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Advice on a suitable book for Tree of Life?


Of late I have been wanting to progress deeper into the Thoth. For this I realise that understanding the Tree of Life with relation to Thoth deck would be the most elemental thing. With some help from friends I have managed to shortlist books for this.

Regardie's A Garden of Pomegranates v/s Snuffin's The Thoth Companion: The Key to the True Symbolic Meaning of the Thoth Tarot

Could you guide me which book I should order considering that I do have DuQuette's book in my personal library?
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Robert Wang's Qabalistic Tarot

(But if your choice is only between the two you mention, Snuffin is probably easier going since Regardie I've found to be dense at times).
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barleywine View Post
Robert Wang's Qabalistic Tarot

(But if your choice is only between the two you mention, Snuffin is probably easier going since Regardie I've found to be dense at times).
Wang's book is great, BUT as you are seeking to understand Qabalah in relation to Thoth be aware that he does not agree with Crowley's Emperor/Star path switch and while he mentions it he glosses it over and insists on using the old attributions all over the place, which will get either confusing or annoying if you are specifically interested in Thoth. Which makes it not the best Thoth specific resource, though otherwise a very good book in general.

i agree with Barleywine about the other two books. Regardie's book is more specific to the Tree of Life but his writing is not very engaging. Snuffin's book is easier to read but while it does mention the Tree of Life influences it is more focused on specific symbols in the deck.

One way to approach this is to just learn the Tree of Life stuff first and then apply what you have learned to the Thoth. You mentioned you have Duquette's book so I am guessing you mean his "Understanding the Thoth" book. You could also get his "Chicken Qabalah" which is a great beginning resource (and funny to boot) and then get Dion Fortune's Mystical Qabalah.
Then after that and you have the basics down and want a Thoth specific book get Phyllis Seckler's two books. The hardcovers are pricey and maybe OOP but I heard paperback versions are just released or soon-to-be.
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I was going to mention Dion Fortune, but since there's no tarot-specific content in it that I recall, I decided not to. If we're going to open it up to broader qabalistic content, there are a couple of others from back in the day when I was learning: William Gray's Ladder of Lights and Gareth Knight's Practical Guide to Qabalistic Symbolism (which also covers the Major Arcana) come to mind, along with Paul Foster Case's The Tarot: A Key to the Wisdom of the Ages. None of these adopt Crowley's revisions, but that doesn't diminish their value as learning tools. I think I would stay away from later works by Gray and Knight, though, since I found them to wander off into personal idiosyncrasies.

ETA: Of course there is also Regardie's book titled simply "The Tree of Life," but in revisiting it (it's been a very long time since I read it) it's more about the practice of magic than the Tree of Life.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barleywine View Post
Robert Wang's Qabalistic Tarot

(But if your choice is only between the two you mention, Snuffin is probably easier going since Regardie I've found to be dense at times).
I am open to other titles as long as they are more about the Tree of Life wrt Thoth

Thanks for the pointer about Qabalistic Tarot. I checked it out on Amazon. Its priced almost 4 times that of Snuffin's book. Out of my budget therefore despite the wow reviews
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barleywine View Post
Gareth Knight's Practical Guide to Qabalistic Symbolism (which also covers the Major Arcana) come to mind,
Was going to recommend that myself. I pity the foo' that got stuck with an impractical guide to Qabalistic symbolism.
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There are free downloadable PDF copy of Qabbalistic Tarot on internet.

I think Tree of Life and Thoth Tarot are separate entity, and one has to make conscious connection between them, if one chooses to. For that, I feel one has to learn Cabala from scratch and come up with one's own system of the connection.

I also like Gareth Knight, William Gray's books, but also A.E. Waites had written good books about it too. Regardies and Dion Fortunes' books are too vague and abstract, I find.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foolMoon View Post
There are free downloadable PDF copy of Qabbalistic Tarot on internet.

I think Tree of Life and Thoth Tarot are separate entity, and one has to make conscious connection between them, if one chooses to. For that, I feel one has to learn Cabala from scratch and come up with one's own system of the connection.

I also like Gareth Knight, William Gray's books, but also A.E. Waites had written good books about it too. Regardies and Dion Fortunes' books are too vague and abstract, I find.
Thank you for the update foolMoon. Downloaded the pdf of Qabbalistic Tarot

And even ordered Snuffin's Thoth companion.

I also agree about your take on learning Qabbalah from scratch. It does make sense learning from the roots rather than jumping just in between. And for me a good guidebook is necessary coz I follow Hinduism which is miles away from Qabbalah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacificwaters View Post
I also agree about your take on learning Qabbalah from scratch. It does make sense learning from the roots rather than jumping just in between. And for me a good guidebook is necessary coz I follow Hinduism which is miles away from Qabbalah
If you're able to penetrate deeply into the Book of Thoth, you'll find that Crowley had a highly syncretic approach with the aim of bringing together many of the world's great systems of mystical thought under the umbrella of the Major Arcana. For me, it's what turns it and the deck into a lifetime study.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacificwaters View Post
Thank you for the update foolMoon. Downloaded the pdf of Qabbalistic Tarot

And even ordered Snuffin's Thoth companion.

I also agree about your take on learning Qabbalah from scratch. It does make sense learning from the roots rather than jumping just in between. And for me a good guidebook is necessary coz I follow Hinduism which is miles away from Qabbalah
Great stuff

So far from what I read, I notice that Qabbalah is Judaic and Christian origin, and Tree of Life has been "received" from the God "Elohim" for mapping out minds and the God, so it is originated from the Old Testament, the Pentatoich books. It is further commented in later books like Sefer Yetzirah and Bahir and Zohar. Although it is very Judaic and Christian origin, I think it it also relates to Buddihsm and Hinduism too. How - I am not sure now, and to find out about it.

So if one is not religious, and atheist, then using Tree of Life and Tarot deck in conjunction would be meaningless.

I think Crowley is more connecting Thoth Tarot to the Egyptian and Greek Myths, Hinduism, Yoga and Buddihsm rather than Christianity in his Book of Thoth and all of his other writings too, hence the reason one has to establish own connecting system between Tree of Life and Thoth Deck, by studying Qabbalah and Tree of Life from other various sources, if one believes they are truly the system for them. I was more into connecting Tarot with Astrology, but now am trying to learn Qabbalah for the process.

Snuffin's book is excellent in that it concentrates on Thoth deck symbolsim whilst giving astrological and cabalistic connection information, but also provides mundane meanings of each card even with reverse card meanings - very versatile, practical, clearly written book without narcissistic ramblings.
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