Why love the Thoth?


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Why love the Thoth?


Hi...I sure as heck hope I am in the right subforum to ask this question! (I am a big RWS clone fan...I never come to visit the Hallowed Halls of Thoth!) But I really, really want to know...Why do you love the Thoth? What is it about the Thoth that sets your mind/heart/soul on fire? Why is it so freaking awesome?
Top   #1
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Wow, pity you didn't ask the secrets to life itself, that would be an easier question to answer.

The Thoth deck, for me, is unlike any other, for several reasons. Firstly, the artwork is stunning. Not only does it look nice and manage to convey the messages clearly and beautifully and elegantly, but the very fiber of the paintings shows Crowley's work and lifetime of knowledge. Every brush stroke, every point has meaning. Not accidentally, but deliberately. Harris made sure that what she painted matched Crowley's vision absolutely. The cards are chock-full on one hand, but there are no superfluous details, and you never get tired of finding new ones (and there are always new ones to find!). Even if you look at only the technical aspects, Harris was a genius of a painter.

Secondly, the structure, the build, the occult significance of every little part of it never ceases to amaze me. I constantly see tiny "easter eggs" in some cards pertaining to others, with some actually connecting to form a picture. Some may see it as a dark deck, but to me it glows with, well, no other way to say this, "goodness." The entire message of the deck is an amazing one, with depth that isn't achieved by "merely" drawing this or that symbol. Each line has an encyclopedia behind it. The way each symbol and figure connect with all others is amazing. Truly Magickal with a capital M. It really goes to show that since the universe is interconnected, a portrait of it should be as well, and it really, really is.

Speaking of encyclopedias, that's what the Thoth is, an encyclopedia of the occult and Thelema in pictorial form. Merely as a reference book one could study it for years and still not be done. That, to me, is one of the things that make it most special. Through it I study philosophy, magick, occult, Kabbalah, numerology, astrology, history, mythology... the list is endless, and it really is all there. Study of the Thoth is using the Thoth, since through study you gain insight into the world, people, the spiritual universe... really... everything.

Thirdly, the dedication apparent in every line. You can see that its creators didn't create it for money or for fame (and indeed, neither made any money off it). It was as close to what you could call a Holy Mission without sounding crazy. They did it... because there was no choice, it had to be done. Even the venerable RWS was created to be sold, but not the Thoth. Five years of painstaking work, and it's all there for anyone to see. Every painting is a masterpiece, there are no rough cards, or ones that are done haphazardly. Each is unique.

I could really go on, about the structure, that every card is connected to all others in an elegant, mathematical perfection. I could also say that the Thoth is more than a Tarot deck, it is a map of a spiritual journey. Looking through it you see byways, and downhills, and where it leads and where it came from...

Yes, I'm not exaggerating, it's just that good. But I should probably stop now, I doubt Aeclectic has enough server space to hold everything I could say about the it.
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Wow, Closrapexa. Sounds like you have really studied this deck and the writings attendant....what a fabulous and passionate description! It makes me want to go get one, if only to investigate the art! thanks for that. And, if you do know the secret of life, would you please tell me? lol!

I wonder when I shall finally step off the shelf of sunny decks and fall into the Dark. Anyone else care to sway me? I am still not sure exactly what the Thoth is truly about, obvs. besides relating to Crowley's beliefs...does it read well? Is it good as a Tarot deck, besides being an illustrated work of beauty? Can you really relate to it on a personal level? Is it relevant to today's world?
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I agree a lot with @closrapexa, especially on content of the cards and the inclusion of various systems.

The Thoth fascinates me because everything has meaning in the cards. Everything is put where it is, looks like it does for a very specific reason. Nothing is superfluous. Nothing is there just to "fill space" or "look pretty".

There's a lot to each card itself. It may be busy sometimes, but as such, there is more than one thing to zone in on. I've looked at all of the cards many times, but each time there is usually something I did not see before, something I didn't make a connection to, or something I didn't get. Each time I work with the Thoth it has things to teach me.

Also, it brings together MANY systems/cultures/world-views, etc. There's astrology, Quabala, mumerology, mythology, alchemy, etc. The Thoth brings together the elements of Western AND Eastern esoteric cultures. It's very diverse and more inclusive than most decks out there.

For me, the artwork of Harris truly feels "timeless". Think of all of the great painters and artists you know of, think of how their work beings to mind specific points in time... The Thoth doesn't do that for me. It doesn't feel like it was influenced by the popular culture/artists of the time. It doesn't feel like it plays out dated pictures of what was going on in the world then. The way the Thoth looks makes me think it could have been conceived and painted at any given point in our history (or future).

I like the Thoth because it's different than the majority of decks out there. Studying it is not an easy/labour free task; it makes you think, it makes you look, it makes you learn... Any challenge it presents is usually always worth it in the end. The Thoth forces me to dig deeper than the companion book, my go to reference, or that unreachable place in the back of my mind where useful information usually gets lost before it can properly be filed away.

