When will there be an end to the war in Ukraine? The Crow caws. The Hanged Man speaks

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No-one knows the answer to this question. I certainly don’t. But what does the Tarot have to say about it? I have looked at the same question in another very recent post, where I used ordinary playing cards. We seemed to be seeing a Russian regrouping with big bumps in the road Oct and Nov and again before Christmas, a new offensive in January, and something big happening in March, and then again by Gemini time, late May-late June.

Last night I asked again, this time working with Tarot, asking, “in what month or year will there be a truce, ceasefire or permanent cessation of military action in Ukraine?”

I drew a single card. This was The Hanged Man- yet another outing for a card which has been jumping out of the deck since the invasion 24 February.

The Hanged Man stands for a waiting game, a state of limbo, an inability to make a decision. Or it can signify a sacrifice for a higher purpose, surrender, letting go, breaking a pattern, metamorphosis, suspension in time, meditation, changing one’s perspective, transcendence.

The Knight of Cups also corresponds with Pisces and The Hanged Man. He is the warrior who is a bringer of peace. He is the bearer of the Grail, of the loving cup or the healing chalice, who may be seen as Siegfried, or as one of the Knights of the Round Table, Lancelot, Galahad or Percival.

He rides along the shoreline, the knight of the liminal spaces.

From The Golden Tarot

Traditionally, the image is associated with a punishment once meted out to traitors in Italy, who were hung upside down by one ankle. Another interpretation is that this ties in with the story of the Norse god Odin. He hung upside down on Yggdrasil, the giant ash tree in exchange for the knowledge of the runes and they came to him in a vision on the ninth day without food or drink. One imagines he also had a mighty headache by that point. But the Tarot has its artistic roots in the courts of northern Italy during the Renaissance.

From the Tarot Illuminati, artist Erik C Dunne

Turn this card the other way up. Does he remind you of someone? Who does he look like? OK. He is not a dead ringer for Zelensky but let’s be reasonable- the Tarot is doing its best.

Tarot is not astrology and I am not an astrologer. However, there is a lot of astrology embedded in the Tarot, and clients have often asked the reader to have a stab at timings, with interesting feedback in respect of results.

In astrology The Hanged Man signifies Pisces,and the dates of Pisces in 2022 were 19 February to 20 March. This card was an apposite reflection of a recent event that had already happened.

This is what Tarot does- it detects, reflects and projects. Just treat this as a curiosity. I had not predicted the invasion of Ukraine, except that in a general 12 card reading done in December 2021 the Tarot had alerted me to a issue or problem attached to energy supplies from Russia, specifically NordStream 2.

I had also commented in an article published on Ask Astrology in January, that I had misgivings about 2022 on account of a general theme to do with the blurring or crossing of boundaries and borders. This again was connected with the Hanged Man. Its traditional ruler in astrology is Jupiter but its modern ruler is Neptune. Either way, 2022 was promising to be a year of deep waters and seismic events, metaphorically as well as physically. Jupiter goes large. Neptune goes deep.

Pisces, Atlas Coelestis John Flamsteed

John Flamsteed FRS (19 August 1646 – 31 December 1719)[a] was an English astronomer and the first Astronomer Royal. His main achievements were the preparation of a 3,000-star catalogue, Catalogus Britannicus, and a star atlas called Atlas Coelestis, both published posthumously“-Wiki

According to Western/ Tropical astrology, Jupiter is currently retrograde in Pisces and goes direct again 28-29 October-20 December 2022

According to Eastern/Vedic astrology Jupiter will remain in Pisces until 23 April 2023.

In Summary

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Based purely on the appearance of The Hanged Man, we have a range of possibilities here, suggesting that the war in Ukraine will end when:

-Mr Zelensky agrees to make a sacrifice, Hanged Man style, and decides to relinquish the Donbas to Russia. Mr Putin would claim this as a win, and use it as his way out of an increasingly untenable situation, though he or a successor of his same ilk could be back again in time, for another bite of land.

There is no reason why Zelensky should agree to such a thing, since Russia has broken international law and then gone on to commit war crimes. But if the population of the Donbas genuinely were more than 50% pro Russian separatists, might Zelensky decide that Ukraine would do better without them in the long run, given the state of affairs since 2014. Mr Putin after all, *only* wants to protect the 25 million Russians now living outside Russia’s borders in Ukraine and all across the Baltic.

Without Ukraine’s agreement to recognize referendum results held under the current conditions of duress, Putin will be forever fighting to hold on to the Donbas, and that’s no substantive win.

-or the war may end when Jupiter goes direct in Pisces, Tropical astrology style, 29 October-20 December. This seems highly improbable. Putin will want to squeeze the situation as hard as he can over the winter, praying the energy crisis will really bite down on the current levels of western support for Ukraine and leave her naked unto her foe.

-or the war may end during Pisces season, 20 February- 20 March. Saturn enters Pisces March 7, 2023 until May 24, 2025. Saturn is big on the status quo, on law and order, and it is big on boundaries and borders. The aftermath of this war will bring a long period of turbulence in its wake.

-or the war may end c late April 2023, according to the status of Jupiter in Pisces in Vedic astrology.

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There’s a feeling of events moving in stages, pointing towards something more conclusive or definitive March/April 2023. Tarot seems to be seeing a ceasefire slightly earlier than was indicated in my earlier cartomancy reading, though not hugely so.

But supposing the fighting stops right now, the political backwash runs high until 2025/2026. There will also be the small matter of reconstruction.

Something to watch for that is happening sooner, is an eclipse in Scorpio 8 November. Eclipses do not signify immediate changes, but historically they announce profound changes. Mr Putin is a Libra sun sign subject with Scorpio rising, and conjunct his sun is the fixed star Algorab, the wing of The constellation of the Crow, merciless and rapacious.

