Tarot and Astrology

Even though they are different practices, tarot and astrology have some important things in common. The process involved is similar, for one thing. For another, they are both based on the elements Earth, Water, Air, Fire. In fact, each tarot card is associated to an astrological sign or planet. Understanding the links between these systems can be helpful to understand the context of a reading, or to be able to combine disciplines.

Similar processes

While astrology and tarot use different tools as part of their process, they involve a very similar set of skills for a practitioner. Both astrology and tarot are based on a set of rules.

The Rules of Astrology

Astrology’s rules regard the placements and aspects made by heavenly bodies like planets and asteroids, and where they fall within the zodiac chart. These are rules, since the planets and asteroids have specific meanings, the zodiac chart is divided into twelve sections called „Houses” which cover specific areas of one’s life, and aspects made by planets have specific meanings.

Beyond the rules, part of astrology is the personal touch or interpretation of the astrologer, which is the artistic part of this practice. It’s that artistic part of it that makes the predictions of each astrologer so unique and interesting.

The Rules of Tarot

Tarot’s rules regard the traditional meaning associated with each of the 78 cards in the deck. Whether you follow the Thoth, Rider-Waite or Marseille system, each card has a particular meaning based on a number of things like the elements of the Suits, numerology, and astrology. Each card in the tarot deck has an astrological association to either a sign or a planet.

Just like with astrology, from that « textbook » level of knowledge of the meanings of tarot cards, a gifted tarot reader has their own interpretation and understanding of each card and of their various combinations. Which is why even given the same cards in a spread, the reading itself is going to be different when given by different readers or even the same one at different times.

Aside from the process being similar, each tarot card is associated to an astrological element. We’ll take a closer look at that, but let’s start with the elements.

The four elements

Both astrology and tarot use the four elements: Earth, Water, Air, and Fire.

The elements in Astrology

When it comes to tarot, each of the four elements is represented through a Suit of cards.

The element of Earth is represented by the Suit of Pentacles (or Coins). The element of Water is represented by the Suit of Cups. The element of Air is represented by the Suit of Swords. And the element of Fire is represented by the Suit of Wands.

The elements in Tarot

In astrology, the elements are defining aspects of the zodiac signs. Each of the twelve zodiac signs represents an element.

The element of Earth is represented by the signs Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. The element of Water is represented by the signs Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. The element of Air is represented by the signs Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius. And the element of Fire is represented by the signs Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius.

Zodiac signs, planets, and tarot cards

The similarities go beyond the process involved and even beyond the presence of the four elements in each practice. In fact, almost every tarot card has an astrological corresponding element which offers readers additional insight and information.

The tarot deck of 78 cards is divided into two main sections: the Major Arcana (or the trumps), and the Minor Arcana (or the four suits we talked about previously in the four elements section). Almost every card in the Major and Minor Arcana is associated with a particular zodiac sign or planet, except for the Aces which represent the element of their suit. Each zodiac sign has both Major and Minor Arcana card associations. The planets are only associated to Major Arcana cards, which makes it easier to remember them.

It can be tough to remember all of the associations between tarot cards and zodiac signs, though, and in any case it may require an experienced reader who is also well-versed in the art of astrology to make the most of that information.


On one hand, while there are many connections between the two practices, each one is a stand-alone system. An astrologer doesn’t need the help of tarot to make astrological predictions anymore than a tarot reader would need astrology to read the cards.

On the other hand, tarot and astrology can be interwoven due to the similarity of the basic elements and processes they use. An understanding of both can enrich readings and expand one's understanding, resulting in a wider view.

Mary Aragon, tarologist

Wednesday 14th April

My name is Mary Aragon and I am the AbcTarot tarologist. My role is to use my tarot readings to help you understand your life and feel more optimistic about your future. I use my own words to analyze the Marseille Tarot cards and share my world, my passion for the cards, my interest in the occult and a little of my own philosophy of life with you. I hope that my work will help you to look at things more calmly.