Tsunamis, trials, tribulations and Boris

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On New Years Eve I posed a very general Tarot reading for 2022 in which several mentions were made of tsunamis and other marine, maritime or water related newsworthy events….. SEE HERE

Plenty more to come.

Mention was also made re Prince Andrew and a lot of other things but events have overtaken the Tarot before I made time to look further at Prince Andrew. The Tarot showed me the Three of Swords Reversed, which means the aftermath of a divorce, or a severance. There is loss, there is grief, and the Queen, in mourning for Philip, has made doubtless personally upsetting decisions, severing the monarchy from the forthcoming civil case which Andrew, Duke of York, will be dealing with ostensibly as a private citizen.

This afternoon, I drew these cards asking what will happen re Boris Johnson in the light of the ongoing media furore over ‘partygate.’

Clearly, any such gatherings were inappropriate and deeply inadvisable at the time, though there is much to be explained as to the context, as well as questions to be answered in respect of the source of the leak, the motivation and the timing of the leak so many months after the events in question.

Will Boris resign? I don’t know or claim to know anymore than anyone else does, but what are the clues in the cards?

Card 1 The Empress reversed:

This card suggests more than one interpretation

Unwelcome news on a Friday. Why? Because the Empress card correlates with the Norse goddess Freya, and therefore Fridays, and the card has been drawn reversed, suggesting unwelcome news. This makes sense as Boris Johnson’s office has been reported to have made an apology to the Queen (the Empress)on Friday 14 January, over events held at No 10 on the eve of the funeral of Prince Philip.

The Empress also correlates with the planet Venus, and we are currently in a Venus retrograde until 29 January. What does Venus represent? Love, money, luxury, social gatherings. What does Venus retrograde represent? Problems to do with all these things plus, old memories, old friends, old lovers coming back to haunt us…or bite us.

Boris Johnson, a person who likes to say yes to people was asked for permission for these events to be held, and unwisely said yes, thinking no doubt, that it would be good for the morale of the troops, and thereby making himself a hostage to fortune, not considering how that might look, or how it later might be made to look by his critics or ill wishers…and here is the involvement of a former colleague and friend, Dominic Cummings, stoking the flames.

Another story-line occurs, which mayor may not be relevant here, is difficulties Boris has had in private in saying no to Carrie (Empress: mother and child)

Angela Merkel is an ‘Empress’ recently departed from office. Leaving the UK somewhat more naked now in the face of rivals or enemies?

The PM lost his own mother last year. Perhaps he was on occasion more distrait than he should have been, and failed to pay the due and proper attention to such requests, as demanded by a very natural public expectation.

The Empress reversed speaks also of Mother Earth, Gaia, COP26, and suggests widespread public cynicism in respects of aspects of Green policy which seem impractical, non affordable or nonsensical to many voters, even those who are very keen on doing their bit for the environment.

Also, just by the by, and not at all related to the conversation in hand, but this is typical of working with Tarot, today I am The Empress reversed. I had my first child on this date, 36 year ago today, and have had a few concerns lately in respect of her health and well-being.

Card 2:The Eight of Swords

This card is about blockages and entrapment, hostage situations, being unable to see the way out. There is frustration here and a sense of entrapment and helplessness. How best to out manoeuvre whoever is behind the leaks (and this has a planned manouevre, and has not been the action of some anxious, well meaning junior civil servant, anxious to salve his or her conscience) How to move forward without throwing certain people under the bus?

I have come to associate this card with plumbing….based lots of previous reading history for clients. Carrie may want to do something about the bathroom in the flat at Number 11 where PMs have lived since Tony Blair. Or the whole building may have plumbing issues…we know it has ‘leaks,’ but the Tarot doesn’t only talk in metaphors. It will gladly will talk about toilets, if necessary.

No 10 is a big place. But whatever the state of the plumbing, it is fitting that No 10 and the flat at No 11 should be kept in good order and condition. It is not the personal property of the PM. It is not Carrie Johnson’s home. It is where they must live, like it or not, and it is the nation’s property. They can’t take the wallpaper with them when they go.

Card 3: The Nine of Cups reversed

The Nine of Cups in general means wishes granted. More specifically it means socializing hospitality, as in the hospitality industry, and celebration. This is the card of wine, women and song. The card is upside down, possibly because these occasions are in the past and were convivial but not celebratory, ‘bring your own booze.’

Card 4: The Seven of Cups reversed

This dreamy, Neptunian card indicates that Boris has considered a number of options, but indicates no decision to resign as yet. The hostility of M Macron, whether to the PM personally, or to post Brexit UK, is one factor. It was already expected there would be new effects felt here swiftly attendant upon M Macron becoming President of the EU 2022 and with an election year looming. He became EU President 1 January.

This furore, from the POV of say, M Macron, could prove timely grist to the mill of nobbling UK options in terms of the NI Protocol. Invoking Article 16. This, Boris has thus far, to the frustration of others, including not only in his own party who see it as an increasingly urgent necessity, been desperately keen NOT to do.

In terms of timing, the Seven of Cups correlates with Scorpio late October-late November, so that if the PM resigns, it may be later in the year, when he judges it safer to do so. This day dreaming card suggests that at times he indeed may feel tempted to resign, and who wouldn’t understand that feeling. But that he feels it cannot be now, unless and until his hand is absolutely forced, and it is no longer his own decision.

Card 5: The Hermit

The Hermit walks quietly, marks out a path, shines a light on ahead. The Hermit is Virgo. The Hermit is the Sixth House of public health. The PM inherited a public health challenge not of the UK’s making…a poisoned chalice, with no clear road map, damned if does ABC, damned if he doesn’t, like all the other leaders of the western democracies.

On a personal level, this is a card of withdrawal, a need for quiet time. Go for a walk in the park.

In this sense yes, The Hermit clearly could indicate someone moving away to somewhere quiet. Or again, looking at the timing, it could indicate key developments around the PM later in the year, late summer.

It doesn’t look like a classic picture of NOW or SOON. It looks more like older, sadder, wiser.

Card 6: The Knight of Wands reversed

This is a card of sudden arrivals and departures. It is a card of news, noise, overseas business and long distance travel, but here, drawn reversed, there are problems or delays. In respect of the PM’s current predicament it says this is a major setback but that nothing must be done in haste.

This is a card of attack, full of thunder and fury.

This card also means volcanic eruptions. The Tarot reflects, detects and projects. Here it is reflecting the underwater volcanic eruption near Tonga, and the following tsunami. There will almost certainly be further such events in 2020, and in themselves, they are not rare, but we are talking major events.

The Knight of Wands reversed, drawn blindly and at random is also reflecting back at me the first news of the day, the deportation of Novak Djokovic from Australia.

Runes

I have posted the pic again, to save us scrolling all the way back up.

I laid out 2 rows of 3 haemetite runes, looking for a sense of where the current situation is developing in respect of the calls for the resignation of the PM over ‘partygate.’ The runes are primal where the Tarot is a picture book.

Row 1 reading left to right

Ehwaz merkstave – Jera -Sowilo

A Horse away/broekn down/reversed…Boris fell off his horse. On at least one of the occasions, he was out or away. Ehwaz means a car or any vehicle.

Jera, harvest, he reaps a whirlwind. Possibly, goes late summer/autumn

Sowilo, healing, success,summer. He seems likely to carry on at least until the summer.

Row 2 reading left to right

Eiwaz- Ansuz-Gyfu

Eiwaz the Yew…suppleness, evergreen, resurrection, well what does that suggest?

Ansuz, answers, good advice, helpful new information comes to light, Odin,Wednesday. If Boris does decide to go, we should hear very soon, and readers can and do get it wrong, but it’s not really looking that way. Nor do I see him forced out by his party, for all the furious attacks of the Knight of Wands reversed.

Gyfu, a gift, an agreement, a contract between equals. Parliament and the People are equals. The contract must not only be honoured, but it must be seen to be honoured. If the rune had turned up merkstave, upside down, then that tome would suggest a contract cancelled.

The PM messed up. To what extent he is personally culpable, we don’t fully know. But the media are not the same thing as the vox pop, we’ve learned in recent years. And now, today, Nadine Dorries has announced plans to freeze the BBC licence fee with an expectation that it may be scrapped in 2027. I was not aware of this while reading my cards this afternoon, but no doubt she now too qualifies for some as the Empress reversed. Perhaps the BBC will also be also reckoning with that same harvest rune Jera, not on account of this current storm, though possibly expedited.

BIAS I am a floating voter, blending blue and pink. I have in the past voted both Labour and Conservative based on issues at the time. A few spots of dark blue and red, dark green, a dot of lemon yellow and can I have some magenta please. No? Not on offer. I mention this because it has to be recognised that a psychic reader, any reader. while trying to access the collective supra-personal via whatever is the deployed system of divination, is of course a creature with feet of clay. Fail and fallible with their own biases and blind spots if they are not careful. To indulge these, or indulge in wishful thinking when interpreting the cards is to fail in honesty, and this is to fail the oracular mind. The oracle is supra personal. It is not about US.

Meanwhile, Venus the goddess and planet of parties stays retrograde until the 29 January. She is not all sweetness and light. Oh no.

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Tomorrow, Monday 17 January is the first full moon of the year…the Wolf Moon of what the Anglo Saxons called Wulf-Monath. This one is taking place in the sky territory of Cancer, queen of hearth and home, creature comforts and sometimes moody blues. A Hunter’s moon. Hark at wolves in full cry…..

From the Gilded Tarot, artwork by Ciro Marchetti

Take care till next time 🙂

The Star card, the magic of 11, a teeny oracular epiphany and a smidge of soccer sorcery

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Tweeted today 6 January 2022

Last night, trying out a brand new deck #Astrology Reading Cards, hub said what do you think, Chelsea or Spurs to win tonight? I had no opinion. But blindly drew 11th House card for Chelsea THREE times in a row. LUCKY omen. For Spurs drew 1, 2 and 9 Houses. Chelsea won: 2-0

Tarot is not the same as astrology. It is a different discipline, but it contains a lot of embedded astrology, and then this oracle deck caught my eye and I decided to send off for it, though I don’t tend to use oracle in general; finding them somewhat TOO generic.

This one had a structure. I had just taken it out of its box when Il Matrimonio sauntered in, wondering what did I think? Would Chelsea win tonight or would it be Tottenham Hotspur?

What did I think? Well, I didn’t think anything. Once in a while I have had a feeling one way or another. There was one occasion which Il Matrimonio remembers as, thanks to him spragging on me, the story ended up in a local newspaper.

Another time I was cooking, standing at the stove stirring something in the pan and Il Matrimonio came down from watching the box upstairs to say it was half time, and did I think Team X would win. I held out my left arm and repeating the question, asking aloud, felt a tingle run down my arm and said yes, I thought they would, and they did. But I am not very good at relaxing and trusting myself. or maybe I could do it that way more often. It is an approach that relies on NOT THINKING.

Trust to the knowledge held in the body, in the central nervous system.

Last night, re Chelsea v Spurs, no, I didn’t have any feeling about it. Nor did Il Matrimonio actually. He is a bit of a data fiend. Loves puzzles,jigsaw, has recently latched on to sudoku. His interest in football runs along these kinds of lines rather than tribal lines, and his allegiances are variable, though he does get emotional, watching people getting it all wrong on the pitch, and having stupid hairstyles, as for certain pundits, don’t get him started.

What I did was pull 6 blind cards from my new oracle deck of 36 cards: 3 cards for Chelsea and 3 cards for Tottenham Hotspur.

The deck is simple to use, and has three sub sets:12 Planetary cards, 12 Zodiac sign cards and 12 House cards. Ask a question, pull any card, or ask a question, and pull one planetary card, one zodiac sign card and one House card

I asked about each team in turn, just pulled a single card at random, and repeated till I had done it 3 times for each team.

Very oddly, I pulled the same single card for Chelsea 3 times on the trot, and this was the card of The 11th House.

The Houses of the Zodiac denote different life departments if you will. In astrology this correlates with the spirit of the zodiac sign of Aquarius and this is not considered a sporting house in particular. What it is, is cerebral, technological, communal, humanitarian.

But one of the keywords on this card is LUCK. In the Tarot it correlates with the Star card: Aquarius, Hope, Vision, Inspiration. Classical astrologers called the 11th House “Bona Fortuna” (“Good Fortune”) and the “House of Good Spirit.” 

Aquarius from the Rider-Waite Smith Tarot

Wishing on a Star.

Wishes granted.

For Tottenham Hotspur I drew the First House card (The Self) and the Second House Card (assets) and the Ninth House card…which is an excellent House for sporting achievement and teamwork as well as travel.

Not negative cards in this context, not at all. Just lacking that almost magical consistency of the triple appearance of the so-called Master Number 11 shown here at 10 0 clock in the photo.

More about the Number Eleven HERE

I said to Il Matrimonio, well, this is peculiar. I have just pulled the same card three times in a row for Chelsea, and it’s a card of wishes granted, so won’t it be interesting if they go on to win? Which, as tweeted, they duly went on to do with a score of 2-0.

I do this kind of thing simply for practice. And Il Matrimonio does not go running off forthwith to the betting shop. He simply asks, notes, and then forgets what I said and asks me again, though he did once decide to go to a footie match pretty much last minute, when he wouldn’t have gone had I not said his team looked very likely to win.

Here was the thing. His old home town team of Dover was coming all the way up to play Fleetwood…a tricky conflict of allegiances. It was cold. It had been snowing. But he went, and stood with the away supporters, 12 of them who had come up in a minibus all that way, and happily (for him at least) Dover won, because he had told the Dover supporters what his wife had said, that Dover seemed the more likely team to win that night. They were intrigued and hopeful. One of them said, laughing, ‘well, that’ll do for me.’ But he took a small social risk telling them something like this up front (this was the story that ended up in a local newspaper)

No reader gets it right all the time…Dover could have lost and then …egg on the face…blackballed from the club, dear boy. (I can hear him now in the other room telling the cat to ‘eff off!’ This puddy cat is totally a Daddy’s girl. But she is in temporary disgrace after she clawed him on the arm earlier this evening, and drew blood. She doesn’t remember this, or if she does, she wants to be forgiven and allowed back up on his lap. But no, he is too busy deleting spam from some bounder, trying to infiltrate an online maritime history group.)

In summary, I am looking forward to getting to know this simple but rather spectacular astrology oracle card deck. Based upon this very first experience, it clearly portends spooky numinous potential, with that minor triple number 11 epiphany of cartomancy.

You do not need to know a thing about Tarot to be able to use this deck straightaway. Nor astrology, though obviously it could well add value. There is a book that comes with it. I read it last night, the instructions are simple, there is nothing to learn, your instinct does the lifting, and very likely you will hit the ground running.

Back soon. Till next time 🙂

Tarot 2022 ~ General Impressions

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This reading is necessarily very general. Context is key for getting at specifics in reading Tarot, as with any form of investigative divination, and to do this in a reading situation, we ask follow up questions, cross reference and so forth.

This very general approach saying basically, show me a snapshot of the world in 2022 is nothing more like licking a finger to feel the wind direction. And some winds are regular like the trade winds, and others shift. But still, let’s see what we get.

The Gilded Tarot by Barbara Moore and illustrated by Ciro Marchetti, is one of my most hard-used decks, as you may notice. This was my workhorse; my go to deck in face to face readings 2005-2013.

At present I use the Legacy of the Divine Tarot, The Gilded Tarot Royale, The Thoth, the Marseille or playing cards.

Author’s own photograph. Cards from The Gilded Tarot, artwork by Ciro Marchett

Tarot for 2022

The spread denotes the wheel of the year 2022, starting at the top with January, Capricorn and the Nine of Pentacles; the card with the lady holding the falcon.

I look first at the overall picture, mood or feel. How many major arcana cards? How many cards have been drawn reversed?

Five cards out of 12 have been reversed. This is not necessarily any kind of ominous sign, but does suggest a bouncy stop-start kind of a ride through 2022 on a global level, if not on a personal level.

The 22 Major Arcana cards deal with the BIG STUFF. They mirror the Collective, or overarching themes or pivotal moments or sea changes. The 56 Minor Arcana cards in a Tarot deck are no less important, but are more like the fabric of everyday living.

The Major Arcana cards are Strength, Temperance and The Hanged Man drawn reversed.

Strength means just what it says on the tin. Temperance is timing and healing and the Hanged Man reversed means coming out of a state of limbo but also a huge story to do with what might be called grievance politics.

On the plus side, these cards suggest a gradual sea change during 2022 in respect of the covid pandemic. Not that it has gone. It most definitely has not. But either future variants are milder, or we are handling it better or both.

My eye is drawn again and again to that Hanged Man card sitting in the time slot designated for Pisces. The Hanged Man is ruled astrologically by the planet Neptune. Put Neptune and Pisces together, that is a big ‘water’ signature, and giant Jupiter has recently moved into watery Pisces where it will spend much of 2022. What do I mean by ‘water signature’? We think in practical terms, meaning that this could be detecting weather events during 2022, rainfall or storms at sea or tsunamis, and maritime events, maritime geopolitics, territory, shipping, fishing.

Update: Tonga underwater volcanic eruption and tsunami Saturday 16/into Sunday 16 January

This could also refer to things that cross boundaries like migration, people trafficking, or like birds, or like infection, whether bird flu or covid.

The mood is deep, intense, visionary, inspired – or delusional.

Each card corresponds with a month of the year and a sign of the Zodiac, but more significant is its correspondence with a House of the Zodiac, each denoting a particular concept, life area or department, Home, Work, Money, and Travel etc.

We start at the top of the wheel of the year with the Nine of Pentacles, representing the month of Capricorn/January 2022, but this is also representing the Tenth Zodiac, House of career, status and public life.

We carry on reading the cards anticlockwise, counting through the zodiac signs and their corresponding Houses for clues about the year ahead on the global stage, and the personal opportunities and challenges we might be witnessing or dealing with.

None of the findings really needs a psychic. There is little here that most of us do not already sense or see for the year ahead in broad terms. This is a snapshot of how the Tarot works.

The Tarot detects, it reflects and then it projects, meaning it may be nudged or directed to formulate a forecast in respect of a particular stated issue. For every card that is drawn entirely at random, other cards remain in the deck, and their absence can be as telling as their presence.

This spread, if this was a personal reading, would be what happens at the first look, the first pass, before we start drilling down in search of specifics, in teasing out a particular question.

Card 1 Capricorn: 10th House:

Professional status/career, public life

Tarot card ~ 9 Pentacles

The Nine of Pentacles is to do with money earned by skill and hard work (rather than say, via gift or inheritance) It is to do with beauty, luxury and enjoyment. The lady is enjoying her garden, holding her falcon on her wrist. The falcon denotes that she has mastered her impulses, attained maturity with self-discipline. She has learned how to wait, and she has been prepared to forego the pleasures and distractions- and spending of the here and now, in exchange for greater long term rewards.

Governments must play geo-politics. They must play the long game and the shorter game while we, the people on the ground look on, sometimes screaming in frustration.

World Finance, the so-called Green Revolution, crypto-currencies and strategies for long term investment will continue to dominate the news this year.

Things will grow in this year’s garden, so the year starts tough but there is economic progress and growth as the year goes on.

But gardens have gates. Sometimes those gates are open, other times we keep them closed. Border issues are big news all year. The hard border in NI, Poland, and the migrant crisis in Chile, and more. What are the solutions? How are so many extra people to be affordably supported by the unwilling hosts, despite the best of humanitarian goodwill?

There is no one size that fits all solution. But there is an abiding rock bottom line, and that is in human nature, which says, we are generous up to a point, and that point is, when we judge we can afford it. Beyond that point, should it be crossed, there will inevitably be a push back and it won’t be pretty.

Will it come in 2022? Not quite. It doesn’t quite get to that point this year I don’t think, based on the cards that are absent in this spread. We have no Tower card in combination with say, The Emperor, for instance.

On a personal level this is a year for ‘getting real’ and re-examining our basic needs and how we meet them, chiefly, our relationship with work, money and our control over information shared in respect of these.

The lady in this card has achieved a level of comfort and security, but none of it was given to her. She has got where she has needed to be largely by her own efforts on her local patch of turf. She is determined, focused, independent, proud, and generous to others. She knows what it is like to struggle. She remembers times of loneliness too. And ‘she’ may be a nation, as well as a person.

I have come to associate this card with the UK since 2016. Readers in other countries may have cards they feel especially represents their own homeland, and maybe it will even be this same card. UK will broadly do OK, or better than OK in 2022 in terms of trade, is suggested by the 9 Pentacles, notwithstanding the most recent EU threats in respect of the NI Protocol, should the UK government invoke its right to trigger Article 16.

Card 2 Aquarius: 11th House

Humanity, ideas, dogmas, technology

Tarot card ~ 8 Wands Reversed

This volatile, fast moving card echoes some of the comments attached to the previous card, and suggests continuing social unrest in many parts of the world 2022, and clearly not just in Aquarius time, during February. 

There are delays. obstacles,breakdowns in cooperation where cooperation could be reasonably expected in the mutual interests of the parties concerned. One thinks for example of the current state of relations between France and the UK for example.

There may be issues in the news this year to do with lamb husbandry/imports/exports.

This card is about sudden arrivals, departures and developments, and suggests protests and demonstrations to do with restrictions on movement. The Eight of Wands is all about fast travel, including phone calls

This card also suggests issues to do with power lines. It also asks what do we do when we lose electricity or gas or when our IT goes down without any warning at all?

How can we protect our home environments with low-tech emergency provision, back-ups for circumstances in which power or IT can go down (for example, alternative lighting or heating or analogue telephones during power cuts, when mobile phone masts can go down too) At the time of writing, homes in the UK are still without power nine days later in the aftermath of Storm Arwen, and with another Storm (Barra) shortly due to arrive.

It also suggests we review our own personal use of IT, and the amount of extra personal information we gratuitously share on social media. Who are we actually talking to? There is nothing new about this. But there are new developments afoot.

This might mean government moves to control the power of the IT tech giants this year. They now command more financial clout than governments, but were never elected, and they know far too much about us.  But if we were to clip the wings of companies like Amazon,with their new credit card now coming into use, would we merely give more power to their even huger counterparts and global rivals, such as AliBaba?

Aquarius was known to the Babylonians as the curse of rain. This card therefore suggest sudden, severe rainstorms as a likely notable feature in 2022.

Pisces: 12th House:

Sacrifices, borders, boundaries

Tarot card ~ Hanged Man Reversed

This deep, watery card, drawn for March, is a double dose of mysterious wateriness, doubling up Pisces the Fishes with the outer planet again, Neptune, planet of charisma, dreams, visions, inspiration, illusions, delusion, confusion, alternative realities and lack of boundaries.

This card is about looking at things in a new way, trying a new approach to an old problem, honouring our responsibilities, looking at a thing straight on, not hiding our heads in the sand.

We are reviewing our priorities, thinking carefully about what we really need, as opposed to what we fancy right now. It is about what we owe to ourselves, but also to others. It is about restoring and keeping order in our personal lives, and establishing- and protecting our personal boundaries.

There are habits, ideas, places or people- we need to let go of, to surrender this year. The Hanged Man needs to surrender something that used to matter a lot to him, in order to make progress. Will he or won’t he? Will ‘he’get stuck in a state of passivity and make victim-hood his excuse and default for not getting things done?

Own Image Pisces

Again, there could be flooding, or major maritime events in the news, any time this year, but likely late February-late March 2022.

Update: Tonga underwater volcanic eruption and tsunami Saturday 16/into Sunday 16 January

Aries: 1st House:

Self/initiative/action/organizations/military

Tarot card ~Temperance

Temperance is a positive card for 2022. It is a truly mighty if unglamorous virtue, and needs to come back in fashion. It is also the art of right timing. On a personal level, self-discipline, self-control, patience and timing are key factors in making the best of the challenges in 2022, and maximizing opportunities. This year, it is all about the longer game.

Someone is just biding their time, working out what others will do and what they CAN do should that someone make their next move. Russia? China? There will be others.

The appearance of this card is, at least in Tarot language, an encouraging sign for progress of recovery from the covid pandemic, not everywhere, and it’s not done yet, but it does look as though it is moving in the right direction.

This virus has an intelligence of its own. It is gradually learning how best not to kill us, thereby depriving itself of habitation.

Taurus: 2nd House:

Material & money matters, arts, agriculture

Tarot card ~King Swords

Rising inflation is widely predicted elsewhere for 2022. The King of Swords can be a regulator or ombudsman. World finances may come under strain April 2022, around the time of the 30 April eclipse in Taurus, though the UK and other countries might buck this trend to an extent. The financial effects are expected to last at least six months or so following such an eclipse, and certainly, things look better for the UK by autumn 2022.

The King of Swords inspects, oversees, directs or cuts things.

On a personal level the King of Swords knows exactly where his money is, online and offline, and keeps a close eye on his financial security. Beware scammers. This card indicates new facial recognition technology, iris or fingerprint coming into wider use in 2022, or even into wider domestic use.

This advice is simply common sense and it applies every year, but the appearance of the intelligence gathering, law and order vigilante, the warrior-judge, the King of Swords, makes that advice doubly important in 2022.

I associate Boris Johnson with the King of Swords. Mr Johnson is an air sign subject, a Gemini , and well expresses the archetype; quicksilver clever and agile, eternally curious and mercurial, friendly, sociable, and yet essentially solitary and remote, and by the same token, liable to be seen by some as elusive on unreliable.

He is constantly at bay, pincered between the alliance of the Civil Service Establishment, the Labour party and an unremittingly hostile mainstream media, as well as fractious divided factions within his own party, and is possibly making some important decision in respect of his party leadership this year, possibly as early as April/May 2022 though not necessarily.

Update: Amid media furore and calls for the resignation of Boris Johnson based on alleged parties held on the premises in 10 Downing Street during times of national lock down, cards are not at this point indicating imminent resignation, as of a reading done Wednesday 13 January.

The Two of Hearts in my playing cards correlates with the first decan of Cancer, hinting at late June as a possible turning point for him as PM. If he stands down as PM in 2022, which I currently detect as a likelihood of 3/5 and a 2/5 likelihood that he will still be in position at the end of 2022, then it will likely be largely his own decision, and not least due to sheer fatigue. The pandemic has been a poisoned chalice before he barely had a chance to get into the stride of the job of PM.

The King of Thailand…another ‘king of the east wind’ seems to consolidate his increasingly authoritarian position in 2022. A woman aged 65, a former civil servant was sentenced to 43 years in prison in January 2021 for posting online criticism treated as a crime of – lèsemajesté. Small businesses in Thailand have been badly hit by the covid downturn in tourism, and to safeguard his position there will need some help for this section of the economy, and possibly for agriculture too, is indicated by Taurus. But while there may be more protests against his authoritarian stance he only seems to consolidate power in 2022.

Gemini: 3rd House:

Communications, IT, trade, air travel, siblings

Tarot card ~3 Wands

The Three of Wands drawn in the third House is an upbeat, positive card for trade, communications, scientific and medical innovation in 2022, for the export of vaccines to developing countries. and for launching new businesses and enterprises. It also speaks of overseas ambitions. The figure has plans to launch the ship. The world is his oyster, he thinks. Where is it going and what is it carrying and what does it hope to load into the hold?

This card in the house of siblings suggests reconciliations or meet-ups in 2022, the first perhaps, in a long time. Might this include William and Harry?

Cancer: 4th House

Home, family, mother, security

Tarot card ~4 Cups

I think of this card as “bored boy, busy boy”. It has a kind of shuttlecock dynamic with extended periods of hiatus in-between. We may be feeling restless from time to time this year, mildly unsettled, and possibly a bit low on energy or bored, but at the same time, unsure what, if anything, to do about it. This is only natural. The last couple of years have been difficult.  The trick here is not to do anything destructive on an impulse, not to upset an apple-cart in a moment of frustration, just for the sake of it.

On a personal level, I am OK with the appearance of this card as it also represents my own father, a Cancer subject, though the the 4 of Cups suggest ongoing issues with oedema, needing regular physiotherapy.

Leo: 5th House

Heartland, creativity, passion, romance, royalty, children

Tarot card ~ 3 Swords Reversed

Ugh. This is always a challenging card, but is one of those cards that is slightly better news for being drawn reversed or upside down. The Three of Swords upright is severance, separation, divorce, bereavement, shocks, cardiac issues, all kinds of loss. Drawn reversed it is about coming to terms with grief, loss, bereavement, arguments,

There has been great collective sorrow attached to the pandemic and other ongoing humanitarian crises in geopolitics. The time frame of this card is 3 years. The sorrow has been great, and likewise the losses, but now, at least in some quarters comes a measure of acceptance or easement. Drawn in the Fifth House, it suggests that tensions between certain countries may ease. On a personal level, we are coming to terms with a family loss or a rift. Serious quarrels may settle down with forbearance.

Loss, sadness or disappointment. No-one escapes these experiences. How we deal with them determines whether we learn something new, and grow bigger and stronger, or whether take things personally, and see ourselves as victims and dwell on our grievances, thereby adding to the damage.

The Hanged Man reversed is very big on victim-hood as a badge of honour in 2022, when a distinction to be made is between justice and revenge, as with the case of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell. This business is a can of worms, not finished yet.

Leo is the zodiac House of royalty. This is likely significant in this same context. This is undoubtedly a very great worry to the Queen, though I have not looked as yet to see what seems to be the outcome here for Prince Andrew.

Update: The Three of Swords Reversed was here foreshadowing the recent announcement that Prince Andrew has renounced his HRH title and Military and other affiliations. The fact that this card was drawn reversed means that there was a great shock, but that this announcement was nothing sudden,suggesting that Prince Andrew and HM the Queen had already discussed and decided upon this plan of action and were prepared should the judgement go against Andrew, in respect of permission being granted for a further civil suit against him brought by Virginia Roberts (Giuffre) The Three of Swords reversed reflects the great sorrow of the Queen, who is mourning, and seems to be trying to take comfort in the fact that Prince Philip is not here to know about this development.

There could be national mourning in 2022 for a much loved national figurehead.

Virgo: 6th House

Health, hygiene, harvests, crafts, routines

Tarot card ~ Page Cups

This is a small but welcome card of healing, happiness, invitations and offers –and births of all kinds- is a cheerful sign for late August-September in particular, but in fact, any time of the year in 2022. In terms of Virgo, its zodiac sixth house ruler to do with Health, Hygiene, Hospitality, socializing and daily routine, the appearance of this card suggests encouraging progress in respect of the on-going global pandemic management.

Libra: 7th House:

Justice, diplomacy, partnerships

Tarot card ~6 Swords Reversed

Globally and politically, old alliances are changed, as with NATO, or dissolved, as with Barbados and UK in December 2021. Migration laws undergo major reviews in Europe, UK and US in response to unprecedented pressures of mass migration.

There seems likely an escalation of tensions to do with military or commercial shipping in disputed waters, as previously mentioned, in the Black Sea, the South China Sea, Indian Ocean, or the Straits of Hormuz.

The disputed legalities, ethics and practicalities of mandatory vaccinations will continue a red hot potato in the news from 1 February 2022 when vaccination becomes mandatory in Austria, the first compulsory vaccination requirement in Europe.

Scorpio: 8th House:

Creation/destruction/occult/money

Tarot card ~Queen of Pentacles

The Queen of Pentacles is associated with the earth signs; Capricorn, Taurus and to a lesser extent, Virgo. There is a theme in 2022 of a cycle of Taurus-Scorpio eclipses, making this a year with a focus very much on the basics and fundamentals of everyday living, personal finance and other material matters.

Curiously, we have a total lunar eclipse in Taurus right in the middle of Scorpio season on Nov 8 2022. The Tarot has seemingly detected this, and is reflecting and projecting the by now, clearly noticeable effects of financial shakeups dating back to January 2020.

 There is big news this year to do with money and mining. This could be literal mining, as in mining for minerals, or it could be big news to do with crypto-currencies and crypto-mining. It could mean a boom or bust- something really big.

We have recently one way and another, been warned or reminded of the necessity of every nation and every household retaining some degree of energy self-sufficiency should either the weather play havoc or political diplomacy break down, threatening vital infrastructure.

Social unrest can be expected for a number of reasons, depending on where these happen. No way are we going back to pre Covid or pre Brexit in respect of the general tone of public discourse in 2022.

Jupiter moves into Pisces dips into Aries, but the ruler of Capricorn, Saturn still holds strong in Aquarius; a cosmic old man with great fixity of opinion, and black and white thinking as to what is right and wrong, and he is right and everyone else is wrong. This is the face of a certain kind of group-think we did not see much before 2016. Up is down. Everything comes down to feeling, says this new group-think. We speak ‘our’ truths, they say, as if there is no other kind of truth.

The Queen of Pentacles symbolically defends the bottom line, representing the element of Earth nature of biological reality v idealogy. There has always been ‘otherness.’ That too, is in Nature.

Sagittarius: 9th House

Far travel, friendship, foreign shores/powers

Tarot card ~6 Wands Reversed

The Six of Wands when drawn upright is an extrovert card, representing heat, speed, victory, competition, sports, riding high – a triumphal procession. I once drew this card for a young man who was physically, very severely disabled. I asked him about sporting activities. He told me he had been selected to represent the GB wheelchair rugby team in the London 2012 Paralympics.

