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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Oracle Horoscopes: August 2016

This month’s Oracle Horoscopes (formerly Lenormand Horoscopes) are brought to you by the Earth Magic Oracle Cards by Steven D. Farmer.

To read my review of this deck, click HERE.

Aries (Mar. 21 – Apr. 19)

WATERFALL / Effortless

As an Aries, you are used to taking the initiative and charging forward with high energy. However, there is some area of your life right now where this is much harder than it usually is. The Waterfall asks you to notice how water naturally flows from higher to lower ground, finding its way to the ocean. Graceful and powerful, the Waterfall flows effortlessly around that which may try to block or delay her progress. There is a situation in your life that you need to approach with grace and awareness and fluidity. Don’t struggle or force. Simply go with the flow.

Taurus (Apr. 20 - May 20)


The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year, which was June 20 for 2016. In your case, Taurus, this card’s message of “Radiance” applies to you in August. Let the radiance of the sun inspire you to shine forth this month. Focus on appreciating everything you have that is good and right. Your capacity to love is greatly amplified right now, and the more love you give, the more returns to you. Let your smile light up the world around you.

Gemini (May 21 - June 20)

RIVER / Movement

Gemini, this month gives you a chance to take advice from the River that flows steadily forward, moving easily around curves and rocks, sometimes gently and sometimes rapidly and intensely. Pay attention. Observe the flow. Do not try to force or fight compelling movement in your life right now. Instead, surrender to the movement of Life, watch for signs along the shore and in the river itself that offer you clues about the direction you are taking. Breathe, relax, know.

Cancer (June 21 - July 22)

NEW MOON / Promise

How lovely to see your ruler, the Moon, on this card, Cancer. As you probably know, there is a New Moon every month, and this month it is August 2. This heralds a time of promise and renewal for you that carries through the entire month. Rely on your subconscious to identify something in your life that is going through a cycle right now. Make a commitment to follow the path that takes it to full realization. Align your will with the will of Spirit and focus on what you wish to have happen.

Leo (July 23 – Aug. 22)

DANCE / Celebrate

Leo’s exuberance, enthusiasm, and optimism are well documented, and this month provides many opportunities for you to exhibit those qualities. August is filled with community and family celebrations where you can readily express your joy and happiness – probably through physical movement (Dance!) Even if you are alone, put on the music, sing, dance, make up a new song about what you most have to celebrate.

Virgo (Aug. 23 - Sept. 22)

CEREMONY / Invocation

Virgo, this month you find special significance and pleasure in ceremony, in that which brings you back into intimacy with Spirit after a time of indifference, depression, life crisis, or some other manifestation of mental, emotional, or physical blockage. You need to do something “formal” this month, something in a special place, perhaps with objects sacred to you as talismans. Seek to heal, celebrate, or honor someone or something in your life with your actions. Your spirit guides are waiting to reconnect with you if you only ask.

Libra (Sept. 23 – Oct. 22)

DRAGONFLY / Emergence

This month you are ready to emerge into the next cycle of some area of your life, Libra. Rather than a gradual shift, as sometimes occurs, expect rapid, perhaps unexpected progress and movement. You may feel unprepared for this, but the fact is, you are prepared thanks to the experiences and wisdom you have accumulated up to now. Like the dragonfly, you are ready to shed yet a layer of illusions and defenses, gracefully moving into the next cycle.

Scorpio (Oct. 23 - Nov. 21)


Scorpio, it’s time to think seriously about something in your life that is no longer useful or needed as you move forward. Even though the actual Autumn Equinox does not occur until September 22, you are already feeling the effects of its energy. The month of August gives you time to conserve your energy, rest, and make some decisions about things you need to release, whether they are material possessions, relationships, or perhaps a job you no longer enjoy.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 21)

ANCESTORS / Generations

With the big-picture, broad philosophical tendencies of a Sagittarius, you have very little trouble thinking in terms of a lineage that stretches back hundreds and even thousands of years. Perhaps an interest in genealogy will be sparked this month, or you may discover connections to your ancestors that you didn’t know existed. Enjoy the opportunity to receive the spirits to whom you are related through your heredity, as well as those who lived before you on the land you currently occupy. What can you learn from them?

Capricorn (Dec. 22 - Jan. 19)

DNA / Karma

August promises to be an interesting month for you, Capricorn, one in which you become more aware and in tune with the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual elements you inherited from your biological parents. These days, it is possible to send your DNA to a lab and receive an analysis of your genetic makeup, including what countries or cultures your ancestors came from. You may not have the desire or funds to do that, but you can take time to explore the karmic components of the “soul patterns” that created you.

