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Thoth Tarot Deck vs. The Magickal Tarot Deck

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Thoth Tarot Deck vs. The Magickal Tarot Deck


Hi All

What would be difference between the two decks apart from one is by Aleister Crowley and the other by Anthony Clark?

They seem to run under similar theme or foundation i.e. Astrology and Kabala, but then they seem different.

Thanks in advance.
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I have both decks. From an aesthetic standpoint, the Thoth is much more "painterly" in execution; the artwork is often fluid and sinuous. The Magickal's art is much more crisply geometric and hard-edged, more a graphic designer's vision. (On a side note, Anthony Clark's I Ching deck is painterly, so he was after a different effect here.) The symbolism on the Magickal cards is much easier to see and they have more descriptive text. Crowley created much of his own symbolism, drawing from the Golden Dawn tradition, while Clark seems to have built more directly on the GD model, with a nod to some of Crowley's innovations (Adjustment, Lust, Art, Aeon, Universe). This is most notable in the Minor Arcana titles, where Clark retained the "Lord of" terminology that Crowley and Harris dispensed with in the Thoth. Clark acknowledged the Thoth as a direct influence but also went outside it, into the work of Dr. John Dee and also the I Ching. Many of his iconic Major Arcana figures are quite static when compared to the dynamism of the Harris versions.

The Thoth has a better book behind it; although The Magickal Tarot by Tony Willis is quite good in it's own right, it's just not the incomparable Crowley masterpiece (which, of course, you would have to get separately from the deck - but it's a free download). The bottom line for me is, I regularly use the Thoth for reading; I infrequently use the Magickal for study and contemplation. I like both decks, but I find the Thoth much more evocative for practical use.
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As far as I can tell, the structure of the two decks is the same, but the Magickal uses the Golden Dawn's Hebrew letter attributions for Emperor and Star, while the Thoth reverses them. This may seem to be a trivial difference, but to some people it is important.
Top   #3
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Thank you Barleywine and LRichard for your replies to my question - very informative.
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Here's something you might find interesting. It attempts to cover all the important "magickal" decks - Thoth and Hermetic included - and is pretty good reading.

http://www.alchemywebsite.com/tarot/...t_course13.pdf
Top   #5
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Excellent info - thank you Barleywine.
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