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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 2 June 2009
If you wish to understand the depth of the Tarot, whether or not you are using the "Thoth Tarot," this book is indispensible; for not only does it explain Crowley's system, but the foundations of the Tarot itself. Incredible read.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
This is a work of enormous erudtion and represents a lifetime of hands on experience, all presented with a combination of clarity and humour. There is little to add to what has already been said, however anyone essaying the Tarot as a beginner would do better to look elsewhere. Although the Thoth pack is replete with symbolism largely lacking in other packs, it is not necessary to fully understand the symbolism, as a basic grounding in Tarot divination technique is sufficient. When I first used the Thoth pack in the mid '70's, it was as an absolute beginner, and having found the Book of Thoth somewhat obscure, I resorted to Alfred Douglas's "The Tarot" and via that small book got along just fine with the Thoth pack, despite the fact that the illustrations were drawn from a different pack. Douglas's book remains IMHO, still the best entry point into an understanding of the divinatory use of Tarot. Beyond that, meditating on individual cards is perhaps the best way to become acquainted with any pack, though if this approach is taken, one ought to be familiar with banishing rituals, using them for both opening and closing any meditation, in order to avoid unlooked for epiphenomena/side effects.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 26 December 2013
I've had the Thoth deck as one of my main working decks for twenty five years or so - I tend to have a selection of of four or five decks I can work with at any one point: the rest of my eighty or so decks are there because I like the artwork but don't feel I could read with them.

I've read the Book of Thoth many times, but have always left it almost as mystified as I was when I started reading it. Common gossip has it that Crowley was off his face when writing the Book of Thoth. What this book does is to explain what was actually meant (even including a few "I haven't a clue about this" remarks. It's basically the Book of Thoth written in accessible language. The Book of Thoth makes a little more sense now, but it's to this book I turn when I want to study a card in depth.

It's notable in that I bought the paperback, but when I got a Kindly I bought the somewhat overpriced Kindle version too.
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46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on 7 November 2003
If you have ever tried understanding the Book OF Thoth and like me became frustrated, this book is for you. This book explains in plain language the meaning behind the sometimes veiled unintellegable writings of Aliester Crowley. Unless you are well versed in the language of the Kabbalah, Geometra. Egyptian magick to the extream this book is a God send. You wont be dissapointed. Some Knowledge of Crowleyanity I would say is necessary for full enjoyment. Recommended.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 19 July 2007
I bought the Thoth Tarot deck a while ago and loved the imagery and the colours. I could never quite get to grips with it as it seemed complex and deep. Well, that's because it is!

This book has been a real eye-opener for me and a joy to read. Lon Milo Duquette talks in plain, simple language and makes the journey fun. I never thought I would say that about discovering more about this deck or Crowley but it really is.

This is a book that is a favourite with myself and my Tarot colleagues - The Book of Thoth could have been written in Russian for the practical help it gave me. Maybe this is my "primer" to get me much more comfortable with the deck, improve my understanding of it and act as a bridge to further study in this area.

A big thank you to LMD - this is fun and fascinating!!

Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 16 August 2013
I wasn't sure to dabble in this read, but I was so pleasantly surprised. From a religious family stems his tongue in cheek 'beast' image. I will never look at a poster of Winston Churchill again with out thinking of this curious character.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 29 October 2013
This is a good book of its type, and a welcome edition to anyone's tarot library. As a short cut to the Book of Thoth it probably is not, but it does give an insight into Crowley and his thinking.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 15 November 2013
I was really excited to receive this book, but thats where the excitement ended unfortunately ! With his OTO grade knowledge I was expecting big things but at £20 this book didnt deliver. It all starts off well enough with a good description of the rose cross and the background to Crowleys Thoth deck (The Aeon of Horus & Book of the Law). However, its when it comes onto a descrition of the cards that the book falls flat. His desciptions of the cards are so brief it really dosent make the book worhtwhile. All he does is quote Crowley and add a few off the cuff anecdotes. He makes no attempt at all to cover the immense symbology which the Thoth deck contains. This would seem to indicate he has made few realisations about the deck for himself.. and if the OTO parted with this information, he certainly isnt forwarding it onto the reader in any way. I really dont see why he has written this book. The Thoth Companion: The Key to the True Symbolic Meaning of the Thoth Tarot by Michael Osiris Snuffin (30 Nov 2007) is a much better book and costs alot less.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 20 November 2008
Lon Milo DuQuette has forgotten more things about 'the most dangerous man in England' than you or I will ever know. He writes about Crowley and Harris's epic Tarot deck with enthusiasm, knowledge and a laugh out loud humour.

I struggled terribly with the Thoth deck, but this book really helped. Not only is it informative, but it will totally remove any qualms you might hold about working with a deck designed by a scary 'Satanist'.

Supposing I only had enough money to buy one book to help me understand the Thoth Tarot, this would be it. I can't recommend it highly enough.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 2 January 2006
I looked forward to the release of this book immensely, being a fan of LMD and of his simplistic, humourous and informative style. Although this book maintains the simplistic and humourous elements of LMD's works, it is sadly lacking in the more important area.
On the Thoth Tarot itself, Duquette makes a point of saying he is trying to keep as much of himself out of this work as possible, wishing only to portray Crowley's ideas. I really don't understand this as Crowley's already done that in his own work, 'The Book of Thoth'! 'Understanding Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot' offers NOTHING new on the subject! In fact, in trying to condense Crowley's ideas into manageable, easily read portions, this book offers a lot less than is available already.
DuQuette even comes up with sentences like, "I don't know what this symbol means because Crowley never said. I have my own ideas but I want to keep as much of myself out of this as possible." While I can understand his point of view I bought this book hoping for as much of DuQuette as possible. I think the audience would be intelligent enough to recognise the difference between DuQuette's theories and Crowley's intentions.
There are a few little extras which are quite useful, such as the discussion of the Rose Cross which appears on the reverse of the cards, and a short history of Crowley and the development of the cards, but I would imagine anyone wanting to buy this book would probably already be familiar with such subjects. Of most use are the Thelemic Glossary and the index, a concept Crowley seemed unfamiliar with. DuQuette also brings the Alchemical aspects to greater attention than Crowley did, though he only gives a small portion of the story and leaves out the most important cards altogether.
All in all this book is a good basic introduction for anyone new to the Thoth Tarot but it could have been so much better had LMD allowed himself to publish his own thoughts alongside what is already known of the subject.
PS... For anyone interested, DuQuette says of ATU XXI: "There are several elements in the card I don't understand at all. For instance, what is the black crescent-shaped object in the goddess's right hand? I don't have a clue. I can't find any reference to it in The Book of Thoth. If Crowley explains it in any other writings, I confess it has escaped me completely." -- It is to be found in the 'Old Comment' on verse II:51 in 'The Law is for All'. This comment explains all elements of the card which aren't immediately apparent.
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