6 of pentacles Thoth vs. Waite


The Waite card is all about power play or at least mentor vs. student or rich vs. poor.

A.C. seems to think it's success through and through.

What gives? I'm rather new to tarot and thoth in particular. Are there many of those differences?

Is there something I'm missing about the Thoth card that makes it more like the Waite version?



Perhaps you are missing something about what Waite has to say about this card.

In Waite's Pictoral Key he says "A person in the guise of a merchant weighs money in a pair of scales and distributes it to the needy and distressed. It is a testimony to his own success if life, as well as the goodness of heart."

The use of the word 'guise' could mean we don't really know who this person is. If he is using a disguise it would suggest he want's to remain anonymous. It appears the person is successful, but is giving because he wants to not because he's looking for some kind of power.

Crowley says in the Book of Thoth that the sixes of each element represent their element at it's practical best. The six of disks while increasing approach to perfection marks that the condition is transient.

All sucess is transient. Past sucess can be built upon, but the initial success does not last forever.

Perhaps Waite's person knows what it's like to be poor or knows that just because he is successful now, it won't last forever.

I've been studying both decks for awhile and while sometimes the cards seem very different there are more similarities than you might think.

It's helpful to remember that both Waite and Crowley were members of the Hermtic Order of the Golden Dawn, and in this respect they have a similar background. They also seemed to have not liked each other very much and approached the tarot from very different viewpoint. Waite considered himself a Christian mystic. Crowley seems to have come from a rather harsh and strict Christian background which he pretty much rejected in later life.

Well this is getting rather long winded so I'll stop now. :)

Hope this helps.


Yikes! It did help... a lot.
Thank you.

You were completely correct about me not having seen what Waite himself wrote about this card. I have only read some over the counter new-agey tarot books and they all seemed to agree on the power play motif. Perhaps that is the traditional (pre-GD) meaning?

Any books on the Thoth that you'd like to recommend?



Glad it helped. I don't always express myself as well as I'd like in the written word.

As for recommendations, I usually prefer what the author wrote about there own decks to what someone else thinks they mean.

So Waite's Pictoral Key for RWS, The Book of Thoth for Thoth. I've found Robert Wang's Qabalistic Tarot for some of the Golden Dawn and Qabala stuff. Wang also compares 4 decks. His Golden Dawn, Thoth, RWS, and Tarot de Marseilles.

These books are all written by occultists and you have to keep that in mind when reading them. Sometimes what they don't say can be as important as what they do. They can be kind of frustrating to figure out, but it's fun when you do. ;)

Another general book I've found helpful is Gail Fairfield's Choice and Centered Tarot. She doesn't use a specific deck, but I think she gives a very good overview of how the structure of the numbers and the cards fit together. It helped me understand some of the concepts better. She gives general meanings of positive, neutral, and negative.

I think it's important to remember that each card can have a range of meanings. The very basic one and then expand in either direction from there depending on the cards around them. So while I'm kind of purist, in that I don't think the cards mean anything you 'feel' they do, I do think there's enough range for a variety of interpretations.