The Connection Between Tarot & The Chinese Zodiac

Posted on April 13, 2019

There are many connections between astrology, both Western and Chinese astrology alike, and the Tarot. Above all, both the Tarot and the Chinese Zodiac seek wisdom and guidance from the same place: the astral plane.

Astrology is a little more scientific as it focuses on the planets and elements, while the Tarot cards are somewhat more elusive in the sense that they are usually open to interpretation by the reader and there is more of a ‘storyline’ element to it. Though Western Astrology has a solid connection with the Tarot, Chinese Astrology does also, albeit in a slightly different way.

This article will explain how Tarot cards are linked to the Chinese Zodiac and how understanding your sign while combining Tarot can help guide you in all areas of your life.

What is the Link Between Tarot & Chinese Astrology?

In Chinese Astrology, rather than being represented by planetary signs as Western Astrology is, people are represented by an animal that corresponds with the year of their birth. Chinese Astrology and Western Astrology are also intertwined as each animal connects to one particular sign.

Example: The Rat in the Major Arcana

Let’s take the Rat of the Chinese Zodiac as an example. The Rat’s Western equivalent is Sagittarius, the sign of curiosity, energy and mediation. The Major Arcana Tarot card that corresponds with Sagittarius – and the Rat – is the Temperance card.

Temperance is all about finding compromise and seeking ways through difficulties using a blend of mixing and matching, through original thought and using creativity and cleverness in equal amounts. The Rat is a perfect example of this. In one of the original Chinese Zodiac legends, there was a race held where each animal was granted a year in the 12-year cycle based on the position they came in at the end of the race.

The Rat, being the smallest creature, had to think of a cunning way to finish the race to ensure he wouldn’t end up last (or not finishing at all!). He thought of a clever plan to jump on the back of the Ox, who would carry him to the finishing line whereupon he, the Rat, could bound over the Ox to snatch first place. This is Temperance at its best, finding a compromise and mingling ideas in order to reach a solution which is workable.

The Rat, with his clever, astute mind is the archetype Temperance card.

The Rat in the Minor Arcana

In the Minor Arcana, one of the cards that represent the Rat is the 10 of Wands.

The 10 of Wands is all about struggle and burden, taking on so many things at once that the load becomes almost impossible to hold – not unless the bearer can find a way to carry all ten wands without caving under the pressure.

The Rat is a resourceful sign, one that calculates and plans accordingly in order to reach their goals, but at times they can be so determined to achieve their ambitions that they bite off far more than they can chew. Using their intelligence and determination, they are able to find a way to carry these burdens and see things through to the end.

In the process of finding a solution, the Rat is able to discover more about themselves, understanding what they can and can’t accomplish. To be a Rat is to maneuver oneself through life, dodging, twisting and turning, but ultimately reaching a compromise.

Tarot & The Chinese Zodiac in Your Daily Life

As with all esoteric methods such as astrology and Tarot, the more you know, the easier it is to find guidance and wisdom in areas of life that are befuddling or challenging!

Understanding how your Chinese Zodiac sign corresponds with different Tarot cards helps bring clearer clarification and ‘Aha!’ moments that may pop into our heads. Though Tarot card meanings are indeed open to interpretation, they do all have several fundamental meanings that are specific to that card.

So, if you are a Dog in the Chinese Zodiac whose Western equivalent is Libra, your Tarot correspondent would be the Justice card.

The Dog’s innate qualities of fairness and justice can then be further understood by the Justice card, which exemplifies these qualities and goes into greater detail in regard to the Law of Karma and achieving a sense of equilibrium through a comprehension of what is right and what is wrong.

Concluding Thoughts…

Both the Tarot and astrology are complex topics which can aid us greatly as we travel the road of life. Having a Tarot reading and seeing a card pop up which corresponds to your Chinese Zodiac sign can bring deeper meaning and understanding to your reading.

The human mind is an incredible thing and we all have the capability to use our own creativity and innovation to find answers to puzzles, and guidance when we are at a crossroads. Combining these two powerful and mysterious forces can work wonders in assisting us in all areas of life where we may need a little helping hand along the way.

Related Article: Chinese Astrology: Understanding the 4 Trines

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Sarah Brownlee is a harmonious Libra Sun, Conflicted Scorpio rising, and a Tiger in the Chinese Zodiac. A whirlwind writer with a passion for Tarot cards and Astrology in all forms… Read More »

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