Saturday, 9 December 2017

Sagittarius in the Minor Arcana: The Nine of Wands

Today we move on to the Nine of Wands which, in the system I follow, corresponds to the first ten days of Sagittarius (this year, 2nd-11th December), and is linked to the Sun in Sagittarius.

Just to recap: Sagittarius is the mutable Fire sign, so we’re looking at transforming what’s been established into something else.  It combines a fiery passion and creativity with the expansiveness and benevolence of Jupiter, the ruler of Sagittarius, to give us the visionary, the explorer, the philosopher.  

Nine of Wands (trimmed):
© Druid Craft Tarot
Here we have Sun in Sagittarius - Fire and Fire! Loads of creative energy at work – or should that be play?  That creativity is directed, through Sagittarius’ arrows, at things dreamed of and aspired to.  With the Sun involved, there’s also a sense of the individual; here, the focus is on beliefs and an optimistic philosophical view of the world(s).  Freedom is valued, as is honesty.  Fire and Fire combined with the mutable energy of Sagittarius suggests a warm and friendly, out-going, open spirit who loves to explore the far horizons!

How is the Sun in Sagittarius reflected in the Nine of Wands?  This card is usually associated with the idea of strength, in particular inner strength. We can see this through the involvement of the Sun, which rules Leo...the lion, often featured in the Strength card. In many Waite-Smith-based decks, we see a figure fighting an unseen foe. He appears to be defending his territory, drawing on the resources he has at hand – a wand, representing his inner courage and integrity.  Those Sagittarian dreams, visions, aspirations – whatever they might be – have been attacked but the figure, drawing on the strength of the Sun, refuses to let go or give in.

Nine of Wands (trimmed):
© Thoth Tarot
The Thoth, as usual, shows this differently but the message is the same.  The symbolism in the card, with the Sun and Moon at either end of the large wand, represents the strength that comes from the joining of the conscious (Sun) and the unconscious (Moon) – another link back to Temperance and the idea of blending or combining energies.  When we see the Moon in the sky, it’s only because it’s reflecting the light of the Sun. Similarly here, what lies in our unconscious is brought into ‘the light of day’ by what’s in our conscious mind – once we see that unused potential, more of that fiery, creative Wands (and Sun) energy can be released, and whatever it is that’s ‘attacking’ our position can be overcome.  The strength required to recognise and then use that potential comes from within.

Nine of Wands (trimmed):
© Shadowscapes Tarot
The Shadowscapes’ Nine of Wands seems to echo this idea.  We see nine sentinels, guarding against the unknown – whatever’s lurking in the abyss below (the unconscious).  The creators of the deck talk of ‘vigilance’ – keeping watch, defending our dreams and aspirations through our inner strength (and perhaps our outer strength too) against whatever might challenge us.





If you’ve enjoyed this post, you might be interested in my e-book, Astrology in Tarot, now available from Amazon.




Druid Craft Tarot created by Philip Carr-Gomm and Stephanie Carr-Gomm, illustrated by Will Worthington, published by Connections
Shadowscapes Tarot created by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law and Barbara Moore, published by Llewellyn
Thoth Tarot created by Aleister Crowley, illustrated by Lady Frieda Harris, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.


Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Sagittarius in the Major Arcana (part 2)

There’s another card from the Major Arcana to look at while we’re in Sagittarius, and that’s the card that’s associated with the ruler of this sign. Jupiter rules Sagittarius; in the system of correspondences that I use, Jupiter is linked to the Wheel of Fortune.

Remember that Jupiter, the largest of the planets in our solar system, is composed almost entirely of gas.  When gas is heated, it expands – so Jupiter has come to represent growth and expansion, and from there, with generosity and benevolence (in astrology, the planet is referred to as the 'greater benefic'). There’s the link to the Wheel - changing fortunes.  Circumstances change; the wheel is constantly turning – things expand and contract, our fortunes rise and fall.

