The following reading, which illustrates the usefulness of astrological associations in tarot, was done using the Llewellyn Classic Tarot deck. The querent is a high school senior who asked for a general reading about what issues were currently most important in her life. We decided on a 3-card reading and she drew the following cards:
- Two of Wands
- Seven of Wands
- Nine of Swords
Here is the spread:
There is a predominance of Wands (cards 1 and 2, associated with the element Fire), which symbolize enterprise, initiative, expansion, adventure, travel and goal-directed activity.
The Two of Wands often represents someone making an important decision about their future, often involving travel to a new location or beginning a new season of life (symbolized by the red and white blossoms on the flag). The Golden Dawn associates the Two of Wands with Mars in fiery Aries, an initiatory Fire sign. The Seven of Wands (associated with Mars in fixed and fiery Leo) shows someone stubbornly defending their position against opposing forces.
The final card is the Nine of Swords, associated by the Golden Dawn with Mars in airy and mutable Gemini. The woman on the card lies in bed, looking worried and distraught. She touches the red blossom with her right hand and holds her forehead with her left. Behind her is the image a a bird being pierced in the heart by a sword. The planet Mars is associated with all three cards.
- Two of Wands (Mars in Aries)
- Seven of Wands (Mars in Leo)
- Nine of Swords (Mars in Gemini)
I said to the querent that the theme of the reading has to do with taking the initiative about what she wants to do with her life. She may be in the midst of making an important decision, which may meet with opposition and which she will need to defend staunchly (7 of Wands).
The planet Mars pervades the reading, so there may be issues of strife, anger and separation in the air. The final card could suggest that she is worried about making the right decision or that someone in her life is worried and upset by the initiative she plans to take.
The young woman revealed that she and her mother were currently in conflict about her desire to attend a university in another state, which would cause a significant separation from her mother who strongly preferred that she attend a local college and commute to classes from home. Her mother was having a very hard time letting go and allowing the querent to separate and leave home. On the positive side, the Nine of airy Swords suggests that her mother’s worries are more products of her mind and imagination rather than something bad that would manifest in the real world.