Aeclectic Tarot
Tarot Cards & Reviews Free Tarot Readings Tarot Books Tarot Card Meanings Tarot Forum

Variant approaches to the Thoth: Angeles Arrien's book

  > Aeclectic Tarot Forum > Tarot Special Interest > Thoth Tarot


 
mosaica's Avatar
mosaica  mosaica is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 16 Oct 2007
Location: Usa
Posts: 799
mosaica 

<content applicable to source thread removed by moderator>

What about The Tarot Handbook, by Arrien? (I know she departs from Crowley, but I'm thinking that maybe she's helpful in creating one's own interpretations of the cards.)
Top   #1
Scion's Avatar
Scion  Scion is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 03 Nov 2004
Location: New York City, US
Posts: 6,612
Scion 

Gack!

Arrien's book is HIDEOUS. My advice? Avoid like syphilitic zombie IRS agents. She will literally do nothing but misguide and confuse you. Some of her ideas about the deck are comical in ineptitude and self-involvement. Her subtitle is "Practical Applications of Ancient Visual Symbols" but her ideas are about as ancient as scented handiwipes. My favorite logical disconnect is that she wrote a dippy new age book about the Thoth without learning anything about the Thoth and then gives you her own mushy, psychologized "interpretative insights" and "growth symbols" by way of encouraging you to do the same. About as sensible as learning calculus by eating a cheeseburger. In essence, "Don't pay the slightest attention to the man who understood it and designed it, but pay attention to ME-ME-ME."

I'm not sure why people would want to ignore Crowley's writings on his own deck, but I know some people do. Still, if you want to create your own interpretations why would you want HERS?! Isn't the idea of intuitive meanings that you arrive at them on your own? Which makes her book categorically pointless... like a car without seats, or a steering wheel, or an engine. This book exists only to declare that you don't need to read anything to interpret the deck. I'm not even going to get into her butchering of archetypal psychology, but let's just say her readings of Jung are about as solid as her grasp of Crowley.

I cannot think of a single reason to recommend this book other than the fact that it's attractively designed and printed. The woman hasn't done the most basic homework and some of the out-and-out errors are mind-boggling. Leaving aside the belief that she should have done some (ahem) research of her own, if she had even bothered to read Crowley ONCE she would have saved herself some howlers. Such was new age publishing in the 80s and the feel-good dumbing down of poor Carl Jung. Bizarre. I guess the book is good as a doorstop. Or mulch. But I'd feel bad for the flowers.

I know others are going to enter and give you the thumbsup, but I thought it was important enough to mention. Only my opinion, but do a search on her name and you'll find a legion of other Thoth users who agree.

Scion
Top   #2
Aeon418's Avatar
Aeon418  Aeon418 is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 30 Sep 2003
Location: Earth
Posts: 4,342
Aeon418 

I completely agree with Scion regarding Arrien's book. Do yourself a favour and avoid it at all costs.

Unfortunately P.C. Tarantino's book is practically more of the same new age pap served up by Arrien. At the beginning of the book she says that she respects the original spirit of Crowley's work but has made it more accessible to modern readers. That's a round about way of saying she threw the original intent and ideas out and replaced them with her own.

At the back of the book it says that P.C. Tarantino has studied Aleister Crowley's work for 28 years. Which leads me to believe that her first name is Pinocchio.
Top   #3
mosaica's Avatar
mosaica  mosaica is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 16 Oct 2007
Location: Usa
Posts: 799
mosaica 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scion
Gack! Arrien's book is HIDEOUS.

Scion
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeon418
Unfortunately P.C. Tarantino's book is practically more of the same new age pap served up by Arrien.
Okay, then! Thanks, Scion and Aeon. I will content myself with reading DuQuette and BoT over and over and over. I guess I will consider myself very fortunate that I read DuQuette first, and none of those "other" books.

Mosaica
Top   #4
Teheuti's Avatar
Teheuti  Teheuti is offline
Resident
 
Join Date: 24 Aug 2003
Location: Northern California
Posts: 5,539
Teheuti 

Have to say I don't agree about Angie Arrien's book. It can be a wonderful way to establish a personal relationship to the cards themselves. Sure, there are many misleading things in it, but when you've finally read Crowley deeply then these should fall by the wayside (where the misconceptions belong). To me Arrien can be a good introduction for those who find the deck (and Crowley) impenetrable. Her ideas add another layer to my way of seeing the deck, and many of them are very rich.

To my mind the best book, by far, is Crowley's, followed by DuQuette, and with Banzhaf's two books to add possibilities to the mix. Arrien's book is something completely different—from a creatively inspired mind that approaches the deck in a totally unique way.

We're lucky at this point to have so many different choices for working with the Thoth deck.

