In the gilded age, the lore and lure of the mystical power of Egypt was a pervasive component of popular culture. Foremost in the imaginations of the public were the various curses associated with tombs unearthed in the Nile River Valley. Of all the bad luck and strange circumstances that fueled belief in this phenomenon, the most infamous was surely the Curse of King Tutankhamen. After his tomb was opened by Howard Carter and Lord Carnavon, the Pharaoh set out on a reign of terror that haunted the lives of those who had contact with his burial chamber for decades to come. At least, the newspapers said that was the case. Then maybe it was a fungus, or spores, or a something science-y, maybe? Or maybe it was much ado about nothing? Or maybe Aleister Crowley killed them all? Yeah, you’re right. That doesn’t make sense, but we’re still going to be discussing that theory, and many more this week as we look at the facts, fiction, and cultural landscape that helped create the curse of pharaohs.
Vintage Magazine Account of the Cat Sacrifice Incident
…And a Close Up of this Extraordinary Illustration
Thoth Tarot Confession Gallery
The Aeon – This card is a direct reference to the tablet marked 666
The Fool – This card relates to Loveday. Note the tiger (Tiger Woman) biting his leg. The Dove is a symbol for willingness to die. The fool is the less mature magus.
The Lovers – Marie Marguerite & Fahmy Bey – The “White Queen” marries the “Moorish King”. A faceless puppet master constructs the scene. One of the children holds roses, which may be a reference to the poisoned flowers in the letter. The Eagle is a symbol of Egypt and the lion is a symbol of England.
Art – Fletcher Robinson. Again we see the lion and the eagle. There is a fire entering the water, possibly a reference to poison. This card is analogous to ‘temperance’ or ‘balance’ in other decks.
The Tower – Lord Westbury – The serpent lion represents the will to live, the dove, the will to die. The fractal shredding of the image looks like broken glass. A figure falls from a high floor under an all-seeing eye, below ‘the beast’ is waiting.
It should be noted, tarot is so wonderful because any story can be projected upon them. These analyses should be taken with many, many grains of salt.