Conversely, this card when drawn reversed represents bad luck in competitive sports, losing, failure, lack of achievement, recognition, endurance, confidence or support. The Six of Wands reversed signifies disadvantage, disgrace, disloyalty, treachery and broken promises.

This may be detecting recent/on-going controversy attached to the safety and well- being of the Chinese tennis player, Peng Shuai, and/or associated political tensions surrounding the Beijing Winter Olympics, 4-20 February 2022.

The advice here for foreign travel is that disruptions due to covid, but possibly  other reasons, may still be anticipated during 2022, particularly early and late in the year. Travellers had better take precautions and book on a free cancellation basis, or take out insurance against last minute cancellations.

My oldest friend rang last night and told me that she had 2 vaccinations, and the booster and still somehow caught covid. She said she felt absolutely lousy for 10 days but said, to me last night, what might it have been like had she not had any vaccinations? The question is hypothetical of course. She still caught it, didn’t she, and how? She doesn’t know. It is nasty while seemingly getting milder. We knew a young man in his early thirties who died of ‘flu’ Jan 2020 after developing sepsis.

I have come to associate this card with vehicle maintenance issues, traffic issues, and have known it to refer to motorcycles or cycling mishaps.

Central Cards:

Tarot cards~ Strength and the Seven of Cups

These cards are reflecting core themes for the year ahead and how best to navigate it.

The Strength card means exactly what it says. This is a year of international power struggles, competition, and for making our health, comfort and security a top priority, and not wasting valuable resources on people, places or habits that cost more than they are worth. The card has been drawn right way up. Good news.

The pandemic seems to enter a new phase, or two new phases. Astrology suggests a possibility of two new variants, probably milder, and if so let us see whether these arise during Jupiter in Pisces (meaning an increase in a spread) which would mean between now and May 2022, or after October 2022, or both.

The dreamy, visionary Seven of Cups show us that we have many possible paths in life, and that life presents us with many choices. One is not necessarily better than another, just different. Good news, timing wise, attaches to the time of Fixed Water, in second decan Scorpio, 2 November- 11 November. This card again, is ruled by the god of the seas, Neptune.

A Test of Strength at Sea possibly in November 2022.

Taiwan has lost another of its allies, Nicaragua only the latest, transferring its allegiances to China but who is the number 1 producer of semi conductors needed for computer chips? Taiwan. My cards do not show any clear signs of any attempt at outright invasion of Taiwan by China in 2022, not of a military nature. China seems to judge this is not necessary. Trade is what counts.

This next Chinese New Year February 2022 is a Black Water Tiger Year. This is a highly assertive zodiac placement, and focused on wealth.

It seems only prudent that Europe invests big time in its own home grown computer chip industry, pronto.

On a personal level, should someone intrude on our personal space this year, we do not have to put up with it. We should trust our instincts, no apologies or self-justification needed, and act to safeguard our personal and online space, security and privacy.

Mute, block, avoid.

General Astrology 2022

Jupiter, planet of growth, opportunity and optimism is happy at home in mystical Pisces the Fishes for most of the year. Jupiter rules Pisces so it is at home in this sign, and the effect is only ramped up April 12 by Jupiter’s (rare conjunction) with dreamy, mysterious deep water Neptune.  

This is a lot of water influence going on, in astrological terms. This can be understood literally, as in rain, or metaphorically, as in mood, emotionally intense, maybe in a good way, imaginative and creative- even inspired. But it could by the same token, be detecting potent suspicion, delusion or paranoia, such as we have seen in 2020 and 2021, with social disorder in consequence, protests, demonstrations, or episodes of collective psychosis, as with the storming of the Capitol in the US, January 2021.

Jupiter, the Planet of Luck, is entering into its favourite sign of all time, Pisces, on 28th December. “This is one of the defining and most anticipated astrological events of 2022,” says Madi Murphy, co-founder of The Cosmic RX and The Cosmic Revolution.

Jupiter will be in Pisces until 10th May, moves into Aries when we could see sabre rattling -if not more -on the world stage, and then comes back again into Pisces from October 28th, 2022 until December 20th, 2022. 

Jupiter is the planet of joy, growth, opportunity, optimism, expansion. This year it escapes its celestial confrontation with Saturn, planet of restriction where it has spent much of the last two years. This, despite the new omicron variant, suggests overall progress in dealing with the covid-19 pandemic, and lightens the mood.

2022 will be intense but more buoyant than 2021. This is a good year to push hard on a long cherished aim. Jupiter in Pisces is considered lucky. Of course, to get lucky, if you want to make a dream come true, you actually have to do something. You will have to do rather a lot, and keep doing it, too. But if there is such a thing as divine luck to put the wind behind your sails, then Jupiter in Pisces is it.

Every planetary influence has its potential downside. Jupiter can be a giant bully. We could see a sharp escalation of maritime territorial disputes (Watery Pisces and Neptune are both about ‘blurring the boundaries’)

Pisces: Chartres Cathedral

This, for all the famous Piscean compassion and dreaminess seems to me to point to plenty more trouble this year, whether it turns out to be in the South China Seas, the Indian Ocean, the Straits of Hormuz, the Black Sea, or close to home in The English Channel/La Manche.

There are serious tensions ahead in 2022 attached to China’s ambitions in Taiwan, possibly midyear, and Russia’s relationship with Ukraine, specifically, borders, power supplies and Nordstream 2 undersea gas pipelines.

2022 looks fast moving, intense. There are bound to be plenty of surprises, more than usual; political, social and economic, as well as extreme weather events; in particular rainfall, flooding, volcanic or seismic events. Poseidon or Neptune, the god of the seas, was not for nothing known in classical mythology as the “Earth Shaker,” the connection being that earthquakes or volcanic events will sometimes create tsunamis.

US and the Pluto Return

Photo by Lara Jameson on Pexels.com

Pluto takes 248 years to orbit the solar system, meaning that a nation’s Pluto return only happens every two and a half centuries. Pluto is the planet of Death and Transformation. Heavy stuff.

Astrology tells us February 2022 marks the first ever Pluto return of the United States and it will be happening in Capricorn, the zodiac House of material status, prestige and power, with three exact degree-based returns: February 20th, July 11th, and December 28th.

For the first time ever, Pluto will return to the exact position in the zodiac that it was during the United States’ inception on Jul. 4, 1776.

What affects the USA spreads ripples very wide. This does not mean the US will cease to be a superpower – though it could. The Roman Empire fell at its second Pluto return. England rose higher at its second Pluto return, with Elizabeth 1 and a new Golden Age, and declined in world power after its third Pluto return.

Superpowers rise and fall like a law of Nature. In China, it has been observed that the great dynasties typically each ruled for about 250 years. But the Pluto return for the USA does suggest some kind of karma, a revisiting of roots, profound shifts and adjustments this coming year, both inwardly looking and in world relations.

Joe Biden is a Scorpio subject; a fixed deep water sign. Tarot has shown me the steady Queen of Pentacles in Scorpio, suggesting Mr Biden may well dig in firmer and stronger in 2022 than 2021. I do not see based on the Capricorn Queen of Pentacles he will be pursuing a policy of defunding the police. It will not prove a realistic option. But whether or not Mr Biden rides out this Pluto return as President, the US does seem to experience a major shakeup between now and 2024. Deeply Plutonic, the ongoing issues to do with gas pipelines in those territories never ceded by indigenous peoples. The world will be watching Deb Haaland, the new and first Native American US Secretary of the Interior

Debra Haaland

Mercury Retrogrades 2022

Not all astrologers agree on their significance but in 2022 there are four Mercury retrogrades, rather than the three which occurred in 2021. All of these will be happening in ‘intellectual’ air signs. These could mirror real life events, legal matters and continuing challenges to do with the covid situation (the connection here is airborne infection) and air travel.  Be ready and prepared for surprises or possible disruptions to plans.

Dates of Mercury Retrogrades 2022

January 14 to February 3

May 10 to June 3

September 9 to October 2

December 29 to January 23 2023

Do I like the look of 2022? Mmm. Well, we won’t be hit by an extinction level asteroid, even though a few people might be somewhat tempted to wish we were. This coming new year is almost enough to make me feel seasick looking at it. Brooding one minute, boisterous the next. Deep, deep, deep.

“Canst thou draw forth leviathan with a hook?” (Book of Job)

“Full fathom five thy father lies”….(The Tempest)

Photo by Sebastian Voortman on Pexels.com

It does look, however, more expansive and buoyant in spirit, compared with 2021, and especially compared with the almost existential horror of 2020. Wishing you a peaceful, prosperous and Happy New Year in 2022!

You can also find here my General Rune Reading for January and beyond, 2022

Further reading

USA and the Pluto Return, Ray Grasse, The Mountain Astrologer:  https://www.astro.com/astrology/tma_article210208_e.htm

England, the USA and the Pluto Return . Jim Eshelman

The Year of The Water Tiger: https://www.chinesefortunecalendar.com/default.htm

A General Rune cast for January 2022

Photo by sam Hancock on Pexels.com

A New Year’s Reading 2022

What are the runes?

The runes have been described as “an ancient alphabet for modern magicians” – Edred Thorsson in his book ‘Futhark, A Handbook of Rune Magic.’

Runes were the first systems of writing developed and used by the Norse and other Germanic peoples. These runic alphabets are known as “futharks” after the first six runes (Fehu, Uruz, Thurisaz, Ansuz, Raidho, and Kenaz) – just as the word “alphabet” comes from the names of the first two Semitic letters (Aleph, Beth).

There are three principal futharks: the Elder, Younger and Saxon futharks. The 24-character Elder Futhark was the first fully-formed runic alphabet, dating back so far as we know to the first century CE/AD but was probably in development from at least 200 BC.

The Elder Futhark Wiki

The word ‘rune’ comes from the old Germanic, ‘runa’ or ‘runo’ meaning a secret thing, a mystery. This was Animism in practise; a belief in the conscious intelligence of the Earth itself; its forces and all things in nature. Animals, tress, the elements, the weather…they were – are-living forces and mysteries demanding recognition and respect.

So the runes are more than just letters. They can be read that way but they are also a pictographic or ideographic symbol of some natural principle or power as experienced by these Germanic-speaking peoples of the climate and landscapes of northern Europe, including Britain and the island of Ireland. 

Rune casters were both welcomed and feared. Runemal (rune craft) took on a ritual function, and went beyond individual personal readings, directed for the protection and prosperity of the entire community.  Runes might be used in casting of lots to decide who did what.

They were used in runes spells to influence the weather, the tides, the crops, fertility and healing. Runes were used to send curses or remove them.  Runes were carved on amulets, carved into doorways and into the wood of ships. Protective runes can be seen in architecture, in the shapes of the decorative timbering of black and white timbered houses throughout Britain and Europe as seen near where I live at Samlesbury Hall in Lancashire.

Runes embedded in half-timbered buildings, Samlesbury Hall, Lancashire UK Via Wiki Commons

A popular rune design you can see here is the multiple use of Elhaz or Elk, a rune of general protection. Picture the antlers of the Elk, or you can picture it as a figure invoking divine protection, arms raised to heaven.

Casting the runes

Rune casters would shake their pouch of runes and scatter them on the ground. Sometimes they would lay a cloth or draw a circle and read only those runes that fell within the circle or on the cloth. Sometimes they would read only the runes that landed upright, and not count those that came out reversed, or ‘merkstave’. Today I am including any merkstave runes.

Given a lack of written history on the subject of rune casting, much information has been lost to posterity to know for sure how things were properly done. A Christian edict was issued in Iceland in 1639 that declared the uses of runic talismans as witchcraft and a man was executed in 1691, burned to death for using them as his forefather had presumably been doing for many generations. This, although runes were still in everyday use at that time in calendars and almanacs carved into wooden staves throughout Scandinavia and Estonia.

Before this and again today the runes were- and are still used today for psychic insights or guidance, or for magical purposes- to request or summon sacred protection or good luck. To pray in other words.

The runes have been found wherever Germanic-speaking peoples settled, travelled, traded or raided, from Iceland to Scandinavia, through England and Central Europe, all the way to Constantinople.

Runes were also chanted or spoken in invocation. We do not know how this sounded, whether it was done falsetto, or done deep as throat singing. Some get quite exercised in these discussions, but however it was done in those times, this chanting is called ‘Galdr’.

Runecast for January 2022

Today we are using the Elder Futhark. You’ll notice the runes are all straight lines, no curves; as scratched or inscribed into wood, metal or stone.

The runes are chosen entirely blindly and at random.

We have drawn three upright runes (Sowilo, Perthro and Kenaz) and two reversed or merkstave runes (Ehwaz and Laguz.) This rune cast therefore translates as more positive than negative for January 2022 and for the rest of year itself. But clearly this is rather a close call. We are part of bigger world events. 2022 promises to be pretty intense, and occasionally downright turbulent, though somewhat more buoyant, optimistic and outgoing than 2021, and brighter by far than 2020.

Position 1: Sowilo/Sigel  

Word/Symbol: The Sun.

Meanings: Victory, Success, Health/Happiness.

This rune is standing for the Here and Now- the Question. You can see this rune looks like a modern capital S, or a back to front Z.

This is a positive rune of victory, success, happiness and good health. Well, that’s a welcome rune, cheers! This rune of the sun can literally mean ‘a year’…one journey of the Earth around the sun. This seems a suitable rune therefore, to start a New Year reading. 

The question broadly translates as, “when will life be ‘happy’ again/get back to normal?” If we mean, normal as, back in 2019, well, no, we can all see that is not happening this year.  There are storms. But there are silver linings.

The days are already noticeably longer again in January. The sun is returning to the northern hemisphere where the runes first originated, just as it is slowly leaving the southern hemisphere.

Beyond this purely pragmatic interpretation, Sowilo is one of the most fortunate of all runes, bringing good news, as if the Norse gods are saying, the sun will shine upon your efforts this New Year. Look on the bright side as much as you can. Seize the day.

We are in troubled times. 2021 was angry, 2020 was grim. Pluto had something to do with that in astrological terms, and its conjunction with Saturn. January 2020. We have all felt it. This year will also be difficult, stormy even on the world stage. It’s not personal even when it feels personal. The sun will shine in between the storms. 2022 is intense, perhaps rocky, but also more upbeat and mobile, less coldly relentless than 2021, somehow, less stuck in a rut, suggesting a new phase in the covid pandemic.

On an individual level, Sowilo drawn with Laguz next to it in the reversed position suggests one has become over-tired. This is hardly surprising after such a long haul for many people. They have become drained, fatigued and depressed, not to mention twitchy, nervous and in some cases, worked up, oversensitive or even paranoid, and also quite likely by this point, physically lacking not only vitamin D but low on vitamin B.

Sowilo means sunshine, and through this connection, may be suggesting that you look into your levels of the ‘sunshine vitamin,’ Vitamin D, so important both for mood and optimal immune function. Vitamin D Supplements are ideally combined with vitamin K2 for optimum calcium absorption. This is standard medical knowledge.

Sowilo is a bit like Jupiter in astrology. It is big, bright, bold, and upbeat. It can burn too of course. It can be wildfires though to the Norse it was always positive. This year really could bring you a lucky break, if you can find the energy, seriously applying yourself to whatever goal you set yourself for 2022.

One might say the faces of the gods are not so set against us this year, though there is still big infighting, and we could come a cropper in the collateral damage.

Position 2: Perthro

 

Word/Symbol: cup for throwing dice/paddock.

Meanings: Mystery/Secrets/Initiation/Sanctuary

This rune is standing for where we have recently been and what’s been going on, both on the face of things but also deep down.

Perthro is a mystery rune dealing with things far beyond our personal control, like the covid pandemic. Perthro represents sanctuary. We have been seeking sanctuary. What and where for us, represents our own personal sanctuary? Is it at home? Is it with other people? Is it doing something we love that takes our mind away from worry?

This rune deals with karma, destiny; things that are hidden. There are many theories, much speculation, but the causes of the pandemic remain unproven. That it started in the Far East seems certain. The exact circumstances are less certain. When I asked about this, wondering about Wuhan wet markets or labs and all that, my Tarot showed me The Hierophant, the Tarot’s card of Taurus.

This card bears no suggestion of a coordinated plan. It represents the earth itself and suggests natural causes rather than lab engineering gone wrong. This disease has originated in Nature. Humanity should not have come into contact with it at all, but has done so through over-expansion with an accompanying disturbance of previously undisturbed habitats in the Far East. This new virus variant escaped those habitats, possibly via fruit bats or flying foxes, and then infected animal intermediaries, locally farmed pigs very likely, and then humans, thereby entering the food chain through local conditions of animal husbandry and from those sites in the Far East inexorably spread via mass global travel.

Some think this rune is supposed to show a dice cup- meaning a cup once used for drawing lots in gambling games or throwing dice. As such, you may take a bit of a gamble this year, and it pays off. This gamble however, depends on your doing some research beforehand.

Secrets come to light or we learn useful new information starting this month.  How do we respond and apply this information for personal progress?

We may notice our psychic abilities in some acutely significant way this year.

Beware leaks and spillages. Is this government leaks in the news, domestic gas leaks? A vehicle leak. Another oil tanker? This January, this year, beware leaks.

Position 3: Kenaz   

Word/Symbol: Torch/Beacon/Opening/Ulcer

Meaning: Illumination, learning, opening

This rune is talking about how we handle things for the best in 2022. This is a friendly fire rune, like a domestic hearth fire, cheerful, small and manageable. Uruz the Auroch/physical power rune and Fehu the cattle/wealth rune are also fire runes but more primordial, fiercer. 

It is saying, ‘keep the home fires burning.’ It is reminding us of a certain war time spirit that says we are all in this together; an attitude which has fallen out of fashion since the war, but it is salutary to be reminded from time to time, that the world does not revolve around us and our own personal concerns.

Kenaz talks about energy, drive, recuperation from illness, and enlightenment- learning of all kinds, whether this mean formal or informal study.

Kenaz is a positive rune, with a lot of vitality attached. It suggests good news in respect of the turning of the tide in the covid pandemic, even though we are not free of it in 2022. Still, this virus is evolving and over time, is becoming less dangerous, as human immunity is gradually learning how to deal with it as a brand new enemy of mankind, which it was until 2019.

Kenaz is masculine in its energy, and in a relationship will always denote the male partner. What is he offering? What is he looking for? Where is this going? Laguz, the rune next door in this spread is a powerful feminine rune, and says, well, we can have fun, and maybe this is the year to move ahead with a new partner, but keep your head screwed on tight this year.

Kenaz, like Perthro can also be psychic. We get the modern English words ‘canny/uncanny’ from this rune. ‘Beyond our ken’; is a phrase derived from this rune.

We have been more limited in our options than we are used to. Life imposes changing limits from time to time. That is the nature of reality. Still, we make our own choices, in choosing how to respond to challenges. This is our own instinct at work as we operate within our own environment where we can choose how to respond.  There will be sudden insights, flashes of some new understanding of our situation – perhaps even a psychic dream or waking insights. You can see by looking at it that Kenaz shows something that is opening up, opening outwards. 2022 brings some kind of new awakening, both on a collective level and on a direct personal level. What new things shall we set out to study or explore this year? Kenaz is a morning rune. Start as you mean to go on this year. The early bird catches the worm and all that.

Kenaz is a positive rune for relationships, two people opening up more with one another, greater mutual understanding. It is a lucky rune for fathers and fertility.

Less glamorously, Kenaz can also mean an ulcer, either literally, as in; we may need some kind of skin care. Are we deficient in Vitamin D or zinc, for example? Or it may be speaking figuratively on an emotional level, as in, what apparently small wound never seems to heal?

If you recognize this wound or hurt, then do not nurse it. Do not let this thing fester any longer. Have the conversation. Bring the issue out into the light of day and sort it out once and for all. Or else draw a line under it. Let it go, let it be, make peace and don’t keep picking away at it.

Position 4:  Laguz (merkstave=reversed)

Symbol:  Lake 

Meanings: Water/Flow/Instinct/Emotion/unseen powers/feminine dominion

This rune forecasts the challenges of 2022. The rune I welcome least in this reading is this one. The Lake represents water, both literally and symbolically. Are we swimming or sinking or just staying afloat? Drawn reversed, this rune signifies confusion up ahead. Beware of getting in too deep, too soon, whatever new waters you try out this year. These waters are deep. This is like Pisces in the zodiac. This is like the planet Neptune.

Dreams could come true or they can become nightmares. This rune reminds us, when those around us get worked up, we do not necessarily need to join in and add to the noise. Laguz reversed can mean collective inebriation, getting drunk or high. It can mean new ideas, new visions, but it can also mean delusions, mass hysteria, paranoia and psychosis.

Looking at it from another angle, this rune says global military and political maritime based events will loom large this year on the global stage. This could mean extreme rainfall, flooding, tsunamis and/or big maritime military or scientific events, perhaps in connection with Taiwan.

Update Tonga tsunami 15 January 2022

In Chinese astrology we enter a Black Tiger year in early February. This is the Water Tiger and it is proud, grand, fierce, expansionist. March/April could be the months to watch for in particular here, and then again later in the year, possibly during the summer months. This is not to suggest a Chinese invasion, but it certainly a further ramping up on its ambitions in respect of Taiwan.

Laguz could be maritime technology; submarines, submersibles and developments to do with spying, surveillance or mineral mining; lithium or other mineral extraction or production.  This may or may not feature in the media, but it is big.

Could Laguz also be detecting Nordstream Gas? I think so. Trouble coming, with possible effects on power supplies in Europe in 2022, though not necessarily during the winter. Get in some non-mains power alternatives just in case. A camping stove. Torches. Batteries. Matches. Many of us already keep these sorts of things somewhere safely handy anyway.

Rune 5:  Ehwaz (merkstave =reversed)

Symbol: Horse. Imagine you are looking at it sideways on. See the dip in the middle of its back.

Meaning: Movement, travel, vehicle, progress, transits, shifts  

This central rune is a recurring theme in January, and perhaps throughout the rest of 2022.

I love this rune. Ehwaz is like the Chariot in the Tarot. It is about physical movement and forward progress. Paired with Laguz as it is here, it could be a ship, a boat, or a submersible craft. It refers to overseas ambitions and far journeys over water.

Among other things this rune suggests an upping of the ante again in January in respect of M Macron and the issue of French fishing rights in British waters. Some progress has been made. But it’s not done yet for either side, and this year France holds the EU Presidency. But it is not only the UK that needs to be careful. M Macron needs to be extremely careful. The Horse also means cars and other vehicles, and car imports from the EU to the UK have declined in 2021, and with new import formalities coming in January 2022.

The escalating arrival of illegal small boats is a serious source of tension between France and UK. This moves up at least another gear in 2022.

Divination detects, reflects and projects. There is nothing here we do not know already. The runes are affirming. But they could just as readily contra-indicate.

It is worth noting that there are 19 runes which have NOT been drawn, some of which are more challenging than the spread we have here.

Clearly there are problems. Maybe we will feel effects of power cuts or pipeline issues in 2022. The causes may be weather related but they might possibly be political. I was already inclined to invest in a camping stove after my parents were left several days without power after Storm Arwen, and would not have had hot food otherwise.

This rune drawn merkstave seems to me only to reinforce that message from Laguz merkstave.

This rune merkstave is not necessarily negative, depending on the surrounding runes, but does indicate continuing stops and starts in 2022, both in respect of control of the pandemic and on a personal level. Ehwaz merkstave brings changes that could be sudden and unexpected. Obviously, these bring challenges, not least with periodic issues to do with trade and international travel in 2022.

It is only wise to be extra careful this January when it comes to vehicles, traffic, travel, and making big decisions just in general. Expect delays and hiccups.

Kenaz encourages curiosity but is opposed by Ehwaz reversed which is saying explore, inquire but do not force any issues. Possibly the timing isn’t right quite yet for you to make a move. January does not look like optimal timing in general for pushing an envelope, and not only because it is winter and nature in the north says, sleep, go slow.

But the birds of the north can’t rest, can they? They must feed or die. Norest for the wicked or the innocent either. We attend to the fundamentals, therefore, and coolly look about us meantime. The spirit of this coming year will make itself better known from March onward.

Photo by Dua Chuot on Pexels.com

Wishing you the power of Sowilo, health, happiness and good fortune in a brighter if episodically tempestuous 2022!

Further Reading

Pagan Magic of the Northern Tradition: Customs, Rites, and Ceremonies

By Nigel Pennick

The New Book of Runes  by Ralph Blum

Futhark. A Handbook of Rune Magic by Edred Thorsson.

The Runes: A practical Guide to their uses in divination and Magick by Lisa Peschel, published Llewellyn

To discover your personal ‘birth runes’ – your ‘heroic destiny or potential’ https://haquil.com/blogs/viking/how-to-calculate-your-viking-birth-runes

The Hierophant, RIP, Desmond Tutu

Via Wiki

I drew a card and rune reading a few weeks ago, 10 November, asking in the most general way about forthcoming news or events in December.

Today I tweeted the same reading again but with a different interpretation in light of the news today, of the passing of Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Cards & runes first posted 10/11/21 asking ahead for news in December. Apropos of the passing of #ArchbishopTutu cards show a much loved church man- Hierophant. Runes SOWILO- after solstice, OTHALA Homeland grieves HAGALL blow, natural death, ING, inspiration, fire of creation

Did I see this death coming? No I absolutely did not. I was enquiring into December, looking and thinking in the most general terms, inquiring into the tides and winds, or the zeitgeist of December, simply to see what would come up.

And yet. And yet, it does often seem that the cards act as straws in the wind…it really does seem that there is a supra-personal collective knowingness held in the ether.

Maybe we are more hive-minded; more like bees and ants than we think. I think that we are, and that Tarot is just another of several means that helps us tap into this.

At the time the cards indicated to me in broad terms that the UK government (and very likely therefore, not only the UK government) would be struggling with awkward covid management decisions again in December, coming to a head after the solstice 21 December.

Well, one might reasonably it didn’t need a reading to tell us this given the way things are. But let’s hang fire on that a sec.

Firstly, how exactly did the cards suggest this?

Well, The Lovers card is about lovers, obviously. The card does what it says on the tin. This theme extends to all loved ones, lovers, family and friends. And by implication, socializing. But it also stands for choices and decisions, often very tricky one. And it stands for the zodiac sign of Gemini, and by that seasonal token, everything that is airborne, from the pollen and butterflies of late spring to aircraft to airborne contagions. The Lovers therefore covers travel, air travel in particular, and it describes trade.

The Hierophant or Pope shows a churchman. He could be any religion. But in wider terms it stands for the governance of church and state, governments anywhere, land, money, agriculture, and the status quo. Traditions and the usual order of things. The Hierophant can also be hospitals and universities. It is Taurean.

You can see here the reader has a pretty wide map to navigate in deciding which meaning to go with. One could say, well, anything might mean anything. Well, not quite. Each card in the deck does have its particular list of associated interpretations, not duplicated by any other card and there are 78 cards.

The reader has to consider how the cards fit together when sitting side by side. What seems the most likely synergy between them being presented here?

What does it MEAN for gawd’s sake? Meaning requires a context. But here, the question could not have been looser. ‘What’s the feeling I am getting for December 2021 ?’

We translate information in a given context. This context is likely shaped, if not by someone else’s question, then by our own interest or preoccupations in the moment of reading.

My first thought on 10 November was the government and covid. Meanwhile, the runes showed a blow-HAGALL is the rune that looks like a wonky capital ‘H’. This is the rune of hail. Hagall refers to an event that isn’t personal even if it feels extremely personal.

The interesting thing here, however, is that at the date of drawing these cards, 10 November, indicating a conundrum for the government, Omicron had not yet arrived in the UK.

The first case was 27 November. Sunday 28 November Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, and Angola were added to the UK’s travel red list: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/first-uk-cases-of-omicron-variant-identified#:~:text=Two%20cases%20of%20COVID%2D19,529%20identified%20in%20the%20UK.

But sometimes a reading can be very odd in the way keeps on giving. And when this morning I woke to learn of the death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and felt a small jolt, seeing again in my mind’s eye, The Hierophant, and my mind returning like a homing pigeon to that earlier reading. I’m posting it again, save you scrolling up.

That last rune bottom right is called ING- from which we got the word inglenook for a hearth place. ING is a fire rune. It is masculine in nature and it represents fertility.

I found myself drawn to the following quote rather than to his many, far more momentous sayings:-“When you sit in front of the fire in winter, you are just there in front of the fire. You don’t have to be smart or anything. The fire warms you.”

This Hierophant, the Archbishop of Cape Town, Desmond Tutu, a great teacher, a school teacher once upon a time, and a natural born teacher always, was someone who warmed a lot of people.

Photo by Taryn Elliott on Pexels.com

Songs of Solstice; Sagittarius sinking, Capricorn climbing, the mountain goat and the Gate of the Gods

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Today we enter the zodiac territory of Capricorn on the day of the winter solstice, Tuesday 21 December 2021 and stay there until 20 January 2022.

But what is the story behind the zodiac sign of Capricorn the Cosmic Sea-Goat?

 

Common associations

Symbol:

Date of Birth: 21 Dec to 20 January approx

Ruling planet: Saturn

Lucky Day: Saturday    Lucky Numbers: 2 and 8

Element: Earth

Quality: Cardinal (the start of the season of winter) Is receptive but equally an initiator.

Key phrase:  I build, I use

Body:  Skin, knees, skeletal system

Birth Stone:  Red Garnet and Black Onyx

Colour:  Deep red

Herbs/Flowers: Wintergreen, Ivy, Carnation

Tarot card:  The Devil (Pan/Nature, Mystery, Fascination, Obsession, Entrapment) This card paints him as rather a seductive, beguiling beast. One can appreciate the artist’s take on this. The Devil is also the angel of the Morning Star, fallen or not. And if he is hideous and stinky, who is going to let him anywhere near them? Whom shall he snare? Who is going to fall for his tricks?

From The Gilded Tarot Royale, Ciro Marchetti

The Major Arcana Tarot card representing Capricorn is Number 15, The Devil, representing desire, animal passion, charisma, and temptation on the positive side, and fear, addiction, obsession and entrapment on the negative side.

Capricorn must and will have its autonomy. It will rather do without than find itself in dependency on another, at the cost of its dignity, and integrity of personal sovereignty.

Other Tarot cards associated with Capricorn are The Queen of Pentacles, and the 2, 3 and 4 of Pentacles.

The Astronomy

The constellation of Capricornus from which the sun sign gets its name is located in an area of sky known as The Sea or The Water, containing other water-related constellations including Aquarius, Pisces and the River, Eridanus.

Wiki

Like other constellations of the astrological zodiac, Capricorn was first catalogued by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the 2nd century.Capricorn means Horn of the Goat from the Latin Capri cornus. “Capri” = goat, “Cornus” = horn. You can- with just a bit of a stretch- imagine the constellation as a goat’s face, looking at you with horns either side of its head.

Capricornus is the smallest constellation in the zodiac, with no first magnitude stars. Even so, the brightest star, Delta Capricorni A, is a white giant with a luminosity 8.5 times that of the Sun.

Capricornus has three stars with known planets and contains a Messier object, Messier 30, a globular cluster 28,000 light years distant and about 90 light years across in size. This cluster is approaching us at the speed of 181.9 km/s, and was one of the first deep sky objects discovered by Charles Messier in 1764.

There are five meteor showers associated with Capricornus: the Alpha Capricornids, the Chi Capricornids, the Sigma Capricornids, the Tau Capricornids and the Capricorniden-Sagittarids.

Neptune in Capricorn

The planet Neptune was discovered in the constellation Capricornus, near Deneb Algedi, the brightest star in the tail of the goat, on September 23, 1846.

This illustrates a powerful mythic connection between earth sign Capricorn and the deep water sign of Pisces the Fishes. This connection is many ages old and goes back to the Babylonians 21 centuries BC. We shall explore this connection more closely in a moment.

How did the ancients know? How could they have known, to have come up with the story of the Sea-Goat? So far as we aware, they could not have known about Neptune to have made any such connection. And yet they did, as we shall see.

Natural History

Though Capricornus is the second faintest constellation in the sky after Cancer, its story lineage is very ancient indeed. Mountain Goats, the ibex, were depicted in Ice Age paintings.

The European ibex male starts fighting for territory and mating in December, and in modern astrology, as distinct from modern astronomy, Capricorn’s rule begins today at the solstice, although meteorological winter starts 1 December.

Capricorn the constellation itself is actually overhead nowadays during Aquarius, due to the wobble of the Earth, an effect known as precession, but the sun sign named after Capricornus retains the dates accorded to it by Ptolemy.

Mythology

Capricorn is commonly represented in the form of a sea-goat: a mythical creature half goat, half-fish. This creature is Pricus, another son of Cronos (Time) king of the mer-goats of Greek myth. (Presumably this makes Capricorn a brother of Zeus.)

The story of Pricus the Sea-Goat comes from an evolution story far older than the mythos of ancient Greece.  Before 1000 BC the Sumerians knew Capricorn as the goat-fish, or SUHUR-MASH-HA.

The children of Pricus left the sea to dwell on mountains, leaving him alone in the oceans with no-one to talk to any more. And Pricus was a great teacher.

He was very lonely now, all the young ones gone. Zeus placed him in the Sea of the Stars so that he could see his children again, and they could look up from the mountain sides and still see him, and remember where they first came from. Out of the sea, like us and everything else that now lives on land.

