The past week I've been experimenting with tarot layouts to access the cards from different angles. I thought it would be fun to use my birth cart as a spread, so I pulled cards for each of my planets and lunar nodes, then laid them out as you would find them on my birth chart. If you have never seen a chart, think of a big pizza with twelve slices, each slice representing a sphere of life that you may choose to focus on, whether its family, school, fun activities, relationships, career, civilisation building, spirituality etc. You then have 10 jalapeños to toss onto the pizza, the first one is your Sun, the second the Moon, the third Mercury and so on through the rest of the planets. Finally there are 12 flavored cheeses to sprinkle on the pizza (for each of the Zodiac's signs), and where they fall may not correspond exactly with the way the pizza is sliced. The cheese (Zodiac sign) flavors our experience of those jalapeños (planets) in that pizza slice (sphere of life). The slices with lots of jalapeños might take up a lot of time, energy and attention or maybe, they'll be too spicy for us to go near them. So for example, my first jalapeño (Sun) is in the 9th slice of Higher Learning, sprinkled with Aquarius. It's also millimetres away from my MidHeaven, also sprinkled with Aquarius. The MidHeaven represents our approach to our career, and its the dividing line between the 9th slice of Higher Learning and the 10th of work and public achievements. The fact that my Sun and MidHeaven are in close proximity means they get along and should work together. Planets don't always get along and if you trace a line from each planet to the centre of the pizza, the angles between them can give us interesting clues.
For example, planets that form 90 degree angles or direct oppositions create tension to keep things from getting boring. My chart is full of these, though I do have friendly aspects to soften the effect. This summer I took a supercalifragilistically cool class at The College of Psychic Studies, where we learned to read our charts intuitively (Psychic Astrology on the website). I'm still trying to wrap my head around it and thought it would be fun to try tarot for a visual representation. Unfortunately I forgot to pull a card for my Ascendant, which is important as it speaks to how I interact with others and also happens to soften one of my big oppositions (oh well). These are the highlights from my quirky Tarot Birth Chart:
Sun Square Uranus
The Seven of Wands on the left represents my Sun, which depending on the House system used can be found in the 9th House of Higher Learning or the 10th House of Public Achievements. Bookworm that I am, the 9th of Higher Learning certainly resonates so let's go with that one. This card is about making a big effort to hold your ground and standing up for who you are or what you believe in (yay!). In my birth chart its square Uranus, the planet of originality which also happens to rule Aquarius (my sun sign). This rebel planet is in the 6h house of Work, so if I'm looking at the combination I feel like its about sticking to my guns work wise and trying to find a career path that suits my "originality" but also rolling up my sleeves and laying the groundwork for everything that comes later.
Lunar Node Opposition
The moon's nodes are meant to represent strengths and weaknesses that we may have brought forward from past lives or ancestral history, the south node being the comfort zone that we retreat to while the north node is always the opposite of that. The Nine of Pentacles on the left represents my South Node which also happens to be in Aquarius in the 10th House. This is a card about independence, comfort and a self-sufficiency (also very Aquarian independent), whereas the card on the right represents my North Node in Leo, in the 4th House of family and home life. This one is like a seesaw for me, and maybe what I need to find is a balance where I'm independent but still happily tethered somewhere.
Moon Square Pluto
Now this is fun! The Moon represents our instinctual desires and reactions, how we nurture ourselves and others and possibly a few unconscious fears. The card on the left is The Star, about looking up to the stars for guidance and hope, and somehow trusting that things will work out in the end (and they're not ok it's not the end?). Let's compare that with the card on the right, representing the energy of Pluto in my life. Pluto is the transformer, power player and bringer of upheaval. The card I pulled was the Five of Pentacles and if I go by the images, you'd think I was out in the cold a little bit worse for wear. I don't feel like I'm out in the cold, one of the traditional meanings of the Five of Pentacles. Maybe it's about being for grateful what I have, trusting that I'm following my star's path and to keep going.
Jupiter Conjuct Mars ...
Now this combination looks fun! Jupiter, on the left, is said to be the great benefactor, expanding everything he touches whether it's pleasant or not. Lucky for me, I have the Knight of Cups in that position, a card about falling in love (metaphorically speaking) with a new stage in our lives. Mars and Jupiter as practically sitting on top of each other in my chart so they work together. Mars is a planet of action, how we go after the things we want (sometimes violently as its also the planet of war, but I'm not in a fighting mood so that's a relief). Here I pulled the Magician, about relying on your skills and ability to pull something off even if you don't feel like you are 100% ready for the task. The infinity symbol over the magician's head is about being limitless even if we don't know it. I wear an infinity ring to remind me of that fact and of my inner Magician, so it's a nice card to see in the spread. Let's see how this plays out ...
... Opposite Mercury
If you look at my chart, Mercury is at the top in the 10th house of public life and achievements, directly opposite this Jupiter-Mars conjunction. I'm reading a great book by Sue Tompkins called Aspects in Astrology, and what it says about these oppositions is that Mercury opposite Jupiter can be about me making mountains out of molehills, thinking about the bigger picture and confidently expressing your opinions (though coupled with Mars maybe its a bit much?). The card I pulled for Mercury is the Six of Pentacles, which can be about sharing, inequality as a subject matter and possibly compensation. The general feeling I get from the card is that it's time I got to work, and somehow the Knight of Cups and the Magician from the Jupiter/Mars duo will make it happen.
Out of curiosity I went back to pull a card for my Rising Sign (Ascendant). In my chart, my Gemini Ascendant is perpendicular to this big opposition between Mercury and Mars/Jupiter, providing an outlet for that combustive energy. The card I pulled was The Emperor, about order, logic, discipline and organization. I take it to mean that if I have a ton of projects cropping along this Martian, Jupiterian, Mercurial line, the Emperor will help me organise and prioritise it all.
The Tarot Birth Wheel
So that's my Tarot Birth Wheel. I took of a picture of the cards in their natural habitat and even though its a bit blurry you'll get a sense for how they were laid out on my big pizza wheel. There are a lot of planets squaring off against each other so I didn't explore them all. It's worth mentioning that this set of cards feel relevant now. I'm not sure if this is a lifelong challenge or just what I need to focus on at the moment. We may be born with a particular blueprint but we also keep evolving our way through life. I might try this again in a year to see if the new cards also resonate. If you'd like to develop your own Tarot Birth Chart, there's a great website called AstrologyClub.org with free interpretations. Just generate your chart, have a look at the placements and pull your cards! Please comment below if you do try it out and tell us how it went. And stay tuned of my next post. My end of term Tarot assignment is due next week: a creative interpretation of the Major Arcana cards. I am barely getting started ...
Hope you enjoyed this post!
Image Source: Rider Waite Tarot Deck