I’ve been thinking of buying a Thoth tarot deck to add to my collection so I’ve been looking online and found a few different versions published by 2 companies — AGMuller (Switzerland) and U.S. Games — which I found rather confusing trying to decide which of the many versions I preferred.
The AGMuller decks (small, standard and deluxe) have grey borders and come in dark blue boxes and are referred to as the “Swiss Editions”. They boast of having faithfully reproduced the stunning colours of the original paintings.
U.S. Games have two main versions — one deck has green borders and comes in a green box, but this deck has more muted colours. They also publish a special edition of the Swiss Thoth, with grey borders, in a box that looks almost identical to the green set, only it is grey (or pale purple). Each of these also come in different sizes (standard and deluxe). There’s no mention of whether the colours are “muted” or “stunning” in the U.S. Swiss version …all very confusing! …and they might not all be still available. Just to confuse things further I found the Thoth Tarot discussed on the Aeclectic Tarot forum (2 pages of comments so far!). Then a bit later I found an excellent page of information and illustrations of the various Thoth decks at the Tarot Garden Library. Soooooo many different versions have been printed.
Of the ones I think might be still currently for sale I’ve decided on the Aleister Crowley Thoth Deck – Deluxe (Swiss Edition) published by AGMuller (in a blue box) and not the versions published by U.S. Games as I prefer stronger colours, and larger cards. Now I just have to find the one that I want “in stock”.
I’ve already ordered a book by Lon Milo DuQuette called, Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot: An Authoritative Examination of the World’s Most Fascinating and Magical Tarot Cards, to help me learn more about this tarot deck. Once it arrives I’ll just need another few hours in the day to read it and the other zillion books I’m currently reading or have lined up for the future.
I decided to also try an online Thoth tarot reading at www.fourthdimension.net/thoth to get a “feel” for the deck. I asked my question — which I won’t publish as that would be giving too much away 😉 — and was intrigued by how accurate the reading appeared to be …even online readings seem to mysteriously work somehow, lol. Unfortunately these particular tarot readings only work on Internet Explorer, which is very annoying as I use a Mac. I found I couldn’t “click” on the cards using Firefox or Safari, so I had to access it with IE via a virtual PC I have on my Mac. Even though it’s not going to mean much to anyone else I thought I’d put the results here anyway as an example of the type of reading you’ll get from the Fourth Dimension website and to illustrate some of the cards in the Thoth deck.
Firstly, the spread which was used for this reading…
Card 1: “The Two of Disks”
Card: The Two of Disks: Change. Pleasant transformation. Visit to friends. The harmony of change. Alternation of gain and loss, weakness and strength, ever varying occupation, wandering, discontented with any fixed condition of things; now elated, now melancholy, industrious, yet unreliable, fortunate through prudence of management yet sometimes unaccountably foolish. Alternatively talkative and suspicious. Kind yet wavering and inconsistent. Fortunate in journeying. Argumentative.
1st: The significator. This cards represents you, the querant, either specifically or metaphorically. It can represent many aspects of your personality, including the emotional, the physical, and the spiritual.
Card 2: “The Prince of Cups”
The Prince of Cups: A young man with brown hair, grey or brown eyes. He is subtle, violent, crafty and artistic. A fierce nature with a calm exterior. Powerful for good or evil, but more attracted by the evil, if allied with apparent Power or Wisdom. If ill-dignified, he is intensely evil and merciless.
2nd: The current environment. Here you will find an indicator of the most crucial aspect of your current situation. If this card refers to a person, that person could be either one closely concerned with the reading or an aspect of yourself.
Card 3: “Fortune”
The Wheel of Fortune. Good fortune and happiness (within bounds), but sometimes also a species of intoxication with success.
3rd: The obstacle. This card shows what is standing in your way. Most often the card is obvious, however, sometimes the card refers to something you may think is desirable. At that point you must reassess your desires and determine if the quest is worthy or if the goal is something better left unattained.
Card 4: “The Prince of Disks”
The Prince of Disks: A young man with dark brown hair and dark eyes. Increase of matter, increase of good and evil, solidifies, practically amplifies things, steady, reliable. If ill-dignified, animal, material, stupid. Slow to anger, but furious if roused.
4th: The goal. This card shows what you desire. If the card is confusing then you must discover the aspect of your goal to which the card refers. This card also may suggest that a reappraisal of your goals is in order.
