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I use Thoth Tarot, and ...

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View Poll Results: I use Thoth Tarot ...
and I use it only because of Lady Frieda Harris's artwork. 11 27.50%
but I've only read one, if any, of Crowley's writings, and I don't plan to read more. 9 22.50%
I've read 2 or 3 of Crowley's writings, but I don't think I need to read more to use the deck. 7 17.50%
I've read many of Crowley's writings. I think it's necessary to read at least some to use the deck. 13 32.50%
I've read all of Crowley's writings. It's necessary to read all of his writings to use the deck. 0 0%
Voters: 40. You may not vote on this poll

 
Nevada's Avatar
Nevada  Nevada is offline
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I use Thoth Tarot, and ...


In an old thread that sprang to life again recently (see How to appreciate Crowley?), sapienza said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapienza
ETA- The reason I'm posting this question is that after reading through this thread, I'm starting to feel that it would be 'wrong' or 'looked down on' to just use this deck without becoming a Crowley devotee
And I said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevada
I suspect there are a lot of people on Aeclectic who use the Thoth deck but don't necessarily agree with Crowley, and who, even if they've read a smattering of his writings, don't consider themselves his advocates.

Might make an interesting poll, if one hasn't been done before.
So I searched for a poll, very briefly I confess, and didn't find one. I'm curious about this myself.

I could only use 100 characters per question, so what I really meant was whether one thinks it's necessary to read Crowley's writings, and how much of them, in order to get the best use out of the tarot deck.

Edited to add: It is in no way the purpose of this poll to cast judgement on anyone's use of the Thoth, with or without Crowley's writings. I'm just curious and hope to get a handle on the numbers of people who use the Thoth with Crowley's writings, and those who use it without. I also apologize for the limited list of choices and the fact that I didn't add "Other". It was late...

Nevada
Top   #1
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Thanks for starting this poll Nevada. I'm looking foward to seeing the results.
Top   #2
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Well I am predictable and voted for the first option been Lady Freida's Artwork.
I have absorbed many things here on this forum as well as read Crowley and other related stuff- so whether these have influenced me (well they must have) and thus they come to the fore when reading- is now a moot point. I can't chuck out what is in the mix. I also am fairly well versed in symbolic images- so that is in there too. Most likely the least in my brain is the Kaballah- but I have absorbed a lot of that also. The main thing is Harris and her brush.
Thanks for the poll Nevada ~Rosanne
Top   #3
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I would gladly take the first choice but me, instead of what is written, I would have put: "and I use it only because of Andrea Serio's artwork.

Yes, I've had a Thoth for a few years, I just think it's important for a serious tarot student to discover more about the three main decks/traditions and to own a deck of each and so I got a RWS (the Radiant), a Tarot de Marseille (Fournier) and the Thoth Tarot of course, I even got the Understanding Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot by DuQuette right after I got the Thoth. The thing is, I've never really connected with the Thoth Tarot and the art so the book and the deck were kind of taking dust. I've got to admit that the deck was put down in my throat by some persons who thought you're a complete idiot and fake if you do not fall in love with the deck and do think it's the most marvelous thing in the universe and well... More I'm told to do something, less I want to do it and more they wanted me to use the Thoth, less I wanted to have anything to do with the deck.

It was like this up until I bought my Liber T Tarot of Stars Eternal with Andrea Serio as the artist. This deck is so magnificent, it blows my mind. Where I was not getting anything from the Thoth, I'm mesmerized by the Liber T. I really do not care about Crowley, his Telema and Kabbalah (badly spelled I'm sure). But I've read since his Book of Thoth, Book T by the GD, Tarot decoded by Hazel, The Crowley Tarot by Akron-Hajo Banzhaf. Also there are a few good websites:

http://tryskelion.com/tryskelion/ (in The Arts section)

http://www.corax.com/tarot/index.html

http://www.angelpaths.com/tarotl.html

So no, I don't think you need to have read all the books from Crowley or know Kabbalah in order to use the deck. Crowley may find fortune-telling too common but I love it, people have being doing fortune-telling for milleniums, it's a very old and venerable ritual/tradition.
Top   #4
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I don't believe it's really necessary to read anything by Crowley to use the deck, the LWB has standard divinatory meanings. I pretty much agree with what Nevad said in the other thread:

"I've only read one of his books. I didn't like his writing style. I found it obtuse and cryptic, where it wasn't downright incoherent. Just my opinion. But I don't keep reading entire series of books if I don't care for the writing. Some of his ideas and passages of his writing were fine, some even poetic, so I'm not throwing it out as garbage. I'm just not reading any further. There are probably a million or so books out there I want to read. I know I can't read them all in my lifetime, so I don't waste my reading time on writing I don't get more from than I did from his."

I've read four Crolwey biographies, and I've read one of his own works all the way through, in addition to parts of others. I have found most of his writing to be little more than self-indulgent rambling.
Top   #5
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Well I'm glad that a few people saw the poll, since I posted it so late here, and Australia might have still been asleep or busy working, too.

