Shine on, Harvest Moon in Aries

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What is astrology and why do astrologers study the Moon?

‘Astrology’ comes from Greek and means ‘the study of the stars.’

Humans have been studying and recording the phases of the Moon for at least 25, 000 years as the closest celestial body to Earth, an average of 238,855 miles (384,400 kmaway depending on its orbit.

The Moon provides not only a guide to the seasons, and a measure of predictability as to when certain things will happen, such as the migration of animals for hunting, but exerts visible effects on the tides and a lot more besides, for example, the spawning of corals, animal mating seasons, crop growth, hormonal cycles, and quite possibly human behaviour.

Mooning about, moon-struck, looney-tunes, lunatic. Words and sayings mean something and they come from somewhere.

October is going to be a busy month, moon-wise with two full moons starting tomorrow with a full Harvest Moon in the sign of Aries, and another in Taurus on Halloween last day of the month.

The Harvest Moon is the name given to the Full Moon closest to the September equinox which happens on the 22 or 23 September, and which marks the start of autumn/fall.  The Harvest Moon occurs in September two years out of every three. However the astronomical seasons don’t match up with the lunar month and once every three years, as this year, the Harvest Moon occurs in October.

The Harvest Moon

For several days around the time of the full Harvest Moon, the Moon rises about 30 minutes later each night, and this extra light early in the evening is what makes this time of year especially atmospheric -weather permitting- and gave farmers extra light for harvesting after sunset.

This was the artistic terrain of one of my favourite painters, Samuel Palmer.

Harvest Moon by Samuel Palmer 1821-32

The 2020 Harvest Moon tomorrow will rise at 19.01 (UK) and set at 06.10 (UK) if only the skies will be clear enough to see it.

The major arcana Tarot card associated with Aries, the zodiac sign ruling this full moon is The Emperor.

The Emperor from the Legacy of the Divine tarot, Ciro Marchetti

Traditional meanings: rule, power, government and governance, authority, law and order, fatherhood, masculinity.

This Full moon can bring a short burst of vitality. Yippee. It’s spring again…well it is in the southern hemisphere, anyway. It can signify a restless, edgy, even sporty mood, classic Ram energy, with a burst that may be short-lived but that can get things done, especially short-term projects.

Aries is the sign of the First house of the zodiac, the Self. Me, Myself, I.

What can I do? Where does the buck stop with me and no-one else?

There could be some intense feelings and inner tension round this time, perhaps a spot of impetuosity, but by the same token, it’s a good time to clear the air, and it’s considered a lucky moon for taking chances; for example, launching a new idea, project or product, or if you’re going for a job interview. 

Julius Caesar by the way, looking at the imagery of this card, although he certainly walked the walk of the Aries Emperor, and with too many bells on to count, was a Cancer subject, born 12 July 100 BC ,and Alexander the Great was also a Cancer subject, born 20 July 356 BC. Cleopatra was a Leo subject.

Hitler was born right on the cusp Aries/Taurus 20 April 1889, and Aries and Taurus folk have been known to fight over who doesn’t get to keep him.

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Charlemagne, the Holy Roman Emperor, unifier of most of western Europe, great king of the Franks, was an Aries subject, 2 April 742 , and so was Thomas Jefferson, “Never trouble another for what you can do yourself.”

Now that is definitely a hallmark statement of sturdy, sovereign Aries self reliance.

Happy Harvest Moon.

Till next time 🙂

President Pelosi? A 5 card reading using playing cards

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There was much recent discussion on Twitter to the effect that if no clear winner were to be declared by 20 January 2021 after the upcoming US Elections 3 November, there is a constitutional provision that could make Speaker Nancy Pelosi President of the United States.

This arose in the wake of Mr Trump expressing a wish to delay the Election scheduled for 3 November 2020, an action for which I understand, there is no historical precedent.

I have done a reading on the forthcoming election, posted here a few days ago, and you can find it in the archives. Those cards indicated, perhaps counter-intuitively, that the recent civil unrest might actually work in favour of Mr T’s chances rather than against them, but the Joker turned up….oh, that Joker….

I may well do further readings before the election to see if that picture shifts, and to see how it shifts, but the appearance of the Joker card says surprises are in store.

Could this be the surprise? A President Pelosi?

I shuffle and draw 5 playing cards and read them left to right, paying attention to the rising, flattening or declining curve, the balance of ‘yes’ and ‘no’ cards, and noting in particula the central card ad the last cards for an indicatio of future developments.

The Line of Five

Well, the indications are not strong.

2 Spades in this context suggests the premise of the question: a scenario containing two ‘negative candidates’ drawn in a situation where one is not stronger than the other. The Tarot equivalent o this card would be the Two Of Swords which suggests a truce, a pause- or a stalemate. It is a no card.

This card gives me my benchmark. It is clearly relevant to the question being asked.

Jack Spades: bad news, a delay, a point of Law. It is also a no card.

Queen of Clubs: This central card surely denotes Ms Pelosi herself; a ‘dark’ lady with good social instincts and often business acumen. This could be either a yes or a no card.

10 Clubs: this is a very positive card of culmination, completion and it is the card of government. (It can also mean a bathtub, but that’s by the by) Reading this in context, this could be either a yes or a no card, but if it was an Ace Clubs, that would be more likely to represent a yes than the 10 of Clubs, representative of culminations rather than arrivals.

7 Hearts: this future card is all about uncertainty, romantic longing, daydreams, sweet dreams. It is a card of a possible but unstable yes.

This last card, taken with the others, is the only red suit (yes) card, but given the surrounding cards seems to be saying, ‘in your dreams.’

Here, kitty, kitty….

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I understand that Speaker Pelosi is second in line to the succession of the Presidency after the Vice-President, but I’m in the UK and I don’t know too much about all this. Now that I’ve given my cards the first shout, let’s look at the info, to see where this story came from, and what the possibilities might be.

Source: The Hill

“When voters head to the polls in November to choose the path for the next four years in a deeply divided nation, they will choose between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.

But in what has already been a one-of-a-kind 2020, an improbable figure could also become president.

The path for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who is second in line of succession to the presidency, to succeed Trump is quite implausible. But it is not impossible.

The first step is a tie in the Electoral College. And that tie is indeed possible.

If Trump loses Michigan, Pennsylvania and Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District to Biden and holds everything else he won in 2016, the two candidates would be deadlocked at 269 electoral votes a piece.

A few other results could also end in a tie, though perhaps they are even more unlikely.

A tie could result if Biden manages to win Arizona and Iowa, but loses Wisconsin and Michigan. Or if Biden rebuilds the northern Blue Wall, recapturing Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, but somehow manages to lose Colorado’s nine votes.

Click to read the rest of the article

The Two Spades is therefore spelling out in ‘the event of a tie….’

However, even given a deadlock scenario, and given the 20 Amendment, it does not automatically signify that the successor would be Speaker Pelosi-

SOURCE USA Today

“We rate the claim that Nancy Pelosi would become president should the 2020 election be postponed as FALSE because it was not supported by our research. Pelosi’s (own) term (of office) ends Jan. 3, and if no federal election takes place, she would have to leave office, just like the president and vice president. That would mean the president pro tempore of the Senate would assume office. Currently, that is Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, though a downsized Senate may swing in favor of Democrats, presenting them the opportunity to elect a new president pro tempore.”

Click to read the rest of the article.

Ain’t this going to be interesting

2020 is a little too interesting altogether, starting 26 January with a major conjunction of expansive Jupiter boiling up with restrictive Saturn, and another one coming, occurring 21 December 2020.

(Astrology did detect and forecast a possible pandemic specifically dated 2020/2021, notably a French astrologer writing in 2011; Andre Barbault)

2021 is also going to be quite interesting, from the point of view of the collective experience, but at least this second great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn comes to an end 3 April 2021.

Till next time 🙂

Cartomancy and a budding career question: a personal Demo reading

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The junior sprog is a newly qualified primary school teacher, following three years of a dozen or so zero hours jobs after completing a drama honours degree.

The drama degree has proved very useful as a direct source of income at various times since graduation, Halloween jobs working as a scare actor, for instance. Christmas jobs working as a Santa’s Elf on the East Lancashire Railway, and there have been a few short film projects, besides jobs in retail and as a photographer at visitor attractions such as Blackpool Zoo and the Pleasure Beach.

Nothing’s wasted. But none of this helps a young person to afford their own place, no planning possible, no financial forecasting from one month to the next and nor does it pay towards a pension.

The teacher training was interrupted in April by the Coronavirus crisis, and she and the rest of her cohort were not able to work their third and final school placement that makes up the PGCE course. This shortfall in experience had to be made up with additional academic work, extra dissertations and so on. And again, nothing is wasted, but it is not a substitute for experience.

After she completed the course she signed on with a supply agency, and on 1 September had her ear bent by *cough* no-one I know, warning her to have her shoes shined and her bag ready to go with zero notice at any time.

The schools went back, a phased return starting 1 September, and nothing happened, but this Tuesday 22 September she got her first call from the agency.

It came at ten to nine in the morning, with the instruction to go 30 minutes up the road to a school needing Teaching Assistant cover because the incumbent TA had to take time off, after her child showed signs of a sniffle- or could it be Covid- 19.

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Junior Sprog is trained as a teacher not a Teaching Assistant. The training is different, and she had been advised she may therefore not be offered such roles but never mind, no problem.

Straight out the door.

But how would it go? Would they ask her back next again?

You can have a go at this yourself with an ordinary deck of playing cards. Shuffle while you ask your question, and then you lay out a line of five cards. It could be three or seven, the point being it is an odd number.

The story is read from left to right and the central card is the key card. I also look at the balance of the suits for my answer. How many red cards (yes) How many black suit cards, and specifically, which are they?

If you get mostly Spades, you answer is a probable no. If you get all Diamonds and Hearts, it’s a probable yes. Clubs may be a yes or no, depending on whether they are mixed with Spades or Hearts and Diamonds. You can weigh up the mix by the look and feel of the thing, even if you don’t know the meanings of the cards.

The ‘Line of Five’

So what have we here?

The Ace of Diamonds sudden news, a phone call new job or other source of money. Well, that could not be more apposite.

8 Clubs: a stable card denoting business, study or gatherings such as a meeting, a conference and in this case it describes a classroom.

4 Hearts: a happy environment. I was mightily relieved to see this card sitting centrally. Junior Sprog had a horrible time, in one of her two school placements in a school dominated, if not terrorized by a toxic headteacher. It was a shocker, and the only good thing one could say was, it did not defeat her, and she faced it down and passed the placement despite that headteacher’s expressed determination from the outset, from the very second day, that Junior Sprog would fail the placement.

7 Clubs: this is going to be hard work. This is the card of the workaholic and also house clearing and yard work; sweeping, cleaning, that kind of thing.

2 Clubs: this is the card of contracts and the number 2 indicated she would either be called in again the next day, or be called back to this school at a future date.

Outcome

Junior Sprog really liked the school, though she said she was exhausted from running round after the children. ‘Big deal’ was all the sympathy she got, till she explained that the school has a big outdoor area for play time exercise. The school supplies wellies, she was helping the little ones in the reception class, and had to help pull on and remove 28 pairs of tiny wellies and waterproof trousers, on and off, on and off multiple times during the day.

The little ones were adorable but being so little, a lot of them did not yet know their left foot from their right foot. Some struggled to pull up their trousers.

She went in for a second day yesterday and then the regular Teaching Assistant returned with the Covid testing issue sorted out, and Junior Sprog completed the day in a support role.

So yes, it was two days, and I feel she may go back again if further cover is needed.

Junior Sprog is however working again today, at a different school, her second school in three days, deployed this time as a one- to- one assistant, supporting a pupil with special needs.

She says the Head is amazing at this school; she really likes this school, and this makes me happy because this was the school where she was supposed to go for her final term’s placement before the Covid-19 crisis fully kicked in and shut the schools at Easter.

She jokes that that her little charge is a ‘psycho’, and that he has been known to hit and kick people (staff) on purpose because he can’t control his temper, but that he knocked her arm accidentally earlier this morning and apologized.

Though he still had to go to the time out room at one point, where she sat with him and so did the Head teacher.

Now, depending how this goes, this could be where a young teacher’s scare acting skills could come in useful.

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Till next time 🙂

Equinox and the Tarot says Equipoise

The Spring Equinox March 2019, via Wikipedia

Today marks the the first day of astronomical autumn/fall in the Northern Hemisphere. and spring in the southern hemisphere, when day and night are nearly equal. The equinox occurred at 13.30 PM UCT or 2.30 PM on UK time.

Read more from NASA HERE

From The Gilded Tarot Royale, Ciro Marchetti

Today we have entered the zodiac air sign of Libra, and the Tarot card specifically associated with todays date is the Two of Swords, belonging to the first decan of Libra.

You will notice a striking similarity between this card and the Tarot’s Justice card, its major arcana counterpart.

The Gilded Tarot Royale, Ciro Marchetti

The Two of Swords is blind like Justice. Wilfully blind, and for a purpose, either for tactical reasons, or because this decision simply cannot be rushed. Here, the wings serving as a blindfold denote the element of air, and impartiality, the use of cool, calm intellect brought to bear on a tricky situation.

If the card comes out upside down, then someone is being a refusenik. A decision must be taken but they are procrastinating.

The Two of Swords can describe a see-saw, and is reflecting what we all know, that internationally and domestically October looks like another tense month of watching, waiting, diplomatic stand-offs and tensions.

This is the UK government and the EU boxing clever, with talks approaching their final phase, and a deal to be agreed or not, and it is looking like not, with the Three of Swords coming up next on the calendar.

I cannot see that any contemporary Dr John Dee would have cast these dates, had there been that luxury of choice, though I myself, do not feel downcast.

‘This will not be an amicable divorce,’ said M Juncker in 2016.

This was always on the cards. Look back through the archives to see previous readings on the subject of Brexit and the future of the UK as envisioned in the Tarot.

Meanwhile the Coronavirus presents a continuing see-saw, and seems likely to do so till Pisces 2021. I have mentioned this before, some weeks back in a previous post.

Any new crises this month, if they occur, seem more likely to arise during the first ten days or so of October when we are in Three of Swords territory.

Meaning? Severance.

This is the card of equipoise and equilibrium, a balancing and weighing of forces and interests. On a mundane, specific, personal level, it may be anything but detached. Feelings may be running high but this is a situation where someone is still thinking. They have not yet arrived at an important decision, but have decided that such a decision needs to be made. Meanwhile, they are biding their time, saying little and possibly treading on eggshells.

The Two of Swords is difficult yet civilized, as that equipoise denotes. It may suggest a truce, a stand-off, a stalemate. More than once the Two of Swords alerted me to the fact that the client has recently been experiencing headaches, possibly migraines, and these may have been due to stress. Or they have been to see the optician, or have just scheduled a visit to see the optician.

Tarot can be literal like that. And rightly so, in painting the tapestry of real life. No, it isn’t always fun.

But the world keeps turning, and with it, the many wonders of the wheel of the seasons.

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Until next time 🙂

The Sounding of the Last Trump?

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I can’t believe it’s been a whole month since I last posted. I’ve been working on a few other things, while the public mood at the moment in the UK, the same in the US, and pretty much everywhere is such that even the most stalwart, nay, foolhardy tarot reader, astrologer or other practitioner of divination in its various forms, may hesitate to dip so much as a tootsie into the morass.

But regular readers of this blog are of a thoughtful, civil, inquiring and sophisticated ilk, while a cat may look at a king.

I’ve got to take a look.

17 September I tweeted

Polls put Mr B ahead but I’m not so sure unless Mr T gets bored. For Mr T the Ace of Swords, showing an eagle (American Eagle?) + Wheel of Fortune (Jupiter= he goes back to biz?) Mr B draws introspective Knight of Cups (Pisces) and the serene, domestic 10 of Cups. Legacy Tarot.

Cards for Mr T

The Wheel of Fortune from the Legacy of The Divine Tarot

Key concepts: the world turns, the seasons turn, shifting fortunes, events beyond our control, what goes up must go down and vice versa. Jupiter. Expansion. Here the card is drawn right way up, generally considered lucky.

The Ace of Swords from The Legacy of the Divine Tarot

Key concepts: air signs Aquarius, Gemini and Libra. Mr T is a Gemini subject. Initiative, power, victory, a new idea, an act of will or law. A sword to cut clean or to cut through a Gordion knot but sometimes this is a double-edged sword, ruthlessness.

Cards for Mr B

The Knight of Cups, Legacy of the Divine Tarot

Key concepts: The element of water, carried on the tides, the Moon, sign of Pisces, the twelfth and last sign of the zodiac, a saviour, a warrior-martyr, a dreamer, visionary, hidden depths, secrets, mysteries, a healing quest, the occult.

The Ten of Cups from The Legacy of The Divine Tarot

Key concepts: note this second card is also ruled by Pisces, the Moon. Card meanings, a happy home, happy relationships, devotion to family, safety and contentment. A positive card signifying an arrival at a completion. This is a card of stasis rather than movement and momentum.

We can draw our own inferences from the imagery. I am struck at the coincidence of the appearance of the bald eagle in that Ace of Swords card drawn for Mr T.

Joe Biden has been consistently ahead in the polls, with a clearer margin than Trump versus Clinton during the campaign in 2016.

BBC US Election Polls

If I were a US citizen planning on voting Republican on Nov 3 I might be twitchy as anything at this point, based on the polls, but if I was planning on voting Democrat I’d still be wishing for a stronger candidate with a bigger vision and a clearer message, reflected in a more strategic and forceful show of cards. Mr B’s cards, you do not need me to point out, notwithstanding the polls, for some reason do not immediately embody the energy and qualities one might associate with an electoral victory.

His VP Ms Harris has a nice strong stride, good energy levels there, though my cards have thus far suggested that she brings to bear a high degree of executive talent rather than overt leadership potential.

Let’s have some fun, and just run the names by my pendulum.

The Question: Do we see this person as the next President of the US?

Pendulum divination mobilizes the unconscious central nervous system in detecting water or minerals underground, or in obtaining a yes or no response to a clearly stated question

Mr Trump…neutral – moderate yes – maintaining

Mr Biden…neutral – moderate yes – weaker yes- weak no

Ms Harris…neutral – v weak yes – weak no

Mr Pence…neutral-weak to moderate yes-back to neutral

It’s not matching up with the polls.

