I have been teaching, conducting workshops, and writing books as well as numerous articles in the metaphysical field for over forty years. I am often asked the same questions. Which is better, tarot, or astrology? How do they differ? Is one better than the other? Which is more accurate? The answer depends on the type of guidance you are seeking.
Astrology has been in existence since at least the Egyptian civilization and probably used in other places around the world before Egypt. In parts of the world, astrologers were more revered than medical doctors. The moment a person is born is referred to as their natal chart. A personal chart is equivalent to spiritual DNA and as valuable to know who you are as your medical file. Everything about the person being read, both positive and negative are revealed in the natal chart. It contains many different aspects of one’s personality such as how well or poorly you react to emotional situations, are you an optimist or a pessimist, if you are a leader or follower, your intellectual abilities, why relationships succeed or fail, and if you are trustworthy or not. The houses of the chart tell different areas of life that are affected, for instance, the first house represents the personality you show to the world and not necessarily your true self and ego; the second represents your money or material possessions and values while the third represents communication, writing, computers, short trips, and siblings, etc. Twelve distinct areas of life are covered. Depending upon which planets are in a particular house, in which signs, and what aspects hit that house and planets, a personality is formed.
Throughout the years with the planets moving forward (or progressing) from your birth chart, which is considered a map of the sky at the time of your birth, one’s personality, likes, dislikes, intelligence, relationships, and reactions to situations change. Adding in solstice points, midpoints, and solar eclipses which usually occur twice a year, the next six months or a year can be forecasted. Many different possibilities are touched upon as the planets and aspects represent a vast variety of probabilities. One must remember, however, that we exercise free will. Our choices make up our own fate. We make a million decisions throughout our lifetimes that changes our future day by day.
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Planets and aspects can stand for many different alternatives. When the sun and moon on an eclipse day fall into a particular house, that house is activated, and an astrologer knows what will be in store for the client throughout the predicted time period that was used. Whatever happens on an eclipse day will represent the next six months of your life. For example, I recommend not spending too much money on the eclipse so you will have money to spend for six months; spend time with friends and loved ones you wish to see throughout the next six months; go to work, or you may lose your job in some way, etc. Complete lists of projects, affirmations, or goals. Plan for the next six months. I usually find it helpful to get things in order before an eclipse and then read the list in a positive manner on the eclipse so that the universe will set the stage for your next six months in a very logical and organized manner.
In order to make a competent prediction, an astrologer would know the meanings of the sun signs, houses, planets, and aspects affecting the “eclipsed” planets and how they aspect the natal and progressed planets in your chart. Simplified, if one has more positive aspects such as sextiles or trines during the eclipse, life will be more calm, relaxed, focused, organized, and fulfilling without many obstacles. If many squares and oppositions appear then more challenges and obstacles may be experienced. Whether the outcome is positive or negative truly depends on the overall outlook. Hindrances or complications may be present for the client to learn a particular karmic lesson or start handling responsibility better, etc.
In essence, astrology gives you a road map to your life year by year. Once given a road map, there are many ways to arrive at the destination of fate. Each choice will lead to a certain outcome; however, the path is altered by the mode of transportation and the route one chooses. Remember as in any modality, you have complete control over your life and destiny.
Tarot is basically a different method or concept of predicting the future. The cards explain what will happen if you do nothing to change the situation. If there were something perceived to be negative by the Querent (the person for whom you are doing the reading), it will stay negative unless that person takes a positive action to change the event or circumstances or behaves in a calm and logical way, and looks at the change or circumstances. There are always other options and choices.
The tarot reader can do various spreads to predict what will happen in a day, week, month, year, or particular time period in the future. Most of the spreads can pinpoint an exact month by month prediction in addition to an overall view of the current situation and how one may handle those situations successfully. Tarot can let you know about particular occurrences, obstacles, or your love life with a glance of the cards; it can give you definitive yes or no answers to precise questions. The client then has a choice whether to use the information to their benefit.
By using the tarot, one can get an immediate answer to a question and insight into a situation or circumstance and know what to do to change that situation to their advantage. Tarot shows you when to balance your love life, money, career, or family. It foretells what you must do to correct these areas of life. It often gives us not only the mundane solutions to life but tells us of the spiritual path we must also follow to be happy in this lifetime.
