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How to appreciate Crowley?

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Babylon_Jasmine  Babylon_Jasmine is offline
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I greatly admire Crowley's work. Not only the Book of Thoth but also Magick in Theory and Practice, Book 4, 777, The Book of Lies and most likely more I have not read. I deplore his philosophy, having read his journals and also the Book of the Law and some of his commentaries I can easily see he was a selfish, arrogant, and in some ways satanic man. I think the Satanism was due to his having been raised in a very Christian environment, in order to purge this he sometimes moved in the opposite direction. However, irregardless of his philosophy he was a brilliant man who was exposed to almost the entire stream of European Hermeticism as well as a good portion of Hindu and Buddhist philosophy and then synthesized and wrote about this in a way that makes sense to me. I know many people find Crowley's writings hard to understand, perhaps it is just my personal temperament but I find his writings to be by far the clearest magickal writings of his era. That is one reason I love the Book of Thoth deck, he has written a book that explains in great detail a wide variety of influences that went into the deck's creation as well as a spread that I have not seen represented in the list of spreads (unless it is listed as the "if you've got all day" spread) It does offer a great deal of information although I don't personally use it often as I am not confident enough in my astrological knowledge. I have read AE Waite's Pictoral guide to the tarot and found it impenetrable and dense, Whereas the Book of Thoth seems to me to be lucid and clear. Crowley was indeed a heroin addict, as well as a user of drugs for both shamanic and recreational purposes. He did many things that were absolutely disgusting and mistreated many people. However he was still a brilliant Magickal mind and has served to modernize the Hermetic stream of Magick in ways that nobody else accomplished.
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Rusty Neon  Rusty Neon is offline
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There are all sorts of other tarot decks, past and present, besides the Thoth deck. We don't necessarily know what their creators do in their spare time.
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Babylon_Jasmine  Babylon_Jasmine is offline
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Crowley was very public about what he did in his apare time though, as well as in his magickal work. And much of it is repellent. On the other hand he himself said that this was in some ways a good thing, so that people would focus on the message and not the messenger.
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Rusty Neon  Rusty Neon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Babylon_Jasmine
Crowley was very public about what he did in his apare time though, as well as in his magickal work. And much of it is repellent. On the other hand he himself said that this was in some ways a good thing, so that people would focus on the message and not the messenger.
What aspects did you find repellent?

I guess we should commission a background check into the creator of any deck on our wishlist.

As one person in this thread noted already, deck creators are like philosophers or authors (they're not necessarily someone we would invite to our barbeque or our wedding). We look at their ideas, especially ideas that challenge our preconceived notions.
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Babylon_Jasmine  Babylon_Jasmine is offline
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Well, the abbey at Thelema was pretty gross, animal sacrifice, feces used in sex, general filth. Also he tended to be extremely inconsiderate of those who were attracted to his genius, destroying both his scarlet women and those men who attempted to further him that he felt were not strong enough. The book of the Law offers a very merciless philosophy that I myself could never go along with. I don't think background checks for deck designers make any sense, Crowley however thrust his lifestyle and philosophy into everyone's faces, he wanted to be either embraced or rejected.
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Rusty Neon  Rusty Neon is offline
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Cool


Jasmine,

Based on that, I'm surprised you would enter this Thoth subforum.
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Grigori  Grigori is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty Neon
There are all sorts of other tarot decks, past and present, besides the Thoth deck. We don't necessarily know what their creators do in their spare time.
Come on guys. Baba-prague, Cirom, Major Tom, RetroKat. Time to fess up! Get your dirty secrets out here

This may be a little of topic, but I am now wondering about deck creators generally. My feeling is with a deck like the Thoth deck, that illustrates a particular view point on magick/philosophy/religion etc. the understanding of the creator is more important than (a random example) the Baroque Bohemian Cats' Tarot.

The Thoth deck is an illustrated work, on the world according to Crowley. And so he is important to understand the deck. This is also the case with many other decks I feel.

By contrast the Baroque Bohemian Cats' Tarot is about being fun and pretty, and doesn't come with a the same type of philosophy attached.

Of course just because you use the Thoth deck, doesn't mean you need to subscribe to Crowley's ideas. But you do need to understand them I feel.
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Everyone has a right to their opinion. We don't have to approve of Crowley the man to be interested in the Thoth deck. That's the whole point of many of the posts in this thread.
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Rusty Neon  Rusty Neon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by similia
Of course just because you use the Thoth deck, doesn't mean you need to subscribe to Crowley's ideas. But you do need to understand them I feel.
I agree that an understanding of Crowley's ideas is helpful to understanding the Thoth deck. But, alas, that view isn't universal among authors and among tarotists who take an intuitivist view to the cards and don't want any knowledge (of what Crowley and Harris may have really intended) to get in the way of their individual interpretation of the cards. On an individual note, I've come to the point of rarely answering people's questions on Thoth threads because the only answers that seem to be appreciated by the questioners are the purely intuitive answers culled from intuitive approach books to the Thoth deck and from general symbolism, even if they are completely in the face of what Crowley expressly intended to express.
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Babylon_Jasmine  Babylon_Jasmine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty Neon
Jasmine,

Based on that, I'm surprised you would enter this Thoth subforum.
As I said, I admire Crowley's work. I just disagree with his philosophy. As I have said he is one of the clearest magickal writers of his era and I use the Thoth deck quite often.
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