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.

Bringing in Beltane…Magical May Eve

True Tarot Tales

Photo by Polina Kovaleva on Pexels.com

30 April is also known as May Eve, marking May Day and the beginning of the ancient Celt festival of Beltane.

Beltane begins at dusk on 30 April and is matched by its European counterpart, Walpurgis Nacht, or St Walpurga’s Night in Germanic tradition.

Origins

The two greatest Celtic festivals were Samhain (Halloween) marking the start of winter, and Beltane (April 30/May 1) marking the start of summer.

Beltane ‘the fires of Bel’ began as an ancient fire festival celebrated since at least the Dark Ages if not long before. The celebrations began at dusk on April 30th when great bonfires were lit to welcome the height of spring now associated with the zodiac sign of Taurus the Bull, representing the fertility of spring in full bloom.”

Traditionally,” writes Glennie Kindred (inSacred Celebrations), “all fires in the community were put out…

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A Fanfare for Aries the Fiery Sky Ram

Photo by Kat Smith on Pexels.com

This year we entered the zodiac sign of Aries the Ram Sunday 20 March 2022, the day of the spring (vernal) equinox in the northern hemisphere (autumn/fall equinox in the southern hemisphere.)

The word ‘zodiac’ comes from the Greek meaning ‘circle of animals.’ The only zodiac sign 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.

Aries, heavenly sky Ram is a cardinal fire sign; the first sign of the western zodiac, the sign of spring in the northern hemisphere, and with it – lambing time.

Public Domain

Picture the star-ram lying or sitting head downwards. New life is ignited. The planetary ruler of Aries is Mars, the red planet of action, energy, enthusiasm, courage, passion, initiative- and war.

The real life ram is strong, brave, and at certain times of year, downright aggressive, charging headlong into the field, king of all he surveys. Ewes can be aggressive too if disturbed by strangers when they have new lambs to protect.

aries-johann-bayer-uranometria

History and Mythology

The sheep was among the first animals ever domesticated by humans by around 11000 – 9000 BC (BCE). Once upon a time Aries marked the end of the main lambing season of wild sheep in Europe, 21 March – 20 April.

(The dog was the first domesticated species, and the only large carnivore to have been domesticated, possibly 15000 years ago -or earlier. The Bonn-Oberkassel dog found buried beside humans 14,200 years ago is to date the earliest undisputed dog, with disputed remains dated 36,000 years ago. )

The ancient Sumerians called the sun, ‘Subat’, meaning the ‘Ancient Sheep’ or Ram and the planets were the ‘Celestial Herd’. The Sumerians were one of the oldest known urban civilizations in what is now Southern Iraq, during the Neolithic-Bronze Age, 4500 BC to 1500 years BC.

In ancient Egyptian astronomy, Aries was called ‘Lord of the Head’ – a reference to its symbolic significance, and it was associated with the god Amon-Ra, who was depicted as a man with a ram’s head and represented fertility and creativity. Because it was the location of the spring (vernal) equinox, it was called the “Indicator of the Reborn Sun”.

The position of Aries at the zenith at that time coincided with the rising of Sirius in the east and the flooding of the Nile. The Temple of Amon-Ra at Karnak bore the likeness of the supreme sun-god with the horns of a ram, while the road to Karnak was formed from the wings of two granite sphinxes bearing the head of Aries.

However, Aries was not fully recognized as a constellation until classical times about 1580 B.C. to 360 B.C. when the ancient Greeks oriented the construction of many of their sacred temples in relationship to Hamal – in Arabic ‘The Head of the Ram’ and the brightest star in the constellation.

In Hellenistic astrology the constellation of Aries was associated with the golden ram of Greek mythology.

Aries and the Golden Ram

The brother and sister Phrixus and Helle were the children of the Boeotian king Athamas and the cloud fairy, Nephele.  But then she died, the king remarried, and his new wife, Ino, planned to kill Phrixus and Helle as a perceived threat to her own two later children by the king.

They were warned and fled, rescued by a flying golden ram sent by Hermes at the plea of Nephele, their dead mother watching in anguish from the other world.

