Tarot and the Path of Initiation
Tarot of and the Path of Initiation is a new companion book for the Aleister Crowley Thoth Tarot, aimed at making it easier for beginners to access its dense knowledge without watering it down.
By Henry Ho
Book - 438 pages - Published by AuthorHouse
Review by Linda McGunagle
This is a self-published, wide ranging compilation which aims to provide as much information needed to understand the Thoth Tarot. He credits Paul Hughes Barlow and the London Tarot Study Group, as well as Aleister Crowley and Lady Frieda Harris in his Acknowledgements.
Ho calls this his exercise book containing all his homework. He has done all his theory and has just begun his practice. He is the first to admit he is a student and is constantly reediting as his understanding of the cards and their philosophies expand.
There is a vast array of subjects covered.
Structure of the Tarot
This book includes a Bibliography with end notes as well as recommendations for further reading.
When I first began my studies on the Thoth Tarot I was overwhelmed by the amount of subject matter. Not only did I have to wrap my head around new and big concepts, the learning of these seemed to leap frog me from book to book to book. It was a fine way of learning, though I did get distracted and went down many side streets, fumbling around blocks. This book is like an aerial view of the neighborhood. It is stronger with the big picture than in details. I do wish Iíd had this book in at the beginning of my studies for that reason.
Ho has a way of grasping these huge concepts and relaying them in a way that I can see a bigger picture than I could before. He uses a lot of examples and though not all of them clicked with me, there was usually one per chapter that did, and I feel I have a better understanding from reading him.
Ho is very forthright and doesn't seem as near mysterious as DuQuette sometimes does. Sometimes I get the feeling that Thelemic authors are holding back, letting me come to my own conclusions, while Ho just gives me his. I liked that. I can take it or leave it and he says as much quite often. In this way I think this book is especially appropriate for non Thelemites who are curious but not yet ready or willing to read Aliester Crowley, Israel Regardie, Dion Fortune, and other published occultists.
This is not a typical, politically correct book on Thelema, as such as written by Lon Milo DeQuette or David Shoemaker. It is a look into one young manís first year of study, sharing his experiences and personal views. I admire his courage to open up his process to all, especially in the face of the controversy any book on the Thoth and Thelema is bound to garner.
I look forward to future editions and watching this young man grow further into his Will.