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Understanding Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot: New Edition Taschenbuch – 1. September 2017

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Lon Milo DuQuette has been involved with occult studies since the late 60s, and has become an acknowledged and widely recognized authority within the world of modern occultism. His previous publications include Magick of Thelema, The Tarot of Ceremonial Magick, Angels, Demons & Gods of the New Millennium, and the humorous, biographical My Life with the Spirits.

Leseprobe. Abdruck erfolgt mit freundlicher Genehmigung der Rechteinhaber. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

Understanding Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot

By Lon Milo DuQuette

Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC

Copyright © 2017 Lon Milo DuQuette
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-57863-623-5


Preface to the Second Edition of Understanding Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot,
Part One Little Bits of Things You Should Know Before Beginning to Study Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot,
Chapter 0 Introduction: The Book of Thoth — a Magick Book?,
Chapter 1 Little Bits of Things You Should Know,
Chapter 2 Aleister Crowley and the Golden Dawn,
Chapter 3 The Lady and the Beast,
Chapter 4 The Art,
Chapter 5 The Prophet and the Book of the Law,
Chapter 6 The Aeon of Horus,
Chapter 7 The Vision and the Voice,
Chapter 8 Secrets of the Rose Cross Back,
Chapter 9 Secrets of the Tree of Life,
Chapter 10 Worlds of Color,
Chapter 11 The Holy Guardian Angel,
Part Two The Cards,
Chapter 12 Introduction to the Cards,
Chapter 13 Introduction to the Major Arcana,
Chapter 14 Atu of Tahuti — the Major Arcana Trumps,
Chapter 15 The Minor Arcana,
Chapter 16 The Spirit of the Aces,
Chapter 17 The Four Aces,
Chapter 18 The Crazy Mixed-up World of Court Cards,
Chapter 19 The Small Cards,
Chapter 20 Method of Divination and the Meanings of the Cards,
Chapter 21 Glossary of Thelemic and Tarot Terms,



It seems important that you should understand my motive. To me this Work on the Tarot is an Encyclopaedia of all serious "occult" philosophy. It is a standard Book of Reference, which will determine the entire course of mystical and magical thought for the next 2000 years. My one anxiety is that it should be saved from danger of destruction, by being reproduced in permanent form, and distributed in as many distant places as may be. I am not anxious to profit financially; if I had the capital available in this country, I should send (say) 200 copies to State Libraries in all parts of the world, and as many more to my principal representatives.

— Aleister Crowley to Mr. Pearson, Photoengraver, May 29, 1942.

Every year since 1969, when the first color edition appeared in bookstores and specialty shops worldwide, Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot has remained one of the best-selling tarot decks in the world. This is not surprising. In my opinion, it is quite simply the most stunningly beautiful deck of tarot cards ever created. It took the artist, the immensely talented Frieda Harris, over five years (1938–1943) to complete the seventy-eight surrealistic masterpieces.

Today, the images remain as hauntingly evocative as when they were first exhibited. The popularity of the cards, however, shines in bright contrast to the black reputation of the man who designed them and who relentlessly dictated every aspect of their execution — a man maligned during his lifetime as a black magician, and branded by the press "the wickedest man in the world."

Paradoxes seem to define the life and career of Edward Alexander (Aleister) Crowley. Yes, in many ways he was a scoundrel. There is no doubt that he wallowed shamelessly in his carefully cultivated persona as England's literary and spiritual bad-boy. At the same time, he took life and himself very seriously. Among other distinctions, he was a world-class mountaineer, chess master, painter, poet, sportsman, novelist, critic, and theatrical producer. He introduced America to astrology, Isadora Duncan to the I Ching, and the poet Victor Neuberg to hiking and high magick. As an agent provocateur writing for an English-language German propaganda newspaper in New York, he penned the outrageous and inflammatory editorials that provoked a reluctant United States Congress to enter World War I on England's side.

During World War II, at the request of friend and Naval Intelligence officer Ian Fleming, Crowley provided Winston Churchill with valuable insights into the superstitions and magical mind-set of the leaders of the Third Reich. He also suggested to the prime minister, if reports can be believed, that he exploit the enemy's magical paranoia by being photographed as much as possible giving the two-fingered "V-for-Victory" gesture. This sign is the manual version of the magical sign of Apophis-Typhon, a powerful symbol of destruction and annihilation which, according to magical tradition, is capable of defeating the solar energies represented by the swastika.

