A picture speaks more than a thousand words
The tarot is a deck of 78 cards cards, divided into 22 trump or major arcana (secret) cards and 56 suit or pip cards of the minor arcana. So many stories as to the origins of these cards abound. There are tales involving Atlantis, Ancient Egypt, the Moroccan Moors, the Holy Grail, the Albigensians, the Legend of Pope Joan and many, many more. While these stories certainly do stir the imagination, little is truly known about where they came from other than that they first appeared in Italy in the 14th Century, were created for and used by the royalty and that the creation of many versions and the spread of the tarot then followed.
It has been said that the images transcend the logic and reasoning of the mind and allows us to enter into the archetypal soul world of the collective unconscious where we can access such wonders as:
- information about the evolution of the soul's journey,
- where the hero/ine (the person asking the question) is on their own life path
- moral and philosophical teachings.
Contemplating these images can add depth and meaning to the interpretation of our dreams, they can help us to shape the stories we are writing and they can help us to access our creativity.
Nowadays and thanks in large part to Eliphas Levi and the Golden Dawn, we add even more layers of meaning to the cards through bringing in Kabbalistic philosophy, magical theory, numerology and astrology.
Everything is connected
We can work with synchronicities (two events which don't seem to have a causal relationship but which have meaning,) omens, astrology, oracle cards, the runes, the tarot, the tea leaves and so much more because fundamentally everything is connected. It is the intention, the question that is asked, which sets the basis against which any reading is interpreted. Our intention can set how many cards we want to pick and what the meaning of the card's position will be - for example, will the first card we pick tell us something about the past or perhaps about our attitude or about our fears and so on and so on.
The cards tell different stories in response to different questions. The meaning of the card shifts depending on its position in the layout. The meaning of the cards shift again depending on the cards which surround it.
By this explanation, I hope it is clear that the keywords I've shared here about the cards meanings are very limited and that the cards can mean so much more. They have their positive and powerful meanings as well as their negative and more destructive meanings. The cards themselves are neither positive nor negative - they are just cards which mirror back to us where we are in relation to the question we asked: our hopes, our fears, our blockages and the likely outcome that we are stepping towards. In this way, we can begin to address what needs addressing or to change what we are doing so that we more consciously step towards the outcomes we desire.
The Philosophy Behind the Tarot
The cards of the tarot are steeped in the symbols of the culture which gave birth to them and they do reflect a system of beliefs or a philosophical approach. The decks that I tend to work with all seem to be based upon the decks of members of the Golden Dawn. At its heart, the moral of the story of these cards is that we hold the seeds of our own redemption (I'm sure other decks may rest upon this theory too but I can't speak for all of them as I've not used them all.) The theory continues that, as we evolve through life, or perhaps through many lives, we move away from needing to rely upon external spiritual authorities, we go through a series of challenges and rewards, reconcile our duality and become the dancing figure in the world card of the deck - complete in and of ourselves, recognising that all that is, is within us too.
the major arcana
0 The Fool: The main actor in the story, contains and can become all the others, new beginnings, innocence, folly
1 The Magician: creativity, will
2 The High Priestess: intuition, feminine mystery
3 The Emperor: male authority, father, structure
4 The Empress: female authority, mother, lover
5 The Hierophant: religion, teacher, marriage
6 The Lovers: relationship, choice
7 The Chariot: strength of will, taking a stand
8 Strength: gentle success, acting from the heart
9 The Hermit: solitiude, finding the answer within
10 (1)The Wheel of Fortune: change
11 (2) Justice: balance
12 (3) The Hanged Man: reversal
13 (4) Death: transformation
14 (5) Temperance: moderation, blending seemingly irreconcilable matters
15 (6) The Devil: spirit in matter
16 (7) The Tower: forced release, new perspective
17 (8) The Star: the future, hope
18 (9) The Moon: intution, emotions, illusion
19 (1) The Sun: optimism, happiness
20 (2) Judgement: a calling
21 (3) The World: abundance, duality reconciled, union and reunion
Water: feelings, empathy
Fire: passion, creativity
Air: intellect, communication
Earth: practical, manifested reality
0: the whole, contains everything
1: initiates, new beginnings
2: differentiates, relationship
3: produces, creates
4: stabilises, defines, builds
5: friction, changes
6: balance, harmony
8: personal power, karma
9: completion, the last month of pregnancy
10 (1): end of the old era and beginning of a new one
the court cards
Page: youthful expression of his suit
Knight: passionate expression of his suit
Queen: mature, feminine expression of her suit
King: mature, masculine expression of his suit
How astrology works
No one truly knows the origins of astrology but its sources reach far back in time beyond many a great era which has shaped its applications, including Ancient Egypt, Babylon, the Chaldeans, China and many more.
