Comparison of Thoth Minors to TdM Pip Cards


As an exercise to get to know my Fournier TdM deck better, I laid the pip cards out in sets along with the associated Thoth minor arcana since the Thoth is much closer in spirit to it than the RWS-style decks. Until I did this, I wasn't really aware just how close.

With the exception of the Swords suit, which dispenses with the semi-circular sword arrangements, a large majority of the Thoth suit emblems echo the TdM emblem layout with great fidelity. (Crowley had a fondness for inserting inverted pentagrams and Tree of Life glyphs, so those are repeating variations.) Although I haven't read anywhere that it's tue, it looks like he and Harris must have started with the TdM pip organization and only tossed out the suit of Swords as an overall working model. Although the Bibliographical Note at the beginning of the Book of Thoth takes great pains to distance their work from the "hopelessly corrupt" earlier tarot decks, it doesn't seem to be entirely so for the minor arcana. Disregarding the apparently special case of the suit of Swords, only 9 of the 30 cards differ materially from the emblem arrangements on the TdM pips.

Following are the differences I noted:

Wands - only two important differences:

4 of Wands is set up like a wheel with 4 intersecting wands (8 spokes) with a ram's head at one end and a dove at the other.
8 of Wands has 8 bolts of electricity issuing from the center of an octahedron

Cups - only four of the ten differ:

5 of Cups has the aforementioned inverted pentagram arrangement
6 of Cups has an oval arrangement of the suit emblems
7 of Cups has two interleaved, descending triangles with a large cup at the base
10 of Cups is set up in the Tree of Life glyph

Disks - only 3 differeng cards:

5 of Disks shows the inverted pentagram
9 of Disks has three disks at the center instead of one, with an upward-pointing triangle above and a downward-pointing triangle below
10 of Disks follows the Tree of Life model

Swords - only the Ace is identical and the 2 of Swords is vaguely similar; eight of the ten cards differ, mainly in that there are no elliptical "enclosures" formed by curved swords. Also, the 4, 5, 6 and 10 of Swords all have the sword points converging at the center; other differences are:

3 of Swords has two small swords at the top wih the upright sword meeting them point-on
5 of Swords shows the inverted pentagram
7 of Swords has six smaller, downward-pointing swords with one larger one pointing up
8 of Swords has six crossing swords, all different, and two matching vertical ones
9 of Swords has all of the swords pointing downward