Today is a new moon in Capricorn. It is also a super moon- the moon at perigee, closest in its orbit to the earth, and at its most powerful even though unseen, while the asteroid Chiron, ‘the wounded healer’ stations direct after being retrograde since July. Symbolically, a time of powerful memories; mending and healing. Christmas time always brings a tallying, a counting of heads and faces round tables, present and past. There are more ghost stories attached to Christmas than to Halloween.
The vein is thin again.
Orion is spectacular right now, striding westwards in the southern sky. It is the season of the brightest stars, as seen in the northern hemisphere. The story of the Star of Bethlehem, or Christmas Star, appears in the nativity story of the Gospel of Matthew chapter 2 where “wise men from the East” are inspired by the star to travel to Jerusalem. These magi were later re-designated kings, but they may well have been astronomers.
Norah Lofts wrote a novel, ‘How Far to Bethlehem?’ published 1965 in which she retells the story.
Melchior had never seen anything like it; the star was so bright, so full of tragedy and glory. He knew at once that it was his task to find the child and warn its parents. But Melchior was old, poor and unwise in the ways of men. Providence took him to the barbarian king, Gaspar, who wanted to know if this great King in the East would be a threat to his empire. It was Balthazar, the escaped slave with a wonderful knowledge of languages, who helped them find their way across hazardous and violent country to Judea. Just as the three men began their journey, a young girl stood bravely before her betrothed husband in Nazareth trying to find the words to tell him that she was pregnant. Not only was the child not his but she had never known a man. How could she make him understand that their destiny was to raise the Christ-child together?
Astronomers speculate that the Star of Bethlehem may have been a
*triple conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn c 7-5 BC
*conjunction of Jupiter, Regulus (little prince) and Venus (birth).
We are in the first decan of Capricorn territory, the element of earth. The quality is cardinal. These natives are instigators, initiators and executors; natural born leaders, naturalists and historians. Their drive is to inquire, build, conserve and consolidate.
The first decan of Capricorn is associated in the Tarot with the Two of Pentacles/Coins/Disks-or Stones.
The symbolism here is bridge building, or juggling resources.
Vladimir Putin is a Libra subject, but this card has previously shown his ambition to create a new land bridge, joining port to port. He will join a Russian controlled corridor Mariupol all the way to Kaliningrad if only he can. Though it isn’t looking as though he can though he may have another go at taking Odessa, thus land locking Ukraine, hence the recent public display of talks with Lukashenko.
But should he launch a new front in Transnistria come the New Year, this may be the ultimate aim. What if Germany, using Putin’s same arguments, decided it wanted to liberate Kalingrad, and take it back…decided it was still Konigsberg, actually.
In more general terms Capricorn says, what do we mean by homeland?
It is my mother’s birthday today. A true Queen of Pentacles, daughter of Demeter, she wrote this poem:
The Stone People
We are the people and we are the stones
The greater the stones, the higher we stand
We are the stones, our feet in the earth
And under the earth and over the ground
The shape of the stones is the shape of the land
And the shape of the land shapes us
And the shape that we are says who we are
And the shape of the land is us
And the stones where we are is the place where we are
And the place where we are is us
And we are the stones and our bones are the stones
And the stones are us, are us
When we are not here to hold hands in our ring
To talk and plan as we must
You can hear the beat of our stony feet
In the circles that stand for us
from ‘Mrs Noah Lives In The Real World.’
People of the stones. Our natal, native, physically formative patch of ground can be identified thousands of years after our death by the mineral profile of our teeth.
The lucky stone particularly associated with this time of year is the Moss Agate. It is not a true agate, as it is not banded, but is counted in this family and considered a semi-precious crystal. It’s made of silicon dioxide and chalcedony. The hue comes from emerald ore and a minute quantity of metallic particles, such as iron or chrome.
In superstitious or magical terms it stands for Earth itself and the element of water on Earth. It is said to be a wealth attractor; to soothe anger and calm grief, and to protect against atmospheric pollutants.
Season’s Greetings. I’ll leave you with We Three Kings…wait for the bagpipes-are they Northumbrian pipes-or Persian?
Thursday 22 September marks the mythical British mid-harvest festival of Mabon, heralding the arrival of the autumn equinox which in 2022 is on 23 September.
During an equinox, the Suncrosses what we call the “celestial equator”—an imaginary extension of Earth’s equator line into space. The equinox occurs precisely when the Sun’s center passes through this line.
In the Northern Hemisphere, when the Sun crosses the equator going from north to south, this marks the autumnal equinox and when it crosses from south to north, this marks the vernal equinox. This is reversed in the Southern Hemisphere.
