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

Understanding Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot by Lon Milo DuQuette
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's review
Sep 01, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: magic, thelema
Recommended for: nobody
Read in September, 2010 — I own a copy

[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 Lon Milo DuQuette, it's merely unnecessary. You can learn about Crowley's Tarot from it, true. But if you learn the little "white book" that's in the box (that's Tarot-speak for the instructions), you will be able to use Aleister Crowley's Thoth Deck after some practice, unless you happen not to like it. Then, if you enjoy over top prose and, well, the voice of Aleister Crowley, then read The Book of Thoth: A Short Essay on the Tarot of the Egyptians. It's not a very difficult book. Crowley—maybe despite, maybe because of—the porphyry of his prose as well as its high quality and the strange and unique voice of the man coming at you through the written word is almost a great writer. DuQuette teaches (always amiably) a dumbed-down version of Crowley. Do you need a dumbed-down version? Honestly? You'll be missing a lot.

Be warned: everything Crowley or DuQuette (and hundreds of others say about the Hebrew or Greek languages is tripe. It's all truly embarrassing.

DuQuette himself is amusing, entertaining, avuncular. His books (the ones I've read) may be omitted. Go buy something worth the money.
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