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    I have been wanting to buy tarot cards for a long time and finally decided to. There were many decks in the shop, but I was attracted to Aleister Crowley’s deck. Then I read that it is dark, mystical and strange, and to be honest I am a bit confused, but I am very interested in learning about it. My question is – who has encountered the Crowley deck, what do you think of it and what is your experience with it?

  • Tarot Crowley

     Only_legendary updated 8 months, 1 week ago 2 Members · 1 Reply
  • kryszcd

    Guest
    September 16, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    It was the first deck that called to me and at the time it was known as the HARDEST deck to learn and beginners should absolutely stay far away from it.

    I never listen to that kind of advice. It is a completely different deck than the RWS so know that going in. I have found the Thoth deck to be extremely blunt. It does not care about your feelings and sometimes it does not care about your question. It is going to tell you exactly what you need to hear, whether you want that or not.

    It is a great deck in my opinion, just be aware of its personality.

  • Uisgah

    Guest
    September 16, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    I’ve been using it since 1972; it and its companion book are basically a lifetime study. You can’t go wrong with it if you’re willing to put in the work. But you might want to start with the more prosaic RWS deck and work up from there.

  • Polstar242

    Guest
    September 16, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    I’ve only ever got on with the Thoth deck. I love the symbolism on it. When I bought it in Watkins (a very well known Occult shop in London) a man said ‘and so she walks into darkness ‘ 😂.
    There are some really good online resources for it (some of which I find completely baffling because I don’t fully understand the Kabbalah and other references but I’m learning) and I have a Goodnotes Tarot journal that I make notes in for each card. Although I am trying to work intuitively I also find it helps to understand the intentions behind the designs.

  • Sorry_Attention_5342

    Guest
    September 16, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    The Thoth deck is incredibly well-known and there are reviews of it and books on it that you can look up via internet search.

  • spectrosynthesist

    Guest
    September 16, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    It’s perfectly fine to use, but bear in mind that it’s not typical to a Smith-Waite deck, which most beginner resources are written for.

    You can read it as a Smith-Waite IF you bear in mind that the ordering of two cards – Strength and Justice – are swapped, and that the court cards are in a different order – Crowley’s Knight should be read as Smith-Waite’s King, with the ordering being Princess/Page, Prince/Knight, Queen/Queen, Knight/King.

    There are some additional symbology aspects (like Qabala) that apply to both decks, but which Crowley and Harris make blatant (the card order in the major arcana is switched for Qabalistic reasons, because he disagreed with the Golden Dawn ordering). There are also some aspects which are unique to Crowley’s philosophy in the deck, which you’ll begin to pick up on with a basic knowledge of Thelema. He intended the deck to be the revised Tarot deck for the age of Horus.

    If you have the means, maybe get both decks. That way you can see the symbolism presented by the Smith-Waite while learning, but also be able to compare that with the Thoth deck.

  • Lewlynn

    Guest
    September 16, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    I love it, that was my first tarot deck. Most decks are butterflies and happiness, well, if you like that kind of vibe, this is not for you. It’s serious and commanding authority, for me it’s the best to do serious spreads. The Major Arcana has excellent pictures with a LOT of symbolism, very detailed and everything is in its way for purpose. Truly a treasure mine for my unconscious. But be aware that the Minor Arcana has only pictures of the elements (disks, wands, chalices and swords), also with some symbolism, but it’s not figurative like the other decks.

    TBH I was afraid from this deck when I started to read again (I stopped reading for about 10-13 years), but it literally encouraged and scolded me to have the pride and confidence to use it. Truly a partner. 🙂

    Also, I bought 7 decks since then, I love every one of them (especially my newest Eldritch Overload), but I think I’ll always consider the Thoth deck as my master deck.

  • synthaetica

    Guest
    September 16, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    Crowley was given a lot of bad press in his day. He and Waite were competitors. Waite and his followers won the publicity war of the day. Both had their eccentricities, foibles, known and not-fully-disclosed “problems”. Neither person, in today’s world, would likely be remarkably or even notably strange or even all that eccentric, really. Crowley didn’t give a damn about the small stuff and as a result lost that particular battle.

