Kabbalah and Tarot

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TAROT TIP

It’s pretty common knowledge that if you want to, you can mix Astrology into your Tarot practice. They’re two very different systems, but if you settle on some linkages to connect the symbols of one with the symbols of the other, then using them together can actually enrich your practices with both.

The same can be said for Kabbalah. This is hardly a carefully-guarded secret, but plenty of occultist types will do the similar thing of interweaving these two systems together – it’s just that Kabbalah theory isn’t anywhere near as well-known as Astrology is.

Do you know the cool and colorful symbol at the left in this image? That’s the Kabbalah’s Tree of Life. It’s a deceptively simple-looking glyph that actually captures all of existence within its magical bounds. At the top is what you can think of as the “Godhead” – pure, shining Divinity – and at the bottom is the sphere called Malkuth, which represents the material world. This is where we live: as “corrupted” and far from the Godhead as it gets…which explains a bit about the world around us today… But we’re still inextricably connected to that Godhead, is also part of the message here! The 22 pathways on the Tree each correspond to one of the 22 Major cards in Tarot, while the 10 spheres, or “Sephiroth” each hold the corresponding numbered cards, as well as providing housing for the Suits and the Court Card ranks.

As with Astrology, you don’t strictly need to use Kabbalah concepts with your Tarot…but if you want to, this can add a lot of depth to your understanding of traditional Tarot card meanings. And Tarot is receptive to it! Check out the arrangement of the Pentacles in that 10 card there in the image, which card was taken from the hugely popular Rider-Waite-Smith deck. It looks familiar, doesn’t it…?

So do you actively embrace Kabbalah concepts in your Tarot practice, or do they seem like so much unnecessary overkill to you…?

Maybe you’d like to learn Tarot, or to energize your current Tarot practice? You may be searching for the Tarot Toolkit Online Course:

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Summer Special!

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I’ve been working away at reconfiguring my website and refocusing my business efforts for a while now, with more to come on that front…but as a part of the process, I decided I’d try offering reduced rates as a SUMMER SPECIAL (or if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, please consider this your Winter Special!).

  • I’m now offering PRIVATE LESSONS in various metaphysical subjects – see if this is for you by taking advantage of my low-cost INTRODUCTORY CONSULTATION SESSION. It’s a real-time, 30-minute chat for only $20 USD!
  • Also, the TAROT TOOLKIT ONLINE COURSE is ready for purchase in MP4 format, including all ten sessions, plus the 120-page PDF Workbook.
  • And yet more big news: all READINGS (Tarot, Astrology, Runes) are 1/4 off for half-hour sessions, and 1/3 off for hour-long sessions. These prices will be in effect through the end of July.

I have more offerings on the way, too, including a few ebooks, and a couple of live webinar sessions that I’m cooking up – more news to follow here as things get closer to completion!

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Tarot Toolkit Sale Extended!

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Since sales for the Tarot Toolkit Online Course in its new, downloadable format were so brisk yesterday, the Early Bird Special is enjoying a one-day extension!  This is the course aimed especially at beginners that I co-taught earlier this year over a ten-week period with Vickie Wilson, of Eternal Athena Tarot.  You can still get your ten MP4 video classes, the 120-page Workbook, and the extra Astrology and Kabbalah cheat sheets, all for only $69 USD.

Tomorrow, the Toolkit’s regular price of $119 USD will go into effect, so head on over to the Tarot Toolkit page and purchase your course now!

Astrology/Tarot Mapping: The Chariot

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When you talk about The Chariot in Tarot, the first proposed astrological association you’re likely to hear will be the Sign of Cancer. As with any of these suggested linkages, there are pros, and there are cons.

The Pros. Both symbols describe a vulnerable character surrounded by an armored shell. A human charioteer inside a protective conveyance on a battlefield does seem a bit like a soft crab ensconced inside its damage-resistant casing. That parallel works pretty well.

