When you dive deeper into exploring spirituality and all the esoteric ways you can uncover insights on yourself and the world around you, you will come across both Tarot readings and astrology. However, after learning what both of them can do for you, you may find yourself asking what the real difference between the two of them is.
The difference between Tarot readings and astrology mainly resides in the fact that Tarot uses both cards and a reader’s intuition, while astrology uses scientifically based forecasting of the planets’ positioning to provide insight. However, both can be used to help anyone in their life journey.
If you are curious about both Tarot readings and astrology, it is good to know that both of them together are more powerful than using just one or the other. If you are curious about learning more about both Tarot and astrology, why they are both used, and the true similarities and differences that are between them, keep reading below.
Tarot readings are a form of divination that is used to advise and empower people to make better choices in their lives. Through the messages brought forward by the Tarot cards and a Tarot reader’s intuition, a Tarot reading acts as a tool that lets you connect with universal energy to overall better your life.
While many people believe Tarot reading is a form of telling the future, that is untrue. Instead of predicting the future, Tarot reading is more focused on the present and helping you make more informed decisions regarding your life, relationships, health, career, and so much more.
Keep reading to find out more about where Tarot readings began, how you can do a tarot reading, and the purpose of doing or getting a reading.
History of Tarot Readings
In the 15th century, Tarot cards were simply used for playing a card game around Europe. However, around the end of the 18th century, people began exploring and using the tarot for divination purposes.
The most common and original decks used for Tarot readings are the Rider Waite-Smith Tarot deck, the Tarot of Marseilles, and the Thoth Tarot deck.
As time went on and progressed to the current day, the decks still hold the initial 78 cards with both Minor Arcana cards and Major Arcana cards, but there are plenty of decks with many different designs or art that are now available. Details on the meanings behind these two distinct types of cards will be discussed later on.
How to Use Tarot Cards for Readings
If you have never read Tarot cards before, that does not mean that you can’t. Although, if you have never done it before, it will take some time to learn in order to do it in a way that allows you to actually gain helpful insight from your readings.
To complete a Tarot reading, you would use the Tarot cards as a divination tool that allows you to have questions answered or advice given to you. Through the archetypes, symbols, and imagery on the cards, the Tarot reader is then able to intuitively understand a collective message that needs to be translated to the querent.
To use Tarot cards, there are a few things you first would need to know:
- The meanings or keywords that relate to the meanings of all 78 cards
- How to shuffle and select Tarot cards to read
- How to lay out Tarot cards in a spread
- How to read and interpret the messages of the Tarot cards
Understanding these four main factors is essential for getting the full experience of a Tarot reading because they make up the entire process. When all of these things are understood, the Tarot cards can easily be used to bring advice to someone through what the cards that are drawn represent. The representation of these cards, or what you can call the meanings, is what brings life to the reading.
The Meanings of Tarot Cards
There are two main groups in a deck of 78 Tarot cards, the Major Arcana cards, which consist of 22 cards, and the Minor Arcana cards, which consist of 56 cards broken up into 4 different suits.
The Major Arcana cards are representative of large significant life themes or events, ones that may be more long-term and overarching in someone’s life. On the other hand, the Minor Arcana cards deal with situations found in everyday life, with each suit relating to a specific theme in someone’s life. The Minor Arcana cards will typically then relate back to the Major Arcana cards overarching life lesson or theme.
Here are some of the representations of the Major Arcana cards, that if they are drawn in a Tarot card reading will signify that you are experiencing important events within your life:
- The Sun. One of the most positive cards to draw as it represents positivity, success, and optimism as you may feel more in tune with who you really are.
- The Moon. The moon carries an overarching theme of emotions. Typically showing you what is within your subconscious, which could be fear or your intuition.
- The Fool. Represents new beginnings into an unknown where one is innocent and possibly spontaneous.
- The Hermit. Represents someone who may need to spend time alone and in quietness, searching for who they are and what moves they should make next.
- Temperance. The meaning has to do with finding balance and taking things in moderation as one proceeds on life’s journey.
- Strength. Stands for courage and strength in an individual who is ready to take on large tasks in a calm, respectful manner.
It should be noted that while the above is in a random order, the 22 Major Arcana cards are actually in a specific order, as the cards as a whole represent each step of a journey that humans take in their lives.
As for the 56 Minor Arcana cards, each suit represents a different theme. The suits and the themes they refer to are:
- Pentacles (Coins) are related to material things found within the physical world, typically pointing you to look at situations that involve your career, money, or overall success in life.
- Wands refer to the energy all around us, growth in your life, and potentially new adventures that come from different new ideas. Sometimes also bringing messages related to your life purpose or your love life.
- Cups represent the emotions you have and the relationships within your life. They are soul focused as they bring up true feelings of both yourself and those in your life.
- Swords are related to conflict or disagreement in your life. Either a conflict within yourself or a conflict you have faced in the outer world, such as loss or heartbreak. Overall, showing you what you need to let go of, so you can move forward.
