Click below to read my latest article at AskAstrology.com
See you again soon 🙂
Click below to read my latest article at AskAstrology.com
See you again soon 🙂
The Tarot Talks Archetypes
What is Yours?
Astrology and Tarot are separate artistic disciplines with distinct histories and traditions, but there are powerful connections between them, with many astrological archetypes embedded in the Tarot.
Image: Public Domain from The Book of Hours, Jean Pierre Verdet
The 78 cards of a classic Tarot deck include 22 Major Arcana cards (Greater Secrets) and 56 Minor Arcana Cards (Lesser Secrets.)
The Major Arcana cards shine a light on life-changing situations and events, or draw attention to some crucial aspect of your own personality or behaviour, demanding attention at the time of the reading.
Each sign of the Zodiac is linked with a Tarot card from The Major Arcana. Your sun sign and your Major Arcana card represent key archetypes. But what exactly is an archetype?
The word derives from Ancient Greek and means a very typical example of something, like a model from which other copies are made; a prototype.
Arkhetupon ‘something moulded first as a model’, from arkhe-‘primitive’ + tupos ‘a model’.
The Oxford English Dictionary offers these definitions
Archetypes are complexes of experience that come upon us like fate, and their effects are felt in our most personal life.
The ‘anima’ no longer crosses our path as a goddess, but, it may be, as an intimately personal misadventure, or perhaps as our best venture.
When, for instance, a highly esteemed professor in his seventies abandons his family and runs off with a young red-headed actress, we know that the gods have claimed another victim.
From Jung: Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, Image: John Strudwick 1849-1937
The archetype represented by your Major Arcana card does not define you, of course, any more than your Sun sign does. You and I are unique. Every living thing is unique and yet- it is also classifiable
The archetypes are classifications of behaviours and attributes, and in the Tarot, the Major Arcana chime with the signs of the zodiac.
There are two key archetypes in play in personal astrology; the archetype of your Sun sign, and then there is your ‘outward face’; a key aspect of the public persona, represented by your Rising Sign or Ascendant; the planet rising on the Eastern horizon at the time of your birth. It’s a good idea to read both when reading your horoscope.
If you know your time of birth, you can identify your rising sign via this link
Discover the Tarot’s Major Arcana card for your zodiac sign below.
Astrological archetype: The Ram. The Warrior.
Major Arcana card The Emperor – (energy, organisation, leadership)
Spring bursts forth after winter and so does the ram with the year’s first lambs, and so does The Emperor in you and me. The Emperor decrees we can’t just creep through Life. We need to push sometimes, and push hard or we would never get anywhere. The Emperor is fiery, energetic, driven and determined, good at delegating but controlling – some might even say bossy; A battering ‘ram’. The Emperor may be accident- prone due to general speed and haste. Male or female ‘he’ needs to learn how to take it easy, and slow down, to be more careful and patient, to stay curious and listen to the ideas of others. He’s not the only Emperor round here.
Astrological archetype: The Bull. The Farmer.
Major Arcana card The Hierophant – (faith, study, tradition)
This card is about the power and wisdom of the written words and of tradition. Books, publishers, librarians, churches of all faiths, and universities are indicated by this same card. The High Priest (Hierophant) does things by the book, and has faith and trust in the old ways. He is all about standards. He is a protector, a gardener, a teacher, a mentor, a scholar, but the other message of this card is that change can be good, even necessary, wisdom is knowing when to bend with the wind, and that does not necessarily mean the same as throwing out any baby with the bathwater.
Astrological archetype: The Twins. The Jester.
Your Major Arcana card is The Lovers – (choices, love, duality)
This card has another name: ‘The Decision.’ Gemini is quick-witted, but sometimes decisions need more care and time than mercurial Gemini gives them. There is an innate restlessness, Gemini can be quick to walk away, even when sometimes they might do better to stick at things, even if they are bored, or the going gets rough. Gemini is the archetype of the Jester, the one who can take any turn of fate with a laugh and makes sure we remember to enjoy ourselves. This is the wisdom of Gemini. We need to be able to laugh at ourselves in order to keep a healthy sense of perspective. Laughter is powerful medicine. What we can’t joke about, we can’t deal with..
Astrological archetype: The Crab. The Mother.
Major Arcana card The Chariot – (progress, effort, co-operation).
The Crab is famously gentle, home-loving, intuitive, private; even secretive, but just look again at this guy/girl. This is Cancer’s Tarot face. The Chariot carries the victorious on parade. The Chariot takes us places. This is a card of triumph through discipline and sustained effort; the harnessing of resources, the charioteer and the horses working as one. Choose your teams well, put in a sustained effort, you and they can do great things together. The Crab may be the archetypal sign of motherhood where the Ram is fatherhood, but these are qualities, not identities, while a carer is not a servant, and the gentleness of Cancer does not make it a doormat. No way. Push too far they will withdraw.
