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Another general Qabalah book that hasn't been mentioned so far is:

Qabalah: A Magical Primer, by John Bonner

https://www.amazon.com/Qabalah-Magic...rds=1578632110

I try to "big-up" this book whenever an opportunity arises, and frequently use it as my 'go-to' recommendation for an introductory Qabalah book (after Chicken Qabalah).

Essentially it's a general overview of the Qabalah in the mould of Dion Fortune's, The Mystical Qabalah. Many people who have read the latter work claim that, despite its brilliance, it is written in a rather turgid and boring style. (A similar complaint is often levelled at Israel Regardie.) Thankfully John Bonner is anything but boring. His book is dense but still highly readable.

The book covers general questions about the nature and purpose of Qabalah, an overview of its history and how Hermetic Qabalah fits into the development of Kabbalah from its Hebraic roots to Aleister Crowley. Then concepts such as the formation of the Tree of Life and various structural components such as the Three Pillars and the Triads is covered before moving onto the Four Worlds.

Before the main body of the text in which the Ain and the Sephiroth are examined, Bonner explains the categories of correspondences that will be used throughout the rest of the book. Most of these are drawn directly from Crowley's, Liber 777, and include:

The Titles of the Sephiroth.
The Yetziratic text.
The names of God.
The Mundane Chakras.
The Gods and Goddesses.
Archangels.
The Orders of the Angels.
The Orders of the Qliphoth.
Magical Powers.
Virtues and Vices.
Magical Images.
Magical Grades (A.'.A.'.)
Magical Weapons and Symbols.
The Divisions of Man.
The Chakras.
Colours in the Four Worlds.
The Book of Thoth.
Other correspondences: Animals, Plants, Drugs.


Using the above format Bonner covers the Ain and the Sephiroth in turn from the perspective of Thelema, the philosophy that informs the Thoth Tarot, and quotes the The Book of the Law during his explanation. However this does not stop him referencing older works such as the Zohar and the ideas of the Lurianic Kabbalists.

Finally there is a brief chapter on the methods of the literal qabalah: Gematria, Notariqon and Temurah.

All of this is explained in a clear and readable fashion. And at no point does it feel like a chore to read. For this reason I recommend Bonner over Fortune or Regardie. While all three cover Qabalah in a similar way, the latter two are notorious for their coma inducing writing styles.

In addition the foreword is written by Hymenaeus Beta, current Frater Superior of the Ordo Templi Orientis.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacificwaters View Post
Interesting in the fact, that I too have been trying to connect Thoth and astrology and now am shifting to understanding the sephiroths.

I dont know how much I will be able to progress, drawing my own interpretations for many things with Thoth. I do stumble with the basic nuances and the terms relating to Qabbalah once too often. I guess that happens when you are from a different faith, the very way terms of Vedic astrology would be easy for me to align too as against those for someone from a different faith.

Fingers crossed !
Whatever religion one has, ToL can be an excellent road map to reach to his God, and trace God's energy to him. ToL tells us how to reach there by single steps of path work or via the pillars, so different religions doesn't matter.
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Originally Posted by Barleywine View Post
As I see the, the numerical, astrological and alchemical correspondences comprise the main value he added to the interpretive canon for the Thoth minor cards (which structurally were mostly - 31 out of 40 - based on the TdM model). Although he mentioned divination as the most practical way to "live with the cards" on a daily basis, I'm not sure he had much more use for it in the larger picture than Waite did, although Crowley wasn't as openly contemptuous of it as Waite was.

ETA: So I don't have to go dig it up again if asked about it, here's my earlier post on the remarkable correlation between the Thoth and TdM structural arrangements. With the exception of the 10 of Wands, all of the Tens appear to have a ToL built into the image.

http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread...ighlight=Thoth
So maybe AC tried to follow the TdM correspondence in his Thoth deck? Or Golden Dawn? We can tell he tried to be different from all these as much as possible, for example switching the Emperor and Star?

