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Thoth or Rider-Waite?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sybilant
I guess the reason why people recommend starting with WCS is that you can read a paragraph, or a page, and have a reasonable understanding of a given card... whereas with Thoth the "cost of entry" is a lot higher, unless you take a purely intuitive approach. The rewards might be greater too. In any case it's wonderful, wonderful, to have both these decks, and so many more, and so much thought and writing and discussion about them.
The Thoth deck can be read intuitively or it can be read with a view to understanding it from Crowley/Harris's viewpoint as creators of the deck. Likewise, the Rider deck can be read intuitively or it can be read with a veiw to understanding it from Waite/Smith's viewpoint as creators of the deck. Of the two decks, the Rider's pips - because they have scenic illustrations - are probably easier to read on an intuitive approach than the Thoth's pips. However, both of the two decks have a high "cost of entry" if the reader wishes to understand the respective deck from the creators' viewpoint.
Top   #21
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RWS or Thoth?

Well, Thoth obviously, this is the Thoth board! Doh!

But best not ask them over at the RWS board, they might think different.
Top   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaranRavenfrost
I have not delved deep into the Thoth Tarot yet, although I feel as if I have connected. But I constantly read on these forums to start out with a RWS based deck. I dont know what to do! Should I put my Thoth away till I learn the RWS deck, or what? Some of you have read my interpretations of what I think the cards mean, so you tell me. Do you think I am ready for the Thoth, or should I start with a Rider-Waite (or clone)?? I am seriously frustrated right now! I love my Thoth, but all these post say "Learn RWS first!" What is a 15 year old boy to do? LOL. Any feedback would be GREATLY appriciated(sp? Its 2 in the morning, what can I say?)
Why don't you use both?

At first glance it might be that there appears to be a vast difference between the decks, but often the difference is only cosmetic.

Waite hid a lot of his ideas, whereas Crowley was reasonably open about them, but both sets of ideas were born in the same place... The Golden Dawn.

Compare for example Crowley's and Waite's Five of Cups. They both symbolise the Qabalistic designation of Geburah in Yetzirah, although Crowley's depiction is overt and Waite less so. The Golden Dawn title for this card is the Lord of Disappointment, and where Crowley clearly states the title, it is only hinted at in Waite's figure. Look at the shape of the cups in both cards... their similarity is not a coincidence, and is worth researching. Crowley says the arrangement of his cups in an inverted pentagram symbolises "the triumph of matter over spirit", Waite conveys that same idea by the use of two upright cups.

Try comparing some of the other cards and what Waite and Crowley has to say about them. Both their main texts are online, so it won't cost anything.

These are not wildly varying decks. The things they have in common far outweigh the differences, and neither is easy to learn.

Good luck with your choice.


Vincent
Top   #23
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Please delete. Didn't realize this was an old thread.
Top   #24
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trust yourself


Quote:
Originally Posted by TaranRavenfrost
I love my Thoth, but all these post say "Learn RWS first!" What is a 15 year old boy to do?
Trust yourself. How's that for a start?

Tarot decks are doorways. Enter the doorway that beckons to you now.

You can learn the Thoth pips if the deck inspires you.

Choosing a deck (or being chosen by one), learning, exploring, shuffling and dreaming it: these, too, are some of the lessons Tarot offers us as gifts. These lessons have many other applications. Do you like this person better, or that one? Which one "should" you enter into a relationship with? With which one do you become a better person? With which do you become more yourself?

Not so different, hmmm?

Taran, I don't need my cards to know you'll do just fine.

best,
s.
Top   #25
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For what my opinions worth, I don't think it is necessary to learn RWS first.
My first deck was 1JJ, I had it a couple of months and didn't like it. So I got the Thoth and used that.
That was way back when I was about 18 (more than 20 years ago!). It's really the only deck I have ever used properly. It's images are imbedded so deep into my mind I can't read any other deck without 'converting' the card I see into it's Thoth counterpart.
And also any version but the 'green' one looks wrong!

