Tarot 2022, The Queen and a Time of Mourning

From Urania’s Mirror

Our Queen Elizabeth has died at a good old age. She has been taken away in Virgo season under the watch of the stars of The Virgin, under the planets of Neptune and Jupiter. She, a queen of fixed Earth, a Taurus sun sign subject born 21 April, has been gathered up in harvest time and given back into the keeping of the mutable Earth of Demeter.

Now Elizabeth becomes a different kind of star in the firmament, a chapter between chapters, linking her father George and her son Charles, in a story and in a chain 1000 years long, broken only by the years of the Protectorate 1653-1959, forging the dramatic, complex and sometimes violent history of kingship in these islands.

George never expected or wanted to be king. Elizabeth did not ask or expect to be Queen, or to become Queen so soon and so young. Charles? Now he must change his life, and do it late in life, to assume that added weight of kingship.

Lady Colin Campbell tells us that the Queen died at 14:37 PM on Thursday 8 September.

The State Funeral will be in Westminster Abbey 14 September at 11 AM but then she will be taken to Windsor to lie in the Chapel there.

Information here

Elizabeth as Queen of Scotland

Elizabeth was crowned Queen of the United Kingdom of England, Scotland,Wales and Northern Ireland and was the Head of The Commonwealth, her unique world legacy after the end of Empire. No other former Empire has created its equivalent.

Much has been made over the years of the Queen’s German blood. But she died in Balmoral, in her beloved Scotland, and was descended on her mother’s side from the beautiful and tragic Lady Glamis, Janet Douglas Lyon.

Lady Glamis was judicially murdered, burned at the stake in Edinburgh Castle in 1537 on charges of treason and witchcraft, cooked up by James v for reasons of personal hatred of her brother, the king’s former regent, Archibald Douglas.

Balmoral 1800-1900 Unknown Author Public Domain

I was watching the live television as the Queen’s body was being driven from Balmoral down to Edinburgh, where it will lie in state tomorrow in Holyrood House.

It brought back personal memories too, of happy times up in Scotland when my own children were small and I was still physically mobile, and eager to show them some of the beautiful places I had been taken by my own parents.

There was something immensely poignant at the sight of the coffin, draped in its red and golden yellow flag, the Royal Standard, leaving the place of Queen Elizabeth’s last happiness. The ghosts there were powerful for her, and now she will be leaving her own ghost.

Princess ‘Lilibet’ 1929

We know Balmoral was a place of many happy memories for the Queen. Being there reminded her, she said, of her childhood, playing in the garden at her mother’s home in Glamis, where the sun always seemed to shine. This is the human experience encapsulated in the The Six of Cups, old family times, old friends, says in the sun. Simpler times, and the timeless moments when we were small and the world seemed full of marvellous mysteries. Well, it was.

The Six of Cups: The Gilded Tarot: By Kind Permission of Ciro Marchetti

But as for happiness:-

“Happiness we can only find in ourselves, it is a waste of time to seek for it from others, few have any to spare. Sorrow we have to bear alone as best we can, it is not fair to try to shift it on others, be they men or women. We have to fight our own battles and strike as hard as we can, born fighters as we are.” -Axel Munthe, The Story of San Michele

Harvest Moon in Pisces

Harvest Moon by Samuel Palmer 1835

The Harvest moon 9 September was brilliant in the zodiac sign of Pisces, the sign of visions, ghosts and dreams, in the Twelfth House of Unknown Destinies.

Pisces is associated in the Tarot with- well, The Moon card.

From The Legacy of The Divine Tarot

This card talks about the cycles of Nature, the power of the wild and the wild creatures, fertility, contagion, danger, high tides, a hunter’s moon. Hear the barking of the dogs and the howling of the wolves.

We are experiencing a Twelfth House event. This is something more than the death of an old lady, however grand, at a good age. It is also the death of something in her people, a link to the past and Britain as it was after World War 11.

As an omen for the Accession of Charles, it is a benign, potentially visionary Full Moon. His vision may outstrip his means or freedom to execute. But at least he has vision.

In The Season of Virgo

The Queen Elizabeth has died in the second decan of Virgo, associated in the Tarot with the Nine of Pentacles, ‘The Lord and Lady of Material Gain’.

This card describes a life that has every appearance of luxury but it has come at great hidden cost. There has been untold personal sacrifice behind the scenes. Personal wishes denied. What has here been sacrificed has been a normal personal freedom, symbolized in the Tarot by the falcon sitting on the lady’s wrist.

The ‘Gilded cage?’ Balmoral was this bird’s escape.

From the Rider-Smith-Waite

Many of us had been inwardly preparing for this news, while hoping that the Queen would get to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee. Hoping that her last months, now that she was living this strange new life without Philip, her husband, ally, friend and companion of 73 years, would not be too greatly darkened by two particular family troubles involving scandals and rifts.