It doesn’t feel as though it bodes at all well for him personally.

The west is clearly not blameless either in all this, but it likely doesn’t bode too well for Scorpio subject Mr Biden either, in the US mid term elections 8 November.

What a year, this Chinese year of the Black Water Tiger

Till next time 🙂

Further reading https://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/Ukraine-Nuclear-Weapons

Virgo, Heavenly Harvest Goddess

Here comes Virgo Season again. But what’s the ancient story – and the modern reality behind the zodiac sign?

True Tarot Tales

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

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

Common Associations

Zodiac symbol

Dates: 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: Virgo rules the 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, beneficent cards to do with art, craft, and productiveness as a direct result of study, craft, diligence, application and direction of discipline, focus and a sustained…

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Season of The Lion

Leo Season 2022, legends of the lion, a New Moon in Leo and a potentially momentous triple conjunction…

True Tarot Tales

Leo

Today is a New Moon in Leo, a moon phase of endings and beginnings. Kings and empires rise and fall, but to paraphrase Outro M38, ‘we are all the kings in our own land’…Facing tempest of dust/ I’ll fight on till the end/Creatures of my dreams/Raise up and dance with me/ Now and forever, I’m your king.’

There is something unsettled right now, says this Taurean subject born with a first quarter Moon in Leo. The astrology paints this New Moon in buoyant, passionate, Jupiterian terms, though with a potential for chaos. But a New Moon phase only last two and half days, while a rare and major Mars, Uranus and North Node in Taurus triple conjunction is approaching 31 July/1 August. This is a rare event, historically associated with major political, weather, explosive or seismic events. Such events may not occur precisely on these dates but are set…

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Premonition, what is it? What use is it? The Premonitions Bureau -a book review and other stories

The Premonitions Bureau  Non-fiction by Sam Knight a staff writer at The New Yorker, based in London. “The Premonitions Bureau” is his first book.

Tagline: “Premonitions are impossible –and they come true all the time.”

What do we mean by a premonition? The Cambridge Dictionary defines a premonition as “a feeling that something, especially something unpleasant, is going to happen.”

Synonyms

Feeling (EMOTION)

Foreboding literary

Presentiment formal

What’s the difference between premonition and precognition?

Precognition is a sense of foreknowledge arrived at by “paranormal” means; e.g., via card reading, or a psychic dream or clairvoyance. On the other hand, a premonition is simply a feeling, however powerful, that something is about to happen –  usually this means something bad.

The Premonitions Bureau tells a story that started with a tragedy.

Background: Aberfan 21 October 1966

Aberfan is a mining village near Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales. There was a huge colliery tip on a mountain slope above the village, Tip Number 7, and this tip had a natural spring rising up underneath it, bubbling out in a stream that flowed down into the village below.

Heavy rain had led to a build-up of water inside the tip, until one morning it suddenly collapsed and went sliding down the hill. A thirty foot wave of coal slurry hit not only a row of houses but Pantglas Junior School, and killed 116 children and 28 adults, of whom 5 were the children’s teachers.

The following inquiry firmly placed the blame on the National Coal Board, who had received multiple previous warnings about the instability of this particular colliery tip, Number 7 after it was created in 1958 against regulations which said no coal tip was to be raised on top of a spring, but the NCB, although they knew this, had taken only sporadic maintenance action.

After this tragedy a high profile psychiatrist and psychologist called John Barker went to Aberfan to try and support the bereaved. Then he started receiving reports of people who had had premonitions of this disaster. Most tragic of all was a premonition experienced by one of the children who had died in the school and who had been worried, telling her mother about a dream she had had the previous night.

“Mummy, let me tell you about my dream last night.” Her mother answered gently, “Darling, I’ve no time. Tell me again later.” The child replied, “No Mummy, you must listen. I dreamt I went to school and there was no school there. Something black had come down all over it.”

Two other children had done drawings of the avalanche before it happened.

Aberfan -Wikipedia, licence Fair Use

John Barker, who was the resident senior psychiatrist at a sadly run down mental hospital which he was working hard but with mixed success to modernize, went to Aberfan to offer counselling support and was deeply struck by some extraordinary reports received in the aftermath. He decided, with assistance from a newspaper, The Evening Standard, to make it his mission to collect and collate other premonitions. How common were they? How did they manifest? Could they be logged and used to give an early warning of impending disaster?

A more predictable existence is, in theory anyway, a less frightening one,” writes Sam Knight of Barker’s motivation. “Societies have always craved prophets, or people who claim to see round the next corner.”

But unless we can do something about it, maybe sometimes we would really rather not know. One day, John Barker received two premonitions which were about him, himself, and which seemed to suggest that his own death was imminent…

I won’t provide spoilers, except to say that these premonitions were proven correct.

“It is a story both elegant and eccentric, cleanly capturing that brief moment in the 1960s when extrasensory perception verged on mainstream acceptance. It is also quietly terrifying, a reminder that even those who can see the future have no hope of getting out of its way.”

Source The New York Times

Article: The Psychiatrist Who Believed People Could Tell The Future

The Curse of Cassandra

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Coming back to the question of preferring not to know, as a useless burden, the so- called gift of prophecy- assuming we accept there is such a potential, is likely to feel more like a curse. It is not known as The Curse of Cassandra for nothing.

Cassandra (or Kassandra) was a tragic figure in Greek mythology; a Trojan princess, a daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba and a priestess of the sun god Apollo. Apollo had given her the gift of prophesy but when she subsequently rejected his sexual advances, he could not withdraw the gift but he turned it into a curse, such that Cassandra would see and speak the truth, only never to be believed.

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

Cassandra warned the Trojans to send Helen straight home again after Paris eloped with her and brought her to Troy, taking her away from her husband Menelaus in Sparta. Cassandra had warned the Trojans it would bring disaster down upon them all. They didn’t listen. Then the Greeks came and laid siege for ten long years.