I liked the Thoth before I started studying it. Once I started, the Thoth made (and still makes) sure that I continue to like it.
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I love it for studying. I admit that I rarely read with it, although perhaps I will in the future when I feel more confident with it. For now, I enjoy the artwork (although I'm a bit more partial to the artwork of the Liber T), and I enjoy all the symbolism. Every color, every symbol, every line of the cards has a reason. I know that every little thing I see in the cards represents something new I can learn. It is so unbelievable chock full of information if you can just learn the language. And that is what I am (slowly, but surely) working on. I first got into Tarot because I was fascinated by the way that so much information could be hidden in the symbols and images of the cards. And so the Thoth has always been intriguing to me because it takes that to the extreme.
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I like it because it makes sense to me. Fairly simple. No deep study or occult connectiveness...just makes sense.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eeviee View Post
I agree a lot with @closrapexa, especially on content of the cards and the inclusion of various systems.

The Thoth fascinates me because everything has meaning in the cards. Everything is put where it is, looks like it does for a very specific reason. Nothing is superfluous. Nothing is there just to "fill space" or "look pretty".
So do these symbols work to twig your intuition?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eeviee View Post
Also, it brings together MANY systems/cultures/world-views, etc. There's astrology, Quabala, mumerology, mythology, alchemy, etc. The Thoth brings together the elements of Western AND Eastern esoteric cultures. It's very diverse and more inclusive than most decks out there.
So, do you need to actually learn and know all of these systems, before you can use the deck?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eeviee View Post
For me, the artwork of Harris truly feels "timeless".....The way the Thoth looks makes me think it could have been conceived and painted at any given point in our history (or future).
I went and looked and I agree - the art work is truly contemporary. Like closrapexa, you made passionate statements about this deck. I am trying to understand why I would actually want to try this deck - I have never really seen one or touched one. I think the Devil put me off, and so i shut down. But now I am trying to grow

Quote:
Originally Posted by Juliana View Post
......For now, I enjoy the artwork (although I'm a bit more partial to the artwork of the Liber T)
Is the Liber T Thoth based, Juliana? Sorry, but I am absolutely unknowledgeable about the deck, and I would rather hear from the fans than read endless tracts of book info on it...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Juliana View Post
......It is so unbelievable chock full of information if you can just learn the language...
Now that is a fascinating statement! I mean, it really makes me actually want to go get the deck...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiska View Post
I like it because it makes sense to me. Fairly simple. No deep study or occult connectiveness...just makes sense.
Ok, now this I find very interesting, Chiska - so you can read well with it, without learning every ounce of Crowley's wisdom? I ask, because I have read Crowley, (oh so long ago) and I didn't love him. But it doesn't seem to be a good reason not to like the Thoth. Though I have avoided the deck, merely because of some of Crowley's views...which now seems to me such a petty reason not to get the deck. But I am looking more and more at "intuitive reading" and I am really enjoying it...so I was hoping the Thoth might help fill the need, and might work without having to "know it all" about Crowley...and the other systems mentioned...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lotus Padma View Post
Ok, now this I find very interesting, Chiska - so you can read well with it, without learning every ounce of Crowley's wisdom? I ask, because I have read Crowley, (oh so long ago) and I didn't love him. But it doesn't seem to be a good reason not to like the Thoth. Though I have avoided the deck, merely because of some of Crowley's views...which now seems to me such a petty reason not to get the deck. But I am looking more and more at "intuitive reading" and I am really enjoying it...so I was hoping the Thoth might help fill the need, and might work without having to "know it all" about Crowley...and the other systems mentioned...
Every ounce? Yikes! That would be a bit, wouldn't it? I never really held Crowley against the Thoth - he was human like the rest of us. He had failings and perverse ideas. He had great and grandiose ideas. But the Thoth is beyond the man.

I started out just using the deck - getting a feel for it. Then I started reading. And then I decided to approach the esoteric mysteries of the Thoth in chunks. It is too much to try and absorb all at once. I think that is a primary cause of people shying away from the deck. They believe they must master all the works of Crowley before they can use it. I started small and I shall never master any of it. But I know enough to use the deck satisfactorily. Currently, I am paddling around in the shallow end of the Qabalah Pool. I have a fairly okay and shallow understanding of the over view, but now I am learning more depth.

I also am not one to take too much too seriously. I do horrible things with my Thoth. I have several lovely old "greenies" and my main reading Thoth has glittery kitty stickers on the box.
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[QUOTE=Chiska:

I also am not one to take too much too seriously. I do horrible things with my Thoth. I have several lovely old "greenies" and my main reading Thoth has glittery kitty stickers on the box. [/QUOTE]

Oh my I *LOVE* this style of irreverence !!

Fascinating discussion which is turning into an enabler...
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Lotus Padma, I forgot to say how personable it is. I used it for many years before opening a single book, and I used it completely intuitively. It does convey meanings and does type into your subconscious. I would argue that it gives back in direct proportion to what you give it in terms of study, but I really think anyone can, even without all that.

My first deck I really used was the Morgan-Greer, which I still do love. But compared to the Thoth, I found in time that its reading (and other RWS decks) are not as deep or in-depth as those the Thoth gives. I think I've had it for something like ten years, with serious study for about two, but I would nevertheless recommend it to anyone. I've also noticed many people have the same sort of experiences with it. The readings it gives aren't dark at all, but actually a bit cynical, like a Victorian uncle rattling your preconceptions. I must admit that sometimes I want "friendlier" readings, so I still use other decks, but when I want the truth in my face, there is nothing like the Thoth.

Oh and by the way, everybody knows the answer is 42
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