Crowley and the Origins of the deck

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MalcolmSm1th
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Crowley and the Origins of the deck

Post by MalcolmSm1th » Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:07 pm

I've been reading in one of the books on the Thoth that Crowley, as a part of his advancement through the ranks of the Golden Dawn, was given a task to draw and paint a tarot deck.

Was this what later became the Thoth deck as I am still trying to work out from where it came. If it were so, then wasn't Crowley under some sort of oath not to reveal the deck?

- Malc

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Emma
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Re: Crowley and the Origins of the deck

Post by Emma » Mon Sep 05, 2011 10:57 pm

Hi Malcolm

Sort of... The task of creating your own deck to show your understanding of the secrets of the universe was a part of the Golden Dawn system - however Crowley fell out with the GD and left around 1907 and he created Thelema as a system of magical philosophy. He also created the A:A:, a magickal order which was based on GD to some extent see here for more about it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A%E2%88%B4A%E2%88%B4

He was working on the Thoth tarot from about 1941, so much later than he was in the Golden dawn, but creating it with the same principle - that he was putting together all his lifes work and knowledge of the spiritual and physical universe.

In terms of secrecy though, Crowley published and made public many things he learned in the Golden Dawn, he didn't go along with the secrecy ideal in the way the Golden Dawn presented it, though he liked people to work for the knowledge and not be handed everything easily. Caused a bit of a stir at the time you might say :D

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MalcolmSm1th
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Re: Crowley and the Origins of the deck

Post by MalcolmSm1th » Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:12 pm

Thanks ever so much for the reply. This was something which has been nagging at the back of my mind.

The strange thing is that the Thoth is something else compared to the other Tarot. As I have said before it's a living and very much, growling, beast. It's a far cry from the fluffier Tarot which seems to be just churned out like greetings cards.

I know this stuff is beyond the remit of the course it is, however, interesting and for the first time in my experience with Tarot I want to know more about how it ticks.

Cheers
malc

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Emma
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Re: Crowley and the Origins of the deck

Post by Emma » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:53 am

Hi Malcolm

Yes the Thoth has so much in it - it is a very deep and powerful deck. Studying its history and intended meanings, and correspondences is interesting work, there are often different viewpoints on what is meant by certain things as Crowley was often quite cryptic and sometimes there have been omissions in his writings, or his own changing viewpoint is seen, so it is up to us to decide for ourselves what the truth of it is from our own studies and experience. In terms of reading with the deck though I feel using it and understanding how the deck talks to you personally is the most important thing - rather than knowing how someone else does it first, we each can access the decks magic ourselves directly. Additional knowledge of course enhances the experience, but I don't think as much is needed to do an excellent reading as it might at first seem. One can be overwhelmed by the amount that has been encoded in this powerful deck.

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