Cassandra then warned them not to bring the giant wooden horse into the city. Again, they didn’t listen. There were Greek warriors hiding inside it, and in the night they crept out and opened the gates and let in all the other Greeks. A massacre followed; the Sack of Troy. The city fell. Cassandra was first raped in the temple of Athena by Ajax, then dragged away to become the slave of Agamemnon, and together with him, was later murdered by his queen Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus on returning to his kingdom of Mycenae.

The takeaway here is that while Cassandra knew her own fate, she could do nothing to save herself. Helen meanwhile, was forgiven by her husband Menelaus, and, restored as his queen, led on board his ship, passing the wretched lines of the other surviving women, now homeless, stateless and bereaved, all slaves and captives now.

It could be said that it was Helen who was really the Trojan horse.

The name of Cassandra has therefore come to mean a person whose accurate prophecies, generally of impending disaster, are not believed.

Cassandra by Evelyn de Morgan: Public Domain

This ancient story, like this new book highlights a big problem with prediction. If the future exists, what can be done about it? If the future doesn’t exist, how is prediction possible?

But prediction is rarer and premonitions are common. Barker reckoned that it was at least as common in the population as being left handed, the experience of premonition, suggesting we are all more connected than we understand or can logically explain.

The Premonitions Bureau is an intelligent, understated, quietly absorbing read. It raises big questions with many fascinating, if often deeply sad anecdotes.

It has been criticized by some reviewers for failing to provide clear conclusions. But this is in the nature of the subject, as it is in life, and there is at least one conclusion to be drawn from this story that is self-evident.

What is that conclusion? John Barker had hoped that a Premonitions Bureau might help save the countless lives through the interventions of a centralized psychic early warning system. But this was never a practical possibility. Why not? A premonition may be an intensely powerful feeling, but it lacks detailed information sufficient for anyone to act on it in any meaningful practical way.

A True Story

June 2016 I was staying away from home in Carlisle when I had a presentiment of a terrible accident or impact that was about to happen. I was shown in my Tarot cards that it would be involve a vehicle, anger and a fiery impact.

My first worry was that we were about to have an accident in the car. Then I decided no, I didn’t feel that was it. I said to my husband, “We will soon find out what this is. It will be on the news soon”.

Two hour later, we saw on the television, the news of the terrorist truck attack in Nice.

“On the evening of 14 July 2016, a 19-tonne cargo truck was deliberately driven into crowds of people celebrating Bastille Day on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, resulting in the deaths of 86 people and the injury of 458 others.[4] [5] The driver was Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, a Tunisian living in France.[6] [7] The attack ended following an exchange of gunfire, during which Lahouaiej-Bouhlel was shot and killed by police”- Wikipedia.

This experience was neither a premonition nor a precognition. It was somewhere between the two. My feeling of unease did not hit me out of the blue. It came to me while I was looking, initially rather casually in my Tarot cards. I drew The Devil, The Chariot and The Tower cards all together in a row and knew I did not like it one bit.

But of what possible potential use was this to anybody?  It lacked actionable specifics, and even had there been a whole ton of specifics, there was no outlet, no mechanism or avenue of action or follow-up, such as John Barker had once envisaged in creating The Premonitions Bureau.

Uvalde

May 24, 2022, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos fatally shot nineteen students and two teachers and wounded seventeen other people at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, United States. Earlier in the day, he shot his grandmother in the forehead at home, severely wounding her. Wikipedia

Date: 24 May 2022 at 7:27 pm BST

The night before, I was sitting up late in bed, reading. It was after midnight when I turned off the light and noticed a peculiar sensation, a fizzing, buzzing, tingling sensation that affected my head and shoulders, but only my head and shoulders.  I first wondered whether it was a new physical symptom that was possibly affecting my ears or balance. I have severe rheumatoid arthritis which can affect organs as well as joints and muscles. But then the thought came to me, “what is this? Who is it? What bad news is this now, that is coming down the track?”

Was it a family member? I didn’t think so, but I had no idea was it was.  All I knew was, and I said this to myself before turning over to go to sleep was, “there will be bad news tomorrow.”

How do any parents bear such a thing as this and it happened for what? One unhappy creature, empty of purpose and full of ugliness, grudge and spite, a loser in the true meaning of the word, was handed the means to indulge himself to the full, unleashing the grotesque horror of the Id, for mere dollars.

On May 24, 2022, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos fatally shot nineteen students and two teachers and wounded seventeen other people at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, United States. Earlier in the day, he shot his grandmother in the forehead at home, severely wounding her. Wikipedia

I’ve been jittery for some weeks one way and another, and possibly so have you. Leo season, I feel, is going to be extra dramatic in world events this August, both the beauty and the beast.

“Show me a hero and I’ll write you a tragedy,” said. F. Scott Fitzgerald.

“Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely”, wrote Edna St Vincent Millay

A Dirge Without Music 
Edna St. Vincent Millay 

I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely.  Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.

Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains,—but the best is lost.

The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,—
They are gone.  They are gone to feed the roses.  Elegant and curled
Is the blossom.  Fragrant is the blossom.  I know.  But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know.  But I do not approve.  And I am not resigned.
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But if there is hope for us all- and there is, then it is exactly this. That we have this shared, mysterious but entirely natural human potential to sense what may be happening to others, even over great distances, and to sense, to feel -to work for, care for, or even fight for people we have never met and never will.

It’s a natural magic but it’s not unique to us. Baboons have it. South African naturalist and poet Eugène Marais witnessed it in action. A group of male baboons attacked a stalking leopard in order to defend their group, and succeeded in killing it, but only one of them survived.

