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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

An Interview with Under the Roses Lenormand

I was recently trying to decide what type of interview to do with my Under the Roses Lenormand by Kendra Hurteau and Katrina Hill (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.) With excellent timing, Marcus Katz posted a video in which he demonstrated how to use a simple cut-deck method to talk with a Tarot or Oracle deck. He even used a Lenormand deck for the video. To watch the video, click on this link: http://youtu.be/_-5TvZZ4g0s

Let’s see what I can discover about the Under the Roses deck using this method. I am starting with the question: What would you like me to understand about you? The answer to that question will lead to further questions and answers. I put each drawn card back into the deck and reshuffled before drawing again because I felt it was important to let a card appear more than once if appropriate.

Under the Roses Lenormand

What would you like me to understand about you? THE CLOVER
I bring opportunities and rewards that you may not expect.

What can you tell me about these opportunities and rewards? THE SHIP
They involve a journey and a transition, exploration and distance.

Distance from what? THE GRAVE
Distance from a misfortune or unhappiness that limits and blocks you.

What can you tell me about this misfortune or unhappiness that limits and blocks me?
THE CROSSROADS
The misfortune or unhappiness involves a choice you made, a direction you took, a cycle from which you need to be liberated.

What is the first step I should take to liberate myself? THE SHIP
As I believe I mentioned before, a journey or transition – separation, distance -- is required in order to liberate yourself and take advantage of opportunities and rewards.

What will help me take the first step? THE CHILD
A little child shall lead you – or perhaps the spirit of the child you once were – filled with curiosity, eager to learn, willing and able to get up and keep going after falling down. As the saying goes, every journey begins with a single step.

This has been a most revealing and relevant interview! I will be sure to use it again with other decks.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Career Challenge Reading

This post contains a reading for a friend who is going through challenges in the area of career.

My friend has worked for the same company for more than 20 years. During that time, she worked her way up to a high-level position. The company is now “restructuring” and my friend finds herself in competition with another woman for the top position in the restructured organization.

I am using The Prague Threshold Spread, which I believe was created for use with the Tarot of Prague by Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov (The Magic Realist Press).

I am using a deck gifted to me by my dear friend and former blog partner, Helen, when I met her in person on my recent trip to Australia. This is The Llewellyn Tarot by Anna-Marie Ferguson (Llewellyn Publications).

Here is the layout:
2
4
3               5
1

(1) Current situation
(2) What lies on the other side of the gateway (outcome)
(3) and (5) Issues that need to be considered or actions that need to be taken
(4) Influence that lies over the steps being taken


(1) Current situation: HANGED MAN
Well, that’s certainly appropriate! Her company is playing “upset the fruit basket” with its employees and organization, looking at everything from different perspectives, turning the status quo “upside down” in an effort to improve matters. According to Welsh myth, the land of Dyfed was placed under an enchantment that suspended the lives of all inhabitants but four. Talk about downsizing!

(3) and (5) Issues that need to be considered or actions that need to be taken
KNIGHT OF CUPS and NINE OF PENTACLES

The KNIGHT OF CUPS can represent a romantic or artistic person, but also a proposal or collaboration. The suit of Cups is the suit of relationships. In this case, I am thinking there is a person with whom my friend has a positive relationship and that this relationship will play a role in what happens to her job, or it may refer to the importance of various relationships she has cultivated over the years.

In the NINE OF PENTACLES, I see a message for my friend to assess and tally up all her many contributions to this company, her successful handling of (as the book accompanying this deck puts it) “a multi-faceted venture.” Her ability to plan, network, and “get things done” is well known in the region, and she needs to make sure the powers that be are aware of these abilities and achievements.

(4) Influence that lies over the steps being taken: THREE OF WANDS
Yes, the company wants to investigate new directions and redistribute energy and resources. Although technically not launching a completely new enterprise, there is an emphasis on change and restructuring to create something different. My friend needs to show that she can be a vital part of this, that she is in sync with the company’s vision and goals.