So….?

This lack of clarity, this failure to separate out the candidates and their deputies, to polarize them more clearly, suggests that whoever gets in is going to have a tough time of it from the opposition. No free pass to do whatever it is they want to do.


Top Row: Mr T

Jack Diamonds: a message, sudden good news. What might that mean from his POV?

Nine Hearts: the wishes card, he wants to ‘make good’.

Two Clubs: governance, a contract, business, government. The Ace of Clubs means an election, so here the 2 means a second election. Mr T wants a second presidency, whatever the doubts some have expressed as to how much he is really interested.

Eight Spades: sickness, hospitals, lockdown, the coronavirus pandemic. The recent death of a family member, his brother, has weighed on his mind. The effects of the pandemic have tied him up, stopping him from doing what he wants to see accomplished, and there are now less than 8 weeks to go till the election.

King Hearts: he would like history to show that he helped pull America through the coronavirus pandemic, and it didn’t ‘beat’ him.

Mr T wants to win, because he always wants to win, whatever, but though he wants to win, there is a suggestion here of a degree of inner ambivalence about actually serving a second term. The Wheel of Fortune suggests he loves ‘the hunt’ in general, but in politics he is much more limited in the way he has to operate, and he gets frustrated, for the reasons so vividly expressed by his predecessor in the White House:-

“What people really typically want is a clean solution, a silver bullet, here’s what we’re going to do and we just move forward—well, that’s not, unfortunately, how the world works.”- Barack Obama (Charlie Rose, June 17, 2013)

Bottom Row: Mr B

Nine Spades, mourning, sorrow, bereavement, fatigue/insomnia.

Three Spades: mourning again, separation, severance, bereavement, divorce, sometimes cardiac or other health symptoms.

I have been scratching my head, studying these.

I know very little about Mr B but, given the timing, and since I have drawn these cards only today (20 Sept 2020) I wonder if these reflect Mr B’s feelings and attitude in respect of the death yesterday of the mighty Ruth Bader Ginsburg She was, I can only assume, a powerful, most welcome ally to Mr B rather more so than to Mr T, may her memory be a blessing.

And so, writing this up at 10.10 PM in the UK I go online and see that Mr B has challenged Mr T’s nomination for the replacement of Ms Ginsburg, as tweeted by the BBC on Twitter 53 minutes ago. Click here to read.

Six Diamonds: a positive but volatile card of intermittent gains. Positive diagnostics. He may have recently undergone health tests and if so these were OK but with some unanswered questions. This card also reflects his popularity as indicated by the polls because again, this is a card of diagnostic tools of all kinds use for all kinds of purposes. It is sitting centrally, suggesting he has an advantage of this time. The card is positive, but generally considered not entirely reliable in whatever the context it appears.

Two of Diamonds: a great card for business and legal partnerships. We will all be watching that space re a replacement in the Supreme Court Judiciary and perhaps Mr B has high hopes there.

The Joker Reversed. Lawd, please help me. The Joker is just what you would imagine. The wild card.

‘Surprise, surprise!’

Further surprises are to be expected, relevant to the election, hopefully not such sad ones as the passing of Ms Ginsberg. It is being mooted today on social media, greeted in some quarters with enthusiasm, that should there be no clear winner declared by January 20, there is a provision in the American Constitution that could make Nancy Pelosi president. I’ll take a look at that and report back with the soundings.

One more thing, I drew The Fool, which is the Tarot’s equivalent of the Joker, when looking at Boris Johnson’s chances of getting elected as PM in the UK General Election Dec 2019. You can find those readings here in the archives.

I have come to associate it with Gemini subjects, even though The Joker is ruled by rebellious Uranus and not Mercury. Both Mr Trump and Mr Johnson are air sign Gemini subjects, agile, mercurial, volatile, where Mr Biden is a water sign subject as befitting his cards, though he is a Scorpio subject, not Pisces.

I understand Kamala Harris is also a Scorpio subject; famous as a powerfully driven zodiac sign, family-minded, secretive and intense.

The appearance of The Joker, for me, drawn reversed on Mr B’s line of inquiry could suggest either that Mr B benefits from some mishap/withdrawal by Mr Trump, but equally that Mr T functions as his nemesis. Could it be a change to the date? It’s a pretty odd card to draw, if it is trying to show a positive election outcome for Mr B.

Card counting

The reader looks to see how many red cards appear and how many black cards, treating the red cards as a possible yes clue and the black cards as a possible no clue, as standard in cartomancy (fortune telling with playing cards) which has been practiced in Europe since the late fourteenth century, when it is believed to have arrived in Europe from the east. You could reverse it if you wanted to. It’s all about uploading a program, and what comes naturally is what will work best

Mr T drew 3 red, 2 black. Yes, but not a strong yes.

Mr B drew 2 red, 2 black and a reversed Joker. In the balance.

What does seem clear based purely on the cards, which do not reflect any conscious opinion as they are drawn and random and interpreted according to widely recognised traditions of translation, is that, whatever the polls say at this current time, further dramatic twists and turns seem likely.

Mr B cannot relax. It ain’t in the bag.

I’ll be watching this space and shall report again nearer the time, if I’m feeling sufficiently teflon-coated. But if my ambivalence as to the outcome is unwelcome, there are plenty of commentators, analysts as well as highly regarded astrologers out there who are confident it will be Mr Biden. Though more than one Sidereal astrologer in India states with confidence it will be Mr Trump, and they are saying so on YouTube, and no shilly-shallying.

I can only say what I see. These cards today have leaned towards a Republican result as they did back in June when I looked before but things could shift. I do it for the learning, and I do shilly-shally in prognostications, at least by comparison with others, on the principle that, as the old joke goes, nothing in life is certain but death and taxes.

These are strange, unsettling times, the same as all times of disease have been throughout history. Let’s keep our cool and hold our nerve.

2021 will bring a gradually improving picture, broadly speaking, with some sporadically better stuff before this year is out.

Till next time 🙂

Heavenly Queen- Harvest Goddess Virgo

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“The Virgin with her sheaf belongs to Ceres,” The Astronomica, Manilius, 1st century AD. 

Common Associations

Zodiac symbol

Date: August 23-September 22

Symbol: The Virgin

Element: Earth

Quality: Mutable (Sagittarius and Pisces are also Mutable signs, marking the transitions between seasons, suggesting these subjects are capable and versatile; and generally inclined to conform, going with the flow if it’s for the greater good.)

Ruling planet: Mercury (Travel and all forms of communication)

House: Sixth, ruling health, habits and routines

Colour: green, white and yellow

Body: Intestines/digestion

Birthstone: Carnelian

Flowers: all small bright flowers, clover, buttercups

Tarot cards: The Hermit (introspection, perception, analysis, care for nature)

Also the Eight, Nine and Ten of Pentacles, and all of these are beneficent cards to do with productiveness as a direct result of study, diligence, application and direction of self discipline, focus and a sustained effort

The Hermit from the Legacy of The Divine Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

Virgo Astronomy

Public Domain

Virgo is the second-largest constellation in the sky after Hydra, and the largest constellation in the zodiac between Libra to the west and Leo to the east, and below the Big Dipper.

In the northern hemisphere it is most visible in the evening sky May- to late June. In the southern hemisphere, it can be seen in autumn and winter. 

Find its brightest star, the brilliant-blue-white Spica, and you will work out the rest of Virgo with her feet pointing east.

Own Image.

It might seem a bit of a stretch, but add in a few more of her stars, imagine her lounging, dangling a sheaf of wheat from one hand (Spica.)

And now you see her.

Urania’s Mirror

 

Spica is actually a double star, brighter than our sun. Its name is from the Latin, meaning an ‘ear of grain.’- also called ‘The Lonely One’ because it is so far from the others. Ptolemy saw these twin stars as ruled by Venus and Mars respectively, mated together in a chaste, androgynous union, rather like the slightly remote purity of Virgo herself, even when she is a living human wife and mother.

The star Vindemiatrix is ‘the Grape-Gatherer,’ because once it was seen at daybreak, this was the sign to start harvesting the vines.

Galaxies: The Virgo Cluster

It’s mind-boggling to consider that our own Sun is just one star of the Milky Way, and the Milky Way is only one of a collection of galaxies known as The Local Group.

The Local Group contains three large spiral galaxies: the Milky Way, Andromeda, and the Triangulum Galaxy plus a few dozen ‘dwarf’ galaxies. But The Local Group is only one member of the Virgo Cluster – a collection of more than 1300 galaxies stretching across 15 million light-years of space.

And the Virgo Cluster is just one cluster in the Virgo Supercluster.

And I do like to look up and see The Milky Way but enough already, existential angst beckons, and now I need to lie down with a damp cloth on my head. And a cup of tea and a biccie. No, scrap that. No biccy. Stop trying to tempt me, Spica.

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History & Mythology

The Sumerians

Shala was an ancient Sumerian deity (in what was later Babylonia, the area now known as southern Iraq and Kuwait) She was the goddess of grain -and also compassion. Why link these two things? Famine is suffering.

Shala was married to the fertility god, Dagon, or the storm god, Ishkur, or possibly both, with one as her consort.  This is significant. Virgo the Virgin is not about a state of physical virginity – but refers more to an attitude; a slightly elusive and rather refined quality, male or female.

Shala was associated with the constellation of Virgo and vestiges of symbolism associated with her continue, such as the star Spica, the ‘ear of grain’, even as the deity name changed from age to age and culture to culture.

In 10th century BC the Babylonians called part of this constellation, “The Furrow,” referring back to the goddess Shala and the Shala Mons is a mountain on Venus named after the goddess Shala.

In Egyptian mythology, the sight of Virgo in the night sky was also associated with harvest time, and with the goddess Isis.

In Indian astrology she was The Maiden, Kanya.

The Greeks

To the Greeks she was the harvest goddess Demeter, also called Ceres, (root of the word ‘cereal’) and also by association, her beloved daughter, Persephone.

When Hades abducted Persephone to live with him in the underworld, Demeter went into mourning. There was no harvest that year. People and livestock starved and Zeus, the king of gods, eventually intervened, insisting that Hades return Persephone to Demeter. But Zeus also stipulated that Persephone must not eat until her return, and Hades, not wanting to part with her, gave Persephone a pomegranate, knowing fine well how much she liked them, and she ate some of the seeds on her way home.

So Persephone went home to her mother, but because of the pomegranate she has to return to the underworld for four months every year, and then Demeter grieves; winter returns, and the land sleeps.  

The Virgo Archetype- Personality

Virgos are practical but artistically gifted. They are hard-workers who love to better themselves. They love to analyse, and their perceptiveness means that they can always find or create order within chaos. They are honest friends although, being extra discerning, and analytical, they might have a tendency to analyse you, pointing out your strengths and also your mistakes and weaknesses. This can be annoying, very, though it’s usually well meant. They may also give great advice because of those same analytical abilities.

Their quest of self-improvement includes their appearance. They are perfectionists, highly concerned about the impression they make on others, but at the same time, generally kindly and ready to help others

The sign of Virgo is ruled by agile, communicative Mercury, and Virgo’s brain is in overdrive much of the time. These folk can do big things and get a lot done – if they don’t lose sight of the original vision, and don’t get too bogged down in detail.

Elizabeth 1

Elizabeth 1, ‘the Virgin Queen’ was a Virgo subject. Born 7 September 1533 she ascending to the throne aged 25 following an exceedingly tough time during which at one point she was disinherited and imprisoned in the Tower on suspicion of treason in collusion with Wyatt against her sister Mary. She could even have lost her life, like her mother before her .

But even as a girl of 20, outnumbered and beleaguered by statesmen decades her senior, ‘she hath a very good wit and nothing is gotten of her but by great policy,’ said one of her exasperated inquisitors.

Virgo Season 2020

Keynote cards: Ace Pentacles Reversed and the Nine of Pentacles

The Legacy of the Divine Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

The Ace Pentacles Reversed shows us coming in and out of our homes and places of work. This card also reflects the economic effects of global and UK recession still to come. The upright Nine of Pentacles offsets and counterbalances the negative message here to a degree and suggests that key developments in September may be clustered around, or be concentrated before this turning point of 22 September. The Nine of Pentacles is a good general omen in particular for the second decan of Virgo, 4 September-13 September. We need to get past that moody full moon first, with its potential for shadowboxing and doubtless, further incidents of social unrest and whatever the causes, historically, these have gone hand in glove with the aftermath of a pandemic and we are not yet quite in the aftermath, though getting there.

I’ve been getting the feeling there may be news of a mudslide or landslip this September, but maybe I am confusing it with a feeling I got on 12 August, triggered by the Ace Pentacles Reversed.

It seems to have been the Aberdeenshire train accident that I was picking up on. But it had already happened, and though I hadn’t heard the news yet, and did not know about it, or that it had been caused by a landslip on the line, maybe I was confusing it with events still to come in September, in which case I will be very glad to be wrong.

The finance, beauty, health and hospitality industries are specifically associated with this earth card, as are interior design, architecture, financial services, schools, universities; food production and horticulture. All of these, though of course, many other industries besides, will face a major effort this September as they work to recover lost ground and we restart the national engines, although localized lockdowns and lifting of lockdowns may be a pattern that continues for some time to come, at least until Christmas 2020 or into Feb/March 2021.

Globally

This is a card of women in power, and individually may refer to Kamala Harris, Joe Biden’s new Vice-President. It suggests there is tremendous focus here, and self-discipline; a serious work ethic, though it may be that her greatest gifts are executive rather than presidential. This appointment may help Mr Biden’s chances, and the polls seem to think it will, but I can’t see it as anything like THE deal-maker for the Democrats come election time.

In the UK

In September children will be returning to school, and more parents will be returning to work as the government furlough scheme starts drawing to a close. This could prove unsettling and tensions may arise at home, anxieties and a sense of disorientation, as suggested by the appearance of The Hanged Man, reflecting the effects of the Full Corn Moon on 2 September in dreamy, moody, Neptunian Pisces.

The Nine of Pentacles suggests we navigate this transition, staying focused on the known facts and the immediately available information, taking things one day at a time, focusing only on what is within our direct personal power to control, just as the lady in the Nine of Pentacles controls the bird on her gauntlet.

Things seem to settle again somewhat during the middle two weeks of September, as collectively as well as personally, we start to find a new footing.

At Home

Virgo rules the concept of routines and also hygiene. The Roman goddess Hygieia is another of the many faces of Virgo. Click here to find out more about her.

The return to school is a major milestone in the return to normal routine but frequent hand-washing continues more important than ever, and may also reduce cases of seasonal flu which also claims many lives each year. These strains of flu which can kill but which we more or less take for granted now, may have caused pandemics when they first appeared in humans. A pandemic of the 1200’s which killed an estimated million people in central Asia is known as the Russian flu and is thought to be the ancestor of one of the common modern flu strains

The Nine of Pentacles as a personification of both Demeter, goddess of the harvest, and Vindemiatrix, goddess of the vines, recommends the consumption of more fresh food, and less fast food. Slow cooking, a one-pot meal, is a delicious, nutritious and seriously budget-friendly way to eat and feed a family. (The odd glass of wine doesn’t go amiss either, says Vindemiatrix.)

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” ― Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

Until next time 🙂

The Tower card says Thunder

Photo by Philippe Donn on Pexels.com

Monday afternoon and we’re having yet another thunderstorm right now. I posted here back on 3 August suggesting we could expect some humid nights ahead during the next two weeks.

This comment was based on an astrological combination of a full moon in Aquarius riding opposite the Sun in Leo. A quirky, steamy, humid combination, suggesting the Lion was sporting a perm and it was likely to frazzle in the humidity.

This proved correct in many parts of the UK and including where I am, on the Lancashire coast in NW England. It’s been sticky as Sticky the stick insect when he’s got stuck on a stick, and last Tuesday night at 11.30 we had the first of this series of thunderstorms and it was a corker.

It started silently, sheet lightning, flash lightning, the entire sky lit bright as day; white, grey, lavender, palest pink. Then came the wind. The trees began to move, and then swish and then came the pounding rain. This sequence was repeated three times between 11.30 and about four in the morning.

I asked Il Matrimonio to film it on his phone, but this was just the start of the spectacle. Consider it slow TV.

The Tarot card that can forecast or describe a thunderstorm…or even a hurricane or a tornado is the Tower card. The Tower card is the card of Tuesdays, ruled by Tyr or Mars, and in its most extreme manifestations is the ultimate card of shock and awe, more fearsome than The Death card, which when it refers to a real, actual physical death, describes a natural or timely death, at least in my experience as a reader.

The Tower is pride before a fall, miscommunications, the Tower of Babel, shocks, bankruptcy, economic crashes, traffic crashes, air attacks, explosions. Readers in the States were haunted by the appearance of this card shortly prior to the events of 9/11 and the attack on the Twin towers.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is tower_golden.jpg
The Golden Tarot by Kat Black

But The Tower may be far smaller in the scale of warning. It might be a vehicle tyre needing replacing. It may be entirely neutral and benign and means only a Tuesday as a likely day for something to happen. Or it might mean a real actual Tower like the Tower of Pisa.

Or it might forecast a common-or-garden thunderstorm not likely to do much damage.

Back in 2011 it meant a tornado coming down my road next morning. And this was a very British tornado, surely one of the smallest possible tornadoes.

I had drawn the Tower card the previous evening and said to Il Matrimonio, there’s a storm coming. But I wasn’t expecting this. I have never heard anything like it in my life. A scream like the whistle of a massive steam train; similar principles of science I suppose, and it whirled down the street, hurled a few bins about.

It flattened someone’s garden wall; one of our neighbours, Mr Fagge, but still, it didn’t fall on anyone, and he said it needed repairing anyway. So that was OK. He didn’t much like it though, when people got word of what they had missed and started turning up to take photographs.

But you could hardly blame them. You don’t often see a tornado in Lytham St Annes.

Till next time 🙂

Show us the money. The Tarot Dials 999…and it’s not the Emergency Services

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

How soon will we see the UK (and global) economy recover from the recession created by the global effort to minimize deaths due to covid19? I am basing the question on a dateline starting this 1 September.

