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negative aspects of the Thoth deck..

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Atcandela's Avatar
Atcandela  Atcandela is offline
Join Date: 12 Apr 2005
Location: Los Angeles, Ca
Posts: 163
negative aspects of the Thoth deck..

I just finished going through the LWB of my new Thoth deck.
And while reading and studying the cards I started to sense that
a majority of this deck weighed more on the darker/negative aspect
of the human psyche. Am I misunderstanding this somehow?

With some cards that are interpreted (from LWB) as being challenging,
I see other elements with these cards that aren't as negatory or dark.
This concerns me when it comes time to do a reading as what the card's
true meaning could be opposite of what energy I feel coming from it.

How should I address this especially coming from a practice on such decks
as the RW and Gilded Tarot?

Overall I love the imagery and energy of this deck, but vibing in a different
fashion from what the deck means..

Top   #1
Emily's Avatar
Emily  Emily is offline
Join Date: 14 Feb 2002
Location: England
Posts: 7,664

I had exactly the same thoughts when I moved from the RWS and various clone decks - I use the Liber T more than the Thoth at the moment but they are both very much the same style of deck and at first glance some of the cards of both decks can seem very negative.

Reading a Thoth is a little bit different from the RWS, visually and with interpretations. I find the Queens in the Thoth come first in the Court cards, and I struggled with the concept of a Knight/King. But it does come with practise, you just need to get to know the cards. You've only had the deck a few days, just use it and get to know it and you'll find that the deck is very even and not overly negative. Concentrate on the imagery, and the deck will open up.

Plus as good as I think the LWB is, it only contains a little bit of the information that is in the Book of Thoth but the LWB is a stepping stone, not necessarily to the BoT, there are quite a few good Thoth books around that are easier to read.
Top   #2
WolfyJames's Avatar
WolfyJames  WolfyJames is offline
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Join Date: 08 Sep 2003
Location: Québec, Canada
Posts: 3,927

I have to agree that Crowley tends to favor negative aspects of the cards while Waite is more optimist. The meanings are similar because they're both Golden Dawn decks but indeed with Waite being an optimist and Crowley a pessimist it affects both decks. In my case even though I've been using the Liber T as my main for a few years now, I still have in mind the RWS meanings in mind and I use them when I see my Liber T is being overly dramatic ("it's not the end of the world you know"). Still, there are times you need to be hit by a hammer to see certain things and then you're glad you picked the Thoth for that reading. I love my Liber T no matter what.
Top   #3
Aeon418's Avatar
Aeon418  Aeon418 is offline
Join Date: 30 Sep 2003
Location: Earth
Posts: 4,342

Originally Posted by WolfyJames
Crowley a pessimist
I'm baffled by this.
Top   #4
Maskelyne's Avatar
Maskelyne  Maskelyne is offline
Join Date: 18 Jan 2010
Location: Washington USA
Posts: 236

I think a little darkness in a deck is a good thing, as it warns you what you need to avoid or work against. A reading that tells you little beyond "Bob's your uncle" may give you a momentary lift, but understanding what the problems are is generally more useful. And in practice, I don't find the deck gives particularly gloomy readings. I think it does tend toward the dramatic, though, favorable or not.
Top   #5
Grigori's Avatar
Grigori  Grigori is offline
formerly similia
Join Date: 11 Dec 2004
Location: Aussie boy, born and bred
Posts: 7,658

I don't find the deck dark at all, though do think each card individually is more balanced than perhaps the RWS and its clones. The RWS seems to have a stronger idea of "this is a positive card, the 10 of Cups is happily ever after" as opposed to "this is a negative card, The Devil is always about something bad". By contrast the 10 of Cups in the Thoth is an exceptionally bountiful card, but there is a recognition that that bounty can have its costs also. The Devil however is a forceful and positive card, though of course that depends on what you're interpreting it in response to, sometimes it may not be favorable in certain readings (though I love getting it!).

