Why I Can’t Fully Buy The Golden Dawn’s Astrology-Into-Tarot Mapping

These cards are part of this cool Astrology-themed Oracle deck I have called the Oracle of the Radiant Sun. Each card captures a single Planetary placement using the seven visible or “classical” Planets and the 12 Zodiac Signs. Since 12 x 7 = 84, the deck has a total of 84 cards, all chock-full of this great, old-time-y artwork.

The deck also perfectly illustrates one of the main and hugest reasons why I have serious issues with the way that the brilliant British mystical society known as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn tried to map astrological symbols onto Tarot. I do firmly believe that the Golden Dawn members did genius-level work overall, and also that this kind of mapping might not even be truly workable – not if, like me, you want the results of any such efforts to exhibit perfect symmetry and efficiency and whatnot.

But just so you get my beef, take a look at how the GD tried to work in the same kinds of Planet-in-Sign placements that this Oracle deck portrays. The GD correspondences for these placements occur only in cards 2-10 of each of the four Suits in the Minor Arcana. Like, for instance, Venus-in-Scorpio is the 7 of Cups, Jupiter-in-Leo is the 6 of Wands, that kind of thing. But check the math: using 9 cards in each of the four Suits yields a total of only 36 placements being covered. In other words, only 36 of the possible 84 Planet-in-Sign placements make it into the GD’s assignments. The other 48 are left lying on the cutting room floor, which…what the hell?! Where do we look if we want a Tarot equivalent for, say, Moon-in-Aries? What about Mars-in-Virgo? If you swallow the GD attributions whole without really applying any critical thought to them, then you’re sort of agreeing to this built-in assumption that, for example, Jupiter-in-Pisces is a placement worthy of notice and discussion, but Saturn-in-Aries is not.

The GD also didn’t take any of the Outer Planets into account, which I won’t even start in on for the moment. But so yeah, as much as I hold the GD in sky-high esteem, I can’t get on board fully with their astrological Tarot correspondences, even as I still sometimes use them anyway…

Hey, you: why not study Astrology or Tarot with me in PRIVATE LESSONS?! Or you can also purchase the TAROT TOOLKIT ONLINE COURSE, a 10-session undertaking with an accompanying 120-page PDF Workbook:


5 thoughts on “Why I Can’t Fully Buy The Golden Dawn’s Astrology-Into-Tarot Mapping

  1. Even I who knows nothing, was captured by this.

    Steinbeck in his writings spoke to people which is why he was a giant and in all probability will remain so.

    What you have accomplished in this piece, most especially your “call to arms”.

    Uncle Jim

    With time, there are no “do-overs”, use it or lose it…


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