Reader, I wrote this post about half a dozen times, every time it ended up utterly turgid and soooo boring I thought I might have to post you out a couple of match-sticks to prop your eyelids open and assault you with this *brandishes hat pin* just to make sure you are awake.
First of all, it's bad news again for the Pages; there's still no room at the Astrological Inn for them with this system either.
BUT - you will be pleased to know that I've abandoned all that earnest writing in favour of a drawing! OK, it's not the BEST drawing, but it does show the Golden Dawn's zodiac choices. I even added some seasonal trees to tart it up a bit for you. You're welcome.
(*sssh* ignore the fact that I almost spelled my blog's name wrong)
First of all, let's look at the outer wheel which is marked by lots of tiny strokes. like the teeth on a wheel There's 360 of them to be exact. Degrees. They're called degrees. This works out quite nicely to 30 degrees per astrological sign. I marked the outer ring accordingly.
The next ring shows the 12 zodiac signs - well, my hand-drawn glyphs. Apologies - they are tricker to doodle than you might think.
The inner ring has the Kings, Queens and Knights of the Tarot Court. The Wands are written in a nice fiery orange, the Swords in truthful black, the Cups in watery blue and the Pentacles in green. I *know* - SO organised.
You will see that each card does not line up exactly with each zodiac sign. Irritating. AND what is stranger is that they aren't matched up like the previous system AT ALL (ie Wands = Fire Signs).
Why is this?
Well, the long and the short of it is that the Golden Dawners recognised that people are not quite the exact fit for each traditional astrological definition. So in a huge elemental mash-up, they offset each court card, preventing it from 'owning' a zodiac sign by 10 degrees. This is called a decan. I think this overlap gives the whole thing a sort of strength of structure, like the bricks in a wall. Just me?
Those Golden Dawn smarty-pants DID allocate Major Arcana cards to each zodiac sign; I guess it prevents any direct equation between a Court and a Major. I left them off this diagram - just to keep the confusion down to a dull roar ;-)
How did they arrive at these card/sign allocations?
The easy answer would be to say that I have no idea, shrug my shoulders and just move swiftly onwards, but the truth is, they did it using the concept of Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable signs. *flourishes the hat pin* Do I need to use this yet?
Astrological signs with Cardinal attributes were allocated largely to the Queens. The word itself derives from the Latin word for hinge, and, as you can see by the red dotted axis (axes, axii?!) the Queen straddles the months that mark the changing of the seasons (The Solstices and the Equinox)
Mutable signs were allocated to the Kings. They fall at the end of the season, diminishing in strength. Very Golden Dawn. Honestly ;-)
In the middle are the Fixed signs, the attributes were allocated to the Knights. They are reckoned to be the strongest, purest forms because the Knight is the child of the King and Queen.
Around the edge of the inner circle, I have marked the Cardinals in red, the Mutables in yellow and the Fixed in day-glo orange ( a mixture of red and yellow, just like the Knight is a mixture of his Mother and Father!) It's almost like I planned it :-)
And THAT is how the Golden Dawn allocate their Court Cards astrologically.
And now I am off for a lie down in a darkened room.