Halloween and ‘Alfablot’-‘Sacrifice to the Elves’

Halloween 2022….Rune style reading

True Tarot Tales

Public Domain

What we know of Norse Mythology comes largely from the Eddas, two collections of writings from assorted anonymous writers, dating around 1250 CE.

All Hallows Eve, Halloween or Samhain is a Gaelic custom, not Norse. The Norse peoples did mark this time of year, although in a different way, with Álfablót – the Elf Ritual.

Elves were associated with burial mounds (also known as barrows) as it was believed that they lived in or around them, and more than this, elves were associated with the souls of the dead, rather than fairies in the other sense of the word, as a supernatural entity that was never human.

Rakni’s burial mound, Noway, Public Domain

It is the largest burial mound in Scandinavia, 77 metres in diameter and over 15 metres in height. There are a number of stories associated with it, one associated with a roving sea-King Raki or…

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Tarot and The Scorpio Eclipse Season

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Scorpio is the season of Halloween, when the sap drops, the leaves fall. The year is dying in front of us. Scorpio in the Tarot is represented by the Death card, and this is the reason why.

Next stop, the winter solstice.

This autumn/fall’s eclipse season means the partial solar eclipse, New Moon in Scorpio 25 October 2022, and a lunar eclipse at the Full Moon in Taurus, 8 November 2022.

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Eclipses have been viewed as omens or portents since ancient Mesopotamia, and doubtless, long before that.

They announce momentous changes, unfolding over the next two weeks-six months.

What could this eclipse season mean in terms of real life events over the next six months?

The Astronomy

Like the Full Moon, a New Moon happens at a particular point when the sun and moon have the same ecliptic longitude and this can be measured down to the exact second that it happens.

On the day of the New Moon we don’t see the moon. It is too close to the sun, rising and setting with the sun. The night sky is darker, making the New Moon an ideal time of the month to see other celestial objects more clearly.

A solar eclipse is seen when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, blocking Earth’s view of the Sun, totally or partially. This latest one 25 October blocked our view of the sun by about 25%.

A lunar eclipse is seen when the Moon moves into the Earth’s shadow.  This can occur only when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are exactly or very closely aligned and the Earth is in between the other two, which only happens on the night of a full moon. 

The Astrology

23 October we entered the zodiac sign Scorpio, named after the constellation of Scorpius with its alpha star, the Heart of the Scorpion, red Antares, the rival of Mars/Ares.

October’s New Moon on the 25th was also a partial solar eclipse in sun Scorpio.

In astrological terms, this signified the advent of an intense period, opening new doors and bringing fated changes into our lives.

This is not a time for making big decisions or taking risks with our wealth, health and personal relationships. This New Moon eclipse can come with a sting in its tail…taking that chance or forcing that situation, pushing that envelope might look OK right now…

The sting comes later.

Astrology advises us to be especially careful with financial, land and property dealings around the time of this eclipse, and for the following couple of weeks.

This Scorpio sun eclipse will be followed by a Taurus lunar eclipse. The two will work together in their effects- which will be to do with our security, finances, food and comfort in a deeply unsettled world where aspects of the past have been coming round again, including the ghosts of the world wars.

Eclipses announce turning points. Their effects are deep, not felt at once but over a longer period. This October, that means the next two weeks until the following lunar eclipse in Taurus 8 November, or over the next six months until the next solar eclipse in Aries, 20 April 2023.

But other planetary factors are also in play during the rest of October and November.

The Saturn-Uranus square

This is a big feature in astrology during the past two years and only becomes more influential throughout the rest of October and November into December.  We’ve been living with Saturn square Uranus for nearly two years, with respite when the planets have separated due to retrogrades.

This big, difficult planetary square goes exact this month so will be at its most intense from now and through November, when the square starts to separate in December 2022. There will likely be a cooling off, then, however temporary, of the conflict in Ukraine.

The Saturn square Uranus influence is challenging, full of contradictions. On the one hand there is history, tradition, duty and order. On the other, there is innovation in technology, but also rebellion and chaos.

On a collective level, this means continuing tensions, disruption and instability on the world stage, on our streets and in our personal lives, continuing well into November at least. Human society in general is in a strange, disordered place, almost hysterical, like ants running about all over the place, not quite knowing what they’re meant to be doing.

