I have a theory to share with you about a hidden relationship between Astrology and the Tarot. I am surprised to find that this concept is unique with me; however, amongst the plethora of Tarot books in my library, as well as my search on the Internet for a similar perspective of the Tarot, I have yet to find anything like what I am about to propose. Albeit, like other views of the Tarot, the concept my proposal most nearly resembles is that of mythologist Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero’s Journey”.
It is my belief that the Major Arcana of the Tarot is meant to be understood as an exact depiction of the ages of our lives—from birth to death, but in a different manner from what we typically read in books about the Tarot. My hypothesis recognizes that each of the twenty-two cards of the Major Arcana has an astrological ruler, and that in astrology there are twelve signs of the zodiac and ten planets—which also equals twenty-two.
I am convinced that ancient visionaries wanted us to understand the Tarot as a disguise for astrology, a subject which, during the dark ages, was under rigorous attack by the Church. Furthermore, I believe there is ample evidence to suggest that they intended to protect and perpetuate in a hidden device—the Tarot—the valuable information that astrological cycles guide us through life.
Let's begin with the hypothesis that our hero’s journey through life begins with the Fool card in the Tarot, which is ruled by Uranus—the Great Awakener. That sounds like birth, doesn't it? The cycle of Uranus lasts for 84 years. Aha! What if we divide those 84 years of Uranus’s cycle by the 22 cards in the Major Arcana? We get four. Now let’s break down the 22 phases of our life into segments of four years each and observe whether we find ourselves in agreement with what we personally experience at those ages, as symbolized by the Major Arcana, as we move through life. Here is the chart:
So there is my theory: twenty-two phases of our life are described by the Tarot—a hidden codex for astrological cycles. It’s quite easy to identify with each of the twenty-two steps in our spiritual development as it has been surreptitiously hidden in the Tarot.
As we test the validity of this connection between the Tarot and astrology, however, we must also remember that other planetary cycles affect us all along the way, such as the Jupiter Return every twelve years and the Saturn Return every 28 years.
I was especially interested to notice the correspondence of the Death and Resurrection card with the 52nd year of life. We’ve heard repeatedly that the age of 52 is one of the most significant years of our life. I also loved noticing that the Star card in the Tarot corresponds to age sixty-eight. The Star is said to bring happiness, and at that age I first became a grandmother—indeed a time of unparalleled joy.
Obviously, not everyone dies at the age of eighty-four. What to do with the 84-year formula? I suggest that we start all over again with the Fool card—the Great Awakener (Uranus), at the age of eight-eight, which certainly can represent a rebirth. Not only that, at age 88 one is approaching the third Saturn Return—another symbolic rebirth.
I’m thrilled to share my theory about the hidden relationship between the Tarot and astrology with you. I feel certain that you will observe correspondences in your own life to confirm its validity.
May the Sun, Moon and Stars shelter you and energize you with love and peace,