Cards - Aleister Crowley Thoth Tarot Deck (AGM-Urania)

Aleister Crowley Thoth tarot deck. AGM-Urania, Switzerland. Full divinatory tarot deck, Mediterranean suited, 80 single-headed cards + divinatory-meanings booklet. Size: 95mm x 140mm.

Deck make-up:
Trumps: 0-21.
Disks (i.e. coins), wands (i.e. clubs), cups, swords: A, 2-10, knight, queen, prince, princess.
Extras: title cards x2.

The Thoth Tarot Deck was devised in 1938 by controversial occultist Aleister Crowley, a member of the esoteric group the Ordo Templi Orientis. The artwork was realised by Lady Frieda Harris (an Ordo associate of Crowley, and probably his sometime mistress) between 1938 and 1943. Originally, Crowley planned simply to reuse an old tarot design with a few corrections he deemed necessary to the original imagery. However, Harris eventually persuaded Crowley to sanction a completely new deck. The 78 paintings ended up taking Harris five years to complete: Crowley demanded up to eight repaints for some of the cards before he was satisfied. Many of these out-takes are still in circulation.

As with Arthur Waite (creator of the famous Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck, see links at end of page) before him, Crowley released a (very long-winded) accompanying book, The Book of Thoth – A Short Essay on the Tarot of the Egyptians. In his (far from) "short" essay, Crowley doesn't even give the basic divinatory meanings in digestible form – the modern little white booklet which comes with the deck has had to have third parties pick out the meanings piecemeal from the text (if they're there at all), even resorting to quoting articles written by Lady Harris for art exhibitions "probably" edited from Crowley's other (presumably lost) notes.

Crowley died in 1947, the actual cards remaining unpublished until 1972 (most sources say 1969, but I gather that is wrong). These days, the deck remains a best-seller in the field of tarot, mainly due to Harris' rich and undated Dali-esque imagery. The cards are currently also available in a large format which allows the complex pictures to be studied in detail. However, one rather annoying aspect of the cards' design is that single-word divinatory meanings are given on the pip cards but not on the trumps or courts – strange.

Click on any card to explore the design.

(Comments or corrections, please e-mail: Click to see e-mail address.)

Card image size, below:     


alternative Magus cardsOne version of the deck issued in recent times included two extra takes of the Magus card (right). The publishers noted that this was mainly just to use up extra space on the printed sheets and that they didn't mean to imply these two extra versions were "official".

Disks (i.e. coins)

Wands (i.e. clubs)




The card on the left is an extra and features Crowley's personal magical seal, known as the Unicursal Hexagram, or Hexagram of the Beast. The next is "the statement of the Ordo Templi Orientis", who are the custodians of the Thoth deck's design.


Aleister Crowley Thoth Tarot Deck LWB (later versions of this deck shipped with an abbreviated LWB; this is the fuller original).

Crowley's book, The Book of Thoth, about his deck, 1944.

The deck on this page is one masterminded by a Golden Dawn (or its offshoots) member, or designed to adhere to their concepts of tarot. A list of other major such decks is given below:

The deck on this page is one masterminded by a Golden Dawn (or its offshoots) member, or designed to adhere to their concepts of tarot. A list of other major such decks is given below (scroll/swipe to the right if needed):

Deck Author/s Artist/s (if diff.) Release year "Official" guide book Notes
Marseilles tarot / Tarot de Marseille unknown various 15th century The Tarot: Its Occult Signification, Use In Fortune-Telling, And Method Of Play, Etc. The booklet cited (written in 1888 by Samuel L MacGregor Mathers of the Golden Dawn) gives "official" Golden Dawn divinatory meanings when using the Marseilles tarot (referred to at that time as the Italian tarot).
In 1889, Swiss occultist and artist, Oswald Wirth, designed a well-known tarot specifically for esoteric use with his own versions of the trumps in the Marseilles pattern.
The Rider-Waite[-Smith] Tarot Arthur Edward Waite Pamela Colman Smith 1909 The [Pictorial] Key To The Tarot
Builders Of The Adytum (BOTA) Tarot Paul Foster Case Jessie Burns Parke 1931 The Tarot: A Key To The Wisdom Of The Ages or Highlights Of Tarot [NB doesn't cover pip cards] Revised version of Rider-Waite with some "corrected" trumps and courts, and simple pip cards. Trumps also issued in colour form; full deck is b&w.
Thoth Tarot Deck Aleister Crowley Lady Frieda Harris 1972 (painted 1938-43) The Book Of Thoth (Egyptian Tarot): A Short Essay On The Tarot Of The Egyptians
The Golden Dawn Tarot (aka The Whare Ra deck) Israel Regardie Robert Wang 1978 An Introduction To The Golden Dawn Tarot
The Hermetic Tarot Godfrey Dowson 1979 Only the Little White Booklet that comes with the deck. Black & white.
Golden Dawn Magical Tarot (aka The New Golden Dawn Ritual Tarot) Chic Cicero & Sandra Tabatha Cicero (with Israel Regardie) 1991 Golden Dawn Magical Tarot / The New Golden Dawn Ritual Tarot "Ritual" was the earlier name. Do not confuse this deck with the one below – they are different!
The Magical Tarot Of The Golden Dawn Pat Zalewski & Chris Zalewski Skip Dudchous & David Sledzinski 2022 The Magical Tarot Of The Golden Dawn: Revised Ed. Earlier editions had art by Jonathon A Pierce instead. This deck is not to be confused with the similarly named deck above!

Links to other full tarot and divinatory decks

Aleister Crowley Thoth Tarot Deck (AGM-Urania)

Ancient Italian Tarot / Tarocchino Milanese (Lo Scarabeo)

Golden Dawn Magical Tarot (Llewellyn Books)

The Golden Dawn Tarot (U.S. Games Systems)

Grand Etteilla (Tarots Egyptiens / Egyptian gypsies tarot) (Grimaud)

Grand Jeu De Mlle Lenormand (Grimaud)

(Petit) Lenormand / "Blue Owl" Lenormand (AGM-Urania)

The Hermetic Tarot (U.S. Games Systems)

Tarot Hiéroglyphique Egyptien (unknown, France)

Learning Tarot Cards (Witchy Cauldron)

Llewellyn's Classic Tarot (Llewellyn Books)

Minchiate Fiorentine (Baragioli)

Nouveau Jeu De La Main (Grimaud)

Tarots Parisiens / Oracles Planetaires / Sorcier du XIXe Siècle (Viuda de Bouchard-Huzard)

Tarot Of The Renaissance (Lo Scarabeo)

Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot (Rider)

RWS Panorama (Deckstiny)

Sola-Busca Tarot (privately commissioned deck)

Le Tarot Astrologique / The Astrological Tarot (Grimaud)

Tarot De Marseilles (Conver-Camoin)

Tarot: Spécial Cercle / Tarot Nouveau / Tarot A Jouer / Jeu De Tarot / Bourgeois Tarot (Grimaud)

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