These were prepared specifically for enrollees of the Witchcraft Fundamentals course, but maybe you might find them helpful, too. Pictured above is the back pocket folder I recommend you making with the last pages of your Doctrinal Basis workbook.
Oftentimes tarot books with card meanings focus on the practical, mundane indications of the cards. Heck, that’s what Holistic Tarot did, and did so almost exclusively.
That means when you’re using the deck for readings where the purpose is spiritual (meaning, directed more toward religiosity or aspirations of personal transcendence), reading for card meanings out of a text like…. well, I’ll just keep throwing myself under the bus… like Holistic Tarot is not going to be too insightful. Maybe a little bit. (I’m proud of that book.)
But trying to make sense of Pictorial Key or Book of Thoth if you’re not already acclimated to that style of writing may be presenting a barrier of entry that we can quite easily break down right now.
First, these are the Major Arcana only, for the RWS and Thoth decks. For the SKT, it’s the Majors, the four Aces, and the four Archangels (tarot Kings).
For the most part, all documents linked below are the same, or similar enough where you don’t need to print out all three. Just work with the one per the deck system you’re using. There are minor differences (okay, not so minor…) between the RWS and Thoth glossaries, beyond the switch of Key 8 and Key 11 or even card name discrepancies. Interpretation of The Devil card, for example, is like not even talking about the same card, if you compare the RWS and the Thoth. =) Also, card meanings for my deck SKT will be unique to the system and therefore some of the points found in the SKT glossary are not in the RWS and Thoth.
Both the DOCX and PDF file formats are provided because I want you to add your own interpretations to the Keys to the DOCX file. Don’t just rely on what I say (or what’s in Pictorial Key or Book of Thoth, which are the texts I relied on to round out the nuances in the RWS and Thoth glossaries). Start using your own brain and editing dogma so these glossaries will be more resonant as a personal Key.
The print-outs are set with wide margins all around so that you can cut the pages down to size and tuck them into the back pocket folder I’ve recommended enrollees of the course to make out of the last pages of your Doctrinal Basis workbook. (If you printed out the text on your own to set into a three-ring binder, then either tuck these into the pocket folder parts of your binder or create a sturdy folder yourself and add that to your binder.)
Rider-Waite-Smith (Major Arcana)
Crowley-Harris Thoth (Major Arcana)
Spirit Keeper’s Tarot (Majors, Aces, & Archangels)
I recommend to seasoned tarot readers who think they already know all there is to know about the tarot to go back to basics, but with a glossary of card meanings in a style you know is going to be very, very different from your own. Intentionally seek out an author or school of interpretation you normally would not work with. Or heck, if you’re an RWS reader, use the Thoth; Thoth reader, use the RWS deck. Do a reading and go back to the beginner level again, consulting a reference book to look up each and every single card meaning.
Why? It’s an exercise that helps seasoned readers get out of a narrow way of thinking that we are often tempted to get trapped in when we don’t think there’s anything left for us to learn. For instance, if you’ve been reading tarot for 40 years and the last time you picked up a card meanings book was 1985, try to do a tarot reading by looking up the meanings in a beginner book published in 2019. Sure, sure, there might be that initial shock of, You think that card means WHAT? But calm down, be open, think about cultural changes that have taken place since the 80s, and you just might be surprised at how an old dog learns new tricks. =)
Anyway. I digress. These are Majors Only and written specifically for tarot readings with transcendental purposes in mind.
You can try it out. The Prophetic Astral Vision divinatory exercise comes later in the Witchcraft Fundamentals course, and the narrative is based on the astral vision Levi describes in the early chapters of Doctrine. The video is closed-captioned if you prefer to work with guided text instead of guided audio.
Work with the Major Arcana only from either a RWS clone or the Thoth, or with the Majors, Aces, + Archangels from the SKT.
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