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Differences between the Golden Dawn and Crowley on Tarot

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Differences between the Golden Dawn and Crowley on Tarot


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Originally Posted by Michael Sternbach View Post
Nevertheless, on an advanced level, I recommend looking into some of the deck's alternative versions as well, such as the Rosetta, the Tabula Mundi, and the Tarot of Ceremonial Magick. You may also want to study the Golden Dawn take on Tarot more in general. All this will expand your understanding of the Thoth.
I was wondering about the difference between the GD and Crowley on Tarot. I understand Crowley had been a GD member once in his early days, and later on went his own way, and created Thoth tarot with LFH.
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I always found it a bit challenging to piece together the original "Golden Dawn take" on the tarot. There is "Liber T," which Crowley appears to have published in toto (but not quite verbatim) as A Description of the Cards of the Tarot in 1912; although he was already tinkering with the "Knight/King" alignment, it approximates what Israel Regardie compiled in Volume Nine of his Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic. Then there is this brief treatise by S.L. Mathers: http://www.sacred-texts.com/tarot/mathers/mtar01.htm and also a few "unofficial" Golden Dawn papers by other members. "Liber Theta," which looks like Jim Eshelman's "adaptation" of Liber T, is available for free from the College of Thelema; I printed it out and keep it in my tarot reference binder. Paul Foster Case wrote extensively on tarot with a Golden Dawn slant in his Builders of the Adytum course material, and Gareth Knight wove GD-derived tarot symbolism into his qabalistic writing in Volume II ("On the Paths and the Tarot") of A Practical Guide to Qabalistic Symbolism. Another favorite of mine is "Kabbalistic Aphorisms" by James Sturzaker.

DuQuette's Tarot of Ceremonial Magic didn't appeal to me, nor did the Cicero's Golden Dawn Ritual Tarot; I don't have the Golden Dawn Temple Tarot (but I might at some point). The Anthony Clark/Tony Willis "Magical Tarot" is one I do like (especially the companion book). I use it along with the Thoth, the Liber T: Tarot of Stars Eternal, and Navigators of the Mystic SEA in multi-deck spreads. I'm eagerly awaiting the full-color version of Tabula Mundi, and also plan to pick up the Hermetic.

Its roots in the Golden Dawn system are certainly evident in the Thoth. The titles of the Minor Arcana are comparable, although Crowley's are more succinct. Also, some of the text of the GD court card descriptions was folded directly into the BoT, and - although nearly all of the Major Arcana material is unique to Crowley - some of the GD keywords from Liber T were relegated to the "General Characters of the Trumps As They Appear in Use" section of Appendix A. At least Crowley got rid of all the "radiant angelic hands!"

ETA: Of course, it goes without saying that the "300-pound gorilla" of differences is Thelema itself. For Crowley, the Book of the Law ushered in the New Aeon, the Aeon of Horus, in 1904, and the Book of Thoth and its deck are progeny of that epochal event.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foolMoon View Post
I was wondering about the difference between the GD and Crowley on Tarot. I understand Crowley had been a GD member once in his early days, and later on went his own way, and created Thoth tarot with LFH.
Do you mean the formal/structural differences between the GD and Thoth Tarot decks? I have written a concise summary of them which I can post if you wish.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barleywine View Post
......I don't have the Golden Dawn Temple Tarot (but I might at some point).......
It's a bit confusing, but all the Book T attributions of the horsemen and charioteers are interchanged in the Temple Tarot. Nick Farrell had his own reasons for doing this.

For example, in the GD Temple Tarot, the charioteers are called Kings, and are at the top of the Court pecking order. They are positioned at Sephirah 2 and have all the attributions of the Book T horsemen (Knights).

The GD Temple, horsemen are called Princes (not Knights), and they are below the Queens in the pecking order. They are positioned at Sephirah 6 and have all the attributions of the Book T charioteers (usually called Princes).
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
Do you mean the formal/structural differences between the GD and Thoth Tarot decks? I have written a concise summary of them which I can post if you wish.
Yes, if you are ok, please PM the summary to me. Thank you Richard.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barleywine View Post
I always found it a bit challenging to piece together the original "Golden Dawn take" on the tarot. There is "Liber T," which Crowley appears to have published in toto (but not quite verbatim) as A Description of the Cards of the Tarot in 1912; although he was already tinkering with the "Knight/King" alignment, it approximates what Israel Regardie compiled in Volume Nine of his Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic. Then there is this brief treatise by S.L. Mathers: http://www.sacred-texts.com/tarot/mathers/mtar01.htm and also a few "unofficial" Golden Dawn papers by other members. "Liber Theta," which looks like Jim Eshelman's "adaptation" of Liber T, is available for free from the College of Thelema; I printed it out and keep it in my tarot reference binder. Paul Foster Case wrote extensively on tarot with a Golden Dawn slant in his Builders of the Adytum course material, and Gareth Knight wove GD-derived tarot symbolism into his qabalistic writing in Volume II ("On the Paths and the Tarot") of A Practical Guide to Qabalistic Symbolism. Another favorite of mine is "Kabbalistic Aphorisms" by James Sturzaker.

