The Hanged Man, Russia, Ukraine: a Tarot’s eye update

Photo by Max Vakhtbovych on

“In times of war, the law falls silent”. ― Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, writer and staunch republican, assassinated 43 BC on the orders of Mark Antony who was then defeated by Octavian, the future Emperor Augustus.

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The Tarot detects, reflects and may then project or predict in respect of a given situation. Its limitations are in the reader. Sometimes we may think we want to know something but actually, we don’t. Or we may indulge wishful thinking in interpretation unless we are careful. The less personally involved the reader feels, the more likely it is that the reader will see clearly, looking further down the road.

Late last night (28 February) I drew the card below, asking the Tarot for its comment at this juncture re Mr Zelenskyy (I understand that strictly speaking it should be spelled with a double’ y’.)

We have here The Hanged Man reversed. This is a card of Neptune. This is a card that is strongly associated with Pisces. and we are in Pisces season until 20 March 2022.

Card meanings: meditation, ultimate surrender, sacrifice, suspended in time, indecision, Drawn reversed: duty, the body politic, the crowd, breakthrough, giving to get.


From the Tarot Illuminati

Events in Ukraine are moving on apace. Everyone has their own thoughts, opinions or responses. Me too, but when looking in my cards I must remain dispassionate if humanly possible and honestly record and report what I see or do not see. Right or wrong.

There is first the act of divination, the actual drawing of the cards. This is the psychic or occult element of the process if you will. That we expect to draw a card that will first of all, mirror with sufficient accuracy the issue being presented for left field analysis. What makes us draw one card and not another instead?

Some might say the reader can just make up anything they like. But if they know anything about Tarot, they know that each card has a list of associated interpretations. This list is long. It has to be. 78 cards must cover any topic, any question, any situation known to human experience. But the cards, while there are areas that lap over with one another, deal in particularities and not just broad themes and can only be made to stretch so far.

My core service for 20 years has been personal readings. If a reader is blagging it, talking mush, the client would know right away. For the avoidance of doubt, and to set the baseline of the rest of the reading, the reader must deliver something that is relevant, timely, specific and particular, and that can be validated or verified at once by the client. Preferably they will do it at once, with the very first card.

This kind of reading we are doing here is a different challenge, just as mundane astrology -using astrology to look at world affairs- is different from doing natal astrology or personal horoscopes.

The Hanged Man reversed was THE one single card I drew last night, asking to be shown a Tarot snapshot of Mr Zelenskyy.

That we drew The Hanged Man, and not only does the symbolism resonate but I see a physical resemblance to the living person is the mystery. What Jung termed the synchronicity of Tarot:-

Until last Monday evening, I did not draw cards clearly indicating war in Ukraine. They were mixed, ambivalent. I drew The Hermit in the mix (maturity,solitude, quiet reflection) and hoped for the best, having expected instead these following cards; The Tower, Ace Swords, The Devil, The World card reversed, or other combinations which, when added up would clearly point to a clear threat of war.

Mr P has clearly been war gaming this through the past two years of covid. He wants it all but without having to resort to a policy of scorched earth.

From The Golden Tarot by Kat Black

The Hermit is also about crops. Grains. It correlates with Virgo and the harvest. Both Russia and Ukraine are top exporters. Ukraine more so, I gather, able to provide food for 600 million people. There is going to be a sharp rise in the price of grain. But perhaps The Hermit is also a sign of hope because The Hermit is a pathfinder. He shows the way ahead.

I drew The Tower, The Devil and The Chariot Reversed six hours before the terrorist attack in Nice, Bastille Day, 2016. I did not know what they meant exactly. I did not know in what exact shape they would manifest in real life. There were a number of possible scenarios. I only felt that something terrible was going to happen imminently and that it would involve a vehicle, and I asked Il Matrimonio to go and check the tyre pressures on the car.

However, while logic said Mr Putin had clear and obvious designs on annexing Ukraine, and developments were deeply unsettling, the cards did not show these combinations, and so that’s what I recorded at that point. To do anything else to make it fit in with a conscious assessment of a situation would be to falsify the process of cartomancy. Even if it might be tempting, and not that one is not partial to one’s dignity, but to do this stuff at all, you have to be prepared to look like a fool or how can you learn?