(2) What lies on the other side of the gateway (outcome): KNIGHT OF PENTACLES
As an outcome, the KNIGHT OF PENTACLES suggests the triumph of tradition, orthodoxy, and utility. Dedication, dependability, and perseverance will be rewarded. The person with the steadiest hand and firmest commitment will be chosen to take the helm. Even though the suit of Pentacles is “passive,” all Knights are “active,” so this person cannot be one who sits around waiting for things to happen. I also see an indication in this card that money is a factor, perhaps a consideration of how much money the person in this position brings in vs how much money is paid to them in salary?

Although this reading doesn't appear to reveal whether my friend will get/keep the job, it does suggest to me that she has a strong chance of doing so.
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FOLLOW UP: My friend did not get the job. The person in charge told her that she was qualified for the position, but he had to make a choice.

Monday, July 21, 2014

What Not to Do on a First Date

I recently came across an article online that offered a list of “what not to do on a first date.” I thought it might be fun to see what the Tarot comes up with for this type of list.

So I’m starting with “what not to do on a first date” using Tarot of the Thousand and One Nights with artwork by Léon Carré (Lo Scarabeo). This is one of several wonderful decks gifted to me by my friend and former co-blogger, Helen, when I visited her in Australia. I decided to draw five cards for my list.

What Not to Do on a First Date

(1) TEN OF WANDS
Don’t act like the date is a chore or burden for you.
 
Tarot of 1001 Nights (Lo Scarabeo)

(2) THE FOOL
Don’t act like a fool.

Tarot of 1001 Nights (Lo Scarabeo)

(3) TEMPERANCE
Don’t take anything to extremes.

Tarot of 1001 Nights (Lo Scarabeo)

 (4) FIVE OF CHALICES
Don’t let unfounded fears affect your behavior or attitude. Eat, drink, enjoy!

Tarot of 1001 Nights (Lo Scarabeo)

 (5) KNAVE OF PENTACLES
Don’t dwell on bad news or gossip.

Tarot of 1001 Nights (Lo Scarabeo)

Sounds like good advice to me!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Journey Through My Decks: 9 of Pentacles (Disks)

Aleister Crowley Thoth Tarot
Nine of Disks
Gain / Venus in Virgo

Aleister Crowley Thoth Tarot

As I may have remarked before, I am far from an expert on Crowley or his Thoth Tarot. I beg your indulgence as I share insights from Crowley himself as well as other sources who have studied this deck in far more detail than I.

According to Ptolemy's Table of Essential Dignities*, Venus (love, affection, pleasure, beauty, relationships) is in its fall in Virgo, a mutable Earth sign known for being industrious, discriminating, critical, and logical. A planet is in its fall when it is in the sign opposite to one where it is exalted (Venus is exalted in Pisces). When a planet is in its fall, it works with the least strength. However, according to Michael Osiris Snuffin (The Thoth Companion / Llewellyn Worldwide): “this detrimental relationship is not reflected in the symbolism of this card, nor does it affect the overall meaning.”

Snuffin also tells us that “The central disks represent the influence of the three most fertile planets: rose for the Sun, green for Venus, and blue for the Moon.” These colors mingle where they intersect, giving a sense of fertility and abundance. Snuffin notes that the patchwork background “resembles cultivated fields ready for harvest.”

Of the Nine of Disks, Crowley writes: "It shows good luck attending material affairs, favour and popularity." Emily Peach calls it the card of "easy money." However, with Venus being weak in Virgo, I think perhaps the material gain indicated by the Nine of Disks doesn't come solely through "happy chance." Rather, I feel diligent effort and good management play a role. (Virgo is ruled by Mercury, planet of intelligence and perception.) Venus does convey a sense of appreciation for what has been gained as well as a bit of luck on the front end of things.

