Layered Orders: Crowley’s Thoth Deck and the Tarot

****DUE TO POPULAR DEMAND, A SECOND TIME SLOT HAS BEEN ADDED! Jesse will be giving this talk at 7:30 and again at 9:00. Seating is first come, first served.****

moontarotDate: Friday, July 17
Time: 7:30
and 9:00
Admission: Free

Phantasmaphile Presents: Layered Orders: Crowley’s Thoth Deck and the Tarot (a personal narrative by Jesse Bransford)
A deck given to his brother by his mother in 1986 sat in Jesse Bransford’s childhood bedroom from the early 90’s until recently, delivering itself into Bransford’s possession at an opportune moment…

The Tarot in general and Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot in particular represent a miasmic confluence of image and thought into a single structure that is both liberating and overwhelming in its scope. In creating the deck, Crowley (in collaboration with painter Lady Frieda Harris) sought to integrate the mythological structures of the major mystical systems of both Western and Eastern occult traditions and to bring them into line with contemporary scientific thinking. The symbolism of the cards blends Kabbalah, Alchemy, Astrology, Egyptian mythology, quantum physics and even the I-Ching in ways that are at the same time clear and utterly confounding.

In an image-soaked personal narration Bransford, whose research-based artwork has delved into many of the territories Crowley sought to unify, will discuss some of the basic concepts of Tarot symbolism, returning to Crowley’s deck as among the most total example of the cards’ syncretism and as the most controversial.

Jesse Bransford is a Brooklyn/Queens-based artist whose work has been exhibited internationally. He received a B.A. from the New School for Social Research, a B.F.A. from Parsons School of Design, both in 1996, and an M.F.A. from Columbia University in 2000. He is currently a Master Teacher with the post of Undergraduate Director at New York University where he has been teaching since 2001, as well as a member of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism. His work is represented by Feature Inc. in New York, Kevin Bruk Gallery in Miami, Galerie Schmidt Maczollek in Köln, and Shaheen Modern and Contemporary Art in Cleveland. Images of his work, a complete bio and related articles can be seen at, a website he has continuously maintained since 1997.

1 comment to Layered Orders: Crowley’s Thoth Deck and the Tarot

  • Indian Handicrafts » Layered Orders: Crowley’s Thoth Deck and the Tarot

    [...] more here: Layered Orders: Crowley’s Thoth Deck and the Tarot Author: admin Categories: Contemporary Art Tags: Artist, contemporary, Contemporary Art, [...]

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