Gosh, the Sun hasn't had much attention in a while.
Two questions: (1) Why does the Sun card have Gemini on it? It's different from the Moon card, which has Cancer. Gemini isn't governed by the Sun astrologically or is even a fire sign.
(2) Why does the sequence of the zodiac in Minchiate begin in Libra and end in Gemini?
In different places I have proposed various answers to the first question, depending on how I work the allegory: Christian, Greco-Roman, Egyptian, etc., comparing famous twins to the crucifixion story. But there ought to be an astrological answer.
I have made suggestions for the Minchiate Libra and Gemini in another thread, at viewtopic.php?f=12&t=971&p=14269#p14269
. However the tarot image of Gemini on the Sun card seems earlier than the Minchiate sequence. It appears on the Schoen Horoscope of 1515, where all or most of the other images for the Houses seem to pertain to the tarot trumps (see my post at viewtopic.php?f=14&t=942#p14247
Well, here goes.The simplest explanation for Gemini on the Sun is that it develops the imagery already present in the PMB and the Cary Sheet in an astrological direction. Gemini is the only sign with children in it. But they seem older on the Tarot de Marseille, and to be sure in "Sforza Castle", with its man and woman, than in the PMB and Cary Sheet. Also, why in the astrological direction rather than the way, say, the Vieville developed, simply putting the Cary Sheet's boy with a flag on a horse? Answer: the Sun is important astrologically, as is the Moon before it, and the Stars before that. But perhaps Gemini on the Sun card is more meanngful than that.
Another explanation for why Tarot Sun card has Gemini on it is that.Dante in the Paradiso
enters and leaves the sphere of the fixed stars in Gemini, which he says is his birth sign, The tarot is structured along somewhat Dantean lines.
Another explanation might be the same as I gave for Minchiate at viewtopic.php?f=12&t=971&p=14269#p14269
. That is, Gemini is the portal by which the gods communicate the liberating knowledge to men and vice versa, in the system of Pontano, 1472-1476. It is therefore closest to the gods, hence highest.
Also, in the system of Manilius, on which that of Pontano is based, Apollo is the guardian deity of the Sun. But if that was the answer, then why isn't the zodiac sign on the Moon the one that Diana guards in that system, Sagitarius?
These ideas, Pontano's and Manilius's systems, and Dante's journey, may have something to do with why the Gemini are where they are. But what, in the Tarot, do Cancer and the Moon have to do with Gemini and the Sun? I will attempt another explanation.
In the allegory of Macrobius's Commentary on the Dream of Scipio
, Book 1 Ch. 12, the cave of the nymphs in the Odyssey
(as Porphyry had interpreted), contains two gates, one of mortals mortals in Cancer, and the other of immortals in Capricorn. So everyone
enters and exits life through Cancer, while Capricorn is the way out for those of sufficient purity not to have to return for another life.
But in another way of seeing things, if one has gone through the planets in order in the ascent, one should also go through the zodiac in order, without skipping or repeating any. To do that,one has to leave by Gemini rather than Capricorn.
This answer, however, leads to another question. Why is Aquarius on the Star card? Since it's between Cancer and Gemini, you'd think that it should be between the Moon and the Sun cards..
I have two answers. One is that in the book of Revelation, the Morning Star comes first, then it's brighter than the Moon, and then it's brighter than the Sun. This is after the hail, etc. of the Tower card. It's the Apocalypse that precedes the Last Judgment and the New Jerusalem. It's a sequence of ever brighter objects, until the light is brighter than the brightest of the celestials. But this doesn't explain why Aquarius is on the Star card.
The second answer relates to Dante's Purgatorio
, where the last stop from the top has two streams, one for forgetting your sins and one for remembering your good deeds. Dante partakes of both, in that order. He has to drink from both to enter Paradise. Psychologically speaking, one must first detach frmo the things from this world and forget them; then, frmo that standpoint, the memory of one's good deeds leads one higher. Such are also the two streams on the Star card, appearing there in the C tradition from the Cary Sheet on. Then Dante is in the sky-world of the Paradiso, starting at the level of the Moon, which is the name of the next card in the Tarot sequence.
There is also another answer, really another version of the preceding one. In On the Face in the Orb of the Moon
(942 to the end), Plutarch has Hades located in the upper air before the Moon. So the soul/spirit combination, after leaving its material part to be absorbed by the earth at what we call Death, becomes like water poured from one vessel to another, as we see in the Temperance card. This last part is in the C order only. The soul/spirit rises through the air of Hades, the Devil card, and then fire, the Tower card, for purification, i.e. Purgatory. At the top is a pleasant area called the "meads of Hades". This is where the two streams would fit, although Plutarch doesn't mention them; they are a later invention, by Dante. Next, in Plutarch, the soul/spirit is on the moon, where there are two "Gates", one leading back to the earth and the other to the side of the Moon facing the heavens. These are like the streams, but on a higher level; they correspond to the towers on the Moon card. Then on the other side of the Moon, soul and spirit separate; soul is absorbed into the moon, while the spirit goes to the sun. That is the Gemini, as soul and spirit sadly separating before the journey to the sun.
This last theory, while more complex than the others, also explains more; why Cancer, why Aquarius, and why the sad faces on the Tarot de Marseille Sun card.