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

Photo by Marian Florinel Condruz on Pexels.com

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.

Painting by George Bellows, American painter, 1919

December dramas. Ding, dong, dang and blast?

Gabriel, yoohooo! Give us some good news!

The Annunciation by Van Eyck

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

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

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

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

Rune:  Othala

The Hierophant

Card Meanings

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

The Knight of Swords

Card Meanings

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

The Four of Pentacles

Card Meanings

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

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

Rune: Othala

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

Where do we feel at home?

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

General Impressions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From The Gilded Tarot Royale, Artist, Ciro Marchetti

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

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

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

More Here

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

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

What else might these cards mean in practical terms?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s look again. Save scrolling up.

UK

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

She does things by the book, like the Hierophant.

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

Europe

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

Covid

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

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

EU, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine and Russia

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

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

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

Trade and Travel

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

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

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

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

Personal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo by Francesco Paggiaro on Pexels.com

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

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

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

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

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

19 December- Full Moon in Gemini

Photo by Jared Vega on Pexels.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beauty is in a serious mood. Beast better behave.

21 December – Solstice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Sagittarius, Celestial Archer, a Teapot and Temperance

Photo by Virginia Magat on Pexels.com

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

Common associations

Symbol:

Date of Birth: Nov 21/22 to Dec 21

Ruling planet: Jupiter

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

Key phrase:  I seek

Body: Thighs

Birth Stone: Topaz, Citrine, Turquoise 

Colour:  Light Blue

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

Public Domain: Rider-Waite

Astronomy

Source :Wiki

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

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

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

To find ‘The Teapot

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

Photo by u200bu0468u0477u047bu048f u046au0454u0459u0469u04e1u04c4u047bu0487u0477 on Pexels.com

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

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

Mythology

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chiron the wounded Centaur

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chiron or Krotos? Take your pick.

Or go Babylonian with Pabilsag.

The Muses

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

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

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

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

The Astrological Personality of Sagittarius

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

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

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

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

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

Photo by Belle Co on Pexels.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

From The Rider-Waite Smith Tarot

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are the decans?

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

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

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

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

First Decan Sagittarius

Sagittarius-Sagittarius

Dates:  22 November-30 November

Planetary rulers: Jupiter and Jupiter

Tarot card:  Eight of Wands

From The Gilded Tarot

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

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

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

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

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

Second Decan Sagittarius

Sagittarius-Aries

Dates: 1 December-11 December

Planetary rulers: Mars and Moon (Aries Triplicity)

Tarot card: 9 Wands

From The Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot

Card Meaningscourage, stamina, fortitude, stubbornness

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

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

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

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

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

Third Decan Sagittarius

Sagittarius-Leo

Dates: 12 December-21 December

Planetary ruler: The Sun and Saturn (Leo Triplicity)

Tarot card- Ten of Wands

From The Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot

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

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

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

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

The Cusps of Sagittarius

22 November- 25November

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

19 December -21 December

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

Happy Birthday Sagittarius!

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

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

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

Photo by Rakicevic Nenad on Pexels.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘In the beginning was the Word’.

The Day I met a Dead Man

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

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

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

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

Wygston’sHouse, Public Domain

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

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

New Walk and the Museum, Leicester

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo by Merlin Lightpainting on Pexels.com

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

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

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

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

Photo by Sindre Stru00f8m on Pexels.com

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

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo by Joshua Woroniecki on Pexels.com

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

Some perhaps, farther than we can ever know.

At Halloween, hailing Hekate, goddess of ghosts

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

From The Gilded Tarot Royale, illustrator Ciro Marchetti

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scorpio Photo by Jo Kassis on Pexels.com

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

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

Liminal Spaces

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hekate, goddess of ghosts

The Triple Hecate William Blake, Public Domain

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

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

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

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

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

Astral travel. Not all ghosts are necessarily dead.

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

Mythology

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

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

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

The Kindness of Hekate

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Magickal Traditions, Symbols and Practice

Her colours are black and red.

Her symbols keys, torches

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

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

SONY DSC

What might Hekate help with?

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

-Assistance with banishing harmful situations

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

Asking help from Hekate

1/ Attitude

Care and respect is required as with any request.

2/ Naming

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

3/ Timing

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

4/ Place/rituals

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

5/ Gifts and thanks

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

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

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

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

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

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

A True Ghost story

Photo by Josh Hild on Pexels.com

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

We have the dictionary definition.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo by Merlin Lightpainting on Pexels.com

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

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

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

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

From The Gilded Tarot

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

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

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Mythology Matters

Matters of Myth, and Why Myth Matters

From Peneverdant

In Service to the Land and the Old Gods of Britain

The Wisdom of Our Grandmothers

An Exploration of Tradition From a Feminine Perspectve

True Tarot Tales

Modern Tarot & Other True Mysteries

Folklore of the Ocean

by Sophie Symons

TheEnlightenedMind622

Open Your Mind

The Astrology Junkie

Musings in Life and Insights as I study Traditional-Hellenistic Astrology and everything Esoteric.

Tarot with Terrence

Tarot Reader and Astrologer

Die Goldene Landschaft

Geschichte der Drei Kaiserberge

Practiced Ignorance

A Spirit Journey

SiLeNt PeN

Learn the art of silence so that nothing is left unsaid!!

Under the influence!

Myths, legends, folklore and tales from around the world

Mental Health Cop

A venn diagram of policing, mental health and criminal justice

Laura Bruno's Blog

Medical Intuition, Astrology, Soul Readings, Intuitive Coaching, Tarot, Reiki: Inspiring and Empowering Visionaries, Artists and Healers

Jordan Hoggard ~ Founder, The Architecture of Well-Being (R)

Enhance & Embody Your Decision Making ~ Clarity Through ImaginAction (R) & Tarot & Astrology… and Writing

The Tarot of Bones

A Natural History Themed Divination Set

Ms. Joyce Tarot

Tarot Readings and Inspiration

The Tarot Lady

The tarot cards tell a story...but you write the ending.

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