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.
Today is a New Moon in Leo, a moon phase of endings and beginnings. Kings and empires rise and fall, but to paraphrase Outro M38, ‘we are all the kings in our own land’…Facing tempest of dust/ I’ll fight on till the end/Creatures of my dreams/Raise up and dance with me/ Now and forever, I’m your king.’
There is something unsettled right now, says this Taurean subject born with a first quarter Moon in Leo. The astrology paints this New Moon in buoyant, passionate, Jupiterian terms, though with a potential for chaos. But a New Moon phase only last two and half days, while a rare and major Mars, Uranus and North Node in Taurus triple conjunction is approaching 31 July/1 August. This is a rare event, historically associated with major political, weather, explosive or seismic events. Such events may not occur precisely on these dates but are set…
The word ‘zodiac’ comes from the Greek meaning ‘circle of animals.’ The only zodiac sign that is non-representative of a living creature is Libra, the sign of the Scales, but even its scales are borrowed from the stars of Scorpio, the giant scorpion in the heavens next door.
Gemini the sign of the Heavenly Twins is a mutable air sign and the third sign of the western zodiac, representing late spring into early summer in the northern hemisphere.
Dates: May 21- June 20
Ruling planet: Mercury
Affirmation: ‘I think, I inquire.’
Birth Stone: Born in May, Emerald. Born in June, Pearl (although it is not a stone, it is thought to be ruled by Mercury)
The Gemini constellation was listed as one of the 48 ancient constellations by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the second century, though Ptolemy referred to it in terms of its two brightest stars, as ‘ The Star of Apollo (Castor) and The Star of Heracles (Pollux)’.
Gemini is the northernmost constellation in the zodiac, and is the thirtieth largest in size. Gemini can be seen with the naked eye looking north east of the constellation Orion between the Taurus and Cancer constellations. Best viewing is during February. By April and May, the constellation is visible in the west soon after sunset.
The two brightest stars in the constellation, Castor and Pollux, represent the heads of the twins from Greek mythology, while fainter stars outline their bodies. Pollux, the westerly twin, is a red giant star, 33 light-years from Earth while Castor is about 51 light-years away. A light-year is the distance that light travels in a year – about 6 trillion miles/9.6 trillion kilometres.
Pollux is the brighter of the two stars, and has a massive planet orbiting it, called Beta Genorium B, 1.6 times bigger than Jupiter. Castor is actually not a single star, but a star system made of up six stars not visible to the naked eye.
Gemini represents the principle of duality or polarity, similarities and opposites, and in late spring in the northern hemisphere, this is seen in action in the climax of splitting or cloning. Pollen flies free. Eggs hatch. Butterflies and dragonflies hatch out of their chrysalis. The mythology of twins goes back at least as far as the so-called Age of Gemini, during the Palaeolithic, 6, 500 BCE, arising from our understanding of the duality fundamental to the nature of reality.
There are many twin stories in world myth, representing polarities, night and day, light and dark, heat and cold, male and female, war and peace, good and bad, life and death. The creation myths of ancient cultures across the world reflect this eternal battle of seeming opposites. Many surviving objects feature twin gods and goddesses. In some cultures twins have been feared In some remote places, so much so, that twins have been killed at birth, and it is thought the practice continues to this day.
In Egyptian astrology the stars of Gemini were twin goats, or else they were the two gods, Horus the Elder and Horus the Younger, while classical Greek mythology identified them as the twin brothers, Castor and Pollux, The Gemini.
Gemini is the first sign of the western tropical zodiac year that has a human representation rather than an animal one, following Aries the Ram and Taurus the Bull.
Castor and Pollux
Gemini is the name by which the constellation is known today throughout the western world. Gemini is Latin for “twins,” and Gemini is The Hellenistic names of the Heavenly Twins, Castor and Pollux.
Castor comes from the Greek Καστωρ (Kastor) and means “to excel, to shine.” In Greek myth Castor was a son of Zeus and the twin brother of Pollux.
Pollux comes from the Roman form of Greek Πολυδευκης (Polydeukes) and means “very sweet”.
The circumstances of their birth were unusual, to say the least. Queen Leda of Sparta was seduced by Zeus who had disguised himself as a swan. ‘Seduced’ is putting it rather too politely. She was bathing in the river. He glided about pretending to peck at things and then pounced on her while she was looking the other way, minding her own business. Later that evening, notwithstanding this shock, or perhaps, who knows, because of it, Leda also slept with her husband King Tyndareus and went on to produce four children; Castor, Pollux and their sisters Helen (later Helen of Troy) and Clytemnestra (later married to Agamemnon as queen of Mycenae.)
