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CONDENSED TEXT TAKEN FROM THE BOOK OF THOTH BY ALEISTER CROWLEY
WITH A MERCIFULLY SHORT COMMENTARY BY FRATER DIAMONDHAWK
Noah Webster defines divination as “the practice of attempting to foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge by occult or supernatural means.” The interesting word in this rather prosaic definition is “attempting”, which would suggest that divination is humbug: typical mainstream thinking regarding a subject beyond one’s personal knowledge and prejudices. Divination works, as long as the practitioner knows what he or she is doing and is not a humbug themselves. Using Tarot cards to garner “hidden” knowledge about people and situations goes all the way back to the Ancient Egyptians. If you are interested in an in-depth discussion about how they work and what they are all about, you would do well to study THE BOOK OF THOTH by Aleister Crowley, who had a much deeper and fuller grasp about this arcane subject than do I, and from which most of this treatise is derived. Many times I have used Crowley’s Tarot cards to “tell fortunes” for people I do not know personally and more often than not I have been asked “How do you know that?” about their affairs and life situations. Actually, I don’t know “that” at all. The cards allow me to tune in on people and I merely give my interpretation of what I see. The trump cards usually show some spiritual force operating on the “querent” (the person getting the reading), court cards generally mean a person in the situation and the number cards deal with the more worldly aspects of the querent’s life at the time of the reading. The nice thing about the number cards is that they all (except the Aces) have a word on them describing what they mean. This little treatise is nothing more than a condensation of Crowley’s work in the book. I have tried to leave out the philosophy as much as possible and take only the data which deals with what the cards mean when used in divination. Next and last is a description of how I use the cards in a lay out taught to me by a mystical lady who really understood the Tarot.
THE TRUMPS (ATU)
Of the 78 total Tarot Cards, the most powerful and spiritual are the 22 Trump Cards.
0 The Fool
KNOW NAUGHT! ALL WAYS ARE LAWFUL TO INNOCENCE. PURE FOLLY IS THE KEY TO INITIATION SILENCE BREAKS INTO RAPTURE. BE NEITHER MAN NOR WOMAN, BUT BOTH IN ONE BE SILENT, BABE IN THE EGG OF BLUE, THAT THOU MAYEST GROW TO BEAR THE LANCE AND GRAAL! WANDER ALONE, AND SING! IN THE KING’S PALACE HIS DAUGHTER AWAITS THEE.
In spiritual matters, the Fool means idea, thought, spirituality, that which endaevours to transcend earth. In material matters, it may, if badly dignified, mean folly, eccentricity, or even mania. But the essential of this card is that it represents an original, subtle impulse or impact, coming from a completely strange quarter. All such impulses are right, if rightly received; and the good or ill interpretation of the card depends entirely on the right attitude of the Querent. MNEMONIC Truth, laughter, lust, Wine’s Holy Fool! Veil rent, Lewd madness is sublime enlightenment.
I The Magus
The True Self is the meaning of the True Will: know thyself through Thy Way. Calculate well the Formula of Thy Way. Create freely; absorb joyously; divide intently, consolidate completely. Work thou, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, in and for Eternity. Skill, wisdom, adroitness, elasticity, craft, cunning, deceit, theft. Sometimes occult wisdom, or power sometimes a quick impulse, a “brain wave”. It may imply messages, business transactions, the interference of learning or intelligence with the matter in hand.
MNEMONIC The Word of Wisdom weaves the web of lies, Weds irreducible Infinities.
MNEMONIC Mother. There is however. increase and decrease. be thou as Artemis to Pan. a liability to be led away by enthusiasm. Hence.II THE HIGH PRIESTESS Purity is live only to the Highest. alternation. bride of Pan. change. 5 . Pure. playmate. and the Highest is All. moon-maiden. God’s Angel-Minister to every man. fluctuation. Read thou in the Book of the Law. and break through the veil of the Virgin. exalted and gracious influence enters the matter. one may become “moon-struck” unless careful balance is maintained.
and get thy rapture and thy nourishment thereof. display thine Empire! Truth above Thought’s reach. pleasure. the wholeness of the world is Love. completion. friendship.III THE EMPRESS This is the Harmony of the Universe. idleness. that Love unites the Will to create with the Understanding of that Creation: understand thou thine own Will. happiness. luxury. graciousness. Love. dissipation. delight. success. 6 . elegance. gentleness. MNEMONIC Beauty. good fortune. Rejoice in every shape of love. beauty. Love and let love. debauchery.
