Game of Thrones Tarot + 12 Zodiac
Major Arcana Astrology Breakdown
Video published on May 9, 2023.
This is the Game of Thrones (GOT) Tarot deck that was released by HBO, so let’s get into the breakdown of the twelve zodiac signs and the twelve major arcana cards that they’re connected to.
ARIES – THE EMPEROR
The first sign is Aries, which is associated with the Emperor Tarot Card. This is the Rider Waite depiction. Jon Snow is depicted as the Emperor in [the GOT version]. The Emperor is a skilled, strong fighter or warrior, as well as a leader. They are the leader of a military, but they aren’t the commander who sits back, they are the leader who is fighting on the front lines with the rest of the men.
Aries is the first sign, and it talks about charging forward bravely. We see Jon Snow as one of the bravest characters who is constantly on the front lines, fighting. As the first sign of the Zodiac, Aries is typically the first energy to motivate people to take action. Aries is the leader who rallies the rest of the group to arms.
A good chunk of the show is just Jon Snow trying to persistently rally people to fight “the good fight” with him. Aries is the front line soldier, and there’s this huge element of self-sacrifice to Aries energy, and the Emperor, and we see that clearly with Jon Snow.
TAURUS – THE HIEROPHANT
The second sign is Taurus, which is represented by the Hierophant card. This is the Rider Waite depiction. This card talks about upholding tradition and traditional power structures, especially religious and financial institutions. This is the card of the Pope, or the Vatican.
On the Rider Waite version, you can see that there are two people submitting to this Pope, submitting to the person in that seat of power. Varys (the GOT depiction of Hierophant) is not loyal to any one particular leader or set of ideals, he is loyal to the seat of power. He is constantly doing very sketchy things and then saying “for the good of the realm,” which really means “for the good of these traditional power systems that uplift me.” He’s in silk lined robes, while the rest of King’s Landing is sleeping in puddles of sh*t. It’s exactly like the Pope who is sitting up in Vatican City covered in pearls.
Another connection about this deck that I love: Varys is nicknamed the “Master of Secrets” or the “Keeper of Secrets.” He is known to be a guy who has information on everyone. He’s the head gossip queen. He has people out investigating and conducting surveillance on people so that he always has eyes everywhere.
In the Rider Waite version, there are two keys [pictured] at the bottom [of the card]. These keys are symbolic of the systemic secrets held by the Hierophant, which makes him the perfect guy.
There’s actually another deck called the Modern Spellcaster Tarot, and that deck explicitly depicts the Hierophant as Big Brother, the one who is conducting all of these intelligence and surveillance operations on their citizens.
GEMINI – THE LOVERS
Gemini is the third sign. It’s associated with The Lovers tarot card, also known as the twins or “twin flames.” This is the Rider-Waite depiction, which shows Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
Just like Mercury, the ruler of Gemini, this card has a double meaning. It represents the blissful ignorance before knowledge is obtained, that “Eden,” or this moment of love (especially, for Jon Snow, in the cave. That was like his an Ygrette’s “Eden”). But Gemini rules polarity, so this is the first card where you really see polar opposites being true at the same time: it rules ignorance, but also knowledge and the descent into darkness that results from gaining this knowledge.
In the Rider-Waite version, we see Adam and Eve eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. This is what triggers the descent into darkness. In Game of Thrones, they don’t take a bite from the Tree of Knowledge, but instead they are in their little version of Eden, the cave. That’s where Jon and Ygrette make love for the first time.
Jon had swore an oath to the Night’s Watch that he was not supposed to make love, so him making love to Ygrette was the Game of Thrones version of “biting the forbidden fruit.” I have to reiterate how brilliant this deck is, and how they take this very complex show and apply it so perfectly to these complex spiritual concepts.
CANCER - THE CHARIOT
The fourth zodiac sign is Cancer, and it’s represented by The Chariot tarot card. This is the Rider-Waite depiction, which features a chariot and two sphinxes that are pulling that chariot. The GOT version depicts the dragon of Khaleesi.
Now, this is a little bit more complicated of a topic, but this is a reference to the Lunar Nodes (North and South Node, also known as the (north) head of the dragon and (south) tail of the dragon). The Lunar Nodes or the “dragon” is what’s responsible for moving our physical Lunar bodies through space and time, with the head of the dragon being the future, and the tail of the dragon being the past.
The dragon in GOT is representing the Lunar chariot, or the vehicle that is moving Daenerys (Khaleesi) into the future that is destined for her. The North Node, or head of the dragon, is often simplified to mean our fate or our destiny. The Chariot tarot card, which is often simplified to mean directed action or forward movement, really talks about charging full steam ahead in order to chase or fulfill your destiny.
