The Fortune Thoth – Crowley Tarot | Thoth Tarot Deck
|Develop and continuous decline (alternation, endless change, new beginning).|
|Accept fate, understand the purpose of life, and the transformation of lower things on higher things.|
|Unexpected changes of events (luck), ideas about karma.|
|Worse changes, fate theory.|
|The calmness and spirit rise through deep self-knowing and accepting the purpose of life.|
I. Background of Fortune Thoth Tarot card
1. The Fortune Thoth Tarot
The picture depicts a wheel (vertical) in front of a background which is full of lightning and swirling energy. Those lightning strikes correspond to Zeus, the God that Crowley equates with Jupiter in the Fortune Thoth Tarot card: they emanate from the oval (horizontally or divine wheel) on the side of the card. Those vortices of energy are generated from its continuous rotation. In the vertical wheel, we can see images such as Hermanubis, the monkey creature that is constructive and mindful; Typhon, the crocodile that is destructive and reminiscent of the past; and at the highest point, is the Sphinx that is connected and is keeping the extremes balanced.
They all represent three forms of energy that govern the movement of events. They are the best known in the form of three Indian gods: Brahma, the creator (Hermanubis); Vishnu, the conservator (Sphinx); and Shiva, the God of destruction (Typhon). This trio keeps the wheel turning up and down and making it clear that heaven and hell not only fight with but also complement each other. Darkness is not the opposite of light (through darkness, light can be avoided), perhaps, it is rather an aspect of light: evil is not a destructive thing but rather a disturbance to the balance of the universe, and goodness sometimes causes this, and goodness is not simply that which brings vitality to creation, but what keeps the creative order balanced, and this also includes destruction.
2. Relationship (Fool and Magus)
Hermanubis, the monkey-headed creature, Typhon, the crocodile-headed God of destruction and instinctive management, we encountered them on card number 1 and 0, all drawn in the Fortune Thoth Tarot. They all together form 10. The number 0 is the original energy while the number 1 is the action, and the number 10 is the reality or the result of the action, trying to return to the original energy so that it can return to itself again: number 0 is the sea, number 1 is the wave, and number 10 is the rule of pulling the wave back to the sea and producing a new wave.
II. Analyze and describe Fortune Thoth Tarot
1. Motif (three forms of energy)
a. The Wheel
Birth and death are not related to each other as two sides of the coin. Instead, they are on the same side but separated by time or wheel because the wheel is the fundamental symbol of the intactness, it moves continuously but its mind remains unchanged. Everything that emerges, develops and then disappears no longer exists because the turning circle of the wheel of life brings everything to the dance of fortune.
If you look in another direction, nothing is formed or disappears because the wheel shaft is always there and fixed at the center. It is the wheel of the sky that has constantly revolved around the ground for millions of years. The power behind the wheel is the Eternal to make the wheel move; spokes are spiritual patterns that connect eternity with elements of time and space; symbols on the wheel contour (Sphinx, Hermanubis, and Typhon) are catalysts that transform the subconscious pattern of eternity into personal fate; and the way the wheel is rolling represents the impact of our actions.
In the Fortune Thoth Tarot, we can see that Typhon (Tarnas) lies on the right and let himself drop down, giving its first dynamic wheel. However, it will not fall because it will always turn back on the wheel with both its legs and its solid tail (the tail is wrapped in the wheel forming an infinite loop). Typhon is the son of Gaia Mother Earth and Tartaros: Typhon himself is the father of the three-headed Hell Hound. With the goal of destroying creativity, he fought the Olympus gods but was eventually killed by the lightning of Zeus and buried beneath the rock that is now called Sicily. Every time Etna struggles, we will hear his voice echo from hell.