Eugène N. Marais – 1871-1935 writer, lawyer and naturalist, Wiki

Marais also observed soldier ants racing up a tree and attacking and killing a praying mantis many times their own size, that was preying on their column,helping itself as the marching column passing under its tree. A lot of soldier ants died in the process but they stuck fast, swarmed on it and finally managed to bite off its head.

What we call courage or duty might be vainglory. It might be the Ego or the tribal Id. But what we call heroism is the readiness to put ourselves last in the service of some quest undertaken for some greater purpose, no fear or favour, no guarantee of success, reward, recognition or memorial.

“If one loves nature, one learns automatically.”
― Eugène N. Marais, The Soul Of The Ape; The Soul Of The White Ant

Back soon. Till next time 🙂

Birds and bees and butterflies, it’s time again for airy, flighty Gemini

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The word ‘zodiac’ comes from the Greek meaning ‘circle of animals.’ The only zodiac sign that is non-representative of a living creature is Libra, the sign of the Scales, but even its scales are borrowed from the stars of Scorpio, the giant scorpion in the heavens next door.

Gemini the sign of the Heavenly Twins is a mutable air sign and the third sign of the western zodiac, representing late spring into early summer in the northern hemisphere.  

Common Associations

Dates: May 21- June 20

Astrological symbol:

Ruling planet: Mercury

Element: Air

Quality: Mutable

Affirmation: ‘I think, I inquire.’

Birth Stone:  Born in May, Emerald. Born in June, Pearl (although it is not a stone, it is thought to be ruled by Mercury)

Lucky stone, Tiger’s Eye. Why? Grounds fidgety Gemini, brings focus

Colour: Yellow

Tree: all kinds of nut trees

Flower: Lily of the Valley, Lavender

Astronomy

The Gemini constellation was listed as one of the 48 ancient constellations by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the second century, though Ptolemy referred to it in terms of its two brightest stars, as ‘ The Star of Apollo (Castor) and The Star of Heracles (Pollux)’.

Gemini is the northernmost constellation in the zodiac, and is the thirtieth largest in size. Gemini can be seen with the naked eye looking north east of the constellation Orion between the Taurus and Cancer constellations. Best viewing is during February. By April and May, the constellation is visible in the west soon after sunset.

The two brightest stars in the constellation, Castor and Pollux, represent 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 – about 6 trillion miles/9.6 trillion kilometres.

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

Ancient History

Photo by Victoria Borodinova on Pexels.com

Gemini represents the principle of duality or polarity, similarities and opposites, and in late spring in the northern hemisphere, this is seen in action in the climax of splitting or cloning. Pollen flies free. Eggs hatch. Butterflies and dragonflies hatch out of their chrysalis. The mythology of twins goes back at least as far as the so-called Age of Gemini, during the Palaeolithic, 6, 500 BCE, arising from our understanding of the duality fundamental to the nature of reality.

There are many twin stories in world myth, representing polarities, night and day, light and dark, heat and cold, male and female, war and peace, good and bad, life and death. The creation myths of ancient cultures across the world reflect this eternal battle of seeming opposites.  Many surviving objects feature twin gods and goddesses. In some cultures twins have been feared In some remote places, so much so, that twins have been killed at birth, and it is thought the practice continues to this day.

In Egyptian astrology the stars of Gemini were twin goats, or else they were the two gods, Horus the Elder and Horus the Younger,  while classical Greek mythology identified them as the twin brothers, Castor and Pollux, The Gemini.

Gemini is the first sign of the western tropical zodiac year that has a human representation rather than an animal one, following Aries the Ram and Taurus the Bull.

Castor and Pollux

Gemini is the name by which the constellation is known today throughout the western world. Gemini is Latin for “twins,” and Gemini is The Hellenistic names of the Heavenly Twins, 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”.

The circumstances of their birth were unusual, to say the least. Queen Leda of Sparta was seduced by Zeus who had disguised himself as a swan. ‘Seduced’ is putting it rather too politely. She was bathing in the river. He glided about pretending to peck at things and then pounced on her while she was looking the other way, minding her own business. Later that evening, notwithstanding this shock, or perhaps, who knows, because of it, Leda 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.)

Pollux and Helen were immortal, fathered by Zeus, while Castor and Clytemnestra were mortal, fathered by Tyndareus. 

Source: Public Domain, the young Castor and Pollux (Meissen)

The brothers, known as the Dioscuri, meaning Sons of Zeus, were handsome, curious and always up to something.  The mortal Castor was a renowned horseman and a master at fencing, while the immortal Pollux was known for his great strength and skill at boxing.

But then Castor was killed in a quarrel, in a disagreement over dividing the spoils after a cattle raid. Pollux was distraught.  He didn’t want immortality, not if it meant being without his brother, he said, and he begged his father, sneaky swan Zeus to please make him mortal, and then kill him so he could be with his brother. Zeus couldn’t bring himself to do that, scratching his head, wondering how to fix this, and decided to place them both in the stars, to be immortal together forever as the constellation Gemini.

The Greeks, and in particular the Spartans, though the twins had a temple in Athens, worshipped the twins as horsemen, and also as patron saints of shipwrecked sailors. Sacrifices were offered to the Dioscuri before a voyage, with a request for favourable winds.

Later, the Romans too, developed a cult around Castor and Pollux dating back to 484 B.C. They built a temple to the twins in the Roman Forum in 414 BC in thanks for their help in defeating their old enemy The Latins, in the battle of Regillus.

Castor and Pollux were the patron gods of the Roman cavalry, the mounted knights or equites, and appear in this role on many early Roman coins.

The Zodiac Archetype: of the Mercurial Gemini

Mercury by Hendrick Goltzius, 1611, Public Domain

The planetary ruler of Gemini is Mercury, the planet nearest the Sun, representing the winged god Mercury or Hermes; patron deity of all forms of communication, media, trade, global commerce and travel, medicine, research and analytics.