Tarot Predictions December 2021

It is not OK to issue predictions of death. And once upon a time, and for reasons of state security, it was an act of treason, punishable by death, to issue a prediction concerning the death of a monarch.

However I had been expecting we would lose the Queen this year, 2022, based partly on feeling and observation. Many of us will have felt the same. The feelng was also based on what I had seen in the Tarot, and I dropped a broad hint, based on a Tarot reading written up in mid December 2021, which was later published at AskAstrology.com

The cards had indicated it would happen anytime between July 2022 and the end of the year. This was based on the appearance of the Three of Swords drawn against the position I had allocated to the month of July/zodiac sign/House of Leo. The Three of Swords is severance. Leo is the sign of Royalty and also corresponds with high summer-late summer. So this was not quite right, though it was close in respect of the actual timing.

I was working with The Gilded Tarot, and as you’ll probably notice, this deck is pretty well used but I had felt drawn to use it on this occasion.

Extract from the article published December 2021:

Leo: 5th House (July-August 2022)

Heartland, creativity, passion, romance, royalty, children

Tarot card ~ 3 Swords Reversed

The Gilded Tarot

This is always a challenging card, but is one of those cards that are actually better news, being drawn reversed or upside down. The Three of Swords is about grief, loss, bereavement, arguments, Drawn in the Fifth House, it suggests that tensions between certain countries may ease. On a personal level, we are coming to terms with a family loss, or quarrels may be settling down.

Loss, sadness or disappointment. No-one escapes these experiences. How we deal with them determines whether we learn something new, and grow bigger and stronger, or whether take things personally, and see ourselves as victims and dwell on our grievances, thereby adding to the damage.

Leo is the zodiac House of royalty. There could be national mourning in 2022 for a much loved figurehead.

Public Domain

Other Comments, December 2021

This was a very general reading for the year ahead in 2022, using just 12 cards, in which I was looking for the tone and feel of the coming year 2022, looking out for anything that jumped out as a recurring theme or a spike.

I saw a turbulent year in general in 2022. I sensed deepest waters, seismic levels of trouble. It looked and felt like Moby Dick.

‘Canst thou draw forth Leviathan with a hook?’ -Book of Job

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I did not like it. It looked both Neptunian and Plutonian. It still feels like that and I still don’t like it. America too, is in a strange place. But it will start to feel different March- May 2023, and not just because we have come through winter.

I did not, back in December 2021, see the invasion of Ukraine by Russia in 2022. I may do divination but I am not Nostradamus. I commented on risks of invasion, but I was mainly thinking of the Strait of Taiwan. I mentioned a possible breaching of boundaries in February 2022 as signified by The Hanged Man. This card is ruled by Neptune in Pisces and it shows a lack of boundaries. So it was this card, The Hanged Man, that was the clue to Russia’s invasion.

I further commented on likely problems to do with energy and specifically NordStream2.

Like many other people I am anxious about Ukraine, especially with winter coming. But I remain reasonably sure, as I have been since the invasion, that Putin will not succeed in annexing Ukraine. If he does manage it, we will be on a clear road to a pan-European conflagration and another World War.

But the Tarot has consistently shown me a nemesis for Putin, in the shape of the Ten of Swords. Failure. Ruin. A possible Night of The Long Knives.

Illuminati Tarot

Ukraine is right now fighting a fierce counter-offensive in Kherson and Kharkiv. There is much hopeful talk on social media tonight that Putin’s demise is well nigh imminent, people mightily encouraged by events such as this footage of a fleeing Russian tank in Kharkiv Oblast.

Putin is taking a pasting. Municipal councillors in 18 municipal districts in Russia are calling for his resignation,and putting their signatures to it. The Ten of Swords could be coming over the horizon now. But theirs is no longer a functioning democracy. What kind of leader would they get next?

However, for now, Putin is sure to push back hard, says the Four of Swords followed by The Eight of Wands. If the counteroffensive should falter, not for lack of will, but for lack of support, and Putin hangs on and launches back, then we hit winter and then, should Europe bail on Ukraine, then for all the courage of the Ukrainians, Russia COULD still get Ukraine under its hammer. Confronted with certain failure, Putin could decide to try and send us all to Kingdom Come if only to spite everyone. He’s not mad. But he is shameless, and he dare not, and cannot be seen to lose at home, which makes him exceedingly dangerous. And Biden is not strong.

It still looks most likely that it is Putin who will fail, and Lukashenko with him, but I don’t expect it’s going to happen quite yet. Some astrologers however, suggest his collapse is imminent.

The dates that correlate with the cards do not necessarily match up with the card meanings. President Putin is in trouble. But if he gets through this patch, then the Ten of Swords may be seeing that he will be in heap big trouble by or before late Gemini time, 2023, 11- 20 June.

