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"Great Art is Not Made for Closets"

This article’s title comes directly from the artist of the cards we use for this weekday tarotstrology newsletter. Lettie Jane Rennenkamp’s Many Queens Tarot both honors and challenges traditional tarot imagery, symbolism and definitions. While a huge part of our daily dive into the cards is day specific (I engage a brief ritual prayer and invocation before pulling a card for the collective and we explore the card’s astrological correspondence to this specific day) there is always much to be learned about the card itself and its home-base astrological placement on any day through reading this column.

We take a three-pronged approach to each daily card draw.

  1. We will learn about the card itself

  2. We will learn about it’s astrological home-base and why we may be directed to tune into that placement within ourselves today

  3. We will calculate where the home planet and sign are today and figure out their angle/aspect and what it indicates. If it isn’t obvious from the daily astrological chart, I will literally use a protractor to determine the angle.

Our card for today is the 6 of Wands. Known in traditional astrological correspondence as the “Lord of Victory.” I’ll also take this moment to mention that due to my commitment to shadow work/shadow integration, I do not read “reversed” tarot cards, but take into consideration any “reversed” meanings that authors and readers may apply to the card. So here I’ll quote Lettie Jane’s interpretation of the card before we dive into deeper info on the card and its astrology component.

“Herald your accomplishments, you’ve done this and should be proud. Great art is not made for closets. It’s time to reflect on what you’ve accomplished and sing the ballad of it to your friends.”

  1. The Tarot takes us through many journeys. The Major Arcana is the “Fool’s Journey” analogous to Joseph Campbell’s moniker for the worldwide narrative thread through all mythology the “Hero’s Journey” and can be seen in our personal overarching lifelong story. The Minor Arcana suits can help us understand the smaller “chapter” journeys that we take in our lives. The Fives reveal the inner workings of challenge, the Six follow up and bring us back into the successful side after those struggles. This card particularly indicates victory over obstacles and Sixes in general are the number of harmony. As wands relate to the element of Fire, the celebration expressed in this card is warm and shared with your community. This indicates a well deserved success that you’ve worked hard for, not a lucky break. While the Six of Wands leaves us feeling optimistic about the future, it also tells us not to let the fire of momentum die, for while we may have attained a certain goal, more growth is ahead of us and we must focus on new goals. Rest and reap your rewards, but don’t get too comfortable or your embers may become cold.

  2. Jupiter in the second decan Leo is the astrological home-base of the Six of Wands. This is actually where Leo is at its best, shining and peak, star of the show, person of the hour. This placement also indicates the power to overcome quarreling, ignorance and shine a burning light of truth on pretenders. Jupiter in Leo also reminds us that true leaders must be more than just a face, that with great power comes the great responsibility to serve their believers and followers.

  3. Today’s sky, and actually much of this year, places Jupiter in direct opposition to the second decan of Leo (though sometimes it will dance between the first and third as well). If you feel nervous about the responsibility of having people look up to you wish to set yourself apart from the crowd, you must learn to harmonize your vision of the future. It’s important to see an oppositional transit as a see-saw, it's the type of balancing act that requires cooperation, can be challenging at times but it can also be fun and rewarding. I urge you to tune into the beneficial things that come from opposites, not just the challenges. A quick phrase from the We’Moon key: Expansion, opportunities and leadership (Jupiter), polarize and complement (opposition) creativity, charisma, warmth and enthusiasm. Gather with others to celebrate and share bounty (Leo). To ameliorate any negativity or blockage surrounding the phrase “polarize” I recommend attuning to the powerful energy of polarity- think batteries or the Northern Lights. And of course we read “complement” here like the color wheel and complementary quote Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass on the power of yellow and purple “I chose botany because I wanted to learn about why asters and goldenrod looked so beautiful together.”

If you’re interested in personally diving deeper into the relationship between tarot and astrology, I recommend the following books: Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot by Lon Milo DuQuette (even if you don’t read with the Thoth) as well as Tarot and Astrology by Corrine Kenner (even if you don’t read with the Golden Dawn). I love celebrating the worldwide tarot journey with many decks and I love reading the direct description in the artist/author’s companion guide, however I cannot emphasize strongly enough how important it is to engage a foundation of understanding through the Golden Dawn, the Crowley-Harris Thoth, and the Smith-Rider-Waite (for this I use Rachel Pollack’s Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom, though she sometimes mentions some broad astrological correspondences relating to the suits, it’s not part of her explanations of the individual cards).

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