Pollux and Helen were immortal, fathered by Zeus, while Castor and Clytemnestra were mortal, fathered by Tyndareus.
The brothers, known as the Dioscuri, meaning Sons of Zeus, were handsome, curious and always up to something. The mortal Castor was a renowned horseman and a master at fencing, while the immortal Pollux was known for his great strength and skill at boxing.
But then Castor was killed in a quarrel, in a disagreement over dividing the spoils after a cattle raid. Pollux was distraught. He didn’t want immortality, not if it meant being without his brother, he said, and he begged his father, sneaky swan Zeus to please make him mortal, and then kill him so he could be with his brother. Zeus couldn’t bring himself to do that, scratching his head, wondering how to fix this, and decided to place them both in the stars, to be immortal together forever as the constellation Gemini.
The Greeks, and in particular the Spartans, though the twins had a temple in Athens, worshipped the twins as horsemen, and also as patron saints of shipwrecked sailors. Sacrifices were offered to the Dioscuri before a voyage, with a request for favourable winds.
Later, the Romans too, developed a cult around Castor and Pollux dating back to 484 B.C. They built a temple to the twins in the Roman Forum in 414 BC in thanks for their help in defeating their old enemy The Latins, in the battle of Regillus.
Castor and Pollux were the patron gods of the Roman cavalry, the mounted knights or equites, and appear in this role on many early Roman coins.
The Zodiac Archetype: of the Mercurial Gemini
The planetary ruler of Gemini is Mercury, the planet nearest the Sun, representing the winged god Mercury or Hermes; patron deity of all forms of communication, media, trade, global commerce and travel, medicine, research and analytics.
But Mercury has a lesser known role as a psychopomp; one who can go between the realms of the living and the dead, a go-between and safe escort to the dead. It was Hermes who escorted the souls of the newly dead to the banks of the Acheron or The Styx, where they waited for Charon to come in this boat and ferry them across to the Underworld.
It was Hermes who escorted Persephone out of the dominion of Hades to be reunited with her mother Demeter, not knowing that despite his instructions that she was not to eat anything, or the deal was off, Hades had tricked Persephone into eating six seeds of her favourite pomegranate fruit. Seeds don’t count, Hades told her, and she believed him, but now she was bound to his side for six months of the year.
All the zodiac signs represent archetypes; something that is considered to be a perfect or typical example of a particular kind of person or thing.
A zodiac sign paints a poetic portrait of a person born at a particular time of year, in a particular season. A baby born in summer arrives into a different physical environment from a winter baby; differences of temperature, hours of daylight, maternal diet during pregnancy and so on, with potentially different effects on the baby’s physical makeup and constitution.
As a mutable sign, Gemini rules a borderline between seasons, in this case late spring into early summer. The other mutable signs are Virgo and Pisces, and all three mutable signs are considered the most changeable and agile of the signs, inquiring, analytical, logical and restless.
Mid- May is the start of grass pollen season which then builds to a peak in mid July:-
“May is quite the rollercoaster when it comes to tracking pollen. Dock and lime pollen start triggering hay fever in May as they begin their season, while both pine and oil seed rape peak and end within the month. Oak and plane end their peak – but grass pollen begins hitting its high notes.“
The Gemini temperament is friendly yet watchful, generous but changeable -mercurial as personified by Hermes with his winged sandals and caduceus- staff of trade. The well-known delivery company of the same name clearly chose its name for this same reason.
In medical astrology, Gemini rules the arms and hands. The typical Gemini native is of above average personal appearance, personable, attractive, usually slim and of average height or taller and with neat, tidy facial features. The Gemini is socially gifted, cheerful, humorous, witty, capable and quick to learn.
At the same time, Gemini can also be surprisingly dogmatic, attaching themselves to causes, even inclining towards fundamentalism, whether it is to do religion or some other entirely secular creed or manifesto, or to do with lifestyle, for example, exercise or diet choices.
Gemini can be, not insincere, at least, not in that moment, but quick to lose interest, fluttering like butterflies, looking for the next new thing, looking for some better, brighter flower. This can apply to the way they interact with other people, here today and gone tomorrow, even though once mature, and once committed, they make dutiful and devoted partners and parents.
