The Lust Thoth – Crowley Tarot | Thoth Tarot Deck
|Energy, passion, prestige.|
|Joy in life, initiation, the transformation of sensuality (changing the nature of the animal through acceptance which is full of love).|
|Strength, power, vitality.|
|Weakness, incomplete, disappointed (aggression, perversion, and addiction as a consequence of repressed instincts).|
|High spirit and energy.|
I. Background of Lust Thoth Tarot card
This Lust Thoth Tarot card reflects a major context in Meister Crowley’s life, and also represents a motif from the Book of Revelation (Rev 17.3-4). There is a mention of a beast of 666, corresponding to the Antichrist that was ridden by Harlot Babylon as an unethical woman. Crowley equated himself with this beast in the early years of his life, and every one of his many mistresses was given an “honorary title” as a prostitute.
Lust Thoth Tarot card depicts her as a woman tempted in sensory desires, riding on a lion-like hybrid. She symbolizes the passion that is pouring out through every pore in her body. Her desire was more than her naked body, and her delusion was a source of ecstasy. No one can describe this better than Crowley himself: “She is riding on the Beast. Her left hand is holding the rein, representing the infatuation that unites them. Her right hand is holding a cup – the Holy Grail burned with love and death”. And he wrote more:
In Lust Thoth Tarot, there is a passion for divine love. The woman is portrayed with a little drunk and a little crazy, and the lion is also burning with lust. This indicates that the energy source described here has an original and creative order, which is completely independent of criticism of reason. The card shows the will of Aeon. In the background, there are pale images of the Saints because all their vitality has been sucked into the Holy Grail.
II. Analyze and describe Lust Thoth Tarot
1. Motif (the animal is being restrained)
a. The woman
The drunk character on the Lust Thoth card expresses the instinctive satisfaction of the desire to have a depraved experience (Rev. 13.6: “And I see the woman, drunk in the blood of the Saints and the blood of Jesus’s martyrs”). The soul of Dionysus is called up here, who seeks physical satisfaction in the deep abyss of sexual immorality, and at the same time, sexual potential spreads into the experience of the Universe with all love or a supernova celebrate when the animal inside “explodes” and transforms the creative energy within.
b. The lion
The lion is a symbol of animal instincts. The tamed lion shows the harmony of a cultured person with the nature of the animal inside him. In a restrained but not tamed state, the lion embodies – often behind the blurry devout mask – what is called the craving for strength, violence, unconscious destruction and can develop into the overgrowth of psychotic disorder that causes warfare. On the contrary, when being tamed, it represents the desire, passion, and joy of life, and thus, represents an essential constitution of true vitality.
c. Seven heads (lion head)
The Lust Thoth Tarot card performs justice with these cases, in which, instead of being a wild beast, it shows us that an animal is half-domesticated with five human heads and two animal faces, a symbol for controlled instincts as well as – on the contrary – an image of a person who is still “wild” within his animal instincts despite all adaptations. According to Crowley, we will see the head of a Saint, an angel, a brave man, an adult woman, a poet, a forest God and finally, a lion snake.
In fact, the mind is incapable of transforming the trends and instincts, on the contrary, it is the woman’s passion and longing that has restrained the animal instincts and hidden it under the mask of adjustable flow. The woman is balancing with her instincts, not only because she tries to control the unconscious but also she recognizes the draconian masks of consciousness (“overpower them”) and accepts the real face behind them.
e. The snake (lion tail)
The tail often represents restraint, blocking or darkness. However, in this case, because the first part represents the masks, we face the truth in the tail – in the image of the lion snake. It connects the moon, the snake and the ancient femininity to the sun, the lion and the original masculinity: the lion’s head is surrounded by the association of the moon and the sun. This shows the harmony between sex and true consecration and is a sign of women. Her courage is raising personal limits, bringing her to the highest sense of self-denial: “Your art is exhausted in the sensual satisfaction of inspiration; the ending is sweeter than death, faster and more fun than caressing from your own Hell worm ”(Crowley).
2. The surroundings (the icon)
a. Holy cup (fire vase)
The blazing light source, which represents an extreme pleasure when viewed in terms of energy and represents the connection between water and fire. In its shape, it reminds of the uterus where the amniotic fluid of life flows through (the yellow stripes on the lower edge), we see the blazing fire burning the water into the steam of fiery orange. Mostly, we encounter this rule in alchemy, where water represents soft laziness fired by in-flames similar to the uterus, thus, transformed into a better level, where the physical instincts are evaporated in the fascination of enchanting pleasure.