The reader frames a question or states an issue, draws the cards, blindly and at random, lays them out, turns them over, and then tries to make sense of what they are looking at.

Last Monday afternoon, talking on the phone with my mother who knows a LOT about WW1 and WW2 and she said, “there is not just a whiff of Munich here, it’s a stench.”

I mentioned that I hadn’t been shown war yet, despite the growing signs, and had not drawn The Tower card, and did not understand why not yet.

The Tower. A shock. A lightening strike. A storm, Thunder. War. Hubris. Pride before a fall. A Tuesday. Mars. A bomb. Air attack. Earthquake. Tsunami.

A little while after our call I sat down for another look, and blow me down, there it finally was; The Tower, sitting smack in the middle of the cards.

Tarot Spread, Ukraine-Russia-West, drawn 20 Feb 2022, The Illuminati Tarot

Top left Mr P debating, wants those 2 states, wants ports, land bridge, do a deal? (2 PENTS) or go all out (central TOWER) What may prevent all out? Critical factor, bottom right. HIEROPHANT Reversed (tradition, govt turned upside down, key, faith, church, rules, banks) Fear of the anger of his own people.

These cards suggest

Best case scenario: Based purely on the potentialities contained within the book meanings of these cards. Deal might be Zelensky agrees to signing away the 2 separatist states – (IF it can be fairly demonstrated there is a majority support for them to rejoin Russia?)

Worst case scenario: Mr P trapped and desperate, fighting for his political life, and perhaps his actual life, goes nuclear beyond Ukraine’s borders. There are rumours Russia has already deployed a thermobaric weapon in his determination to ‘liberate’ the people of Ukraine.

Second worst case scenario: Mr P, trapped, frustrated and frightened at the prospect of a long drawn out Ukraine insurgency, decides to take the gloves right off in Ukraine, aided by Belarus, ganging up 2 to 1, and defying any other country to intervene to help Ukraine on a military basis. This would require that he must seize or crush Kyev now and quickly.

This seems the most likely scenario but the cards still reflect hope it may be avoided. We will come to that in a minute.

Let’s post the image again, save scrolling up.

Column 1 Mr P

Recent Past

2 Pentacles weighing risks/gains, land bridge, 2 ports(see the ships) 2 rogue states, weighing income streams pipelines NS 1, 2 and the proposed new pipeline to Beijing


King Swords RX clever,, determined, ruthless, air sign king (Libra) cerebral, cool, cautious in calculation but decisive in action. This is Putin himself.


10 Swords ruin, ill, (head/spine/cancer/bowel/kidneys?) coup, back-stabbed, (but at what cost meantime, this v likely won’t happen yet…astrology suggests he goes c March 2023 so….) Nuke Ukraine, wreck it this card is reflecting his calculation scorched earth = pyrrhic victory

Column 2 Mr Z


3 Cups, friendship, female support, past enjoyment (his background?)


TOWER war future air strike/nuke? (Mars ) foreseeing last Tuesdays outright invasion only the day beforehand 


Ace Swords clarity, victory, command of air space or satellite communications (eg Elon Musk Star link re communications/propaganda war for Ukraine) Cutting a Gordion Knot (the very thing we do not want Putin to do)

This card is AQUARIUS. Mr Z is Aquarius. Modern tech/social media. Not so much Putin’s strong point nowadays.

Column 3  The West


6 Wands, riding high, team, success, arrogant, smug sports a priority, brave card goes with LEO and therefore high summer, page cups reversed, failed diplomacy, immaturity, naivete, attack from the SOUTH


Page Cups reversed Failed diplomacy, empty cup, childishness, immaturity, naivete, the suit of cups correlates with the compass direction of west


Hierophant Reversed What the West sees. Mr P fears ‘excommunication’ temporal. World bank global banking against Mr P. Much of this, we are already seeing.He may not care because future mega new income streams via China, but oligarchs and people care right now. This card is the thing he seems to fear most at this juncture. Ostracism by his own people.


It does not look as though Mr Putin is not going to win this. There can only be losers here. He may achieve a military victory, and this is a dreadful and deeply unjust prospect given the circumstances. But should he seize Kyev in the coming days, aided by that gangster he keeps in his pocket, the kidnapper Mr Lukashenko.