Now we leave the zodiac sign of Virgo, the Queen of the Harvest, and enter the astrological territory of Libra The Scales, representing the ever changing balance of day and night, represented in Tarot by The Justice card.
Libra is the only Zodiac constellation represented by an inanimate object, and not by an animal or a mythological character. The stars that represent the scales of justice are borrowed from the constellation of Scorpio next door, the claws of the Scorpion.
Those born under Libra are famously cool in temperament, intellectual, and can be somewhat emotionally detached but also volatile. According to the Roman writer Marcus Manilius, Roman judges were born under the sign of Libra. The moon was said to have been in Libra when Rome was founded, and therefore the Roman empire itself (at least, according to Manilius) began on a just and balanced foundation. Or at least, a legalized, rational, process based system.
The first harvest festival of the year was Lammas (‘Loaf Mass Tide) celebrated on the first of August. This later second harvest, Mabon, ends on 29 September.
Mabon ap Modron, -Mabon the son of Modron, was a figure from Welsh mythology who by the tenth century AD, and the first written record of him in an old Welsh poem, had became associated with the story of King Arthur. In these stories, he was one of Arthur’s war band, but the roots are much older.
The origin of the name, Mabon is related to the Romano- British god Maponos, whose name means “Great Son”; his mother Modron, in turn, is likely related to the Gaulish goddess Dea Matrona. (modern word Matron) (Via Wiki)
Dea Matrona was the Divine Mother Goddess. The River Marne in France was named in her honour and Gaulish religious images included mass produced inexpensive terracotta statues for domestic use in household shrines. These little statues showed mother goddesses nursing babies or holding fruits, other foods, or small dogs in their laps.
Mabon may be a semi-fictionalized festival. The name is not known to have been associated with this late harvest before the 1970’s, and may be at least in part, a Neo-Pagan confection.
But there is only humility and gratitude, in seeing stories in the seasons, honouring the great earth mother, whether we think of her as Modron, Virgo, Astrea, Demeter, Gaia or Persephone, or simply as the earth itself.
All stories grow out of some real soil.
The stories are all true.
The fall or autumn equinox is especially associated with apple picking. Bring on the scrumping, the crumble and the cider.
The best cider vinegar still contains the living ‘mother.’ This vinegar is made through a two-step process. First, yeast is added to apple juice to break down the sugars and turn them into alcohol. Then, bacteria is added, converting the alcohol into acetic acid. This bacteria is what is known as the mother, This is the catalyst that gives rise to the vinegar. Many apple cider vinegars have the mother removed because it gives the vinegar a cloudy appearance and some people think it’s gone bad. Not so. The mother is the best bit, the most nutritious element.
“The ceremonies you have seen today are ancient, and some of their origins are veiled in the mists of the past. But their spirit and their meaning shine through the ages never, perhaps, more brightly than now.”-Queen Elizabeth, Cape Town, 1947
I drew a card at random, just to see what I would get and I drew the Wheel of Fortune.
Change will and must come, even as we resist it, fear it or mourn it. This card is associated with both the ancient Greek father of the gods of Mount Olympus, and with the giant planet Jupiter, which basically says, let go, let it be and go large.
Roll with the punches.
Love shows itself more in adversity than in prosperity; as light does, which shines most where the place is darkest. I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink.’
-Leonardo Da Vinci
The Wheel of Fortune is associated with the classical figure of Lady Luck. It is also associated with our British proto-Germanic roots, the Norse thunder god Thor, his great war hammer Mjölnir and the Thorn rune, THURISAZ.
The thorn rune stands for the sound ‘th’ in the rune alphabet. This is a runic glyph and letter of both attack and defense. It is the war hammer of Thor, but it is also a hedge of thorns for keeping out the enemy. The invocation of Thurisaz is also directed in magical workings for success in matters of the law, and for focus and concentration when studying for examinations.
The Hawthorn and the Blackthorn have many superstitions attached to them in British folklore. The Hawthorn is occasionally benevolent, the Blackthorn more frequently ominous.
Lady Luck was known to the ancient Greeks as Tyche. She was the daughter of Aphrodite and Hermes or she may have been one of the Oceanids, a daughter of Oceanus. The Encyclopaedia Britannica says that that the first dice were invented by a prince called Palamedes and were offered as a tribute to Tyche in seeking her favour.
One look at this statue reminds us of, well, whom? The world has always been globalist. For good and ill, by means of travel, trade and war.