In Egyptian mythology, Typhon corresponds to Seth, the embodiment of the desert sun burning everything. He is seen as the God of destruction, the destroyer and the enemy of his older brother Osiris, corresponding to the dampness – the element that brings life and is loved by everyone. The Egyptians considered Nile river “the symbol of Osiris’s penis”, each year it rises and flows through the arid black lands, corresponding to his body. As long as the fertile flow of the Nile has not yet appeared, it is clear that the dry power of Seth will be dominant. On the Fortune Thoth Tarot, we can see him holding the symbol of life – the Key Cross – on his right hand and the Heka staff – the sign of Osiris and the symbol of his magical power – on his left hand.
c. (Herm) Anubis
This fall to hell is the complete opposite of Hermanubis (Rajas). Anubis represents the power of recovery that, according to Egyptian mythology, collected the body parts of Osiris (he was cut down by Seth/Typhon into 22 pieces). Crowley calls this character Hermanubis, referring to the name of the Egyptian God, Heru-em-Apun – who is the unity of the heaven God Horus and the hell god Anubis and governs both the upper and lower worlds in the new shape. Hermanubis was later regarded as the connection and the format of the guide of the Egyptian soul, Anubis, and the guide of the Greek soul, Hermes. This combined form emphasizes good moral aspects and eliminates the doubts that the Greeks often attribute to Hermes.
d. The Sphinx
At the highest point of the wheel, the Sphinx with the Nemes headscarf of the kings and the snake Uraeus on the forehead symbolizes the unifying power of the four elements that govern the wheel. At the Sphinx, people will face unbelievable things behind the wheel, evoking in them the question of the origin of all things. Humanity will represent this search because there is no concept that can provide evidence for the actual part without reflecting on human desire. However, people only accept what they can control, and exactly, the Sphinx will destroy our illusions of controlling everything; we must understand that Sphinx is one the challenge for us to be humble and avoid the fate of Oedipus, who has become a victim of his own wisdom
2. Space and Time (wheel of fortune)
a. Two wheels
An ancient Chinese divination method is to turn two wheels (or Mandala) together. One wheel will be fixed and reflect the eternity, the old heavenly order, and Ho-ton while the other wheel will rotate above symbolizing a mirror of the period of re-circulation, the new heavenly order, and Lo Shon. The combination of the two wheels will make predictions. This concept also created the basis for the I Ching, with 64 variables combined in two Baguas, corresponding to upper and lower.
b. Wheel of earthly
The earthly wheel (vertical) in the middle of Fortune Thoth Tarot symbolizes the circulating world of endless development and decline, as opposed to the image of the Western tradition of the world, recognizing only one start (moment of creation) and an end (end of the world). The concept of death and rebirth is linked to a periodic painting that dominates matriarchal cultures and is still prevalent in Asia today. However, this is not a comforting factor because it is newly reviewed in our culture – “there is nothing to be afraid of because we will be reincarnated immediately!” – but an undesirable dependence on the wheel, where a person must free himself by living a proper life (eight paths in Buddhism).
10 wheel spokes remind us that in many religions, the number 10 represents divine law or order: the Ten Commandments in Christianity and Judaism; Tetraktys, Pentagon’s divine pyramid forms from 10 points; 10 Sephirot in Tree of Life Color Quest; and 10 paintings as 10 stages along the way in the Buddhist meditation story of nomads and castrated cows. Earthy wheels have 10 spokes. The wheel of heaven, horizontally, is a pure circle as an expression of the absolute divine hemisphere. It is not divided. Its edge was cut by 10 stones.
c. The wheel of heaven
The star-shaped oval line, drawn in the upper part of the Fortune as a landing zone for extraterrestrial objects, is the sky wheel of fortune or the cosmic clock of destiny, indicating the progress of those continuous cycles. Lightning is clockwise which is in harmony with time; they are weights on the pendulum that draw the beat of the divine within the depths and imply becoming a concept of time that mankind constantly pursues.
d. Space and time
No matter how the wheel of fortune turns, what happens is always consistent if we are not afraid to face the cause. Everything is the subject for the call of constant change. Life is a flow, and the flow is time: time is a constant flow of changing conditions. Space also “materializes” itself in time; every harvest is the result of cultivation, and fate is not what a person could have done but the influence of what a person actually did.
