It never rains but it pours

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A great national figure, much respected and beloved, not only in her own homeland, but across the world, is carried aloft in the gloom and rain, companioned at every stage by her daughter, carefully borne stage by stage and step by step to the place of her final rest.

While elsewhere …

We can all see what’s on the news. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has taken a pasting in recent days. Some astrologers are saying the writing is on the wall for him. I don’t disagree but it seems to me, he’s not down and out, he’s not done yet.

A Tarot reader doesn’t know anything others don’t know. It’s not omniscience, nor a ‘spiritual’ thing, whatever that actually means. It’s divination…learning a symbolic language for talking with our ancient mind. I look in the mirror of the Tarot to find out what I feel or think about something at an unconscious or subconscious level, that is all, in a way we were never taught in school.

Tweeted earlier this afternoon 13 September

The Question: what is Putin going to do next? Using The Illuminati Tarot deck.

#Tarot #Putin watch. Purely speculative. The Moon, Danger, uncertainty, 5 Swords defeat mortification. Taking no prisoners (never was.) 3 Cups NB Reversed, kicking cats, shoring up support behind scenes, China skittish. What next? 2 Pentacles. Regroup, double down on land bridge.

He will double down because although Ukrainian victory seems a long way off and far from certain, it is now crossing his mind that they might actually take back the Crimea.

Meantime the Five of Swords is full of spite.

This from The Daily Beast

Brutal realizations have been raining upon the Kremlin’s top propagandists—and when it rains, it pours. The same pundits who used to threaten NATO countries with nuclear strikes are begrudgingly acknowledging that Russia’s Armed Forces have suffered a series of humiliating setbacks in Ukraine.

Appearing on Russia’s NTV show The Meeting Place on Monday, policy analyst Viktor Olevich surmised: “Unfortunately, the situation is difficult. Can we say that the Russian forces moved closer to meeting the goals and carrying out the tasks set by the president at the beginning of the special operation—or did they get further away? Obviously, we’re now further away.”

More HERE

Back soon 🙂

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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Halloween, hailing Hekate, witch-goddess of ghosts…and a true ghostly tarot tale

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scorpio Photo by Jo Kassis on Pexels.com

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

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

Liminal Spaces

From The Gilded Tarot Royale, illustrator Ciro Marchetti

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

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

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

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

Any liminal ‘in-between space’ is understood as a sacred or magical space, a gateway through which ghostly or magical (magickal) things may manifest. A threshold, a doorway is a space to be protected. Crossroads are in-between spaces, representing a choice of directions or possibilities.

Hekate, goddess of ghosts

The Triple Hecate William Blake, Public Domain

There is no presiding god or deity of Halloween in northern Europe. Hekate comes from further south. She is an ancient goddess of the night, the heavens and the waning Moon. Over many ages she has become inextricably linked with ghosts and witchcraft, and by association, with Halloween. Today Hekate is viewed as the chief goddess presiding over witchcraft with followers today among neo-Pagans, Wiccans and solitary occult or magickal practitioners (NB magickal, is spelled this way to be distinguished from stage or performance magic of entertainer magicians).

Hekate, like Hermes was a necromancer- one who can speak with the dead. In a sense, we all do that, speaking to our loved ones who have gone. But in Greek mythology, Hekate and Hermes were the only personages who could enter and leave the Underworld at will.

Likewise, you don’t have to be dead to be a ghost. Perhaps when we sleep we become the ghosts who haunt our previous homes. When we dream we are back there in that house, we might be giving the current residents a fine old fright, glimpsing our ghostly ‘thought form’ somewhere round the place. Astral travel.

Mythology

The name Hekate comes from the ancient Greek meaning ‘worker from afar.’

This working at a distance is in the very nature of a spell.

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

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

The Kindness of Hekate

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

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

And when fortune overturned the pride of the Trojans, who dared everything, so that both the king and his kingdom were destroyed, poor wretched captured Hecuba,after she saw her Polyxena dead and found her Polydorus on the beach,was driven mad by sorrow and began barking like a dog”… Dante

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

Cerberus, Public Domain

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

But Hekate is called upon as a protector of dogs, and likewise she is a protector of the home (as is a good dog)

Pillars called Hecataea stood at crossroads and doorways, for good luck, to ask her to keep away any unwanted visitors, including evil spirits. 

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

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

Magickal Traditions, Symbols and Practice

Hekate’s colours are black and red.

Her symbols are keys and torches

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

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

SONY DSC
What might Hekate help with?

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

-Assistance with banishing harmful situations

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

Asking help from Hekate

1/ Attitude

Care and respect is required as with any request.