DuQuette's Tarot of Ceremonial Magic didn't appeal to me, nor did the Cicero's Golden Dawn Ritual Tarot; I don't have the Golden Dawn Temple Tarot (but I might at some point). The Anthony Clark/Tony Willis "Magical Tarot" is one I do like (especially the companion book). I use it along with the Thoth, the Liber T: Tarot of Stars Eternal, and Navigators of the Mystic SEA in multi-deck spreads. I'm eagerly awaiting the full-color version of Tabula Mundi, and also plan to pick up the Hermetic.

Its roots in the Golden Dawn system are certainly evident in the Thoth. The titles of the Minor Arcana are comparable, although Crowley's are more succinct. Also, some of the text of the GD court card descriptions was folded directly into the BoT, and - although nearly all of the Major Arcana material is unique to Crowley - some of the GD keywords from Liber T were relegated to the "General Characters of the Trumps As They Appear in Use" section of Appendix A. At least Crowley got rid of all the "radiant angelic hands!"

ETA: Of course, it goes without saying that the "300-pound gorilla" of differences is Thelema itself. For Crowley, the Book of the Law ushered in the New Aeon, the Aeon of Horus, in 1904, and the Book of Thoth and its deck are progeny of that epochal event.
I do have Ciceros GD Magickal Tarot and Wangs The GD Tarot, but most of time I don't even realize that I do have them. Although their design of the deck seem carrying good spirits of the GD (in Wangs deck), and symbols (in Ceceros GD Magickal deck), they all seem lack artistic and philosophical depth of AC's Thoth deck, and seem not as popular as Thoth deck for divination purposes.

At one point in time, I was going to get DuQuettes TOCM deck, but never got around getting one till now as I don't think it will be used at all for divination purposes for the same reason as Ciceros deck, although it might be a good material for flash cards studying the Enchian sigils but these information are in the books, why would anyone pay bloated sum for a pack of cards to study the Enochian sigils?

But excellent points for the topics. Thank you BW.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
Do you mean the formal/structural differences between the GD and Thoth Tarot decks? I have written a concise summary of them which I can post if you wish.
Post them, here, please - I await my Golden Temple and this will be interesting...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
It's a bit confusing, but all the Book T attributions of the horsemen and charioteers are interchanged in the Temple Tarot. Nick Farrell had his own reasons for doing this.

For example, in the GD Temple Tarot, the charioteers are called Kings, and are at the top of the Court pecking order. They are positioned at Sephirah 2 and have all the attributions of the Book T horsemen (Knights).

The GD Temple, horsemen are called Princes (not Knights), and they are below the Queens in the pecking order. They are positioned at Sephirah 6 and have all the attributions of the Book T charioteers (usually called Princes).
I'm used to confusion on that score. In his 1912 publication, Crowley had the following footnote to the first court card entry, Knight of Wands."

"Note that the Kings are now called Knights and the Princes are now called Kings. This is unfortunate, and leads to confusion; the Princes may be called Emperors without harm." (Ha! easy for him to say.) "Remember that the horsed figures refer to the Yod of Tetragrammaton, the charioted figures to the Vau."

Then he changed the titles around again in the Book of Thoth. But he kept the Knights (Kings) on horseback due to their more active ("fiery") nature) and the Princes (Kings/Emperors) in chariots. It seems like Farrell replaced the Kings' thrones with chariots and kept horsed figures for the Princes. I will be interested to see his bases; they can't be any more imaginative than Crowley's.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregory View Post
Post them, here, please - I await my Golden Temple and this will be interesting...
The GD Temple Tarot is a bit atypical regarding the Court cards, but here are the main differences between the "standard" GD deck and the Thoth. The main formal/structural differences are:

1. The names of some of the cards are modified in the Thoth. For example,
Temperance is Art, Strength is Lust, Justice is Adjustment, and Judgement is Aeon.

2. The Golden Dawn numbering is Strength 8, Justice 11, whereas Thoth follows the traditional Marseille numbering: Adjustment (Justice) is 8 and Lust (Strength) 11. However, since Strength and Lust both have the Hebrew attribution Tet, and Justice/Adjustment are Lamed, the different numberings do not affect their positions on the Tree of Life (see below).

3. The Hebrew letter attributions for the Thoth and Golden Dawn are identical, with one infamous exception: In the Golden Dawn the Hebrew letter attributions of Emperor and Star are Heh and Tzaddi, respectively. Thoth interchanges them so that Star is Heh and Emperor is Tzaddi. Since the connecting paths on the Tree of Life are designated by Hebrew Letters, this means that the positions of Emperor and Star on the Tree of Life are interchanged in the Thoth.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foolMoon View Post
Yes, if you are ok, please PM the summary to me. Thank you Richard.
Since Gregory also wanted it, I decided to post it to the thread.
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