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Worried about learning the tarot [Thoth Tarot]

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Unhappy Worried about learning the tarot [Thoth Tarot]


Greetings everyone, I hope you're all doing alright. (:

So I've switched on to Thoth deck because I'm big fan of Crowley's work and I feel strong connection with the cards - much stronger than I've had with the Dark Grimoire few months ago to be honest. But there's been an issue with my progress, I'm into tarot for around two months and being broke student I can't afford some tarot classes and I have to deal with all sorts of books from local libraries (pretty limited) and what's available online , however I'm not a fan of going multiple sources at a time and I'm kinda falling in depression with my poor progress - so here's the issue...

Looking at some YouTube tarot readers I can't recall them mentioning the meanings of the cards that are usually written in some books and I also can't find the connection with what they're saying and the cards they've laid out - it feels like I'm too dependent on the books and their cheat-sheets with just some notes on what the cards might mean and it's killing me. I haven't memorized 50% of the cards meanings and it at this point seems impossible to do, so I'm asking this community to help me out a little with what my plan should look like. I do the readings daily and for few persons (mostly family) but I always have cheat-sheet on my side and very often I get limited readings or readings that just don't seem connected to the question that was given since for example I don't know how to interpret 'Lust' when the question is about business or financial situation or even worst when someone asks what other person's personality is or opinion - I do know some keywords of such card but it'd kinda feel like a nonsense to talk about e.g magickal power or energies when person asks for financial insight..

I hope this thread is clear on my question and I hope there will be kind souls to help a newcomer in the complex world of tarot.

All the best,
Astrophobos
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I'm just starting to tickle away at the Thoth system myself after a long time with the RW and my most useful resource has become the companion book that comes with the Rosetta tarot (fool's dog) app. If you can scrape a few quid/dollars/kuna together it's an extremely cheap way to get a great book
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarlet Woodland View Post
I'm just starting to tickle away at the Thoth system myself after a long time with the RW and my most useful resource has become the companion book that comes with the Rosetta tarot (fool's dog) app. If you can scrape a few quid/dollars/kuna together it's an extremely cheap way to get a great book
It doesn't cost much, I'll get it today and see how it goes.
Thanks for the reply. (:
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sounds like you need a plan


Rather than listing a bunch of books sounds like you need a course of action. This is what I would recommend as a way to begin to break it down into manageable chunks in a logical way.

Since you said you do not have all the cards "memorized" the first thing to do is to really imprint them into your conscious mind. Start with the Major Arcana. You could start at the Fool and do them in order but I would break these down into groups instead. For example, separate the Majors into groups of the three elemental cards (Fool for Air or Aethyr, Hanged Man for Water, Aeon for Fire) then the seven planetary Majors, then the twelve zodiacal sign Majors. (The app Scarlet mentioned has all this info in the book). Then starting with each group in that order (elemental group, planet group, sign group) start an exploratory session with each Major one by one. Take your time with each to really get to know it. Learn all you can about the element planet or sign, its mythologies and stories, its Hebrew letter and the associations and meanings therein, any alchemical references, etc. Just look at each card and see what symbols you find, and what they mean, to you and historically. Also look at what the path on the Tree of Life is. Don't be overwhelmed by that if you do not know it yet, use it as an opportunity to learn it just by focusing for the time being on the two sephiroth that the path connects.

So as you might realize, it will take some time to do all 22 Majors thoroughly. Take our time and enjoy the process. But once you do that, you are in a most excellent place, as from there the foundation is built and all that is installed in your "memory palace".

Then you are prepared to explore the Minors, for each of the cards 2-10 is a combination of two Majors - a sign Major and a planet Major. You can again break them down into groups, either by sign doing each of the three cards for each sign, one by one. Each sign has been broken into the three decans of the sign, each with a different planetary ruler. Thus each sign will have 3 minors and share a Major, but paired with a different planetary major.. By modality you do all the 2,3,4 combinations which are the cardinal signs that hold an of initiating in the zodiac, then the fixed signs 4,5,6 as the central pins of the zodiac, then the mutable signs 8,9,10 as the energy at its most refined point passing away towards change. And know that within each of those triplicities the energy also initiates, stabilizes, then passes away.

The Aces can be looked at as the elemental root or the seed, that flowers as the Princesses. The other courts each can be looked at in terms of the three minor cards associated with them, as well as a combination of their primary element and sign, and their place in the hierarchy. Energetically the Knights arise swiftly breeze in and do the deed, the Queens gestate the form of that force, and issue the Prince, who is a comination of the force and form of his parents. Who then is seeking the Princess, who is all but does not yet know it.