2/ Naming

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

3/ Timing

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

4/ Place/rituals

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

5/ Gifts and thanks

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

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

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

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

-Just like with a birthday cake, offer a slice of cake, or a cupcake with a candle. Make your request. Blow out the candle, making a gift of the fire. I leave it up to you whether you eat the cake in her honour, but why not. It’s the thought that counts, is it not?

A True Ghost story

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

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

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

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

I recommend reading about the Cambridge archaeologist and paranormal researcher Tom Lethbridge T.C. Lethbridge

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

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

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

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

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

What had this ghostly lady said to the little girl? That her hair was very pretty.

This figured. The cards confirmed a benign presence – or influence. A grandmother?

The cards indicated the lady who was calling had been under a lot of strain. She confirmed a prolonged period of acute financial and other worries.

Her mother had died three years earlier, and she was still missing her, quite badly. But the littlest child was too young to remember her grandmother. Why, the lady wondered, if the ghost was her mother, had her mother not talked to her, but to the child?

It was because the little girl happened in that moment to be the one tuned in on the ‘right’ wavelength to receive such an incoming message. The little girl had ESP in other words, and was hyper sensitive to atmosphere. This was why she alone had heard it. If there was a ghost, if the grandmother was still around, then she was tuning in to the living, seeking to deliver comfort to the mother who was her child.

The little grand-daughter was the most accessible conduit.

First things first. The lady had called to ask for help. How could I help? The lady needed to restore order in the household right away. She needed to assert herself and reclaim her territory, ‘psych it out’, and show the children it was safe to go anywhere in the house. The living can talk to a ghost, or say boo, just as it can say boo to us.There was no nastiness in these cards.

I suggested she announce, ‘it’s gone now’, put lights on, open that sitting room door, go down the hallway, put the kettle on, serve up supper. Light, movement and noise will shatter such a spell while fear is contagious.

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

No suggestion of criticism attaches to the lady. None whatsoever. Fear was a natural reaction. But if it happened again, now that she had some kind of explanation, however questionable, and reassurance that it was not malevolent, she could choose a more matter of fact response, whilst not dismissing the child’s experience.

The Mind has many corridors” – Emily Dickinson

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

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

From my point of view, since I had never spoken with this lady medium myself before her visit to the house, but had simply provided contact details, I was interested that my tarot and this lady, this psychic medium, had told virtually identical stories.

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

From The Gilded Tarot

This time is ours. Our inheritance of Earth. Our ace card in otherworldly dealings, the Ace of Pentacles. A nice cup of tea? How about a biccie? Fed the cat. Take the dog a walk.

Take it to the cemetery.

It’s nice in there.

Photo by Micael Widell on Pexels.com

ALL SOULS

The transient day dies silently, and at its edge,

four grey hounds hunt for signs among the graves,

snuffling in the leaves, they lift their legs

on dead chrysanths in faded wreaths.

A wind sprite sneaks round urns and angels,

and whisks the skirt of a woman kneeling

with a basket beside a new earth mound.

Two small children crouch behind.

Lights come on as dusk draws in,

and the woman with her kids drifts away

with the mist, all grey, sky as one,

into the Hesperian town.

The hounds stay running among the stones,

backs bridged over their skittering bones.

Circling together they lift their heads

and howl for the souls of their ancestral dead;

hunters, and all the prey that gave up the ghost

dying together in the close embracing hills.

They know who they are calling; The Host,

All Souls, rising from the earth like smoke.

Torches have blazed with saxophone and drum.

Masked revellers with candles in the town

finally sleep. And, under the windy moon,

the graveyard walks.

Margaret Whyte

February and the Fires of Imbolc, the Fae and Brigid’s Day

February comes from the Latin ‘Februarius’, referring to Februa, a Roman festival of ritual purification. Below, the Roman spa at Bath, UK.

Photo by Rachel Claire on Pexels.com

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’.

Brigid From The Sacred Circle Tarot

‘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.

Photo by Paul Seling on Pexels.com

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.

Via Wiki Riders of the Sidhe, the Tuatha de Dannan

“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.

By Culnacreann – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3500722

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.

Via Pinterest

‘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.

A Lunar Eclipse: The Crab, the Sultan and the Wolf

Tweeted Friday January 10

“Tonight is the first full moon of the new year, nicknamed the Wolf Moon. As winter bit down, hungry wolves came down to the villages in search of food.”

January and February is wolf mating season, and their howls haunted the nights more than usual, both in Europe and in North America. This nickname was shared by Europeans and Native Americans alike, though this full moon has other nicknames too, including the Snow Moon and Ice Moon.