Phrixus was seated on the ram, holding on to its horns, Hell behind him, clutching his waist, but Helle got tired and lost her grip. She plunged into the sea far below and was lost in the Dardanelles, known ever after as the Hellespont in her memory. Later, safely in Colchis, Phrixus (respectfully if rather ungratefully) sacrificed the Golden Ram, returning it to home to the gods, and presented its fleece as a gift to King Aeetes, who placed it on a tree in a grove under the guard of a dragon. This was the Hydra, whom Jason later killed in order to steal its fleece for its magical healing properties, on the orders of his uncle, the murdering usurper Pelias (who had no intention that Jason would return alive.)

Before we had CGI, we had Ray Harryhausen….

The Aries Archetype

The Sun from The Golden Tarot, Kat Black

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; differences of temperature, hours of daylight, maternal diet and so on, with potentially different effects on the baby’s physical makeup and constitution.

Aries is a cardinal sign, marking the start of a new season. The other cardinal signs are Libra, marking the start of autumn in the northern hemisphere and Capricorn, marking the onset of winter. The cardinal signs are traditionally considered the most innovative and proactive, the signs most at ease with driving change.

Aries is sunny, young at heart. It is the metaphysical ‘baby’ of the zodiac, adventurous, optimistic, generous, curious, brave, passionate, direct, self-willed  and inclined to lose its temper if denied or crossed. Aries represents the concept of The Self. It seeks to express itself through exploration and pushing at boundaries. It is self-willed like a very young child. It wants its own way.

Aries is number one, the first sign in the Zodiac, youthful and exuberant- and let no-one forget it. Aries is the star of this show.

But it is also the sign of a king, and not only that but a warrior-king, as illustrated in the watchful, slightly weary, Emperor card in the Tarot.

See those Ram’s heads decorating his throne?

Rider-Waite Smith Tarot

Aries is ultra-virile with a warrior spirit, just as a ram will charge headlong, at an intruder, and may attack or even kill a person who enters his field, threatening his ewes and his territory at the wrong moment. If knocked down by a ram, although it is counter-intuitive, stay down till he loses interest and wanders off.

Aries is known for its determination and zest for life, and in the same spirit, Aries can be reckless and with it, accident prone in its general haste to get on and do whatever is the next thing. Aries are at a statistically increased risk of  accidents, especially with head and neck injuries in comparison with other signs, largely due to impatience and risk-taking behaviours.

Aries is ready to experiment or pioneer but may not finish what it starts. They are determined but can be diverted by their own impatience if they don’t get quick results.

Aries subjects may exhibit  careless or even ruthless behaviour with a disregard for others in their desire to achieve and excel. They can bear grudges but, though they are sensitive, they can be careless about the sensitivities of others. In their closest personal relationships however, Aries are generally lively, pleasant, frank, direct and generous. Full of bounce and joie de vivre, there is much to admire about the early springtime subjects of fiery Aries, the Mighty Ram.

The Tarot will tell us more …

Aries in the Tarot

The Tarot cards associated with Aries are The Emperor, the Queen of Wands and the 2, 3 and 4 of Wands, and these minor arcana cards represent the decans of this zodiac sign.

The major arcana card associated with Aries is The Emperor. This sets the overall tone for this zodiac sign. The Emperor of the Ram seeks to claim territory and to create and impose order in that territory. At his best, he rules wisely and with care and justice. At his worst, he is a tyrant.

Card Meanings: a man of authority, parent, employer, a military man, maturity, order, experience, hard won leadership, discipline, authority, government, organizations, rules, bureaucracy, doing things by the book, ego, I am in charge, what I say goes, Drawn reversed: bully, tyrant, warmonger. Note the ram skulls decorating his throne.

Every suit in the Tarot has its own court with a king and queen, a knight and a page. The Court card associated with Aries is the Queen of Wands. Aries is ruled by the element of fire in the Tarot, Wands is the suit of fire. Aries is ruled by the Sun, the ruler of the day. Notice how she holds a sunflower as her sceptre (We are seeing a lot of sunflowers online right now, as the symbol of Ukraine. Let us hope the sunflower of Aries will bring a ceasefire between now and 20 April – soonest.)

Rider-Smith Waite Tarot

Card Meanings: A helpful woman, a mother figure, a lucky person (signified by the black cat, also notice the royal lions) She has good instincts and may also have occult abilities. Warmth, directness, spontaneity and independence, nurturing, generosity, enthusiasm, impatience are her qualities, but she may be either male or female in a real life reading. A man born under Aries may appear in a reading as the Emperor, a King of Wands or the Queen of Wands.

