(i) Thoth Tarot Court Cards YouTube Video

Thoth Tarot Court Cards Introduction : The video below explains some fundamental principles which will aid in the understanding of the Thoth Court Cards:

(ii) Thoth Tarot Court Cards

The Thoth Court Cards are a wonderful example of the brilliance artwork of Lady Freda Harris and maintain the high standard of symbology that can be seen throughout the Thoth Deck. They can be viewed in the relevant section of the Book of Thoth here. The court cards in general are seen as being difficult to interpret and so here we discuss some of the esoteric principles on which they are based to make their understanding somewhat easier. This subject has been dealt with previously , for example Ravens Tarot Site & work by Paul Hughes-Barlow on YouTube.

Initially the court cards in Tarot Decks followed the Tarot de Marseilles Pack (originating in 15th Century Northern Italy) and had the King, Queen , Knight & Page.

 

(a) Examples of Court Cards from the Tarot de Marseilles Deck:

Thoth Tarot Court Cards

 

  Both A.E Waite & Crowley were members of the occult order The Golden Dawn (Late 19 – early 20th Century), which used the titles Knight, Queen, Prince & Princess for the court cards. Crowley subsequently kept that order in his Thoth Deck whilst Waite deviated from this going back to the Tarot de Marseilles structure.

My personal opinion is that the court cards of the Waite deck have the weakest images in this deck and that the artwork in the Thoth Court cards is amazing.

 

(b) Examples of Court Cards from the Rider Waite Deck

Thoth Tarot Court Cards 

(c) Examples of Court Cards from the Thoth Deck

Thoth Tarot Court Cards

 

I have used a reference called Liber Theta which lays out the attributions of the court cards along with the minor arcana.

 

(iii) Thoth Tarot Court Cards & The Tetragrammaton

three of swords

 

Yod = paternal aspect of God, fiery creative will. Our motivation

Hey Primal = great mother, feminine aspect of God; water, passive. Our soul, the vehicle in which the creative ‘Will’ from Yod takes form. It is also associated with the world ‘Soul’

Vav = Air = son (child of the first 2 ). The centre of our Ego  or consciousness, the purest form of our manifested self

He Final = daughter, no connection with parents due to ‘the fall’ original sin = Earth. the lowest aspect.The physical part of the soul.

Each of these letters is also associated with a ‘level’ of the soul according to the Qabalah The above account for taken from one of the excellent videos of Polyphonic Tarot, a link to this video is here: The Tetragrammaton

 

(iv) Thoth Tarot Court Cards and the 16  Elemental Subdivisions

thoth fool

There are 16 court cards which are divided into groups of 4 elements:

Fire , Water, Air, Earth.

Father , Mother, Son, Daughter. The first two are the older figures and the latter two younger.

Father = knights ,

Mother = Queen ,

Prince = Son ,

Princesses = Daughter.

This is NOT the rider Waite system where we have Kings and Pages so we will not be looking at that system as the two DO NOT compare well together.

Apart from the  princesses, all of the Thoth Court Cards are sitting down.

Queen sits on a throne, the Knight is also seated but on a horse, not a throne like the King. The throne is a passive structure.

Princes = mounted on a chariot = a chair pulled by a horse and so they have elements of both the active knight and the passive Queen.

 

(v) Thoth Tarot Court Cards & The Tree of Life

knight of disks

Knights (kings) = Chockmah

Queens = Binah

Princes = Tiphareth

Princesses = Malkuth

 

(vi) Thoth Tarot Court Cards & Astrology 

Thoth Tarot Court Cards

 

 

(a) The Knights, Queens and Princes Rule Quadrants of Time

Knights, Queens, Princes all rule 30 degrees of the zodiac, but 20 degrees of one sign and 10 degrees of the proceeding sign. So each card rules 3 decans, whereas each minor arcana only rules one decan.

 

(b) The Princesses & The Aces rule Quadrants of Space

Princesses  = no astrology. Like the Aces. They each rule a quadrant around the North Pole.

 

Princess & Ace of Wands rule Cancer, Leo & Virgo. Geographically rule Asia

Princess & Ace of Cups rule Libra, Scorpio & Sagittarius. Geographically rule the Pacific

Princess & Ace of Swords rule Capricorn , Aquarius & Pisces. Geographically rule The Americas

Princess & Ace of Disks rule Aries , Taurus & Gemini. Geographically rule Europe & Africa

They also rule a quadrant of the earth.

