New Thoth deck user


Hello everyone!
I have been a Tarot reader for about 10 years now, I've always used Rider-Waite decks, but recently felt drawn to get a Thoth deck. It seems to be quite different, I'm very eager to learn as much about it as I can, can anyone recommend any good books for learning? Thanks in advance!
- Apryl


I recommend 'the' book that goes with the deck written by its collator; 'The Book of Thoth'.

I know it may seem difficult at first, but I think it is an essential.

There are of course all these other books about the Thoth deck. I am sure others will recommend and praise them ... or not.

There are numerous threads here about them in this part of the forum..


We are traveling in the same boat Apryl. I'm reading everything I can get my hands on.
It will settle and then I'll journal on my private Thothy blog.
By and by some of it will stick to my brain. It is a lovely deck, as are most of the thothy clones.

But in the end many of us can't even agree on how to pronounce Thoth. Any number of threads on it ;)


Yes I wholeheartedly agree, they're very different. Waite's tarot was designed mainly for the masses while Crowley's was for educated occultists. You can read with it right out of the box by using the divinatory meanings, but really understanding it takes a lifetime of study, imo.

Crowley's Book of Thoth is essential. Also, the Golden Dawn's paper "Book T - the Tarot." They should both be available free online. Some of the bios about Crowley are pretty good and give some insight into what the old boy was up to. Just take your lead from Crowley himself and follow up on things he's written. It's a lot of occult philosophy, Hermeticism, Kabalah, the Golden Dawn, ancient religion, and especially Thelema, Crowley's religion. :)


......Crowley's Book of Thoth is essential. Also, the Golden Dawn's paper "Book T - the Tarot." They should both be available free online.......
Book T has been updated by the College of Thelema publication Liber Θ, which also is free. Liber Θ uses the Thoth rather than the Golden Dawn Tarot and improves some of the Book T descriptions. It also has an excellent introduction.


It ultimately depends on what you want to do with it. The Book of Thoth is widely acclaimed as the book, but if you're looking for divinatory meanings, it won't help you much, as it is both unnecessarily complicated for the average reader and also has much that is superfluous for people looking to the Thoth to do readings with. What it excels at is discussion of the occult and philosophical makeup of the cards, their underlying relationships with other cards, and especially their relation to Thelema. If you're looking for personal development through study of the cards, there is no better book, but be warned it is a study that could span several years. Not only that, but to understand it at all, you'll have to do a bit of preliminary research in Kabbalah. When writing the book, Crowley had perhaps a little too much faith in his readers' knowledge, and it might actually turn you off the Thoth altogether.

Book T is a little better, but isn't Thoth specific, and even the updated version LRichard mentioned is limited, to a great extent. This doesn't mean it isn't good, it is excellent, but I wouldn't recommend it to a new user just getting their bearings.

What I can recommend is Lon Milo Duuette's Understanding Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot. It is a great introduction, it gets you through the door, and discusses much of the preliminary knowledge that is needed. Later on, you decide if you actually want to step through that door (I did, and never looked back!).

I also recommend and urge you don't buy any of the "keywords" books by Banzhaf, Mirror of the Soul by Ziegler, and anything by Angeles Arrien. Those books simply aren't worth the paper they're printed on.