(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:
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
(c) Examples of Court Cards from the Thoth Deck
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
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
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
Knights (kings) = Chockmah
Queens = Binah
Princes = Tiphareth
Princesses = Malkuth
(vi) Thoth Tarot Court Cards & Astrology
(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.
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.