Later myths centre on stories of sun gods nursed by a she-goat, one of the best known of which is the story of the baby Zeus. whose mother Rhea hid him from his murderous father Cronos. They took refuge in a mountain cave where he was nursed by the she-goat Amalthea

Another story talks about the forest deity Pan, who has the legs and horns of a goat, like Krotos, his son, a great archer and devotee of the Muses, who is identified with the neighbouring constellation Sagittarius in an alternative version of the Chiron legend.

Pan, so the legend said, was placed in the sky by Zeus in gratitude after he came to the rescue of other gods after an epic battle with the Titans, when they were fleeing the monster Typhon, son of the Titan Tartarus and Earth.

Typhon was truly fearsome, a fire-breathing creature, higher than mountains and with dragons’ heads instead of fingers. The Olympian gods disguised themselves as they fled in terror: Zeus disguised as a ram – Hera, as a white cow, and Pan as a goat (another version of the myth suggests Bacchus/Dionysus).

Horrors! Typhon caught Zeus and dismembered him, thinking perhaps to enjoy a rare treat of Jupiter-sized lamb chops for tea, but then Pan played such a weird sound on his pan pipes, he frightened Typhon, who panicked just long enough for Hermes to swoop down and snatch up all the bits of Zeus and put him back together.

In gratitude, Zeus transferred Pan to a luxury pad in the heavens as Capricornus, and later, finally managed to trick Typhon, trapping and imprisoning trap him in Tartarus or beneath Mount Etna where he still grumbles to this day, swearing to get even, or starts roaring and shooting out flames in his furious efforts to escape.

This from Pindar, Greek lyric poet….

among them is he who lies in dread Tartarus, that enemy of the gods, Typhon with his hundred heads. Once the famous Cilician cave nurtured him, but now the sea-girt cliffs above Cumae, and Sicily too, lie heavy on his shaggy chest. And the pillar of the sky holds him down, snow-covered Aetna, year-round nurse of bitter frost, from whose inmost caves belch forth the purest streams of unapproachable fire. In the daytime her rivers roll out a fiery flood of smoke, while in the darkness of night the crimson flame hurls rocks down to the deep plain of the sea with a crashing roar. That monster shoots up the most terrible jets of fire; it is a marvellous wonder to see, and a marvel even to hear about when men are present. Such a creature is bound beneath the dark and leafy heights of Aetna and beneath the plain, and his bed scratches and goads the whole length of his back stretched out against it

Neo-Platonism

Another legend says that while the souls of those about to be born descend to Earth through the constellation of Cancer, via the Beehive Cluster, the souls of the dead return to the cosmic seas from whence they came, ascending again through the stars of Capricorn – The Gate of the Gods.

Astrology

Capricorn is a cardinal earth sign, ruled by the planet Saturn, stern planet of self-reliance, self-discipline, duty, responsibility, conservation, patience, limitations and restrictions. Cardinal signs usher in a new season. Aries ushers in the spring, Cancer the summer, Libra the autumn and Capricorn is the usher of winter.

The Capricorn Archetype

All the zodiac signs represent archetypes, meaning something that is considered to be a perfect or typical example of a particular kind of person or thing.

The zodiac signs paint a ‘typical’ portrait of a person born at a particular time of year, in a particular season. A baby born in summer arrives into a different physical environment from a winter baby; with differences of temperature, hours of daylight, maternal diet during pregnancy and so on, with potentially different effects.

The archetype of Capricorn is the Ruler, the Wise Elder, Protector, Organizer and Provider.

The story of Capricorn, as mentioned earlier, was first inspired by the tough but agile mountain ibex. December and January is mating season, when the male ibex fights for territory.

Photo by Anna Perkas on Pexels.com

Capricorn is a worker and a fighter with the strength, intelligence, stamina and determination to overcome hardships and master its environment.

Capricorn is a pragmatist with strong ethics. Capricorn is not sentimental, but all the same, Capricorn is a rock for the people in their lives. They may wear a serious face, but they will do what it takes to care for their loved ones, and will work longer and harder to do this than almost any other zodiac sign. These people express their devotion through deeds, not words, practical action. They will be the person who builds a fire for others to warm their hands at.

The court card of Capricorn is the Queen of Pentacles. The King of Pentacles may also be used to represent a Capricorn native, male or female, in a reading

From The Touchstone Tarot, Kat Black

Card Meanings: queen of earth, earth mother, a wise woman, hedge witch, a vet, conservationist, farmer, ecologist, financial, Gaia, Demeter, a practical woman, grounded, wise,  instinctive, knowledgeable, prudent

She will put the food on the table. She will make things beautiful. When she finds a mess, she will clear it up. Help her or don’t help her. But don’t get in her way.

Venus retrograde in Capricorn

Venus, planet of love, beauty, luxury and therefore finance- and also vulcanicity is retrograde in Capricorn at the moment, 19- 29 December.

It is not only Mars who can wage war. Oh no. Basalt planet Venus is Aphrodite, the deity and genius loci of Sicily, home of Etna. Not for nothing was she married to the smith of the Gods, Vulcan or Hephaestus…even if she did cheat on him with Mars/Ares.

Here then in astrological terms is volcanic activity here on Capricornian Earth, and this year it is happening in Capricorn season, literal or metaphorical. Here is vulcanicity. La Palma. Mount Semeru.

Here in human dealings this month is an undercurrent of beauty on the back foot, or beauty demanding its dues. Shall it smoulder or shall it erupt this month?

“For beauty, we will pay. “- Kraftwerk, The Model.

Capricorn can seem almost superhuman, like Duracell bunny-goats, virtually tireless. This persistence, this determination ensures their ultimate success at anything that demands their attention or they find worthy of their interest.

They are not do-gooders but they are very conscious of their obligations to others, quick to pay their debts and if someone does them a favour, they will not rest until it is returned, as a matter of personal dignity and to safeguard their space, freedom and autonomy as much as anything else.

Capricorn

But of course there is no such thing in reality as THE Capricorn personality. You are a unique individual. Your zodiac sign (sun sign) is a major keynote, but it is nothing like the full picture in real life – or in astrology.  There are many other factors in play; your rising sign, your Moon sign, the planets in your houses, your decan and the degree of the actual day you were born. So for one thing, if you don’t feel like a ‘typical’ Capricorn, perhaps you are a second or third decan Capricorn, rather than a ‘most typical’ first decan Capricorn.

What are the decans?

The Zodiac is a belt of sky tracking the path of the sun across the sky over the course of the year. We call this pathway of the sun ‘the ecliptic,’ and the zodiac belt shares this same pathway. The paths of the Moon and visible planets are all contained within the belt of the zodiac. Each zodiac sign represents a 30 degree section of this belt. Each sign is then sub-divided into three blocks of ten degrees, equalling about ten days in length, with slight variations.

This gives us the zodiac decans, from the Latin meaning ten. They are sometimes nicknamed ‘the thirty- six faces of astrology,’ because they add more human faces to the story. The decans break down the story of each zodiac sign into three, more in-depth chapters, affording extra insight into your sign, and what it means in real life.

First Decan Capricorn

Capricorn-Capricorn

Dates: 22 December-31 December

Planetary rulers: Saturn-Saturn

Tarot card: Two Pentacles

From The Gilded Tarot

Card meanings:  juggling of finances, putting eggs in different baskets, being in two places at once, juggling jobs and responsibilities, or two jobs, commuting, relocation, infinity, the ever changing balance

This Capricorn decan does not suffer fools gladly. This is a serious, profound and powerfully minded individual. Many people want to know them but they have few real friends, but those friends are true and lasting while many others come and go.

They have a dry, wry, droll sense of humour, a keen sense of the ridiculous, and a sense of fun, but others who are less confident can feel intimidated by their intelligence. They have gravitas with a natural personality authority which some may find challenging. This decan will not be pushed around, any more than the mountain ibex doing battle on the side of the mountain is ready to give way to its rival without a fierce fight.

This decan dislikes whatever it considers cheap and easy sentiment, but is utterly devoted in a pragmatic, non-demonstrative way, to those they love and will show it in their deeds, whether or not they say it with words, seemingly so fearless, whether they really are afraid or not, and so sure of foot on the rockiest of mountain slopes.

Famous first decan Capricorns in history:  Johannes Kepler, Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, Ava Gardner, Woodrow Wilson, Mao Tse-Tung

Second Decan

Capricorn-Taurus

Dates:  1 January-10 January

Planetary rulers: Saturn-Venus

Tarot card: Three Pentacles

From The Gilded Tarot

Card Meanings: skill, study, patience, taking care, taking pride in your work, arts, crafts, beauty, heritage, architecture, cooperation, teamwork

This decan is also a serious individual but somewhat less forthright in manner, more easygoing and ruled by Venus, cheerful, agreeable and with softer edges all round. This decan in general is the most artistic or musical Capricorn, though again, the style is low key. This person is usually considered highly trustworthy, and generally deserves that reputation, while they themselves are cautious of trusting others. They crave beautiful surroundings and creature comforts. (Well, who doesn’t?) Their physical appearance matters to them a great deal, from which we can see an added tragedy for some of the famous subjects of this decan.

Famous Second Decan Capricorn subjects: Joan of Arc, Louis Braille, Elvis Presley, Richard Nixon, Michael Schumacher, Stephen Hawking

Third Decan Capricorn

Capricorn-Virgo

Dates: 11 January-19 January

Planetary ruler: Saturn-Mercury

Tarot card-Four of Pentacles

From The Gilded Tarot

Card Meanings: thrift, prudence, saving money, holding on to money, hoarding, investing, saving, preserving, conserving resources, damage limitation, self- protection, the need for order, stability and freedom from worry

This decan, ruled by Mercury, is something of a perfectionist; curious, analytical, rational and intellectual, somewhat changeable. Saturn’s overarching influence will tend to make this Mercurial Capricorn more practical and cautious than Mercury subjects of the other zodiac signs, but they may not need to work so much as the other Capricorn decans to get where they need to be, helped by that agile Mercury influence, balanced by the conscientiousness of Virgo. They drive themselves very hard and can get bogged down, obsessing  over detail in

They are deep, serious, and thoughtful, but are quick witted and up for fun, and may be happiest with a lively, interesting partner, who can help them take their mind off their own preoccupations and lift their mood when they walk in after a hard day.

Famous Decan 3 Capricorn subjects: Martin Luther King Junior, Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin, Aristotle, Kevin Costner

The Cusps of Capricorn

22 December ~December 25

This is Capricorn with a Sagittarian quality, stern in decisions but with a sympathetic nature. This subject is thorough and persistent but faces a challenging destiny, likely to meet many obstacles but should have the strength to overcome them. This Capricorn is deeply intuitive, and progressive in outlook, always learning and developing.

16 January~–January 19

This is Capricorn with Aquarian tendencies, ruled by Saturn and rebellious Uranus.  This subject has an understanding of Mankind and is clever and intuitive and a loyal friend. When things are good, they are very good but when they go wrong, it seems that lots of things go wrong. They do well working for humanitarian organizations and in dealing with the public, or in fine arts or auction houses.

Many Happy Returns, Capricorn.

2022 looks like an interesting, possibly even a game-changing, momentous year for you, bringing changes in your work situation, and these are changes for the better. Your best efforts will pay off this year, so keep at it. Work hard, stay curious, and be alert to the signs and opportunities. Be ready to finally let go of people, places, habits and situations that are doing you little good, but are bringing you down or preventing progress. Pan, the wild god of Nature (and your own wilder nature) has his place but he still needs to stay in it, and as for any Devils, kick those into touch. Any outright thieves of money, time and energy are not your friends. Lucky Jupiter, the greater Benefic, planet of progress is on your side this coming year.

Photo by stein egil liland on Pexels.com

 

December dramas. Ding, dong, dang and blast?

Gabriel, yoohooo! Give us some good news!

The Annunciation by Van Eyck

What is the Tarot’s general impression of the cosmic weather this month, spanning the zodiac signs of Sagittarius and Capricorn and therefore including Christmas?

The cards were drawn in mid November and are from the Rider-Waite deck, illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith

I also drew a rune from the older Norse alphabet, the Elder Futhark.

Cards: The Hierophant, Knight of Swords and Four of Pentacles

Rune:  Othala

The Hierophant

Card Meanings

Taurus the Bull, spring, planetary ruler Venus, love, beauty, wedding, marriage, luxury, money, established order, governments, global finance (think ‘Bull’ market)  tradition, status quo, establishment, hospitals, publishing, agriculture, religion, church, keys

The Knight of Swords

Card Meanings

Aquarius, Saturn, Uranus, a clever, cool minded individual aged 25-40. Legalities, intelligence, espionage, an agent, a spy, a warlord, shipping, trade, commerce, Decisive action, attack, airborne, choices, air travel, trade, commerce, shipping, deliveries, financial decisions, ambition, clarity, cutting loose

The Four of Pentacles

Card Meanings

Capricorn, earth, saving, conserving, resources, money, possessions, inheritance, prudence, provisioning, legacy

The Four of Pentacles is ruled by Mercury, the planet of travel, research, trade and commerce. Mercury also rules IT and data analysis, and it rules Virgo, which in astrology is the sixth house of harvest, health, routines and hygiene.

Rune: Othala

Meanings: wealth, ancestry, ancestral homelands, family, old age, our old folk, different generations, memories, identity, belonging, and all the things that we most treasure.

Where do we feel at home?

This rune also picks up on migration and surrounding questions and issues.

General Impressions

December looks pretty eventful on the world stage, not to say stressful, with sudden flurries of news, mostly not welcome. We might want to switch off the media for a bit, and have a break from all the shrieking.

These cards look reasonably reassuring all the same, not too much shock and awe. Here’s hoping we’ve already seen the worst of December.

The Knight of Swords; sudden attack, storm, wind, can be read in reference to recent terrible weather events, and the damage and tragic casualties in Kentucky.

The Earth itself is always restless, and currently more unsettled than usual. Perhaps it is little wonder that we are too. The world is never quiet, never at peace. Nor is the Earth. It is always relative. Each year, the Moon pulls away, and so does the Sun in this present cycle.

But really, short of an actual world war, the whole world is embattled one way and another, no quiet news months since December 2019, when we first learned of a newly emerging health crisis in Wuhan.

We now approach the second anniversary of the pandemic with its new variants, and unrolling economic, political and social effects. There is no government, that is, no government that permits even peaceful dissent, that is not grappling with this monstrously slippery eel, while experiencing furious criticism and dissent from one quarter or another, no matter what response they make, deciding how to tackle the problem. The Hierophant as a symbol of governments anywhere is either taking a pasting right now, or, depending on the country, dealing them out.

These are times of instability. This instability is not only man-made but natural, due to extreme weather events, and seismic, volcanic events, such as the ongoing eruption on La Palma, and recent periodic increases in solar flare activity.

The La Palma eruption has now become the longest running on the island, and the cards suggest it will still be erupting into January 2022 though it seems to be calming now. Article HERE

What is the Tarot connection? Well, we are in the zodiac time frame of Sagittarius, 22 November- 21 December, and the court card of Sagittarius is the Knight of Wands, as seen here in the Gilded Tarot Royale.

From The Gilded Tarot Royale, Artist, Ciro Marchetti

Sagittarius is the element of Mutable Fire. Changeable fire. Changeable states. Blow me down, if this depiction of Sir Sagittarius does not actually show a volcano erupting magma.

Then in Java, Mount Semeru erupted 4 December, spilling out a deadly pyroclastic flow. 

“The slurry of debris that swept down Semeru proved catastrophic to villagers living around the mountain’s base in the Lumajang Regency, particularly Curah Kobokan. According to The Jakarta Post, at least 39 people have died. Large numbers of homes were destroyed or damaged, and many animals are among the eruption’s victims.”

More Here

Of course, this is not to say that the month of the zodiac sign of Sagittarius= volcano eruption month.

But there it is, or there it was. A card specifically correlating with the dates 22 November-21 December and we are looking at it. The synchronicity, at least for 2021 is undeniable.

What else might these cards mean in practical terms?

Obviously, this can only be a very general reading, and is therefore limited in its specificity, but The Hierophant represents stability, security and continuity, doing things ‘by the book.’  And it also represents the converse as previously discussed. This December we are not doing things by the book, while at the same time there is plenty of ‘throwing the book ‘ at XYZ.

The Hierophant is turning up a lot in readings at the moment, which is hardly surprising. Sometimes it is drawn the right way up, but just as often it is being drawn upside down, reflecting a situation in which old wisdoms, old ways of seeing things and doing things are being challenged.

Why is this not surprising? Well, it shouldn’t be. The Tarot detects, reflects and projects.

First it acts as a mirror on what is already happening. This is crucial in a reading because it confirms the baseline for the reader.

The Hierophant attacked by the Knight of Swords marks a time of acute unrest, such as we have been witnessing for some time now, every time we turn on the television or engage on social media.

Astrology associates this with the fact that the outer planet Uranus, ‘planet of rebellion and innovation’, is stationed in Taurus, the steady Bull sign associated with The Hierophant.  

Uranus is retrograde for parts of December, signifying a mood of intense inward reflection on what needs to stay and what needs to go or change, both collectively, and privately and individually.

Uranus made this move into Taurus in 2019 and will stay there until April 2026, so we are in for a bumpy ride. The question is how we can best handle things on an individual level, re-evaluating our priorities, keeping our cool, learning new skills at every opportunity and helping our children to do the same.

The Four of Pentacles is about HANGING ON IN THERE. And there are times, when continuity offers the best scenario all in all.

Some astrologers think Boris Johnson is about to meet his political nemesis. Possibly, but to me it does not look that way, not this month, parties or no parties, knowledge of parties, or no knowledge of parties. Why not? Because of the appearance of the Four of Pentacles.  If he goes, having inherited the poisoned chalice of this pandemic at the very beginning almost, of his premiership, it will be of his own volition because of sheer exhaustion.

This is a very broad picture, very general, yes. But of the 78 cards in a Tarot deck, 75 stayed in the deck and these were the three drawn for this coming month, December 2021.

Let’s look again. Save scrolling up.

UK

Her Majesty the Queen is a Taurus subject, a pillar of our society. Above politics, she has seen many leaders some and go. She is very much a figure who has always believed in putting wider duty before personal convenience.

She does things by the book, like the Hierophant.

Elizabeth 11 represents a part of the national psyche, the young monarch of our parent’s childhoods, those born during the war or soon after it.  Lately, this first year of her widowhood, we have witnessed signs of a decline in her health. At the age of 95, this is only natural and to be expected, but since we have drawn the Taurean Hierophant for December, and it has been drawn next to the challenging Knight of Swords, it remains to be seen whether the Queen will make her annual Christmas address in quite the same way as usual this year.

Europe

Covid cases have been rising again, with new lockdowns and protests in the Netherlands, Austria and other countries. The signs are that this most recent rise in cases as at the time of writing (14 November) may continue into December and flu may add to the pressure on health services, but with luck, the Four of Pentacles is a stable card, suggesting that the situation may, not improve perhaps, but be maintaining a standoff by/towards the end of December.

Covid

Some Medical observers are sanguine about the Omicron variant, suggesting we may soon be approaching the endemic phase, when a brand new virus, in this case, SARS‑CoV‑2 gradually becomes part of the new ‘normal’ in human epidemiology, and it becomes a question of living with it.

Today however, 13 December, sadly marks the first UK death of someone with the Omicron variant.

EU, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine and Russia

The current border situation is tense. It may well escalate, suggests the Knight of Swords, but again, the steady Four of Pentacles hints that if it does, the crisis abates again at least temporarily somewhat by or until mid January. Why? In terms of timing the stable Four of Pentacles represents the third decan of Capricorn, dates 11-19 January.

The Knight of Swords can mean new laws, sharp messages, sabre-rattling and military aircraft, just as the weather associated with the Knight of Swords is northern and easterly; cool, cloudy, windy, but it can bring sudden frosts, sudden rain or storms.

The Knight of Swords traditionally also refers to airborne objects, including missiles, but also viruses and bacteria sharp objects, including surgical instruments such as  injection needles and pens. Here is an escalation of covid vaccinations across Europe.

Trade and Travel

The Four of Pentacles is ruled by Mercury the planet of travel, trade and commerce, also IT and data analysis. In addition Mercury rules Virgo, sixth house of health and hygiene.

This, together with the Knight of Swords, reminds us that common sense says, vaccinations or no vaccinations, we need to stay alert and continue taking common sense precautions against covid and flu this Christmas.

But meantime, certain international restrictions may be reintroduced again on an emergency basis, while a further lock-down has not been entirely ruled out by the UK Government. The Four of Pentacles, sometimes nicknamed the Miser card, describes a pragmatist, who is ready to take the dour responsibility for making unpopular decisions should it detect that need.

Some suggest that covid is ‘just’ ‘flu.  We know it isn’t. SARS‑CoV‑2 is a new coronavirus, not a ‘flu virus. But even ‘just’ ‘flu is no joke at all if we get a bad dose.

Personal

The Hierophant represents whatever is your own status quo. You may be somewhat restless and unsettled. I know I am. The Knight of Swords drawn next door to the domestic Hierophant suggests a need for ‘fresh air’ and extra space this month.

Not all of us fancy a party this year. Many of us are not in the mood. for doing whatever is our usual thing this year, suggests this combination. Maybe we never were, but this applies with bells on this year.

The Four of Pentacles has a lot in common with the rune of ancestry, households and inheritance, Othala.

Look back at the things you have bought over the years. What did you buy in the past that you still treasure? What have you been given by older family members that you treasure to remember them by? Othala talks about the things we treasure. These do not have to be things. They include cherished memories. But every day, we are creating new memories.

A recovering economy needs our spending. And it’s great to treat loved ones – . But for a lot of people the festive season can be a dreadful money worry. Last month there was much excited media speculation about shipping and supplies this year, and worries about ‘must have’ toys from overseas arriving in time for Christmas.

What’s with this ‘must have’ business? Conspicuous consumerism ruling the roost in the home? Is this healthy or a helpful preparation for children, to suggest this is how it really works?

The Four of Pentacles advises that friends and loved ones will be understanding if finances are tighter this year than previous Christmases. And given the way things have been in 2021 and 2020 before that, they may welcome that same understanding in return.

The Tarot is not trying to be a Scrooge or a kill-joy in presenting this card. Spending less, or spending carefully, based on quality, durability or longer term thinking doesn’t equate with not having any kind of a good time.

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It’s just that no- one has infinite resources, debt is no joke, and this year looks like a departure from the way many of us have done things before.

24 December: The Hierophant also represents Christmas time, as a traditional religious season of celebration. But long before Christianity we celebrated Yule in northern Europe, meaning ‘wheel,’ to mark the turning of the wheel of the year, the solstice and the passing of the darkest day.

The third and final square between Saturn and Uranus in Taurus, these big planets, these heavy hitters, bring a feeling of push and pull between Uranus (splurging, doing your own thing, party time) and Saturn (saving, doing family duties, staying home and relaxing) this Christmas Eve 2021.

Ways of doing things that worked OK for you in the past, don’t sit so well with you right now.

Uranus is retrograde for nearly half of the year every year. This is nothing new or unusual, just a seasonal opportunity to go back to the drawing board and re consider occupations and habits.

19 December- Full Moon in Gemini

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In Tarot this is represented by the Lovers card meaning: news, calls, social events, new ideas, chat, gossip, communication, curiosity…it is also about short travel, trade, commerce, shopping . Think Mercury, ruler of Gemini. Another name for Mercury, Hermes.

Astrologers consider this a favourable Full Moon, in harmonious aspect with Jupiter, lucky for new partnerships and ventures, and for legal and business matters, though with possible tensions attached in terms of close relationships.

The Lovers can present us with a need to make difficult choices. Again, these could be totally unromantic; hard-nosed, to do with our work, security and finance.

Venus planet of love, beauty,luxury – and finance goes retrograde in Capricorn 19 December shortly after the Full Moon until 29 January.

This is glamour but serious with it. You could say Cinderella grows up, Prince or no prince. Venus retrograde in Capricorn is no- frills power dressing, literally or metaphorically. Fashion or Beauty here goes hand in glove with perceived status material power, like a Queen who wears her jewels f in token of her reach of power for the world to see.

This is a planetary euphemism for an examination of our personal standards of conduct and deportment, at home and at work. What is our public persona? How about a bit of gravitas, says Venus in Capricorn, style, poise, dignity and rectitude?

Beauty is in a serious mood. Beast better behave.

21 December – Solstice

We leave freewheeling Sagittarius ruled by big bouncy Jupiter and move into Capricorn, ruled by serious hardworking master of self-discipline and dominion, Saturn.

But Saturn brings the solstice, returning us to the light, for all his serious face.

This is the spirit of the agile, tough and hardy ibex or mountain goat, Capricorn.

The ibex nimbly scales the heights, stands atop the farthest crags. In Europe, the alpine ibex does battle in December for territory and mates.

The ibex, inspiration of Capricorn, reckons to do battle to get what it needs in life, delicately sniffs the cold, clean air, every inch a master of all he surveys.

The sunshine is free, and the rain and the snow, and the moon and the stars. Our good health too, if we are lucky. But we all must do battle some day one day in our lives, sooner or later, up against some kind of authority or other, or make peace with the fact we didn’t when maybe we really needed to,for our own or someone else’s sake.

Who says we wait until New Year to make a new plan?

Any day will do for a new resolution But from a natural, seasonal, symbolic and magickal perspective, 21 December works even better. 

Season’s Greetings with all Best Wishes for a brighter 2022.

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Sagittarius, Celestial Archer, a Teapot and Temperance

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Here we are again in the zodiac season of Sagittarius the Archer, aiming high, reaching for the light as the sun sinks to the solstice and the daylight dwindles. What is the story behind this mutable fire sign?

Common associations

Symbol:

Date of Birth: Nov 21/22 to Dec 21

Ruling planet: Jupiter

Element: Fire Quality: Mutable- the ending of one season, and the beginning of another

Key phrase:  I seek

Body: Thighs

Birth Stone: Topaz, Citrine, Turquoise 

Colour:  Light Blue

Tarot card:  Temperance: Timing, Moderation, Education, Solstice, Healing of Chiron

Public Domain: Rider-Waite

Astronomy

Source :Wiki

Sagittarius, the zodiac sign inspired by the constellation of Sagittarius, from the Latin meaning Archer, was recorded in the 2nd century by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy.

The constellation of Sagittarius is near the centre of our galaxy, the spiral Milky Way, mainly visible in the southern hemisphere June-November. In the Northern hemisphere we can see it low on the horizon August- October.

Sagittarius gets its nickname, ‘The Teapot’ on account of its vaguely teapot-shaped star pattern, or asterism.

To find ‘The Teapot

The best time to look is in August or September. We need somewhere really dark, locating the hazy band of The Milky Way stretching right across the sky. Looking up in the northern hemisphere, the Milky Way seems to bulge as it descends to the southern horizon. This ‘bulge’ is roughly the middle of the Milky Way and is contained within the boundaries of the constellation of Sagittarius.

Photo by u200bu0468u0477u047bu048f u046au0454u0459u0469u04e1u04c4u047bu0487u0477 on Pexels.com

Sagittarius contains a massive star-forming region, the Omega Nebula, home to the bright blue hyper-giant Pistol Star, one of the brightest stars in the Milky Way, discovered 1930 using the Hubble Space telescope.

The Pistol Star is largely hidden in the dust of its own nebula, but it’s 100 times as massive as our Sun, and 10,000,000 times as bright.

Mythology

Sagittarius is the ninth sign in the Zodiac, not to be confused with the constellation itself, and represents those born between Nov. 22 and the advent of winter solstice, Dec. 21.

Sagittarius is nowadays generally associated with the ancient Greek story of Chiron but the story is far more ancient and goes back to Mesopotamia in the 26 century BCE, to the story of Pabilsag, a deity or divine king of a city called Larak.

The story of Pabilsag was handed down to the Greeks through the Sumerians.

The Sumerian word ‘Pabil’ means ‘ancestor or relative’. Combined with the final element ‘sag’, meaning ‘chief, head, tip or foremost,’ his name can be translated as the ‘Chief Ancestor’ or ‘Forefather’.

The Archer is a hunter just as our forefathers were hunters at the dawn of human civilization.

Here, 3 millennia BC, we portray him as a winged centaur type figure, and yes, he is an archer too, and his arrow points at the heart of Scorpio, the red star Antares. But look at Pabilsag. No horse’s tail! He has a scorpion’s tail as the wheel of the Zodiac turns, and sure enough, as Sagittarius comes galloping in, we are leaving behind the sign of Scorpio.

Sagittarius is a solitary hunter. He does not work as one of a team, bringing down the really big prey. He is an individualist, working alone, just as many a hunter or trapper still hunts alone in winter.

The constellation of Sagittarius-Pabilsag is seen within the Milky Way, rising from the southern regions close to the horizon into the higher reaches of the skies. This section of the Milky Way represents a symbolic bridge or a rainbow for the souls of the dead on their way to the afterlife, as the arrival of Capricorn draws near, marking the advent of the winter solstice.

Sagittarius, or Pabilsag, is a ‘psychopomp’ – like Hermes, the messenger of the Gods of Ancient Greece. He is both guardian and guide ofthe dying year itself, and offers safe escort to the souls of the dying as they ascend to the heavens through the gates of Capricorn.

Chiron the wounded Centaur

Most modern versions of the story refer to much later, classical variants of the old Babylonian myths, and say that Sagittarius represents the gentle, cultured centaur, Chiron, who was accidentally shot by Herakles with a poison arrow.

The centaurs were a rough lot, hard- drinking, hard- fighting and smelly – not remotely glamorous. The legends of the centaurs may originally have arisen from perfectly mortal reality of ancient Greek cowboys.

But whatever the centaurs were, Chiron ‘the wisest and justest of the centaurs’ was something different, representing a bright star of hope for the race of the centaurs, and for Humanity itself, as collectively it strives to rise above the ever present tyranny of the Id and its own worst nature.

Here he is, teaching the young Achilles to play the lyre. Chiron had many pupils; Asclepius, Ajax, Achilles, Theseus, Jason, Peleus, Perseus, and Phoenix. And he taught Herakles, who brought about his death, when he was sent there to be schooled with Chiron.

Herakles was sent after his killed his music teacher back home. His tutor, Linus, criticized his playing, and Herakles smashed his lyre over the teachers head, killing him. Though in some accounts he used a stool.

And so he was sent to be schooled by the illustrious Chiron. And for some time, all was well, until one day Herakles got caught up in a fight and in the confusion accidentally wounded Chiron, shooting him with a poisoned arrow dipped in the venom of the Hydra.

Chiron was left in terrible and permanent pain. He was wise in the ways of medicine, none wiser, but he could not heal himself, and none could help him. Nor could he die, being an Immortal.

Still, he carried on until he could bear it no more, and asked Zeus to release him from immortality so that he could escape the pain in the blessed release of death.

Zeus placed him in the heavens as Sagittarius. Or did he? There is a bit of a question here because Chiron already has another constellation named after him- Centaurus.

And to add to the confusion, there is another version of the story of Sagittarius, referring to him instead as Krotos, a satyr who lived on Mount Helicon with the Muses. Krotos was the son of Pan and Eupheme, and his mother had nursed the Muses. He was a renowned archer, hunter, horse rider – hence a possible source of confusion with the centaur, and besides all this, a devotee of his childhood companions, The Muses and their arts.

By Aratus – Leiden University Library Catalogue, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7660666

Krotos means ‘One who Claps his hands.’ He was credited by the Greeks with not only having invented archery, but introducing the convention of applause at artistic performances.

It was the Muses who, for his own musical talents, when Krotos died, asked Zeus to place him among the stars, which he did, transforming him into the constellation Sagittarius, says this variant of the zodiac story.

So Sagittarius is either the cultured wounded healer, Chiron, already represented in the constellation Centaurus, or he is the cultured satyr, Krotos; goaty, horse-riding archer, culture vulture and hunter extraordinaire as the sun is sinking to the winter solstice.

Chiron or Krotos? Take your pick.

Or go Babylonian with Pabilsag.

The Muses

Sagittarius is keenly intuitive, and usually has a marked talent, a gift, in the field of the Arts. Sagittarian subject Winston Churchill for example, was clearly psychic, subject to visions and feelings of premonition, and also painted.

Delphi said there were three Muses. But c 600 BC Hesiod wrote in his Theogony that there were Nine Muses, the daughters of  Zeus and Mnemosyne (Memory personified) and this is the version that has generally stuck.

The Muses, it ought to be mentioned, were not necessarily always benign. They were touchy for one thing, sensitive to human hubris, and liable to exact vengeance of anyone they decided was getting above themselves.

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  • Kalliope ‘She of the Lovely Voice’ was the muse of epic poetry. Also of Diplomacy.
  • Klio ‘She Who Proclaims’ was the muse of history.
  • Erato ‘The Lovely One’ was the muse of love poetry.
  • Euterpe ‘She Who Pleases’ was the muse of music.
  • Melpomene ‘She Who Sings’ was the muse of tragedy.
  • Polyhymnia ‘She of the Many Hymns’ was the muse of sacred poetry.
  • Terpsichore ‘She Who Delights to Dance’ was the muse of dance.
  • Thalia ‘The Cheerful One’ was the muse of comedy
  • Urania ‘The Heavenly One’ was the goddess of astronomy, astrology, and later, Christian poetry.