Wheel of Fortune (trimmed):
© Sharman-Burke/Caselli Tarot
Jupiter was also known as Jove, giving rise to our word 'jovial'.  Jupiter has also come to be associated with good humour, despite also being the god of thunder!  All this good-hearted benevolence has become almost synonymous with Jupiter being linked to good fortune. This is accompanied by a sense of optimism, and faith in something ‘greater’.

Of course, when heat is removed from a gas, it contracts – Jupiter the planet can’t expand indefinitely or it would burst! This cycle of expansion and contraction of Jupiter is reflected in The Wheel.   Circumstances change; the wheel is constantly turning – things expand and contract, our fortunes rise and fall.

We often see Fortuna, the goddess of chance, in this card. Blindfolded, she turns the wheel of life, unable to see the consequences of each turn. Life is unpredictable, and it often seems we have no control over what fortune awaits us.  We can choose what action to take as we’re confronted with new situations, though, so it may not be completely out of our hands.  Events may appear to be random – but are they? And can we recognize the silver lining, the blessings in disguise – benefic Jupiter at work – when they do happen?

The Wheel  (trimmed):
© Wildwood Tarot
In the Wildwood, we see the three herons representing the Three Fates, waiting for the robe to be completed – but we can affect what’s being woven into the fabric of life.  The robe carries symbols of life and death – the cycle of life that keeps on going, reminding us that nothing stands still – or if it does, it stagnates.  The warp of potential, the weft of possibility – that’s what we see in that unfinished garment.

Wheel of Life (trimmed):
© Margarete Petersen Tarot
Margarete Petersen’s Wheel of Life is a whirl of colour, spinning so quickly it’s hard to make out what might be caught up in it. A face appears to be behind it, at the top – it’s the only thing that doesn’t seem to be moving. A smaller circle of yellow-gold light sits in the centre; the source of the larger wheel, perhaps? The Sun? The larger circle spirals outwards, expanding – not unlike Jupiter’s expansion. In the accompanying book to the deck, Margarete Peterson’s words reflect the “these things shall pass” quality of other versions of the card. Having faith and trusting in the process, gaining wisdom (all linked to Jupiter, astrologically) as we do. 

Fortune (trimmed):© Thoth Tarot

And then there’s the Thoth. All that purple shrieks ‘Jupiter’ at me, purple being associated with royalty, among other things! The wheel has ten spokes, reflecting the number of the card in the Arcana. Three creatures are placed around the edge of the wheel. Sphinx, ape, and crocodile represent three Egyptian gods, and through them wisdom (Jupiter), ability to think clearly, flexibility, creativity – mutable qualities all linked to Sagittarius. All around are whirlwinds and lightning bolts (Jupiter being the traditional god of thunder and lightning, although Uranus took over rulership of lightning: electrical storms) – sudden, unexpected changes in fortune. (Although not astrological, the Hebrew letter Kaph, “palm”, also symbolizes the need to let the wheel turn freely, not being in control over what happens.)

The Wheel  (trimmed):
©  Druid Craft Tarot

In the Druid Craft we see a woman drawing a circle in the sand on a beach at the entrance to a cave, the sea in the background. Different image, but the same message - the circle represents the never-ending cycles of life and death, birth and re-birth, while the sea, with its natural ebb and flow represents the turning of the wheel in respect to our fortunes. The tide will come in and wash away the circle in the sand but it can be redrawn on the tide’s ebb. Trusting in the process, gaining wisdom throughout.

Wheel of  Fortune (trimmed):
© Shadowscapes Tarot

The Shadowscapes' Wheel of Fortune depicts a sort of Celtic-knot pattern - something with no discernible beginning or end.  Again, it's about standing back and seeing the bigger picture - about not putting boundaries on everything but allowing things to expand and develop at their own pace. Let the wheel keep turning.

Of course, what comes up must go down – but the Wheel doesn’t indicate which way it’s turning; we rely on other cards in a reading to determine that.  When heat is removed from a gas, it contracts – Jupiter the planet can’t expand indefinitely!  Fortunes change.