We live with the daily conundrum of The Wheel of Fortune, Fortuna’s Wheel. We are subject to events over which we have no control. But we can position ourselves. We can plan and prepare. We can choose how to respond.
We are seeing it in ceremonial action at this time. The Queen’s funeral has been planned for over many years. The Queen herself was consulted about the design of the hearse, agreeing to the lighting, so that the coffin could still be seen transported back to London in the hours of darkness.
The death of the Queen was planned for, anticipated – and yet, for all that, and as with even the most peaceful deaths at a good old age, it may be still experienced as a shock, both emotional and environmental.
Symbols are the currency of the collective psyche. The zeitgeist changes but the roots go deeper. There will be a new face on our coins and banknotes, and on our stamps. These are tiny changes, and yet, like a rearrangement of our oldest family furniture, they will take getting used to.
I’m spending a lot of time down memory lane this week, not only because of the death of the Queen, but I’ve been sorting through a box of old family photographs.
The word ‘rune’ comes from the old Germanic, ‘runa’ or ‘runo’ meaning a secret thing, a mystery. The northern peoples saw the Earth, its forces and all things in nature seen as living forces or spirits to be honoured and respected. The runes were and still are used for psychic readings and advice- divination -or used for magical purposes and good luck – seidr.
Runes were the first systems of writing developed and used by the Norse and other Germanic peoples. These runic alphabets are known as “futharks” after the first six runes (Fehu, Uruz, Thurisaz, Ansuz, Raidho, and Kenaz) – just as the word “alphabet” comes from the names of the first two Semitic letters (Aleph, Beth).
There are three rune alphabets or futharks: the Elder, Younger and Saxon futharks. The 24-character Elder Futhark was the first fully-formed runic alphabet, dating back, so far as we know, to the first century CE/AD, though it may have been in development from about 200 BCE.
Today we are working with the Elder Futhark, illustrated below.
The more specific the question, the more specific and detailed the reading. Here, we have no specific question., so the findings are very general. The reader is looking for the feel of things, the tone, and for challenges, opportunities or guidance contained within the runes selected blindly and at random.
Review -April rune reading
In a rune reading done late March 2022, the runes talked about a highly volatile, tense and unstable month to come in April 2022.
The reader wrote, “Thurisaz is the Thorn rune, symbolizing the hammer of Thor, the Norse god of Thunder and Thursdays. This rune is known as the rune of chaos, such as we have all been witnessing at extreme levels in recent weeks. Thurisaz talks about ‘thorny issues’- major challenges. It describes or forecasts situations of defence, attack and storms. This may also refer to other related natural events, such as floods or tsunamis in April.”
12-14 April we witnessed floods in South Africa, Kwazulu, Durban, 12-14 April as reported here in the ‘The New York Times’ 19 April 2022:-
Nearly 4,000 homes have been destroyed and more than twice as many damaged in the Durban area after a week of punishing rains and mudslides. The death toll is now 448, with about four dozen people unaccounted for.
Runes, like astrology, like Tarot or card reading, may be used for guidance and advice, for forecasting/prediction or for both. Many readers nowadays use runes purely for personal guidance. The problem with forecasting is, we will not always like it, and what can we do about it anyway? The answer to this can only be that forewarned is forearmed. The forecast may turn out to be wrong. It may prove to be unduly pessimistic, and if we are feeling anxious or depressed, this may only add to the weight of our burden.
The best way to use psychic prediction is to treat is as a hint , see how it fits with your own assessment and gut feeling, and for the rest, time will tell. If a weather forecaster says it’s sunny outside right now, and there is not a cloud in the sky, but the weather forecaster tells us there is a new weather front on the way and it’s going to rain later, we can decide whether or not to go out and if we do, whether to take a raincoat.
Runecastfor May 2022
We have drawn two runes for this coming month, Elhaz and Ingwaz, choosing these runes to represent the general tone and dynamic in world affairs and in our personal affairs as well this month.
Such a reading will obviously be general in scope but there are seasons in events, just as there are different seasons in the year. We have times that are quieter than others. Then we have times of mass general turmoil, as with World Wars 1 and 11 for instance, 1939-1945, and these things tend to go in cycles. We are currently in a cycle of which began in 2019 and which astrologers suggest will calm down 2025/2026.
IMG Katie-Ellen Hazeldine
KEYWORDS: Protection, guardian, awakening, courage, defence, acting on our instinct
The rune on the left, Elhaz the Elk is also known as Eohl or Algiz.
It means The Elk or The Sedge, or even, The Elk-Sedge. The runes were inspired by things familiar in the landscapes inhabited by these various northern peoples. The wild antlered elk was still roaming wild in northern Europe at that time. The sedge is a grass-like plant that grows on wet ground, found in temperate and colder climates.
