Divination using Thoth Tarot Cards

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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 main-

stream 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 situa-

tions goes all the way back to the Ancient Egyptians. If you are interested in an in-depth discus-

sion 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 af-

fairs 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.

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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.


Truth, laughter, lust, Wine’s Holy Fool! Veil rent, Lewd madness is sublime enlightenment.

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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, busi-ness transactions, the interference of learning or intelligence with the matter in hand.


The Word of Wisdom weaves the web of lies, Weds irreducible Infinities.

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II THE HIGH PRIESTESS Purity is live only to the Highest; and the Highest is All, be thou as Artemis to Pan. Read thou in the Book of the Law, and break through the veil of the Virgin.

Pure, exalted and gracious influence enters the matter. Hence, change, alternation, increase and decrease, fluctuation. There is however, a liability to be led away by enthusiasm; one may become “moon-struck” unless careful balance is maintained.


Mother, moon-maiden, playmate, bride of Pan; God’s Angel-Minister to every man.

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III THE EMPRESS This is the Harmony of the Universe, that Love unites the Will to create with the Understanding of that Creation: understand thou thine own Will. Love and let love. Rejoice in every shape of love, and get thy rapture and thy nourishment thereof.

Love, beauty, happiness, pleasure, success, completion, good fortune, graciousness, elegance, luxury, idleness, dissipation, debauchery, friendship, gentleness, delight.


Beauty, display thine Empire! Truth above Thought’s reach, the wholeness of the world is Love.

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IV THE EMPEROR Use all thy energy to rule thy thought, burn up thy thought as the Phoenix.

War, conquest, victory, strife, ambition, originality, over-weaning confidence and megalomania, quarrelsomeness, energy, vigour, stubbornness, impracticability, rashness, ill-temper.


Sire and Inceptor, Emperor and King, Of all things mortal, hail Him Lord of Spring!

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Offer thyself Virgin to the Knowledge and Conversation of thine Holy Guardian Angel. All else is a snare. Be thou athlete with the eight limbs of Yoga: for without these thou are not disciplined for any fight.

Stubborn strength, toil, endurance, placidity, manifestation, explanation, teaching, goodness of heart, help from superiors, patience, organization, peace.


Wisdom to each apportioned to his want By modes of Light, shed forth, great Hierophant!

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VI THE LOVERS The Oracle of the Gods is the Child-Voice of Love in Thine own Soul; hear thou it. Heed not the Siren-Voice of Sense, or the Phantom-Voice of Reason: rest in Simplicity, and listen to the Silence.

Openness to inspiration, intuition, intelligence, second sight, childishness, frivolity, thoughtfulness divorced from practical consideration, indecision, self-contradiction, union in a shallow degree with others, instability, contradiction, triviality, the “high-brow”.


To each his Understanding sooth discovers Wordless; your mode, immortal Twins and Lovers!

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VII THE CHARIOT The Issue of the Vulture, Two in One, conveyed; this is the Chariot of Power. TRINC: the last oracle.

Triumph, victory, hope, memory, digestion, violence in maintaining traditional ideas, the “die-hard”, ruthlessness, lust of destruction, obedience, faithfulness, authority under au-thority.


Behold, the Chariot! Through the water floods The Sangraal, life and rapture, Wine and Bloods!

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VIII ADJUSTMENT Balance against each thought its exact opposite. For the Marriage of these is the Annihilation of Illusion.

Justice, or rather justesse, the act of adjustment, suspension of all action pending decision,; in material matters, may refer to law suits or prosecutions. Socially, marriage or marriage agreements; politically, treaties.


Adjustment! Rhythm writhes through every act. Wild is the dance, its balance is exact.

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IX THE HERMIT Wander alone; bearing the Light and thy Staff. And be the Light so bright that no man seeth thee. Be not moved by aught without or within: keep Silence in all ways.

Illumination from within, secret impulse from within; practical plans derived accordingly. Retirement from participation in current events.


Most secret of all Life’s serpent plan, Virgin, the Hermit goes, dumb Guardian.

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X FORTUNE Follow thy Fortune, careless where it lead thee. The axle moveth not, attain thou that.

