This month’s edition of Tarotscopes will explore the Major Arcana. These are the cards within the deck that represent longer periods of time, life lessons and transformative experiences. Each astrological sign is associated with one of these cards. The following are meditations on the characteristics of each astrological sign and their corresponding card. These meditations can be read for one’s Sun, Moon, or Ascendant sign.
IV The Emperor
The Emperor depicts a powerful masculine figure. This person shows up in a reading to indicate a king, boss, father figure, or person born under the sign of Aries. The card represents power, assertion, masculinity and confidence. This Emperor’s throne is adorned with the face of a ram on either side, the symbol for Aries. The ram is associated with both The Emperor card and the sign of Aries because this animal encapsulates the strength and determination with which they approach their problems. Aries individuals devote their energy to their desire. This sometimes lends them the reputation of being headstrong and fiery. However, the Emperor card encapsulates the manner in which others see Aries individuals: comfortable and at home in their power.
V The Hierophant
The Hierophant card depicts a religious figure gazing down upon two of their followers. The Hierophant acts as gatekeeper between two realms. This person has a spiritual awareness but their focus is on the ways that this can be channeled in the material world. The Hierophant works within preexisting structures in order to lead and be understood by others. Like Taurus, the person depicted in this card is intellectual, strong-willed, and straightforward. Their intelligence can create stubbornness or a refusal to adapt. Why listen when you have thought through every possibility, anyway? In the same vein, one can be dogmatic and unwilling to question the power structures in which their faith lies. At their best, these individuals balance thoughtfulness and certainty in a manner that allows them to speak their truth.
VI The Lovers
The card depicts two naked babes who are reminiscent of the image of the twins associated with the sign of Gemini. Their fluctuating interests and opinions can seem indicative of a “two-faced” nature. The Lovers card expresses this back and forth nature as an integral aspect of the pursuit of balance and understanding. This card is about the dichotomy of the self and the effort to reconcile seemingly opposite aspects of one’s personality. This can mean masculine and feminine energy, introverted and extroverted traits, or externalized emotion versus receptivity. As the name suggests, when we actively strive towards inner balance, it is no surprise that the love that enters our life is strong and the attraction instinctual.
VII The Chariot
The Chariot card depicts a figure aboard a carriage drawn by two Sphinx-like creatures. This person is embarking on a journey in which they exercise control. The Sphinxes represent the beasts that are our raw desires. In order to reach goals, one must reign in these desires and transform them in productive ways. Cancer individuals are intuitive and emotional, yet protective of themselves and their space. The symbol of the Cancer is a hard-shelled crab. The vehicle seen on the card serves the same purpose as the crab’s shell in protecting the soft, intuitive individual within. In the same way that The Chariot card shows someone maintaining control of themselves in order to progress forward, Cancerians keep a firm grip on the things that are important to them. While people born under the sign of Cancer are ruled by their emotional instincts, the face they wear to the world does not necessarily convey this.
The Strength card is often a welcome symbol in a reading, as it assures the person receiving the reading of their resilience. This card depicts an individual stroking the mane of a lion as an infinity sign halo hovers above their head. This card indicates the process of becoming in tune with our inner strength. Individuals born under the sign of Leo are ruled by their heart, the life force. This allows them to be present and engaged in their current experience. The symbol for Leo is the lion, seen here in the Strength card to signify courage, beauty, and pride. While these qualities can be misconstrued as egoism, this card exemplifies someone who is in touch with their power and possesses the ability to tame it. This card serves as a reminder that while our circumstances are ever-shifting, our inner reserve of strength remains accessible.
IX The Hermit
The Hermit card represents the archetype of the “wise old man.” This person is cloaked and mysterious. He has a long beard and holds a lantern, signifying the knowledge that comes with years of experience. His intellect causes him to constantly question his surroundings. Virgo individuals are notoriously critical, though their analytical nature serves a purpose. The Hermit captures the aspect of Virgo individuals that seeks truth. The wise old man must remove himself from his environment in order to engage in deep study. In the same way, Virgo individuals can feel isolated from others in their pursuit of certainty.
Here we have an elegant figure sitting on a throne, sword in one hand and scales in the other. This septor is symbolic of this person’s ability to cut to the heart of a situation and discern truth from fiction. The scales indicate that this person’s mission is to seek balance. The sign of Libra is associated with beauty, equality, and community. Libran energy is playful and fun while simultaneously honest and fair. As an air sign, these individuals use communication as a means for balancing the scales in their environment. This is not exclusively verbal communication, as many Libran individuals are artistically inclined. The aspect of Libra individuals that is captured by the Justice card is choice. This person is able to consider multiple perspectives, while still maintaining personal boundaries and speaking their truth for the good of everyone around them.
This is often a troubling card to pull in a reading. We do not see a person here that one can readily identify with, as the protagonist of this card is not living. Death is the truth in which the human condition is grounded. The Death card however, does not indicate the end. Rather, this card acknowledges the little ways that parts of ourselves die throughout our lives in order to allow us to progress. Scorpio individuals can have a reputation for being vindictive, possessive, or gossipy. It is true that Scorpio people are intense individuals, though to use these labels to encapsulate their personality is reductive. Those born under the sign of Scorpio simply thrive in the regenerative potential that endings provide.
The angelic figure on this card is passing water from one chalice to another in a feat of gravity. They have one foot in the water, which is representative of the underworld or the dream realm, while their golden locks are out in the sunshine, denoting the external, physical world. They are taking the desire they feel on a deep emotional level and transforming it in ways that allow them to create. The sign of Sagittarius is one of adventure, travel, philosophy. These individuals are often frank, refusing to bend to the will of others. As fire signs, they engage with their world through action. This card encapsulates the ways in which Sagittarius individuals recognize their uglier qualities in order to free themselves.
XV The Devil
This is a daunting card, depicting a demonic figure ruling over two chained humans. The Devil card appears in a reading where addiction is concerned or other situations that make us feel powerless. However, this card also represents aspects of the material world, the body, and our instincts in which we are grounded. These elements of our humanity can scare us and make us feel out of control, but ignoring these qualities does not eliminate them. Capricorn individuals have a reputation for being extremely hard working people who thrive in routine. They are in touch with their desire and aware of the steps necessary to conquer their goals. The Devil card highlights how Capricorn individuals are in touch with their pain. It is by knowing their own negative patterns of behavior so well that they are able to devote their energy to ventures for which they are best suited.
XVII The Star
Here we see a nude figure watering the Earth and the pool of water before them. This is a symbol of clarity, fluidity, nourishment and love. This is freedom, vulnerability, creativity, and passion. The Star card appears in a reading to demonstrate what it means to be a conduit for inspiration. The sign of Aquarius is called “the water bearer.” which is symbolic for the Aquarian humanitarian nature. Water is essential to all living things and Aquarians have a desire to distribute this resource to everyone. People born under the sign of Aquarius have a reputation for being distant eccentrics. The Star card demonstrates the part of Aquarian individuals that aims to heal through acts of vulnerability.
XVIII The Moon
The Moon is a card of mystery, secrecy, and intuition. This card appears in a reading to represent a period of going deeper and tapping into our often illusive subconscious drives. This card is representative of the knowledge that is atypical or “irrational.” This card suggests paying attention to one’s dreams, writing, creating art, or meditating. The Moon is also a card concerned with our emotional nature. People born under the sign of Pisces are seen as emotional, creative, and intuitive individuals. The Moon card represents the aspect of Pisceans that is curious about what goes unseen. Through their curiosity, Pisces gain insight about how to create and manifest.
Illustrations by Ashlie Juarbe