Aquarius (Jan. 20 - Feb. 18)

FAIRIES / Earth Magic

Fairies are said to have responsibility for plants and trees in our world, and in August they are encouraging you to connect more closely with the Earth. If you like to garden, the Fairies will help you demonstrate your care of surrounding vegetation. Increasing your connection to Earth can take the form of meditation or enjoyable activities in a garden or park as you seek to recognize each flower, tree, or shrub as a dear friend. You’ll receive the blessing of Earth Magic from the Fairies if you do.

Pisces (Feb. 19 – Mar. 20)


How perfect for you, Pisces, is the amethyst crystal cave shown on this card. Amethyst is one of the birth stones linked with Pisces. As a Water sign, you’ll also appreciate the river flowing around the cave. Amethyst (and other types of quartz crystals) has been used for thousands of years in magic and healing, as well as for intensifying psychic capabilities. August offers you an opportunity to focus clearly on a project or subject that you need to address. Eliminate distractions, focus your undivided attention, and be fully present as you seek inner guidance.

Friday, July 29, 2016

In the Dream – Can’t Get There From Here

For this series here at Tarot notes, I describe a dream I had recently and devise a Tarot spread to explore possible interpretations.

Here is a description of the dream:

Setting: I am supposedly at Myrtle Beach in South Carolina, a place I have been many times, with my mother and a few other people.
We arrive and my mother heads into the main office of our motel to register. Somehow I and the others wander off and soon lose any sense of where we are supposed to be. We end up following someone’s directions that take us through a ridiculous series of narrow tunnels, difficult climbing situations, and so forth.
We decide we are not getting where we want to be, and then, suddenly we are riding on a bus or in a van of some kind, being (supposedly) driven to our desired destination. We drive down a street that looks familiar, with shops and motels, but then we head down a series of long country roads, and eventually realize that – no – we are not going anywhere near the beach. When we stop, the driver doesn’t seem to care and tells us that we might be able to walk there, but it’s a very long way.
We find a woman who agrees to take us back to the beach. Suddenly we are on her boat out in the middle of a very large lake. I comment that I don’t recognize this area, and it doesn’t look like we are going to Myrtle Beach at all. Others agree with me, but we don’t know quite what to do at that point. I wake up.
I am asking the Mystic Dreamer Tarot the following questions:

(1) What type of energy will help me interpret and utilize the message(s) of this dream?
(2) What might “Myrtle Beach” (my intended destination) represent?
(3) What might the series of tunnels and difficult climbing situations represent?
(4) What might the bus/van and its driver represent?
(5) What might the woman with her boat represent?
(6) What might the lake represent?
(7) What message might the dream as a whole have for me?



(1) What type of energy will help me interpret and utilize the message(s) of this dream?

EIGHT OF WANDS – In short, Wands (Fire) energy is active, courageous, enthusiastic, imaginative, passionate, and confident. On the Eight of Wands in this deck, we see a woman who is ready to be off at a moment’s notice.  This energy at its best is focused, and directed -- fast-moving without being reckless.

(2) What might “Myrtle Beach” (my intended destination) represent?

SIX OF PENTACLES – My reaction to this image is to notice that one of the beggars is receiving coins from the woman who is standing up, while the other is not. To me, Myrtle Beach means vacation, enjoyment, relaxation, rest, a carefree spirit, a “treat.” I think perhaps in this dream it symbolizes for me something that I want and need, but a part of me feels or fears I might not receive it. There is a lot of feminine energy involved in both the dream and this card. Who is the person deciding whether to give or withhold what is needed? Are all of the women aspects of myself?

(3) What might the series of tunnels and difficult climbing situations represent?

THREE OF SWORDS – Typically, this card refers to new, raw pain. It can be an indication that the truth (Swords) hurts. The pain might be based on a misunderstanding or maliciousness, and it may be hard to discover the truth in that situation. In the dream, it was very uncomfortable (if not painful) trying to crawl through narrow tunnels and claw my way up. The pain was intensified when it became obvious that all of that effort was not getting me any closer to my destination (rest, relaxation, enjoyment). I had been misled or deceived. Who made me go through all of that? Again, could it be an aspect of myself?

(4) What might the bus/van and its driver represent?

