You may be quite familiar with the standard symbolism that is attached to each zodiac sign. They’re quite important, after all!
Aries is the ram, Taurus is the bull, so on and so forth. Each of these symbols, often in animal form, has rich meaning and importance that enhance our understanding of the zodiac sign. You may also be familiar with the fact that, additionally, the zodiac signs are traditionally tied to a Tarot card each, with some variations on which belongs to which within the Major Arcana.
In other words, there are many ways that we can attach familiar symbols, systems, and meanings to our zodiac signs. But what if we wanted to take things one step further?
In getting a little creative with what animals we assign to the signs and doing so with Tarot in mind, we may be able to learn something new about Tarot, astrology, and most importantly, ourselves.
What’s the Connection Between Tarot & Animals?
Fun fact: even the tie between each zodiac sign and its assigned Tarot card is often debated.
As a result, there’s an abundance of creative ways you can assign Tarot cards to the astrological signs. Likewise, there’s no quick and easy tie between Tarot and animals.
Some Major Arcana cards hold depictions of animals, and from those ties, we can get a deeper understanding of the card’s meaning. But sometimes, we may have to get a little creative with the animal we think each card can represent or be associated with.
With that in mind, we can dive into learning about possible alternative animals for your zodiac sign with Tarot in mind and hopefully learn a little something along the way.
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The Alternative Animal for Your Zodiac Sign, Using Tarot Cards
Aries – Dog (The Fool)
Aries is often associated with The Fool, the start of the Tarot.
Bold, brash, and excitable, The Fool rightly encaptures the initiative spirit of Aries. Within The Fool, however, you may notice a fluffy, white companion guiding and assisting this adventurous spirit.
The dog is an animal long associated with loyalty, being “man’s best friend.” Sweet, dedicated, and pure of heart, this adorable creature can easily also share many of the qualities of Aries.
Taurus – Dove (The Empress)
Beautiful and abundant Taurus has ties to The Empress.
Both are ruled by Venus, the planet of love and beauty, so it is only fitting that these two share a special bond. The Empress herself doesn’t often come with an animal companion, but because of her Venusian qualities, can easily be tied to the universal symbol of purity, love, and prosperity — the dove.
Doves hold desirable qualities of peacekeeping, a hopeful spirit, and a natural inclination towards love, much like loyal Taurus.
Gemini – Snake (The Lovers)
Gemini is often left out of the animal conversation anyway, with the twins as their traditional representative.
And when it comes to their typically-assigned Major Arcana card, The Lovers, you may initially miss the animal “friend” in the mix. The snake, a figure of temptation and confusion for the young lovers, creates the tension and significance of choice within this infamous scene.
Like the snake, Gemini holds qualities of charisma, adaptability, and charm, bearing a Mutable quality that matches the transformative essence of this mysterious animal companion.
Cancer – Tiger (The High Priestess)
The High Priestess may not be depicted with an animal, but in some modern decks, she may be depicted as an animal, being embodied by the wise, regal tiger.
With a devoted spirit that protects their own, the tiger acts intuitively and loyally, mirroring the important Cancerian value of being family-oriented.
Leo – Horse (The Sun)
Leo being associated with the bright, brilliant, and loveable Sun card is not surprising, especially given that Leo themselves are ruled by the Sun itself!
It may not be the first thing your eye notices when you glance at this joyous card, but the enthusiastic child depicted is riding a white horse, being carried by its reliable, strong-willed spirit.
Headstrong with a Fixed, Fiery quality, Leo captures this essence as much as the childlike feeling of The Sun, holding that devoted, strong-willed energy that this sign is known for.
Virgo – Owl (The Hermit)
Wise, reflective Virgo is often represented by equally wise and reflective Hermit in the Tarot.
Like The Hermit, Virgo and the figure of the owl share a kind of strong presence even in silence, able to work hard and find solutions in any conditions presented to them.
Known for their fierce intelligence and strong spirit, owls are powerful creatures. As a creature of flight, they can also mirror the Mutable quality of Virgo, able to move and adapt as needed.
Libra – Seagull (Justice)
With a charismatic, diplomatic flair, it’s only fitting that Libra is often represented by Justice.
In the Tarot, Justice embodies the need for balance and, as you might expect, justice. While many animals represent the core values of fairness, equality, and justice, the symbol of a seagull represents this and much more.
With confidence, adaptability, and a need for freedom, the seagull shares many qualities with Cardinal Libra and is a fitting match for this zodiac sign known to take flight when they wish.
Scorpio – Bat (Death)
Deep, contemplative, and transformative, Scorpio has unique ties to Death in the Tarot.
Many animals capture both the qualities of Death and Scorpio, but one that can often stand out from the rest is one symbol of darkness and rebirth, the bat.
Mystical, mysterious, and operating on a rhythm of their own, bats embody many of the key characteristics of Scorpio while still representing Death in its own right.
Sagittarius – Flamingo (Temperance)
It’s not easy to capture the adventurous, unpredictable nature of Sagittarius in one or two symbols, which is why Temperance is fit for the job.
Philosophical, deep, and difficult to describe in just one or two words, Temperance matches the curious but balanced nature of what we know as the archer. There’s no direct animal match for Temperance, but we find many similarities between this special card and the elegant flamingo.
With an ability to maintain balance, a radiant but composed quality, and a tendency to also symbolize vibrance and excitement, there’s no doubt that this unique bird has quite a bit in common with Sagittarius.
Capricorn – Bee (The Devil)
In truth, few animals can represent wise and industrious Capricorn as well as the goat.
Even in the Tarot, in which Capricorn is represented by The Devil, this Major Arcana card has strong ties to the image of the goat.
Still, other animals can represent similar qualities that both Capricorn and The Devil represent — like having a deep, sometimes all-consuming devotion to what they deem as important.
Bees, which can be sweet but also sting, capture the hard-working essence of Capricorn and the deceptively innocent but strong nature of The Devil.
Dig deeper: You Pulled the Devil Card – Now What?
Aquarius – Ibis Bird (The Star)
The traditional water-bearer is unsurprisingly represented by The Star, where that water-bearing nature is more literally depicted.
Mystical, otherworldly, and intellectual, The Star comes bearing new opportunities and insight, bearing many of the eclectic qualities of Aquarius. And if you look closely, you’ll notice a peculiar bird within this powerful card.
The Ibis, the kind of bird depicted within The Star, is a beautiful representative for Aquarius too. It holds powerful ties to themes of balance, communication, and curiosity, things that Aquarius can relate heavily to.
Pisces – Wolf (The Moon)
Spiritually attuned and emotionally profound, Pisces is known to have a special connection to The Moon card.
There are actually a few animals within this powerful Major Arcana card that represents secrets, occult mysteries, and emotional depth.
But one that resonates with Pisces on a personal level is the wolf, as it is actually the counterpart for the dog in this card’s iconic scene, holding the mysteries of the night. With a protective, wild heart, the wolf can hold many of Pisces’ best qualities.
As Aries was represented by the dog at the start of the zodiac, it is only fitting that Pisces embraces the other half, closing out the zodiac.
Embracing Your Animal Side
In many ways, the essence and lessons of many animals are within us all, just like we all come to know and understand the wisdom of each Tarot card on our own time.
But still, knowing what animal symbols and lessons are within the Tarot cards that represent our zodiac, whether literally or creatively, can help us discover more about ourselves and the fluffy, flighty, or ferocious companions we share Earth with.
Whether you find yourself already familiar with your representative Tarot card or animal or not, you can now take this knowledge as an opportunity to explore the pieces of you that each may represent.