A Thoth Appreciation

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Barleywine
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A Thoth Appreciation

Post by Barleywine » 22 Sep 2017, 08:02

I just wrote a short essay on my long fascination with the Thoth deck. Rather than regurgitate the whole thing here, I thought I would just link to my blog. I hope that's OK.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/jdtuce4g0bgmd ... .pdf?raw=1

ETA: I switched to a Dropbox upload.
Last edited by Barleywine on 22 Sep 2017, 08:50, edited 3 times in total.

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Nemia
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Re: A Thoth Appreciation

Post by Nemia » 22 Sep 2017, 08:04

The link doesn't work :-( - it leads me to my own wordpress blog...

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Re: A Thoth Appreciation

Post by Barleywine » 22 Sep 2017, 08:19

Nemia wrote:
22 Sep 2017, 08:04
The link doesn't work :-( - it leads me to my own wordpress blog...
Hmm, let me work on that.

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Joan Marie

Re: A Thoth Appreciation

Post by Joan Marie » 22 Sep 2017, 09:10

The link worked for me. Maybe you've fixed it already.

Please forgive me, but I have to ask this question and I know it's been asked before but how does one correctly pronounce "Thoth"?

I am guessing it is with 2 hard T's like Tot.

I enjoyed your essay. For those of us who are not naturally drawn to the Thoth deck, you make a very compelling case for considering it more closely.

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Re: A Thoth Appreciation

Post by Barleywine » 22 Sep 2017, 09:22

Joan Marie wrote:
22 Sep 2017, 09:10
The link worked for me. Maybe you've fixed it already.

Please forgive me, but I have to ask this question and I know it's been asked before but how does one correctly pronounce "Thoth"?

I am guessing it is with 2 hard T's like Tot.

I enjoyed your essay. For those of us who are not naturally drawn to the Thoth deck, you make a very compelling case for considering it more closely.
Here's an interesting site that compares regional variations. It seems to be a toss-up between "thawth" and "thoath."

http://www.pronouncekiwi.com/Thoth

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Re: A Thoth Appreciation

Post by Nemia » 22 Sep 2017, 09:42

Yes, it works! Thank you so much. I'm a Thothie (and I pronounce it Tott... though I believe nobody really knows how Tutmoses and Nefertiti pronounced it...) and I agree with most of what you say.

I have only c. 20 years of experience with the Thoth and disagree in one point. I think it's possible to start with the Thoth purely intuitively, especially if you're not "spoiled" by the RWS system. Harris' art is strong in symbols, colours and compositions, and it's possible to get strong messages from the cards alone.

I'm not advocating Angeles Arrien's method of reading into it what you can't read from it, but I wouldn't like to discourage beginners. I always say: start with the Thoth, read with it, journal your readings, read books about it (I'd start gently with Snuffin and DuQuette and only then graduate to Crowley himself), and you'll learn on the journey.

The Thoth is in my eyes not only a perfect divination (and self reflective tool) for students and scholars of tarot, astrology, kabbalah, alchemy and the whole body of Western esotericism, it is also a perfect LEARNING tool for these subjects.

When you work with the Thoth long enough, you'll feel hungry and thirsty for kabbalah, well at least I did (I had enough astrology background to start with and still struggle with Alchemy).

I feel that the Thoth really opened up a whole world for me. I'd never have discovered what I have discovered if I had not had that Thoth reading in 1983 on a windy day in a small town while I was sure my heart was breaking.

I wouldn't tell anyone that this world is closed to them until they come with solild background in Thelema and Crowley's writings.

I totally agree about the outstanding quality of the minors. Although I learned to appreciate RWS art and symbolism over the years, there's no comparison between the abstract, evocative clarity of the Thoth minors that make esoteric concepts transparent, and the theatrical little scenes of the RWS that make them opaque and can lead you astray in a see-what-you-want style. And I do appreciate narrative decks that take their inspiration from the RWS system.

But reading with the Thoth is like standing on a hill top on a fresh day where you can see far. You fill your lungs with cool air and feel alive and connected and the first stars are coming out and you expect to see Jacob's ladder.

And the Tabula Mundi is indeed a wonderful achievement, the book is wonderful and the art totally compelling.

I just put up my new Libra cards on my tarot calendar and was blown away when I saw Justice/Adjustment from Thoth, Tabula Mundi, Ben Dov Conver and other decks together. The innovation and intelligence of the Thoth-inspired but not Thoth-clone Tabula Mundi is amazing. She really went to new horizons. I love Maath on skates. Just wonderful.

But Frieda did it first. She forces you and seduces you to UNDERSTAND what Moon in Libra and Chochma in Yetsira really means. And then go and connect it to your life, your question, your spread, other cards etc... without narrative crutches.

Thank you for your text, it really sums up nicely why Thoth readers love their Thoth :-)

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Re: A Thoth Appreciation

Post by Barleywine » 22 Sep 2017, 12:45

One can certainly approach the Thoth intuitively, but I see it as the difference between water skiing and scuba diving. You will see far more wonders under the water than on top of it. The demands are greater, but so are the rewards if you're after more than cheap thrills.

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