High Resolution Scan of 1st Edition of Book of Thoth Now Online

Scott Wilde announced:
As part of my continuing Aleister Crowley first edition book scanning project, I’d like to announce that “The Book of Thoth” is now online. Released in 1944, three years after the Thoth paintings by Frieda Harris were exhibited, this book details Crowley’s thoughts on the tarot.
The scans of the colored plates turned out especially well! I was amazed by the quality of the old prints, some of which seem better done than many tarot card prints of today. I especially like the “deep purple” of the background of the Lust card, which tends more towards burgundy in modern reprints.
As for the text itself, part 1 contains Crowley’s general understanding of the magical theory of the Tarot.
Parts 2-4 contain elaborations on the descriptions of the symbolism of the cards printed three years earlier in the booklet for the first gallery exhibition of Harris’s paintings. According to the “Biographical note” these descriptions were prompted by his original descriptions “producing a grotesque effect”. These original descriptions were presumably those found in Equinox 1.8 as it notes “10 rayed Angelic Hands all over the place” and for some reason most of his descriptions in that text involve “Angelic hands”.
In some of these descriptions Crowley makes references to the 5th, 9th, and 11th degrees of the O.T.O. But usually only to call the initiate’s attention to certain symbolism that might be understood in light of the teachings of those degrees.
This is followed by:
1. an elemental themed Invocation of Aiwaz, written in the form of a poetic oath.
2. A collection of 22 short rhymes, seemingly intended to help one understand the symbolism of the trumps.
3. Appendix A is a republishing of the method of reading the cards that Crowley learned from the golden dawn, which he first published in The Equinox v1 no8. It also contains the 22 “Secret Instructions of the Master” from his 1938 work “The Heart of the Master”. The verses are decorated with divination meanings for the 22 trumps.
4. Appendix B contains a series of diagrams and tables detailing relevant information from 777. It even has a few new tables which contain correspondences for planets not mentioned in 777: Neptune (exalted in Aquarius), Uranus (exalted in Leo), and to a lesser extent, Pluto (exalted in Scorpio).

Frater Lux Ad Mundi

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *