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Keywords for the Crowley Tarot [Tarot] [Paperback]

Hajo Banzhaf , Brigitte Theler
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 18.99
Price: 16.93 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Keywords for the Crowley Tarot + Crowley Thoth Tarot Deck Standard + Understanding Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot: An Authoritative Examination of the World's Most Fascinating and Magical Tarot Cards
Price For All Three: 64.12

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Red Wheel/Weiser (1 Aug 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578631734
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578631735
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 14.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 533,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


This text provides the basic background to the tarot and its uses. It discusses the various decks, setting the stage for an in-depth examination of the Crowley deck.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The tarot is a card oracle that has existed in its current form since the 16th century. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant reference book for Thoth Tarot! 1 Oct 2001
By A Customer
This is very detailed and useful reference with several spread examples. It gives interepretations and meanings of symbols of illustration for each card. Also, its layout is very simple to read. It gives interpretations for 2 pages in a table and some cards have a space in this table, so you can add your own meanings too. I find it very useful to visualise and remember meanings as it gives a each sybol meaning. Must buy for Thoth Tarot lovers!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keywords for the Crowley Tarot is Superb 3 Mar 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What can be said about this book? I could run out of superlatives in any attempt to describe it.

It is a reference manual that explores in a very concise but authoratitive manner the meanings of the Cards of the Thoth Pack.

This is the first book on Tarot I have read that allows, no, encourages, the Reader to look beyond the individual meanings and concentrate on a holistic view of any spread.

With a very easy descriptive style and every card having 2 pages for a detailed decription this is just excellent