This is something that has been observed to happen from time to time in human history, particularly during the first decades of a new millennium. It will start to pass off again. Some astrologers suggest in 2026. Others think sooner. But big changes are happening. The world is reordering its axes of power and influence in a new Aquarian high tech era. This is a time for resilience and robustness on the one hand, and circumspection on the other in counterbalance the shocking speed of change. I remember in 1990, telling students about this new ‘thing’ that was coming- the ‘Information Super Highway’. But we didn’t know what it looked like yet.

It was the Internet.

Mars stations retrograde in Gemini 

Fiery action planet Mars has been transiting airy Gemini since 22 August but it goes retrograde 30 October.

This may turn up the heat in trade and communications including politics. This will affect the city of London which is ruled by Gemini.

A few short days ago it meant I was wondering, could Liz Truss survive as Prime Minister beyond this date?

As it turned out, Liz Truss could not survive as PM even until this date, with another three days still to go.

(See my previous blog where we looked at the cards surrounding the contest for the new Prime Minister of the UK. https://truetarottales.com/2022/10/24/the-contest-for-the-new-pm/  )

This eclipse season is going to be a bumpy ride. Fasten your seat-belt, avoid making life changing decisions, and especially avoid confrontation until the timing is more favourable after 8 November- and delay it longer if you can. 

We also need to avoid gossip. Gemini is a chatterbox, but when it is in Mars retrograde, this isn’t friendly chatter and misunderstandings will easily arise. Things may not be what they seem. Switch off the television and social media if it all gets too much. Very likely, it will.

The Tarot 

Author’s own image, The Legacy of the Divine Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

The Water Element

Three out of five cards are water element cards, Cups card, dominating the mood and feel for the period between now and mid-November.  (The Hanged Man, King of Cups and Two of Cups drawn reversed.)

The court card designating Scorpio in particular is The King of Cups, though he will also stand for a Pisces or Cancer subject, usually male, though not necessarily.

From The Illuminati Tarot

Scorpio is a water sign and looks set to deliver according to its deep and secretive cosmic personality. The water element was the key theme in the predictions for 2022 in general as published here at Ask Astrology in January.  2022 has been a tsunami of challenges. These are mysterious, dangerous and unstable times for the whole world.

We also predicted a more than usually high risk of extreme flooding for 2022.

Sadly, the reality has meant catastrophic flooding in Pakistan, and also in Australia, in Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania only six months after the disastrous east coast flooding in March and April.

The Hanged Man

In general terms this card represents a time of withdrawal, of solitude and introspection. It can be indicating that we are looking at a situation the wrong way round. Maybe we need to take another look and think again. Sometimes we realize that something isn’t working like it used to. It hasn’t been working for some time now but we don’t see a way to fix it. Perhaps it can’t be fixed. Then we can either accept it for what it is and make the best of it. Or we let it go. Surrender it. The Hanged Man is doing some deep thinking.

The reader has come to associate this tarot card with President Zelensky in particular when looking at world events. Astrologically The Hanged Man corresponds with the zodiac sign of Pisces. I am very concerned for him, though here comes better news to offset the bad news.  Jupiter, the giant planet of opportunity is re-entering Pisces 28 October 2022, moving retrograde until it turns direct on 23 November 2022. It then goes direct, moving forward in Pisces until it heads into Aries on 20 December, 2022.

What does this mean in practical terms?

Jupiter is known as the Greater Benefic. Jupiter can be a bully, king of the gods, but it is happy in Pisces, even when retrograde.

President Zelenskyy is an Aquarius subject, an air sign king, and he has been well served by an ability to emotionally detach himself during critical decision making in moments of crisis. This does not mean he does not care. Far from it. But this is what has made him such an effective leader, but this detachment may fail him from time to time, when dealing with an adversary who is operating at a primeval level, caring nothing for the damage he entirely deliberately inflicts on non combatant civilians. This new Pisces season, may be something of a personal struggle for President Zelenskyy on this long haul.

President Biden is a Scorpio subject, with mid term elections falling on the lunar eclipse and a potential money nemesis in Taurus.

