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Understanding Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot: An Authoritative Examination of the World's Most Fascinating and Magical Tarot Cards
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Understanding Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot: An Authoritative Examination of the World's Most Fascinating and Magical Tarot Cards

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  686 ratings  ·  23 reviews

Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot was his final opus, the culmination of a lifetime of occult study and practice. With artist Lady Frieda Harris, he condensed the core of his teaching into the 78 cards of the tarot. Although Crowley's own Book of Thoth provides insight into the cards, it is a complicated, dated book. Now, in clear language, Lon Milo DuQuette provides everythi

Paperback, 330 pages
Published November 1st 2003 by Weiser Books
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Magick by Aleister CrowleyMagick Without Tears by Aleister CrowleyEight Lectures on Yoga by Aleister CrowleyThe Vision and the Voice by Aleister CrowleyMy Life With The Spirits by Lon Milo DuQuette
9th out of 54 books — 19 voters
Drawing Down the Moon by Margot AdlerThe Golden Dawn by Israel RegardieFate Twister by Owen  JonesThe Middle Pillar by Israel RegardieThree Books of Occult Philosophy by Cornelius Agrippa
Occult Library
28th out of 381 books — 141 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,233)
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Truly a necessary beginner's primer on the Thoth Tarot.

I'd been immolating my brain upon Aleister Crowley's original accompanying text The Book of Thoth, Dion Fortune's Mystical Qabala, and Robert Wang's Qabalistic Tarot -- all of which contain immensely valuable information and will require much re-reading to absorb -- yet this process could have been 10x easier had I just started off with DuQuette. He provides just enough background understanding on astrology, Thelema, and Crowley's personal s
Oct 07, 2010 Krapp rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: nobody
Shelves: magic, thelema
[EDIT] Rereading this book, I found it helped me more than I thought it had, and helped more the second time. The below review doesn't reflect that. There are many useful facts about the Thoth Tarot herein that everyone ought to know, who uses that deck. I'm very un-Thelemic, personally, and DuQuette's tone gets on my nerves. That's doesn't detract from the usefulness and quality of this book, which I'd underestimated. Now 4 stars, up one from before.

There's nothing particularly wrong with by Lo
Steven Reimel
Great Book - Bad Grammar

I loved this book but only gave it four stars because I was so distracted by the numerous spelling and grammatical errors it contains. The same words were consistently misspelled throughout and the wrong word or words that made no sense were inserted where they had no business being. As someone who majored in English in college and respects the proper fuselage of the language, found it very unprofessional on the publisher, editor and proofreaders' parts that they failed t
This is not a bad reference to have, but several things about it bothered me. First and foremost: if Crowley or Thelema bothers you, you are very unlikely to make a decent magician and if you are using the Tarot to be a professional psychic, then maybe you just stick to the cartoonish Rider-Waite deck. Thelema does not need Mr. Duquette to make apologies for Mr. Crowley; neither would the world benefit if scared witches suddenly figured out that Uncle Al was not such a bad man after all.
I owned the Thoth Tarot and The Book of Thoth for almost 20 years. Every time I tried to dive into it, I was enchanted by Lady Frieda Harris' beautiful imagery of the deck and so wanted to use it. However, each time I cracked open the companion Book of Thoth, I was left confused and frustrated. I tried and tried but could make very little sense of the Book of Thoth. I knew the deck was rich in symbolism, but understanding what was going on seemed insurmountable with Crowley's 'short essay' (Ha!) ...more
Well this is interesting and all in a hyper intellectual kind of way. I would have appreciated the symbolism much more when I was younger and was really into brain power kinds of things.

