Thoth Tips

Learning the to read with the Thoth tarot Deck

Learning to read the Thoth deck
Why read with the Thoth tarot deck? Often the deck we chose to read with is just a personal choice of what we are drawn to and this is reason enough, if you are drawn to the Thoth then it can work for you as a deck. It may be it is the beautiful imagery, the knowledge that it has been designed with many layers of correspondences or the reputation that this deck will give you very direct readings that appeals to you, or perhaps it is just a feeling it wants to work with you that has brought you to consider owning this wonderful deck.

I feel this deck is indeed a very powerful tool, there are so many systems of thought represented in the deck in so many ways that it can tap into our collective unconscious very easily and bring us to intuitive meanings easily particularly if you are focused on your inner world and how we can better manifest our potential in this lifetime. The deck is balanced with its depictions of the happiest times of our lives and also the hardest times of our lives. So you can build a trust in this deck that it will tell you the truth of a situation. When it is difficult it won’t pull the punches however it also shows the way to work through and overcome the difficulties through working on ourselves. Every situation we experience externally brings with it a lesson we can learn from and by using the Thoth tarot to help us work through these lessons it opens the doors to our inner wisdom and healing. 

So it is balanced, beautiful, multi-layered, direct and has no taboos – all topics can be expressed through this powerful deck. Crowley, I feel, was an excellent scholar of so many esoteric pathways, he also practiced all he learned and, though he had his own issues, throughout his life he was strong enough to follow his own heart and direction searching for the truth in all things despite being bedeviled. By using the Thoth we are given his study in correspondences through so many systems as a starting point and we then begin our own journey into our inner worlds to find our personal connection with the realms beyond the mundane.

Many people however, despite the attraction of the Thoth – find that they don’t know where to start once they have the deck in their hands, that somehow there is a resistance to working with it. It might be you have tried to read with it and have been put off by the direct keywords on some of the cards and the feeling of darkness that may be alongside these words. It might be you have read some of the books about the deck and have found the information from so many systems of thought coming together in one deck just seems overwhelming, how will you learn all these things and be able to use the deck. Perhaps you have heard of the reputation of Crowley and are nervous to be associated with some of the darker sides of his life. So the first place to start with reading with this deck is to look at your associations with it in the beginning and see which of these are really true for you and which are just getting in the way from someone else’s viewpoints that you have taken on as true. 

Once you have acknowledged your misgivings and possible blocks to using the deck you can then move forward. You can start working with the Thoth from wherever you are at the time. You bring to it your current knowledge even if incomplete and allow your intuition to grow from your current place. You may know some astrology, or be familiar with the Kabbalah and these can help you access the cards intuitively as well as your own life experience. When you see an image on a card you can allow yourself to free associate with it, this loosens up any tendency to censor our intuitive thoughts and though many freely associated images my be relevant only to ourselves initially, in amongst this you very often find something close to an intended meaning for the card. With practice and continual self awareness you can come to know the sense of true intuition in you as opposed to wishful thinking or projected meanings. 

The depth of information included in this deck doesn’t have to be known fully and intellectually to use the deck well – the images are universal, though we may know nothing of the connection of venus to love, or what the symbol is for venus we can know the keyword love, we understand the colours are soft and bring a feeling of love in the 2 cups for example, we see two sides to a water feature perhaps in the card, each necessary for the balance of it yet each is both separate and connected. Already we have gained much meaning from the associations on the image as well as with the keyword and the feeling from the colours. We have a start to the energy of the card. When we add the association of water with emotions and the number two for partnerships, the meaning develops further.

Self awareness if important though I feel, through self awareness we gain access to the fullness of ourself. Our shadow side – the parts of us we would like to deny – often hold the greatest ‘gold’ for us. As we get in touch with these, the anger, rage, jealousy, we would rather not have, acknowledging their existence, it makes us whole and shows us how we can be more of who we are – for every part of us we lock away and declare is not good enough, we also lock away some gold of our true nature which to be balanced we need. As we lock away anger we also lock away our ability to stand up for ourselves in the face of a bully for example. As we access our own shadows we are less likely to see them – or project them into others and thus we will see our clients more for who they are rather than who we are projecting onto them.