FIVE OF CUPS – Fives often suggest difficulties, challenges, change, restlessness, or turbulence. The Five of Cups, specifically, is often about a loss that is difficult to deal with but provides an opportunity for growth. Even though three Cups are turned over, two are still standing. Something (represented by the driver of the bus/van) keeps taking me away, in the wrong direction from where I want to go or be. In the dream, the only option suggested to me to overcome this “loss” is to turn around and walk miles and miles back towards my destination. In a sense, the Five of Cups could be saying that I have “lost my way” by allowing an aspect of myself (the driver) to transport me in the wrong direction.

(5) What might the woman with her boat represent?

ACE OF PENTACLES – Aces often represent a new beginning or approach. The suit of Pentacles is typically about the physical, material world. Certainly at first, being on the boat seems like an improvement over the idea of trying to walk a long distance. It’s a “new opportunity” to get to my desired destination. However, gazing out over the vast lake, it is obvious that the boat is not taking me there, at least not quickly! The vehicle I am on is useful, but it seems to be in the wrong place.

(6) What might the lake represent?

KING OF PENTACLES – How interesting that the woman with her boat is the “Ace” and the lake is the “King” of Pentacles. We go from the lowest Pentacle to the highest. As the “King,” the lake represents abundance, pride, protection, generosity, and reliability. The lake seems to represent personal qualities belonging to another person in my life or perhaps to me. The boat floats on the lake (the lake “supports” the boat, allowing it to move forward). In general, I view water (as in a lake) as representing the subconscious, emotions, and intuition. Water is a feminine or receptive element; Pentacles is a feminine or receptive suit (Earth).

(7) What message(s) might the dream as a whole have for me?

STRENGTH – A Major Arcana card comes forward to sum all of this up for me. Strength presents us with a woman sitting with a lion, which represents her own inner animal instincts and passions. The woman and the lion are compatible. Neither tries to dominate or control the other. How might this apply to the dream? In general, the dream definitely has a push-pull energy to it: I arrive at a desired destination, wander off track, wrongly believe I have found the way back, and end up floating on a lake in a boat. Is it possible that I am being encouraged to look again at the lake, to consider the possibility that it can offer me the same or similar “rest, relaxation, and enjoyment” that I intended to get from Myrtle Beach? In other words, am I being told that a change in destination does not have to mean disappointment or feelings of loss? That I need to take a closer look at a new opportunity that is right in front of me instead of focusing on getting somewhere else? Perhaps I am trying too hard to get or be somewhere when it really isn’t necessary to achieve satisfaction.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day: 3 of Observation

The Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day is:
3 of Swords

In The Sherlock Holmes Tarot by John Matthews and Wil Kinghan (Sterling Ethos), the suit of Observation (represented by an eye) is comparable to the suit of Swords. The quotation chosen to represent the entire suit of Observation is from The Red-Headed League: “This is a time for observation, not for talk.”

The Three of Observation depicts Holmes stares out a window into the streets of London. A newspaper in which he is accused of a blunder falls from his grasp. Here we see him during one of his struggles with moodiness and depression. The creators of this deck note that Holmes could be deeply affected by events, and he was keenly aware that there were times when his judgment could go astray. He remarked to Watson, “Once or twice in my career I feel that I have done more real harm by my discovery of the criminal than ever he had done by his crime.” (The Adventure of the Abbey Grange)

I find this to be a highly appropriate representation of the Three of Swords, which refers so often to a state of mind or perception that we have that might need to be explored or brought into perspective.

The Holmesian Wisdom for this card is a quote from The Naval Treaty: “The most difficult crime to track is the one which is purposeless.”

Keys for this card, upright, are: “sorrow, separation, loss, deep disappointment, possession of thoughts by jealousy, analysis of your receptivity to events.” Reversed, the card can suggest “alienation, quarrel, disorderliness, mistakes.”

The book that accompanies this deck also provides interpretations for each card under the headings “The Game” and “The Fog.” The former elaborates on the upright keys, while the latter expands on reversed meanings.

Examples from “The Game” for the Three of Observation: “personal troubles. . . brooding upon personal slights. . . bereavement following the loss of a partner or friend.”  Examples from “The Fog”: “denial that anything is wrong. Enjoying melancholia and letting it feed your creativity… Painful truths are revealed… A disaster is narrowly averted.”

Monday, July 18, 2016

Listen to the Animals: Opossum

For this Tarot Notes feature, I pull one card from an animal-themed deck to represent an important message from that animal.

If you are interested in finding out who your own Animal Guides are, you can get an Animal Guides Reading through my _Etsy shop_ or my _Web Site_.