The Astrological Personality of Sagittarius

Of course there is no such thing as THE Sagittarius personality. Everyone is unique. We are speaking here of an archetype. All the zodiac signs represent archetypes– something that is considered to be a perfect or typical example of a particular kind of person or thing.

Sagittarius is the Archer, the eternal student, aiming high and far even as the sun sinks; the optimist, the voyager, maybe a seer or a prophet.

The archer is a hunter. This time of year was the time for hunting. The crops were gathered in and finished for the year. Meat would be caught and hung, cured, salted away for the hungrier months ahead.

But since the origins of Tropical or western astrology were based on the seasons in the northern hemisphere, what if we live in the southern hemisphere?

Some astrologers have suggested that if you were born in the southern hemisphere and your zodiac sign really doesn’t feel right, why not look up  your opposite zodiac sign and try that on for size, see if that feels like a better fit. So for Aries, read Libra’s horoscope, for Taurus read Scorpio, for Gemini read Sagittarius, and so on.

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These are astute, clever, capable people but they need career flexibility, and they may refuse to fail to apply themselves if bored.  Like Gemini, they are prone to restlessness. They may fail to stick at a job or a succession of jobs, and may struggle financially long term in consequence.

Hence their challenge, but also their guiding light is the idea of Temperance, personified in the Tarot, symbolizing patience, prudence, and the art of good timing.

They can do domestic. But you wouldn’t really call it how they roll. And they do tend to roll, from place to place, job to job, and a rolling stone gathers no moss. The problem here being the other things it doesn’t gather either, such as a steady income, or savings or other means of security in old age, if Sagittarius does not find a way to balance their great need for freedom , space and independence with prudence and good timing.

Sagittarius tends to have lots of friends. More than almost anyone else, so much so, family and friends can feel neglected at times, forgotten, when Sagittarius goes off yet again, devil may care, to share experiences with new best friends.

Sagittarius must have inspiration, and the freedom to follow it, and to roam. But this humanitarian, kindly, if restless rolling stone sooner or later almost always comes trotting, or should we say, rolling home again, expecting to find their loved ones exactly where they left them. And usually, they will. Though others too, do not enjoy being taken for granted, and this may need care.

Sagittarius will be the star of this show, but what they really need for domestic happiness is a quietly confident, self-reliant partner.

From The Rider-Waite Smith Tarot

Card Meanings: A quest, sudden arrivals and departures, adventure, heat, speed, movement, daring, challenge, determination, foreign travel, leadership, spontaneity, unpredictability.

Sagittarius is a potential high flyer, like an arrow, well aimed, hard working and clever. They have an enlarged curiosity, always learning. They are adventurous and progressive, and work best in teams within large organizations.

They tend to be good at earning money, but not so good at saving it, generally due to impulse buying.  They need plenty of physical activity outdoors and to be in contact with nature. They tend to be animal lovers. At home, they tend to be happier married than single, and they are co-operative, fun, efficient and reliable partners but they can be detached, reserved, restless and impulsive, and they sometimes fail in consideration to their partner in their search for independent fun, seeking new adventures outside the home.

They may be psychic; religious or spiritually inquiring, with a prophetic or visionary gift which they may express through music, writing, animal connections or group endeavours for some common cause.

But as we have already observed, of course there is no such thing in reality as THE Sagittarius personality. Your zodiac sign (sun sign) is a major keynote, but it is nothing like the full picture in real life – or even in astrology.

There are many other factors in play; your rising sign, your Moon sign, and the planets in your houses, elements, modes, aspects, transits, the decans, degrees and so on. 

If you don’t feel like a ‘typical’ Sagittarius, perhaps you are a second or third decan Sagittarius, rather than a ‘most typical’ first decan Sagittarius.

What are the decans?

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The Zodiac is the arc of the sky as visible from earth, which tracks the pathway of the sun, ‘the ecliptic.’ Obviously, what we can see depends on where we are on Earth at any given time, but the zodiac belt follows this same pathway.

The zodiac belt is 16 degrees deep with the ecliptic running along the middle, rather like a layer in a cake. The layers of this cake are 8 degrees above the sun’s pathway- the buttercream filling of the ecliptic- and 8 degrees below.

The Greeks divided this imaginary zodiac belt into twelve sections, choosing this number for ease of arithmetic, and named them after constellations found along this same pathway.  There are more than twelve constellations, above the ecliptic, or straddling it or below it, but the zodiac signs named after them, recorded by Eudoxus of Cnidus and Ptolemy of Alexandria get their name from just twelve, again, for reasons of arithmetic.

Each zodiac sign represents a 30 degree section of this 360 degree belt. Each sign is then sub-divided into three blocks of ten degrees, roughly ten days in length.  This gives us the decans of the zodiac, nicknamed ‘the thirty six faces of astrology.’ The decans break down each zodiac sign into three sub-chapters, shining extra light on the story.

First Decan Sagittarius

Sagittarius-Sagittarius

Dates:  22 November-30 November

Planetary rulers: Jupiter and Jupiter

Tarot card:  Eight of Wands

From The Gilded Tarot

Card Meanings: speed, changes, news, sudden developments, arrivals, departures or situations that may prove to be short lived- a ‘flash in the pan.’

Jupiter, planet of expansion, progress, ambition and optimism is both the ruler and sub-ruler of this decan. There is idealism and a love of knowledge here. Sagittarius-Sagittarius is an enthusiast for life, upbeat, spontaneous, and fun. They are highly competitive, and don’t like to lose, with intellectual capabilities of a high order and a keen sense of justice,

There is often a fascination with medicines, shamanism of any kind, and an interest in ancient cultures and their healing traditions. Sagittarius loves wide-open spaces, fresh air and being close to nature.

Sagittarius-Sagittarius is outgoing, yet actually rather private and reserved, not easy to get to know well. They can be the life and soul of the party, but when it comes down to it, they confide in very few.

Famous first decan Sagittarius subjects:  Winston Churchill, Pablo Escobar, Tina Turner, CS Lewis, Britney Spears, Gianni Versace

Second Decan Sagittarius

Sagittarius-Aries

Dates: 1 December-11 December

Planetary rulers: Mars and Moon (Aries Triplicity)

Tarot card: 9 Wands

From The Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot

Card Meaningscourage, stamina, fortitude, stubbornness

Mars brings to this decan an adventurous spirit; energy, courage and ambition. This decan could be an explorer or adventurer, but does well in business and commerce with marked executive abilities. They are natural sportspeople or soldiers.

They are often highly physically attractive to others, and though they are reserved, and may even push people away, guarding their space, they are passionate when in love with a reputation as potential heartbreakers. They are also known for having a bit of a short fuse, and for bearing grudges.

They need to spend plenty of time outdoors and need lots of physical activity to be at their best.  

Second Decan Sagittarius are kind and courageous, clever, good with their hands, quick with their minds, technically proficient, independent, and no matter how rough a time they are having, as with the first decan, they will usually keep that to themselves, showing their best face to the world. 

Famous Second Decan Sagittarius subjects: John Kerry, Kirk Douglas, Jim Morrison, Tyra Banks, John Malkovich

Third Decan Sagittarius

Sagittarius-Leo

Dates: 12 December-21 December

Planetary ruler: The Sun and Saturn (Leo Triplicity)

Tarot card- Ten of Wands

From The Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot

Card Meanings:  effort, determination, shouldering a burden, ‘going to town,’ ‘taking it to town.’

Ruled by the Sun, the centre of our solar system, this person is very much the centre of their own universe. There is a great love of change and a desire for reform. This decan is full of enterprise and novel ideas. They are realists, possibly cynics, but they are very much in tune with their instincts, and make great researchers, investigators or teachers.

They are not known for small talk. They say what they think, and this can give them a reputation for being rude or judgemental. They may have a dark sense of humour. But their sub-ruler, the Sun, which stands for warmth, pride and vitality, joining up with beneficent Jupiter means they have initiative combined with magnetism, and when they feel like it, a talent for making other people laugh. (Not that there was much funny about Stalin but, every zodiac sign has its seriously bad boys and girls)

Famous Decan 3 Sagittarius:  Jane Austen, Beethoven, Nostradamus, Joseph Stalin, Steven Spielberg

The Cusps of Sagittarius

22 November- 25November

This earlier native has Scorpio qualities. Their ruling planets are Jupiter and Mars. They are courageous with great physical endurance. They tend to take on a lot of responsibility, maybe too much, which can load them down and hold them back. They take much care over their work, and have a vivid imagination but will voice share strong opinions, and though they are sensitive, they can be tactless, and in consequence are sometimes misunderstood.

19 December -21 December

This later native has Capricorn tendencies. Their ruling planets are Jupiter and Saturn. They are generally very good company, entertaining, easygoing, witty and well-informed although they sometimes rub other people up the wrong way. They will not hesitate to disagree with others, and will criticise other viewpoints.  On the other hand, they have a strong sense of duty, they seldom betray a confidence and they don’t interfere in matters which don’t involve them directly.

Happy Birthday Sagittarius!

We can expect volcanic events this month, literally and metaphorically,

2022 is looking like a pretty good year for you, with bright prospects for work and finances, thanks to a big fat, optimistic Jupiter influence. Ambition and hard work really could pay off for you this coming year. Put your back into it, Ten of Wands style.

The ghost who came to tea

One day on a rather gloomy Saturday afternoon, late July 2007, my younger daughter Ariane went to a friend’s house for tea. It was the friend’s fourteenth birthday. The little girl, let’s call her Nadia, had, if I remember correctly missed a lot of school in recent months, due to health difficulties.

There were four girls altogether; and Nadia’s mother and father.

Nadia blew out the candles, and her mother was cutting the cake when the lights began to flicker out in the hallway, and the mother said, ‘oh, here we go again. You really need to come and see this, everyone.’

She shepherded them to the foot of the stairs, calling to the father in the sitting room, ‘it’s happening again!’

He grunted some reply over his newspaper but didn’t move to join them. My daughter didn’t hear what he said. There they stood, four girls and the mother as the lights flickered and then my daughter saw a man standing at the top of the stairs.

One minute, there was no-one there. The next, there he was, looking entirely solid and real as real; a young man with brown wavy hair, dressed in jeans and a pale yellow shirt.

They stood looking up. He was looking down as if looking at them, but gave no sign that he saw them, or any indication of being in any way aware of their presence.

Then, just like that, he disappeared as suddenly as he had appeared, and the lights stopped flickering.

Nadia explained, the family had been terrified when it first happened, and had asked the council to re-house them, but now they’d got used to it.

They had no idea who he was (or who he had been) But was he necessarily even dead, or was it some manifestation of astral travel…though transference on the part of the young man who had presumably, once lived in the house.

But because the hosts were so matter of fact about it, my daughter wasn’t frightened, just a little freaked out. Well, you would be, wouldn’t you.

“Alas, poor Yorick. I knew him well…”

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“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”- Hamlet

It’s like that old conundrum, does a falling tree make a noise if there is no-one there to hear it? It takes a living person to perceive a dead one, and in this case, if there was a conduit, or a conjuring, the Tarot suggests it was the father who was the psychic ‘enabler’ in this household, though it was completely unconscious on his part. Maybe he had been worried about his daughter’s health.

My reason for wondering was the appearance of the reserved, moody, kindly psychic King of Cups, a man of deep waters, particularly associated with mature males born under Pisces, Cancer and Scorpio.

From The Legacy of The Divine Tarot

The young man was shown as The Hanged Man, suggesting all manner of tragic possibilities.

I once did a reading for a young man, and this card appeared with other cards in a troubled picture that prompted me ask if a friend had died recently, and his friend had hanged himself, and he hoped I could tell him.

I couldn’t. Nor would it have been right. He was not a family member. But no-one had realized he was so deeply depressed, and there was a sense of secrets being kept, and a great fear they would be discovered.

The Hanged Man , it is important to note, almost never refers to suicide. But the Tarot can talk in absolutely literal terms, and does what it says on the tin, such that a card means exactly what it says in the picture.

Say I draw the Eight of Swords, for example. Most interpretations will talk about entrapment, helplessness, passivity, and so on. But I have learned through doing readings for other people, that tarot might well be telling me about a problem with someone’s plumbing or drains. Yes, the Tarot talks toilets. Quite right too. It needs to go wherever someone needs it to go. Just as when you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go.

As the famous anchoress, and one of the earliest woman authors Julian of Norwich once put it, ‘God does not disdain to serve the body.’

It is thought she kept a cat, shown here in a depiction in a roundel in Norwich cathedral, to hunt rodents, and this too, served the health of the body; hers and the cat’s, assuming the cat had the freedom to roam.

Source: https://www.winged-heart.com/acatalog/copy_of_Cathedral___Angel.html

Am I saying the Tarot is God? Of course not. We are discussing the interconnectedness of Everything, though I see no reason why God would be a man in the sky with a big white beard either, and if he is, does He need to go to the toilet?

The Hanged Man is ruled by Neptune – the suit of Cups again. This is a deep, Piscean card. Once upon a time there was a young man who was very worried about his future. He felt somehow shut out from other people (The Five of Pentacles) But he couldn’t seem to make his mind up what to do or where to go next, or to muster the effort required. Maybe he managed it in the end. I feel that he did. But probably not undamaged. Meanwhile, he had left this mark.

Surprisingly, only a small percentage of paranormal sightings are true ghosts. The majority of them are really sightings of what we call “residual energy” — when an emotional event is replayed over and over again, at the same spot, and at the same time. SOURCE link to SummitDaily

Maybe the young man was a complete stranger, or actually an echo of a living psyche, or if we want to go truly spiral, the ghost of the father himself as a very young man.

Welcome to The Twilight zone. Who wants another piece of cake?

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The Tarot, the Journey to the Valley and the day I met a dead man.

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What is the valley of death? We know it as a poetic expression from the Bible, but what might it mean in reality? What is the limit of the definition of reality anyway, when it comes to the imponderables. In algebra, we have to rely on symbolic placeholders too, as in X and Y.

Is the valley of death a poetic description of the end of life experience, a final sensory experience, a vision explainable in terms of a firing-off of neurons by the dying brain, or could it be something more?

I do not advertise as a psychic or clairvoyant or a medium, but tarot readers may get listed as such because there is no separate listing for Tarot in the telephone directory.

But why don’t I advertise as such? Well, Tarot card reading for divination, strategy and support is the service I undertake to guarantee to deliver, as my professional promise, and this is the bottom line and this service depends on acquired skill underpinned by knowledge. OK. But am I psychic? Yes. So are you, most likely, but psychic insights and experiences happen when they happen. Like a wind that ‘bloweth as it listeth’ – psychic insights may be confidently expected, but cannot be guaranteed.

Learning how to read cards, or any other system of divination, although card reading can facilitate them however, as the reader goes down a rabbit-hole, descending into a sort of Hades, seeking to find the ‘right’ interpretation of the cards in any given context. A reader can be asked absolutely anything about anything, and can never prepare, but only prepare to respond.

Every reader has their own story to tell, about how and why they started to learn to do readings. It need not start with a history of psychic experiences. Not at all. But often, it does and in a way, it did with me

‘The Mind has many corridors’ wrote Emily Dickinson. The world is older and stranger, not only than we do imagine, but more than we can imagine.

All animals are pattern seekers, pattern makers or pattern breakers, whether in order to hunt or to hide. Man is hardwired for the power of pattern, and communicating pattern, and the meanings of pattern, and of breaks in pattern, is the eternal task of storytelling. Man – meaning all of Mankind- is a storytelling animal.

‘In the beginning was the Word’.

The Day I met a Dead Man

Many years before I ever so much as opened a pack of Tarot cards, to be grabbed by the art and story telling embedded in them, I met a dead man on the street, a stranger, though we didn’t so much meet. It was more of a case of receiving a summons.

Leicester, 1988. I had just had coffee with a friend I’d used to work with at the Costume Museum in Wygston’s House, now a restaurant. My friend had been the curator at that time and way, way back, the eponymous Roger Wygston had been a wealthy wool merchant and several times Mayor of Leicester.

“Roger Wygston was born about 1430. His father, William, made the family fortune from the wool trade in the first half of the 1400s. Roger was elected chamberlain in 1459 and mayor of Leicester in 1465, 1471 and 1487. He was Member of Parliament for Leicester in 1473 and 1488. He died at Whitsun 1507.” More HERE 

I worked in a little room upstairs, putting the Museum’s collection records, index card system on to computers for the first time, and helped put together an exhibition telling the story of hosiery and featuring our star exhibit, a Coptic sock from about AD 400. It had a bifurcated foot and horizontal stripes in red, brown and green.

Wygston’sHouse, Public Domain

I had coffee and a catch up with my friend, and then we said goodbye. I had a legal appointment at the top end of New Walk at 2.00 PM.

There was a time I walked up and down New Walk almost every day, and I worked a short while in the Museum there too. The portico entrance seen here on the right. This one, Wygston’s House and others were all part of the Leicestershire Museums Service run by the County Council.

New Walk and the Museum, Leicester

I was selling a house among other things, with a lot going on at this time, some of it stressful. Anyone reading this may dismiss the following account on those grounds if they feel so inclined. This would be a perfectly reasonable option, if personally somewhat uncomplimentary in relegating the writer to the role of unreliable narrator, but that would certainly be the easiest, least challenging take on it.

Hardly sooner had I set off walking heading off to this appointment than I began to feel peculiar. Not exactly unwell, but certainly not good. There was a crackling in my ears, white noise like an un-tuned radio. Spots started dancing in front of my eyes, fizzing red and black. My body felt weirdly heavy.

I had never fainted in my life to recognize what that felt like, but, thinking maybe I was about to faint, I decided to keep on walking, thinking it would clear my head. But I was unaccountably scrambled, disorientated.

I could not for the life of me, remember or think where I was supposed to be going. I was on autopilot.

My feet took charge, leading me as it were, one step in front of the other until only a few minutes later, I had crossed a busy street.

I followed a small pedestrianized back street round the curved back wall of what was still called Marks & Spencer then, now M & S and then I came to a standstill.

There was a man lying on his back in the narrow street, sprawled across the pavement. A paramedic was attempting resuscitation, another kneeling by them, a small crowd anxiously watching, an ambulance waiting, .

There he lay, defenseless against exposure; an older man, but not exactly elderly, his trousers unbuttoned and unzipped, showing purple underpants, while the paramedics worked on him. His purchases, a few oranges presumably just bought in the market, had rolled out of his striped canvas shopping bag, and into the gutter.

I kept a distance, standing alone, with a blindingly sudden feeling of certainty, a sensation of astonished comprehension, ‘oh, that’s why I came this way. He fetched me.’

The fog rolled back and now I remembered I was on my way to the New Walk. I was by no means far out of my way, but nor would I have naturally thought to come this way.

I knew it was no good them trying to resuscitate him. I remember thinking, ‘he’s not in there anymore’.

I had the feeling, not only was the man not in his body any more, he was standing close beside me, on my right.

I saw nothing, heard nothing and felt nothing in that moment except a pang on his account, but this, with a dissociated neutrality. I think perhaps I was a little shocked, but I wasn’t frightened, only sad, not so much at the suddenness of the man’s death, but that he was caught so unprepared, and was so very frightened, finding himself unable to get back in his body that he had sent an SOS and pulled me off my own path to bring me, a perfect stranger, to where he lay, so abruptly evicted from his own body in a city centre back street on a sunny day.

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Maybe it works something like radio waves, and I happened to be in the right place at the right time, and I was tuned in on the right frequency, like the story of the haunted house in my previous post.

I talked to him, and told him he had done the hard bit, and not to try and get back in, that he’d had a most tremendous shock, but it was OK, it was all right, and there was somewhere else he needed to go now, but it was perfectly all right.

Had I thought of it I might have said a prayer. I’m not religious, but words have power across the boundaries of time and space, and who knows what other boundaries.

I reckon that the old Wakes, company, food, alcohol, song, were a wise tradition rooted in this ancient understanding. That the dead might need a bit of time to process what has happened. That they might need encouragement and reassurance before they set off on their lone but universal odyssey once more to greet the rising sun. Read Here about Wakes.

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A friend of my mother’s once told her that she had not been close to her father. But after he died and she went to see the body and say goodbye, she thought his face did not look quite right. She felt he looked frightened. The mouth was twisted. She sang to him ‘The Lord Is My Shepherd’, and she thought he must have heard her, because his mouth relaxed, and all at once his face looked quite different.

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Some go swiftly and easily through the Valley. Others, not so.

The archangels Uriel and Michael are psychopomps; escorting the dead as they ascend back up to the heavens via the Gate of the Gods in the constellation of Capricorn.

In Greek and Roman mythology, the god Hermes or Mercury, would escort the souls to the banks of the River Acheron, or The Styx if you prefer, to wait for Charon the Ferryman and the crossing to the Isle of the Dead and the Fields of Asphodel.

Wiki: Psychopomps (from the Greek word ψυχοπομπός, psychopompós, literally meaning the ‘guide of souls’)[1] are creatures, spirits, angels, or deities in many religions whose responsibility is to escort newly deceased souls from Earth to the afterlife. Their role is not to judge the deceased, but simply to guide them.

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23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

But I didn’t think of that. I was young, inexperienced in such things, too astonished and unprepared. So that was all I said to him, and then I went on my way and I put it out of my mind for a long time to come.

But I hope that he did hear me, however inadequate the response, if only to know that yes, he might have left his body, but he still existed and he stil lhad agency.

The living were still trying to help him, and though they could neither bring him back nor accompany him on his forward journey, whatever that might be, still, he had sent out a distress signal, and someone had received it and responded.

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We send them. We receive them. Messages in bottles, sailing to shores near and far.

Some perhaps, farther than we can ever know.

At Halloween, hailing Hekate, goddess of ghosts

The Tarot card that in a reading can suggest a vivid dream, a vision, a psychic or supernatural experience or even a ghost is The Moon card.

From The Gilded Tarot Royale, illustrator Ciro Marchetti

Halloween is designated the season of ghosts. Why is that?

Halloween or All Hallows Eve is celebrated 31 October each year, marking the cross- quarter of the year, half-way point between the autumn equinox in the northern hemisphere, 22 September, and the winter solstice, which in 2021 will occur on Tuesday 21 December.

Halloween began as a pre-Christian Iron Age festival 2000 years ago among the various peoples of Britain and Northern Europe popularly known as the Celts.

In parts of Britain and the Republic of Ireland Halloween is still called Samhain (pronounced Sow-an, from Gaelic/Irish) meaning ‘summer’s end.’

This is a critical turning point of the year from the ancient survival point of view of food production, harvesting and storage, as the days grow shorter, the nights longer, vegetation decays, temperatures drop – and possibly more people get sick. We are now in the zodiac sign territory of Scorpio, and the Tarot card correlating with Scorpio is the Death card.

From Halloween in the Anglosphere, to Alfblot in Scandinavia, to The Day of the Dead in Spanish speaking countries, the period 31 October – 3 November is a festival marking the end of the harvest season.

Now we are preparing for the decay of vegetation, the coming darkness, the time of hibernation of many animals, and the hardships of winter. This seems a natural time to be marking the remembrance of the Dead.

Scorpio Photo by Jo Kassis on Pexels.com

Russia does not celebrate Halloween as such. It is not recognized by the Orthodox Church, though it has been gaining popularity among young people since the 1990’s.

In France, again, Halloween is not a traditional festival, though certain elements may be catching on nowadays, cultural imports in the twentieth century. But La Toussaint or All Saints Day, is a widely celebrated national holiday celebrated on the first of November.

Liminal Spaces

This time of year represents a ‘liminal’ space, a threshold – a doorway of some kind, an ‘in-between’ space between outside and inside, one room and another, or between summer and winter, night and dark, and therefore symbolically, between Life and Death.

Being half-awake or half-asleep is an ‘in-between’ state of mind or consciousness, when we are might have a powerful frightening or psychic dream experience or even experience sleep paralysis, traditionally known as a visit from The Night Hag, as portrayed in famous painting, The Nightmare by Henry Fuseli.

This is a not too uncommon experience that can occur when the brain is in-between deep and lighter sleep stages. The person thinks they are awake when they are not. There is a strong sense of threat, a malevolent presence, and they cannot move a muscle to defend themselves. I have experienced it myself, very unpleasant. Read here for the scientific medical explanation.

Any liminal ‘in-between space’ is understood as a sacred or magical space, a gateway through which ghostly or magical (magickal) things may manifest.

A threshold, a doorway is a space to be protected.

Crossroads are in-between spaces, representing a choice of directions or possibilities.

Hekate, goddess of ghosts

The Triple Hecate William Blake, Public Domain

There is no presiding god or deity of Halloween in northern Europe.

Hekate comes from further south. She is an ancient goddess of the night, the heavens and the waning Moon. Over many ages she has become inextricably linked with ghosts and witchcraft, and by association, with Halloween. Today

Hekate is viewed as the chief goddess presiding over witchcraft with followers today among neo-Pagans, Wiccans and solitary occult or magickal practitioners (NB magickal, is spelled this way to be distinguished from stage or performance magic of entertainer magicians).

She is a necromancer- one who can speak with the dead. In a sense, we all do that, speaking to our loved ones, held in the memory or visiting in dreams.

Perhaps in our dreams we are the ghosts who haunt our previous homes. When we dream we are back there, for all we know, we might be giving the current residents a fine old fright, glimpsing a sight of our ghostly ‘thought form’ somewhere round the place.

Astral travel. Not all ghosts are necessarily dead.

But Hekate was one of the few personages who could enter and leave the Underworld, the realm of Hades at will. The messenger god Hermes or Mercury was another.

Mythology

The name Hekate comes from the ancient Greek meaning ‘from afar ‘or the ‘worker from afar.’ This working at a distance is in the very nature of a spell.

Hekate was the daughter of the titan, Perses, and the nymph Asteria, and this gave her powers in heaven, on land and by sea. But her story goes back way before the Greeks, to the Anatolians (Asia Minor) and before that, possibly to the Babylonians and Sumerians who knew her as Innana, Queen of The Heavens, and later as the goddess Ishtar who was associated with love, beauty, sex, war, justice and political power.

Later, these more ancient story traditions became absorbed into Greek Mythology, passing next to the Romans, who spread the mythology as they expanded their Empire.

The Kindness of Hekate

Hecate is a patron goddess of dogs, horses, owls and serpents.

In Greek myth, the tragic queen Hecuba/Hecabe of Troy deliberately jumped overboard a Greek ship and drowned as she was being taken away into slavery after the fall of Troy. Hecuba was broken by grief, distraught at the deaths of her king, Priam, and so many of her 19 children, and at the fall of her city, and the ruin of her people at the hands of the Greeks.

Hekate rescued the tragic drowned soul of Hecuba and transformed her into a dog, comforting her with forgetfulness of her terrible sorrow. This dog is Hecate’s beloved companion and is a friendly familiar spirit, not like the three-headed dog Cerberus (his name means ‘Spot’) who guards the gates of the Underworld.

Sadly, once upon a time, like dogs, sheep and many other animals, dogs were offered in religious ceremonies as sacrificial animals, intended as immortal gifts to Hekate, as in Thrace in 4th century BC.

But Hekate is called upon as a protector of dogs, and likewise she is a protector of the home (as is a good dog) Pillars called Hecataea stood at crossroads and doorways, for good luck, to ask her to keep away any unwanted visitors, including evil spirits. 

Hekate became one of several deities worshipped in ancient Athens as a protector of the oikos (household) alongside Zeus, Hestia, goddess of the hearth, the messenger god Hermes, and the sun god, Apollo.

Hekate is regarded as a dark deity on account of her associations with witchcraft, but she stands for both dark and light, death and birth, and as a protector and guardian of mothers, as well as her totem animals.

Magickal Traditions, Symbols and Practice

Her colours are black and red.

Her symbols keys, torches

Her totem animal is the dog, her bird the Barn Owl, Tyto Alba, also known as the screech owl.

The Romans feared the Barn Owl as a bird of ill omen, and European and UK farmers have historically sometimes killed them for this reason, even until quite recently, and despite their usefulness to farmers as rodent hunters.

SONY DSC

What might Hekate help with?

-Protection of the household, family, mothers, children and childbirth.

-Assistance with banishing harmful situations

-Help for lost or sick pets and animals, dogs and horses in particular.

Asking help from Hekate

1/ Attitude

Care and respect is required as with any request.

2/ Naming

How do we pronounce her name? There is no wrong way as such. These days, her name is often pronounced Heh-kah-tay or Heh-kah-tee, pronouncing her name with no emphasis on the middle. But to the Ancients she would have been Hecate pronounced Heh-KAH-tay or Heh-KAH-tee with an emphasis on the middle syllable. This honours her oldest origins, so far as we can be sure.

3/ Timing

The best time to make a request of Hekate is during the time of the waning crescent Moon or at the New Moon. A free online lunar calendar will easily identify these dates. (Halloween 2021 will be a waning Crescent Moon)

4/ Place/rituals

Decorate and dedicate a small corner, perhaps in a window sill facing the Moon when you can see it, decorated with artwork of Hekate, Moon, dogs, owls, keys or other totems.

5/ Gifts and thanks

It is only polite to say thank you when asking for help with something, or to acknowledge receiving help.  We could for instance:-

-Burn a candle or a cone of incense (be careful not to leave it unattended)

-Offer a virtual drink; small glass of mead, or a spoonful of honey in water. Hecate likes honey, pomegranates (as did Persephone) lavender, garlic (unlike vampires) breads, sweets and anything shaped like a crescent moon (she would probably enjoy a virtual croissant)

Make a donation to support rescue dogs, or a local owl rescue centre, and tell her you are doing this in her name.

-Just like with a birthday cake, offer a slice of cake, or a cupcake with a candle. Make your request. Blow out the candle, making a gift of the fire.

I leave it up to you whether you eat the cake in her honour, but why not. It’s the thought that counts, is it not?

A True Ghost story

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Do I believe in ghosts? I have met plenty of perfectly sensible people who have told me their stories, and had no reason to doubt their common sense and the validity of their account.

We have the dictionary definition.

Now chiefly, an apparition of a dead person which is believed to appear or become manifest to the living, typically as a nebulous image and attempting to right a wrong done in life; this sense of the word is recorded from late Middle English.

The word is recorded from Old English (in form gāst) in the sense ‘spirit, soul’, and is of Germanic origin; the gh- spelling occurs first in Caxton, and was probably influenced by Flemish gheest”.Source

But the question still remains, what do we mean by a ghost? Are they sentient or merely some kind of an echo? Do they know they are there? Do they know we are there?

I recommend further reading into the work of the Cambridge archaeologist and paranormal researcher Tom Lethbridge T.C. Lethbridge

My phone rang one Saturday night, about 8 PM, a lady calling from Preston, about ten miles away from where I live. She had found my number in the psychic pages of the online telephone directory and she wanted a psychic medium.

Note. I do not advertise as a psychic medium but there is no separate listing for Tarot, and they put readers under that same heading.

The lady wanted me to come over to her house. Right away. There was ‘something’ out in the hallway, and it was blocking the stairs. She, her partner and the children were huddled in the sitting room, too terrified to leave the room.

I could not go in person, sadly. Nor do I advertise such a service. There are others who do. I gave her the name and telephone number of a lady who specializes in ‘haunted houses’ and meantime reached for my cards and asked the lady what was the problem? What had happened? What was going on here?

Her youngest child had been upstairs, she told me, when she heard a lady whispering in her ear, and it had really frightened her. The child panicked. Then her siblings panicked. Then the mother panicked, and the partner. It had developed from there. Now there was something outside the sitting room door; a cold spot, a moving shadow.

What had this ghostly lady said to the little girl? The ghostly lady had whispered directly into her ear that her hair was very pretty.

This figured. The cards confirmed a benign presence – or influence. A grandmother? The cards also indicated this lady had been under a lot of strain lately. She confirmed a lot of worries; a prolonged period of acute financial and other worries.

This, I felt, had been the possible, completely unconscious trigger for this startling manifestation. The lady went on to tell me that her mother had died three years earlier, and she was still missing her, quite badly. But the littlest child was too young to remember her grandmother, and how come, if the ghost was her mother, the ghost had not talked to her, but to the child?

Well, whether this had been the grandmother or not, it was because the little girl happened in that moment to be the one tuned in on the ‘right’ wavelength to receive such an incoming message, was my best guess, based on my own experiences.

The little girl had ESP and was very sensitive to atmosphere. This was why she alone had heard it. If there was a ghost, if the grandmother was still around, then she was tuning in to the living, seeking to deliver support or reassurance to the mother, her child, and the little grand-daughter was the most accessible conduit.

First things first, before this lady called the medium – if indeed, she decided to make the call, she needed to restore order in the household right away. She must assert herself and reclaim her territory, ‘psych it out’, and show and tell the children it was safe to go anywhere in the house.

Tell the thing to stop and it will is my experience. I once banished a ghostly cat visitor and am rather sorry I did so. None of which is my way of saying I did not believe what she was telling me. I did, but the living can talk to a ghost or say boo, just as it can say boo to us.

This was not, repeat not, some real life repeat of The Conjuring. No nastiness in the cards.

I suggested she tell the children, it’s gone now, put lights on, open the sitting room door, talk as she went, sing, whistle, make a noise, go down the hallway, put the kettle on, serve up supper for everyone, and talk aloud as she did so. Light and noise will shatter such a spell while fear is contagious.