Gemini in the Tarot
The Tarot cards associated with Gemini are The Lovers, The Knight of Swords and the 8, 9 and 10 Swords.
Every suit in the Tarot has its own court with a king and queen, a knight and a page. The principle Court card associated with Gemini is the Knight of Swords.
Card Meanings: speed, action, forward movement, sudden developments, attack, assertiveness, intelligence, sudden news, cunning, calculation, good timing, a pre-emptive strike, a confident, forceful young person, windy weather, east wind, motorbike
The word ‘Decan’ comes from the Latin meaning ‘ten.’ Each zodiac sign lasts about 30 days and is further divided into three blocks of roughly 10 days each. These are the decans or decanates, or as they are sometimes called, the ‘thirty-six faces of astrology,’ bringing added depth to the psychological profile associated with your zodiac sign/sun sign.
The minor arcana cards associated with Gemini are the Eight, Nine and Ten of Swords and they correlate with the dates of the decans.
If you don’t feel like you are a ‘typical’ Gemini, well, we are all unique, but perhaps you are also a second or third decan Gemini native, rather than a ‘most typical’ first decan Gemini. Gemini is still Gemini, whatever the decan and this holds true for all the zodiac signs. But an early born Gemini is born under a slightly different planetary influence than a later born Gemini. It’s all still Gemini, the same heavenly recipe, but with varying amounts of common ingredients.
First Decan Gemini
(0-10 degrees of the sign)
Card Meanings: Entrapment, uncertainty, a sense of helplessness, waiting for rescue, there is a way out if only you will open your eyes, look around and take a step forward. I have personally also come to associate this card with plumbing, drainage issues.
This decan gets a double dose of the planetary influence of inquisitive, rational, Mercury. This is an alert, perceptive, intellectual and forceful personality. The acumen is sharp. The negative side of this coin is a Gemini native who is just as inquisitive but careless, flighty, forgetful, restless and unreliable.
First decan Gemini is a multi-talented juggler, light on their feet, graceful and agile. But at the same time they tend to develop a strong point of view on a wide range of subjects, and they have a clearly defined belief system. For all their apparent flightiness they are also tough and resilient- even stubborn, a quality more usually associated with Taurus, its next door neighbour and predecessor in the zodiac.
Gemini make devoted partners, contrary to whatever people might assume. They will hang on in there when the going gets tough, though they are prone to boredom, can quickly tire of routine quickly; and have considerable charisma or sex appeal. But they know when they have a good thing so long as there is plenty of social interaction and short distance travel to keep their restlessness under control.
Second Decan Gemini
(10-20 degrees of the sign)
Card Meanings: The Nightmare card. Worry, ‘the black dog’ anxiety, stress, grief, insomnia, things that keep us awake at night.
The personal planet of this decan is Venus, planet of love, beauty- and money. This Gemini has charm, and a generous and giving spirit. The sub-ruler is Libra, ruled by Venus, the natural ruler of the seventh house of marriage, partnerships, close associates, associations, and legal matters. This Gemini is more of a “me-too” person, rather than an “I-am” person when compared with a first decan Gemini.
This Gemini native needs to be especially careful in the selection of companions/associates. The choice of a mate is, of course, of the utmost importance. This Gemini especially needs to avoid making big decisions about a choice of partner when they are too young to fully understand what they are doing.
These are easy going and pleasant people. Gemini strives on change while Libra works to establish equilibrium. Their Venus/Libra influence is their salvation, because it makes them artful in their judgments and full of affection for those they do judge.
Gemini 2nd decan is drawn to quiet, reserved people. Not only do opposites attract, but the secrecy fascinates Gemini-Libra, ans they also match up well with reliable, practical types who can get the job done with little fuss or excitement. A person that will ground, refine and implement the Gemini-Libra.
People respond well to the Second Decan Gemini warm and effusive nature. They also have a sense of adventure, same as the other Gemini decans, and they enjoy travel for the sake of new experiences. Sharing is part of the Gemini-Libra life; they are generous with their time and friendship and also with possessions.
Gemini-Libra is great company, with a great deal of magnetism. They are kindly, sharp and witty. Just cut your cloth to suit and don’t be too surprised or upset if they disappear as suddenly as they appear or go quiet on you without warning. It’s not personal. It’s just the way they are.
