Seen by The Light of the April Moon

Photo by Vedad Colic on Pexels.com

Astrology

Astrology is about the search for meaning on earth as seen in the sky; seeking to understand human behaviour through the influence of planets and other celestial objects, Luna, our Moon being the .

Astrology began as humanity made conscious attempts to measure, record, and predict seasonal changes by paying attention to astronomical cycles.

Early evidence appears as markings on bones and cave walls 25,000 years ago; an early step towards recording the Moon’s influence upon tides and rivers, and towards creating the first calendars.

Symbolically, because it has no light of its own, The Moon represents our shadowy side, our dreams, hidden health, and the impulses that drive our behaviour whether or not we are consciously aware of them.

Why do astrologers study The Moon?

Humans have been studying the Moon since at least 25 000 years ago as the closest celestial body to Earth, exerting a physical gravitational effect on the tides, and on every living thing. Our bodies are largely water, subject to the pull of the tides, and we are no exception.

This affects men and women alike, but is more is readily noticeable in women, through their menstrual cycles.

The Moon in April: The Headlines

There is a lot of lunar drama going on this month, just as there is down here right now during this coronavirus pandemic.

 This month’s Full Moon is a Super-moon, a Pink Moon, and it is also the Paschal (Easter) Moon

The Full Moon this month will be in the sign of Libra.

The New Moon this month will be in the sign of Taurus.

The New Moon is the first/last lunar phase when the Moon is located between the Earth and the Sun and the moon is largely invisible, hidden in the sun’s glare.

The Full Moon occurs when the Moon is on the opposite of the Earth from the Sun on the same celestial longitude and we can see the entire illuminated portion of the Moon.

Key Moon phases in April:

1 April First Quarter Moon (waxing moon)

7 April Full Moon (in Libra)

13 April Last Quarter (waning moon)

23 April New Moon (in Taurus)

29 April First Quarter Moon (waxing moon)

What is a Supermoon?

A supermoon is a full moon or a new moon that nearly coincides with perigee—the closest that the Moon comes to the Earth in its elliptic orbit—resulting in a slightly larger-than-usual apparent size as viewed from Earth.

What Is A Paschal Moon?

Easter is observed on the Sunday following the Paschal Full Moon, which is the first full Moon that occurs on or after the March equinox.

This year, the March equinox occurs on Thursday, March 19. The first full Moon to occur after that date is 7 April UK time.

So that Easter this year is the first Sunday after 7 April: Sunday, April 12.

What is a Pink Moon?

Historically, full Moon names were used to track the seasons and, for this reason, often relate closely to nature. The Moon names that we use today stem from Native American and Colonial-era sources and apply to the entire lunar month, not only the full Moon itself.

April’s full Moon coincides with the first appearance of the “moss pink,” or ground creeping phlox …early spring flowers.

ground-phlox pub dom.jpeg

Public Domain

What does this mean for you and me, personally?

In general terms the New Moon and waxing Moon phase building up to the next Full Moon is the optimum time to make a new plan, to initiate or apply for something, or to grow, make or get something.

A Full Moon is in general the optimum time to take stock and evaluate, or to gather, collect, harvest or cash in on something.

A Waning Moon is the optimum time for ending something, releasing something, or clearing out what’s no longer wanted or needed.

7 April: Full Moon in Libra

Justice card.jpg

The Justice card: Rider- Waite Tarot

This full Moon shines a spotlight on the rule of reason, law and order, fair play, give and take, diplomacy

It can suggest romance in personal relationships, or repairing a disagreement. The sign of Libra, ruled by the planet Venus, is all about creating balance, harmony, and keeping the peace.

Libra is associated with The Justice Card in Tarot, which is about respect and fair play, following procedure, and applying logic and reason to problem-solving.

This is an unsettling time but The Justice card says, above all do not panic.

The Justice card suggests there will be added paperwork or other personal administration for most people one way or another in direct consequence of this situation. This paperwork may be legal in nature, or it may be financial, business or personal administration. It may be related to consumerism and provisioning, online shopping etc.

For small businesses and the self employed, the Justice card suggests special  measures put in place in the next few weeks, according to each country’s own national decision-making processes.

The pendulum swings. A degree of disruption and anxiety is natural and inevitable. Uncertainty makes us anxious, but the only real illusion is certainty. Nothing is certain, as the old saying goes, but Death and taxes.

Let’s keep our cool, look out for one another, and pay attention to process, procedure and detail. Dot the i’s and cross the t’s to get the very best we can from this April Full Moon in Libra.

Professor Karol Sikora is Professor of Medicine at the Uni of Buckingham, an oncologist for 50 years, he tweets @ProfKarolSikora:

I can’t tell you how helpful the social distancing is. If we all keep it up, I think a feasible scenario is a return to some normality at the beginning of May. As long as we keep to the rules now, we’ll end up in a much better place after Easter than is feared. Social distancing works. The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine estimate that before the lockdown one positive person would infect 2.6 other people. Now it is 0.62. This means the virus is cornered and will burn out.

23 April: The New Moon in Taurus

Hierophant Wiki.jpg

The Hierophant: Rider-Waite Tarot

The Hierophant card is associated with Taurus, a warm, earthy but creative, artistic and highly instinctive sign. It is about tradition, sticking with tried and trusted methods, creature comforts, and for many of us, these may have been in short supply, and there has been an unusual degree of extra stress and strain in recent weeks and months, with fire and flood wreaking havoc in 2019, all before Covid-19 showed its ugly face in December, and through its inexorable spread, reminding humanity that we are inextricably interconnected, and distance is no object.

Perhaps afterwards, when things have returned more to normal, as they will, it will be time to review a few of our global, national and personal practices, habits and expectations in respect of animal husbandry and global travel, and perhaps in time there will be some new normalities.

The Hierophant is the card of hospitals, publishers, universities and schools. Possibly things may enter a new phase, and in some cases, start to ease or start to return to normal in these sectors after this date.

In other news

A New Moon in Taurus suggests taking it easy. Don’t complain of boredom. Make an art out of staying home, making and doing new or quiet things, creating as the alternative to consuming.

For losing a little weight without a lot of effort, try working with the Moon, and limit your calorie intake for a 3-day diet once the New Moon begins.

This is also the card of formal studies, traditional crafts and universities and can signify a good time for starting a new study project or recreational group project, such as joining a choir for instance, or an art class.

Taurus is zodiac the sign of mid-spring, and everything alive and green. It is the ultimate zodiac sign of food and agriculture, matched only by the harvest time of Virgo. Why not discover your green fingers, or even experiment with growing a few of your own foodstuffs. You can always start small says the New Moon. A few seeds in a container, and see what happens.

People have been panicking. The supermarkets have been selling out of dried goods, but there will always other ways of doing things, or new recipes, or new ways of cooking or doing things to try out.

We can adapt. We can improvise. What did the Romans do before toilet paper had been invented? They worshipped Hygeia as the goddess of Health. And they had no loo paper, but still, they had ways….

And if that didn’t spoil your ‘bon appétit’, the April New Moon in Taurus says, ‘Eat your greens.’

Until next time 🙂

Tarot Tuesdays with Jessica Adams Astrology

The Fortune Teller by Albert Anker

Every month I do a Tarot reading in collaboration with Astrologer Jessica Adams in which I pull a Tarot card, shuffled and drawn at random, or sometimes I draw more than one card, as with this reading for April. I am asking to see which way the wind is blowing for the next month to come.

But for whom and in respect of what precisely? Context is crucial for interpretation in a reading. When I am reading for a client. They ask questions and I respond, and this is how we get at specifics that are relevant. However, I start always cold, and that is the equivalent of what I am doing here.

This is an exercise in cold prognostication without benefit of context; an animal style attempt at sensing the weather to come, working two weeks ahead of publication.

Click below to read the findings for April 2020. They will be unlikely to surprise you in anyway. You have your own thoughts, anyone’s guess is as good as another’s, and we can all see and read what’s on the news.

The one thing I cannot control is the cards I get, however. And this manifestation of synchronicity  – apparently random but meaningful coincidence is largely the point of this cold reading exercise.

Click below to read the article in full:

https://www.jessicaadams.com/2020/04/01/tarot-for-the-monthly-of-april-2020/

 

Until next time 🙂

Aries: Fiery Sky Ram of Spring

I am running a few days late with this. Strange times for us all.

This is a revised and updated article, first published AskAstrology.com

Most of us know our sun sign, or sign of the zodiac, but what does it look like in the night sky, and what is the story behind it? The spring equinox was on March 20. Time to talk about Aries the Ram, the first sign of the new astrological year…

Common Associations

Symbol

Date of Birth: 19/21 March to 20 April

Ruling planet: Mars

Lucky Day:  Tuesday

 Energy: Yang (Masculine/Extrovert)

Element:  Fire

Quality: Cardinal (the start of the season of spring)

Key phrase:  I am

Body:  Head, neck

Birth Stone:  Topaz, Aquamarine, Diamond

Colour:  Red

Herbs/Flowers: Honeysuckle, tulip, thistle, bryony, peppermint, tiger lily, geranium, hops, impatiens, onions, hollyhock, thorn-bearing trees/shrubs, some firs

Tarot Card: The Emperor (Masculinity, Fatherhood, Government, Law and Order, Courage, Stability)

Note the rams heads adorning his throne.

If I am asked ‘when?’ during a reading and I draw The Emperor, the time-frame suggested is Aries.

Emperor Rider Waite.png
Public Domain: Rider-Waite Tarot

Astronomy

aries-constellation 2.png
Aries, with the head of the Ram pointing downwards. The two bottom stars are the horns

Aries is located in the Northern Hemisphere between Pisces to its west and Taurus to its east.

It is not a specially bright or large constellation. The brightest star in Aries is Alpha Arietis, or Hamal, from the Arabic Al Ras al Hamal, meaning “the Head of the Sheep.” Hamal is a red giant with a magnitude of 2.0, visible to the naked eye, which is about as bright as Mars when the planet is at its farthest point from Earth. The other two brightest stars are the horns of the Ram, Sheratan and

Between 2000 BC and 100 BC the spring equinox used to be April 24 when Hamal was conjunct with the sun, but now the spring equinox is 20 March when the sun shines in front of the constellation Pisces on the border with Aries.

This is because the sun moves westward in front of the backdrop constellations by about one degree (two sun diameters) every 72 years. This drifting is due to a motion of Earth, a wobble on its axis, called the precession of the equinoxes.

But for historical reasons the spring/vernal equinox is still referred as the First Point of Aries.

The Aries constellation contains a galaxy about 100 million light-years from our own galaxy, the Milky Way, and it also a planetary system called 30 Ari, which consists of a gas giant and four stars.

A supernova in Aries was recorded in May, in the year 1012 AD.

The best time to see Aries.

Look for it in December around 9 p.m. local time, rising in the east. A Northern Hemisphere spring or Southern Hemisphere autumn is the worst time of year for viewing Aries, when it is lost in the sun’s glare. December is an especially good month for viewing Aries, when the Earth is on the other side of the sun. In late October, Aries rises in the east at sunset, reaches its highest point in the sky at midnight and sets in the west at sunrise.

Aries reaches its highest point in the sky about 10 p.m. local time (the time in all time zones) in late November, 8 p.m. local time in late December and 6 p.m. local time in late January.

History and Mythology

The spring equinox was a time of renewal throughout the northern half of Earth, an event of great significance to people who were much more aware than we are nowadays, of human dependence on the land and sky.

Once upon a time Aries marked the end of the wild sheep main lambing season in Europe, 21 March – 20 April.

Below, in this rather humorous and charming illustration from India, is surely the least ever fiery ram of a wild sheep.

Humanity made connections, looking up and making patterns out of the skies overhead at that time, matching these to such significant natural events on the ground.

The Sumerians are one of the oldest known urban civilisations in what is now called Southern Iraq, during the Neolithic-Bronze Age, 4500 BC to 1500 years BC. The ancient Sumerians called the sun, Subat, meaning the Ancient Sheep or Ram and the planets were the Celestial Herd.

The brother and sister Phrixus and Helle were the children of the Boeotian king Athamas and the cloud fairy, Nephele.  She died, the king remarried, and his new wife, Ino, feared and hated them and planned to kill them as a perceived threat to her own two children by the king.

They fled, rescued by a flying golden ram sent by Hermes at the plea of the dead Nephele, watching in anguish from the other world, but Helle fell into the sea below and was lost in the Dardanelles, named the Hellespont in her honour. Later, safely in Colchis, Phrixus (rather ungratefully) sacrificed the Golden Ram, returning it to the gods, and presented its fleece as a gift to King Aeetes, who placed it on a tree in a grove under the guard of a dragon, the hideous Hydra, whom Jason later killed in order to steal the magical healing fleece.

In ancient Egyptian astronomy, Aries was called Lord of the Head, and was associated with the god Amon-Ra, depicted as a man with a ram’s head and representing fertility and creativity. And because it was the location of the spring (vernal) equinox, it was also called the “Indicator of the Reborn Sun.” The position of Aries at the zenith coincided with the rising of Sirius in the east and the flooding of the Nile.

The Temple of Amon-Ra at Karnak bore the likeness of the supreme sun-god with the horns of a ram. The road to Karnak was formed from the wings of two granite sphinxes bearing the head of Aries.

However, Aries was not fully recognized as a constellation until classical times when the ancient Greeks from about 1580 B.C. to 360 B.C. oriented the construction of many of their sacred temples in relationship to Hamal.

In Hellenistic astrology, the constellation of Aries is associated with the golden ram of Greek mythology that rescued Phrixus and Helle on orders from Hermes, taking them to the land of Colchis.

The brother and sister, Phrixus and Helle, were the children of the Boeotian king Athamas and the cloud fairy, Nephele.  Athamas was unfaithful and Nepehele left. Drought followed but Athamas remarried, and his new wife, Ino, planned to kill Phrixus and Helle as a perceived threat to her own two children by the king.

They fled, rescued by a flying golden ram sent by Hermes at the plea of Nephele, watching in anguish from the other world, but Helle fell into the sea below and was lost in the Dardanelles, named the Hellespont in her honour.

Public Domain: 1902

The magical ram, Krios, spoke to Phrixus to calm and comfort him as they continued on their way. Later, safely in Colchis, Phrixus (perhaps rather ungratefully) sacrificed the Golden Ram, returning it to the gods, and presented its fleece as a gift to King Aeetes, who placed it on a tree in a grove under the guard of a dragon, the hideous Hydra, whom Jason later killed in order to steal the magical healing fleece.

The name Phrixus means ‘curly.’

