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The Occult Achievement of the 20th Century-The Thoth

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosanne
Interesting subject- so exit creepy music

“It is generally agreed that the biggest single influence in the modern expansion of ritual magic, and the occult explosion in general, in the Western world, was the Golden Dawn. This magical fraternity, founded by Freemasons at the end of the 19th century, developed a complex ritual system with ten degrees of initiation relating to the Cabalistic Sephiroth.” (Janet and Stewart Farrar)


~Rosanne
So now we just need to work out, from all that the GD did, what was the highest and most developed of their materials. Something as beautiful as it is functional, sufficiently different to source materials to be identifiable as belonging most surely to the GD, and a driving force behind the public and even commercial success of occult interest into modern times. The keystone that links together all of their occult synthesis would surely qualify as such. If only such a thing existed eh?

Oh! Wait!!!..... I just thought of something
Top   #41
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Professor X's enthusiasm for the Thoth deck really shows. I myself use it, study it and am inspired by it. Many statements here put things into a more down-to-earth and universal perspective of the deck, and rightly so.

Coming from an artist's point of view, I am wary of mythologizing the greatness of our forerunners. One of the biggest examples in Art history is Michelangelo, where much has been written in a romanticizing fashion, deifying the man into heights which we can't possibly reach ourselves. Its a great disservice to future artists who aren't interested in myth, but technique. I believe it was Issac Newton who said something like 'They may be giants, but we stand at their shoulders and can see farther.' An impartial scholarly approach without overstatements to both, Art and the occult is what will best serve our collective development.

Great a seer as he was, Crowley was very much a British Victorian man, of very “Osirian” sensibilities, already a kind of quaint dinosaur compared to our very progressive world. Who knows what the next millennium will bring?

I'm certain that in this Aeon, there will be many brilliant artists, who will find plateaus like Crowley's and Harris' Thoth deck, and use it as a starting point to paintings, and decks more appropriate to the spirit of the future age. That might be a genuine identifying mark of a great occult achievement in the 20th century, though it wouldn't exist without countless other achievements, such as the GD initiation.
Top   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grigori
Of course Crowley is at least partly responsible for the occult achievement of the 20th century in this case, since he was the one that blabbed the GD secrets, and in the process bought to public awareness the source documents the GD utilized which previously were inaccessible in English speaking countries at least.
I have to agree (as I choke and sob and throw a hissy fit)

Quote:
I wouldn't say the Thoth deck was swept in along with everything else, as if it was an accidental revelation however. The Thoth was specifically intended as a public work and public revelation, and was created a long time after the previous secrets had become public domain.
Was it? I thought Crowley did not want the deck published.

I often wonder what explanation was given to the punters when the exhibition was mounted of the paintings. As an exhibition, I am picking, people off the street would have gone to take a look. I gather Harris did not want Crowley there because of his public persona?


Quote:
Though given the evening I spent surrounded by the most vile, vulgar and offensive old Aeon bigotry I've experienced in my lifetime this week, expressed by people who should know better, I do wonder if that little ritual is working fast enough
Aye you are an honest man! Maybe the new guard will change this. There is my objection- if something was life changing how come that is not apparent to Joe Citizen? Social values are not all crap.

I do appreciate your comments
Quote:
That is really beautiful Chiska, I think you're right on that. And do think this is where Frieda should get all the credit, not just for her artwork, but also the deeper vision of the Tarot that she badgered Crowley into committing to paper and design.
~Rosanne
Top   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grigori
So now we just need to work out, from all that the GD did, what was the highest and most developed of their materials. Something as beautiful as it is functional, sufficiently different to source materials to be identifiable as belonging most surely to the GD, and a driving force behind the public and even commercial success of occult interest into modern times. The keystone that links together all of their occult synthesis would surely qualify as such. If only such a thing existed eh?

