As you may know, both Astrology and Tarot are frequently utilized in divination and fortune-telling. In this article, the relationship between Astrology and Tarot will be discussed.
First, let’s review what Astrology and Tarot are. According to Dr. Christopher S. Baird, Astrology is a system, or a belief that the alignment of the stars and planets affect every individual’s mood, personality, and environment. These same factors are also tied to when the person was born. Such information is often found in a newspaper or on a website via the horoscope section, which is generally based on birth years and dates. This section is often written and published by an experienced Astrologist.
Horoscopes, much like tarot, are used as a means of forecasting, or predicting the future. However, this is done through the interpretation of the relative positions of the planets, stars, etc., at the time of that person’s birth.
Tarot is a widely used method of divination and fortune-telling that many readers use to illustrate the possibilities and probable outcomes, as well as offer deeper insight and advice. Each tarot deck is comprised of cards with imagery and symbols on them, which are used to help tell the story of the person receiving the reading.
With this in mind, one can begin to understand the similarities and the differences between them, as well as how both are a means of forecasting, or predicting a person’s future.
Now that we have gone over the basics, we will dive deeper into both Astrology and Tarot. Most of us are aware and/or knowledgeable of the twelve zodiac signs and how they are related to Astrology, but many may not know what else goes into Astrology and the predictions we often find in things like a birth report, or daily horoscopes.
Knowing a person’s sign and the meanings associated with that sign is often the first step when it comes to Astrology, but there is much more to it. Astrologists use the exact day and time of one’s birth to reconstruct how the stars were at the time of birth. This helps with respect to the Astrologist deriving the individual’s sun, moon, ascendant (rising) signs, and more.
Based on the position of the stars, a person’s Sun Sign would be the sign hanging over the Earth’s groin and the rising sign would be the one the horizon. It is important to remember that Astrology is not only based on the stars, it is also based on the position of the planets at the time of one’s birth.
The position of the planets, stars, sun, and moon are used to create natal charts from which Astrologists are able to make predictions about one’s future. The theory behind this type of forecasting is that the position of the planets, sun, moon, stars, and an individual’s signs (zodiac, sun, moon, rising, etc.) may make it so that people predisposed to exhibit certain behavioral patterns, or act in certain manners, and thus their future can be predicted based on this information.
When one looks deeper in Astrology, one will also find the term House frequently utilized. Most people have heard the term Zodiac sign, but may not be familiar with the term House. Houses, to put it simply, are how Zodiac signs are sorted. As such, each House is ruled by a Zodiac sign. The signs are often displayed in a circle, similar to what a face of a clock looks like. The circle is then divided into twelve different sections, similar to the depictions of the hours on a clock. Each piece includes yearly sections as they relate to each sign. Additionally, each House is represents different traits.
When an Astrologist interprets your chart, he or she starts with the House prevalent at the moment you were born and moves outward from there, creating a detailed chart to help give a more clear understanding of your life and the course you are or will be on. The planets and stars are also taken into consideration as well when creating a person’s chart. For example, when planets cross into a House, they generally strengthen certain traits that fall into that particular House.
With that said, let’s go over the House and some basic traits and matters. The first House is ruled by Aries, and is associated with first impressions one’s self, appearance, initiatives, fresh starts and new beginnings. The second House is Taurus and it covers all areas related to one’s physical environment, the senses (hearing, sight, touch, smell and taste). It also can encompass things related to one’s finances. The third House is Gemini and it has control over all types of communications, including electronic communications. This House also deals with family and community, as well as local travel. The fourth House is ruled by Cancer. This is the House often shown at the bottom of the wheel, and it is associated with one’s foundation; this includes the home, privacy and basic securities, as well as one’s parents. The fifth House is Leo. Leo governs expression, drama, romance, fun and creativity. The sixth House is Virgo, which is associated mostly with health and services which as routines, diet and fitness. The seventh House is Libra, which is most associated with relationships and partnerships. The eighth House is Scorpio, which rules over birth, death, sex and transformation. The ninth House is Sagittarius, which pertains to the higher mind, expansion, long distance travel, and higher education. The tenth House is Capricorn, this particular House is often displayed at the very top of the circle. This House focuses on structure, framework, honor, and traditions. The eleventh House is Aquarius. Aquarius presides over friendships, teams, technology, and social justice. The twelfth and last House is Pisces, which focuses on matters pertaining to final stages, tying up loose ends, and completions. Pisces is also associated with old age and the after life.
