Some Thoughts on the Astrology of Tarot Readers


During the weekend of the 2013 autumnal equinox I attended a workshop in Massachusetts with Rachel Pollock and Carolyn Cushing.  One of the topics that came up in our informal discussions was the astrological charts of tarot readers.  Having done charts for several tarot enthusiasts over the years, I’ve noticed that they often have Neptune and the Moon prominent.  In fact, these two planets are commonly in aspect, often by sextile in the sample of charts I have worked with.

This finding makes sense, given that in the tarot the Moon is associated with the High Priestess card and that Pisces, ruled by Neptune, is associated with the tarot’s Moon card.  Although the Golden Dawn did not assign Neptune to a tarot card, modern tarot readers tend to associate Neptune with the tarot’s Hanged Man who has an alternate view of reality.

To see if my astrological impressions held water, I googled the birthdays of some leading tarot figures in America: Mary Greer, Rachel Pollock, and Eden Gray.  Here is what I found (times of birth are unknown):

  • Mary Greer: born October 14, 1947.  Neptune, Sun and Moon all in the same sign Libra.
  • Rachel Pollock: born August 17, 1945.  Moon in Sagittarius sextile Neptune in Libra.
  • Eden Gray: born June 9, 1901.  Moon in Pisces, ruled by Neptune, and Neptune in Gemini.  Moon trine Mercury, which disposes Neptune.  Venus in partile conjunction with Neptune.  (Eden Gray was the professional name of Priscilla Pardridge, an American actress, and author of books on tarot.)

Without a birth time, there is no way to tell whether one of these planets (the Moon or Neptune) was angular at the moment of birth.

Eden Gray, actress and tarot author.  Solar houses, Noon positions for NYC, time unknown.

Eden Gray, actress and tarot author, born 9 June 1901. Solar houses, Noon positions for NYC, time unknown.

Eden Gray was both an actress and a tarot reader.  Her Moon is quite prominent as part of a grand cross with Moon opposing Mars and squaring the Sun and Uranus.  Her Pisces Moon is also sextile a Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in Capricorn.  She has a stellium in Gemini consisting of Pluto, the Sun, Neptune and Venus.  This stellium is disposed by Mercury which trines the Moon.  The very close Venus/Neptune conjunction probably relates to her success in both acting and tarot.  Mercury is a planet of communication and its dispositorship of the stellium in Gemini most likely relates to her success as an author.

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About Anthony Louis

Author of books about astrology and tarot, including TAROT PLAIN AND SIMPLE, HORARY ASTROLOGY, and THE ART OF FORECASTING WITH SOLAR RETURNS.
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9 Responses to Some Thoughts on the Astrology of Tarot Readers

  1. Kelly says:

    Very interesting! Thanks for sharing this with us! That explains why I am NOT a famous tarot reader. LOL

  2. Kelly,
    I did not mean to suggest that these are the only factors that favor tarot readers in a horoscope. The prominence of the Moon and Neptune is merely something that I see repeatedly when I look at tarot readers’ charts. There is hope for you yet.

  3. Beth Turnage says:

    Hi Tony,
    Good article! I’ve read Tarot since the tender age of 11. It is to the point I read them like I would a morning newspaper. (Yeah, I know I’m astrologer. Tarot came first.) My moon is in Pisces in the 11th, but I have Neptune in Scorpio in the sixth opposite Mars in Taurus in the twelfth. My moon is a wide sextile to Mars, but misses even a wide trine to Neptune by a degree, but maybe you just have to give it Neptune since its boundaries are blurry anyway. I’ll be known for my astrology instead of my Tarot because of my 10th house Sun in Aquarius conj Chiron opposite Uranus, but my Pisces Moon loves my tarot anyway and I secretly think I’m better at tarot than astrology. But don’t tell the peeps at the ASC that! Namaste!

    • Beth,
      From your description, I checked the ephemeris and found that Neptune was stationary at the time of your birth. This makes Neptune a very powerful planet in your birth chart, which may be reflected in an interest in tarot and divination. Lilly allowed the Moon an orb of 12 1/2 degrees, so it would be considered in trine to Neptune. Your Moon is also disposed by Neptune, so the trine is significant. The 12th house also predisposes to divinatory interests. With Mars in the 12th and ruling Aries, a sign in the 12th house, and Mars very closely opposing a stationary Neptune, you have a triple-whammy of factors indicating interest in tarot and divination. Miss Cleo better watch out.

      I usually find that astrologers have a somewhat more emphasized Uranus than Neptune. Your Uranus is angular in the 4th house (versus a cadent Neptune) and is part of a T-square to the Mars/Neptune opposition. Uranus is also disposes by the Sun, which is in the angular and very public 10th house. Your tarot interests (Mars oppose Neptune) are tucked away in the hidden 12th/6th cadent houses, so they are less visible but still quite powerful and active behind the scenes (Mars oppose stationary Neptune, which trines the Pisces Moon). You are a closet tarot reader who is more likely to reveal her interest in astrology to the public.

      You started doing tarot at age 11. That is about the time the primary directed ASC reached natal Mars by mundane primary direction. Based soley on this bit of biographical information, I would guess that your were born around 11 AM with the ASC at about 18 Taurus (since Mars was at 3 Taurus opposite the stationary Neptune at 2 Scorpio 35).

      Obviously, a rectification can’t be done on the basis of a single event, but the strong interest in tarot at age 11 may well correlate with the ASC conjoining Mars by primary direction. About 3 years earlier the ASC opposed Neptune by mundane primary direction, which could also correlate with an interest in tarot, so my estimate may be a few degrees off for the ASC. The opposition of ASC to Neptune by direction would take place at age 11 with a birth time of about 11:10 AM and and ASC of about 22 Taurus.

      There is a good chance that your natal ASC lies between 18 and 22 Taurus, and the you were born between 11 and 11:10 AM.

      Thanks for sharing your chart info here. It is consistent with other tarot readers’ charts which I have studied over the years.

  4. Beth Turnage says:

    Wow, you’re good! My birth time is listed at 11:10 but the transits work better at 11:11 and my ascendant is in fact 23 Taurus based on 11:11 and Koch houses.

    • I love working with primary directions. It seems that your interest in tarot emerged when the ASC was directed to the opposition of Neptune at age 11. Now that I reflect on it more, the activation of Neptune is more consistent with starting tarot than the activation of Mars in the 12th. Actually the entire opposition was activated by primary direction from about ages 11 – 15, so this would have been a period of intense interest in the tarot.

  5. Beth Turnage says:

    Tony,

    That Mars/Neptune opposition is a fused energy in my chart. You touch one end of it and the results end up in the other. I’ve come to appreciate that opposition as it drives a deeper part of myself that isn’t readily apparent to others.

    I can’t quite remember those early years in the tarot, except for the fact I taught my sister (a year younger) and it freaked her out for a while. (She’s over that now.) My interest in tarot was always there it seems. Actually it was my study of tarot that led me to astrology, since I wanted to understand some of the symbols in the cards better. But astrology as it turns out was more addictive than the tarot and after less than year of study on my own I ended up in mid-level tarot class for two and half years. If you want or need a prediction, I’m your girl either through tarot or astrology. I laugh when some astrologers say you can’t make a prediction or you can’t know the future.

    Of course, the downside of knowing the future is that once the prediction is cast you are stuck waiting around for it to happen and the ending isn’t a surprise. And then there are those people who think you are crazy because you can see what they can not. (Sigh). Thank you Tony for this great article.

  6. Pingback: Searching for a Time of Birth based on an Interest in Tarot | Anthony Louis – Astrology & Tarot Blog

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