Whatever the imagery in the card in front of us, we see a circle, a representation of the never-ending cycles of life and death, death and re-birth – and of our fortunes.  There’s no discernible beginning or end.  We have to stand back and see the bigger picture, taking the Jupiterian view.  We know that what goes up must come down – it’s all part of the cycle – but we have faith that the Wheel doesn’t stop there, but keeps on turning.

Wheel always turning
Happiness, sorrow, life, death
Trust in the process.


If you’ve enjoyed this post, you might be interested in my e-book, Astrology in Tarot, now available from Amazon.


Beginner’s Guide to the Tarot created by Juliet Sharman-Burke, illustrated by Giovanni Caselli, published by Connections
DruidCraft Tarot created by Philip Carr-Gomm and Stephanie Carr-Gomm, illustrated by Will Worthington, published by Connections
Margarete Petersen Tarot, AGM-URANIA/Deep Books, 2004.
Shadowscapes Tarot created by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law and Barbara Moore, published by Llewellyn
Thoth Tarot created by Aleister Crowley, illustrated by Lady Frieda Harris, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
Wildwood Tarot created by Mark Ryan and John Matthews, illustrated by Will Worthington, published by Connections


Friday, 1 December 2017

Sagittarius in the Minor Arcana: The Eight of Wands

Moving on now to the Minor Arcana, in the astrological correspondence system that I follow, Sagittarius is linked to the Eight, Nine and Ten of Wands. Today I’m going to look at the Eight of Wands, which is linked to Mercury in Sagittarius, and corresponds to the first ten days of Sagittarius (this year, 22nd November to 1st December).

Sagittarius is the mutable Fire sign, so we’re looking at transforming what’s been established into something else.  It combines a fiery passion and creativity with the expansiveness and benevolence of Jupiter, the ruler of Sagittarius, to give us the visionary, the explorer, the philosopher.   

Eight of Wands (trimmed):
© Druid Craft Tarot
Mercury is associated with communication, so when linked with Sagittarius could indicate fast thinking, perhaps, or open and optimistic communication.  Ideas are probably more to do with long-term goals or aspirations towards an ideal. Getting bogged down by details seems unlikely, and there could be a sense of restlessness involved.  There might also be an interest in teaching others about what we’ve learned in our own journey. Tolerance and broad-mindedness are also qualities of this combination of planet and sign.

Mercury rules Gemini, the sign that sits opposite Sagittarius in the zodiac.  Opposing forces at work here, you might think.  Rather than buzz about pollinating local networks, Mercury is being challenged here to work on a much larger scale. Global rather than local. 

Eight of Wands (trimmed):
© Sharman-Burke/Caselli Tarot
So how might this play out in the Eight of Wands?  Let start with a relatively ‘traditional’ depiction of the Eight of Wands – as illustrated by the Sharman-Burke/Caselli (Beginners Guide to the Tarot) and Druid Craft decks. Here we see wands flying through the air, representing new directions and many opportunities or possibilities.  There’s plenty of space for ideas – represented by flames on the wands - to expand and grow.  The wands are in their element, literally, in Sagittarius.  Juliet Sharman-Burke uses the phrase ‘full steam ahead’ to describe this card; steam is a product of fire and water, taking me back to the idea of Temperance and alchemy! There’s a goal – maybe more than one – to aim for (the castle in the background representing hopes and wishes). The thing to be wary of here is that if the activity is so widespread, it’s possible that nothing will ever be completed! Focus that creative fire into fewer things.

Eight of Wands (trimmed):
© Shadowscapes Tarot
The Shadowscapes version of this card shows the seeds of ideas being carried away on the wind – being communicated and transported in a Mercurial fashion. In the accompanying book, the deck’s creators write “the seeds spin away on the wild winds – at the mercy of entropy but sailing with the purpose nature bestowed on them... and then set down to ...become a mighty tree”.   For me, that sense of being taken wherever nature carries them reflects the Sagittarian expansion by Mercurial means!