I believe it has helped me to move from a mechanistic view of the pack to an intuitive view
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, lucid explanations. 6 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Lucid explanations, and a very good read, extremely thought provoking, I thoroughly recommend it to any one who really wants to get to grips with the Crowley deck.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No, you're wrong 16 Oct 2008
I cannot believe the 5 stars given by the previous reviewers. This is easily the worst book on Crowley's cards I have encountered. Perhaps 5% of the given information is correct, the rest is just nonsense. If you want to learn Crowley's cards then read Crowley's Book Of Thoth, but you may need to read DuQuette's Understanding Aleister Crowleys's Thoth Tarot also. And no, I am not at all connected with DuQuette. AVOID this book if you really want to understand Crowley's cards.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  22 reviews
74 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Many thanks to the authors 18 May 2003
By Eirian Eira - Published on
I have been using the Crowley deck for years-it was my first deck. I never had a "starter" deck like the Waite, and when I try to use other decks now my results aren't nearly as good. (Guess I'm spoiled.) Unfortunately, this means that I have had to pave my own way with the cards, because virtually all of the existing Tarot guides are for the standard types of decks. Thus, while they may be fine books, they miss the mark for the Crowley deck. While learning the cards for yourself does help you to interpret and bond with them better, it can be very difficult for someone who has had no prior Tarot experience. The small booklet included with the deck isn't nearly comprehensive enough, and Crowley's own book on the cards is far too dense for a beginner. That's where this book comes in.
The title is started with "Keywords," but this is a much more valuable tool than that word implies. It start with a simple history of the Tarot, and then discusses several basic questions about Tarot-reading that most beginners want to know but are too shy to ask. One word of warning here though-the authors make some of the answers sound too concrete. While most of them are, things like whether or not to focus on your question while shuffling are very much debatable. It has been my experience that each reader needs to find out what works best for them. Just keep an open mind while reading this section.
I was very pleased with the spreads offered by the book. They are easy to understand and logical in their arrangements, and I have had great success with them. (They also include one of the best interpretations of the Celtic Cross that I have ever seen.) The book is also very helpful in that it includes a nice section on the quintessence, which is (again) easy to understand. The book doesn't look down on its readers, but it doesn't bog you down with information that really isn't necessary to have a working knowledge of the deck.
The largest section of the book is dedicated to the individual interpretations of the cards. This book does this the best of any Tarot book I have seen-including those for other decks. Instead of just listing a whole bunch of words, it breaks them up based on what area of life they pertain to, the more "positive" and "negative" sides of the cards, etc. And while the book does provide a little more information on the major arcana, I was thrilled to find out how much detail was still given to the minor as well-an area that is sorely lacking in many books.
But there is one thing that really sets this book above and beyond all others to me, and that is the explanations of the imagery on the cards. The Crowley deck includes symbolism from many different areas. While this makes it accessible to a wide range of students, it also means that people may miss out on certain areas that they aren't as familiar with. For example, I know plenty about the numbers, elements and astrological symbols seen on the cards, but I am still learning about the Kabbalah. "Keywords . . ." fills in this hole for me. And I cannot imagine trying to use the cards without at least a basic working knowledge of the astrological symbols seen on the cards-for people who do not study astrology, this book is invaluable.
In addition, it picks out the most prominent general images from the cards and provides interpretations for them. Even if you think that you know the cards inside and out, this book might surprise you by pointing out an aspect that you've missed. I find that learning the meaning of the more important images on the cards has greatly increased my ability to remember the lesser-known aspects of each card during readings-allowing me to see meanings and interpretations that I before would not have considered.
This book does not pretend to be a treatise on the magickal theory behind the cards, as the title clearly states. If that it what you want, you should read Crowley's works. But it is an excellent tool for working with the cards on a daily basis, and for learning ever more about them. And for once, the quote on the back is true: ". . . for students of the Tarot, from absolute beginner to advanced practitioner." I wish it had been around when I started with the deck.
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A new perspective on the Tarot 28 Jun 2001
By "quillmistress" - Published on
Any person who has studied the Tarot in depth will appreciate this book and the methods revealed between within. I have been reading the Tarot for over thirty years. My library of tarot references is vast, yet I gleaned much from reading Keywords for the Crowley Tarot. Don't be fooled by the name. The authors concentrate their descriptions and methods on the Crowley Tarot, but offer reams of information totally pertinent to any deck.
Anzhaf and Theler begin with a detailed introduction and history of the Tarot, discussing two approaches to the cards and the theories of coincidence and a random oracle. Between games and seers. They go deeply into the different versions of the Tarot, showing comparisons and contrast to the Crowley deck. Crowley's art is rich with symbolism and throughout the book, the authors use this symbolism to enhance the reader's understanding of the meanings Crowley developed through his deck art. Further into the book after detailed descriptions of layouts and reader/seeker relationships and questions, we are presented with a section describing each card and its symbols. Each card has the aspects of "general, profession, consciousness, partnership, encourages and warns against" laid out for the reader to develop meanings. "Card for the Day" is a chosen card meant to show you what may be in store for that day, what you might watch for and your energy focus.
The authors very obviously know their subject and Crowley, his methods, secrets and philosophy are further revealed. A difficult figure in esoteric history, Crowley left the world with two minds. Either one appreciates the genius in the eccentricity, or cannot see beyond the eccentricity. It is my understanding that the Tarot he designed held keys to his magic and methods. This book reveals much of what Mr. Crowley tried to impart to the world of mystical study.
Definitely not a book for the beginner, Keywords for the Crowley Tarot is must-have for the intermediate or advanced Tarot practitioner. Once the connection of unique symbolism and card placement/ position is made, the reader begins to understand the intricacies of this deck. The authors' easy manner and well-designed presentation of information makes that connection easy and painless for any reader of the Tarot. Armed with new insight, anyone reading this book would find the style and methods of interacting with the cards greatly enhanced. A highly recommended reference volume.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In comparison to other books 11 Feb 2006
By Nikke - Published on
The first interpretation book of Crowley's Thoth Tarot that I read was written by Gerd Ziegler. I soon found what was wrong with it. Ziegler allways tried to find a positive aspect of every card, thus spoiling the deeper message of the card. The second that I read was Crowley's The Book of Thoth. It is quite difficult read. For a beginner finding an interpretation is usually difficult. What I especially like in this Keywords book written by Banzhaf & Theler is the straightforward method for interpretating card-layings, which you probably won't find elsewhere. At least I haven't. The method in Keywords is clear and the reader finds answers.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Handy reference material ! 2 July 2004
By Graham D. Lincoln - Published on
This is a very useful book to have on-hand, near your Tarot collection. Sometimes, digging through Crowley's rants and digressions can be a bit time-consuming. It's nice to have a quick, easy reference guide to the Thoth deck. I have not yet compared the Crowley material to this book, but I have not noticed anything that seemed "off," while using "Keywords for the Crowley Tarot" as a reference, while doing readings.
I have noticed that most Newbies to the Thoth deck latch-onto this book, like a Prize ! Then, I return it to the shelf and tell them the ISBN #, so they can get their own copy.
I'll, do a more thorough review, in the future. For now, I just want to give the authors Kudos for their work.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Crowley Tarot reference Book 3 May 2003
By A Customer - Published on
Keywords for the Crowley Tarot, is to my mind the best reference book for this rich and colourful, but sligthly enigmatic deck. The book has cleary laid out pages outlining a number of spreads, as well as a 2-page overview of each card.
The translation from German is sometimes not perfect; however, this is compensated for by the fact that the text is clear, informative and useful.
Choosing your favourite Tarot deck is a matter of personal taste, based on a number of factors. Starting from an attraction to a particular deck, people typically build up a rapport with particular decks and build up a case history of meanings. Having used other decks in the past I now regard the Crowley deck as my favourite. These cards have given me the deepest, and very personally meaningful responses.
However, to start using the Crowley deck, you defintely need a specialist reference book to help you, as much of the symbolism is quite different to other decks. In this respect Banzhaf's and Theler's book is to my mind the best I have seen.
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