For now, although the Ukrainians are giving the Russians a richly deserved kicking, while unearthing new horrors all the while, Putin is still looking confident that he knows who he is dealing with. That ‘we’ softies, we self-indulgent pampered degenerates in Europe are the real antagonist, and that we won’t take the pain required to defeat him. That we’re soft, that we’ll fold, and leave Ukraine naked unto his vengeance, and he has shown himself utterly bestial. ‘All’ he has to do is take a financial hit himself, and keep turning off the gas taps.

The Pisces Full Moon said that we are living in a Twelfth House moment. A Destiny moment. It clearly is.

The ghosts in these lands are louder than usual right now, and not just in these lands, while we reckon with our memories, ancestral, shared, and deeply personal.

“We know that we are going to die, in fact it is the only thing we know of what is in store for us. All the rest is mere guesswork, and most of the time we guess wrong. Like children in the trackless forest we grope our way through our lives in blissful ignorance of what is going to happen to us from one day to another, what hardships we may have to face, what more or less thrilling adventures we may encounter before the great adventure, the most thrilling of all, the Adventure of Death.”

-Axel Munthe, The Story of San Michele

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com


― 

God Bless the Queen. RIP.

God Save the King.

Virgo, Heavenly Harvest Goddess

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

True Tarot Tales

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

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

Common Associations

Zodiac symbol

Dates: August 23-September 22

Symbol: The Virgin

Element: Earth

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

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

House: Sixth, ruling health, habits and routines

Colour: green, white and yellow

Body: Virgo rules the Intestines/Digestion

Birthstone: Carnelian

Flowers: all small, bright flowers, clover, buttercups

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

Also the Eight, Nine and Ten of Pentacles, beneficent cards to do with art, craft, and productiveness as a direct result of study, craft, diligence, application and direction of discipline, focus and a sustained…

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Summer Solstice, Reincarnation & The Sun card

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We are coming ‘home’ again, entering the zodiac sign of Cancer the Crab on Tuesday 21 June, the day of the summer solstice, the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, and the shortest day in the southern hemisphere.

The word ‘sol –stice’ is from the Latin ‘solstitium’ and means the ‘sun stands still.’

The month of June has got a lot going on, calendar-wise. We have got:-

-The meteorological start of summer (1 June)

-The astronomical start of summer, the solstice (20, 21 or 22 June)

-Midsummers Day (24 June.)

Meteorological or Astronomical Summer?

What does it mean?

Public Domain The British Library

The meteorological calendar is a more recent invention based on seasonal temperatures, separating the year into four groups of three months, based on the observation that summer is the warmest time of year and winter is the coldest, with transitional seasons in- between. These seasons are always 90 to 92 days long, and always start on the first of the month except for leap year. This definition makes it easier to calculate seasonal statistics for the purposes of weather forecasting.

The astronomical calendar is ancient, based on thousands of years of observations of natural phenomena used to establish and mark time. This calendar follows the Earth’s rotation around the sun, defining the four seasons by two solstices and two equinoxes. The Earth’s tilt and the sun’s alignment over the equator determine these events, so the two solstices mark the times when the sun passes over the equator, on June 21 and around December 22 and the two equinoxes are on or around March 21 and September 22.  

At the summer solstice, the Northern Hemisphere receives sunlight at the most direct angle of the year with the North Pole tilting towards the Sun at its maximum  (about 23.5 degrees) resulting in the longest period of sunlight hours.  In the Southern Hemisphere, it’s the opposite and the Sun is at its lowest point in the sky.

Astronomical timing is variable, depending upon when the Sun reaches its northernmost point from the celestial equator, and this date varies between June 20, 21, and 22.

Midsummer’s Day, 24 June is an ancient agricultural festivalIt marks the midpoint of the growing season, halfway between planting and harvest. It is traditionally known as one of four “quarter days” in some cultures. Folks celebrated by feasting, dancing, singing, and lighting bonfires to usher in the hot summer days ahead where once the mighty auroch roamed and the prowling sabre tooth tiger crouched low, watching and waiting in hope.

Photo by Bernd Feurich on Pexels.com

Every summer solstice in the UK, as many as 10,000 people arrive at Stonehenge for a pagan style summer solstice festival on British shores, complete with druids. The main event is sunrise, when the first rays of the sun strike the gigantic Heel Stone and illuminate the centre of the stone circle, and people are allowed to touch the stones- a rare opportunity, and the only day of the year they are permitted to do so.

The Tarot and the Sun card

The Sun card is the ultimate summer card in the Tarot deck; number 19 in the Major Arcana. This positive card signifies all kinds of good news, starting with sunny weather in the literal sense, and overseas travel, usually to a hot country. It is our moments in the sun. It is the state of childhood. It is good health or recovery from sickness. The Sun card is vitality, just as the sun is life itself. The Sun card can therefore be predicting new life- a birth.