 

(vii) Each Thoth Court Card consists of 3 Minor Arcana cards

Why is this ? For the first time we have PEOPLE and FACES within the tarot deck. The minor arcana cards were just representing qualities or forces. Here however, we get a mixture, and we all know that people dont consist of just one quality but a mix of them.

Knights = rule the last 10 degrees of the fixed signs, and then first 20 degrees of mutable sign next to the fixed sign

 Queens =rule last 10 degrees of mutable signs, and fist 20 of adjacent cardinal sign.

Princes =  rule last 10 degrees of the cardinal signs and first 20 of adjacent fixed sign.

 

(viii) Thoth Tarot Court Cards – The Energy in the Decans

Cardinal = strongest = newness of spring with Aries.

Fixed = stable = Taurus

Mutable = weakest part as energy lowers. The first 10 degrees of the court card is always Mutable and therefore its weakest link. The next 20 degrees is the strongest part of the court card.

Each one of the court cards can be associated with one of the hexagrams of the I Ching which will be discussed in a separate post.

 

(ix) Conclusion

There is more than enough information above to get you well on your way to understanding this topic. We will now discuss each of the Thoth Court Cards in turn, starting with the Knights then progressing onto the Queens, Princes and finally the Princesses. 


 

Thoth Tarot Court Cards Introduction

One thought on “Thoth Tarot Court Cards Introduction

  • 06/08/2017 at 4:24 pm
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    Hi David!

    Congratulations on completing your series on the Tarot cards. Your work is really excellent, and this website is an extremely valuable resource. As you mentioned, the court cards are very hard to interpret, and I thought it might be helpful to have a correspondence with the Myers-Briggs types. I’m not actually a big fan of Myers-Briggs, but I needed something to help me identify individuals that might be represented by each court card, and I know it was actually based on some of the same theories as Tarot, so it ought to work. I know a lot of people have tried to do something like this, but I wasn’t able to find anything quite satisfactory. Through my research I was able to come up with my own system of correspondences that seems to work.

    If you find this helpful, please share it with people. I don’t need any acknowledgement or attribution. I’d love to hear any comments you have about whether you find this useful.

    I’ll give the explanation for how I developed this first, followed by the chart of card – MBTI correspondences.

    In Jungian theory, there are four psychological functions by which people relate to the world, corresponding to the four classical elements:
    iNtuition – fire Feeling – water
    Thinking – air Sensing – earth
    The middle two letters of a Meyers-Briggs (MBTI) type indicate the dominance and auxiliary functions for an individual (not necessarily in order)

    Intuition and sensing are two modes of perceiving the world. Thinking and feeling are two modes of judging. Each function can be directed outward (Extraversion) or inward (Introversion). MBTI identifies the preferred extroverted activity as either Perception or Judging using the last letter. For Extraverted individuals, this identifies either N/S or T/F as the individual’s dominant function, and for Introverts it identifies the auxiliary function, with the other letter in the type representing the dominant function.

    I used an individual’s dominant function to assign a suit to the individual according to the elemental correspondence above: N – Wands, T – Swords, F – Cups, and S – Disks.

    Within each suit the auxiliary function (the non-dominant function listed in the type) is identified as active/hot (N/T) or passive/cold (F/S) according to element. Knights and Princes (as vav and yod in the Tetragrammaton) are active, and Queens and Princesses (hé and hé final) are passive. Dry and moist aspects correspond to extraversion and introversion respectively. Knights and Princesses (representing Will and Manifestation) are E, while Queens and Princes (representing Intellect and Emotion) are I.

    This technique produces the following chart:
    WANDS
    Knight ENTP
    Queen INFJ
    Prince INTJ
    Princess ENFP

    CUPS
    Knight ENFJ
    Queen ISFP
    Prince INFP
    Princess ESFJ

    SWORDS
    Knight ENTJ
    Queen ISTP
    Prince INTP
    Princess ESTJ

    DISKS
    Knight ESTP
    Queen ISFJ
    Prince ISTJ
    Princess ESFP

    If you look up descriptions for each type, I think you will find it remarkable. To me, these are correspondences, not identities, and should be based primarily on the querent’s perception, not necessarily on actual type.

    Please tell me what you think!

    Andrew

    Reply

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