Another method of accessing your intuition is to journey into the card using a guided visualisation technique and to meet and converse with the characters and elements depicted in the card. People often experience the card landscape changing as they do this and additional images and messages come to them through the cards journey. This technique is good to open out your intuition in a general sense as well as when connected to a specific card image. It is also excellent to use to develop ourselves and our lives, clearing out issues and projections in our outer worlds, and also making our intuitive channelling for others clearer and more accurate.

Often when we are using our intuition we are tapping into what Jung called the collective unconscious and here lies the archetypal energies that the tarot embodies in itself. These energies are also represented by astrology and also the Kabbalah and consequently when the images on the Thoth were created the symbols associated with these archetypes were represented on the cards. This is the case to a greater and lesser extent with all tarot as each card can be said to be an archetypal energy – however with the Thoth the correspondences are well worked out and can be seen in so many different systems that there are many different access points to the cards energies. We just have to allow our thinking minds to step back enough to access the collective and so be shown the meanings needed.

When I work with the Thoth I start from the Jungian approach suggested by Gerd Zeigler in his books on the Thoth, this gives a good starting to point to understanding the depth of process that goes on within us and also how the tarot relates to this – it also shows us how to gain the healing potential from the most difficult of the cards. Sometimes if we work with the tarot for ourselves it is very hard to see how a card which on the surface is very negative is not actually gloom and doom for us – whilst it is telling the truth of a difficult time it is also pointing the way to work with this within ourselves to create healing and thereby bring peace within us. 

I feel to work with the Thoth in this way on your own personal journey also adds to the ability to have to work with others in their lives and be able to stand alongside another and indicate the way forward when you have covered the terrain yourself – for you to ‘know’ the card on a deep level and how it acted within your own life you are then able to have a deeper knowledge of it when it is active for another in a reading you may be doing. 

Using all these techniques you can then form a truly personal relationship with the deck, no longer soley based upon someone else’s meaning or an accepted meaning of a card, you have your own library of experience to draw upon as well as your intuitive access to the card and its archetypes. 

From this stage of development you can then gather your own associations for cards from others use of them and how they work for them in their lives – you can add to your system of knowledge information from traditional sources – taking a deeper looking into the astrological correspondences and understanding how the astrology on a card can add another layer of meaning to it. Here too additional practical situations, issues, people, places, careers etc can be linked to cards through the astrological association. Similarly with the Kabbalah, Hebrew etc. Each system you are drawn to learn and use adds yet more information you can intuitively draw upon in a reading. By coming from this intuitive approach you can prevent yourself being blocked by the intellectual systems as you approach a reading, allowing the things you have learned intellectually to spring up from within you when they are needed rather than feeling overwhelmed about what a card could possibly mean from your intellectual mind. 

So get out your decks and have a go, ask yourself about your blocks to the deck (perhaps even ask the Thoth itself too through a reading) and allow yourself to get to know your deck intuitively. If you are interested in an online course to do this within then take a look at my website for details of what we offer and how to apply for a place. http://www.tarot-training.co.uk

Black Magus

Black Magus
In some version of the Thoth deck there are three images for the Magus. You can see them here http://taroteca.multiply.com/photos/album/99Labelled The Magician, The Magus and The Magus. They were never intended to all be used at the same time in the deck. The publishers had the slots for two more cards when making up the deck and decided to include these two extra discarded versions of the Magus for interest. 

Gerd Ziegler in his book ‘Tarot: The mirror of your relationships’ Labels the three cards as three aspects of the Magus and suggests the possible use of them all. I personally have found it excellent to have the three included in my deck and find it really adds some power to the readings to have two cards that lean strongly to the positive or negative where the other cards are so much more balanced. 

