Tarot & The Liturgical Year

Each week of the Liturgical Year has its own Tarot Arcana as do some notable days, as laid out in the seasonal charts on this page.

Check this page to see the distribution of the Arcana throughout the year.

Here are my blog posts describe each week or day of the Liturgical Year in more detail, with regular updates as my thoughts mature.

Advent

There are two seasonal cards: (9) The Hermit and (20) Judgement.

(9) The Hermit reminds us that Advent is a season of fasting; (20) Judgement reminds us that Advent anticipates the Four Last Things as well as the Nativity of Christ.

WeekArcanaOTNT
Advent 1(7) ChariotPsalm 84:12-13Romans 13:12
Advent 2(2) High PriestessProverbs 9:1John 5:39
Advent 3(16) TowerIsaiah 61:11 Corinthians 4:5
Advent 4(14) Temperance
Isaiah 43:13Philippians 4:4

Christmas

The seasonal card for Christmastide is The Fool.

*Display the Sun from Christmas Day until the 1st Sunday after Christmas Day.

Read a part of, Ficino’s De Sole each day.

Day or WeekArcanaOTNT
Christmas Day(19) Sun*Isaiah 7:14John 1:1-5
St. Steven(12) Hanged ManIsaiah 7:14John 1:1-5
St. John(21) WorldIsaiah 7:14John 1:1-5
Holy Innocents(13) DeathIsaiah 7:14John 1:1-5
1st Sunday after Christmas(2) High Priestess
King of Swords for King David
Isaiah 7:14Galations 4:6-7
Circumcision
(New Year’s Day)
Ace of Swords
(2nd Sunday)(If there is a second Sunday,
the Fool remains alone.)

Epiphany

There are two seasonal arcanae for Epiphany, (1) The Magician and (17) The Star, with (1) The Magician in the East and (17) The Star in the West.

Read a part of Ficino’s The Star of the Magi each day.

Day or WeekArcanaOTNT
Epiphany 1(11) StrengthPsalm 92:12-14Matthew 2:10
(Epiphany 2)(4) EmperorPsalm 1:2John 2:10
(Epiphany 3)(7) ChariotNumbers 24:17Matthew 8:13
CandlemasQueen of RodsLuke 2:29
(Epiphany 4)(8) JusticeProverbs 4:23Matthew 8:23-26
(Epiphany 5)(5) HierophantPsalm 110:3-4Colossians 3:12-13
(Epiphany 6)(15) Devil

Shrovetide

A shadowy period between the seasons of Epiphany and Lent, a time of carnivals and masquerades, Shrovetide anticipates the Lunar festival of Easter and is best symbolized by (18) The Moon.

WeekArcanaOTNT
Septuagesima(8) JusticeEzekiel 18:27Matthew 20:7
Sexagesima(10) Wheel of FortunePsalm 113:9-10Luke 8:14-15
Quinquagesima(6) LoversProverbs 15:171 Corinthians 13:1

Lent

During this time of self-discipline and fasting, (9) The Hermit is the seasonal card. This season begins and ends with (15) The Devil, denoting the temptation of Christ and the harrowing of Hell respectively.

Day or WeekArcanaOTNT
Ash Wednesday(15) Devil
Lent 1(14) TemperanceProverbs 4:23Matthew 4:4
Lent 2(11) StrengthPsalm 51:10-13Matthew 15:28
Lent 3(4) EmperorPsalm 5:11Luke 11:20
Lent 4,
Mothering Sunday
(3) EmpressIsaiah 66: 10-11Galatians 4:26
Lent 5(5) HierophantGenesis 14:18-20John 8:58
Annunciation(2) High PriestessMagnificat
Palm Sunday(12) Hanged ManZechariah 9:9John 12:24
Maundy Thursday(1) Magician1 Corinthians 11: 23-26
Good Friday(13) Death
Easter Eve(18) Moon

Easter

The seasonal card for Easter is (20) Judgement.

Unless Easter is very early, the Easter season continues into May, which is “Mary’s month.” (3) The Empress is displayed throughout the month. The Regina Coeli is chanted each morning of May.