Third Decan Gemini
(20-30 degrees of the sign)
Card meanings: Destruction, despair, betrayal, ruin, dark night of the soul, darkness before dawn, the only way is up, illness, comatose, a fall, spinal injury, head injury.
Incidental perhaps, but this card has come up repeatedly in respect of events and outcomes affecting the personal destiny Vladimir Putin since the invasion of Ukraine, 24 February. We shall see what occurs during these forthcoming decan dates, June 11-June 2020.
The personal planets of the third decan Gemini are Saturn and Uranus, painting a portrait full of contradictions. Sometimes this person is ultra-careful, dutiful, responsible, serious, at other times carefree or even careless. Uranus combined with the planet Mercury suggests an unusually active or even brilliant mind possibly even verging on genius. This person may be a thinker who is ahead of their times. Or maybe they are just zany.
Aquarius – natural ruler of the eleventh house of friends, hopes, and wishes-makes this Gemini a social type, a friend-oriented individual interested in social causes. This Gemini is an optimist, always interested in trying out what is new, and never happier than when they are on the move.
Life is rarely dull with a cheerful Decan 3 Gemini around, but they are the most independent- natured Gemini decan. They need plenty of space and freedom, with a partner who makes few demands on their time and attention. They are very hard working when they put their mind to it. But keeping promises, fulfilling obligations and routines are not their strongest suit. It is a mistake for this Gemini native to marry early or settle too soon. Adventure, exploration and experimentation with ideas, people and places- this is what they are about. This is what makes them tick.
Famous Gemini people
Carl Linnaeus, Peter the Great, Adam Smith, Richard Wagner, Arthur Conan Doyle, John Maynard Keynes, John F Kennedy, Frank Lloyd Wright, Boris Johnson. Johnny Depp, Queen Victoria, Charles 11, George 111,George V, Donald Trump, Muammar Gaddafi, Angelina Jolie, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.
Happy birthday, Gemini 2022
This year may have got off to a slow start, personally speaking, but the second half of the year requires you to identify goals, and to place a clear focus on finance and your security. This is a good year for meeting a new partner and starting a new life together, but this also means this is the year for the free and easy flighty Gemini to demonstrate efficiency, to get serious, and to pay close attention to their resources, up-grading their nest and investing in nest eggs. Expect key developments in August and October.
The dates for the zodiac signs can vary by a day or two. The Sun enters the sign of Taurus roughly 8 PM tonight, 19 April, Pacific time, and about 3 in the morning, 20 April, UK time.
The word ‘zodiac’ comes from the Greek meaning ‘circle of animals.’ The only zodiac sign that is non-representative of a living creature is Libra, the sign of the Scales, but in astronomy, even the Scales are borrowed from the stars of Scorpio, the claws of the giant scorpion in the heavens next door.
Taurus (from the Latin for Bull) is a fixed earth sign; the second sign of the western zodiac, and represents the height of spring in the northern hemisphere in all its budding glory. This was the time of the calving of the ancient wild cattle, the auroch. It is thought that Salisbury Plain, and Stonehenge, was once a mass gathering site on their annual migration route. The remains of auroch have been discovered nearby at Blick Mead.
This extract from a blog about Stonehenge and the Ice Age. “Forget about ancient ancestors, healing stones, solar solstice alignments and periglacial stripes. Stonehenge is where it is because it’s on an aurochs migration route. The OU team that was involved in the latest investigations of the Mesolithic traces near Amesbury has been putting this press release out and about, and now it’s all over the internet…… some of the headlines are quite splendid. Aurochs-burgers, anybody?”
No other zodiac sign has more ancient mythology or cult history attached to it than the sign of The Bull, revered for its power and potency since it was hunted by early man, first as the wild ox, the mighty auroch, before the first cattle were domesticated, DNA evidence suggests, about 10, 500 years ago in the Near East, tracing a herd of an estimated 80 animals.
Stars, Planets, Omens
The planetary ruler of Taurus, Venus, also known as Hesperus the Evening Star and Lucifer the Morning Star is the planet of love, beauty, luxury – and therefore also banking and finance. Contrary to her popular reputation, as the supposed opposite of Mars, Venus too can be aggressive, and is not always peaceful, just as the Bull is largely peaceable, but is dangerous when disturbed or provoked..
