Sunday, May 31, 2009

JUDGMENT - Astrological Associations

I continue my astrological exploration of the Major Arcana with Trump 20, Judgment (or Judgement, as it is spelled in some cases). The use of astrological associations with Tarot is completely up to the reader. This is merely intended to be interesting and fun. The astrological associations established by the Order of the Golden Dawn (OGD) are the most commonly used. However, as a professional astrologer, I always find it interesting when someone develops another system.

Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley
Crowley titles Trump 20 "The Aeon." He notes: "In this card it has been necessary to depart completely from the tradition of the cards, in order to carry on that tradition. The old card was called The Angel: or, The Last Judgment." Crowley attributes this card to the element Fire rather than any zodiac sign or planet. He does, however, mention that behind the letter Shin (meaning Fire) on the card, we can see "a symbolic representation of the Sign of Libra." He states that "this is the forth-shadowing of the Aeon which is to follow this present one." The OGD uses the attribution "Spirit and Fire."

One World Tarot by Crystal Love
In this deck, Crystal Love associates The Judgment (Trump 20) with the Moon. She writes: "The Moon represents our emotions and our unconscious drives. . . The Judgment can be said to rule our processes at the deepest and most unconscious level. . . The Judgment tells us that all our actions are recorded on our unconscious minds."

A.E. Thierens, PhD. (Astrology & the Tarot)
Thierens titles Trump 20 "The Last Judgment" and associates it with the planet Jupiter. Jupiter governs Sagittarius, a Fire sign. Thierens writes: "This card stands for ideals, religious, social or any other and for the elevating effect they have on man." Jupiter is associated with the higher mind, higher education, spiritual expansion, and knowledge.

The Celestial Tarot by Brian Clark
Clark attributes the Judgment card to "Pluto, the Inner Judge." He writes: "We encounter Pluto and face the future that we have created for ourselves over the past aeons. . . We have arrived at a place where we are more able to clearly judge the wisdom, integrity, and authenticity of our past efforts." Pluto is commonly seen to represent regenerative forces, destruction, annihilation, and transformation. As guardian of the shades and underworld ghosts, Pluto calls our attention to what has been denied and repressed. Although Pluto is no longer considered a planet by astronomers*, many astrologers continue to study its impact in birth charts and events. Modern astrology assigns rulership of the zodiac sign Scorpio to Pluto, and we see the symbol for Scorpio on Clark's card.

The Mandala Astrological Tarot by A.T. Mann
Mann associates Trump 20, Judgement, with the element Fire and Pluto. He writes: "The element Fire shows the energy of heaven which shatters structures to unite humanity, and Pluto. . . shows the required destruction of existing forms before regeneration occurs. Death and destruction are only preludes to rebirth in a new and higher state, as all causes must be transcended."

The Whispering Tarot by Liz Hazel
Liz Hazel notes that the Golden Dawn lists the attribution for Trump 20 as "Fire." She herself uses Saturn in connection with Judgment but writes "Sometimes Pluto is used." Hazel associates Judgment with "important stages in the Saturn cycle that occur in seven-year intervals, and the Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions that occur every twenty years."

* Please see Laurel Kornfeld's comments (below) for a more precise, detailed account of Pluto's status among astronomers and astrologers.

If I'm not mistaken, Judgment (Trump 20) has a greater variety of astrological attributions than any card we have come across in this series so far. We have Fire, "Spirit and Fire," the Moon, Jupiter, Pluto, and Saturn. I tend to lean toward the OGD attribution of "Spirit and Fire" but I do try to take into account the associations made by the creator of whatever deck I am using.

I welcome your comments!

Zanna

Monday, May 18, 2009

THE SUN - Astrological Associations

I continue my astrological exploration of the Major Arcana with Trump 19, The Sun. The use of astrological associations with Tarot is completely up to the reader. This is merely intended to be interesting and fun. The astrological associations established by the Order of the Golden Dawn (OGD) are the most commonly used. However, as a professional astrologer, I always find it interesting when someone develops another system.

Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley
The OGD and Crowley attribute The Sun card to -- get ready for it -- the Sun! Crowley describes the card as "the Sun, charged with a rose, on a mount vert." (According to the footnote, this is a reference to the Crowley Coat-of-Arms, although I haven't been able to find anything to support that.) Crowley adds: "The rose represents the flowering of the solar influence. Around the whole picture we see the signs of the Zodiac in their normal position, Aries rising in the East, and so on." In a birth chart, the position of the Sun is typically seen to represent the conscious mind, the ego, and individuality. The Sun rules the zodiac sign Leo.

One World Tarot by Crystal Love
In this deck, Crystal Love associates The Sun (Trump 19) with the fixed Fire sign Leo. In astrology, the Sun rules Leo. Love writes: "The Sun card symbolizes energy, power, a need to be the 'center,' the need to radiate, project, and shine." She adds: "Leos love to shine, to be the center of attention, and they can be very creative."

A.E. Thierens, PhD. (Astrology & the Tarot)
Thierens associates Trump 19, The Sun, with the Sun. Thierens writes: "This card means everything that astrology can tell about the Sun. . . It means the positive or masculine elements in general, the power and function of will and concentration, great benefit and mighty protection in spiritual as well as in mundane life and matters. . . In a figure laid for divination this card indicates the centre of interest and that which is fixed, certain, assured and under protection."

The Celestial Tarot by Brian Clark
Clark titles The Sun card "The Radiance of the Sun." He writes: "The most commonly known aspect of an individual's horoscope is his/her Sun sign. . . When the card of the Sun is drawn it would be wise to reflect on the strengths and resources of the Sun sign to enable the individual to be more conscious of his/her self-development. . . Astrologically, the Sun represents self-concept, ego-identity, individuality, and personal will. . . The Sun is the agent for creative self-expression, confidence, and the ability to focus talents in order to realize the life purpose."


The Mandala Astrological Tarot by A.T. Mann

Mann associates Trump 19, Sun, with the Sun. He writes: "The Sun is our central source of light, creativity and spiritual happiness, and rules the sign Leo, where formative energy expresses the true self, and exalts Aries, where consciousness of the divine plan is made manifest in the individual." Mann also includes the symbol for the zodiac sign Gemini, set in a square within a circle in the middle of the card to suggest "the integration of opposites." Mann views the Sun as representing "spirit, consciousness, individuality, masculine principle, dignity, honour."

The Whispering Tarot by Liz Hazel
Liz Hazel lists the attribution for Trump 19 as "The Sun." She writes: "The warrior wears a blue shirt, representing the successful conquest of the true self. His belt buckle bears the solar Sowilo rune."




In astrology, the Sun rules the Fifth House, the area of life that includes children and the joy received from them. It is interesting that many Sun cards feature a child.

All of the above-mentioned attributions for Trump 19 seem to coordinate nicely.

I welcome your comments!

Zanna

Sunday, May 10, 2009

THE MOON - Astrological Associations

I continue my astrological exploration of the Major Arcana with Trump 18, The Moon. The use of astrological associations with Tarot is completely up to the reader. This is merely intended to be interesting and fun. The astrological associations established by the Order of the Golden Dawn (OGD) are the most commonly used. However, as a professional astrologer, I always find it interesting when someone develops another system.

Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley
The OGD and Crowley attribute The Moon card to the zodiac sign Pisces, a mutable Water sign known for being emotional, romantic, impressionable, adaptable, imaginative, and intuitive. Crowley writes: "Pisces is the last of the Signs; it represents the last stage of winter. In their book about the Thoth deck, Keywords for the Crowley Tarot, Hajo Banzhaf and Brigitte Theler note that Pisces is the "last sign of the zodiac, which leads to the new birth of the year."

One World Tarot by Crystal Love
In this deck, Crystal Love associates The Moon (Trump 18) with the cardinal Water sign Cancer. In astrology, the Moon rules Cancer. Love writes: "The Moon can represent the unconscious drives, the emotions, the mother, and the nurturing principle."