There are a few different types of Astrology readings that can be performed. The first is a natal chart. During this type of reading, the Astrologist recreates how the stars and planets were aligned at the time of one’s birth and uses this information in the creation of the chart. This type of reading can help one to learn the purpose of his or her life. A second type of reading that can be done pertains to current transits. This type of reading generally focuses on the here and now when it comes to planetary and star alignments, and is often used to see how astrological events will affect one’s person life. A third type of reading, solar return, primarily focuses on the positioning of the stars and planets on the person’s birthday. This is commonly used to help the interpreter derive details and provide a forecast of the coming year. The fourth and final type of reading is synastry. This type of reading focuses on a relationship and takes into account several alignments for each person. The interpreter can then offer advice and insight pertaining to the relationship in question.
Now that we have a basic understanding of Astrology, let’s focus a little bit on Tarot. Tarot decks consist of a total of 78 cards, 22 Major Arcana cards, and 56 are Minor Arcana cards. The Major Arcana cards generally represent major life events, while the Minor Arcana often represents lesser life events. The Minor Arcana consists of four different Suits. Generally these Suits are Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles. Each of these Suits also contain four court cards (King, Queen, Knight, and Page), as well as non-court cards. These cards are shuffled, drawn by the reader, and laid out in a spread. Each card is then read and interpreted by the reader. Many readers find that, through Tarot work by using the individual’s own energy and intuitions, as well as the energy, or magick from the world around them, results in more accurate readings.
So how does one read tarot? Well, to start, it is a bit less exact than Astrology. There are several different spreads that a reader can use. A few examples include the Tree of Life, Celtic Cross, and the Zodiac spreads. A spread is nothing more than the manner in which the reader lays out the cards. A reader does not have to use a spread if he or she feels that the reading may be more beneficial to the querent without the interpretation of cards in specific positions. Once a reader starts to do a reading, he or she will shuffle the cards, draw a certain number of cards, and then the reader will lay them out in a spread of his or her choosing. Once the cards are laid out, the reader will interpret the cards. Each card has a different meaning based on its position or placement in the spread, which card it is, and whether or not the card to be interpreted appears reversed.
Now, many people find themselves asking whether or not Astrology and Tarot are connected and how. One can clearly see there are many similarities right off the bat. Both can be used as methods of predicting the future, to obtain guidance and/or direction, and to help along the path of life. However, what may not be as clear are the deeper connections between Astrology and Tarot. One connection being that each zodiac sign is connected to a specific Suit. For example, the Water signs: Cancer Scorpio, and Pisces are connected the Suit of Cups, the Earth signs: Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn are connected to the Pentacles Suit, the Air signs: Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius are connected to Swords, and the Fire signs, Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius are connected to Wands. This demonstrates that there is a fairly strong connection between Astrology and Tarot.
If one chooses to look deeper into Tarot, one will find that Tarot readings can be affected by the different positioning of the moon, stars and planets. As discussed in the previous article: Tarot and the Moon, you can see how the position of the Moon can play a major role in Tarot readings. The position of the stars and planets can also have a similar effect, as both Astrology and Tarot help the reader to paint a picture of the future. The practitioners of each rely heavily on energies, patterns and their own intuitions to help paint that picture for each client. While Astrology uses the stars and planets as the base of the picture, Tarot uses a set of cards, and yet still often relies on the energy from the same objects used within Astrology.
For a deeper connection between Astrology and Tarot, one may wish to use an Astrology-based Orcelectrial Tarot deck. There are several decks of this nature available. These decks can assist with respect to furthering an understanding of the connection between Tarot and Astrology. It is important to note that some of these decks may focus on the Moons, while others are more focused on planetary alignments and the stars. However, these types of decks do still allow the reader to develop a deep connection between Tarot and Astrology.
In conclusion, the moon, planets and stars have long since been a part of many occult and pagan belief structures. Likewise, Tarot has also been a part of a number of belief structures within paganism and the occult for hundreds of years. The connections between astrology and Tarot can clearly be seen throughout this article. As previously stated, both are used to provide insight and can aid in the process of decision making by the person receiving the reading. Both utilize similar energies to achieve similar, if not the same results, though Tarot uses imagery and symbols shown on cards handled by the reader, and Astrology uses one’s chart(s) to create a vivid picture of the querent’s life.
Baird, Christopher. West Texas A&M University. (2013). Retrieved from: https://wtamu.edu/~cbaird/sq/2013/03/23/how-does-astrology-work/
~ Sara Lynn