Sunday, April 26, 2009

THE TOWER - Astrological Associations

I continue my astrological exploration of the Major Arcana with Trump 16, The Tower. The use of astrological associations with Tarot is completely up to the reader. This is merely intended to be interesting and fun.

Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley
Crowley attributes The Tower card to the planet Mars and writes: "In its simplest interpretation it refers to the manifestation of cosmic energy in its grossest form." Book T also associates Trump 16 -- "The Blasted Tower" -- with Mars, titling the card "The Lord of the Hosts of the Mighty." In their book about the Thoth deck, Banzhaf and Theler describe Mars applied to The Tower as "combative, destructive, rousing force."






One World Tarot by Crystal Love
In this deck, Crystal Love also associates The Tower (Trump 16) with the planet Mars. She writes: "The tower represents the human body, and the red sphere symbolizes the head, which Aries rules." The zodiac sign Aries is ruled by Mars, as is the sign Scorpio. Love adds: "Mars, traditionally the god of war, is strong, daring and brave, but can also be violent and cruel -- qualities shared by Scorpio whom Mars co-rules with Pluto. . . Dangerous is unleashed without wisdom, Martian energy should be used carefully and wisely so as not to mishap upon oneself or others."

A.E. Thierens, PhD. (Astrology & the Tarot)
Thierens associates Trump 16, The Tower, with the planet Uranus, commonly known as the planet of change and upheaval. Thierens writes: "The stone tower struck by a flash of lightning is another version of the legend of Ouranos [Uranus] mutilating his son Chronos, which means, that Heaven is not content with a body of fixed dimensions and form, nor any heavenly force with the limitations put to it by physical authorities or architects."

The Celestial Tarot by Brian Clark
Clark titles The Tower card "The Will of Mars." He writes: "In Celestial Tarot, we meet Mars the war-god, both destroyer and tower of strength. . . Sacrifices were made to Mars to avoid natural calamities, promote a bountiful harvest, and encourage prosperity. In classical astrology, Mars is lord of two zodiacal spheres, Aries and Scorpio, reflecting the dual paths evident in the Tower. Aries heralds spring and represents the renewal of life. . . Scorpio is the season of autumn when nature dies and goes underground." For Clark, Mars represents "aspiration, courage, enthusiasm, energy, and will. . . brute strength and aggressive instincts."



The Mandala Astrological Tarot by A.T. Mann
Mann associates Trump 16, Tower, with the planet Mars. He writes: "Mars shows that keeping tension inside leads to forced changes in one's condition as the urge to change the world starts with oneself. Scorpionic strength is created through unavoidable difficulties." Characteristics Mann associates with Mars include "will, desire, energy, enthusiasm, temper, arrogance, passion."

The Whispering Tarot by Liz Hazel
For The Tower, Liz Hazel lists the Golden Dawn attribution of Mars but notes "Pluto and Uranus are also used." Her DMs include "an abrupt or unexpected event. . . upheavals, rude surprises, accidents. . . inexorable change. . . erupting awareness. . . breakthroughs and breakdowns."









We see a strong preference among this group of Tarot writers for using Mars as the astrological attribution for The Tower. With the exception of The Whispering Tarot, every card is dominated by the color red, the color of Mars. Other astrological influences include Pluto and Uranus. I can readily accept the idea of Pluto (typically associated with death and rebirth) and Uranus (change and upheaval) as attributions for The Tower along with Mars.

I welcome your comments!

Zanna

Sunday, April 19, 2009

THE DEVIL - Astrological Associations

I continue my astrological exploration of the Major Arcana with Trump 15, The Devil. The use of astrological associations with Tarot is completely up to the reader. This is merely intended to be interesting and fun.

Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley

Crowley attributes The Devil card to the zodiac sign Capricorn (a cardinal Earth sign ruled by Saturn), which he describes as "the most exalted of the signs; it is the goat leaping with lust upon the summits of earth." Crowley further states that Capricorn is "rough, harsh, dark, even blind." Book T also associates The Devil card with Capricorn, titling it "The Lord of the Gates of Matter: the Child of the Forces of Time." Crowley tells us that this card "represents creative energy in its most material form." In their book Keywords for the Crowley Tarot, Hajo Banzhaf and Brigitte Theler describe Capricorn as "the sign of the greatest darkness of the year, when the Sun is reborn at the Winter Solstice." (This, of course, ignores parts of the world in which Capricorn is a summer sign!)

One World Tarot by Crystal Love

In this deck, Crystal Love titles Trump 15 "Deliverance" and associates it with the planet Saturn. She writes: "Saturn rules the sign of Capricorn. The winter solstice occurs on December 21st, when the solar day is shortest, and night longest." Love notes that Saturn is often identified with Kronos, the Greek god of time (see reference to Book T, above). Saturn's rings symbolize human boundaries. Love writes: "When we are engrossed in the materialism of Saturn, we lose our light and become enslaved to the material world, forgetting our divinity. (It is interesting to note that this card has always been known as The Devil card, the Devil being another name for Satan. Satan is a derivation of the word Saturn.)"

