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Saturday, June 23, 2018

Animal Tarot Time: The Emperor

For this series, I am exploring the choices of animals made by various deck creators to correspond to traditional Tarot cards. My initial goal is to get through the Major Arcana using cards from seven different decks:

  • Animal Tarot Cards by Doreen Virtue and Radleigh Valentine (Hay House)
  • The Animal Totem Tarot by Leeza Robertson; illustrated by Eugene Smith (Llewellyn Publications)
  • The Animal Wisdom Tarot by Dawn Brunke; illustrated by Ola Liola (CICO Books)
  • The Animal-Wise Tarot by Ted Andrews (Dragonhawk Publishing)
  • The Animals Divine Tarot by Lisa Hunt (Llewellyn Worldwide)
  • The Animism Tarot by Joanna Cheung (Self-Published)
  • Tarot of the Animal Lords with artwork by Angelo Giannini (Lo Scarabeo)

To read my previous posts in this series, enter “Animal Tarot Time” in the search field on the main page of the blog.

Now let’s look at how THE EMPEROR is portrayed in these seven decks.

Animal Tarot Cards (Virtue, Valentine, Hay House)

DEER MOUSE (“Structure and organization are important right now. Don’t be afraid to take on a leadership role, as you have much wisdom to offer.”)

An unexpected choice for The Emperor in some respects, the Deer Mouse does have that determination, focus, and appreciation for structure that one expects from The Emperor. Planning and responsibility are also key components here, and the illustration does convey a sense of being in charge of one’s realm.

The Animal Totem Tarot (Robertson, Smith, Llewellyn)

GORILLA (“Everyone says they want to be a ruler, but I wonder how many would last a day in my world.”)

A silverback gorilla does seem like an appropriate choice for The Emperor, a character known for great strength, with great responsibility. As the leader of his tribe, the dominant male gorilla must constantly demonstrate that he is in charge, protect the group, and defend his position. I am posting a picture I took of a gorilla named Harambe at the Cincinnati Zoo. I love the expression on his face.

The Animal Wisdom Tarot (Brunke, Liola, CICO)

RAM (Earth Father): “Authority, Order, Structure, Rule, Control”

Great choice for The Emperor, especially given that the zodiac sign Aries (the Ram) is commonly associated with Key 4 in the Tarot. The attribution breaks down a little bit here with the title “Earth Father,” given that Aries is a Fire sign. The energy symbolized by the Ram – and The Emperor -- is that of authority, purpose, and leadership. Message: “Feel the support of Earth; direct your life with balance and integrity.”

The Animal-Wise Tarot (Andrews, Dragonhawk)

EAGLE (“Vision, Power, and Healing”) 
Ah yes, the Eagle. Long-time symbol of imperial authority. Ted Andrews points out that “there are four categories of eagles” (The Emperor is Key 4). I did a bit of research and found that these informal categories of eagles are: snake eagles, fish (or sea) eagles, booted eagles (these have feathered lower legs), and harpy (“giant forest”) eagles.

The bald eagle shown on the Animal-Wise Tarot Emperor card belongs to the fish (or sea) eagle group. I have taken a number of pictures of bald eagles. The photo shown here was taken with a web cam at explore.org.

The Animals Divine Tarot (Hunt, Llewellyn)

ZEUS (“the Father, leader, creating order and structure, the animus”)

For The Animals Divine Tarot, Lisa Hunt chooses a bull (“a solar masculine symbol signifying virility and power”) for The Emperor card. The Greek god Zeus, of course, took the shape of a white bull when he abducted Europa – and his behavior in that instance along with many others demonstrated the less appealing qualities of an Emperor personality. Even so, his qualifications for appearing on The Emperor card can hardly be disputed.

The Animism Tarot (Cheung)

KOMODO DRAGON: “strength, bravery, protection, wisdom, permanence, power”

What a marvelous choice for The Emperor! (Ted Andrews also respects the Komodo Dragon, naming it as his Knight of Ancients in the Animal-Wise Tarot). This deck doesn’t go into detail about the animal chosen for each card, electing to focus on the qualities or characteristics of the card. It’s up to us to see the connection. I will share that the Komodo Dragon is the largest living species of lizard, growing to a maximum length of ten feet (3 meters) in rare cases and weighing up to approximately 150 pounds (70 kilograms. As a result of their size, these lizards naturally dominate the ecosystems in which they live, in true Emperor style. I snapped a few photos of a Komodo Dragon at the St. Louis Zoo on one of my visits there.

Tarot of the Animal Lords (Giannini, Lo Scarabeo)

LION: “Father. Authority, strength, safety, ineptitude, bad judgement.”

I know I heard a few of you muttering as you read through the previous entries, “What about the lion? The King of Beasts? Why not the lion?” Well, here you go! The Lion-Man who would be emperor. Instead of an eagle, this Emperor is shown with what I believe is a falcon or hawk. Symbolically, the falcon (like the eagle) represents victory and was considered “the king of birds” in ancient Egypt. I'm sharing one of my favorite photos of a lion, taken at the Peoria Zoo in Illinois.