Diverging for a moment on to the topic of aggression, the Tarot shows Taurus as the nemesis of Mr Putin. I do not think it means that the conflict will end before late May 2022. Unfortunately. But there are also Taurus-Scorpio eclipses coming in 2022.
Saturday, April 30: Partial Solar Eclipse in Taurus.
Monday, May 16: Total Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio.
Tuesday October 25: Partial Solar Eclipse in Scorpio.
Tuesday, November 8: Total Lunar Eclipse in Taurus.
Mr Putin is a Libra native with a lot of Scorpio going on. Taurus and Scorpio are opposites. what he is doing in Ukraine, apart from the horror, sorrow and devastation of it all, is upsetting the ‘order’ in Europe, political, economic financial (think Bull markets) agricultural crop exports and otherwise. Taurus is all about order. This war may be neither lost or won as such, and yes, new orders emerge, but this war seems fated, whatever the damage, to rebound on Russia and on Mr Putin himself.
The star constellation of Taurus is visible between August and April. The best months to see it are December and January when it is visible all night long, looking up to the right above and beyond the three stars of Orion’s Belt. You will especially notice a bright reddish star, Aldebaran, the Eye of the Bull glaring down at Orion the Hunter. Should the Bull escape his pen, and break through the gate being guarded by the Seven Sisters (Pleiades) said ancient Arab legend, he would stampede the Universe to pieces. Let’s hope he has plenty of daisies and buttercups up there to keep him happy, and some cows, and no mosquitoes or horseflies to bother him.
The constellation is hidden in the glare of the Sun from May onwards and can’t be observed in June and July.
The Taurus Archetype
All the zodiac signs represent archetypes, meaning something that is considered to be a perfect or typical example of a particular kind of person or thing.
A zodiac sign paint a poetic portrait of a person born at a particular time of year, in a particular season. A baby born in summer arrives into a different physical environment from a winter baby; with differences of temperature, hours of daylight, maternal diet during pregnancy and so on, with potentially different effects on the baby’s physical makeup and constitution.
As a fixed sign, Taurus rules anything associated with the mid- zone of spring, the height of the season. The other fixed signs are Leo, midsummer, Scorpio, mid-autumn and Aquarius, midwinter.
The fixed signs are traditionally considered the most stable and steadfast signs, protectors of the status quo, the signs most at ease with conservation and protecting continuity.
The genius of Taurus,and sensual Aphrodite (Venus) and her corresponding Egyptian goddess Isis, like The High Priestess in the Tarot, is often represented as wearing two horns upon her head in imitation of the Bull; a symbol which is frequently confused or conflated with the crescent moon.
Taurus rules the ears, neck and throat, and the Taurus native is known for their distinctive, usually smooth speaking voice and often has an excellent singing voice. Famous Taurus singes include Willie Nelson, James Brown, Ella Fitzgerald, Barbra Streisand, Cher, Bono, Billy Joel, Olly Murs, Enya, Adele.
Taurus may seem slow to learn compared with say, a mercurial, quicksilver Gemini native, but their grasp is thorough, and they are also prone to flashes of intuition and inspiration and possess an excellent memory besides. Once learned, never forgotten is the Taurean way.
These people have a quietly pleasant and magnetic personality, except for the grumpier, taciturn, self-opinionated natives of the sign. Taurus is known for a quiet physical attractiveness, and they are sensual, sensory people. This sign especially needs to watch they don’t overdo the whole comfort thing, over-eating and so on. They usually like to dance and they have natural rhythm. They are strong with good stamina, but they are not overall the most sporty natives of the zodiac.
Taurus ‘wunt be druv.’ They are notoriously resistant and stubborn…their stability is the other side of this coin. Taurus tends to be thoughtful of their friends, and can be relied on in times of difficulty for good advice and encouragement. Taurus is known for a particular magic of soothing and reassuring others, but can be grumpy or irritable, like a bull shaking off gadflies, if you overload them with a lot of things at once, or get in their space while their thoughts are elsewhere.
Taurus in the Tarot
The Tarot cards associated with Taurus are The Hierophant, The King of Pentacles (Coins, Disks) and the 5, 6 and 7 Pentacles, also called Disks or Coins -the money suit.
Card Meanings: a man of authority, tradition ,the status quo, marriage, religion, the Church, Teachers, mentors, Universities, agriculture, money, finance, Banks, publishing, keys,
Every suit in the Tarot has its own court with a king and queen, a knight and a page. The principle Court card associated with Taurus is The King of Pentacles, ruler of the element of Earth.
