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Owl Tarot 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by closrapexa View Post
I always find it odd that people see the Thoth as heavily pushing an agenda, with other decks like the RWS as seeming more neutral, when exactly the opposite is true. The RWS very much propounds Waite's ideas, so much so that modern card meanings derived from the PKT seem to parrot his views on life and morality.

The Thoth does not push its agenda more than any other deck. What it does is speak in a very specific symbolic language which it is useful to understand when working with it. That language is designed to be abstract so that anyone learning it would be able to take it in whatever direction it takes them, from an empowered and informed perspective. That's where "do what thou wilt" comes in, not do what you want, which is what boiling things down generally amounts to.
Kinda like what I said in different words! Everyone could potentially get something out of interacting with the Thoth deck no matter what you may believe (or don't) believe in.

Edit for added content: And the more you read about it's symbols and it's philosophy the more you get for whatever you like to believe in (religiously I mean). I find we are in agreement anyway, since we are saying the same thing more or less. If this posts is directed to mine, please reapproach what I'm saying and you'll see that we aren't saying different things, not am I in disagreement with anyone else on this topic. I'm merely pointing out what I think is interesting, not condeming anything. Overall, I like your post and your approach to "do what thou wilt". It's important not to confuse it with do what you want since the context is different.
Also, I merely said you can go with any belief system as long as you enter the process of learning about the Thoth tarot, which further unites our answers. A little bit of humor: Contradiction exists below the abyss!

Last edited by Owl Tarot; 21-10-2014 at 07:23.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by closrapexa View Post
I always find it odd that people see the Thoth as heavily pushing an agenda, with other decks like the RWS as seeming more neutral, when exactly the opposite is true. The RWS very much propounds Waite's ideas, so much so that modern card meanings derived from the PKT seem to parrot his views on life and morality.

.
Yeah ... true ... but people ignore Waite's attempts at it as he is so obfuscating .

They read 'Do what thou wilt' and apply that to meaning one does not have to follow strict guidelines in invoking angels or spirits and using the correct (oftentimes secret) names and following the correct procedures (even though Crowley clearly outlines those procedures in Liber O and warns what can happen if you dont follow them).

But who is going to attempt such a simple 'translation' from a passage like this ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waite
The godless and incorrigible scepticism of a coarse, unsubdued intelligence, surrendered to a reprobate sense, and basely and wilfully grovelling in the blind alleys of natural causes, begs leave to believe that this is because extremes meet, that the heights of the inexpressible are closely approximate to the abysmal depths of bathos. But the unsubdued intelligence is known to have covered the shame of its naked ignorance with the "filthy rags" of a posteriori methods. Anathema maranatha ... I am inclined to consider that this darkness does cover a real and, possibly, a recoverable knowledge. But it is not of our making and in our age, which has nothing to fear from the rack or the faggot, and but little from the milder agonies of eternal Coventry, it is no longer worth preserving. Nihil est opertum quod non revelabitur, et occultum quod non scietur.



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Owl Tarot 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenest View Post
Yeah ... true ... but people ignore Waite's attempts at it as he is so obfuscating .

They read 'Do what thou wilt' and apply that to meaning one does not have to follow strict guidelines in invoking angels or spirits and using the correct (oftentimes secret) names and following the correct procedures (even though Crowley clearly outlines those procedures in Liber O and warns what can happen if you dont follow them).

But who is going to attempt such a simple 'translation' from a passage like this ?
Well, I too think that Waite chose a pretty different road than Crowley, creating a deck of conventional symbolism common in his day, not too far from the Tarot of Marseilles (regardless how popular it turned out to be and all the good uses it may have) and hiding the symbolism described in Book T which was given to the G.D. members like any good secret society member, while Crowley exposed that knowledge in his own deck and the OOTK spread.
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Lil Red 
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Thank you everyone for the responds. I see that there is a lot of approaches to the Thoth tarot and seeing the holistic view I see what I'm doing. I'm only focusing in one part instead of the whole thing.

This deck sure is meaty and I do plan in meditating each card, but right now I want to focus more on the western occult traditions as well the meaning of each symbol.

I also noticed that I may have to buy another 3-ringed binder to put my notes and categorized them.



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Michael Sternbach 
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I don't see Thoth - or, for that matter, any other deck I am familiar with - as 'religious.' Nor do I like to think of Thelema as a religion, at least not in the common sense. (Not that I would consider myself a 'Thelemite'...) Knowledge, not faith, that's what Crowley upheld. Organized religion is exoteric; esoteric philosophy is the secret heart of any valid religious system. It's more of an experimental and scientific method, however, one that includes the metaphysical realm. I'm sure that AC would be the first to agree.