I shuffle and draw the Nine of Pentacles, also called the Nine of Coins.

The Legacy of the Divine Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

This lovely Minor Arcana card is in my mind, the Tarot’s personification of Britannia and it:-

  1. talks first and foremost about financial independence and self-sufficiency attained through employment or self-employment.
  2. correlates with the zodiac sign of Virgo, which runs 23 August-22 September and together with the other earth signs, Taurus and Capricorn, is a key zodiac sign associated with banking and financial services. Also schools and universities.
  3. Is ruled by Venus, planet of beauty. Not only does it rule banking and all financial services, it rules the beauty industry, hospitality, architecture, the arts, design, fashion and horticulture, viticulture and food production.

Therefore, drawing the Nine of Pentacles, I am satisfied that the Tarot has ‘logged’ the question. OK. So how long for the UK to come out of recession, counting ahead in financial quarters of a year.

How many financial quarters will it take?

I switch to my ordinary playing cards asking to see how many financial quarters it will take the UK to enter recovery, using one card to represent one quarter and asking to be shown the Ace of Diamonds in token of a definitive answer to this question.

Divination involves a lot of this kind of self-programming. It’s all in the framing.

I shuffle the cards blind, pull a card, pull another, pull another…and hey presto, the third card out is The Ace of Diamonds.

The Ace of Diamonds is suggesting that the UK will start to see recovery in the third quarter counting forward from September, which would bring us to June 2021.

I’m surprised that the Ace Diamonds has made an appearance so soon and I carry on pulling cards. Why? To book-end a date range. Hedging my bets? You could see it that way.

The fifth card, representing the fifth quarter is the Six of Diamonds.

Six is the number of community, and diamonds is the suit of money. This card can suggest loss, and of course there have been losses, and there will be more. But on balance it is a positive omen for the state of UK employment.

In summary the UK seems to be in recovery during the next 3-5 financial quarters bringing us to June-December 2021.

Does this count as a V-shaped recovery which the PM has said he is optimistic of seeing? I’m not a finance person, but where will new jobs come from for the people being made redundant when the furlough comes to a close?

I suppose what I am seeing here is something between a V and a U shaped economic recovery as described by Forbes. Click HERE to read its article describing various possible recovery scenarios, though, note, they are discussing the American economy.

The scenario we don’t want to see there, here or anywhere is the interminable L shaped recovery.

What about the global picture? I carry on pulling cards. 12 cards, 12 quarters, so that’s three years which brings us to September 2023 and the twelfth card is my red Joker, the ultimate card of a new beginning- in the context, this is to be treated as an affirmative card suggesting global recovery, though obviously this is going to vary country to country, and this timescale could mean a late straggler. Still, this recession looks less long lasting than the aftermath of the banking crash of 2009.

So now I go online to find out what the Bank of England has been saying.

“The Bank expects the UK economy to shrink by 9.5% this year. While this would be the biggest annual decline in 100 years, it is not as steep as its initial estimate of a 14% contraction.”

So, we drew the Nine of Pentacles and here they are, forecasting a shrinkage of 9.5 % this year. But wait….hang on – here comes another nine.

“More than nine million jobs have been furloughed under the government’s job retention scheme, but the Bank expects most people to go back to work as the economy recovers.”

One of these people has been my son- in- law, a chef. And now he’s back to work. But hang on a sec…. ding- a- ling, here comes a third nine.

“The Bank expects the UK economy to grow by 9% in 2021, and 3.5% in 2022, with the economy forecast to get back to its pre-Covid size at the end of 2021.”

For the UK economy to return to its precovid size by the end of 2021 would accord with the 5 quarters intimated by the Six of Diamonds.

So here we have three Bank of England predictions, and three nines, in seeming accordance with my playing cards and the Tarot’s Nine of Pentacles, aka the Nine of Coins.

In a further comment Andrew Bailey, the Governor of The Bank of England said,

“the UK still faced its sharpest recession on record, with the outlook for growth now “unusually uncertain.”  Mr Bailey said it was the “largest quantum of uncertainty in a forecast” that policymakers had ever published.”

Source: BBC Business News

A quantum of uncertainty in a forecast. Well, I definitely recognize that feeling, Mr Bailey. Welcome to my own tiny corner of the world.

This may all be something or nothing. It may seem a bit peculiar. It is peculiar, the synchronicity aka so-called ‘meaningful coincidences in evidence here, but that’s the mystery of the Tarot and I am well used to it.

But. But. But says Madam Logic-Chopper. (and that’s me) Were my cards detecting the future or were they somehow picking up on and reflecting the present understanding of this evolving situation?

Either way, it is a demonstration of synchronicity in action, but which was it? I’m a gonna ask the Tarot. I shuffle and draw The Knight of Cups.

The Gilded Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

And the Tarot ‘s reply? ‘You know it in your water and the water is a mirror .’

Oh, do I? Oh, does it? Well, thanks for clearing that one up good and proper. A properly oracular answer, that one! Properly Delphic. Typical Tarot.

The Knight of Cups also represents The Holy Grail and The Healing Chalice. The Grail Cup, and that’s the thing we’re all looking for, isn’t it?

Until next time 🙂

The Fool and the Return of Orion

The Fool and the return of Orion...
Photo by Frank Cone on Pexels.com

Orion The Hunter returns, and in the northern hemisphere can once again be seen bestriding the east at sunrise. So when we say return, where has he been, then? The answer is, he has been invisible, hidden in the glare of the sun since May.

But now he is back and will rise earlier each day until he is visible all evening during the winter months. As a girl I used to like to go out on cold frosty evenings to fill the coal scuttle from the coal bunker in the back garden. Looking up at him. I knew his name. I knew he was The Hunter but wondered about him, and what he was hunting up there.

Those winter evenings still have that same kind of magic.

Orion is only the 26th largest constellation, sitting on the celestial equator, facing the constellation next door, the oncoming, charging, Taurus the Bull. So it’s far from being the biggest, and it’s smaller than another Greek hero, Perseus but Orion’s got more brilliant stars, commanding the impression of its vastness.

(The biggest constellation of all is Hydra, and the biggest constellation of the twelve included in the Zodiac is Virgo.)

Orion’s two brightest stars are the blue-white star Rigel, representing the Hunter’s left foot, and the red supergiant Betelgeuse, Orion’s right shoulder. They’re both thought to be to be about ten million years old, which makes Betelgeuse quite young to be a red supergiant, but it’s evolved faster due to its enormous mass. It is expected to go supernova in the next million years and when it does will be brighter than the Moon and the brightest supernova ever to have been visible from Earth.

Orion’s third brightest star is Bellatrix, his left shoulder, and Orions’s Belt is one of the most easily recognized asterisms with its three stars.

You can read them east to west or left to right; Alnitak (girdle), Alnilam (string of pearls) and Mintaka (area) They have many other names across the world; The Magi, the Three Mary’s, and the Mayans called them The Fire Drill, invoking them in an annual fire ceremony to delay the onset of the end of the world.

‘No other constellation more accurately represents the figure of a man,’ said Germanicus Caesar

Orion is identified as a human figure in every culture at every latitude, with countless variations of different names and legends.

Orion, also called Nimrod, was the son of Poseidon and was the most handsome man ever to walk the earth. He was a great hunting buddy and friend of Artemis.Her twin brother, Apollo glowered, seeing that Artemis fancied Orion something rotten when she had taken a vow of perpetual chastity.

Orion could be a bit of a sex pest, chasing the Pleiades, so that Zeus confiscated them to the sky for their own peace and quiet. And a fat lot of good it did them, because when Orion was killed by a scorpion (THE scorpion) Artemis in her grief, asked Zeus to post Orion upstairs to the heavens, which he did, right next door to the Pleiades, who also represent the celestial bull pen of Taurus. Thanks Zeus. You didn’t think that one through, did you?

Should Taurus ever break free of his pen, said an ancient Arabic legend, it will be the end of all things, so let’s hope he’s happy up there, and that Orion doesn’t chase the Pleiades away.

Orion bravely strides towards the Bull but although he killed the scorpion that also killed him, he still fears it, and dreads its appearance fleeing west as the autumn wears on and Scorpius rises (Scorpio)

Orion in his eternal battle with Scorpius

The stand off between Orion and Taurus the Bull, its red eye, Aldebaran glaring at him, daring him to come nearer, does not fit the Greek legend of Orion, and a question has been raised in some quarters over the identity of Orion, and whether he has become confused with Herakles/Hercules at any time in his identification with this constellation.

The reasons are likely historical. The constellation as recognized by the Greeks originated with the Sumerians, who saw in it their great hero Gilgamesh fighting the Bull of Heaven. The Sumerian name for Orion was URU AN-NA, meaning light of heaven and Taurus was GUD AN-NA, bull of heaven.

Gilgamesh was the Sumerian equivalent of Heracles, the greatest hero of Greek mythology, and one of the labours of Heracles was to catch the Cretan bull, but Orion was never in a fight with a bull. Heracles, it has been suggested, deserves a magnificent constellation such as this one, but has been consigned to a much more obscure area of sky. So has there been a mix-up, or perhaps we could see it as a mash-up, Orion and Heracles in mutual diguise?

Orion and The Tarot

The Golden Tarot by Kat Black

The Tarot card most commonly associated with Orion is The Fool. The most numinous card in the deck, its element is Air and it is ruled by the planet of revolution, Uranus.

It is the portal of the number Zero.

The Fool or as some called him, The Jester, is both beginnings and ending.

In a real life reading it may detect or forecast a birth of a child, or a new offer or a launch or opportunity of some kind. And change happens all the time but this is always major or significant in scope. But although is not associated with Death, unlike the famous Death card, it can mean a death too, representing infinity, the ouroboros.

An ouroboros

The Fool lives in the moment. He may be fun, he may be joy, or he may be frightening. There’s every reason a lot of people are scared of clowns as the living embodiment of The Fool. He represents the wisdom of innocence, or mistakes made through impulsiveness or ignorance rather than stupidity. But he may represent a threat, whether direct or existential, clearly sensed but not as yet clearly identifiable. The fear is visceral, not lightly to be dismissed.

He may be a shamanic, gnostic figure; the stranger, the outcast, the wise Fool or the Fool on the Hill. He dances to his own tune. He takes chances, risks, and sometimes these pay off, but sometimes he steps over the edge of the cliff, heedless of his dog’s most urgent warning.

The dog in the card is not biting the Fool, but desperately trying to get his attention. If someone asks the Tarot’s advice and then I draw this card reversed….someone needs to draw back from the precipice and look again before they leap.

I may bark like the Fool’s dog but will they act on this advice? CAN they? Will they even really hear it, let alone find a way to use it? We are who we are, and we do what we do, based on who we are. It is a rare person who can step back and see things anew once they are committed to Opinion A or B or they are emotionally invested in outcome A or B.

Advice, to be heard, must be sufficiently timely, before the paint dries.

Everywhere the Fool goes, his dog follows, just as Orion is followed in the skies by his two hunting dogs, Canis major and Canis minor. Sirius, the Dog Star is in the constellation of Canis Major and is THE brightest star in Earth’s night sky.

The only objects that outshine Sirius in our skies are the sun, moon, Venus, Jupiter, Mars and Mercury – and Sirius will usually outshine Mercury too.

All Mankind is Orion.

We were hunters at the dawn of man (The Fool) And gatherers too, but we were never gorillas, and never herbivores on our ancestral line.

“We were risen not of fallen angels but risen apes, and they were killer apes besides” – Robert Ardrey, in African Genesis.

Hunting was what brought us together in teams, then communities. Co operation meant compassion.

Fatboy Slim tells a version of that story here (except that we were apes but not on the gorilla branch). See Orion in the final frame of the video.

Until next time 🙂

The Tarot talks Owls

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Today, the Fourth of August has been designated International Owl Awareness Day apparently, but we can never have too much of owls any time of year, say I.

Owl: Definition and origins

“Raptorial nocturnal bird of prey of the family Strigidæ,” Middle English oule, from Old English ule “owl,” from Proto-Germanic *uwwalon- (source also of Middle Dutch, Dutch uil, Old High German uwila, German Eule, Old Norse ugla), a diminutive of PIE root *u(wa)l-, which is imitative of a wail or an owl’s hoot (compare howl and Latin ulula “owl;” also see ululation) Read more HERE

The Owl in Tarot

The owl as a nocturnal airborne hunter is represented in the Tarot by the Knight of Swords or the Knight of Air, one of the court cards associated with the air signs of the zodiac: Aquarius, Gemini and Libra.

This Knight can be law or war. It can be excellent news or frightful news, a decisive victory or a total and shocking defeat. represents strategy, speed and stealth of attack: watchwords, optics, surveillance, calculation, strategy, north wind, east wind, unfettered power, courage, agility, ruthlessness, precision, musical composition, mathematics, IT and medical diagnostics.

By the same token it represents all creatures of the air.

The Rider Waite Tarot

The Knight of Swords as personified below is the Great Grey Owl, and I am glad I am not a rabbit.

The owl is revered as powerful and sage, and feared as otherworldly.

The Owl of Athena

The Greek Goddess of Wisdom, Athena, had a pet Little Owl, Athene Noctua.

So why has the owl been considered especially wise?

Like domestic cats, the face of the owl is flat, with a forward facing stare like a human, making it at the same time alien and relatable. The owl has a piercing gaze and can see in the dark, just as metaphorically, perception may pierce the darkness of ignorance, confusion or obfuscation. Athena herself may have had her origins in a more ancient Minoan deity associated with birds and snakes -another of the ‘wise animals’. The girl’s name Linda or Belinda means a snake and denotes wisdom, just as does the name Sofia with its many variants.

Where Rome venerated the she- wolf of Romulus and Remus, the Little Owl was venerated as the totemic animal of Athens.

Here you see me below, or rather, the back of my head, a trifle windswept ensconced in my wheelchair, and I have been lucky enough to be selected for a personal introduction to a Little Owl, Dudley the Deadly at the fantastic Barn of Beal in beloved Northumberland, in North- East England.

Dudley, we were advised, had by far the worst peck for all he was so tiny; 8 inches high or 20.3. In fact, this made the peck all the worse, more pressure per square unit of area, and accordingly, I have nominated him Dudley the Deadly.

He did pretty much as he pleased and once off his leashes, he either came when called, or else only when it suited him, but happily, so long as there was a bit of raw meat on offer, it generally suited him. Here he is perched on the gauntlet and he pooped, but he did have the consideration to miss my feet, if only just.

The Little Owl in the wild can be seen during the day, and hunts at dawn and dusk. Its range in Britain includes England, Wales and the south of Scotland.

Dudley the Deadly at The Barn of Beal

The Barn owl

 (Tyto alba) is the most  widely spread species of owl in the world and one of the most widespread of all species of birds. In Britain it is also known as the screech owl, for reasons you will understand perfectly if you watch the video at the bottom of this posting.

The Mabinigion tells the story of Bloduedd, a flower maiden who was turned into a barn owl as punishment for betrayal of her husband Lleu; a tragic love triangle featured in the numinous 1967 novel by Alan Garner, ‘The Owl Service‘. But in justice to Bloduedd, she had never chosen to be married to Lleu.

Bloduedd had been created for Lleu out of flowers by the wizard Gwydion. But then she met and loved Prince Gronwr, and together with him, plotted to kill Lleu. They failed. Lleu killed Gronwr and Bloduedd (the name means owl) was turned into a barn owl, cursed that from this day forth she must hide by day or be attacked by other birds.

In connection with this superstition of the barn owl as a bird of strange omen, if not actual evil omen. Although Barn owls have often been regarded as the farmer’s friend, keeping down rats and mice. been rewarded with a safe nesting habitat in barns, in return for these services, as recently as the 195o’s barn owls were, sadly to say, sometimes nailed to some other farmyard doors to ward evil away from the livestock and today there are thought to be only about 4000 breeding pairs. They love voles, which are in decline, and they like to hunt roadside verges, and so they are extra vulnerable to being struck by vehicles.

The Romans sometimes also killed owls. In ancient Rome, an owl’s hoot was taken to be an omen of imminent death. Reportedly, the death of several Roman emperors was foretold by an owl, including those of Augustus and Julius Caesar,and a held that death could be prevented by nailing a dead owl to the door of your home, which would ward off evil.

Children (and maybe these include one or two I have known) have been threatened for centuries that if they are naughty or they won’t go to bed, and now it’s well past their bedtime, the owls (or baby owls) will get them. The roots of this venerable threat hark back to the Barn Owl in particular, not only because of its ghostly appearance, but because its feathers are not waterproof, a sacrifice in evolutionary exchange for its almost total silence in flight. It will be upon you before you know it’s there, children!

‘Baby owl are coming!’ Said grandma, or maybe sometimes it was grandad.

‘I want to go bed now, grandma.’

Poor owls should sue for defamation. The Malayans in the South Pacific believed that owls would steal newborn babies out from their bedroom windows at night, while a German superstition said that if an owl was heard hooting as a baby was being born, it was doomed to live an unhappy life. The Greeks were particularly wary of owls, believing them to be shape-shifting witches capable of sucking out a child’s blood, and the native America Indians of Chesapeake, believed that medicine men could shape-shift as owls.

Some of these medicine men were good, but some were evil, and many native American tribes mistrusted owls on this account.

Illustrated below; a Snowy Owl attends The High Priestess in The Legacy of The Divine Tarot. As with the scroll, and the pomegranate, the Owl is a symbolic representation of her solitude at work, her discretion, learning and and wisdom. Like Persephone, she has been to the Underworld – and returned with her gifts of knowledge, which are also her burden.

But owls raise chicks, and the solitary High Priestess wears the cow horns of Hathor, the Egyptian goddess, daughter of the Sun god Ra, consort of Horus, the goddess of beauty and fertility.

Source Wiki: the Egyptian goddess Hathor

Owls in Britain

There are actually six, not five owl species found in Britain today; the Tawny owl, Barn owl, Short Eared Owl, Long Eared Owl, Little Owl and the Eurasian Eagle owl. These last two are relative new comers, and in the case of the Eagle owl, and as you can read here in this article from Country Life magazine, somewhat controversial as it is powerful enough to take a small deer.