Oh! Wait!!!..... I just thought of something
The Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heiromagus
An impartial scholarly approach without overstatements to both, Art and the occult is what will best serve our collective development.
Top   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosanne
Was it? I thought Crowley did not want the deck published.
Not as far as I know. I think there is a fair degree of evidence surviving that he was looking forward to the lion's share of the proceeds from the publication of the book and deck, but this didn't occur in his lifetime. And there really aren't any secrets in the deck or book that he'd not published elsewhere, not that secrecy is a real concern as it was his decided mission (he felt with the endorsement of the spiritual powers of his new Aeon) to publish and share what had previously been occult. The Book of Thoth was just the first time they were so neatly put in one spot, organized by the framework of the tarot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosanne
I often wonder what explanation was given to the punters when the exhibition was mounted of the paintings. As an exhibition, I am picking, people off the street would have gone to take a look. I gather Harris did not want Crowley there because of his public persona?
I think that is true, Crowley was to keep a wide berth so as not to cause a scene for Frieda. But I would assume the only explanation was "this is a tarot deck, as yet unpublished". I'd love to see something of comments or response to early showing of the deck, with or without the context of knowing the full history of its creation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosanne
Aye you are an honest man! Maybe the new guard will change this. There is my objection- if something was life changing how come that is not apparent to Joe Citizen? Social values are not all crap.
Ah, but some social values are entirely crap and should be stamped out. And it is apparent to Joe Citizen, its talked about everyday, in every public forum. It's just not 100%, nor expected to be.

I think the scope of measurement needs to be different when measuring success in this context. There are still clearly vestiges of old Isis Aeon matriarchal societies in the world, they've not died out despite an extra couple of thousand years between then and now (if we follow the progression of the Aeon's model). The (things that I personally see as) Osirian garbage is still around, though less and less dominant all the time, thankfully. It's not really all that long since you and I would have been burned at the stake Rosanne, and if we were still at the height of Osiran society, we certainly would be. We've not gone from 0->100 in a moment, or even a few decades. And with older social ethics dying, their last vestiges of control get louder and more obnoxious.

If you'll forgive me assuming that the Aeon of Horus is a certain fact, for the sake of this argument (though I know you don't agree with that assumption). And also please forgive the following fecal analogy also

My life experience is that I see 70% of my society, expressing a 70% alignment with Horian (still not sure if that is a word) thought, 70% of the time. And I'd like to increase that percentage within myself, as the 30% of me that is still plagued by old fashion prejudices and values is not helpful to me anymore, and is actually damaging I think. My Thelemic studies, and the Thoth deck are very helpful in that regard.

This 70% theory though still leaves a whole bunch of stinky rotten Osirian horseshit to accidentally step in, and I expect horses will still be turding up the footpath for generations to come. It's just my fervent hope that there will be less and less of these horses, and they'll be on increasingly restricted diets so they'll be less able to produce droppings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hieromagus
Great a seer as he was, Crowley was very much a British Victorian man, of very “Osirian” sensibilities, already a kind of quaint dinosaur compared to our very progressive world. Who knows what the next millennium will bring?
This is very true. Crowley was a product of his time, and in many ways we've moved far beyond him as a person, and I think there are many people who are much more successful Thelemites than he was even. Perhaps we have the benefit of time and a supportive society that is more in tune with similar lines of thought, and to me that is the same as given the new Aeon objective reality as I see it all around me each day. Though the man's shortcomings (as a person, and as a Thelemite) are not apparent in his writings in class A, i.e. those intended to represent truths and not personal understandings and failures and in them I see things that are beautiful and that I can learn and grow from. So I still see a lot of value in them, though I often disagree with the man.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosanne
The Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot?
Maybe! I don't touch the deck anymore, and find a lot of others that are based on it absurd, but it was certainly a magical item for me once upon a time. Though if we're talking re-imaginings and developments of the GD tarot, I think the RWS does not compete with the Thoth. But if we're measuring my social acceptance, then maybe Arthur gets the prize.
Top   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grigori
Though the man's shortcomings (as a person, and as a Thelemite) are not apparent in his writings in class A, i.e. those intended to represent truths and not personal understandings and failures and in them I see things that are beautiful and that I can learn and grow from. So I still see a lot of value in them, though I often disagree with the man.
Yes, its very true that his faults as a man of his day never taint the purity of his class A material.

However, when his personality show through in other material, its a roller coaster that ranges from bigoted, to brilliant, to hilariously funny, to 'so wrong you can't help but like it' and then diving into the realm of “WTF?” But the ride usually ends with a real endearment for that poor soul, the flawed man. It makes him human, I guess.

I've just recently read his old and new comment on Liber AL online, and was really moved by this passage.

“But I suppressed certain impulses in myself. I abandoned my ambitions to be a diplomatist. I checked my ardour for Science. I trampled upon my prudence in financial matters. I mortified my fastidiousness about caste. I masked my shyness in bravado, and tried to kill it by ostentatious eccentricity. This last mistake came from sheer panic; but all the rest were quite deliberate sacrifices on the altar of my God Magick.”
Top   #46
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After reading all this I am going with the Thoth for the prize ... as an occult achievement.