Its methods have been used to try to steer the course of Kings and of Kingdoms. Astrology has been turned to as a system of omens (divine messages from gods,) as a way of answering focused questions, as a way of selecting the most opportune time to carry out an event, as a way of trying to find out when something will happen and as a way of showing the extent to which different people will get along.
Like many other systems of divination, we understand that, because we are all connected and part of the same whole, we can tell how one part of the whole is doing by looking at the condition of another part of it. This is summed up in the famous maxim, "as above, so below...as within, so without."
The theory of astrology matches parts of our psychological makeup with different planets. For example, Mercury has to do with, amongst other things, how we think and communicate. Venus has to do with, amongst other things, how we attract that which we desire towards us. The sign that the planet is in tells us how that part of ourselves behaves - what it wants and needs, its strong points and its weaknesses. The angular relationship that the planet makes to other planets or positions in the charts tells us more. The planet's place in the circle tells us even more about which areas of life (career, home etc) that need or side of ourselves most likes to get involved in.
The planets and the signs of the zodiac do not make us do or become anything - we are extraordinarily creative creatures with free will who stand at the centre of our own circles with certain abilities or ways of being at our disposal. What sits within you, how you are, where you are at, then 'predicts' what is going on for you externally, illustrating the maxim 'as within, so without.' For example, if you are curious, intelligent and have discipline and these play out in a house to do with education, we can 'predict' that you are likely to be someone who is engaged in study or learning in some way or another.
The ways in which you can express your astrology chart as you evolve through time and space are endless
Given that everything in the universe can be assigned to a planet, a sign and a house, the possibilities contained within the living symbol of your birth chart are endless. As you evolve and as different parts of the chart are activated in time, it is likely that you work with these energies in ways which at times may be clumsy and at other times may be pure genius. It is likely that you will experience and express these energies in every which way in between. Each astrological indicator is a gateway into a realm which has possibilities that seem to go on forever.
For example, consider someone with Venus conjunct Mars. The conjunction means that these two parts of the psychological make up always combine or work together. The person with this placement may express this as someone who fights (Mars) for peace (Venus) ....someone who agressively (Mars) goes after whatever it is that they desire (Venus) .....someone who can bite your head off (Mars) and make you feel good about it (Venus) .....love (Venus) hate (Mars) relationships.....a passionate (Mars) lover (Venus) ....a driven (Mars) artist (Venus).....enjoyable (Venus) friction (Mars)..... temper tantrum (Mars) of spoilt person (Venus) and this list could go on and on and we've not even yet looked at the sign that this hypothetical combination is in or examined how it relates to other planets.
The beauty of this framework is that you can objectify these different parts of yourself. This allows you to understand yourself more precisely and to see the choices you have in the many ways that you can blend your different parts together. In the example above, if a client was feeling unhappy and despondent as a result of ongoing conflict, we might think that there is a part of them that loves (Venus) fighting (Mars) and we could look to find other ways to honour the Venus Mars combination. There will be areas in which you will forge planetary combinations together in a completely brand new way, finding inspired ways of pulling the notes or the strings together. The way in which you do this, the work that you do on these energies, then becomes available to those who come after you.
There is more: the Elements, Modalities, Triplicities, Chart Shapings, Aspects and Aspect Patterns, the Nodes of the Moon, Chiron, Arabic Parts, Fixed Stars, Asteroids, the Symbols of the Planets and the Symbols of the Signs... It's exciting! The journey truly is the destination.
It is worth emphasisng, everything in the universe can be assigned to a house, a planet and / or a sign of the zodiac so please do not read the keywords on this page as being in anyway conclusive. If, for example, you are a Gemini, there may be better words to describe what it is that your Sun in Gemini is seeking to express.
For example, looking at the house to which a book might belong: if we think of a book as a source of information related to learning about something we have a passing interest in, we could consider it as a third house item, if we are thinking of it as a hobby, it might be a fifth house item, if it is a university text book or broadening our minds in a deep way, it might be a ninth house item, if we think of it as something we own, we might think of it as a second house item, if it has to do with our careers, it could fall in the sixth or tenth houses and so forth.
Astrology is both a science and an art
Astrology has a reputation of being complicated. It's true that we use calculations (which thankfully the software does for me) and we do learn from astronomy (astrology and astronomy used to be one subject,) but the meaning is derived from the symbol. It's a poetic language drawing upon myths and legends around the world, where deities bring the light of the planets to life and images from the earth tell us more about how these wonderful characters are wanting to behave. The entire subject is subjective - looking at the world from your perspective. Of course, I also have a chart, a lens through which I engage with myself and the world, and can't help but look at my world and my clients from my own perspective too.
