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The Thoth Companion: The Key to the True Symbolic Meaning of the Thoth Tarot [Paperback]

Michael Osiris Snuffin
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 10.24
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Book Description

30 Nov 2007
Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot - one of the most popular and enigmatic tarot decks - offers rich rewards for those who can penetrate its complex symbolism. Written by a ceremonial magician and tarot expert, "The Thoth Companion" is a comprehensive guide to understanding and using this fundamental deck. All seventy-eight cards are examined through the lens of Thelema, Qabala, and ceremonial magic - the spiritual foundations upon which it was built. These detailed interpretations reveal valuable insights, significant correspondences, and Crowley's encoded secrets. Once you've mastered the meaning behind this legendary deck, this user-friendly guide can help you use it for divination, developing intuition, meditation, and pathworking.Ceremonial magician and professional tarot reader Michael Osiris Snuffin has been studying the Thoth tarot for over a decade. He joined the OTO (Ordo Templi Orientis) in 1996. Seven years later he founded the Temple of Light and Darkness, a group dedicated to performing Golden Dawn initiations in accordance with the Law of Thelema.

Frequently Bought Together

The Thoth Companion: The Key to the True Symbolic Meaning of the Thoth 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: 57.27

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Product details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Publications,U.S. (30 Nov 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738711926
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738711928
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 19.2 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 73,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I grew up in the Puget Sound area, and I have lived in the Seattle area for sixteen years. I have always had a passion for the written word, learning to read early and often. I got involved with my high school and college newspapers, writing opinion pieces and working on layout and design. I published my first magazine article at seventeen, and continued to write and publish articles through college. I graduated from The Evergreen State College in 1993, earning a BA in Liberal Arts with an emphasis in media and communications; there I studied media propaganda, literary journalism, and political science/economics.

In 1996 I started the research on tarot symbolism that eventually became my first book, The Thoth Companion. I also started giving public lectures and writing articles on the tarot and related subjects. When I began preparing my manuscript for submission, I discovered The Chicago Manual of Style, the bible of many book editors, and I developed an interest in editing. I realized I had a knack for editing work after helping Brandy Williams prepare her popular book, Practical Magic for Beginners, for submission to Llewellyn Publications in 2004.

While I had already taken a year of classes at North Seattle Community College to explore a possible career as a math teacher, my interest in numbers soon gave way to working with words. I eagerly enrolled in the Editing Certification Program at the University of Washington, which I completed in 2006. Unfortunately, after publishing and promoting The Thoth Companion in 2007-08, a medical accident left me with some serious health issues to deal with, delaying my debut as an professional editor for a couple of years.

I overcame those challenges and started preparing my second book, Conjuring Spirits, for release in 2010. During the publication process I also picked up a few clients, which led to more editing projects and opportunities. I joined the Editorial Freelancers Association soon thereafter to take advantage of the instruction and resources they have to offer. I truly enjoy editing work, and look forward to helping more authors and publishers make good books better.

I haven't owned a television for many years, so in my leisure time I enjoy reading books, researching, and writing. Particular topics of interest include cosmology, esotericism, Egyptology, symbolism, and linguistics. I have a large library, and I often browse used bookstores looking for new books of interest. An expanded and revised version of my second book will come out at the end of 2013, and I plan to write a third book, though I haven't yet chosen a subject.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for Experienced Readers. 26 Jan 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I got this book as I am trying to work with the Thoth tarot more, being a novice at tarot, I wanted a book which would have a good explanation of the Thoth tarot. I've had the Thoth tarot for years, but have never felt connected with it.

This will be a great book for experienced readers of the Thoth deck, and those who are progressing with learning it. But if you're a beginner struggling to learn the Thoth tarot, then I think you'll struggle with this book. The reason is, you need to have some background of the tarot, astrology and kabbalah first.

However I do think it's a really good book, and I have put it away until the time I feel ready to pick it up again, when I am more advanced in tarot, and ready to learn the Thoth deck. This book has lots of charts in it, to help you with the cards etc.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and Essential 1 Feb 2014
By GB
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have had this book nearly one year now and so it is time for a review. As the title of the book states it is about the "True Symbolic Meaning" of the Thoth Tarot. It is therefore about the Thoth Tarot cards and pretty much useless for any other deck. It also focuses on the symbolism of each card (Major and Minor cards). This book is great for beginners who want to start to take the Thoth Tarot more seriously and actually understand the cards themselves.

The explanations are simple with a focus also on the meanings of particular colours on each card. The Tree of Life is mentioned in the book but is limited - this book is primarily about symbolism afterall.

It has a useful appendix with some tables in, for example, the zodiac signs and their ruling planets and symbols. It also has an Index (very rare these days) as well as a diagram of the Tree of Life with Tarot Attributions towards the front.

I like the simplicity of this book and the easiness of reading it whilst at the same time gleaning so much symbolic meaning. With an understanding of the meaning of the symbols you can do a more accurate reading.

This book forms a very good basis and grounding to develop your knowledge further. I have found that "The Crowley Tarot" by Akron Hajo BanZhaf is a good accompaniment to Snuffin's book. Both of these books could be supplemented with Lon Milo DuQuettes "Thoth Tarot" thus giving you a good grounding before reading Aleister Crowley's "Thoth Tarot".

I am always reaching for this book - even after 12 months.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clearly written and good symbolic references 8 Dec 2009
Format:Paperback
I have found this book one of the most easy to read books on the subject of the Thoth that references Crowley's own materials and works. It is clearly laid out and covers all the main symbols on each card.

The introduction does clearly point out that this is not a beginners book and indeed, if you have never met the Qabala or the language of Thelemic magic, you may find the book hard going. However, there is a very good glossary of terms at the end of the book and several of the tables of correspondences in an appendix which, if used, can answer all your questions in a brief, but clear way.

