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Concrete examples of what the courts can mean

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Myrrha's Avatar
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Concrete examples of what the courts can mean


Hello, I'm new to the Thoth and like many others struggling with the courts. It is intersting to read about ideas like "water of fire", and all these elemental intricacies but auuuughhhh it isn't really helping me read the cards. (Just trying to use RWS meanings hasn't worked well. It is hard for me to see the Thoth knights as RWS kings because they look so much more dynamic.)

Can anyone give examples of what they think the Thoth courts can mean in a reading? What are people doing when they act like the Thoth courts, or what kind of "moment" does the court card indicate?

For example, in an RWS based reading if I see the Page of Pentacles it could mean someone is making the first steps in preparation for a new endeavor or it could mean a studious, preparatory moment, or energy.

If someone tells me something that gives me insight into someone's emotional depths (or my own) that is the Page of Cups.

The Thoth courts are so intense looking but the meanings seem more abstract with all this talk of sub elements so it is hard to get them to mean something in a reading.

Any help would be appreciated!
--Myrrha
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The best thing for me was to learn a little about astrology signs. While the courts technically cover two signs each, just learning the dominant one made the the courts instantly accessable. The big advatage is that there are then heaps of books on the personalities of the star signs, that will supplement the lack of books on the personalities of the Thoth courts.

Also I am one of the people that likes to think that the RWS Kings are infact more similar to the Thoth Princes than the Thoth Knights. For me the Thoth Knights are the same as the RWS Knights (which are the same aas the Golden Dawn Kings. ) The star signs being the key thing for me.

This makes the Thoth Courts clearer than the RWS's to me because I tend to view them only as personalities, or approaches to an issue, rather than a situation or activity.
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similia and I have had a lot of discussions on the Thoth versus RWS courts. The most confusing elements are the kings versus the knights. I'd say as a whole...either deck..

- a guy on a horse... energy, excitement, prime movement etc within his suit
- a guy on a throne (even when pulled by horses/beings) ... containment and committment within the suit plus mastery

did we ever agree on tipareth versus chokma for the horses guys?
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Thank you both! It does help to look at guy with horse vs guy with throne. The fixed sign beasts on the Prince cards makes them seem like very solid expressions of each element also. Yes, I will get out my astrology book, maybe it will have some concrete examples of what these people actually do.

The only book I have right now is the Book of Thoth so no wonder it all seems quite abstract, maybe one of the other Thoth books would have been a better first choice.
--Myrrha
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You might also want to download Book T from

http://www.tarot.org.il/Library/English.html

if you don't already have it. The Thoth follows the GD courts, but exactly.

You can think of the courts like this...

Pages - seed material, messages, throne for the Aces (if you can figure that out)
guys on horses - mostly the mutable astrological signs
queens - mostly the cardinal signs
guys on thrones - mostly the fixed signs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wizzle
did we ever agree on tipareth versus chokma for the horses guys?
You mean for the RWS courts? I don't remember discussing it. I'd go with Chokmah for the RWS Knights, same as the Thoth Knights. Although as you know I'm all about the horses (and being rather a Knight myself, more so than a Prince, I like the Knights getting seniority )

There's lots of good Thoth books Myrrha. I think Duquette's is the place to start, and Banzahf's purple one is very useful also. The others I didn't really love so much.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myrrha
Hello, I'm new to the Thoth and like many others struggling with the courts. It is intersting to read about ideas like "water of fire", and all these elemental intricacies but auuuughhhh it isn't really helping me read the cards. (Just trying to use RWS meanings hasn't worked well. It is hard for me to see the Thoth knights as RWS kings because they look so much more dynamic.)

Can anyone give examples of what they think the Thoth courts can mean in a reading? What are people doing when they act like the Thoth courts, or what kind of "moment" does the court card indicate?

For example, in an RWS based reading if I see the Page of Pentacles it could mean someone is making the first steps in preparation for a new endeavor or it could mean a studious, preparatory moment, or energy.

If someone tells me something that gives me insight into someone's emotional depths (or my own) that is the Page of Cups.

The Thoth courts are so intense looking but the meanings seem more abstract with all this talk of sub elements so it is hard to get them to mean something in a reading.