Here, Elhaz has been drawn reversed (merkstave.) First let us imagine it turned upright. Now you see the ‘antlers’ and you can see that this rune also looks like rather a person raising their arms to heaven in appeal for help, or else making an invocation.
Elhaz is a rune of general protection, very powerful but the power comes from the mind of the person using it to protect themselves or another. It will not remove all obstacles. We cannot and will not always be comfortable and safe in this life. Sometimes we struggle. Sometimes we need to stand up for ourselves and fight our own corner. We will never arrive at our full power if we always run away from a fight. Viking warriors used to decorate their shields with this rune but some still died in battle. The Vikings did not take this as a sign that the rune had no power, but instead as a sign that this was the warrior’s time to die; that The Norns or Fates had decreed it. It is worth noting, that the Norns, although they scratched our names and destinies in the bark of the World Tree at the moment of our birth, did allow scope for a mortal to change their own destiny, unlike the Fates of Greek mythology. The Norns saw the future in more fluid terms, less a fixed destiny, more of ‘becoming,’ or that which should be.
Elhaz reversed is a sign of vulnerability or warns us that we may be making a sacrifice with no gain. Perhaps this month we need to watch out that we are not misled by others or possibly conned out of our money, or made a scapegoat for someone else’s mistakes. Elhaz reversed warns us to pay attention to our surroundings, not to take our own safety for granted, and not to make any big moves too soon in a new relationship. We need to give it more time, and learn more about this person. Everyone makes mistakes. But we must learn from any past mistakes or be doomed to repeat them.
There may be a person to avoid this month or an offer which should be refused. The classic advice applies with Elhaz reversed. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
The rune on the right, Ingwaz is also known as Ing or Inguz. It may look like a simple diamond, as illustrated above. Alternatively it may look like this:
The word Ingwaz means literally ‘god-seed’. This rune, Ingwaz, Inguz or Ing, comes from an ancient god image Ing, which was an older name for Freyr, a later Swedish Viking god of virility, fertility and agriculture, like another famous pre- Christian figure of mythology, The Green Man.
Ingwaz is talking about the earth itself; the planting of seeds, germination and new life. It is talking about fertility, in this case especially masculine fertility. But it may also be talking in a more abstract sense as in, planting the seeds of a new idea.
Ingwaz is a favourable rune of positive action, unity, agreements, and peace, although the situation may require plenty of careful treatment, and enough time and space to flourish. Ingwaz is all about ‘doing.’
‘Ing’ is in constant use in modern English as a language participle “-ing” adding action to a verb. We say ‘Go-ing’, ‘Read-ing’, ‘See-ing etc. The addition of “ing” represents action.
Ingwaz suggests a successful conclusion in solving a problem at hand. Ingwaz can signify milestone events, such as a new baby or a new job. It cannot be reversed. It looks the same right way up as it does upside down so it has no negative meaning unless it is surrounded by negative runes. Here, it has been drawn opposite Elhaz reversed, a negative meaning of danger. The appearance of Ingwaz in this context offers a faint glimmer of hope for diplomatic efforts to bear some fruit in May. But if not, this fiery rune promises a very determined and courageous on-going resistance to attack, wherever it is being waged by one state against another.
Ingwaz the ‘seed’ is by extension also to do with agriculture-food. Looking at Ingwaz in relation to our first rune, Elhaz merkstave, we can see that issues to do with food supplies, shortages and increases in the cost of food will be featuring large in the news this coming month, as Russia’s war on Ukraine affects exports globally, but especially Egypt and Africa.
The danger of Elhaz drawn reversed married up with the vital spark of Ing can mean sudden fiery events in May 2022, such as rockets and missiles, as we are so horrifically seeing, or wildfire such as we have witnessed in New Mexico already this month.
It may also be worth noting that 10 May big bold Jupiter, the ‘Greater Benefic’ an optimistic, generous, benevolent planet in astrological terms, left deep watery Pisces and moved into bold, fiery, hyperactive Aries, where it stays until 28 October 2022. This is big, bold, active energy for good or bad,
Generally, this planetary transit is understood as a positive influence, happening only every 11 or 12 years, although the potential for disruption is self evident. World War 1 and World War 11 both began during a Jupiter in Aries transit, but that also meant of course, a number of such transits in between these events with no war, so let us not worry too much.
Ingwaz is a powerfully positive rune in general. It tends to bring an easing of something that has been worrying us. There may be a sense of relief about something this coming month or a sense of excitement, pride or accomplishment for a problem sorted or a job well done, or a new project coming over the horizon.