We can simply do that, ask the thing to stop, asking nicely or firmly or fiercely, depending on the nature of the atmosphere. And it works.

I later heard from the medium. She and her team had gone to the lady’s house next day, taking with them an array of electronic equipment. She told me there was an old lady’s ghost in the house, that it was the grandmother, and that the mother’s state of stress had called the ghost forth. The ghost had simply behaved in character, affectionately, but since the child had been startled, and the mother had reacted with fear, everyone got scared and the thing snowballed and took on an unpleasant aspect. The medium said that now the mother was aware of it, the house should stay quiet now.

Perhaps the dead grandmother was worried about her daughter, and was trying to reach out and offer comfort the only way she could.

No suggestion of criticism attaches to the lady. None whatsoever. Fear was a natural reaction. But if it happened again, now that she had feedback from other sources as to the nature of the occurrence, that whatever it was, it was not malevolent, she could choose a more matter of fact response, whilst not dismissing the child’s experience.

Psychic author Cassandra Eason has written a book with advice for parents with psychic children available from a range of second hand book sellers online.

https://cassandraeason.com/https://cassandraeason.com/

Since I had not spoken directly with the medium myself before her visit to the house, but had simply provided contact details, I was interested that tarot and a medium had told virtually identical stories.

Twice, in a previous house I was frightened, hearing shuffling footsteps coming towards me in the night, once upstairs, once sleeping downstairs. This was an old man who once lived in the house, I felt, but whatever it was, was not hostile but nor was it particularly nice.

This was not happening in haunting prime time, and that time is three in the morning. This was no later than midnight, before I had properly settled to sleep, within minutes of my switching out the lights.

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I had twice seen a smallish dog around the place, running down the stairs. Once it ran into the kitchen while I was cooking. It was only an impression; a smallish to medium sized dog, pricked ears and a short coat, not remotely frightening; and curiously, because I did not mention it at the time, nearly two weeks after this, my younger daughter came running in very excited to tell me she had just seen a dog at the top of the stairs, duly named Spook Dog.

This shuffling of invisible slippers was different. I was not sure I would think this was a very nice person if I had met him in real life. Even if it had once been his house. A budgerigar had also once lived in that house, a man once told me. It was his grandparent’s, and its cage used to hang in what had later become the kitchen diner, but the budgerigar had the good manners never to squawk from beyond the grave.

No. I didn’t like this one bit. I did not want it coming into the room where I was. I spoke aloud and told him or ‘whatever it was,’ that it was not to come in the room where I was, or where any of the family were. On both occasions, the shuffling noises stopped at that point. On the occasion where I was downstairs on a sofa bed, the shuffling paused, and then I heard the feet going up the bottom two stairs, but only two and then they stopped.

The power of the physical, the element of Earth, is the power of the living moment, here and now. We are exalted in the Earth. We take in air. We take up space.

From The Gilded Tarot

This is ours. Our inheritance at birth. The power of Earth. Our ace card in any otherworldly dealings, the Ace of Pentacles. A nice cup of tea, anyone? How about a biccie?

A spiral shell is a symbol of infinity. But likewise, a matrix of calcium carbonate is an expression and signature of infinity, made concrete in a spiral shell.

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Season of the Celestial Scorpion

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Common Associations

Zodiac symbol

Dates:  October 23 –November 22 (It may vary. In 2021 it will be Sunday Nov 21)

Ruling planets:  Ruled by Mars and after Pluto’s discovery in 1930, considered by many modern astrologers to be co-ruled by Pluto

Symbol:  Scorpion, Serpent, Eagle, Phoenix (nearby constellation, Aquila, the Eagle)

Zodiac element: Water

Zodiac quality: Fixed

Keywords:  I desire. I transform

Colour:  Dark red

Birthstone:  Yellow Topaz, Opal, Aquamarine, Tourmaline.

Tree:  Walnut. Hawthorn. Blackthorn

Tarot Card:  Death

From The Gilded Tarot

Note the Biblical ‘pale horse’ and the white rose. The rose signifies beauty and immortality. What has ever once been, lives somewhere, somehow, forever.

Astronomy

Scorpius from which the zodiac sign gets its name, is a massive, spectacular j- shaped constellation located in the skies over the southern hemisphere near the centre of the Milky Way. In the Northern hemisphere it can be seen in July and August, but is most visible in July at 9.00 PM. In the Southern hemisphere it is visible from March to October, like a faint band in the Milky Way overhead.

By Till Credner – Own work, http://www.AlltheSky.com, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9296434

Its name, no prizes for guessing, is Latin for scorpion and it is one of the 48 constellations identified by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the second century AD. Like Aries, Taurus and Leo, it is an ancient constellation, meaning it has been recognised as a constellation pre-dating the Greeks.

Scorpius is the southernmost constellation in the zodiac between Libra to the west and Sagittarius to the east. Its claws do double duty and also represent the scales of Libra.

Its unbelievably huge brightest star- our sun is barely more than a dot in comparison- is one of the brightest in the night sky, the ‘heart of the scorpion’, Antares, meaning ‘rival of Ares’ (the Greek name for the Roman god of war, Mars) So-named because it is bright reddish in colour, like Mars, and because Scorpio’s traditional ruling planet is Mars.

By kind permission of EarthSky.Org

Modern astrologers may argue that Scorpio is ruled by Pluto instead (Death, The Transformer) depending on whether the astrologer is working with a traditional or modern interpretation after the discovery of Pluto 1930.

Scorpius contains exo-planets, some extremely old, and others considered potentially habitable. The planet PSR B1620-26 b, nicknamed “Methuselah” is estimated at 12.7 billion years old  (The universe is about 13.7 billion years old.)  Methuselah has a mass about twice that of Jupiter and it orbits around not one, but two stars.

Cue potential existential angst.

Gliese 667Cc is a “super-Earth” about four times as massive as Earth, part of a three-star system only 22 light-years away from Earth. It’s considered potentially habitable and the same system contains two other potentially habitable planets: Gliese 667Ce and Gliese 667Cf – both about 2.7 times the mass of Earth.

“Habitability” is defined as a rocky world close enough to its parent star for liquid water to exist on the surface. Other factors may rule it out, though, such as the variability of its star or the composition of the planet’s atmosphere.

Mythology and History

Nature, Religion and astrology were intertwined in the ancient world. The ancient world was wiser and knew better than we do in this respect.

The scorpion has been here far longer than we have – hundreds of millions of years, more than 450 million, compared with our six million or so.

Sometime around four thousand years ago the Babylonians looked up, discerned the brightly leaning J- shape in the summer stars and called this constellation MUL.GIR.TAB – the ‘Scorpion’, literally read as ‘the (creature with) a burning sting’.

The movements and relative positions of Scorpius were mapped by Babylonian magicians and astrologers, who left written records of the omens they observed.

“When a halo surrounds the Moon and Scorpio stands in it, it will cause men to marry princesses, (or) lions will die, and the traffic of the land will be hindered.”

A comet appearing in Scorpius was read as a dire warning of a coming plague, but when the Sun rose in Scorpius, alchemists saw their one chance for the transmutation of lead into gold.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Orion and The Scorpion

Orion The Hunter was a friend of Artemis, Greek goddess of the Moon, of the Hunt, and patron of all wild creatures. One day he was overheard boasting to Artemis and her mother Leto, that there was not a single beast he could not, and would not hunt and kill.

Gaia, goddess of the Earth, heard this and did not like it one bit. Artemis was a great hunter herself, but Artemis did not kill for the sake of killing, and offered protection to all creatures. Gaia sent a giant scorpion to deal with Orion. He fought back, and sure enough, he killed the scorpion, but the scorpion also killed Orion.

Public Domain

Zeus, much impressed by the scorpion’s battle spirit, and at Gaia’s request, raised the scorpion to the heavens, and at the request of the heartbroken Artemis; he did the same for Orion.

But see them back to back? Still, they avoid each one another, these ancient deadly foes, one rising as the other sets.

In other cultures this constellation is not seen as a scorpion. In Indonesia it’s the “the brooded swan” or the “the leaning coconut tree.” In Hawaii, it is “The Fishhook” of the demi-god Maui.

In Chinese mythology, the constellation is part of the Azure Dragon a deity of the underworld ( a cthonic deity = subterranean) and in Japan the guardian spirit of the city of Kyoto. presumably for magical protection against earthquakes.

But about the scorpion, there is consensus across hemispheres, not only continents. Thousands of years before the Greeks and Romans established their societies, the Australian Aboriginal peoples also looked up and saw the stars of Scorpius in terms of a cosmic scorpion, as did the Aztecs of Central Mexico.

The Lowland Mayans  had scorpion constellations. These may have matched up with THE Scorpion of the zodiac, but there no clear proof. It is thought that the Mayans viewed the celestial scorpion as an eclipse-causing agent.

The arrival of Scorpio’s sign in the northern hemisphere coincides with the advent of mystery, the fast fading autumn light, and the ghosts, myths and superstitions of Halloween, or All Hallows Eve.

Facts about scorpions

Photo by Sharath G. on Pexels.com
  • As mentioned previously, they are a staggeringly ancient creature. The earliest evidence dates from the Silurian period 450 million years ago, when the first scorpion ancestors left the seas for the land. Fossils from the Carboniferous 300 million years ago indicate little change since then. Early scorpions may have had compound eyes. 
  • They are arachnids: arachnida scorpiones, with a body in two sections, 2 pincers or pedi-palps, 8 legs like a spider, and an exo-skeleton made of chitin. They are more closely related to Harvestmen than spiders.
  • They dance before mating, a stately promenade. They give birth to live young and carry them on their backs until the babies have their first moult and disperse. The mothers may eat the young if resources are desperately scarce.
  • They have a long life span compared with other arachnids, 2-3 years in the wild but they have lived up to 25 years in captivity. They can live a year without food and eat insects, spiders, other scorpions and lizards. They also eat small mammals, such as mice.
  • They glow in the dark except when newly moulted. Scorpion fossils still fluoresce, despite spending hundreds of millions of years embedded in rock.
  • They are famously venomous. However of the nearly 2,000 known species of scorpions, only 25 have venom powerful enough to be dangerous to an adult human. In the U.S., the Arizona bark scorpion, Centruroides sculpturatus, produces venom strong enough to kill a small child, but anti-venom means deaths are rare.

The Scorpio Personality -planetary aspects

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Scorpio is known as The Sorceror, The Detective, The Hypnotist, and The Alchemist

Scorpio is an extreme sign, at the same time fiery hot and icy cold, symbolically reflecting its contradictory planetary rulers. Scorpio is traditionally ruled by the red planet Mars, planet of action, named after the Classical Greco- Roman god of war.  But its modern ruler is the icy dwarf planet Pluto, not discovered until 1930 and named after the Greco-Roman god of the underworld.

Pluto, although small, and though its status as a planet is an ongoing debate, is large enough, with a gravitational pull sufficiently powerful to make it spherical, like a planet. And it is symbolically powerful in modern astrology, by virtue of the very fact that it is so far away from the sun. Its orbit takes 248 years, so that its symbolic effects are deep, far reaching and long lasting.

Like the other water signs, Cancer and Pisces, Scorpio is considered clairvoyant, or at least, keenly intuitive. (All signs are of course,potentially psychic in their own way) But Scorpio has far greater intensity. This is water behaving as steam like an underwater volcanic eruption or a bubbling hot spring.

Scorpio rules the eighth sign of the zodiac, to do with Birth, Sex and Death.  It is both destruction and regeneration.

No wonder these subjects can be intense, and they are often possessed of great personal charisma. They are watchful but keep their feelings hidden. Born executives, investigators, spies or secret agents, they are shrewd judges of human nature, while less conscientious Scorpio subjects make use of this to their advantage, and drop friends whom they no longer see as useful.  But combined with their intense determination, and loyalty-where they decide to accord it, Scorpios can make great leaders, scientists, and devoted doctors. They are quick learners, instinctive, analytical, adaptable, often ‘moulting’ (changing careers) going down new paths.

Scorpio is vengeful…and patient. But they never forget a kindness.

The major arcana card in the Tarot representing Scorpio is the Death card, one of the most famous and most feared cards in the Tarot deck.

Public Domain: artist Pamela Colman Smith

The prospect of Death is frightening, hard to comprehend even though we understand it full well. And often desperately upsetting, though we understand full well Death is part of Life. Without Death, there would be no space for new life. We are getting our turn at life right now. Others are waiting their turn. Others before us have had theirs, and who knows, maybe they will get another turn one day.

When we leave, I feel we really do go through ‘the Valley’. Some intermediate state. Some zip through double quick. Others take longer, a few take much much longer. This much has been my observation through work with clients and a small number of unforgettable personal experiences.

What it is like to find ourselves there, in ‘the valley’ to find ourselves evicted and locked out of our earthly home for so long, our abode in the familiar city of our body? It is easy to imagine that some could panic at first. Whether we forget, or dream, or are utterly subsumed again into wherever we came from before, when maybe we were frightened to get born, not knowing what we were coming to this time round.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

This card is the annual collective zodiacal reminder that, just as the daylight is dying; so Death comes for everyone alike, old or young, man or woman, the archbishop and the child as shown in the Death card.

There are no guarantees we will make it to the age of ‘three score and ten,’- that any of us will see the age of seventy. Old age is not a right. In the natural world, few animals in the wild live into old age. Life is for living now, says Scorpio, and it is this awareness that gives Scorpio its drive, intensity, its passion, and sometimes its preoccupation with the dark side of life, and with the occult and the mysterious.

The court card of Scorpio is the King of Cups, the man of Scorpio, Cancer and Pisces. In a reading The Queen of Cups may also be used.

Legacy of the Divine Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

MeaningsWater, the sea, sailor, fisherman, mature Male, husband, friend, grandpa, advisor, priest, doctor, counsellor, teacher, academic, artist, poet, musician, deep wisdom, calm, considerate, sensitive, supportive, protective,  disciplined,  intuitive, psychic,  reserved, secretive

Scorpio needs a challenge. They like to unlock puzzles and mysteries and they need to feel that their work is important or meaningful. Hence they will often be found in high pressure situations, handling urgent, even life or death issues; in the emergency services, or in the police, detection, crime & prisons, or working in psychotherapy. They often have a talent for management, including financial management, and research and resource management within the financial sector and power production industries

This is the archetype. But of course there is no such thing in reality as THE Scorpio personality. We are unique individuals. Our zodiac sign (sun sign) is a major keynote, but it is nothing like the full picture in real life – or even in astrology.  

If you don’t feel like a ‘typical’ Scorpio, perhaps you are a second or third decan Scorpio, rather than a ‘most typical’ first decan Scorpio.

The decans

The Zodiac is the belt of sky we see from earth, tracking the path of the sun across the sky from dawn till dusk and throughout the year. We call this pathway of the sun ‘the ecliptic,’ and the zodiac belt shares this same pathway.

The zodiac belt is 16 degrees deep or across; 8 degrees above the sun’s pathway, the ecliptic, and 8 degrees below.

The Greeks divided this belt into twelve sections, choosing twelve for ease of arithmetic and named them after some of the constellations found along this same pathway.  There are more than twelve constellations, both above the ecliptic and below it, but the zodiac signs, as formalised by Eudoxus of Cnidus and Ptolemy of Alexandria get their name from just twelve.

Each zodiac sign represents a 30 degree section of this 360 degree belt. Each sign is then sub-divided into three blocks of ten degrees, about ten days in length.

This gives us the decans, nicknamed ‘the thirty six faces of astrology,’ breaking down each sign into three chapters that shine a little extra light on the story of that sign.

First Decan Scorpio

Scorpio-Scorpio

Birth Dates:  23 -31 October (0-10 degrees)

Planetary rulers: Mars and Pluto

Tarot card:  Five of Cups

From The Legacy Tarot

Card Meanings:  Grief, disappointment, recovery from loss. Taking stock,counting our blessings, and what still remains

Here is the most ‘typical’ Scorpio subject. Mars, the ruling planet of Scorpio is doubly powerful in this first decan. This is an active, determined, dominant individual. When the going gets tough, so do they.

Scorpio/Scorpio individuals are incredibly driven, and more prone than other people to extreme behaviours, matched by courage, tenacity, and the willpower to bounce back after a setback, and start again.

Famous first decans

Hillary Clinton, politician, 26 Oct 1947

Dylan Thomas, poet, 27 Oct 1914

Second Decan Scorpio

Scorpio-Pisces

Dates: 1 -11 November (10-20 degrees)

Planetary rulers: Jupiter and Neptune

Tarot card: Six of Cups

From The Gilded Tarot

Card Meaningshappy memories, nostalgia, home, childhood, children, childhood, old friends, and old haunts

This Scorpio decan is also intense and driven, but is cooled and moderated by Pisces and its rulers, Neptune and Jupiter. This is a changeable nature, unpredictable or at times explosive, but at other times slow or even sluggish.  There is an element of contradiction here.

Jupiter is the planetary symbol of good luck is the ultimate extrovert, and Neptune ‘The Dreamer’ is the ultimate introvert.

This individual’s greatest battles may be with themselves, starting at an early age. The influence of Neptune may be an inspiration, or could become their downfall, should they once start indulging in escapism via drugs, alcohol, gambling or other addictive, risk-taking behaviours.

These people are often interested in esoteric subjects; religion, the mystical, and the occult.  They need s stable home, a reliable partner and they need to be careful in their friendships and choice of company. They usually have a natural talent for medicine or the healing arts, and are searching for some sense of a greater purpose.

Famous Second Decans

Billy Graham, evangelist, 7 Nov 1918,  

Carl Sagan, astronomer, 9 Nov 1934

Third Decan Scorpio

Scorpio-Cancer

Dates: 12-21 November

Planetary rulers: Moon and Venus

Tarot card- Seven of Cups

From The Gilded Tarot Royale

Card Meanings: visions, possibilities, options, choices, daydreams

This decan is as visionary as this card illustration suggests; imaginative, creative and dramatic.  Moon and Venus cool and soften the energy of Mars. This is a magnetic personality, a natural artist or performer.

The Decan 3 Scorpio often has a particularly close relationship with his or her mother; generally a healthy thing, so long as it isn’t given more importance than their relationships with their chosen life partner.

This is the Scorpio decan most likely to curate a legacy to loved ones or leave money to favourite causes. Money, privacy, loyalty and property are of supreme importance. A keeper of secrets, they carry mysteries or grudges to their graves.

They are more domestic at heart than other Scorpio natives, but still, very brave and tough in their own way. They may be activists of some kind, and their charm and eloquence can make them very effective when working with a group for a common cause.

Famous Third Decans

Robert Kennedy, 20 Nov 1925

Prince Charles, 14 Nov 1948

Born on the cusp?

First decan Scorpio born on the cusp is a more airy Libran Scorpio with marked Libra qualities. Third decan Scorpio born on the cusp is a less fiery Sagittarian Scorpio with marked Sagittarius qualities.

Fixed water Scorpio, the opposite number of Fixed Earth Taurus is a hidden face of The Bull, just as The Bull is a hidden face of the Scorpion. The Bull from The Sea was sent to Crete by Poseidon. Steamy depths indeed. Only Pisces goes as deep or deeper.

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

Back again soon for Halloween!

Till next time 🙂

Libra 2021

Most of us know our sign of the zodiac, but what is the story behind the sign? Read on for the story of Libra…

Libra marks the advent of the autumn equinox in the northern hemisphere. The scales of Libra represent this temporary state of balance in nature, and the closest equality of the hours of darkness and daylight.

Common Associations

Symbol

Element: Air

Quality: Cardinal (it instigates)

Affirmation: I (seek to) Balance

Ruling planet: Venus

Body: Lower back, buttocks, kidneys, bladder Tissue salt: Nat Phos (sodium phosphate)

Colour: Indigo Blue

Flower: Rose, Hydrangea

Birthstones: Sapphire- September birthdays. Opal- October birthdays

Lucky Number: 6 (community, childhood)

Tarot card: Justice Minor Arcana cards: 2, 3, 4 Swords

From The Legacy of the Divine Tarot, illustrator Ciro Marchetti

Astronomy

Constellation Libra

Libra (which technically, though I don’t know anyone who actually pronounces it this way, is pronounced Ly-bra as in Library) is a small but distinct constellation next to the constellation Virgo in the evening sky.

It looks rather like a lopsided diamond and is visible in the northern hemisphere between April and July and is most visible directly overhead at midnight in June.

It is 29th in size of the 88 known constellations and is is bordered by the head of Serpens to the north, Virgo to the northwest, Hydra (the biggest constellation) to the southwest, Lupus to the south, Scorpius to the east and the serpent bearer, Ophiuchus to the northeast.

Libra, like Cancer, is fainter from Earth than other constellations, and contains no spectacular first magnitude stars, but it contains a very old galaxy cluster that is thought to be around 10 billion years old, the same age as The Milky Way, our own galaxy.

Libra also contains a red dwarf star, Gliese 581, which has three orbiting planets, one of which may possibly be suitable for life. This system is about 20 light years from Earth.

Libra though recognized as an asterism long before, was only formally classified as a constellation by the Romans, and used to be regarded, not as a constellation in its own right, but as part of the neighbouring constellations Scorpio and Virgo.

This legacy explains the names of its brightest stars; a binary star about 77 light years from Earth. α Librae. called Zubenelgenubi, in Arabic “the Southern Claw” in Arabic. The second-brightest star is β Librae, or Zubeneschamali,  the Arabic for “The Northern Claw.”  

Once upon a time, about three thousand years ago and until AD 730, the Sun used to move into the constellation of  Libra at the time of the northern autumnal equinox (c. September 23) and stay there until about October 23.

This changed over time, owing to the wobble of the Earth, owing to an effect called the precession of the equinoxes so that since 2002, the Sun has actually appeared in the constellation of Libra from October 31 to November 22.

HOWEVER This does not affect the dates or the meaning of the zodiac sign of Libra which is based, not on the science of the astronomy in real time, but on an arithmetic model.

Mythology and History

From Urania’s Mirror

Libra was known in Babylonian astronomy as MUL Zibanu (the “scales” or “balance”) with an alternative name, the Claws of the Scorpion. In ancient Greece too, Libra was seen as the Scorpion’s Claws.

The scales were sacred to the Babylonian sun god Shamash, who was the patron of truth and justice, so that since these very early times, Libra has been associated with law, fairness and civility.

Libra was first recognised as a constellation in its own right in ancient Rome, when it began to represent the scales held by Astraea, or Dike, who in Greek mythology was actually associated with Virgo. In ancient times, the stars of Libra, The Scales, were also intermingled with those of  Scorpius by the Greeks, but were always considered as a separate group by the Romans.

According to the writer Manilius, whether this was factually correct or not, more Roman judges were born under the sign of Libra than under other zodiac signs.   

Venus and Libra

Libra, like Taurus, is traditionally ruled by Venus, planet of love, beauty, friendship, diplomacy- and also wealth, because wealth provides luxuries.

The Birth of Venus, Botticelli

Everything has its shadow side of course, and Venus can also mean over indulgence, undue materialism, or uncontrolled desires or obsession.

The Libra Archetype

The Archetype of Libra is The Judge.

All zodiac signs are archetypes, meaning something that is considered to be a perfect or typical example of a particular kind of person or thing,

The zodiac signs paint a ‘typical’ portrait of a person born at a particular time of year, in a particular season. A baby born in summer arrives into a different physical environment from a winter baby; differences of parental diet, especially in the days long before supermarkets where food was a matter of seasonal availability, plus other environmental factors; temperatures, hours of daylight exposure and so on, with potential physical effects on that baby’s makeup and development.

Libra is one of the three zodiac air signs, the others being Gemini and Aquarius.

 Libra is the only sign that is not represented by a human or animal, but the scales signify the collective and enduring human hunger for justice, as well as Libra’s own especially keen personal need for balance, order, and equality.

Many astrologers view Libra as an especially lucky sign because it occurs during the peak of the year when the rewards of hard work are harvested.

Libra is suave, clever and extremely easy to like. The classic Libra subject has charm and can be a great listener with sharp observation skills and acute perception.

Because Venus, the goddess of love, rules Libra, the Libra subject is especially, even acutely sensitive to beauty in anything, whether it is a person, nature, art, or music. They dislike loud noises, nastiness, and vulgarity, as they are naturally extremely civilized people. They can sometimes be a little tiring to be with as they are constantly re-assessing and adjusting their thinking, and can be restless, more changeable even than Gemini.

Late Libra may show some of the more negative Scorpio traits. They may be touchy and thin-skinned, and tend not to handle criticism as dispassionately as they dispense it.

But Libra on a good hair day, when it is sunny side up, smart as anything, smiling, civilized, ready to be amused, that lollipop face, what’s not to like?

The archetypal human face in the Tarot representing Libra is the Queen of Swords, though of course in real life, this may represent male or female.

This court card represents a queen of keen observational and analytical capabilities, combining intellect and instinct. She has worked hard, given her best service, learned many life lessons, may well have experienced much loss, and while often charming, has a certain air of aloofness. Many seek her out for her wise advice, and receive fair,considered advice. In her most negative aspects she may be vindictive.

Photo by Anderson Miranda on Pexels.com

These archetypes are based on thousands of years of observation, but of course there is no such thing in reality as THE Libra personality.

You are a unique individual. Your zodiac sign (also known as your sun sign) is a major keynote, but nothing like the full picture in real life – or even in astrology.

But your decan, which depends on where your birthday falls within your zodiac sign, digs just a little deeper. If you don’t feel like a ‘typical’ Libra, perhaps you are a second or third decan Libra, rather than a ‘most typical’ first decan Libra.

What are the decans?

The decans have been described as ‘the thirty six faces of astrology.’

 The Zodiac, a portion of sky as seen from earth, represents an imaginary belt or wheel; a circle of 360 degrees. This circle was seen as divided in Tropical or Western astrology into twelve ‘slices,’ of approximately thirty degrees each. Each slice represents a zodiac sign named after a chosen constellation appearing inside this belt of sky, giving us the zodiac signs we are familiar with today.

Astrologers then sub-divided each of these 12 signs into three parts of ten degrees each. Every degree – every birth date -supplies added insights or texture in respect of character and potential destiny.

The first ten days of a zodiac sign are the first decan. The next ten days or so are the second decan, and the last ten days or so are the third decan.

“If you’ve ever wondered why people born in the same sign seem different, decans can help answer this puzzle,” – astrologer Rachel Lang.

Libra First Decan

Libra-Libra

Dates:  23 September – 2 October

Planetary rulers: Traditional –Moon / Modern –Venus

Tarot card: Two of Swords Truce, pause, standoff, taking stock, information gathering, indecision, obstinate, none so blind as will not see, refusal to engage

Libra-Libra gets a double dose of Venus glamour, as both its planetary ruler and sub-ruler; here is the most ‘typical’ Libra subject; sensitive, perceptive, attractive and well-balanced, keenly intuitive and extra sensitive to beauty, the arts and fashion.

They are clever as anything, strategic thinkers, great at seeing patterns, dealing with data. They are diplomats, cool operators, experts at avoiding unpleasant conversations. They are sensitive to loud noises and dislike crowds.

They hate conflicts, arguments and will avoid direct confrontation, though this is not always helpful. This means they may also avoid uncomfortable decision-making – or indeed any decision-making and may put off a boring job in the hope that someone else will deal with it, though they are perfectly capable of doing it themselves.

Libra is not known for nothing as ‘the iron fist in the velvet glove.’ They can turn away, cut you out cold, and you may never find out why. There will be a reason, but they don’t do those kinds of conversation, for all their essential kindness and usual generosity of spirit. First decan Libra for all their gifts can be self-critical and prone to anxiety or sudden mood swings. They really, really need their space.

Libra Second Decan

Libra-Aquarius

Dates: 3 -12 October

Planetary rulers: Traditional – Saturn / Modern – Uranus

Tarot card: Three of Swords. Sorrow, stress, separation, love triangles, karma, making peace with the past. All signs must learn to deal with loss. Important to note, none of these messages are intended for Libra alone, and may simply represent Libra timing in a reading.

Libra-Aquarius, ruled by stern Saturn and rebellious Uranus is not only brilliantly clever, but dutiful, patient, wise, and inventive, even downright psychic, more curious about subjects like astrology than other Librans. Here is a thinker with a strongly independent streak – even a little quirky. This Libran is urbane, naturally sophisticated, and much sought after for their wit, knowledge, sparkling company and good advice.

They are known for combining artistic gifts with a logical, rational scientific way of thinking.  The writer’s father was a second decan Libran; an academic author and scholar of French philosophy, and an exhibiting artist, a painter, with powerful ESP.

All Librans have good earning potential above average, but this decan, ruled by disciplined Saturn, though not remotely mean, is careful, especially prone to saving up for a rainy day, or with an eye to leaving money for their dependents.

Never underestimate them. If a second Libra thinks something is wrong or unethical, if they disapprove of something they may react with a shocking finality, bringing down the sword of judgement. It’s the same with all Librans but the second decan Libra, while oh so polite….will coolly tell you to your face what they do not approve of. 

Libra-Aquarius, inspiring devotion and respect, is an enigma, remote and distant, like a kindly priest or a shaman, or a shining lone star.

Photo by Kindel Media on Pexels.com

Libra Third Decan

Libra-Gemini

Dates: 13- 22 October

Planetary rulers: Traditional – Jupiter / Modern – Mercury

Tarot card- Four of Swords: rest, bed, recovery, retreat, regrouping after mental or physical exhaustion

Libra-Gemini is known for above average physical attractiveness and typically looks younger than their actual age, with a rounded face, bright, keen eyes, medium build, and a light to medium build, usually above average height.

Knowledge is power to this most restless Libran. They need to feel up to date, well informed. They may not necessarily share what they know, unless they feel challenged or contradicted. They can be competitive and also secretive, not because they are deceitful, but to avoid the risk of hassle. They cannot bear dealing with bad news, or to be the bearer of bad tidings. Libra decan 3 is not the one to volunteer to handle this.

They are capable of aggression, but still, are more timid, more of an introvert that many would take them for on first acquaintance.

They may have found themselves cast in the role of outsider at some period of their lives. This may have proved a formative experience, or it may have dented their confidence and given them a bit of a hang-up.

They take themselves very seriously, and are serious about money, and about their obligations, and make excellent family providers. They do need to feel that whatever they do for their loved ones was entirely their own idea, and do not respond well if they get the idea they are being pressured, but a bit of praise goes a long way with Decan 3 Libra.

They are kindly, and they notice things, but they don’t tend to give out a lot of feedback. They are born judges, but it can seem as if other people’s problems aren’t entirely real to them, and if they’re in the wrong, they may never admit it for fear of being judged themselves.

This decan in particular craves travel, and is known for a love of the sea. They have a tendency to become restless, withdrawn and irritable when bored, or when they can’t travel as much as they would like. Pandemic travel restrictions really might have been quite a frustration for this Libra subject.

Photo by David McEachan on Pexels.com

Libra Season 2021

This will not be a quiet news month on the global stage or in the media. It promises to be pretty interesting, and possibly at times, a bit too interesting, reflecting lively and intense astrological transits, particularly until the Mars square Pluto conjunction 21,22 and 23 October, which suggests we take special care how we go, avoiding getting into confrontations, and when going out and about.

On the other hand, we could get a lot of stuff sorted out this Libra season, spurred on helpful bursts of Mars energy.

Libra is laid back, or at least, quietly focused, going about its business. But this Libra season, 2021, is in all probability, not a case of business as usual.

Further reading:

For more about the decans: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decan_(astrology)

For more about The Chaldeans:  https://erenow.net/common/astrology-and-religion-among-the-greeks-and-romans/2.php

The Tarot: History, Symbolism, and Divination by Robert M Place: https://www.amazon.com/Tarot-History-Symbolism-Divination/dp/1585423491?tag=horoscopeco07-20

Harvest Moon in Pisces-Aries

Samuel Palmer, Public Domain

Tonight was the Full Harvest Moon, the full moon closest to the autumn equinox which in 2021 is 22 September, occurring at 20:21 (British Summer time. )

Unlike other full moons, the Harvest Moon rises at nearly the same time, around sunset, for several evenings in a row, lighting the fields for the workers bringing in the harvest.

In the US, the First Nations called it The Big Moon, and so it can be, lighting the harvesting till late in the evening, or they called it The Sturgeon Moon.

The sturgeon, a really ancient, prehistoric fish found in fossil beds from the Cretaceous, and that can be 3.5 m in length, has been hunted nearly to danger of extinction on account of caviar.

Look at this old variety of maize grown by the Lakota…a glass gem corn cob. It is not eaten like this, but ground into a purplish meal.

How beautiful is that?

Glass gem maize cob

This year’s Harvest Moon is happening in third decan Pisces. The corresponding Tarot card is the rather lovely Ten of Cups. Home sweet home. Or perhaps home and dry…it kept appearing for Joe Biden during the US Election, Trump v Biden,though an oddly domestic card perhaps, in that particular context. (Mr Biden is a deep water, Scorpio subject, Mr Trump airy Gemini.)

Note the symbols hanging in the hearth-place, Mars in Pisces.