I think this may be the first Animal Tarot Time post where no animal is shown on more than one of the cards: Deer Mouse, Gorilla, Ram, Eagle, Bull (Zeus), Komodo Dragon, and Lion. I have to give points for originality to the Animal Tarot Cards for Deer Mouse and The Animism Tarot for Komodo Dragon – but having said that, I love all of these depictions of Emperor-like creatures.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Thoughts on Father's Day 2018

I was born on my father's birthday, so when I got into astrology, I was fascinated by the differences in our charts (given that we were both Sagittarius, born on the same date in different years). For starters, if you look at what I call the "Big Three" (Sun, Moon, Rising Sign):
  • Dad: Sun in Sagittarius, Moon in Cancer, Pisces Rising
  • Me: Sun in Sagittarius, Moon in Taurus, Virgo Rising
One similarity I see, of course, is that we both have the Sun in a Fire sign (Fire is active or "masculine") with the Moon and Ascendant in receptive or "feminine" signs (Water for him, Earth for me). We never talked to each other about astrology, although he did think it was "fun" that I was doing that. He said something like, "If Nancy Reagan can have an astrologer, so can I!"

It's also interesting to see that my Sun and his Moon were both in the 4th house, house of home, family, and the past. His Sun was in the 10th house, and he had a very successful, traditional career as an electrical engineer. My Moon was in the 8th house, giving me that occult-y, alternate spirituality thing. Our ascendants are in opposing signs (Pisces / Virgo), which presents some interesting possibilities.

As for Jupiter (ruler of Sagittarius), Dad's was in Aquarius in the 12th house. Mine was in Pisces in the 6th house. Aquarius makes a lot of sense when you think about his career as an electrical engineer (as I mentioned above). I consider my Jupiter in Pisces to be a very strong indicator of any divination abilities I might possess.

Both my father and I were much more the "philosophical thinker" type of Sagittarius rather than the sporty, outdoorsy type. However, he was an excellent bowler, whereas I could never get the hang of it at all. Not sure which planetary placement would represent that!

My father passed away in 1998 after a battle with lung cancer that spread everywhere, as it likes to do. I'm not into medical astrology much at all, but I did take a look through his chart when he was diagnosed, and saw that his natal Neptune (in Leo in the 6th house) was square his natal Saturn (in Sagittarius in the 9th house). One interpretation I read said that this could represent a difficult disease, possibly incurable, which his was.

Of course, there is a lot more one can do with a comparison of our two charts, but this is as much as I want to share today.

Monday, June 11, 2018


I would like to take this opportunity today on Tarot Notes to announce an exciting new project I am undertaking: I am writing monthly, weekly, and daily horoscopes for a site called TELL MY TAROT.  Click HERE to read the latest entries.

Charmaine Frapp has done a wonderful job with Tell My Tarot thusfar, and I am honored and excited to be involved with content going forward!

Tell My Tarot has a lot of great features, including automated Tarot card readings that are – in my opinion -- amazingly insightful and helpful. As a Tarot reader myself, I am pretty skeptical of automated readings, but these are written exceptionally well.

  • Click HERE for Tarot Readings.
  • Click HERE for Angel Readings. 

The section on Tarot Card Meanings is also very well done. I am hoping to contribute to this section in the future by writing about the cards from the Tarot de Marseille. I also hope to eventually offer a weekly Tarot email through Tell My Tarot.

If you have a web site or blog, we would love for you to link to Tell My Tarot and also TELL YOUR FRIENDS about this fun, educational, inspirational site. Charmaine and I look forward to your visit. Let me know what you think of TELL MY TAROT!

Zanna Starr

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Sacred World Oracle Reading #3

Today I felt led to do a reading with the Sacred World Oracle by Kris Waldherr, and was reminded that I did a reading with this deck a year ago, on Kris Waldherr’s birthday (May 17). So I’m a bit late, but wishing Kris a happy belated birthday with another “Black Swan, White Swan” reading from the Sacred World Oracle guidebook.

Click here to see the reading I did in May 2017: Sacred World Oracle Reading #2.
I also did this reading in 2014, as shown at this link: A Reading with The Sacred World Oracle

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.

And now for my reading. (The keywords following the name of each card are provided by the author in the guidebook.)

(1) The Black Swan (what you need to see that can get in your way):
DOVE / XXVI – Peace and serenity. Higher wisdom. Love.

Something I am not seeing is the option I have to be peaceful and serene in this situation, to act with and from Love at all times. My knee-jerk reactions may be hard to fight, but fight I must. Perhaps I can come up with a mantra of sorts to cut my knee-jerk reactions off “at the knee” (hahaha, that’s pretty good).

(2) The Magic Feather (what to do about it)
FIREBIRD / XXXV – Hope and magic. Brilliance. Divine protection.

Waldherr describes this card as a promise of “unexpected help just when you need it most.” What I need to do about gaining peace and serenity is to open the channels for that unexpected help to come through from Spirit. I don’t have to try to “force myself” to be peaceful or serene. The potential is there if I invite and welcome it.

(3) The White Swan (what you need to see that can help you)
AIR / XXIII – Ideas. Communications. Making connections. Perspective.

There is no question that ideas and communication, making connections, and developing a healthy perspective will all help me in this situation. I need to see that, believe that, and open my mind to being successful in all of those things.

(4) The Magic Feather (how to use the solution presented in the second card)
EARTH / I – Feeling grounded. Appreciating the good things in life. Manifestation.

The perfect card to see here, as the solution (in the form of ideas) becomes concrete reality. Improved communication and connections can manifest in the physical world as well. When Air and Earth work together, many great things are possible.

(5) Swan in Flight (an overview for additional perspective)
CHIMERA / XXXVIII – Compromise between opposites. Balance. Finding a way to bring it all together. Creativity.

Again, there is no question that finding union between seemingly disharmonious elements in life can have a huge effect on a situation or problem. A creative solution is required and can be found using the fiery energy of this card. In mythology, the chimera was comprised of different animals, and allowing myself to see something from different perspectives will be very useful.