Lastly, the minor arcana cards associated with Aries are Two, Three and Four of Wands. These are the cards that talk about the decans of Aries.

If you don’t feel like you are a ‘typical’ Aries, well, we are all unique, but perhaps you are also a second or third decan Aries native, rather than a ‘most typical’ first decan Aries.

The Decans

The Zodiac is the 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 of the sun ‘the ecliptic.’

The Greeks named the signs after twelve of the constellations appearing on, or crossing this zodiac belt: Aries, Taurus, Gemini Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and lastly, Pisces.

Each of these zodiac signs represents a 30 degree section of the zodiac belt. Each sign is then further sub-divided into three blocks of ten degrees, each about ten days in length, with slight variations. This gives us the ‘decans,’ from the Latin meaning ‘ten,’ also called decanates, or the ‘thirty-six faces of astrology,’ bringing added depth and nuance to the story of your zodiac signs.

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

21 March-31 March

Rider- Waite Smith Tarot

Card Meanings: vision, ambition, melancholy, trade, global trade, entrepreneurship, agreements, partnerships, government, meetings, the world is my oyster. Reversed: fear of the unknown, lack of planning

The ruling planet is Mars and the co-ruler is also Mars, giving this first Aries decan a double dose of fiery, headlong Mars, bringing out the positive and dominant side of this Aries subject. Aries seeks power and usually they have great charisma too.  But one of the nicknames of this card is ‘The Melancholy of Alexander,’ referring to the restlessness of the conqueror Alexander the Great, who won great lands but was never satisfied.

The personality is independent, forceful, temperamental, often generous, sometimes domineering, dictatorial or even aggressive. This is the first decan in the whole zodiac, the most aggressive Aries decan and –perhaps not coincidentally- the most sporty.

These natives of Aries think fast, act fast- too fast at times- and they can tend to be irritable with others who act more slowly. Respect, it must be remembered, is a two-way street. They are known for having a gift with words and public speaking abilities.

Famous first decan Aries: Harry Houdini, Robert Frost, Elton John, Mariah Carey

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

1 April-10 April

Rider-Waite Smith Tarot

Card Meanings: progress, expansion, overseas opportunities, new horizons, a launch, your ship comes in, planning, critical timing, preparation, teamwork: Reversed lack of foresight, timidity, thinking too small, unexpected delays

The co-rulers of this decan are Mars and the Sun, the ‘Ruler of the Day.’

The sun is the centre of the solar system, the bringer of life itself, and here it stands for dignity, honour and ambition. This Aries personality not only welcomes change but actively seeks it out, relishing a challenge. This gifted Aries native desires a creative challenge and maybe a global challenge too, while they are at it.

They are generally known for their honesty, while rather stern in outlook. They will tell you something to your face but though they really do not like to be told what to do, they don’t shirk from telling others.

This Mars-Sun combination is considered a particularly lucky planetary combination. Everyone gets their own mix of luck, good and bad. That’s just life. But still, these Aries natives have a knack of landing on their feet.

Famous second decan Aries: Otto von Bismarck, Hans Christian Anderson, Bette Davis, Al Gore, Russell Crowe, Jackie Chan, Celine Dion, Quentin Tarantino

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

10 April-20 April

Rider-Waite Smith

Card meanings: professional qualification, an achievement, property improvements, building, setting up home, celebration, joy, homecoming, publishing, creating an artwork.  Reversed: bad luck, frustrations, roadblocks

This Aries native is generally more peaceable and easy-going than the other two decans; co-ruled by Mars and Jupiter, known as the God of Fortune. Jupiter brings good fortune and opportunity to the drive and ambition of Mars.

There is sincerity, honesty and warm-hearted nobility in this last Aries placement. Like the second decan Aries, these Aries natives often have some particular and well developed creative or artistic talent. They are witty, personable, and with a sense of humour. They are righteous, some might say self- righteous on occasion, other people may find them arrogant. They are proud, impatient and they may have every good reason for it, but they too, need to remember that others have their pride, but these are passionately devoted family people with a keen sense of justice, much concerned with right and wrong.

Famous Third Decan Aries: Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, Charlie Chaplin, Tom Clancy, Francis Ford Coppola, Victoria Beckham, Gary Kasparov

Happy Birthday, Aries, 2022.

