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Minors - Origin of Astrological Assignments

Thread originally posted on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum on 01 Jan 2003, and now archived in the Forum Library.

Macavity  01 Jan 2003 
Some card decks (Crowley-Thoth etc.) incorporate pairs of astrological symbols in the minor cards e.g.

2 of wands - Mars in Aries
3 of wands - Sun in Aries
4 of wands - Venus in Aries
5 of wands - Saturn in Leo

It is easy to see the division of the ecliptic among the suits, but (to me) the assignment of the planets seems less than obvious. Is there indeed any particular rhyme or reason to this? :) Is there some way to infer this association in an empirical way? Does this system originiate with the A.C. or is there some earlier source?


RingTheory  02 Jan 2003 
In the Thoth deck, the 2,3,and 4's of one of the four suits is assigned the appropriate cardinal astrological sign. As you may know, this would be Capricorn for discs, Aries for wands, Libra for swords, and Cancer for cups.

Then, the 5,6, and 7's are assigned to the appropriates fixed sign, Taurus, Leo, Aquarius, or Scorpio.

Finally, the last cards of the suit, the 8, 9, 10's go the the mutable signs-Virgo, Sagittarius, Gemini, and Pisces. 

Macavity  02 Jan 2003 
Thank You for that RingTheory - and particularly the terminology. I can perhaps look up a bit more on the topic now. I hope to get some insight into the planetary associations? Maybe it is something to do with one of the Appendices at the end of the Book of Thoth? - As ever (and to some extent) who knows? :D

Thanks Again,


Ravenswing  02 Jan 2003 

the planets are 'filled in' according to their decending order on the tree of life:

saturn, jupiter, mars, sun, venus, mercury, moon.

as you can see in your posting you have:

2 of wands-- mars (in aries)
3 of wands-- sun (in aries)
4 of wands-- venus (in aries)

see how that's a piece of the pattern?

if you set the minors in a ring, you'll see the pattern

hope this helps

Lee  03 Jan 2003 
I have a book to suggest -- "The Chicken Qabalah" by Lon Milo Duquette. There is one very full chapter about Tarot, in which the Golden Dawn's system, including the Minors, is fully explained with diagrams and everything. This chapter alone is worth the price of the book, but the rest of the book is great reading, very educational but highly amusing at the same time. Macavity, I guarantee if you buy and read this book, it will answer all your questions about the Golden Dawn Minor system. I would quote from it now, but mine is all packed up in preparation for a move.

-- Lee 

Ravenswing  03 Jan 2003 
i'll second that motion about this book. though beware-- sometimes it's so tongue-in-cheek that i'm surprised it doesn't get bitten off...


Macavity  03 Jan 2003 
Thanks guys. The "problem" is clearly better seen (and resolved) in a circular sense, rather than from static table or list :) Thanks for the book ref. too - I will also check that out! Best... Mac 

Keslynn  03 Jan 2003 
*rofl* The Chicken Qabalah? I'll definitely have to check that out.

:) Kes (back from vacation) 

The Minors - Origin of Astrological Assignments thread was originally posted on 01 Jan 2003 in the Using Tarot Cards board, and is now archived in the Forum Library. Read the active threads in Using Tarot Cards, or read more archived threads.

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