However, this shape on Lust Thoth Tarot also suggests a fire vase – a further symbol of the uterus – where falling into death will take place as a prerequisite for the rebirth. On the third level, this vessel embodies the cup that Ishtar, Babylon’s Goddess of Love, holds in her right hand. When Cyrus conquered Babylon, he became the owner of a cup weighing 15 talent. It is filled with dates wine and other intoxicating ingredients. Only those who have been initiated, or who are ready to be initiated, are allowed to drink it.
b. Flame and Snake (lion horn)
The masculine flame inside the feminine vase grouped up a heat that radiated upward and spilled out like a stream of boiling lava, symbolizing sex and spinning the wheel of life. The darkness has radiated within the light because love and death are one. New generations are constantly revealing and born after their shadow (death), humanity proliferates, and through instincts (snakes embody “ten beast horns”, distributed all over the world to destroy the world and recreate it), new energy sources will fall into space and time. Crowley writes:
Do not think about finding the mysteries of life in the forest or in the mountains; look in the purple bed, caressed by the wonderful animals of the woman with their big feet, the fire and the glowing light in their eyes, and they have a burning mane: You will find them there. You will see them in law, in victorious armies, in all joys; and within them, there is a million times joy like this. Be careful not to let this force the other, there cannot be two kings coexisting for a while! Love a man with a burning heart, with inferior people trampling on the intense desire of your pride, in the day of your rage.
c. Stars and Saints
Behind the beast and its bride, there are 10 shining circles. They are stars that fall from heaven (according to Crowley, referring to the new age, they are Sephiroth in the Tree of Life but are not yet revised), as the Bible says, “Its tail is shattered one third of the stars in heaven and throw them on the earth ”(Rev. 12.4). Beneath those stars, we see the figures of the Saints humbly staring at themselves because the beast is striding over their heads. The book of Revelation writes, “And it is allowed to fight the Saints and conquer them” (Rev. 13.7).
d. C.G. Jung
The lion, cow, dog, and snake make our dreams come alive to represent a neutral sexual urge but still not tamed, and at the same time, and at the same time, it creates a part of the human personality and so, it can be appropriately called a human soul. Just like energy, sexuality does not appear itself, but is a form of “strength”, with a specific condition of “something”, such as erratic bodies, chemical stress or electricity, etc. So, sex also reacts to certain forms or conditions. It appears as a strong emotion of motivation, impact, activities, etc.
III. Interpretation of Lust Thoth Tarot
1. Background of Lust Thoth Tarot (Babylon prostitute)
I saw a woman sitting on a crimson beast filled with blasphemous names, it had seven heads and ten horns. The woman dressed up in purple and red and adorned with gold, precious stones, and pearls, holding a golden cup in her hand. In the Book of Revelation for John, we find the real key to truly get Aleister Crowley, who understands himself as the beast depicted with the number 666, and who alternately sees the lustful women inside his mistresses.
This reflected Crowley’s masochistic tendency when he referred to himself like a wild beast underneath the slut woman, but did not let her control because she was drunk and so, she could not control her feelings. In Crowley’s interpretation, we see the desire of a masochist, to flirt with the dedication to a “partner” that he is really dominating, and therefore, not only shows consecration but also submits to the dark tendencies of one’s inner self.
2. Overview of Lust Thoth Tarot
Lust Thoth Tarot is the door to the second ten cards of the Major Arcana, behind it, there is the journey into the innermost parts of the human. It is a dark and mysterious part. This profundity hides not only the dangers but also the salvation and becoming a whole. The card shows mastery and domestication of our animal nature (guilt), the strength, courage, and initiative that will grow when these powerful resources are led. This is not about fighting or blocking these resources, but accepting them. It is an acknowledgment that these “basic instincts” exist deep within us (and not just inside others).
Lust Thoth Tarot card clearly states that the goal cannot be to conceal our instincts behind pale vitality, but to face openly the ancient powers that exist within us, sometimes, slightly scary, as well as when we face desire and passion in order to gradually understand them through the soft acceptance, gentle intensity and unity of them. In this way, not only are all of these intense resources available to us, but also the reserve power we used before to repress these instincts.
On the awareness level, Lust Thoth Tarot card is an indication of an important transformation explained through alchemy symbols. The highest goal of alchemists is to transform basic materials into super-quality materials (gold, silver). They call the first drug used to create this transformation “the philosopher’s stone” or “red lion”. The lion is seen as a substance that, for it, basic materials can turn into gold. For people, this means that our mission is not to curse or emphasize the resources that are supposed to be inferior instincts, but instead, to unite them in a way in which civilized perceptions and animal instincts do not fight, but unite into a champion power.
In community life, this Lust Thoth card says that we are devoting ourselves to all the energy and true passion for our work. It shows the courage and action that we can summon when we are at our physical peaks, when we are urged by our plans, and when in a process, to happily feel that power is flowing through us. At that time, the card shows a stage of divine creation, great motivation and, on the same level, happiness and success. It may also indicate that we are committed to focus entirely on our plans, or that we are fighting for our own rights as a lion.
In our personal relationships, we must find balance and devote ourselves to the flow of love without losing ourselves to the impulse of instinct. We have to learn how to see sensual passions as a component for our perfect love, it has neither a beginning nor an end. Mostly, this Lust Thoth Tarot card emphasizes the aspect of passion. It shows relationships described by great brilliance, hot temper, and sometimes, dramatic exposures. Relationships of this kind are often a strong fortress in which we gain many colors for our daily lives. However, in some cases, there are still sources of destructive energy, such as in Carmen’s relationship with her adorer, Don Josie.