LEO - STRENGTH
The fifth Zodiac sign is Leo, which is associated with the Strength tarot card. This is the Rider-Waite depiction, which has a lion being harnessed or reigned in by “the maiden.” The GOT version has Lady Brienne, who is holding her lion sword (given to her by Jaime Lannister, “the Lion”).
Leo is the sign that talks about personal power and strength, as well as sovereignty or rulership of oneself. The Strength tarot card talks about the strength to control ourselves and the “beast” within. That is what the depiction of the maiden wrangling the lion is supposed to represent.
Just how Cancer is ruled by the Moon, but the Moon tarot card is not associated with Cancer, the same goes for Leo: where it is ruled by the Sun, but the Sun tarot card is not the Leo tarot card. This is because Leo talks about you, a human being, embodying the energy of the Sun. Lady Brienne, who is NOT a Lannister, is embodying the energy of a Lannister by wielding this lion sword, made from the STRONGEST steel, Valyrian steel (forged in the fire of the dragon).
I discussed the dragon in the last part in its relationship with Cancer and the Lunar Nodes, but the fire breathing qualities of the dragon–that fixed stream of fire being blast from the head of the dragon, is associated with Leo, the fixed fire sign.
I think the reason why they chose to use the dragon as the Chariot card instead of depicting Khaleesi wrangling her dragon to show “Strength” is because Khaleesi did not have full control over those dragons, nor did she have control over the beast within herself, and we saw that when she torched King’s Landing in Season 8. Whereas, Lady Brienne was physically strong, she had control over this lion, and she had control over the beast within herself.
VIRGO - THE HERMIT
The sixth sign of the Zodiac is Virgo, which is associated with The Hermit tarot card. That is the Rider-Waite version, and the GOT version depicts Bran and his 3-eyed raven (the one who is holding the lantern).
The Hermit is a card that talks about solitude, or hermitude, recluding into your shell–specifically for the purpose of physical healing. Virgo is the (earth) sign that rules physical health. Think of Bran who fell from the tower, and then was stuck in his bedroom healing from these broken bones. Even after he heals from the fall, he was still left paralyzed, leaving him excluded from all the group activities that everyone else was able to participate in.
The Hermit card also talks about spiritual enlightenment and the wisdom that you gain in those moments of solitude. So even though in Astrology psychic visions are ruled by Pisces, usually those psychic visions are very blurry and unclear. Think “That’s So Raven”--she did not have the complete picture.
Whereas, Bran: he is so dedicated in his solitude to clarifying his sight. This 3-eyed raven represents his 3rd eye being open, but also being fully clear and able to perceive the entire picture. He’s not just intuitive, he’s not just psychic; he is clairaudient, clairsentient, etc.
The lantern that is carried by The Hermit represents the light in the darkness that leads us towards clarity. In this card, the 3-eyed raven is the one who is bringing him that clarity in his darkness. This is a very cool interpretation of this card.
LIBRA - JUSTICE
The seventh sign of the Zodiac is Libra, and it’s associated with the Justice tarot card. That’s the Rider-Waite version. The GOT version depicts Ned Stark as Justice.
Libra is the sign that rules all court matters, these are the “scales” of Libra, which are the scales of justice in Western Astrology (Eastern Astrology refers to them more commonly as the scales of commerce).
Libra is the sign that talks about coming to a balanced agreement, as well as holding your word to what you agreed to. In GOT, Ned Stark is constantly depicted as a man of honor who keeps his word. He’s the perfect representative for the Justice card.
There’s also a depiction of the sword of justice. Libra is an air sign, air is the element associated with information and data (represented by the suit of swords in tarot). So, the Justice tarot card talks about weighing out information, weighing out the facts, in order to come to a conclusion or a verdict. Once the scales have been balanced and the verdict has been reached, the sword of justice represents the swift action that is then taken.
Libra is a cardinal sign, which means it's based on taking action (just like Aries, Cancer, and Capricorn). Libras are often depicted as indecisive, when really they are just weighing out their options before they actually take action. They want to make a decision. If they can’t make a decision, all the options you gave them suck.
I think that this sword, and the action of upholding justice that the sword represents, is what made Ned Stark the perfect fit for the Justice tarot card. I forget the exact context or quote, but there’s an execution that is happening and somebody asks Lord Stark, “why are you, the Lord, the one who is performing the execution? You can have an executioner do it…”
He says something along the lines of, “the man who delivers the sentencing should be the man to swing the sword.” He felt “if I truly feel like this person should be executed, then I should feel comfortable doing it myself, if it is in fact a true, just execution.” It makes him the perfect image for Justice.