Book T refers to the Nine of Disks as The Lord of Material Gain and attributes it to Venus in Virgo (central decan = 101 to 201). Divinatory Meanings given in Book T are "complete realization of material gain, good, riches; inheritance; covetous; treasuring of goods; and sometimes theft and knavery." The "covetous...theft and knavery" part becomes easier to understand when we note that Venus represents that which we appreciate, value, or love. Taken to extremes (or ill-dignified in a tarot spread), we can see these traits becoming covetousness or envy to the point where an individual will do anything to possess what he "appreciates, values, or loves," including stealing it from someone else.

Always looking on the bright side, Banzhaf and Theler describe the astrological attributes of the Nine of Disks as "Fortune (Venus) brings in the harvest (Virgo)." They write that the card encourages "trusting in one's luck" and discourages "failing to bring in the profit at the right time."

Crowley's Nine of Disks (along with the other Nines in the deck) is associated with Yesod -- The Foundation -- on the Tree of Life. Crowley writes: "The number Nine, Yesod, inevitably brings back the balance of Force in fulfilment." Yesod's virtue is Independence; its vice is Idleness.

Gerd Ziegler tells us that in the painting of this card, Frieda Harris "portrayed the three-way relationship between herself, Crowley, and his friend Israel Regardie. The six planet symbols bear their three faces. . . Crowley's face appears on Saturn and Jupiter. . . Regardie's head appears on Mars and Mercury. . . Harris painted her own face on the Moon and Venus."

As a Daily Card, this Nine of Disks encourages me to explore my own definition of "Gain" and its application to my life. How can I, through "chance and management" (Kaplan), not only increase my resources but put them to the best use?

Please note: My astrological keywords are based on a wide range of sources accessed over a period of many years. They are readily available from basic astrology books or on the internet.

* as presented in An Introduction to Astrology by William Lilly. Copyright 1972 by Newcastle Publishing Co., Inc. ISBN 0-87877-014-3.
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Sources:

  • Aleister Crowley Thoth Tarot Deck, Designed by Aleister Crowley, Painted by Lady Frieda Harris, Instructions by James Wasserman. Copyright 1978, 1983, 1987 by Stuart R. Kaplan and Donald Weiser. U.S.Games Systems, Inc. and AGMüller & Cie. ISBN 0-88079-308-2.
  • Book of Thoth by Aleister Crowley, Frieda Harris (Illustrator). Publisher: Samuel Weiser, Inc., 1996. ISBN: 0-87728-268-4. (No copyright date or information is given in my copy.)
  • Book T - The Tarot, Comprising Manuscripts N, O, P, Q, R, and an Unlettered Theoricus Adeptus Minor Instruction. A Description of the Cards of the Tarot with their Attributions; Including a Method of Divination by Their Use. A public domain manuscript.
  • The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need by Joanna Martine Woolfolk. Copyright 1982, 1990 by Joanna Maartine Woolfolk. Scarborough House/Publishers. ISBN 0-8128-8506-6. 
  • Tarot for Tomorrow by Emily Peach. Copyright 1988 by Emily Peach. The Aquarian Press. ISBN 0-85030-466-0.
  • Tarot, Mirror of the Soul (Handbook for the Aleister Crowley Tarot) by Gerd Ziegler. Copyright 1988 by Red Wheel/Weiser and Urania Verlags AG. ISBN 0-87728-683-3.
  • Keywords for the Crowley Tarot by Hajo Banzhaf and Brigitte Theler. English translation copyright 2001 by Weiser Books. ISBN 1-57863-173-4.
  • The Aquarian Qabalah by Naomi Ozaniec. Copyright 8 2003 by Naomi Ozaniec. Watkins Publishing, 2003. ISBN 1-84293-047-8.
  • The Thoth Companion by Michael Osiris Snuffin. Copyright 2007 by Michael Osiris Snuffin. Llewellyn Worldwide. ISBN 978-0-7387-1192-8.