Book of Thoth you can get online free but eventually you really should spring for a hard copy. Well worth it as you will read it over and over for years and never fail to find new insights as you grow and change. You can also find Liber Theta online free which is also a very useful reference. I think getting DuQuette's Understanding the Thoth Tarot would be helpful too. Not so much for the info on the cards themselves which is scant but for the introductory chapters which will give you some basic info on the Thelemic aspects, the Tree of Life references, the color scales, the card backs, etc. Eventually you may want more of Crowley's works but I think that is a ways in the future.

just this should be enough of a plan to keep you busy for a while. It is a hugely rewarding journey, that may change you in ways you cannot see from here!
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There is nothing to add to Babalon's excellent advice, only one word: journal.

Start your Thoth journal now and write down every little insight. It doesn't have to be a paper journal, I get along fine with Evernote and pictures in addition to "real" journals.

Oh, and another thing: patience. Thoth is not something that you can crack by the sheer force of will. You have to grow into it. I bought my first Thoth some 20 years ago and feel far from knowledgeable. You need astrology, kabbalah, alchemy - and don't worry, it will all come. The Thoth will bring it to you. But you need to take time.

You can read with the deck before you know everything, that's what we all do. I had good readings with the Thoth before I knew anything about the kabbalah and knew basic astrology but nothing about the decans etc. The readings were great. This deck works on every level of expertise and draws you in more and more. It's an amzing experience.

Keep the deck by your side and get to know the pictures and glyphs and inner logic and symbols.

If you rely on Youtube, I'd recommend Polyphonic Tarot. And yes, Milo DuQuette's book or Snuffin.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemia View Post
If you rely on Youtube, I'd recommend Polyphonic Tarot. And yes, Milo DuQuette's book or Snuffin.
I definitely agree with this, tho a revised edition of DuQuette's book is coming this September so you nay want to hold out for that. Polyphonic Tarot is an eminently useful resource tho it seems like he is never going to finish the minors and some courts since it's been so long since his last update. You should also check out the YT channels of DavidH071 and Paul Hughes Barlow, they are 100% amazing.

I also have Banzhaf's The Crowley Tarot: Handbook to the Cards and I truly recommend it. I liked it so much that I also ordered his other book, Keywords to the Crowley Tarot, and it's on its way here. If the former was like a magisterial, epic reference book, this one is a quick resource you can quickly turn to if a reading leaves you at a loss.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Babalon Jones View Post
Book of Thoth you can get online free but eventually you really should spring for a hard copy. Well worth it as you will read it over and over for years and never fail to find new insights as you grow and change. You can also find Liber Theta online free which is also a very useful reference. I think getting DuQuette's Understanding the Thoth Tarot would be helpful too. Not so much for the info on the cards themselves which is scant but for the introductory chapters which will give you some basic info on the Thelemic aspects, the Tree of Life references, the color scales, the card backs, etc. Eventually you may want more of Crowley's works but I think that is a ways in the future.
I would add Robert Wang's lucid Qabalistic Tarot to the list. One of its best features is that it has comparative analyses of the Thoth, RWS, Marseille and Golden Dawn (Wang/Regardie version) cards.
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Lon Milo DuQuette's book, Understanding Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot has already been mentioned here, and I heartily recommend it. In terms of providing an introduction to the deck it is truly unparalleled and gives you not only the card meanings but mostly the background information you need to deal with them on your own. It is also structured much like a textbook, taking you from the simple to the complex in a gradual manner. DuQuette is a wonderful teacher, and reading him I always felt that he anticipated exactly the questions that I, as a beginner, would ask.

But, be warned that it isn't really a book that you read and then put away. As I said, it's a textbook, and I studied it the old-fashioned way, from the beginning to the end with a notebook summarizing things and writing notes to myself. By the time I got the chapters about the cards themselves I already had enough knowledge to see where Crowley was coming from (in general terms) and why things were as they were.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrophobos View Post
for example I don't know how to interpret 'Lust' when the question is about business or financial situation or even worst when someone asks what other person's personality is or opinion - I do know some keywords of such card but it'd kinda feel like a nonsense to talk about e.g magickal power or energies when person asks for financial insight..

I hope this thread is clear on my question and I hope there will be kind souls to help a newcomer in the complex world of tarot.

All the best,
Astrophobos

If you are into symbolism, magikal connections and esoteric studies with Thoth deck, then Crowley's Book of Thoth, Duquette's Understanding Crowley's Thoth Tarot, these are good.

But if you want to use Thoth deck for mundane purposes such as reading for predictions, relationships and business / financial / work matters, then those books won't tell you much about that. For these usage, Hajo Banzahf and Snuffin's books are great.

Your examples of financial, business or relationship questions, and if Lust card comes out - then you could connect the card to Astrology, and look for the descriptions of "Leo", and see what position in the spread it is sitting, and what are the cards next to each other and so on.

For Astrological connections to Thoth Deck, Sekler's Thoth Book is excellent, but Hajo Banzahf, Snuffins, they have some information in that regard albeit not as rich as Sekler's book.
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