Tarot and Astrology

Tarot and Astrology –
Enhance Your Readings With the
Wisdom of the Zodiac

Author: Corrine Kenner
Llewellyn Publications
ISBN #978-0-7387-2964-0

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.

© September 2011 Bonnie Cehovet

Wizards Tarot

Wizards Tarot

Author: Corrine Kenner
Artist: John J. Blumen
Llewellyn Worldwide
ISBN #978-0-7387-1285-7

The “Wizards Tarot” brings together a lifetime of wisdom from two separate individuals that melds together into one perfect form. Corrine Kenner brings her knowledge of the Tarot and metaphysical subjects (with the ability to allow Seekers to actually place the esoteric world to good use in their lives). The concept for this deck is Corrine’s, as was the choice of symbols for the cards. John Blumen has an eclectic portfolio that includes industrial design, children’s books and fantasy art. His magic wand brought the concept for this deck to life.

In the accompanying Handbook (companion book) the very first line of the introduction takes the Seeker directly into the world of the “Wizards Tarot”. How does it do this? By introducing us to the Mandrake Acadamy, Here the Seeker is the student, and the Tarot is the teacher. Modern professors inhabit the rolling plains of the academy, bringing the ancient arts of witchcraft and wizardry to a new generation of students.

The professors take the form of the Major Arcana cards, leading their students through a series of twenty-one lessons in basic magic. In the Minro Arcana the student meets other students, young magicians honing their craft. The four suits illustrate the four schools of magic – fire, Water, Air and Earth.

I love the concept of an animal familiar, and everyone at the Mandrake Academy (student and teacher) has one. In the Court cards the student will find the elemental beings that guard the school: Salamanders (Fire), Undines (Water), Sylphs (Air) and Gnomes (Earth). Kenner notes that the student needs to remember to be respectful, as the elemental creatures are unpredictable.

There is lovely whimsy here too – the calendar year for the Mandrake Academy is a year and a day, referred to as the traditional time for magical initiates. Everything the student needs to get started is in the “Wizards Tarot” kit, with the Tarot cards acting as the student’s tools, and the Handbook instructing the student how to use their tools.

The deck and book are housed in a box that opens from the top. The front of the box shows an image of the World, while the back of the box gives information about the deck and its use.

The “Wizards Tarot Handbook” is a 242 page book that introduces the concept of the “Wizards Tarot”, and presents each Major Arcana card with a black and white image, a description of the energy of the card, key symbols, practical magic using the energy of the card, along with a spread based on the card’s energy. The Minor Arcana Pips (numbered cards) are presented with a black and white image, their Magic Power, their Magic Charm, and key symbols. The Court cards are presented with a black and white image, the card’s esoteric title, and a description of the card imagery.

The deck itself is Rider-Waite based, a traditional 78 card deck with 22 Major Arcana cards. 40 Pips and 16 Court cards. The suits are Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles. The Court cards are Page, Knight, Queen and King. Strength is VIII, Justice is XI.

The Major Arcana are as follows:

The Initiate (The Fool)
The Magician – Professor of Basic Magic
The High Priestess – Professor of Divination
The Empress – Professor of Herbal Magic
The Emperor – Headmaster of Mandrake Academy
The Hierophant – Professor of Mythology
The Lovers – Professor of Spellcraft
The Chariot – Professor of Astral Travel
Strength – The Professor of Familiar Creatures
The Hermit – Librarian and Professor of Candle Magic
The Wheel of Fortune – Guidance Counselor
Justice – Professor of Ethics
The Hanged Man – Professor of Runes
Transfiguration (Death) – Professor of Transfiguration
The Alchemist (Temperance) – Professor of Alchemy
The Dark Lord (The Devil) – Professor of the Dark Arts
The Tower – A Visitor’s Guide to the Tower
The Star – Professor of Astrology
The Moon – Professor of Lunar Magic
The Sun – Professor of Solar Magic
Judgment – Proctor of Final Exams
The World – queen of the Witches

The Handbook is one of the most unique companion books I have ever seen. It is also really, really sneaky! While the student is learning to read the Tarot, they are also learning how to do things like create a magic circle, brew herbal elixirs, work with crystals and more! For example, the chapter on the Initiate guides the student in the use of visualization and entering the cards. The spread offered in this chapter is also quite unique. Specific cards are used: the Initiate is placed in the center, with the Magician on its left and the High Priestess on its right. The Initiate represents the Seeker as they are in the present moment. Within the symbols of the Magician one symbol will stand out. This symbol represents a gift or talent that the student has already mastered. The High Priestess is meant to stretch the student’s skills as an oracle.