Eight of Bows (trimmed):
© Wildwood Tarot
In the Wildwood we have the Eight of Bows.  We see people gathered around a fire, celebrating, perhaps.  Here’s Mercury – gathering, communicating, and sharing with friends and neighbours.  This, to me, seems more about the aftermath of going out and achieving the Sagittarian quest, whatever it might be, rather than the wands being sent out through the air - although you could argue that there's plenty of "spreading the word" going on around the fire!

Eight of  Flames (trimmed):
© Margarete Petersen Tarot

Margarete Petersen’s Eight of Flames gives us a big cat – a cheetah perhaps, as it’s the fastest of all the felines – above and to the left of a figure with a bow and arrow. The bow reminds me of the Wildwood’s use of Bows in place of Wands…  The arrow hasn’t been released yet, so this might not be so much the end of the action, as in Waite-Smith-based images.  It could signify the sending of news, or maybe even reflecting on what releasing the arrow might manifest.

Eight of Wands (trimmed):
© Thoth Tarot

In the Thoth deck, the image is very different – yet the meaning is similar. The card carries the word ‘swiftness’, which we see in the images on the other cards; there’s a sense of those arrows flying at speed through the air.  Here the arrows are red (fire), shooting off in all directions. Communication is clear (the crystal), direct and honest, so that misunderstandings can be avoided or overcome.   Make sure you know where you stand, and that it’s clear to the world!


If you’ve enjoyed this post, you might be interested in my e-book, Astrology in Tarot, now available from Amazon.


Beginner’s Guide to the Tarot created by Juliet Sharman-Burke, illustrated by Giovanni Caselli, published by Connections
DruidCraft Tarot created by Philip Carr-Gomm and Stephanie Carr-Gomm, illustrated by Will Worthington, published by Connections
Margarete Petersen Tarot, AGM-URANIA/Deep Books, 2004.
Shadowscapes Tarot created by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law and Barbara Moore, published by Llewellyn
Thoth Tarot created by Aleister Crowley, illustrated by Lady Frieda Harris, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
Wildwood Tarot created by Mark Ryan and John Matthews, illustrated by Will Worthington, published by Connections


Sunday, 26 November 2017

Sagittarius in the Major Arcana (part 1): Temperance

Let’s start our exploration of Sagittarius in the tarot with the Major Arcana.  In astrology, Sagittarius is the last of the three Fire signs that we encounter as we go around the zodiac – the first being Aries, the second Leo.   It’s the mutable one – taking what’s been established in Scorpio and transforming it into something else.  It combines fiery passion and creativity with the expansiveness and benevolence of Jupiter, its ruler, to give us the visionary, the explorer, the philosopher. 

Temperance (trimmed):
© Sharman-Burke Caselli Tarot
The key word for me here is ‘transforming’ – that ability to take what we have and change it, to temper it... ah, you’ll see where I’m going with this now!  In the astrological correspondence system for the tarot that I follow, the Major Arcana card associated with Sagittarius is Temperance.  It’s THE alchemical card, for me – all those symbols of alchemy present in most depictions of the card. In the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot we see an angel pouring liquid from one cup to the other.  An angel also appears in the Sharman-Burke/Caselli version (Beginners Guide to Tarot); here the alchemy is emphasized by the colours of the cups – gold and silver.  There’s a need for flow between the conscious and unconscious, indicated by the flow between left and right hands, as well as one foot being on land and one in water. The rainbow symbolizes promise, as does the sun.  So, transformation gives us the link to the mutable nature of Sagittarius, but what about the Fire?

XIV Art(trimmed):
© Thoth Tarot
Well, fire plays an essential part in alchemy – some of the main alchemical processes take place in a furnace.  The Crowley Thoth tarot’s version of Temperance, entitled ‘Art’, depicts the alchemical union of fire and water.  We see here the lion and eagle, representing the Fixed signs of Leo (Fire) and Scorpio (Water), on either side of the cauldron, balancing each other.  While water can extinguish fire, it can also join together with fire to form steam – which we see rising through the centre of the card, forming two rainbows enveloping the woman’s shoulders. Again, that symbol of hope and promise – which is part of the Sagittarian’s vision. 