The Legacy of The Divine Tarot

What could be more peaceful? Well, yes, but Pisces can also be tricky; dream states, illusions, delusions. Neptune. This full moon might be full on emotionally intense, and this may be agreeable, OR anything but, or actually a teensy bit bonkers. One may be extra accident prone. Passions may boil over, a touch of paranoia perhaps, angry words said. One may need to watch one’s step and beware rogues and trickery.

This Moon is teetering into Mars ruled Aries later on tonight, and Aries is currently in opposition to Mars, This is heated, volatile…volcanic even. Think Cumbre Vieja.

Il Matrimonio had an odd encounter this morning, out in town. Potentially a mugger (?) sizing him up, first asking him the time as they crossed, going in opposite directions, walking on but then turning back again and following him. He, we will never know, but he felt the man’s presence behind him and stopped sharply to let the man know he was alert to him. The man meandered into a nearby bus stop he had previously just passed and hopped on a bus. Possibly there was an innocent explanation, or else the man was after Il Matrimonio’s smartphone, a snatch and run prospect.

Be alert. The country, so the old saying goes, needs lerts.

Poor old sturgeons. There they are, been here all this time, fossils dating back in the late Cretaceous era, more than 65 million years ago, being brought to the brink on account of a human hankering for blobs on toast…or is it blinis?

Photo by Ivan Samkov on Pexels.com

But what do I know. Il Matrimonio has had it, and says it is delish.

I’ll take his word for it.

Sturgeon, Wiki

Till next time 🙂

Psychic Skies; Mercury, Mars and the Moon this month

Mercury goes retrograde 27 September until it goes direct again 18 October for the last time in 2021. So what does this mean?

A Mercury retrograde is a regular event, no big deal, happening three or four times a year, and lasting about three weeks but with effects felt for up to two weeks ahead of the retrograde and up to two weeks after it.

Astronomically. a retrograde simply means that the planet in question seems to be moving on a backward trajectory, as seen from earth, due to differing speeds of orbit. It is merely an optical illusion. Mercury briefly overtaking Earth in its orbit round the sun

We have more Mercury retrogrades than any other. Mercury is the smallest planet, closest to the Sun with the shortest, fastest orbit round the sun, only 87.97 days. Let’s call it 88 days

Astrologically, any retrograde signifies a shift in the “tide in the affairs of men”- a new prevailing wind. The nature of it, how it manifests in real life depends on the planet in question.

Fast moving Mercury is the symbolic ruler of intellectual activities, trade and communications. So what’s the fuss? When it goes retrograde, and for a few days before and after this retrograde, during the so-called shadow, what can we expect?

Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Public Domain via Wiki

Maybe nothing at all. Not every retrograde is the same. It could simply mean business as usual. But likewise, we could find ourselves noticing an unmistakable cluster of gremlins-things going wrong noticeably more than usual:-

-We have delays

-We mislay things

-We have personal misunderstandings, crossed wires

-We have travel problems

-The car needs attention or even breaks down

-Appliances malfunction.

-Deliveries go astray

-We have IT glitches

You get the picture.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Pexels.com

It may turn out to be a total non-story, or just the odd bit of nuisance rather than any drama. But if you catch yourself saying things like, ‘I don’t believe this!’, and ‘oh no, not again’, or howling in utter exasperation, ‘what the f*** is this happening NOW?’ -then you know what and who to blame.

Mercury, facilitating mischief until around 18 October or even early November.

Astrologer’s advice for optimal working in this abstract(?) celestial weather.

They will tell you that a Mercury retrograde is optimal for reflection, reviewing, research and extra meticulous planning, but not for initiating or making major purchases and acquisitions, particularly if these are electronic items. Double-check important paperwork. No. Triple-check it. Do read the small print.

But as mentioned before, not every Mercury retrograde is the same. This one is in Libra, affecting relationships, alliances and partnerships in particular, and what’s more, energetic Mars invaded peaceable Libra 14 September.

Mars, planet of fire, action and potentially war. Mars gets things done. This can be just what’s needed, or it can be combustible.

This will be why I have drawn the fiery Page of Wands. Fireworks. Trade salvos for now. Growlings and mutterings in respect of a new deal between Australia, UK and the US, and the loss to France of a major submarine contract. China does not like it of course, having banned Australian coal imports in retaliation for the Australian call for an independent investigation into the origins of the Covid pandemic in Wuhan. But China’s coal alternatives are coming with their own costs.

Things are only hotting up in the Indian Ocean, and also the Straits of Hormuz.

From The Gilded Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

We say peaceable Libra. Well, that depends. This is the sign of marriage and domestic partnerships, as well as wider global partnerships of all kinds. Libra is outwardly suave, savvy, debonair even, and charming. It may seem peaceful, ruled by Venus, Mars’ opposite number.

But it is contractual in dealings. It may be the zodiac sign of diplomacy, but in the real world, especially geo-politics, this diplomacy or compromise is generally liable to mean “either you scratch our back, we’ll scratch yours”, or the “iron fist in a velvet glove”. Either way. soft, it isn’t.

Also to note, the autumn equinox 22 September as we enter the zodiac sign territory Libra, sign of the scales, day and night in balance. Uranus in Taurus (upheaval of tradition) goes head to head with Saturn in Aquarius (Fundamentalism, group-think collectives)

Extinction Rebellion could be viewed as an example of a collective ruled by Saturn in Aquarius. The Taliban too. Ugh. But hang on on a minute. Am I seriously making a comparison here? What could they possibly have in common?

What is in common is their motivation and their characterizing Saturn in Aquarius spirit. It is about the exercise of control by an non elected group, justified in the name of some holy grail- however that is to be defined.

It is a fundamentalist way of doing things. Secular or religious. In the end, it makes little difference. Fundamentalism says the ends always justify the means. It is this way, their way, the only right way – the way of the righteous. They are the self-declared sole arbiters of truth.

Saturn in Aquarius is always right. It is righteous. It is their way or the highway. Except that right now in the UK, with Insulate Britain blocking motorways, it is a question of them having their way but NO highway either for ‘the others’.

Extinction Rebellion, Public Domain

Meanwhile steadfast Taurus won’t be bullied, doesn’t budge, but Uranus sets it off at a charge, or turns it topsy-turvy. Saturn when in cool, remote, cerebral Aquarius won’t flow, won’t adjust, but sets like ice while preaching whatever is its own form of gospel. What does this bode for public order round this time? We’ll soon see.

Warning: Unpopular opinion: I have sympathy with certain of the aims of Extinction Rebellion, as with its objections to the risks of fracking on the marshy Fylde in Lancashire for instance. But there is an elephant in the room Extinction Rebellion won’t acknowledge, the poison chalice, the kiss of death to honesty; what we can do about global overpopulation and the inevitable resulting environmental pressure on landscapes and resources this inevitably creates.

Will they go ‘there’? Utter one peep? No way! Anymore than they would dare to block roads in China.

Our best efforts to reduce our footprint will be too little to mitigate the mess we can’t help making, so long as we are so many. But what is to be done? China tried but the experiment had to be abandoned. It was simply too dreadful; tragic, socially and economically damaging.

We may just possibly mine the Moon some day, or Mars, but we shall find no other home. We need Gaia. Who does not need us at all. Unless, yes, to get rid of us as she has done many times before with countless other species. How many species went extinct before we were even here? The likes of a thousand Extinction Rebellion won’t prevent it, if it’s going to happen, and to paraphrase Dr Malcolm in Jurassic Park, sooner or later, ‘Life finds a way’.

Meanwhile, what can we do but tread lightly where we can.

Photo by Ben Mack on Pexels.com

The Full Moon this month is the Harvest Moon in Pisces on 21 September. Deep of feeling. Fathomless. Beware of accidents and scammers. Muggers. Keep your wits about you. Il Matrimonio had a dodgy encounter only this morning 21 Sept) but pre-empted and saw it off, if that’s where the guy was heading.

Harvest Moon by Samuel Palmer, 1833

The Age of Pisces

The Age of Pisces is the age of the rise of Monotheism, two thousand years ago, and we are still in the Age of Pisces. We are not in the Age of Aquarius yet, and what it represents – technology and collectivism (ugh)

But when we are, give it another 2 millennia and we shall return to a new Age of Capricorn, and that would be a very different beast again.

Read here for more about the so-called ‘Ages’ of Aquarius and Pisces.

No, we are just having a little taster. But a Pisces Moon, now, there is a moon to dream on. Or pray upon.

Photo by Ruvim on Pexels.com

This month’s New Moon in Pisces, 20 September is actually considered a happy, lucky Moon in astrology, occurring an hour after Mercury is trine the big beast, optimistic, expansive Jupiter. Around this time, if one was inclined to take notice of such things, would perhaps be September’s most promising window for going for a new job or signing a contract, and doing anything really, thumbing our noses at any small beer Mercury retrograde stuff.

Mercury, or Hermes as he was to the Greeks, is very big beer, actually. Tiny planet. Big beer supernatural entity. Not only is he the messenger of the gods, arbiter of trade and travel, he is a psycho pomp, who escorts the souls of the newly dead to the banks of the river Acheron, or Styx if you prefer, to wait for the crossing with Charon the Ferryman to the Resting Isles- the Isle of the Dead.

Here he is, winged helmet, caduceus, looking distinctly mischievous, and Puckish, rather elf-like- perhaps even a touch of Loki, Norse lord of misrule.

Quicksilver.

Painting by Hendrick Goltzius, 1558-1617, Public Domain

Libra is about the rule of reason, fairness, keeping a cool head, not losing our balance. Libra suggests, if Mercury retrograde does rub us up the wrong way, or Mars gets uppity and rattles the cage, we take a deep breath, count to ten, walk away, zoom out the lens, keep our powder dry. It isn’t personal, even when it feels personal.

You can always get them later, if you really must. The devil is in the detail.

Till next time 🙂

Virgo Season: stars, soil, domain of Demeter, vineyards and Harvest home

Photo by Luiz M. Santos on Pexels.com

Most of us know our sun sign or sign of the Zodiac, but what does the constellation look like in the night sky, and what’s the story behind it? The season is the reason. It’s time to meet Virgo again, and get to know her better.

Virgo Season 2021

This year we entered the zodiac territory of Virgo 22 August and will stay there until 22 September. Virgo is a mutable Earth sign representing the cooling weather as we approach the end of summer and the beginning of autumn in the northern hemisphere (or the end of winter and into early spring in the southern hemisphere.)

It is harvest time- ‘the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ (From An Ode to Autumn by English poet John Keats) Virgo represents the classical Hellenistic goddesses of wheat and agriculture. The brightest star in the constellation of Virgo, far brighter than our own sun, is Spica, aka ‘the ear of wheat’.

Virgo the Maiden, named after the constellation as shown in the illustration below, is the sixth sign of the zodiac, and rules the concepts of work, service, order, practical intelligence, food, harvests, health, digestion, hygiene, and routines.

Virgo is traditionally ruled by Mercury, planet of communications, inquiry, science, commerce, trade and travel. This symbolic planetary influence brings to the Virgo-born subject, an enlarged curiosity and a combination of analytical ability, but also a certain contemplative or even mystical quality.

Common Associations

Zodiac symbol of Virgo

Date: August 23-September 22

Symbol: The Virgin

Element: Earth

Quality: Mutable (Sagittarius and Pisces are also Mutable, suggesting these subjects are capable and versatile; generally inclined to conform and go with the flow for the greater good.)

Ruling planet: Mercury (Travel and all forms of communication)

House: Sixth, ruling health, habits and routines

Colours: green, white and yellow

Body: The digestive system

Birthstone: Carnelian

Flowers: small bright flowers such as the buttercup

Tarot: Major Arcana card: The Hermit (introspection, perception, analysis, care for nature)

Minor Arcana cards: The 8,9 and 10 of Pentacles or Coins.

The Hermit from The Golden Tarot, Kat Black

Astronomy

Via Wiki: Credit Till Credner

The zodiac sign of Virgo gets its name from the constellation of Virgo; the second-largest constellation in the sky after Hydra, and the largest constellation in the zodiac.

It’s mind-boggling to consider that our own Sun is just one star of the Milky Way, and the Milky Way is part of a collection of galaxies known as the Local Group. This contains three large spiral galaxies: the Milky Way, Andromeda, and the Triangulum Galaxy, as well as a few dozen dwarf galaxies. The Local Group is just one member of the Virgo Cluster. This is a collection of 1200-2000 galaxies that stretch across 15 million light-years of space. And the Virgo Cluster is just one cluster in the Virgo Supercluster.

Virgo is visible from all around the world. In the northern hemisphere, Virgo is most visible in the evening sky from mid-March – the start of the planting season- to late June. In the southern hemisphere, look for it in the autumn and winter. 

Own image. Free to share. Credit Katie-Ellen Hazeldine, True Tarot Tales.com

This may seem a bit of a stretch, trying to picture a person here, but add in a few more of her stars and imagine her lounging semi-recumbent, dangling a sheaf of wheat from one hand, Spica, a blue-white giant. Its name is from the Latin meaning an ‘ear of grain’- a sheaf of wheat. Vindemiatrix, ‘the Grape-Gatherer,’ seen at daylight, was once upon a time a sign that now it was time to pick the grapes.

But if the constellation of Virgo is most visible late March- late June, why are the birthdates for the sign of the zodiac August 22-September 23rd?

Zodiac constellations are not to be confused with the signs after which they were named. This difference in timing is due to the effect of the Earth’s wobble over a long period of time; every 26 000 years, creating an effect known as the precession of the equinoxes. Once upon a time, the dates of the signs reflected the dates of the constellations directly overhead, but have since separated. This does not change the symbolic link between the constellation and the sign named after it. Western or Tropical astrology is based on an arithmetic, not an astronomical model, as formalized in the second century AD by the Greek astronomer, mathematician and astrologer, Ptolemy.

History & Mythology

Virgo from Urania’s Mirror, Public Domain

Shala was an ancient Sumerian (Iraq) goddess of grain -and also compassion. Why link these two things? Famine is suffering. A good harvest was seen as a blessing of the gods.  What is planted in the spring must yield a crop in the autumn or famine follows. But this cannot be guaranteed from one year to the next.

From early times, more than ten thousand years ago, Shala was associated with the constellation of Virgo and vestiges of symbolism associated with her continue, such as the naming of Spica, the ‘ear of grain’, even as the deity’s name changed from age to age, and culture to culture.

The Shala Mons is a mountain on Venus named after the goddess Shala.

In 10th century BC the Babylonians called part of this constellation, “The Furrow,” again, referring back to Shala.

While this is only one myth of the origin of Virgo, she is seen as a bringer of crops throughout all myths. In Egyptian mythology also, the arrival of Virgo in the night sky meant harvest time.

Ceres (think of the word ‘cereal’) or Demeter, Greco-Roman goddess of the harvest, was the mother of Persephone.

It was the same with the Greeks and Romans “Spicifera est Virgo Cereris”  —  “The Virgin with her sheaf belongs to Ceres,” The Astronomica“, Manilius, 1st century AD. 

When lonely Hades abducted Persephone to live with him in the underworld, her distraught mother, Demeter, earth goddess, went searching,and was enraged to discover that Zeus had known all along where Persephone was, and had turned a blind eye to Hades’ abduction. She demanded his assistance, went on strike and no crops sprouted or flourished. That year the harvests failed and people and livestock starved. Humanity might have died altogether had not Zeus intervened. He insisted that Hades send Persephone home, and sent Hermes to collect her. Hermes discovered, not a wretched weeping girl, but a woman, a wife and a radiant queen, the apple of Hades’s eye,and he had built for her the most beautiful gardens that the underworld could contrive, with underground pools and gems and stalactites. She loved Hades. However, Persephone did miss her mother, and she desperately missed the light, and Hades agreed she could go home, but said that Persephone must not eat until her return.

Hades had no intention of giving her up so easily and purposely gave Persephone a pomegranate, knowing how much she loved them, and she ate some of the seeds on her way home.

Painting by Frederick Leighton, Public Domain

Persephone was sent back to her mother, but a deal is a deal, and because of the pomegranate she returns to the underworld for four months every year and then Demeter mourns, winter returns and the land lies cold and fallow.

Photo by invisiblepower on Pexels.com

 

The Virgo Archetype- Personality

Public domain

All zodiac signs are archetypes, meaning something that is considered to be a perfect or typical example of a particular kind of person or thing,

The zodiac signs paint a ‘typical’ portrait of a person born at a particular time of year, in a particular season. A baby born in summer for example, arrives into a different physical environment from a winter born baby, varying temperatures, the available hours of daylight and so on, with a range of potential effects.

The archetype of Virgo is the Craftsman, paying careful attention to every detail, taking pride in doing the job, whatever it is, to the highest standard possible. There’s no substitute for skill and hard work, according to Virgo.

The major arcana card in the Tarot representing Virgo in total is The Hermit, as previously mentioned, denoting a deep-rooted sense of connection to Nature. Here is wisdom, maturity and the value of solitude and self-sufficiency. The Hermit represents work and the idea of service – the desire to help Humanity.

Virgo is ruled by agile Mercury, the fastest moving planet of communication, and Virgo sign’s brain is in overdrive most of the time, but grounded in common sense by their associated element, Earth.

Virgos are practical but artistically gifted. They are hard-workers who love to better themselves. They think deeply, they love to analyse, and their perceptiveness means that they can always find or create order within chaos. They are honest friends although, being discerning, and analytical, they might have a tendency to analyse you, and point out your strengths and also your mistakes and weaknesses. This can undoubtedly be annoying, though it’s well meant. They may also give great advice because of those same analytical abilities.

Their appearance is generally neat, well groomed, well kept nails. Slob is not in their vocabulary. Their quest of self-improvement includes personal presentation. They can be incredibly concerned about the impression they give, and even worry about it, but at the same time, they are very ready to help others, maybe sometimes even too generous. Some may try to take advantage.

But of course there is no such thing in reality as THE Virgo personality. We are all unique individuals. Your zodiac sign (also known as your sun sign) is a major clue, a keynote, but it’s by no means claiming to represent the full picture in real life – or even in astrology.

The Decans however, will tell us a little more.

What are the Decans?

The decans were a feature of Egyptian astronomy, later adopted by the Greeks and incorporated into astrology.

The visible area of sky as seen from earth is what we call the wheel of the Zodiac, and represents an imaginary circle of 360 degrees. This circle divided by arithmetic into twelve ‘slices’- the zodiac signs we are familiar with today.

Each of the zodiac signs represents a 30 degree slice of this imaginary ‘pie in the sky,’ as seen from Earth. Each zodiac sign can be further sub-divided into three blocks of ten degrees, equivalent to about ten days in length. This is not exact, and may vary by a day or two because not every month is the same length. These three sub-divisions of all the zodiac signs are what we call ‘decans,’ from the Greek word for ten.

The decans are known as the ‘thirty six faces of astrology,’ and provide added insights and texture. The first ten days of your zodiac sign are the first decan. The second ten days or so are the second decan, and the last ten days are the third decan.

There is more than one decan system, depending on whether we are using traditional or Modern astrology, which uses the outer planets, not discovered at the time of the original model of Western astrology as recorded by Ptolemy in the second century AD.

Some astrologers may dispute which approach works ‘best.’ But astrology is not an exact science. It is an Art with an element of science. They both ‘work,’ and it is worth bearing in mind, the great seventeenth century astrologer William Lilley used traditional astrology –correctly- to predict the Great Plague and Fire of London in a book published in 1651, years ahead of the actual events in 1665-1666, when the outer planets, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto had not yet been formally discovered (Uranus was recorded in 1690, Neptune in 1846 and Pluto in 1930).

Astrologer William Lilley from the Masters of Magic Oracle deck

For the avoidance of confusion, we are using the traditional system.

The Tarot cards shown below are from the Rider- Waite deck, which many Tarot practitioners now refer to as the Waite-Smith, in recognition of the artist, Pamela Colman Smith.

First Decan Virgo

Dates:  23 August-1 September

Planetary ruler: Sun

Tarot card: The Eight of Pentacles: ‘Lord of Prudence,’ art, craft, industry, skill, concentration, application, studiousness, apprenticeship, crafts, heritage, buildings

Look at him. This person is absorbed in his work, and he seems to be enjoying himself. This work has meaning and purpose for him. This is typical of this decan. There is a mixture of quiet warmth and a cool mind with a talent for acute observation and incisive analysis; however this is expressed artistically, commercially or scientifically or in administrative tasks. Virgo is a master of the spreadsheet.

They see more than they say, but they have a talent for communication via the spoken and written word; making many of these subjects potentially great teachers. They are hard-working, industrious. ‘We reap what we sow,’ goes the old saying. This is not necessarily always true or fair. Misfortune strikes plenty of people who have done nothing to ‘deserve’ it. And plenty of wrong-doers escape justice.

However, it is broadly true to say, we can’t reap what was never sown. Wild berries had to be first sown by the wind or by birds. First decan Virgo understands this better than almost any other sign, except Capricorn and Taurus.

They are serious but cheerful company, faithful friends and partners, devoted in their quiet way.

Second Decan Virgo

Dates: 2-11 September

Planetary ruler: Venus

Tarot card- Nine Pentacles: ‘Lord of Material Gain’ beauty, luxury, hard work that pays off, horticulture, agriculture, viticulture, gardens, vineyards

This decan is traditionally associated with Venus, planet of love, beauty –and money. A perfectionist; conscientious, devoted, and above all focused, they can turn anything they do into an art form in its own right.

Notice the hooded falcon on her wrist. She has ‘tamed’ wildness – or chaos. She has cultivated a home, a garden, a business, and made it thrive, healthy and beautiful. She is financially self- reliant and self-sufficient, but this does not mean it came quick or easy. To achieve this she has learned to control the wild falcon representing her impulses, wants and desires. She has learned self-discipline and self-control, the power of deferred gratification.

A squirrel will have no nuts in the winter if it scoffs them all at once, or couldn’t remember where it hid them, because it wasn’t paying attention. This, the second decan of Virgo is often the most capable, conscientious provider for themselves and for others, and they enjoy spoiling their loved ones. But though they have learned to do without (and at times in their own life, they probably had no choice) still, they do value beautiful things.

Third Decan Virgo

Dates: 12-22 September

Planetary ruler: Mercury

Tarot card- Ten of Pentacles: keywords: ‘Lord of Wealth,’ commerce, messages, deliveries, Hermes, home, homeland, ancestry, genetics, inter-generational relationships, inheritance, gifts, legacy, bequests, town planning, art, museums, banks.

Third Decan Virgo is both a creative and a practical thinker. These are proud people, not vain, but dignified – big difference. They need to be their own masters and it’s not about the money, or at least, not for its own sake. These people are careful, prudent, but they are not misers. They have a winning way with people and may work in the public eye; such is their talent for communication; personal, professional, artistic, written and spoken.

Notice the old man surrounded by family, adults, children, and dogs too. Virgo cares for animals. What he or she has built, was created in order to share, to pass on, seeing themselves as part of a bigger picture, a link in a chain of legacy. This could mean money. It could mean ideas. It could mean a place that means everything to them, their own home or their homeland, with a sense of belonging, of being in the right place – to feel this way is a treasure beyond price.

These are family minded people, realists with an optimistic temperament and a ‘can do’ approach.  They enjoy family outings, a walk in the woods, or a trip to the seaside. They will organize it. Virgo are makers and menders, and usually good with animals too. Eco-warrior is not their style. But they do care about the environment. Virgo is about food for the mind and the spirit, as well as the body.

Virgo has both feet on the ground. And yet, it is something of an artist, something of a scientist. Like the Hermit himself, something of a sage.

Grounded, rooted in the earth, but looking inwards and upwards, moving to its own dance, steering by some quiet inner star.

Till next time.

Photo by Giuseppe Russo on Pexels.com

References:

For more about the decans: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decan_(astrology)

For more about The Chaldeans:  https://erenow.net/common/astrology-and-religion-among-the-greeks-and-romans/2.php

The Tarot, the Fool and the Return of Orion

The Fool and the return of Orion...
Photo by Frank Cone on Pexels.com

Orion The Hunter, ‘Man of the Mountains’ or as he was known to the early Sumerians, the Akkadians, The Light of Heaven, returns to the northern hemisphere in late July or early August, once again striding the eastern horizon at sunrise, though he is tilted on his side this time of year facing up.

But when we say return, where has he been, then? The answer is, he has been invisible, hidden in the glare of the sun since May. Yes. Now he is back, and will rise earlier each day until he is visible all evening by early December. As a girl I used to like to go out on cold frosty evenings to fill the coal scuttle from the coal bunker in the back garden. Looking up at him. I knew his name. I knew he was The Hunter but that was all, and I wondered about him, and what he was hunting up there. Those winter evenings still have that same kind of magic.

Orion is only the 26th largest constellation, sitting on the celestial equator, facing the constellation next door, the oncoming, charging, Taurus the Bull. It’s smaller than another Greek hero, Perseus but Orion’s got more brilliant stars.

(The biggest constellation is Hydra, and the biggest Zodiac constellation is Virgo.)

Orion’s brightest stars are the blue-white star Rigel, representing the Hunter’s left foot (where the scorpion bit him, sent by Gaia, and caused his death) and the red super-giant Betelgeuse, his right shoulder,only ten million years old, which makes Betelgeuse young to be a red super-giant, but it’s evolved faster due to its enormous mass. It is expected to go supernova in the next million years, and when it does will be brighter than the Moon and the brightest supernova ever to have been visible from Earth.

Orion’s third brightest star is Bellatrix, his left shoulder, while Orions’s Belt is one of the most easily recognized asterisms with its three stars, nicknamed in Arabic ‘the Golden Nuts’.

Their Arabic names, read east to west or left to right; Alnitak (girdle), Alnilam (string of pearls) and Mintaka (belt) But of course they have many other names across the world; The Magi, the Three Mary’s….

The Mayans called them ‘The Fire Drill’, invoking them in an annual fire ceremony to delay the onset of the end of the world.

‘No other constellation more accurately represents the figure of a man,’ said Germanicus Caesar

Orion has been identified as a human figure in every culture at every latitude, with countless story variations

Orion, aka Nimrod, was the son of Poseidon in Greek myth; the most handsome man ever to walk the earth. He was a great hunting buddy and friend of Artemis.Her twin brother, Apollo glowered, seeing that Artemis fancied Orion something rotten, though she had taken a vow of perpetual chastity.

Orion was a bit of a sex pest, chasing the Pleiades, so that Zeus confiscated them to the sky for their own peace and quiet. And a fat lot of good it did them, because when Orion was killed by a scorpion (THE scorpion) Artemis in her grief, asked Zeus to post Orion upstairs to the heavens, which he did, right next door to the Pleiades, who also represent the celestial bull pen of Taurus.

Thanks Zeus. You didn’t think that one through, did you?

Should Taurus ever break free of his pen, said an ancient Arabic legend, it will be the end of all things, so let’s hope he’s happy up there, and that Orion doesn’t chase the Pleiades away.

Orion bravely strides towards the Bull, but although he killed the scorpion that also killed him, he still fears it, and dreads its appearance fleeing west as the autumn wears on and Scorpius rises (Scorpio)

Orion in his eternal battle with Scorpius

The stand off between Orion and Taurus the Bull, its red eye, Aldebaran glaring at him, daring him to come nearer, does not fit the story of Orion, and a question has been raised in some quarters over the identity of Orion, and whether he has become confused with Herakles/Hercules at any time in his identification with this constellation.

The reasons are likely historical. The constellation as recognized by the Greeks originated with the Sumerians, who saw in it their great hero Gilgamesh fighting the Bull of Heaven whereas, as previously mentioned, the Sumerian name for Orion was URU AN-NA, meaning ‘light of heaven,’ and Taurus was GUD AN-NA, ‘bull of heaven’.

Gilgamesh was the Sumerian equivalent of Heracles, the greatest hero of Greek mythology, and one of the labours of Heracles was to catch the Cretan bull, but Orion was never in a fight with a bull. Heracles, it has been suggested, deserves a magnificent constellation such as this one, but has been consigned to a much more obscure area of sky.

The Sumerian story is older.

Orion and the Tarot

The Golden Tarot by Kat Black

The Tarot card most commonly associated with Orion is The Fool. The most numinous card in the deck, its element is Air and it is ruled by the planet of revolution, Uranus.

It is the portal of the number Zero. The Fool or as some called him, The Jester, is both beginnings and ending.

In a real life reading it may detect or forecast a birth of a child, or a new offer or a launch or opportunity of some kind. And change happens all the time but this is always major or significant in scope. But although is not associated with Death, unlike the famous Death card, it can mean a death too, representing infinity, the ouroboros.

An ouroboros

The Fool lives in the moment. He may be fun, he may be joy, or he may be frightening. There’s every reason a lot of people are scared of clowns as the living embodiment of The Fool. He represents the wisdom of innocence, or mistakes made through impulsiveness or ignorance rather than stupidity. But he may represent a threat, whether direct or existential, clearly sensed but not as yet clearly identifiable. The fear is visceral, not lightly to be dismissed.

He may be a shamanic, gnostic figure; the stranger, the outcast, the wise Fool or the Fool on the Hill. He dances to his own tune. He takes chances, risks, and sometimes these pay off, but sometimes he steps over the edge of the cliff, heedless of his dog’s most urgent warning.

The dog in the card is not biting the Fool, but desperately trying to get his attention. If someone asks the Tarot’s advice and then I draw this card reversed….someone needs to draw back from the precipice and look again before they leap.

I may bark like the Fool’s dog but will they act on this advice? CAN they? Will they even really hear it, let alone find a way to use it? We are who we are, and we do what we do, based on who we are. It is a rare person who can step back and see things anew once they are committed to Opinion A or B or they are emotionally invested in outcome A or B.

Advice, to be heard, must be sufficiently timely, before the paint dries.

Everywhere the Fool goes, his dog follows, just as Orion is followed in the skies by his two hunting dogs, Canis major and Canis minor. Sirius, the Dog Star is in the constellation of Canis Major and is THE brightest star in Earth’s night sky.

The only objects that outshine Sirius in our skies are the sun, moon, Venus, Jupiter, Mars and Mercury – and Sirius will usually outshine Mercury too.

All Mankind is Orion.

We were hunters at the dawn of man (The Fool) And gatherers too, but we were never gorillas, and never herbivores on our ancestral line.

“We were risen not of fallen angels but risen apes, and they were killer apes besides” – Robert Ardrey, in African Genesis.

Hunting was what brought us together in teams, then communities. Co operation meant compassion.

Fatboy Slim tells a version of that story here (except that we were apes but we did not evolve on the gorilla branch).

Watch out for Orion overhead in the final frame of the video.

Until next time 🙂

When The Death card literally means Death

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on Pexels.com

I do not issue predictions of death. Never. Nor will any responsible psychic reader. We might well be wrong, but if we are not, who and what do we serve by sharing such a prediction?

This is not to say I will not discuss death with a client. I have seen it coming, looking in the cards. I have seen it when I did not wish to. I have seen it up to three years ahead of time. Once it was my father.

And I was not looking to see any such thing. But Death is part of Life.

Sometimes people want – need– to talk about it. Maybe they are preparing for a death they know is coming soon, to them or a loved one. Maybe they are dealing with probate. Maybe they want me to look at a dead loved one, act as a conduit using Tarot as a form of medium-ship. I have been asked, for example, if the dead loved one is OK, where are they now, and is there anything they would like to say?

The Tarot can do this, will talk this talk, walk this walk with them, if the reader is up for it. Some are, some are not.

The Death card, associated with autumn and the zodiac sign of Scorpio, is perhaps the most notorious card in the Tarot deck, but will usually not be detecting an actual physical death.

Usually it just means endings in a more everyday sense of the word. It signifies the natural conclusion to a situation, saying that we have come to the end of the road in respect of this or that. A situation has run its natural course. As such, this may actually be a welcome card. Some things, we are ready to see the back of.

From The Touchstone Tarot

Besides which, there are other cards that can also mean an actual, physical death: the Nine and Ten of Swords. The Fool card reversed (Number Zero, we go through the gate) The Sun card reversed (The sun has set, our day is done) may also, although rarely, refer to a literal, physical human death, or even a cremation.

When we are discussing someone who has died, there are no spirits present at the reading, not so far as I understand it. I am coming at that dead person via my sensing of the living person I am sitting with. Still, it has been quite astonishing to me, as well as the other person, what the cards have conveyed about the departed person that have been meaningful to the client, and that I could not possibly know. Turns of phrase, how it was for them, what they were like; those sorts of things.

Such is the Tarot. At its most acute, it is an enabler of downright telepathy. Or maybe something even more; an intimation of what we call the Divine, the Oneness of Everything.

“There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamed of in your philosophy.” – Hamlet- Shakespeare

Horatio (standing, dressed in red) with Hamlet in the “gravedigger scene” by Eugène Delacroix[

Yes, there are. There really are. I do not care who does not believe that. One feels it, encounters it directly, perceives it, apprehends it, or one does not.

Like Yoda, with these things there is no ‘try’. There is only do -or no do.

I like to test myself, and sometimes I lay out a spread for the coming day, to see what it ‘looks’ like, and then I look back and take stock that same evening or next day, to see what I can learn with the benefit of hindsight.

I did this two weeks ago, laying out a cross shaped spread of 5 cards like this:

In the position representing The Unexpected, I drew the Death card.

I studied the surrounding cards. These were health related cards, and included the Four of Swords. But the cards did not indicate any family members; an absence of tell-tale court cards or family cards, such as the Two, Six or Ten of Cups.