Change of fortune. (This generally means good fortune because the fact of consultation implies anxiety or discontent.)


Sped by energies triune, the Wheel Of Fortune spins, its Axle’s immobile.

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XI LUST (STRENGTH) Mitigate Energy with Love; but let Love devour all things. Worship the name _____, foursquare, mystic, wonderful, and the name of His House 418.

Courage, strength, energy and action, une grande passion, resort to magick, the use of magical power.


The Lion-Serpent begets Gods! Thy throne The rampant Beast, Our Lady Babalon.

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XII THE HANGED MAN Let not the waters whereon thou journeyest wet thee. And, being come to shore, plant thou the Vine and rejoice.

Enforced sacrifice, punishment, loss-fatal or voluntary, suffering, defeat, failure, death.


In Mother-Deeps of Ocean the God-Man Hangs, Lamp of the Abyss Aeonian.

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XIII DEATH The Universe is Change; every Change is the effect of an Act of Love; all Acts of Love contain Pure Joy. Die daily. Death is the apex of one curve of the snake Life: behold all opposites as necessary complements, and rejoice.

Transformation, change, voluntary or involuntary, in either case logical development of existing conditions, yet perhaps sudden and unexpected. Apparent death or destruction, but such interpretation is illusion.


Eagle, and Snake, and Scorpion! The Dance Of Death whirls from Life to Trance to Trance to Trance...

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XIV ART Pour thine all freely from the Vase in thy right hand, and lose no drop. Hath not thy left hand a vase? Transmute all wholly into the Image of they Will, bringing each to its true token to Perfection. Dissolve the Pearl in the Wine-cup; drink, and make manifest the Virtue of that Pearl.

Combination of forces, realization, action based on accurate calculation; the way of escape, success after elaborate maneuvers


Solve, coagula! By V.I.T.R.I.O.L. shewn, The Tincture, the Elixir, and the Stone.

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XIV THE DEVIL With thy right Eye create all for thyself, and with the left accept all that can be created otherwise.

Blind impulse, irresistibly strong and unscrupulous, ambition, temptation, obsession, secret plan about to be executed; hard work, obstinacy, rigidity, aching discontent, endur-ance.


Ιο παν! upon the summits the God-goat Leaps in wild lust of ecstasy afloat.

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XVI THE BLASTED TOWER Break down the fortress of thine Individual Self, that thy Truth may spring free from the ruins.

Quarrel, combat, danger, ruin, destruction of plans, sudden death, escape from prison.


Bellona, scream! Unhood the Hawks! The roar Of Universes crashing into War!

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XVII THE STAR Pour water on thyself: thus shalt thou be a fountain to the Universe. Find thou thyself in every Star. Achieve thou every possibility.

Hope, unexpected help, clearness of vision, realization of possibilities, spiritual in-sight, with bad aspects, error of judgment, dreaminess, disappointment.


Nuit, Our Lady of the Stars! Event Is all Thy play, sublime Experiment!

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XVIII THE MOON Let the Illusion of the World pass over the, unheeded, as thou goest from Midnight to the Morning.

Illusion, deception, bewilderment, hysteria, even madness, dreaminess, falsehood, error, crisis, “the darkest hour before the dawn”, the brink of important change.


Witch-moon, upon the beck of blood afloat The Midnight Beetle’s brave prophetic boat!

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XIX THE SUN Give forth thy light to all without doubt; the clouds and shadows are no matter for thee. Make Speech and Silence, Energy and Stillness, twin forms of thy play.

Glory, gain, riches, triumph, pleasure, truth, shamelessness, arrogance, vanity, manifestation, recovery from sickness, but sometimes sudden death.


The Sun, our Father, Soul of Life and Light Love and play freely, sacred in Thy sight!

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XX THE AEON Be every Act an Act of Love and Worship. Be every Act the Fiat of a God. Be every Act a Source of Radiant Glory.

Final decision is respect of the past, new current in respect of the future, always represents the taking of a definite step.


Nuit, Hadit, Ra-Hoor-Khuit! The Aeon Of the Twin Child! Exult, o Empyrean!