Putin has Scorpio rising. The implications of this, I do not find welcome, though the prospect of an eclipse now kicking in over the next six months would be a massive relief to a very great many people who just want to go home and live their lives.

This influence is bold and expansive, opening new doors. This is a powerfully positive aspect for growth and new opportunities in any area of life, especially if there was something that we started back in May 2022.  It could finally start to move forward between now and Christmas.

The King of Cups

This court card is representing the zodiac sign of Scorpio itself, sitting centrally in the reading. This is a curious coincidence, given the focus of this reading which is the eclipse in Scorpio, but then again, that is just typical of the Tarot.

UPDATE 2/112022

Curiously, this card could stand for President Erdogan of Turkey. He is a Pisces subject, a water sign king. This figure is deep. He isn’t particularly talkative but he can be relied on for sound, calm advice.

In this instance, his personal intervention has helped restart grain shipments from Odesa which Russia had blockaded again, although Russia has still attacked a civilian cargo ship and killed two of its crew.

In a personal reading he will often represent a father, husband or mentor.  

Additionally, the King of Cups followed by the watery Two of Cups reversed shows that Scorpio subject President Biden is in for a tough mid-term election 8 November and the Democrat Party may be weakened in Congress.

The Two of Cups

In Ukraine we had a temporary pause, de-escalation and standoff- (The Hanged Man) But only temporary.

What will be the final outcome? What seems likely is that Russia will escalate again, but end up with far less than Putin was aiming at he started this war. But that Hanged Man can’t discount the possibility that Russia may still end up getting more than simple justice says it should. 

When? The Hanged Man suggests that there could be an end to the Russian attacks on its neighbour 2023- late February-late March, but this does not mean the end of the consequences, which will be politically long lasting and far reaching.

The Two of Pentacles could mean a ceasefire in late December. This card correlates with the first decan of the zodiac sign of Capricorn, approx 21 -31 December. This may be due simply to weather conditions rather than an attempt at resolution.

These are indisputably dangerous times, this second half of October month especially, although the cards have not shown a nuclear catastrophe.

resident Putin is subject to at least one rather significant check on his freedom of action in the shape of the newly reelected President Xi.

The Two of Cups reversed

This card correlates with the first decan of the zodiac sign of Scorpio= the first ten days of Scorpio.

This card of diplomacy is drawn reversed, reflecting the fact that President Zelensky is not ready to engage in talks with Russia, though President Putin has recently made a few noises to the effect he might be open to talks via third party mediation.

The cards weakly signal a small range of possibilities as to when there will be a ceasefire, including just before Christmas 2022, decans 2 and 3 of Capricorn, then into Aquarius 2023 and Pisces into Aries, by or before March-April 2023.

But a whole new escalation of crisis seems likely meantime, and this could come any time during this eclipse window between now and 8 November, or then again, in late December.

For us personally, what can be achieved between now and mid- November? Deep changes are happening now, whether these are personal or professional. The Hanged Man and the King of Cups are visionary cards. This might not be the time to act on them.

But something is stirring, and when the time is right, big changes will be happening, some driven by circumstances beyond our personal control but others, definitely created by us.

So much for the water cards. New readers will often discuss the water cards in terms of how lovely they are, and healing, and sensitive, beautiful, ‘spiritual’ and emotional. And they can be. But great emotions will just as readily wreak great turmoil. There are floods. There are storms at sea. Sometimes tsunamis.

The fixed water sign that is the Scorpion of the zodiac is ruled by Mars and Antares. It doesn’t freeze. It may steam. It may gently simmer. But it may scald. It may boil.

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Three of Wands Reversed

This is fiery Mars energy. The Three of Wands is great news for global business or launching an enterprise, but the card has been drawn reversed. There could be snags or delays with exports, imports and deliveries, whether we are sending them or expecting to receive them. If we’re going off on foreign travels we had better treble check every single travel document and take out comprehensive insurance cover.

Any renewal of escalation in Russia’s aerial attacks against civilians in Ukraine would seem most likely to happen around this time, 23-30 October and the following few days, but this does not mean that it WILL happen.

Tarot shows the human weather conditions, but no reader can claim to see ‘the future.’

What the cards do is detect, reflect and project past, present and possible future events and the reasons for them, glimpsing hints of the most and least likely possibilities.