I was going to blog about the US Election today, but I’m not sure anyone’s in the mood. It can keep, but I’m watching that space, Tarot-wise, and logging the findings, and shall report in due course ahead of the elections.

Until next time 🙂

The Sun is in Leo, the Full Moon is in Aquarius…the Lion gets a perm

Photo by Alexas Fotos on Pexels.com

Leo is such a glamour-puss. So what’s this about the perm?

The sun has entered the second decan of fiery Leo, August 2-August 12 and tonight’s full moon, 3 August, is in Leo’s opposite zodiac sign; Aquarius, the water-bearer, the cloud bearer.

This is a strange, dreamy, quirky, quixotic and steamy combination. Maybe in a good way but not necessarily.

It might mean a few nights of oppressive humidity over the next two weeks.

It might mean getting frazzled.

It might mean steam coming out of your ears. Like this little lioness with a rather enviable perm.

Photo by Luriko Yamaguchi on Pexels.com

The Major Arcana card associated with Leo is Strength: physical, mental, moral, emotional. Fortitude which demands patience. Nothing much can be achieved without the ability or willingness to stand and endure.

Centuries apart:

“Here I stand. I can do no other,” Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms.

 “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”-Martin Luther King.

Strength from The Gilded Tarot Royale: Ciro Marchetti

The second decan of Leo is associated with the Tarot’s Six of Wands, the 6 Wands; a card of action, vision, passion ,courage and superb self-discipline. This is what it takes to enter the arena – any arena. Riding high on the accomplishment of a great effort. But there are no short-cuts. No escaping the Herculean labour to be done. This is dedication to excellence; the attribute of the zenith of the sign of Leo.

The Six of Wands From The Legacy of the Divine Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

Tonight this energy is tempered by the quirky, remote, cerebral Moon in Aquarius. The corresponding Major Arcana card here is The Star: inspiration, a vision, recovery, the application of reason, but this can also be the card of social revolution.

The Gilded Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

The Star


Bridging water, land and sky

Cloudy, cool Aquarian eye

Reasons, gauges Rain assuages

Pours, refills an empty jar

Learning, thirsty, takes us far

But Hope outshines all other stars

Katie-Ellen

A very different mood. May steam be expected, and will it be steam coming out of someone’s ears? It may be best to keep your head down and just get on with your own thing, always assuming it’s not against the law, of course.

The Minor Arcana card corresponding with the degree of tonight’s Full Moon in Aquarius is the solemn yet benevolent Six of Swords; a road to recovery, new learning and discovery, charting new waters, leaving behind the past and with it any vain regrets.

The Legacy of The Divine Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

The next two weeks look unsettled and a lot of us are likely to be feeling more jumpy than usual, even given all the anxiety of recent months . This is a time for staying extra cool, calm and flexible and avoiding risk and conflict. This is a time for focusing hard on work and personal projects, but not for making sudden moves or big changes.

There’s plenty to push our buttons right now. Leo says we can put our energies to plenty of good uses, doing our own thing, and Aquarius says we can keep our cool, even if others are losing theirs.

Every clever hunter keeps low, but stays high.

Photo by Bess Hamiti on Pexels.com

Till next time 🙂

Salutations, Star Lion Leo

Today we leave the zodiac sign of Cancer, the mysterious and elusive Crab in the Starry zodiac sea, the sign of the zenith of the summer, and we move into the astrological sign of Leo the celestial lion. Most of us know our zodiac or sun sign, but what does it actually look like in the night sky, and what’s the story behind it?

It’s time to roll out the red carpet for the star-lion, Leo…

Common Associations

Zodiac Symbol of Leo

Dates: 22-23 July-23 August

Symbol: Lion

Element: Fire

Metal: Gold

Position: Fixed

Ruler: The Sun

Body: Heart and spine

Trees: Palm trees, laurel, walnuts, olive trees, lemon and orange trees.

Plants: Marigolds, sunflowers, dandelions, (dents de lion =lion’s teeth) celandines, passion flowers

Gemstones: Peridot, carnelian, ruby, onyx

Key phrase: I love

Tarot card: Strength

The Gilded Tarot Royale, Ciro Marchetti

The Lady and the Lion. Perhaps it is Una. Or perhaps her name is Leona or Leonora, for the lion is also the lioness. Her hold on the leash could not be lighter. She is controlling the lion, but only because it is allowing it, not fighting her restraint, signifying that the lion is also a part of herself. This is just as one would imagine, a very welcome card of better health, signifying recovery if someone has been ill.

Leo: The Astronomy

Leo is one of the 48 constellations described by the 2nd-century astronomer Ptolemy, and one of the 88 modern constellations recognised by NASA today, between the neighbouring constellations of Cancer to the west and Virgo to the east.

Leo is the 12th largest, and one of the most easily recognizable constellations due to its many bright stars, and a distinctive shape suggesting a crouching lion, apparently facing right.

The bright light in the sky beneath Leo as seen in the photo below is Jupiter.

The best time to see the Lion is Spring in the northern hemisphere, from around the March equinox. In early April, the constellation Leo reaches its high point for the night around 10 p.m. By around May 1, Leo reaches his high point for the night around 8 p.m. local time  In early May, the Lion begins to set in the west around 2 a.m. local time and by June, Leo is descending in the west in the evening, drifting progressively westward.

By this of writing, late July and into early August, the Lion is beginning to fade into the sunset, returning to the eastern sky and visible before dawn around late September or October.

Look out for the Big Dipper, Leo is below it. You are looking for a backwards question mark pattern called the Sickle; and you can see its curve outlines the Lion’s mane.

Leo’s brightest star, Regulus, or Alpha Leonis, ‘The King Star,’ is the heart of the celestial lion, a sparkling blue-white star at the bottom of the backwards question mark pattern. Regulus, means “little king” or “prince” in Latin. The star’s Greek name, Basiliscos, has the same meaning, while the Arabic name is Qalb al-Asad, meaning literally “the heart of the lion.”

It’s mind boggling to consider that Leo’s fifth largest star, Epsilon Leonis, 247 light years from Earth, is 288 times more luminous than the Sun, four times as massive and has 21 times the solar radius.

A triangle of stars in eastern Leo represents the Lion’s hindquarters and tail. The brightest star of the triangle is named Denebola, Arabic, meaning the Lion’s Tail.

Leo has 15 stars with 18 known planets between them, but none have planets in their habitable zones.

The Leonids are meteor showers associated with the constellation of Leo. They peak around November 17-18 every year, and then there are the January Leonids; a minor shower that peaks January 1 – 7.

The Ancient History

Leo the Lion has since ancient times been associated with the sun, ruled by the sun in astrology and is one of the oldest constellations collectively recognized with many ancient civilizations agreeing on perceiving it as a lion.

Archaeological evidence suggests that Mesopotamians recognized a constellation similar to Leo as early as 4000 BC. The Persians knew the constellation as Shir or Ser, Babylonians called it UR.GU.LA (“the great lion”), Syrians knew it as Aryo, and the Turks as Artan.

The story goes that the ancient Egyptians venerated Leo because the appearance overhead of this constellation used to coincide with the annual flooding of the Nile River, the lifeblood of their agriculture and indeed, the nation entire. Marking the end of drought, desert lions would arrive at the river, driven by desperation, and their appearance was welcomed as a certain sign that the floods were shortly on their way. The Egyptians accordingly honoured the lion with festivals, and even today many statues of lions can be found along the course of the Nile River, proof of their reverence.

It’s thought that the lion-headed fountains commonly designed by Greek and Roman architects equally symbolized the life-giving waters released by the sun’s presence in Leo.

Herakles’ first labour was the killing of the Nemean Lion.

The lion lived in a cave in Nemea, a town located to the south-west of Corinth. It was a man-eater, dining on the local folk, not OK, and a few had tried to kill it, only to find to their (terminal) horror, nothing could pierce the lion’s hide, it was so preternaturally tough.

But someone must have survived to tell this tale, for Herakles, being forewarned of this additional teensy problem, managed somehow to sneak up on the lion asleep in its cave, and strangled to death the uber-kitty; poor puddy-tat. He then rather disrespectfully, I can’t help feeling, if undeniably pragmatically, skinned the lion with its own claws, and wore its skin as a cloak, making himself even more ferocious in appearance, as well as presumably, and even more importantly, arrow-proof.

The Astrology of Leo

Photo by Alexas Fotos on Pexels.com

This fixed sign is known for its pride, ambition and determination, warmth and a certain generosity of spirit, not to mention, charisma, but above all, Leo is known for bravery; the lionhearted one, the divine expression of physical, mental, and emotional fortitude, which is a very great virtue. Leo parents are typically devoted, but rule their households, no question about it.

Courage takes many forms. There is the courage of initiative, the will to advance, engage and attack. There is moral courage, proceeding in the face of fear, “feeling the fear and doing it anyway.” And there is the courage to endure, and the fortitude that quietly says to itself, “tomorrow I will try again”.

The courage to withstand.

But Leo can be its own worst enemy; hasty, arrogant, reckless, self-centred, headstrong and careless, and for these reasons, unless these subjects learn patience, consideration and self-control, they are not necessarily always as lucky in life as the spirit of Leo deserves.

Dandelion

Dandelion’s

Golden Mane

Prideful

Greying

Casts away

Alight on Chance

To someday seed

And newly golden

Lionize again

Photo by Nita on Pexels.com

Katie-Ellen 2017

The Tarot and a Full Thunder Moon

The Full Thunder Moon, the Tarot and what it means this month

Photo by Vedad Colic on Pexels.com

What is astrology and why do astrologers study the Moon?

‘Astrology’ comes from Greek and means ‘the study of the stars.’

Humans have been studying the Moon since at least 25 000 years ago. This is only natural. It is the closest celestial body to Earth, exerting visible effects on the tides, and on every living thing that depends for its way of living on the behaviour of the tides, and possibly a whole lot more besides, though this is debated, e.g.; crop growth, hormonal cycles and moods.

It’s about the search for meaning and planning on earth using clues in the sky. Astrology began as humanity made conscious attempts to measure, record, and predict seasonal changes by paying attention to astronomical cycles. They did this largely for practical planning purposes, for example:

  • When would the wild cattle- the aurochs migrate – and they could organise a hunt?
  • When would the salmon or other fishes spawn?
  • When would the rains come – and possibly floods?

Early evidence of sky-monitoring appears as markings on bones and cave walls in the Neolithic period 25,000 years ago, recording the movements of the sun, and the moon and its influence upon tides and rivers. This led to the creation of the first written calendars in the Bronze Age 3,300 – 1200 BC by the Sumerians in the ancient Near East.

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

The Moon Headlines July 2020

July 5: Full Moon in Capricorn (a lunar eclipse)

July 12: Last Quarter (Waning)

July 20: New Moon in Cancer

July 27: First Quarter (Waxing)

The July Full Moon is nicknamed the Thunder Moon. This name comes from the indigenous American Algonquin people in the areas first colonized by the Pilgrims. This time of year was associated with powerful thunderstorms in the northern forests.

What do the moon phases mean symbolically?

A Full Moon occurs when the Moon is in opposition, meaning it is on the opposite of the Earth from the Sun on the same celestial longitude and we can see the entire lit portion of the Moon.A lunar eclipse only ever happens at full moon and suggests mysteries, hidden truths or sometimes danger. A Full Moon is traditionally the optimum time to take stock and evaluate, or to gather, collect, harvest or cash in on something. Emotions may be especially intense.

A New Moon occurs when the Moon is between the Earth and the sun, and we can only see the side that is in shadow. Traditionally, this is a time to clear away what is no longer wanted, make a wish, and start something new.

What does this potentially mean for you and me this month?

Full Moon in Capricorn:

Tarot card: The Devil

From the Gilded Royale Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

Themes: authority/ lack of authority/power/powerlessness/obsession/addiction/attraction/desire/sexual chemistry/compulsion/ anger/ fear/ excess/ getting carried away/duty v violence

Tweeted today

#Tarot COTD The Devil. Sexy beast? Can be. And it can mean PARTY but this is a party that brings trouble. Drugs. Chaos. Lawlessness. This card in Tarot equates with Capricorn. Tomorrow’s full moon lunar eclipse is in Capricorn Sun 5 July.

We think of the current trouble in London, block parties out of control, neighbourhood’s terrorised, police and police vehicles attacked; last night in Hammersmith, police running away again, seven officers hurt but no arrests, sent in without protective gear. Doubtless there will be more such behaviour tonight.

The last lunar eclipse was the full moon on 5 June and public events got pretty intense.  This month’s eclipse full moon may look reddish —the reason it is often referred to as an ‘umbral’ (umber)  or as a “Blood Moon”

During lunar eclipses, we are encouraged to let go of whatever is no longer serving our best interests. This is the time to release, get rid, clear out and say goodbye to things that no longer do us any good. A little of what you fancy does you good, but overdoing it does just the opposite. Some places and people do you good, others mislead you or drag you down.

Focus on practical matters. Live and let live. This energy demands more give and take. Perhaps more give and less take. Take it easy round other people at this time.

New Moon in Cancer:

Tarot Card: The Chariot

From the Gilded Tarot Royale, Ciro Marchetti

Themes: ambition, determination, effort, focus, self- discipline, co-operation with others, aggression, or lack of effort, lack of focus, no direction

The imagery on this card makes me think of Cleopatra, and her partnership with Julius Caesar who bequeathed his name to July.

Around the New Moon on 20 July, your best well-being is symbolically focused on home, family and close friends. Your own nest is probably best right now. You may be feeling extra moody, more up and down than usual. Try to stand back a little and don’t let it get on top of you. Switch off the news if that’s what it takes to get a better night’s sleep. Life has been slow but it is going to speed up again before long. Let it find you in the best possible shape.

Advice card

The Magician

From The Legacy of the Divine Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

Themes: the Self, Knowledge, Skill, Communications, Self-Control, Self-Mastery

Things could continue tricky in July for many; on the world stage and potentially in domestic life. But the appearance of The Magician, drawn upright, and not reversed, means that it is certainly not all bad news in July.

The Magician is ruled by Mercury, planet of communications, media, commerce, trade and travel.

Mercury went retrograde on 18 June. You may have noticed any number of hopefully minor annoyances in connection with this; losing stuff, miscommunications, things breaking down.

But Mercury goes direct again after 12 July, which may indicate a lightening of mood, and perhaps represent something of a liberation. Things may noticeably start going a bit more smoothly, fewer blips and glitches. Likewise, in respect of the covid crisis, The Magician (because it represents the Number 1) is reflecting a wider reduction of the 2 metre social distancing rule, to a 1 metre rule, which would be beneficial to the retail, beauty and hospitality industries.

This card is likewise reflected in the opening up of overseas travel,expanding beyond the travel corridors originally mooted by our own as well as other governments.

On a personal level, The Magician is the ultimate card that says ‘a man.’

If single, you may meet someone new, but this seems more likely to happen after July 12 than before.

The Magician is also you, yourself, and the things you can or will do. It is the card of personal will-power, and the drive to do, learn, execute and manifest. The Magician has skills. He or she works hard to develop these skills or know-how. The Magician watches and learns, and is curious, and ready to put in the effort to achieve his/her goals. The Magician initiates, creates, practices, polishes, and then is ready to seek out opportunities.

Allied with the passion of The Devil, and the self-discipline of the Chariot, The Magician is a route map, and a recipe for progress. 

There will be more public disorder on the streets of London tonight, highly likely. Watch out for that Devil and take it easy.

Until next time 🙂

Brexit Extension Deadline Imminent…what’s up ahead?

Photo by Francesco Paggiaro on Pexels.com

Torching – or smelting? Firing or igniting? Today is the last day the UK can apply to the EU for a Brexit Extension, ending at midnight, or strictly speaking, 11 PM on UK time. There is no sign that the British government is going to do that, which means the UK remains on track to complete our departure from the EU on 31 December, deal or no deal.

A ‘No Deal’ exit from the EU is looking like the most likely outcome at this stage. Though what exactly is meant by that? This was a question I have put to the Tarot more than once during the Brexit process starting 2016, and the answer was never clear-cut or rather, shall we say, it was not so simple. Those readings can be found here in the archives.

It will probably be a ‘No Deal Brexit’ in terms of there being no over-arching, top-cover deal. But that does not mean there will be no deals.

Will that be bad news? Those who think so will continue to think so, and those who feel more positive about it, will likewise continue to do so.

Only time will tell. All I can do as a card reader is share what I have been shown via the Tarot, repeatedly since 2016, and if it seems too bright and fluffy to be feasible given the current state of affairs globally, this can’t be helped.

There are rules in this work. I am not free to faff about and sing fa-la-la. Right or wrong is not for me to know. Not at the time of looking. I must only look and share what I see. And what I keep getting is one of two cards.

This one:-

The Nine of Coins or Pentacles from The Legacy of the Divine Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

Keywords for this card: Abundance, luxury, self-sufficiency, financial independence.

And this one:-

The Six of Swords, Legacy of the Divine Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

Keywords for this card: Transition, change, rite of passage, recovery, uncharted waters

Recently tweeted

Britannia, coming decade: hard work, ramping up production, some sectors happier than others, a picture of anything but decline despite current crises: Invention, manufacturing, #Fintech, hospitality, food, health, design, luxury services/goods. IMG Legacy #Tarot @Jefferson_MFG

Future face of Britannia, drawn again & again since 2016. Prosperity, hard work, some sectors happier than others, but broadly, a picture of anything but decline, notwithstanding unsettled times right now. Invention, Manuf, #Fintech, hospitality, food, luxury goods. Legacy #Tarot

It’s a funny thing, I follow a number of manufacturing accounts on Twitter, and the picture, while not always rosy, is far from being the desert void void or doom-fest one might easily imagine, given the sheer dearth of investment reportage on mainstream media.

Manufacturing Tweets from The Jefferson Group, tweeting @Jefferson.

I have collated here just some of their tweets for this month alone, investments and other UK manufacturing industry announcements, June 2020

Statement from the Jefferson Group: “To answer a few critics, yes, we are biased. We post positive news about new factories, investment and job creation. We are biased for a reason. The Mainstream Media gives undue prominence to negative news about British manufacturing and this needs to be counterbalanced.”

