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 For Magick Work, Thoth Tarot Probably The Choice., Other decks good for divination but not ideal for magick
Mezu
post Jan 29 2007, 07:38 PM
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Since I didn't see a lot of Thoth (Crowley) deck discussions, I thought I'd start a thread, see if anyone's interested.

My work over the last thirty plus years has hurtled me in a dozen directions. I have now worked most paths lightly, two or three intensely, ended up creating my own (a la Chaos theory) but with a decidedly eastern (Tibetan magick) thrust. Through it all, I have worked over forty different Tarot decks (most of which I still own), including seven Thoth decks (I still own and use my 1970s deck).

I may have played the field, and "fooled around" but I always return to the Thoth tarot for any magick work. I carry a pocket deck as a "portable" temple. I consider it the only tool I need for my mostly empty handed work. I'm a poor visualizer, for all my years of trying, but with the Thoth tarot (but no other deck), I can actually take journeys, travel to the Deep mind, see and visualize in three dimensions, and work my path.

For divination -- pathwork, not frivolous fun stuff -- I find the Thoth deck nearly infallible. Something about it just connects instantly with my subconscious. Elsewhere, I posted on how I use the Thoth Tarot as my only magick tool. It is also my carry-everywhere amulet. It has a life of its own, like a Tibetan Tulpa or a Chaos Servitor.

I think too many people let Crowley-mythology (or the complexity of the correspondences -- which must be understood to truly work Thoth tarot) stop them from trying this truly magick deck. It comes, straight from the box empowered with the wisdom of nearly every single symbol and archetype known to man (very Jungian). Part of Crowley's genius (putting aside all discussions of the sensational man) was that he spent his whole life learning both eastern and western magick. He contained, within him--like him or hate him--probably the greatest reservoir of magick knowledge ever deposited in a single man. And he expressed it over five manic years with Lady Harris, a truly brilliant collaboration. Lightly illustrated theme decks, collage decks and cartoon decks (and especially photo decks) can never close to the endless depth of imagery in the Thoth. I've even created my own Tarot deck. But I use the Thoth for all important work. After more than three decades, I still see something new in each card, every time I look at them -- which is DAILY.

This post has been edited by Mezu: Jan 29 2007, 07:39 PM

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UnKnown1
post Jan 29 2007, 07:55 PM
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[Greetings Mezu,

A Thoth thread. Super cool.

I find it interesting that Crowley made his artist paint each card several times. Also I find those cleverly broken Swastikas in his deck genius. I know he viewed the Nazi party as a monstrosity of Christianity. Could he have been working magick against the Third Reich in this way?

I understand that he corrected the Astrological and Hebrew to the deck. In my humble opinion the RIder Waite deck totally sucks. I get nothing from the imagery.

I also dislike reversed meanings. I like Crowley's system of looking at the surrounding cards much better than a reversed meaning from an upside down card.

If you know this deck very well I would like to hear your thoughts on each card. Or at least on the trumps. I know 72 interpretations is almost like writing a book. Lol

Why dn't we start with the fool and work our way through the trumps?

What does the Fool represent to you?

Peace

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Mezu
post Jan 30 2007, 05:13 PM
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QUOTE(Edunpanna @ Jan 29 2007, 08:55 PM) *
[Greetings Mezu,


Why don't we start with the fool and work our way through the trumps?

What does the Fool represent to you?

Peace


TASHI DELE (that's hello (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif) in Tibet) Resident Jester (any relation to the Fool?)

The main character in my forthcoming medieval fantasy historical is the fool, my favorite of all Tarot Trumps because it contains within it, the essence of ALL OF THE OTHER trumps (that's not my humble opinion, it's Crowley -- who was anything but humble I suppose).

I've spent a lot of time with Crowley's 777 and other correspondences, and worked hard on making a west to far east (in my case Tibet) (and lately Tao) link in terms of correspondences. While Crowley and most practitioners worked hard to align the minors to the sephira of the Tree of Life and the paths to the trumps, I've taken that core "archetypal truth" and aligned it to my passion for all things Tibetan.