SCORPIO - DEATH
The eighth Zodiac sign is Scorpio, which is associated with the tarot card Death. Now, this doesn’t always mean literal death, but in this case it does.
Arya Stark starts her story at a very young age training to fight. Scorpio is ruled by Mars, so it is like the female version of Jon Snow. Jon Snow, who is the Emperor, or Mars, is the one who gave her her first sword ever (named “needle”).
Then, Arya witnesses her father’s death, his execution, which completely traumatizes her. Then she has to flee because she is in danger in King’s Landing. The whole time she’s on this journey escaping from King’s Landing, she’s plotting her revenge at the man who killed her father. Throughout the series, everyone who every harmed anyone she loved gets added to her list of names that she just repeats–the people she plans to murder one day. Totally the Scorpio energy of revenge, for sure.
Then, she goes on a journey across the ocean and is transformed into a very highly skilled assassin. They do this through a series of conditioning, part of which includes her becoming temporarily blinded. Your senses–your ability to perceive the things around you–are ruled by Taurus. Scorpio is opposite Taurus, and talks about having your senses taken away from you. Loss of sensation. This temporary loss of her vision allows her to transform into a highly trained assassin, and that’s what allows her to eventually kill the Night King in the very end.
After she is fully trained, she returns to Westeros, where she is the stealth killer: creeping around in the shadows and able to conduct her business without being seen or noticed. This is what allows her eventually to be the one to save everyone from Death. Arya is the one who killed the Night King and ended the Long Night. This is a great example of how the Death card is not always a bad thing. Sometimes the “endings” that the Death card talks about, are actually the END of suffering that allows us to move out of that dark and painful chapter.
SAGITTARIUS - TEMPERANCE
The ninth sign of the Zodiac is Sagittarius, and it’s associated with the Temperance tarot card. This is the Rider-Waite version. The GOT version depicts Samwell Tarley while he is studying at the Citadel. Sagittarius is the sign that rules higher institutions of learning (colleges, universities, global libraries that attract international students).
In the Rider-Waite version, you can see two cups where liquid is being moved back and forth. This is symbolic of the alchemical process that Sagittarius rules over (along with all of the mutable signs). It’s this process of experimenting, trying new things out (the same way Sagittarius is the sign that talks about exploring, going on adventures, and trying new things to see what you like). A Sagittarius will try anything once, and so will Samwell Tarley.
For example, while he is studying at the Citadel, he performs this experimental surgery on someone after they told him he wasn’t allowed to. He’s a rule breaker.
He’s also a very jovial (derived from Jove, or Jupiter), or jolly kind of guy… super Jupiterian in general. Jupiter rules things that are large in size, and he’s definitely a big boy.
But, the fact that Samwell Tarley left his family–he went away from home to study and obtain this higher knowledge at the citadel–is actually what allowed them to win this war, because he got the knowledge about the dragon glass being the way that you can kill these white walkers. That’s also how he found out that Jon Snow was secretly a Targaryen, and all of these higher-picture connections that Jupiter and Sagittarius rule over. Being able to zoom out and see things from the greater perspective.
CAPRICORN - THE DEVIL
The tenth sign of the Zodiac is Capricorn, which is associated with The Devil tarot card. This is the Rider-Waite version of the card. This does not mean that Capricorn’s are The Devil. But, in the modern Astrology-Tarot context, this has to do with Capricorn and Saturn (which rules Capricorn) and their rulership of complex economic systems. That includes capitalism, which does rely on slave labor and a lot of really horribly evil practices. There is no ethical consumption under capitalism, that’s The Devil tarot card.
The GOT context takes this Devil character to the extreme. Ramsay Bolton is a character who exhibits the most sadistic qualities ever. He’s very familiar with every type of assault imaginable, but then takes that sadistic behavior to the level of torture. Saturn, The Devil, rules chains and shackles; imprisonment. So, when Ramsay Bolton had Theon Greyjoy as his prisoner, instead of just keeping him in a regular prison cell, he tied him to this giant cross, and then flayed him. He tortured him both physically and psychologically. He would beat him, but then he would also bring girls in and have these girls pretend like they were going to “get with” [Theon], but secretly they were working for Ramsay. It was fucked up.
Then, he takes the physical mutilation to an extreme when he castrates Theon Greyjoy (which mirrors the mythology of Saturn, who castrates Uranus, his father, symbolizing the separation of Heaven and Earth).