The Sun card, when it is drawn reversed is like the setting sun. It can mean the memories of childhood, nostalgia, beautiful, bittersweet twilight. It may mean sadness or delays or getting less than you hoped for.

Every card has its downside, just like every situation in life. The fire of the sun can also be cruel, even savage when ‘reversed.’ We might have drought. We might have wildfires. And then the Sun means death and we pray for rain.

The Sun gods can be cruel; Ra, Arinna, Surya, Mithras, Helios, Apollo, Sol – by whatever name we have called the Sun.

Reincarnation and The Sun card?

As the sign of the Sun’s highest point in the skies as seen from Earth, the constellation of Cancer the Crab was considered nearest to the highest point of heaven. Greco-Roman philosophers (The NeoPlatonists) called it ‘the Gate of Men.’

Decapoda, the Head of The Crab, Acubens, The Claw, Al Tarf, the Foot.

The stars of Cancer, specifically The Beehive Cluster, were the gateway, the portal in the heavens through which  souls descended to Earth to be born.  

Thee Beehive Cluster also known as Prasaepe, THE MANGER

The opposite constellation, Capricorn, marked the midwinter solstice and was the ‘Gate of the Gods,’ where the souls of the departed rose back to heaven. 

But did they later descend again to be reborn, in a cycle of reincarnation?

A true story

From The Golden Tarot, Kat Black

I have sometimes been asked, do I believe in reincarnation? I don’t believe in it. I don’t disbelieve in it. I don’t know. But many people do believe in reincarnation around the world. The Hindu and Buddhist faiths believe in reincarnation, while Easter is the great Christian celebration of Resurrection, signifying the hope of the soul’s eternal life.

Nature is cyclical. The seasons run in cycles and life runs in cycles. Our lives only seem linear because they represent such a short piece of a curve. Perhaps it is only logical and natural that some will see human life as cyclical too, not only in terms of successive generations, but in terms of the individual persona, spirit or soul as something that is continuously recycled.

As the American poet Emily Dickinson famously wrote, ‘the mind has many corridors.’

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on Pexels.com

Many years ago I did a distance Tarot reading by email for a young lady who wanted to know, was her brother OK?  This struck me as a strange question. I asked her, what did she want me to investigate that she could not ask him herself?

The lady answered that her brother was dead, and that he had committed suicide. She did not tell me more, nor did I ask about the circumstances, but as one would expect there was great distress attached to her questions:

-Where was her brother now?

-How was he now?

I do not advertise as a psychic medium. Not at all. Nor did I agree to accept payment for this particular reading and am not handling new readings just at present. But I have, all the same, over the past twenty years done a number of Tarot card readings which have been focused on client’s questions about deceased loved ones, when the Tarot has facilitated me in offering feedback which only the client could verify, and there have been some deeply curious and strange, and equally, deeply moving responses.

Now, looking at this lady’s brother, wondering what on Earth the Tarot would make of this. I drew the Sun card, the card of sunshine, happiness, innocence, childhood. Birth.

The Sun is life itself. If our planet were closer to the Sun, or further away, there would be no life on Earth. People like to post images of Earth to make the point that we are tiny and insignificant. I think those images from space, the photographs taken by Cassini from Saturn, showing Earth as a teeny white dot make the exact opposite point; illustrating the enormity of the miracle that was the sweet spot of a ball of rock exactly the ‘right’ distance from the Sun.

But where was this young lady’s brother? Some would say, perfectly reasonably, that the question was nonsensical. That he was gone. That he was nowhere or that he was in the grave.

But it wasn’t them she was asking. It was my Tarot she was asking.

It is hard to describe, but as you look deeper into a card, a door opens in the mind, or in the imagination if you wish to classify it as that. The brain wave activity has switched from conscious, intellectual, beta state wavelength to a more meditative alpha state wavelength.

I gazed into the Sun card and it suggested to me that ‘wherever’ her brother was, ‘whatever’ he was, he was like a child again, sometimes awake, sometimes asleep. I received the strong impression- there is no other word for it- that he did not remember his death. Not at all, or whatever it was that drove him to it. 

He was a little boy again. And then I was struck with another sudden but vivid impression. I saw him kicking about, splashing in a puddle. He had his back turned on the Earth. He was neither bored, nor sad nor lonely, simply quietly, happily preoccupied.

He had forgotten how he died. He did not remember whatever it was, however it had been for him, what it had felt like, being him in his life, that had driven him to such a point of nihilism.

Photo by Luna Lovegood on Pexels.com

If her brother had any memories or consciousness surviving death- if that could be possible, then this was his afterlife, all trauma forgotten.