Of all things mortal. vigour. over-weaning confidence and megalomania. quarrelsomeness. ambition. rashness. victory. impracticability. illtemper. stubbornness. strife. Emperor and King. originality. conquest. hail Him Lord of Spring! 7 . energy. MNEMONIC Sire and Inceptor.IV THE EMPEROR Use all thy energy to rule thy thought. burn up thy thought as the Phoenix. War.
organization. manifestation. Be thou athlete with the eight limbs of Yoga: for without these thou are not disciplined for any fight. peace. help from superiors. placidity. MNEMONIC Wisdom to each apportioned to his want By modes of Light. Stubborn strength. teaching.VI THE HIEROPHANT Offer thyself Virgin to the Knowledge and Conversation of thine Holy Guardian Angel. goodness of heart. patience. shed forth. All else is a snare. toil. great Hierophant! 8 . explanation. endurance.
indecision.VI THE LOVERS The Oracle of the Gods is the Child-Voice of Love in Thine own Soul. thoughtfulness divorced from practical consideration. self-contradiction. contradiction. Openness to inspiration. intelligence. frivolity. childishness. and listen to the Silence. immortal Twins and Lovers! 9 . union in a shallow degree with others. hear thou it. the “high-brow”. Heed not the Siren-Voice of Sense. your mode. instability. MNEMONIC To each his Understanding sooth discovers Wordless. intuition. or the Phantom-Voice of Reason: rest in Simplicity. second sight. triviality.
Two in One. Wine and Bloods! 10 . ruthlessness. lust of destruction. violence in maintaining traditional ideas. life and rapture. conveyed. hope. authority under authority. digestion.VII THE CHARIOT The Issue of the Vulture. obedience. TRINC: the last oracle. MNEMONIC Behold. memory. faithfulness. this is the Chariot of Power. the Chariot! Through the water floods The Sangraal. Triumph. victory. the “die-hard”.
. the act of adjustment. politically. For the Marriage of these is the Annihilation of Illusion. treaties. suspension of all action pending decision.VIII ADJUSTMENT Balance against each thought its exact opposite. MNEMONIC Adjustment! Rhythm writhes through every act. in material matters. its balance is exact. Justice. Socially. 11 . or rather justesse. Wild is the dance. marriage or marriage agreements. may refer to law suits or prosecutions.
dumb Guardian. And be the Light so bright that no man seeth thee. Virgin. Be not moved by aught without or within: keep Silence in all ways. 12 . MNEMONIC Most secret of all Life’s serpent plan.IX THE HERMIT Wander alone. Retirement from participation in current events. practical plans derived accordingly. secret impulse from within. the Hermit goes. Illumination from within. bearing the Light and thy Staff.
X FORTUNE Follow thy Fortune.) MNEMONIC Sped by energies triune. (This generally means good fortune because the fact of consultation implies anxiety or discontent. attain thou that. careless where it lead thee. The axle moveth not. Change of fortune. its Axle’s immobile. 13 . the Wheel Of Fortune spins.
wonderful. Our Lady Babalon. but let Love devour all things. une grande passion. foursquare. 14 . the use of magical power. and the name of His House 418. Worship the name _____. Courage. MNEMONIC The Lion-Serpent begets Gods! Thy throne The rampant Beast. mystic.XI LUST (STRENGTH) Mitigate Energy with Love. energy and action. resort to magick. strength.
defeat. Enforced sacrifice. Lamp of the Abyss Aeonian. MNEMONIC In Mother-Deeps of Ocean the God-Man Hangs. 15 . suffering. loss-fatal or voluntary. And. punishment. death.XII THE HANGED MAN Let not the waters whereon thou journeyest wet thee. plant thou the Vine and rejoice. being come to shore. failure.
