Greetings, everyone! I have taken a summer sabbatical but am now back in full force, with my cat Isis perched and purring cozily in my lap and my word processor heated up and ready to rumble. Today’s topic is Major Arcanum number 4 — the Emperor. If you’ve been following this series on the Major Arcana you will doubtless notice that I diverge radically in my associations of the zodiacal elements of this or that card. The Emperor is no different. Most Tarot readers — if they bother blending astrology into their Tarot practice at all — associate The Emperor with the sign of Aries.
I associate him instead with the other Mars-ruled sign: Scorpio.
It bears pondering just how Scorpio and Aries are different. They are both, after all, ruled by Mars. Aries is easy to understand. It is no hardship to associate Mars — fiery, hot, dry Mars — with fiery, hot, dry Aries. They enjoy a congruence that is instantly recognizable. Which makes sense! The sign is an extension of its planetary ruler, after all, and vice versa.
But how does Scorpio fit in? Scorpio is cold; Mars hot. Scorpio is wet; Mars dry. Continue Reading
Elliot Roger was an extremely vain and self-centered young man. When his prettiness lacked an outlet, he rampaged. Why would this slender Grinch be so offended at the sight of happy people? What features in his birth chart are similar to other mass murderers? What was it about the “cosmic weather” of late May that lifted Elliot up from the crowd and encouraged his slaughter? According to the shooter’s autobiography, the attack had been postponed at least twice due to various factors. Could there be an astrological reason for his postponements?
Also, we begin the long, complicated process of rectifying this miscreant’s birth chart, which lacks a known birth time. Chart rectification is the science of retro-engineering a birth time from known events in a person’s life. On tonight’s show, in addition to analyzing the planetary and sign symbols, we speculate about house placement by attempting to narrow down Rodger’s Ascendant using astrological physiognomy.
All charts can be located in the appropriate photo album on the Metaphysical Media Group fanpage.
Balance. Marriage. Gestation. Fertility. Sensuality, opulence, a love of luxury — these are all typical and appropriate interpretations for the third Major Arcanum. We see her in a spread and we sense a bright spot, an area of light and happiness. Usually we’re right to do so. Most of us know her as the Empress, and she is Mother. She creates the earth and installs a king to rule over it.
But there’s a problem with Her Highness, a problem inherent in the occult science behind this card, a problem that many of us are unaware of. In many cases we interpret this card poorly or even wrongly.
The problem is Venus. Most people err in interpreting this card because they emphasize Venus’s (and the Empress’s) earthy, sensual qualities. Her Taurean qualities, in other words. But the eminent scholar, translator and astrologer Robert Hand does not “consider Venus the best ruler for Taurus….It is time to change our views.” (Horoscope Symbols, p. 214). Continue Reading
I have decided to share my method of handling reversed Tarot cards in spreads. This, too, is a topic whose explanation has generated more confusion than clarity. Indeed, the best policy for using Tarot reversals is not to use them at all unless you have a firm idea of how to do it. Otherwise, you will confuse yourself and your client. First of all, you don’t have to use them, okay? The Tarot is already capable of saying all that’s necessary to address your problem without interpreting reversed cards. Essentially, you must decide before you start shuffling whether you will use reversals for this spread or not. If the cards are already dealt, it is too late for that decision.
It is true, however, that if one uses reversed cards wisely, then they can take your interpretations to the next level of sophistication and precision. And in some spreads, using reversals is mandatory.
My article on the Court Cards has already gone into detail about how to interpret these when they are reversed. We saw in that lesson that the Court Card reversals indicated gender. A reversed King represented a female, a reversed Queen the male. Why can’t the Tarot just indicate a female with a Queen? Because a particular King or Queen or other Court Card is tied to a zodiac sign. Thus, the Court Card shows a way of assigning not only gender to a person, it allows us to assign a zodiacal energy and to thus understand that person’s personality a lot better. Continue Reading
The third card in the Tarot’s Major Arcana is popularly known as the High Priestess and in my opinion she’s easily the hardest card in the deck. Isn’t it fitting that an emblem of mystery be so elusive, so difficult to understand? Entire forests of trees have been slaughtered in an effort to explain this quirky card and despite this it took me years — years — to effect a true understanding of just what this mystery represents.
Well? What does she represent?
Read on to find out.
THE GENERIC TAROT
First, a sermon. (In case y’all haven’t figured this out yet, I want to be a minister when I grow up.)
We all get attached to this or that particular Tarot deck, but if you learn Tarot the way I teach it you will be able to kick butt and take names with any deck of cards under the Sun, even a regular pack of Bike cards. While I have my favorite decks to use, I’m equally confident with them all. In fact, just give me any kind of symbol system arrayed on playing cards and I’ll be able to extract meaning out of it, actionable intelligence. How? Because I realize the Tarot is a generic entity. If you find yourself tripping over the images on the cards, then you’re growing hypnotized with the surface topography, you’re falling in love with the edifice’s exterior without having any clue about what’s inside it. I don’t even care about what imagery is on the card. The symbols and images are merely shorthand for the memory. When you have a good memory — when you know – then there’s no need for mnemonic devices. Continue Reading