But Mercury has a lesser known role as a psychopomp; one who can go between the realms of the living and the dead, a go-between and safe escort to the dead. It was Hermes who escorted the souls of the newly dead to the banks of the Acheron or The Styx, where they waited for Charon to come in this boat and ferry them across to the Underworld.

It was Hermes who escorted Persephone out of the dominion of Hades to be reunited with her mother Demeter, not knowing that despite his instructions that she was not to eat anything, or the deal was off, Hades had tricked Persephone into eating six seeds of her favourite pomegranate fruit. Seeds don’t count, Hades told her, and she believed him, but now she was bound to his side for six months of the year.

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

A zodiac sign paints a poetic portrait of a person born at a particular time of year, in a particular season. A baby born in summer arrives into a different physical environment from a winter baby; differences of temperature, hours of daylight, maternal diet during pregnancy and so on, with potentially different effects on the baby’s physical makeup and constitution.

As a mutable sign, Gemini rules a borderline between seasons, in this case late spring into early summer. The other mutable signs are Virgo and Pisces, and all three mutable signs are considered the most changeable and agile of the signs, inquiring, analytical, logical and restless.

Mid- May is the start of grass pollen season which then builds to a peak in mid July:-

May is quite the rollercoaster when it comes to tracking pollen. Dock and lime pollen start triggering hay fever in May as they begin their season, while both pine and oil seed rape peak and end within the month. Oak and plane end their peak – but grass pollen begins hitting its high notes.

Photo by Kristina Paukshtite on Pexels.com

The Gemini temperament is friendly yet watchful, generous but changeable -mercurial as personified by Hermes with his winged sandals and caduceus- staff of trade. The well-known delivery company of the same name clearly chose its name for this same reason.

In medical astrology, Gemini rules the arms and hands. The typical Gemini native is of above average personal appearance, personable, attractive, usually slim and of average height or taller and with neat, tidy facial features. The Gemini is socially gifted, cheerful, humorous, witty, capable and quick to learn.

Limbourg, Anatomy of The Zodiac, Wiki via ©Photo. R.M.N. / R.-G. OjŽda

At the same time, Gemini can also be surprisingly dogmatic, attaching themselves to causes, even inclining towards fundamentalism, whether it is to do religion or some other entirely secular creed or manifesto, or to do with lifestyle, for example, exercise or diet choices.

Gemini can be, not insincere, at least, not in that moment, but quick to lose interest, fluttering like butterflies, looking for the next new thing, looking for some better, brighter flower. This can apply to the way they interact with other people, here today and gone tomorrow, even though once mature, and once committed, they make dutiful and devoted partners and parents.

Gemini in the Tarot

The Tarot cards associated with Gemini are The Lovers, The Knight of Swords and the 8, 9 and 10 Swords.

Rider-Waite Tarot via Wiki

Card Meanings: love, friendships, partnerships, agreements, contracts, difficult choices, decisions

Every suit in the Tarot has its own court with a king and queen, a knight and a page. The principle Court card associated with Gemini is the Knight of Swords.

Rider-Waite Tarot via Wiki

Card Meanings: speed, action, forward movement, sudden developments, attack, assertiveness, intelligence, sudden news, cunning, calculation, good timing, a pre-emptive strike, a confident, forceful young person, windy weather, east wind, motorbike

The Decans

The word ‘Decan’ comes from the Latin meaning ‘ten.’  Each zodiac sign lasts about 30 days and is further divided into three blocks of roughly 10 days each.  These are the decans or decanates, or as they are sometimes called, the ‘thirty-six faces of astrology,’ bringing added depth to the psychological profile associated with your zodiac sign/sun sign.

The minor arcana cards associated with Gemini are the Eight, Nine and Ten of Swords and they correlate with the dates of the decans.

If you don’t feel like you are a ‘typical’ Gemini, well, we are all unique, but perhaps you are also a second or third decan Gemini native, rather than a ‘most typical’ first decan Gemini.  Gemini is still Gemini, whatever the decan and this holds true for all the zodiac signs. But an early born Gemini is born under a slightly different planetary influence than a later born Gemini. It’s all still Gemini, the same heavenly recipe, but with varying amounts of common ingredients.

First Decan Gemini

(0-10 degrees of the sign)

21-31 May

Legacy of The Divine Tarot

Card Meanings: Entrapment, uncertainty, a sense of helplessness, waiting for rescue, there is a way out if only you will open your eyes, look around and take a step forward. I have personally also come to associate this card with plumbing, drainage issues.

This decan gets a double dose of the planetary influence of inquisitive, rational, Mercury.  This is an alert, perceptive, intellectual and forceful personality. The acumen is sharp.  The negative side of this coin is a Gemini native who is just as inquisitive but careless, flighty, forgetful, restless and unreliable.

First decan Gemini is a multi-talented juggler, light on their feet, graceful and agile. But at the same time they tend to develop a strong point of view on a wide range of subjects, and they have a clearly defined belief system. For all their apparent flightiness they are also tough and resilient- even stubborn, a quality more usually associated with Taurus, its next door neighbour and predecessor in the zodiac.

Gemini make devoted partners, contrary to whatever people might assume. They will hang on in there when the going gets tough, though they are prone to boredom, can quickly tire of routine quickly; and have considerable charisma or sex appeal. But they know when they have a good thing so long as there is plenty of social interaction and short distance travel to keep their restlessness under control.

Second Decan Gemini

(10-20 degrees of the sign)

June 1-10

The Golden Tarot

Card Meanings: The Nightmare card. Worry, ‘the black dog’ anxiety, stress, grief, insomnia, things that keep us awake at night.