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XXI THE UNIVERSE Treat time and all conditions of Event as Servants of thy Will, appointed to present the Universe to thee in the form of they Plan. And: blessing and worship to the prophet of the lovely Star.

The matter in question itself, synthesis, the end of the matter, may mean delay, opposition, obstinacy, inertia, patience, perseverance, persistent stubbornness in difficulty. The crystallization of the whole matter involved.


Naught becomes All to realize the span Of naught, O perfect Universe of Pan.

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In a Tarot reading, the entities pictured in the court cards generally refer to real people in the Querent’s situation at the time of the reading. The Knight and Queen refer to older , more mature people and the Prince and Princess to young adults, teen-agers or children. Each suit also refers to a particular type of force and spiritual attribution. Wands represent Fire and the Divine Will, Cups are for Water and Understanding, Swords for Air and the Human Will and Disks for Earth and manifest existence. The Knights are the most sublime, original, active part of the energy of the element. Their action is swift and violent, but transient. The Queens receive, ferment and transmit the original energy of their Knight. They endure for a time to carry the energy and are the second stage of the creative process, The Princes represent the active issue of the union of Knight and Queen and is the result of their combined energy, and is more enduring than his forebears. The Princesses represent the ultimate issue of the original energy its completion, its crystallization and its manifestation. They are the re-absorption of the energy: the Silence to which all things return.

The Knight of Wands has the moral qualities of activity, generosity, fierceness, impetuosity, pride, impulsiveness, swiftness in unpredictable actions. If wrongly energized, he is evil-minded, cruel, bigoted and brutal. He has no staying power: if he fails in his first effort, he has no resource.

The Queen of Wands has the characteristics of adaptability, per-sistent energy, calm authority which she uses to enhance her attrac-tiveness. She is kindly and generous, but is impatient of opposi-tion. She is proud, but in a vainglorious, “snobbish” way. The other side of her character is a tendency to brood, come to a wrong decision thereon, and react with great savagery. She may be easily deceived, then she is likely to show herself stupid, obstinate, tyrannical and vengeful.

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The Prince of Wands has moral qualities of swiftness and strength. He can act on impulse, can be easily led by external influ-ences and can be prey to indecision. He may violently state an opinion for the sake of stating it, not because he actually believes. He sees both sides of every question and is essentially just. He is noble, generous, romantic, humorous, courageous and has great staying power. If badly dignified, the opposite of the above is true. He can be cruel, callous, intolerant, prejudiced and idle. He can also be a

The Princess of Wands is extremely individual. She is brilliant and daring. She creates her own beauty by her essential energy. In anger or love she is sudden, violent and implacable. She is ambi-tious, and aspiring and can be quite vengeful. She never forgets an injury. If ill-dignified, she is superficial and theatrical, completely shal-low and false and cannot see these faults in herself. She is cruel, unreliable, faithless and domineering.

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The Knight of Cups is mostly passive: he is graceful, dilettante, and amiable in a passive way. He responds quickly to attraction, but is not very enduring and has no material depth in his character as he is very superficial. Ill-dignified, he is sensual, idle and untruthful. Yet he possesses an innocence and purity which are the essence of his nature.

The Queen of Cups has the characteristics of dreaminess, illusion and tranquility. She is the perfect agent and patient, able to receive and transmit everything without herself being affected thereby. If ill-dignified, all the above qualities are distorted: everything that passes through her is refracted and distorted. Generally, her charac-teristics depend mostly upon the influences which affect her.

The Prince of Cups has the qualities of subtlety, secret violence and craft. He appears calm but this masks a most intense passion. He uses external influences to his own ends. He is without con-science and is usually mistrusted by his neighbors who feel they can’t understand him. He inspires fear in others and is perfectly ruthless. He cares for power, wisdom and his own aims. He does not work well with others.

The Princess of Cups is infinitely gracious. All sweetness, all voluptuousness, gentleness and tenderness are hers. She lives in a world of Romance, in the perpetual dream of rapture. She is very dependent on others but can be very helpful to them.