Manufacturing News – selected highlights

25 June: The European Space Agency has selected Leicester for its new space tech incubation centre. Expected to create 2,500 jobs, the £100m-plus Space Park Leicester development has already attracted global companies including Lockheed Martin, Thales, Airbus and Hewlett Packard.

BREAKING: INEOS to unveil new Grenadier on July 1st. The 4×4 will be built at a new factory in Bridgend (image) as part of a £600m investment programme set to create 500 jobs.

NEW FACTORY: British pharmaceutical giant 𝗔𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗭𝗲𝗻𝗲𝗰𝗮 set to build new 96,000 sq ft production facility at its Macclesfield campus in Cheshire.

British electric bike manufacturer @VoltBikesUK re-shores production to the UK with opening of new factory in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire https://bit.ly/2NzzInD

27 June American aerospace giant  @MoogAircraft, headquartered in New York, is building a new £40m factory in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire. Moog describes the investment as “an integral part of its commitment to long-term development and manufacturing in the UK.”

UPDATE: Giant step towards UK’s first orbital spaceflight as plans for Sutherland’s spaceport get the go-ahead. Scotland-based ‘Prime’ rocket will be the first to launch into orbit from the new Space Hub. https://bit.ly/2BblJl6 @orbexspace

‘Revolutionary’ Belfast shipbuilding project set to create 1,000 jobs after securing £33 million innovation grant to develop zero emissions ferries. The 13-partner consortium includes Artemis Technologies, Belfast Harbour and Bombardier https://bit.ly/2BFXpb0

Swizzels Matlow, the British confectionery firm best known for its Love Hearts, Drumsticks and Parma Violets sweets, is set to build a new 158,000 sq ft production facility in Middlewich, Cheshire

26 June Due to open in the autumn, this is family-owned British food manufacturer @wrightsflour‘s new multi-million pound mill in Harlow, Essex

24 Jun Britain’s automotive sector, including projects led by #FactoryNOW member LEVC, Jaguar Land Rover and Ford, set to benefit from a £73.5m government investment in green technologies. Funding for the 10 projects is expected to safeguard 14,000 jobs https://bit.ly/2Z7gr20

£1 billion investment: Technology giant @Huawei set to create 400 jobs at new research and manufacturing campus in Cambridge. Once operational, it will become the global headquarters of the Shenzhen-based firm’s opto-electronics business https://bit.ly/2ViM6g6  (They’re getting something big then, at least, if not 5G. The PM says he is not a Sinophobe. Even if some of us other folk might be right now, given various current arenas of aggression)

Beautiful new Azuma trains being built by Hitachi at Newton Aycliffe, Durham. Azuma means ‘East.’

I grew up here in Durham City. The railway line passed near my house. My grandfather, a lovely man I remember, though he died when I was only four or five, was a railwayman in Darlington, County Durham. RIP Fred and Beatrice.

Ross Clark in The Spectator  

“Why do we hear so little about positive things such as this? There was a time when industrial investment always featured prominently in the news. Now, investment like this doesn’t even seem to feature on the BBC’s science pages – although there was room yesterday for a story about Nasa naming its HQ after its first black female engineer and one about Greta Thunberg saying that climate change ‘is as urgent as coronavirus’. To be fair to the BBC, though, no newspaper seems to have carried the story, either. True, we are still in the middle of one of the biggest stories for decades. But otherwise, all news outlets seem so obsessed with woke and culture war issues that we don’t get to learn about important pieces of investment. No wonder we end up constantly thinking that Britain’s economy is going down the pan – when the opposite is true.”

Nil Desperandum, friends, when the clock strikes midnight tonight, 30 June 2020. Anything but despair.

Until next time 🙂

Farewell to June…and hello freedom?

To quote Freddie Mercury, “I want to Break Free”

Don’t we all?

Free to do what and be what and become what? Well, we all need the freedom to function such that we can get what we need to survive; the first and last freedom of human justice, though not accorded by Nature as our right.

Ah, shaddap and get on with it.

OK, OK, I’m getting there; chill your beans. This is a running jump, and it’s all connected.

The question today: Will the UK go back into full lock-down?

The Five Swords Page Cups, 3 Coins Reversed, 4 Coins, Justice from The Gilded Tarot Royale, Ciro Marchetti

Tweeted 27 June: Will UK have to go back into full lockdown? Raise in R rate? 5 Swords &Page Cups= We passed peak. 3 Coins=Nation back to work. Rx 4 Swords, but folk still getting ill. Justice. Freedom requires responsibility, rules & regs. May avoid, close thing, hanging in the balance.

The UK has not fully left lock-down. Previous readings in March and April suggested the UK would be largely out of lock-down by or before 21 June-23 July. This was based on the appearance of The Queen of Cups card, which is both a healing card, and a card associated with those dates, attached to the zodiac sign of Cancer.

The UK is currently on track to do just that, with limited family visiting approved from 4 July, and some overseas travel corridors opening up free of quarantine from 6 July, except for those displaying symptoms of Covid-19.

Some UK hotels have announced reopening from 16 July.

But the release of the UK lock-down is conditional upon there being no spike in the R rate above 1.

So what about the cards drawn above?

5 Swords.

This is the premise card and says, this is the situation, these are the stakes, this is where we have been. The 5 Swords is a card of mortification, chagrin and pyrrhic victories. It is a fight that cannot be won, or else is won at too great a cost. This disease was born out of cruelty, with bad husbandry, such that genes became mixed that should never have become mixed, and this first came to the attention of a young doctor in a lab in Wuhan, who wished to sound the alert, and was pretty smartly silenced, only to return to work and die of it himself, infected, it is thought, by a patient whom he had treated, a stallholder in the wet market who carried an extremely high viral load.

The Page of Cups is a healing phase, a more peaceful chapter. It denotes children, and the need to get them back to school for their well being; an attempt which failed in England though schools have now reopened in Wales. It is also the well-being of the economy, as represented by the next card-

The 3 Pentacles Reversed, which has arrived upside down because the economy is running under par. This is a card of study, apprenticeship, crafts, work ethic and production of tangible goods.

The halting of outputs.

Moving forward in time we come to

The Four of Cups: retreat, isolation…and Leicester has just had to go back into both lock-down and isolation as a city owing to a spike there. This card reminds me of Richard 111, his bones discovered there. I could never see him as an evil man, whatever the truth of what happened to the little princes.

Justice is the final card in the Line of Five. It is a hopeful if measured card, and relates back to the first card and the central card in particular, serving as a clear indicator that rules and regulations must stay in place for the foreseeable future.

No justice for the birds

The bees

The beasts and fishes

Insects, flowers

Rivers, hills and trees

Nature ‘red in tooth and claw’

Delivers only natural law.

In summary

This reading translates as a suggestion that the UK may well avoid a return to a full blanket lock-down. We’re not going back to March. But sporadic or localized returns to lock-down may be anticipated, since by now it is apparent that much of the public do not seem inclined or able for whatever reasons, to act on the guidance to practice social distancing, and this has to work on personal responsibility if we want to protect our normal civil liberties.

No rights, no resources, no freedoms without personal, individual responsibilities. Natural Law versus Human Law. It’s the one thing they agree on.

From The Telegraph 29 June:-

Germany, South Korea, China, Portugal, Israel, Singapore and many others have all had localised flare-ups. Widespread testing should mean that they are picked up early. Track and trace systems cut local transmission chains. And the implementation of local mitigation measures should mean such outbreaks remain contained.

This is what cluster busting looks like and is what Britain is now experiencing. It is something we should expect to become the norm for a good few months – perhaps right through to next Spring. How good we become at it will determine how well the pandemic goes from here.

The picture here, then, is both yes and no, from which I conclude there will be no nationwide return to lock-down, but future localised lock-downs are almost certainly to be expected in the UK. Logically this could mean other cities, eg; Leeds, Bradford, Birmingham, Liverpool, and this could continue into October. Quite possibly, until February/March 2021 (based on Pisces: and previous appearances of The Moon card)

The stages and rates of recovery are clearly going to continue to vary from latitude to latitude, season to season, country to country, custom to custom.

The line of cards, read left to right, translates as a cautiously favourable rising curve, with the worst card at the start and best card coming up last.

Here is a realistic bit of room for hope. Onwards and upwards therefore, and now we’ve seen how this thing behaves, even though there’s still a lot we don’t know, it’s clear this is a shared responsibility. The government’s job is to protect the infrastructure that we rely on to protect us, and the rest is on us to help speed this horror on its way, to weaken it day by day, at cost to our own liberty and convenience, as the alternative to adding to the toll in beggaring the member countries of the UK.

Meanwhile, we are being told that in China, a potentially new threat brews among the saddest of blameless pigs: a new strain of swine flu.

We have the power of choice. We have consumer power. We can give thought to the care of the animals that we eat, to pay a fair price for their betterment.

These things can have adverse implications for us, sooner or later. Collective physical consequences. We may not care what kind of lives or deaths they had, but that won’t prevent the retribution, some might call it divine, which is to say, it is natural cause and effect; a life-power that some call St Francis, patron saint of animals and ecology.

We’ve only one home.

Who remembers this one? The message is prescient.

Next time, ooh, how about Brexit again, and dare I even look at the US Election…Feel free to place questions and requests. I may be up for giving it a go, so long as no-one tries to shoot the messenger, and it’s at my own discretion.

We have another Full Moon eclipse 5 July. Last month’s was intense…here comes another, hopefully quieter. Last month’s was in fiery Gemini, this one in earthy Capricorn. But Capricorn can be obsession, addiction and rage, associated with the Devil card.

Adrenaline is addictive, and these are turbulent days.

Until next time 🙂

On Father’s Day: In Praise of The Emperor

Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

Today, the day of summer solstice, and the zenith of the sun, let’s talk about the ultimate Tarot card of Masculinity with a capital ‘M’,  The Emperor.

‘The Emperor’ appearing in a Tarot reading signifies the current extra significance of an important man in your life, at an individual level. He’s a father, husband, employer, friend or advisor.

The Emperor stands for government, law and order, other big, hierarchical organisations. He is the Armed Forces, the Police, the Civil Service.

He is the guiding principle of protection and of the guardian at work in society and in the home. See those ram’s heads on the arms of his throne? The Emperor is associated with the sign of Aries, the fiery ram of spring. In a reading it may indicate a future event occurring at that time of year.

Image below is The Emperor from The Gilded Tarot, by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti

GildedEmperor
From The Gilded Tarot

The Emperor in his true dignity is strength with justice, courage with reason: a defender, a chevalier, a sheltering tree, nesting birds held safely in his branches. He is firmness of order, rule with mercy, compassion for the weak. He upholds fair play, raising his shield so that those sheltering behind it do not get hurt or splattered with rubbish and  er…manure.

He will lay down his life if that is what it takes.

He has another side to him of course: war, dictatorship, tyranny, petty officialdom, overbearing bureaucracy. The card may alternatively signify absence of structure and leadership. A bully. The Emperor Reversed is War.

Michaelangelo, Sistine Chapel

But greetings are due to The Emperor at the top of his game –  best friend to woman-kind; those men that we love, and what we love best in men, the sons of Adam. Red earth.

Let your Emperor wear his crown and ermine every now and then.

You may be an Empress, and you can always wear yours too.

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A lion can go solo but he does better in a pride. He needs lionesses.

Greetings to the Tarot’s beloved Emperor.

Until next time 🙂

Cancer: The Starry Crab in the Zodiac Sea

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 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? It’s that time of year again

Common associations

The pincers: Zodiac symbol of Cancer

Ruling planet: Moon (not a planet but counted as such in astrology)

Key phrase: I feel

Body: The chest, breast, heart

Birth Stone:  Stones and metals fall under the rule of planets, not signs, but through its association with the Moon, Cancer has affinity with pearls, silver and crystals.

Colour: White, silver

Tree: all trees rich in sap

Flower: Acanthus

 Tarot card: The Chariot (see how it is a shell?) Drive, Control, progress, teamwork, and the harmonizing of different elements.

The Chariot, Rider-Waite Tarot

The Astronomy

Cancer, Latin for crab, is in a dark region of the sky, the faintest constellation in the Zodiac, with only two stars above the fourth magnitude: Acubens (The Claw) and Al Tarf (The foot)

Cancer is visible in the Northern Hemisphere in the early spring, during March at 9 PM and can be seen in the Southern Hemisphere during autumn.

It’s almost impossible to see Cancer with the naked eye or even binoculars, looking between Leo, the lion, and Gemini, the twins. And it doesn’t look much like a crab at all. It’s more like a faint, upside-down Y often compared with a crayfish or lobster. It was also called the Crayfish in classical astrology, and in Egyptian astrology, The Scarab.

Whatever it’s name, it’s always been seen a creature with an exoskeleton; an arthropod, and Cancer appears to rise crab-wise; not sideways, but backwards in the zodiac. The Sun’s entry into Cancer occurs at the summer solstice,which is today.

‘Solstice,’ Latin sol stice means the Sun seems to be ‘standing still’ as it approaches this point.

Wiki: The constellation of Cancer

Cancer may be faint but it’s got a great star cluster glowing at its centre. Praesepe, or ‘The Manger’ is one of two Messier objects in Cancer, identified in 1771 by French astronomer Charles Messier.

Its modern name is The Beehive Cluster. Seen through the telescope it looks like a swarm of bees, but to the naked eye it looks like a small, fuzzy patch of light -or a tiny cloud floating through the stars.

Public Domain: The Beehive Cluster

As the sign of the Sun’s greatest elevation, Cancer was considered nearest to the highest point of heaven – and was called ‘the Gate of Men’ through which souls descended to Earth to be born.  The opposite constellation, Capricorn was the ‘Gate of the Gods’, where souls of the departed rose back to heaven. 

I knew a soul who descended through the Gate of Men and ascended again through the Gate of The Gods the same day, the day of the solstice, twenty seven years ago today. He stayed an hour and twenty five minutes. A baby soul, his name was Rowen; he was my son, and he always will be.

Cancer also contains a planetary system; 55 Cancri, containing five known planets, with possibly more awaiting discovery. 55 Cancri is about 40 light-years away, and is just about visible to the unaided eye, although you need help to find it. The innermost of its planets is a “super Earth,” a few times heavier than Earth – but none of these planets has the right surface conditions for liquid water, and life is thought not likely.

The Myth

Cancer is associated with the Twelve Labours of Hercules after he went mad, mistook his wife and children for monsters and killed them. His twelve great labours were performed in token of penance. The second of his great challenges was to kill the Hydra, a terrible water serpent but his enemy, Hera, who had always hated him as an illegitimate son (yet another one) of her husband Zeus, sent a crab to harass him while he fought the serpent. The crab faithfully did its best, nipping Hercules again and again, but he stepped on it and crushed it, or in other versions of the story killed it with his club.

Look at that crab getting right stuck in. Hera rewarded its loyalty by placing it in the heavens, but she placed it in a dark portion of the heavens with only faint stars because crabs need dark, quiet places to feel safe and at home. However, its shy, retiring placement is also the highest point in the zodiac, nearest to heaven, and the crab is the herald of the summer solstice.

The Astrology

Cancer is the fourth sign of the Zodiac and represents those born between June 20 and July 22. It is considered a water sign, and is one of the four cardinal signs, which are the signs indicating a change of season when the sun makes its annual passage into them.

Cancer is all about the shoreline, and tides, monthly and annual. Cancer is uniquely both the moon and the sun.

The sign of Cancer, ruled by The Moon, is a cardinal sign, herald of the seasons, announcing the arrival of summer in the northern hemisphere and winter in the southern hemisphere.

Ruled by Cancer, the Queen of Cups from the Rider-Waite Tarot

The Cancer Personality

There is no such thing in reality as THE Cancer personality. Your sun sign is the keynote but it’s not ‘The Story.’ The archetype of the Cancer personality is complex, elusive and riddled with contradictions.

Cancer stands for both mother and father. It is the zodiac sign of the nurturing parent. Cancer famously adores babies and small animals, all wild things; and struggles with separation. The empty nest can be anathema to the Cancer parent.

By Rose Maynard Barton

Cancer is the sign of hearth and home, and expanding this; tribal identity and ancestral legacy, historical, cultural and genetic. It is the sign of memory, nostalgia, sometimes regrets, and a longing to return to happy childhood haunts. Maybe a rock-pool.

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Cancer’s famous subjects include Nelson Mandela.

Until next time 🙂

The Strawberry Moon, June 2020

The Full Strawberry Moon and what it means for you this month

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What is astrology and why do astrologers study the Moon?

Humans have been studying the Moon since at least 25 000 years ago. This is only natural. It is the closest celestial body to Earth, exerting visible effects on the tides, and on every living thing that depends for its way of living on the behaviour of the tides, and possibly a whole lot more besides, though this is debated, eg; crop growth, hormonal cycles and moods.

‘Astrology’ comes from Greek and means ‘the study of the stars.’

It’s about the search for meaning on earth as seen mirrored in the sky, seeking to understand human behaviour through the symbolic influence of planets and other celestial objects, Luna, our Moon being the closest.

Astrology began as humanity made conscious attempts to measure, record, and predict seasonal changes by paying attention to astronomical cycles. They did this largely for practical planning purposes, for example:

  • When would the wild cattle- the aurochs migrate – and they could organise a hunt?
  • When would the salmon or other fishes spawn?

Early evidence of sky-monitoring appears as markings on bones and cave walls in the Neolithic period 25,000 years ago, recording the movements of the sun, and the moon and its influence upon tides and rivers. This timekeeping led to the creation of the first written calendars in the Bronze Age 3,300 – 1200 BC by the Sumerians in the ancient Near East.

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.

The Headlines

June 05, 2020          Full Moon in Sagittarius (Lunar eclipse)
June 13, 2020            Last Quarter Moon (Waning)
June 21, 2020            New Moon in Cancer (annular solar eclipse)
June 29, 2020            First Quarter Moon (Waxing)

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.

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.

A Full Moon in Sagittarius happens in late May/early June when the lunar sky path is crossing the ninth sector of the zodiac – 240-270 degrees, containing the constellation of Sagittarius, and the sun moves into the opposite zodiac sector of Gemini. The Full moon of June 2019 was also in Sagittarius.

A New Moon in Cancer happens in late June- July when the Sun is also in the zodiac sign of Cancer.

What do the moon phases mean for you and me, symbolically?