The personal planet of this decan is Venus, planet of love, beauty- and money. This Gemini has charm, and a generous and giving spirit. The sub-ruler is Libra, ruled by Venus, the natural ruler of the seventh house of marriage, partnerships, close associates, associations, and legal matters. This Gemini is more of a “me-too” person, rather than an “I-am” person when compared with a first decan Gemini.

This Gemini native needs to be especially careful in the selection of companions/associates. The choice of a mate is, of course, of the utmost importance. This Gemini especially needs to avoid making big decisions about a choice of partner when they are too young to fully understand what they are doing.

These are easy going and pleasant people. Gemini strives on change while Libra works to establish equilibrium. Their Venus/Libra influence is their salvation, because it makes them artful in their judgments and full of affection for those they do judge.

Gemini 2nd decan is drawn to quiet, reserved people. Not only do opposites attract, but the secrecy fascinates Gemini-Libra, ans they also match up well with reliable, practical types who can get the job done with little fuss or excitement. A person that will ground, refine and implement the Gemini-Libra.

People respond well to the Second Decan Gemini warm and effusive nature. They also have a sense of adventure, same as the other Gemini decans, and they enjoy travel for the sake of new experiences.  Sharing is part of the Gemini-Libra life; they are generous with their time and friendship and also with possessions.

Gemini-Libra is great company, with a great deal of magnetism. They are kindly, sharp and witty. Just cut your cloth to suit and don’t be too surprised or upset if they disappear as suddenly as they appear or go quiet on you without warning. It’s not personal. It’s just the way they are.

Third Decan Gemini  

(20-30 degrees of the sign)

June 11-20

Tarot Illuminati

Card meanings: Destruction, despair, betrayal, ruin, dark night of the soul, darkness before dawn, the only way is up, illness, comatose, a fall, spinal injury, head injury.

Incidental perhaps, but this card has come up repeatedly in respect of events and outcomes affecting the personal destiny Vladimir Putin since the invasion of Ukraine, 24 February. We shall see what occurs during these forthcoming decan dates, June 11-June 2020.

The personal planets of the third decan Gemini are Saturn and Uranus, painting a portrait full of contradictions. Sometimes this person is ultra-careful, dutiful, responsible, serious, at other times carefree or even careless. Uranus combined with the planet Mercury suggests an unusually active or even brilliant mind possibly even verging on genius. This person may be a thinker who is ahead of their times. Or maybe they are just zany.

Aquarius – natural ruler of the eleventh house of friends, hopes, and wishes-makes this Gemini a social type, a friend-oriented individual interested in social causes. This Gemini is an optimist, always interested in trying out what is new, and never happier than when they are on the move.

Life is rarely dull with a cheerful Decan 3 Gemini around, but they are the most independent- natured Gemini decan. They need plenty of space and freedom, with a partner who makes few demands on their time and attention. They are very hard working when they put their mind to it. But keeping promises, fulfilling obligations and routines are not their strongest suit. It is a mistake for this Gemini native to marry early or settle too soon. Adventure, exploration and experimentation with ideas, people and places- this is what they are about. This is what makes them tick.

Famous Gemini people

Carl Linnaeus, Peter the Great, Adam Smith, Richard Wagner, Arthur Conan Doyle, John Maynard Keynes, John F Kennedy, Frank Lloyd Wright, Boris Johnson. Johnny Depp, Queen Victoria, Charles 11,  George 111,George V, Donald Trump, Muammar Gaddafi, Angelina Jolie, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

Happy birthday, Gemini 2022

 

This year may have got off to a slow start, personally speaking, but the second half of the year requires you to identify goals, and to place a clear focus on finance and your security. This is a good year for meeting a new partner and starting a new life together, but this also means this is the year for the free and easy flighty Gemini to demonstrate efficiency, to get serious, and to pay close attention to their resources, up-grading their nest and investing in nest eggs. Expect key developments in August and October.

Hey Toro! It’s Taurus time again

Taurus 19 April – 20 May 2022.

The dates for the zodiac signs can vary by a day or two. The Sun enters the sign of Taurus roughly 8 PM tonight, 19 April, Pacific time, and about 3 in the morning, 20 April, UK time.

The word ‘zodiac’ comes from the Greek meaning ‘circle of animals.’ The only zodiac sign that is non-representative of a living creature is Libra, the sign of the Scales, but in astronomy, even the Scales are borrowed from the stars of Scorpio, the claws of the giant scorpion in the heavens next door.

Taurus (from the Latin for Bull) is a fixed earth sign; the second sign of the western zodiac, and represents the height of spring in the northern hemisphere in all its budding glory.  This was the time of the calving of the ancient wild cattle, the auroch. It is thought that Salisbury Plain, and Stonehenge, was once a mass gathering site on their annual migration route. The remains of auroch have been discovered nearby at Blick Mead.

This extract from a blog about Stonehenge and the Ice Age. “Forget about ancient ancestors, healing stones, solar solstice alignments and periglacial stripes.  Stonehenge is where it is because it’s on an aurochs migration route.  The OU team that was involved in the latest investigations of the Mesolithic traces near Amesbury has been putting this press release out and about, and now it’s all over the internet……  some of the headlines are quite splendid.  Aurochs-burgers, anybody?”

No other zodiac sign has more ancient mythology or cult history attached to it than the sign of The Bull, revered for its power and potency since it was hunted by early man, first as the wild ox, the mighty auroch, before the first cattle were domesticated, DNA evidence suggests, about 10, 500 years ago in the Near East, tracing a herd of an estimated 80 animals.

Bison licking insect bite, carving on antler bone, discovered Dordogne, France, dated 1200 -20 000 years BP (before present)

Stars, Planets, Omens

The planetary ruler of Taurus, Venus, also known as Hesperus the Evening Star and Lucifer the Morning Star is the planet of love, beauty, luxury – and therefore also banking and finance.  Contrary to her popular reputation, as the supposed opposite of Mars, Venus too can be aggressive, and is not always peaceful, just as the Bull is largely peaceable, but is dangerous when disturbed or provoked..

Diverging for a moment on to the topic of aggression, the Tarot shows Taurus as the nemesis of Mr Putin. I do not think it means that the conflict will end before late May 2022. Unfortunately. But there are also Taurus-Scorpio eclipses coming in 2022.

Saturday, April 30: Partial Solar Eclipse in Taurus.

Monday, May 16: Total Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio.

Tuesday October 25: Partial Solar Eclipse in Scorpio.

Tuesday, November 8: Total Lunar Eclipse in Taurus.

Mr Putin is a Libra native with a lot of Scorpio going on. Taurus and Scorpio are opposites. what he is doing in Ukraine, apart from the horror, sorrow and devastation of it all, is upsetting the ‘order’ in Europe, political, economic financial (think Bull markets) agricultural crop exports and otherwise. Taurus is all about order. This war may be neither lost or won as such, and yes, new orders emerge, but this war seems fated, whatever the damage, to rebound on Russia and on Mr Putin himself.

The star constellation of Taurus is visible between August and April. The best months to see it are December and January when it is visible all night long, looking up to the right above and beyond the three stars of Orion’s Belt. You will especially notice a bright reddish star, Aldebaran, the Eye of the Bull glaring down at Orion the Hunter. Should the Bull escape his pen, and break through the gate being guarded by the Seven Sisters (Pleiades) said ancient Arab legend, he would stampede the Universe to pieces. Let’s hope he has plenty of daisies and buttercups up there to keep him happy, and some cows, and no mosquitoes or horseflies to bother him.

The constellation is hidden in the glare of the Sun from May onwards and can’t be observed in June and July.

The Taurus Archetype

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

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

As a fixed sign, Taurus rules anything associated with the mid- zone of spring, the height of the season. The other fixed signs are Leo, midsummer, Scorpio, mid-autumn and Aquarius, midwinter.

The fixed signs are traditionally considered the most stable and steadfast signs, protectors of the status quo, the signs most at ease with conservation and protecting continuity.

From The Legacy of The Divine Tarot

The genius of Taurus,and sensual Aphrodite (Venus) and her corresponding Egyptian goddess Isis, like The High Priestess in the Tarot, is often represented as wearing two horns upon her head in imitation of the Bull; a symbol which is frequently confused or conflated with the crescent moon.

Taurus rules the ears, neck and throat, and the Taurus native is known for their distinctive, usually smooth speaking voice and often has an excellent singing voice. Famous Taurus singes include Willie Nelson, James Brown, Ella Fitzgerald, Barbra Streisand, Cher, Bono, Billy Joel, Olly Murs, Enya, Adele.

Taurus may seem slow to learn compared with say, a mercurial, quicksilver Gemini native, but their grasp is thorough, and they are also prone to flashes of intuition and inspiration and possess an excellent memory besides. Once learned, never forgotten is the Taurean way.

These people have a quietly pleasant and magnetic personality, except for the grumpier, taciturn, self-opinionated natives of the sign. Taurus is known for a quiet physical attractiveness, and they are sensual, sensory people. This sign especially needs to watch they don’t overdo the whole comfort thing, over-eating and so on. They usually like to dance and they have natural rhythm. They are strong with good stamina, but they are not overall the most sporty natives of the zodiac.

Taurus ‘wunt be druv.’ They are notoriously resistant and stubborn…their stability is the other side of this coin. Taurus tends to be thoughtful of their friends, and can be relied on in times of difficulty for good advice and encouragement. Taurus is known for a particular magic of soothing and reassuring others, but can be grumpy or irritable, like a bull shaking off gadflies, if you overload them with a lot of things at once, or get in their space while their thoughts are elsewhere.

Taurus in the Tarot

The Tarot cards associated with Taurus are The Hierophant, The King of Pentacles (Coins, Disks) and the 5, 6 and 7 Pentacles, also called Disks or Coins -the money suit.  

The Hierophant

Card Meanings: a man of authority, tradition ,the status quo,  marriage, religion, the Church, Teachers, mentors, Universities, agriculture, money, finance, Banks, publishing, keys,

Every suit in the Tarot has its own court with a king and queen, a knight and a page. The principle Court card associated with Taurus is The King of Pentacles, ruler of the element of Earth.

The King of Pentacles (Disks or Coins)

Rider Waite Tarot

Card Meanings: Earth, mature man, husband, father, grandfather, employer, practical man, capable, responsible, steadfast, determined, instinctive, landowner, banker, prosperity, farmer, builder, businessman, engineer, business owner, artist, singer, sensual, bon vivant

Lastly, the minor arcana cards associated with Taurus are the Five, Six and Seven of Pentacles, Disks or Coins.

These cards correlate with the decans of Taurus. If you don’t feel like you are a ‘typical’ Taurus, well, we are all unique, but perhaps you are also a second or third decan Taurus native, rather than a ‘most typical’ first decan Taurus.

What is a Decan?

The word ‘Decan’ comes from the Latin meaning ‘ten.’  Each zodiac sign lasts about 30 days and is further divided into three blocks of roughly10 days each.  These decans or decanates are sometimes called the ‘thirty-six faces of astrology,’ bringing added depth and nuance to the psychological profile associated with your zodiac sign also known as your sun sign.

Background story– The Zodiac is the 360 degree belt of sky we can see from Earth, tracking the path of the sun across the sky over the course of the year. We call this pathway ‘the ecliptic.’

The Greeks divided this belt of sky into twelve sections of roughly 30 degrees each, using 12 for ease of arithmetic, and named these twelve sections after a chosen twelve of the constellations that can be seen crossing this imaginary pathway or belt. This gave us the names of the zodiac signs we know today.