Two of Pentacles reversed.

This card is about juggling finances and options and is talking about the continuing global economic situation which seems likely to continue more volatile than usual until Christmas (Capricorn).

Personal Hints

The Hanged Man

This card requires us to recognize that we are not in control of some situations. There are times we just need to go with the flow. This is a time to watch, wait and reflect. This is not a time to push an issue. If in doubt, as always, it is probably wisest to do nothing.

The Two of Coins reversed

We probably need to take things a bit easier this month. We’re rushing about juggling time, energy and finances. We are spreading ourselves too thin, and need to reconsider our priorities. This also means looking for where there is money wastage e.g.; with standing orders and subscriptions we may have forgotten that we even had, looking for easy ways to reduce financial wastage and tighten the budget.

The King of Cups

This king is the court card associated with the zodiac sign of Scorpio but more generally stands for any mature man born under one of the water signs, Pisces Cancer or Scorpio. Maturity demands that we learn to exercise our best judgement and self-control even when feelings are running high. That’s the best policy this eclipse season- but there is plenty of scope for enjoyment with the King of Cups. When he represents a life partner or a potential new partner, he is deep, devoted- and passionate.

The Three of Wands reversed

This eclipse is not the time to launch-well, anything really. A work or business plan or project may require more planning and research before it’s ready to go, or there could be tensions within a small group or a team at this time.

Easy does it. When this card is drawn the right way up, it’s time to go for it. But right now, we need a bit of a rest. Scale back. Reschedule. Turn the volume down. Nothing constructive is likely to be achieved at this time by rushing.

The Two of Cups reversed

This card appears to be detecting the upcoming Venus in Scorpio transit, 23 October and it’s talking about relationships and money for the next six months. The Two of Cups is about love relationships and friendships. Scorpio is about passion. The card has been drawn reversed so things could go either way, or both ways. On the plus side, we could be in for a truly wonderful time with our loved one, or we could meet someone we are very attracted to. On the other hand, the intensity might be welcome or it might not.

Admirers can be obsessive when Venus is in Scorpio, whether we feel the same way or not.  Beware unwanted admirers and be careful how much information you share with other people.

When it comes to existing relationships, the Two of Cups says Venus in Scorpio can bring power struggles and money concerns out into the open. How money is spent or invested is about to become an intense point of focus in partnerships where financial resources are shared.

Venus in Scorpio is powerful stuff. Allure, sexual desire, lust for power or wealth. Secrets.

This is looking like an especially profound and powerful eclipse season for us, Halloween 2022

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Season of the Celestial Scorpion

Tomorrow is a partial solar eclipse in Scorpio…time to take another look at the mysterious, deathless Scorpion…

True Tarot Tales

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Common Associations

Zodiac symbol

Dates:  October 23 –November 22

Ruling planets:  Ruled by Mars. After Pluto’s discovery in 1930, considered by many modern astrologers to be co-ruled by Pluto

Symbols:  Scorpion, Serpent, Eagle/Phoenix (nearby constellation, Aquila, the Eagle)

Zodiac element:Water

Zodiac quality:Fixed

Keywords: I desire. I transform

Colour: Dark red

Birthstone: Yellow Topaz, Opal, Aquamarine, Tourmaline.

Tree: Walnut. Hawthorn. Blackthorn

Tarot Card: Death

From The Gilded Tarot

Note the Biblical ‘pale horse’ and the white rose. The rose signifies beauty and immortality.

All that has ever once been, is recorded somewhere, somehow, forever.

Astronomy

Scorpius is a massive, spectacular j- shaped constellation located in the skies over the southern hemisphere near the centre of the Milky Way. In the Northern hemisphere it can be seen in July and August, and is most visible in July at 9.00 PM. In the Southern…

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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.

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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.’

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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.

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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:

The ghost who came to tea

One day on a rather gloomy Saturday afternoon, late July 2007, my younger daughter went to a friend’s house for tea. It was the friend’s fourteenth birthday. The little girl, let’s call her Nadia, had, if I remember correctly missed a lot of school in recent months, due to health difficulties.

There were four girls altogether; and Nadia’s mother and father.

