When a lot of people think about tarot cards, they naturally think of astrology and horoscopes as well. At first glance, this seems like a natural connection – both are ways to gain insight into ourselves by calling upon forces larger than ourselves. You can even find the signs of the zodiac appearing in the cards as you read them, if you know what to look for. When you keep looking, however, you realize that they are not the same thing although there is a connection. Let’s take a look at that connection.
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How are they different?
Astrology is more mathematical, based on the location of planets and your horoscope is based off of your birth – when, precisely, and where were you born? Tarot is more symbolic and less exact.
Horoscopes deal with personality traits and intrinsic characteristics. Your zodiac sign can give your more insight into who you are and why you deal with things the way that you do. Your horoscope will specifically talk about how things might affect you during a specific time of the year.
Tarot deals with situations. Your tarot reading will address a specific issue and advise you on that particular topic. It is more personal than your horoscope because your reading is specifically tailored to you as an individual. I tend to feel that a reading will always be more immediately meaningful because it works with your own responses, rather than the position of the planets.
To be clear: both have great meaning and and aid in understanding yourself.
Can you see the zodiac in the cards?
Yes, you can. We are going to look at what cards often represent which signs. This means that when you see a particular card in your spread, you may be able to get a stronger idea or even confirmation of it referring to a particular person. This also may help you understand why you see some of the same cards in your own readings – some cards are more drawn to particular signs.
The Minor Arcana
Let’s start the minor arcana. Each element will relate to one suite of the minor arcana. Here is a list of the suites as they relate to each element and a few key adjectives to tie them together:
Earth Signs: Pentacles – grounded, strong, sensual
Air Signs: Swords – communication, learning, sharing
Water Sings: Cups – perceptive, emotionally intelligent, intuitive
Fire Signs: Wands – passionate, creative, sexual
Now when you see these cards in your readings or daily card pull, you will have an added insight. I feel this is most useful when you are asking the cards about a particular person or as a way to be more aware as to why you might be responding to a situation in a particular way.
The Major Arcana
Moving on to the major arcana, you will see that each of the zodiac signs has a card that can be associated with it. When you find these cards in your readings, it may indicate someone aligned with that specific sign or someone that has traits associated with that sign. Some people find these associations more helpful with their readings than others, so don’t forget to follow your intuition when it comes to connecting the two. Let’s walk through each of the signs and their tarot counterpart.
Aires – The Emperor. Both are seen as authority figures and leaders, with a loyal streak. The Emperor can point to an interesting relationship with power – perhaps a lack of discipline and focus or even too much self-control.
Taurus – The Hierophant. Responsible and intelligent Taurus connects with the wise and confident Hierophant. What at first might seem like a strange match comes together when you realize the famous stubbornness of Taurus can be mirrored in the strength of the belief the Hierophant often calls upon.
Gemini – The Lovers. These are two symbols that represent the light and dark side of a person or situation, their own personal yins and yangs. Geminis are excellent at communication and The Lovers points to relationships and harmony – something that needs communication if it’s going to work at all.
Cancer – The Chariot. The Chariot points to moving forward and to an inner power and discipline that the intuitive Cancer excels at. Using their own flexibility and determination, Cancers – much like The Chariot – can overcome obstacles that they find in their paths.
Leo – Strength. No stranger to confidence, Leos are a clear match to the Strength card. This card points to persuasive abilities that any attention-loving and popular Leo would be skilled at.
Virgo – The Hermit. The soul-seeking Hermit often points to introspection and maturity, something the loyal and hard-working Virgo is no stranger to. Virgos are observant, which is a perfect match for this card as it symbolizes looking inward and focusing on balance and self.
Libra – Justice. Just as Justice suggests fairness, Libras are naturally drawn to balance and are excellent at negotiating compromises. It’s only fitting that both carry scales to keep things even!
Scorpio – Death. MScorpios are often wildly intuitive and connected to their own psychic abilities. Death represents transformative change and this is really only possible when you trust yourself.
Sagittarius – Temperance. Philosophical Sagittarius and measured Temperance make a natural pairing. This honest sign finds a strong match in this calm card as both represent a level-headed awareness of the things going on around them.
Capricorn – The Devil. The Devil explores the darkness that all of us have within us and asks us to face our fears and Capricorns are an ambitious and realistic sign. They understand that the only way to really succeed in life is to take risks and know exactly who you are as a person.
Aquarius – The Star. The Star is a symbol of hope and renewal, blending nicely with the eccentric and independent nature of an Aquarius. Both point to being a true original and shining bright.
Pisces – The Moon. Both symbolize imagination and just as The Moon encourages letting nature take it’s course and trusting the instincts within you, a Pisces will often leap before they have fully looked.
This guide will help you connect your horoscope to the tarot as a way to deepen your readings. As always, remember to trust yourself and your own intuition.
I keep my heart and mind open to the energies that surround us. I guide people with honesty and patience, telling them what they truly need to hear.