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The Book of Thoth The Equinox 3. Frieda Harris Illustrator. Now a classic in the field, used by students of the Golden Dawn as well as by those who want to understand Crowley's tarot. This is the definitive study of the Egyptian tarot and is used as a key to all Western mystery disciplines. Color plates of eight cards.
Get A Copy. Paperbackpages. Published June 1st by Samuel Weiser, Inc. More Details Original Title. The Equinox 3. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Book of Thothplease sign up.
See 1 question about The Book of Thoth…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Jan 06, Bryan Elkins rated it really liked it. The Book of Thoth is as much a manual for using the deck as it is a primary initiation into Hermetic philosophy and mindfulness. This is an encyclopedic volume. The deck itself, besides working as the elemental and zodiacal symbol association system of popular tradition, functions simultaneously as a Qabalistic Tree of Life and Taoist I Ching.
The creation and perfection of this deck was a grand scholarly undertaking by Crowley, and while I am sure that he could have expanded this volume tenfold The Book of Thoth is as much a manual for using the deck as it is a primary initiation into Hermetic philosophy and mindfulness. The creation and perfection of this deck was a grand scholarly undertaking by Crowley, and while I am sure that he could have expanded this volume tenfold if he so chose, I am glad he didn't, as the complexity of symbolic associations that he presents seemingly from memory are so far-ranging and multifaceted that a reader might rightly wonder how such a comprehensive view of existence could be possible, how such a system could ever be taken up so thoroughly by a human mind.
That said, its actually damn readable, and surely useful to any student of philosophy, mythology, tarot, comparative literature, or the occult. View 1 comment. Jul 18, John Farebrother rated it it was amazing. A fascinating book, exquisitely presented and illustrated, and beautifully written in the drawing room English of a bygone age. It presents the true tarot, which originated in Ancient Egypt, and survived in Greek and Hindu mythology.
But ultimately it is just so much mumbo-jumbo, a quest for meaning in a bottomless pit of privileged hedonism. Some say it contains secret and ancient mysteries, others that it is an evil book inspired by Satan; I think it is just the vain ramblings of a sad old man A fascinating book, exquisitely presented and illustrated, and beautifully written in the drawing room English of a bygone age. Some say it contains secret and ancient mysteries, others that it is an evil book inspired by Satan; I think it is just the vain ramblings of a sad old man who was unable to connect with the true meaning of life, a meaning that is made available to every newborn child, and to which adults can connect via self-sacrifice and love for our fellows.
But I'm going to keep it because it looks cool on my bookshelf, and I'm fascinated despite myself by the vacuous patterns. Jan 20, Satia rated it did not like it Shelves: unfinished. This book is so densely esoteric that I was completely unable to comprehend what I was reading. It is clear that Crowley is deeply versed in many of the primary teachings of his time but he does not present his knowledge in a manner that makes it even remotely accessible.
I was disappointed because the Thoth Tarot Deck is my preferred personal deck. I had hoped to learn more about the images without having to read every detail about the sephiroth, Frazer's perspective on mythology and religion, This book is so densely esoteric that I was completely unable to comprehend what I was reading.
I had hoped to learn more about the images without having to read every detail about the sephiroth, Frazer's perspective on mythology and religion, etc. Actually, I probably would have adored all of that if Crowley had made it even remotely palatable or comprehendible. Although there are other books written by other people about this deck, I think I'll just ignore them for now. This book really burnt me out and I couldn't finish it as a result of it's style.
View all 5 comments. Sep 01, Krapp rated it it was amazing Shelves: paranormalmagicphilosophy. Aleister Crowley's and Frieda Harris's the actual artist behind the paintings Thoth Deck is the only Tarot deck that might be called intoxicatingly beautiful. To my eye, it is the only Tarot that isn't ugly, though maybe none or few will agree with me there. I think it so outshines all others there's little point in purchasing or using any other. The cards are very large: that's because they are as crowded with imagery as any Victorian parlor ever was with bric-a-brac.