A.E. Thierens, PhD. (Astrology & the Tarot)
Thierens associates Trump 15, The Devil, with the planet Mars, which is exalted in the sign Capricorn. Thierens writes that Mars is the "planet of pain and struggle, passion and sex-nature, but also of the energy necessary for the process of formation and generation in Nature." He adds that Mars "has a special connection with the animal kingdom and animal passion. . . We shall be safe in interpreting this card as energy, desire, lust, war, struggle, difficulties, pain, loss, etc. But also as exercise, training; tests to which the personality will be subject."

The Celestial Tarot by Brian Clark

Clark titles The Devil card "Capricorn's Instinctual World." The god Pan portrays The Devil in this deck. Clark writes: "No doubt Capricorn is an 'old goat,' as the zodiacal constellation of either a horned goat or a sea goat was recognized as early as the second millennium B.C.E. . . . After centuries of sin projected onto the goat, it became aligned with the Devil, who was depicted with the horns and feet of a goat, similar to Pan."


The Mandala Astrological Tarot by A.T. Mann



Mann associates Trump 15, Devil, with the zodiac sign Capricorn. He writes: "Capricorn shows the dominance of worldly power and the difficulties of withstanding temptation. The ruling Saturn is embossed on the wings as the conflict between egocentricity and self-restraint, while Mars exalted is the necessity to resist ambition turning to arrogance. The Devil as the god Pan is temptation and attachment to the delights of the material world of the senses, but the weak chains show the potential to overcome self-inflicted bondage."

The Whispering Tarot by Liz Hazel

For The Devil, Liz Hazel lists the Golden Dawn attribution of Capricorn but notes "Pluto is also used." Among her divinatory meanings for the card are: "trials and temptations. The use and abuse of power. Corporations and organized religions. Relentless drive to accomplish goals to the exclusion of all else. Hard reality checks that one cannot avoid or ignore." Reversed meanings include: "trapped by prior commitments with little hope of release. Use of excessive force, unrestrained hostility. Without remorse, predatory, a lack of conscience."

Among this group of Tarot writers, astrological attributions for The Devil (Trump 15) center around the zodiac sign Capricorn and its ruling planet, Saturn. Mars, exalted in Capricorn, gets some playing time -- and Pluto (no longer considered a planet by astronomers) gets a nod from Liz Hazel. All of these associations work quite well for me. Did I mention that my ex-husband is a Capricorn? LOL.

I welcome your comments!

Zanna

Sunday, April 12, 2009

TEMPERANCE - Astrological Associations

I continue my astrological exploration of the Major Arcana with Trump 14, Temperance. The use of astrological associations with Tarot is completely up to the reader. This is merely intended to be interesting and fun.

Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley
Crowley titles Trump 14 "Art" and attributes it to the zodiac sign Sagittarius, "the Archer" (a mutable Fire sign ruled by Jupiter). Book T does likewise, also titling the card "The Daughter of the Reconcilers: The Bringer-Forth of Life." Crowley tells us that this card foreshadows "the final stage of the Great Work" and directs our attention to the act of Fire and Water being harmoniously mingled at the bottom of the card. In their book Keywords for the Crowley Tarot, Hajo Banzhaf and Brigitte Theler describe the energy of Sagittarius as a "force that strives for something higher."

One World Tarot by Crystal Love
In this deck, Crystal Love associates Temperance (Trump 14) with the zodiac sign Taurus, a mutable Earth sign ruled by Venus. She writes: "Taurus creates the structure required for the materialization and maintenance of material form. As Taurus is ruled by Venus, it also produces fine artists, dancers, and craftspeople." Love notes that Taurus can also be "lazy, stubborn, insensitive, greedy, grasping, and self-indulgent." Temperance, according to Love, "symbolizes wealth, material success and material possessions. . . It also indicates a need to stabilize and to develop a solid base from which the self can operate."

A.E. Thierens, PhD. (Astrology & the Tarot)
Thierens associates Trump 14, Temperance, with the planet Mercury, "lord of the sphere of Virgo, surrounding the solar Leo-sphere." He tells us that "the function of Mercury is that of the mind in its concrete activities and imparts knowledge, learning, which after all is the beginning or potentiality of all our further relations in this world."

The Celestial Tarot by Brian Clark
Clark titles Temperance "The Spirit of Sagittarius." He writes: "Sagittarius embraces spiritual ideals, morality, ethics, justice, and temperance. . . The pursuits of knowledge, understanding and wisdom are virtues for Sagittarius. . . A common theme underlying Sagittarian myths contrasts the barbaric, stormy, wild side, with the pursuit of higher vision, knowledge, and ethics. Similarly, the card Temperance implies moderation and balance, finding the middle path, and discerning between right and wrong."