The Magician is seen as the White magus and embodies all the qualities of the positive magus, communication for the good of all. The focus on the light exclusively, open and honest communication, no lying or manipulation just the truth as the person sees it. 

The Magus with the figure balancing on a tightrope type image is considered the Transcendental Magus and is the card Crowley intended to be used in the deck. This magus has the powers of dark and light at his disposal and actually is not thinking about whether something is right or wrong to do – it is like he has transcended duality and so can used things that on the face of it would be seen as manipulative but are ‘right’ for him to use as this is his pathway forward when viewed from the spiritual standpoint.

The Other magus with the dark figure behind is considered the Black Magus and this card represents going against the will of the whole. Fighting against ones path and basically is a ‘no not this way’ It can also come up in situations of abuse and manipulation, difficult relationships where there is a power difference that needs to be addressed. It can also point to someone who has found themselves so keen on a particular outcome they have begun to try an control people and events too much. Sometimes just realising you are trying to control things and releasing your control to a higher energy can release the difficulties in a situation instantaneously. So this card is powerful when it comes up and brings with it a lot of healing and also trust and faith in the higher processes that go on in our lives. The caduceaus in the front of the main character I feel indicates healing is possible from abusive situations and they can be released from having power over the person any longer. I feel it also represents situations where you are feeling controlled by someone from your past and are finding it hard to break free from that conditioning, whatever you try it seems so hard to actually control your own patterns – paradoxically the feeling of controlling others and situations that are out of their control, helps you feel you have control over life which basicially feels out of control either in the present or the past. 

As this awareness comes to us we are able to then address the situation and start to look to higher planes and trust that our highest path will be shown – that the way we think we have to go is actually full of the hard work of swimming against the current and is not a productive way for us at the time. We change our direction when we get this card and let go – allowing something else to come in its place, perhaps another has the answer we seek and we haven’t been listening, perhaps we need to allow our intuition to have more space. Perhaps we need to leave a relationship rather than stay to make it work. Perhaps we need to view things from a higher perspective. 

If you get this card in a reading and find it hard to understand its context you can always pick another in response to “what happens if I just stop what I am striving for to allow something to change the situation outside of myself… ” 

For those that only have the one card in the deck, then this card can embody these concepts both the dark and light depending on the position in the reading and also your intuitive understanding of its message at the time.

6 Wands Victory

This is a wonderful card of success, usually after a time of struggle and effort. The 6’s in the Thoth relate to the Tiphareth point on the Qabbala. This is the point at which spiritual forces come to earth – it is the messiah node so to speak and so the 6’s in each suit are the most perfect point of that suits energy. Here we have the suit of wands and so are dealing with the realm of spirituality, passion, life force, creativity and the like. This perfection can not be made without effort, even if the picture is painted effortlessly it is the years of experience of painting, drawing and looking that goes into make that effortless creation. In the same way this card expresses a perfection coming forth after much experience and work.

6 wands

The wands have fire between their joins and it represents the stability and strength that comes with this victory. The phoenix heads are the rebirth, the new that rises from the flames, the transformed and renewed state.

There are also lotus wands and winged suns, the lotus wands can signify the love that runs through this success, love of a spiritual nature rather than of the romantic kind, love that runs through all good works. The winged suns the reference to spiritual self-love and how self-love also is an important quality for success to be true, as success is the external manifestation of the internal riches and wealth – we need to recognise and accept our inner wealth in order to manifest success on the material plane, and here with spiritual value too.

Often when this card comes up it is the success of breaking an emotional pattern or healing an issue that was deep-rooted – so often relates to having completed one of our soul tasks in this lifetime.

The card is ruled by Jupiter in Leo and so is also indicative of the success being very visible to the public (the leo pride and charisma) and in many ways furthering other people (Jupiter expansion of knowledge or spirit) and not just being of benefit to the individual, but also the wider sphere is affected by your success. Astrological associations can include liking for showyness, film, theater, socialising, confident leadership particularly with things helping others, religious activity with ritual, councilors, church leaders and other prominent figures can also be associated with this card.

