Tarot and Astrology
Tarot and Astrology is a basic introduction to astrology for the tarot reader, and tarot for the astrologer. Corinne Kenner guides the reader through the associations between the 78 Tarot cards and the signs and planets that make up astrology.
By Corrine Kenner
Book - 312 pages - Published by Llewellyn
Review by Bonnie Cehovet
Tarot has many layers of associations – numerology, Qabalah, and astrology heading the list. In “Tarot and Astrology” Kenner guides the reader through the associations between the Tarot (Major and Minor Arcana), and the signs and planets that make up astrology.
This book works in three ways – it introduces those interested in the Tarot to astrology, it introduces those interested in astrology to the Tarot, and it takes those who work with both tools to a deeper level of understanding. In working with this book, the student will be able to:
1. Read Tarot cards and interpret an astrological chart.
2. Recognize the ruling signs and planets associated with the twelve houses.
3. Pair the planets, signs, and houses with their corresponding Tarot cards.
4. Understand the astrological associations for the Minor Arcana.
5. Make connections amongst the Court Cards, Tarot suits, and the four elements.
6. Identify each card’s Qabalistic associations.
7. Give insightful readings for yourself and others.
It is important to note before working with this material that the source for the astrological associations is the Golden Dawn material. If the student/reader uses another astrological association for their work, they would have to interpret the material in this book in that light. The deck used to show examples is the “Wizards Tarot”, by Corrine Kenner and John Blumen.
Kenner begins by going through each of the Major Arcana cards and their astrological association. For example for the Fool: “The Fool, who doesn’t care what society thinks, is assigned to Uranus, the planet of rebellion and revolution.” It is clear that the quality connected with the archetype is easily associated with the quality connected with the planet associated with it.
In Part One – Tarot Planets and Signs, Kenner addresses the twenty-two cards of the Major Arcana, and their associations with the planets and astrological signs. She also presents a rudimentary background on what constitutes the Major and Minor Arcana, the “spheres of influence” for the four suits, and the four Royal Families (Court Cards in the four suits).
The planets are introduced, and then the Major Arcana associations are presented, in order of the associated planets, not in the order that the Tarot cards appear. We have Sun/Sun, Moon/High Priestess, Venus/Empress and so on. Each planet/card combination is presented with a short discussion of the planet and card, the sign that the planet rules, and physical and elemental associations for the planet. Interspersed in this section are snippets such as a discussion entitled Dark Shadows: Solar and Lunar Eclipses, the Eclipse Spread, a discussion on the Void-of-Course Moon, the Trickster Planet: Mercury Retrograde, the Part of Fortune, the Saturn Return, karmic Lessons and the Point of Node Return.
There is a short introduction to the signs and their glyphs, triplicities and the four elements. Included in this section are discussions on Chiron, the Wounded Healer, Saturn’s Cloak, the Phases of the Moon Spread, and a chart summarizing the planets or sign, significance, and associated Tarot card. Part Two addresses the Minor Arcana, focusing on how the Aces correspond to the four elements (Fire, Water, Air, and Earth), how the numbered cards (2-10) correspond to the decans (ten degree subdivisions) within each sign, and how the Court Cards spin the Wheel of the Year.
There is a short introduction to Elemental Dignities, along with an Elemental Dignities Spread. This is followed by the Aces, and their associations. There is a short discussion of the four Qabalistic worlds, followed by a chart associating the spheres (Sephiroth) on the Tree of Life with a card from the Tarot, the astrological association, and a description of the Sephiroth. There is a schematic of the Tree of Life, and a listing of the twenty-two paths. With their associated Major Arcana card.
The section on the Pips begins with a chart listing the decans, approximate calendar dates, the associated card from the Minor Arcana, and the planetary sub-rulers, followed by a short discussion of the Guardians of Heaven. The cards are presented by astrological sign, and the decans within each sign, broken down into Cardinal, Fixed, and Mutable. At the end of this section is a Past, Present, Future Decan Spread.
In presenting the Court Cards Kenner notes that while they are placed around the Wheel of the Year, the dates don’t strictly adhere to the signs. For instance, the Queen of Wands rules over the first twenty degrees of Aries and the last ten degrees of Pisces. In general, Knights rule the Mutable signs, Queens rule the Cardinal signs, and Kings rule the Fixed signs. Pages embody the elements (Fire, Water, Air, and Earth), serving as the seat of power for the four Aces. Charts in this section include the association between the Court Cards and the elements, the Court Cards and the seasons, and the Court Cards and the Wheel of the Year.
