Astrological Tarot Lesson I: What Every Good Magician Needs to Know

Ready for your first lesson?  Good.  Let’s start with Astrology 101 – The Basics.

What every good magician needs to know.

Know your zodiac.
The zodiac is based off of the band of constellations which appear like a belt around the planet. So what does it mean when we are “in the sign of Pisces?” What is meant is that the sun is in Pisces, or making its Solar Return to that sign. Throughout the year, we view the Sun against the “backdrop” of a particular section of the zodiac, in other words in front of that constellation.  The constellations are different sizes so the actual time that the sun is in front of a zodiacal constellation varies, and there is even a 13th constellation that the sun passes through, but the zodiacal sections are consistent, each containing 30 degrees and lasting about 30 days, usually changing to the next sign somewhere between the 19th and the 23st of each month.  The time when one sign ends and the next begins is called the cusp.
The order of the zodiac. The Elements. The Modes.
The zodiac proceeds in the following order beginning with Aries at the Vernal (Spring) Equinox and ending with Pisces: Fire, Earth, Air, Water, Fire, Earth, Air, Water, Fire, Earth, Air, Water.
The signs are also classed by three different modes –  Cardinal, Fixed, and Mutable and go in that same order, repeating 4 times.
Cardinal Signs mark the Solstices and Equinoxes, and start with the first day of Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.  They initiate the new season.
Fixed Signs are the stabilizers, mid-season, who persevere to keep the momentum.
Mutable signs are flexible and allow for change to happen as one season ends and another is about to begin.
Notice that you can group the signs together by element, or by mode.
For many people, the intro to astrology is simply reading their horoscope.  Imagine this:  What if you only ever read about other people who were just like you, demographically, culturally, racially, etc.  You’d have a pretty limited view of yourself, because you would not have any outside perspectives by which to gauge your thoughts or opinions.  What you believed would be taken for granted because you would not be aware of other viewpoints.  Now apply this idea to your zodiacal sign.  If you only ever read about your own sign, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to learn more about yourself, by seeing how others are subtly similar or vastly different.  Take the time to learn which signs have the same element as your sun sign, or same mode as you.  Know your opposite sign – the sign of your half-birthday. As you learn about them, you will learn more about yourself as well. A fully evolved person understands the virtues and challenges of all of the signs, and has learned to balance each of these aspects within themselves. When the sun is in a sign which shares an element with your sun sign, that will be a powerful time for you.  For instance, if you are a Water sign, then when the sun is in Cancer, Scorpio or Pisces these will all be powerful times of the year for you to work “in your element.”
The Moon. Its cycles. How to know what sign it is in.
When the moon is getting fuller, it is waxing.  When it appears to be getting smaller, it is waning. It goes through each part of the cycle every month. Being in tune with the moon cycle brings more power to your magical working.
When the moon is:
New – Start new projects.  Sow seeds.  Set intentions.
Waxing – Build, Push outward and forward, grow, gather.
Full Moon – Full power – charge magical implements and stones, light candles, intentions from New Moon reach full point of manifestation.  Reap.
Waning – Cleanse, detox, purify. Release, ground, show gratitude for all that the cycle brought you.  Rest.
The moon cycle is 28 days, and moves through all 12 signs during each cycle.  That means that the moon is in each sign about 2.5 days.
How to know what sign the New Moon and Full Moon will be in:
When the Moon is new, it is between the Sun and the Earth, and therefore will appear to be in the same sign as the sun.  Sun in Pisces means New moon in Pisces.
When the Moon is full, we see it fully reflecting the sun on the opposite side of the earth.  The moon is in the opposite sign as the Sun.  Sun in Pisces means Full Moon in Virgo (six months/signs apart). Whenever you are writing in your magical journal, make sure to record what sign the Sun and Moon are in, the Moon phase, and the day of the week.  The more you learn to pay attention to these things, the more you will be able to work with the flow of earthly, lunar and cosmic cycles, being more effective in your work, your manifesting, and your influence, just at the stars and the classical planets bear their influence.