However my impressions now after all the radicalization I've gone through in the past couple of years are more negative than positive. I come away from reading this thinking Crowley was a rather arrogant, cultural appropriator that over thought things to the extreme. And that all the various symbolisms embedded i
jesse l mabus
this is a gem, a wealth of knowledge, a path to understanding the sometimes dense and apocryphal world of the thoth tarot. i reflected on reading this, how my firsts steps on the path to magick began with the tarot. how common this must be, the first difficult, tentative steps many make on this path to self-knowledge and understanding wisdom. this is a text that provides a light on the obfuscating and twisting ways of 'the book of thoth'. even if you have been on the path for a good long while, ...more
Of course, if you have been following along with my other Lon Milo DuQuette book reviews, you have figured out that I enjoy his writing style. I love his brain!! I like how he makes complicated, obscure, tedious ramblings of Croweley comprehensible to me, and even practical and wonderful. I gave a couple of Running goes at Croweley's own book on his Thoth deck, and slogged patiently and then skimmed mightily. And then I bought this book. Is it the definitive book? Other reviewers have complained ...more
This book is a must for those who really want to use and understand the Thoth tarot. The author demystify Crowley and gives the necessary background to start to understand the deck. This book is more a beginner book even though the subjects touched are really complex, this is the first book one should read before the others. Afterwards one can dabble in other books like Crowley's writtings, Qabalah, astrology, numerology and other various books on the deck. The only flaw I'd say is that he hides ...more
Chelsea Demoiselle
A must-have with the Thoth Deck.
This may be one of the first books that I absolutely hated that I will hold onto for a little while longer. Mostly I just wanted the card reference but I suffered through the terrible conversational yet obscure rants of DuQuette. Admittedly I am a skeptic. The only chapter I appreciated was his discussion of guardian angels as it seemed to make some sense. The chapters on colors, qabbala, tree of life, etc. are completely incomprehensible.
Great literature; allows you to form a foundation to build further understanding on the topic. Just as the title leads to say, "Understanding" is a core component to this book. I have read through this writing only two times and would imagine that I would find even more use after further reading again. Just as any book that is on this topic, understanding tends to further progress after reading and the book is closed.
Hands down, the best and most comprehensive piece of literature in this area. If you're not an Crowley aficionado, and have a steep learning curve, Mr. DuQuette places the Thoth Tarot deck within your grasp.

The pace is equal to a high-school text. All of the pictures and charts put the power behind the punch, giving you all you need to divine the mysteries of the Crowley-Tarot universe.
So much wonderfulness to chew-on. Very satisfying elucidation of Crowley's poetically coded and loaded ramblings. Duquette brings The Beast down to earth. Make sure you have a copy of Crowley's Thoth book on hand for cross-referencing.
This book serves more as an introduction to Magik and the philosophy of Aleister Crowley than a good explanation of how to read the Thoth Tarot. If you pick this book up be sure that you already have a good understanding of Tarot reading.
A good work on the foundational understanding of the tarot and it's relation to qabalah and astrology. I don't buy into any of it, but it is a good read if you are into comparative religion.
Corbin Davies
This is a valuable guide for those new to the Thoth tarot. It is interesting and very pleasant to read; not too dense. I recommend this for use in conjunction with Crowley's writing.
Daniel Levesque
Feb 04, 2013 Daniel Levesque rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: witches, bitches and snitches
A great companion to the Crowley text. Well written, with humor, it delves pretty deep into the origins of the work and doesn't dumb it down.
Chris Feldman
Crowley's "Book of Thoth" is a masterful work on Thelema, but not so great as accompaniment to the tarot deck. For that, you want this book.
Where was this book 20 years ago? Amazingly helpful and insightful.
A great primer on Tarot and Qabbalah, while staying fun and easy to read. DuQuette is a great writer!
Cant decide if this was helpful or misleading... but I suppose im glad I read it.
Matthew Ryan
An indispensable guide to the most beautiful and accurate tarot deck yet created.
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Lon Milo DuQuette is an American singer-song writer, author, lecturer, and occultist, best known as an author who applies humor in the field of Western Hermeticism.

Born in Long Beach, California and raised in Columbus, Nebraska, he was an aspiring studio musician and recording artist in the 1970s, releasing two singles and an album, Charley D. and Milo, on the Epic Records label.

He married to his
More about Lon Milo DuQuette...
The Chicken Qabalah of Rabbi Lamed Ben Clifford: Dilettante's Guide to What You Do and Do Not Need to Know to Become a Qabalist The Magick of Aleister Crowley: A Handbook of the Rituals of Thelema My Life With The Spirits: The Adventures of a Modern Magician: A Magical Autobiography Low Magick: It's All in Your Head ... You Just Have No Idea How Big Your Head Is Enochian Vision Magick: An Introduction and Practical Guide to the Magick of Dr. John Dee and Edward Kelley

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