Aleister Crowley Thoth Tarot Deck
“The wickedest man in the world” was a writer, Freemason, mystic, sexual revolutionary, and of course, an occultist. Today Aleister Crowley is most known for his occult writing “The Book of Law” and his Thoth Tarot deck is one of the most widely viewed and purchased decks on the internet. The more you know about the man, the more sense the deck makes.
The vibrant and often disturbing images of the Thoth tarot deck are taken from his famous writing, “The Book of Law,” which details the Thelema, Crowley’s mystical system of ideas and belief structure. “Do what thou will shall be the whole of the law” became quite the mantra for Crowley followers, but Crowley wasn’t so much an anarchist as one would have thought. He meant universal will when he wrote that, and practiced that there is a larger will, one’s destiny. He termed it “True Will.”
Many of the cards are sexual in nature. This stems from the second law of the Thelema path; “Love is the Law, under will.” However Crowley’s idea of love was mostly physical or sexual based and very much unlike the universal love which is taught as a doctrine of other belief or faith systems. The deck also contains cards with a Kabbalistic approach to tarot readings as well as astrological signs, so if you know your basic characteristics of the astrological symbols, you should not have too much trouble understanding and reading this vibrant and beautiful deck.
The deck printed in Belgium is not as vibrantly colored or as pretty. It has, in fact, been reviewed as having an “Ominous” tone to it and a green tint which makes the pictures appear murky. The Swiss printed deck is of better constructional quality. The Thoth deck is also not one to be chosen as a beginner deck. The information is numerous and detailed, and a beginning tarot reader may have some trouble differentiating the arrogant Crowley from the card meanings.