The Tarot and Astrology are different systems of giving meaning to the world, yet their cards and signs can be considered archetypes. The Tarot deck has 78 archetypes, the Astrological Wheel, 12. According to Jung, archetypes are archaic images that derive from the collective unconscious. All of us – an indigenous in the Amazon Forest, a farmer in the Great American West, a business woman in London, a student in South Africa, a medicine man in Tibet, it doesn’t matter who – can experience similar passages, situations and emotions throughout life. An archetype summarises universal feelings as if they are one of the keys to interpret human nature.
Can we find correlations between the Tarot and Astrology archetypes? What advice could the Tarot cards give to the signs? Let’s look at the major arcana of the 1909 Rider-Waite-Smith deck to find out. Bear in mind that the relations I am about to tell you are one of the possible interpretations of Tarot and Astrology and other authors can present them in different ways.
Remember to read your sun, moon and ascendent:
Aries – The Magician Goes To The Emperor Land
Because Aries is the beginning of time itself the archetype connected to this sign is The Magician. He has all of the tools to sparkle creation. In his desk, the four Tarot suits – pentacles, cups, swords and wands – are laid up so that he can use them to start the journey of life. Probably he observes in front of him the mountains that are in the background of the Emperor card, which represent the planet Mars, exploding in yellow, orange and red. If Aries is the bellicose action of going after what one wants, and the Emperor quite knows what he wants to maintain his reign in order, the Magician observes his royal friend to get inspired: with his magic wand he is determined to give direction for what he creates, knowing that he has the power of manifestation. The Magician makes the wheel of life spin with a focused purpose. He is a powerful man that receives the infinite universal energy right through his head up to his hands. If these archetypes are imbalanced, they could burst into new creations and beginnings without knowing why they are doing that, guided by pure ambition.
Taurus – The Empress Lets Herself Go By The Devil
Passion, seduction, nourishment and pleasure make The Empress archetype and Taurus personalities. She is the Goddess mother that knows how to enjoy creatively life in all of its wholenesses, associated with the planet Venus whose symbol can be seen in the heart by her side. At her garden she delights herself in luxury and beauty, nurturing body and soul while reigning solidly in her throne. She is robust, rich, abundant, prosperous and knows how to take care of herself and others. When she meets the Devil, he shows her how to deal with practical matters. But all of the pleasures that she seeks could become an obsession, taking her to live a life of addictions. That is when the imbalance of Taurus comes up: the pleasures that were supposed to be their strength become the weakness that chains their spirit to the matter.
Gemini – The Lovers Fall Over The Tower
The Lovers card presents us the duality of the opposites symbolised by a man and a woman in a state of togetherness. Just like Gemini, they are more than one and, ruled by Mercury, they know how to communicate perfectly among themselves. Yet they can attract one another as they can repel. In their conversations, they are trying to choose the system of beliefs that is most true to their hearts. The quest makes them look at the Tree of Knowledge behind their feminine part to find the answer. But there could be a moment that they choose to build a Tower to protect their feelings and disagreements, binding them from the truth. When the lightning comes, and it will come, the knowledge that has always been there but had never been seen is finally revealed. The lovers fall from the Tower. There is nothing left apart from destroying the structures that prison their minds.
Cancer – The Chariot Under The Moonlight
The Chariot shows us a strong and determined conductor that rides through the journey of life, mature enough to understand that she will only get there if she controls whatever is inside of her. The Cancer energy is soulful, loving, persuasive and also has the ability to control the ride as their counterpart, the Chariot. Therefore, they have an internal power to guide family, life, projects, defending what is theirs. But when they get under the moonlight, things can get a bit emotional. The moon as a planet rules Cancer sign and it is their strength and weakness: it makes them love all beings, but also makes them get lost in the unconscious waters of the emotions. As bewitched by the moon magic, they could dramatize life and get attached to what is being left behind, finding difficulty in moving forward throughout the ride.
Leo – The Sun Strength Can Burn
Leo is represented by the tarot card Strength in which a semi-goddess woman tames with her heart energy the ultimate beast that is in her psyche, the lion. Her strength, however, is not physical: it is shown by the fearless patience and beauty of her expression. The Leo sign, as an instinctive force, is like the Lion that she holds by the mouth. If not tamed, it becomes the egocentric beast ready to eat us all. Under The Sun, this woman embraces the energy that emanates pure light, with no shame of the inner child that lives in her. She shines, oh how she shines! But if she shines too much, she could forget the fact that she is, in the end, the lion tamer, and her brightness could burn everyone apart from the savage nature of her ego.