I said to Il Matrimonio, ‘today or tomorrow, I may hear news of a death, unexpected, but it’s not in our immediate circle, though I don’t think it’s something on the news either.’

People die every minute of course. That is a constant, but the Tarot will show me things that mean something to me personally. The Tarot is dealing at one and the same time with Universality and Particularity. Hacceity, and the unique or special ‘this-ness’ of a thing.

The next day, visiting one of my online places, a health clinic I used to visit, I read the very sad news that a lady I slightly knew, the former manager with whom I had had a few dealings, always very helpful, had died the previous day at 5 PM. after a week in hospital.

She was admitted with Covid. It was the reason for admission and she died of it. Leaving behind an utterly distraught daughter of 18, who had been excited to go off to University this autumn, and is now dealing with the funeral arrangements, and is left all alone in the world, so far as one can tell.

Enough of the conspiracy theories. This lady is not the only one I have personally known of to die before their time of this horrible new virus.

Yes, flu can kill you. This is not flu. It is an epithelial disease, and may attack the cells anywhere in the body, not only the respiratory system. It is now wrecking the health of young people it does not kill. Hopefully not long term, but there are situations for which the ‘normal, healthy immune system’ is not prepared.

As I know to my personal cost. Something like this happened to me some time during my twenties. There was some ‘insult’ to the immune system, never conclusively identified, and it went on to cause me years of severe pain, and put me in a wheelchair from which I may never escape except in Death.

I was perfectly good health up until this mystery viral?Bacterial? event. I had always thought I had a perfectly normal immune system before this happened, in so far as I thought of it at all. I had no reason to imagine otherwise.

Astrologers suggest we will be stuck with this problem of virus management at least until 2023, on a crisis management basis. Best case scenario suggested by the cards is an improved collective footing by March-June 2022, in the UK at any rate.

Death is the darkest angel.

In evolutionary terms, Death was the price of our freedom. We could have stayed immortal, living as clones in the primordial seas, but we chose otherwise. We chose specialization of species. We, then at some further level ‘chose’ specialization of the individual as an unique entity.

We didn’t want to be gloop.

‘We’ did not want to be ‘immortal’ at the price of immortality experienced as identikit clonal single celled soup.

But space on Earth is not infinite. So we ‘chose’ individuality but the price was Death, The Hourglass, and the foreknowledge that our sands are fast running out.

This is it, here and now.

Our moment in the sun.

Photo by Jacub Gomez on Pexels.com

It is suffering with no hope of reprieve, not Death, that is the enemy. Even though we might be nowhere near ready yet, to welcome our definitive meeting with this mightiest of rescuing angels, swooping by to collect us and carry us home to the Source where we came from, before memory.

Photo by Rakicevic Nenad on Pexels.com

Till next time 🙂

Season of The Lion Sun, Leo

Leo

We moved into the astrological sign of Leo on 22 July. It’s time to roll out the red carpet…running late this month, due to a bit of an IT nightmare.

Leo Associations

Symbol: Lion

Celestial ruler: Sun

Element: Fire

Metal: Gold

Quality: Fixed (mid- season/high season)

Body: Heart and spine

Trees: Palm trees, laurel, walnuts, olive trees, lemon and orange trees.

Plants: Marigolds, sunflowers, dandelions, celandines, passion flowers

Gemstones: Peridot, carnelian, ruby, onyx

Wikipedia: peridot

Key phrase: I love

Tarot card: Strength

The Gilded Tarot Royale, Ciro Marchetti

Minor Arcana cards: The 5,6,7 Wands.

Astronomy

Leo is one of the 48 constellations described by the 2nd-century astronomer Ptolemy, and one of the 88 modern constellations recognised by NASA today, situated between Cancer to the west and Virgo to the east.

Leo is the 12th largest, and one of the most easily recognizable constellations due to its many bright stars, and a distinctive shape suggesting a crouching lion, apparently facing right.

The bright light beneath Leo as seen in the photo below is planet Jupiter.

In the northern hemisphere, in the Spring is the best time to see the Lion, starting around the March equinox. By June, Leo is descending in the west in the evening, drifting progressively westward, and by late July or early August, the Lion begins to fade into the sunset, returning to the eastern sky and visible before dawn around late September or October.

Look for the Big Dipper then look southwards, Leo is below the Big Dipper.

Leo’s brightest star, Regulus, Alpha Leonis, ‘The King Star’, is a sparkling blue-white star at the bottom of the backwards question mark pattern. The star’s name, Regulus, means “little king” or “prince” in Latin and its Greek name, Basiliscos, has the same meaning. The Arabic name is Qalb al-Asad, which means “the heart of the lion.”

Mind boggling factoid coming up- Leo’s fifth largest star, Epsilon Leonis, 247 light years from Earth, is 288 times more luminous than the Sun, four times as massive, and has a solar radius 21 times bigger.

A triangle of stars in eastern Leo depict the Lion’s hindquarters and tail, the brightest, Denebola, Arabic, means the Lion’s Tail.

Look out for meteor showers during Leo but actually these will be The Perseids, peaking around 12 August. The Leonids are the meteor showers associated with the constellation of Leo, coming from that direction around November 17-18 every year, and again in January; with a smaller shower peaking January 1 – 7.

There are 15 stars in Leo with 18 known planets between them, but none thought to be habitable.

Mythology

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

Leo the Lion has since ancient times been associated with the sun, and is ruled by the sun in astrology.  Leo is one of the oldest constellations collectively recognized in the sky, with many ancient civilizations agreeing on perceiving it as a lion. Archaeological evidence suggests that Mesopotamians recognized a constellation similar to Leo as early as 4000 BC. The Persians knew the constellation as Shir or Ser, Babylonians called it UR.GU.LA (“the great lion”), Syrians knew it as Aryo, and the Turks as Artan.

The story goes that the ancient Egyptians venerated Leo because the sun shone in front of this constellation at the time of the annual flooding of the Nile River, the lifeblood of their agriculture and indeed, the nation entire. Marking the end of drought, this flood shortly followed the arrival of desert lions at the river. The lions had come to the river out of need, driven by the drought of the desert at that time, but this was a welcome sign that the flood was on its way, and this connection was welcomed by the Egyptians, who honoured the lion with festivals, and even today many statues of lions can be found along the course of the Nile River, proof of the reverence with which the ancient Egyptians regarded the desert lions.

It’s thought that the lion-headed fountains commonly designed by Greek and Roman architects equally symbolized the life-giving waters released by the sun’s presence in Leo.

Many stories are associated with Leo the Lion. Perhaps the best known tales feature Hercules’ first labour and the Nemean Lion.

This terrifying lion lived in a cave in Nemea in the south-west of Corinth. It was killing and eating the locals, and no-one could kill it because its skin could not be pierced by any weapons. Hercules surprised the lion in its cave and strangled it, and then rather disrespectfully, if pragmatically, skinned the lion with its own claws, and wore its skin as a cloak, making himself even more ferocious in appearance, as well as presumably, and even more importantly, arrow-proof.

The Astrology of Leo

This fixed sign is known for its pride, ambition and determination, warmth and generosity of spirit, but above all, Leo is known for bravery. Leo is represented in the Tarot by the “Strength” card, representing the divine expression of physical, mental, and emotional fortitude, which is a virtue.

Courage takes many forms. Active bravery is about proceeding in the face of fear, “feeling the fear and doing it anyway.” And then there is the courage to endure, the discipline of damage limitation, and the fortitude that quietly says to itself, “tomorrow I will try again”.

Eternal optimists, tough sometimes with a dark streak, Leos can be their own worst enemy; loud, reckless, self-centred, headstrong and careless, and for these reasons, unless they can learn greater patience, consideration and self-control, they are not necessarily always as lucky in life as their generous nature deserves.

Leo is both the sign of childhood, and childhood’s end.

Photo by Lisa A on Pexels.com

Dandy Lion

Dandy Lion’s greying mane

Casts away

Alight on chance

To lionize again

Cartomancy: Euro 2020/21 Footie and The Line of Five

Photo by Tom Fisk on Pexels.com

The Euros 2020 were supposed to happen last year but were cancelled because of Covid, and are being referred to both as the Euros 2020 or the Euros 2021. As with the Tokyo Olympics, one imagines, a veritable snow capped mountain of merchandise would otherwise go to a terrible and even tragic waste.

I have done quite a few football readings over the years. Not that I follow any particular team, or know much about football. But I take an interest now and then, largely because Il Matrimonio takes a much closer interest, and sometimes asks me what do I reckon, and of course the Euros 202/21 is a red hot potato of recent weeks.

I do significantly better than 50:50 overall with this kind of thing, but definitely nowhere near 100%. I don’t get the scores but in terms of overall team outcomes, I’d say it’s around the 75% mark.

There do not seem to be too many readers or astrologers looking at football. Possibly because they simply don’t follow it. Why would you do readings on it, if you’re not personally interested or invested?

I do it to push myself, for the sake of it, to test it out. This is a very different activity from doing a reading for an individual client where I ‘lock on’ to that person as it were, one to one, and then drill down on questions, discussions or requests for forecasting.

This kind of reading is a one to one communication, allowing for the whole package of social cues, clues and connection, even without empathy and telepathy. And telepathy is a two way thing.

A client who on the one hand wants an answer while at the same time they try to shut you out, to test you, can make it harder to read them, though it won’t stop telepathy, the refusal to validate renders the telepathy useless. Pointless. Most clients however, don’t waste their own valuable time playing games, and bring their own engagement and wherewithal to the reading table, and what emerges then in a spirit of non- verbal communication, as well as perfectly straightforward verbal dialogue, is greater than the sum of the parts.

No-one has asked me to look at this game. Not even Il Matrimonio. He says he can’t stand the noise or tension that is building up. There is no communion, no hand reaching out, palm uppermost, no question, and no answering pull on the rope.

Here are the cards for England’s last 2 games, and the final game tonight.

3 July: England versus Ukraine

I have used playing cards (cartomancy)with just one or two added tarot cards. One of the simplest layouts for a predictive reading in cartomancy is ‘The Line of Five.’

Tweet posted online 3 July 8.26 PM

Playing cards, Eng drew 8 Diamonds before kickoff, Ukraine 4 Diamonds. Both lucky cards. The 8 is hardworking, the 4 suggests ‘chemistry’. In card reading a 8 generally trumps a 4- but things can change fast with Diamonds. England better not slacken pace/attack. Hierophant=Rome.

It may also have been a foreshadowing that ‘Italy awaits you, England.’

Via Conde Nast“Supporters of the Azzuri, as the Italian team is known, are a committed bunch with a flair for the dramatic (think firecrackers and actual flares). They also boast the most historic fan zone—the Circus Maximus in Rome. In 2006, an estimated 200,000 watched Italy win the World Cup in ancient environs, then marched through the city to a symphony of car and vespa horns, dancing fully clothed in the Eternal City’s fountains”.

The Rider-Waite Tarot AE Waite

I drew these cards just a few minutes before kick-off, but the game had been underway for 26 minutes by the time I posted them online.

I had actually drawn a Line of Five cards for each team, but on this occasion I had not photographed them, only summarizing the final card for each team, treating these as the indicators of the likely outcome.

Both teams drew good cards in the outcome position, from the same dynamic suit of Diamonds, and this is where numerology comes in handy. England drew the 8 of Diamonds and this numerically trumped Ukraine’s 4 Diamonds.Had Ukraine drawn the 10 Diamonds, it would have suggested a win for Ukraine, though still depending somewhat on the previous cards.

And since the game was being held in Rome, the appearance of the Hierophant card, also known as ‘The Pope’, read to me as lucky for the England team, since that was where my bias lay, if I had one, and probably I did.

I wouldn’t exactly be upset if England were to lose…I think fans who boo the national anthems of other teams are a total disgrace…mean spirited, disrespectful and chicken. Anyone can act brave, beating their chests, bellowing and booing in a crowd…or a mob.

But, of course I’d be happy to see our team bring home the trophy. But win or lose, for all the skill, discipline, strategy, stamina and personal courage, there is no discounting altogether of the element of luck.

7 July: England v Denmark and The Line of Five


Katie-Ellen H.@TrueTarotTales
· Cartomancy Line of Five re tonight’s game. Each team, 5 cards. England drew +ve Ace Diamonds in position 5 =outcome position. Denmark drew -ve 2 Spades. Yet uneasy based on other cards. Eng also drew 9 Spades- ugh. Eng supporters pray Ace Diamonds and psychic chickens are right.

Top Row England: the reader looks at the overall tone of colours and suits. Three black suit cards of which 1 is a clubs suit card and 2 are spades. 2 red suit cards. If we had 4 or 5 red suit cards here, it would look like a dead cert for England to win. If we had 4-5 black suit cards, irrespective of the individual card meanings, likewise, it would look like a dead cert for England to lose.

Three black suit cards and 2 red suit cards is not reassuring, except that the picture is altered by the final card being such a strong red suit card: The Ace of Diamonds is an ace of the material world, top dog, plus, this card can be lightning fast. It is the suit of earth, and electricity.

The time line read left to right, present to future, suggested a rocky start, but finishing on a high, and the winning goal was a moment of drama.

Bottom Row Denmark’s line has 4 black suit cards and only 1 red suit card. Not promising for them, but this looks like a strong team. The first card,the 5 of Clubs says so, and so does the central card, the 6 of Clubs. But not only did they draw only 1 red suit card, the final card is the 2 of Spades. In every day reading terms this card may signify a split, as in a divorce for example. Here, it was foreshadowing that Denmark, which scored the first goal and did it early, much to the terror of many England supporters, ultimately conceded 2 goals.

Outcome
Katie-Ellen H.@TrueTarotTales· Ace Diamonds it is. After a LOT of stress coming out of Him Indoors, howls from the other room. Those spades cards =stress, frustration, extra time.

Dignity, grace and noblesse oblige from the Danish Ambassador.

Going high when others had gone low, shame on those who were so unsporting and un-chivalrous as to boo the Denmark national anthem.


Lars Thuesen@DKAmbUK
· Congratulations England. Looking forward to the final. All the best to your great team.

11 July: Euro 2020/21: The Final- England v Italy

First of all, pray tell, what do the psychic chickens say? (this poultry prediction was posted on YouTube 8 July)

The Line of Five: 11 July Euro 202/21 Final: England V Italy

Tweeted 11 July c 3.00 PM @TrueTarotTales Final: left-right: ENG 10 Spades (ugh) 6 Hearts, Jack D, Jack H, 9 D + Ace Hearts ITALY 7 Spades, 8 Hearts, 2 Spades (ouch) Jack S, 3 Hearts+Jack Clubs This pic suggests ENG win but Italy start stronger and (J Spades- assassin) could snatch late victory (Fool= surprises)

Top Row England start with a setback, a bump (or a boo) The 6 Hearts shows a home crowd, home turf, detecting the fact that the venue today is Wembley, and the team has the so-called psychological ‘home team advantage’. The Jacks, which are young people, or new or sudden developments look traditionally ‘English’ despite the demographic makeup of the team. Compare them though with the pages on the bottom row, which funnily enough, look really Italian.

Will England win? The reader looks at the overall look of the Line of 5. How many red suit cards (more red = a yes) How many black suit cards more black =a no) We have four red suit cards, 1 black suit card and an extra card which is also a red suit card. This balance suggests a yes answer, and a win for England, and then I pulled an extra card and got the Ace of Hearts.

‘Oh England, my lion heart,’ sang Kate Bush. ‘Hold the ravens in, keep the Tower from tumbling’. We are heading towards Leo, but not yet awhile, We have only just come out of a Cancer New Moon, just coming out of a shell shadow. Cancer stands for Home turf.

This is not great, it’s going to be tough. Had this match taken place only two days ago, I suspect this England team would be fighting even harder, not only against the Italy team, but against the drag of that extra unseen tide.

From The Gilded Tarot by Ciro Marchetti

But now we are pulling away from that powerful lunar vacuum, though only just –

The Ace of Hearts means a birth, a ‘home’ a proposal or just good news in general, remembering we drew a red suit Ace of Diamonds for the extra card when we were looking at the Eng v Denmark game.

Bottom Row Italy are the favourites, and if they aren’t, they should be, based on a long run of superbly consistent form. England have not shown anything like such consistency or fluency.

Italy starts with the 7 Spades, a card of diplomacy, craft and cunning. Is this a new strategy of formation, or an early ref intervention?

The Eight of Cups denotes a solid team, players working in natural sympathy with one another. The Two of Spades suggests they come a cropper, perhaps a goal by England round mid match, but then recover somewhat, demonstrating high skill and intelligence (The Page of Swords) The Three of Hearts is the outcome card, weaker than the 9 Diamonds but not discounting the possibility of a very late goal in extra time….that extra card, the Page of Clubs.

But where England’s Line of 5 had 4 red suit cards and 1 black suit card then the extra card was another red, and a strong one, Italy’s Line of 5 here has 2 red suit cards and 3 red suit cards and the extra one is another black, and a solid one.

Is it strong enough, right at the end there, to turn it around for them, assuming they need to turn it around at the last minute?

The extra Tarot card here, The Fool, warns of surprises and this worries me for England, and warns me to be ready to award myself this bad gold badge of failure. But it won’t worry me. One can not learn to do this stuff by book study alone. One has to just hold one’s nose sometimes, and jump in.

‘Do or do not do. There is no try.’ Said Yoda in Star Wars.

Well, OK, but there is no trying except in doing.

But, having invoked the psychic chickens (and I hear a psychic banana has also spoken for England based on its seed pattern upon being cut) We should allow the psychic eagle to speak. Romeo, majestic psychic eagle, what hast thou to declare?

He couldn’t be more laid back. ‘What do I care, he says? Oh, go on, have this then’.

See delighted comments below his prognostication, from hopeful Italian supporters.

If Italy wins, I got beat by the eagle, and I feel no disgrace in that, whereas if England wins, I did as well as the psychic chickens, a psychic banana and Uri Geller.

Nil Desperandum.

Take it easy folks. It’s only a game, after all. Isn’t it? (?)

Until next time 🙂

UPDATE: Italy did it. And many congratulations to them – and the psychic eagle. That mighty Fool card was indeed the clincher at the very last minute.

The Fool card is a game changer wherever it appears and also, at a physical human level represents youth and inexperience, in this case of two of England’s players who took the penalties, all credit to them for trying but how was this a case of ‘best foot forward?’

The hideous 10 Spades on the England timeline (disappointment, ruin, betrayal) did not make sense at first after the very strong start with England’s very early first goal. But on reflection, it is obvious that the Tarot was detecting ahead of time, the disgraceful scenes ahead of the match when fans without tickets forced their way into the game, either not knowing, not caring or both, acting as though the horror of Hillsborough had never happened or Heysel. Read the accounts, identify the common denominator, join the dots.

Here was how they did it, getting in through the disabled access.

Summer Solstice, and the Starry Crab in the Celestial Seas

Cancer by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 Most of us know our zodiac or sun sign, but what does it look like in the night sky, and what’s the story behind it?

Common associations

The pincers: Zodiac symbol of Cancer

Ruling heavenly body: Moon

Key phrase: I feel

Body: The chest, breast

Birth Stone:  Stones and metals fall under the rule of planets, not signs, but through its association with the Moon, Cancer has symbolic affinity with pearls, silver and crystals.

Colour: White, silver

Tree: all trees rich in sap

Flower: Acanthus

 Tarot card: The Chariot (see how it is a shell?) Drive, control, progress, self discipline, teamwork, and the harmonizing of different elements.

The Chariot, Rider-Waite Tarot

The Astronomy

Wiki

Cancer, Latin for crab, is in a dark region of the sky, and is the faintest constellation in the Zodiac, with only two stars above the fourth magnitude of brightness: Acubens (The Claw) and Al Tarf (The Foot)

Cancer is visible in the Northern Hemisphere in early spring, in March at 9 PM and in the Southern Hemisphere is seen during autumn.

It’s almost impossible to see Cancer with the naked eye or even binoculars, looking between Leo, the lion, and Gemini, The Twins. And really, it doesn’t look much like a crab, more like a faint, upside-down Y that has been compared with a crayfish or lobster. It was actually called the Crayfish in classical astrology, and in Egyptian astrology they called it The Scarab.

Whatever its name, it’s always been pictured as a creature with an exoskeleton; an arthropod, and it is said that Cancer appears to rise in the zodiac as if with a crab-wise movement, not sideways, but ascending backwards.

The Sun’s entry into Cancer announces the summer solstice. ‘Solstice,’ from the Latin sol stice means the Sun seems to be ‘standing still’ as it approaches this point.

However, although Cancer may be faint it’s got one heck of a star cluster glowing at its centre. Praesepe or ‘The Manger’ was identified in 1771 by French astronomer Charles Messier.

Its modern name is M44 or The Beehive Cluster. Through the telescope it looks like a swarm of bees, but to the naked eye it looks like a small, fuzzy patch of light -or a tiny cloud floating through the stars.

Public Domain: The Beehive Cluster

As the sign of the Sun’s greatest elevation, Cancer was considered nearest to the highest point of heaven – and in Neo-Platonism was called ‘the Gate of Men’ through which souls descended to Earth to be born.  The opposite constellation, Capricorn was the ‘Gate of the Gods’, where souls of the departed rose back to heaven. 

I knew a soul who descended through the Gate of Men and ascended again through the Gate of The Gods the same day, the day of the solstice, 1993. He stayed in this world one hour and twenty five minutes, and then he gave just one little tiny sigh and left. A baby soul, his name was Rowen, and he was our son, and always will be, as long as light lasts. He arrived as a first decan Cancer subject, but came early, and should have come later, in Virgo season.

Cancer also contains a planetary system; 55 Cancri, containing five known planets, with possibly more awaiting discovery. 55 Cancri is about 40 light-years away, just about visible to the unaided eye, although you need help to find it. The innermost of its planets is a “super Earth,” a few times heavier than Earth – but none of these planets has the right surface conditions for liquid water, and life there is thought not likely.

The Myth

In classical mythology Cancer is associated with the Twelve Labours of Hercules/Herakles after he went mad, mistook his wife and children for monsters and killed them. He undertook the Labours in penance.

The second of his great challenges was to kill the Hydra, a terrible water serpent but his enemy, Hera, who had always hated Herakles as the illegitimate son (yet another one) of her husband Zeus, sent a crab to harass him while he was fighting. The crab faithfully did its very best, nipping Hercules again and again, but he stepped on it and crushed it beneath his heel, or in other versions of the story, killed it with his club.

Look at that crab, getting right stuck in. Go on, crab! Give him a nip. That’ll larn him. Heracles was always a loose cannon. He terribly wounded Chiron, killed his music teacher in a tantrum and killed his own wife and children in a fit of madness for which Hera got the blame.

Hera rewarded the Crab’s loyalty by placing it in the heavens, but she placed it in a dark portion of the heavens with only faint stars because crabs need dark, quiet places to feel safe and at home.

This quiet celestial location however, happens to be the highest point in the zodiac, nearest to heaven, and The Crab is the star of the show, and the humble herald of the glory of the summer solstice.

The Astrology

Cancer is the fourth sign of the Zodiac, representing those born between June 20 and July 22. It is considered a water sign, and is one of the four cardinal signs, which are the signs indicating a change of season when the sun makes its annual passage into them.

Cancer is all about the shoreline, and tides, monthly and annual. Cancer is uniquely both the moon and the sun.

The sign of Cancer, ruled by The Moon, is a cardinal sign, herald of the seasons, announcing the arrival of summer in the northern hemisphere and winter in the southern hemisphere.

The Cancer Personality

There is of course no such thing in reality as THE Cancer personality. Your zodiac sign or as it is also known, your sun sign is a major keynote, but it’s not the whole story. You are a unique personality.

The archetype stands, however, and the Cancer personality is complex, elusive and riddled with contradictions.

Cancer stands for both mother and father. It is the zodiac sign of the nurturing parent. Cancer famously adores babies and small animals, all wild things and does very well with them. The empty nest can be anathema to the Cancer parent.

Cancer is often musical or artistic, but also has a strong scholarly bent, and many Cancer subjects are drawn into the fields of teaching, counselling, psychology and behaviour sciences.

By Rose Maynard Barton

Cancer is the sign of hearth and home, and expanding this; the wider tribal or national identity, and our ancestral legacy, historical, cultural and genetic.

It is the sign of memory, nostalgia, sometimes regrets, and a longing to return to happy childhood haunts. A garden, a meadow, a walk we used to go. A bucket and spade at the seaside if we were lucky. Maybe a dabble in a rock-pool.

The Decans of Cancer

Each zodiac sign is 30 days long and is divided into three Decans of approximately 10 days each, with slight variations possible year on year. 

Decan 1 21 June-1 July

Cancer-Cancer, ruler The Moon

Tarot card: Two of Cups

From The Legacy of The Divine Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

This is the decan of love or friendship between equals, and the Two of Cups is an especially fortunate and benevolent card. Cancer Decan 1 will fight hard for its loved ones, and will also stick up for the underdog.

They may be a bit of a do-gooder or something of an activist, wanting to pass across that cup as shown in the Tarot.

Cancer decan 1 is also, not only enigmatic and something of a dreamer or even a mystic, but a natural born astronomer, and watcher of the moonlight skies, as are all the decans of Cancer.

Decan 2 2 -11 July

Cancer-Scorpio, ruler Mars (traditional ruler) or Pluto (modern ruler)

Tarot card: Three of Cups

From The Legacy of The Divine Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

They like to be left in peace but not to be left alone. The subjects of this decan get stronger as they get older which may seem obvious but which is not universally true of all people, but they are resilient and of the three decans of Cancer, this is the decan with the reputation for bouncing back most readily. They are generally sensible about money, good with finances, reliable and trustworthy, helpful to their relations, but they expect the same in return, and do not easily forgive or forget a slight. They have a reputation for holding grudges. Feast and famine, exotic blooms, hot house flowers.

Photo by Jacub Gomez on Pexels.com

Decan 3 12 -21 July

Cancer-Pisces, ruler Jupiter (traditional ruler) or Neptune (modern ruler)

Tarot Card: Four of Cups

From The Legacy Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

The figure in the Four of Cups has a rich inner life, and may be something of a visionary, but may from time to time feel restless and dissatisfied, bored by mundane realities yet unsure what to do about it, while haunted by the sense there is somewhere else they should be, something else they should be doing. As with Pisces, physical energy levels can be quite variable, and this too is reflected in the card.

Cancer 3 decan is traditionally understood as the moodiest of the crabs. Dedicated and devoted to their loved ones, they may all the same be unapproachable at times. They need to feel family around them, they really do, but they also need plenty of outlets.

Read HERE about the health and constitutional makeup of Cancer.

They are, well, somewhat crabby at times, but deeply humane, kindly, reliable and trustworthy, and they sparkle in company, attracting admiration- when they choose. Reclusive at times, but they never lose a certain sense of fun.

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Until next time 🙂

The Hermit, Virgo and the River

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“Even the upper end of the river believes in the ocean.”-said William Stafford.

But even if it doesn’t, that’s where it’s going anyway. Slowing, broadening and deepening as it goes. Like us, if we get the chance, if we are given the time. And the closer we get to the ocean, the less we strive, the more we carry, the more we reflect and the less we hurry.

Photo by Sindre Stru00f8m on Pexels.com

Like The Hermit, who walks alone in the wild places, following a far-off light, or answering the ancient drum beat. The Hermit is feeling the weight of his years and experience but casts his own light all the same. He/she withdraws more from society, but the wild creatures draw near and cautiously welcome The Hermit home. He – us- humankind of the modern world left their path many years ago, branching away from the path of the wild.

The Hermit is airy Mercury in earthy Virgo; watchful, enquiring, creative but analytical, self-disciplined, seemingly aloof yet approachable,with a quiet warmth.

The Hermit from The Golden Tarot by Kat Black

William Stafford died aged 79 at his home in Virgo Season,  Lake Oswego, Oregon on 28 August, 1993. The morning of his death, he had written a poem containing the lines, “‘You don’t have to / prove anything,’ my mother said. ‘Just be ready / for what God sends.’

Ask Me

Some time when the river is ice ask me
mistakes I have made. Ask me whether
what I have done is my life. Others
have come in their slow way into
my thought, and some have tried to help
or to hurt: ask me what difference
their strongest love or hate has made.

I will listen to what you say.
You and I can turn and look at the silent river and wait.

We know the current is there, hidden; and there
are comings and goings from miles away
that hold the stillness exactly before us.
What the river says, that is what I say.

Photo by Brandon Huff on Pexels.com

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”― Plutarch

There is what Life does to us. There is how we respond. But first there was always who we were to begin with, and the ways we are still becoming it.

Tabula rasa is the theory that individuals are born without built-in mental content, and therefore all knowledge comes from experience or perception. Epistemological proponents of tabula rasa disagree with the doctrine of innatism, which holds that the mind is born already in possession of certain knowledge. Wikipedia

There was never a ‘Tabula Rasa’…no blank slate.

You only need to look at the newborn.

Masters of Magic. The precarious art of Prediction, and when psychics stay schtum…

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There is a saying, ‘if you can’t say nothing nice, don’t say nothing at all’.

This holds true in many situations and is often the wisest thing, as well as the kindest thing, as expressed by the Hippocratic principle of medicine, ‘first, do no harm.’

There is another saying we have probably all come across, ‘opinions are like a*holes. Everyone’s got one.’

Just because one operates/offers delivers a psychic reading service, it doesn’t follow that when it comes to public affairs, one is going to offers own’s unsolicited opinions, feelings or psychic impressions.

Forewarned is forearmed (trotting out all the phrases here)but unsolicited comment, if unwelcome, is next to useless for practical purposes. Plus, regardless of whether subsequent events prove them right or wrong, ‘messengers’ really do sometimes get ‘shot,’-warnings disregarded.

The Curse of Cassandra

The saying refers to the princess of Troy, the seeress Cassandra, daughter of Priam and Hecuba. Although she was truly gifted in prophecy, she was so weird and bonkers, she was not believed when she spoke the truth, and could not save her city, her people, or finally, her son or herself. And she knew it. No room for hope. Here we see Cassandra having a rotten time with that thug Ajax. Troy has fallen, and it’s only going to get worse.

Painting by Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein, 1806

Cassandra was a priestess of Apollo, and he wooed her with the gift of prophecy. When she turned him down, he couldn’t withdraw the gift, so he made it a curse so that whatever she said, people just thought she was loopy and took no notice.

This in itself might be enough to send someone a bit crazy, don’t you think?

To shout into the wind. To see the approaching doom of everyone and everything you know, and to know that you will be unable to help your loved ones? Wouldn’t that be a kind of a living hell?

Then again, the truth may hurt, but beyond that, assuming it is indeed the truth, can it do any good?

That depends on someone’s readiness to consider the warning, or whatever other information you might have to share.

Was this input solicited?

Is it within their nature and their capability at any level, to have the resources to use it?

Unsolicited advice often falls on deaf ears (as does actively solicited advice) People work things out their own way, according to their own needs and understanding and resources available to them at that given time.

Making predictions in public may be regarded as solicited or unsolicited proselytizing, depending on the circumstances, though media pundits do it all the time.

Journalists have approached me on occasion, seeking a quote, an interview, a soundbite, eg; about Brexit. I have done many readings around Brexit and written them up here. But the journalist doesn’t want to trawl through those. They haven’t the time. They want a snappy sound bite.

Some readers might welcome such opportunities. All publicity is good publicity etc. Maybe so, if we are looking to build a high profile business or a personal brand. But if we don’t want that, then who needs the aggro that would undoubtedly follow. Journalists are looking to tell a good story. This may mean, not that they lie, but they do not necessarily quote one verbatim either, while my blog archives are available to browse anytime.

‘A word to the wise,’ we may say, when offering advice. Even assuming the advice is good advice, it takes a wise person to listen, let alone act on that advice in timely fashion, especially when the advice really isn’t what they want to hear.

All around us, people are issuing their own predictions left, right and centre. The state of the country, the state of the world, management of the Covid situation, and so on. We are all broadcasters now, and publishers, such is the easy reach of social media, the global village pump on multi-billion steroids, which meanwhile is farming us.

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The Achilles heel of any reader is pride or vanity, or fear – performance anxiety, which can interfere with their process and badly trip them up.

This work demands moving rapidly between a relaxed alpha state, and a controlled, analytical beta state.

People want to behold a mystery. They also want mystery and poetry- they require – substance and specifics. The reader want to have these experiences too.

But to get specifics out of a reading, we need a context. We ask questions, aiming at a target, sorting the wood from the trees. So that, for instance, if I draw a ‘card of the day’ for sharing with the general public, for whom is the message actually intended? It’s bound to make sense to someone, and it may even make poetic sense across a wider topical spectrum, but still, it is lacking a context and a directed aim.

In this scenario the cards are simply offering a message as a point of meditation, but hopefully this message will contain some sense of relevance or resonance for the time period it has been chosen to represent.

The Masters of Magic Deck

Yesterday I decided to try out a deck I have not used before, to pull a single comment card – no context, nothing but a straw in the wind.

I was using, not a Tarot deck, but an oracle deck, ‘The Masters of Magic’ by Severino Baraldi & Laura Tuan, and is published by Lo Scarabeo. Link HERE

This 32 card deck offers a miniature potted history of key figures in western magic, including the so called natural philosophies which were in their time regarded as sciences: alchemy, astrology etc. Their theories and works are examined in the little book that comes with this deck, affording the reader the opportunity of drawing down directly on a distillation of their knowledge and experience.