This will be a much faster moving year for you than last year, with new work and career opportunities. The red planet of action, Mars, your ruling planet enters your sign on Tuesday 24 May and stays there until Tuesday 5 July, adding even more drive to your determination. You can make a lot of forward progress this year and Aries likes to win, but beware self-sabotage and consider when, should you find yourself struggling with a challenge to your feelings and self-esteem, where this anger is really coming from and whether you will be wiser to exercise utmost restraint and diplomacy.

Ukraine, and Pluto in Capricorn

Pluto bottom right

See also previous readings recently posted here.

Looking in my new astrology readings cards, asking when will we see a resolution in Ukraine, I drew three cards blindly and at random and then did a double take…surprised at the first 2 cards.

Pluto in The Tenth House

From The Astrology Readings Card deck, Alison Chester-Lambert

Top Card: The Tenth House card refers to all things to do with the zodiac sign of Capricorn: work, order, money, responsibility,government and self governance, legacy, tradition, provision for the family, duty to the homeland.

Middle card: The planet Pluto (which is currently transiting the sign of Capricorn.)

Bottom card: Libra. This signifies a possible answer of late September/October 2022. But it could mean diplomacy brings a truce well before then. Why? Because Putin is a Libra subject. Therefore, the cards are showing, the conflict will stop upon his initiative; his say so or agreement.

But why the double take? Well, it’s that synchronicity thing again.

These first 2 cards,straight off the bat, are mirroring the big planetary story right now, and the astrological background to this tragic confrontation in Ukraine. This has been a long time coming.

Pluto is in Capricorn The Tenth House. This is a planetary transit that occurs only every 248 years and lasts 12-30 years each time it happens.

This coincides with America’s first Pluto return 22 February, marking 248 years since it became the United States of America. It can mean the fall of an empire but not necessarily. Rome weathered 2 of these Pluto returns before it went into decline. And:-

The British Empire experienced three transformational Pluto returns — one during the Great Famine in 1315 A.D., followed by another at the start of the Elizabethan era and arrival of the golden age of British literature, and the last during the official creation of the United Kingdom in 1801

What this one means for America is a turning point, and the dawn of a new era for America, between now and 2024.

The Tenth House

The wise and ancient Mesopotamian sea-goat was a great teacher. Capricorn is the zodiac sign of cardinal Earth; work, tradition, legacy, and governance; weighty, substantial matters. focus here.

It’s been called the House of World Leaders. Capricorn takes the longest view of the zodiac, planning across time, and for things that will last.  Quality, durability, functionality, beauty, things of concrete value.

Everything comes and goes, but still, the rocks remain.

Pluto

The dwarf planet Pluto (yes, it is a planet) is in terms of astrology, the cosmic harbinger of elimination and regeneration, death, money, and all things found underground. It is the Underworld, the domain of the Greek counterpart of Pluto, the god Hades. It is the underworld in the sense of secrets of state- and the criminal underworld too. It is oil and gas and coal, and minerals mined deep underground. We ‘mine’ cryptocurrency.

Photo by Daniel Dan on Pexels.com

Pluto is plutonic. From Pluto we get plutocrat and plutocracy- and plutonium. Not forgetting the Russian poisonings on British soil, even if it was Novichok (or perhaps we could call it Putinium) and not plutonium.

Plutocracy: noun. a political system where the wealthy govern.

Pluto spends between twelve to thirty years in a sign due to its elliptical orbit and it brings profound, dramatic or downright violent territorial and cultural upheavals.

This one we are now living through, as previously mentioned, began with the banking crash of 2008. Pluto’s previous last entrance to Capricorn in the 1760’s coincided with both the American Revolution and the Industrial Revolution in Britain.

The previous transit was 1995-2008 when Pluto was in Sagittarius; a time of freewheeling optimism,expansionism, buoyancy, lack of checks and regulations and governmental and economic institutions that were deemed too big to fail. Wrong! Pluto in Capricorn brought that optimism – or hubris- crashing right back down to earth.

Libra

Libra suggests late September-late October in answer to the question of when this conflict may be ‘resolved.’ The previous cards seem to confirm that it will happen while we are still in the Pluto in Capricorn transit. We are now approaching the end of this transit, but that is still way too far off to be of comfort to Ukraine. However, other ‘cosmic’ factors may help.

