sweetarot.com – Tarot, a magnificent mosaic of interlinked themes, can be likened to a universe of symbols that is ever evolving, offering wisdom that can be as deep and vast as the cosmos itself. From the numerology and elemental significance within the suits, to the modalities of tarot and the interconnection of the cards, the path to understanding tarot’s complex system of symbols and metaphors is a journey of lifelong learning.
In this comprehensive guide, I’d like to focus particularly on the astrological influences within the minor arcana. Specifically, we will delve into the cards numbered from 2 to 10 in each of the four suits – pentacles, wands, cups, and swords. For the purpose of this discussion, we will not include the aces or court cards. Nevertheless, the richness of insights we can glean from the cards numbered 2 to 10 alone is staggering and can significantly enhance our tarot reading practices.
Before we start our exploration, let’s ensure we have a solid understanding of the basic structures and principles that govern the connection between astrology and tarot. Some of this might be a refresher for many of you, but a solid foundational knowledge is essential to delve deeper into the nuances of astrological correlations in tarot.
Astrology and Tarot: Essential Basics for Beginners
In the language of tarot, the four suits are intrinsically associated with the four astrological elements. The suit of Wands corresponds to the fiery, passionate energy of the FIRE signs: Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius. Cups, filled to the brim with emotions and intuitions, align with the WATER signs: Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces.
The intellectual and rational Swords mirror the airy, communicative nature of the AIR signs: Libra, Aquarius, and Gemini. Finally, Pentacles, the embodiment of material world and physical manifestations, correspond to the grounded, pragmatic EARTH signs: Capricorn, Taurus, and Virgo. If you’ve previously read my article on how to study the minor arcana, you might already be familiar with these associations.
The Intricate Dance of Astrological Modalities and Tarot
Every astrological element houses three signs. For instance, Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius are all fire signs. However, the personalities of an Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius are remarkably distinct from one another, despite sharing the fiery element. This variation within the elemental group is due to what we refer to in astrology as ‘modality’ or ‘quality’. There are three modalities that characterize these differences:
Cardinal signs include Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn, which are the initiators, the trendsetters. They mark the beginning of their respective seasons – Aries brings spring; Cancer, the onset of summer; Libra introduces fall; and Capricorn ushers in winter. Their unique characteristic is their initiative-taking and leadership traits. In the tarot, this cardinal modality oversees the numbers 2, 3, and 4.
The fixed signs – Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius – are the sustainers. They rule the heart of their respective seasons – Taurus symbolizes mid-spring; Leo, high summer; Scorpio, deep fall; and Aquarius, the thick of winter. Their strength lies in their capacity for perseverance, likened to the reliable workhorse. The fixed modality holds sway over the middle numbers, 5, 6, and 7 in the tarot.
Mutable signs, namely Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces, represent change and adaptability. They close out their respective seasons – Gemini culminates spring; Virgo, summer; Sagittarius, fall; and Pisces, winter. They are the multitaskers, perfect for roles that demand versatility, innovation, and communication. The mutable modality governs the ending numbers in tarot, 8, 9, and 10.
Astrological Planets: The Cosmic Influencers in Tarot
The minor arcana also embody the energies of the inner planets of astrology (Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn). Starting from Aries, the order is as follows: Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon, Saturn, and Jupiter, and this sequence repeats around the wheel.
Planets are the pillars upon which the edifice of astrology stands. Zodiac signs, such as Leo and Aquarius, are more abstract concepts, offering a broad overview rather than nuanced details. However, when a planet aligns with a sign, such as Moon in Libra, the interpretation becomes more nuanced. For relevance to tarot, here is a concise list of key words associated with each planet:
Each of these planets aligns with a specific numbered card within the tarot deck. For instance, Mars in Aries corresponds to the 2 of Wands, Sun in Aries to the 3 of Wands, and Venus in Aries to the 4 of Wands. Now, armed with this enriched understanding, let’s embark on a journey through each tarot card, exploring the wealth of wisdom that astrology brings to our understanding of the Minor Arcana.
Navigating the Astrological Pathway through Tarot
As we venture into the fascinating world of tarot, let’s take a deeper look at each card in light of the astrological knowledge we have discussed. Understanding the elemental, modal, and planetary associations of each card can enrich our interpretation and the depth of our readings.
Wands: The Beacon of Fire Signs
As embodiments of fire, the Wands cards are brimming with dynamic, passionate, and initiatory energy. Let’s consider how astrology influences the minor arcana of Wands:
- 2 of Wands (Mars in Aries): Symbolizing the fiery energy of Mars coupled with the cardinal Aries, this card represents courageous initiatives and bold undertakings. It calls for the manifestation of our ideas into action.
- 3 of Wands (Sun in Aries): The Sun in Aries illustrates the card of accomplishment and foresight. It suggests the birth of new beginnings, the start of an enterprise, or the expansion of a project.
- 4 of Wands (Venus in Aries): The Venus-in-Aries influence denotes harmony and prosperity. This card signifies celebrations, completion of a stage, or milestones reached.
Cups: Delving into the Waters
Representing the realm of emotions and the unconscious, Cups resonate with the water signs. The following are the astrological connotations of some of the Cups cards:
- 2 of Cups (Venus in Cancer): Venus, the planet of love in the nurturing sign of Cancer, hints at the coming together of two souls, partnerships, or the beginning of a new relationship.
- 3 of Cups (Mercury in Cancer): The alignment of communicative Mercury and empathic Cancer signifies celebration, friendship, and emotional expression.
- 4 of Cups (Moon in Cancer): The Moon in its home sign of Cancer suggests emotional introspection. This card may signify a period of contemplation, discontent, or apathy.
Swords: The Breath of Air Signs
Swords, linked with the air signs, symbolize thoughts, communication, and conflict. Here are some of the astrological ties within the Swords suit:
- 2 of Swords (Moon in Libra): The Moon in harmonious Libra represents indecision, blocked emotions, or a stalemate. This card urges us to remove our blindfolds and face the reality.
- 3 of Swords (Saturn in Libra): Saturn, the planet of restriction in balanced Libra, signifies heartbreak, sorrow, or loss. This card calls for understanding and acceptance of difficult situations.
- 4 of Swords (Jupiter in Libra): Jupiter’s expansion in peaceful Libra signifies rest, recovery, and contemplation. It suggests a time for recharging and healing.
Pentacles: The Foundation of Earth Signs
Aligned with the practical, grounded earth signs, Pentacles symbolize the material world. Let’s explore the astrological correlations in the Pentacles suit:
- 2 of Pentacles (Jupiter in Capricorn): Jupiter’s expansion in industrious Capricorn signifies juggling responsibilities, adaptability, or change. This card urges balance in material pursuits.
- 3 of Pentacles (Mars in Capricorn): Mars’ energy in disciplined Capricorn represents teamwork, planning, or competence. This card stands for collaboration and skillfulness.
- 4 of Pentacles (Sun in Capricorn): The Sun’s vitality in structured Capricorn symbolizes security, control, or possessiveness. This card warns against being overly cautious or controlling.
In summary, understanding the astrological influences of tarot enhances our interpretation and intuition when reading the cards. The journey through tarot and astrology is a transformative one, expanding our consciousness and opening our minds to deeper realms of knowledge. As we continue exploring the interplay between tarot and astrology, we can unlock more profound layers of insights, taking our readings to new heights.