So, get a Thoth, see how you like it.
You might take to it, you might not. You might be happy with it straight away or it might not happen for a while.

There are no hard and fast rules, do what ever is right for you.
Top   #26
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Personally, I use the RWS because it's like an old friend. I started with a clone called the Connolly Tarot... what a beautiful Major Arcana it has, but the minors were too soft (ie; the 7 of Wands should show an upcomming conflict.) Connolly writings still influence me, since i read pages as people, events and aspects of a seekers personality. No matter if I see a page as a young person or an event i see those cards as "bringers of the seeds of change." Crowley offers no pages in his deck. Perhaps the princess card replaces it in function as a bringer of change. If anyone wants to learn more about Crowley check here: http://www.the-equinox.org/ that site has many of his publications of the Equinox. When i read an RWS card I see a Crowly title on it and if I read from my beautiful Crowley/ Harris deck I'd picture an RWS image on the minors... I guess what i'm saying is that it's not an either or proposition. As others have said Waite and Crowley learned in the same GD framework.
Top   #27
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I recommend the Cosmic Tarot by Norbert losche, the artwork is smooth, the coloring is pleasing, and it incorporates symbolism from both the RW and the Thoth (see the 3 of swords peircing a rose instead of a heart but with the darkness of the Thoth, its a good blend.). Also, Losche uses the faces of actors and other famous people as a base for his characters, the features are so real that you may start seeing people you know and even yourself in the cards.
Top   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paradoxx
... Losche uses the faces of actors and other famous people as a base for his characters, the features are so real that you may start seeing people you know and even yourself in the cards.
now i personally would see that as decidedly detrimental. but then i guess it's just a matter of perspective, just like in your signature.
(that was a great episode, btw )
Top   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vincent
At first glance it might be that there appears to be a vast difference between the decks, but often the difference is only cosmetic.

Waite hid a lot of his ideas, whereas Crowley was reasonably open about them, but both sets of ideas were born in the same place... The Golden Dawn.
That's quite interesting actually. Both Crowley and Waite (Smith too) were members of the Golden Dawn. But Waite seems to have been the more guarded of the two, and that is reflected in his deck.

The minors in the Thoth deck follow the general Golden Dawn pattern (Sephiroth + Astrological), but Waite's don't for some reason. Maybe when he and Smith decided to use fully illustrated minor cards they had to make a concrete decision on how to interpret them. Essentially Waite's minors have already been interpreted once in their transformation from abstract symbol to pictorial scene.

The Thoth 2 & 3 of Wands are explosive and full of energy. This fits well with their astrological attribution of 2 of W = Mars in Aries and 3 of W = Sol in Aries. That's a lot of energy. But then I look at the respective RWS cards and I wonder where all the energy went!

The Thoth 9 of Wands has overtones of strong sexual energy (Wands + Yesod 9). But RWS shows a beaten up guy leaning on a stick. Why this apparent lack on energy?

The RWS 7 and 8 of Cups only seems to show a limited aspect of those two cards. The Thoth cards emphasise how rotten these cards really are or can be unless action is taken. Walking away ain't the answer!

The RWS 4 of Swords has an air of finality about it due to the inclusion of an apparently dead warrior. But the truce symbolised by this card is anything but final. It's an uneasy truce that could fail at any minute.

What does the 6 of Swords have to do with a journey over water? The only reason I can see for the RWS image is the astrological attribution of Mercury (travel) in Aquarius (water). But what does that have to do with the suit of Swords and the mind? The 6 of Swords represents the fluidic powers of the unbiased, scientific mind that can travel in any direction.

The Thoth 7 of Swords shows the mind being dominated and influenced by fluctuating and transient emotions. The only reason I can think for the RWS image is that maybe the guy stealing the swords didn't think first. But that's a very limited interpretation.

Why the scene of Victorian poverty on the RWS 5 of Disks? That's a very narrow interpretation in my opinion. The 5 of Disks means change and unstability in material matters but that doesn't have to mean poverty and material loss.
Top   #30




 


 


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