British Wolf Hunt Public Domain

Also Tweeted

“Tonight’s lunar eclipse full moon in Cancer rises at 15:50 GMT (UK) or 2:21 ET and sets at 07.53 GMT (UK) Last night’s almost-full moon was spectacular. Excited cat playing & pouncing on things. This ‘watery’ lunar event typically signifies big changes at home. A letting go.”

That evening I said to Il Matrimonio, “I wonder who we will be hearing about tomorrow, who has ‘let go and left home’?”

Very many people will have ‘let go and left home’ of course. 2 people go out of this world every second and 4 come in, or if we want to be statistically exact, 1.8 go out, and 4.20 come in.

“The unborn are banging on the gates of the dock. What’s the limit on the shipping lanes?”- KT Kearns

But who would we be hearing about?

Which crab would quit his rock-pool?

Who would the wolf moon carry away in tonight’s meteor shower? (The Quadrantids)

It was the Sultan of Oman, Qaboos bin Said Al- Said, 79, a ruler for 50 years, ally of the UK and US and the longest ruling monarch in the Arab world.

Publicly at least, apart from three years of marriage which ended in divorce, after which his wife remarried, he lived to all intents and purposes as a hermit (crab) But his personal life has remained entirely private, protected by his shell of court and state.

Qaboos bin Said Al -Said

Excerpts from an Obituary in the Middle East Eye: (Link provided below)

“The sultan took the throne of an extremely underdeveloped country with a history of civil conflict and oversaw its transformation into a politically stable middle-income state during his half-century reign. Under a model of modernising absolute monarchy, he largely managed to steer Oman away from the extremes of consumerism of neighbouring Dubai and the religious conservatism of Saudi Arabia.

The concentration of political power and wealth in the sultan’s hands, combined with the absence of a clear route to succession, had led to fears that there could be a leadership crisis following his death.

The appointment of Haitham bin Tariq, Oman’s culture minister and the 65-year-old cousin of the late sultan, on Saturday appeared to put to rest lingering uncertainty over the country’s succession process.

Under Qaboos, political parties were banned and laws of lese-majesty created an all-pervasive system of surveillance and repression that ensured no organised opposition could emerge.

Still, there is no doubting the genuine affection in which the sultan was held by many Omanis and expatriates, seen as a visionary leader who had secured the welfare of Omanis and expatriates alike by leading the nation through its modernisation, and leaving a legacy that his successor will be hard put to equal.

Oman’s Sultan Qaboos is pictured at his palace in Muscat on 14 January (AFP)
Oman’s Sultan Qaboos is pictured at his palace in Muscat on 14 January 2019 (AFP)

The Sultan inherited a conservative, highly religious country riven by armed insurrection and tribal divisions, Valeri wrote, and over several decades, reduced the influence of the tribes, while incorporating their leaders in the political process.

Qaboos also championed the advance of women, gradually opening the way for many to enter education and the labour market in increasing numbers, despite Oman being a conservative society that traditionally segregated women in domestic roles.

Qaboos was also a big supporter of the arts with his government sponsoring the country’s first societies of artists and traditional music. As a lover of classical music, he played the organ and the lute, composed music and founded the Gulf’s first symphony orchestra in 1985, its players recruited from the towns and villages of Oman.

Qaboos was careful to maintain diplomatic ties even with those states, such as Iran and Iraq, which were in conflict with his western allies. As he explained to an Egyptian newspaper in 1985: “There is ultimately no alternative to peaceful coexistence between Arabs and Persians, nor to a minimum of agreement in the region.”

One of the world’s longest-serving heads of state, Qaboos began tentative moves toward a constitutional monarchy in the late 1990s and early 2000s, with the introduction of an elected consultative assembly and municipal council elections. However at the time of his death he remained head of state and prime minister, and commander in chief of the armed forces. 

Qaboos’s successor will face the growing question of how to quell rising expectations of a new generation of internet-savvy young people no longer satisfied with the repressive paternalism that prevailed under half a century of Qaboos.

Excerpts from the Middle East Eye: Read more HERE

Now. Here is a very interesting piece of information, linking the Full Moon In Cancer with the Sultan Qaboos, or at least, I find this interesting. If not downright spooky.

Your Moon sign is an expression of your temperament and style of doing things. The natal chart of the Sultan shows that he was born with his Sun in deep and secretive, watery Scorpio and his Moon in the sign of almost equally deep and secretive sign of Cancer the Crab.

That was one enigmatic man of deep waters. That was one tough shell.

Two tough shells.

Now consider this image of the Moon card from The Gilded Tarot Royale, from the illustrator Ciro Marchetti, and the full moon uniting wolf and crab.

Or should we say, reuniting.

Until next time 🙂

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