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The Crowley Tarot: The Handbook to the Cards Paperback – August, 1995

33 customer reviews

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Paperback, August, 1995
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: United States Games Systems (August 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0880797150
  • ISBN-13: 978-0880797153
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7.2 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #413,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By "groovepoets" on January 11, 2004
A great book for those interested in reading a bit further into the background behind the Crowlet-Thoth deck, I think the thing that kills most readers on this title is the expectation for it to be an instant interpretation tool....something it's poorly suited toward, since it was written as a bit of an intermediary study tool.
The meat and potatoes of this book focuses on giving you the impressions that the two co-authors have of each card in the Thoth deck. While definitely nothing to be taken as gospel, both authors give the impression of having spent some time studying the deck and correspondences, you'll find that there's also the admission of some indecision in a few areas. After the cards codex there's a historical perspective on the developers of the deck, an index of astro/cabbalistic terms with Trump orientation, and a few spread ideas for personal development.
Within you'll find a breakdown on the developmental history of the deck...an entry for each card with astro correspondences, significance, and a handful of different contextual divinatory meanings, imagery and applicable imagery history....and a brief history of Crowley and Harris.
What you will not find within this book is a quick interp chart for 'reading the tarot in two easy lessons'. If you're looking for that sort of reading tool, pick another book.
Designed for the intermediate to serious student of this particular deck, those reading to get a little further into the Thoth deck than the surface will be pleased with this book.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Peter FYFE on May 4, 2006
Akron and Banzhaf's text is insightful and oracular, giving diviners plenty of poetic and mythic depth to work with as they discern the meanings of the cards and their spreads. If you're prepared to do the work, this text will at least grant you entry into Crowley's symbolic universe, as it has for me. The rest is, of course, your own adventure.

The book's failing is the staggeringly low standard of editing and publication. Wrong card images on some pages, typos on many pages, uneven editing of the translation, and a cheap "exploding" binding (leaving pages falling out within weeks of purchase) really take the shine off an otherwise excellent book.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By "firerizing" on February 4, 2002
If you have never studied tarot or the other teachings and works of Crowley, I wouldn't suggest this book. If you have studied or are studying his teachings regarding Thoth, this is a must have. Thoth tarot is rather deep and involved, it works with the Kabbalah and many of the same principles outlined by the Golden Dawn. This is perfect for the advanced tarot student who wants to get more from their readings.
~Tia
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By "angeljoii" on April 26, 2002
This by far is the best deck. And with the handbook, things got more easy and I found more interesting spreads and things to do and more detailed meanings. I don't reccommend this to beginners, but to intermediate and advanced, the sky is the limit. The illustrations on this deck is not only great, but holds true meaning. The handbook goes into detail that is easily understood about the meanings of every single detail on the card. What more can I say? Well, lots, but basically, this is a great deck and the handbook makes it even better! Can't have one without the other!
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 2, 2000
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This is not really a beginner tarot text, but the Thoth deck is not a beginner's deck, either. This is an extremely visual approach to the deck, and brings in a lot of outside material as well. If you choose to the ignore the more esoteric Crowley approaches, e.g. Qabala, there is still plenty here to get you going with this fabulous deck. I say it's not a beginner deck, but with a book this accessible, less experienced readers might be able to get over that hurdle.

While Crowley's "The Book of Thoth" is the definitive text to accompany the Thoth deck--and if you spend a lot of time with the deck, you're going to want to dive into that eventually--this book is very detailed while still being user-friendly. For those new to the Tarot, or to the Thoth deck, this is probably the best place to start. A good bridge between this book and the BOT is Lon DuQuette's *excellent* book about the deck.

The presentation of this material is also very well-done; the layout makes the book easy to use as a reference.

Finally, the spreads in the back alone make this worth the price of admission!
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By martha woodworth on February 7, 2000
For years I have been teaching my tarot students at Santa Fe Community College using the Thoth deck. This bok is a superb adjunct to the deck, and useful to instructors and students as well. Often, before I do a reading, I refer to it, just for inspiration.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By TruthAndBeauty on December 16, 2006
This was my first tarot manual 15 years ago, and it is not your typical tarot cookbook. Crowley and Lady Freida Harris' cards are challenging and multi-layered, and a book attempting to interpret their dense symbolism requires a certain amount of depth.

The layout of 'The Handbook' is well-organized & consistent. It teaches basic tarot spreads, gives information on tarot symbolism and history of each card, explores the relationship of each card to other divinatory systems (e.g. I Ching, Classical myth & Astrology) and provides interpretive categories of Relationship, Work, Etc. Most interpretations are more than satisfactory, especially for beginner to intermediate students of tarot. The only drawbacks to the Manual are unsatisfactory interpretations for some court cards, though this could be a reflection of court cards' tendency to be ambiguous in readings, and the poor quality of the binding.

Overall, Akron & Banzhaf do an admirable job of presenting a useful & cohesive guide to a deliciously complex deck. If you are looking for a book geared towards personal growth and development, or a workbook that guides you through tarot basics step-by-step, you will prefer Mary Greer's 'Tarot for Yourself' and 'Tarot Mirrors'.
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The Crowley Tarot: The Handbook to the Cards
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