Astrological Personality

Aries ram pic.jpg

There is no such thing in reality as THE Aries personality and the same goes for all the zodiac sun signs. Your sun sign is an archetype, a keynote, but of course it is not your full astrological portrait. We are all unique and it could never be the whole story.

Aries is ultra-virile, with a warrior spirit, just as a ram will charge headlong, at an intruder, and may even kill a person who enters his field, threatening his ewes and his territory at the wrong moment.

Aries is known for its determination and zest for life, and in the same spirit, Aries can be reckless and with it, accident prone in its general haste to get on and do whatever is the next thing. Aries are at a statistically increased risk of  accidents, especially with head and neck injuries in comparison with other signs, largely due to impatience and risk-taking behaviours.

Aries is ready to experiment or pioneer but may not finish what it starts. They are determined but can be diverted by their own impatience if they don’t get quick results.

In their personal relationships Aries are lively, pleasant, frank, direct and generous. Full of wit and bravery and bounce and joie de vivre, there is much to love and admire about the early springtime subjects of fiery Aries, the Mighty Ram.

This concludes my series exploring the science and history of the Zodiac. Browse the archives for the astronomy and ancient stories behind the other signs of the Zodiac.

Back soon.

Until next time 🙂

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TrueTarotTales

The Cards say 'Coronavirus.'

Tweeted 16 March

“Covid-19 UK via Tarot. Graph climbs- Full Moon 7/8 April- New Moon 23 April, cases peak late June-late July (the healing Queen Cups card = dates of Cancer) then post-peak phase till late Nov/early December 2020 (8 Wands Rx =Sagittarius) As ever naturally only Time will tell.”

The Queen of Cups from The Golden Tarot.

I understand this is roughly in line with the current scientific modelling, in which case, the congruence is an interesting coincidence.

The timing associated with this card is the zodiac sign of Cancer. This means late June- 23 July, and suggests the imminent acute medical emergency seems likely to pass its peak and start to resolve by midsummer, though the economic ramifications continue throughout 2020, and almost certainly, well beyond.

The Eight of Wands, planes above the clouds, The Tarot of the Divine Legacy

The Eight of Wands reversed is associated with Sagittarius, the bright and breezy, free and easy cosmic traveller, and indicates we are still having this conversation late November/early December 2020, and this card specifically references a continued downturn in global travel. Worst case risk detected here is a second phase, starting late Nov/Early Dec as has happened before with other pandemics.

Astrologers have been commenting since 2017 in some instances, speculating in respect of an ominous outlook for 2020; a challenging conjunction of Saturn in Capricorn coming up at intervals during 2020. They are seeing parallels between the astrology of 2020 and prognostications made by UK astrologer William Lilley from 1648 onwards.

Excerpt via astrologer Jessica Adams.

“Astrologers are here to serve. It’s part of our professional code. When William Lilly predicted back in 1648, that in 1665, “so grand a catastrophe and great mutation unto this monarchy and government as never yet appeared” would come – it did. 

Lilly wrote“it will be ominous to London, unto her merchants at sea, to her traffique on land, to her poor”. He actually wrote “by reason of sundry fires and consuming plague.” 

The Company of Astrologers still holds a church memorial service in his honour on Lilly Day, every year.

What is really interesting in 2020 is is his prediction in a 1648 London pamphlet. This was the astrologer’s equivalent of a website today.

He saw, in the year 1665, “so grand a catastrophe and great mutation unto this monarchy and government as never yet appeared.” Note his use of mutation. Viruses can mutate. 

Lilly went on, “it will be ominous to London, unto her merchants at sea, to her traffique on land, to her poor.” He actually wrote “by reason of sundry fires and consuming plague.” In 1665 the woodcut of bodies in shrouds came to pass and in 1666 The Great Fire of London began.

The Bubonic Plague of 1665 has thus passed into the history books as a date-stamped, illustrated, astrological prediction.”

Read More from Jessica Adams HERE

Another more recent prediction has been receiving a lot of public attention recently.

‘In around 2020 a severe pneumonia-like illness will spread throughout the globe, attacking the lungs and the bronchial tubes… Almost more baffling…it will.. vanish as quickly as it arrived, attack again ten years later, and then disappear completely.’ – wrote Psychic Sylvia Browne in her book, End of Days, 2008.

Astrologer of The Lady magazine, Victor Olliver, made a reference to this on social media recently. A lucky guess, commented someone. Indeed, and anyone can guess. We do it all the time, or we could not function from day to day. I guess it’s going to rain. Better wear my raincoat.

But as guesswork goes, date-stamped and published in 2008, this is pretty specific, I think many reasonable people would be ready to agree.

Sylvia Browne was a controversial, possibly really rather unpleasant figure who famously got many things wrong, telling parents of missing children their children were dead when they weren’t, and vice versa. But I bought and read the book to see for myself, and she did indeed publish this clear demonstration of clairvoyance, however hit and miss she may have been in respect of so many other things.

Covid19

This new coronavirus sub-type arose in a ‘seafood’ market, according to the poor young doctor Li who identified it, shared his findings in a restricted online conversation with colleagues, and was either spied on or reported, rebuked by his manager and threatened by the police for expressing his concerns.

The same young doctor returned quietly to work and kept his mouth shut, only to die, infected by a patient who had been a storefront seller in this self same ‘seafood’ market, leaving a pregnant wife and small children. A man of his age could have been expected to survive, but this particular patient is thought to have carried an unusually high viral load, by reason of his market stall.

Such has been the anger in China, the Chinese Government exonerated Dr Li yesterday, 10 March, and scapegoated those who rebuked and threatened him, much good does that do him and his family.

HONG KONG—Weeks after Chinese social media erupted in grief and rage over the death of a doctor reprimanded by police for raising early alarms about the new coronavirus, Beijing is seeking to assuage public anger by rescinding his penalty and punishing those who rebuked him.

By Chun Han WongMarch 19, 2020 1:05 pm ET

Read more about Dr Li HERE

And what about this market? The market at Huanan.

List of items for sale for consumption derived from a sanitary inspection.

Bats, Badgers, Beavers, Camel, Chickens, Civets, Crab, Crocodiles, Dogs, Donkeys, Fish, Foxes, Giant Salamander, Hedgehog, Marmot, Ostrich, Otters, Pangolin, Peacock, Pheasant, Pig, Rabbit, Rat,Sheep, Shrimp, Spotted Deer, Striped Bass, Turtle, Venomous Snakes, Wolf puppies.

The Huanan market was closed 1 January. On 24 February 2020, the Chinese government announced that the trade and consumption of wild animals would be banned throughout China, but made no announcement in respect of a ban on the use of animals in Chinese medicine, and the closure of the market has not been announced as permanent. The Chinse government says it has been closed for ‘renovation.’

Let’s watch that space.

Back to Sylvia Browne for a moment. Did she suggest this ‘severe pneumonia like illness’ marked the beginning of ‘The End of Days’?

No, she did not. Or not exactly. But she did see it as a kind of a canary in the mine, a signpost of a coming decline in the global human population during the coming century, and I am inclined to think, based on the assumption that we carry on exactly as we are doing, she was on to something there.

This thing has leapt from animals to humans and ultimately kills by thickening and hardening the mucus in the throat, chest and lungs. There is a cytokine storm and suffocation. And yet again, as with SARS and Swine Flu and Ebola, and the Spanish Flu which was carried far and wide on returning troopships after the war, a pandemic of two phases, it begs the same kinds of questions.

From the Huanan market to the globe. Modern work and leisure travel habits have carried this new virus, which is basically a new form of pneumonia, pretty much right around the populated world.

Deaths from coronavirus worldwide are today estimated at 10 000. And this is extremely serious but it’s not the Spanish Flu of 2018 which accounted for 50 million and possibly as many as 100 million.

It is not the Black Death, or as it was called at the time, The Pest (Yersinia Pestis – bubonic plague) which came out of Central or East Asia in 1347, travelling the trade route along the Silk Road into the Crimea and delivered into Sicily by 12 ships from the Black Sea reaching England in 1348. This great plague killed more than 30 % of the entire population of Europe. Some estimates suggest it was as many as 60 %.

This is not that. I do not see that it will become that.

But I won’t be remotely alone or unusual in reading this as another warning. The global human population at the time of the Spanish flu in 1918 was 1.7 billion and today it is 7.8 billion.

Freedoms we have come to take for granted, or have come to regard as our inalienable rights, including cheap travel in massive numbers wherever we like, whenever we like, how we like and for as long as we like, are overdue a fundamental re-think. We want to do what we like when we like, at least with our free time. But we are over-extended.

The Queen of Cups says Home is where the Heart is.

But where is the heart?

A citizen of everywhere is a citizen of nowhere, a consumer first and last, carried aloft in the capacious claws of a doubtful new freedom, as contrails track and line the sky, the real and honest price tag not yet known.

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand 
And Eternity in an hour.



William Blake: Extracts from Songs of Innocence

Meanwhile spring is here and that may help resources in the northern hemisphere, by seeing the easing off the annual caseload of seasonal flu.

The spring equinox was yesterday.

Back soon with more on that, and the story of the Fiery Sky Ram Aries…..

Stay safe

Till next time 🙂

Psychic Pisces, the Zodiac Fishes

 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? This month it’s the turn of Pisces the Heavenly Fishes…

Common associations

Symbol: undefined

Date of Birth: 19 Feb to 20 March

Ruling planet: Neptune (before Neptune’s discovery, Jupiter)

Element: Water

Quality: Mutable (read on to find out more)

Lucky Day: Monday andThursday

Energy: Yin

Key phrase: I believe

Body: Feet, eyes, bladder

Birth Stone:  Aquamarine but also amethyst, ruby, bloodstone and jasper. Aquamarine is the blue variety of beryl. Emerald is a green beryl. The aquamarine is believed to enhance foresight and clairvoyance, and a sense of happiness.

Colour:  Purple, violet, sea-green

Herbs/Flowers: the water lily (associated with Neptune)

Tarot card:  The Moon: ebb and flow, cyclical shifts, intuition, dreams, visionary capabilities, fertility, difficulties with travel, uncertainties, shadow boxing, wild creatures, instinct v civilisation, genius, delusion

Moon card rider waite.jpg
From The Gilded Royale Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

Public Domain:  Rider-Waite

The Astronomy

256px-PiscesCConstellation.jpg

In the sky, Pisces is represented as two fish swimming at right angles to each other, one to the north and one to the west and attached by a cord. The fish are most usually depicted as koi.

Pisces, named for the Latin plural of fish is the 14th largest constellation overall. Pisces is in the first quadrant of the Northern Hemisphere and covers a large V-shaped region. While it is a fairly large constellation, its stars are faint — none are brighter than fourth magnitude — making it challenging to see in the sky with the naked eye.

Even so, its brightest star, Eta Piscium, also known as Alpherg or Kullat Nunu, is a bright giant star (G class) 294 light-years from Earth and has a luminosity 316 times greater that of the sun. Kullat Nunu is its Babylonian name. ‘Nunu’ means ‘fish’ and ‘kullat’ is a bucket.

Pisces second brightest star is Gamma Piscium, a yellow giant about 130 light-years from Earth.

Alpha Piscium is the third brightest star in Pisces, and is made up of a pair of white dwarf stars in close proximity. Its other name is Alrescha (“the cord.”) It lights the spot where it appears that the tails of the two fish are joined or tied together.

The best time to see Pisces in the Northern Hemisphere is between 6-9 November at 9 PM below the Square of Pegasus.

Pisces is notable for containing the point at which the sun crosses the celestial equator into the Northern Hemisphere around March 20 each year.

pisces John Flamsteed 1729.jpg

Image from the Atlas Coelestis, posthumously published by astronomer John Flamsteed, 1729, illustrator John Thornhill.

Astronomer and author Ian Ridpath explains: A cord joins the tails of Pisces. The horizontal dashed line passing through the southerly fish is the celestial equator, and the diagonal dashed line is the Sun’s annual path, the ecliptic.

The point where they cross is known as the vernal (spring) equinox.

History and Mythology

The fish of Pisces are attached by a cord of stars, just as life and death, and winter and spring are conjoined and cannot be separated.

Salmon spawn from October- December onwards. The last of the Atlantic salmon spawning happens late February, after which the salmon die. Perhaps there is a connection here.

Pisces is a mutable sign. These are the signs that mark the end of a season; the other mutable signs are Gemini and Sagittarius. Pisces marks the end of winter, leading up to the vernal equinox. Of all the zodiac signs, mutable signs are traditionally the most flexible and adaptable, the ones most at ease with endings and transitions and change.

Pisces is not only the last sign of winter, moving into spring; it is the last sign of the whole zodiac year, the culmination of all the signs that came before it. Symbolically therefore, Pisces has one foot, or fish in the death of the old year, meaning the last of the winter, pre-spring equinox, and one foot or fish in the quickening of spring, post-spring equinox.

Winter often brings mourning, as it carries away the frail and the old.

Psychic Pisces straddles the season of that winter’s grief and the new green shoots of spring.

The sign of Pisces is Babylonian in origin. Enki, the Sumerian god of wisdom, and the alleged true father of mankind, is associated with the planet Neptune, which astrologically rules the sign of Pisces.

To the ancient Greeks, the fish themselves were the goddess Aphrodite and her son, Eros. They were walking by the Euphrates one day when a terrible monster, Typhon, suddenly rose up out of the water to destroy them.

The gods of Olympus were no match for this particular very ancient monster, a son of Gaia, or Earth herself. He was as tall as the heavens and his eyes shot flames. Instead of fingers, he had 100 dragon’s heads sprouting from his hands.

None of the Olympians had the power to destroy the ghastly Typhon, or confront him, not alone, and he tried to kill them every chance he got. For a time, all they could do was flee, often by transforming themselves into animals, and Aphrodite and Eros, in this case, transformed themselves into fish and swam away.

Another version of the story says they dived into the river, and were rescued by two friendly fish that carried them to safety, and were later placed in the sky, their tails intertwined, to commemorate the day when Eros (Love) and Aphrodite (Beauty) were saved from a hideous fate.

Ultimately, Zeus managed to imprison the terrible Typhon beneath Mount Etna…and he is still very much alive down there to this day.

The Astrological Personality

There is no such thing in reality as THE Pisces personality and the same goes for all the zodiac sun signs. Your sun sign is an archetype, a keynote but of course it is not and never could be the whole story.

Pisces combines imagination with determination, charm with depth, and at times there is a certain passivity, even inertia, which may actually serve them very well at times, but may in some cases degenerate into a trap or a kind of darkness involving depression, alcohol or other substance misuse.

These individuals are talented, natural artists or musicians. They are famously loyal once committed, compassionate and sensitive.