It may simply have been telepathy, and I was picking up on the lady’s own memories of her brother. I had never met her

But then, and again this was prompted by The Sun card, I told the lady that she would soon be hearing news of a new baby on the way. This was probably a birth within the immediate family, and whether it was a boy or girl, the Tarot was suggesting the possibility, however bizarre, that it was the soul of her brother being reborn. Or that he could be reborn, when he was ready. The Sun card said that her brother would be returning soon, whether or not the coming baby was her brother returning again (down through the Gates of Men)

Some souls, it is said, wait many centuries before they are ready to get in the queue again. Others wait decades. Others only months. Time means nothing to them. It is when they feel ready. Just that.

Stanley Kubrick was a visionary. A seer.

The Star Child, Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick

Has someone been here before? This is not a thing that can ever be known, and in this instance, the coming baby was his or her own unique self.  Each birth is unique. And if we are reborn, we are not clones or carbon copies of the person we were before. The soul needs free of old burdens.

I once had a small experience that has sometimes made me wonder. I was in the kitchen, stirring a pan when suddenly the kitchen changed around me. I was now standing in a very different kitchen with white walls, a stone floor, a high ceiling. It was simple, a few notches above basic, an urban kind of rustic, not rural. There was an open door to my left, with an evening light sunshine streaming in at a low angle, and I knew that the door led down a set of steep stone steps to a small, rather dark cobbled courtyard. I was not anxious but I was starting to wonder where Pietro was, and when he would be arriving home. I know no such person as ‘Pietro.’

A vision. A day dream? An hallucination? Of course. It could have been anything or nothing. It has only ever happened that one time.

I sent off the lady’s email reading and three weeks later received an email in reply, telling me among other things that her sister had just found out she was expecting a baby and was about six weeks pregnant. Wouldn’t it be something, she joked, if she was going to be her brother’s auntie this time around?

Again, this story is easily explained away as a co-incidence. But if nothing else, the Tarot was proven absolutely correct in predicting the imminent news of a new birth in the family.

I would like to think the Tarot’s vision offered this lady and her family some kind of comfort, however peculiar, for a truly terrible grief. Some griefs are more natural to be borne than others. Not all griefs are equally terrible.

“There are more things in heaven and earth Horatio, than are dreamed of in your philosophy”-Hamlet, Shakespeare.

Indeed, Mr Shakespeare.

There are many documented stories of people claiming that they have lived another life before this one; some so detailed, that it does at least offer food for thought.

Till next time 🙂

Stories here:

Songs of Solstice; Sagittarius sinking, Capricorn climbing, the mountain goat and the Gate of the Gods

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Today we enter the zodiac territory of Capricorn on the day of the winter solstice, Tuesday 21 December 2021 and stay there until 20 January 2022.

But what is the story behind the zodiac sign of Capricorn the Cosmic Sea-Goat?

 

Common associations

Symbol:

Date of Birth: 21 Dec to 20 January approx

Ruling planet: Saturn

Lucky Day: Saturday    Lucky Numbers: 2 and 8

Element: Earth

Quality: Cardinal (the start of the season of winter) Is receptive but equally an initiator.

Key phrase:  I build, I use

Body:  Skin, knees, skeletal system

Birth Stone:  Red Garnet and Black Onyx

Colour:  Deep red

Herbs/Flowers: Wintergreen, Ivy, Carnation

Tarot card:  The Devil (Pan/Nature, Mystery, Fascination, Obsession, Entrapment) This card paints him as rather a seductive, beguiling beast. One can appreciate the artist’s take on this. The Devil is also the angel of the Morning Star, fallen or not. And if he is hideous and stinky, who is going to let him anywhere near them? Whom shall he snare? Who is going to fall for his tricks?

From The Gilded Tarot Royale, Ciro Marchetti

The Major Arcana Tarot card representing Capricorn is Number 15, The Devil, representing desire, animal passion, charisma, and temptation on the positive side, and fear, addiction, obsession and entrapment on the negative side.

Capricorn must and will have its autonomy. It will rather do without than find itself in dependency on another, at the cost of its dignity, and integrity of personal sovereignty.

Other Tarot cards associated with Capricorn are The Queen of Pentacles, and the 2, 3 and 4 of Pentacles.

The Astronomy

The constellation of Capricornus from which the sun sign gets its name is located in an area of sky known as The Sea or The Water, containing other water-related constellations including Aquarius, Pisces and the River, Eridanus.

Wiki

Like other constellations of the astrological zodiac, Capricorn was first catalogued by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the 2nd century.Capricorn means Horn of the Goat from the Latin Capri cornus. “Capri” = goat, “Cornus” = horn. You can- with just a bit of a stretch- imagine the constellation as a goat’s face, looking at you with horns either side of its head.