A.E. Thierens, PhD. (Astrology & the Tarot)
Thierens associates Trump 18, The Moon, with the Moon. Thierens writes: "Everything that has been said in astrology about the Moon might be repeated here, as there exists no controversy whatever on the point of identity. . . This card consequently means the life of the soul in particular, the feelings and sentiments, emotions (not only fear, etc.), changes wrought in existence by them, water and the female element in general."

The Celestial Tarot by Brian Clark
Clark titles The Moon card "The Womb of Pisces." He writes: "Celestial Tarot links the symbol of the Moon and the sea together by representing the Moon card as Pisces, the last sign of the zodiac representing the vast watery domain of the sea. . . Astrologically, the Moon relates to the tides. As an astrological image, it symbolizes innate emotional patterns, habitual responses, and underlying motives."







The Mandala Astrological Tarot by A.T. Mann

Mann associates Trump 18, Moon, with the sign Pisces. He writes: "Pisces is the receptive, psychic and mystical openness of those having direct contact within, ruled by Neptune indicating a sensitivity to moral choices. . . Jupiter ruling is meditation upon the hidden forces of nature. Venus is exalted in Pisces showing the integration of positive and negative forces through love which the path requires." (Note: Traditional astrology assigns rulership of Pisces to Jupiter; modern astrologers often assign rulership to Neptune or co-rulership to Jupiter and Neptune.)

The Whispering Tarot by Liz Hazel
Liz Hazel titles this card The Eclipse, and lists the attribution as "Pisces; waning moon, from three days after full to three days before new." She writes: "The title of 'Eclipse' was chosen to differentiate this card from the normal cycles of the Moon, as opposed to the eerie phenomenon of eclipses."

I really have no problem with any of the above-mentioned attributions for Trump 18.

I welcome your comments!

Zanna

Monday, May 4, 2009

Interview with the Shapeshifter Tarot

I awaited the arrival of the Shapeshifter deck with a bit of anxiety, knowing its reputation for changing shape in the middle of interviews. I hoped I wouldn't be too freaked out!

When I went to answer the doorbell, I saw a pleasant-looking, modestly dressed young woman with flowing white hair. Much relieved, I ushered her into my sitting room. She seated herself on my sofa with a nod and smile, further allaying my uncertainties.

"Would you like a glass of wine?" I asked.

She requested white wine and graciously accepted the plate of cheese and crackers I handed her. Now we were ready to begin.

1. Tell me about yourself. What is your most important characteristic? WARRIOR OF EARTH (Knight of Pentacles)

"Eeek!" I exclaimed as the young woman began to shapeshift into a unicorn. But her voice was soothing, and I soon sensed that I had nothing to fear.

"As the good queen Medb (Maeve), my most important characteristic is my ability to endure. I know that I am the pattern maker and breaker of my own existence. My earthly power and passion to create will help overcome any challenge or obstacle.



2. What are your strengths as a deck?
GODDESS OF FIRE (King of Swords)
Now my visitor changed again, this time into a half-woman, half-cougar shape.

"I am the Irish goddess Bridget. My strengths as a deck include the ability to spark the fire of your creativity, to empower you, and to provide insights that can help you focus your thoughts. I can be objective, impartial, and impersonal when those qualities are needed.




3. What are your limits as a deck?
WARRIOR OF WATER (Knight of Cups)

I gasped as my visitor shapeshifted yet again -- this time into the goddess Cerridwen, her body half transformed into an osprey.

"My limits are that sometimes my emotions get in the way, interfering with my ability to play to my strengths. I may lose my ability to see things clearly or may cause you to become overly involved with your dreams and magickal activities.



4. What do you bring to the table -- what are you here to teach me?
CHANGE (2 of Pentacles)

To my astonishment I was now looking at three large shapeshifting boulders -- part human, part stone. They appear to be mother, father, and child.

"What we are here to teach you is that the only way to deal with change is to realize that it is inevitable and that it always brings opportunities. We are here to teach you how to act upon those opportunities quickly and decisively. We can help you learn agility in handling several situations at once and harmonizing polarities in your life."