So, first and foremost, the Fool to me corresponds directly to Gautama himself ( (IMG:style_emoticons/default/blablabla.gif) before enlightenment -- I more or less associate Shakyamuni Buddhi, the historical buddha, to THE HANGED MAN). Why Gautama? Because here is Prince Gautama in search of cosmic truth and englightenment, utterly couragous, caring nothing for his own physical wellbeing. I've mapped out all the Buddhas, bodhisattvas and Tibetan deities to the Tree of Life, and Crowley's correspondences to make it easier to bridge east to west (not that it's entirely possible, fortunately Crowley incorporated and studied many eastern systems from Tao to Tibetan magick).

Also, because I associate Gautam Buddha with Crowley's Spirit of the Aether, and correspond directly to Aleph, the herbrew letter, and the path on the tree of life that joins Kether to Chokmah, crown to wisdom... that's how I think of Gautama.

Unlike other decks, Crowley and Lady Harris rendered the fool as he clearly should be... not as a vagabond, but as a mysterious and awesome character. The essence of the Fool's number ZERO basically makes him the profound riddle of creation itself. In fact Crowley claimed the fool "is more than God." And DuChetter went further, "The Fool is the nothing e refer to when we say "Nothing created God. Nothing is beyond God. Nothing is greater than God." ZERO. The fool is perfectly empty, ready to receive enlightenment.

Crowley said it this way: "The aAtu of the Fool symbolises the beginning. The Fool is the negative issuing into manifestation, while the Universe IS that manifestation. All the cards that lie between exhibit the Great Work in its various stages."

So, to me, The Fool is the most powerful, awesome and delightful card in the entire deck. It contains a cornucopia of images, all sacred, and is one of the most magnificent cards to meditate on. In Crowley's fool, unlike the "primitive" RW versions, the FOOL bursts into existence on the very card, from the three depicted swirling rings, which Duchette called the three veils of negativity (in Qabalistic terms, the singulaity of creation). In Christianity, I'd call this the Holy Spirit, and you can see the Holy Grail in one hand. In Eqyptian correspondence, MAUT. Crowley described the card as "the glyph of the creative light"

This is one card that truly speaks to me when he turns up. In spiritual divinations, he would mean to me creative thought, spirituality (of the Chaotic sort -- in other words inventive spirituality), and transcening phycal -- enlightenment. In a physical (material) reading I might read it as eccentricity or unexpected turns (unexpected results), but I tend to take The Fool as a fairly positive card depending on where he falls.

I use my own spread style, I call the Three Pillar Tree of Life... so it depends which pillar The Fool falls on, how I might read. But that's a whole other subject.

Originality, sudden creative impulse, creativity, changes that are unexpected, there are many ways to read this magnificent favorite card. But I always feel happy when I see the Fool, the Gautama before enlightenment, the world before manifestation, the courageous creative idea.

Desciption... Very, very green, because clearly THE FOOL is spring, creative force bursting forth. Other correspondences from Crowley: "Parsifal" "Hoor-Pa-Kraat, the Egyptian lord of silence", In Crowley's deck he has horns, crazy eyes, grapes and ivy, making me think of Dionysus Zagreus, the horned son of Zeus.

An important symbol on the card, the SUN covers his genitals, and the moon is also visible over the head of the crocodile (who clearly respresents Sebek, the Egyptian Devourer. So, I've never read an essay on these portrayals. Here's my take. The sun, brilliant energy, often associated with male divinity and the essence of earthly life, here exploding from the genitals of the creating nothing. Very yin/ yang.

Kale Phe

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UnKnown1
post Jan 31 2007, 11:01 AM
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Greetings Mezu.

Yes I was thinking of the Fool when I changed my title to Resident Jester. I decided that if BYM was the Resident Curmudgeon <His Title> then I would be Resident Jester. Obviously because I think BYM is cool.

The Fool always makes me think of the hero. Like Heracles. He is off on a journey and foolish in many ways because of things he has yet to learn. In the journey these things jump out at the hero but because of his courage he overcomes these things. Through this process he is transformed.

If I get it as the first card in Crowley six card spread I look at it as a beginning. If I get it as the last card I look at it as a warning that something needs to change.

How would you interpret this card in the first middle and last card of Crowley 6 card spread?


