Book of Azathoth Tarot: Deck Interview

(Originally posted to tumblr 2016 April 2.)

Immediately after my XIII interview, I felt energized and more than ready to tackle another reading. However, this time I interviewed my Book of Azathoth deck, something I’ve never done before. Nevertheless, the late date does not change the fact that I’ve been working with and reading this deck for a year and a half now. I already have some sense of its character and its personality, so I’ll describe that here.

Book of Azathoth incorporates a lot of stereotypically ‘dark’ imagery, much of it directly influenced by the Lovecraftian tradition of cosmic horror. Despite this, I’ve always found the deck to give off a gentle, calming, and welcoming feeling… when I read it for myself. Nevertheless, it can become an incredibly angry and caustic deck, and it seems to do this when I try to read for others. It’s fine with me asking it questions primarily focused on other individuals, but as soon as the questioner becomes not-me, it begins to sass and gives exceedingly obtuse readings. After a few tries I gave up on reading for others using it – not difficult, since I never had many opportunities or desire to do that anyway. But the deck has always treated me with respect and courtesy, and I’ve had a good and companionable relationship with it.

With that in mind, I’ll proceed to describe the cards it gave to me.

The Reading

1) Tell me about yourself. What’s your most important characteristic?

Six of Pentacles: This deck has a lot of knowledge, and wishes to share it with me.

2) What are your strengths as a deck?

The Hanged Man, reversed: The Book of Azathoth excels in examining a question or problem from all sides, even the ones I may not have even considered, and it can give an extremely thorough review of the options open to me.

3) What are your limits as a deck?

Four of Wands: With so many options and viewpoints available to it viaThe Hanged Man(Rv), it can be difficult for the Book of Azathoth to reach a final decision on an issue.

4) What are you here to teach me?

Three of Wands: By growing in wisdom you will learn how to consider the long-term view, how to step back and examine the big picture.

5) How can I best learn and collaborate with you?

Nine of Pentacles: You need to gain more discipline with yourself, and develop your self-reliance, so that you can begin to adequately consider these lessons.

6) What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?

The Last Judgement, reversed: Currently, you tend towards impulsivity and self-criticism. The Book of Azathoth will teach me how to better examine all the angles of an issue, and how to lesson those impulsive and critical tendencies in myself.


Throughout this reading, I was overcome with a sense of nostalgia. I feel as though the deck has partially described to me the past, partially what has yet to happen, and I almost expect that had I known of and done a Deck Interview when I first got this deck, I might have gotten something very similar to this spread. Our relationship is not done by any means, though. When reading the final card, especially, a sense of incompleteness began to replace my nostalgia. That’s fine with me – I have a great affection for the Book of Azathoth deck, and I hope to continue to use it even with my new, fiesty XIII deck.

Of further interest, my reading of this deck for the deck interview took far less time, consideration, and emotional energy than reading for the XIII, and it left me calm and relaxed, as opposed to my jitters following my XIII interview. This makes sense – not only is Book of Azathoth my first deck, and one I am more used to, it has always been unusually calming for me to use, and now with this spread I feel like I’ve begun to understand why. It doesn’t quite make sense, but this deck seems to have recognized that it was my first deck, and decided that it would teach me – it even defines itself as having knowledge and wishing to give it to me. This deck, with all of the qualities that made it an ideal candidate to be my first learning deck, has really given me a sort of mentor, and though I know I will feel more dramatic connections with other decks in the future, I doubt I’ll ever be able to completely stop using Book of Azathoth. I have too great of a connection to it for that, and its calming, slow-to-decide nature will surely be necessary in some situations where the XIII’s snap judgements are simply not ideal.

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