Astrology suggests a crisis or peak or defining occurrence a few days either side of Sunday 20 March, 18-22 March.

After this one possible hope for ceasefire looks to me like early April, based on a number of appearances by the Queen of Clubs/Wands…because she signifies Aries, 20 March-20 April.

If that fails to materialize, another cosmic window is when Jupiter, planet of expansion moves into Aries ruled by Mars, 10 May. This is warrior energy all right. But at least it is upfront, in symbolic terms. Perhaps it is less frightening than Jupiter in Pisces in some ways, less terrifyingly bottomless, murky, lacking boundaries.

Full Fathom five thy father lies. -The Tempest

Canst thou draw forth leviathan with a hook? (Book of Job)

Beyond this, Libra means diplomacy, and Putin is also a Libra subject. Here is a caveat (am I hedging my bets? You bet I’m not betting. I am looking for clues via cartomancy, that is what this is. Listen to any number of astrologers and readers. Do they all agree?) Cessation of hostilities could still happen long before we enter the actual zodiac sign of Libra, and before Jupiter goes back into Pisces 28 October.

In astrology, Aries is the nemesis of Mr Putin. How is that? Aries is the opposite sign of Putin’s Libra. Aries the warrior is his shadow side, and his potential nemesis. Mr Putin himself, for all he has great intelligence- and venom- Scorpio rising, is not a military man. This has not been his CVto date. Not his customary ‘modus operandi’. He is a man whose strength and subtlety lies in shadows and half light.

A peek in the playing cards

I was at my parents last week, and my mother asked, what did the cards show about Mr Z – would he survive this conflict?

Top Row: Will Mr Z make it out in one piece?

I do not make predictions of death, regardless, but may assess likelihood of risk. The absence of dire spades cards on that top line, and the dominance of red suit cards, and the benign final card suggest that yes, Mr Zelenskyy will survive, despite the real and present danger and at least three failed assassination attempts. Curiously, my mother drew 2 club cards, 2 diamond cards and 1 Hearts, and so did I, in a separate draw, although the cards were not identical. If they had been, we would know that I had simply not shuffled the cards enough.

But the balance and mix of suits was the same both times and the overall appearance translates as, yes, we are seeing a probability of 3/5 he will survive and still be here 1 January 2023.

One might say – my mother did- oh dear, that’s not great. Well, no. It isn’t. But given the context…..

Middle Row: Will Putin capture Kyiv and if so, how quickly?

It still remains possible that Putin will not take Kyiv. The 6 Diamonds shows a critical week ahead (bearing in mind I drew these cards on Friday.) The 6 Diamonds also refers to speed of movement of vehicles. The attacking convoy has been anything but speedy, but there it is. The 6 Diamonds also means diagnostics, energy and hi- tech, and Mr Zelenskyy is doing pretty well in the propaganda war, and with everything that is happening about this on Facebook/Meta and other online social media sites, there is a heck of a lot in this fast, fast card.

It is a strange card. You want a yes/no answer? Forget it. This card is asking, is it really worth Putin’s time? That depends on his objectives. If he is aiming at the ultimate re-absorption of Kaliningrad, yes it is, and that is very likely the further goal. But if he finds himself on the back foot, he may appear to settle for less- for now.

The next card shows Mr Zelenskyy himself as the King of Spades (Aquarius, fixed air) He is looking at the 4 Clubs- meaning, a place of work.

In terms of dates, the shortest time frame here is 6 days. But in terms of DATES this card correlates with Taurus. In which case the cards suggest Mr Putin expects to take Kyiv by 30 April -10 May and what an ugly business that will be, as if it isn’t hideous enough already.

But this date frame, 30 April-10 May does look critical, given the partial solar eclipse in Taurus, happening Sat 30 April. Eclipses in astrology always,but always reflect huge events which bring profound consequences, but often these play out in the longer term, and may not announce themselves at the time.

But where is Mr Zelenskyy looking? (shown as the King of Spades, Putin is a Queen of Spades-Libra) He is looking at his place of business, the 4 Clubs, the Ace Clubs, it is turned upside down or he is underground? And that last card, 6 Spades, will only slow things down. Spades generally mean delays. The attack on Kyiv starts with shock and awe but then slows down. Siege? But the 6 Spades contains hope, because while in terms of timing it means delays, its story is about progress and recovery, healing, exploration slow, solemn and sure, though it is also, sadly reflecting this new mass, involuntary diaspora.