He tortures Theon to the point where he is broken down so bad psychologically that Ramsay is able to convince him he’s an entirely new different person. This is the darkest rulership that Saturn has over trauma-based mind-control. Breaking someone down psychologically, shattering their consciousness in order to create multiple personalities that you have control over. It’s like CIA-level MK-Ultra type shit.
This expression in GOT of The Devil energy, Capricorn energy, is super demonic, super dark, and evil as hell. So, the Devil Tarot card itself doesn’t always have to be something so evil and dark, but in this GOT version, this man is evil. This is the most putrid, vile, demonic man you could possibly imagine: Satan himself incarnate.
AQUARIUS - THE STAR
The eleventh sign of the Zodiac is Aquarius, and it’s associated with The Star tarot card. This is the Rider-Waite version of the card. In the previous part we talked about Saturn as the ruler of Capricorn, who in the GOT Tarot is represented by Ramsay Bolton. In traditional astrology, Aquarius is also ruled by Saturn.
So, the Star card, in this deck, depicts Sansa as the prisoner of Ramsay Bolton (under the rulership of Saturn). When Sansa comes back to Winterfell when it’s under the control of the Boltons, the commoners around the Winterfell castle tell her, “if you need help, if you are in danger, light a candle and put it in the topmost window of the tallest tower.”
This represents the Star card almost as like an SOS, a calling for help. Aquarius rules long distance communication, the internet and things like that in modern day. In this old medieval time period, there was no internet, so long distance communication talks about things like smoke signals or leaving a candle lit in the window.
Aquarius is the sign that talks about breaking free from Saturn’s chains, with Uranus (the “Breaker of Chains”) as the modern ruler of Aquarius. But, in traditional astrology, it’s still ruled by Saturn. It’s the fixed expression of Saturn.
So, Capricorn, The Devil, is the cardinal expression of Saturn. That is Saturn going about his business as usual. The Star card and Aquarius are the fixed expression of Saturn, so when something goes wrong and Saturn has to FIX a problem. For Ramsay Bolton, Sansa trying to escape is a problem that he has to fix. Aquarius is the sign that rules intensifying security, tying down your prisoner tighter to make sure they don’t escape.
He caught her trying to leave this candle, and he punished her severely as a result in order to correct her behavior, so she wouldn’t do it again. Aquarius is the sign that rules behavioral correction, and punishment for bad behavior. Aquarius is the sign that rules prison-break. Whether that’s a successful prison break or a failed attempt at a prison break is going to determine whether the Star card or Aquarius is representative of freedom and breaking free from limitations, or increased limitations, security, and surveillance.
I haven’t watched GOT in a very long time, but I do believe that someone saw the candle, and even though she got caught and was punished, the message got delivered and she got help as a result.
PISCES - THE MOON
The twelfth sign of the Zodiac is Pisces and it’s associated with The Moon tarot card (even though the Moon is the ruler of Cancer. Cancer is The Chariot card, which is the 4th part earlier in this series). Cancer is connected to Pisces, since they are both water signs, but the Moon in this Pisces expression has a little bit of a different meaning.
Pisces is the sign that rules delusion and refusal to accept the truth. Denial, and avoidance of the truth. Hiding the things that we don’t like away behind a veil of illusion, or flushing them down the toilet. Flushing them down the “Moon door.”
In GOT, the Moon door is located in the Vale. Lord Aryn of the Vale is this eleven year old Lord that has a very creepy mama’s boy relationship with his mother (he still breastfeeds at his big age, which plays into the Moon ruling the breasts). She gives him anything he wants like a spoiled brat, and that means anything he doesn’t like gets dropped out the moon door. That includes staff members and people… They’re just dumping bodies out the moon door. Instead of saying something gets “swept under the rug,” we can say it “gets thrown out the moon door.”
Also, Lady Lysa Aryn (the mother of this kid Lord Aryn, the mom who is breastfeeding her grown ass kid and enabling this horrible behavior) is very representative of the archetype of Lilith, who is very connected to Pisces. As both the dark side of the moon, with Lysa really showing the dark side of motherhood; but also Lilith ruling over the shame associated with rejection. Lysa Aryn got rejected, and Littlefinger chose her sister over her. So, those Lilithian themes are very connected to [Lady Aryn], the Moon, and Pisces.
It’s very interesting. Normally Pisces represents liminality, or the ability to move between two different states (e.g. the spiritual world and the physical world). Whereas this expression is very one-directional-liminal. It’s very much a dumping, never to be seen again. This [version of the Moon card] represents “the Void,” which is the darkest, deepest depths of Pisces–the abyss that you throw something into… and there’s no retrieving it: it’s gone.