Queen of Swords

This months card for you all is the Queen of Swords, a card I have a great fondness for.

Queen of Swords in the Thoth (a well shuffled version!)
Queen of Swords in the Thoth (a well shuffled version!)

She is a woman who can stand back from the situation – her naked top shows she is open and her heart connection with others is unhindered and at the same time she is able to stand back emotionally from any situation and use her sword of discernment to see whether the situation is for her higher good. She makes an excellent counsellor – someone who you can go to with your troubles assured that she will not get over involved or attached to whatever decision to decide to make and will support you throughout your journey on the path ahead. She is depicted as in the clouds and higher giving her a higher perspective too which also helps her give good advice and support as well as understand the bigger picture. She has removed her own masks yet still has the ability to use them when needed. She can relate to others need for privacy and masks to. Her favourite mask is one of silence and withheld behaviour – helping her stay detached – at times overly so. but in the main she is someone to trust. The clouds are of air and she is rational in her approach though knows her heart she will not act upon it without a rational knowing alongside. It can be that at times she rationalises her emotions too much and keeps the talking and thinking about it going without grounding this with action or actual feeling the situation she is involved with.

As with all court cards these qualities can be seen as part of the persons development who the reading is for, their need to take this position or their need to let go of it. As well as representing someone in the life of the querant who is important in the situation for some reason. Often both can be true and applicable as we often attract people to us who mirror elements of ourselves we are needing to study further to either increase their action on our life – bringing the counsellor out in us for instance, or that we need to let go of, the actual person in life perhaps bringing conflict to show the inner conflict when an extreme use of the Queen of Swords is not helpful in life and that more balance is needed. As the tarot reflects our position in life so to those around us, and we can do a reading for ourselves by looking at who are attracting at any one time to see what elements of ourselves we are working with. Bringing more love to those parts of ourselves we dislike and also balancing those parts we over do.

What does she say to you now? Are you in need of a listening, impartial ear to help you right now? Do you sometimes withdraw and intellectualise to avoid feeling your feelings?

Ace of Swords

This month’s card for you all is the Ace of Swords. This card is an ace and as such representative of new beginnings in general – being the suit of swords then this beginning would be on a mental level, and is associated with air. You can tie this with new plans, turning over a new leaf and making clear decisions about your future – where you want to go, what you will need to do to get there and setting your intentions. All creations and activities begin with a thought and this card is about getting clear in your thoughts and as you do so the path before you opening up and becoming clearer too.

Ace Swords

As you look at the card we have a sword pointing up towards the heavens, you can see this as the sword of discernment, the sword which will allow you to cut away the options that are not for your highest good and to embrace those that will carry you forward in your life in a positive growing sense. The sword can be seen to be focused on this highest plane as it points upwards, and this indicates that will to create the highest reality on Earth that you can at the time.

We can see it coming out of clouds – leaving behind confusion and doubts, the air clears and the truth can be seen and known and once the truth is revealed then decisions become a lot easier to make about your next steps. The sun in the background a reminder that it is a new day and new beginning and also that the day begins from a place a high self-esteem, self-love and confidence. This card often appears after a time of worry or confusion and when you have going round and round in your mind for so long you are now able to make a clear decision – your self-confidence increases as a result of making the decisions that are necessary. Speaking the truth to those who need to hear your point of view. Clearing the air in cases of conflict and allowing you to be free of any entrapments and able to walk your path forward on your own destiny rather than anyone elses.

I see the crown around the sword as spirits crowning and support of whatever you decide at this time, as you use your intellect to make the decisions needed and put your intention to spirit then spirit can respond by setting the wheels in motion to create your desire. It is a good time to write a list of the qualities of the type of life you are trying to create, type of event, or type of relationship as you get your own intellectual mind clear about what you are wanting then you also send a message to spirit and allow things to take the direction you intend.

