2017

Book Review – Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot by Lon Milo DuQuette

March, 2019

Book Review
Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot
New Edition
by Lon Milo DuQuette

I have in my hands the new edition of Lon Milo DuQuette’s Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot published in 2017 by Weiser books, an imprint of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC (65 Parker Street, Suite 7, Newburyport, MA 01950), and I am excited and intimidated. Excited because I already own the 2003 edition of this valuable book (I purchased it early on in my Tarot career, right after I bought the Thoth Tarot alet, nd Crowley’s The Book of Thoth), and intimidated because compared to DuQuette (who, by the way, was intimidated by the idea of writing this book in the first place), I am a neophyte as far as the Thoth Tarot goes. Excitement wins out, so let’s dive in.

Like many Tarot enthusiasts, I originally purchased my Thoth Tarot Deck, and then decided that I must have Crowley’s version of a LWB (“little white book,” the pamphlet included with many decks), his 287 page companion book to the deck titled The Book of Thoth. While filled with amazing knowledge and lore regarding Crowley’s deck, this book is not for beginners and I found that I could not read it without having several reference books beside me. My next purchase was DuQuette’s book and I have never regretted that purchase. DuQuette is known as a “Crowley expert,” an authority on both the man himself and the deck he fashioned. As DuQuette is also an O.T.O. (Ordo Templi Orientis) member, he is able to present in plain language the ideas and concepts that Crowley had in mind as he created his deck.

Understanding the Thoth Tarot has a soft cover with a matte finish color photo of the image for the Princess of Disks created by Lady Freida Harris, the artist of the Thoth Tarot Deck, on the front. This is the same cover image as the 2003 edition, but with more intensity added to the colors, a hint of what is to come. The book is 6 inches by 9 inches and has 330 pages printed on white paper with an easily-readable black type face that is a bit small but considering the astounding amount of information to be found in the book, understandable and worth the effort.

DuQuette offers quite a bit of information about Crowley, the Tarot in general, and the Thoth Tarot in particular, beginning with his Preface to the second edition and continuing with chapters regarding Aleister Crowley, Lady Harris, the artist who created the potent images of the Thoth Tarot, and the images she created, and background information that serves as the foundation for the Thoth Tarot, such as Thelema, the Tree of Life, the Rose Cross, the Egyptian Pantheon, the Ordo Templi Orientis, and shifts of consciousness, as well as symbols, colors, sex magick, and the Holy Guardian Angel. Part II, The Cards, does not come until page 79, and the actual information regarding the individual cards begins with The Fool on page 96. In this book DuQuette truly offers us deep and extensive background information regarding the Thoth Tarot, and he shares many rabbit holes that will lure us to learn more about the topics covered.

There are 176 pages of information regarding the cards themselves. Each Major Arcana card is described with an image of the Thoth card, a description of the traditional image of the card, the name of the card, the element, Hebrew letter, and the colors associated with the card, several quotes, and two or more pages of descriptions. The Minor Arcana cards are described with an image, a description of the traditional image, the name, element, astrological information and colors associated with the card, and at least one page of descriptive text.

After the card descriptions, DuQuette continues with chapters describing the divination process and suggested divinatory meanings for the cards. Chapter 21 contains a glossary of Thelemic terms and Tarot terms, followed by footnotes. The inside back cover contains a beautiful full-color image of the complete Hermetic Rose Cross, described and defined by DuQuette within the book.

Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot is a necessary book for even the most casual Tarot enthusiast. Yes, it is like any other textbook: it is no easy read but rather reaches deep and challenges us to become familiar with terms and concepts that might not be a part of our everyday life. But since we are drawn to the Tarot because it broadens our minds and allows us to articulate ideas and visions, we should open ourselves to the opportunity to learn presented by this book, without hesitation.

There are small additions to the original 2003 edition. DuQuette has added an introduction that provides information regarding sex magick and the cards, a description of the unicursal hexagram card that is included with some Thoth decks, and DuQuette’s own Roll-With-the-Flow spread.

In my opinion, DuQuette’s Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot is the quintessential book on the Tarot in general, and the Thoth Tarot in particular. This is truly a comprehensive read on the Thoth Tarot and the esoteric knowledge connected to the deck. This is a Tarot book you will return to again and again, for the more you learn about the Thoth Tarot deck, the more you will get from re-reading the chapters of this book.

Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot: New Edition on Amazon

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About the Author:

Raushanna is a lifetime resident of New Jersey. As well as a professional Tarot Reader and Teacher, she is a practicing Wiccan (Third Degree, Sacred Mists Coven), a Usui Reiki Master/Teacher, a certified Vedic Thai-Yoga Massage Bodyworker, a 500-hr RYT Yoga Teacher specializing in chair assisted Yoga for movement disorders, and a Middle Eastern dance performer, choreographer and teacher.  Raushanna bought her first Tarot deck in 2005, and was instantly captivated by the images on the cards and the vast, deep and textured messages to be gleaned from their symbols. She loves reading about, writing about, and talking about the Tarot, and anything occult, mystical, or spiritual, as well as anything connected to the human subtle body. She has published a book, “The Emerald Tablet: My 24-Day Journal to Understanding,” and is currently working on a book about the Tarot, pathworking and the Tree of Life. Raushanna documents her experiences and her daily card throws in her blog, DancingSparkles.blogspot.com, which has been in existence since 2009. She and her husband, her son and step son, and her numerous friends and large extended family can often be found on the beaches, bike paths and hiking trails of the Cape May, NJ area.

The Emerald Tablet: My 24-Day Journal to Understanding on Amazon

Amulets of the Goddess 12 Month General Reading

January, 2017

year

 

January – Hand with Seeds: Holding Power in your hands

You hold the seeds of change and growth. This is your time for a new start. A new way of being. The seeds of change aren’t far away. They are within your grasp. Now what are you going to do with them? Will you fling them away? Will you grasp them tightly to you? Or, will you plant them and allow them to grow?

February – Ewe: Self-Worth

Somewhere you learned to not trust in yourself. Somewhere you learned that you do not have worth. Your worth is not in who you know. Or the money you have accumulated. Your worth is an integral part of you. Your worth comes simply because you exist. Look inside yourself to find your worth. Remember the words of Doreen Valiente, “If that which you seek to find you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.”

March – Comb: Self-Reliance

In your year of growth and discovery this is a month to discover that you can rely upon yourself. You are capable, you can depend upon your own words, your own strengths, and your own abilities. Trust yourself.

April – Frog: Speaking Out

Opportunities to speak out and speak up about personal or social injustices will present themselves in this month. Do not be afraid to speak up and speak out. Choose your words carefully. Let your voice be heard, but let the words you speak represent your values and your beliefs. You do not speak for others. Let them also raise their voices. Find the harmony as your words join together in a sacred song.

June – Spider: Sacred Creativity

Problems need to be addressed. Conventional means may not work. It is time to approach solutions in a new, and creative way. Look for solutions in ways yet untested. The old ways aren’t working. Did they ever work? Be radical. Do something different. Be creative.

July – Dreaming Goddess: Intuition

As you approach life’s problems in a more creative way iy is time to look closer at you own intuition. Sometimes, information seems to come out of nowhere. This is one kind of intuition. At other times your mind makes quick connections between seemingly unrelated events. This is another kind of intuition. Trust your intuition. It will serve you well in times to come.

August – Dolphin: Joy and Play

Take time to play. Play. Laugh. Giggle. Do things not because they serve a higher purpose but because they bring you joy. Perhaps you have been taking yourself too serious lately. It is okay to laugh at yourself on occasion.

September – Labrys: Personal Power

You have the power within you to do what needs to be done. Others may have tried to take this power from you. It is always okay to claim your power back. Your personal power can be used by no one but you. Stand in your power. Hold your head high and with pride. Feel your power surround you and fill you.

October – Willendorf Goddess: Belonging

You. Yes, you. You belong here. Right now where you are on this Earth. You are a part of the Earth, one of Her children. Your place, your being has a reason and a purpose. Even if you can’t see it right now. Just know that you belong. You are a child of the Earth and She holds you close to her. Feel the bear of the Earth’s heart beneath your feet and know you are meant to be here.

November – Whirlwinds: Unseen Change

Changes have been set in motion. Seeds planted long ago in January are ripening and the pods are about to open to reveal what has been growing. This is a month of great upheaval and changes. It can be so tempting to try to pull things back into order and sameness. Know that chaos must happen before change can occur. Trust the stillness at the centre of the storm.

December – Gorgon: Righteous Anger

That anger you have inside? Now is the time to express it. Not in an explosion that cuases a lot of damage but changes nothing. Focused, pure. Use your anger to bring about the changes you need in your life. Anger is a tool. Just like fire that when focused can be used to warm a home, but unfocused it can burn that home to the ground. Your anger is real. It is right. Use it. No more allowing anger to use you. No more allowing others to use your righteous anger against you.

 

Some work with Tarot Cards, some use Runes. I have a strong affinity for the Amulets.

Amulets of the Goddess: Oracle of Ancient Wisdom comes from a book and amulet set created by author and artist Nancy Blair.

I have been using the amulets for divinatory work and for insight into what is happening in my life since 1993. I’ve been doing oracle readings for others almost as long and can now offer Amulet Readings to anyone around the world.

You can find guidance from the Amulets. If you are wondering where your life is heading, or looking for guidance on what the future might hold, the Amulets can help.

Contact me to request your personal Oracle consult with the Council of Elders, or a detailed 12 month oracle reading. Mention Pagan Pages during the month of January and receive a 10% discount off any 12 month oracle consultation.