Friday, May 13, 2016

Trump Cards and the Zodiac

There is a ton of overlap with astrology in tarot, and many practitioners incorporate its principles when reading the cards. I'll confess: I get really overwhelmed by astrology!  I have friends who are really interested in it, and I love hearing them talk about it, but for some reason it all feels like too much to keep track of.  It's funny, because I'm sure it's not any more complex than the infinite combinations of tarot cards.  I guess we are all drawn to different systems.

But you know what I'm going to say: Down Home Tarot is about keeping it simple, and only adding complexity if it's easy and fun for you.  Today, I'm sharing the area of astrology that I incorporate sometimes.

Each (western) Zodiac sign correlates to a card in the Major Arcana, so if you know you're birthday, you can find an associated trump card that is your Zodiac card.  What does this mean?  Well, it means if it shows up in readings, it could signify you in that position.  Or it could mean that the characteristics of that card can give you insight into how you approach life's challenges.  Or, you know, it could just be one more card that you remember a little easier!  Despite my surface-level understanding of the Zodiac, I really like my sign, so I like seeing my card pop up in readings.  It doesn't necessarily reveal some huge amazing insight, but it's one more tiny connection that creates a richer experience for me.

I've included what I know about each sign's association with its trump card (which is, admittedly, not much.)  This is intended to help you see if you are interested in this system, not necessarily give you detailed information. Without further ado, I present to you the Tarot Zodiac!


Aries (March 21-April 19)— The Emperor

Your card, the first in the Zodiac, is about leadership and power.  Note that the Emperor's throne is adorned with rams, signifying the connection to Aries.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)— The Hierophant

The Hierophant is often associated with institutions and mentorship.  

Gemini (May 2-June 20)— The Lovers

There are other cards in the tarot deck that more literally represent love; this card, fittingly, is about our dual nature, and making important decisions.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)— The Chariot

The Chariot often symbolizes mastery over opposing forces, and sometimes travel. Check out his star-spangled canopy, and the Hermetic Zodiac-like symbols on his skirt!

Leo (July 23-August 22)— Strength

The lion on the card makes it the obvious correlate to Leo.  This isn't my sign, but it's one of my special cards!

Virgo (August 23-September 22)— The Hermit

The Hermit calls on us to look inward for strength and guidance.  I know very little about its association with Virgo.

Libra (September 23-October 22)— Justice

The only inanimate Zodiac sign, Libra's scales match up nicely with the scales of Justice.  This is my sign, so I note this card carefully when it comes up in a personal reading.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21)— Death

I was supposed to be a Scorpio!  This date range includes Halloween, Samhain, and el Dia de los Meurtos.  Like the card, these holidays address not only Death, but the cycle of renewal.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)— Temperance

Temperance is a comforting card to me.  She signifies balance, moderation, and cooperation.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)— The Devil

Capricorn includes the prefix capri-, referring to goats (what does capricious mean if not playfully goat-like?).  You see how the Devil has been conflated with the horned Pan, a satyr who represents mirth and indulgence.

Aquarius (January 20-February 18)— The Star

The Star is a card of optimism and clarity.  Notice how water dominates the imagery, with the woman pouring water from jugs in both hands, making it a fitting card for Aquarius. 

Pisces (February 19-March 20)— The Moon

The moon is a mysterious card! I associate it with hidden knowledge, and the intuition that arises from our limbic brain.  Note the blue lobster up front (representing that limbic brain), giving us a reference to Pisces' fish.


Are you particularly tied to your Zodiac sign?  What do you think of its associated card?  Do you see yourself incorporating astrology in your practice, or will it be more of an incidental interest?  Share your thoughts!


  1. Virgo is traditionally linked to organization, order, counting -- the concept of "a place for everything and everything in it's place." I don't know much about The Hermit (besides it's appearance in the album art for Led Zeppelin IV), but the link to "guidance" seems appropriate. The opposite sign -- Pisces -- is all about breaking boundaries, liquidity, subconscious, etc.

    Essentially -- Pisces says that things are more than the sum of their parts, Virgo says that they are exactly the sum of their parts, and both are correct in their own way.

    1. Thanks for filling in some of these gaps! I may be asking you to do a guest post at some point in the future...

  2. I didn't know that Death was linked to Scorpio, but it makes sense. Death is my favorite card (people who don't know Tarot always freak out when I say that, because they don't get it), so it's fitting for me. ;)

    1. Oh, I love the Death card! It's so striking in a reading, and there's so much depth of meaning. And even though I'm a Libra, I have a soft spot for Scorpio. I was supposed to be born on Halloween (which would have been awesome), and I was born on the very last day of Libra before Scorpio, so I feel like Scorpio is like my other sun sign. (:

    2. I'm October 29th, and my oldest brother and mom are both Libras (earlier in October). The three of us are all similar in personality (which made for some epic fights growing up), so I have a pretty strong affinity for Libra too.