    Crowley had the “audacity” to put the symbolism directly on the cards. Under the edicts of the Golden Dawn back in the day, they weren’t supposed to do that. Hence all the “dark, mystic, occult”, etc appellations to the deck. The same things technically underly the Rider-Waite deck, they’re just referential and inferred. Adepts would make those inferences through the color selections and other symbologies. So all this outcry against the Thoth is literally just anti-marketing.

    The Thoth, and Thoth derivatives, are almost all I read with and have used since the mid-1980s. It is a wonderful deck, representative of an excellent system. Like everything, it is imperfect, and that is part of what makes it wonderful. It is blunt, wholesome, endearing, progressive, and ever-changing. I highly recommend it.

  • AvadhutaTarotAstro

    Guest
    September 16, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    Best deck I’ve come upon overall to date. It is, in my opinion, a true masterpiece.

  • Seisme1138

    Guest
    September 16, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    That’s just Crowley’s reputation getting in the way. It’s a deep and beautiful deck. I’ve gotten more out of his study of the deck than most common decks.

  • blueeyetea

    Guest
    September 16, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    If you’re attracted to it, go for it. I have a couple transcripts from tarot symposiums from the 80s or 90s, and most of the presenters used the Thoth deck. Crowley and Waite were both from the Golden Dawn, and they both follow the same symbolism in their decks, it’s just presented differently. You can go as shallow or deep as you want.

    I suggest you go check out Tarot Shrink on Youtube. Some of her videos talk about the Thoth deck specifically.

  • WouldYouKindly1417

    Guest
    September 16, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    IMO the Thoth deck is beautiful beyond comparison, and easily the deck I’ve most strongly connected with. I’ve had good, meaningful readings with other decks but the Thoth is the only one I feel I’ve built a relationship with. As others have stated, it’s very involved in terms of symbolism, but Crowley himself said in The Book of Thoth that if you get too caught up in the “rules” of Tarot you’ll miss the point. I have a few books I keep on hand for readings, but I feel a lot can be taken from just looking at a card and seeing what comes up. If you feel drawn to it I say pull the trigger

  • [deleted]

    Guest
    September 16, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    Thoth deck is one of the best known decks around. Its its own thing and the symbolism isnt the same as RWS if that’s something that matters to you. Its a great deck.

  • crowEatingStaleChips

    Guest
    September 16, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    The main thing is that you can basically split modern tarot decks into two “families”: Rider-Waite and Crowley (or the Thoth deck) Others have mentioned most resources out there are for Rider-Waite. And most (but not all!) tarot decks out there are based off Rider-Waite at their core.

    I learned on Thoth decks and currently use Rider-Waite, so here are some differences:

    It’s already been mentioned that two of the Major Arcana are in swapped positions, and that the court cards are named differently. **But it’s also true that some of the minor arcana have different associations than they do in Rider-Waite.** unfortunately it’s been years since I’ve read with a Thoth deck so I can’t remember what they are (I think 4 of Pentacles/disks is one??)… but I wanna say it’s minimum 1/5th of the cards.

    Finally — and this is somewhat up to opinion — Thoth is really heavy into the mystical aspect, whereas Rider Waite, you can read psychically or you can make it totally secular. You could probably do secular with Thoth too if you wanted to, but I remember there being a lot more in-depth mystical symbolism going on in Thoth that I eventually decided wasn’t right for me.

    That said : Crowley decks are great, and if you’re using the original Thoth deck design, it’s gorgeous. **But I recommend using a resource to learn that has Crowley decks in mind.**

  • dewayneestes

    Guest
    September 16, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    I personally don’t use it and I’m not a big fan of Crowley. That being said, his work is pretty foundational and powerful. Marseille, RWS, and Thoth are really the 3 main styles of Tarot and I think he made some great contributions to Tarot. If you’re not put off by him I’d say definitely go for it.

  • Giraffanny

    Guest
    September 16, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    My advice friend is to go with your intuition /heart. It spoke to you, so buy it and enjoy. The Best things will happen then. I own a deck that have heavy and dark energy but I know how to deal with it and its all Good 🙂

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