Our intentions are more powerful than you can image, our intentions shape the life that unfolds before us, when we are not clear then the results are also not clear as we become discerning and focused we also set about the energy to create clear and focused outcomes in our future.

The symbols on the sword are the word of the Law, the sword is the one used by the magus in magical rites of creation and the snake of the handle is the energy of transformation that flows through the discerning sword as it cuts away the unchosen and illuminates the choices made to bring the required change into being.

IT is however the beginning of the journey and not the result or harvest of your dreams and desires, you are setting things in motion but much may happen on the journey to creation being complete. This card however does have you setting off with a good start.

Prince of Cups

 

Prince of Cups
This month I am going to muse upon the Prince of Cups the card drawn for you all this time…
This card is particularly powerful in the Thoth deck I feel. It talks of emotional exploration and the connection with another both emotionally and very often sexually too. A time for open exploration in a relationship, of all the desires and fantasies each partner has, nothing censored and all shared with the view to love and connect on a deeper level. Though as a court card, this card can represent a person who is youthful in outlook, free and prepared to try anything once, he also follows his passion and desire wherever it may lead and so often may indicate that the relationship – though very passionate, open and caring may not last forever, and when the exchange of ideas and feelings has been done then each person moves on with greater integration in their lives. Of course in a committed long-term relationship, the freedom aspect of this card can indicate that the two partners are able to be freer than perhaps they once were – to both express and experience feelings and desires with each other – even if some of the fantasies involve others, without jealousy or discomfort. It is like all the truth is set free for the possibility of transformation of each person.
Prince Cups

The building of love is less the focus than personal discovery honesty and truth coloured with spiritual clarity. It is like the love is there and assumed – no long needs to be the focus to grow – but grows through the open acceptance of each other and each persons respective growth path. 

This card can also represent travel to foreign lands – by air in particular for the purposes of self-development and growth – rather than just a holiday, a sense of wanting to be changed by the experience and this being the main goal. 

This card is also about allowing yourself to face what your true desires are in life – not just in the relationship realm but also in career, family and spiritually – it asks us to look at what is it we really are inspired by – what would give us the greatest pleasure. As we acknowledge the deepest desires in ourselves we come to see that perhaps our dreams are not so impossible and perhaps we can indeed create our world in the image of our desires and all will be well. In fact it turns out it is what we are here to do. Great insight into the self can be attained by allowing our unconscious to have more free rein on our lives and showing us where we are going and how that differs or not from what we truly want in this life. All is allowed, once acknowledging that our wants and needs are as important as others we can express ourselves and often our assumptions about others responses is incorrect and there is more space to move then we have allowed ourselves. Set yourself free! Embrace it all and allow yourself to be changed by the truth within you. 

My Associations with the simple image forms:
blue – communication
purple – spiritual force
flower – love and the attainment of spiritual love
snake – transformation, sexuality
cup – emotional being
naked prince – open and honesty
bird – freedom, strength, power, over view of the world and emotional being, accepting all seen
wind – freedom, making a difference, allowing movement to cause change outside oneself too
chariot – secure base within the freedom, vehicle for movement forward
water – flow, change, emotion, depths of unconscious
Prince – Tiphareth on the Qabbala – connection between spirit and earth, tantric sex, transformation of spiritual self through the connection with another human in an open way channelling the Source energy of all that is by finding all that is within the self, the dark and the light, particularly accepting all emotional forms within the self.

6 Swords – Science

6 Swords – Science
This month I picked a card with the intention of “what card do the people on this list need to know about this month” I picked out 6 Swords Science. This card was one of the cards I had difficulty with for a long time, it seemed unintelligible somehow. However I have come to know it well and appreciate its lessons. I will just talk here about the associations that have built up for me over the years and how it has come to show itself to me..

