Thoth Tarot


This is the deck created by artist Frieda Harris for occultist Aleister Crowley.

They both devoted years to the perfection of the deck, but neither of them lived to see it printed. Crowley always referred to his deck as ‘The Book of Thoth’.  It was first made available in printed form for the public in 1969, and has become very popular with Tarot users, due its intense symbolism and powerful images. These are derived from Egyptian mythology, Crowley’s membership of the Golden Dawn (a spiritual and magical order), Eastern religions, astrology, and other esoteric sources. Thoth himself was an Egyptian diety with the body of a man and the head of an ibis.

The Thoth tarot deviates from other decks in some significant ways.

Many cards of the Major Arcana are renamed, for example. Justice becomes ‘Adjustment’, Strength becomes ‘Lust’, the World becomes the ‘Universe’.  Except for the Queens, all of the court cards have different names – Page becomes ‘Princess’, Knight becomes ‘Prince’ and King (confusingly) becomes ‘Knight’. One of the results of this is that the gender balance of the court cards is more equal than in other decks.

Crowley also gives the cards of the individual suits astrological signs, and names – the three of Cups is ‘Abundance’, the ten of Disks (Pentacles) is ‘Wealth’, the Eight of Swords is ‘Interference’ and so on.

The cards in general are strong, bold, colorful and full of movement, with rich visual interest and symbolism to encompass a lifetime of readings with the cards, which was the intention of the creators.



This deck is probably more useful for experienced Tarot users, though the cards are not as ‘dark’ or dangerous as some commentators suggest. The non-Court cards of the Cups, Wands, Swords and Disks (Pentacles) suits do not feature human figures, so some study will be required to become informed about the cards’ symbolism.

Supporting material

The deck comes with an instruction booklet and a suitable spread to use.

Read more details about the Thoth Tarot Deck