Dominant element: Fire.
Astrological archetype: The Lion. The King.
Major Arcana card Strength – (courage, willpower, fortitude)
Life demands courage to meet it head on. To learn new things you have to take chances and risk failure. But the fire of Leo also demands control. The lady patiently restrains the lion. It shall not devour her. She shall not try to harm it. The lion represents the spirit of the Leo subject. There is natural courage and charisma, but the Lady represents strength with gentleness and restraint – moral courage. The lion does not want to be ruled, but nor does she wish to be devoured, power must be used wisely and tyranny is always to be resisted.
Dominant element: Earth
Astrological archetype: The Virgin. The Craftsman.
Major Arcana card The Hermit – (Self-sufficiency, connection to nature, analysis)
The Hermit often likes to walk alone, and this is usually by choice. Time alone, especially in quiet, wild, green places, is especially good for the Hermit, male or female, married, or single. People turn to the Hermit for wise advice. The Hermit knows how to listen and sees far more than he or she says. The Hermit shines a quiet light along his path and others may safely follow in times of need. Animals can trust to the hermit’s compassion. The Hermit is often a talented artist or crafts-person, slow, methodical and a perfectionist, so much so, that she never feelsthe work is good enough to sell, even when it is. Virgo’s challenge is to expedite..
Dominant element: Air.
Astrological archetype: The Scales. The Judge.
Major Arcana card Justice – (order, reason, restitution).
Libra combines analytical ability with intuition, and a natural grace and charm, with a talent for diplomacy. Justice is capable of severity, however, and can just now and again be overly keen to apply the letter of the law, forgetting the spirit. See the Sword in the hand of Justice. But the scales don’t stay still. They are rarely in perfect balance. They see-saw, like Libra’s moods and occasional indecision. Libra is changeable. It may be the only sign of the Zodiac represented by an inanimate object, and a Libra subject may be a born judge, but still, they are only human. But without Justice there would be chaos and misery, mature loose and running red in tooth and claw. There could be no society and no civilisation.
Dominant element: Water.
Astrological archetype: The Scorpion. The Actor.
Major Arcana card Death – (endings, liberation, transformation)
There is no life without death. There can be nothing new without something else changing or ending. But just like the song, the seasons don’t fear the reaper. Death is not the enemy of Life. Scorpio understands this great mystery. Intuitive, subtle, often somewhat secretive, charismatic, intense, Scorpio is devoted to their loved ones, while with others they may be a true friend and powerful ally – or a vengeful enemy. Death has a long memory. He has seen it all before. Get in the way, and he may mow you down with that scythe. Sometimes it is better to walk away. Sometimes it is wiser to call it quits and call time on something that no longer serves you well.
Dominant element: Fire.
Astrological archetype: The Archer. The Explorer.
Your Tarot archetype is Temperance – (moderation; timing, healing).
Temperance was regarded as an angel- a force for virtue at the time the Tarot was first in use. Temperance is about moderation, and self- control, and the avoidance of extremes. But Temperance has other meanings…alchemy, the fusing together of two elements, materials or qualities to make a new thing stronger than either individual element; Intellect and feeling, ability and ambition, one person and another, one people and another. This is a force for diplomacy, reconciliation of differences and also for physical healing after illness.
Dominant element: Earth.
Astrological archetype: The Goat. The Builder.
Major Arcana card The Devil – (also Pan. Wildness, entrapment, liberation)
Powerful opposites meet in the Goat. Capricorn, thought to be named originally for the ibex which mated at this same time of year, is the builder and the banker of the zodiac; hard working and solid yet agile, with an often understated glamour and a keen, if dry sense of humour. The Devil comes in many guises; often powerfully attractive. Or think of animal magnetism. That’s Pan for you. The Devil warns us to beware compulsion reminding us that we can get trapped by our own behaviour as much as by circumstance but we can choose to liberate ourselves by exercising the willpower sufficient to change the behaviour or the circumstance, bringing order out of chaos.
Dominant element: Air. (Special note: Aquarius is sometimes mistakenly identified as a water sign because its symbol is the water carrier)
Astrological archetype: The Water Carrier. The Teacher.
Major Arcana card The Star – (hope, inspiration , humanitarianism).
The Star of hope has much in common with the imagery of the Aquarian Water Carrier. It shines its brightest, far-off light when everything else looks dark. The figure in the card has one foot in the water, symbolising her powers of intuition, and the other foot still on land, denotes her stability. Her knee is a bridge between elements. The stars symbolise the card’s over-arching message of guidance, hope and inspiration. Aquarius loves people as a general concept, but she is not one to blend in with the crowd, indicated by the biggest star above her head, which is bigger and set apart from the others.
Dominant element: Water.
