Understanding Aleister Crowley Thoth Tarot

Understanding Aleister Crowley Thoth Tarot Cover

Book: Understanding Aleister Crowley Thoth Tarot by Lon Milo Duquette

Truly an excellent book. And I must disagree with the earlier reviewer who felt that Crowley had somehow been "dumbed down" or sanitized. Nothing could be further from the truth. Duquette spends a significant amount of space and time (nearly 100 pages) on explaining such things as the Holy Guardian Angel, the new Aeon of Horus, the Tree of Life, the significance of the Book of the Law as it relates to Crowley's tarot, etc. The bulk of the book is filled with detailed descriptions of each card, and their significance in the Tarot as a spiritual journey...rather than dwelling on divinatory meanings. There is a section at the back that gives brief divination meanings for readings, but clearly he (and Crowley too), thought that divination was a side effect produced by the Tarot...useful certainly, but not the main significance.

Lon DuQuette has a talent for making things like the writings of aleister crowley almost make sense. With "Understanding Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot", DuQuette continues his project of demystifying the difficult but critical body of literature left behind by the Beast.

The current work includes an introduction to the Rose Cross design that is worth the price of the book in itself. There is also a brief overview of Crowley's life and work. This latter is somewhat superficial, but any biography of Crowley is bound to be incomplete. DuQuette then goes over each card in turn, bringing the lofty metaphysics of the Book of Thoth down to earth. His formula for understanding the small cards is a good example of this. Apply it, and you should be able to memorize and internalize the cards at a much faster rate.

My only complaint really, and it is a very minor complaint, is that Duquette keeps apologizing for having to spend so much time on the background stuff. One apology would have been enough...anyone completely unfamilar with Qabala et al should know what they are getting into, and EXPECT some time spent explaining it. Continually apologizing for it was not necessary.

This book was written both for people with no interest in Crowley, and for those who wish to understand the Beast better. As such, it has to make a few concessions that it might not have if it had been written exclusively for magicians. Some of the more sexual aspects of Crowley's doctrines are toned down a bit, for example.

The extensive research which went into this volume, as well as DuQuette's own considerable experience on the subject, make this a text to be valued and read time and again - just as DuQuette himself recommends reading The Book of Thoth on a regular basis. But now, because of DuQuette's incredible efforts, the latter will be better understood by a broader audience, and the Thoth Tarot more comprehensively used for spiritually enlightening purposes, as it was meant to be.

I particulary liked the inclusion of bits of correspondence between Harris and Crowley, while the paintings were still being done. Duquette suggests that Crowley's original Book of Thoth (book) would be required reading alongside this book, and I must agree. It doesn't replace the original, it just makes jumping into it a lot less painful. I wish this book had been available years ago when I first read the Crowley book!

Buy Lon Milo Duquette's book: Understanding Aleister Crowley Thoth Tarot

Books in PDF format to read:

Aleister Crowley - Letters Between Aleister Crowley And Frieda Harris
Aleister Crowley - The Works Of Aleister Crowley Vol Iii Part 3
Aleister Crowley - The Works Of Aleister Crowley Vol I Part 3

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