I asked myself whom I needed to consult on this day of the solar eclipse, 10 June 2021, shuffled and drew Card Number 20, featuring the astrologer William Lilly.

You can see the keyword that has been ascribed to this card is ‘Independency.’

Something in me reacted with, ‘why does it not just say Independence?’ But doubtless, I was just nitpicking. I’ll blame it on my Virgo rising sign. But we talk about dependency, so why don’t we use this other word, independency more?

‘Hey,’ I said to Il Matrimonio, ‘what do you think of this word, independency?’ He said, ‘never heard of it. I heard of dependency.’

American English? Back to William Lilly. With 21 June fast approaching, the proposed UK date long scheduled for the final release of lock-down, but always with caveats, data not dates and so on, and with feelings running high, this card struck me as timely.

People are upset, shaking their fists, shouting ‘no-one is going to tell us what to do.’

Well, sorry, yes they are or there could be no such thing as a society, however imperfect its various workings. Infrastructure demands regulation.

Our individual freedoms were already in hock when we were born, negotiated far, far back in exchange for the most basic safety and security, and later, for the many benefits of modern life depending on a hugely complex organization of infrastructure. Habitation. Protection. Roads. Lighting. Water. Food.

If we really want to be completely free, we need to go analogue and go off-grid. But we’d pretty soon be dealing with opportunistic human predators, aka ‘zombie swarms’. They’d find us soon enough. Meanwhile the weather would tell us what to do, and so would hunger and thirst and any illnesses. The seasons would command us, and the availability of all vital food resources. We’d have very little freedom in real terms, simply in terms of everything we’d have to be doing simply to stay alive from one day to the next.

This dog is looking pretty relaxed, considering. Or maybe he is just undecided, wondering if he is running with the wrong pack, and should join forces with the wolves.

On the other hand, no, we are not like ants or bees. Short of annihilation, totalitarianism is the ultimate collective nightmare. We have witnessed it in action enough times to know what it means, in all its horror.

The human animal must have plenty of individual scope and freedom, personal agency. It is in our DNA, in our spirit, but it’s a balancing act and sometimes it has shifted this way and sometimes the other in response to the exigencies of the bigger picture at any given time.

Why is man man? As long as we have had minds to think, stars to ponder upon, dreams to disturb us, curiosity to inspire us, hours free for meditation, words to place our thoughts in order, the question like a restless ghost has prowled the cellars of our consciousness.” – Robert Ardrey –Nature of Man Series

This card from the Masters of Magic deck, William Lilly, does seem apposite, drawn 10 June 2021, the day of a partial solar eclipse in Gemini, ruled by Mercury, planet of science, commerce and travel?

Lilly’s Plague and Fire Predictions

William Lilly was a practicing predictive astrologer, who famously foresaw a dreadful pestilence which turned out to be The Great Plague 1665, and a fire which turned out to be The Great Fire of London 1666. He saw these in his charts and wrote them up in a book published in 1651.

Lilly was well known by this time, following his prognostications during the Civil War, when he had seen intimations of the death of a king, and success for the Parliamentary forces, though in later years, after they had won and the king had been executed, he became increasingly disenchanted with Parliament and with Cromwell and spent two weeks in prison for his remarks. You can read more about that here in this article by Barbara Dunn, via the Urania Trust.

The plague and fire predictions appeared as a series of “hieroglyphic images” in his book of 1651 Monarchy or No Monarchy in England, meaning they were published fourteen years before the events they predicted came true.

Lilly used a coded astrological language, expressing concern that his judgement might be “concealed from the vulgar,” meaning he only wished those who understood the astrology to be able to decode them. He wasn’t addressing his predictions to the general public.

What would have been the response if he had? How could anyone have used this information? He was publishing for scholarly purposes, paying it forward

French astrologer, Andre Barbault, who died in 2019, predicted the 2020 pandemic back in June 2011. No. He didn’t call it coronavirus. He did not specify details. What he did was to identify the planetary patterns, which previous events in history suggested, correlated with these kinds of events.

Barbault identified notable times in history when the concentration or bunching together of the five slower moving outer planets coincided with epidemics, wars and natural catastrophes, eg, floods, earthquakes. For example, in 1347 the planets Jupiter, Pluto and Uranus formed a triple conjunction in the astrological sign of Aries while Saturn and Neptune, the other slow planets, were nearby in the signs of Pisces and Aquarius.

Bio

Barbault noted that in January 2020, Saturn and Jupiter were in a tight conjunction aspect in Capricorn and Jupiter was relatively close by in the same astrological sign.

M Barbault was not a doom merchant. He pointed out that big things, good things could rise from the disruption of such events, and that the Renaissance had been the phoenix to rise out of the Black Death.

However…

“The slaughter engendered a terrible panic, which manifested in punitive self flogging and the massacres of Jews and lepers who were held responsible for the plague.”

When pandemics happen, as they have roughly every century, there is enough time in between them for people not to remember what it meant on the ground, attempting containment, and there has always been a conspiracy theory, different each timebut involving a powerful ‘they’ and sometimes a scapegoat- someone to ‘blame.’

Back to the theme of ‘psychics keeping schtum’ …. in one of Barbault’s books, Planetary Cycles Mundane Astrology, he explained why he often shut himself away “in a remote, faraway place where you can’t guess what’s going on in the world around you. I had to rid myself of illusions.” 

But in this modern, secular world, although Barbault may be disbelieved or his predictions dismissed as vague or coincidental, but at least he was not in danger of a criminal conviction on account of his published astrology. Unlike Lilly.

In 1666, after the fire, Lilly was summoned to appear before a Commons committee to explain himself, on suspicion of arson. If he was not an arsonist, how did he ‘know’ about the fire so long beforehand, to have published these predictions back in 1651? His book had come to the government’s attention following the discovery of an anti-government plot which had used an almanac of Lilly’s to identify their most auspicious dates for action.

He explained as follows: Source: Rubedo Press an article published 26 March 2020.

“I was desirous, according to the best knowledge God had given me, to make enquiry by the art I studied [i.e., astrology], what might from that time happen unto the Parliament and nation in general. At last, having satisfied myself as well as I could, and perfected my judgment therein, I thought it most convenient to signify my intentions and conceptions thereof, in forms, shapes, types, hieroglyphics, etc. without any commentary, that so my judgment might be concealed from the vulgar, and made manifest only unto the wise. I herein imitating the examples of many wise philosophers who had done the like. Having found that the city of London should be sadly afflicted with a great plague, and not long after with an exorbitant fire, I framed these two hieroglyphics as represented in the book, which in effect have proved very true.”

These seem pretty explicit, published so many years ahead of the real time events, but that’s easy to say with hindsight and without reference to the book in its entirety to see what was readily accessible to the understanding of contemporary readers not versed in astrology. Faced with an opaque text, and lack of apparent context the significance of the pictures may not have been apparent.

The committee, with reservations, accepted the Great Fire as an act of God.

Lilly didn’t ‘know’ of course. Not as such. Astrologers don’t know as such, any more than Tarot readers or any other practitioners of divination know as such. But they think they recognize something, and that they understand what they are looking at, and this is what they can share.

Lilly showed further ‘Independency’ when his landlord wished him to leave his house, being frightened of the poor people who had started coming to see Lilly for various help and treatments that he offered…like many astrologers of the time he had some apothecary’s knowledge.

Now I come unto the year 1665, wherein that horrible and devouring plague so extremely raged in the city of London. 27th of June 1665, I retired into the country to my wife and family, where since I have wholly continued, and so intend by permission of God. I had, before I came away, very many people of the poorer sort frequented my lodging, many whereof were so civil, as when they brought waters, viz. urines, from infected people, they would stand purposely at a distance. I ordered those infected, and not like to die, cordials, and caused them to sweat, whereby many recovered. My landlord of the house was afraid of those poor people, I nothing at all. He was desirous I should be gone. He had four children: I took them with me into the country and provided for them. Six weeks after I departed, he, his wife, and man-servant died of the plague.

Pandemics pass and change follows. This is a given. Historically, a pandemic lasts 3-4 years. We are in Year 2 and we have vaccines. But we also have air travel. My cards have indicated it is likely that we will still be dealing with this pandemic situation until March -June 2022.

How? I told myself to treat an appearance of The World card as marking the substantial ending of a pandemic situation, viewed on a GLOBAL not national level. I chose this card as my significator because The World card is the last of the major arcana cards in a Tarot deck, and marks the end of a cycle.

I allocated one card to one quarter of a year, laying out a line of cards until the World card appeared. The tail end of this pandemic comet may come far sooner but I doubt it. Or indeed, later. And the last country out of it may be in S America or the Indian sub-continent before it peters out to an ordinarily manageable risk.

The World card as shown here is from The Legacy of The Divine Tarot, illustrator Ciro Marchetti

I was somewhat over-optimistic last April 2020, when the chances of a second lock-down looked about 50:50, and I was hopeful that we just might escape it. I tend to be a glass half full person and it looked pretty much in the balance at that juncture. Whether I am being unduly optimistic or pessimistic this time around, time will tell me and this is how I learn, and it’s a study for life.

I am living with a chronic health challenge, a form of autoimmune arthritis that started in my twenties. Sometimes I have less energy available for predictive exercises, unless reading for a client.

At other times, as with anything, a psychic practitioner may just feel, sufficient unto the day, why make a noise unless someone is asking?

Someone asked me recently, did I bet on the footie when Chelsea played Man City in the UEFA Champions League Final in Porto?

No, I didn’t. I don’t really follow footie, only now and then, and I don’t gamble. But I do look sometimes, other stories in the archives. Il Matrimonio shopped me once before, without my say so, and told other Dover Athletic fans what I had said to him about the result. The newspaper printed it, and fortunately I got it right, so it was funny, and all was well that ended well, but I don’t need that kind of pressure in general terms.

Il Matrimonio asked what I thought about Chelsea v Man City, just before kickoff.

I didn’t think anything. Didn’t feel a thing about it. Nah. Damned if I knew, so I looked in my playing cards and told him it looked like a win for Chelsea because

Chelsea drew the Ten of Hearts. Translation. Completion. We are in clover. A happy home aka in this instance a very happy home crowd. Joe Biden drew this card ahead of the Presidential election.

Man City drew the Three of Spades. Translation. Heartbreak. Injury.

As a north west England person, if I’d had a personal bias or partiality, it would have been for Man City.

The Joker reversed also suggested a fall or accident, I told Il Matrimonio and later on he said, did you say you saw a fall?

Man City’s Kevin de Bruyne, poor soul, had come away with a fractured nose and eye socket. Il Matrimonio says de Bruyne is a midfielder and he is probably one of the best football players in the world right now, but I never heard the name before, and what do I Know? Nowt. And I often don’t want to.

Score: Chelsea 1: Man City 0

Prognostication, psychic divination and forecasting requires you to look, then go down a hole, come up again and think. It is not the same thing as an unsolicited psychic experience which comes out of the blue, though psychic moments do very often arise on the back of conscious prognostication, which can open the door.

But in general, a psychic experience or insight comes AT you right out of the blue, and may seem entirely random and without purpose, at least, at the time.

Divination sends you in tooled-up, going purposefully into the blue. Or so you hope.

Until next time.

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Blood Moon Rising: the Moon card, the tides of Earth and in the affairs of men

The Full Moon on Wednesday 26 May 2021 will be not only the biggest super moon of the year, but also a lunar eclipse, when the moon turns a reddish colour and is nicknamed a Blood Moon.

A super moon is a full moon at its perigee, it’s closest approach to the Earth. A lunar eclipse happens when the full moon dips into the Earth’s shadow and there is a change in colour as sunlight scattered around the edges of the Earth, is seen falling on the surface of the Moon.

We are in Gemini season, astrologically (not astronomically speaking) and the full moon is rising in its opposite zodiac sign, Sagittarius, which rules the ninth house of far travel, learning, prophecy and philosophy.

Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter, a benefic planet, but an eclipse represents the shadow side of Jupiter, and then he can be a big bully.

Eclipse or no eclipse, there are enough bullies going stamp-a-bout on the world stage right now. Davids are getting battered, if not outright slaughtered by Goliaths in a tragic listing of ethnic and other minority groups. The weak are being sent to the wall in front of the watching world.

To the ancients, lunar eclipses were generally viewed as ominous.

Extract From The National Geographic

“The  ancient Mesopotamians… saw lunar eclipses as an assault on the moon, says Krupp. But in their stories, the assailants were seven demons.

Traditional cultures linked what happened in the sky to circumstances on Earth, he says. And because the king represented the land in Mesopotamian culture, the people viewed a lunar eclipse as an assault on their king. “We know from written records [that Mesopotamians] had a reasonable ability to predict lunar eclipses,” says Krupp. So in anticipation of an eclipse, they would install a surrogate king intended to bear the brunt of any attack.

“Typically, the person declared to be king would be someone expendable,” Krupp says. Though the substitute wasn’t really in charge, he would be treated well during the eclipse period, while the actual king masqueraded as an ordinary citizen. Once the eclipse passed, “as you might expect, the substitute kings typically disappeared,” Krupp says, and may have been dispatched by poisoning.”

Nice. It is suggested they hoped or believed this ‘healed the moon.’

‘Heavy the head that wears the crown.’

Even for just a day or two. While the idea of being expendable in the grand scheme…quite a thought, isn’t it, in this age of individualism.

Julius Caesar, a superbly capable person; a self-made man, and a military and political high achiever, was perhaps naturally dismissive of such things, but this healthy scepticism also proved most unfortunate. Had he listened to Spurinna the Haruspex (and Spurinna also has his ear close to the ground) and had he listened to his wife, Calpurnia…both of whom warned him, or had he exercise a little more imagination, he might have avoided the fatal trap. It was after all, time sensitive. The assassins had only a short window.

The day of his assassination, he had actually promised Calpurnia not to leave the house, after she begged him not to, after she had a terrible dream, but then an old friend coaxed him out…a traitor ten times the Judas that Brutus was.

Young Marcus Brutus was in on it, of course, but the worst betrayal was another man, an old friend of Caesar’s: Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus, a distant cousin of Marcus Brutus though Shakespeare pretty much left him out of the story.

Decimus came to call, telling Caesar, come along to the senate meeting. No doubt they had a few laughs, when Caesar said no, I’m staying home today. I promised the missus….she’s a bit worried, you know, and Decimus teased him about it. He and Decimus went back a long way. What Caesar didn’t understand was that Decimus bore him a grudge and the plotters had sent him to dig Caesar out.

Machiavelli had much to say about old friends who bear us a grudge. Caesar had given Decimus many rewards, but denied him a particular one he had wanted.

Read more about that HERE

‘Hey, there, Spurinna’, Caesar said on his way to the forum, with his pal Decimus, ‘the Ides of March are come!’

‘Aye, Caesar,’ said Spurinna, ‘but they are not gone’.

He had actually warned Caesar to beware the thirty day period leading up to and ending on the Ides of March.

Sometimes…timing is everything, just as, behind the wheel a split second can be the difference between life and death. 1/5 of a second’s distraction at the wheel, fiddling with your radio or sat-nav or whatever, and taking your eyes off the road, that’ll easily do it.

Modern Western (Tropical) astrology

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Modern western astrology views a lunar eclipse as more potentially disruptive than necessarily ominous.

Eclipses bring sudden events, they suggest, and surprises. New things come to light. This could mean a liberation, a eureka moment.

This Full moon and its eclipse in Sagittarius, a mutable fire sign, is symbolic of fireworks or sudden eruptions of cosmic molten lava. Maybe not only cosmic but entirely earthly.

Gaia is unsettled. The sun is entering a new cycle.

It appears this new solar cycle…which is tending ultimately to the cooling of the Earth….occurred December 2019, when the global pandemic began in Wuhan.

(The UK also held a general election December 2019.)

It is all too easy to join dots and see patterns where perhaps none meaningfully exists. But why should life on earth not feel physical effects at some level.

Harking back to the doings of Humankind, and mindful of the superseded superstitions of the ancients (or their observations, based on many data correlations) who might be seen as a ‘ruler at risk’, or as a ‘substitute ruler’ at the time of this approaching eclipse?

A few possible scenarios come to mind at this present time, as I am sure they do for many others.

Also just co-incidentally, and maybe this will not amount to much in the end, though maybe it will, and while we are thinking of the power of a grudge, Dominic Cummings appearance before a select committee at 9.30 AM on this day of a lunar eclipse could hardly come at a better – or worse time- for the UK government, or PM Boris Johnson.

So particular a coincidence, one could almost imagine someone senior on the select committee had consulted a horary astrologer as to the timing of this session, just as Queen Elizabeth 1 consulted Dr John Dee in determining the most auspicious date for her coronation.

But who here, might such an astrologer have been working to help?

No-one does this kind of thing nowadays, some might say. Well, they might be surprised to discover who still uses these kinds of services today, and not only in personal matters, and why; for an extra edge, an extra inside track in professional and business affairs…and perhaps more.

26 May, Dominic Cummings is expected to launch a damaging critique of the government’s handling of the Covid crisis, while wishing to stress, he has said, that these mistakes are not necessarily to be seen as the personal fault of the PM in such unprecedented circumstances.

The mainstream media is going to town, can barely contain its glee, and many doubtless have a clear opinion on how they would have handled the pandemic better, had they been in the driving seat, and on how other countries have handled it so much better.

Historically, pandemics have lasted 3-4 years. We are in Year 2. I looked at this a few weeks ago, and my cards suggested that, looking at this problem on a global level, we are likely to be dealing with it at least until May-June 2022.

This does not necessarily mean we will be seeing lock-downs until that point. My question to the Tarot was, when will we see that this pandemic has substantially ended, looking at this on a global level. I drew cards in a line, one card per quarter, and I was looking out for the appearance of The World Card.

Why? Because this is a global issue, and because The World card signifies the end of a cycle. Completion.

The World Card from The Legacy of The Divine Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

The World card appeared for the quarter representing May-June 2022.

It may not be Britain, or Europe or the US that are still struggling with it, and I was not asking about the short to medium term economic consequences, which in previous readings, looked more optimistic than one might expect.

But it does look that the pandemic is still high on the agenda well into 2022. It may be northern India and other places. It is still with us, on its way out, but not yet quite reduced to an endemic level. As ever, only Time will tell but that’s what it looked like to me. Some may feel this is too far off, others, not unreasonably, given the historical pattern, that it’s still year 3, and possibly still too soon, vaccines notwithstanding. Especially if people start getting back on planes too soon, in anything like the numbers they did before.

Eclipses: Omens?

The ancient regarded lunar eclipses are omens of disaster. Sagittarius is a lively, freewheeling, life and soul of the party, but also prophetic sign. No- one tells Sagittarius what to do. It does its own thing. The eclipse pushes it into a box in a manner of speaking, into the shadow, and it is liable to come out spoiling for a fight. We have a lot of extremely vocal secular messiahs and missionaries flexing their muscles in respect of various social issues at present.

On a minor note, Il Matrimonio is at the moment of writing trying to find out why the lights have blown in the wardrobe. Is it the fuse box? No. Has a bulb blown, why have they all blown? The hunt continues.

The Moon card in the Tarot

The Moon from The Gilded Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

The Moon card stands for, well, the Moon obviously, and the tides, floods, cycles, hormones, fertility, dreams, illusions, deception, psychic experiences, ghosts, danger in travel, contagion, poison/food-poisoning.

Eastern astrologers may suggest we do not try to look at an eclipse directly….that it may bring bad luck. This may be sensible advice just at the common sense level.

We don’t need an eclipse to remind us nothing stays the same. But if we do need that reminder, well, sooner or later we are going to get it, big time, with or without an eclipse.

You may not wish to click or sign up to cookies, but if that doesn’t worry you, this page via space.com provides links to watch the eclipse live:

https://www.space.com/super-flower-blood-moon-2021-webcasts

Till next time 🙂

All that’s airy, all that flies …it’s time again for Gemini…

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We are born into a particular season. We are children of that season and its environmental characteristics. The light and the length of those days, the warmth or the cold, the dry or the damp, the things that are growing, or not. What food there would be to eat if there was no such thing as a supermarket.

The symbology of the zodiac signs are all rooted in the seasons of Nature here on earth. The only sign not directly symbolic of a real, living thing in Nature is the newest sign historically speaking, Libra, the Scales, symbolic of Justice. An abstract concept, though again, this could be viewed as representative of the concept of, on the one hand, natural justice, and on the other, the ever shifting tides and balance of nature.

The sign of Gemini is airy Nature on the wing. Fledglings are launching. Baby waterfowl are on the swim; ducklings, goslings, cygnets, coots and moorhens. Birds, bees and butterflies are foraging, and as they go from tree to tree, and bloom to bloom, cross-pollinating. The pollen too, is on the wing. The air is typically high in moisture in Gemini season, supporting all these processes.

Atishoo, for some it’s a case of here comes the hayfever. This is traditionally an Achilles heel for the natives of Gemini.

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Gemini is a mutable air sign, meaning it segues into the next season, early summer. Cardinal fire sign Aries is instigation, winter-spring, Taurus is realization, spring-spring, Gemini is emergent mutable spring-summer.

Gemini associations

Ruling planet: Mercury – ‘on the move/the word is out.’

Affirmation: ‘I think, I inquire.’

Body: Lungs, arms, hands, fingers, nervous system.

Birth Stone:  If born in May, Emerald. If born in June, Pearl (although it is not a stone, it is thought to be ruled by Mercury) Lucky stone Tiger’s Eye

Colour: Yellow, green, pink, white

Tree: all kinds of nut trees

Flower: Lily of the Valley, Lavender

Tarot cards: Gemini has two cards associated with it: most typically, The Lovers (love, choices, decision-making) But also The Magician. Tarot readers tend to focus on the duality represented by the Lovers card, but I’ll also be making reference to Gemini as the mercurial Magician.

From The Rider-Waite Tarot deck

Astronomy

Gemini via Wiki

The two bright stars on the left are the heads of the twins, their bodies standing or lying parallel. The brighter, reddish Pollux is on the bottom, or on the left, depending how you may be viewing them.

The Zodiac, from the Greek meaning the Wheel or Circle of the Animals, is the name for the area of sky we see from Earth, including the apparent paths of the sun, moon and planets.

Some of these planets were of course not discovered when the 48 constellations of the ancient zodiac were listed by the mathematician and astronomer, Ptolemy, in the 2 century AD. Today there are 88 listed constellations including the 12 constellations of the zodiac as included in the system of western Tropical astrology.

Ptolemy called the Gemini constellation The Star of Apollo (Castor) and The Star of Heracles (Pollux).

Gemini is the northernmost constellation in the zodiac, the thirtieth largest in size. It is prominent in the winter skies of the northern Hemisphere and is visible all night, December–January, seen by the naked eye, looking north east of the constellation Orion between the Taurus and Cancer constellations. Best viewing is during February. During April and May you might see it, looking west soon after sunset, looking out for the two brightest stars, Castor and Pollux, representing the heads of the twins from Greek mythology, while fainter stars outline their bodies.

To find Castor and Pollux, look eastward from the Hyades, a V shaped asterism ( star cluster) which makes up the head of Taurus The Bull, or again, look east from the three stars of Orion’s Belt

Gemini Wiktionary.jpg
The constellation Gemini via Wiktionary gives its name to the sign of the zodiac

Pollux, the westerly twin, is an orange-red giant star, 33 light-years from Earth, while Castor is about 51 light-years away. A light-year is the distance that light travels in a year – 6 trillion miles/9.6 trillion kilometres.

Pollux, the brighter of the two, has a planet orbiting it, Beta Genorium B, and this planet is massive – 1.6 times bigger than Jupiter, while Castor is not a single star, but is actually a star system made of up six stars not visible to the naked eye.

Ancient History

The concept of twins has been addressed in mythology, and artifacts discovered dating back to the so-called Age of Gemini, during the Palaeolithic era, 6, 500 BCE, a response to actual twin births, no doubt at all, and a general reading of the world, understood in terms of a duality fundamental to the nature of reality.

There are male and female twins, standing for night and day, light and dark, heat and cold, male and female, war and peace, good and bad, life and death. Many creation myths reflect this eternal dynamic or battle of seeming opposites. Some societies have viewed twins as a blessing, others have regarded them as an added burden on resources in times of scarcity – or even as a supernatural threat. Article

Recently in the news via Archaeology Magazine, a sad but fascinating discovery, “Two baby boys, whose bodies were covered in red ochre and buried under a mammoth bone about 31,000 years ago in what is now northeastern Austria, are the earliest known identical twins.”

The babies were born full term but one died at about 14 weeks,it is thought, while the other lived to 6-7 months. They were buried with grave goods, one baby with a necklace of evenly matched mammoth ivory beads, the other with a necklace of molluscs. More HERE

Castor and Pollux

The names of the Gemini, the Heavenly Twins are Castor and Pollux.

Castor comes from the Greek Καστωρ (Kastor) meaning “to excel, to shine.”  In Greek myth Castor was a son of Zeus and the twin brother of Pollux.

Pollux comes from the Roman form of Greek Πολυδευκης (Polydeukes)  meaning “very sweet.”

Gemini brings us the first honey and strawberries, and the full moon of June is nicknamed The Strawberry Moon.

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Pollux and Helen were immortal, fathered by Zeus, while Castor and Clytemnestra were mortal, fathered by Tyndareus. The circumstances of their birth were unusual to say the least. Queen Leda of Sparta was seduced by Zeus, who had somehow disguised himself as a swan and when we say seduced, that is was putting it politely. He glided up preening while she was bathing and then pounced on her. Later that evening, and one can’t help wondering about this, given the trauma she’d just experienced, she also slept with her husband King Tyndareus and went on to produce four children; Castor, Pollux and their sisters Helen (later Helen of Troy) and Clytemnestra (later married to Agamemnon as queen of Mycenae.)

castor-pollux-porcelain.jpg
Public Domain; the young Castor and Pollux by Meissen

The mortal Castor was a renowned horseman and a master at fencing, while the immortal Pollux was known for his superhuman strength and skill at boxing. They travelled with Jason on the Argo on the quest for the Golden Fleece (and here we cross over into the Hellenistic mythos of the zodiac sign of Aries the Ram)

But then Castor was killed in a quarrel, a disagreement over dividing the spoils after a cattle raid (Hello again, dear zodiac Bull, Taurus, we are afraid you came off worse that time.)

Pollux was distraught.  He didn’t want immortality, not if it meant being without Castor and he begged his father, Zeus, to kill him so he could go to join his brother in the Underworld Kill me Dad, he said. Zeus said, er, give me time to think about this, son, and scratched his beard, wondering how to fix it, and finally resolved to place them both in the stars, to be together forever as the constellation Gemini.

No need to kill Pollux, Zeus just skipped that step and took the pair of them sky high.

Worship

The Greeks worshiped the twins as gods who helped travellers and shipwrecked sailors.

The Romans developed a cult around Castor and Pollux dating back to 484 B.C. They considered Castor and Pollux the patron gods of horses, and therefore, patron gods of the Roman mounted knights; the equites, and Castor and Pollux appear as such on many early Roman coins. The Romans built a temple to the twins in the Roman Forum in 414 BC in thanks for their ‘help’ in defeating the in the battle of Regillus at Lake Regillus in Frascati, between the newly founded Roman Republic and The Latin League, led by the aged former king of Rome, Tarquin (Lucius Tarquinius Superbus.)

The Republic won, finally ending the attempts of Tarquin and his son Titus, to re-take the throne. More Here

John Reinhard Weguelin (1849 to 1927)- Scan of Illustration from book “The Lays of Ancient Rome.” Woodcut from Engraving


The Gemini Archetype in real life

The zodiac signs deal in archetypes, as do the 78 cards of a Tarot deck. Every person is a unique individual with a unique natal planetary profile, their sun sign, moon sign, rising sign etc, paint a more detailed picture, as do astrological transits and aspects, but the natal sun sign sets the tone.

The Magician card in the Tarot deck is the card of Number One, ‘me, myself and I’, and is associated with Mercury, planet of communications, trade, and commerce, the ruling planet of Gemini.

The Magician from the Legacy of the Divine Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

Gemini is ‘mercurial’, restless, intellectually agile, independent minded- and like the Tarot’s Magician, does things his or her own way – whether or not this is necessarily a good idea.

Gemini often has a pleasing appearance; slender, well-proportioned, above average height, with tidy features in an oval face. Classic Gemini subjects are lively, agile, sparkling, charming, chatty and inquisitive, though not necessarily easy to get to know. Gemini may dart in and out, or lose interest and switch off without warning. Gemini introduces, rather than unites.

Gemini tends to change jobs more often than subjects of the other signs of the zodiac, and is better at starting new projects than finishing them, but can do very well in teams where new ideas, agility and a talent for networking are needed.

Gemini can seem flighty; careless, even ruthless, dropping people and projects once they lose interest, which Gemini can do quite suddenly. But once committed, they are intensely loyal to their friends and loved ones. Gemini is mostly fairly peaceable, but it’s brave and and tough Taurus mostly gets the rap for this, Gemini is capable of obstinacy, even mulishness. These subjects don’t shy away from saying what they think, and of course, they think plenty, though whether they always did the research, or whether or not they double- check everything, is just now and then another question.

The Decans of The Zodiac

Each zodiac sign can be investigated in more depth by exploring the decans. Each sign may be subdivided into three decans, each with a different planetary sub-ruler, and each relating to approximately 10 days and 10 degrees of the wheel of the zodiac.

The Decans of Gemini

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First Decan (May 22nd- 31st) Gemini-Gemini. Sub-ruler Mercury

The first decan of any zodiac sign is considered the most typical. The first decan of Gemini is ruled by Mercury, the overall ruler of the sign and Gemini is the zodiac third house of communications. The Gemini- Gemini decan is mentally acute, whether or not they are academically inclined. They are agile, adaptable, but it’s not so simple, and at their core they are operating from a belief system from which they do not depart. It might be religion. It might be some ethical question, such as animal husbandry, politics or the environment. This decan typically has good looks and personal charisma…and they are great explorers, not just in terms of physical travel. But once they commit, they commit. They also believe there is a right way and a wrong way of doing things -and they act on it.

Tarot card: The Eight of Swords.

To know the minor arcana Tarot card associated with a zodiac decan can help with timings in a reading, when a reader is trying to narrow down a potential date range.

Second Decan (June 1-10) Gemini-Libra. Sub-ruler Venus

Libra, the sub-ruler of this decan is – natural ruler of the zodiac seventh house of marriage, partnerships, close associates, associations, and legal matters. Where Decan 1 Gemini may say ‘I am’, the smooth and friendly second Decan is likely to say, ‘Me too’. They too have personal charisma, and they have an adventurous streak, but to thrive they also need things around them to be calm and secure. The nature is warm, possibly at times even effusive, and people generally respond well, but their choice of life partner is best not made when they are very young, and though they relish novelty, they may be happiest with someone who is steady and practical, averse to any avoidable drama.

Tarot card: The Nine of Swords

Third Decan (June 11-21) Aquarius-Gemini. Sub-ruler Uranus (ancient ruler Saturn)

Aquarius – natural ruler of the zodiac eleventh house of friends, hopes, and wishes-inclines the Decan 3 Gemini to very much a social type, a friend-oriented individual, amusing, quirky, yet rational, somewhat detached.  Uranus, planet of knowledge, combines with Mercury gives Gemini-Aquarius clear and perceptive reasoning powers and a desire to change things for the better.  Uranus is also however, the planet of upheaval and rebellion. Third Decan Gemini is classically the most independent-natured decan of Gemini. Not easily persuaded themselves; they have great gifts of persuasion.

Tarot card: The Ten of Swords

Also to watch for this Gemini season 2021…

There will be a Super Blood Moon Eclipse on May 26, 2021, a rare celestial event. If the skies are clear we may see a Super Full Moon which will appear bigger than usual in the night sky, and turn red as it is eclipsed by the shadow of the earth. Blood Moon Eclipses get their name due to the reddish hue the Moon takes on during a total eclipse

The Super Blood Moon Eclipse on May 26, 2021, is a rare celestial event. On this night, the Super Full Moon will appear bigger than usual in the night sky, and turn reddish as it is eclipsed by the shadow of the earth.

Blood Moon Eclipses get their name due to the reddish hue the Moon takes on when there is a total eclipse. Western astrology says this Full Moon will be in Sagittarius, House of far travel, exploration and higher learning. Vedic astrologers say it will be in watery Scorpio. Intense.

In terms of Sagittarius, one may aim an arrow but still not control where it lands.

In ancient astrological terms, eclipses represent things coming to the surface. They were traditionally associated with extreme weather events, feelings running high at home, and tensions amplified in matters of state and power on the global stage. As if anyone is going to welcome that prospect, but we are talking here in terms of ancient associations, not predictions.

The ‘medicine’ according to the ancients, was to work with a Blood Moon, leaning into any challenges, but without inflaming them, and to pace oneself until the cavalry arrived. In 2021 this comes 10 June 2021 in the shape of the approaching beneficent solar eclipse (still in Gemini season.)

May it bring good things, just let’s keep our cool, and go a little easy with everything around 26 May.

Until next time 🙂

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