Saturday, May 07, 2011

Tarot Court in the Stars

Recently, a 78 Notes reader, Tabitha, commented to me that while she'd always identified with the Queen of Wands, astrologically/elementally speaking she might be more the Queen of Swords given that she is a Pisces sun with Gemini rising, due to the base water element of all Queens and her water sign of Pisces and the air element of her rising sign Gemini and Swords.  I found her comment really interesting because, though I am no astrologer and Tabitha and I may be straying off the charts (pun intended), it got me thinking about the various planetary elemental associations with the tarot court.  Maybe other tarot readers have already discovered this and written about it, I don't know, so I apologize if I am reinventing someone else's wheel.   As far as tarot and astrology goes, my interaction with the combination is fairly limited, though I always love to hear how others work with them together. 

If you do not know the planetary alignments of your date, time, and place of birth, you can access one of these useful charts for free at various websites such as AstroDienst.  That site also has a clickable chart with valuable information about what each planet in a chart means and specific descriptions regarding the placements of your particular planets.  Useful for we astrology novices who really can't remember what Pluto does for you.

To associate your sun sign with a court card, your sun sign element and your rising sign would give you the two elements for that association.  For example, my sun is in Libra and my rising is Aries.  Libra is an air sign and Aries is a fire sign.  Air is the base element for all tarot kings and wands is the suit of fire, so my Sun/Rising tarot card would be King of Wands.   This may be challenging to identify with because we naturally gravitate toward our own gendered court card, women identifying with Queens and men with Kings, so this moves a lot of us out of that predetermined box.  The gender and ages of the courts aren't supposed to be taken literally anyway.

Springboarding off of Tabitha's musings, I wondered if I could do this with other planets, such as Mercury, which rules the way we communicate.  I am Mercury in Libra so that is air/air.  Therefore my Mercury tarot court card would be King of Swords which gives me clues about how my mind works and how I communicate with others.  Venus in Scorpio would yield a King of Cups or a Queen of Swords modality in love and relationships with its air/water combination.  My moon is in Taurus, so my basic emotional level would be King of Pentacles and/or Page of Swords with its air/earth combination.

I thought to combine the planetary element with the sign element rather than the Sun sign element, but there isn't anything close to a consensus on which element is associated with each planet.  For example, although Mercury rules communication, it isn't necessarily an "air planet."  It rules two signs, Gemini, which is an air sign and Virgo, an earth sign. Here is where I usually get frustrated with overlaying any other system on top of tarot because they  don't neatly fit without bending and compromising one system or the other.  While the associations are interesting and give much food for thought and introspection, I would not grasp them too tightly or identify too strongly.  If the shoe doesn't fit, don't wear it.   Remember, we are just experimenting here.

Next step -- associating your planetary court cards within the twelve astrological houses.  Once you have your planetary court card associations, you can them use them within your chart to see how those qualities interact with the houses.  Using one's astrological chart, lay out the designated court cards (you would need more than one tarot deck because court cards will likely be repeated throughout your chart) where they appear on the different houses and determine how these court cards would behave and interact within those placements.  For more info on the meanings of the houses, you can simply web search "meanings of the houses" and find a wealth of sites that explain them.  For example, my Venus is not only in Scorpio but also in the 8th House which is the house of death, rebirth, and others resources.  That house shows how I deal with separation and loss, how I renew and rebuild, and how I deal with legacies, inheritance, taxes, loans, etc.  Therefore, using a King of Cups as my Sun/Venus card in the 8th House, that can show me, based on what I know to be the King of Cups qualities, how I tend to deal with those issues.

Whether these associations work out to be accurate portrayals is really up to the individual to decide.  But I think because we hold within ourselves all the qualities of all the court cards in varying measure, it may be truly enlightening.  Keep in mind also that no one planet, house, or court card is a summation of your entire person, that each placement or association merely describes a piece of your own personal puzzle.  While some of the results may be totally on target, others may leave you scratching your head.  In the end, what can we do with this information?  Just as I do not believe tarot determines your fate, neither does astrology nor any combination thereof.  While we may have specific tendencies inherent in our personalities, they only limit us as much as we allow them to.  The revealing of these tendencies is valuable information because once we know what we're working with, our strengths and weaknesses, we can use them to our advantage in a conscious manner. 

3 comments:

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K said...

I tried to look up the base elements for the court cards and got 3 different answers from 3 different websites. You say Air is Kings, another site says Knights, and still another says Pages. How am I to know which is accurate? :(

Ginny said...

K -- elemental associations do vary by deck and system. If a deck has its own associations you can use them, OR you can use your preferred associations. The key with these associations is not to get them "accurate" but to be consistent. Yes, I associate Kings with Air and I usually do, no matter which deck I use. It has embedded in my subconscious that Kings element is air. Yes, the Thoth deck and its clones do differ from that, the Knights are Air and the Kings Fire. So if I am reading with Thoth or Thoth-like decks, I keep that in mind. But a reading with Thoth works just as well with my ingrained associations, too.

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