The Cons. That basic set-up just described applies much more accurately to what the Sign of Cancer is about than to the way in which the Chariot card often gets interpreted in Tarot. That is, Cancer is considered the most purely emotional – and therefore the most emotionally vulnerable – of the Signs. The Crab does seem like a great metaphor for Cancer-energy in that sense. The Chariot, though, is a battle-wagon, and it often seems to inspire related discussion, bringing up ideas such as victory, a marshaling of disparate forces into a cohesive unit, the overcoming of opposition. The focus feels more aimed at active war-making than at perceived vulnerability. In some ways, then, The Chariot might have more in common with such warlike astrological symbols as Mars and Aries…

Astrology/Tarot Mapping: The Lovers

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The astrological symbol that you’ll most often find associated with the Lovers card in Tarot is the Sign of Gemini.

In a very superficial way, this association makes some sense. That is, The Lovers can conjure thoughts of two people (i.e., the number it takes to tango)…and Gemini also has to do with a pair of people. At a quick glance, then, these two symbols might seem to have a lot in common.

The similarities don’t really run all that deep, though. For one thing, when The Lovers refers to a pair of people, it’s often a pair of…well…Lovers. Meanwhile, Gemini refers to a pair of Twins. Siblings. Pretty much not lovers. The Lovers card doesn’t only refer to romantic/sexual bonds, but it certainly can. Gemini, meanwhile, is more about exploring information, communication, and interpersonal dynamics of a more detached nature. This isn’t usually the first Sign an astrologer will come up with if asked about romantic archetypes.

Of course, The Lovers is also about concepts such as choice and integration, and a case could be made for these notions to be good correlates for what Gemini is about.

Then again, cases could also be made in favor of entirely different astrological symbols being linked to The Lovers. Maybe something with a more Venusian feel. If not the Planet Venus itself, then maybe the Venus-ruled Sign of Libra would address the romantic possibilities of The Lovers, while also remaining relevant with respect to the “choices” meaning of the card…?

Astrology/Tarot Mapping: The Hierophant

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The most widely used astrological correspondence for the Hierophant card is the Zodiac Sign of Taurus. And this is definitely one of the correspondences that, for me personally, just doesn’t work all that well.

On the one end of the pairing, The Hierophant is a spiritual teacher and go-between, someone who – at least in theory – dedicates their life to helping members of their community in connecting with the Divine. The Hierophant provides structure, support, tradition, and access to accumulated knowledge.

Meanwhile, the other end of the pairing is Taurus. Using an Earth Sign isn’t a bad notion to start with: The Hierophant is in some sense trying to bring the Celestial down to the earthly plane. Taurus, though, doesn’t feel like the best specific choice to me as far as Earth symbols go. Traditionally linked with Venus, the Sign of Taurus has much to do with concepts such as beauty, peace, possessions, sensual pleasures. I’ve heard the argument put forth that a Hierophant is someone you’d seek counsel from in the event that you had issues revolving around Taurus themes, such as materialism or overindulgence in pleasures of a worldly nature…but I guess I prefer my symbolic linkages to be based on affirmative correlations. That is, I’d rather use an astrological symbol that can serve as a sort of synonym for The Hierophant’s presence, not one that flags The Hierophant’s absence.

As with The Emperor’s case, I personally again feel that some reference to Saturn or Capricorn might be the better way to go for this card…

Astrology/Tarot Mapping: The Emperor

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The astrological symbol that’s most commonly paired up with The Emperor is the Sign of Aries. But how on-point is this match-up?

Aries is the Cardinal Fire Sign – this means that Aries-energy is often seen as being passionate, brave, impulsive, adventurous, competitive, and not the type to back down from a fight.  All of which can definitely help a would-be Emperor with the building and maintenance of an empire.

But Emperors would also seem to require additional layers of personality that don’t have much to do with Aries. Emperors need to cultivate the long-view. They need strategies and grand plans, patience and perseverance, tact and diplomacy. None of those things will tumble out readily as top characteristics when astrologers discuss all the things that make Aries, Aries.

Maybe The Emperor needs to also be tied a bit to the steadiness and structure of Saturn/Capricorn, among a few other possibilities…?