But Mr Putin absolutely does not want a siege either.

Bottom Row: Will Ukraine survive as an independent democratic state?

It remains a real possibility. On Friday I drew the Ace of Diamonds for Ukraine, sitting pride of place with and that means ‘piece of land.’ Like the Tarot’s Ace of Pentacles. It is the Ace of Earth. Land. Soil.

From The Legacy of The Divine Tarot, illustrator Ciro Marchetti

I couldn’t remember the other cards drawn on Friday to reproduce them accurately. Last night (Saturday 12 March) I asked again and drew from scratch that bottom row of cards shown above.

The Queen of Spades, that last card on the bottom row shows Mr Putin himself. He is looking across at what he wants. He wants a new President or Prime Minister as shown by that first card, the King of Clubs. He wants it all, says the 10 Diamonds. He wants the whole of Ukraine.

But, if it gets too costly, too difficult, there seems to be a little part of his thinking, that the least thing he will settle for, the least he might possibly agree upon for now, to stop the slaughter and retreat without losing face, once he gauges he has inflicted enough damage is- Donetsk, Luhansk (2 Spades) and Mariupol (Jack Diamonds= new acquisition) plus Ukraine’s recognition of the Crimea ie; the much discussed Land Bridge. Ukraine will more likely than not agree, based on this picture I am seeing. Like those stories of the fox that will chew off its own leg to get out of the trap alive.

But what comes across, is that despite everything, a successful outcome in Kyiv is still far from a done deal for Putin if he wants all of Ukraine ‘neutralizes,’ west to east. It may survive as a democratic nation state, a sovereign entity, but it seems inevitable that if it does it will considerably diminished. It would be far better for Putin if he can get the whole of Ukraine now, as fast as possible, because now he has shown his hand. He did warn everyone, and now they will believe it. Next time will be a tougher proposition. Far better for him to go for broke and ‘finish it.’

The cards are painting a slightly more optimistic picture than I logically expect. But no one wins. Not Ukraine, for all their fortitude, terrorized and dispossessed, though the Nine of Cups did turn up on the Ukraine story-line on Friday-the card means hopes fulfilled, wishes granted. It came up when I asked this same question; whether Ukraine would survive, even nominally as an independent democratic state.

For all the odds stacked against Ukraine resistance, and though territorial gains for Russia may be inevitable, there is no sign in sight of a Russian celebration. There is no Three of Cups, no Six of Clubs, no Ten of Hearts or Nine of Hearts on his future timeline, and whether right or wrong, I report the cards I draw or do not draw.

Till next time 🙂

Introducing The Decans of Pisces

Chartres cathedral

This year we entered the zodiac sign of Pisces the Fishes 19 February 2022 and we remain in Pisces until 20 March, the date of spring equinox when we will move into the mythical territory of Aries the Ram.

‘Pisces’ is from the Latin plural for fish, and the zodiac sign is named after one of the largest constellations in the zodiac. The two fish are said to represent Venus and Cupid in Greco-Roman mythology after they turned themselves into fish to escape a terrible monster, a Titan called Typhon who was later imprisoned by Zeus, tricked and trapped under Mt Etna where he still roars to this day, seeking to escape.

The twin fishes of Pisces are often depicted as koi carp.

Pisces by John Flamsteed via Wiki

Pisces symbolises the concept of The Flood. This time of year marked the  rainy season in Mesopotamia -where western astrology originated.

This is also the time of the winter flood melt, when mountain streams swell the rivers and will sometimes flood the valleys below. This is the time of year for the earliest spawning of fresh water fish.

The spring equinox now occurs during the zodiac month of Pisces when the sun passes across the ecliptic, crossing the imaginary line of the cord joining the two fishes. This year, 2022, the spring equinox will occur on Sunday 20 March.

Once upon a time the equinox occurred during the time allotted to the zodiac timing of Aries, the first sign of the western zodiac, but this has changed over time owing to the wobble of the Earth; an effect known as the precession of the equinoxes.

Wiki

Pisces is the 14th largest constellation overall covering a large V-shaped region of the northern hemisphere. While it is large, its stars are faint — none brighter than fourth magnitude — making it hard to see with the naked eye.