Pisces has steel. This doesn’t get mentioned much, hardly ever, if at all, but Pisces has a quiet steel. They may tire, but they endure, and try taking them on, they may not say much, but watch their face harden, and, should you cross the line once too often, again, they may not say much, but you are gone.

Their instincts are kindly, and they have a soft spot for the underdog. Where they demonstrate a lack of proper consideration for others, or undue stubbornness, it is not due to any lack of goodwill, but because they are not paying attention, too focused on their inner preoccupations.

Pisces Public Domain.jpg

Pisces needs variety, and structure must allow them room for a degree of autonomy. Many police officers, arbitrators and judges are born under Pisces, as well as artists and musicians. Administrative work, although Pisces can do it, is really not their sort of thing by and large.

Pisces can make excellent and approachable leaders of small teams, loyal to their staff. They will take on injustice, take on those superior in status, but Pisces, unlike, say Aquarius, confines their remit to action on an individual basis. Pisces are not temperamentally disposed to mount group actions, campaigns or crusades unless perhaps, they are early Pisces, born on the Aquarius cusp, but the later subjects of this sign, born close to the Aries cusp, are very much the ‘doers’ of Pisces.

Pisces is brave but their physical energy must be guarded. It can be erratic, and once depleted, is not always easily restored. If they are prone to headaches at the back of the head, there may be related bladder infections or other hidden issues. Pisces needs longer to recuperate from illnesses than some other signs. It needs plenty of rest, music and relaxation time near to rivers, ponds and sea.

Weaknesses – Depending on their other planetary placements, Pisces may be prone to falling prey to either wishful thinking, or gloom or unhealthy lifestyle habits, especially when struggling to recover and regroup from setbacks. Lacking a clear sense of purpose or direction, Pisces can drift loose from their cord, becoming detached and living too much in their own imaginary world.

Until next time 🙂

‘New Magician Wanted!’ Tarot as a Tool for Business- Recruitment.

Using Tarot in a business context…

I recently did a Tarot reading via Skype for an independent legal and business consultant, an experienced CEO in her own right.She was shortly getting ready to conduct four job interviews over the telephone, first stage recruiting on behalf of her client, who was looking for a new senior administrator in a retail/payment role.

This client is a true Aries Queen; a Queen of Wands as insightful as strategic in her thinking, and my inputs were purely a matter of extra interest. But of interest to her nonetheless. She may have a red hot bullsh*t detector, and indeed she does, but this is one intellectually high-powered, expansive and genuinely inquiring lady.

My brief was to offer a few off the cuff insights of my own into these 4 candidates before the interviews.

I was told the job title being recruited for (nothing about the job spec)

I asked for, and was given their first names, but wanted no other information at all. Nothing. Zip. De nada.

Here, for reasons of ethics and confidentiality, I shall refer to them as Candidates A, B, C and D.

This write-up is posted with the client’s permission. So here we go. And watch out for that mention of ‘The Magician’.

The Magician, The Legacy of The Divine Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

Me: 11.25

Candidate A draws a strong analytical card, and a strong money card. Does he need to commute/relocate? A touch autocratic. Self sufficient. Not necc easy to know. (or work with?) His cards, Queen Swords (IT/strategy/barriers) and 10 Coins (a money chest.)
Candidate B draws The Hermit and 7 Coins. Hermit shines a light for others to follow. High degree of maturity, good for any training or supervising role. 7 Coins is a good money industry card. Means a good ROI. Not so strong as the 1o that Candidate A drew, but good. It means a good harvest, or an orchard full of apples. Can’t be bad news in this role.
Candidate C… this looks like a solid candidate as seen through the 6 Coins (community) and the King Coins, good manager. Thorough…safe pair of hands. Perhaps a bit plodding. Tendency to be detail focused. Big picture might not be strong suit.
Candidate D is the only one NOT to draw a MONEY suit card at the first pass. I drew The Hanging Man and the Justice card. She may be late or seem a bit less switched on than the others. She’s got things weighing on her mind. She looks intellectually able (Justice = Libra = high diplomacy and strategy) The ‘wild card’ choice today?

Client, 11:42
Very interesting! Yes, Candidate D IS the wild card because she scored a whole score below the others on the attention to detail test. Also, (I am mostly joking here, but not entirely) is any of them likely to do a lot of crying at work?

Me, 12:00 Ah…right 🙂 The one most likely to cry at work at this time is Candidate D so far as I can see. I would say she had a bad night last night, poor soul. Justice card suggests this is a person of ability and worth. Currently wrestling with other things that won’t come up in the meeting. Candidate C may be a ‘plodder’. Candidate A may be a bit …difficult. Depending on the job description he or Candidate B might be entirely what’s needed, he or she seem to have the edge at this first glance. In terms of their own confidence to do the job, that is. These two draw the strongest cards for the marrying of money/strategy/detail. Candidate D IS an able candidate, but perhaps just not ready, or this is not quite the right role for her, hence skills tests results.

Client, 12:03
You really don’t seem to like Candidate A ?

Me, 12:09
I do not dislike him. It’s not that. Though you might not warm to him. The Queen of Swords suggests authoritative, or with an edge that others may find intimidating. This may be a desirable thing, depending on the job spec. The Queen of Swords is an excellent abstract thinker. They understand other people pretty well, BUT at a remove. He may be charming, and the job is Chief XXX after all. He is task focused, but teamwork…? And does not readily accept being in the wrong, even if he is, so up close and personal, some might find him a bit of a b*stard, excuse my language.

Client, 12 :15

OK:) We’ll see. He is my favourite at this point. Based on paper. Candidate C has poor retention record. Has moved about. Doesn’t seem to have got her teeth in any way at all. Except as an office manager for nine years at one point, now six years ago. And as a maternity cover but this is a very very detailed role. Candidate D has been the general manager of Z hotels following a promotion. But may have been made redundant before Christmas. Candidate A is -on paper, looking like the most ‘all round’ candidate.

Me, 12:26

Candidate B’s cards indicate a very solid office manager. And if this is a high functioning role, The Hermit indicates she works well on her own but blends well too. This is a good leadership and teamwork card here. She’s my favourite, but that’s just from where I am sitting right now. I would be watching Candidate A v hard for the reasons to say no.

Client, 12:28
Interesting. Candidate B’s background is local authorities. Yes. Strong background in team leadership and personnel.

Me, 12:28
Ahhh, well, Hermit is very ‘Virgo.’ Dots the i’s.

Client, 12:33
BTW, what cards did you get for the incumbent Ms W?

Me, 12:33
Who is this? This name hasn’t come up yet. What do we want to ask about Ms W?

Client, 12:34
The current incumbent. Why is she so dam’ good at the job? (She’s resigned and that’s why we’re looking to recruit)

Me, 12:34
Ms W is so good at the job because she is the MAGICIAN. The master. She unites all the required skills and also attributes. for this role. But it has taken a lot out of her. Is that why she is stepping down?

Client, 12:38
She’s supposedly part time but been working full time for yonks, so you’re right– That could also be it. What I need now is another Magician. I’ll let you know how we get on.

Client, 14:42
Well done KT! Candidate D – the wild card with the low scores- DOES have a lot on her mind. She is redundant with a young baby and a husband who has been affected by the same redundancy profile so, yes, lots on her mind!

Candidate C likes an organised day, so yes, one might say sort of ‘plodding’.

And Candidate B is very calm and mature. I like Candidate B best so far for this role. But I don’t talk to Candidate A until 6.30.

Client, 18:45
OMG Candidate A. Complete no-go area. How do you do it?? ?

Me, 17:46
You would have decided that anyway. You didn’t need me for that, and he had to be given the max benefit of the doubt. So, don’t tell me if you would rather not, will you pick Candidate B to go forward to the next stage?

Client, 18:01
Yes, I would have found out, but you had already told me all that, before, and it took you barely seconds. And yes, I’ll recommend Candidate B based on that telephone interview. But I’ll HAVE to see her…..

And at this point I left the loop….

My client decided her own, next steps, and I may not ever be party to the outcome. But you get the idea.

It doesn’t look as though they will be getting another Magician, not from among those four candidates, or that card would have made an appearance against one of their names.

What I provided was a means of additional affirmation, and because I drew the cards ahead of the telephone interviews, my client could verify in real time what the Tarot was telling us.

My understanding of this exchange, how it worked, was that I picked up on these candidates by picking up on my client’s own intuition about them. The cards enabled me to pick up on her own feelings, tuning in telepathically with her. It may have worked just as well if I did not know her. It has elsewhere, with clients I have only just connected with, but it surely must have helped.

In other words, I suspect my client also knew or understood all these things about the prospective job candidates, just subliminally, and then I, assisted by my cards, was able to turn her own psychic sensing into words, which we could then test out and verify.

So that, more than anything else, this was a telepathic exchange. I have said this before, and I’ll say it again. The reader may be psychic AND SO IS THE CLIENT.

The reader uses their knowledge of their chosen system of divination …in this case, Tarot cards, to amplify telepathy, and put it under a microscope.

And this has been learned and developed as an innate, but acquired and developed skill.

I look and I say what I see, and by now, I trust that I will certainly be on to something, but that does not mean that I am right, or that I know that I am right.

I know nothing, and that’s the way I need it to be.

Until next time 🙂

The Tarot: How does it work?

T de Marseilles

Image: Public Domain; The Tarot de Marseilles

Have you ever had a Tarot reading, or pulled cards for yourself, and been surprised, mystified or even spooked because the cards were so relevant it was uncanny?  How does that happen?

The Basics

Tarot is only one of many systems of divination. Others are far older, including astrology, cartomancy (divination with playing cards) the I-Ching and runes. The Tarot, or Tarocchi, began as a game of chance in the courts of northern Italy during the early renaissance.

Physically speaking, a Tarot deck is little more than 78 pieces of illustrated, numbered card-stock.

The meanings in the cards need a reader to interpret them and make them come alive. No faith required, no religion, no need to commune with spirits. I have read for Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Chinese and Jewish clients, as well as for atheists, agnostics and downright skeptics. The imagery in the Tarot crosses cultural boundaries.

But in communing with some ancient part of ourselves, perhaps we are also communing with the divine, however one wishes to define it.

I see it as a transcendence or suspension of the everyday self. When I am doing a reading for another person, I need to free myself, try and take myself out of the equation, me and my worry about getting it ‘right’ or ‘wrong’; me and my ego.

In a  Tarot reading the reader and enquirer sit down together, and in essence, use these symbols as a meeting ground upon which to converse via empathy, which can sometimes be so acute that it amounts to telepathy, with the cards helping the reader to decode the telepathic signals coming from the other person. Social instinct comes into it too. Of course it does when the reading is face to face. Who wants a nitwit reading for them?

Most readers, me included,also do distance readings, working without that direct interface to help them, and it’s harder, but the Tarot still delivers, though who is to say if it could have worked better face to face when the reader can ‘scent’ the nascent clouds round the other person?

I sometimes joke as I shuffle the cards, ‘OK, now my ancient inner animal is going to have a little talk with your ancient inner animal.’

We are going to converse on at (at least) two levels, consciously, and via telepathy, enabled by the imagery of the cards.

psychic pig

Marcus the psychic pig, accurately predicted the result of the EU Referendum, and The US Elections

Suspension of self and ego notwithstanding, delivery of a professional level of service means I need to do at least as well or better than the pig. The reader draws cards blindly and at random, and lays them out in a pattern or spread, using the placement of the cards, the imagery and associated meanings of that card. Why choose this card and not that one? Well, there is the mystery. The central nervous system has a mind of its own, and dictates my movement, in determining the instant at which I stop shuffling. I can think of no better explanation. The choice to stop shuffling is not remotely deliberate.

The reader then interprets the cards, sharing what they sense about a given person, situation or question, past, present and possible future.

This stuff is not omniscience. I don’t KNOW anything. I just say what I see and feel. The thing that amazes, and can even startle the person being read for, and the readers too at times, is the total, immediate and undeniable relevance of cards drawn blindly and at random, and then organised into a pattern or spread for interpretation.

The cards were drawn at random,  but the results do not seem random at all.

They fit.

OK, but shaddap! How exactly does this stuff WORK?

There is no one single, neat and tidy answer.

The reader  has ‘uploaded’ a ‘programme’ by learning the meanings and associations of the cards. With much repetition and practice, just as with learning to play an instrument or indeed any kind of rote learning, this programming becomes almost second nature, and the cards may act now, not only as technical support but as a springboard for insights prompted by lateral or associative thinking, backed up by instinct.

This provides them with their starting point, and then their own ideas, empathy or intuition supplies further comment. The cards provide a spring board for the reader’s intuition, but the associations of the cards supply the details enabling greater precision of interpretation. Associative thinking, or lateral thinking helps me a lot in arriving at ‘psychic’ insights or ‘hits.’

I look at the card and there is a kind of a ‘ping’ moment.

For instance: I drew the Six of Wands, and this card generally means progress, promotion, a trip but on this occasion, something about the artwork made me say something I had never said on previous occasions, drawing the self same card, and I asked the client, ‘are you thinking of going to Siena?’

And she was, or rather, a place just outside Siena, but how did I arrive at that guess? Firstly, I had already established that we were looking at a travel destination. Secondly, something about it suddenly made me think of the Palio.

6 wands legacy divine tarot
palio

The Six Wands from The Legacy of The Divine Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

At other times the six of Wands has told me about motorbikes. Once it ‘showed’ me an upcoming sporting event, a big one and I asked the client, was this correct, and learned he was going to the Paralympics as a reserve member of the wheelchair rugby team

Same card, three very concrete yet differing interpretations in the real, modern world.

Synchronicity

The psychologist Carl Jung never learned to read the Tarot himself, but was fascinated by its ability to reflect what was going on. Jung theorised that Tarot works by means of a phenomenon he called “synchronicity”, or meaningful coincidence.

Jung was also fascinated by what Tarot could tell us about real people we know as pictured through story archetypes, e.g.; The King, The High Priestess, the Hermit, and for its insights into the conscious mind working real time in tandem with the unconscious mind.

quote-synchronicity-a-meaningful-coincidence-of-two-or-more-events-where-something-other-than-carl-jung-52-5-0551

The enquirer feels that they have been seen and heard by some invisible presence. This is where the ‘spookiness’, and the apparent miracle of synchronicity manifests.

The reader  has ‘uploaded’ a ‘programme’ by learning the meanings and associations of the cards. With much repetition and practice, just as with learning to play an instrument or indeed any kind of rote learning, this programming becomes almost second nature, and the cards may act now, not only as technical support but as a springboard for insights prompted by lateral or associative thinking, backed up by instinct.

The clues in the cards

Each card has many keywords attached. These are the basic building bricks of the reading.