6 swords

So the basics, as a 6 it is a perfected number and corresponds to the position of Tiphareth on the Qabala and this is the position of beauty and perfection of heaven on earth. So it is the peak of the swords suit here. The place where the intellect is at its highest point. Understanding all the world in an intellectual sense. On the card are the windmills of air showing movement and flux of the winds I feel rapid thought and understanding too . On a personal level it is that feeling when you feel you are suddenly coming to understand things that were once a mystery to you – the click and ah-har moment we experience at various times in our lives. 

So this card is associated with science in the general sense of the word – logic, computers, information and communication of these ‘facts’ However this is only one aspect there is a deeper level – the sense of how the universe makes sense and the universal laws of spirit. You can see the cross in the center as a representation of this. This card I feel is about coming to that understanding of how the world ‘really’ works from a spiritual perspective. Understanding the spiritual laws deep in yourself. You may at one time read about concepts of manifestation, magick and the spiritual laws written by mystics and masters throughout the ages, but this is only the beginning, real understanding only comes when these writings are internalised and become a part of your knowing – this card is about that knowing… the sense that you knew the words all along about a concept but that one event or click that has happened means that suddenly you feel the knowledge as part of you, you ‘know’ in the deeper sense of the word. Often it is a place you come to which when you try to describe what you ‘know’ you find yourself using phrases and concepts that seem well-known to both yourself and others, and it is hard to explain what the real difference is when you really understand the concept you have known on the surface for such a long time. 

So this card is about learning and about studying – both on the surface knowledge of something – as well as the deeper ‘knowing’ of something. This knowing brings with it a feeling of self-esteem as you understand your own position within the world and knowledge – represented by the yellow surrounding some of the shapes. 

There is also a sense that you can step even further along this process – you have the logical understanding of the world and then the click of knowing, to the final stage of creating sometime new. Having original thought and being able to come to a new understanding that perhaps another has not fed you in any way. Something out of your own creative well. Not creativity in the sense of self-expression but more in the sense of creating new concepts and thought forms to describe and explain the world out there or within. 

There is balance and harmony of thought here. Taking a step into more mundane readings this card also might indicate a group working well together to create ideas and solutions that are more than a sum of the parts or people who come together. A braintank, brainstorm, to come to group solutions. I would also indicate work with computing, information delivery and data related things in all forms. 

The underlying nature of the world can be expressed through geometry, numbers and mathematical concepts, this card can also represent the mathematical ways we express the world around us and on a mundane level this card could indicate a skill with figures and understanding of the science of the world in the usual sense. With science at its edges of exploration becoming as if a spiritual system, or coming as a way to talk of events known by spiritual students for many years, quantum physics, electromagnetics, kirlian photography etc, the boundaries between science and spiritual beliefs merges – I feel this card shows us how the two can be united. 

Applications being taken currently for the September Thoth courses http://www.tarot-training.co.uk. Email or pm myself Emma if you are interested on emma@tarot-training.co.uk

The Princesses

The Princesses
This month we are going to take a brief look at the princesses in the Thoth deck. These cards are rather special they represent not only people – young children or a youthful person, but also the energy of the card as part of yourself and in the Thoth also are connected with new opportunities. On the Qabbala they are associated with Malkuth, the 10th Node which is all about the physical manifestation of spirit in which ever realm you are dealing with (wands, cups, swords or disks).

They are associated with beginnings … a new start. Things have been prepared for internally and can now become manifest. The Princess of Disks is in particular a very good card to represent building up something new in a perfected way. Being the princess (new beginnings) and being a disks card it really is a perfect manifestation in the physical world. The princess of cups is more the perfection of a new emotional beginning, full of trust love and self value. Whereas the Princess of swords is more about new ideas and ways of thinking about the world being expressed and shaking the status quo. The Princess of Wands shows a rebirth of the self with its focus on spiritual matters and that no longer are the old ways going to restrict and hold back progress of the spirit. She has been set free and is now about to follow her passion wherever that may lead.