The Book of Thoth (Egyptian Tarot)
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“Magick is the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will.”
Aleister Crowley was a noted and controversial occultist, ceremonial magician and poet. He has been called "the wickedest man in the world" or "The Great Beast 666 " but he remained a highly influential figure over Western esotericism and the counterculture.
The Book of Thoth is an essay on the Tarot of the Egyptians. This book describes how to use the Thoth Tarot cards, a divinatory tarot deck. The Thoth Tarot is a classic in modern Tarot games, it has been one of the most popular Tarots for many years.
Excerpt: “THE TAROT is a pack of seventy-eight cards. There are four suits, as in modern playing cards, which are derived from it. But the Court cards number four instead of three. In addition, there are twenty-two cards called “Trumps”, each of which is a symbolic picture with a title itself. At first sight one would suppose this arrangement to be arbitrary, but it is not. It is necessitated, as will appear later, by the structure of the universe, and in particular of the Solar System, as symbolized by the Holy Qabalah. This will be explained in due course.
THE ORIGIN OF THE TAROT
The origin of this pack of cards is very obscure. Some authorities seek to put it back as far as the ancient Egyptian Mysteries; others try to bring it forward as late as the fifteenth or even the sixteenth century. But the Tarot certainly existed, in what may be called the classical form, as early as the fourteenth century; for packs of that date are extant, and the form has not varied in any notable respect since that time. In the Middle Ages, these cards were much used for fortune telling, especially by gypsies, so that it was customary to speak of the “Tarot of the Bohemians”, or “Egyptians”.”