Monday, July 14, 2014

A Reading with The Sacred World Oracle

I was gazing thoughtfully at my oracle card shelves recently, and The Sacred World Oracle by Kris Waldherr (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.) jumped out at me. Well, it didn’t actually jump, but I sort of jumped when I saw it – because realized that I have neglected it. It is a fairly new deck for me, so I guess that’s my excuse.



Allow me to introduce this gorgeous deck to you by way of a five-card spread that is included with the deck. It’s called Black Swan, White Swan. Kris Waldherr tells us that the spread was created by Thalassa of the Daughters of Divination’s San Francisco Bay Area Tarot Symposium (BATS). Inspired by the ballet Swan Lake, its purpose is to help us “explore our blind spots – those pesky obstacles we can’t, or don’t want to see.”

In addition to animals, The Sacred World Oracle includes a card to represent each section or quadrant based on the four elements. The animals are linked with the appropriate element by the color of the card border.

Step One -- Lay out four cards to represent:
(1) The Black Swan (what you need to see that can get in your way)
(2) The Magic Feather (what to do about it)
(3) The White Swan (what you need to see that can help you)
(4) The Magic Feather (how to use the solution presented in the second card)

Step Two – Lay a fifth card across the top of the previous cards to symbolize the Swan in Flight. This offers an overview of the situation for additional perspective.

The Sacred World Oracle by Kris Waldherr (U.S. Games)

(1)  The Black Swan (what you need to see that can get in your way)
BEAR (VI): Brute strength. Power. Ferocity.
Kris Waldherr tells us that “The Bear card symbolizes brute strength lurking beneath the surface.” This suggests that I need to see the “beast” or “bear” within, beneath the surface, because it could get in my way if I am not aware of it and able to accept and work with its brute strength, power, and ferocity. Kind of a scary image!

(2) The Magic Feather (what to do about it)
CENTAUR (XLIII): Using judgment. Wild force. Purposefulness.
Waldherr writes: “The appearance of the Centaur card suggests that you now possess the brains and brawn necessary to navigate a change in your life.” The fact that my Sun Sign is Sagittarius (the centaur) adds to the significance of this card in this position. Whereas The Bear is all animal (force), the intellect side of The Centaur can direct force purposefully toward a goal.

(3) The White Swan (what you need to see that can help you)
OWL (XXIV): Education and skills. Considering things from all sides. Detachment.
Waldherr: “The appearance of the Owl card suggests you need to examine a situation from all sides to better understand it – a more detached view is needed.” The quotation pretty much answers what I need to see that can help me.

(4) The Magic Feather (how to use the solution presented in the second card)
AIR (XXIII): Ideas. Communications. Making connections. Perspective.
The element Air directs me to the intellect side of the Centaur in position 2, emphasizing the importance of using that intellectual or mental energy to direct the raw power represented by The Bear.

The Sacred World Oracle by Kris Waldherr (U.S. Games)
(5) Overview
SEAL (XXI): Transformation. Shapeshifting. Temptation.
Waldherr: “The Seal card invites you to look for instances of transformation in your life. How can you shift your shape to better your circumstances?” The Seal really does elevate my point of view from a focus on intellectual management of hidden power to the higher, broader concept of transformation. The word “Temptation” is also applied to this card, which tells me to think carefully about what I choose to do and why I choose to do it.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

REVIEW: Oracle of Visions


Oracle of Visions
52 cards measuring 3.75 x 5.5 inches
Paperback: 140 pages
ISBN-10: 1572817569
ISBN-13: 978-1572817562
Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 4.2 x 1.3 inches


TOP LINE (formerly Bottom Line)

I didn’t need to be “sold” on Ciro Marchetti’s digital art. I have some of his other decks, and I love his style. The images have a 3D effect that draws me in, and the people’s faces are so expressive. There is a sense of realism in the midst of imaginative, even bizarre, settings or surroundings. As in other Marchetti decks, each card in this deck incorporates enough detail to allow me to study and discover and respond – yet not so much detail that the pictures feel cluttered or overwhelming.