The bric-a-brac of the T Aleister Crowley's and Frieda Harris's the actual artist behind the paintings Thoth Deck is the only Tarot deck that might be called intoxicatingly beautiful. The bric-a-brac of the Thoth Deck however is in exquisite taste. Fortunately, the book is itself Crowley's masterpiece. The Thoth Deck, like any Tarot deck, can simply be picked up by a determined, would-be divinator, and learned and used well. That may be the best way.
But it's a way for the few: most of us need for think we need a guide. The Book of Thoth is the best book on the Tarot I've read. The only drawback is that, on a few points, it is only applicable to the Thoth Deck. Its value as an introduction and reference to the most important concepts in the so-called Western Tradition of magic makes this drawback pale to insignificance.
It condenses the best of Crowley's thought into one short book, a very dense book—when I call a book dense it's a complement: I mean either dense with information or beauty and The Book of Thoth possesses both. Crowley is a master of English prose. It's a slightly stilted, quite pretentious prose, but still masterful and a pleasure to read. That it was written toward the end of Crowley's life is all to the good. He had in old age finally though reluctantly abandoned his vaunted and odious notion of magick as "The method of science, the aim of religion": a marvelous example of vanity and futility.
Crowley had evoked and conversed with who knows how many spirits, and only in his last works does he refuse to deny his own experience: no small thing for an erudite Victorian, and old-fashioned Englishman whose heart always lived in the 19th century. Here the ludicrous Positivism that had become such a caricature of itself bywhen Max Planck unbeknownst to the world at large killed it forever, is gone at last.
Crowley now no longer believed he had all the answers, that all the answers were knowable. That there is an Answer. You must read between the lines to see this, true, as he'd lost none of his endearing arrogance.
Was it a relief to him, I wonder? I hope so. He had for example reneged on his earlier opinion regarding the Holy Guardian Angel—a high-flown name for a well-known entity called variously the Agathos Daimon Socrates consulted his daimon daily: are you smarter or wiser than Socrates? It was, he said, the height of blasphemy to regard the "HGA" as merely a sort of Higher Self and what does "Higher Self" even mean, hmmm? In short, he had finally gained a measure of common sense, almost of humility though it doesn't show through the attitude, and the sensibleness shows amply in this book, which is straightforward, to the point and aburst with information and even wisdom.
There are very few books on the "occult" of which that might be said. The book is long on theory, short on praxis, admittedly. For that you mustan extreme misfortuneconsult the bloated volumes of The Golden Dawncompiled by Israel Regardie: that is, if you want to practice the Tarot like a Ceremonial Magician. Israel Regardie was not a stylist of the English language: none of the members of the Golden Dawn were, at least not the ones who wrote the lore of their magical society.
William Butler Yeats and Arthur Machen were masters of English: but they didn't write anything found in those musty tomes that I know of. Even if you don't want to practice like a Ceremonial Magician I must admit that much of the lore invented and added to the mythology of the Tarot "myth" here in the usual sense of the word: a variety of fiction from the mid 18th century through the time of The Book of Thoth's publishing is useful.
It isn't necessary for divination, but it is necessary for the understanding of most books of magic published in English in the last centuries. But this is Crowley's book, and though he must be taken always with two or three grains of salt, the only magical writer who has equaled him since is Andrew Chumbley. Chumbley actually understood his Latin and Greek, and though Crowley's poetry is serviceable, even good, Chumbley's is pure ecstasy and orgasm: unique. Crowley's Greek is bad: his Hebrew is nonexistent.
Fortunately we are not subjected to any Hebrew prose of Crowley's even a mediocre classicistlike mewill groan and giggle at the dismal Greek of, e.
Find answers, ask questions, and connect with our community around the world. Or do you know any good resources on it? The major arcana are a bit different, like 1 is the chaos, 2 is glory, 3 is beneficial genie or the moon, 4 is the sky, 5 is happiness, 6 is the night etc. Any help is appreciated! Name required :.
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