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The Knight of Swords represents the idea of attack. His moral qualities are activity and skill, subtlety and cleverness. He is fierce, delicate and courageous but altogether prey to his idea. If ill-dignified, he is incapable of decision or purpose. Any action he takes is brushed aside by opposition, which spells futility.

The Queen of Swords should be intensely perceptive, a keen observer, a subtle interpreter, an intense individualist, swift and ac-curate at recording ideas; in action, confident, in spirit, gracious and just. She will be graceful and exceptionally gifted in balancing and dancing. If ill-dignified, she will be cruel, sly, deceitful and unreliable; there-fore very dangerous, due to her superficial beauty.

The Prince of Swords is purely intellectual, a mass of fine ideas unrelated to practical effort. He is intelligent, intensely clever, very rational but unstable of purpose and drifts from one idea to the next, placing equal value on all. He is capable of brilliantly supporting one point with apparent conviction then turn round and support the opposite point with equal fervor. He is the trendy faddist, leaping from one cause to another, possibly for no greater reason than it is the whim of the moment.

The Princess of Swords is stern and revengeful. Her logic is de-structive. She is firm and aggressive, with great practical wisdom and subtlety in material things, showing much cleverness of con-troversial practical affairs and adroitness in the settling of contro-versies. If ill-dignified, she becomes incoherent and her gifts combine to form a species of low cunning with equally low objectives.

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The Knight of Disks represent those who tend to be dull, dense and pre-occupied with material things. They are laborious and patient, but have little intellectual grasp of anything. They imitate the growth processes of Nature and lack initiative. If ill-dignified, they are hopelessly stupid, slavish, incapable of fore-sight and are generally churlish, surly, jealous and incurable med-dlers.

The Queen of Disks possesses the finer of the quieter qualities: im-mensely affectionate, kind, non-intellectual, quiet, hard-working, practical, sensible, domesticated and can be lustful and debauched and can be drunkards. If ill-dignified, they are dull, servile, foolish and drudges rather than workers. Life for the is purely mechanical.

The Prince of Disks has great energy for solid, practical matters. He is energetic, enduring, a capable manager and planner, and a stead-fast worker. He is competent, ingenious, cautious, trustworthy and imperturbable, and almost entirely lacking in emotion. He may ap-pear stupid, but is not. He is slow to anger but implacable if roused sufficiently.

The Princess of Disks is the essence of Womanhood in its ulti-mate projection. What characteristics surface in her depend on the influences to which she is subjected. Her general reputation will be on of bewildering inconsistency.

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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.

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The back of the Aleister Crowley – Frieda Harris Tarot deck.

A TAROT DIVINATION METHOD (shown on the next page)

1) The reader chooses a “significator” to represent the person being read, usually this is a Court Card, unless a situation is being divined, where one could use a Trump or a Small Card. The significator is taken from the deck, creating a vortex about which the remaining cards turn. 2) Either the Querent or the reader shuffles the deck three times, depending on the nature of the question and the predilections of the reader, thinking of the question while shuffling. 3) The Querent cuts the deck and the cards are laid out as in the diagram on the next page. 4) The cards are read in order, proceeding from 2 to 11, according to the knowledge and wisdom of the reader. Note: the descriptions and attributes of the cards are meant to be guides for the reader and the Querent. As much as possible, the cards need to be seen as “intuitive lenses” to focus on the Querent, his or her situation and the question or questions being asked.

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Instructions: ♦ Choose significator by

characteristics of querent. ♦ Have querent shuffle thrice

and cut. ♦ Deal out cards in order from

cut… (Note: Card 1 is dealt first, then 2 on top of it and 3 on top of 2, in positions shown, but centered one on the other...)

Meaning: MICROCOSMIC - Material

1 Significator _____________________________________________________________

2 Favorable influences _____________________________________________________

3 Unfavorable influences ___________________________________________________

4 Ideals ________________________________________________________________

5 Foundation for ideals ____________________________________________________

6 Past __________________________________________________________________

7 Future_________________________________________________________________


8 Querent _______________________________________________________________

9 Environment ___________________________________________________________

10 Hopes & Fears _________________________________________________________

11 Result ________________________________________________________________

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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 divi-nation and spiritual philosophy brought together.