PLANETs and points (Some of them)
Ascendant: the front door to the chart, the body, how you first come across
Midheaven: your status, position in society
Sun: conscious goals, self expression
Moon: instinctive, habitual behaviour, emotional needs
Mercury: the way you think and communicate
Venus: the way you attract, what you desire, beauty, how you relate
Mars: the way you express your energy and go after what it is that you want, what angers you
Jupiter: the Father Christmas of the Zodiac, bringer of luck and making everything he touches even bigger
Saturn: The Task Master, our sense of reality, our restrictions, what we need to learn, discipline and focus
Uranus: The Awakener or the Rebel, the way in which we are unique, unorthodox and free
Neptune: The Dissolver, what we yearn for, union, art, music, poetry, escapism into e.g. drugs and alcohol, transcendence into e.g. spirituality, our intuition and empathy
Pluto: The Transformer, where we go deep, our fears, our powers, our perception, our strategy and our ability to rise above it all and begin anew.
signs of the zodiac
Aries: starters, impulses
Taurus: builders, taking pleasure in what's been acquired
Gemini: curious, sociable
Cancer: nurturing, emotional
Leo: expressive, sense of self
Virgo: discernment, efficiency, desire to improve
Libra: balance and relating
Scorpio: intense involvement, what is ours
Sagitarious: explorers, philospohers
Capricorn: mastery, perseverence
Aquarius: future oriented humanitarians
Pisces: dreamers, artists, escapist
Houses in the chart
Second: What I have
Third: My immediate community
Fourth: My home
Fifth: My self expression
Sixth: How I work, the actions I take
Seventh: My mirror, how I relate
Eigth: What we have, intimacy
Ninth: My world wide community
Tenth: My career
Eleventh: My aspirations
Twelfth: My dreams, my escape, what is hidden from me
What areas of my life can we look at in the chart?
- All areas - everything within the universe can be assigned to one of the houses, one of the planets and to one of the astrological signs.
- Please bear in mind though, that astrology is a symbolic language and, while I am happy to speak of the symbols, I am not a doctor or a financial adviser or a lawyer or a chef or a nutritionist or a qualified psychologist and so forth and I'm not aiming to replace their expertise.You are at all times encouraged to remain responsible for your own choices and actions.
- Astrology is a subjective body of knowledge - we will be looking at the your world through the lens of your own chart. So, if we speak about your parents, siblings, children and so forth, we'll be discussing them from your perspective and not in any objective way. We all see and experience people differently. Similarly, should we look at another person's chart, they are the experts of their own lives and we will not be benefiting from their own insights around how they are working with their own astrological indicators. The focus of any such discussion must always be from the perspective of the client in front of me and in order to best help them.
Preparing for your session
- It's best to avoid mind altering substances at least 24 hours before and 24 hours after the session. This includes any alcohol and drugs.
- If you are taking any mediation, please do tell me.
- Please do try to find out your birth time or to ensure your birth time is accurate, it really does make a difference.
- Please read through the consent form that I send when I confirm your appointment. If you have any questions, we can go through these when we meet.
- The work can arouse intense emotions and it is possible that you will be feeling emotional or perhaps not feeling fully present at the end of the session. For your own safety, it is best not to drive yourself to or from the appointment.
- Please check transport and directions - if you are late, it is possible that I may have appointments after and that I won't be able to accommodate a full session with you.
During the consultation
- Astrology is both an Art and a Science. It is one way of knowing and, at times, I may draw upon other practices, spiritual philosophies and my own personal experience and beliefs in order to interpret your chart. Please feel free to ask as many questions as you like about the theory or philosophy behind what I am describing.
- I am committed to the idea that we are infinitely creative beings and that there are an infinite number of ways in which we can work with our birth charts. If something is not resonating for you, please do let me know so that we can work out, together, how best to apply the symbolism to your life so that you can get the most helpful insights out of our time together.
Your birth details
- The birth details that you give me will be used to calculate your birth chart. As part of my ongoing study of astrology, should I become aware of significant events taking place in your life, I may compare the astrology at the time of these events with your birth chart. It is also unavoidable for me to consider the interactions between your chart and my own chart.
I charge £85 for a one hour session. This typically includes an interpretation of your birth chart and the current forecasts.
Bespoke packages can be arranged if, for example, you would like an extended session to delve into what was going on astrologically for you over various time periods. You may also wish to arrange a series of appointments so as to really deepen into an exploration of your chart...my own chart continues to reveal more and more to me even now.
If you would like a CD recording of your session, this is available at an additional charge of £5 and includes a personalised CD cover with the details of which signs each of your planets are in. If the session is being carried out remotely, you will also be charged for postage and packaging. You are also welcome to bring a recording device and to record your own session if you would like to do so.
If you need to cancel your appointment with me, I ask that you please give me as much notice as possible. Cancellations with less than 24 hours notice will be charged.
Any information shared with me will be held in confidence. Where necessary, I may use what transpires to communicate examples of what can take place during or as a result of an astrology consultation but these details will not include any of your personally identifiable information. I am required by law to disclose information pertaining to suspected child abuse; inability to care for one's basic needs for food, clothing or shelter; and threatened harm to oneself or others.