The Chariot card, for instance, has these meanings attached; a vehicle, a driving test, a garage, a road trip, travel, ambition, project, a partnership, teamwork, discipline, and also the zodiac sign of Cancer and the dates associated with this sign (June 21-July 22)

So, let’s imagine I draw this card. Which meaning do I choose here and now?

John William Waterhouse - Sketch of Circe, 1911-1914
Circe by Waterhouse

John William Waterhouse – Sketch of Circe, 1911-1914 (public domain)

How does the reader

1:  choose cards which so appropriately describe things you have not yet told the reader?

2:  choose which of the many possible card interpretations to go with?

The context of the card is a clue. What are the surrounding cards? The reader studies these with care. Beyond this, the short answer is, the reader doesn’t know. They make a judgement call and go with their first impressions, trusting the unconscious process, then making it conscious again, putting it back into words.

This is presumably working on empathy.

Intuition is one’s inner tuition – one’s instinctive understanding. It’s necessary for survival, and we all possess it to some degree.

Using a learned system such as Tarot helps us give it words.

Sometimes these words are so specific, many call it ‘psychic’ and psychic ability and intuition are often seen as “supernatural.”

But anyone can learn to read Tarot cards, while the degree of proficiency attained depends on a certain natural talent, but also depends to a very great extent on study and practise. Lots of people start learning, but give it up again without ever finding out all they might be able to do with it.

In Summary

Tarot is an art not a science. It is a form of language; a system but it does not function like a machine. You clearly see there’s a process at work, but you can’t dismantle the mechanisms. It is based on the physical actions of shuffling, drawing and arranging the cards, and then upon card knowledge, feeling and sensing and finally, word choice.

Becoming proficient at reading the Tarot, such that one can read to a service level feels like a big responsibility. Well, it is, and it demands a heck of a lot of practice, and the more you work with the Tarot or whatever system of divination you might want to work with, the more confidently you will be able to tap into your intuition, but you do not need to think of yourself as psychic in order to learn to read the Tarot, or to become fluent and proficient.

There is a native understanding beyond your conscious awareness and control. Whether you think that proceeds from your subconscious, the collective unconscious, God, your guides, or your higher self doesn’t matter.

The Tarot works according to the reader’s way of using it, commensurate with their skill, experience, and innate intuitive talents. No faith or belief system is required.

The results must be the proof.

We can, and do know more than we know, any of us, all of us, without necessarily knowing HOW we know it. Perhaps there are biological algorithms at work here, and why should this be surprising?

We don’t even know how old we are as a specie. Until 2015 we were told, based on the available evidence, that humanity had been practising organised agriculture for 12000 years, and discoveries by the sea of Galilee indicate that humanity has been experimenting with crop eugenics for at least 23000 years.

We’re getting more ancient as a species with every new discovery, and so is our technology, it seems; ever more ancient, with continuing discovery.

February, and a One-Card ‘Crystal Ball’ style reading

I am at pains to stress I don’t work as a fortune-teller. I work as an adviser, working to a brief, and I offer forecasting within a specific context, because otherwise, who am I reading for exactly? And I aim to deal in relevant specifics wherever possible.

Context is key for meaning, relevance and precision.

However, I also like to challenge myself. General ‘scrying’ of ‘the’ future, Nostradamus style, is part of a very ancient tradition, and I sometimes work with a well known astrologer, Jessica Adams, writing as a guest contributor for a monthly feature, Tarot Tuesday at JessicaaAdams.com.

The challenge is to pick just one card, and share my intuitive impressions triggered by this card for the coming month. But without benefit of any other context than this loose time frame. One or two other Tarot card readers also write up their one card readings for the month to come, and Jessica then correlates these Tarot findings with current astrology.

Artist Albert Anker 1880

My chosen card for this February 2020 was the Six of Swords.

Book meanings: relocation, progress, exploration, charting a new course, mourning, travel by water, self determination, east

From the Legacy of the Divine Tarot, Image by Ciro Marchetti.

Lick your finger, hold it up…what is the prevailing wind?

Winds are changeable of course, from day to day, even hour to hour, but still, it has been interesting for me as a reader, to correlate my previous one card ‘crystal ball’ readings with events of the ensuing month.

An earlier one card reading said ‘wild fire,’ (you can see previous readings via the link provided below) and it is still playing out, tragically; particularly the Australian wild fires, of which the first were actually in September, and now it is known that several of these were started deliberately.

These single card readings are actually drawn 2-3 weeks ahead of publication, so that I am drawing a card mid January for the first Tuesday in February, and mid February looking ahead to the first Tuesday in March and so on.

Logically, none of it ought to make any sense at all, unless by sheer coincidence. Except that isn’t how it works, when it works.

It works on animal sensing.

Click below to read February’s Tarot Tuesday feature, courtesy of Jessica Adams.

Tarot Tuesdays with psychic astrologer Jessica Adams

Until next time 🙂

1 -2 February, Imbolc, Candlemas and Brigid’s Day

Today is Candlemas, the Christian festival of presenting Jesus at the temple, but before that, a more ancient celebration in Gaelic Britain of coming spring. Go on folks. Get with the programme. Parade down the street, go pray for the health of the fields! It’s all about the soil.

Plus today is a palindrome date: 02022020.

Candlemas is a continuation of the ancient festival Imbolc, which spans 1-2 February and began yesterday with St Brigid’s Day. The original Brigid was a pre-Christian goddess of the Tuatha Dé Danann. She was a daughter of the chief of the gods, The Dagda, and was known as a goddess of healers, poets, smiths, childbirth and inspiration. Her name means “exalted one”.

Her story was later merged with the Christian saint of the same name in the middle ages, St Brigid of Kildare.

This fire festival, whether viewed as pagan or Christian, began as a neolithic festival also celebrated in Scotland and the Isle of Man, roughly marking the 1/2 way point between the winter solstice and spring equinox.

From The Sacred Circle Tarot

There are various suggestion about the etymology of ‘Imbolc. ‘ It is commonly thought to come from a word meaning “in the belly.” This reflects goddess Brigid’s role as a protector of women in childbirth, as well as the safe birthing of precious livestock.

Any time now, is the time of the very first lambs. The start of the lambing season varies by up to two weeks in any given year.

Brigid was said to visit one’s home at Imbolc. Asking her blessings, people would make a bed for Brigid and leave her food and drink, and items of clothing would be left outside for her to bless. Brigid was petitioned to protect homes and livestock. This was a time for feasting and visits to sacred wells, and a time for ritual divination.

St Brigid’s cross is the classic icon of her saint’s day today, though this too, predates Christianity. It is made from rushes and was placed in doorways to protect the home from harm.

A new Christian story was created for it, that the earthly manifestation of Brigid, St Brigid of Kildare, had woven it for a dying man, using rushes from the floor, baptizing him at the point of death.

By Culnacreann – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3500722

Spring fire, fierce quickening of new green shoots.

Imbolc was when the Cailleach. —the divine  crone of Gaelic tradition—gathered her firewood for the rest of the winter. Legend said if she wished the winter to last a good while longer, she would make sure the weather on Imbolc was bright and sunny, so she could go out and about, and gather firewood.

It was lucky, therefore, if there was bad weather at Imbolc (and the wind was screaming as I was typing this.)

If Imbolc was a day of foul weather, as it was here yesterday, and today is still damp and blustery, it meant the Cailleach was sound asleep, and winter was almost over.

Until next time 🙂

Ophiuchus: The Thirteenth Sign of the Zodiac?

Dang. I meant to post this in November and forgot.

I’ll blame it on Brexit. Why not.

Is there a missing thirteenth sign in the astrological zodiac? Astronomers suggest there is. Sidereal (eastern) astrologers may agree, but Tropical (western) astrologers mostly do not.

So what’s this about?

According to Ptolemy’s system of Tropical (western) astrology there are 12 signs of the zodiac named after 12 constellations. Aries the Ram is the first constellation, and therefore the first sign of the zodiac, March 20 – April 19. Pisces is the twelfth constellation and the last sign of the zodiac, Feb 19 –March 20.

Modern astronomy records 88 constellations covering the southern and northern hemispheres of our sky. 13 of these constellations cross or touch the ecliptic – the trajectory of the Sun’s apparent path across the sky as seen from Earth.

ecliptic.jpg
Public Domain: the Plane of the ecliptic

These include the constellations that inspired the names of our 12 zodiac signs plus a thirteenth – Ophiuchus (Oaf-ih-YOU-kus)

Astronomers and NASA have presented this thirteenth constellation, Ophiuchus, as the thirteenth sign of the zodiac, while also pointing out that the zodiac itself…meaning the section of sky directly overhead as viewed from Earth- has changed from when the ancient Babylonian astrologers first viewed it, and the generally accepted dates for the zodiac signs as supplied in horoscopes are now a month out of alignment.

This change in the skies has been the result of an effect called precession. The gravitational pull of the Moon and the Sun causes the Earth to ‘wobble’ and as the Earth orbits around the sun; a different constellation appears behind it each month.

So while the zodiac signs have remained in a fixed position, and their dates have remained the same, varying only by a day or two here and there, the constellations have drifted.

Based on this, astronomers have suggested the new astrological zodiac should more correctly look like this, with these new dates:

•Capricorn: 20 Jan – 16 Feb
•Aquarius: 16 Feb – 11 March
•Pisces: 11 March – 18 April
•Aries: 18 April – 13 May
•Taurus: 13 May – 21 June
•Gemini: 21 June – 20 July
•Cancer: 20 July – 10 Aug
•Leo: 10 Aug – 16 Sept
•Virgo: 16 Sept – 30 Oct
•Libra: 30 Oct – 23 Nov
•Scorpio: 23 – 29 Nov
•Ophiuchus: 29 Nov – 17 Dec
•Sagittarius: 17 Dec – 20 Jan

So you thought you were a Taurus sun sign? Hang on says NASA. No, actually, you are an Aries subject. So you thought you were an Aries sun sign? No, you are Pisces. So you thought you were a Sagittarius? No, you are Ophiuchus, and so on.

Whoa.

But hang on a minute. As astronomers themselves are quick to point out, astronomy is not astrology.

Let’s first take a brief look at the astronomy.

Astronomy

200px-OphiuchusCC.jpg
Wiki

Ophiuchus ([Oaf-ih-YOU-kus)  is one of the largest constellations but also the least well known,  straddling the celestial equator northwest of the centre of the Milky Way, near the constellations Aquila, Serpens, and Hercules, and opposite Orion.

The southern part lies between Scorpius to the west and Sagittarius to the east. July is the best time to see it in the northern hemisphere, mid-winter in the southern hemisphere.  Below Ophiuchus, down to the right, look out for a bright reddish star, Antares in Scorpio, for help in locating it.

Its name comes from the Greek Ὀφιοῦχος Ophioukhos; “serpent-bearer,” and it is commonly represented as a man grasping a snake. It used to be called Serpentius, and it included the constellation of Serpens, representing the snake itself. Marking the head of Ophiuchus, Alpha Ophiuchi has an older, Arabic name: Rasalhague, the “Head of the Snake Charmer”.

Ophiuchus contains many notable features and objects, including Kepler’s Supernova, or Kepler’s Star, named for German astronomer Johannes Kepler and which was by far the brightest star in the sky for over 3 weeks during 1604.

Kepler wasn’t the first to note the supernova, due to cloudy conditions, but he made observations over the course of an entire year and wrote about the “new star in the foot of Ophiuchus”.

Kepler’s Supernova continued visible for 18 months, and its remnants are still studied today, still the most recent supernova to be observed with the naked eye.

Mythology

To the ancient Greeks, the constellation represented the god Apollo struggling with a huge snake that guarded the Oracle of Delphi.

Later myths identified Ophiuchus with Laocoon, the tragic Trojan priest of Poseidon, who warned his fellow Trojans about the Greek’s wooden horse, and together with his sons, was killed by a pair of sea-serpents sent by Poseidon to shut him up, because clearly, Poseidon was on the side of the Greeks, or else under orders from Zeus, or else Laocoon had already annoyed him in some other way, and you know, nothing less than death by giant sea-snake would do.

Public Domain

Pluto (Hades) complained to Jupiter (Zeus) that Asclepius was interfering with death, which upset the natural order and meant the end of the circle of life, with no room for new life. Immortality was an evil therefore. Life itself would die, stagnated, and Jupiter (Zeus) duly put a stop to it by killing Asclepius with a lightning thunderbolt.  Apollo was furiously upset, understandably, and Jupiter tried to appease him by placing Asclepius in the heavens to honour his good works, and the rod of Asclepius remains the symbol of western medicine to this day.

The rod of Asclepius is not be confused with the Cadeuceus, a symbol of medicine, but also of trade. The cadeuceus is assciated with Mercury, and has not one but two snakes twined round the staff, and it has wings.

 In medieval Islamic astronomy the constellation was known as ‘Al-Ḥawwa’, “the snake-charmer.”

rod of asclepius.png
Public Domain

Astrology

Ophiuchus is described in the Astronomica of Marcus Manilius, 10 AD:-

“Ophiuchus holds apart the serpent which with its mighty spirals and twisted body encircles his own…But, bending its supple neck, the serpent looks back and returns…The struggle will last forever, since they wage it on level terms with equal powers.”

Sidney_Hall_-_Urania's_Mirror_-_Taurus_Poniatowski,_Serpentarius,_Scutum_Sobiesky,_and_Serpens.jpg

Image: Public Domain: The Snake-Wrangler in Urania’s Mirror, 1825. Above the tail of the serpent is a now ‘obsolete’ constellation, Taurus Poniatovii

If you are born in that window between 29th November and 17th December, astronomers and some astrologers may argue that your zodiac sun sign is technically Ophiuchus.

Key personality traits:

Humanitarian* Poetic* Hungry for knowledge* Intuitive* Psychic*Intense *Likes bright colours *High achievers *Prone to harbouring enemies without realizing *Lucky (so long as the enemies don’t succeed, obviously)

These are, not surprisingly, a mix of classic Scorpio and Sagittarius attributes in this profile.

So, is Ophiuchus the thirteenth zodiac sign? Does your zodiac sign stay the same?

It depends who you are talking to. What astronomy is not taking into account here is the very basis of western (Tropical) astrology which makes a key distinction between the positions at any given time of the constellations themselves, and the zodiac signs named after them.

The signs of the zodiac as we know them today are based on Ptolemy’s twelve-fold division of the ecliptic, designed so that each sign spans 30° of celestial longitude, or roughly the distance the Sun travels in a month. 12 was an easier, tidier number to work with than was 13.

Ptolemy aligned these divisions with the seasons so that the March equinox always falls on the boundary between Pisces and Aries, whereas Sidereal (Vedic) astrology is based on the constellations themselves, as was western astrology way back at the time of the Babylonians, whose data Ptolemy worked with.