Day or WeekArcanaOTNT
Easter Day(20) JudgementIsaiah 60:1-2John 11:25
Easter 1(6) LoversPsalm 16:101 John 5:11-12
Easter 2(5) HierophantIsaiah 40:11John 10:14
Easter 3(17) StarPsalm 92:12-14John 16:22
Easter 4(10) Wheel of FortuneIsaiah 26:3James 1:17
Easter 5(1) MagicianProverbs 16:3James 1:25
St. GeorgeKnight of SwordsIsaish 27:1Ephesians 6: 10-11
May Day(3) Empress
Ascension Day(21) World
Sunday after
Ascension Day
(18) MoonProverbs 10:121 Peter 4:10
Whitsun(16) TowerJoel 2:28Luke 14:11

Trinity

(19) The Sun is the seasonal card for 23 weeks of this long season. During Trinity the Fool travels through the houses of the Upper Arcana. There are always at least 22 Sundays after Trinity Sunday, so the Fool appears with The Trinity Sun and then, during the following 21 “Sundays after Trinity” proceeds through the Upper Arcana. The Fool card does not remain on display all that time, as the Fool is embodied in the one who meditates upon the cards. Instead, he reappears on the 22nd Sunday after Trinity.

On the 19th Sunday after Trinity (19) The Sun is displayed alone and Ficino’s De Sole is read during the week.

From the 23rd Sunday after Trinity, (19) The Sun is replaced by the lesser light of (18) The Moon as the liturgical year draws to a close and autumn draws in. This is another shadow time before the fasting season of Advent, just as Shrovetide comes before Lent.

However, the Sundays of this period echo those of the later Epiphany season, in approximately reverse order, so that the arcana that are not displayed in Epiphany are picked up at the end of Trinity. (8) Justice and (5) The Hierophant are not quite symmetrical to better reflect the themes of Trinity 23 and 24. The Fool (Trinity 22) replaces The Devil (Epiphany 6).

The last Sunday of the Trinity Season is always “Stir Up Sunday.” In a very short Trinity season, where Stir Up Sunday is the 22nd after Trinity, The Fool and (10) The Wheel of Fortune will both be displayed alongside (19) The Sun.

Day or WeekArcanaOTNT
Trinity SundayFoolJob 38:4John 3:8
Trinity 1(1) MagicianIsaiah 26:31 John 4:17-18
Trinity 2(2) High PriestessProverbs 23:7John 3:5
Trinity 3(3) EmpressJob 22:21Luke 15:8
Trinity 4(4) EmperorPsalm 1:2Ephesians 4:6
Trinity 5(5) HierophantGenesis 14:18-20Luke 5:4
Trinity 6(6) LoversSong of Solomon 6:3-41 Corinthians 2:9
Trinity 7(7) ChariotEcclesiastes 11:1Mark 8:8
Trinity 8(8) JusticeProverbs 16: 11Matthew 7:20
Trinity 9(9) HermitPsalm 51:10-12Luke 16:9
Trinity 10(10) Wheel of FortuneEcclesiastes 1: 2Luke 19: 43-45
Trinity 11(11) StrengthJudges 14:14Luke 18:14
Trinity 12(12) Hanged ManPsalm 46:102 Corinthians 3:5-6
Trinity 13(13) DeathPsalm 23:4Luke 10:30
Trinity 14(14) TemperanceProverbs 4:23Galatians 5:22-23
Trinity 15(15) DevilJob 3:25Matthew 6:24-29
Trinity 16(16) TowerPsalm 92:7-9Ephesians 3:13
Trinity 17(17) StarPsalm 92:12-14Revelation 22:16-17
Trinity 18(18) MoonPsalm 36:91 Corinthians 15: 41
Trinity 19(19) SunMalachi 4:2Ephesians 4: 25-26
Trinity 20(20) JudgementIsaiah 26:19Matthew 22: 14
Trinity 21(21) WorldProverbs 8:27-28John 10:10
(Trinity 22)FoolGenesis 1:27Philippians 1:9-11
(Trinity 23)**
(8) Justice
(Trinity 24)(5) Hierophant
(Trinity 25)
Epiphany 3 Collect
(7) ChariotNumbers 24:17Matthew 8:13
(Trinity 26)
Epiphany 2 Collect
(4) EmperorPsalm 1:2John 2:10
Stir-up Sunday(10) Wheel of FortuneIsaiah 40:31Philippians 3:13-14
Remembrance Day(4) SwordsPsalm 23