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  • Writer's pictureJean Michel

Woodcut Horoscope with Tarot Themes, Nuremberg, circa 1515

Edward Schoen, a German cardmaker, made a woodcut nativity calendar for a Leonhard Reymann.

The calendar is in the form of a wheel, with a landscape at the hub, a circle of the seven planetary deities, a circle of the twelve zodiacal constellations, and an outermost circle of images representing the twelve houses.

The relationship of the tarot image to the astrological House is either visual or conceptual or both, giving clues to how the tarot looked and was conceptualized in this time and place.

1. House of life: image of a woman giving birth. Newborn is an image of ignorance and so the Fool.

2. House of livelihood and material well-being: image of a cook or artisan at his table. Similar visually to Bagat image.

3. House of brothers and communication: person in clerical dress reading to another, perhaps a woman, perhaps his teacher; similar visually to woman with book on Popess card.

4. House of parents and Family: old man showing young man how to use a plow with two large round wheels. Similar visually to the Chariot card.

5. House of children and pleasure. Two children with arms linked, one on a hobby horse. Similar visually to the Sun card.

6. House of Health and Sickness. Man in a sick bed being visited by two others. This one I relate conceptually to the Tower card. The card shows lightning and other phenomena of nature (hail or earthquake) bringing misfortune and fear. "Maison-Dieu" sometimes referred to a hospice for the ill and dying.

7. House of Marriage and Partnerships. Priest marrying a crowned man and a woman. Corresponds to Love card.

8. House of Death. Shows a skeleton with a sickle, as in Death card.

9. House of Religion. Shows a Pope, as in Pope card.

10. House of Social Position, Government. Shows an Emperor, as in Emperor card.

11. House of Good Fortune. Shows a Wheel, as in Wheel of Fortune card.

12. House of Enemies, Imprisonment. Shows a man in the stocks. Similar conceptually to Hanged Man."

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