e. Star (Shiva’s eye)
Although the storms in life will stir us up, they always bring something else: understanding. In this way, the star on wheel shaft in the foreground, according to Crowley, can be seen as “Shiva’s Eye, opened to destroy the Universe, or it is a wheel on Jaganath’s Chariot, devout people will achieve perfection at the moment it rolls over them”. However, the wheel with the vortices of energy released from its spokes still has something else. It is similarly artistic with the swastika, an ancient Indian sun and a symbol of growth that may have existed since the time of the ancient train wheels. Mythological studies have given good reasons to believe that the little angels who have closed the heaven gate are these wheels.
III. Interpretation of the Fortune Thoth Tarot
1. Background of the Fortune Thoth Tarot (three roads)
The way the Fortune Thoth Tarot shows our mission in life is unlike any other card. Through that action, the three sources of power of Hermanubis, Seth, and Sphinx represent a symbolic way for the three paths that King’s three children must choose from in many fairy tales. The Russian fairy tale “The Virgin Czar” says: “The one who turns left will have enough to eat but his horse will be starved; the one who turns to the right will be starved but his horse will eat enough, and the person who chooses to go straight will die”.
On the left road (Hermanubis), the instinct (horse) will suffer but the rider (minds) can develop. On the right path (Seith), the rider (minds) will suffer but the instinct (horses) can develop. In the straight path (the path chosen by the youngest son of the King and the only way to indicate the goal) will lead to perfection (Sphinx). There must be the greatest courage – the death of the self, to be able to experience the greatest self, it must fall and give up its previous power of desire. This can then direct our attention to experiences that make us more humble.
2. Overview of the Fortune Thoth Tarot
If the wheel represents a constant rotation into the future, the present moment of the creative axis is where the future is created through the transformation of the past. The Egyptian Sun God spoke about himself like this: “In the morning I am Chepre, in the afternoon I am Ra and the evening is Atum” (Chepre is a morning beetle, Ra is the midday sun, and Atum is a pale old man trying to climb the moon boat).
Everything is the subject of continuous transformation, and through the eyes of the Sphinx, we must turn our eyes on the legitimacy that is responsible for this interaction. Crowley calls this card Fortune Thoth Tarot. In most Tarot decks, it is called “Wheel of Fortune”. This makes it clear that the wheel rotates up on this side and rotates down on the other side through the same motivation. Which side of the wheel we experience is not a matter of external situations and experiences, but a question of our inner willingness to accommodate the changes.
This card shows changes in life because our integration into the whole needs a correction to get new perspectives on things. However, as soon as a person starts to relate external manifestations by becoming interested in the internal orthodoxy, he/she will change the world. A deep understanding of the need for the time of development and decline and the idea of our mission within this endless process is the main meaning of Fortune Thoth Tarot card.
The anxiety that many people feel when facing the future (astrology, Tarot, Runes, I Ching) is probably similar to deep fears when the mind, which is used to make “reasonable” decisions, feels the energy emanating from hell. However, there is still a strength within this communication: it leaves room for openness in which abstract profoundness flows into the daily schedule.
Exactly in the field of careers, Fortune Thoth Tarot card helps us to have a deeper understanding of the inevitable process of fate. So, the wheel shows great transformations approaching us, and realizes that fate forces us to do it. The more we are willing to accept it, the easier it will be to shape, experiencing it is just like our true calling, and thus, meet the useful support of the wheel.
In our relationships, Fortune Thoth Tarot card represents changes to become better, however, there must be a critical understanding as a prerequisite. In this process, we also often perceive ourselves first and depend on the status quo. Maybe, either we do not have a colleague or we are in a problematic relationship. However, it is also important to understand our responsibilities and realize what we need to learn before improving things. On a deeper level, this Fortune Thoth Tarot can give us a deeper insight into what we need to be able to solve and reconcile ourselves in our personal interactions. Sometimes, it also indicates a connection with karma.