Mary
Top   #5
mosaica's Avatar
mosaica  mosaica is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 16 Oct 2007
Location: Usa
Posts: 799
mosaica 

Thank you, Mary. I will just have to get a copy of Arrien's book at some point and judge for myself. I have one of Banzhof's (Keywords) and it has been helpful with the symbolism.
Top   #6
Aeon418's Avatar
Aeon418  Aeon418 is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 30 Sep 2003
Location: Earth
Posts: 4,342
Aeon418 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teheuti
Have to say I don't agree about Angie Arrien's book. It can be a wonderful way to establish a personal relationship to the cards themselves. Sure, there are many misleading things in it, but when you've finally read Crowley deeply then these should fall by the wayside (where the misconceptions belong).
I'm somewhat confused by what you've just said there, Teheuti. The logical conclusion drawn from it is that someone moving on from Arrien's book to Crowley's will realise that The Tarot Handbook itself is one big misconception. This is based on the fact that Arrien does not like Crowley or his ideas and decided to throw them all away in favour of her own. I think it's disturbing and dishonest that someone can blithely divorce a creator from their creation and not even acknowledge the primacy their ideas. Arrien's attitude is that Crowley and his ideas get in the way, so dump 'em.

It's no secret that the political climate of the late 80's and into the 90's was one of intense hatred against Crowley and his views on Tarot. There was a concerted effort to erase Crowley's contribution to the Thoth Tarot and replace it with something else, anything else, as long as it wasn't Crowley. Arrien's book is a classic example of that attitude. An attitude that has been echoed by other authors like Wanless and Banzhaf.
Top   #7
Mariana's Avatar
Mariana  Mariana is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 27 Nov 2006
Location: the land of chocolate
Posts: 1,179
Mariana 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeon418
I'm somewhat confused by what you've just said there, Teheuti. The logical conclusion drawn from it is that someone moving on from Arrien's book to Crowley's will realise that The Tarot Handbook itself is one big misconception. This is based on the fact that Arrien does not like Crowley or his ideas and decided to throw them all away in favour of her own. I think it's disturbing and dishonest that someone can blithely divorce a creator from their creation and not even acknowledge the primacy their ideas. Arrien's attitude is that Crowley and his ideas get in the way, so dump 'em.

It's no secret that the political climate of the late 80's and into the 90's was one of intense hatred against Crowley and his views on Tarot. There was a concerted effort to erase Crowley's contribution to the Thoth Tarot and replace it with something else, anything else, as long as it wasn't Crowley. Arrien's book is a classic example of that attitude. An attitude that has been echoed by other authors like Wanless and Banzhaf.
I'm not an expert on the Thoth, but this discussion does remind me of the dynamics within literary theory. There are many different paradigms or schools within literary theory, some for instance focusing on how a work of literature (or art) has grown from its background, others taking the work as an independent entity, like a child with a life of its own, creating new meanings in new interactions (and new historical contexts) that go beyond what the author had planned, etc. I think it's perhaps possible that Arrien wanted to approach the 'work of art' of the Thoth as just that, independent of any background and open to interaction, without necessarily having anything against Crowley. It would then just be a specific (80s?) approach to art - one of the many possible approaches and not necessarily the best (or the worst) or the one that you'd prefer.
Top   #8
Aeon418's Avatar
Aeon418  Aeon418 is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 30 Sep 2003
Location: Earth
Posts: 4,342
Aeon418 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mariana
I'm not an expert on the Thoth, but this discussion does remind me of the dynamics within literary theory.
I see your point, but how many literary theories are drawn up with the express intention of burying or erasing the orginal creators ideas?

Elements within the 80's-90's Tarot movement would have much prefered it if Crowley and his ideas had never existed. This is why they promoted the idea that the Thoth was solely the creation of Frieda Harris. That's not a reinterpretation. It's a political agenda.
Top   #9
Lillie's Avatar
Lillie  Lillie is offline
Frog
 
Join Date: 12 Dec 2004
Location: Nowhere
Posts: 11,969
Lillie 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeon418

Elements within the 80's-90's Tarot movement would have much prefered it if Crowley and his ideas had never existed. This is why they promoted the idea that the Thoth was solely the creation of Frieda Harris. That's not a reinterpretation. It's a political agenda.


That's funny.
Top   #10




 


 


Tarot Cards & Reviews Free Tarot Readings Tarot Books Tarot Card Meanings Tarot Forum
Aeclectic Tarot Forum Links
· Tarot
· Tarot Special Interest
· Beyond Tarot
· Forum Library

Aeclectic Tarot Categories
· Angel Decks
· Dark & Gothic Decks
· Goddess Decks
· Fairy Decks
· Doreen Virtue Decks
· Beginner Decks
· Cat Decks
· Pagan & Wiccan Decks
· Ancient Egyptian Decks
· Celtic Decks
· Lenormand Decks
· Rider-Waite Decks
· Marseilles Decks
· Thoth Decks
· Oracle Decks
· List All Decks
· Popular Tarot Decks
· Available Decks
· Tarot Books
· What's New

Copyright © 1996 - 2019 Aeclectic Tarot. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy. Contact us.