Don't try to mix Astrology into the Tarot (916 words)


A lot of readers will make use of astrology, or numbers, or kaballistic correlations to interpret cards, but we ought not to need these other systems.

The Tarot is complete and self-contained and does not have to be translated into another, specialized system of understanding. If you're reading Shakespeare, why not try to understand the original, instead of translating it into German or French or some other language that you may not know that well in any case. Apples and oranges are both fruit, but you wouldn't try to describe the taste of an apple by referring to an orange. The Tarot is self-contained.

Astrology is not as easy as it looks
Astrology is extra-terrestrial knowledge. It's planets and the zodiac and stars and constellations and 25,000 year cycles. It's intensely complex, in part because every second that passes is different from the one that went before, and never repeats. The Tarot isn't like this. It was developed by mankind for mankind; it belongs to us. The Tarot is ours and so humans all relate to it; there is not the same effort involved in becoming comfortable with its meaning.

Astrology is not as easy as it seems; and you can do a lot of damage with it, by giving false - or incomplete - information. You might want to translate the King of Batons into Aries, but how much do you really know about the nature of Aries? Do you understand how this or any sign will act or react in a particular situation? Do you know its particular life-lessons, or its nature, or its motivation? If someone is going to become involved with an Aries person, can you warn them about the sign's strengths and weaknesses, or point out what to expect and what not to expect in the relationship. If you can't do a thorough job, should you not leave it alone?

You might interpret the King of Batons as an Aries or a strong Aries influence in someone's future, but it could be a Piscean or a Taurean with a number of planets in Aries; or it could be a person with an Aries Moon. So your questioner meets someone around the appointed time, but discovers that he or she is a Taurean, and so they think to themselves: This can't be the person that I was told about - even though it is.

Look at the picture on the card
Or you could forget Astrology and can stick with the picture on the card. You already know how to talk about Kings and what they are like, as opposed to how they used to be in times gone by.

It's not easy being a King these days. People don't respect royal families the way they used to, so royals have to work hard or harder, and be more aware of their place in society, whereas in the past they ruled.

Batons are shown as living wood, so this King wants to grow himself and others, to expand to reach his fullest potential; he is exciting to be around; he is someone to connect yourself with if you want to go places and do things. He is like spring-time all year round.

The same goes for the Kaballah and its symbolism. Yes there are 22 Paths on the Tree of Life and 22 major trumps, but they don't have to correspond. The Tarot can stand alone; it doesn't need other systems of divination to give correct answers.

I am assuming that most people who ask for a reading expect the reader to know more than they do about cards and what they can do - especially if they are paying for the privilege. I can see the point of the reader asking me questions about my concerns in order to get to a proper starting point. There is only so much energy available at the time of the reading, and it should be used well. It is also important that I ask questions that can actually be answered, and that are not double-sided or vague. I might want to know if I should do A or B, but it might be better to ask two questions - one for what is involved with A, and a second that covers the same ground for B. Then I can make a more informed decision.

Giving answers
However, I also think readers should give straight answers to straight questions. If you are the reader and you turn over the Chariot or a card I have never seen before, I think the onus is on you to tell me what it may mean or indicate. Asking me what it means to me is all very well, but don't people asking questions deserve answers?

Some readers, before choosing cards, quiz the questioner to get to the "real" reason they are asking their question. They use a questioner-centred reading, getting the questioner to answer his or her own question by drawing it out of them. This might suit some people. You know I'm going to say it doesn't suit me.

However, if I want to know if I will make a lot of money, can't I just be told yes or no, and when, and given information about how that might be done and what I can do to help the process along? Or if the answer is No, then can't I be told why it won't come about and what I might usefully do instead? Does the reader have to know why I want a lot of cash? Is it any of his or her business in any case?