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Confused over not connecting with Thoth

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Originally Posted by Zephyros View Post
I find that many new, or budding, Thoth users seem to have the impression that it is a deck in which all must be done "by the book," and there is lacking that element of intuitive imagination that goes into mainstream readings of the RWS. While reading Tarot using esoteric attributions does demands knowledge of its symbolic language and structure, I myself find it a wholly abstract and creative process because there are no real rules that dictate how much weight is given each element. The structure affords a greater picture of a given card, a more interconnected symbolic vocabulary through which to look at an idea expressed but the process of linking them all together is far from sterile, you just need to keep in mind that many of the most important symbols pertaining to a card aren't on the card itself.
This is an awesome post, Zeph - thanks.

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Originally Posted by Tanga View Post
Thanks for book refs. Have found a 2nd hand Ziegler.
Oh my. If there is one Thoth book I hate more than anything but Arrien, this one is it... (Arrien has far more to do with Jung than with Thoth, and I find it profoundly unhelpful.)

The ones I found helpful were DuQuette - yes - Snuffin ad Banzhaf.
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Originally Posted by gregory View Post
Oh my. If there is one Thoth book I hate more than anything but Arrien, this one is it... (Arrien has far more to do with Jung than with Thoth, and I find it profoundly unhelpful.)

The ones I found helpful were DuQuette - yes - Snuffin ad Banzhaf.
What is it called?


**Ah yes...found it...**

***Will try out Ziegler 1st since I've ordered it***
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Originally Posted by NatKat View Post
Well said!
I will add that I often don't use Thoth for divination but prefer to use it for meditation.
It is a DEEP deck.
However I have gotten accurate divinations from it - especially the courts of this deck Crowley has "painted" very exact psychological portraits.
Part of connecting with Thoth deck (for me) was finding the right books to learn it.
Book of Thoth - straight from Crowley - most of it boggles my mind EXCEPT the descriptions of the Courts are totally awesome, spot-on, and understandable.
Tarot, Mirror of your soul (or something) by Gerd Ziegler. HANDS DOWN my fave Thoth book and really helped me connect with the deck. Also by same author Tarot Mirror of your Relationships.
This exactly reflects my own experiences when I started my Tarot journey with the Thoth nearly three decades ago. Ziegler's books really helped me connect with the deck. The BoT was of less practical importance (although I was stunned by its esoteric depth), but I found its descriptions of the Court Cards invaluable (Ziegler doesn't really treat them as personalities). Even though I may not subscribe to all of Ziegler's Osho inspired philosophy, I still like and recommend his Tarot books.

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Angeles Arrien's book. I don't like her interpretations ... but the book has other interesting information so I find it valuable.
An excellent but little known book loosely based on Arrien is P.C. Tarantino's Tarot for the New Aeon.

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Lon Milo DuQuette's new book about the Tarot ... what can you say ... his writing style is a pleasure and he makes the technical stuff painless to learn.
It's mostly paraphrasing the BoT, it doesn't offer much original material, but it's very useful as a guide to the BoT, whose complexity and opacity can sometimes be overwhelming - especially for a beginner.

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With these 4 books I feel I have very strong connection to that deck and appreciation for the power behind the artwork and the magic of its conception. It is not fluffy nonsense like some of these modern decks. It is real magical symbolism. What Gurdjieff might call Objective Art.

Good luck!
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Originally Posted by gregory View Post
...
Oh my. If there is one Thoth book I hate more than anything but Arrien ... Arrien has far more to do with Jung than with Thoth, and I find it profoundly unhelpful.)
.
LOL Yes ... I find Arrien's interpretations garbage ... BUT she has in back of the book these Archetipical bridges (I am not sure how exactly she calls them). They relate the Empress. for example to all the 3s. The Lovers to the Devil and all the 6s, etc.
Every time I went to give-away this book ... I read over that one part in back ... and kept it. Now its been 20+ years and I still use only that one part of the book };>
But chacun à son goût as they say.
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Originally Posted by Zephyros View Post
I find that many new, or budding, Thoth users seem to have the impression that it is a deck in which all must be done "by the book," and there is lacking that element of intuitive imagination that goes into mainstream readings of the RWS.
.
That is a disappointing remark for new comers to the Thoth (being one myself). Especially when trying hard to study the materials, which is hard enough before linking to more subjective imaginative interpretations
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Originally Posted by smw View Post
That is a disappointing remark for new comers to the Thoth (being one myself). Especially when trying hard to study the materials, which is hard enough before linking to more subjective imaginative interpretations
Why? The subjective part is the fun part that lets you input your own experience and intuition. Is it possible not to link the dry definitions of something like Binah to all kinds of creative things that are associated with the Empress? Knowing the definitions of the different parts is only the first step, after that comes linking it all together.