3x no.10 cards apart from 10x wands are depicting ToL in Thoth - good point !!! I have never noticed that before, or maybe I did but not much paid attention to it. What significance would it make in your opinion? I think AC tried to connect his Thoth Tarot to ToL no doubt about it. It is just his mood is not very enthusiastic in that aspect of Book of Thoth.
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Originally Posted by bradford View Post
This section in my book will walk you through the Ten Sephiroth of the Tree as developed by the Golden Dawn and Crowley, but the symbolism is presented with reference to interpreting the ten numbers of the 40 Pip cards and not the 22 paths, pathworking, or the Trumps.
http://www.hermetica.info/Tarot.htm#11
Excellent book. I love the keywords of each sephiroth. I don't think any other source of ToL and Tarot decks have this, or do they? Please enlighten me.
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Originally Posted by Zephyros View Post
Probably because by the time you get to that point he expects you to have a grasp of the tools at your disposal. One thing one cannot accuse the Book of Thoth of is spoonfeeding you everything. Having read the chapters about the Trumps, you are already familiar with the Crowley symbolic language, or have enough presence of mind to go further than what he discusses.
After reading his Book of Thoth to the end of all the Trump cards for the first time, I would have thought most readers would be more confused and baffled, and need more detailed explanation, rather than shortened to a couple of lines and perfunctory writings. I know I was.
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A couple of lines and perfunctory writings? Those "perfunctory writings" are closer to a distilled essence. If it doesn't make sense it's probably a good indication that the basic groundwork hasn't been done. You really need to look elsewhere for that kind of 'entry level' information.

The Book of Thoth isn't a Tarot 101 guide. Crowley assumes the reader is already equipped with a reasonable level of knowledge and has a fair grasp of the fundamentals. Without this The Book of Thoth is a closed book.

Some modern authors have attempted to fill the knowledge gap. But even these 'stepping stones' are subject to criticism for not being fuller and simpler. At which point I'm reminded of a quote attributed to Einstein:

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler."
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I think Crowley's descriptions on the minors are one of the best out there. Especially if you compare them with the writings of his contemporaries, like Waite and Case, who only gave the divinatory meanings of the minor arcana.

What really helped with my Thoth studies, is that I took every symbol, myth and every weird french phrase Crowley uses, even some words I wasn't completely sure about their definition, and I searched them with Google to see what happens. That really helped to remove some of the confusion I had about the cards.
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In BoT on minor cards, he just makes connections in the first sentence of each card to relevant sephiroth. For instance, Five of Cups is Geburah, and then he switches to Astrological descriptions about it. He does not elaborate Five Cups with Geburah that much. Everyone knows 5s are Gebruah, but what does that mean in real life? or in divination? or in prediction terms? There is nothing in that regard.
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Originally Posted by foolMoon View Post
In BoT on minor cards, he just makes connections in the first sentence of each card to relevant sephiroth. For instance, Five of Cups is Geburah, and then he switches to Astrological descriptions about it. He does not elaborate Five Cups with Geburah that much. Everyone knows 5s are Gebruah, but what does that mean in real life? or in divination? or in prediction terms? There is nothing in that regard.
"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."

Crowley doesn't give many specific, concrete examples of interpretation because he's trying to communicate the 'general principles' behind all interpretations. Rather than spoon feed you specifics with limited applicability, he's giving you the underlying 'character' of the cards so that you can go on and form your own interpretations. He's teaching the reader to fish.

If you prefer canned tuna you might want to consider the books by Ziegler, Akron, or Banzhaff.
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Originally Posted by Aeon418 View Post
"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."

Crowley doesn't give many specific, concrete examples of interpretation because he's trying to communicate the 'general principles' behind all interpretations. Rather than spoon feed you specifics with limited applicability, he's giving you the underlying 'character' of the cards so that you can go on and form your own interpretations. He's teaching the reader to fish.

If you prefer canned tuna you might want to consider the books by Ziegler, Akron, or Banzhaff.
I am not saying AC has to spoonfeed anyone. It's not to do with spoon feed at all, in fact. But if you paid your hard earned cash, and bought a book, you want the book to be rich, through, detailed and complete - not half written, and dwindle into notes with information which is everywhere.

What I am saying is that he certainly has not written enough in BoT especially about the minor cards and Tree of Life, and that was his attitude on BoT, which left many readers and students of Tarot in the dark, hence the reason why people are looking for more commentary Thoth Tarot books elaborated in detail especially with Tree of Life.

I don't know about others, but think Bazhaff's Thoth books are excellent. I own, and use them every day.
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