My answer is the second one. I have read one of Crowley's books -- the long essay on the Book of Thoth, which I think a lot of people purchase as a companion for the deck when they start. But I found it just as I described in the post Abrac quoted above. I mainly use the deck for the artwork.

That said, I do appreciate the symbolism, and especially the astrological correspondences, which came from Crowley. To me, though, some others' interpretations of the deck -- such as Keywords for the Crowley Tarot by Hajo Banzhaf and Brigitte Theler, are of more practical value to me. Sorry, I just do not "get" Crowley's writing.

In addition, I find that although I started out with first Voyager and then Thoth, some 20 years ago, I now have a more generalized appreciation of tarot through other decks and writings, and I tend to follow that when working with any deck, though of course with nuances influenced by the particular deck in use.

The Thoth deck continues to be one of my all-time favorites, and we have 5 Thoth decks in the house, including an "icky green" and one with a missing card that I can't bear to throw away.

Nevada
Top   #6
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Well, I'm a sucker for the images!!! Yay!!! Pretty pictures!!!

Besides, the Thoth, the Marseille and RWS are "classics". I always wanted to have each of them. Try them, and find the one I connect. Result: RWS is the winner. But sometimes I feel drawn to use the other two.
Top   #7
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Although there is no required reading in tarot, I always read the book, little or large, that goes with any deck to try to get the full effect. (I guess that's MY required reading.)

I use the Thoth regularly, after I cut off the keywords/titles. I dutifully read the Book of Thoth--several times. Yes, it can be obtuse and difficult, and I admit DuQuette's and Banzhaf's books were necessary for me to get through it the first time, but that's because there's a lot of information in it.

(It is obtuse and difficult in a completely different way than Pictorial Key, which seems to be so on purpose!)

Otherwise, I'm not a big Crowley fan, or fan of magick in general. So, with the background provided by DuQuette, Banzhaf, and Snuffin, I feel like I am well enough informed by reading only Crowley's books related to tarot and symbolism--Book of Thoth, the little GD Tarot Divination book, and 777.
Top   #8
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I haven't picked any of the above, coz none apply to me. I'm just starting with the Thoth, and intend, at this stage, to read as much about it as I can get my hands on, whether it be Crowley, DuQette, Banzhaf or other. This is only because I want to have a certain grounding in the deck, and I by no means think that there's a right or a wrong way to go about it. Just for me, I'd think I was "copping out" if I threw out all the work that's been put into it and *just* read it intuitively. I think there's more to it than that.

\m/ Kat
Top   #9
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I'm so glad people are finding the poll and voting!


I have a dream ... that all Thoth users on Aeclectic will vote in this poll. But I understand it's not a perfect poll, for which I apologize, and I want to point out something I added in an edit to my first post in the thread -- that I in no way intend this poll to cast judgement, or be used to cast judgement, on anyone's methods, knowledge, or use of Thoth, with or without Crowley's writings. This is all about celebrating the differences and variety in our approaches to learning and reading with the Thoth Tarot.
Quote:
Originally Posted by missycab
Well, I'm a sucker for the images!!! Yay!!! Pretty pictures!!!

Besides, the Thoth, the Marseille and RWS are "classics". I always wanted to have each of them. Try them, and find the one I connect. Result: RWS is the winner. But sometimes I feel drawn to use the other two.
I love the artwork too, missycab, and I think the Thoth is one of the classics that gives one a well-rounded experience with tarot. I didn't know that when I started. It was my second deck, and I knew next to nothing about tarot at the time, but ... I loved the artwork.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rachelcat
I use the Thoth regularly, after I cut off the keywords/titles.

<snip>

So, with the background provided by DuQuette, Banzhaf, and Snuffin, I feel like I am well enough informed by reading only Crowley's books related to tarot and symbolism--Book of Thoth, the little GD Tarot Divination book, and 777.
The keywords are another sticking point for a lot of people. I just got the Haindl deck, which uses some similar keywords, as well as some very different ones, and I have to say I don't care for Crowley's keywords, but Haindl has given me a new grip on the usefulness of keywords. I like his (newer ones), and may begin applying them to all my tarot reading, with other decks as well.

You are more well-read than I am, at least with books on the Thoth, rachelcat! I plan to read DuQuette, but when I started out, back in the 80s, I got stuck on Gerd Ziegler's book, Tarot: Mirror of the Soul -- which I think put me "out there" compared to the more Crowley-oriented Thoth readers. Waaay different approaches, IMO!

Quote:
Originally Posted by thorhammer
I haven't picked any of the above, coz none apply to me. I'm just starting with the Thoth, and intend, at this stage, to read as much about it as I can get my hands on, whether it be Crowley, DuQette, Banzhaf or other. This is only because I want to have a certain grounding in the deck, and I by no means think that there's a right or a wrong way to go about it. Just for me, I'd think I was "copping out" if I threw out all the work that's been put into it and *just* read it intuitively. I think there's more to it than that.
You already know a lot more about the various approaches to learning this deck than I did when I started, Thorhammer.

Nevada
Top   #10




 


 


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