The practical magic for the Empress is the creation of a crystal elixir to help your garden grow. The spread for the Emperor is the Four Square Spread, which enables the student to achieve a clearer understanding of the four realms of their existence. Something else that interested me in the chapter on the Emperor was the chart of Greek and Roman Pantheon, with both the Greek and Roman names for the mythological characters, as well as the Tarot Major Arcana cards that represent them. The spread for the Chariot is entitled “Charioteer’s Time Travel Spread”. I love the idea of the Chariot as the Professor of Astral Travel, and this spread, which combines Past/Present/Future with Body/Mind/Spirit.

The following is an example of Magic Power and Magic Charm:

“Eight of Wands

Magic Power : The Eight of Wands is a card of long-distance messages and instant communication.

Magic Charm: Focus on the Eight of Wands when you want to communicate quickly and effectively.”

At the end of the Handbook is a list of recommended reading – a wonderful addendum to the resources offered through working with the cards.

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The cards themselves are approximately 2 ¾” by 4 ½”, of good quality card stock. The backs have a marbled blue background, with gold markings in the center. They are not reversible. The faces show a ¼” gold and blue border, with a gold strip across the bottom of the card for the card title.

The artwork is digital, with a good depth of color. They do he Mandrake Academy theme proud, showing the true magic that this deck evokes … magic that we can all have in our lives. Some of the cards are very true to the Rider-Waite tradition, some are not. The Chariot shows a witch on a broom, flying over pyramids. The Initiate shows a female figure in a white gown, with a yellow robe, standing in front of a circle of stones. Her left hand is reaching into her leather pouch, while in her right hand she carries her magical familiar, a white rabbit.

The Lovers shows a male and a female figure seated, facing each other across a wooden desk, quill pens in hand. Standing over them is a female figure, dressed in white, holding an apple in her hand. The Wheel of Fortune shows a female figure seated at a spinning wheel, with ghost-like figures in the background. The wheel has eight spokes, each spoke representing a rite of passage.

The Dark Lord (the Devil) shows a male figure standing between two fiery torches, with two large toads on leashes in front of him and an inverted Pentagram behind his head. I don’t know if this is intentional or not, but the figure in the Nine of Cups to me strongly resembles Tarotist Barbara Moore.

Strength shows a female figure, dressed in white, petting a dragon. The Magician is quite an impelling figure, dressed in a black robe with gold cuffs, his wand held in his raised right hand, with the symbols of a Sword, Cup and Pentagram circling around him, and red roses and white lilies circling his feet. The Hierophant shows a centaur – half man, half horse. The Three of Swords shows the swords all going straight down, rather than having the two outside swords coming in at an angle. Transfiguration shows a figure in the process of shapeshifting from a man into Proteus butterfly. In front of him are a skull and two white candles, lit.

I found this deck, and the accompanying Handbook, to be a treasure trove of information, a true gift to the Tarot student. Very “Harry Potterish”, yet very precise and real. If you pay attention to it, and respect it, this deck will take you far.

© March 2011 Bonnie Cehovet

Christmas Themed Tarot

I was so pleased to see a Christmas themed Tarot deck coming out. Tarot author/teacher Corrine Kenner has gifted the Tarot community with a Majors only Victorian themed digital deck, based on Victorian Christmas cards.

Scans from the deck, along with an introduction, can be see here – http://www.christmastarot.com/.

Corrine has written a 45 page Guidebook that is available as a printable download with the deck, including commentary on the cards and a short section on reading with them.

There is also a really well done video on http://www.christmastarot.com/ that shows each of the cards, with Christmas themed music in the background.

I am impressed with not only the high quality of this deck, but the thoughtfulness of presenting a Guidebook of equally high quality. I also need to mention that there is imagery for the card backs, so that both the back and the front of each card can be printed out, laminated, and made into a physical deck (which I already see several people talking about doing!).

The price is more than doable, at $2.09 (this is a special holiday price – the normal price is $9.99). And there is more – on the download page (once the deck has been purchased), there are options to purchase Tarot related e-books from Corrine.

The deck, the Guidebook, the marketing – it is all top quality! Pay attention, Tarot peeps! This is wonderful material, and a wonderful lesson in how to bring a product to market!

Last, but not least – there are two bonus cards that are free to download (coming from the “Krampus” Christmas cards placed on Face Book by Tarotist/author/illustrator Kat Black). What more can we ask for! Bravo!

© December 2009 Bonnie Cehovet