Purpose of a Tarot Reading
People consult the Tarot for many reasons, whether it is to get advice on a current situation, ask for universal guidance regarding their life’s purpose, or just because they want to be ready for the month ahead. It is a tool used to overall make people’s lives easier by allowing them to connect to universal energy, or even potentially ancestors to get the messages that would help them in the moment.
These messages are what comes from the meanings behind the cards drawn, as well as the intuitive hits that the Tarot reader or psychic receives throughout the reading.
Tarot also gives you a chance to connect with underlying thoughts or feelings you may have about a situation, overall allowing you to make more inspired and empowered decisions for whatever is going in your life.
People may ask specific questions for the Tarot to answer, or they can simply wait and see what guidance comes through. The purpose of a Tarot reading is not to tell you what is going to happen, but give you a strong sense of who you are, what you are capable of, and what you need to focus on in order to be able to handle whatever is happening or may happen in the future.
The art of astrology is more than just what your daily horoscope says about it. Astrology is complex and all about the positions of the celestial bodies, and how they have an impact on who you are, who you love, and so much more. Essentially, astrology and the influence that it has on your life has been around for as long as there have been stars in the sky.
The patterns found within the universe regarding the placement, movements, and relationships of planets have a profound effect on the events happening within your life and human behavior. Astrology focuses on these 10 planets, including:
The zodiac signs that astrology uses to help group together planetary positions are:
While you may be familiar with your zodiac sign, which is most likely referring to your sun sign, you actually have a sign for every planet, and understanding all of them can teach you a whole lot about who you were meant to be in this lifetime.
To learn more about astrology, including how it is used and why it is used, keep reading.
History of Astrology
While it is said that astrology has been dated back to BC times, it was not until the 20th century when astrology became increasingly popular because newspapers decided to include horoscopes for people to read about themselves in the paper.
Through that, the popularity of finding meaning for your life through the positions, movements, and relationships of celestial bodies up in the sky became much more pronounced.
How to Use Astrology
Astrology is most commonly used as a tool for self-exploration and self-development. However, how does it work? Well, it depends on what you want to know. While the birth chart is a very popular way of understanding the influences that were at play when you were born, it does not have to stop there.
One of the most common ways to use astrology is for personal development. For example, looking at your birth chart (the positions of the planets at your time and place of birth) can give you a whole lot of insight about your strengths, weakness, opportunities that can be found in your life, and what challenges you may face in your life.
This birth chart is developed from where all of the planets were the exact moment that you were born. Here are some of the amazing insights that the meanings of the planets can give you:
- The Sun Sign. Represents a basic understanding of who you are as a person, why you make the choices you make, and what choices you are likely to make.
- The Moon Sign. Represents your emotions and how they essentially guide what you choose to do, along with your typical moods.
- The Mercury Sign. Represents how you reason or communicate.
- The Venus Sign. Represents what you find attractive and how you love.
- The Mars Sign. Represents the aggression and competitiveness that you hold within you and what makes you so passionate enough to take action in certain situations.
- The Jupiter Sign. Represents the optimism you have in life, that correlates to how you find happiness.
- The Saturn Sign. Represents the limitations you have within your life and the obstacles that you may face.
- The Uranus Sign. Represents where you may find inspiration or experience change in your life.
- The Neptune Sign. Represents a mystical side to you, which includes your dreams and your imaginations.
- The Pluto Sign. Represents how you may deal with power in your life.
On top of where the planets were, there is also more detail found within what astrological house the planets were in, differing based on where and when you were born. These houses essentially are why so many people with the same sun signs end up being so different personality-wise as the houses all rule different aspects of your life.
The astrological houses and what aspects of your life that they rule are as follows:
- First House. Rules personality
- Second House. Rules how you support yourself financially
- Third House. Rules your communication style and intelligence
- Fourth House. Rules your family life, both positive and negative aspects
- Fifth House. Rules your creative side and how you like to play in your free time
- Sixth House. Rules your how you go about your day, concerning your health and business and life balance
- Seventh House. Rules your romantic relationships as well as business relationships and friendships
- Eighth House. Rules the support other people give to you
- Ninth House. Rules the education you receive or wish to receive
- Tenth House. Rules how you appear to society as well as the job you have
- Eleventh House. Rules your social circle and who you wish to be in your circle
- Twelfth House. The final house and rules the endings in your life and what you need to uncover about yourself.
If you want to learn more about how to understand your birth chart, you can watch this video below:
You can also use astrology to determine how the relationships in your lives will work out, both romantic and friendly.
This is due to specific compatibility found within your birth chart, that when analyzed correctly, can tell you a whole lot about the strengths and weaknesses that will be apparent within a relationship. While it is not the be-all and end-all for if you should be friends with or date someone, it can mention how well you two will be together.