Astrological archetype: The Fishes. The Seeker/Seer
Major Arcana card The Moon– (imagination, instinct, intuition)
Like Pisces, The Moon card is associated with the subconscious, and suggests that things are not always as they first appear. The Moon card also represents our secretive side or “shadow self”. The barking dog and the wolf in this card represent Pisces’ wild side sitting alongside its more domestic self. Pisces may seem gentle but the pull of the wild is strong, and so is the pull of the ocean’s tides. These people are deep. The crayfish crawling from the water represents “coming into consciousness” and the possession of psychic abilities, true of all signs in their different ways, but especially archetypal of Pisces.
Watch for the archetypes manifesting in real time all around you.
Until next time 🙂
Actor sprog went to meet with a casting agency yesterday. Sprog has an agent already, and likes that agent very much but 12 months on, there has been nothing as yet; not one send-out, zip, de nada. and just not much sign of activity in general. She had decided to look about for somewhere perhaps more pro-active, had made enquiries and been invited to drop in at another agency, take along her acting CV and meet the creative director (male).
How would it go?
I drew the Ace Clubs, Jack of Spades, 2 Diamonds, Jack of Hearts and the Queen of Clubs. and read it left to right as a story board
Card 1 The basic issue or premise: Ace Clubs denotes a new work, new job, also, a cave or leaving a cave in the quest for new knowledge. It’s a fiery card, well suited to the entertainments industry. Think of a spark, or a ‘bat out of hell.’
Card 2 Jack of Spades, this is whom we are talking about; the sprog, and in Tarot the equivalent card would be the Page of Swords. The archetype is a good fit, and she is an air sign subject; Aquarius, which corresponds with the suits of Swords in Tarot, Spades in playing card reading, or as it is more formally termed; cartomancy.
Card 3 Hinge card: 2 Diamonds; well, this is promising firstly but not exclusively because it is a red and not a black card, sitting centrally, but the card itself denotes agreements, investments, suggesting she may receive an offer of representation with this new agency.
Card 4 Jack of Hearts. So what comes next? This card also signified the sprog, I felt; a sharp but comical, quirkily humorous creature in possession of – no use pretending otherwise, a somewhat mythical but edgy beauty, and this card also suggested some ease of rapport between her and the figure in the outcome position.
Card 5 Queen of Clubs, the outcome card.
Why not a king card, I wondered, based on the preceding communications?
Sprog arrived 15 minutes early to be bang on time, shutters were rolled up at 3 o clock prompt and she was received, not by the creative director who was away on holiday, she was told, but by a fellow director, a lady.
So that then, was why I had drawn the Queen of Clubs.
This card denotes an outward going woman; honest and extremely confident in dealings. No one tells her what to do, and this living embodiment of the queen said she could make no promises, offered the sprog a few pointers, tips and some constructive criticism, and concluded with an offer of representation.
The sprog liked this clubs queen very much but also has other enquiries outstanding, and I have no wish to interfere, prophecy can be vexatious and meddlesome whether it is eventually proved correct or not, so we will see.
3 black cards, 2 red, and a majority of black cards can be taken simply as a no answer, where a majority of red is taken as a yes, and the colour method is often accurate, but it just goes to show, in divination it’s a mistake to rely heavily on short cuts.
Until next time 🙂
Or tries to and almost does, but not quite.
A friend came to stay recently and brought a present for my birthday. We thought it might be fun for me to try and guess what was inside the packaging using my pendulum and cards. It was roughly cylindrical, not too heavy, rolled in bubble wrap and brown paper.
I held my pendulum over it.
‘Are the contents of this package edible?’ The pendulum span anticlockwise. No.(sob)
‘Are the contents of this package paper?’ No. ‘Ceramic?’ No.’ Wood?’ Yes.
I drew the Three of Pentacles, a card signifying progress in business and pride in one’s work, and from The Gilded Tarot by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti.
‘Is it a craft item? I asked my friend.
‘Yes.’ she said, smiling from ear to ear, as ducks suddenly quacked outside on the pond and Il Matrimonio ran to the balcony to see there if there was a fox. There sometimes is. Then I drew the Six of Swords, a card of personal progress, solemn journeys and quests for learning.
Was it something to do with a river or riverbank, I wondered. Was it a little wooden boat? Or a frog? I like frogs.
‘No’. My friend said, smiling, ‘But you are warm. Now open it!
And inside it was – this! A wooden Indian Runner Duck. What a little character.
Well, I never. No wonder she’d been laughing to herself every time we’d fed the ducks, knowing what she had in store to give me.
Now, that is what I call a friend. And psychically, here was that darn Jungian synchronicity thing at work again.
Good try, Tarot my friend. Not a bull’s eye this time, but a respectable attempt, and this often is how Tarot works in a reading, too, regardless of the classical card meanings, sparking ideas directly off the imagery.
