The Thoth Tarot deck is a unique and mysterious deck. Painted by Lady Frieda Harris in accordance to the instructions of the notorious occultist Aleister Crowley, this deck is one of the most intricate around. The Thoth deck is ripe with symbolism and contains an infinite level of depth.
Those who have read Crowley’s Book of Thoth may already know that he wrote the book to use with the deck. Those who have not read the book may gawk at the sheer density of occult information that the book provides.
The Thoth deck combines information and wisdom from a number of esoteric and occult traditions. The end result is an amalgamation of timeless wisdom that can provide endless insight into all manner of inquiries.
Origins of the Thoth Deck
Pinpointing the origins of this deck would be complicated and most likely require a review of esoteric wisdom reaching back thousands of years. However, one might say that the Thoth deck came through Crowley’s interest and membership in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.
Crowley only spent 4 years in the Golden Dawn, opting out in 1902. However, he was inspired to start an esoteric order of his own – Thelema.
The Hermetic Dawn, at the time, tasked members with creating their own Tarot deck. Doing this required initiates to compile information from a variety of esoteric traditions. In fact, the world’s most popular deck – the Rider-Waite deck – was created by another member of the Golden Dawn.
Unique Components of the Thoth Tarot Deck
There are many things that make the Thoth Tarot deck unique. Here are a few examples.
- The artist, Lady Harris, employed the concept of projective geometry as outlined by esotericist Rudolf Steiner. The subtleties of this geometry may be hard to identify. However, they provide a unique and attractive addition to the cards’ symbolism.
- Many of the cards have different names. For example, the court cards King, Queen, Knight, and Page, are now Knight, Queen, Prince, and Princess, respectively. Many of the Major Arcana cards also have new names; the Magician becomes the Magus, for example, and Strength becomes Lust.
- The Thoth Tarot deck includes information and symbolism from many different traditions. These include the hermetic Qabala, astrology, alchemy, numerology, science, mathematics philosophy, and Crowley’s own Book of the Law.
- Both Crowley and Lady Harris died before they could witness the deck’s publication.
- Crowley’s deck expands on the symbolism of every card in the deck. Entire books have been written explaining the complexities of the Thoth Deck. This allows for the development of multi-faceted and deep readings.
The Thoth Deck is one of the most important contributions to modern occultism, Tarot, and esotericism. This deck is a profound collaboration of nearly a dozen occult and esoteric traditions.
This deck is not to be taken lightly, and its symbolism spans millennia. If you are interested in using a deck with limitless potential, the Thoth Deck may be for you. In either case, the Thoth Deck is a fantastic opportunity for anyone to learn more about the esoteric.