This symbolism also appears in the Druid Craft Tarot’s Fferyllt, the Druid alchemist.

XIV The Fferyllt (trimmed):
© Druid Craft Tarot
(The actual alchemical process associated with Sagittarius is that of ceration – the softening of hard material, achieved by continuously adding a liquid to a hard, dry substance while it’s being heated, ending up with something the consistency of molten wax.  That’s a simplification, of course... and there are a number of different definitions.)

Margarete Petersen calls this card 'Mediatrix' in her deck, reflecting the idea of moderating but in more of a mediating way. Mediation is a form of tempering, bringing together opposing sides and trying to find a more 'tempered' solution. In the image both light and dark are represented - the light and warmth of the sun, the cold and dark of the unknown/universe, separated by Iris' rainbow.

Mediatrix (trimmed):
© Margarete Petersen Tarot



Alchemist angel
Carefully measures, tempers,
From lead produce gold.



So then, Temperance – or Art, if you will – is about uniting, integrating, blending, bringing things into balance and harmony, drawing on Sagittarius’ mutability and, if you think of this as an alchemical process, on fieriness! 

If you’ve enjoyed this post, you might be interested in my e-book, Astrology in Tarot, now available from Amazon.



Beginner’s Guide to the Tarot created by Juliet Sharman-Burke, illustrated by Giovanni Caselli, published by Connections
DruidCraft Tarot created by Philip Carr-Gomm and Stephanie Carr-Gomm, illustrated by Will Worthington, published by Connections
Margarete Petersen Tarot, AGM-URANIA/Deep Books, 2004.
Thoth Tarot created by Aleister Crowley, illustrated by Lady Frieda Harris, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.



Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Sagittarius – Last of the Red Hot Fire Signs!

At 03.04 UTC/GMT today, the 22nd of November, the Sun moved (astrologically) into the zodiac sign of Sagittarius.  Here in the northern hemisphere, the days are getting shorter and the path of the sun – when we see it at all! – is low in the southern sky.  The time of solstice, when the sun will appear to be at a standstill, is approaching – but for now, we’re in the Fire sign of Sagittarius.

The constellation of Sagittarius represents a centaur - the half-archer, half-horse figure who, in Greek mythology, was a disruptive creature, a lover of riot. The most famous story of the centaurs has them causing havoc at the wedding of Hippodamia and Pirithous, where they attempted to carry of Hippodamia and some of her women - the aim being to free the spirit of the women! 

Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter, the largest of the planets in our solar system, and one that’s composed almost entirely of gas.  Not difficult to see how Sagittarius has come by its reputation for being larger than life, full of hot air, and a tendency to overdo things!  Jupiter is the Roman counterpart to Zeus in the Greek pantheon - the ruler of the gods, as well as being the god of thunder.  Often shown with a lightning bolt as his symbol, Jupiter came to represent growth, expansion, and benevolence (in astrology, the planet is referred to as the 'greater benefic') - as well as good humour.  Jupiter was also known as Jove, giving rise to our word 'jovial'.  Sagittarius, as well as being a Fire sign, is also classed as a mutable sign – being able to change and adapt, and to disseminate or spread. We can see this in the growth and expansion associated with Jupiter.

‘Sagittarius’ ©Alison Coals 
The sign of Sagittarius sits at the other end of the axis of information on the zodiac, opposite Gemini. Both signs carry the quality of wanting to know what’s going on but Sagittarius takes this quest for knowledge out into the wider world and beyond into the universe.  It takes Gemini’s information and data on its quest, searching for ways to turn that into wisdom.  Like the other Fire signs, Sagittarius is fun-loving, cheerful, and full of energy - but that mutable energy means it can be restless and always on the move.  In cardinal Aries, we have ignition; in fixed Leo, the fire is maintained; in mutable Sagittarius, the fire is carried out into the world. That’s part of being on its quest for knowledge, of course – but that doesn’t stop Sagittarius from enjoying the journey and having adventures; just think of the Knights on their quest for the Holy Grail!

