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Astro Prompts for Tarot Self Knowledge Work

For Seekers – Practices for Soul & Spirit – Tarot

I show myself as Temperance and flow with Strength to walk my unique path through Death.

 Big 3 Path

Photo of my Smith-Waite Centennial Deck

This is statement about my essence of self developed through connecting Tarot and Astrology.  The story of how I arrived at the statement – and how you can figure such a statement out for yourself – follows.

Given my interest in Tarot, you might think that I’d be interested in Astrology as well, but it hasn’t captured my attention for any serious study.  It has struck me as too abstract and not flexible enough.  I want pictures! (Te, he)

But this Saturday Anthony Louis came up from Connecticut to present at Mass Tarot on how he has been combining Tarot and Astrology and sparks of inspiration started flying. (My Tower of opinion about Astrology was hit!)  He gave a quick introduction to the Astrological chart including both houses (the 12 signs that roughly correspond to months and take us through the solar year) and decans (the division of the astrological months into 3 parts for a total of 36 throughout the whole year)

He talked about how the Golden Dawn (the initiatory society out of which came both the Rider-Waiter-Smith and Thoth Tarots at the turn of the 20th century) developed correspondences for the signs and decans so we can identify a Major Arcana card, a 2 – 10 pip card, and a court card for where each planet falls in your chart. This 3 card “spread” for the signs is similar to the way that I have been setting up the weekly practice prompts, as Tony pointed out, with their Path, Practice, Posture guidance. This no doubt helped my process of connection making.

You probably know that there are 3 particularly important aspects to your chart; your Sun, Moon, and Ascendant or Rising signs.  (If you don’t know yours, you can find free sites on the web where you can plug in your place and time of birth to find out.)

Tony focused his presentation on looking at the Ascendant in various peoples chart as this is the aspect in astrology that is most unique to you.  The Ascendant can be seen to represent the reason you came into the world this time around (either literally because you believe in reincarnation or because it is a fruitful metaphor for understanding you life path).

Toward the end of the session, Tony and Sheilaa Hite, who is also a gifted astrologer, Tarotist, and all around wise woman, had an exchange about the different information that your Sun, Moon, and Ascendant signs can give you. They are the parents of all thinking that follows, but remember, they can’t be responsible for how these ideas (their children) go off and do their own thing.

Your Essence Cards and Statements

So here is a fill in the blank statement for how the 3 big signs relate to each other and to the Tarot.

I show myself as [Major Arcana card connected to your Sun sign] and flow with [Major Arcana card connected to your Moon sign] to walk my unique path through/with [Major Arcana card connected to your Ascendant sign].

For me, it’s what you see in the opening statement:  I show myself as Temperance and flow with Strength to walk my unique path through Death.

Temperance is how I show myself to the world; it is active expression. This is my solar, masculine self that is more clearly seen.

I flow with Strength; it’s a dance with my wild parts that are not always in my control.  This is my lunar, feminine self that sometimes is below the surface.

In this life time, I’ve chosen work related to Death; individual transformation, social change, and, literal death. Yes, these are big themes in my personal and professional work.

I can also see this as Temperance and Strength are the gate I pass through to do the work of Death.  The gate is strong when Temperance and Strength come in to balance and “work” together.

If you know your 3 main signs, you can check out this chart to find their corresponding Major Arcana cards:  https://astrologging.wordpress.com/tag/golden-dawn/

Once you have your cards identified, you may want to sit with them for a while.  Perhaps do some Visio Divina with the 3 images in front of you.  Perhaps get out some crayons and draw a picture that contains elements from all 3 and then read what you create as if it were a card.  (This is a process developed by Mary Greer.)

Your Path, Practice, Posture Cards

To add another level of understanding of your way of working with these cards, you can add the pips and courts.  You’ll need to know in what degree of each sign your Sun, Moon, and Ascendant fall. Most charts will show this as numbers from 0 to 30; 0 – 10 relate to the first decan, 10-20, the second, 20-30 the third. Yes, there is overlap for people on the cusp.  This a little trickier to calculate, but here is a chart that lays things out in an orderly way.  You can find your Major Arcana card in the left column, then  …

  • look along for your decan by degree in the 4th column
  • find the numbered card in the 3rd column, remembering that red is the wands cards (yes, red 2 is 2 of Wands), green is earth, yellow is swords, blue is cups.
  • identify your Court card in the 2nd column

Now you can fill in the blank to make 3 statements for your major signs:

I show myself as [Major Arcana for Sun Sign] by practicing [a key word or phrase that represents your understanding of the positive potential of your Numbered Pip card.] with an attitude of [a descriptor or two your court card taking positive action].

I flow with [Major Arcana for Moon Sign] by practicing [a key word or phrase that represents your understanding of the positive potential of your Numbered Pip card.] with an attitude of [a descriptor or two of how your court card moves well in flow].

I walk through [Major Arcana for Ascendant Sign] by practicing [a key word or phrase that represents your understanding of the positive potential of your Numbered Pip card.] with an attitude of [a descriptor or two of how your court card works from highest purpose].

Here are my statements as examples with the cards identified:

I show myself as Temperance by practicing to remain open to sudden inspirations and messages from my intuition and the realms beyond [8 of Wands] with an attitude of adventure and willingness [Knight of Wands].

Temparance Path

Photo of my Gaian Tarot deck

I flow with Strength by practicing listening to diverse perspectives (from both my inner circle of voices and in groups in which I participate – even hard stuff!) [5 of Wands – ha,ha at first I typed this as 5 of Wants, pretty telling!] with an attitude of service and respect for all [King of Wands].

Strength Path

Photo of my Smith-Waite Centennial Deck

I walk the path of Death by practicing to let personal and collective grief flow through me with an attitude of surrender and compassion [King of Cups].

Death Path

Photo of my Haindl Tarot

Before and after creating these statements, I suggest sitting with the grid of the 9 cards and looking for relationships between the cards.  I was getting some interesting input from looking at them in diagonal relationship to each other.  Perhaps because I am a poet, inspired by the words of Emily Dickinson, tell it slant.

OK, there is more to say, but I will end it here for now.

Do you want some help figuring this out or doing making meaning like is what above?  If you come to me with a chart already done (can’t do that!), we could do some work together in person (selecting from my many decks to work with) or by phone/Skype (best if you had a deck on your end).  As needs and timing will be variable, we can do a fee of $1 a minute and you can set a max of time if needed and we’ll see how far we get.


3 comments… add one
July 7, 2014, 3:06 pm Barbara St Jacques

Carolyn, you did an absolutely outstanding job on your blog describing the entire process of Tony’s program. I cannot say enough about how much I enjoyed it. Thank you for all that you do.

July 8, 2014, 1:05 pm Tony Louis


Great job summarizing the presentation and extending it even further. I had a wonderful time meeting with your group and hope to attend future meetings as my schedule permits.

Take care,


  • Using Tarot to Delineate the Ascendant | Anthony Louis – Astrology & Tarot Blog July 8, 2014, 1:14 pm

    […] ADDENDUM:  In July of 2014 I did a presentation on this topic for the Massachusetts Tarot Society.  Here is a link to Carolyn Cushing’s comments on the presentation and her application of the method to her own birth chart:  http://soulpathsanctuary.com/2014/07/07/astro-prompts-for-tarot-self-knowledge-work/  […]

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