Pisces is seen as two fish swimming at right angles to each other, one to the north and one to the west, attached to one another by a cord of stars, just as life and death, and winter and spring are conjoined and cannot be separated.

Pisces is the twelfth and final sign of the zodiac year, and rules the twelfth house in a personal horoscope, representing hopes, dreams and fears- what lies beneath. It stands for the mystery of the unknowable. It operates outwith the boundaries. This is its power, its magic and its danger, in the meaning of the spaces between reality and illusion.

Photo by Evelyn Chong on Pexels.com

Planetary aspects: Jupiter and Neptune

Pisces is the constellation associated with watery Neptune in Modern astrology but this planet was not discovered until 1846, and optimistic Jupiter is the original ruler of Pisces in traditional (Hellenistic) astrology. Astrologers vary in respect of which of these rulers they use in their own work.

The Pisces Archetype

Own picture Pisces

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 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.

The major arcana Tarot card for Pisces is The Moon, The Moon: ebb and flow, cyclical shifts, intuition, dreams, visionary capabilities, fertility, difficulties with travel, uncertainties, shadow boxing, wild creatures, instinct v civilisation, genius, delusion, visions, and ghosts.

The full moon is a hunter’s moon. The crab, sometimes shown as a crayfish, lives between the sea and the land.

Pisces rules the liminal spaces.

From The Gilded Tarot Royale, illustrator Ciro Marchetti

The court card of Pisces is the Knight of Cups, signifying an offer, an invitation, a proposal, a welcome message, a bringer of good news, an admirer, lover, chivalry, a Sir Galahad, good health, a healing cup, loving cup.

From The Golden Tarot by Kat Black

Pisces is a mutable sign, marking the end of a season. The other mutable signs are Gemini and Sagittarius. Pisces marks the end of winter leading up to the spring/vernal equinox. Of all the zodiac signs, the mutable signs are traditionally considered as the most flexible and adaptable, the ones most at ease with endings and transitions and change.

Pisces is not only the last sign of winter as we are moving into spring; it is the last sign of the whole zodiac year, the culmination of all the signs that came before it. Pisces rules the feet and symbolically Pisces has one foot- in the death of the old year, and one foot in the new life of springtime.

Pisces is famous for its emotional depths and visionary capabilities; sensitive, intuitive, psychic, artistically gifted but also competent or capable of scientific or technical brilliance.

But of course there is no such thing in reality as THE Pisces 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.

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

Many years ago I did this portrait of my parent’s venerable goldfish, Whizz. One of my sisters won him at a fair and that’s how he came to live with us. Perhaps not the greatest start for him but he lived to be seventeen! One fish, two portraits in one in pen and watercolour.

What are the decans?

The decans (or decanates) are a way of marking time, breaking down each of  the zodiac signs into three shorter blocks of roughly ten days each.  

The Zodiac is a belt of sky we see from earth, tracking the path of the sun across the sky over the course of the year. We call this pathway of the sun ‘the ecliptic,’ The Greeks named the signs after twelve of the constellations appearing on, or crossing this zodiac belt: Aries, Taurus, Gemini Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and lastly, Pisces.

Each of these designated zodiac signs represents a 30 degree section of the zodiac belt. Each sign is then further sub-divided into three blocks of ten degrees, each about ten days in length, with slight variations. This gives us the ‘decans,’ from the Latin meaning ‘ten,’ or they may also be called decanates.

The decans are known as the ‘thirty-six faces of astrology’, adding extra depth and nuance to the stories of the signs of the zodiac, distinguishing between someone born at the start of their zodiac month from someone who is born during the middle or at the end of the zodiac month.

First Decan Pisces

Pisces- Pisces

Dates:  19 Feb-29 Feb

Planetary rulers: Traditional: Jupiter/ Modern: Neptune

Tarot card: Eight of Cups

Rider Waite Smith Tarot

Card meanings:  Moving on, cutting ones losses, leaving something behind, disillusionment, regret.

The first decan of any sign is considered the most typical. Pisces makes for versatility and adaptability, while Neptune presents a soft or gentle manner or appearance. This Pisces is very rarely aggressive or confrontational.