Adventure and challenge, wide open spaces, the freedom to roam – that’s what Sagittarius loves.  It’s not just physical exploration though – it’s also the need to expand consciousness, acquiring wisdom as well as experience.  Philosophy, religion, law – anything that involves expansion of the mind will appeal to Sagittarius. There are shamanic associations to this sign too – the vision quest or shamanic journey could be seen as very Sagittarian.

What happens when you overfill a balloon with hot air? It’s likely to burst. Well, this happens here too – Sagittarius is optimistic to the point of being unrealistic, promising to do more than is humanly possible and not being able to deliver.  There’s a tendency to live in the future, imagining the endless possibilities, but not noticing what’s going on in front of them, on the ground.  But that optimism also leads to a belief in luck and good fortune – more Jupiterian qualities!


‘Sagittarius’, a collage, using watercolour on paper and origami paper, comes from my AstroArt series, inspired by walking the Glastonbury Landscape Zodiac).  



Saturday, 18 November 2017

Scorpio in the Court Cards

Last in our exploration of Scorpio on the tarot - but not least - Scorpio in the court cards. But which one – or ones?  Different traditions have different astrological correspondences when it comes to the Court Cards.  For instance, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn chose to assign cardinal attributes (initiating things) to the Queens, fixed (maintaining order) to the Kings, and mutable (being able to adapt and transform) to the Knights.  Each court card is also linked to the elements, with Pages with Earth, Knights being associated with Fire, Queens with Water, and Kings with Air. 

Prince of Cups (trimmed):
© Thoth Tarot
Following this system, we end up with Fixed Water sign Scorpio being associated with the King of Cups (Air of Water).  The Thoth deck follows this convention, of course, being rooted in the Golden Dawn tradition - although Crowley chose to use Princes rather than Kings, just to add to the confusion! Scorpio – fixed Water: we’re talking about the mastery of emotions and strong passions.
  
I love this image because it really illustrates the idea of Scorpio having to plunge into the depths of the emotional realm in order to get to the bottom of things.  The eagle, another incarnation of Scorpio, pulls the seashell chariot, its wheels bearing the image of a scorpion. It carries the Prince over the surface of the water, ready to dive – but notice it hasn’t yet broken through that barrier, although the serpent (another Scorpio creature) emerging from the cup is looking down towards the water.  This reminds us that we need to recognize our desires, our fears, our cravings – whatever it is that’s driving us; only when we’re truly aware of them should we attempt to master them, otherwise we run the risk of drowning.  The waters appear tranquil, even stagnant perhaps - not yet disturbed by the powerful Prince on his chariot. Calm on the outside, yet powerful within.

Queen of Cups (trimmed):
© Druid Craft Tarot
If you work with a system that assigns Fixed-ness to the Queens, you’re looking at the Queen of Cups.  In the image from the Druid Craft Tarot, we see the Queen with one foot in the water, her throne behind her, a distance away. A serpent, symbol of transformation (and Scorpio) crawls out from behind it.  As the carrier of Scorpio's Fixed Water qualities, the Queen of Cups can be seen as being in control over her emotions and very self-contained – strong Scorpio qualities! She also trusts her instincts and is very intuitive and in touch with the watery world of emotions. Feelings cannot be ignored – or only at your peril.  Other Scorpio traits which could be seen in the Queen are seductiveness and mysteriousness! 



If you’ve enjoyed this post, you might be interested in my e-book, Astrology in Tarot, now available from Amazon.

DruidCraft Tarot created by Philip Carr-Gomm and Stephanie Carr-Gomm, illustrated by Will Worthington, published by Connections
Thoth Tarot created by Aleister Crowley, illustrated by Lady Frieda Harris, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.


Monday, 13 November 2017

Scorpio in the Minor Arcana: The Seven of Cups

The Seven of Cups, in the astrological correspondence system I follow, is linked to the last decan (12th-21st November), as well as Venus in Scorpio.   

