTH TAROT CARD DETAILS
Although the minors don’t contain illustrations like Rider Waite Smith, they are highly illustrated. HarrisaEUR(tm), HarrisaEUR(tm),’s pips are able to evoke the intended meaning of the card, with most meanings being the same as the Rider Waite Smith. The RWS Two of Wands depicts a man holding his world in his hands as he looks over his kingdom. However, the Thoth Two of Wands (titled Dominion), shows two Tibetan Djores crossing in front of flames. These symbols of great power are symbolic of authority and great power. The card’s glyphs for Mars or Aries are visible on it, indicating that the card is associated with that sign and planet. This reinforces the meanings of strength, courage and pride.
The court cards are one of the main differences between the Thoth deck and other decks like the Rider Waite Smith deck, Marseille deck, or Golden Dawn decks. Pictorially, the courts look almost identical to those of Golden Dawn (Golden Dawn Tarot and Golden Dawn Magical Tarot). They are based on Book T, a piece of Golden Dawn literature about the tarot. There are four standard court cards in the Golden Dawn tradition. King (shown riding on horseback), Queen (seated on a chair), Prince (drawn forward in a carriage), and Princess (standing). Crowley retained these features but created confusion when he renamed his aEURoeKingsaEUR Knights to better reflect the character’s virility. This can cause confusion for someone who is used to the RWS Courts or Marseille style Courts, in which the Queen and King are seated at the same time and the Knight is the figure on horse. A King riding a horse in a deck of tarot cards is something I now look for, regardless of his title.
In some cases, the majors have also been modified. CrowleyaEUR(tm), CrowleyaEUR(tm), has renamed a number of cards to better reflect his understanding of the deeper meanings of each card. The Magus (magician), the Priestess, high priestess, Adjustment (justice), Fortune (wheel to fortune), Lust (strength), Art (temperance), and The Universe (the universe) have all been renamed. Although most major cards are identical to others, at least in their basic composition, CrowleyaEUR(tm), a few cards have been altered to better reflect his magical journey and illustrate his knowledge of the modern world. This is why cards such as Lust, The Devil, and The Aeon stand apart.