How to read thoth tarot cards

Written by sage kalmus
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How to read thoth tarot cards
You don't have to be psychic to read Thoth tarot cards. (tarot image by e-pyton from

Tarot is the art of divination using tarot cards. Aleister Crowley's Thoth tarot deck is one of the oldest and most widely-used tarot decks. Reading the Thoth deck, like any other tarot cards, is more a matter of listening to intuition than following any hard and fast rules. Once you learn the general guidelines for performing a simple reading, you can creatively adapt your future readings to better fit your tastes.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Thoth tarot deck
  • The Book of Thoth
  • Table, desk, or other hard, clean surface

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  1. 1

    Sit down comfortably at the table or desk and take a few deep breaths to clear your mind and centre yourself.

  2. 2

    Think of a question that would you like answered in the reading. It could be about a particular individual or situation, such as a romantic relationship or a career decision or it could be more general, such as an inquiry about your health.

  3. 3

    Shuffle the cards as you hold this question in your mind. Shuffle as many times as you like until you feel comfortable that the cards have been sufficiently shuffled. If you like, you may also cut the deck before dealing.

  4. 4

    Place the deck face down on the table in front of you. One at a time, deal three cards off the top of the deck, placing them face down beside each other in front of you.

  5. 5

    Flip over the card on the left. This position represents the past. Look up the card in The Book of Thoth (the handbook that comes with the Thoth deck) to learn its meaning. If the card is upside-down, called a "Reversal", this represents the negative or blocked manifestation of that card's energy. Both interpretations will be listed in the book, so be sure you read the correct one. Apply the meaning to your question as it relates to the past.

  6. 6

    Flip over the card in the middle. This position represents the present. Look up the card's meaning and apply it to your question as it relates to the present.

  7. 7

    Flip over the remaining card, on the right. This position represents the future. Look up the card's meaning and apply it accordingly.

  8. 8

    Review your reading, examining all three cards together as though they told a chronological story regarding your question.

Tips and warnings

  • Trust your intuition as you ponder your reading, as that will give you the clearest answer to your question.
  • Meditate on the images depicted on the cards and notice whether you receive any additional insight.
  • Once you feel comfortable doing basic readings you can delve into the deeper kabbalistic and astrological meanings contained in the Thoth deck and explore other spreads besides the three card past-present-future spread.
  • The Thoth deck has two extra cards that other decks don't have, but they are merely two versions of the same card, the Magus, giving the deck three Magus cards in all. You can either choose your preferred Magus card to shuffle into the deck for your reading and discard the other two or you can use all three, as you desire.
  • Despite what you may read or hear to the contrary, there is no wrong way to read tarot.
  • Do not take the advice you glean from tarot readings too seriously as it is only a tool for intuitive self-reflection and analysis, not definitive determinations of one's fate.

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