I’m mostly against genetic engineering, but this here is something that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time: a hybrid of the Waite-Smith and Crowley-Harris decks. Now that I have the possibility to do photographic prints in my own house I thought, "it’s now or never". And why would I want to combine them? Well, here’s the reason: as some of you probably know, the Waite-Smith was my very first deck, and I’ve been in love with it ever since I got it. However, what I don’t love so much in the deck are the Trumps. Regarding the creation of the Waite-Smith deck it is one of the most popular theories that Pamela Colman Smith would’ve followed Arthur Waite’s instructions when painting the Major Arcana cards (due to the rather heavy amount of freemason symbolism), but then would’ve had more freedom in creating and designing the Minor Arcana cards. I think this theory is very plausible. So, to me personally the Minor cards of the RWS speak in volumes, whereas the Trumps I find harder to connect with.
With the Thoth deck it is exactly the opposite: Trump cards (or the Atu, ahem) I’ve always found easy to connect with, whereas the pips have remained complete strangers. Both decks have a great set and system of court cards, so which one to take? I decided to use Thoth courts because I find them to be more dynamic and "speaking their element", but I also took the four kings from the RWS deck. Yes, I’m using a system of five court cards here: King, Queen, Knight, Prince and Princess. I can see and understand how the Thoth prince is the new king, but nevertheless – to me – the energy of the Prince and of the King are two completely different things. I also liked the idea that this system of courts echo the set of courts from the Cary-Yale (Modrone) deck, which has six court cards within a suit (King, Queen, Knight, female Knight, Page, female Page). And don’t ask me about the elemental correspondances or dignities – I’m not there yet..! I suppose I have to bring in the "element" of Spirit to make it work as a group of five. And finally: I also decided to use Aces from both decks. Yes, I have now eight aces in the deck. All the aces in the Thoth deck to me represent the raw forces of the elements (pure Fire, pure Water, etc.), whereas the aces in the RWS deck I see more as representing a manifested force, something that you’ve taken in your own hands and used.. to make something. Therefore I have the Thoth aces starting the suits, and then the RWS aces are at the end. When I had all the Wand cards printed out (2 aces, 9 pip cards, five courts) I thought about those aces as "before creation" (Thoth) and "after creation" (RWS).
Needless to say, I’m really excited about this deck 🙂
The Universe on top – 86 cards are ready to rock..
Thoth Ace of Wands starting the Fire suit, followed by 2 and 3 of Wands from the RWS deck
The end is the beginning is the end.. from the Coins / Pentacles Court cards to the Ace and back again..
Art / Temperance (Atu XIV) and the Ace of Swords