Today I am consulting the _Power Animal Oracle Cards_ by Steven D. Farmer, Ph.D., with illustrations by Eric Nesmith.

Our animal for today is the OPOSSUM
Keyword: Strategy
Message: Have a back-up Plan.
Additional Associations
Grasping; Agility; Maternal Instinct; Stability

The opossum is such an interesting creature, reviled by many due to its rat-like tail, beady eyes, and propensity for eating trash. I can tell you from personal experience that when you catch one by surprise and it hisses at you, showing its teeth, you want to remove yourself from its presence immediately!

In spite of all this, one of my friends who is involved in animal rescue has taken in baby opossums on more than one occasion, even letting them sleep with her in her bed. (They are kind of cute as babies…)

I was amazed to learn that there are more than 60 different species of opossum, the most notable being the Virginia opossum or common opossum, the only marsupial (pouched mammal) found in the United States and Canada.

photo by Gary Owens

A popular expression, “Playing Possum,” comes from the behavior of the Virginia opossum, who can appear to be dead when threatened. This is not something it consciously chooses to do. Rather, because of the stress of an imminent threat, the opossum instinctively goes into shock and enters a comatose state that can last from 40 minutes to four hours. (Opossums are not the only animal to do this. The ploy may put a predator off its guard and allow the prey animal to make its escape.)

Dr. Farmer chooses to relate the opossum to having a “Plan B, or at least a few other approaches to the subject of your inquiry.” He notes that it is important to listen to your inner promptings in order to become aware of options that were not obvious at first.

I will go with that, but I also think when the opossum is your “power animal” it may bring you the ability to know when to “play dumb” or “play dead.” The best response to a threat is NOT always to fight back, talk your way out, or immediately try to escape. I can see a certain advantage, in some situations, to simply remaining silent and waiting for your moment to make a move.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Facing the Gap: A Reading

I had a very Tarot-ful morning yesterday in which I:

  • Did a reading for a paying client using the Crystal Visions Tarot by Jennifer Galasso (U.S. Games, Inc.) 
  • Did a free 3-card reading through the American Tarot Association using Tarot Draconis by Davide Corsi (Lo Scarabeo)
  • Graded papers written by a student in my Basic Tarot class at the Magical Circle School, for which the student is using the Dragons Tarot by Manfredi Toraldo, with artwork by Geverino Baraldi (Lo Scarabeo)

It seemed only fitting that I spend at least part of the afternoon on a reading for Tarot Notes!

I am using a spread from the Complete Book of Tarot Spreads by Evelin Burger and Johannes Fiebig (Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.) The spread is called “Facing the Gap.”

The Fantastic Menagerie Tarot (Karen Mahony, Alexandr Ukolov, Magic Realist Press) gets to play this time.

(1) This is possible. JUSTICE

Responsibility and Accountability

Well, I certainly hope Justice is possible. I can’t help thinking about all that is going on the world these days, and after all, Justice is from the Major Arcana – so perhaps is referring to something larger than my own personal world. The Justice card can represent the law, courts, and police (as shown on the card), but can also represent “true justice” rather than formal law. I confess that when I see the shootings and death all around this country, I feel a sense of despair, a fear that we, as mere humans, can never hope for that. The cards are telling me otherwise.

(2) This is important. TWO OF SWORDS

A Tale of Two Minds

As Sophie Nusslé writes in the book that accompanies The Fantastic Menagerie Tarot: The sword “is an instrument for fighting… a symbol of idealism and justice” with an “ability to cut, to refine, to distinguish, to make distinctions – and to perceive… what others might miss.” The Two of Swords can represent a divided mind or a stalemate, within ourselves or with another. It can also suggest peace or a “rest” in the midst of conflict – taking a break from the struggle to allow for real exchange and compromise.

(3) This is courageous. TEN OF CUPS

Family Bliss

One of the key phrases Nusslé assigns to this card in this deck is “culmination of the open heart.” Indeed, keeping our heart open is courageous and difficult in many situations. Accepting other human beings – especially those we feel at odds with -- as part of our larger family is possibly one of the most difficult and courageous things we can do. Nusslé writes: “You are changed forever when your heart opens, when you love and are loved and have realised all that love can bring.”