Each card has its own section during which the various symbolic attributes of the card are discussed and their intended symbolism shown. There is more symbolism discussed in this book than I have seen in other similar types of books, though the discussions are kept to a few clear sentences rather than going into great detail - I feel this is a positive point as it is easier to see the meanings from an image rather than getting lost in in-depth discussion.

I found the interpretation section of each card a bit weak, though the book doesn't profess to be a handbook to interpretation - rather a handbook of symbolism which can be used to assist in pathworking or journeying, which it does well.

The chapter at the end of the book has some basic ideas about how to go about a tarot reading, and how to develop your intuition and, like the rest of the book, it is clearly and simply put and makes a good start for someone heading in this direction with the cards. But, if you are looking for some more depth to the processes involved here, you will need to find another source of information.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to return to again and again 12 Dec 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It is difficult to summarise this book because I suppose that in part it can be read on many levels. I would certainly have to say that while it is one that I read through from beginning to end it is not end of the matter for me. I will return to it again and again to chew over the words and illustrations. It will become I am sure a mine of information for meditation and reflection.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  20 reviews
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear and Helpful 17 Aug 2008
By John Calendo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Excellent. Clear where Crowley's "Book of Thoth" is confusing. The author adds in the reference points that Crowley left out, and there is no meandering off topic as in Crowley's writing.

As with the Crowley book, there is a scholarly symbol-by-symbol analysis that allows the reader to understand the card for herself, rather than, as in many Tarot books, a menu of adjectives and action verbs, supposedly a distillation of the symbols in the card.

Better to understand the card itself and then distill the meaning on your own. This makes for more dynamic readings, grounded in the present moment and you own intuitions at that moment.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A deep book 13 July 2008
By Star Child - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book as its title suggests, covers the meaning behind the images and symbols of the Thoth tarot deck. If you are looking for an understanding of the images and symbols this book will definitely help you. The author describes everything from the Qabalistic (Tree of Life) perspective. For every card there is an indepth description including the Minor cards.
What it doesn't have however, is a long description about what the card means in a reading. But I don't feel that this is the purpose of the book. There are plenty other books that do that including Angeles Arrien The Tarot Handbook and Tarot the Mirror of the Soul by Ziegler. I am happy I bought it as it adds to my Thoth Tarot book collection and each book I find fills a gap. I thought it was worth the buy.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoth Companion 20 Mar 2008
By R. Billings - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is really well written and informative. I've found it to be a great addition to my collection of tarot books, as it has unique content not found in my other books. It explains complex content in a comprehensive way that is not at all condescending or mysterious. This book has something for anyone interested in the tarot, from a beginner to an expert level.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Truly Helpful Book 3 Mar 2012
By Donald W. McFarland - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is the one book in the Thoth deck that I've come across that is truly helpful in using and understanding the deck. It retains a great deal of information on the various symbols and correspondences for those who want or need them while still making the deck accessible to a wider audience. Crowley's original work is still available to anyone who wants to slog through it but most people these days have neither the time nor the background to really make sense of his turgid and meandering writing style. So thank you, Thoth Companion, for a great public service.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Thoth Companion: Reminding Me I'm a Fan Girl 23 Jan 2011
By Rebecca L. Elson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This review originally appeared on The Magical Buffet website on 11/4/07.

In case you didn't think the world of ceremonial magic was a complex tapestry, "The Thoth Companion" is here to set you straight. Every tarot deck deserves contemplation, a careful study of its symbolism and associations. However, when the rich world of tarot collides with the complex world of ceremonial magic, as it does in the Thoth tarot deck, a guide would be appreciated.

With that I present to you "The Thoth Companion" by Michael Osiris Snuffin. In the introduction he suggests that this book is not for beginners, and I would agree. Without some basic Golden Dawn or Thelema knowledge, the book may seem to be in another language. Although I'm fairly clueless when it comes to Crowley, I'm a bit of a Regardie fan girl, so I had enough knowledge to follow along.

This book is fantastic. I wish I could get someone to write as detailed a book about every tarot deck I like (although few decks are interesting enough to warrant this level of examination)! The book is divided into logical parts. First are the trump cards. Each card is discussed, and a photo of the card is provided. With each trump card the author lists the Hebrew letter, meaning, attribution, path, and connects. This has a lot to do with the Tree of Life, which is big in the ceremonial magic world. If you don't know what the Tree of Life is that I'm talking about, you're not ready for this book. Next section is the court cards. Again, detailed discussion of each card, and listed with the individual cards are elemental attribution, Zodiacal attribution, crest, symbols, key concepts. Finally, as far as card types go, there are the suit cards. As before, all the detailed discussion you could want, and for each card, Snuffin lists title, Qabalistic attribution, and Tetragrammaton attribution.

At the end of the book there is a small section about tarot divination. This offers advice to tarot readers and has examples of spreads. Most of what is discussed is fairly common in all tarot circles, and I feel the author made the correct choice in dedicating more time to examining the deck. There are dozens of books, and probably hundreds of websites, that can tell you about tarot reading, but until I read this book, I had never seen such a wonderful resource for a single deck.

The back has an appendix, with plenty of handy quick reference charts. There is also a bibliography that could serve any interested student well in learning all there is about ceremonial magic and tarot. It serves as a reminder to me that I am a fan girl when it comes to ceremonial magic, not a serious student.

To sum up, if you're interested in ceremonial magic, such as Golden Dawn or Thelema, and/or you own the Thoth tarot deck this book is for you. This is a serious study of a single deck, so not for the casual tarot enthusiast.
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