Astonishingly, Crowley's adventures and achievements — more than any dozen men of ambition and genius could realistically hope to garner in a lifetime — seem almost to be distractions when weighed against his monumental exploits of self-discovery. His visionary writings and his efforts to synthesize and integrate the esoteric spiritual systems of East and West make him one of the most fascinating cultural and religious figures of the twentieth century.

Even though his highly esoteric (and often ponderous) writings today enjoy a level of readership and appreciation never approached during his lifetime, the number of aspirants willing to take up serious study of his Scientific Illuminism remains relatively small. For those daring and tenacious students, his Thoth Tarot becomes the cornerstone of their study — a priceless and indispensable treasure. It is nothing less than a full-color visual textbook of the wisdom of the ages — a living talisman that distills, in breathtaking pageantry, the essence of the spiritual education and insights of a modern master of the ancient mysteries. Is it any wonder that such a rare and radiant magical device should cast an irresistible spell upon nearly everyone with whom it comes in contact? For me, the answer is obvious. However, I think it is also fair to ask if it is possible for someone to use and enjoy the Thoth Tarot, even if they have absolutely no interest in Crowley or the Qabalistic, astrological, and magical aspects of the cards.

My answer is an unequivocal "Yes!" The Thoth Tarot happens to be the preferred deck of thousands of tarot collectors, students, and amateur and professional readers all over the world. Most with whom I have spoken tell me they choose the deck because of its haunting beauty and its efficacy as a divinatory tool. Those who know something about Crowley and his work are usually polarized in their opinions, but even those who consider him a perfectly dreadful individual still maintain a healthy admiration for the cards. I was once assailed by a venerable tarot reader who voiced the opinion shared by many professional readers and fans of the Thoth Tarot: "I don't care who Aleister Crowley was, and I don't believe in his magick. I just know I like those damned cards and they work!"

While it is undoubtedly true that only a small percentage of owners and users of the Thoth Tarot will ever fully appreciate the esoteric value of the cards, it is also abundantly clear to me that there are a great many people who would sincerely like to know more about them. If you find yourself in this group of seekers, this book is for you.

In recent years, several fine books have been published that use the Thoth Tarot as illustrations. By and large, these books pay respectful attention to the more obvious features of the cards. They are good tarot books in their own right, but they do not, in my opinion, deal satisfactorily with the profound concepts and revelations that make the Thoth Tarot so...


  • Herausgeber ‏ : ‎ Red Wheel/Weiser; New Edition (1. September 2017)
  • Sprache ‏ : ‎ Englisch
  • Taschenbuch ‏ : ‎ 330 Seiten
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 157863623X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1578636235
  • Abmessungen ‏ : ‎ 15.24 x 2.54 x 22.23 cm
  • Kundenrezensionen:
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Alle Rezensionen ins Deutsche übersetzen
Kundenrezension aus Deutschland 🇩🇪 am 7. Januar 2023
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Kundenrezension aus Deutschland 🇩🇪 am 5. Juli 2019
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Spitzenrezensionen aus anderen Ländern

Jan Tetteroo
5,0 von 5 Sternen Read this one first after buying the Thoth tarot deck
Kundenrezension aus Großbritannien 🇬🇧 am 15. Mai 2022
7 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich
5,0 von 5 Sternen Great introduction to the Thoth tarot and the lighter aspects of Crowley's thought and output.
Kundenrezension aus Großbritannien 🇬🇧 am 4. September 2021
2 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich
4,0 von 5 Sternen Very informative.
Kundenrezension aus Großbritannien 🇬🇧 am 2. November 2021
4,0 von 5 Sternen Very informative.
Kundenrezension aus Großbritannien 🇬🇧 am 2. November 2021
The book has a lot of easy to understand information regarding Qabalah, tree of life, etc. Its a very interesting read & Lon makes it easy to digest the vast information. The only criticism I have is that the plastic is peeling off the front cover. This was how the book arrived. Not Mr DuQuette's fault obviously!
Bilder in dieser Rezension
3 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich
3,0 von 5 Sternen Don't buy if you want a universal tarot guide
Kundenrezension aus Großbritannien 🇬🇧 am 21. November 2021
Eine Person fand diese Informationen hilfreich
5,0 von 5 Sternen Very readable
Kundenrezension aus Großbritannien 🇬🇧 am 31. August 2018
5 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich