The Orrery Wright of Derby

So many of the cards in a tarot deck are pictures of people – kings, queens, judges, mystics, craftsmen, merchants and mothers to name just a few. But in this series of four posts we shall look to the cards where the characters involved have a much bigger, indeed cosmic, presence.

The first three cards to consider –  The Star, The Moon and the Sun – are sequential in the tarot deck, cards seventeen to nineteen. We view each of these heavenly bodies from a distance and can make measurements or models of the planets just as we see in the picture above of A Philosopher Giving that Lecture on the Orrery, in which a Lamp is put in place of the Sun – Joseph Wright of Derby (1734-1797) We plan our lives by the complex interractions of the Sun, Moon and Stars and encounter them both physically as bestowers of light and warmth, but also through their more more subtle influences such as the pull of the tides or the length of days. They can function as omens and signs and humans are even now only just beginning to uncover their mysteries.

There is no ‘Earth’ card in the tarot, and we can surmise that this is because we cannot see it as a sphere or a point of light separate from us in the sky. Instead, as inhabitants, we become one with the earth rather than separate from it, and so create The World, card twenty-one.

In the next few posts we’ll take a look at Sun, Star, Moon and World and question what it means when we encounter these cards in our readings.

I’d love to hear your personal encounters with the celestial quartet so drop me a note or get in touch here or on Twitter or Instagram.

Card XVII – The Star
Card XVIII – The Moon
Card XIX – The Sun
Card XXI – The World

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