Capricornus is the smallest constellation in the zodiac, with no first magnitude stars. Even so, the brightest star, Delta Capricorni A, is a white giant with a luminosity 8.5 times that of the Sun.

Capricornus has three stars with known planets and contains a Messier object, Messier 30, a globular cluster 28,000 light years distant and about 90 light years across in size. This cluster is approaching us at the speed of 181.9 km/s, and was one of the first deep sky objects discovered by Charles Messier in 1764.

There are five meteor showers associated with Capricornus: the Alpha Capricornids, the Chi Capricornids, the Sigma Capricornids, the Tau Capricornids and the Capricorniden-Sagittarids.

Neptune in Capricorn

The planet Neptune was discovered in the constellation Capricornus, near Deneb Algedi, the brightest star in the tail of the goat, on September 23, 1846.

This illustrates a powerful mythic connection between earth sign Capricorn and the deep water sign of Pisces the Fishes. This connection is many ages old and goes back to the Babylonians 21 centuries BC. We shall explore this connection more closely in a moment.

How did the ancients know? How could they have known, to have come up with the story of the Sea-Goat? So far as we aware, they could not have known about Neptune to have made any such connection. And yet they did, as we shall see.

Natural History

Though Capricornus is the second faintest constellation in the sky after Cancer, its story lineage is very ancient indeed. Mountain Goats, the ibex, were depicted in Ice Age paintings.

The European ibex male starts fighting for territory and mating in December, and in modern astrology, as distinct from modern astronomy, Capricorn’s rule begins today at the solstice, although meteorological winter starts 1 December.

Capricorn the constellation itself is actually overhead nowadays during Aquarius, due to the wobble of the Earth, an effect known as precession, but the sun sign named after Capricornus retains the dates accorded to it by Ptolemy.

Mythology

Capricorn is commonly represented in the form of a sea-goat: a mythical creature half goat, half-fish. This creature is Pricus, another son of Cronos (Time) king of the mer-goats of Greek myth. (Presumably this makes Capricorn a brother of Zeus.)

The story of Pricus the Sea-Goat comes from an evolution story far older than the mythos of ancient Greece.  Before 1000 BC the Sumerians knew Capricorn as the goat-fish, or SUHUR-MASH-HA.

The children of Pricus left the sea to dwell on mountains, leaving him alone in the oceans with no-one to talk to any more. And Pricus was a great teacher.

He was very lonely now, all the young ones gone. Zeus placed him in the Sea of the Stars so that he could see his children again, and they could look up from the mountain sides and still see him, and remember where they first came from. Out of the sea, like us and everything else that now lives on land.

Later myths centre on stories of sun gods nursed by a she-goat, one of the best known of which is the story of the baby Zeus. whose mother Rhea hid him from his murderous father Cronos. They took refuge in a mountain cave where he was nursed by the she-goat Amalthea

Another story talks about the forest deity Pan, who has the legs and horns of a goat, like Krotos, his son, a great archer and devotee of the Muses, who is identified with the neighbouring constellation Sagittarius in an alternative version of the Chiron legend.

Pan, so the legend said, was placed in the sky by Zeus in gratitude after he came to the rescue of other gods after an epic battle with the Titans, when they were fleeing the monster Typhon, son of the Titan Tartarus and Earth.

Typhon was truly fearsome, a fire-breathing creature, higher than mountains and with dragons’ heads instead of fingers. The Olympian gods disguised themselves as they fled in terror: Zeus disguised as a ram – Hera, as a white cow, and Pan as a goat (another version of the myth suggests Bacchus/Dionysus).

Horrors! Typhon caught Zeus and dismembered him, thinking perhaps to enjoy a rare treat of Jupiter-sized lamb chops for tea, but then Pan played such a weird sound on his pan pipes, he frightened Typhon, who panicked just long enough for Hermes to swoop down and snatch up all the bits of Zeus and put him back together.

In gratitude, Zeus transferred Pan to a luxury pad in the heavens as Capricornus, and later, finally managed to trick Typhon, trapping and imprisoning trap him in Tartarus or beneath Mount Etna where he still grumbles to this day, swearing to get even, or starts roaring and shooting out flames in his furious efforts to escape.

This from Pindar, Greek lyric poet….

among them is he who lies in dread Tartarus, that enemy of the gods, Typhon with his hundred heads. Once the famous Cilician cave nurtured him, but now the sea-girt cliffs above Cumae, and Sicily too, lie heavy on his shaggy chest. And the pillar of the sky holds him down, snow-covered Aetna, year-round nurse of bitter frost, from whose inmost caves belch forth the purest streams of unapproachable fire. In the daytime her rivers roll out a fiery flood of smoke, while in the darkness of night the crimson flame hurls rocks down to the deep plain of the sea with a crashing roar. That monster shoots up the most terrible jets of fire; it is a marvellous wonder to see, and a marvel even to hear about when men are present. Such a creature is bound beneath the dark and leafy heights of Aetna and beneath the plain, and his bed scratches and goads the whole length of his back stretched out against it

Neo-Platonism

Another legend says that while the souls of those about to be born descend to Earth through the constellation of Cancer, via the Beehive Cluster, the souls of the dead return to the cosmic seas from whence they came, ascending again through the stars of Capricorn – The Gate of the Gods.