In general terms, folklore suggests that:-

A waxing Moon building up to the Full Moon is the optimum time to grow, build, add to, make or get something. It is all about bringing something new in, or bringing something to completion or fruition. Some may perform magical summoning rituals.

A Full Moon is 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, clearing out what’s no longer wanted or needed, including unhelpful or unhealthy habits. It may mean releasing something, or even getting rid of something (someone.) Some may perform magical banishing or protection rituals.

A New Moon is the optimum time to make a decision, and start from scratch,

What is the Full Strawberry Moon?

This is strawberry harvesting time in the northern hemisphere, which before modern agriculture methods was only a very short season. These full Moon names were used during Native American and Colonial times to help track the seasons—they came from the Algonquin tribes who lived in the same areas as the Colonists.

In Europe we have traditionally nicknamed this moon the Honey Moon…first crops of honey, and gifts of honey were presented to newly-wed couples…hence the term honeymoon.

The month of June is the most popular month for weddings, and it is no coincidence that it gets its name from the classical goddess of marriage, Juno (also called Hera in Greek mythology.)

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A strawberry moon sounds very nice indeed. But what about this one?

Sadly, probably not this time, at least not in public life in the US, and to a superficially lesser extent in the UK, with major talks coming up with the EU. And now we are days away from the lunar eclipse, when an energy peak of this kind may theoretically be expected.

Full Moon in Sagittarius

The major Arcana Tarot card associated with the zodiac sign of Sagittarius is Temperance; traditional meanings: healing, balance, timing, waiting, diplomacy, moderation

The Rider-Waite Tarot

The court card associated with Sagittarius is the Knight of Wands: traditional meanings: energy, initiative, adventures, new ventures in study, marketing, the media, travel, writing, performing arts, disruption, gossip and fighting.

What does this mean for me and you?

Temperance is generally a deeply optimistic card, just as Sagittarius is an upbeat and optimistic sign of the zodiac, full of  fun and ‘can do’ energy,’ if somewhat impulsive on occasion. We can get a lot done and have a few laughs.

That’s the brighter side of this June full moon.  

BUT this will be a lunar eclipse, a Gemini-Sagittarius eclipse, plus, the planets Mars and Venus go retrograde this month, and Mercury went retrograde last month, and this all translates as volatile, potentially quarrelsome or even warlike energy. There is frustration here. Sagittarius is the desire for travel, and right now, that’s an urge that can’t be satisfied for a lot of people who would normally be making travel plans by now, or looking forward to summer travel. This is an eclipse with a focus on discontent.

Globally and historically, astrologers have correlated these sorts of planetary combinations with events of war, and with earthquakes.

At home there could be an unusual degree of tension, or sudden eruptions of anger.

Take a deep breath and count to ten before starting or responding to any arguments. A lot of people are a little out of sorts.Some are way, way out of sorts.

Likewise, we could overdo things around this Full Moon, eating or drinking. We could even overdo the exercise if we’re not careful, and hurt ourselves.

Do your own thing but ‘gently does it.’

Speaking of which, will there be a second wave of #Covid19 in the wake of starting the release of the lock-down? Logically, that would seem almost inevitable as the price of returning to normal, although my cards have been indicating small spikes of increased infections rather than a second wave as such, between today and 21 June, as we are trundling along just below the critical R rate of 1.

If we do have to return to lock-down in the UK because of lack of proper self management, well, Cancer is the card of staying at home…and the card of the New Moon 21 June is in Cancer. This date or thereabouts looks like the next turning point one way and another.

The world is not a designated safe space for any single living creature. Safety is the greatest illusion of all in the modern bubble. There is only ever risk mitigation, and if we really want freedom, and not just to talk about it, we must be prepared to manage it for ourselves. The alternative is to have it managed for us, with or without our consent, and even then, regardless of what we think about that prospect, it is still no guarantee of safety.

So then.

Will the UK have to go back into strict lockdown?

Line of Five Reading: King of Hearts (yes)- 5 Spades (no)- 7 Clubs (no)– 3 Clubs (no)- Queen Diamonds (yes)

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The crux card here is the 7 of Clubs, the work card, a difficult, erratic card of holding one’s own, the need for the nation to go back to work, and also a card of moral courage in the face of heated opposition, and even, in modern parlance ‘trolls’ and ‘haters’.

A return to the original terms of lock-down looks like a 2/5 chance. So, definitely possible. We wish it was a 0/5 or a 1/5. But it’s not a 4/5 or 5/5, so not looking highly probable. There might be a close call as the R rate pushes up to 1 again, or it may even rise higher, in which case it may be sufficiently briefly, that we only just escape a further lock-down.

Those who are at a statistically low risk, they need to think more about the way they move around, and use extra careful public hygiene. Those at a statistically high risk know who they are, and need to keep their guard up, and be careful where they go, and when.

Napoleon may not have meant it as a compliment when he said we were a nation of shopkeepers, but still, we need to keep it that way. The alternatives are too bleak to contemplate.

Small is beautiful, and so is local.

New Moon in Cancer

The Chariot from The Gilded Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

The major Arcana Tarot card associated with Cancer is The Chariot: traditional meanings, victory, progress, ambition, determination, self control, teamwork, but also lack of self control, waging war, riots, and disruption.

The Chariot itself is the shell – the carapace of the Crab. Cancer may be seen as gentle, but it is also a hunter. Children must be provided for.

The court card is The Queen of Cups; motherhood, children, home and family, the arts. Here it refers to homeschooling too. This is in general a gentle, reflective card. 

However, this new moon will be a lunar eclipse, and Venus, retrograde during this new moon, is famous as the classical goddess of love and beauty but is also the hottest planet, hotter even than Mercury. Mars is famous as the god and planet of warlike energy. Homeschooling might struggle somewhat today, parents and children tired and fractious. Astrologically this influence eases after 25 June when Venus goes stationary, and things flow more calmly.

What does this mean for me and you?

Where the Full Moon in general brings a peak or a re-boosting of energy and initiative, the New Moon in general represents a time of greater introspection and a pause for reflection. This seems especially the case during this New Moon.

This annular solar eclipse suggests this may not be business as usual in New Moon terms. There could be offers or surprises, and these seem most likely close to home; new developments, perhaps news of a baby on the way, or an unexpected call from a relative or old friend you haven’t spoken with in a long while.

The full moon this year additionally falls on a day designated Father’s Day in the UK. The ultimate Tarot card of fathers and fatherhood is the Emperor card.

This is also the card of government, Law and Order and the Army, whose members and officers are citizens too, and whose ultimate duty is to protect the people of their nation states, and to protect and promote their collective interests, in whichever country, under whatever government.

These are all coming in for exceptionally heavy stick at present, struggling in their different ways with not only arenas of political difficulty, but a pandemic of unproven origin and peculiar aetiology. Covid19 is now suspected to be a vascular disease as opposed to a strictly respiratory disease; a veritable viral Frankenstein.

Failures and frailties notwithstanding, I will still convey my respectful greetings to all that is the very best in The Emperor as embodied in the Tarot.

Read more about The Emperor here

We’re all on the road together, you and me.

The Humming from Enya

Until next time 🙂

Surveillance, Spies and the Seven of Swords

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I dreamed last night I was in a darkened room by an open window; a white voile curtain fluttering, billowing in the breeze. I don’t know if I was trying to get in or out. Possibly out, but someone else was there, preventing me.

From the Legacy of the Divine Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

It was a Tarot dream. That was a pretty close representation of the Seven of Swords there; the card of diplomacy and deceit, strategy and stealth, surveillance and sabotage, fraud and theft.

Often though, it is simply about the need for tact and discretion, and do we really think we could function in any relationship,intimate, familial, professional or public if we always said exactly what we really thought at any given moment in the interests of you know, honesty and transparency.

Wouldn’t life be so much smoother, better and happier for everyone if we did just that? Said what we wanted, how we wanted, when and where we wanted? All in the name of Truth. Anyone who thinks so please queue here. Your very own flying pig will be delivered as soon as pigs can fly. And please, no pushing in the queue.

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Politicians are often accused of dishonesty, but in the real world the truth is so rarely black and white except at the most mundane level.

Is the Seven of Swords alerting me that somewhere deep down I suspect someone of telling me porky-pies or trying to nick my personal data or credit card information? It has warned me before – correctly, but sadly I understood too late to prevent it.

And sure, my security software keeps blocking a suspicious domain about 20 times a day. Always the same one. Which reminds me, if you are in the UK you can report suspicious email accounts here: Avoid and report internet scams and phishing: https://www.gov.uk/report-suspicious-emails-websites-phishing

Perhaps I ought to give that dodgy site a closer look next time it pops up, and grass it up to the gov.

Back to that open window in my dream. I remembered. I drew that card only yesterday, and my sleeping mind must simply have been processing that event. Though I drew plenty of other cards yesterday, so why did this one stick with me, rather than the others?

I think it’s to do with the furore surrounding the movements during lock-down of UK government aide and advisor to the UK Prime Minister, Dominic Cummings (for the benefit of readers outside the UK. )

Mr Cummings has been accused by the mainstream media, and in other quarters of having breached lock-down guidelines two months ago by driving himself, his wife and small son up from London to his home in Durham to be nearer a family support network in case of emergency. His wife had been ill with covid19, and now he felt that he too was becoming ill. Later his wife wrote that he had indeed, been extremely ill.

My mind must have been working on this while I was asleep, possibly trying to decide what I felt about the appearance of the Seven of Swords in this context.

Tweeted this morning 26 May

Seven of Swords. Strategy, stealth, surveillance, secrets. Often, but not necessarily sinister. Diplomacy or deceit? Ever had to avoid a gossip or a nosey neighbour, not telling them your business in safeguarding a loved one’s privacy? Then this was you. #Tarot IMG Ciro Marchetti

I already did a bit of card reading and pendulum dowsing back on Sunday, to see if it looked as though Dominic Cummings would either resign or be removed from his post, and it looked like a probable no, at least not in the short term, although there was nothing remotely triumphalist about this.

Why do I say that? I drew the 3 of Cups reversed. A card of ANTI celebration. This represents his household, understandably stressed, as one would imagine, placed under such a state of unanimously hostile siege. Nice for the neighbours too – the real neighbours.

Whataboutery. There is plenty of it about. Ian Blackford has been leading the charge, but did he take covid19 up to Skye with him in March? And Stephen Kinnock, etc etc. Stones and glass houses everywhere you look.

And it is easy to see plots where there may be none. The Seven of Cards is about state secrets as well as personal secrets. It is about covert surveillance and espionage, and sometimes this is wrong or criminal, but at other times the ends justify the means. As in, for instance, patient confidentiality. That would also fall under this card.

I do not presume to know anything more than anyone else. We will all form our own judgements, but I do see the anti-Leave lobby continues active, is extremely powerful, monied and well connected, and has not given up that fight. This extraordinary public health situation may seem to someone to present an opportunity not to be missed, to get rid of Dominic Cummings, with the UK still in transition and with key discussions upcoming in June.

The media reporting of this story has seemingly been deliberately calculated to weaponize not only the grief of the bereaved who were not present with their loved ones at the time of death, but their worries and doubts. Did THEY do the right thing by their loved ones? If others did things differently, pushed or broke ‘the rules,’ and it is judged that they did right by their family, does this now mean they did wrong by theirs?

No, it doesn’t mean that. Not for one minute. But the very idea would be beyond bearing, and that demands a scapegoat. It seems Dominic Cummings opponents have understood this perfectly well, and have been aiming directly for that bulls eye, and the MSM whether wittingly or not, are certainly pushing that angle.

If you dislike, or disagree with or disapprove of Dominic Cummings, you may feel this is all perfectly OK,. But even if you don’t, or you’re not sure, you might feel this is not fair play, or something’s not quite adding up…on both sides of the argument.

I can’t help wondering if he is not protecting not only his wife, son, parents and of course himself, but something else he cannot discuss – is not free to do so…could it possibly be to do with something that is happening in Barnard Castle ?

I have learned through previous readings that aside from the traditional list of meanings, which is obviously in need of updating so that the Tarot keeps up with modern life, the Seven of Swords is also THE card of statistics, data collection and modelling, and medical testing and research.

Should this be anything at all to do with the matter of that particular journey- and if and when there is a sufficiently safe and effective vaccine for #covid19, would you want to have it, yourself?

Stay careful.

Until next time 🙂

See comments for more.

No Doom Today

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We have always had doom-mongers. We will always have them. Ahhh, shaddapp!!!

Someone give them a nice cuppa and a biscuit. We’ve all had enough doom-mongering.

Mind you, if only the Trojans had listened to Cassandra….

But doom is just another word for destiny or fate. Doom is destiny in a bad mood, having a bad hair day. And then the eternal chestnut is, can destiny be changed? Is it mutable?

The Fates of Greek Mythology were three weaving goddesses who assigned individual destinies at birth. Their names were Clotho who chose the yarn (the Spinner), Lachesis who allowed the length (the Allotter -and there’s a deadly venomous snake of the same name; a bushmaster if memory serves) and Atropos who cut the thread (the Inflexible).

Once they had decreed your fate even Zeus couldn’t do a thing about it.

The Fates of Norse mythology, the three Nornir lived at the well in Asgard (home of the Gods and Goddesses). Their names were Urd ‘What Once Was’, Verdandi ‘What Is Coming into Being’ and Skuld, ‘What Shall Be.’

They spent their time at the foot of the giant ash Yggdrasil the Tree of Life, the great World Tree, weaving the threads of fate of every living being into a web. They were the alarm clock for the gods, placing a rooster at the top of Yggdrasil to wake them up every morning, ready or not. Wakey WAKEYYYYY!

One pictures Odin, snorting, startled awake after a heavy night in the mead hall.

And then they would fetch water from Urd’s well, and give Yggdrasil a good watering to keep it green and healthy.

The Vikings believed the Norns were nearby whenever a  child was born. Women who had just given birth were fed a bowl of porridge,’Norn porridge’. The mothers would eat it on their behalf and hopefully, this vicarious treat would go down – well, a treat, and in return the Norns would be well-disposed, dishing out good health for the mother and the child.

But – significantly, the Norns, unlike the Fates, could be bargained with now and then to change ordained outcomes.

These days we may wonder about Fate, but in the modern west at least, worship more readily at the altar of free will as a defining mark of our ‘superior’ rationality.

This is good because it makes us responsible for the things we do, and stops us from doing horrific things to essentially harmless people just because we have decided they’re religiously unacceptable for whatever reason. I live in the land of the Pendle witches; desperately poor people hanged for witchcraft, but including one person far less poor, Alice Nutter; from a well-known Catholic family…when being Catholic wasn’t safe either, at the time.

So we don’t do that any more, and we separated Church and State. Good. No Blasphemy laws coming back again either please, ever, ever again. Under whatever aegis of tolerance of Islam or any other religion at all.

We can’t ever go ‘back there.’ Blasphemy laws light human bonfires.

But there is a drawback. This Enlightenment has had the unfortunate side-effect of over-promoting us, at least in our own imaginations, at the expense of all those tiresome gods of previous superstitious generations who knew no better, or so we may tell ourselves, and now we ourselves are the gods with the feet of clay.

Fate however is not about superstition, but is at its heart simply the recognition that we are a world in ourselves on the one hand, a microcosm in our own individual right, but also very tiny in the scheme of something older and bigger than our ability to comprehend, let alone perceive. The Hubble telescope is amazing, staggering in the things it has revealed to us…again, that great eye in the sky of the World card, but a thousand Hubble telescopes still can’t tell us…the meaning of X – The Unanswerable of Everything.

So what’s my question for my Tarot today? Or my preoccupation? Do I have one? I’m a little unsettled, a bit under the weather – a longstanding health issue- and I am somewhat procrastinating on another writing job. I know my own mood perfectly well, but I want to see what the bit of my mind that operates through the Tarot will make of it.

Tweeted today 22 May:


Katie-Ellen@TrueTarotTales· I ask #Tarot diagnose my question? I draw The World. Traditionally, completion but I’m seeing ‘eyes in the sky’, satellite technology (support of reefs and forests?) Feb-Apr 2021 may see global burnout of this pandemic chapter though widely easing 21 June+ IMG Ciro Marchetti

The World Card from The Legacy of the Divine Tarot by Ciro Marchetti

The World is a positive card. It is about a global vision, and suggests the successful completion of a cycle.

So, no, this is not ‘the big one’ as pandemics go, and we already know that.

It’s big all right. It’s bad and desperately sad. It’s a weird one, a real Frankenstein virus, born out of our own messy destruction of whatever we need and want, and also of whatever we don’t need or want.

This card is not a vision of doom for humankind though it contains warnings. Notice that the artist has placed him standing on an egg-timer, symbol of infinity? Look where the sands are.

We are too many and it’s not our ‘fault’. We’ve just been doing what we do as an animal, but if these projections manifest, these figures will not be sustainable, except at the cost of great changes to our individual lifestyles and freedom of movement.

The figure in the World card feels as if he can fly. And so he can, aided by his machines and now we have satellites, eyes and ears in the sky. He thinks he is master of the globe, but the sands have emptied out. The resources are not infinite, and actually, he has his arms out for balance.

The card is Major Arcana 21, suggesting the year 2021 for completion of the current pandemic cycle. Where is he looking? His eyes are fixed on a future point between the zodiac signs of Aquarius and Aries…suggesting late January-late April 2021 as the time-frame for the global easing of the situation as successive waves rise and fall, continent after continent, country after country.

I wonder if 2001 A Space Odyssey, Arthur C Clarke was actually a prophetic vision of 2100 AD, and the 21st century may prove a crunch time for humanity, the great turning point. We can’t grow to those numbers and keep our individual freedom of movement. We’re already now at the limit of our natural range, says the egg-timer.

But right now, his feet –my feet -are here in Britain, planted on that egg-timer of infinity, floating above Gemini and Cancer. We have just entered Gemini and we enter Cancer on the 20/21 June to leave it for Leo 22/23 July.

The release of lock-down has begun. For some this is too soon. For others, it is nearly not soon or fast enough.

The World card seems to imply that even if they have to put the brakes back on, it won’t be hard or won’t be for long.