I also like the paperback book that accompanies this deck. The quotations used for the cards are alternately thought-provoking, uplifting, amusing, and sobering. Ciro’s commentary on each card offers even more food for thought, encouraging me to explore my own ideas and feelings about his words.

Upon opening the box, I browsed the cards and pulled out three that immediately and strongly resonated with me. I then consulted the book to see the keywords. I was not surprised by the results:

Oracle of Visions by Ciro Marchetti (U.S. Games Systems)

Card 14: Creativity, Imagination
Quotation: “Each day is a new canvas to paint upon. Make sure your picture is full of life and happiness, and at the end of the day you don’t look at it and wish you had painted something different.” ~ Ritu Ghatourey

Card 16: Distance, Isolation, Perspective
Quotation: “Distance not only gives nostalgia, but perspective, and maybe objectivity.” ~ Robert Morgan

Card 34: Breaking Free, Chasing a Dream
Quotation: “A horse is the projection of peoples’ dreams about themselves – strong, powerful, beautiful – and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existence.” ~ Pam Brown

Oracle of Visions is a great choice for all Ciro Marchetti fans and for people who are looking for a non-Tarot divination and meditation deck that inspires, challenges, intrigues, and delights.

THE PUBLISHER'S PRODUCT SUMMARY

“Through lush, Victorian-influenced images, the Oracle of Visions deck offers unique perspectives for insightful and intuitive readings. Rather than relying on a single theme, this eclectic oracle deck introduces archetypal figures from many areas of life, including the theater and the carnival. Ciro Marchetti’s imaginative scenes encourage us to set aside pre-conceived ideas and open ourselves up to new ways of looking at our choices, decisions, and potential outcomes.  Oracle of Visions set includes 52 cards and 140-page illustrated guidebook.”



BASIC INFORMATION

With Oracle of Visions, Ciro Marchetti casts off the restrictions of structure and format imposed by Tarot in favor of “a far more flexible opportunity to create a worthwhile tool for divination and meditation.” His intention was “to create a set of images that would speak for themselves and require no supporting text in communicating their possible meanings.” He wanted the images to be, for the most part, neutral, without any particular “spin” or standard interpretation. Ciro writes: “If there is a common thread, it’s that they mostly deal with the theme of choice.”

This oracle is loosely broken into four categories: Situations, Emotions, Actions, and Behavior. It is not designed to be used with reversals. Ciro chose not to include keywords or titles on the card faces. The cards are numbered, but Ciro states that there is “no intended significance” on his part as to which numbers were chosen for which cards – except for 21 for Lady Luck.

The 52-card deck is accompanied by a 3.75 x 5.5 paperback book that is about a half inch thick (140 pages). It begins with a Foreword in which Ciro discusses his reasons for creating the deck and his intentions concerning the artwork. For each card we are given a black and white scan, keywords for the card, a short quote, and a short explanation of how the card can be read. For example:


At the end of the book, Ciro provides alternate interpretations for Card 1 to demonstrate the flexibility and freedom he wants readers to have. He also includes an example of how one might interpret a line of six cards by combining their meanings to create one story. This is followed by a section titled Background and the Journey to Here and a final section titled Approach.


APPEARANCE, SIZE, QUALITY

Oracle of Visions is packaged in a sturdy lift-top box with a matte finish featuring the image from Card 26 (Past & Future / Fresh Start). The card stock is durable with what I would call a semi-gloss finish. At 3.75 x 5.5 inches, the cards are easily fanned but not easily shuffled if you have small hands.

The front of each card has a black outer border and fine gold inner border. The card number is centered at the top. Centered at the bottom is a logo created from the letters OV. Card backs have a dark outer border inside which is a gold filigree design on a red background. A jester’s mask floats in the center surrounded by gold rings with the OV logo on either side.

ART

Ciro Marchetti created the Gilded Tarot, Tarot of Dreams, Legacy of the Divine Tarot, and Gilded Reverie Lenormand. He writes that his intention with Oracle of Visions was “to create a set of images that would speak for themselves and require no supporting text in communicating their possible meanings.” He also intended that the images “would for the most part be neutral.”