Virgo – The Hermit Meets The Temperance
The Hermit is the wise person that moves away from the city to the Sacred Mountains to find their essence. Their discipline in looking for answers to the matters of the soul through the path that the great healers had gone, shows them that solitude is just a friend. It is what gives them clairvoyance about what is good, and what is bad. When their essence lightens up, they know that being alone is not exactly being lonely. It is in the path of solitude that Temperance, the angel that harmonizes health in all of its layers, emerges. With a foot on the waters, the other on the earth, feeling the sun on their skin and the wind of the sacred land whispering in their ears, they become one of the great masters of perfection.
Libra – The Justice Speaks For Itself
The Justice wields her sword with a resolution. She looks at us directly in the eyes, perhaps judging if we are capable of understanding the depths of her intellect. The facts go onto her balance so she can find the ultimate truth, and, just like Libra, she measures her words and acts to benefit everyone. All dressed in red, the Justice has an analytic way of thinking to get to diplomatic resolutions and to emanate her particular seduction. Maybe there are days that she spends hours in the Empress Garden, allowing the nature of beauty to unfold itself. When imbalanced, the Justice doesn’t take accountability for her actions, losing herself in her own measuring trap. Incapable of deciding, she forgets the colour of her clothes – red carries the power of courage and attraction – the same one that reveal that she has the quality of the most perfect and balanced decision.
Scorpios – Between The Day Of The Dead And Of The Judgment
The Scorpios can be represented by the life/death/life cycle because their personalities are capable of provoking what can look like death but that in fact is only trying to liberate space for rebirth. Therefore, the Tarot card related to this sign is Death, “this is the end, my only friend, the end”. If Scorpio listen to the call that comes from the depths of their soul on the Judgement Day, they have the capability to go down to then go up, and in to then out, that no one else has. The brightness that comes from this awaken can make them feel like gods and goddess, looking at the impermanent cycles of life. And there they finally realise that the end is never an end because there is no end or beginning. It is all about transmutation.
Sagittarius – The Hierophant Travels The World
After searching for knowledge, Sagittarius personalities become great professors. Once apprentices, now masters. The Tarot card The Hierophant symbolises the wisdom achieved by the spiritual leader that has lived a lot to get where they are. They can be conservative, but not that much if they are willing to understand that the role of “spiritual guru” they play is only there to give meaning to society. Their true nature is when they respect the diversity of points of view that makes human culture. And they will only get that when they travel the World, the card that represents the expander territories that Sagittarius is able to explore. It will help them realise that the best place on earth is enjoying the peace of mind when they accomplish their goals – until they find a new one. After all, knowledge is never static.
Capricorn – The Emperor Encounters The Devil In The Wheel of Fortune
The Capricorn sign is the master of time and planning like the Emperor ruling the tarot realm. He is the great father of all of us. But the excess of responsibilities can make him become too hard on himself. He is at risk of forgetting how to live the day for what it is. When he meets the Devil, he can easily get lost in the role that society asks him to play. He could get materialistic, pessimistic, ambitious, having so much magical power to change the world, to make politics, to build a business, but not able to set the boundaries needed for his sanity. And when he is less expecting, he finds himself in the Wheel of Fortune, the one that shows him that the ideal is not being on the top, neither on the bottom: it is between the axis and the outer rim that life happens. There is nothing left to control.
Aquarius – The Hanged Man Sights The Star
The Hanged man sees the world upside down. Immersed in his individuality, he observes life from a different perspective. He feels unique for doing that, just like Aquarians. But being upside down is not enough, to be really unique they will need to sight the Star, the bright woman that will show them the power of creation once they dive into the collective memory. Her waters are the ones that keep the powerful artists and revolutionaries ideas throughout time. Aquarians can get really optimistic drinking her waters. Maybe they will bottle them for their personal use, avoiding to share some drops with their community. That is when they create a trap that forces them back to the hanging position. It was her waters that created them, and not the other way around.
Pisces – The High Priestess Teaches The Fool
Pisces, the last sign of the Zodiac wheel, can encounter the first archetype of the Tarot journey, the Fool. Just like the young that jumps into the abyss to live the dream, Pisces personalities can believe a fantasy ignoring the ultimate aspects of reality, for instance, the height of the abyss. It is when the High Priestess meets the lunatic Fool and the moony Pisces that they learn to listen to the silence, comprehending how to access their dreamland for intuitive and spiritual purposes. Organising their mental flux, they heal their minds. They also learn to live in a world made of dualities so their foolishness becomes their power: the absolute essence of vacuity. Something not to be forgotten.
Written by Julia Albertoni © All rights reserved
Reference: Sallie Nichols, Tarot and the Archetypal Journey, originally published in 1980.
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