Current Life Situations
Have you ever heard someone blame their bad week on the fact that Mars was in Retrograde? Well, this stems from astrology and the influence that the planets can have on your everyday life.
While the world of astrology is a complex one, here are some common ways that astrology can be utilized within your day-to-day lives to help improve it.
- When a planet is in retrograde. When a planet is moving backward it is considered to be in retrograde. When one of the types of retrogrades occur, there can be personal, difficult or challenging events that may come up to disturb your current life. You can then use this as an opportunity to gain a different point of view on the situation and learn from this change or prepare for when your life may be disrupted again.
- The phase of the moon. Depending on the phase of the moon, your emotions can be widely affected. In the case of a new moon, you will want to set intentions, while a full moon is a time to make changes in your life.
- A birth chart based daily horoscope. While the horoscope you receive from your sun sign alone can feel quite impersonal, ones based on more than your sun sign can actually give you insightful advice about how to approach the day ahead.
Purpose of Astrology
While how you use astrology is closely linked to why you would use it, the overall purpose is for the benefits that it can bring into your life, all-in-all allowing you to connect on a much deeper level to your true self.
By using astrology as a tool of self-development, you can better connect with your highest self, learning about your strengths and your weaknesses so you can become a better person overall. Also, it allows you to become aware of certain personality traits you may have, your communication style, and give you an in-depth look into how you are in relationships.
By seeing how each planet and its designated meaning influences different aspects of your life, you can better prepare yourself for situations you have yet to encounter and give yourself a chance to better understand who you are and what you want out of life, so you can approach situations better off than before.
Essentially, the purpose of astrology is to help you find the purpose of your life.
Both Tarot and astrology readings are powerful tools within the spiritual world to get insights into someone’s past, present, or future. While they differ greatly on a technical level, there is a spiritual overlay that brings the two together under the same roof.
What connects them is the insight and personal development they can bring to the querent. Whether it is through astrological influences that teach you who you are, what you need to learn, and how you should learn it or through the archetypes portrayed on, Tarot cards share life lessons that are being learned.
Also, the day to day advice on how to approach situations both can result in the current feeling of being better prepared for their life journey.
While both are completely different practices, they can be used hand in hand to create the ultimate personal-development tool for figuring out who you are and your purpose in life. By having a better grasp of these things, you can become happier and more confident in who you are and the decisions you make in life.
The Life Journey
One of the most interesting connections that can be found with both Tarot and astrology is how both practices encompass a person’s life journey, not forgetting to cover a single obstacle they may face.
All the planets that are consulted in astrology cover all aspects of a person’s life, including who they are, their emotions, how they act, what they are attracted to, and so on. In addition, there is also a zodiac sign found on the planet, and the planet will reside in a house.
When you look at how the signs interact with the planet and then how the astrological house interacts with the planet, you gain further insight on the external things in a person’s life, such as their income, their family, marriage life, daily routine, partnerships, and much more.
On the other hand, all the cards within a Tarot deck essentially cover all of the exact same aspects. With each Major Arcana card being numbered from 0-22 represents a specific step in an individual’s journey, with all the other cards touching on certain situations, challenges, or personality traits that may impact a person’s life.
Additionally, it is said that the Major Arcana cards were strongly based on certain constellations, so the connection between how both Tarot and astrology cover all aspects of a person’s life journey makes complete sense.
While the apparent difference between Tarot and astrology readings is that one uses cards and the other uses the planets to provide you with insight about your life, there is a distinct difference that remains between the two that is mainly due to how the readings are developed and interpreted.
For a Tarot reading, psychics and Tarot readers strongly rely on their own intuition in order to interpret the messages that the layout of cards is trying to portray. Through the cards, the reader is simply a messenger for sharing messages from the universe or spirit world to the querent. These answers that the Tarot reader sees or receives through intuition can also be much more personal as a result.
For astrology, it is much more scientific and math based. Through calculations that have been done for thousands of years, patterns and planetary positions have been studied to create what you could call an astrological forecast. The patterns and the cycles that are then apparent in the sky are used and connected to the patterns found in human behaviors.
So, while one can use Tarot reading to answer specific questions in the moment, astrology is meant to be more of a guidebook that you can consult throughout different situations in your life. The answers Tarot readings provide are constantly changing, while astrology typically remains the same based on forecasts.
While the main purpose of both Tarot readings and astrology is to be used to help people better their life decisions and offer them guidance on how to approach the life they are living, where the insight comes from are two very different places.
Tarot readings and the use of the cards rely heavily on the intuition of the reader and their ability to use the cards to answer a question you may have, and it’s what makes it empowering. The influence that the planets’ positions, movements, and relationships have on who you are, what you like, and how you act are also beneficial insights to know in order to approach many situations in your life.
Overall, both are extremely powerful ways to gain information on who you are and what you should do to fulfill your life purpose, and they can both serve you better than using only one of them.