Peace

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Mezu
post Jan 31 2007, 08:39 PM
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How would you interpret this card in the first middle and last card of Crowley 6 card spread?
Peace
[/quote]

Tashi dele Resident Jester

Hmmm... I'm sorry... must admit I'm not aware of the 6 card spread. I use a number of spreads. When I'm in a serious mood (and when I have time (weekends?) or I have a serious project to explore in my Work, I'll almost always use AC's Five Operations. Many hours, but quite empowering. I like it for serious work because as AC wrote, (paraphrasing, sorry): the Tarot is no game, but serious magick of the most impressive sort. At many stages of the five operations he instructs us to "abandon" the read if the tests don't verify against the intentions.

I have my own spread, I call the three pillars (based on the Tree of Life), but cross corresponded to Tibetan magick (I call the pillars Ghanta (feminine, after the Tibetan ritual bell, Yin pillar IOW), Samsara (for our physical world) and Vajra (for the right pillar, male, the action pillar). I use it when I have THREE CHOICES (left pillar passive, no change, no action, middle pillar, my probable option, right pillar my extreme option), then I read the trinities down (from the Crown to Malkuth)... well dogmatic and hard to explain quickly, but amazingly powerful.

I often work Astrologically with the tarot. I never work reversals of course, AC was totally against reverals and they have no place in his particular designs.

But I've got to admit I just can't think of AC's six spread (I guess I haven't run across it). Maybe if you give me the lowdown I can suggest how I'd read the middle and last cards. Sorry about that.

Thoo jaychay (Thankyou)

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Penny_Lane
post Apr 8 2007, 06:53 AM
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Even though I am a Simoniconist (and very partial to Taoism as well), I have found the Wiccan-oriented Robin Wood Tarot to be excellent for magickal workings. I am attracted to it, in part, because of its strong cross-cultural references and symbolism from many paths. The artwork is also second to none. Oddly enough, I have also used a humble, second-hand Rider-Waite deck to excellent effect in magick, despite the fact that I don't consider it especially attractive.

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extinctionspasm
post May 10 2007, 01:15 PM
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I would love to have a thoth deck that was just the line art, that you could colour in yourself like the BOTA deck. That would be for me the ultimate tarot deck!!!!

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cassiopeia
post May 21 2007, 11:11 AM
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I recently bought the Thoth tarot deck and I look forward to using it in magical workings.

I'd be grateful to hear about experiences any people have had using the deck for magickal workings, and how you went about it.


--------------------
"Be always drunken! Nothing else matters: that is the only way. If you would not feel the horrible burden of Time weighing on your shoulders and crushing you to the earth, be drunken continually. Drunken with what? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you will. But be drunken."
-Baudelaire

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Mezu
post Aug 26 2007, 05:09 PM
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QUOTE(Penny_Lane @ Apr 8 2007, 08:53 AM) *
Even though I am a Simoniconist (and very partial to Taoism as well), I have found the Wiccan-oriented Robin Wood Tarot to be excellent for magickal workings. I am attracted to it, in part, because of its strong cross-cultural references and symbolism from many paths. The artwork is also second to none. Oddly enough, I have also used a humble, second-hand Rider-Waite deck to excellent effect in magick, despite the fact that I don't consider it especially attractive.


Hi Penny,

I have worked well with the RWS as well. It was my first deck and is imbued with decades of use by millions of people (see my post on numbers of tarot decks sold)... I love my RWS and I've gone through various phases of "it's attractive" then "it's not attractive." Bottom line, after 3 decades plus of using, the Smith deck (I prefer to call it the Smith deck, or at least the Rider Waite Smith deck to give Pamela Smith due credit as the artist -- I think she's been hijaaked in history by Rider (a publisher) and Waite (a helper), when in fact it was her deck through and through). I have good results working with this deck because the mind can link with the universal archetypes. The correspondences (ie. Kabalistic, elemental, etc) are quite clear, too, where in other more fancifal decks they become cloudier. Thumbs up on the humble Smith (RWS) deck!

Best, Mezu

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Silversheep
post Sep 1 2007, 04:04 PM
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Greetings All Truth Seekers:

As far as Tarot ... remember it is a tool. Be it for spiritual development, divination. or magick get one that speaks to you.
Remember you may have a "love affair" with one in your youth and it may change as you grow along The Path.