The images on the cards are created with rich jewel tones, using shadow and light to create depth and drama. They incorporate Ciro’s “trademark” jesters, masks, mechanical devices, and faux Victoriana costumes and characters. Ciro explains that the jesters and masks serve as archetypes, the mechanical devices are “metaphors of our partial control in our fate,” and the Victorian feel is “a decorative indulgence that visually aligns with” the “Steampunk” style of the mechanical devices.

Both male and female characters are used. Although the images are for the most part “neutral,” I get a distinctly creepy or negative vibe from some of them and a soothing, positive vibe from others.


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In accordance with the FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, I hereby disclose that this product was provided by the publisher for free. Other than the occasional review copy, I receive no monetary or in-kind compensation for my reviews.  The substance of my reviews is not influenced by whether I do or do not receive a review copy.

Friday, July 4, 2014

U.S.A. Birth Chart

To coincide with Independence Day here in the U.S., I decided to do a post about America’s birth chart and the Tarot cards that one could associate with that chart. Please note that I am not ignoring the fact that there were many nations on this continent long before the arrival of European settlers and the writing of the Declaration of Independence. I am choosing in this post to deal with the formal establishment of the United States of America in 1776.

After doing a bit of research, I quickly discovered that astrologers do not agree on the date and time (mostly the time) for which the birth chart of the U.S. should be cast. I won’t go into all of that here. You can do a search on the net and find out more than you probably want to know about it!

The two main variances seem to be the “Sibly chart,” originally published in 1787 by English astrologer, physician and herbalist, Ebenezer Sibly (1751-1799). Those who use this chart note that Sibly was alive at the time of the signing and therefore could have had access to information that is no longer available. The Sibly Chart, cast for July 4, 1776, 5:10 pm LMT (Local Mean Time), Philadelphia, PA, has Sagittarius rising. Liz Greene used this chart for an article posted on Astrodienst in 2005: http://www.astro.com/nat/natus1_e.htm

In contrast, we have the “Gemini Rising Chart” for 02:13am, attributed to Evangeline Adams in the 1920s. This chart places Uranus (planet of rebellion and upheaval) exactly on the Ascendant. Some astrologers argue that this reflects the “birth” of America quite accurately, but opponents feel the chart does not depict the true nature of American character. Anthony Louis explained his support for this chart in a blog post in 2012: http://tonylouis.wordpress.com/2012/02/25/why-i-use-a-usa-gemini-rising-chart/

So… which chart shall I use for this post? In Tarot terms, using the astrological attributions developed by the Order of the Golden Dawn, I have a choice between Temperance (Sagittarius rising) and The Lovers (Gemini rising). I think I am going to go way out on a limb and not only choose the Gemini chart but use the Aleister Crowley Thoth deck (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.) as my Tarot reference for this post.
This should be interesting…

Below is my chart for July 4, 1776, 02:13am LMT (Local Mean Time), Philadelphia, PA. I am using the Equal House System.


The Rising Sign, Gemini, is represented by The Lovers card. Because the planet Uranus sits on the Ascendant, I am pairing The Lovers with The Fool, which is linked with Uranus by modern occultists (Uranus had not yet been discovered when the Golden Dawn made its original astrological attributions, which attributed the element Air to The Fool).

 
In her book The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need (Taylor Trade Publishing), Joanna Martine Woolfolk writes, “Your Ascendant is the sign that reflects your outward demeanor and to a great extent determines how the outside world looks at you.” It often represents the “mask” we wear or the way we act when our defenses are up.

In the Thoth deck, we not only see “The Lovers” in Trump 6, we also see The Hermit officiating over the marriage depicted on the card between the Black King and White Queen. The Hermit (linked with the zodiac sign Virgo and the Hebrew letter Yod) contributes a creative, virile, fertile energy to this card.