So, what qualities does Venus bring to Scorpio? Venus has been called ‘the principle of attraction’. It describes our appreciation for beauty (a very subjective area!) and reflects our taste in all sorts of things (dress, art, music, etc) as well as giving us clues about the relationships we’re drawn to.  So, if we combine this with what we know about Scorpio – the Fixed Water sign – what do we find? A deep, emotional attraction – intense, compulsive, obsessive even! There could be a need to ‘dive into the depths’ of relationship in order to feel close to the other.

Seven of Cups (trimmed):
© Shadowscapes Tarot
But there’s also a balance between giving and receiving (remember that Venus also rules airy Libra, which has an affinity to the 7th house of partnership), so Venus in Scorpio can be very healing through transformation in the area of shared resources.

Bu how does this fit with the Seven of Cups? This card is often linked to daydreams and fantasies, and having to make choices from a number of options in order to turn dreams into reality.  In the Shadowscapes Tarot, the image conjures up the phrase ‘castles in the air’. One figure looks up, seeing only dreams and fantasies. The other figure is more grounded, looking at a specific plan.  There are unlimited possibilities, but we need to find a Venusian balance in order to make the changes required.

Seven of Cups (trimmed):
© Sharman-Burke/Caselli Tarot
We see this too in the Sharman-Burke/Caselli image, the cups contains symbols of things that we might long for – the dragon representing strength, the dove - spirit, jewels - wealth (both emotional and material), the laurel - success, the serpent - sexuality, the castle - security, and the draped figure representing our true self.  All things that we might be attracted to – the power of Venus at work! And it may be that we are unwilling to recognize or admit to having all these desires, especially if we feel that we ‘shouldn’t’ have them – that they are ‘taboo’ in some way.

Seven of Cups (trimmed):
© Druid Craft Tarot
The Druid Craft's version evokes that sense of longing too, but there's a sadness in this image, I feel, leading to an emotional imbalance.  But is he so lost in the choices in the pool that he's unaware of what's going on elsewhere? A bit like the two figures in the Shadowscapes image, perhaps, needing to make a change, a choice, to regain emotional harmony.

Seven of Vessels (trimmed):
© Wildwood Tarot
The Wildwood echoes that sense of sadness - the creators of the deck chose 'mourning' as the keyword for the card. The Scorpio theme comes through here loud and strong, as they write in the accompanying book "a time to honour what is dead and mourn for what is gone. ..offering thanks for cherished memories and being at peace with the past".  Although this is not a deck rooted in astrology, I can see the idea of being at peace with what's gone before, and cherishing memories being quite Venusian and Scorpionic.  We need to let emotions go through their natural cycle (Scorpio associated with cycles of death and rebirth) in order to achieve that peace (Venus being the ruler of Libra, the sign of peace, balance and harmony).

Seven of Cups (trimmed):
© Thoth Tarot
In the Thoth Tarot, the word that Crowley chose for the card is ‘debauchery’.  As with many of the cards in this deck, I feel it’s coming from the other direction – but yet still brings us to the same point.  The daydreams or fantasies may have led to overindulgence, satiation, succumbing to our compulsions – particularly things which we feel are ‘taboo’ or not allowed – ending up with us feeling emotionally out of balance. Venus is no longer in her beloved Libra, but is now in deep, dark intense Scorpio!  But the message is the same – it’s time to open our eyes and see the reality, not the dreams – otherwise we can’t move forward; we will stagnate.   We may still choose one of those dreams, but it’s time to turn it into reality.



If you’ve enjoyed this post, you might be interested in my e-book, Astrology in Tarot, now available from Amazon.

Beginner’s Guide to the Tarot created by Juliet Sharman-Burke, illustrated by Giovanni Caselli, published by Connections
Druid Craft Tarot created by Philip Carr-Gomm and Stephanie Carr-Gomm, illustrated by Will Worthington, published by Connections
Shadowscapes Tarot created by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law and Barbara Moore, published by Llewellyn
Thoth Tarot created by Aleister Crowley, illustrated by Lady Frieda Harris, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
Wildwood Tarot created by Mark Ryan and John Matthews, illustrated by Will Worthington, published by Connections