Astrology

Capricorn is a cardinal earth sign, ruled by the planet Saturn, stern planet of self-reliance, self-discipline, duty, responsibility, conservation, patience, limitations and restrictions. Cardinal signs usher in a new season. Aries ushers in the spring, Cancer the summer, Libra the autumn and Capricorn is the usher of winter.

The Capricorn 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.

The zodiac signs paint a ‘typical’ 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.

The archetype of Capricorn is the Ruler, the Wise Elder, Protector, Organizer and Provider.

The story of Capricorn, as mentioned earlier, was first inspired by the tough but agile mountain ibex. December and January is mating season, when the male ibex fights for territory.

Photo by Anna Perkas on Pexels.com

Capricorn is a worker and a fighter with the strength, intelligence, stamina and determination to overcome hardships and master its environment.

Capricorn is a pragmatist with strong ethics. Capricorn is not sentimental, but all the same, Capricorn is a rock for the people in their lives. They may wear a serious face, but they will do what it takes to care for their loved ones, and will work longer and harder to do this than almost any other zodiac sign. These people express their devotion through deeds, not words, practical action. They will be the person who builds a fire for others to warm their hands at.

The court card of Capricorn is the Queen of Pentacles. The King of Pentacles may also be used to represent a Capricorn native, male or female, in a reading

From The Touchstone Tarot, Kat Black

Card Meanings: queen of earth, earth mother, a wise woman, hedge witch, a vet, conservationist, farmer, ecologist, financial, Gaia, Demeter, a practical woman, grounded, wise,  instinctive, knowledgeable, prudent

She will put the food on the table. She will make things beautiful. When she finds a mess, she will clear it up. Help her or don’t help her. But don’t get in her way.

Venus retrograde in Capricorn

Venus, planet of love, beauty, luxury and therefore finance- and also vulcanicity is retrograde in Capricorn at the moment, 19- 29 December.

It is not only Mars who can wage war. Oh no. Basalt planet Venus is Aphrodite, the deity and genius loci of Sicily, home of Etna. Not for nothing was she married to the smith of the Gods, Vulcan or Hephaestus…even if she did cheat on him with Mars/Ares.

Here then in astrological terms is volcanic activity here on Capricornian Earth, and this year it is happening in Capricorn season, literal or metaphorical. Here is vulcanicity. La Palma. Mount Semeru.

Here in human dealings this month is an undercurrent of beauty on the back foot, or beauty demanding its dues. Shall it smoulder or shall it erupt this month?

“For beauty, we will pay. “- Kraftwerk, The Model.

Capricorn can seem almost superhuman, like Duracell bunny-goats, virtually tireless. This persistence, this determination ensures their ultimate success at anything that demands their attention or they find worthy of their interest.

They are not do-gooders but they are very conscious of their obligations to others, quick to pay their debts and if someone does them a favour, they will not rest until it is returned, as a matter of personal dignity and to safeguard their space, freedom and autonomy as much as anything else.

Capricorn

But of course there is no such thing in reality as THE Capricorn personality. You are a unique individual. Your zodiac sign (sun sign) is a major keynote, but it is nothing like the full picture in real life – or in astrology.  There are many other factors in play; your rising sign, your Moon sign, the planets in your houses, your decan and the degree of the actual day you were born. So for one thing, if you don’t feel like a ‘typical’ Capricorn, perhaps you are a second or third decan Capricorn, rather than a ‘most typical’ first decan Capricorn.

What are the decans?

The Zodiac is a belt of sky tracking the path of the sun across the sky over the course of the year. We call this pathway of the sun ‘the ecliptic,’ and the zodiac belt shares this same pathway. The paths of the Moon and visible planets are all contained within the belt of the zodiac. Each zodiac sign represents a 30 degree section of this belt. Each sign is then sub-divided into three blocks of ten degrees, equalling about ten days in length, with slight variations.

This gives us the zodiac decans, from the Latin meaning ten. They are sometimes nicknamed ‘the thirty- six faces of astrology,’ because they add more human faces to the story. The decans break down the story of each zodiac sign into three, more in-depth chapters, affording extra insight into your sign, and what it means in real life.