Tropical western astrology, with its 12 associated zodiac signs is a static, modelled system based NOT on the constellations themselves, but on the wheel of the seasons which also accord the signs of the zodiac their personalities, but the idea of the ‘missing’ thirteenth sign is nothing new.

It was developed by Hipparchus in 130 BC,” says astrologer, Susan Miller, “but you don’t get your characteristics from the constellations. You get them from the planets, from the sun and moon. We measure everything by the degree to which the earth is rotated around the sun. So if you’re born at the beginning of the zodiac, which corresponds to the spring equinox and typically falls on March 20, you’re at the 0º point—or the point at which the sun is crossing directly over the earth’s Equator. If we didn’t have names like Virgo or Gemini we’d have to walk around saying, `Hi, I’m a 136º,’ and I’d say, `Oh, really? Well I’m a 352º and so on.”

In Summary

NASA’s debunking is logical in strictly astronomical terms, but in astrological terms would only matter if Tropical (western) astrology was still tied to the position of the constellations.

But it isn’t, and your zodiac sign, also known as your sun sign still stands, both as it is and where it is, based on the principle and according to the system on which it was first described.

Brexit Day: Currents and Currency

Card drawn today as my Card of the Day: (tweets limited to 280 characters.)


Katie-Ellen@ktlncartomancer· Tarot COTD: The Magician. 1st card out of the deck, shuffled & drawn blind. Skill, alchemy. Self-assurance, self-determination. Yet. 4 elements-‘corners’ of the globe & see globe of the spheres?Tricky year ahead but UK Manuf, tech & space ind will do big new things. IMG Marchetti

The Magician: The Tarot of the Divine Legacy: Ciro Marchetti

The Magician makes things happen. Britain is making things happen. Britain is still making things. See the factories hidden inside this image? See the tower blocks of the City and the service sectors? See the books new and old? See the astrolabe, the wheels, the cogs, the electricity, and the conjuring, welding and harmonizing of a master conductor/physicist?

There are a number of posts here on this blog, card readings on Brexit dating back to the referendum of 2016. We were in Bilbao the day the result was announced, and next day drove across to Sitges, and were asked about it a few times by total strangers, all in a thoughtful, friendly way.

Some were Catalan.

Let’s just look back to December.

Posted on Twitter 9 Dec 2019:-
Katie-Ellen@ktlncartomancer· Will it be a hung parliament? Let’s look through the lens of playing card cartomancy. No opinions. Just cards. Shuffle blind, draw 5 cards, red/black, central card key. 10 Diamonds, Queen D, Ace Clubs (reps GE & a NO answer) 4 Spades (ugh) Ace Diamonds (future = new start).

And let’s look back again at an earlier reading, posted 1 October 2019 in which I used pendulum divination, asking this question…..

Will there be a General Election BEFORE the UK leaves?

The pendulum is swinging to NO. But I don’t know. I keep thinking of that Ace of Clubs card. I don’t see one occurring in September or October and that timing would be exceedingly tight. But, swinging the pendulum again, there’s something here, suggesting however unlikely, there may be one either concluded or announced before Christmas.” – (posted 1 October 2019)

The dates though? The dates. How did I do there?

I was timid. I posted in October that I drew a 2:5 chance of there being the Halloween Brexit promised for 31 October. I still detected it as possible therefore, while far from guaranteed, and of course, now we know it didn’t happen. 1 October the chance suddenly reduced from 3/5 to 2/5.

1 October 2019 “The figure on this card from the Legacy of the Divine Tarot deck, illustrated by Ciro Marchetti, is reaching out his arms, spanning the Scorpion of Halloween and somewhere between Aquarius and the Fish of Pisces, late February-late March. But is it 2020 or a continuum into 2021?”

The Legacy of The Divine Tarot

We entered Aquarius 20 January, so that the formal declaration of Brexit tonight is set to occur at the very beginning of the time window indicated by my reading.

And yet, as we know, this event at 11.00 PM tonight UK time, midnight Brussels time, marks the start of a year long transition period.

Time and again since 2016 I have looked to see if it would be a No Deal Brexit. I have not at any time seen a No Deal Brexit. We might still get one, but the Withdrawal Agreement means it has been averted at least until the end of 2020.

So how will that proceed this year? In other readings, I have noted many appearances of Leo the Lion for some reason I don’t understand, indicating a key development in July-August 2020. I’ll have to watch that space.

Again and again since the 2016 referendum I have asked, what is the ‘destiny’ for Britain, and drawn the same card over and over, the Nine of Coins, suggesting a slow gathering momentum, a juggernaut, and a coming decade of hard work and economic achievement.

This card specifically suggests notable prospects including but not limited to: financial services, manufacturing, horticulture/agriculture, farmer’s markets and a surge in demand for local produce luxury goods, the heritage industry and hoteliers.

I would be happier to see a fish leaping in that pond, though at least there is a pond, and that is clearly vital business pending, fishing rights and fisheries, significant by a silence in the noise around the current withdrawal bill passed by this Parliament. This bill, may presumably, may be superseded by events.

Update: Click here to read: BBC: Fishing will be a red line issue

The Legacy of the Divine Tarot

Meanwhile, the new 50 pence coin has apparently so enraged many Remain voters who are not reconciled to the direction the UK has voted to take, they are threatening to deface it. It is unlawful to deface a coin of the realm, but nail polish remover will remove permanent ink, and so will toothpaste and baking soda.

To those so utterly irreconciled at this tide of national events, that they are publicly threatening to deface these new coins with a swastika, on the grounds that this coin marks the new face of Britain, shame on them. And this, the week of the 75th Holocaust Memorial.

Britain, for all its many failings, and despite the likes of Moseley, and shockingly, the machinations of Edward v111, has never had a fascist government, unlike all those countries in mainland Europe we shall forebear to name. Britain was fortunate too, in its allies, and was lucky that it was more than once assisted, and even reprieved by its island status, a 450 000 year old accident of geography.

“The breaching of this land bridge between Dover and Calais was undeniably one of the most important events in British history, helping to shape our island nation’s identity even today,” said Professor Sanjeev Gupta, a co-author from the Department of Earth Science and Engineering at Imperial. “When the ice age ended and sea levels rose, flooding the valley floor for good, Britain lost its physical connection to the mainland. Without this dramatic breaching Britain would still be a part of Europe. This is Brexit 1.0 – the Brexit nobody voted for.”-Source: The Independent.

This has of course not saved these islands from wave after wave of historical uninvited migration and hostile invasion. The British people were forged in wave after wave of intermarriages following invasion and migration; the Romans, the Norse, the Jutes, the Saxons. The list goes on and on.

The shock of 1066 must have been so seismic as to be almost unimaginable. Duke William abolished slavery, but freemen landholders became serfs and tenants almost overnight.

Harold Godwinson

Betrayed by his brother

Begged wait by his mother

Echoes shrined in thread

A fallen king still speaks

Of ships on shingle

Senlac sundered

Homeland hillside

Battle ringed in red.

The English language was never the same again. Norman French was the new language of state and power, and continued so for another 300 hundred years. Click to Continue

Who are the British anyway? Who ARE the Brythones? And who are the English? These islands been invaded so many times, often with horrific violence, by incoming peoples plundering minerals, seeking fertile farming land, sweeping in from the European mainland, and with such an ensuing commingling of tribes, it is not so easy to say, let alone characterise the ‘indigenous’ population, if they are not direct descendants of the Anglians themselves, except to say the native Britons are largely Indo-European, and as such shall remain.

We are not moving away anywhere, except that our island home is drifting westwards as our eastern cliffs continue to crumble and our westerly margins build. The sea is further and further out, along the coasts of Lancashire and Cumbria, I have seen that visible difference during my own lifetime.

Today is about isolationism. It never was and it never will be, as if that were even possible, anyway. It is not anti-global, and yet is is a rejection of a certain kind of globalism, the corporate kind.

The future being resisted here is a chimera of the virtual world, where a chip implanted in your body will mean you swipe left or right, opening a door, getting in to work. That technology is already here,with our greater ease of convenience as the supposed trade-off.

After all, we are already using this technology in medical procedures, such as pacemakers, and in pets, chipping them in case of loss or theft, is the reasoning, meant to reassure:

“The syringe slides in between the thumb and index finger. Then, with a click, a microchip is injected in the employee’s hand. Another “cyborg” is created.

What could pass for a dystopian vision of the workplace is almost routine at the Swedish startup hub Epicenter. The company offers to implant its workers and startup members with microchips the size of grains of rice that function as swipe cards: to open doors, operate printers, or buy smoothies with a wave of the hand.

The injections have become so popular that workers at Epicenter hold parties for those willing to get implanted.” Source – The Independent, 2017

And could we,would we sell our children’s futurity for such a mess of pottage as that?

A ‘metropolitan’ city dweller might counter this in terms of the alternative vision; recoiling in their turn from some vision of a kind of folk horror revival.

It comes down to outlook, but the kingdom has spoken in reclamation of community; the fact and meaning of landscape, the minerals that build our unborn bones and teeth, and our feeling of connection to these are the fixtures and fittings wherever we go. Only the furniture, we choose.

If home is where the heart is:

On y reste.

On y va.

On y retourne.

It looks to me we are in for a momentous and hard-working decade of change, and doubtless this will be unsettling for some, and there will be losers as well as winners, just as there are now, and have been this past 45 years, but the more we thrive, the better we can carry the poor and the sick, the young and old and weak, and the UK is going to do OK.

The Nine of Coins says- better than OK.

Till next time 🙂

Tarot Marshmallow

Psychic consultations are generally very serious conversations, but they have their lighter moments…

True Tarot Tales

Metaphysical, metaphorical. Love n light. Blah.

Readers must aim for meaning and precision, and avoid waffle at all costs. Being ‘psychic’ is one thing. Being a practitioner of a discipline is another. Effective communication is another.

The ‘right’ words must be identified, transmitted and  received for a purpose.

fortune teller

What people generally want to know is what do the cards MEAN? For them? Right now? In terms they can get hold of and use, should they so choose? We live in a physical world and must wrestle with ourselves, yes, at times, but so many life challenges focus on matters of practical substance, and this is not the lesser stuff. It is simply temporal, time specific where the metaphysics is the stuff of enduring truths and eternal experiences.

I was doing a reading for a lady who worked as a hypnotherapist, when the Tarot suddenly seemed tosuggest it was time to…

View original post 671 more words

Enter Aquarius

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? This month it’s the turn of Aquarius, the cloud, the rain-maker of the Zodiac; and therefore an Air sign despite the ‘aqua’ in its name…

Aquarius is the eleventh astrological sign in the Zodiac, and is named after the southern constellation of Aquarius, recorded by the Greek astronomer mathematician Ptolemy in the 2nd Century AD. 

Common Associations

Dates: 20 Jan- 19 Feb

Quality: Fixed

Element: Air (Air of Water)

Ruling planets: Saturn and Uranus

Body: The circulatory system, shins, and ankles.

Birthstone: Amethyst

Tarot Card: The Star (Hope, Vision, Recovery, Equilibrium, Bridging, Searching)

star card rider waite wiki.jpg

The Star card: The Gilded Tarot, Ciro Marchetti, permission for educational purposes.

Astronomy

Aquarius constellation Wiki.jpg
Aquarius: Public Domain

See ‘the bucket’ pouring out water? In the Turkish and Persian languages, the word for the constellation of Aquarius meant ‘bucket.’

The large, faint, southern constellation of Aquarius lies in a dark region of the sky known as the Sea, which contains other constellations with water-themed names and stories: Pisces (the fish), Eridanus (the river), Cetus (the whale), Capricornus (the Sea-goat), Delphinus (the Dolphin), and Hydra (the Water serpent).

The brightest stars in Aquarius are two yellow super-giants, several times more massive than the Sun; Alpha Aquarii (Sadalmelik) and Beta Aquarii (Sadalsuud) which is 537 light-years distant. Other deep-sky objects include the Aquarius Dwarf Galaxy and the Atoms for Peace Galaxy.

Aquarius contains the Saturn Nebula and the Helix Nebula. These are the remnants of dying stars and are the closest planetary nebulae to Earth, 400 light-years away.

Aquarius is home to at least 3 meteor showers. The Eta Aquariids, 5th and 6th of May, are the strongest with up to 35 meteors per hour, coming from materials shed by Comet Halley as it travels through the solar system. The less active Delta Aquariids peak twice: on the 29th of July and again on the 6th of August. The weakest of the three is the Iota Aquariids, peaking on August 6th each year. 

The constellation of Aquarius, though large, is faint, complicated and not easy to spot, but is visible from nearly the entire planet. The best time to see it is 9-10 PM in October, but you will need a dark sky to pick it out.

History and Mythology

Aquarius symbolised the bringing of water to the land, meaning life itself. The water carrier is a benefactor of life but can also be an agent of death, destruction, flood and disease, and the oldest flood stories underpinning the zodiac story of Aquarius arose in the Middle East.

For the Sumerians, Aquarius was a frightening figure. He held the vessel from which a great flood flowed from the heavens onto the earth to ravage the entire planet, while the Babylonians called Aquarius’ appearance in the night sky as ‘the curse of rain’. The Sumerian epic poem of Gilgamesh, dating 21000-2000 BC features a great flood of Noah’s Ark proportions.

The hero of this story, the Sumerian equivalent of Noah, was likewise tipped off by a friendly god as to what the other gods were plotting, and duly built an ark, 6 decks high and loaded it with all his loved ones and every beast he could round up.

The ancient Greeks believed Aquarius caused a great flood which inundated the Earth, of which only Deucalion, son of Prometheus and his wife Pyrrha survived by building a great boat stocked with provisions, just as in the later Old Testament, Noah built his Ark.

The geological record suggests there actually was once such a catastrophic flood, perhaps around 5000 BC and that once again, myth has its roots in a reality of epic proportions.

Article: ABC News: Dec. 10, 2012

“The story of Noah’s Ark and the Great Flood is one of the most famous from the Bible, and now an acclaimed underwater archaeologist thinks he has found proof that the biblical flood was actually based on real events.

In an interview with Christiane Amanpour for ABC News, Robert Ballard, one of the world’s best-known underwater archaeologists, talked about his findings. His team is probing the depths of the Black Sea off the coast of Turkey in search of traces of an ancient civilization hidden underwater since the time of Noah.

Ballard’s track record for finding the impossible is well known. In 1985, using a robotic submersible equipped with remote-controlled cameras, Ballard and his crew hunted down the world’s most famous shipwreck, the Titanic.

Now Ballard is using even more advanced robotic technology to travel farther back in time. He is on a marine archeological mission that might support the story of Noah. He said some 12,000 years ago, much of the world was covered in ice.

