Revising Tarot Astrological correspondence

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Windhorse's Avatar
Windhorse  Windhorse is offline
Join Date: 26 Jan 2005
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Revising Tarot Astrological correspondence

Hi folks.

Over in the Crowley Forum, a few of us have been bandying around a few words about Crowley's sequence, the Star-Emperor thing, Justice-Strength, the hebrew letter associations, etc.

For the context, go see the threads "The Star Card" by archer1 and "Thoth, the Tree of Life and the Star" by Dulcimer.

On of the things I have been growing aware of is the what I see as an inadequate association of the astrological symbols with the cards and/or hebrew letters, generally attributed to the work of the Golden Dawn-ers.

Having scoured my copy of a translation of the Sefer Yetzirah (Aryeh Kaplan), the several books I have related to Crowley Thoth Tarot, and several other threads scattered throughout this website, I have started to question critically the astrological correspondences.

So I have started this conversation to get people's thoughts and wisdom on all of this. So here is what I have come up with so far.


These are just the 'controversial' ones. I'm pretty happy with the typical associations for cards like the Magician and the Moon. But as I see it, they're all open for scrutiny and re-distribution.

So I'd love to have your opinions. I will endeavour to explain some of my reasonings for the above correspondences (I have limited time currently...)
I will start with this little gem from Kwaw.

Originally Posted by kwaw
As in astrology Aries in the natural order of the zodiac is associated with 'self', so its opposite, Libra, is associated with this 'perfect self' as 'other'. Libra in the SY is attributed to the letter Lamed, which among other things is said to symbolize the power to direct and control the animal instinct.

The guardian angel is symbolised by an angel closing the mouth of a lion, after the Angel who 'shut the mouths of the Lions' protecting Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, exorcists, Chaldeans and diviners [also known as Daniel] in the Lion's den. According to kabbalisitic texts, possibly influenced by neoplatonic doctrines, this Guardian Angel was Daniel's own 'self made perfect'.

This personal angel is a mediating principle between the magician and the angel Metatron, or the form in which Metatron the Active Intellect can be drawn down. As such another of the names of the angel Metatron is 'one two', symbolising the self and the higher self as other.

Here's the link for the whole thread:

This was the basis for the start of my re-thunk of this little issue.

I look forward to reading some of your thoughts and ideas. I do feel its about time that we move on from the GD. The Tarot is an evolving system, why should we be stuck back in the 19th century after all....?!?!?!??!???

Top   #1
star-lover's Avatar
star-lover  star-lover is offline
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hi just a quick note

I was saying on another thread yesterday how to me Uranus and the Tower are so close in many meanings and Mars just didnt make sense to me personally - i use my astrologoical understanding of Uranus to expand interpretations for the tower and its always worked for me
so i would vote for that one at least

I havent thought about the others, but it sounds a very interesting thread so i will go read up on that link
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Runedancer's Avatar
Runedancer  Runedancer is offline
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Could you explain the correspondence between Sag and the Heirophant? Its always seemed to me that Temperance and Sag work the best together.
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Fulgour's Avatar
Fulgour  Fulgour is offline
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Hi Windhorse

Art as Letterform (Part 2)
by Mark Filipas

Most of the Hebrew letter names have a literal meaning in the language; some of the letters have several meanings. These meanings, however, have long been incorrectly represented in non-Jewish sources (such as books on Tarot cards). Reference to actual Hebrew dictionaries (particularly those which reflect medieval Hebrew) shows that many of these meanings bear a striking parallel to the 22 allegorical subjects.

Please click on: Images & Text

The Exaltation Tarot - Aeclectic Tarot Forum

This is where I take things a necessary step further,
all the way back to sunny ancient Mesopotamia...
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star-lover's Avatar
star-lover  star-lover is offline
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sagitarius and heirophant

Originally Posted by Runedancer
Could you explain the correspondence between Sag and the Heirophant? Its always seemed to me that Temperance and Sag work the best together.
that makes so much sense astrologically speaking - sagitarius/9th house is all about philosophy, social laws, religion, belief systems, higher education, learning, teachers, truth, honesty etc
very heirophant isn't it?seems to me anyhow

just my 2p again
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rcb30872  rcb30872 is offline
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I have the Celestial deck, and it has it all listed nicely to which card relates to which zodiac sign and planet, so I will just look in there and list them here:

