BOOK OF THOTH
The Master Therion
Equinox volume III number 5
Originally published in 1944, reproduced in facsimile in 2017 e.ev. and now issued in a beautifully re-bound limited edition commenced on the Vernal Equinox of 2018 e.v. Now presented in large octavo printed onto high-quality art paper, over 280 pages fully illustrated and with the images both mono and in colour.
This edition consisting of 22 copies
Each designated to one of the Trumps of the Major Arcana, plus a further three which are variants of the ‘Magus’ card painted by Freida Harris. Each of these fine volumes is bound in English calf vellum, top edge gilt, hand gilt titles and Crowleys personal seal of Ankh-ef-en-Khonsu to the spine.
Seal of A.˙.A.˙. hand gilt to the front board with four revolving kerubic faces gilt using hand-engraved tools after the imagery of Freida Harris’ painting ‘The Hierophant’ in the original tarot deck.
To the inside of the binding is a silk doublure of purple kashgar, with an inset Atus or ‘trump’ card from a contemporary Thoth Deck, gilt border to the silk.
To the rear of the binding is a further silk doublure with inset card in reverse showing the stunning Rose-Cross design painted by Frieda Harris for the original deck.
Each of these 22 copies and each of the three variant copies comes with a gilt-edged card stamped with the seal of the A.˙.A.˙. and is presented in a sturdy slipcase covered in purple kashgar silk.
Two known variants of ‘The Magus’ card
A further 156 copies hand bound in black kidskin, dark blue and gold marbled papers, with matching endpapers, black and gold headbands. Seal of the A.’.A.’. stamped to the front board with kerubic faces, titles gilt, seal of Ankh-ef-enKhonsu below.
‘She devoted her genius to the Work.. with inexhaustible patience..often painting the same card as many as eight times..may the passionate ‘Love under Will’ which she has stored in the Treasury of Truth and Beauty flow forth from the Splendor and Strength of her work to enlighten the world; may this tarot serve as a chart to the bold seamen of the New Aeon, to guide them across the Great Sea of Understanding to the City of the Pyramids…’
Aleister Crowleys brilliant Book of Thoth is an essay on the ancient Tarot as the ‘Book of the Wisdom of the Gods’ incorporating new ideas and discoveries in mathematics, science, philosophy, psychoanalysis and comparative religion. Behind the design of each card lay a lifetime of intense study and bold experimentation in the magickal arts. Crowley and his artist executant Freida Harris spent years refining the design of each card to draw out its full import, and into these are encoded a system of geometry and an iconography of cosmic import.
The Book of Thoth is the first and final classic of the Tarot. It is indispensable to all who all who seek to fathom the deepest wisdom of the ancients and to follow the initiated tradition from the beginnings of history to the present day.
The book is divided into four major parts:
- Part One: The Theory Of The Tarot
- initiated tradition etc etc
- Part Two: The Atus (Trumps or Keys)
- the Fool and the formula of tetragrammaton, an extended essay on the mythography of the formula of Zero
- The Juggler card to The Universe, described
- Selections on the Art from ‘Little Essays Towards Truth’, from ‘The Paris Working’ and from ‘The Vision & the Voice’
- Part Three: The Court Cards, the four letters of The Name and the four
- Part Four: The Small Cards, a full description of their symbolic and magickal significance. Invocation &
- A further two appendices on the operation and behaviour of the tarot in divination; correspondences and key scales, dignities, planetary powers, vital triads etc etc
Crowley styled his Book of Thoth ‘An Essay on the Tarot of the Egyptians’ but its intellectual and spiritual scope is truly vast, into it he poured his whole magickal mind. The Book of Thoth became an instant classic and is to this day one of the most outstanding works on the tarot, a major contribution to our understanding of psychology, symbolism and religion as well as a being an original synthesis of contemporary science and the system of psycho-sexual techniques that the genius of Aleister Crowley presented to the world as ‘Magick’.