Nadia blew out the candles, and her mother was cutting the cake when the lights began to flicker out in the hallway, and the mother said, ‘oh, here we go again. You really need to come and see this, everyone.’

She shepherded them to the foot of the stairs, calling to the father in the sitting room, ‘it’s happening again!’

He grunted some reply over his newspaper but didn’t move to join them. My daughter didn’t hear what he said. There they stood, four girls and the mother as the lights flickered and then my daughter saw a man standing at the top of the stairs.

One minute, there was no-one there. The next, there he was, looking entirely solid and real as real; a young man with brown wavy hair, dressed in jeans and a pale yellow shirt.

They stood looking up. He was looking down as if looking at them, but gave no sign that he saw them, or any indication of being in any way aware of their presence.

Then, just like that, he disappeared as suddenly as he had appeared, and the lights stopped flickering.

Nadia explained, the family had been terrified when it first happened, and had asked the council to re-house them, but now they’d got used to it.

They had no idea who he was (or who he had been) But was he necessarily even dead, or was it some manifestation of astral travel…though transference on the part of the young man who had presumably, once lived in the house.

But because the hosts were so matter of fact about it, my daughter wasn’t frightened, though a little freaked out. Well, you would be, wouldn’t you.

“Alas, poor Yorick. I knew him well…”

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

It’s like that old conundrum, does a falling tree make a noise if there is no-one there to hear it? It takes a living person to perceive a dead one, and in this case, if there was a conduit, or a conjuring, the Tarot suggests it was the father who was the psychic ‘enabler’ in this household, though it was completely unconscious on his part. Maybe he had been worried about his daughter’s health.

My reason for wondering was the appearance of the reserved, moody, kindly psychic King of Cups, a man of deep waters, particularly associated with mature males born under Pisces, Cancer and Scorpio.

From The Legacy of The Divine Tarot

The young man was shown as The Hanged Man, suggesting all manner of tragic possibilities.

I once did a reading for a young man, and this card appeared with other cards in a troubled picture that prompted me ask if a friend had died recently, and his friend had hanged himself, and he was hoping I could tell him.

I couldn’t. Nor would it have been right. He was not a family member. But no-one had realized he was so deeply depressed, and there was a strong sense of a secret, and a great fear this secret would be discovered.

The Hanged Man , it is important to note, almost never refers to suicide. But the Tarot can talk in absolutely literal terms, and does what it says on the tin, such that a card means exactly what it says in the picture.

Say I draw the Eight of Swords, for example. Most interpretations will talk about entrapment, helplessness, passivity, and so on. But I have learned through doing readings for other people, that tarot might well be telling me about a problem with someone’s plumbing or drains.

Yes, the Tarot talks toilets. Quite right too. It needs to go wherever someone needs it to go. Just as when you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go.

As the famous anchoress, and one of the earliest woman authors Julian of Norwich once put it, ‘God does not disdain to serve the body.’

It is thought that the Lady Julian kept a cat, shown here in a depiction in a roundel in Norwich cathedral, to hunt rodents, and this too, served the health of the body; hers and the cat’s.

Source: https://www.winged-heart.com/acatalog/copy_of_Cathedral___Angel.html

Am I saying the Tarot is God? Of course not. We are discussing the interconnectedness of the Everything, though I see no reason why God would be a man in the sky with a big white beard either, and if he is, does He need to go to the toilet?

The Hanged Man is ruled by Neptune – the suit of Cups again. This is a deep, Piscean card.

Once upon a time, the Tarot was saying, there was a young man who was very worried about his future. He felt somehow shut out from other people (The Five of Pentacles) But he couldn’t seem to make his mind up what to do or where to go next, or to muster the effort required. Maybe he managed it in the end. I feel that he did. But probably not undamaged.

Meanwhile, he had left his mark. This.

Surprisingly, only a small percentage of paranormal sightings are true ghosts. The majority of them are really sightings of what we call “residual energy” — when an emotional event is replayed over and over again, at the same spot, and at the same time. SOURCE link to SummitDaily

Maybe the young man was a complete stranger, or actually an echo of a living psyche, or if we want to go truly spiral, the ghost of the father himself as a very young man.

Welcome to The Twilight zone.

Who wants another piece of cake?

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

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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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