Card 5: “The Seven of Wands”
The Seven of Wands: Valour. Opposition, sometimes courage therewith. Possible victory, depending on the energy and courage exercised; obstacles, difficulties, yet courage to meet them, quarrelling, ignorance, pretense, wrangling and threatening, also victory in small and unimportant things, and influence over a subordinate.
5th: The foundation of the current environment. This card is crucial in determining the nature of the current situation. It shows that upon which the current environment is built. It is the base of the pillar of the present.
Card 6: “The Queen of Wands”
The Queen of Wands: A woman with red or gold hair, blue or brown eyes. She is steady and resolute, with great power to attract. Kind and generous when not opposed. When ill-dignified, she is obstinate, revengeful, domineering, tyrannical and apt to turn suddenly against another without a cause.
6th: The past. Here you will see the accomplishments and the battles of the past. The card could also represent something which is still haunting your or unfinished business which still requires your attention.
Card 7: “The Lovers”
The Lovers. Inspiration (passive, and in some cases mediumistic). Motive power, and action, arising from Inspiration and Impulse.
7th: The immediate future. This card shows what is about to happen to you immediately upon conclusion of the reading. If the card refers to a person then you may confront that person soon. It could represent an aspect of that person, which will be a key to your interaction.
Card 8: “The Fool”
The Fool: Idea, thought, spirituality, that which endeavors to rise above the material. However, if the reading is about a material subject, it can mean folly, stupidity and eccentricity.
8th: The future environment. Since the Tarot shows the complexity of your future, the eighth card is crucial in analyzing your choice of action. This card shows aspects of the future environment which will either help or hinder your quest.
Card 9: “Lust”
Lust. Courage, Strength, Fortitude. Power not arrested in the act of Judgment, but passing on to further action. Sometimes obstinacy.
9th: The influence of society. This cards shows how your friends and family will affect you in the future environment. If the card is a person then you must determine which person. The card may also suggest an aspect of a person who concerns your quest. If the quest concerns a specific person then this card could represent either that person or someone else who will stand in the way.
Card 10: “The Queen of Swords”
The Queen of Swords: A graceful woman of grey hair and light-brown eyes. Intensely perceptive, keenly observational, subtle, quick, confident, often perseveringly accurate in superficial things, graceful, fond of dancing and balancing. Ill-dignified: cruel, sly, deceitful, unreliable, though with a good exterior.
10th: The challenge. Here, you will find the nature of what confronts you. The card may suggest a key to how you will defeat your enemy and attain your goal. It may also point to a weakness within yourself which you must overcome.
Card 11: “The Ten of Disks”
The Ten of Disks: Wealth. Riches. Completion of material gain and fortune, but nothing beyond. As it were, at the very pinnacle of success. Old age, slothfulness, great wealth, yet sometimes loss in part and later heaviness, dullness of mind, yet clever and prosperous in money transactions.
11th: The outcome. The future is a blank page waiting for you to write its story and follow its path. Predestination is an illusion based on tendency and predisposition. This card shows a possible future outcome, based on those factors. If it is undesirable you must find a way to avoid it. If it is desirable you must simply follow the course show by the cards. This card is the crown of the pillar of the future.
Edit ~ 7 hours later: I’ve just ordered a deck of cards online from the Tarot Chest in the UK for only AU$32.80 including postage (£14.99 plus £2.50 standard postage) which is cheaper than I can buy them here excluding postage! …go figure?!? In any case, I couldn’t find the ones I wanted in stock in any of the numerous Aussie stores I checked – almost all were listed as “out of stock”, “request back order”, or “email first to check availability”. I did have to compromise however by getting the standard deck instead of the deluxe, but they’re still a decent size. Yay! …happy happy happy!
Edit ~ 11/10/2009: My cards arrived a couple of days ago …yay! I’m soooo glad I did get the standard size instead of the deluxe as the bigger ones would have been too hard to hold and shuffle (which is what other reviews have said anyway but I chose to ignore that, LOL). They’re so wonderfully slippery (unlike some other cards sets I’ve bought in the past which drag and stick, and are really difficult to shuffle) and the imagery is so very intriguing. I’m still waiting for the books I ordered to help me understand them – the little booklet that comes with the deck has only the most basic info but it’s enough that I know I’m going to enjoy using these cards.
Edit ~ 15/10/2009: My books arrived yesterday …so much to read …so very informative and enlightening!