In the monthly column Artist’s Advice divination authors and deck designers give their reading tips, divination techniques or unique essays to share their expertise and showcase a new release. This issue:
The Gravenchase Zodiac Oracle/Anino Zodiac Oracle |Lynyrd-Jym Narciso
This is the second part of Queen of Swords’ artist’s feature on the Gravenchase and Anino Zodiac Oracles. In Part I of the Artist’s Advice: Zodiac Oracle, which talked about ideas on how to possibly use the cards. I also showed various aspects of each astrological sign that could be added to interpretations in a reading. This Artist’s Advice Part II is an extension of specifically that last part and shows you how to use a Zodiac Oracle in an actual Zodiac Houses spread, especially made for readers of The Queen’s Sword. If you don’t know much about astrology, have no fear…this article is here to give you enough pointers to use the Oracle alone or together with the Anino Lenormand or The Gravenchase Lenormand.
Another aspect of each astrological sign, which was not previously discussed, is how each sign is associated with a particular “planet”. I say “planet” with quotation marks, because in Astrology, the Sun and Moon are also treated as planets. Each planet has certain traits associated with them, like parts of the body, animals, sicknesses, types of employment, etc. (even countries!). And, by extension, they are also associated with their corresponding astrological signs. The ancients used 7 classical planets, while modern astrologers have incorporated the “outer” planets of our solar system. In this article, we will be using the 7-planet system of the ancients.
There are numerous books as well as free online resources offering a wealth of information on Astrology, where you can gather information on these (Wikipedia even has articles on them), so we will just stick for the basics for now. Plenty of time to fall down (another) rabbit hole after getting a taste for it with this Artist’s Advice.
I am going to summarize things in this article. Here is a short description of each planet’s character:
|Mars||Soldiering, warfare||Scorpio and Aries||Tuesday|
|Mercury||Money, commerce||Virgo, Gemini||Wednesday|
|Jupiter||Hunting, luck||Sagittarius, Pisces||Thursday|
|Venus||Amorousness, passion||Libra, Taurus||Friday|
|Saturn||Industrious, melancholy||Aquarius, Capricorn||Saturday
Weaken, strengthen, flavor
In a reading in this information can help in drawing some more personality from the sign in the card onto the reading at hand. For example, how like drawing a card falling under the planet Saturn might give a more melancholy or serious flavor to that part of the querent’s reading, etc. Or how Aries can give a certain part more strength – or more negative flavor. It can also be used for day-specific timing, hence the day associations provided.
The Astrological Houses
I have provided the planetary associations because I would like to introduce a form of reading which imitates astrological practices, but in card form.
In Astrology, you have what is called houses – basically 12 houses which correspond to different aspects of a person’s life, and which are ruled by the 12 astrological signs. It takes the form of a wheel – like a clock – with the first house starting on the leftmost, 9 o’clock position, and goes on counterclockwise. (The second house is in the 8 o’clock position, etc).
|Aries||Ourselves, physical and immaterial, what we are, and what we are to become. As the first house, a house of beginnings.|
|Taurus||What we possess – material and immaterial, which has value for us. Property and finances.|
|Gemini||Communications with people close at hand, like Family or in the immediate neighborhood. Making connections, and early education.|
|Cancer||Home and family, our (figurative) roots and foundations. Where we begin and where we will grow old and end.|
|5th||House of Pleasure||Leo||Creation and the pleasure one takes from it. Emotional pleasures.|
|Virgo||Deals with health – both positive and negative, literal and figurative.|
|7th||House of Partnerships||Libra||Partnerships in different forms: love, business, even friendships. The dynamics of partnerships: cooperation, separation, etc.|
|Scorpio||Sexual issues, sexuality. But also, death and regeneration, transformations.|
|9th||House of Philosophy||Sagittarius||Exploring and understanding our roles and positions in the world. How we interact with it, how it influences us.|
|Capricorn||Our positions in communities and society, the prestige and regard it brings, and how we move up and down in it.|
|Aquarius||Groups, societies and communities. What we draw from these, how we grow from interactions with like-minded people.|
|Pisces||The subconscious (hence self-undoing), how it influences us. Our fears and misgivings. Facing our fears, reckonings with the consequences of our actions. As the last house: an end of a cycle.|
Again, this is just a short summary of the houses, but there are various resources online where you can get more in-depth information. My suggestion though, is to search for a resource (whether a book or a website) that resonates with you and what you’d like to focus on, and stick to it. This is because there are certain variations between resources, and this will hopefully help in avoiding confusion. (Seems that reading Tarot or Lenormand is not that different in that regard. Deciding your techniques upfront is important in any type of divination. TQS).
The Astrological Houses Spread
In Astrology, it is the planets which move in and out of the houses. For the purposes of this spread, we will be substituting the signs with the planets they are associated with – Sun for Leo, Mercury for Virgo, etc.
Get to work: Shuffle the cards and draw & place a card in a circle form. Starting from your left, and going counterclockwise until you have filled in all 12 houses. You will basically be putting the planets in each house and interpreting astrologically.
Interpretation example: Say the Taurus card falls in the 4th House, it will be interpreted as Venus in Cancer – because Venus is the planet associated with Taurus, and the 4th House is under Cancer. Venus in Cancer portrays a ‘warm heart that desires love and also arouses love in others’. There is a pleasure seeking personality pursuing social activity, romance and games. Typically the person is vain about appearance and favor luxury. Quick relationships are often formed. And commitment to marriage may be hastily made, resulting in multiple marriages.
There is a lot of potential in reading using the houses. It could be used for a holistic, comprehensive life reading, as it deals with various aspects in one’s life. If you substitute the houses for the months in a year, it can give you a reading covering an entire year. In this case, the cards can be interpreted as the signs themselves, or as the planets they are associated with, or both.
I hope this has given you further ideas on how to use the Zodiac Oracle that comes free with each Anino and Gravenchase Lenormand deck.
– Lynyrd-Jym Narciso | Paraluman
I would like to thank fellow tarot artist Eric Lerner for the inputs and feedback he gave from an astrological perspective, as well as The Queen’s Sword* for this feature. (*You’re welcome! TQS)
The Gravenchase Zodiac Oracle and Anino Zodiac Oracle are a part of their Lenormand counterpart, though they can be used as stand-alones or mixed with tarot. If you order one of the decks you get that particular Zodiac Oracle for free.
If you first want to read more info on the decks, that is possible too.
The Queen’s Sword wrote thorough reviews on both decks:
Review The Gravenchase Lenormand
Review Anino Lenormand, which are available here:
Lynyrd-Jym Narciso, the decks’ creator and the artist behind Paraluman Studio, has been creating and illustrating tarot and card art for over 15 years. He can be reached for comments, feedback, and the like.