every Change is the effect of an Act of Love. Die daily. change. voluntary or involuntary. Death is the apex of one curve of the snake Life: behold all opposites as necessary complements. yet perhaps sudden and unexpected. MNEMONIC Eagle.XIII DEATH The Universe is Change.. but such interpretation is illusion. Transformation. 16 . all Acts of Love contain Pure Joy. and rejoice.. Apparent death or destruction. and Snake. and Scorpion! The Dance Of Death whirls from Life to Trance to Trance to Trance. in either case logical development of existing conditions.
realization. and make manifest the Virtue of that Pearl.R.L. success after elaborate maneuvers MNEMONIC Solve.O. the Elixir. coagula! By V. the way of escape. bringing each to its true token to Perfection. Dissolve the Pearl in the Wine-cup. and the Stone. action based on accurate calculation.XIV ART Pour thine all freely from the Vase in thy right hand.I. Combination of forces. and lose no drop. Hath not thy left hand a vase? Transmute all wholly into the Image of they Will. 17 . The Tincture. shewn.I.T. drink.
temptation.XIV THE DEVIL With thy right Eye create all for thyself. Blind impulse. obsession. endurance. rigidity. hard work. secret plan about to be executed. irresistibly strong and unscrupulous. and with the left accept all that can be created otherwise. MNEMONIC Ιο παν! upon the summits the God-goat Leaps in wild lust of ecstasy afloat. aching discontent. ambition. obstinacy. 18 .
that thy Truth may spring free from the ruins. ruin.XVI THE BLASTED TOWER Break down the fortress of thine Individual Self. danger. Quarrel. escape from prison. scream! Unhood the Hawks! The roar Of Universes crashing into War! 19 . combat. sudden death. MNEMONIC Bellona. destruction of plans.
unexpected help. spiritual insight. Our Lady of the Stars! Event Is all Thy play. MNEMONIC Nuit. dreaminess.XVII THE STAR Pour water on thyself: thus shalt thou be a fountain to the Universe. sublime Experiment! 20 . realization of possibilities. error of judgment. Hope. disappointment. with bad aspects. Achieve thou every possibility. clearness of vision. Find thou thyself in every Star.
dreaminess. the brink of important change. unheeded.XVIII THE MOON Let the Illusion of the World pass over the. as thou goest from Midnight to the Morning. hysteria. falsehood. “the darkest hour before the dawn”. upon the beck of blood afloat The Midnight Beetle’s brave prophetic boat! 21 . error. Illusion. MNEMONIC Witch-moon. bewilderment. even madness. deception. crisis.
truth. but sometimes sudden death. recovery from sickness. riches. gain. our Father. Soul of Life and Light Love and play freely. Make Speech and Silence. Energy and Stillness. sacred in Thy sight! 22 . manifestation. shamelessness. arrogance. pleasure. twin forms of thy play. Glory.XIX THE SUN Give forth thy light to all without doubt. vanity. MNEMONIC The Sun. the clouds and shadows are no matter for thee. triumph.
o Empyrean! 23 . Ra-Hoor-Khuit! The Aeon Of the Twin Child! Exult.XX THE AEON Be every Act an Act of Love and Worship. Final decision is respect of the past. always represents the taking of a definite step. Be every Act the Fiat of a God. new current in respect of the future. Be every Act a Source of Radiant Glory. Hadit. MNEMONIC Nuit.
appointed to present the Universe to thee in the form of they Plan. obstinacy.XXI THE UNIVERSE Treat time and all conditions of Event as Servants of thy Will. opposition. And: blessing and worship to the prophet of the lovely Star. MNEMONIC Naught becomes All to realize the span Of naught. 24 . may mean delay. patience. persistent stubbornness in difficulty. The crystallization of the whole matter involved. inertia. synthesis. The matter in question itself. perseverance. the end of the matter. O perfect Universe of Pan.
