Tarot for the Modern Reader
Astrological Symbols Hiding in Plain Sight in the Tarot
Did you know there are astrological symbols hiding in plain sight in the tarot? Each card in the Tarot is associated with a corresponding astrological sign, planet, or both.
This likely isn't a surprise to you, after all, metaphysical disciplines rarely exist in a vacuum. As a matter of fact, with a slower, second look, we can see evidence of all kinds of other disciplines throughout our tarot decks, from astrology to numerology, Kabbalah to Christianity and more.
Why the Astrological Symbols in the Tarot Matter
Firstly, the signs and planets associated with each card can deepen and enhance the meaning of each card. With an innate knowing of the true meaning of the planet or sign that is associated with that card, we automatically deepen our knowledge of the card- and vice versa. Are you a tarot reader who would love to learn astrology, but don't think you have the time, memory or patience? If you know your tarot cards, you already have a solid foundation. Concepts begin to just click, and we can understand the bigger, fuller picture.
Secondly, they can indicate timing, either as a timeframe for predictions or as indicators of transits to either be wary of, or take advantage of. The Major Arcana are the simplest to use for timing, however the Minor Arcana can be used as well.
Astrological Symbols Hiding in the Tarot
Today I'm going to talk about the first example- the cards have clues to their deeper meanings, shown from the astrological symbols on them. Each deck is different, so the deck you choose to work with will have different symbols portrayed than the one I, or the next person uses. Today I'm going to use the RWS deck.
Some cards have actual astrological glyphs on them- you may have never even noticed them; or you may have seen them but not known what they were or why they're there.
The first one that is most notable is the symbol for Venus on The Empress card. That's because this card is associated with Venus in astrology and it's presumed that this is her in the card. Venus is all about love and beauty but also money. She is the planet (goddess) that rules the money (and luxury) sign of Taurus. That's why this card is amongst other things, associated with abundance. Notice how Taurus-like the landscape is- luxurious and fertile.
The second card I'll mention is the 9 of Pentacles. Notice the glyph for Venus adorning her gown? The correspondence for this card is Venus in Virgo. How fitting. Here in the suit of pentacles, Venus' association is with money, not love. That becomes even more obvious, given that the woman in this card represents solidarity (a Virgo trait). This is her association with The Hermit (9) in the Major Arcana, also ruled by Virgo. So here we see a financially independent woman. Her gown and the landscape in the card imply wealth and luxury (Venus). We could gather this simply by understanding the associations of this card. You can click this link to read about the Nine of Pentacles and these associations in more depth.
Astrological Symbols as Real Life Icons in the Tarot
This brings us to the other way that astrology symbols show up in the tarot. It isn't always a glyph, but most often, through their sign or planet's animal or icon that symbolizes that sign.
The High Priestess is ruled by the moon. Notice in this card there is a moon at her feet but also the triple crown on her head as well. The Strength card- did you know this card is associated with the sign of Leo? That's right, Leo the lion. The Strength card in most decks features a lion. How about The Star? This is the card for Aquarius, the waterbearer. And here we have the maiden with the two jugs of water in this card. We have our Emperor who is associated with the sign of Aries. And with a close look, we see we have Aries' emblem, the ram, adorning our emperor's throne.
The Devil is associated with Saturn which rules Capricorn and it's emblem is the goat. The misunderstood devil in this card is Pan, the half-man, half-goat demi-god. Notice the horns? This card also contains the astrological glyph for Saturn. This card is what we fancy folk call a "two-fer".
How about Justice? This card is associated with Libra, and she holds the signs icon, the scales, in her hands. The two of swords is also associated with Libra (moon in Libra). Can you see how closely related those two cards are? Both 2's. Both Libra, both decisions and balance.
Lastly, how about The World and The Wheel of Fortune? Both of these cards have the four fixed signs of the zodiac featured on them and play a prominent role in their meaning. You can read all about that in this article The Wheel of Fortune, The World and the Tetramorphs.
Additional Astrological Symbols in the Tarot
So these have been just a few of the most obvious ones to get your started. But each and every card in the deck is associated with a sign, a planet or both. As you continue to study each of these, your understanding of both Tarot AND Astrology will deepen simultaneously. I truly believe that an understanding of astrology can greatly deepen your tarot reading practice as well. I hope I have given you enough here to whet your appetite!
At the end of April I will be offering a fun and exciting class that focuses on the most difficult cards in the tarot deck- The Devil, Death, The Tower and a few others, and how they can be indicators of difficult astrological transits happening in your life- you just need to know what planet they are associated with and what they are doing! Join us for this fun class and learn how to take charge of these difficult transits. Knowing about them ahead of time allows us to make good use of their powerful energies, rather than getting blind-sided by them! These are transits we ALL go through- now you can learn how these coordinating cards in the tarot may be coming up as a warning ahead of time, so you can be prepared! I hope you'll join us! Click the link below to check out all of the details of this exciting workshop!
I'm Liza, professional Tarot reader, writer and mentor, and this is Tarot Liza. Everyday we're working to bring our mission of delivering more value and Tarot education to the Modern Reader to life! Welcome! Read more...
- We’re now in the window of the true Samhain portal. Tune in to this week’s episode and pickup the ritual I left out of last week’s episode (oops!), as well as why you might want to do these rituals again (or for the first time), this week! But hurry- the portal won’t be open long. I also share a few announcements for the podcast for the coming month!...Read More »
- Halloween and rituals go hand in hand. Although we have turned Halloween into a night of spooky fun, complete with costumes and candy for children, it is really a special night to honor those who are no longer with us, and based on the much older pagan sabbat of Samhain. It's a great time to communicate with those who have passed over, or any of our spirit guides, as the veil is much thinner not only during Scorpio season in general...Read More »
- Death, rebirth and letting go, these are the themes that let us know that Scorpio season has arrived! This is the time of year that we are prime to look into the deepest darkest corners and excavate the things that are no longer serving us. The things that are holding us back. Things that have long outlived their usefulness. Some of these things go all the way back to our childhood, and some are just outdated and outworn patterns of behavior...Read More »
- The Shadow Self, what is it and where does it come from? How is it formed, and how do we heal it? Why do we have it in the first place? These are all questions that come up when we begin discussing the shadow. No discussion about the shadow is complete without a dive into mythology, as all things related to the shadow are naturally related to the Underworld, which is the domain of Pluto (who in the Tarot, rules the Death card). Join me in this episode to learn how to identify your shadows, and join us on a 13 day Shadow Work Challenge!...Read More »
- Want to know what's in the cards? Look no further than the stars! What if I could share with you a cool way to use a 3-card-reading, every 10 days, that you don't even have to draw yourself, that could accurately forecast your next 10 days? What if we could do that for all of the 10 days of the rest of your life? And you don't have to be an astrologer to do it either! This technique also works retroactively- so you can look back in time at the forecasts for significant times in your life to see how they match up! Join me this week...Read More »
- The decans and their forecasts, are determined by their astrological associations- so while we may look at the imagery in this card and think it would be a terrible predictor of our week, it's astrology tells a different story. The association for the Three of Swords is Saturn in Libra, and that's the association we need to keep in mind, when we are considering the energy that we are going to be experiencing during this card's reign or tenure. Saturn is cold, dark, heavy, wet, dreary…. Hence the rain in the Rider-Waite-Smith card behind...Read More »