Ingwaz is a positive rune in relationships, starting a family or launching a new project or venture if that is what we are looking for. It brings a boost of energy, physical and mental.
Ingwaz indicates that this coming month is a good time for home improvements on the one hand, spring cleaning, maintenance and upgrades, and at the other end of the scale, taking into account the challenges in this coming month signified by, Elhaz reversed, do we need to review our safeguarding, home security or our personal security?
In our personal lives, this rune is has a particularly masculine energy. It signifies good times, new love relationships and weddings. We could see that a project starts coming together. With care, discipline and patience, this rune says it will bear fruit.
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.
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…
February comes from the Latin ‘Februarius’, referring to Februa, a Roman festival of ritual purification. Below, the Roman spa at Bath, UK.
February was added to the older Julian calendar in the 700’s BCE when two new months were added to create the new Gregorian calendar, matching it up more closely with the actual length of the Earth’s journey round the sun.
But the Anglo Saxons called February Sōlmōnath, from sōl n Old English word for wet sand or mud, alluding to the weather this time of year and the effects of rain and snow melt. The romantic Solway Firth between North West England and South West Scotland is actually the massive tidal ‘Mud way’, rather than the ‘Sun way.’
The northern English scholar monk , saint Bede, wrote that February was celebrated as “the month of cakes,” when ritual offerings of savory cakes and loaves of bread were made to ensure a good year’s harvest.
But is the fire festival of Imbolc and Brigid is a more ancient celebration in Gaelic Britain, including Ireland, Scotland, swathes of Northern England and the Isle of Man.
Brigid’s fire festival began as a neolithic festival marking the 1/2 way point between the winter solstice (Yule) and the spring equinox (Beltane.)
Imbolc spans 1-2 February, celebrating the arrival of Brigid, the Divine Feminine, and the harbinger of the coming of spring and the first lambs, so vital to survival of those early communities. Brigid’s name means ‘Exalted One’.
‘Imbolc’ is thought to mean ‘in the belly’ referring to the precious ewes in lamb Soon is the time of the first lambs although the start of the lambing season varies by up to two weeks in any given year.
Brigid was a powerful protector of women in childbirth, as well as the safe birthing of precious livestock. She was not only a goddess of the Tuatha Dé Danann, The Tribe of the Gods, but a triple goddess of healers, poets and smiths.
“The Tuatha de Danaan, the people of the (mother) goddess Danu in Celtic mythology; a race inhabiting Ireland before the arrival of the Milesians (the ancestors of the modern Irish). They were said to have been skilled in magic, and the earliest reference to them relates that, after they were banished from heaven because of their knowledge, they descended on Ireland in a cloud of mist. They were thought to have disappeared into the hills when overcome by the Milesians. The Leabhar Gabhála (Book of Invasions), a fictitious history of Ireland from the earliest times, treats them as actual people, and they were so regarded by native historians up to the 17th century. In popular legend they have become associated with the numerous fairies still supposed to inhabit the Irish landscape”. From The Encylopedia Britannica
Brigid was said to visit one’s home at Imbolc. People would make a bed for her, and leave food and drink and items of clothing outside in the hope of receiving her blessings, petitioning her to protect homes and livestock.
This was a time for feasting and visits to sacred wells, and a time for ritual divination. A St Brigid’s cross is made from rushes and was placed in doorways to protect the home from harm, representing the wheel of the seasons.
Spring is fierce in its quickening of new shoots. Spring is initiation. Spring is fire, just as Aries the Ram of the zodiac, though bot starting until later, in late March, is a fire sign.
The old Norse rune ING or INGUZ is a fire sign rune, associated with male fertility, vitality and recovery from sickness. This powerful protective rune can also be noticed incorporated into pargeting, used in half-timbered buildings in Britain and northern Europe
The people would light bonfires on the hilltops by night, and by day might run cattle through the smoke of lower lying bonfires, asking divine protection for the livestock.
Imbolc was a key moment in weather forecasting. This was the time when The Cailleach —the divine crone of Gaelic tradition—gathered firewood for the rest of the winter. If the Cailleach knew the winter was going to last a good while longer, she’d make sure of good weather during Imbolc and would use it to gather more firewood to top up her stores. Bad weather at Imbolc was good news. The Cailleach wasn’t worried about running out of firewood. She had turned over and gone back to sleep and the worst of winter was almost over.
‘Dark sacred night’…yes, but when the dark goes on too long, we shout back at the dark, fighting back with the Promethean gift of fire.