Where I live in Connecticut was ice a mile above my house, all the way back to the North Pole, about 15 million kilometers, that’s a big ice cube,” he said. “But then it started to melt. We’re talking about the floods of our living history.”

The water from the melting glaciers began to rush toward the world’s oceans, Ballard said, causing floods all around the world.

“The question is, was there a mother of all floods,” Ballard said.

According to a controversial theory proposed by two Columbia University scientists, there really was one in the Black Sea region. They believe that the now-salty Black Sea was once an isolated freshwater lake surrounded by farmland, until it was flooded by an enormous wall of water from the rising Mediterranean Sea. The force of the water was two hundred times that of Niagara Falls, sweeping away everything in its path.

Fascinated by the idea, Ballard and his team decided to investigate.

“We went in there to look for the flood,” he said. “Not just a slow moving, advancing rise of sea level, but a really big flood that then stayed… The land that went under stayed under.”

Four hundred feet below the surface, they unearthed an ancient shoreline, proof to Ballard that a catastrophic event did happen in the Black Sea. By carbon dating shells found along the shoreline, Ballard said he believes they have established a timeline for that catastrophic event, which he estimates happened around 5,000 BC. Some experts believe this was around the time when Noah’s flood could have occurred.

“It probably was a bad day,” Ballard said. “At some magic moment, it broke through and flooded this place violently, and a lot of real estate, 150,000 square kilometers of land, went under.”

The theory goes on to suggest that the story of this traumatic event, seared into the collective memory of the survivors, was passed down from generation to generation and inspired the biblical account of Noah.”

Public Domain: Noah’s Ark, by Edward Hicks, 1847, with a very well behaved lion.

To read more from this article click HERE

The Egyptians associated Aquarius with the God of the Nile. They expected a rainy season this time of years, and welcomed the Nile’s annual floods at this time of year, replenishing their farming soil.

Another very different story, a Greek legend associated Aquarius with the beautiful Trojan boy Ganymede, carried away by that tireless sexual predator Zeus, this time disguised as an eagle, to become his lover and protégé, and the cup-bearer of the Gods. Like it or not.

The Aquarius Personality Archetype

Public Domain

The Fixed Air sign of Aquarius is the eleventh sign in the Zodiac.

There is no such thing in reality as THE Aquarius personality and the same goes for all the zodiac sun signs. Your sun sign is an archetype, dealing in keynotes, but of course it is not and never could be the whole story, and in serious astrology does not claim to be anything of the kind.

Aquarius is ruled by two planets, Saturn, known to the ancients, planet of duty and conformity but also the more recently discovered Uranus, the planet of upheaval and rebellion, and therefore, as you might imagine, this is a sign potentially containing acute paradoxes.

There is on the one hand the authoritarian Aquarian, and on the other the freewheeling Aquarian, but all are famously individualist, some might consider quirky or even eccentric, radically independent in their thinking, often in a good way, but not necessarily.

Aquarius is generally cool but kindly, humane, civilised and meticulous in personal dealings. They set great store on friendship and loyalty, and need to belong and be of service, just as their symbol is the water-bearer or cup-bearer, a person pouring water from an urn.

Although this symbol can be interpreted to imply a destiny to serve others, it may be leadership or dominance disguised as service. Aquarius also carries water to ‘cleanse’ the world of wrong-thinking and taken to extremes, this represents the potential for totalitarian thinking.

 Aquarius represents cerebral thinking, dealing in abstracts, but they are not easy to get to know well, and do not necessarily see the reality of the individual in front of them. They may focus on what is owed to them or their rightful cause, rather on reciprocity. Where they make a false step it is because they trust their cerebral process at the expense of their instinct. Their forte is solitude or groups, and they see other’s blind spots, but may struggle to diagnose the source or cause of their own personal relationship difficulties.

Aquarius may be noticeably moody or prone to bouts of depression, or they may sparkle with the brilliance of diamonds, when their chart is grounded and warmed by the charm, courage and charisma of their opposite sign, the zodiac counterpart contained within Aquarius – Leo.

The ‘Age of Aquarius’

It has become synonymous with a mythical new Golden age of Mankind but when was it? Or when will it begin? There is no consensus and no definite answer.

In astrological terms, an age last roughly 2200 years and is identified by the name of the constellation in which the Sun appears in on the first day of spring (the vernal equinox).

Some but not all astrologers say the Age of Aquarius is already here and began in 2012, using the star Regulus, the heart of the Lion in the constellation of Leo as a marker. Regulus moved to within 30 degrees of the September equinox point in 2012. Working with the arithmetical model of constellations as calculated by Ptolemy in the second century AD, this places the border of the constellations Pisces and Aquarius at 150 degrees west of Regulus, or at the March equinox point.

By this reckoning, the Age of Aquarius is already here, and started in 2012.

Alternatively, according to the Belgian astronomer and mathematician Jean Meeus, the sun at the March equinox passed from being in front of the constellation Aries to being in front of the constellation Pisces in 68 B.C.

This would mean that the March equinox will cross over into the constellation Aquarius in 2597 but once again, these are the astronomical, not astrological dates.

Till next time 🙂

A Lunar Eclipse: The Crab, the Sultan and the Wolf

Tweeted Friday January 10

“Tonight is the first full moon of the new year, nicknamed the Wolf Moon. As winter bit down, hungry wolves came down to the villages in search of food.”

January and February is wolf mating season, and their howls haunted the nights more than usual, both in Europe and in North America. This nickname was shared by Europeans and Native Americans alike, though this full moon has other nicknames too, including the Snow Moon and Ice Moon.

British Wolf Hunt Public Domain

Also Tweeted

“Tonight’s lunar eclipse full moon in Cancer rises at 15:50 GMT (UK) or 2:21 ET and sets at 07.53 GMT (UK) Last night’s almost-full moon was spectacular. Excited cat playing & pouncing on things. This ‘watery’ lunar event typically signifies big changes at home. A letting go.”

That evening I said to Il Matrimonio, “I wonder who we will be hearing about tomorrow, who has ‘let go and left home’?”

Very many people will have ‘let go and left home’ of course. 2 people go out of this world every second and 4 come in, or if we want to be statistically exact, 1.8 go out, and 4.20 come in.

“The unborn are banging on the gates of the dock. What’s the limit on the shipping lanes?”- KT Kearns

But who would we be hearing about?

Which crab would quit his rock-pool?

Who would the wolf moon carry away in tonight’s meteor shower? (The Quadrantids)

It was the Sultan of Oman, Qaboos bin Said Al- Said, 79, a ruler for 50 years, ally of the UK and US and the longest ruling monarch in the Arab world.

Publicly at least, apart from three years of marriage which ended in divorce, after which his wife remarried, he lived to all intents and purposes as a hermit (crab) But his personal life has remained entirely private, protected by his shell of court and state.

Qaboos bin Said Al -Said

Excerpts from an Obituary in the Middle East Eye: (Link provided below)

“The sultan took the throne of an extremely underdeveloped country with a history of civil conflict and oversaw its transformation into a politically stable middle-income state during his half-century reign. Under a model of modernising absolute monarchy, he largely managed to steer Oman away from the extremes of consumerism of neighbouring Dubai and the religious conservatism of Saudi Arabia.

The concentration of political power and wealth in the sultan’s hands, combined with the absence of a clear route to succession, had led to fears that there could be a leadership crisis following his death.

The appointment of Haitham bin Tariq, Oman’s culture minister and the 65-year-old cousin of the late sultan, on Saturday appeared to put to rest lingering uncertainty over the country’s succession process.

Under Qaboos, political parties were banned and laws of lese-majesty created an all-pervasive system of surveillance and repression that ensured no organised opposition could emerge.

Still, there is no doubting the genuine affection in which the sultan was held by many Omanis and expatriates, seen as a visionary leader who had secured the welfare of Omanis and expatriates alike by leading the nation through its modernisation, and leaving a legacy that his successor will be hard put to equal.

Oman’s Sultan Qaboos is pictured at his palace in Muscat on 14 January (AFP)
Oman’s Sultan Qaboos is pictured at his palace in Muscat on 14 January 2019 (AFP)

The Sultan inherited a conservative, highly religious country riven by armed insurrection and tribal divisions, Valeri wrote, and over several decades, reduced the influence of the tribes, while incorporating their leaders in the political process.

Qaboos also championed the advance of women, gradually opening the way for many to enter education and the labour market in increasing numbers, despite Oman being a conservative society that traditionally segregated women in domestic roles.

Qaboos was also a big supporter of the arts with his government sponsoring the country’s first societies of artists and traditional music. As a lover of classical music, he played the organ and the lute, composed music and founded the Gulf’s first symphony orchestra in 1985, its players recruited from the towns and villages of Oman.

Qaboos was careful to maintain diplomatic ties even with those states, such as Iran and Iraq, which were in conflict with his western allies. As he explained to an Egyptian newspaper in 1985: “There is ultimately no alternative to peaceful coexistence between Arabs and Persians, nor to a minimum of agreement in the region.”

One of the world’s longest-serving heads of state, Qaboos began tentative moves toward a constitutional monarchy in the late 1990s and early 2000s, with the introduction of an elected consultative assembly and municipal council elections. However at the time of his death he remained head of state and prime minister, and commander in chief of the armed forces. 

Qaboos’s successor will face the growing question of how to quell rising expectations of a new generation of internet-savvy young people no longer satisfied with the repressive paternalism that prevailed under half a century of Qaboos.

Excerpts from the Middle East Eye: Read more HERE

Now. Here is a very interesting piece of information, linking the Full Moon In Cancer with the Sultan Qaboos, or at least, I find this interesting. If not downright spooky.

Your Moon sign is an expression of your temperament and style of doing things. The natal chart of the Sultan shows that he was born with his Sun in deep and secretive, watery Scorpio and his Moon in the sign of almost equally deep and secretive sign of Cancer the Crab.

That was one enigmatic man of deep waters. That was one tough shell.

Two tough shells.

Now consider this image of the Moon card from The Gilded Tarot Royale, from the illustrator Ciro Marchetti, and the full moon uniting wolf and crab.

Or should we say, reuniting.

Until next time 🙂

Crones & Chronology; Tarot Timing; Predicting Days Of The Week

True Tarot Tales

Revisiting an old blog. Similar issues afoot again.

Sprog Senior was unsettled by rumours at work. She works as a vet nurse and the vet owner was thinking of selling. Was she already facing redundancy, having been there only a very few months? She asked her boss directly, who answered that his plans were not finalised, and he would be letting everyone know in the next week or so.

Very unsettling. On Sunday Sprog Senior asked , when did the Tarot see her knowing for sure, and would it be welcome news for her, or unwelcome?

I asked ‘will it be Monday?’ and drew The Ace of Cups reversed.

‘It probably won’t be tomorrow. You look as if you are in for one of those harmless, slightly dull days where nothing particular happens.’

I asked, will it be Tuesday, and drew the Death card , signifying endings in general, as…

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The Sun, The Stars and Sunflowers.

True Tarot Tales

Sunflowers…

The Sun card in Tarot foresees sunny weather at its most literal.   It’s respite from care, the gift of the moment, childhood and sometimes the imminence of birth. It’s also travel, particularly to hot places. It is the return of the sun after the winter solstice. It is the zenith of the sun in the summer solstice. It is glory.

Reversed it’s the setting sun, delays and lesser joys, the passing away of childhood, nostalgia, beautiful, bittersweet twilight. It may mean getting something less than you hoped for, but what you get is still something to be happy for.

The Star card on the other hand, can and often has indicated a recovery from depression, sickness and despair, a guiding light, someone sees a way ahead, they couldn’t see before.

Klytie was a figure in Ancient Greek mythology who fell in love with the sun god, Apollo. Each day…

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WW3

Is this the start of WW3? This is the question on social media right now, talking about the possible consequences of the recent US drone strike on an Iranian convoy leaving Baghdad airport (to go where and do what?)

(Readers not familiar with Twitter, the character limit per tweet bulletin is 280 characters.)

IMPORTANT I looked in the cards first, and did the reading up afterwards.

Tweet posted 3 January 2020

” Imminent WW3 not detected. Iran’s rage, 8 Swords, but hamstrung. The incident? Drew Death RX & 4 Swords RX. The weaponry deployed? Drew The Tower. Iran challenged (tanker attacks=Ace Swords Rx & The Chariot RX= control of Hormuz) Outcome ‘Justice‘. More tit for tat. Bad. Not WW3.”

The cards are a mirror first and a crystal ball second. They reflect what is known and current. This provides the reader with their benchmark. Then in the haze, ‘through the glass darkly,’ the reader looks to see signs for which way the wind is going to blow in future time.

The reader does not know more than anyone else. They must look, and then decide what they are looking at, and try to do so without fear or favour.

This can be difficult. People almost invariably want THIS answer, not THAT one. They may ask, then pick holes in what you say, how you say it, and they usually know far more than you do about their question. It is their question you are discussing, after all, and often they will be a total stranger. And if you see one outcome and they see another, future developments may prove them absolutely correct, but the reader can only say what they see, and be glad to be wrong should it mean events turn out better than foreseen.

That is the point and potential value in doing the exercise.

Click here to read what AlJazeera has to say about the current situation.

But for this reader, looking through the lens of cartomancy, this line of 5 cards is not a vision of the start of World War 3.

Had I drawn The Devil or The Tower or the World card Reversed, Ace or Ten of Swords in the outcome position, I might be interpreting differently.

Public Domain: Horsemen of the Apocalypse

General Qasem Soleimani was killed, and also Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, whose presence in the convoy was a deciding factor for the US government, that this convoy represented a direct and imminent threat to the US embassy in Baghdad.

al-Muhandis apparently helped form Kata’ib Hezbollah, a powerful paramilitary group involved in the protests at the US embassy in Baghdad, and he was apparently a key suspect in previous hostilities. December 1983, two months after the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing, a truck bomb demolished half of one building of the US Embassy in Kuwait killing five people. It might have been a lot worse but the driver did not hit the more heavily populated buildings and only a quarter of the explosives ignited.

The Pentagon has issued a statement saying it took pre-emptive action to defend its Embassy and staff:

Such an attack has long been called for, openly, by Ayatollah Al-Khameini and leading Iranian newspaper KAYHAN, as discussed here in an article, October 2008. http://kayhan.ir/fa/news/171647

Why don’t you close the door of this spy house ?! (Day note) EXCERPT

“Historical evidence has shown that US embassies in all countries, even in friendly and allied countries, are the focus of conspiracy. The US Embassy in Iran is a clear and exemplary example of this bitter reality. When the revolutionary youth of our country conquered the US embassy, ​​they obtained documents that indicated that the most likely name for the US embassy was the “spy house”. The documents revealed the betrayal of some Iranian political figures and exposed numerous US crimes in Iran and other countries in the region. Now you have to ask the young and faithful Iraqi revolutionaries who have sacrificed and sacrificed dozens of great and exemplary epics in recent years. Why not end the presence of the US Embassy in Baghdad, the same espionage and conspiracy center against the oppressed Iraqi people ?!” 