Lastly, the minor arcana cards associated with Taurus are the Five, Six and Seven of Pentacles, Disks or Coins.
These cards correlate with the decans of Taurus. If you don’t feel like you are a ‘typical’ Taurus, well, we are all unique, but perhaps you are also a second or third decan Taurus native, rather than a ‘most typical’ first decan Taurus.
What is a Decan?
The word ‘Decan’ comes from the Latin meaning ‘ten.’ Each zodiac sign lasts about 30 days and is further divided into three blocks of roughly10 days each. These decans or decanates are sometimes called the ‘thirty-six faces of astrology,’ bringing added depth and nuance to the psychological profile associated with your zodiac sign also known as your sun sign.
Background story– The Zodiac is the 360 degree belt of sky we can see from Earth, tracking the path of the sun across the sky over the course of the year. We call this pathway ‘the ecliptic.’
The Greeks divided this belt of sky into twelve sections of roughly 30 degrees each, using 12 for ease of arithmetic, and named these twelve sections after a chosen twelve of the constellations that can be seen crossing this imaginary pathway or belt. This gave us the names of the zodiac signs we know today.
Taurus is still Taurus, whatever the decan, and this holds true for all the zodiac signs. But an early born Taurus is born under a slightly different planetary influence than a later born Taurus.
It’s all still Taurus, the same heavenly recipe, but with differing amounts of common ingredients.
First Decan Taurus (0-10 degrees of the sign)
Card Meanings: Upright: money does not buy happiness, fear of loneliness, poverty, unemployment, ill health. Reversed: misfortunes are overcome, matters improving.
This Taurean has Venus and Mercury in their horoscope and also a lot of leftover Aries fighting energy, so they can be the ‘raging bulls’ of the zodiac, with leadership qualities and a taste for power, more driven and less easy-going than the other Taurus decans.
These are patient but determined people with great vitality and will-power. They are eloquent speakers, natural communicators, and do very well in teaching, broadcasting, public speaking, journalism, acting and entertainment.
This Taurus loves to learn and to test things out, figuring out how they work. They also adore their creature comforts, food, drink and all the rest of it. They tend to be green-fingered, interested in landscape and countryside pursuits, and are fond of animals who usually respond to them very well.
This Taurean likes to be boss but is generally a benevolent, generous person, affectionate in nature, though they know what they want and do not want,and they can be a stick in the mud. Statistically, Taurus is one of the most benign and least criminal signs, but every zodiac sign has its share of villains as well as heroes; and goodness gracious, Taurus is certainly no exception.
Famous first decan Taurus: Leonardo Da Vinci, Queen Elizabeth II, Ulysses S Grant,Saddam Hussein, Adolf Hitler (Aries-Taurus cusp), Emperor Hirohito, David Icke, Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson, Uma Thurman, Barbra Streisand, Penélope Cruz, Renée Zellweger, Daniel Day-Lewis, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Roy Orbison, Willie Nelson, Iggy Pop, Willem de Kooning,
Second Decan Taurus (10-20 degrees of the sign)
Card Meanings: gifts, community, generosity, charity, emergency aid, give and take, financial ups and downs, surplus and scarcity, historical buildings
Second decan Taurus is ruled by the secretive, psychic, domestic Moon and Mercury, planet of intellect and communication. This makes for a rather glamorous combination, in the magical sense as well as the more usual sense of the word. These Taurus natives are studious, alert, perceptive, and forceful with an unusually active mind. The drawbacks may be carelessness, forgetfulness or fickleness, or picking up things or people only to drop them again.
The Moon and Mercury is a combination of emotional intelligence and logical intelligence or communication skills. These people are socially gifted, natural psychologists, instinctively knowing how other people work and what makes them tick, plus they tend to be very good speakers, and they too, are known for their pleasant or at least distinctive speaking voices.
On the negative side, such is their charisma, like a Pied Piper or Svengali-type figure, they may, if so disposed, lead others astray.
Taurus in general is usually a good cook. And they are warm and nurturing parents, but with the best intentions, the second decan Taurus in particular can worry, or become something of a fuss pot or control freak if they don’t rein in their managerial instincts. Taurus likes to keep their loved ones safe but just as they hate to be penned in themselves, and told what to do, so of course do others.
