When I’m teaching Tarot, I feel that sometimes it is difficult for some to grasp the astrological connections behind the Major Arcana.
There are several blogs out there providing listings of the correspondences, but this is not the way I roll. I like building blueprints where you guys can build your houses on. So I have found that the best method of teaching astrology is through a simplified take on Crowley’s rose.
Let’s start with the Elemental Trumps
We are only going to use three elements, because the fourth element (Earth) manifests where the three elements meet. OK, just look at these two pictures below. You can see the three primary colours, so just imagine that these are the three elemental trumps. Good news – they are! So these are the first three petals that manifest of the Sacred Rose. Where the “center space” is is where the rose cross (on the right) is presented.
The Red stands for Fire and represents Shin, Atu 20 The Aeon (Trump XX, Judgement). Yellow stands for Air, representing Aleph, Atu 0 The Fool (Trump 0). Blue stands for Water and represents Mem, Atu XII The Hanged Man. Earth manifests in the center of where these petals meet (in the heart of the rose cross).
So these our elemental trumps. The Hanged Man delves into the depths of the abyss, represented by the eternal ocean (Water); the Fool manifests out of thin air; Judgement is the purifying fires of the purgatory.
Then we move on to the Planetary Trumps
Those who have a proclivity for astrology might look for 10 planets here – but we use the seven ancient planets, which also correspond to the seven colours of the rainbow (the seven rays of light, fractured from the Holy Light).
So just place seven additional “petals” around the elemental three. The Planetary trumps are:
XVI The Tower ruled by Mars (red)
XIX The Sun ruled by Sol (orange)
I The Magician ruled by Mercury (yellow)
III The Empress ruled by Venus (green)
II The High Priestess ruled by Moon (blue)
XXI The World ruled by Saturn (indigo)
X The Wheel of Fortune ruled by Jupiter (violet)
Place these petals around the three elemental petals and colour them accordingly.
As the last step, add the 12 petals for the zodiacal trumps. The result should look like this:
Fill the trumps in by following their astrological order (starting with IV Emperor on the top, since he is Aries; then moving on to V Hierophant as Taurus, VI Lovers as Gemini etc). NB! Be sure to remember that we move counter-clockwise!
What I love to do is to use this Major Arcana rose as a mandala base for meditations OR to use it to lay out the cards in a rose shape. I find that this is one of the best ways to energize the Major Arcana and to really understand the astrological base the cards have.