An author, and former investigator at Scotland Yard has commented on Twitter, and apparently received so much abuse for it, I won’t name him, that the US Embassy in Baghdad is so heavily protected that any assault on it would in any case, constitute an act of war, and that the evidence for such an attack was in hisview pretty solid. He commented that Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was also on President Obama’s wanted list, and that war between the US and Iran now seems inevitable, while pointing out that there has been a cold war between them since 1997.

We can all see how it might escalate, no need for any psychic practitioner to try and tell anyone that, and as for any intuitive readers in Iran, or any astrologers who dare to practise as such, even in private, I pity them and worry for their necks.

Click on the link to read what AlJazeera has to say.

But going forward, looking through the lens of cartomancy, this line of 5 cards does not paint the start of World War 3.

Had I drawn The Devil or The Tower or the World card Reversed, Ace or Ten of Swords in the outcome position, I might be interpreting differently.

Public Domain: Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Till next time.

The Saturnian Strangeness of the Winter Solstice

Saturn rules Capricorn, the zodiac sign which became associated with the dates of Christmas. Bright lights, good cheer, a nosh- up, a knees-up; the Romans celebrated Saturn as the god of agriculture, and also because, according to their theology, Saturn was the god who ruled the world during the long lost Golden Age, and they wanted it back, please.

The Saturnalia was celebrated 17 December, with festivities usually culminating round 23 December.

Public Domain

Outside of this context, Saturn is not usually so jovial in aspect. It is the planet of great virtues, but stern and serious. Life is a serious business, and requires effort, is the message of Saturn.

Caesar must be rendered to. The bottom line safeguarded. Nothing came from nowhere, nothing is for nothing. Even the birds don’t sing for fun. The birds especially do not sing for fun. They sing to win and stake a territory, and keep it. They sing to win a mate, they sing to ward off threats to their nests, but is their song less beautiful for that?

Saturn is all about the bottom line. Food is the bottom line, and the solstice meant the return of the sun for the new year’s crops. It wouldn’t do to take Saturn for granted.

The face of Janus, past and future, could be seen as another face of Saturn himself. Janus, the primordial god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways, passages, is the god of endings. An ancient legend said the souls of the dead returned to their origin, rising through the gates of the constellation of Capricornus, where the souls of newborn descended to arrive on Earth through the gates of Cancer, zodiac sign of the summer solstice in a never-ending wheel of souls.

Public Domain

For all of us there comes a point where every year, a familiar face or name will leave the orbit of our lives, and we revisit the memories. Maybe it is a person, or maybe it is a place. Perhaps it is something we used to do, or used to wish for. The ghosts have their own pictures, particular songs, sounds and smells.

They are many, bittersweet, the ever-more crowding ghosts of Christmas past.

WHO WALKS THIS EARTH UNSEEN

The ghosts of the Displaced

Those who could have been

Those who never knew

What else where else

To whom they could belong

Not here or now where else

They could have been

What else around us all

The ghosts of Might Have Been

Behind the lives behind the claims

Their space not yet but come their time

Make way

Margaret Whyte, December 2019

Christmas 1972

The Why of Winter

Today is my mother’s birthday; wise, shrewd, beautiful, mother of five; a gifted teacher, naturalist, poet, and for many years, a champion protector of women’s statutory right in the UK to give birth in their own home. An independent thinker possessed of moral and physical courage, self-discipline and fortitude; she exemplifies the very best of Capricorn.

Capricorn marks the winter solstice, and the beginning of winter.

This is the cardinal sign of Earth in the western zodiac, and also in the storybook of the Tarot, and its associated cards are The Devil (Pan) the Ace of Pentacles (Earth) and the King of Pentacles.

Image from The Gilded Tarot, Ciro Marchetti


The Why of Winter

Sirius hard on the

Hunter’s heels

Stoats in ermine

Gain the field

Resting time

For sap-sunk trees

And earthed in dens

Some sleep

the hungry time

In deathly ease

Blackthorn points

The ancient tracks

Of chasing men

And panting beasts

Sweated salts

And bone-crack feasts

Oaks and sacred

Moons of mistletoe

Shall call down Life

Or conjure woe

When wolves at doors

Shall seek for more

As winter tilts

On wheeling skies

Of steel or stars

There is no other why.

Katie-Ellen 2019

Season’s Greetings!

Capricorn, the Cosmic Sea-Goat

An introduction to the astronomy, history and, mythology of the zodiac sign of Capricorn…

 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? This month it’s the turn of Capricorn…

Common associations

Symbol:

Date of Birth: 21 Dec to 20 January

Ruling planet: Saturn

Lucky Day: Saturday    Lucky Numbers 2 and 8

Energy: Yin

Element: Earth

Quality: Cardinal (the start of the season of winter)

Key phrase:  I build, I use

Body:  Skin, knees, skeletal system

Birth Stone:  Red Garnet, Black Onyx

Herbs/Flowers: Wintergreen, Ivy, Carnation

Tarot card:  The Devil (Pan/Nature, Mystery, Fascination, Obsession, Entrapment)

The Devil card wiki.jpg
From The Gilded Tarot by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti

The Astronomy

Capricorn stars wiki 256px-CapricornusCC.jpg
Public Domain

The constellation of Capricornus is located in an area of sky known as The Sea or The Water, containing other water-related constellations including Aquarius, Pisces and Eridanus.

Its name is Latin for “horned goat” or “having horns like a goat’s”, and it is commonly represented in the form of a sea-goat: a mythical creature that is half goat, half-fish, like Pricus, the son of Chronos (Time) king of the mer-goats of Greek myth. This seems to have been an evolution legend.  The children of Pricus left the sea to dwell on mountains, leaving him alone in the oceans with no-one to teach any more, and Pricus was a great teacher. Zeus placed him in the Sea of the Stars so that he could see his children again, and they could look up and see him.

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,about 90 light years across in size.

The cluster is approaching us at the speed of 181.9 km/s. It 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.

Like other constellations of the astrological zodiac, Capricorn was first catalogued by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the 2nd century.

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 perhaps explains or illustrates a strong astral and psychic mythic connection between Capricorn and Pisces the Fishes.

History and Mythology

Though Capricornus is the second faintest constellation in the sky after Cancer, its imagery is very ancient indeed, associated with myths that go back to the 21st century BC and several of which centre on various sun gods nursed by a she-goat.

All myths of astrology have their roots in Earth’s seasons. Goats, and their relatives, ibex, were depicted in Ice Age paintings, and later immortalized in myth as Capricorn.

Male ibex started fighting and mating during early winter, December and January, coinciding with the later days ascribed to Capricorn.  In the early Bronze Age, Capricornus marked the winter solstice and, in modern astrology, as distinct from astronomy, Capricorn’s rule still begins on the first day of winter. 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.

Before 1000 BC the Sumerians knew Capricorn as the goat-fish, or SUHUR-MASH-HA, but the constellation is nowadays more widely associated with two mythical creatures from Greek legends: the deity Pan, and the she-goat Amalthea who suckled baby Zeus, although these legends were based on far more ancient stories involving kindly she-goats and baby sun deities.

The forest deity Pan has the legs and horns of a goat, like Krotos, his son, who was a great archer and devotee of the Muses, and is identified with the neighbouring constellation Sagittarius.

Pan, so the legend said, was placed in the sky by Zeus in gratitude after he came to the rescue of other gods during a time the Olympian gods sought refuge in Egypt following their epic battle with the Titans, when the monster Typhon, son of the Titan Tartarus and Earth, sought revenge.

Typhon was a fearsome fire-breathing creature, higher than mountains and with dragons’ heads instead of fingers. The Olympian gods sought to escape his vengeance by adopting various disguises: Zeus, a ram – Hera, a white cow, Bacchus (another version of the myth suggests Pan) a goat.

Zeus was dismembered by Typhon, but was saved when Bacchus/Pan played a sound on his pipes, ‘panikos,’  from which we get the word ‘panic’ – and he panicked  the monster long enough for an agile Hermes to collect the supreme god’s limbs and carefully restore him. In gratitude, Zeus transferred Bacchus/Pan to the heavens as Capricornus.

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 sea, ascending through the gate of Capricorn.

Capricornus.jpg

Public Domain: Celestial Atlas 1822

The Astrology

Capricorn is the tenth sign in the Zodiac.

There is no such thing in reality as THE Capricorn personality and the same goes for all the zodiac sun signs. Your sun sign is an archetype, a keynote but of course it is not and never could be the whole story.

The archetype of Capricorn is shrewd, wise, and even Gnostic. They are profound thinkers, often deeply enquiring, and with a wry sense of humour, self-reliant, stoic in the face of adversity, hard-working, determined and resilient.

They have high standards, and expect much of themselves but also others which, depending on other aspects of their astrological portrait, can make them demanding or even overbearing task-masters,

They are known for a dry rather than a joyful wit, and if Saturn gets too prominent, they can be downbeat, cynical and suspicious, seeing traps and problems everywhere, viewing the enthusiasm of others as premature or naïve.

Capricorn is no-one’s fool, but Capricorn carries its own weight, and the weight of others too from time to time, and Capricorn climbs the mountain to see the world, not so that the world will see Capricorn.  

Marlene.jpg
Public Domain

“Duties are what make life most worth the living. Lacking them, you are not necessary to anyone. And this would be like living in an empty space. Or not being alive at all.”- Marlene Dietrich, born Dec 27, 1901

Season’s Greetings!

A Robin’s Tarot Tale

A Christmas robin reading…..

True Tarot Tales

A real reading done for a robin, befitting the season.


Image: Public Domain

There are many depictions of animals and birds in the Tarot.  They form a great part of the human landscape physically, intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, and symbolically. If there’s a heaven, what would it be without them? I wouldn’t mind, personally if mosquitoes, maggots, deadly snakes and komodo dragons didn’t make it. Spiders would be all right as long as they were non-venomous and less than two inches in diameter. However, it’s not me in charge.

The  songbird traditionally most associated with Christmas, or to give the winter festival its older name,   Yuletide – is the robin redbreast. The cheeky, dumpy little European robin, Erithacus rubecula is a member of the flycatcher family.

Its preferred habitats are woodlands, hedgerows, parks and garden. Its staple diet is worms, seeds, fruits and insects. It will fight over sunflower seeds and it adores…

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This Tarot reading stuff. Divination or Counselling?

True Tarot Tales

KTLN 2

Merriam- Webster: Divination: the art or practice that seeks to foresee or foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge usually by the interpretation of omens or by the aid of supernatural powers. 2 : unusual insight : intuitive perception.

Counselling:  the provision of professional assistance and guidance in resolving personal or psychological problems. “bereavement counselling”

Depending on the reader, it may be either or both. There are Tarot Counsellors who advertise as such, and who specialise in taking a counselling approach, often based on formal, academic Jungian training. These readers may decline to handle any forecasting. Other readers, working with a more psychic style of approach, may offer valuable, sensible advice, but without a basis in formal counselling training, and the source of their insights is another conversation. Is it empathy, intuition, hard boiled shrewdness, life experience, or something else?

In preparing for a reading, Tarot, runes, cards etc…

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The cosmic archer Sagittarius.

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? This month it’s the turn of Sagittarius.

Common associations

Symbol:

Date of Birth: Nov 22 to Dec 21

Ruling planet: Jupiter

Element: Fire

Key phrase:  I seek

Body: Thighs

Birth Stone: Topaz, Citrine, Turquoise 

Colour:  Light Blue

Tarot card:  Temperance

Temperance wiki rider waite.jpg

Public Domain:  Rider-Waite

The Astronomy

As with all of the Zodiac constellations, Sagittarius was recorded in the 2nd century by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy. The name is from the Latin for archer.

Sagittarius is a relatively large constellation which is mainly visible in the southern hemisphere. In the Northern hemisphere the constellation can be viewed low on the horizon from August to October. In the Southern hemisphere Sagittarius can be viewed from June to November. Star maps generally depict Sagittarius as a vaguely teapot-shaped star pattern or asterism.

Map sagittarius wiki.jpg

Sagittarius is near the centre of our spiral galaxy, the Milky Way. There is a massive star-forming region known as the Omega Nebula situated within its boundaries and Sagittarius is also home to the Pistol Star, one of the brightest stars, the fifth brightest discovered in the Milky Way. First discovered by the Hubble Space telescope in 1930, the Pistol Star is largely hidden in the dust of its own Pistol nebula, but is 100 times as massive as our Sun, and 10,000,000 times as bright.

Watch here for a mind-boggling representation of where the Pistol Star sits in the scale of size of stars in the Milky Way: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoW8Tf7hTGA

The Myth

Sagittarius Celestial Atlas 1822.jpg

Public Domain: Celestial Atlas 1822

Sagittarius is the ninth sign in the Zodiac and represents those born between Nov. 22 and Dec. 21.

Greek myth saw Sagittarius the Archer shooting Scorpio the Scorpion, which had been sent to kill Orion the Hunter.

Sagittarius has long been mixed and confused with another centaur story, Chiron of the Centaurus constellation. Most interpretations conclude that Sagittarius refers to the the centaur, Chiron, who was accidentally shot by Hercules with a poison arrow.  

This story does indeed refer to a constellation myth, but it’s the myth behind Centaurus, a non-zodiac constellation, and not Sagittarius.

The myth behind Sagittarius probably refers instead to Krotos, a satyr who lived on Mount Helicon with the Muses. Krotos or Crotus was the son of Pan and Eupheme, and his mother had nursed the Muses.

Krotos was renowned for being both an excellent hunter, horse rider and a devoted adherent of the Muses and their arts. He is credited with having invented archery and being the first to use illumination for hunting animals. He is also said to have introduced applause, and used to clap his hands at the singing of the Muses, for whom this was a sign of acclaim preferable to any verbal ones. It was the Muses who asked Zeus to place him among the stars, which he did, transforming Krotos into the constellation Sagittarius.

Satyrs have human heads and torsos with two goat legs (and sometimes horns). Centaurs have four but the accounts and depictions of Krotos vary. But all the same, he was often depicted with four legs, as the excellent horseman he was.