Famous second decan Taurus: Catherine the Great, Karl Marx, Eva Peron Golda Meir (‘Iron Lady’ of Israel), Tony Blair, Oliver Cromwell, Sigmund Freud, William Lilly, Orson Wells, George Clooney, Rudolph Valentino, Joanna Lumley, Audrey Hepburn, David Beckham, Donatella Versace, Bono, Tammy Wynette, Johannes Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Robert Browning, J. M. Barrie (Peter Pan)
Taurus Decan Three (20-30 degrees of the sign)
Card meanings: Upright: hard work, industry, perseverance, slow results, long term planning. Reversed: throwing good money after bad, disappointing results
Third decan Taurus is ruled by serious Saturn, the planet of Old Father Time himself. This Taurean native is responsible, dutiful, thoughtful, careful, patient and considerate. The power of this personality lies in the power of their stability, endurance and tenacity, making gains through thrift and careful investments.
This is Taurus at its most ambitious and hardworking. Saturn is the god of time, and astrologically, associated with boundaries, rules, and limitations. They are cautious and stoic with great respect for authority. Alternatively, they may rebel against authority but always constructively, using their organizational skills and strong sense of structure. These people can a strong sense of fair play. They can be quite political and may be ambitious to lead.
They are proud, independent & self-motivated. Not only do they succeed in politics & business, but many are skilled artists, creators & performers. The later natives of this decan are born close to the Taurus-Gemini cusp, suggestive of multi-tasking and travel.
Saturn is traditionally known as the great malefic and those born under these decan may also be prone to periods of depression, loneliness or melancholy, but broadly speaking, even when this is the case, we are looking at a truly benevolent person with a magnanimous spirit and a sympathetic nature.
Famous Third Decan Taurus: Socrates, Che Guevara, Mark Zuckerberg, Ayatollah Khomeini, Idi Amin, Malcolm X, George Lucas, Sofia Coppola, Liberace, Stevie Wonder, Cher, Dame Nellie Melba, Pete Townshend, Brian Eno, Enya, Mike Oldfield, Cate Blanchett, Laurence Olivier, Katherine Hepburn, Dennis Hopper, Harvey Keitel, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Margot Fonteyn, Eric Satie, Florence Nightingale, Pope John Paul II
Happy Birthday, Taurus 2022!
This could be an unusually busy year socially, and a year of big strides or professional breakthroughs, if that is what you are aiming at. But if you are, then it could be make or break on a certain project. You had better mean business. Work on technical proficiency or new languages. Get that head down. Put that shoulder to the wheel, hoof that turf – and charge full steam ahead. Change is coming regardless. Be proactive.
The Four of Pentacles is ruled by Mercury, the planet of travel, research, trade and commerce. Mercury also rules IT and data analysis, and it rules Virgo, which in astrology is the sixth house of harvest, health, routines and hygiene.
Meanings: wealth, ancestry, ancestral homelands, family, old age, our old folk, different generations, memories, identity, belonging, and all the things that we most treasure.
Where do we feel at home?
This rune also picks up on migration and surrounding questions and issues.
December looks pretty eventful on the world stage, not to say stressful, with sudden flurries of news, mostly not welcome. We might want to switch off the media for a bit, and have a break from all the shrieking.
These cards look reasonably reassuring all the same, not too much shock and awe. Here’s hoping we’ve already seen the worst of December.
The Knight of Swords; sudden attack, storm, wind, can be read in reference to recent terrible weather events, and the damage and tragic casualties in Kentucky.
The Earth itself is always restless, and currently more unsettled than usual. Perhaps it is little wonder that we are too. The world is never quiet, never at peace. Nor is the Earth. It is always relative. Each year, the Moon pulls away, and so does the Sun in this present cycle.
But really, short of an actual world war, the whole world is embattled one way and another, no quiet news months since December 2019, when we first learned of a newly emerging health crisis in Wuhan.
We now approach the second anniversary of the pandemic with its new variants, and unrolling economic, political and social effects. There is no government, that is, no government that permits even peaceful dissent, that is not grappling with this monstrously slippery eel, while experiencing furious criticism and dissent from one quarter or another, no matter what response they make, deciding how to tackle the problem. The Hierophant as a symbol of governments anywhere is either taking a pasting right now, or, depending on the country, dealing them out.
These are times of instability. This instability is not only man-made but natural, due to extreme weather events, and seismic, volcanic events, such as the ongoing eruption on La Palma, and recent periodic increases in solar flare activity.