There is a nice introductory section on the twelve houses of the Zodiac, including a Houses of the Horoscope Spread, the Planet, Sign and House Spread, a presentation on Polar Opposites, and a short discussion of Types of Horoscope Charts. In her section on simplified chart interpretation, Kenner discusses looking at the Sun, Moon, and Rising Sign (Ascendant), including a Sun, Moon, and Ascendant Spread, The Angles of the Chart Spread, Solar System Spread, and Natal Chart Spread. Of interest is a sample reading given for Marilyn Monroe. At the end of the book is a glossary of astrological terms.
This is a very rudimentary introduction to both astrology and the Tarot. Having said that, I feel that there is enough depth here to allow the student/reader to work with the material in a very real manner. The “short-shorts” of information interspersed throughout the book are very interesting, and the spreads allow the student/reader to put the information they are learning to work in a real way. Beginning students/readers will be able to use this material as a “stepping off” place for further study, while more advanced students/readers will gain from the examples given and the spreads.
© Bonnie Cehovet
Bonnie Cehovet is Certified Tarot Grand Master, a professional Tarot reader with over ten years experience, a Reiki Master/Teacher and a writer. Bonnie has served in various capacities with the American Tarot Association, is co-founder of the World Tarot Network, and Vice President (as well as Director of Certification) for the American Board For Tarot Certification. She has had articles appear in the 2004 and 2005 Llewellyn Tarot Reader.
Review by Angelo Nasios
Tarot and Astrology are two disciplines that are interconnected with each other. It is often said that Tarot is an art while Astrology is a science. Astrology is closely interwoven into the tarot cards, that many people would miss it if they did not look close enough. In "Tarot and Astrology: Enhance Your Readings with the Wisdom of the Zodiac" veteran tarot author Corrine Kenner brings out the Astrology in each of the cards to gain a deeper knowledge to why mean what they mean. Astrology can be a weak spot for many tarot readers; Corrine's book is a excellent medium for tarot readers to get acquainted with the astrological associations in the tarot. Don't forget this book is also good for Astrologers wanting to better understand tarot.
Corrine uses Golden Dawn material as her source for her Astrological associates with the cards so this book can be used with just about any deck. The deck used in this book is the Wizards Tarot, which is a creation of Corrine's.
Like any good Tarot book Corrine starts you off with the basics to tarot. The Building Block of the Tarot, Corrine explains what the Major Arcana and Minor Arcana cards are all about. The Elements associated with the four suites and their spheres of influence. So it is safe to say a beginner to tarot can pick this book up and not feel lost. As you progress the Majors are explained via the Sign they are associated with them. The cards are listed in Astrological order. That means The Emperor the first card you will read about, not The Fool. I personally don't like that it is not in Tarot order (Fool through The World) but this is a book that looks at tarot through Astrological eyes so I will let it slide.
Corrine throws mythology into the mix as well. As I was reading about Justice Corrine associated Justice with Themis (goddess of justice), which is who I associate with this card as well. Many would associate Justice with Athena; the Mythic Tarot is a deck that does this. So Corrine has some good points with me on her Greek Mythology.
Progressing me we come to the Minor Arcana to which now we see a section called "Tarot, Astrology, and Qabalah." Now Corrine is adding Qabalah, I could kiss her! Corrine breaks down and explains how each of the minor cards fits into the Tree of Life. However the Qabalah aspect is not of major focus and plays only a secondary role after the Astrology.
To illustrate how Astrology is used to understand the cards we will sample the Seven of Cups, Venus in Scorpio.
"When Venus, the benefactor, visits the third and last decan of Scorpio, she offers a tantalizing array of possibilities, including beauty, power, wealth, and happiness.....Venus, like the Empress, wants to make dreams come true. She wants to give her children every chance at success.... But Venus is the planet of romantic illusion, and her promise can't be fulfilled without effort and time.....The Golden Dawn designers of this card called Venus in Scorpio the "lord of Illusionary Success" because it hints at a tantalizing array of possibilities, but it doesn't offer any guarantees if completion."
Informational charts are found throughout the book along with spreads. Corrine explains Astrology in depth more towards the end of the book, explain each of the houses, and end it all with Horoscope analysis via tarot.
Overall this book is extremely well done! It has to be Corrine's best work to date. Tarot and Astrology are two subjects that can fill a lifetime of study. This is not the end all on the subjects but this book is without a doubt a must have for every tarot reader and astrologer. The information in here is valuable, informative and highly useful. After reading this book tarot readers will have a better knowledge of astrology and will have improved their understanding of the cards greatly.
The recipient of Tarosophist of the Year 2011, Angelo Nasios is a rising voice in the tarot community. Angelo is known for his popular YouTube channel in which he produces educational tarot videos. Tarot: Unlocking the Arcana, Angelos first book will be released by Schiffer Publishing.