Differences between Rider Waite and Thoth Tarot

The Tarot was essentially the most suitable tool for reflecting spiritual or mental forces in one’s life.

The Rider Waite deck is perhaps the most popular deck out there. There are many beginner friendly books that introduce the deck, and if you don’t like the artwork there are plenty of clones to choose from. So why choose the Thoth Deck?

We must go back to the history of the creators of the two decks. Each deck was created for very different purposes. Arthur Edward Waite and Aleister Crowley were both members of the Golden Dawn, a magical order which taught Western Mysticism to its Initiates.

The Rider Waite deck was created as a normal Tarot deck, although it contained to a degree some of the occult knowledge of the Golden Dawn, it was mostly hidden and not made explicit. The trained eye can pick them out from the cards, but Waite’s companion book, The Pictoral Key to the Tarot, mentions none of the secret knowledge of the Golden Dawn. All members were sworn to secrecy as a safeguard so that the knowledge doesn’t fall in the wrong hands. The deck was more or less created for anyone and everyone to use for fortune telling.

Aleister Crowley on the other hand chose to reveal this spiritual knowledge to all. He felt that Magick was the birthright of every man and woman. He believed he was the prophet of the new Aeon and it was his life purpose to spread this knowledge.
Arthur Edward Waite does not tell you what the symbols really represent and the teachings behind the symbols. But Aleister Crowley reveals all. Each card has its own objective meaning, regardless of subjective interpretation.

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