‘So requisite is the use of Astrology to the Arts of Divination, as it were the Key that opens the door of all their Mysteries.’
The above quote by Agrippa, serves to illustrate the importance of including astrology in any divinatory method, as without it, we are denying ourselves and those we divine for, a complete presentation of truth.
In Tarot reading, many claim to read intuitively, which is likewise an important component of divination, however, adding knowledge of astrology enables deeper wisdom.
Each planet has an influence, energy and power. So do the sun and moon. These are as follows:
Sun- Identity, life, self.
Moon- Home, emotions, mother.
Mercury- Communication, movement, intellect.
Venus- Art, beauty, relationships.
Mars- Action, desire, conflict.
Jupiter- Luck, abundance, growth.
Saturn- Time, discipline, restriction.
Uranus- Change, rebellion, breakthroughs.
Neptune- Hope, fantasy, dreams.
Pluto- Power, transformation, fears.
North Node (Rahu)- Obsession, gratification, inertia.
South Node (Katu)- Mystery, detachment, healing.
These energetic explanations are brief and general, but on an individual level, will affect us all differently and deeply depending on where they are in our respective houses within our astrological chart. Saturn in one’s 5th house is not the same as Saturn in one’s 8th house (more on houses in a later article).
Now when looking at the Tarot, each card (except court cards) have an attribution of a planetary energy and a constellation/starsign. For example, the much-dreaded Devil card has the rule of Saturn and the sign/constellation of Capricorn. The popular assigned meanings are temptation, vices, excess, sexuality, addictions etc, but with the knowledge of the influence of Saturn we can determine that it is restrictive and disciplinary. The Capricornian influence has a protective, material and knowledgeable elements. It also has a Mars exaltation, which is fiery, and phallic, highlighting it’s sexual nature. It is raw male power. This card has shadow but it is a bringer of light with a call to awaken and a gift of knowing.
Here we see clearly the benefit of having a full picture of this much-maligned card. All traditional 78 cards of the Tarot have the dark and light energies. There are no bad or good cards per se, but rather energies that are more difficult and more than likely carry lessons that are vital for our growth and development.
It is a current Tarot trend to create light style Tarot decks with happy, non-offensive imagery and to remove those more challenging energies. Harsh depictions are discarded and replaced with all things light, positive and joyous. Life is about balance and if one does not seek truth then perhaps the use of Tarot (either by self or a reader) is probably not the tool for you. If you do however, then be prepared to embrace the message contained within fully by embracing the traditional symbolism and the astrological influences.
With the words of Agrippa firmly in our minds, it is imperative that a reader or consultant incorporates astrology into their Tarot readings and ultimately any form of divination.