The Mandala Astrological Tarot by A.T. Mann
Mann associates Trump 14, Temperance, with the zodiac sign Sagittarius. He writes: "Sagittarius indicates the necessity for high mindedness and religious contemplation, acting through its ruling planet Jupiter, the planet of moral aspiration and transcendence."


The Whispering Tarot by Liz Hazel
Liz Hazel lists Sagittarius as her attribution for Temperance, Trump 14. Keywords she associates with this card include renewal, successful expedition, high expectations, a blending of opposites (or of taking diverse elements and mixing them successfully), blending the old with the new, learning foreign languages or being influenced by what is seen and experienced in foreign countries, people who use a variety of disciplines in their work. Reversed characteristics are very much in keeping with the less desirable traits of Sagittarius: refusal to gain maturity, pessimism, bitterness from past struggles, reluctance to reach for new possibilities, lack of poise and dignity, refusal to ask for or accept help.



As usual, we have many sources agreeing on the same astrological association for Temperance: the sign Sagittarius. The fact that Sagittarius is a dual sign -- with a highly philosophical component and a highly physical component -- corresponds nicely with the idea of Temperance representing balance or blending of diverse energies. I am not completely opposed to Love's association of Temperance with Taurus. Certainly both represent keeping things on an "even keel." The Mercury/Virgo connection proposed by Thierens doesn't work well for me.

I welcome your comments!

Zanna

Sunday, April 5, 2009

DEATH - Astrological Associations

I continue my astrological exploration of the Major Arcana with Trump 13, Death. The use of astrological associations with Tarot is completely up to the reader. This is merely intended to be interesting and fun.

Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley

Crowley attributes this card to the zodiac sign Scorpio, as does Book T, which titles it "The Child of the Great Transformers: the Lord of the Gates of Death." Crowley describes the sign Scorpio as "one of the two most powerful in the Zodiac" (the other is Leo). Crowley goes on to say that Mars, ruler of Scorpio, is "the planet of fiery energy in its lowest form, which is therefore necessary to provide the impulse." The Death card also incorporates a skeleton and scythe, which are associated with the planet Saturn (representing "the essential structure of existing things"). The fish -- representing resurrection or re-incarnation -- is sacred to Mercury, the guide of the dead. Crowley sums up his description by writing: "This card must then be considered as of greater importance and catholicity than would be expected from the plain Zodiacal attribution. It is even a compendium of universal energy in its most secret form."

One World Tarot by Crystal Love

In this deck, Crystal Love departs from occult tradition by titling Trump 13 "The Rebirth" and associating it with the zodiac sign Aries (ruled by Mars). She writes: "Aries is the first sign of the zodiac. It symbolizes new beginnings, new cycles, and the beginning of a new astrological year." Love altered the title of the card because "the Rebirth card reminds us that in life, at a spiritual and cellular level, nothing ever actually dies, but is transformed and reborn."

A.E. Thierens, PhD. (Astrology & the Tarot)

Thierens associates Trump 13, Death, with the planet Saturn (see Crowley's comments, above). Thierens notes that the picture on the card "is a sort of allegorical representation of Father Chronos, Time." Saturn is "the planet or cosmic function of Formation, which means also determination in Place and Time, limitation, definition, etc." Thierens also writes: "Death certainly is only relative and the death of the form may mean the commencement of life on another plane."

The Celestial Tarot by Brian Clark

Clark titles Death "The Regenerative Cycle of Scorpio." Clark writes: "The ancients observed that when the Sun passed through Scorpio, the solar force was waning and dying in preparation for winter." Depicted on Clark's Death card is Hecate, goddess of the nether world and the crossroads. Clark notes: "Scorpio represents self-mastery and the emergence of a more authentic self."




The Mandala Astrological Tarot by A.T. Mann

Mann associates Trump 13, Death, with the zodiac sign Scorpio, which "has domain over the process of testing, separation, death and putrefaction. Its rulers are Mars indicating change, breakdown and fighting spirit, and Pluto the transformer, bringer of war and large-scale change." (Whereas traditional astrologers assigned rulership of Scorpio to Mars, modern astrologers sometimes assign rulership of Scorpio to Mars and Pluto jointly or to Pluto alone.)

The Whispering Tarot by Liz Hazel

Liz Hazel lists attributions for Death as "GD (Golden Dawn) - Scorpio. Also Pluto, sometimes Saturn." She notes that this card may appear on the occasion of death, endings, birth, or beginnings -- a significant change in the life cycle -- leaving the past behind, rebirth of hope, marriage (change of identity), becoming a parent or grandparent, a life-threatening situation or illness.

Scorpio is the 8th sign of the zodiac, associated with the 8th house, house of death and regeneration. I find it quite natural to think of Scorpio in connection with the Death card. I find that I think of Death as more of a "Pluto" card than a "Mars" card, although I certainly understand the reasoning for both. Love's association of the card with Aries is interesting, and she makes a good case for it, but not good enough to overthrow my inclination to use Scorpio. I confess that I have not really considered the planet Saturn in connection with this card in the past, but I believe I will from now on.

I welcome your comments!

Zanna