The Fool - Uranus/Aquarius
The Magician - Mercury/Gemini & Virgo
The High Priestess - Moon/Cancer
The Empress - Venus/Taurus & Libra
The Emperor - Aries/Mars
The Hierophant - Taurus/Venus
The Lovers - Gemini/Mercury
The Chariot - Cancer/Moon
Strength - Leo/Sun
The Hermit - Virgo/Mercury
The Wheel of Fortune - Jupiter/Sagittarius
Justice - Libra/Venus
The Hanged Man - Neptune/Pisces
Death - Scorpio/Pluto
Temperance - Sagittarius/Jupiter
The Devil - Capricorn/Saturn
The Tower - Mars/Aries
The Star - Aquarius/Uranus
The Moon - Pisces/Neptune
The Sun - Sun/Leo
Judgement - Pluto/Scorpio
The World - Saturn/Capricorn
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Fulgour's Avatar
Fulgour  Fulgour is offline
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Originally Posted by rcb30872
The Devil - Capricorn/Saturn
The World - Saturn/Capricorn
Using Zero=One makes card 15 letter 16...
and then card 21 letter 20, thus the above.

If letter 15 is card 15 then it's Sagittarius
and for The World letter 21 is spiritual fire.
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jmd's Avatar
jmd  jmd is offline
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There are quite of number of correlations that have been suggested by various authors.

For myself, the principal questions remain:
  1. why make any tarot-astrological correlation?
  2. if correlations are made, on what basis will this be established?
  3. is the basis for the astrological correlation proposed itself derivative (of, for example, a letter correlation such as Hebrew, Greek or other)?
  4. do early decks display any possible astrological depictions, and if so, which (in terms of decks, cards and signs or planets)?
  5. even with a preference for some kind of astrological correlation, do all cards, all signs, and all planets need to be correlated?

In the first instance, I personally consider that astrology and tarot (and Kabalah, for that matter) are distinct. Yet, some imagery used in tarot is also very similarly used in astrology. For example, representations of XVIII the Moon (Tarot) and Cancer (Astrology), XVIIII the Sun (Tarot) and Gemini (Astrology), or XVII the Star (Tarot) and Aquarius (Astrology) are quite close.

It is more in the suggested meanings and implications as to its suggested senses that I consider the two are distinct, and that correlations are not really co-relations as such, but rather, from my perspective, disparate overlays.

So, on what basis are the links proposed? For example, I may talk of similar qualities of Paris, San Francisco, and Melbourne, and likewise similar qualities of London, Sydney and Los Angeles. Here, the 'relation' is clear: there is a tonal or feeling quality that the traveller experiences, whilst at the same time quite clearly understanding that each city is not only distinct, but vastly different as well.

It seems that the suggested Tarot-Astrological correlations proposed, however, are quite different to this, in that what seems suggested is not so much that one investigates the nature and 'tonal' quality of each card and each sign, but rather that the cards are to be understood and viewed a more astrological 'angle'. That, personally, I find takes away from Tarot, rather than provides pathways into its peculiar merits.

Not everything with esoteric overtones has to be baggaged in such a manner that it looks ever more like each other. There are of course similarities that can be discovered between, for example, a card (such as Temperance) and a planet (such as Mercury). These are seen where the essential characteristic of each extands and criss-crosses those of the other.

I would not suggest, on that basis, that Temperance (as having alchemical overtones) 'is' Hermes (Mercury) as work!

Likewise for all other astrological-tarot correlations.

In revising Tarot-Astrological correspondences, to do just that - to view again, to re-view - those suggested and the basis for the suggestion may lead to these being assundered.
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rcb30872  rcb30872 is offline
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Good point jmd

I, for one, have a very comprehensive astrology book, and I have found a lot of similarities what they have said for the sign that a particular tarot card. Mind you, since I have some knowledge of the meanings of certain tarot cards, by reading the astrology book I can quite easily see correlations what is written for the particular zodiac sign that has been suggested for a particular card. For some reason or another, I seem to get a better understanding of the card that way. It is hard to explain, but it helps me, and it might help others.

No one is saying that there has to be a definite and distinct link between a tarot card and a particular zodiac sign. The Celestial deck I have, does just that, they have made definite links with certain zodiac signs, planets, constellations and letters from the hebrew alphabet. And this can easily be seen on the cards. Having said that, not all decks do that, but some do.

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rainwolf's Avatar
rainwolf  rainwolf is offline
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Personally, I'm not sure about the Hierophant and Sagittarius. Is there a reason besides religion that you assigned this? I would think that the Chariot wouldve been a better assignment than Hierophant.
Top   #10


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