First Decan Capricorn

Capricorn-Capricorn

Dates: 22 December-31 December

Planetary rulers: Saturn-Saturn

Tarot card: Two Pentacles

From The Gilded Tarot

Card meanings:  juggling of finances, putting eggs in different baskets, being in two places at once, juggling jobs and responsibilities, or two jobs, commuting, relocation, infinity, the ever changing balance

This Capricorn decan does not suffer fools gladly. This is a serious, profound and powerfully minded individual. Many people want to know them but they have few real friends, but those friends are true and lasting while many others come and go.

They have a dry, wry, droll sense of humour, a keen sense of the ridiculous, and a sense of fun, but others who are less confident can feel intimidated by their intelligence. They have gravitas with a natural personality authority which some may find challenging. This decan will not be pushed around, any more than the mountain ibex doing battle on the side of the mountain is ready to give way to its rival without a fierce fight.

This decan dislikes whatever it considers cheap and easy sentiment, but is utterly devoted in a pragmatic, non-demonstrative way, to those they love and will show it in their deeds, whether or not they say it with words, seemingly so fearless, whether they really are afraid or not, and so sure of foot on the rockiest of mountain slopes.

Famous first decan Capricorns in history:  Johannes Kepler, Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, Ava Gardner, Woodrow Wilson, Mao Tse-Tung

Second Decan

Capricorn-Taurus

Dates:  1 January-10 January

Planetary rulers: Saturn-Venus

Tarot card: Three Pentacles

From The Gilded Tarot

Card Meanings: skill, study, patience, taking care, taking pride in your work, arts, crafts, beauty, heritage, architecture, cooperation, teamwork

This decan is also a serious individual but somewhat less forthright in manner, more easygoing and ruled by Venus, cheerful, agreeable and with softer edges all round. This decan in general is the most artistic or musical Capricorn, though again, the style is low key. This person is usually considered highly trustworthy, and generally deserves that reputation, while they themselves are cautious of trusting others. They crave beautiful surroundings and creature comforts. (Well, who doesn’t?) Their physical appearance matters to them a great deal, from which we can see an added tragedy for some of the famous subjects of this decan.

Famous Second Decan Capricorn subjects: Joan of Arc, Louis Braille, Elvis Presley, Richard Nixon, Michael Schumacher, Stephen Hawking

Third Decan Capricorn

Capricorn-Virgo

Dates: 11 January-19 January

Planetary ruler: Saturn-Mercury

Tarot card-Four of Pentacles

From The Gilded Tarot

Card Meanings: thrift, prudence, saving money, holding on to money, hoarding, investing, saving, preserving, conserving resources, damage limitation, self- protection, the need for order, stability and freedom from worry

This decan, ruled by Mercury, is something of a perfectionist; curious, analytical, rational and intellectual, somewhat changeable. Saturn’s overarching influence will tend to make this Mercurial Capricorn more practical and cautious than Mercury subjects of the other zodiac signs, but they may not need to work so much as the other Capricorn decans to get where they need to be, helped by that agile Mercury influence, balanced by the conscientiousness of Virgo. They drive themselves very hard and can get bogged down, obsessing  over detail in

They are deep, serious, and thoughtful, but are quick witted and up for fun, and may be happiest with a lively, interesting partner, who can help them take their mind off their own preoccupations and lift their mood when they walk in after a hard day.

Famous Decan 3 Capricorn subjects: Martin Luther King Junior, Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin, Aristotle, Kevin Costner

The Cusps of Capricorn

22 December ~December 25

This is Capricorn with a Sagittarian quality, stern in decisions but with a sympathetic nature. This subject is thorough and persistent but faces a challenging destiny, likely to meet many obstacles but should have the strength to overcome them. This Capricorn is deeply intuitive, and progressive in outlook, always learning and developing.

16 January~–January 19

This is Capricorn with Aquarian tendencies, ruled by Saturn and rebellious Uranus.  This subject has an understanding of Mankind and is clever and intuitive and a loyal friend. When things are good, they are very good but when they go wrong, it seems that lots of things go wrong. They do well working for humanitarian organizations and in dealing with the public, or in fine arts or auction houses.

Many Happy Returns, Capricorn.

2022 looks like an interesting, possibly even a game-changing, momentous year for you, bringing changes in your work situation, and these are changes for the better. Your best efforts will pay off this year, so keep at it. Work hard, stay curious, and be alert to the signs and opportunities. Be ready to finally let go of people, places, habits and situations that are doing you little good, but are bringing you down or preventing progress. Pan, the wild god of Nature (and your own wilder nature) has his place but he still needs to stay in it, and as for any Devils, kick those into touch. Any outright thieves of money, time and energy are not your friends. Lucky Jupiter, the greater Benefic, planet of progress is on your side this coming year.

Photo by stein egil liland on Pexels.com

 

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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

Some perhaps, farther than we can ever know.

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