In any case, the comment was meant to contrast what many purely intuitive readers see as a wholly dry and intellectual method of reading.
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Originally Posted by Zephyros View Post
Why? The subjective part is the fun part that lets you input your own experience and intuition. Is it possible not to link the dry definitions of something like Binah to all kinds of creative things that are associated with the Empress? Knowing the definitions of the different parts is only the first step, after that comes linking it all together.

In any case, the comment was meant to contrast what many purely intuitive readers see as a wholly dry and intellectual method of reading.
I am not really following your trains of thought here Zephyros. I'm baffled by your reply on the impossibility of linking dry definitions and what not to my post. Or why you chose Thoth newcomers to make your contrast between purely intuitive and intellectual reading.
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Originally Posted by arbor vitae View Post
What am I missing with Thoth? It must be some sort of a connection issue? I mean - I am only a beginner regarding Thoth but trying to read up on it but it still doesn't make any sense to me. Must be something I'm doing wrong. Any tips to connect?

A.V.
I know there are 3 pages of replies already but I just felt the need to answer the initial basic question out of interests sake.

When I took up Thoth I had to forget everything I knew about tarot basically. Thoth has a different angle and was created from a personal development perspective. To me [at least] the RWS styled decks were created from a divination perspective. One is designed to assist introspection the other for making predictions.

I approached the deck as if I was a tarot newbie and learned it from scratch rather than relying on what I already knew of other decks. That approach helped me to key into this particular deck and it is now my favourite and I feel disconnected from the RWS decks.

What I discovered through using the Thoth is that the RWS imagery is very specific and tends to limit card interpretations merely because of the image on them. It's hard to see the six of pentacles as the process of success for example when it's depicting giving alms and beggars. The six of cups is my go-to card for a need to connect with the now moment. You'd be hard pressed to see that in the RWS image of the same card. So I like the greater flexibility that the image of the Thoth has it enables me to think intuitively about the cards instead of being confronted with one particular notion of it. Apart form the Thoth I now like marseille styled decks over RWS for the same reason.

And if anyone is looking for a free copy of Gerd Ziegler's book. Here it is online....

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Absynthe View Post
......To me [at least] the RWS styled decks were created from a divination perspective. One is designed to assist introspection the other for making predictions......
I agree with your opinion, at least as regards "RWS styled decks" in general. For the "original" RWS, it does not apply to the Major Arcana: In The Pictorial Key to the Tarot §3.3, Waite writes,
"It will be seen that, except where there is an irresistible suggestion conveyed by the surface meaning, that which is extracted from the Trumps Major by the divinatory art is at once artificial and arbitrary, as it seems to me, in the highest degree. But of one order are the mysteries of light and of another are those of fantasy. The allocation of a fortune-telling aspect to these cards is the story of a prolonged impertinence."
You certainly make a valid point. I just felt compelled to correct an all-too-common misunderstanding concerning the "original" Waite deck.
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Originally Posted by Richard View Post
I agree with your opinion, at least as regards "RWS styled decks" in general. For the "original" RWS, it does not apply to the Major Arcana: In The Pictorial Key to the Tarot §3.3, Waite writes,
"It will be seen that, except where there is an irresistible suggestion conveyed by the surface meaning, that which is extracted from the Trumps Major by the divinatory art is at once artificial and arbitrary, as it seems to me, in the highest degree. But of one order are the mysteries of light and of another are those of fantasy. The allocation of a fortune-telling aspect to these cards is the story of a prolonged impertinence."
You certainly make a valid point. I just felt compelled to correct an all-too-common misunderstanding concerning the "original" Waite deck.
Interesting. To be honest my very first deck was an original RWS and I just could not connect to it at all. I ended up working with RWS styled decks that featured less common imagery and then things clicked into place for me. Perhaps it's the christian mysticism aspect that puts me off. I never could connect to christianity as a concept either, and the original RWS imagery looks identical to an illustrated bible that I used to own as a child.
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