For everyone interested in the Crowley/Harris Thoth deck, there is an important article at Tero Hynynen’s blog Tarotpuu. He reproduces a 1942 lecture by Lady Harris at the Sesame Club in which she speaks in some detail about the artistic choices made in certain cards. The Sesame was one of the few fashionable clubs open to both men and women and had welcomed American poet Edith Sitwell only a few years earlier. According to Harris, Death “has to suggest the idea of reincarnation, as opposed to putrefaction, he is weaving with his scythe a geometrical web of new forms.” She explains that while Water and Cups “typifies compassionate, receptive soothing ideas, its plenty is an over-copious endowment which destroys effort and it leads to a luxuriousness in which creative self-consciousness is lost.” Finally, the Fool is supposed to be the Pierrot of the Commedia dell-Arte.

I mention these only to whet your appetite, for Tero’s post contains much much more, as well as a larger version of this rare portrait of Lady Harris. You can also find a short account of her 1945 lecture at the Tomorrow Club here.

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