But Mr Putin’s goal was not to wreck the Ukraine, but to harvest it. The Hermit. A military victory needed to be quick and clean. This is messy, dirty, vile and slow and makes him look like mud – a pyrrhic victory, as signified by that Ten of Swords. Mr Putin is acutely aware of this, but can not acknowledge it, which makes the situation even more terribly dangerous.

A number of astrologers (inc my favourites Patrick Arundell, Jessica Adams, Victor Olliver) have mentioned 3 March in terms of a potentially critical conjunction for this situation, between Mars and Pluto, occurring specifically at 8.43 AM GMT. This may be mitigated by a apparently happy and lucky New Moon in Pisces, Wednesday 2 March. A moon influence lasts two and a half days. Unless it means that some fortuitous development on Wednesday heads off something far less welcome in the nick of time.

The cards say Mr Putin needs to beware Taurus the Bull. The Hierophant Reversed. April and May. Global banking, agriculture, food security, ‘excommunication’ by the wider community but far more fatal for him- by his own people. Incidentally, there is a Taurus eclipse this year, Saturday 30 April.

The scenes are heartrending and this is a tragedy for the people of Russia too. Mr Putin is right to fear their anger. That Ten of Swords indicates his eventual over reach and downfall, left hand column, bottom card. Hubris.The West has also been guilty of hubris or complacency and this is a wake up call.

One astrologer has suggested President Putin is gone by some time round March 2023. Gone from office or just gone? But he can still do an awful lot of damage in that space of time, can’t he. The question is the final cost, and this is a karmic question of collective destiny.

Some very great, very deep loop or pattern is being replayed. This loop began December 2019/January 2020 and history -and astrology- suggests it will run till 2025/6 and we will then have a different looking world order.

We can see how frighteningly easily or quickly this situation could become WW3 or even a nuclear holocaust. No one knows. But I would suggest that Hierophant Reversed is not nearly sufficiently combustible. The Tower card is definitely sufficiently combustible BUT it is sitting in the centre. It is righthere, right now. The Hierophant Reversed is a crux card that will manifest in the near future.

The Devil is absent, and while the Hierophant Reversed can be read as authoritarianism, The Devil is a spectre of a holocaust, just as the Holodomor was a holocaust.

Sympathetic Magic

People have been known to mistake divination with ‘witchcraft’. Divination is one thing. Sympathetic magic is a different thing even though they may use the same tools or objects.

Magic, one might say, is a refuge of last resort and is a measure of desperation. Not so. We use it all the time and hardly give it a second thought. We say, cheers, all the best, goodbye (God be with you)

Words have power. People have been known to mistake divination with ‘witchcraft’. Divination is one thing. Sympathetic magic is a different thing even though they may use the same tools or objects. Prayer is a form of sympathetic magic.

It is said that witches of Plymouth whistled up a storm as the Armada approached the English coast. You can read more about that and other related stories HERE

Using runes in sympathetic magic to protect a home or a homeland, we might use several runes, either singly or in combination, like so –

Top rune: Algiz/Elhaz/Eol. TheElk, called sedge by some. General umbrella protection

Central rune: Nied. This rune literally means NEED. As in, here we need protection for a household or homeland or our parents.

Left hand rune: Othala meaning homeland, a family household or stronghold, family inheritance, legacy, ancestry, parents and ancestors

Right hand rune Thurisaz, the Thorn, used in attack and defense. A powerful rune of protection, associated with Mollnir, the hammer of Thor the Thunder god

Bottom rune: Dagaz. We get the modern English word Day from this rune. As in, for instance, let there be another dawn for those under fire this day. Fiat lux!

NB: You don’t need to buy runes. You can just draw them, say their name, call on the influence they represent. Just as we sign off messages with “Best Wishes.” The principle is the same.

The Sun from The Golden Tarot by Kat Black

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength but loving someone deeply gives you courage.”― Lao Tzu

As we watch that 60 km invasion convoy coming in, and all seems well nigh lost, I draw the Eleventh House card for Mr Zelenskyy…..Aquarius, technology, Star Link, Elon Musk. Eleven is a lucky number. This card was drawn last night.

Perhaps there is still hope for Ukraine.

Take care until next time 🙂

Author: Katie-Ellen

Tarot, runes and cartomancy. Reader, consultant and writer.

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