Sure anyone may be able to 'read' any deck for divinatory puposes with no knowledge of that deck ... including the Thoth. But the whole point - for me - is that I see the divinatory uses of the Thoth as one of the LEAST important functions of this pictorial magical compendium (or occult achievement).

The most important usage CANNOT be achieved without a deeper understanding and study of the symbol system used - regardless of how good one is at making predictions from pictures laid out at random.
Top   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grigori
I'd love to see something of comments or response to early showing of the deck, with or without the context of knowing the full history of its creation.
I've always enjoyed this description from Frieda Harris in a letter to Crowley.

Quote:
I am having a funny time with the Show, very stuffy old ladies & very ancient men. But the children! I don't understand, they crowd in after school. I must have had at least 8 little boys today & they ask intelligent questions & go solemnly round & stare. I have amused myself with asking them which one they liked. Oh yes! they know at once & generally I find it is the picture which fits with the month in which they have been born. But one little boy aged 6, a little gnomelike person obstinately declared for the Aeon. I tried to move him but he clung to it--. What chord did it strike in him? Those clear eyes looked so gravely at me.
http://hermetic.com/crowley/crowley-harris.html

AW
Top   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grigori
If you'll forgive me assuming that the Aeon of Horus is a certain fact, for the sake of this argument (though I know you don't agree with that assumption).
Every Man and Every Woman is a Star. = Every Individual matters.
Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole Of The Law= Every Individual has the right to live, be free and pursue Happiness.
Love Is The Law, Love Under Will = Live your life as you see fit, but mind your own business and harm nobody.

I do not disagree with the Aeon of Horus, just that I don't think it is here or coming or that it is a certain fact. I think we will always be in in the Aeon of Osirus. Globally. We pay lip service to the Aeon of Horus. It is a dream of improbable likelihood.

Example of description of Aeon of Horus follows.
Quote:
Aeon of Horus, is portrayed as a time of self-realization as well as a growing interest in all things spiritual, and is considered to be dominated by the principle of the child. The Word of its Law is Thelema (will), which is complimented by Agape (love), and its formula is Abrahadabra. Individuality and finding the individual's True Will are the dominant aspects; its formula is that of growth, in consciousness and love, toward self-realization.
As far as I can see death dying and suffering and all the dogma and misguided- nay, downright lies of 2000 years are all I see around me.
OK some outstanding exceptions to the rule are there. I have no wonder that some wish to return to a matriarchal society- be that with rose coloured glasses on. I know we can but change ourselves and hope that that change is happening elsewhere and yes the Thoth can help. Your percentages of change are more optimistic than mine. Not a snide remark, but maybe that is because I am a woman.





Quote:
Though the man's shortcomings (as a person, and as a Thelemite) are not apparent in his writings in class A, i.e. those intended to represent truths and not personal understandings and failures and in them I see things that are beautiful and that I can learn and grow from. So I still see a lot of value in them, though I often disagree with the man.
This is quite important really. That is why I get all riled up with the Crowley is God. It would have gone down better for me as written by "anonymous"
I can't fight two fights at once in my sphere of influence- the Age of Osiris
and one of it's men.

~Rosanne
Top   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosanne
That is why I get all riled up with the Crowley is God. It would have gone down better for me as written by "anonymous"
I think perhaps the word "God" here is carrying an association that belongs to the previous Aeon, and so is not always read as meant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosanne
Every Man and Every Woman is a Star. = Every Individual matters.
I see this as "Every Man and Every Woman is a God".
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liber Oz
There is no God but man
As a God, we're a self determining being, with the right and ability to choose their own path. This is a very different thing to deifying a man, which is I think not something that is compatible with Thelemic belief, but is more like Osiric religions, where a man/god is the ideal for others to aspire towards.

I am very happy to say that Crowley is God, there is no conflict in that for me. He's not my God thank you very much, I have my own already, but a God never the less. To me he's a great teacher, as many of his struggles are my struggles, and he's battled them before in a way that is resonant with my own "Godhood".

So for me, the Thoth is the greatest occult achievement of any century, not just the 20th. Not because I think its necessarily objectively better by some criteria of measurement, but because it speaks to me more than any other work does. That's not an opinion that needs to be catholic in nature, but its true for me, and if someone wants to tell me I'm wrong, then I'll go all Liber Oz on their ass
Top   #50




 

 


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