My approach to the Thoth cards is to try to let them teach me themselves how they want to be understood - while I'm also feeding my unconscious with all the interpretations that I can find. Sometimes I agree, sometimes I don't or I leave it open. Certainly, the BoT is essential reading. But neither this nor any other book will tell you the whole story, and AC himself advises us not to look at it as the final word. I.e. Crowley's treatment of some of the cards, especially some court cards, seems a little unbalanced on the negative, likely due to his pessimism and sense of humour. Other authors (like Ziegler) have presented alternative perspectives which some Crowley fundamentalists are not happy with, yet I often find them quite psychologically and spiritually insightful, too. (I have yet to hear a RWS representative say that any commentators must closely adhere to Waite's writings...)

Last edited by Michael Sternbach; 21-10-2014 at 08:50.
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Owl Tarot 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Sternbach View Post
My approach to the Thoth cards is to try to let them teach me themselves how they want to be understood - while I'm also feeding my unconscious with all the interpretations that I can find. Sometimes I agree, sometimes I don't or I leave it open. Certainly, the BoT is essential reading. But neither this nor any other book will tell you the whole story, and AC himself advises us not to look at it as the final word. I.e. Crowley's treatment of some of the cards, especially some court cards, seems a little unbalanced on the negative, likely due to his pessimism and sense of humour. Other authors (like Ziegler) have presented alternative perspectives which some Crowley fundamentalists are not happy with, yet I often find them quite psychologically and spiritually insightful, too.
Nice approach in my opinion, as I believe is any approach which works for you, me or any other traveler of his/her personal depths of the deck. Finding what meanings you can relate to and how they evolve along with you, me or any other user of the deck is a great process in my personal opinion and a thing which makes this deck wonderful and what drew me personally to using and learning more about it, the fact that it can go into abstact thinking which is not the same for everyone. I have not read Ziegler but I would like to. May you tell me which is the book you are talking about?
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Michael Sternbach 
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The two that got translated from German to English are:

Tarot - Mirror of the Soul
Tarot - Mirror of Your Relationships

I recommend both of them. (Amazon has them.)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil Red View Post
Thank you everyone for the responds. I see that there is a lot of approaches to the Thoth tarot and seeing the holistic view I see what I'm doing. I'm only focusing in one part instead of the whole thing.

This deck sure is meaty and I do plan in meditating each card, but right now I want to focus more on the western occult traditions as well the meaning of each symbol.

I also noticed that I may have to buy another 3-ringed binder to put my notes and categorized them.
I think that is a good approach. We can see above, for example, in the courts in regard to their 'personality' and 'divinatory' meaning, how Crowley has put his personal take on it. We all do that, to an extent. And different decks puts different 'takes' on these aspects; even different authors writing on the same deck. In one case, a person was sooo much like the description of 'their card' it was so accurate that people (in our group) would call it the 'Brian card' . But the description it fitted so accurately to was in the James Wanless Thoth book , not The Book of Thoth.

The point is, that is just one aspect, another, as pointed out above , is the relationship to the I Ching. There are many more ... and IMO all related subjects of the western occult tradition. So the more one studies and understands those various subjects, the more things one can draw an overall meaning from and any thing or relationship that may modify that meaning.

I think it applies to the minors as well. There is the 'divinatory' meaning and other meanings that relate to Kabbalah, Astrology (signs, planets, decans) and other things.

Also, studying and using the Tarot helps one to study and learn about the western tradition, they can go hand in hand. At first it seems a bit of a broad subject but after a while all the little bits start coming together principles in one subject apply to others ... one starts to see the 'web' or underlying structure a lot clearer.



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Zephyros 
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And there truly is nothing quite like the Book of Thoth. I keep recommending it even to people who have no interest in Tarot, it's that good (although no one has as yet taken my advice about it). It is a complete treatise on Western esoteric Tarot and goes far beyond anything like being just another guide book for a deck, or pushing Thelema.

It may go without saying that no other book can hold a candle to the original, but it goes even further than that. Even DuQuette, everyone's favorite Thoth author, can take you only so far, and it isn't even that far. Once you have a general idea about the deck's ideas and structure, one can safely and easily discard those beginners' books. It comes to a point where they all seem trite and even childish, compared to the BoT.



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Owl Tarot 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by closrapexa View Post
And there truly is nothing quite like the Book of Thoth. I keep recommending it even to people who have no interest in Tarot, it's that good (although no one has as yet taken my advice about it). It is a complete treatise on Western esoteric Tarot and goes far beyond anything like being just another guide book for a deck, or pushing Thelema.

It may go without saying that no other book can hold a candle to the original, but it goes even further than that. Even DuQuette, everyone's favorite Thoth author, can take you only so far, and it isn't even that far. Once you have a general idea about the deck's ideas and structure, one can safely and easily discard those beginners' books. It comes to a point where they all seem trite and even childish, compared to the BoT.
Agreed there. It is worth all the effort you can put into it, and the effort will reward you for what you think is right every time. Reading the BoT that goes hand to hand with the deck more then once is a great idea since Crowley insisted for it to be read before using the deck and for a good reason, I believe. I personally find that every time I read it I learn something new from it, and just like I grow it grows from and with my broader perspective.

Meditating on the cards themselves can aid you a lot, as I and others mentioned before, since it's a great way to see what the cards are for you.
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