Tweeted 21 May

Katie-Ellen@TrueTarotTales·#cartomancy ‘graph’. Risk of second wave of #covid19UK? Readers don’t ‘know.’ But what is shown? 10 Spades absent – good. Risk detected as 2/5, characterised as 2 short spikes rather than waves on a graph between now and June 20/21. Stay CAUTIOUS! Cards= 7S, 9C, Ace C, 2D, QH

Freedom or safety?

They are both illusions. Do we want to be protected or do we want independent agency? A degree of personal autonomy? Whatever we would rather choose for ourselves, nothing is for free. The birds sing because they must, or lose their territory, the food that it can deliver, and their mating rights. It’s life and death to them. Robins are liable to fight if they meet outside mating time, the male and female may even fight to the death. It’s all about territory, and erritory is all about access to resources.

This is our local Robin Goodfellow, waiting for his suet, because he is not stupid, and he has got staff working on the case. The science is survival but it’s also the miracle, the beauty and the charm; the way he wins our hearts.

I am not a fan of banning things, or pointing fingers, or being told what to do, or telling other people what they should be doing, but the World card says we came into this world. We are of it, no less deserving than any other living thing. But it is not ours.

The world is ours to live in, and to enjoy and to marvel at. We need to do what we need to, in order to live. We need to eat, we need our children to eat. Some long ago fellow wrote in the Bible that the Lord gave us dominion over the lot, and it caught on big-time, very convenient thing to believe while our numbers were small. But the world is not our oyster, we’re only sailing but not steering our mother-ship, Earth, which made the bones which built us, using what came from the stars.

Wherever we go, however far we go, the party isn’t somewhere else.

It’s all going on right here, right now.

Star Size Comparison

Until next time 🙂

Time to say ‘hi’ again to Gemini

We’re crossing into Gemini zodiac territory today, and will stay there until June 20/21.

We were born into a particular season. Children of that season. The symbology of the zodiac signs are all rooted in the seasons of Nature here on earth. The only sign not directly symbolic of a real, living thing is Libra, the Scales.

The sign of Gemini is airy Nature on the wing. Nestlings are fledging, baby waterfowl are on the swim; birds, bees and butterflies are foraging and cross-pollinating -the pollen too, is on the wing.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Gemini associations

Ruling planet: Mercury – ‘the word is out.’

Affirmation: ‘I think, I inquire.’

Birth Stone:  If born in May, Emerald. If born in June, Pearl (although it is not a stone, it is thought to be ruled by Mercury) Lucky stone Tiger’s Eye

Colour: Yellow

Tree: all kinds of nut trees

Flower: Lily of the Valley, Lavender

Tarot cards: Gemini has two cards associated with it: The Lovers (love, choices, decision-making) And The Magician. Most writers focus on the duality represented by the Lovers card, but today I’m going with another key aspect of Gemini, the mercurial Magician.

Astronomy

Gemini is a constellation in the northern sky, one of the constellations in the zodiac, the name for the area of the sky we see from Earth, including the apparent paths of the sun, moon and planets.

The Gemini constellation has been described by cultures since ancient times, with many different names and stories. It was listed as one of the 48 ancient constellations by Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the second century, though Ptolemy called the constellation The Star of Apollo (Castor) and The Star of Heracles (Pollux).

Gemini remains one of the 88 modern constellations defined by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). 

Gemini is the northernmost constellation in the zodiac, high in the winter sky in the northern hemisphere, the thirtieth largest in size.

Gemini Wiktionary.jpg
The constellation Gemini via Wiktionary gives its name to the sign of the zodiac

Gemini can be seen by the naked eye, looking north east of the constellation Orion between the Taurus and Cancer constellations. Best viewing is during February and during April and May you might see it by looking west soon after sunset, looking out for the two brightest stars, Castor and Pollux, representing the heads of the twins from Greek mythology, while fainter stars outline their bodies.

Pollux, the westerly twin, is a red giant star, 33 light-years from Earth while Castor is about 51 light-years away. A light-year is the distance that light travels in a year – 6 trillion miles/9.6 trillion kilometres.

Pollux is brighter, with a massive planet orbiting it, called Beta Genorium B, 1.6 times bigger than Jupiter. The other twin, Castor is actually not a single star, but a star system made of up six stars not visible to the naked eye.

Gemini-constellation-Hevelius.jpg
Public Domain – Gemini from Helvelius

Ancient History

The concept of twins in mythology goes back at least as far as the so-called Age of Gemini, during the Palaeolithic era, 6, 500 BCE, arising from our understanding of the duality fundamental to the nature of reality. There are male and female twins, standing for night and day, light and dark, heat and cold, male and female, war and peace, good and bad, life and death. Many creation myths reflect this eternal dynamic or battle of seeming opposites; a major theme across all cultures.

Gemini is Latin for “twins,” – the first sign of the western tropical zodiac that has a human representation rather than an animal one after Aries the Ram and Taurus the Bull.

Castor and Pollux

The names of the Gemini, the Heavenly Twins are Castor and Pollux.

Castor comes from the Greek Καστωρ (Kastor) and means “to excel, to shine.”  In Greek myth Castor was a son of Zeus and the twin brother of Pollux.

Pollux comes from the Roman form of Greek Πολυδευκης (Polydeukes) and means “very sweet.”

Gemini in late May and June brings us honey and strawberries.

Pollux and Helen were immortal, fathered by Zeus, while Castor and Clytemnestra were mortal, fathered by Tyndareus. The circumstances of their birth were unusual to say the least. Queen Leda of Sparta was seduced by Zeus, who had somehow disguised himself as a swan and when we say seduced, that is was putting it politely. He glided up preening while she was bathing and then pounced on her. Later that evening, and one can’t help wondering about this, given the trauma she’d just experienced, she also slept with her husband King Tyndareus and went on to produce four children; Castor, Pollux and their sisters Helen (later Helen of Troy) and Clytemnestra (later married to Agamemnon as queen of Mycenae.)

castor-pollux-porcelain.jpg
Public Domain; the young Castor and Pollux by Meissen

The mortal Castor was a renowned horseman and a master at fencing, while Pollux was known for his great strength and skill at boxing. They travelled with Jason on the Argo on the quest for the Golden Fleece (Aries)

But then Castor was killed in a quarrel, a disagreement over dividing the spoils after a cattle raid, and Pollux was distraught.  He didn’t want immortality, not if it meant being without his twin brother and he begged his father, Zeus, for help. Kill me, he said. Zeus said, er, give me time to think about this, son, and scratched his head, wondering how to fix it, and decided to place them both in the stars, to be together forever as the constellation Gemini.

The Greeks worshipped the twins as gods who helped shipwrecked sailors.

Later the Romans developed a cult around Castor and Pollux dating back to 484 B.C. A temple to the twins was built in the Roman Forum in 414 BC in thanks for their help in defeating the Latins; an old enemy, in the battle of Regillus. The Romans considered Castor and Pollux the patron gods of horses, and of the Roman mounted knights; the equites and Castor and Pollux appear on many early Roman coins.

Gemini in real life

The zodiac signs deal in archetypes, as do the 78 cards of a Tarot deck. Every person is a unique individual with a unique natal planetary profile, their sun sign, moon sign, rising sign etc but the natal sun sign sets the tone.

We are a product, expressive of the season in which we arrived.

The Magician card in the Tarot deck is the card of Number One, ‘me, myself and I’. It is associated with Mercury, planet of communications, trade, and commerce, which is the ruling planet of the zodiac sign of Gemini.

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

Gemini is ‘mercurial’, restless, intellectually agile but independent minded-  and like the Tarot’s Magician, does things his or her own way, whether or not this is necessarily a good idea.

Gemini often has a pleasing appearance; slender, well-proportioned and above average height, with neat features in an oval face. Classic Gemini subjects are lively, agile, sparkling, charming, chatty and inquisitive, though not easy to really get to know.

Gemini tends to change jobs more often than subjects of the other signs of the zodiac, and is better at starting new projects than finishing them, but can do very well in teams where new ideas, agility and a talent for networking are needed.

Gemini can sometimes seem superficial, or careless, even ruthless, dropping people and projects once they lose interest, which Gemini can do quite suddenly. But once committed, they are intensely loyal to their friends and loved ones. Gemini is mostly fairly peaceable, but it’s also brave. These subjects don’t shy away from saying what they think, and of course, they think plenty.

Until next time 🙂

Taurean Magic and The Runes Talk Bull

Taurus the Bull

Purists might complain that I am mixing up two or more separate histories and traditions, and so I am, but I make no apology for it

The Tarot, the Runes, western tropical astrology, eastern sidereal or Vedic astrology etc etc arose from distinctive cultures arising in distinctive landscapes at particular latitudes, looking up at the visible skies of those latitudes, and correlating celestial events with seasonal and other events at ground level.

Obviously there is going to be considerable variation between the iconography of these different symbolic systems used in divination and prediction, but there’s still a great deal of common ground, going all the way back to the Sumerians and long before that.

Bull worship in one form or another has had its place in every polytheist culture where bulls have formed part of the natural landscape.

Tarot ostensibly has its origins as a cultural artifact of fourteenth century northern Europe, but derives out of much older cultural traditions arriving into Europe from Turkey and going way back to the ancient civilisations of the Indus; the Persians, Babylonians and Sumerians.

Tarot uses the Hierophant card in directly correlating the zodiac sign of Taurus the Bull with priesthood and established religion as a general principle.

Popes issued edicts known as Papal Bulls.

The Runes on the other hand, are an alphabet associated with proto-Germanic culture both Scandinavian and Anglo- Saxon.

The Norse, we know, went travelling and trading throughout the Mediterranean and it has been suggested that the ancient Norse alphabet, the runes, derives in part from Greek.

The runes however, which began as an alphabet but were also used in shamanic practices as a symbolic magical system, reflect the landscapes they came from

You’ll notice they are made up entirely of straight lines, designed to be carved into wood, or on bones or stones.

A Tarot deck has pomegranates. The runes have a thorn and a yew tree.

Today marks the start of the third and final decan of Taurus the Bull; a fixed Earth sign, spring in its full flowering, season of wild cattle calving.

Once upon a time the spring equinox occurred a little later than it does now, owing to the movement of the constellations in relation to Earth – an effect called precession, so that one upon a time it was Taurus, not Aries, that was understood as the first sign of the new astrological year – the ‘alpha’ sign represented by the Hebrew letter ALEPH.

In the rune alphabet system, the 24 letters or glyphs of the runic alphabet, are both letters to do with cattle and specifically, bulls.

Here is that FUTHARK alphabet are again:

These letters are F and U ,the first two, top left

It sounds a bit rude…short for, well, you know, ‘Eff You.’

And maybe that’s not so much of coincidence as it seems. Synchronicity and all that.

But let’s take a closer look at these ‘bullish’ letters

Fehu

The first letter of the old rune alphabet signifies wealth,but technically means cattle and specifically, domesticated cattle. The Norse peoples measured wealth in cattle, and this rune denotes wealth earned through hard work and tenacity. There is no good quick buck. There is nothing quick and easy about looking after cattle.

The modern English word Fee is derived from this ancient proto-Germanic root

Fehu

Fehu is about effort. This rune won’t help you or me one bit with winning the lottery. But imagine you are job hunting, or need a business loan.

You could if you felt so inclined ask Fehu to help.

We have other words too, based around the prosperity and virility of bull symbolism; bull markets and bullion.

The idea is not as archaic as it might seem.

The Charging Bull of Broadway, Arturo Di Modica

The bull statue was created in the aftermath of the stock market crash of 1987. Wiki says that Di Modica spent $360 000 to create the Bull, which was cast the bull in bronze in a Brooklyn foundry.

“Having arrived penniless in the US in 1970, Di Modica felt indebted to America for welcoming him and enabling his career as a successful sculptor. Charging Bull was intended to inspire each person who came into contact with it to carry on fighting through the hard times after the 1987 stock market crash. Di Modica later recounted to art critic Anthony Haden Guest “My point was to show people that if you want to do something in a moment things are very bad, you can do it. You can do it by yourself. My point was that you must be strong“-Wiki

The Bull was not commissioned apparently, and was installed without authorization, as something of a guerrilla act. The NYPD duly took it away but there was a public outcry, and it was reinstated in a new site, two blocks away from the stock exchange and seems to be an indefinite fixture.

People sit on it and rub its nose and horns – and other bits too, all of which are now shinier than the rest of it.

They rub the bull for luck.

Read more about this story HERE

To ask for Fehu’s magical protection, help or energy, draw or paint its rune, or carve it, carry it in your pocket, say its name. Speak in 3’s or 7’s. 9 is considered especially powerful for luck work. And when the desired effect materializes; well, it was down to your own efforts, but still…beware of hubris. Don’t neglect to say thank you to the ‘Everything That Is’.

There is a world of difference between having the wind behind your sails or not, and that is what luck work, or talismanic work, – so-called magic – is about.

Lining yourself up so that you have the right wind behind you.

Some years ago Senior sprog, then a vet nurse, had just returned from some years living and working away. She was depressed and desperate for a new job, and then she got the offer of an interview with a vet.

I put Fehu on the case big time, and she was offered the job right away, and that made the most enormous difference to a lot of things.

Now, here’s the thing before someone shouts at the screen that this is just plain daft.

She got that job on her own merits. Of course she did.

But it wasn’t my first experience with Fehu. And having the best experience or the best qualifications is no guarantee of getting the job, as I discovered working in the recruitment industry. The CV may well get them the interview but that takes the candidate only so far. Now they have to stand out at interview. They have to feel like a good fit for the individual employer who has to like them, and above all feel confident that they can work with them.

When it comes to these subjective aspects, the best candidate in the world has no conscious control whatsoever. That’s where the luck aspect comes into it.

There is always a gap.

I have had occasion to thank Fehu on other occasions. You could always give it a go. There’s no rule says you can’t. Just remember, these are very ancient human algorithms, and not to be commanded.

They demand respect.

Uruz

Health

Uruz, the second letter of the rune alphabet means physical power, primal strength, and it is inspired by that powerful wild animal, the auroch; predecessor of the first domesticated cattle as represented by Fehu.

Cattle were domesticated about 10 000 years ago, migrating into Africa about 5 000 years ago, and the auroch lives on in the genome.

Hitler got his scientists on to it,and tried to bring them back, but succeeded only in creating a mightily dangerous and bad-tempered animal, let free to roam and terrorize the forest inhabitants of Poland. Though that was at least partly the plan in any case..

Auroch. Lascaux Caves

Touching once again on the Taurean connection, The auroch were hunted during their annual migration starting April and May – Taurus season.

A hugely dangerous business.

Auroch burger anyone? There is the auroch.

Who, me? Would you look at it? Just look at that Fehu-cking thing?!

Yeah. So let’s go get him then. Because -auroch burgers!

You first. I just turned vegan.

Is has been suggested that the siting of Stonehenge marks a significant spot on an ancient auroch migration route.

The bones of auroch have been found there, and Amesbury may have been a sacred hunting ground before the site itself was built around 5000 years ago.

Uruz

In luck work it may be used the same way as Fehu; write it, carve it, carry it in your pocket

Say its name (pronounced Oooo-Rooooz) asking for a surge of extra strength or stamina, or to request health and healing for yourself or for another, after an injury or illness.

There we have it. Two practical applications of Northern European bull magic

Toro!

Words and symbols. That’s all it is on the face of it. Something and nothing. The matching piece of this magic puzzle is not a missing piece.

It is you

Says this Taurean subject.

Until next time 🙂

Or perhaps I should say ‘moo.’

Lifting the Lock-down

Much speculation ahead of the PM’s expected announcements later today. To what extent will the lock-down be lifting, how will it be done and what will be the collective consequences for the health of the nation? And its financial viability?

Individuals matter. We’ve only one life to lose, so far as we know. And the dread of loss of a loved one is as fearsome as worry for our own personal safety. But as with the plague pits of London during the Great Plague of 1665/66…the dead were mourned no less deeply, but the collective good was the paramount consideration in the unceremonious disposable of the bodies, collected by night and tipped in any old how by masked men, their courage fortified with ale.

It was a matter of dire necessity. And the situation was no-one’s fault. It was the rats. No, the fleas. No, the…

There have been many previous pandemics, and there will be more in future.

The Great Plague was mainly a London epidemic, the last outbreak of bubonic plague in Britain. 70- 75 000 people lost their lives.

25 million but maybe as many as 50 million died worldwide during the Spanish Flu 1918/19 including 228 000 in Britain.

An estimated 200 million died during the Black Death 1342-1343. And that was not the end of it. This thing didn’t finally disappear until some time in the 17th century.

Not only health workers now, but undertakers are currently at extra risk with this horrible virus, using incontinence pads to mask the mouths and nostrils of the dead .

It’s not over, yet, and I don’t know any more than you do, though I’m not seeing it is ramping up on anything like the scale of the Spanish Flu.

But this is simply a demonstration of a highly topical card reading.

Back to the question.

What did I see looking in my playing cards and Tarot cards yesterday?

#Covid19 Cards re likely outcome if general lock-down STARTS lifting Monday? 6 D, 2 D, 5 C, Joker RX, 6 C (Why lift? 5 Clubs=Poor & JOBS) Huge gamble. No signif second surge detected but new cases/deaths poss inevitable regardless. Distancing, hands etc remains crucial (5 C)

Twitter is necessarily cryptic. Here is a reminder and explanation of the cards:-

6 D, 2 D, 5 C, Joker RX, 6 C

6D= 6 Diamonds…medical diagnostics and also travel. The government has said it will not release lock-down until the infection reproduction rate R = below 1. Before measures came in, it was above 1, with exponential acceleration expected. After early lock-down it fell to 0.7 when people were observing it more strictly, then it crept up to 0.75 with the care home crisis.

2D=2 Diamonds, commerce, transactions, face to face conversations, also technology and apps…the new Track and Trace app is I think, being represented by the 2 Diamonds. Is it sinister, this app? Potentially, of course, but no more than all the other ways our information is potentially vulnerable to unwanted parties to whom we did not give express consent.