Love & Light,
Silversheep (IMG:style_emoticons/default/book.gif)

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Mezu
post Sep 7 2007, 10:01 AM
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QUOTE(Silversheep @ Sep 1 2007, 06:04 PM) *
Greetings All Truth Seekers:

As far as Tarot ... remember it is a tool. Be it for spiritual development, divination. or magick get one that speaks to you.
Remember you may have a "love affair" with one in your youth and it may change as you grow along The Path.

Love & Light,
Silversheep (IMG:style_emoticons/default/book.gif)


I absolutely agree. I have (quick mental count) 112 decks, love them all for different reasons. One big caution, though, in Magickal work... there is definitely a different map of correspondences between decks, if you work ceremonial methods or visualizing. Thoth and R-W -- my two favorite decks coincidentally, and as different as can be -- map quite differently on some key points, most famously the major arcana trumps 8 and 11 (8 is Strength according to Waite/ Lust according to Crowley, for example ). How they align with, for example, the Kabala changes in fundamental ways. Both decks are equally effective and valuable, but they differ in practical applications. The user should be as aware as possible of the differences. Fortunately, the three mother cards (the cards which align magickally with Aleph, Mem and Shin (all Mother letters in the alphabet) they are still the same between most decks (albeit with different names: Fool (Aleph), Hanged Man (Mem) and Shin (Judgment or Aeon). This hardly matters if you don't work with correspondences, but it's a factor if you do. A few decks (neither Thoth nor R-W) also swap the elemental attributions of Fire and Air (fortunately relatively few decks, and only the more recent ones). So, to be a useful tool, it's important to really know your decks, not just love them. My two cents, anyway.

This post has been edited by Mezu: Sep 7 2007, 10:03 AM

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paxx
post Oct 23 2007, 04:24 PM
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I feel so intimidated jumping in here…then again that never stopped me before nor will it now.

I also love the Thoth, for magick/meditation/pathwork it is that and the Ancient Egyptian deck Clive Barrett.

For divination/reading I will go to the Smith deck colored by Mary Henderson Roberts at this time, or some variation there of (probably due to education).

I argue with the Thoth deck too much to use it all the time for path working, but I go back to it regularly. Let me rephrase.

I own probably 20+ decks. I use 3 or 4 regularly, the rest are novelty/ perspective getters. I might use them once or twice to grab me and then move on, or go back when I return to look again to that place. R-W for teaching, universal or Smith Roberts for readings, thoth / ancient Egyptian for personal meditation pathwork.

Issues with Thoth, a bit too heavy. I never thought I would ever articulate something like this…Wow!!! But I think there is too much in every card (speaking mainly of the trumps) but it is one of those things that speaks as total compliments to both the designer and artist, these cards are generic enough that at first glance they are powerful, but not striking.
Some of the images (death with me for example) will capture you at first glance, but most are sublime and busy enough to not.

It is then that you are trapped…you sit down to meditate on one aspect, and just as you are in a decent trance you notice something you never did before. Your meditation / path-work goes in a direction you did not intend.

It can be argued that this is good, or that I just need to become more familiar with the deck, both I can admit to. However, because of that I cannot use it as a standard go to deck.

The Ancient Egyptian, regardless of Barrett’s opinions, offers striking imagery, with a sacrifice to depth. Offering me more consistent and predictable results.

I would love to start a discussion on Crowley, as I do not per say agree that he was the biggest wealth of magickal knowledge, arguably even in his day. He was a pioneer though. I believe the Thoth Deck to be his greatest work that will survive a long time, even as the rest of his work become the stuff of foot notes and historical reference, (we are a long way from there).

As mentioned before Thoth deck has something that almost no other deck has, movement. This is accomplished by lines and/ or exaggerating size or adjusting perspective so it does not look quite right, and thus our mind tries to adjust it.

In the fool the exaggerated feet, and hands have him falling into us, the eyes not being quite correct in location and wide open forces us to look at it, I’ll move to another card cause that one can have years spent on it.

The Sun uses curved lines and items that are not exactly even to give it movement, even how it is colored adds to that. However everything is centered and proportional.

This can go on with most of the trumps, there is at least one moving object in each one, typically there is more if you really look.

So I guess I think of Thoth as a place to get lost into, other decks as places that are more fixed.

Anyway that is my take.

Paxx


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--Paxx

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