But there is a sense of a push and pull going on here. Jupiter means they think big and step forward. Neptune means they swim round in circles or hide in the weeds. Neptune, planet of illusion, is their sub-ruler, which emphasize creativity and imagination. This Pisces native connects with other people on an unconscious level, almost hearing what they are thinking. Maybe they haven’t noticed this about themselves yet, or take telepathy for granted, but watch out for the signs.

This Pisces 1st decan double style has a tendency to go on a lot of detours before arriving at their final destination. While quiet, this Pisces has deep passions and their love life can be tempestuous. Their ideal partner is lively and communicative with a can-do approach.

They often look younger than their age, but they need to be especially beware unhealthy habits in order to protect their health; mood, and the chest, lungs and feet in particular. Pisces is extra-sensitive to the effects of overindulgence of alcohol or mind altering drugs.

A desire to do good for mankind is characteristic of the kindly first decan Pisces.

Second Decan

Pisces-Cancer

Dates:  1 -10 March (approx.)

Planetary rulers: Jupiter

Tarot card: Nine of Cups

From The Gilded Tarot

Card Meanings: dreams come true, wishes granted, food and drink, the hospitality industry, overdoing things

The sub-influences for this decan are Cancer, ruled by The Moon. Cancer is the natural ruler of the fourth house of home, family and security. These Pisces subjects typically stay very close to birth family members. Pisces may struggle to loosen break parental ties and become independent, but must do so if they want to progress and develop and become the adult in the room, to provide for and parent their own children, building their own family unit.

These are the most elusive most watery of the fishes. Now you see them, now you don’t.  Their zone of the sky from March 1 –10 houses the stars of the water of Aquarius, and Eridanus the river and the west fish of Pisces.

These Pisceans are masters of disguise and can blend into any environment effortlessly. Pisces decan 2 absorbs. It is sensitive and psychic, but for the same reason these people need to choose their company with care, and form healthy habits early on in life. These subjects are supremely susceptible to the influence of others in their environment, and this can work positively or negatively.

Third Decan Pisces

Pisces- Scorpio

Dates:  11 March-20 March

Planetary ruler:  Mars 

Tarot card– Ten of Cups

The Legacy of the Divine Tarot

Card Meanings: contentment, completion, arrival, family life, a happy home

The sub-influences for this decan are Scorpio and its rulers, traditional Mars or modern Pluto.

Energetic Mars and Scorpio – natural ruler of the eighth house of desire, willpower, drive and determination – brings to this Pisces extra charisma, and the drive and determination to push forward where Pisces otherwise can tend to hold back, lacking that forcefulness. This Pisces has the artistic creativity of Pisces/Neptune; but has that extra sticking power to turn dreams into realities.

Pluto brings depth and Mars brings speed and energy of attack. This Pisces needs to stay busy, and needs plenty of energy outlets.

Pisces marks the completion of the zodiac wheel and this final decan marks, the point at which we move into Aries and a whole new circle starts over again. Aries too, is also ruled by energetic Mars.

These Pisces natives, just like the other decans, are enormously receptive to their environment, but they tend to stay more aloof and watchful and are less likely to blend in or fall under the influence of what is going on around them. They are highly observant, natural detectives, well suited to police or other kinds of investigative work. Pisces-Scorpio is an excellent listener, tuning in the wants and needs of others, listening between the lines to what is not being said. 

The Cusps of Pisces

Aquarius-Pisces: February 15-21

Aquarius-Pisces: This is a Pisces native with Aquarius tendencies; a person of high principles, often rather quiet, refined, and with strong likes and dislikes. This Pisces is likely to travel a fair bit and has executive ability and can make money, but can become bored quite easily and needs to be extra careful not to get trapped, becoming committed too soon in a relationship that really doesn’t suit them

Pisces-Aries: March 17-23

Born on the Pisces-Aries cusp, this native is especially instinctive and brave. This mix of energy combines physical and moral courage with compassion for others which can make this Pisces individual a successful leader. This person is loyal to friends and colleagues and they are also generous, and eager to see others do well.

Famous Pisces

Michelangelo, Copernicus, George 111, Albert Einstein, Neville Chamberlain, Sidney Poitier, Elizabeth Taylor, Yuri Gagarin, Michael Gorbachev, Osama Bin Laden, Steve Irwin, Steve Jobs…For more see HERE

Back soon 🙂

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

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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

 

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