 Taurus is still Taurus, whatever the decan, and this holds true for all the zodiac signs. But an early born Taurus is born under a slightly different planetary influence than a later born Taurus.

It’s all still Taurus, the same heavenly recipe, but with differing amounts of common ingredients.

First Decan Taurus (0-10 degrees of the sign)

21-30 April

Card Meanings: Upright:  money does not buy happiness, fear of loneliness, poverty, unemployment, ill health. Reversed: misfortunes are overcome, matters improving.

This Taurean has Venus and Mercury in their horoscope and also a lot of leftover Aries fighting energy, so they can be the ‘raging bulls’ of the zodiac, with leadership qualities and a taste for power, more driven and less easy-going than the other Taurus decans.

These are patient but determined people with great vitality and will-power. They are eloquent speakers, natural communicators, and do very well in teaching, broadcasting, public speaking, journalism, acting and entertainment.

This Taurus loves to learn and to test things out, figuring out how they work. They also adore their creature comforts, food, drink and all the rest of it. They tend to be green-fingered, interested in landscape and countryside pursuits, and are fond of animals who usually respond to them very well.

This Taurean likes to be boss but is generally a benevolent, generous person, affectionate in nature, though they know what they want and do not want,and they can be a stick in the mud. Statistically, Taurus is one of the most benign and least criminal signs, but every zodiac sign has its share of villains as well as heroes; and goodness gracious, Taurus is certainly no exception.

Famous first decan Taurus: Leonardo Da Vinci, Queen Elizabeth II, Ulysses S Grant,Saddam Hussein, Adolf Hitler (Aries-Taurus cusp), Emperor Hirohito, David Icke, Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson, Uma Thurman, Barbra Streisand, Penélope Cruz, Renée Zellweger, Daniel Day-Lewis, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Roy Orbison, Willie Nelson, Iggy Pop, Willem de Kooning,

Second Decan Taurus (10-20 degrees of the sign)

1-10 May

Card Meanings: gifts, community, generosity, charity, emergency aid, give and take, financial ups and downs, surplus and scarcity, historical buildings

Second decan Taurus is ruled by the secretive, psychic, domestic Moon and Mercury, planet of intellect and communication. This makes for a rather glamorous combination, in the magical sense as well as the more usual sense of the word. These Taurus natives are studious, alert, perceptive, and forceful with an unusually active mind. The drawbacks may be carelessness, forgetfulness or fickleness, or picking up things or people only to drop them again.

The Moon and Mercury is a combination of emotional intelligence and logical intelligence or communication skills. These people are socially gifted, natural psychologists, instinctively knowing how other people work and what makes them tick, plus they tend to be very good speakers, and they too, are known for their pleasant or at least distinctive speaking voices.

On the negative side, such is their charisma, like a Pied Piper or Svengali-type figure, they may, if so disposed, lead others astray.

Taurus in general is usually a good cook. And they are warm and nurturing parents, but with the best intentions, the second decan Taurus in particular can worry, or become something of a fuss pot or control freak if they don’t rein in their managerial instincts. Taurus likes to keep their loved ones safe but just as they hate to be penned in themselves, and told what to do, so of course do others.

Famous second decan Taurus: Catherine the Great, Karl Marx, Eva Peron Golda Meir (‘Iron Lady’ of Israel), Tony Blair, Oliver Cromwell, Sigmund Freud, William Lilly, Orson Wells, George Clooney, Rudolph Valentino,  Joanna Lumley, Audrey Hepburn, David Beckham, Donatella Versace, Bono,  Tammy Wynette, Johannes Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Robert Browning, J. M. Barrie (Peter Pan)

Taurus Decan Three (20-30 degrees of the sign)

11-20 May

Card meanings: Upright: hard work, industry, perseverance, slow results, long term planning.  Reversed: throwing good money after bad, disappointing results

Third decan Taurus is ruled by serious Saturn, the planet of Old Father Time himself. This Taurean native is responsible, dutiful, thoughtful, careful, patient and considerate. The power of this personality lies in the power of their stability, endurance and tenacity, making gains through thrift and careful investments.

This is Taurus at its most ambitious and hardworking. Saturn is the god of time, and astrologically, associated with boundaries, rules, and limitations. They are cautious and stoic with great respect for authority. Alternatively, they may rebel against authority but always constructively, using their organizational skills and strong sense of structure. These people can a strong sense of fair play. They can be quite political and may be ambitious to lead.

They are proud, independent & self-motivated. Not only do they succeed in politics & business, but many are skilled artists, creators & performers. The later natives of this decan are born close to the Taurus-Gemini cusp, suggestive of multi-tasking and travel.

Saturn is traditionally known as the great malefic and those born under these decan may also be prone to periods of depression, loneliness or melancholy, but broadly speaking, even when this is the case, we are looking at a truly benevolent person with a magnanimous spirit and a sympathetic nature.

Famous Third Decan Taurus:  Socrates, Che Guevara, Mark Zuckerberg,  Ayatollah Khomeini, Idi Amin, Malcolm X, George Lucas, Sofia Coppola, Liberace, Stevie Wonder, Cher, Dame Nellie Melba, Pete Townshend, Brian Eno, Enya, Mike Oldfield, Cate Blanchett, Laurence Olivier, Katherine Hepburn, Dennis Hopper, Harvey Keitel, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Margot Fonteyn, Eric Satie, Florence Nightingale, Pope John Paul II 

Happy Birthday, Taurus 2022!

This could be an unusually busy year socially, and a year of big strides or professional breakthroughs, if that is what you are aiming at. But if you are, then it could be make or break on a certain project. You had better mean business. Work on technical proficiency or new languages. Get that head down. Put that shoulder to the wheel, hoof  that turf – and charge full steam ahead. Change is coming regardless. Be proactive.

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