Book of Thoth: Egyptian Tarot Paperback – 19 Feb 1981
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About the Author
Aleister Crowley (1875-1947), who claimed to be the re-incarnation of Dr. John Dee among others, lived in England from 1875 through 1947. He is the author of several Weiser Books titles, including "Book of Thoth", "Diary of a Drug Fiend", "Magick", "Book of Lies", "Book of the Law and 777 & Other Qabalistic Writings". He was a poet, mountaineer, secret agent, magus, libertine, and prophet - was dubbed by the tabloids "The Wickedest Man in the World."
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Top Customer Reviews
In my experience though, it is one of his best works and surprisingly accessible, to the extent that one could just about forgive, or at least overlook, his shortcomings as a human being. I feel able to take what I want from it and leave the rest i.e. the personality and millennial beliefs of the author. The descriptions of the cards and their meanings are very clear (based as they are on the Kabalistic Tree of Life and Golden Dawn tradition.) I especially like the different 'personalities' he describes for the court cards which can be very perceptive (especially so when you realise you are reading about yourself|) The essays on the major trumps are of interest for their range of classical references but not crucial for practical use. Bear in mind too that the style is very much of it's place and time i.e. first half of the 20th century England with attendant proper grammar, clear thinking and erudition.
I would say this book can be used with any more or less standard pack, not necessarily his own design - I only use his cards occasionally. That said, the Thoth deck he created with Frieda Harris remains one of the most strikingly artistic packs ever devised, each card a work of art in it's own right. There are a few colour (and the rest black and white) illustrations of the cards.Read more ›
It is obviously highly thought of by many students of Tarot and the occult, but for most, I believe it will only serve to confuse and bewilder.
For example, a short quotation, 'One important interpretation of Tarot is that it is a Notariqon of the Hebrew Torah, the Law; also of ThROA, the gate. Now, by the Yetziratic attributions...this word may be read The Universe-the new-born Sun-Zero.'.
If your interest is pureley Tarot based, I have found 'Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom' by Rachel Pollack to be an informative and enjoyable study of the traditional Tarot. And for total beginners 'Learning the Tarot' by Joan Bunning an excellent start.
I'm not sure if Crowley's assertion that the cards are the condensed, lost wisdom of the ages holds as true in this universe as well as the one that he found himself inhabiting for much of his life but It's helpful to go with the flow and suspend all disbelief for the duration of the experience, much as one might do when watching a film or reading some piece of impossible fiction. The experience is remarkably self consistent and has all the signs of doors opening up on the inner reality behind the facade, and this is where many, including myself, can and have gone wrong. The underlying reality perceived by understanding the cards is not THE reality, merely A reality but it is surely seductive and operators flushed with success, or awe at their enhanced perception may take many, many years to regain their objectivity. Sorry, not meaning to sound like Dennis Wheatley there ... :-)
Crowley presents an interesting perspective on the history of the Tarot which may or may not be mundanely factual but it certainly works as a key to unlocking certain levels of mystery which experience will verify for any dedicated experimenter.
The mapping of the Major Arcana onto the 22 paths of the OtzChim and the Hebrew alephbet(sic) are widely accepted though some attributes are stretched a bit, conventionally. Crowley was bamboozled by part of the 1904 (Cairo? sorry, this is all purely from long memory) working when the condensed ego reflection masquerading as his Holy Guardian Angel presented him with a few baffling insights, one of which was the "Tzadi is not the star.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Again I bought this as a thank you present and the receiver was very happy with my choicePublished 2 months ago by yvonne
Fabulous book. I've been working with the Tarot deck for quite some time with amazing accuracy so it seemed it was time to now read the book and I'm not disappointed. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Debra.
Brilliant artwork. Comprehensive information. Good value for money. You can use this book for the tarot information as an alternative book or just for the artwork.Published 9 months ago by Bel
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