calm authority which she uses to enhance her attractiveness. fierceness. pride. She is proud. “snobbish” way. but in a vainglorious. teen-agers or children. Swords for Air and the Human Will and Disks for Earth and manifest existence. bigoted and brutal. and react with great savagery. They endure for a time to carry the energy and are the second stage of the creative process. then she is likely to show herself stupid. tyrannical and vengeful. Wands represent Fire and the Divine Will. The Knight and Queen refer to older . The Queen of Wands has the characteristics of adaptability. The Queens receive. obstinate. but is impatient of opposition. but transient. cruel. ferment and transmit the original energy of their Knight. impetuosity. impulsiveness. She is kindly and generous. its crystallization and its manifestation. The other side of her character is a tendency to brood. the entities pictured in the court cards generally refer to real people in the Querent’s situation at the time of the reading. Each suit also refers to a particular type of force and spiritual attribution. persistent energy. If wrongly energized. She may be easily deceived. and is more enduring than his forebears. 25 . The Princesses represent the ultimate issue of the original energy its completion. The Knights are the most sublime. original. he has no resource. They are the re-absorption of the energy: the Silence to which all things return. active part of the energy of the element.In a Tarot reading. swiftness in unpredictable actions. The Princes represent the active issue of the union of Knight and Queen and is the result of their combined energy. generosity. The Knight of Wands has the moral qualities of activity. Cups are for Water and Understanding. he is evil-minded. come to a wrong decision thereon. more mature people and the Prince and Princess to young adults. Their action is swift and violent. He has no staying power: if he fails in his first effort.
If badly dignified. faithless and domineering. the opposite of the above is true.The Prince of Wands has moral qualities of swiftness and strength. intolerant. violent and implacable. not because he actually believes. humorous. If ill-dignified. She is ambitious. romantic. He may violently state an opinion for the sake of stating it. She is cruel. and aspiring and can be quite vengeful. She creates her own beauty by her essential energy. In anger or love she is sudden. prejudiced and idle. He sees both sides of every question and is essentially just. He can also be a The Princess of Wands is extremely individual. She is brilliant and daring. She never forgets an injury. callous. He can act on impulse. He can be cruel. unreliable. courageous and has great staying power. completely shallow and false and cannot see these faults in herself. 26 . can be easily led by external influences and can be prey to indecision. He is noble. generous. she is superficial and theatrical.
able to receive and transmit everything without herself being affected thereby. but is not very enduring and has no material depth in his character as he is very superficial. dilettante. He cares for power. wisdom and his own aims. He is without conscience and is usually mistrusted by his neighbors who feel they can’t understand him. 27 . idle and untruthful. All sweetness. Generally. secret violence and craft. Ill-dignified. He uses external influences to his own ends. He does not work well with others. She is the perfect agent and patient. in the perpetual dream of rapture. gentleness and tenderness are hers. illusion and tranquility. all the above qualities are distorted: everything that passes through her is refracted and distorted. he is sensual. If ill-dignified. and amiable in a passive way. Yet he possesses an innocence and purity which are the essence of his nature. all voluptuousness. The Queen of Cups has the characteristics of dreaminess. He inspires fear in others and is perfectly ruthless.The Knight of Cups is mostly passive: he is graceful. He responds quickly to attraction. She lives in a world of Romance. He appears calm but this masks a most intense passion. The Prince of Cups has the qualities of subtlety. her characteristics depend mostly upon the influences which affect her. The Princess of Cups is infinitely gracious. She is very dependent on others but can be very helpful to them.
