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Thoth deck

To: alt.magick
From: (John Crow)
Subject: Re: Thoth deck
Date: 6 Feb 1995 14:21:08 -0800

Quoting: |Dv537@cleveland.freenet.e 

|Forgive my ignorance, but this is new to me.  I would like to
|hear more about the Thoth deck.

The Thoth deck is another variation on the Tarot, painted by Lady Frieda
Harris under the direction of Aleister Crowley. Not surprisingly, it is
laden with Qabalistic and Thelemic symbolism.

|Is it dangerous?

To an extent, any magical practice, including divination, carries some
danger. In the case of the Tarot, as with all divination, the major
dangers are self-deception and abdication of personal responsibility. On
the other hand, if you use the cards as meditation targets or as "doors"
for travelling in the spirit vision (to borrow the unusually picturesque
language of the GD), then that is another can of worms with a somewhat
more formidable set of pitfalls.

|How does it work?

In theory, the governing spirits manipulate your hand motions so as to
result in a card spread that will answer your question. (In this case,
the governing spirits are those of Mercury, and if you care for
Crowley's doctrines --- which is always a plus when working with his
deck  --- said spirits are themselves governed by the Great Angel of
the Tarot, who is Ra-Hoor-Khuit.) The spirits of Mercury are considered
to be highly reliable and to possess a wide scope of knowledge. However,
all this is of no avail if you do not formulate your question clearly or
if you slant your interpretation of the cards to fit your personal
biases. Because the latter is almost inevitable, several writers have
admonished against doing readings on subjects of personal concern.

|I would welcome any comments.

Okay, try this: like most occult matters, nine-tenths of the available
material is USDA Grade A horseshit. Always keep this in mind.

The best book out there, IMHO, is Crowley's _The Book of Thoth_, which
is convenient, since he wrote it specifically for the Thoth deck. (I'm
sure this comes as a shock.) However, it presumes a pretty thorough
knowledge of both the Qabala and Thelema. If you want to know whether
Uncle Bobby's cancer is going to go into remission, grab the Rider-Waite
deck and one of Eden Gray's paperbacks. If you want to pursue Magick in
general, there is no better deck than the Thoth Deck. That's another can
of worms again, though. Reading _The Golden Dawn_, if you haven't
already, is a start. Dion Fortune's _The Mystical Qabalah_ is probably
the best introduction to the Qabalistic symbolism upon which the Tarot
is based. Israel Regardie, of whose writing I am not overly fond,
nonetheless had a flair for writing entry-level books, of which _A
Garden of Pomegranates_ is probably the most pertinent, and which makes
a good companion to Dion Fortune's book. Recommended with some severe
reservations is _The New Magus_ by I-forget-his-name. The actual
attributions are completely bogus, but the author has an excellent grasp
of *how* magical symbolism works and a real talent for explaining it.

The serious study of the Tarot, like almost everything else involved in
the Royal Art, is inextricably linked to the labyrinthine complexities
of the Qabala, and to the other branches of the Art.

... And I've got 4,567 archived messages to prove it..
___ Blue Wave/QWK v2.11

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