(4) This is futile. THE EMPEROR

The Boss

Any effort made by myself or any other individual to exert absolute control is futile. Although the motive may be “world peace,” the result is more likely to be “autocratic rule, oppression, unjust law.” (Nusslé) Those who insist that we need to “lay down the law” or “come down hard” on anyone who doesn’t fit in are doomed to failure. That approach is simply not going to address or solve the problem(s) that lead to disaster in this world. I am not saying we do not need structure, protection, and stability. I am saying that this card in this position seems to suggest that a heavy-handed, “I am the boss” approach just isn’t going to work. (I really don’t want to engage in political debate, but I’m looking at you, Donald Trump.)

(5) This is necessary. NINE OF COINS

Peaceful Enjoyment of Prosperity

“Security… enjoyment of the fruits of one’s work… return on investment… self-discipline balanced with appreciation of pleasure.” (Nusslé) The cards are saying that it would not only be “nice” is everyone could have this, it is NECESSARY if we are to overcome the ills of our world. As long as people do not have a sense of security and a feeling that their labors reap just rewards, we cannot have peace. Make no mistake, this card is typically about material prosperity, but I also see it as representing whatever makes us feel secure, stable, and successful. By the time we get to the Nine of any suit, we have traveled a certain distance and experienced quite a lot. There is no room here for laziness or lack of self-discipline. Neither is there room for oppression.

(6) This is joyful. KING OF COINS

Being joyful when you “have it all” seems like it would be easy. However, that is not true. Wealth, accomplishments, possessions, and power to not automatically lead to joy. At the same time, a lack of those things isn’t likely to bring joy either. What brings joy is having what we feel we need and want, the comforts and relationships that sustain and enrich us. There is no joy in the dark side of the King of Coins: “stubborn, stuffy, boss person, domestic tyrant, laziness and irresponsibility” (Nusslé) I think the potential for being joyful increases with the degree of autonomy, the extent to which we feel we are the “king” (ruler) of our world and our life, free to pursue what we need or want to pursue.

(7) This is funny. TEN OF COINS

The Gate to New Experiences

It is funny that once we reach a certain level of success, peace, security, prosperity, and comfort, we often immediately ask, “What’s next?” Perhaps some of us are content to sit in place, to become complacent, stagnant, or stuck in a rut. However, as Nusslé points out, “Paradoxically, it is the Ten of Coins, that most material card in the most material of suits, that invites you to cross the threshold.” Strive. Strive. Strive. Arrive. Only to start striving again. Yes, it is funny.

(8) This helps you to get ahead. EIGHT OF SWORDS

A Mind Hemmed In

At first blush, it is hard to see how being stuck, mentally or physically, can help us get ahead. Frustration, emotional constraints, and feeling “tied up” or “boxed in” seems negative. However, this is exactly the type of energy that can propel us forward. As Nusslé so wisely writes: “Very often, the mind can free us – either by finding ways to break out, or by liberating itself so any physical constraint does not feel so bad… The mind overcomes the constraint, the walls give way…” If you do not feel resistance or limitations, you cannot feel a need or desire to “break free” and you will not get ahead.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Old English Tarot: 5 of Batons

In today's blog entry, Helen Howell continues her exploration of cards from the Old English Tarot by Maggie Kneen (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)

Old English Tarot
Five of Batons
by Helen Howell
Today I’m looking at the Old English 5 of Batons and comparing it to the more traditional Rider Waite card. The visual we have here is very different to the one more often depicted for the 5 Wands (Batons). When we look at the more traditional Rider Waite, we can see from the image of the five figures that they are in some sort of struggle. Now this could of course be just competitiveness but also it may well show us some sort of conflict going on.

In the Old English we get a completely different image, but it is one that delivers the same sentiment as its more traditional brother and that is competitiveness, struggles and a situation that can be trying and irritating.  What we see growing out of the brown soil is a crop that the farmer has planted and it is being besieged by a murder of crows in competition with each other for the prize of the food. Now no doubt this activity will be very irritating to the farmer and his efforts to protect his crop somewhat trying.

So there we have it, two cards with very different images both delivering the same sort of message, that is one of trying times, or competitive times. It can be telling us of the obstacles that one encounters in everyday life that can be frustrating to deal with but not necessarily that hard to overcome. After all, all the figures in the Rider Waite card need to do is learn to work together and as for the crows, well the farmer needs a really scary scarecrow!

LWB says: Struggle, labor, setbacks, unsatisfied desire.
Reversed: Trickery, contradiction, complexity.

Monday, July 4, 2016

U.S.A. Birth Chart (a reprise)

The following is a post I originally made on July 4, 2014 to coincide with Independence Day here in the U.S.

It is 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.

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!