The Tarosophist International: The Magazine of Tarosophy is a new journal put out by Tarot Professionals. The Special Annual Edition features the Thoth Deck—Issue Four (1:4). It’s available in hardback and consists of 146 fully illustrated pages with articles by Rachel Pollack, Lon Milo DuQuette, Mary K. Greer, Richard Kaczynski, K. Frank Jensen, Marcus Katz. A must-have for anyone (beginner or expert) who wants to know more about the Thoth deck, it features articles such as
- “Aleister Crowley Timeline” (Katz)
- “The Handbooks of Thoth (Katz)—a help in deciding which to purchase
- “Teaching the Thoth Deck” (Sunerton-Burl)
- “The Printing History of the Deck” (Gillis)—an essential resource for collectors!
- “The Deck & Western Esotericism” (Kaczynski)
- “The 10 of Disks is Screwed!” (DuQuette)
- “Qabalah of the Nine Chambers” (Crowley, with Greer commentary)
- “Four Things about the Fool” (Gibb)—illustrated by a fabulous early version of the Fool card
- Frieda Harris’ crayon sketches of the cards for the Thoth exhibition
and many more fascinating articles, illustrations and columns. If you join Tarot Professionals you can get the e-book version of all the journals—well worth the price of membership on its own, much less the additional benefits available.
My own offerings include “The Alchemical Cards of the Thoth Deck” in which I explore symbolism in the Lovers and Art (Temperance) cards. Here is a brief excerpt from my article concerning the Latin phrase inscribed on an egg, which first appears on the Lovers card and later forms the container for the work done in Art.
When alchemical mercury, salt and sulphur perfectly combine they form what is called the “universal solvent” Vitriol. V.I.T.R.I.O.L. is an acronym standing for the Latin phrase written along the inside edge of the egg: “Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultum Lapidem,” which translates as “Visit the interior of the earth; by rectification you shall find the hidden stone.” The “hidden stone” is the universal medicine or panacea. In Magick in Theory and Practice, Crowley explains that “the Universal Medicine will be a menstruum of such subtlety as to be able to penetrate all matter and transmute it in the sense of its own tendency, while of such impartial purity as to accept perfectly the impression of the Will of the Alchemist.”
Rectification means both “repeated distillation” but also “the means to finding a straight line that is equal in length to a curved [or crooked] line.” Crowley says, “it implies the right leading of the new living substance in the path of the True Will.” It is apparent that ART, being on the middle pillar, is the straight line to the Divine.
In alchemical psychology V.I.T.R.I.O.L. says we must re-enter the Mother’s body (or egg) from whence we came. That is, we must descend to the deepest cave of the unconscious and the most material world of the next Tarot card, the Devil (the Jungian “Shadow”), in order to put everything we discover about ourselves through the solve et coagula process. In this way we make straight whatever has become crooked within us. The seven letters also represent the seven planets and their metals, which represent those specific energies and emotions within the self that need to be freed from the “dross” so that they can function according to their true nature.