deceitful and unreliable. confident. Her logic is destructive. sly. His moral qualities are activity and skill. a subtle interpreter. in action. The Queen of Swords should be intensely perceptive. possibly for no greater reason than it is the whim of the moment. showing much cleverness of controversial practical affairs and adroitness in the settling of controversies. She is firm and aggressive. The Prince of Swords is purely intellectual. 28 . a mass of fine ideas unrelated to practical effort. placing equal value on all. he is incapable of decision or purpose. a keen observer. leaping from one cause to another. Any action he takes is brushed aside by opposition. If ill-dignified. delicate and courageous but altogether prey to his idea. with great practical wisdom and subtlety in material things. He is fierce. swift and accurate at recording ideas. gracious and just. an intense individualist. which spells futility. He is capable of brilliantly supporting one point with apparent conviction then turn round and support the opposite point with equal fervor. in spirit.The Knight of Swords represents the idea of attack. If ill-dignified. She will be graceful and exceptionally gifted in balancing and dancing. very rational but unstable of purpose and drifts from one idea to the next. she will be cruel. He is the trendy faddist. due to her superficial beauty. The Princess of Swords is stern and revengeful. He is intelligent. subtlety and cleverness. If ill-dignified. intensely clever. she becomes incoherent and her gifts combine to form a species of low cunning with equally low objectives. therefore very dangerous.
but is not. The Queen of Disks possesses the finer of the quieter qualities: immensely affectionate. trustworthy and imperturbable. They imitate the growth processes of Nature and lack initiative. practical. Life for the is purely mechanical. hard-working. and a steadfast worker. but have little intellectual grasp of anything. ingenious. cautious. If ill-dignified. The Princess of Disks is the essence of Womanhood in its ultimate projection. slavish. domesticated and can be lustful and debauched and can be drunkards. servile. They are laborious and patient. a capable manager and planner. If ill-dignified. He may appear stupid. What characteristics surface in her depend on the influences to which she is subjected. He is energetic. He is competent. non-intellectual. incapable of foresight and are generally churlish. 29 . enduring. surly. practical matters. quiet. they are dull. Her general reputation will be on of bewildering inconsistency. sensible. kind. The Prince of Disks has great energy for solid. jealous and incurable meddlers. they are hopelessly stupid. dense and pre-occupied with material things. He is slow to anger but implacable if roused sufficiently.The Knight of Disks represent those who tend to be dull. foolish and drudges rather than workers. and almost entirely lacking in emotion.
The Small Cards have the same suit attributions as the Court Cards. No textual explanations are given for each card has its primary attribute printed on the bottom of the card’s face. See the Book of Thoth. 30 .
where one could use a Trump or a Small Card. The significator is taken from the deck. 4) The cards are read in order. Note: the descriptions and attributes of the cards are meant to be guides for the reader and the Querent. creating a vortex about which the remaining cards turn. As much as possible. depending on the nature of the question and the predilections of the reader. his or her situation and the question or questions being asked. proceeding from 2 to 11. thinking of the question while shuffling. according to the knowledge and wisdom of the reader. 38 . unless a situation is being divined. 3) The Querent cuts the deck and the cards are laid out as in the diagram on the next page. the cards need to be seen as “intuitive lenses” to focus on the Querent. usually this is a Court Card.A TAROT DIVINATION METHOD (shown on the next page) 1) The reader chooses a “significator” to represent the person being read. The back of the Aleister Crowley – Frieda Harris Tarot deck. 2) Either the Querent or the reader shuffles the deck three times.
Have querent shuffle thrice and cut. then 2 on top of it and 3 on top of 2.Instructions: ♦ ♦ ♦ Choose significator by characteristics of querent.Material Significator _____________________________________________________________ Favorable influences _____________________________________________________ Unfavorable influences ___________________________________________________ Ideals ________________________________________________________________ Foundation for ideals ____________________________________________________ Past __________________________________________________________________ Future_________________________________________________________________ MACROCOSMIC .Spiritual 8 9 Querent _______________________________________________________________ Environment ___________________________________________________________ 10 Hopes & Fears _________________________________________________________ 11 Result ________________________________________________________________ 39 .) Meaning: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 MICROCOSMIC .. but centered one on the other. in positions shown.. Deal out cards in order from cut… (Note: Card 1 is dealt first.
This diagram shows one of the many milestones from Aleister Crowley’s career: the equating of the Chinese I Ching (Book of Changes) with the Qabalistic Tree of Life. Thus were two of the major and highly disparate (at least on the surface) systems of divination and spiritual philosophy brought together. 41 .
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