5C=5 Clubs , this is the crux card and can be read in several ways simultaneously:

Isolation- and for many- added loneliness

Fear of poverty, unemployment, beggary, ruin, both on the national economy level and for individuals, and if Britain is a nation of shopkeepers as Napoleon once remarked, these small business owners have been the hardest hit sector,

The 5 of Clubs also literally means a hand in cartomancy. The outstretched hand, begging alms, or asking for touch and comfort, and, crucial to the safest possible easing of the current status of the lock-down, the need for hyper-vigilance in respect of handwashing and other hygiene measures.

If this is new hyper-vigilance of hygiene in public spaces is not maintained, and lock-down is lifted this coming week, a new spike would seem almost inevitable, in which case, we’ll see it in the next 2-3 weeks, though a spike or indeed several spokes do not necessarily mean a whole new second wave.

Joker RX The Joker Reversed. A leap in the dark. This is what is coming up imminently; and also represents the PM himself who has every reason to fear the coronavirus and what it can do. The Joker RX equates to Gemini. The PM is a Gemini subject, and this card suggests he was indeed very frightened, and who wouldn’t be? The reporting played down his state of illness rather than the opposite and he’s not yet fully recovered. More generally, The Joker represents a gamble. Lifting lock down is a gamble with very high stakes. The Joker is the hand of Fate. Our government did not create this problem, and this genie will now stay out of the bottle until its run its natural course, regardless of how we may be able to hasten that.

6C is the 6 Clubs. Schools, Universities and Hospitals. What will a 6 week school holiday mean for parents who have only recently returned to work? The timing of this card may suggest to me the very end of Taurus…20 May for the first re-openings? Logically, that might suggest after the Spring Bank Holiday which this year falls on Monday 25 May. Soon after that, then.

Following this first tweet, I further tweeted:-

#Covid19 #Tarot(own personal risk=high) A second wave UK? Ace Clubs, JD, 8D, 8C, 3S. Current risk translates as 2/5- just under 50:50, slowing/declining over next 8 days-8 weeks but requiring the ‘new normal’- hyper-vigilance for min 3 months. Maybe years (3 Spades= mourning)

Last night I drew The Wheel of Fortune card right way up, confirming the peak has passed…or at least the first peak. The influence of this card when drawn the right way up, is Jupiter.

On your marks. Green for go, but not yet.

One look at that planet, Jupiter, planet of expansion and progress says the light is amber

From the Legacy of The Divine Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

But drawing this particular card the right way up last night felt significant in view of the fact I drew the same card reversed only recently. April 24 I tweeted:-

#Tarot where are we at collectively re Covid19? Wheel of Fortune Rev. Cases may have peaked in some countries. Might HAVE to ease lockdown but we’ve not yet passed disease peak/economic trough, still wallowing in or near the bottom of the wheel/cycle, not yet climbing out.

One eminent doctor saw it differently, Prof Karol Sikora who the same day tweeted the peak had already passed. Perhaps he was entirely correct, and the modelling suggested this was the case, but that is not my department.

And whatever the PM announces tonight, he and the Government will be ferociously criticized, no psychic predictions necessary. The government will either be accused of wrecking the economy and depriving us of our civil liberties by continuing with the lock-down, or will be accused of a dereliction of its duty to protect us, being negligent with our lives, and putting money first by lifting the lock-down.

You need broad shoulders to be in politics, whoever you are.

The Reader’s Impartiality

Photo by Arnesh Yadram on Pexels.com

Are you impartial at all times in forming your own assessments of this or any other situation?

If you think so, well, good luck with that.

I send my mind upstairs…or maybe it’s downstairs, I never really know which. I ask questions, draw the cards and interpret the responses according to

a) the system of divination I am using, playing cards,Tarot, runes etc and

b) my instinct. Intuition, call it what you will. This must still be triggered by the system however, and not over-ride it.

People are not automatons. They are not impartial. They see through the prism of their own innate ways of dealing with the world. Bias or prejudice can creep into interpretation. It’s easy to spot when it does, but it’s hard to see our own blind spots, and psychic readers must be on guard, and not allow wishful thinking to twist what they are being shown.

A search through the archives here will show you where I have been on track with predictions to do with public life, eg, around Brexit, and where I didn’t quite hit the nail on the head.

This being said, in the interests of transparency, what’s my own stake in this situation? I’m supposedly at a higher risk from Covid19, disabled with an autoimmune illness and being treated with immune-suppressants to try and slow the damage. I have not been outside my home since 1 March, and recently had a phone call from the consultant, in lieu of making a visit to see him in the hospital. I’ve been dealing with limited mobility and quite a bit of pain during the past 25 years but unlike many others, am extremely lucky during lock-down with no business to run, no urgent financial worries, my husband for company and I can work from home. My parents are much in my thoughts, a two drive drive up the road, and I have two young adult daughters. One is a key worker, working in a pharmacy, the other is a trainee teacher whose training has been suspended, and this training racks up an £11 k tuition loan.

I’m a floating voter, voting on issues rather than parties.

In Summary

The announcement later seems guaranteed to steer a guarded middle course as the best this government can do in terms of a common sense approach, dealing with this hydra, a monster that was not of its making, no matter what mistakes may or may not have been made in the course of the attempts to manage it.

Autonomy, Freedom and Risk or Safety, Compliance and conformity? Which would you choose, personally and individually if it came right down to that wire?

Freedom says we are safe to criticize, admonish, complain and hurl insults and abuse all day long, at each other, at the government, at the PM. We can roar away to our hearts content, brave as we like, and not get shot and bagged and stuck on a wall as a trophy. That’s who we are, that’s where we are, and long may it continue.

Photo by Petr Ganaj on Pexels.com

I sense the government has worked out that we as a nation state HAVE to be back in business by the time of Virgo…late August-September, by which time we are heading towards of the Brexit transition period. That’s another one to ask the cards about, but not today.

This is not a mega-pandemic on the scale of those earlier historic tragedies. There may be another, almost certainly will. I was a bit disturbed back in March but I don’t think this one is it. Not this time. Perhaps not this century.

By the by, I was interested to read that susceptibility to another very unpleasant virus, the norovirus or winter vomiting bug, may depend on your blood- type. Not comparable? Maybe not, but it kills 50 000 children a year in developing countries.

Blood group B is the lucky group for norovirus. I am A, and the spouse, Il Matrimonio is O.

Makes you wonder about the blood group typing profile with coronavirus.

Click HERE to read

Take care, stay safe

Until next time 🙂

The Tarot and a spot of Psychic Kettle Cleaning

Yes, you read that correctly. This blog is called True Tarot Tales for a reason. The Tarot is a tool for use in the real world and does not disdain to talk about anything at all: money, plumbing, toilets -and kettles. The Devil card might be the Tarot’s way of trying to tell me about someone’s diarrhea.

Love n Light. Give me a break. I don’t mean to be mean, but certain mantras can become debased by a kind of lazy reductionism. Life doesn’t come off the peg. Yes, there is love and light, we need to give it and receive it, the more of it the merrier, and a little goodwill goes a long way. But reading for others isn’t a party piece demanding applause, is not about the reader and their self-image as an aspiring Merlin, Witch Goddess, Earth Mother or Buddha- in- waiting.

Life can be a struggle at times, sad or lonely, even frightening, demanding not only patience and fortitude but concerted thought, effort and direct action. And how much money, time, energy and actual worry is invested in the basics of everyday living?

The Tarot would be very self-indulgent, snooty, and in fact, pretty pointless; bugger all use to anyone else (oh, I say, Jeeves, steady on) Not fit for serious purpose if its readers decided such conversations were not deserving of its very best attention, the same as anything else of a purportedly more spiritual nature.

If the Devil is in the details, so is God and and all the angels, which doesn’t mean the Tarot doesn’t have a sense of fun.

Junior Sprog was annoyed this morning (we were talking via Skype…she lives nearby with the ‘boyf.’) She had purchased a box of three sachets of limescale remover for her kettle, but when she opened the box, it contained only one sachet.

She duly deployed said measly single sachet, which I understood was a formula based on baking soda.

‘Why not just use baking soda?’ I suggested in that annoying way parents have, but she explained she had lent hers to Amy next door but one, who was making banana bread. Maybe new craft habits and other good things will come out of these very sad events and this lock-down, even though we’d all like to tell the hideous coronavirus (and I would like to tell certain relentlessly self -aggrandizing figures in the media this)….

Junior Sprog had done the job, and rinsed the kettle out, but wondered was it safe to use again now, and drink from when boiled?

Bicarbonate of soda, aka baking soda, isn’t going to hurt anyone, unless they ingest it in inappropriate quantities when it certainly could hurt them. I didn’t know what else was in this cleaning product.

Struck with a sudden horrific image of my baby afflicted with alkaloid poisoning, I whipped out a Tarot card:-

Card Number One: The premise of the situation in hand

The Three of Swords Reversed. Uh oh! Death, mourning, separation, severance, divorce, heartburn/heart attack.

The Three of Swords from The Gilded tarot, Ciro Marchetti

‘Are you OK?’ I asked. Tarot often picks up other stuff, regardless of the actual issue being presented for discussion. I like to rule out the worst case scenarios- and either clear the decks or flag up the other priorities being detected, and give the other person the opportunity to discuss that first if they so wish, and then come back to the other thing.

Junior Sprog rolled her eyes.

‘I’ll take that as a yes,’ I said, and had another think.

Of course. No worries. The Three of Swords Reversed was saying two things at once, confirming that ‘it,’ – the Tarot, my spokeswoman/spokestool of The Psychic Mind Delta aka Twilight Zone had heard me perfectly well, and understood the real question; ‘is my daughter at risk from poisoning if she uses the kettle as it is, or does it need another rinse?’

The Tarot was specifically commenting that:-

  1. Indigestion…baking soda is a remedy for heartburn, referring to the other well known use of sodium bicarbonate…a more benign aspect of that classical ‘heart ache/pain/attack’ possibility of interpretation.
  2. She had bought a product advertised as containing 3 sachets, but the box contained only one. 3 sachets not present = 3 Swords Reversed

Card Number Two was asking for advice….where are we at now?

The Eight of Swords. Stress. Abandonment. A flooded bathroom. No hang on, I said to myself. Let’s keep this narrative kettle-based. Just stick with the kettle!

The Eight of Swords has long since proved its worth to me as MY card for spotting problems, letting me know if my client is dealing with drains, plumbing or damp issues or making home improvements along these lines.

The Eight of Swords, The Gilded tarot, Ciro Marchetti

‘How many rinses have you given it?’ I asked Junior Sprog.

‘Seven or Eight,’ she said.

‘That’s OK then. That should do it.’

Final card. Is the kettle completely safe to use?

The Knight of Cups. Flow of water. Healing. Yes it is. This is the ultimate card of clean water…excepting only the Ace of Cups, which symbolizes the Healing Chalice/ Grail Cup. There is a touch of salt here, and the waters may be shark infested but the sharks are not hungry today. This water will not ‘bite.’

The Knight of Cups from the Legacy of the Divine Tarot by permission of Ciro Marchetti

Common sense may well suggest we hardly needed the Tarot for this exercise, and that’s fair enough in general terms, but it’s beside the point here. When I started learning the Tarot, there were so many sources dealing in generic, quasi mystical language, counselling that this card was exhorting us to ‘let go of what does not serve,’ or to ‘rediscover our true purpose,’ that when I first began to write this blog in 2010, it was with a determination to learn, apply and illustrate the Tarot as a useful, modern psychic tool capable of talking in terms of concrete realities, and dealing in specifics.

Whatever the question, whatever the concern, the reader must never lose sight of the ‘so what?’

Cup of tea? Biccie?

I wonder how Amy got on with her banana bread. The Six of Pentacles suggests it went down pretty well. Maybe just a touch on the heavy side…not quite enough baking soda.

But the sprog didn’t rate her single sachet of kettle cleaner. I have told her baking soda plus adding vinegar does a pretty impressive cleaning trick…kaboom… but four hours later she’s confirmed she’s OK, and that was the priority today.

Until next time 🙂

The Moon in May 2020

The Full Flower Moon and what it means for you this month

Photo by Vedad Colic on Pexels.com

What is astrology and why do astrologers study The Moon?

Humans have been studying the Moon since at least 25 000 years ago, Luna, the Moon being the closest celestial body to Earth, exerting a physical gravitational effect on the tides, and on every living thing, though the exact nature and extent of that influence is open to debate. The word ‘Astrology’ comes from the early Latin word astrologia, which derives from the Greek ἀστρολογία—from ἄστρον astron (‘star’) and -λογία -logia, (‘study of’—’account of the stars’.)

It’s about the search for meaning on earth as seen in the sky, seeking to understand natural events and human behaviour through observing, the movements relative to Earth of planets and other celestial objects, and making correlations.

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.

The things that we feel ‘in our water.’

More directly and practically, humanity began to measure, record, and predict seasonal changes by paying attention to astronomical cycles. They did this for practical planning purposes.

When would the Auroch arrive and they could organise a hunt?

When would the first lambs or kids arrive?

When would the salmon spawn?

When would the first grapes or berries be ripe enough to eat?

Early people used the skies searching for the first clues, using them as their first calendars and clocks, and nothing remotely laughable or ‘woo-woo’ about it, except for the stories that grew up around all this, and the impact of those stories on the collective psyche of the people making their living in their particular territory…their evolving cultures shaped, or rather driven by their imaginative preoccupation, emotional connection and working relationship with that landscape and its many natural wonders.

Early evidence appears as markings on bones and cave walls  recording the Moon’s influence upon tides and rivers and in time, building a body of knowledge which led in time to the creation of the first calendars.

Progress is not necessarily linear, and perhaps there is a modern tendency to underestimate the intellectual as well as technological prowess of more ancient societies.

There will be a partial solar eclipse on 21 June 2020. The next total solar eclipse will be 14 December 2020, but not viewable in the UK when the next solar eclipse will be August 2026.

The Moon in May: The Headlines

May 07, 2020    6:45 AM               Full Moon in Scorpio
May 14, 2020    10:03 AM             Last Quarter Moon (Waning)
May 22, 2020    1:39 PM               New Moon in Gemini
May 29, 2020    11:30 PM              First Quarter Moon (Waxing)

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.

What do the moon phases mean for you and me, symbolically?

In general terms, folklore suggests that the waxing Moon phase building up to the Full Moon is the optimum time to grow, build, add to, make or get something. It is all about bringing something new in, or bringing something to completion or fruition. Some may perform magical summoning rituals.

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

The Moon from The Gilded Tarot, illustration by Ciro Marchetti. Wolves bark during a Hunter’s moon, and crayfish move and spawn on the changing tides. The Moon card is also the card signifying contagion, disease and epidemics.

A Waning Moon is the optimum time for ending something, clearing out what’s no longer wanted or needed, including unhelpful or unhealthy habits. It may mean releasing something, or even getting rid of something (or someone) 

Some may perform banishing rituals, symbolically clearing out what’s no longer wanted or needed.

What is the Full Flower Moon?

These full Moon names were used during Native American and Colonial times to help track the seasons—and often came from the Algonquin tribes who lived in the same areas as the Colonists. Other such names are the Mother’s Moon, Milk Moon, and Corn Planting Moon.

The May full Moon means spring in high season with rising temperatures, a declining risk of late frosts, and plants and trees in first bloom. 

7 May: The Full Moon in Scorpio

Death card.jpg
Public Domain The Death card from the Rider-Waite Tarot

Scorpio is the sign of death, sex and regeneration and is represented in the Tarot by The Death card. Don’t let this worry you. It’s not saying that you or anyone close to you is going to die this month. But the Tarot covers all aspects of human experience. Death is part of life. Without death, there would be no space for new life. This is potentially a very highly charged sexy, and even baby-making moon.

Scorpio is known as a powerfully psychic sign. A Full Moon in Scorpio can be intense and its card in the Tarot is The Death card. This rarely refers to an actual person’s death, though it may do on occasion, in which case it is generally a peaceful death in old age. But far more often it refers to the end of a chapter in your life.  This may be a job, a business, a location, a relationship, an object or a habit.  It may be time to review a few things, close accounts, complete unfinished tasks, and gather your harvest. It is time to move on. This is not about rejecting others or hurting them in any way. It is simply that it is time to move forward, not allowing nostalgia or outworn loyalties to tie you down, holding yourself back from where you really need to go.

Scorpio is deep, secretive, intense, passionate…even obsessive. A little of what you fancy does you good. But this full moon could be a bit full on for comfort.

Sharp words may be said. Brooding silences may – brood. Conversely, and less quietly, crockery may sprout wings and go flying.

Scorpio has a sting. Secrets may be revealed at this time, or you may make unwelcome discoveries. Should you find yourself dealing with a situation of this kind, the advice for this full moon and the three days surrounding it either side is, do not act in haste. Take plenty of time to think about things. Don’t ignore your own needs and wishes. Listen to them, but be careful how you act on them. Take it easy around this full moon.

22 May: The New Moon in Gemini

Public Domain The Lovers from the Rider-Waite Tarot

The Lovers card is the Tarot card associated with air sign Gemini. This is a very different mood, and now that we have left the zodiac sign of Taurus and entered the zodiac sign of Gemini, we have an astrological double whammy; both the sun and moon are in Gemini.

This is a very different mood; lighter, sparkling, volatile, communicative and social.  Gemini is intellectually agile, curious and sociable like its planetary ruler, Mercury.  That Full Moon is Scorpio has been followed by a Gemini butterfly. Enjoy this lighter mood, but not every acquaintance is actually a friend and social media can become a snake pit if one is not careful how one treads. Gemini is friendly, everyone’s friend, but it keeps its distance.

The Lovers card is about love and romance of course, but above all, it’s about making choices. The problem is that here, the choices probably aren’t equal or straightforward. Will it be the apple or the orange? Or neither or both?

Or you may find yourself at a crossroads. This Tarot card advises you to look beneath the surface and be completely honest with yourself. Is this person or situation really right for you?  Which do you go with, your heart or your head? Is there something niggling at you? Some doubt? Something you don’t really want to believe or you can’t quite nail what it is, or you’ve got your suspicions but you’d rather tell yourself you’re imagining it.

Anything like that, you’ll do better to stay quiet, to watch, to wait, and to go with your head.

Click here to read about what’s coming up in the night sky this May. With all five of the ‘bright’ planets on parade, and with Venus in splendour, and in its closest conjunction with Mercury -there’s a lot to look out for.

Until next time 🙂