I think the RWS has a greater number of "positive" cards and a smaller number of "negative" cards within its 78 members, to the point of unrealism. The Thoth however I find is more like "here are 78 cards, each has its good and bad points". This appeals to me a lot, and reinforces the lack of need for using reversals and other such things used in the RWS to provide more depth and variety to the interpretations. Certainly the RWS with a lot of reversals seems a much darker deck to me than the Thoth does.
Top   #6
Chiska's Avatar
Chiska  Chiska is offline
Embrace your inner squirrel.
Join Date: 27 May 2008
Location: Pacific Northwest USA
Posts: 11,573

I have only had my Thoth deck for a couple of months and I must say that I didn't find it dark or negative in any way. Actually, I found that it portrays a greater breadth of human emotion, feeling, psyche than any deck I have seen. It can take you to dizzying heights, then bring you back down to the deepest recesses of you darkest self.

So far, I am trying to work through this Fool's Journey and I am constantly amazed.

I am starting to think that it is possible that people may bring their own baggage (religious, cultural, pop culture) with them to the cards. Rather than approach it with the preconceived notions about Mr Crowley or perhaps even Abrahamic misgivings, maybe approaching it with an open mind would make a difference.

At this point in my studies, I am focusing primarily on my intuitive (aka "gut") feelings on the cards. I have duQuette's book as well as the Book of Thoth, but read on each card only after spending time meditating on the card.
Top   #7
Atcandela's Avatar
Atcandela  Atcandela is offline
Join Date: 12 Apr 2005
Location: Los Angeles, Ca
Posts: 163

I do have Duquette's Thoth book that I will start looking through
as an additional guide.
Hopefully with practice, I will attune with this deck and any apprehensions
I may have will be forgotten.

I suppose the timing for me to start practicing with the Thoth is a bit
overwhelming at the moment.
I'm just coming out of a minor illness, and finding as I'm regaining my energy that I've also become ultra sensitive around people and my environment.
My sensory perception is quite high and feeling like a over sensitive
open channel right now.
Funny how coming out of a illness your body and mind is dealing with the shadowy side of ones being.

Once I'm feeling grounded I'll do a reading with the Thoth.
I could only imagine if I was to do a reading now what would the deck see?
Top   #8
Chiska's Avatar
Chiska  Chiska is offline
Embrace your inner squirrel.
Join Date: 27 May 2008
Location: Pacific Northwest USA
Posts: 11,573

Originally Posted by Atcandela
Hopefully with practice, I will attune with this deck and any apprehensions I may have will be forgotten.
Perhaps, you could examine what your apprehensions are based in? What are you bringing to the table when you work with the deck?

See, I have strange apprehensions with the RWS deck - I find it oddly frightening. Why? It has alot of imagery from Christian/Catholic and I don't have a frame of reference for that. I find the imagery brutal, stark, and unforgiving. Everything seems to have a catch in that deck!

Well, that isn't such an issue anymore. I am aware of *why* I find it disturbing and I understand that my personal hang ups are going to color any readings.

I hope you feel better soon - good idea to allow yourself more time to heal.
Top   #9
sapienza's Avatar
sapienza  sapienza is offline
Join Date: 27 Oct 2001
Location: Australia
Posts: 3,680

I honestly find the RWS more negative than the Thoth. Using the 10 of Swords as an example, the 'Lord of Ruin', the RWS captures in an image ONE idea of what ruin may mean. When this card comes up in a reading with the RWS I always feel like I don't have a lot of room to move. Same with the three of swords. In the Thoth, while the card most definitely gives a strong feeling (or vibe) of ruin, it's not pinned down to any specific example. For me, this gives a lot more flexibility to consider what ruin means for me right now in this particular moment in time. Ruin isn't always a negative thing. But lying dead on the ground with ten swords in your back.....that feels about a negative as it gets to me.

The Thoth is an interesting journey. I really have a love/hate relationship with it. But for all the decks I have, and have used, this is the one I'd probably keep if I had to only have one.
Top   #10



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