Tarot suggests blessings from God after going through changes; it tells when one must rest so that the Querent could be protected from an illness or concern with the proper rest and care of him or herself. Tarot helps build character because it gives the Querent the knowledge to assist in his struggle. It paves the way for an adaptive attitude towards conflicts, obstacles, and concerns because you know when the conflict should be over and done with. Tarot uses a variety of scenery, backgrounds, figures, and colors to portray each card’s meaning. Sometimes adding knowledge about numerology helps give further meaning to the cards, although one can get a feel for the cards just by looking at them. This cannot be done in astrology. If the person has no practical knowledge of the planets, houses, and aspects, an astrological interpretation cannot be properly done. It would look like the Egyptian language shown to a first grader!
Tarot can also prepare one for issues that need balance in order to be happy or fulfilled – it could represent balance in Relationships: is one partner too controlling while the other partner is too idealistic? Money: spending too much and not saving enough? Career: is it really necessary to work twelve-hour days? Family: What about spending quality time with the family? Conflicts: can I ride out this conflict or should I settle them peacefully? Can I handle what is ahead of me? Is there an end in sight? Just by adding some common sense and a time frame, one can look into the future and know what must be done to correct any negative situation.
The Time Needed
Astrology charts, although automated now, can be called upon a computer and printed in a few minutes, are extremely difficult to interpret properly. The charts are impressive with the natal, progressed, and transit planets all there waiting for your interpretation. But then there are massive reports that can be generated with all types of probabilities for the next year. The reports are so long (usually 50+ pages) because there are so many variables. If you make a decision today or now, you change the future from a few moments ago.
Tarot usually takes anywhere from one hour to an hour and a half to read properly. Astrology can take long hours to decipher and then read to the native. Reference for planet configurations (some use asteroids as well) must be used and placed in the chart and then one must go through each planet of the natal chart, progressed chart, and transits to see how it affects the natal chart. Many combinations can actually make other configurations of planets better or worse by being in aspect with several planets at the same time. You can guide through astrology and then you have to wait to see which of the many avenues your client (or you) has taken. Each planet and house have many interpretations. With tarot, you are taking an active role in your future by knowing what will come up and how to alter the outcome for the most positive result for the good of all involved.
Tarot is more like psychology. I have a therapist friend who uses tarot with her younger patients, and it has been invaluable to get to the true root of the problem. I’ve also introduced tarot to schoolteacher friends of mine when they complained that reading or playgroups didn’t always get along. What better way to have harmonious groups in a class other than putting all the same elements (fire, earth, air, and water) together. They have the same energy and are on the same playing field. It worked.
So, Tarot or Astrology?
Although I love both astrology and tarot, I would imagine it depends on the type of information you are seeking. If you want a very philosophical, detailed view of yourself, your character, moods, emotions, likes, dislikes, and the general road map to your life for the year ahead then an astrological chart is for you. I usually place both eclipses in a chart for a year’s reading, so that my clients need only return once a year for the upcoming year’s events, which is from the day you do the reading until the same date next year, not a calendar year.
Tarot is a useful guidance tool since it can give you the areas of your life causing concern, gives answers to deal with anything from the four suits in the Minor Arcana indicating the problem or challenge or from the spiritual cards, the Major Arcana, which may have some interesting tests just waiting for you.
Remember that we have total and complete control over our lives and the decisions we make. No one can make those choices for us. Tarot is easier and gives more practical answers for the year ahead; astrology gives us a well-designed overview of what is to come and makes us think of all the possibilities and consequences that we can choose.
Both are fun, both are guidance tools, and both can be very dangerous if used for negative purposes. To find a reputable astrologer or tarot reader ask friends who have had good experiences or ask at a new age bookstore. And after a reading do you feel better than before you started the reading? If you don’t, then perhaps that reader was not right for you.
Whether you read tarot or astrology, keep your message clear, optimistic, and focused. Anyone can change their future. We have the ability to create our own destiny.
My advice would be to try each modality and see which is right for you. Most clients are surprised by the accuracy, insight, and level of philosophical awareness that is gained.