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Meaning of the Stars

Astrology began many millennia ago when the ancients looked into the infinite universe and ascribed meaning to the stars. As ancient stargazers watched, the wandering stars or planets moved in front of a backdrop of fixed stars. Closer observation gave these planets qualities—from the redness of Mars to the brightness of Venus, the cool dimness of Saturn, the brilliance of Jupiter and the quickness of Mercury. The luminaries (Sun and Moon) both took their place in moving through the sky—the Sun marking the seasons and the Moon manifesting change in the monthly cycles. As time passed, the ancient myths of the Babylonian, Egyptian, and finally Greek civilization found their way to bring personalities and intelligences to each planet. The gods and goddesses found a home. The fixed stars evolved into a zodiac pathway for the planets that represented the seasons, the elements, and modalities of change.

With cultural, astrological, and philosophical backgrounds from the Babylonians, Egyptians, and Greeks, the mixing pot of Alexandria created a new astrology with several innovations. These included the importance of an ascendant, houses or places, planets with an enhanced Greek mythic meaning as well as sects (day or night association) and gender, rulerships, lots, and a reimagining of the Decan subdivisions of signs.[1] The introduction of the tropical rather than fixed or sidereal zodiac was also important to align the zodiac to the seasons. The innovations of Hellenistic astrology became one of the foundations of the Western Mystery tradition.

Even though astrology has many aspects and can seem complicated, it can also be approached simply, working with each planet as a specialist: Venus for love, Mercury for mental acuity, Mars for assertiveness, etc.

Tarot History: More Than a Pack of Cards

The earliest surviving cards date from Italy in the mid-fifteenth century; however, there are earlier references to many Tarot symbols from the Vita Merlini[2] (the life of Merlin), a 12th century Celtic-sourced manuscript. There is evidence that the key images of the major arcana parallel Egyptian images used in the hall of the neophytes for temple initiation.[3] In the 19th and 20th centuries, the symbolism of the Tarot was further expanded and the connection with ancient Western Mysteries was documented. The Tarot also connects with Astrology and the Qabalah, two other cornerstones of the Western Mysteries. Carl Jung[4] commented on the Tarot as an archetypal window into our individual and group unconscious.

The Tarot as a Map to the Stars

How can we experientially access the mystery of the Tarot? What I know is that the Tarot is not just a quaint form of fortune telling or a card game but offers us a powerful doorway for accessing keys to our Western Mysteries. Certainly, there are multiple Western Mystery schools that emerged in the 17th through 19th centuries, and we have varying attributions of both the Hebrew letters and the astrological planets and signs of the zodiac to the Tarot keys. The major arcana are divided into three groups: three represent the elements (water and earth were originally combined) and also represent the new planets, seven representing the traditional planets and luminaries, and twelve represent the signs of the zodiac. These groups (3, 7, and 12) total 22, the number of Tarot cards in the major arcana.

This mapping gives you a way to make a direct connection with the signs and planets in your natal (birth) astrological chart. You can take this further by working directly with the spirit of each card to remedy challenging aspects in your natal astrology. A particular Tarot spirit represents a planet or sign, and you can work with these planetary and zodiacal powers through the Tarot. For example, if you want to work with your love life or beauty in your life, you call on the power of Venus through the Empress Tarot spirit.

The Shamanic Connection

Moving beyond the archetypal and symbolic meanings of the cards, we can apply shamanic techniques to form a direct relationship with Tarot Spirits, who embody the wisdom of the cards. Using a combination of shamanic and traditional Western Mystery methods, these compassionate spirits can be contacted for healing or advice. This fits in with the shamanic tradition of accessing other realities to make a practical difference in this world. By entering the world of the Tarot Spirits with shamanic methods, a safe connection to primal spiritual forces can be made for either self-development or practical goals. The direct connection allows symbols to be explored naturally and meaningfully, rather than memorized through book learning.

Tarot Spirit Methods

The carefully designed AstroTarot process involves creating a connection with a Tarot Guide, using traditional methods to meet the Tarot Spirits of the major arcana, and working with the spirits in a positive, loving way to clear obstacles in life or gain personal insight into both spiritual and practical matters. This is all developed using reliable shamanic methods in a safe and effective process. The actual images of the Tarot are used as a bridge into the other world to receive direct information.

These processes are presented step by step in the online course Tarot Spirits: Healing with the Stars that starts February 14, 2022. Find out more with a free masterclass: Meet the Tarot Spirits.

May the Spirits bless you and your life.

--Reid Hart


[1] George, D. 2019. Ancient Astrology in Theory and Practice. p 13 [2] [3] Keizer, L and C. Payne-Towler.1999. The Underground Stream. [4]


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