The Astrology

Sagittarius is the ninth sign in the Zodiac and represents those born between Nov. 22 and Dec. 21. The archer is seen as a bridge between elements and worlds. The life lesson is seen as Temperance, as pictured in the Tarot card associated with this sign. The message is all to do with the quiet but enormous power of moderation, the art of expert timing, and also self-control, avoiding extremes and addictive behaviours.

The Astrological Personality

There is no such thing in reality as THE Sagittarius personality and the same goes for all the zodiac sun signs. Your sun sign is an archetype, a keynote but of course it is not and never could be the whole story.

The archetype of Sagittarius is brave, lively, warm, optimistic, rational and insightful. Sagittarius zodiac sign subjects need constant adventures and opportunities to grow to remain interested. Freedom is of the utmost importance to them, space and plenty of room for manoeuvre. Likewise they tend also to give lots of freedom to their partners.

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

They tend to have lots of friends, and family and friends can feel neglected at times when Sagittarius goes go off and travels and shares experiences with strangers, but Sagittarians will always come home.

Next time, the cosmic goat Capricorn…

Halloween and ‘Alfblot’ Runes

Did the Norse celebrate Halloween? Plus a message from the runes for you…

The word ‘rune’ comes from an old Norse word ‘runa’ meaning a secret. The runes were the 24letters of the ancient Norse alphabet, known as the Elder Futhark, but the runes were also used for psychic divination and in magical work.  Many words in modern English (eg: Fee, Day, Answer, Need, Lake, Hail, Ice)  derive from these ancient letters, which in turn came from language roots shared with ancient Greek.

Elder Futhark.png

Public Domain: The Elder Futhark Alphabet

What we know of Norse Mythology comes largely from the Eddas, two collections of writings from assorted anonymous writers, dating around 1250 CE.

According to the elder of these, the Poetic Edda, the greatest god, Odin, obtained the secrets of the runes via Yggrasil the Great Ash Tree which connected the Nine Worlds of the Cosmos. Odin hung upside down nine days and nights on Yggrasil, not eating and drinking, tormented by thirst and a self-inflicted wound in his side, until at last he received a vision of the runes, and reached inwards to seize them.

He studied further with his wife, the goddess Freya, pictured here driving her chariot drawn by cats. Freya was the most powerful practitioner and teacher of shamanic Norse magic, just as in real life Norse society, a war chieftain’s wife was given the job of being a veleda – prophesying the outcome of any military action, and performing magic to help her husband succeed. One does not like the imagine the rows that might have followed when he didn’t.

Freya.jpg

Public Domain: Freya

All Hallows Eve, Halloween or Samhain is a Gaelic custom, not Norse.  The Norse peoples did mark this time of year although in a different way, with Álfblót – the Elf Ritual.  

Elves were associated with burial mounds (also known as barrows) as it was believed that they lived in or around them, and more than this, elves were associated with the souls of the dead. Since the dead were sometimes referred to as ‘elves,’ Álfblót was rather like a pagan Day of the Dead.

Like the modern Halloween, Álfblót originally marked the general end of autumn, although it may technically be celebrated on any day around this time. However in recent years, it has been predominantly practised on or close to 31st October (Halloween/Samhain). 

Traditionally, Álfblót almost certainly involved an animal sacrifice, (blood) Records suggest this may even have been a (highly valuable) bull. It was intended as a sacrifice to the elves, asking for protection from the ancestors. Connected with this, the elves were also associated with fertility. 

A chief difference here is, unlike Halloween/Samhain, Álfblót was not a community celebration. It was a private ritual performed at the homesteads. Only local people were welcome, and strangers were not permitted to take part or even watch.

How Is A Rune Reading Done?

There are various ways of reading the runes but our reader has used one of the oldest known methods. The reader has drawn a small circle on a piece of black cloth. The runes (pieces of polished, engraved haematite) are placed in their protective pouch, and shaken. The reader asks her question, “what is the message from the runes for the subjects of the cardinal Fire Sign, Aries?’ and so on, repeating this process for each sign of the zodiac. Then she scatters the runes across the cloth. Which rune or runes have fallen within the circle? If more than one has landed there, which has landed most centrally? These are the runes containing your message for this mysterious time of year, All Hallows Eve – Halloween when the veil is thinnest between worlds.

It is important to note, as a matter of historical accuracy, the Norse rune seers did not work with the signs of the zodiac. They thought in terms of natural forces and creatures, the mystic power of the natural elements: Earth, Air, Fire and Water, but our modern rune reader will here do both.

Runes for the Earth Signs 

Taurus – your rune is Ehwaz (Horse)

Ehwaz.png

Advice:  This is a positive rune of steady, if gradual progress, and indicates changes for the better coming up around the end of October if not actual travel.  Ehwaz urges physical movement. Go walking or running or dancing. Whatever you like, but move that body. The horse represents a vehicle, and that vehicle is you, but may refer to your means of transport, a car, bus, motorbike. Pay all due proper care and attention to vehicle maintenance. This is a time for teamwork, pulling together as one at work and at home, but you may also feel a need to start something new on your own, to expand your horizons and make new contacts.

Virgo – your rune is Uruz (The Auroch)

Uruz.png

Advice: The Auroch is an ancestor of the first domesticated cattle, a fearsome animal known for its courage and great physical power. Here, the Auroch is you.  You must take action if you want to turn cherished hopes into reality. Do not underestimate yourself, and your power to forge ahead and overcome obstacles. Show you really mean business, a way is cleared. An extra application of willpower will pay off dividends, and you also excel at detail. But- there is a ‘but’…you need to pace yourself. Coughs and sneezes spread diseases. Avoid crowds. Take proper care of yourself this month. 

Capricorn – your rune is Kenaz (Beacon)

kenaz.png

Advice:  Seize the day, set the alarm a little earlier, be a morning person if you aren’t already, and see how that works out for you. Kenaz is a fire rune, and the rune of sunrise. It brings a steady light and heat to bear, with change for the better. Kenaz shines a new light on things and is THE rune of study and learning. Learn something new. This is the rune of artists and craftspeople, welding inspiration and skill, and regarding romance. Kenaz is a masculine rune with charisma. You may meet a new man or make a fresh start with an ‘old’ one. Kenaz is a positive, protecting rune.

Runes for the Air Signs

Aquarius – your rune is Laguz (Water, Lake)

Laguz.png

Advice:  Change is happening in you, deep down and hidden, maybe even from yourself, though you may remember vivid dreams and feel these contain a meaningful message, and probably, they do. Work with the flow as far as you practically can.  Don’t fight it and try not to over-think things. Do what you need to do, but without over-working, and for optimum performance, stay adequately hydrated. Nutrients in sea salts, bath salts and sea-foods may be especially beneficial to you at this time.

Gemini – your rune is Perthro (Sanctuary)

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Advice:  This rune is about mysteries and secrets, occult abilities, sometimes a religious or spiritual belief. You may have vivid dreams or psychic experiences. There may be some strange experiences this month. Hidden things may come to light, which you may not entirely welcome.  Your home is your sanctuary, a place in which only trusted friends should be invited. Guard and protect its security, comfort, happiness and privacy. But don’t hide in there. No hiding from an inconvenient truth, either. If something isn’t working, then it hasn’t been working for a long time. Face it. What have you been refusing to face? How can you make it work better?

Libra – your rune is Eiwaz (The Yew)

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Advice:  The rune of the Yew tree is a symbol of age, endurance, death, and eternal life. The path is hard at times, but do not fear the future. You are strong and adaptable, and an honest man can be relied on for help. The evergreen Yew is about transformation and testing, stripping away that which is worn out, making way for strong new growth. This is a good time to review what is nourishing to you and what is not. Aches and pains? Investigate, hydrate, perhaps adding bath salts to your bath, adding extra oils to the diet, fish oils, olive oil, flaxseed oil etc. But above all this month, get rid of junk, review and renew.

Runes for the Fire Signs

Aries- your rune is Gyfu (Partnership, Gift)

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Advice:  This rune is about give and take, love and romance leading to marriage, or partnership and contract. X marks the spot and the symbol of the kiss comes from this rune. You honour your obligations and tend to be generous. But you too, are owed obligations. Watch those who don’t keep their end of the bargain, and if they give less, then you give less. People depend on you, and it is not lazy or selfish to keep up your own strength, and rest when you need to.

Leo –your rune is Ingwaz (Earth God)

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Advice:  This is the rune   of all things masculine and also the warmth of home and the hearth fire. Stay close to your roots. It is a good idea to keep things simple as possible this month, avoiding any unnecessary complications, and no upping the ante. This is a good time to tie up a few loose ends on something, and get ready to move on. There’s a lot on your plate, and a lot of work to do, but you need to put your feet up at home, and in the longer run that is a necessity, not a luxury.

Sagittarius – your rune is Dagaz (Dawn or Day)

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Advice:  A new day dawns. Look and you will see opportunities as well as hurdles. This month looks like a good time to embark on a new enterprise, or a journey. There may be a major shift or breakthrough of some kind,  and it is almost certainly for the better, especially if you have been stuck in a rut, or unwell, or struggling with a stubborn problem that just won’t go away. It can be resolved. Research brings new and useful information to light. Dagaz promises brighter times not far ahead.

Runes for the Water Signs

Pisces – your rune is Mannaz (Mankind)

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Advice: Mannaz is the rune of human intelligence and the rational mind. This rune is particularly beneficial if you are contemplating academic studies, skills based tests and any contests of an intellectual nature. This is a powerful rune of law and order. Proceed in an orderly, organised fashion, keeping others on board. This is a great rune for networking and getting support and co-operation on shared tasks. You behave well towards others and are well liked in return, and this runes holds you protected by them.

Cancer – your rune is Thurisaz (Thorn, Giant)

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Advice:  Change is afoot, and this may mean some tricky moments. It is best not to start fights, but if you do, then you had better finish them properly.  This is a challenging rune of attack and defence, but is also a protecting rune, used in protection magic, and lucky rune for for study and exams. For couples trying for babies, it may be of interest to note that this rune is particularly associated with male fertility and male health. For many Cancer subjects there will be some kind of welcome news to do with something worked for very hard.

Scorpio –Your rune is Berkano (Birch)

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Advice:  This is the rune of the family home, all things feminine, and birth, and it bodes well for your happiness, prosperity, and the blossoming of a creative endeavour. It may also suggest a new love coming into your life, sometimes foreshadowing birth literally, and motherhood. Beyond this, it speaks of personal growth. A child becomes a ‘mother’. Even if your own home life growing up was not always easy or happy, you can ‘mother’ whatever in life you most deeply care about. You can be the birch tree. You can be the start of something happy, and that is also happiness. Home is where the heart is, but you can be your own best friend, and right at home with yourself, wherever you are.

The rune crone calls down upon all readers the Alfblot blessing and protection of the mighty protection rune Elhaz, the Elk or Sedge.

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The Zodiac’s Celestial Scorpion

Scorpio…The celestial scorpion

Most of us know our sign of the zodiac, but what does its constellation look like in the night sky, and what’s the story behind the sign? Around October 23 this month we entered the sign of the Scorpion.

Common Associations

Dates:  October 23 –November 22

Ruling planets:  Co-ruled by Mars, and after its discovery in 1930, Pluto

Symbol:  Scorpion, Eagle (Because of the nearby constellation, Aquila, the Eagle)

Zodiac element: Water

Zodiac quality: Fixed

Keyword:  I desire. I transform

Colour:  Dark red

Birthstone:  Yellow Topaz, Opal, Aquamarine, Tourmaline.

Tree:  Walnut,Hawthorn, Blackthorn

Tarot Card:  Death

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Image from the Rider –Waite

Astronomy

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

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Its name is Latin for scorpion and it is one of the 48 constellations identified by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the second century. Like Aries, Taurus and Leo, it is an ancient constellation, recognised as such pre-dating the Greeks.

Scorpius is the southernmost of all the constellations in the zodiac, and lies between Libra to the west and Sagittarius to the east. It used to be bigger, but its claws later became part of the constellation the Romans named Libra in the first century.

Its brightest star, one of the brightest of all in the night sky, is the ‘heart’ of the scorpion, Antares, meaning ‘rival of Ares’ (the Greek name for the Roman god of war, Mars) It is so-named because it is bright reddish in colour, like Mars, and also because Scorpio’s ruling planet was Mars until Pluto was discovered in 1930. Now it is considered co-ruled by both Mars (The Warrior) and Pluto (The Transformer)

Scorpius contains many bright stars, and interesting exo-planets.

The planet PSR B1620-26 b is sometimes nicknamed “Methuselah” being estimated at 12.7 billion years old.  (The universe is about 13.7 billion years old.)  Methuselah is vast, with a mass about twice that of Jupiter and it orbits around not one, but two stars.

Gliese 667Cc is a “super-Earth” about four times as massive as Earth. It orbits a red dwarf star, Gliese 667C; 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  are about 2.7 times the mass of Earth.

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

Mythology & History

Nature, religion and astrology were intertwined in the ancient world, and the scorpion has been here 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.

“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 warning of a plague, but when the Sun rose in Scorpius, alchemists saw their one chance for the transmutation of lead into gold.

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Public Domain

In Greek mythology the scorpion refers to a story about Orion. According to one of these myths Orion boasted to his friend the goddess Artemis and her mother, Leto, that he would hunt and kill every animal on Earth. Demeter, the goddess of Earth decided this was completely unacceptable behaviour.

Artemis was a great hunter herself, but she did not kill for the sake of killing and was ultimately a protector of all creatures. Demeter sent a scorpion to deal with Orion. He fought back, and according to some accounts he killed the scorpion, but whether or not Orion killed the scorpion, the scorpion definitely killed Orion.

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

In other cultures it is not seen as a scorpion. In Indonesia it is the Banyakangrem – “the brooded swan,” or the Kalapa Doyong, meaning “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.

And yet, there is consensus across not only continents but hemispheres. Thousands of years before the Greeks and Romans established their societies, the Australian Aboriginal people also saw the stars of Scorpius as 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, hence its association with the Tarot’s Death Card.

Facts about scorpions

  • They are an 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 when they 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 Zodiac Personality

Like the other water signs, Cancer and Pisces, Scorpio is considered clairvoyant, or at least, keenly intuitive. But Scorpio has far greater intensity. This is water behaving as steam, while not overlooking the venom of its sting.

Scorpio rules the eighth sign of the zodiac, to do with Birth, Sex and Death.  No wonder the subjects can be intense, and they are often possessed of great personal charisma. They are watchful but keep their feelings hidden. Born investigators, spies or secret agents, they are shrewd judges of human nature, while less conscientious Scorpio subjects may 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, scientist, and devoted doctors. They are quick learners, very adaptable, often changing careers, going down new paths.

Scorpio can be vengeful…and patient, but also devoted, and they never forget a kindness either.

Next time…the story of Sagittarius.