Any help would be appreciated!
--Myrrha
Hi Myrrha, I'm afraid the more you read up on this subject, the more you are likely to fnd that you will have to decide for yourself exactly what the courts mean to you and then try and stick with it.

I have had my Thoth for years, and try as I may to follow the acepted wisdom on these things, I see the abundant energy of the Thoth Knights as very proactive and cardinal in nature. To attribute them as mutable seems fundamentally wrong to me. They even align, in my opinion, better to their major counterparts if we assign them to the cardinals (Fire to Emperor, water to chariot, swords to Justice, disks to the devil) expressing different forms of authority, power and leadership.To my mind this sits happily with the concept of them expressing the fiery part of their natures. I also believe (correct me if I'm wrong someone) that even Crowley felt he had to add a cancerian (cardinal) aspect to his Piscean Knight (see the crab rising from the cup), cos it required a bit more atrsological oomph than was provided for by its designated sign. I also see the mutable aspects of astrology to be much more in keeping with the female aspects of the Queen. Even if she was head honcho and superior to the knight, I feel that the adaptable influence is much more passive/feminine in nature. Of course, if you follow your own designations then you may also have to consider how you feel about the pips and their alignment too.

This is just my personal opinion, and the way my own relationship to the courts have developed. If you want to take into account qabalah etc then by fiddling with Crowley's intentions, you may find you are forever tinkering to get it to 'fit in' wth other sytems and beliefs. I like to read elemental and astrological associations, but if they leave you cold then take what you enjoy most from the cards and ignore the rest. You don't have to read Knights expressing energy as fire, Queens expressing energy as water etc, but it may help when you consider how the combination of elements alter or influence the energy of each particular court.

I think I am rambling now, sorry ...

Fury x
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Something else you might thing about in terms of the subelements is how they manifest. I'm not sure about the thoth book, the the Cicero GD book at least will say things like:

throned guy of wands - air of fire:
Energy like a fire fed by wind

guy-on-a-horse of cups - fire of water
Energy like a sudden rain or flash flood

It's a lot easier for me to think of people who act like flash floods, volcanos, calm lakes, etc.
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Thoth court


Here's how they are quickly captured in The Tarot Handbook by Angeles Arrien:

Swords = Mental Mastery
Knight = Mastery of Passionate Thinking and Intentionality
Queen = Mastery of Objective Thinking and Clarity
Prince = Mastery of Creative and Intuitive Thinking
Princess = Mastery of Practical Thinking

Cups = Emotional Mastery
Knight = Mastery of Emotional Loyalty and Commitment
Queen = Mastery of Emotional Integrity
Prince = Mastery of Emotional Desire
Princess = Mastery of Emotional Objectivity


Wands = Spiritual Mastery
Knight = Mastery of Vision and Vitality
Queen = Mastery of Self-Knowledge
Prince = Mastery of Inspired Creativity
Princess = Mastery of Spontaneous Expression and Liberation

Disks/Pentacles = Physical Mastery
Knight = Mastery of Abundance and Prosperity
Queen = Mastery of Diet and Nutrition
Prince = Mastery of Exercise and Builder of New Worlds
Princess = Mastery of Creativity and Birth of New Forms
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeTheAltarboy
throned guy of wands - air of fire:
Energy like a fire fed by wind

guy-on-a-horse of cups - fire of water
Energy like a sudden rain or flash flood

It's a lot easier for me to think of people who act like flash floods, volcanos, calm lakes, etc.
So in concrete terms it might be:
throned guy of wands: this is when your boss gets angry because something is late but what's really bugging him is something else so he just rages for a while but there really isn't much in it and it burns itself out quickly.

horse-guy of cups: passionate attraction to a person, or idea, that comes on quickly and sweeps away every obstacle. He suddenly decides he loves the look of English country houses and insists on redecorating the entire condo in spite of the facts that he's just spent $$$$ on an industrial Bauhaus look and tiny apartments don't make convincing English country houses.

Thank you all for answering. I'm looking over the list from Angeles Arrien (thanks Keigh!) and I'm going to write concrete examples of each one for my journal. Somehow that is the only way I can get a basic understanding of these people.
--Myrrha
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