This is how, while Tarot presents a great academic study, anyone can read it, who likes to use associative thinking.
Until next time 🙂
A friend, also a tarot reader and a gifted clairvoyant; a true ‘Hermit’, had gone unusually quiet since coming round recently to collect a present for his coming birthday and to try out his newest Lenormand deck, doing a reading for me.
Afterwards we sat at the table reading separately, me with tarot cards, he with Lenormand cards, each enquiring about the likely outcome of the EU referendum June 23 to see if we had a consensus. There was. More about that in a future post nearer the time.
But a week later, he hadn’t got back to me after I rang on his birthday. Usually he’s on the phone within a few hours, when he is likely to ask yet again what do I make of David Icke and his theory about the alien reptilian conspiracy for world domination? (He’s been reading a book by David Icke lately, and the Queen is alien reptilian stock, apparently.)
I’ll spare you my usual answer to this question, but for argument’s sake, I’d be more worried about the possibilities for an Alien Insectoid Conspiracy. Chill the reptiles just a teensy bit, they’re too sleepy-byes to get up to very much. The insects too have their limitations but they’d be a far more formidable adversary, terrifyingly industrious, with a far greater population and range…
There has been flu about and he lives alone and has diabetes. I pulled two cards to see if he was OK and drew
The Four of Cups and The Six of Swords.
Well, good, he was OK then. The Four of Cups has a nickname ‘bored boy’ and I decided he had probably got cabin fever. The Six of Swords suggested a reasonably large journey, traditionally over water, but this is the UK and you don’t have to drive far to cross water.
My friend drives but I decided he had probably gone somewhere by train. He is something of a train-spotter and indeed, he rang an hour later to say he was sitting on a train in Euston Station. He had got up at 5 having decided to go down to London to visit Kew Gardens.
I am seeing a lot of Swords cards at present, not least when I enquired about the current steel situation.
I asked, what’s at the root of the problem? First card out, Ace Wands Reversed. The cost of power (fire) A international business ‘Ace’ backfires.
I asked What is the best prospect at this time? First card out. Two Swords. Controls. A state of truce. Diplomacy. Cool the fires but do not stop the fires. Steel is armaments. Duality of legal contract and Protectionism may be implied by this card, possibly for a two year period, while the suit of Swords is associated with the East. I hope it does not mean ‘mothball.’
PS My friend rang since I posted the above, and I kid you not, asked what I think about ‘the reptilians’. There were dragon statues at Kew….with royal insignia inscribed on them. Evidence.
What insignia, exactly?
Dunno, but royal.
Oh well. He puts up with me…what else do friends do.
Until next time 🙂
All images from The Gilded Tarot by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti
I was cackling peaceably into my cauldron, ie; cooking lunch when Il Matrimonio meandered in, nonchalantly asking; what did it mean if you had lost something, and asked the Tarot where it was, and you drew the Page of Wands?
I paused in my stirring, and asked why. Il Matrimonio does not in general, derive interest from anything Tarot-related, unless consulting about financial matters, and is otherwise mildly dismissive, despite it not having let him down so far. He was never an accountant but would have made an excellently sound one.
Our friend Ms X had lost her diary, she had just told him via ‘social meeja’. She is learning Tarot, had looked in her deck of Tarot cards, asking where the diary was, and had drawn the Page of Wands.
Image by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti, from The Gilded Tarot.
But what might that mean in real, practical, where- the- eff- is- it, terms?
Using Tarot to locate lost objects can be a headache. But the imagery can prompt ideas or prompt the memory by visual cues alone, sometimes. Tarot reading works on associative thinking. Logic has its part to play, but psychic hits require lateral, not linear thinking. Readers build their own associations with the cards, over time and through practice. They add their own meanings to the cards, so that one reader can never say another reader is wrong, saying that a card means this or that in real terms, because interpretation arises from the reader’s own intuition.
My response was to say, adding a glug of olive oil to the pan was, that the card suggested, she took it out with her and had left it somewhere local.
Page = small. Wands = travel.
Additionally…or instead; I suggested, it was near somewhere warm or loud, such as a radiator next to a TV, or in the kitchen near the oven. Wands is the suit of the south, of warmth and anything loud and quick.
He came back saying, Ms X had been adamant she never took the diary out with her, and I remarked that, well, it was between her and her own Tarot, but that card strongly suggested she would find it, and probably quickly.
Ms X shortly later remembered that she had been to the hairdressers earlier that same day. She returned and found the diary was on the arm of a sofa there, next to the stereo.
Let’s the both of us add ‘stereo’ and ‘hairdresser’s, then, to the list of associations for the lively Page of Wands.
That’s how we have to do it. That’s how it’s done, and why it is an on-going study, however long you’ve been doing it.
Until next time 🙂