Notice the white child standing with the Black King and the black child with the White Queen. These four figures together can be seen as representing the integration of opposites which, interestingly, is one of the themes of the Temperance card (Art in the Thoth deck), which is linked with Sagittarius, the rising sign in the Sibly Chart I mentioned earlier.

The Fool is commonly seen to represent birth, creation, the very beginning of something – perhaps a new idea, since the card is associated with the element Air by the Golden Dawn. On the Thoth card we don’t have The Fool gazing in the air as he steps off a cliff. However, the fact that The Fool on the Thoth card is being threatened by a tiger and a crocodile tells us that he is not in a “safe” situation, that there are risks involved, energies that may distract or block him from moving forward.

It appears that the colonies did try to reconcile the conflicting views held by the Mother Country and themselves. Indeed, before April 1775, many of the colonists hoped for reconciliation with King George III and Great Britain. But by the time the Declaration of Independence was signed, the relationship was damaged beyond repair and the colonies were ready to bring forth “a new nation conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” ~ (- Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address, 1863). That “new nation” is The Fool, independent, original, and ready to face an unknown future.

The Lovers card from the Thoth deck can be said to represent equality in that we see opposites being integrated or brought into balance. Neither the Black King nor the White Queen will rule over the other. To me, this actually foreshadows the argument of the abolitionists in the 1800s, who pointed out that the Declaration of Independence states that “all men are created equal” and that slavery was in conflict with that belief.

America’s Sun Sign is Cancer. In Tarot terms, this gives us The Sun and The Chariot.

 
In Astrology, the Sun in a birth chart represents our general character, our ego, our identity and sense of Self. In the Tarot, The Sun is a positive, strong card associated with freedom, happiness, and good health. In The Chariot we see triumph over adversity, self-control, moving forward and taking advantage of opportunities. Cancer is a Water sign known for being sensitive, nurturing, emotional, loyal, and protective. The connection between the sign and the card can be found in comparing the protective shell on the Cancer crab with the armor, helmet, and shield used by the charioteer. Also, Cancer is a cardinal sign, which gives it the qualities of action, leadership, and outgoing activity – all of which apply to The Chariot.

In The Chariot I see a “new nation” that is fortified, armored, and steeled for whatever lies ahead, determined to direct its own path and to remove any obstacles in its way. But the armor is only necessary because the creature wearing it is vulnerable and sensitive. Cancer is the sign of home and family, concepts Americans have always held dear. America will defend its homeland and its friends with armed force if necessary.

The Moon (The Priestess) is in Aquarius (The Star).

 
In Astrology, the Moon represents emotions, instincts, and the unconscious – the hidden aspects of the personality. In Astrology, the Moon rules the sign Cancer. The Priestess holds the Book of Mysteries on her lap, a book containing esoteric knowledge that can only be accessed using intuition, emotion, and the unconscious mind.

The sign Aquarius (which happens to be ruled in modern Astrology by Uranus) is known for innovation, humanitarianism, idealism, and intellect. Aquarians are often described as displaying rebellious, unusual, even shocking behavior.

The Star card in the Thoth deck features Nuith (Nuit) pouring the Water of Universal Life upon the fertile earth. Nuith is based on an Egyptian sky goddess, Nut, who was appropriated by Aleister Crowley for use in the Thelema pantheon. Crowley wrote: “Nuit is All that which exists, and the condition of that existence” and "Note that Heaven is not a place where Gods Live; Nuit is Heaven, itself."

To me, these qualities of Aquarius and The Star beautifully depict the inner spirit, emotions, and “unconscious mind” of the United States of America that was “born” on July 4, 1776 – the motivation and deepest emotional needs of the people who journeyed to and settled in the New World. What I am getting are the hope and faith and high ideals within so many of those who settled here: the sentiments that inspired the words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The Lovers (and The Fool) rising, The Chariot sun sign, and The Star moon sign together create a picture of this country that reflects the past, mirrors the present,  and offers hope for the future.

Happy Birthday, America!