5. How can I best learn from and collaborate with you? PASSAGE (6 of Swords)

My visitor shapeshifts again, becoming half-woman and half-silver dragon. She breathes fire, and I fear that my curtains will soon be ablaze. But the fire does no damage. I notice that she now has a lynx with her.

"You can best learn from and collaborate with me by being willing to travel, to journey, to seek adventure with me. I can take you between worlds and help you ascend to spiritual heights. Indeed, I can ignite your personal growth and evolution. Seek the wisdom of the lynx, keeper of secrets and ancient knowledge."

6. What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
INITIATION (The Fool)

No longer half-woman, half-dragon, my guest is now half-man, half-dragon.

"Our working relationship has enormous positive potential. Together we manifest powerful dragon energy, spiritual strength, determination, and courage. As you learn to control your willpower in order to accomplish your goals and desires, you will see a multitude of possibilities and new beginnings. We can travel through many cycles together, walking the path of magick."

In the blink of an eye, the modestly dressed young woman stood again before me. I thanked her for taking the time to answer my questions and she left.

Now that she's gone, I see that I have quite a bit of cleaning up to do...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

THE STAR - Astrological Associations

I continue my astrological exploration of the Major Arcana with Trump 17, The Star. 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 Star card to the zodiac sign Aquarius, the water-bearer, a fixed Air sign known for being innovative, idealistic, humanitarian, and intellectual. Crowley writes: "The picture represents Nuith, our Lady of the Stars. For the full meaning of this sentence it is necessary to understand the first chapter of the Book of the Law. In their book about the Thoth deck, Keywords for the Crowley Tarot, Hajo Banzhaf and Brigitte Theler describe Aquarius energy applied to The Star as "farsightedness, vision, higher viewpoint."


One World Tarot by Crystal Love

In this deck, Crystal Love associates The Star (Trump 17) with the mutable Air sign Gemini. She writes that the Star of David shown on the card "represents knowledge, wisdom and the Law of Moses. . . the complementary opposites of spirit and matter" and that Gemini -- sign of the Twins -- "is always in 'two minds.'"

A.E. Thierens, PhD. (Astrology & the Tarot)
Thierens associates Trump 17, The Star, with the planet Venus, commonly known as the planet of love, affection, art, beauty, esthetics, and pleasure. Thierens writes: "The figure expresses eternal youth and beauty. No astrologer will hesitate to recognise Venus." Venus rules the zodiac signs Taurus and Libra, which Thierens describes as signs of "riches, art, beauty, and of the organised body."

The Celestial Tarot by Brian Clark
Clark titles The Star card "Aquarius and the Manna of Heaven." He writes: "In contemporary astrology Aquarius has come to represent change, revolution, and rebellion." However, to the ancients, Aquarius was the power of flowing or overflowing water, often connected to the rains. Clark's Star card "represents both strands of Aquarius. It heralds a revolutionary new way of life after a period of turmoil or suppression, and also represents a wellspring of hope and renewal."



The Mandala Astrological Tarot by A.T. Mann

Mann associates Trump 17, Stars, with the sign Aquarius. He writes: "Aquarius bears two streams of water, representing ideas which contain the seed of opposition within themselves, ruled by Uranus as the progressive spiritual inspiration from above and Saturn as the necessary grounding of idealism." Characteristics Mann associates with Aquarius include "waiting, fasting, observation and planning, abstraction, conscience, humanitarian, detached, coldness, utopian, altruism, scientific."

The Whispering Tarot by Liz Hazel
For The Star, Liz Hazel lists the Golden Dawn attribution of Aquarius. Her DMs include "hope for the future, visions and visualizations, eclectic tastes, ethics, morality, ideas that set new trends."

Once again, most of our consultants choose Aquarius (ruled by Saturn in traditional astrology and by Uranus or Uranus and Saturn in modern astrology) as the astrological attribution for The Star. Of the other options described above -- Gemini and Venus -- I fine Venus to be more compelling than Gemini.

I welcome your comments!

Zanna