The La Palma eruption has now become the longest running on the island, and the cards suggest it will still be erupting into January 2022 though it seems to be calming now. Article HERE
What is the Tarot connection? Well, we are in the zodiac time frame of Sagittarius, 22 November- 21 December, and the court card of Sagittarius is the Knight of Wands, as seen here in the Gilded Tarot Royale.
Sagittarius is the element of Mutable Fire. Changeable fire. Changeable states. Blow me down, if this depiction of Sir Sagittarius does not actually show a volcano erupting magma.
Then in Java, Mount Semeru erupted 4 December, spilling out a deadly pyroclastic flow.
“The slurry of debris that swept down Semeru proved catastrophic to villagers living around the mountain’s base in the Lumajang Regency, particularly Curah Kobokan. According to The Jakarta Post, at least 39 people have died. Large numbers of homes were destroyed or damaged, and many animals are among the eruption’s victims.”
Of course, this is not to say that the month of the zodiac sign of Sagittarius= volcano eruption month.
But there it is, or there it was. A card specifically correlating with the dates 22 November-21 December and we are looking at it. The synchronicity, at least for 2021 is undeniable.
What else might these cards mean in practical terms?
Obviously, this can only be a very general reading, and is therefore limited in its specificity, but The Hierophant represents stability, security and continuity, doing things ‘by the book.’ And it also represents the converse as previously discussed. This December we are not doing things by the book, while at the same time there is plenty of ‘throwing the book ‘ at XYZ.
The Hierophant is turning up a lot in readings at the moment, which is hardly surprising. Sometimes it is drawn the right way up, but just as often it is being drawn upside down, reflecting a situation in which old wisdoms, old ways of seeing things and doing things are being challenged.
Why is this not surprising? Well, it shouldn’t be. The Tarot detects, reflects and projects.
First it acts as a mirror on what is already happening. This is crucial in a reading because it confirms the baseline for the reader.
The Hierophant attacked by the Knight of Swords marks a time of acute unrest, such as we have been witnessing for some time now, every time we turn on the television or engage on social media.
Astrology associates this with the fact that the outer planet Uranus, ‘planet of rebellion and innovation’, is stationed in Taurus, the steady Bull sign associated with The Hierophant.
Uranus is retrograde for parts of December, signifying a mood of intense inward reflection on what needs to stay and what needs to go or change, both collectively, and privately and individually.
Uranus made this move into Taurus in 2019 and will stay there until April 2026, so we are in for a bumpy ride. The question is how we can best handle things on an individual level, re-evaluating our priorities, keeping our cool, learning new skills at every opportunity and helping our children to do the same.
The Four of Pentacles is about HANGING ON IN THERE. And there are times, when continuity offers the best scenario all in all.
Some astrologers think Boris Johnson is about to meet his political nemesis. Possibly, but to me it does not look that way, not this month, parties or no parties, knowledge of parties, or no knowledge of parties. Why not? Because of the appearance of the Four of Pentacles. If he goes, having inherited the poisoned chalice of this pandemic at the very beginning almost, of his premiership, it will be of his own volition because of sheer exhaustion.
This is a very broad picture, very general, yes. But of the 78 cards in a Tarot deck, 75 stayed in the deck and these were the three drawn for this coming month, December 2021.
Let’s look again. Save scrolling up.
Her Majesty the Queen is a Taurus subject, a pillar of our society. Above politics, she has seen many leaders some and go. She is very much a figure who has always believed in putting wider duty before personal convenience.
She does things by the book, like the Hierophant.
Elizabeth 11 represents a part of the national psyche, the young monarch of our parent’s childhoods, those born during the war or soon after it. Lately, this first year of her widowhood, we have witnessed signs of a decline in her health. At the age of 95, this is only natural and to be expected, but since we have drawn the Taurean Hierophant for December, and it has been drawn next to the challenging Knight of Swords, it remains to be seen whether the Queen will make her annual Christmas address in quite the same way as usual this year.
Covid cases have been rising again, with new lockdowns and protests in the Netherlands, Austria and other countries. The signs are that this most recent rise in cases as at the time of writing (14 November) may continue into December and flu may add to the pressure on health services, but with luck, the Four of Pentacles is a stable card, suggesting that the situation may, not improve perhaps, but be maintaining a standoff by/towards the end of December.
Some Medical observers are sanguine about the Omicron variant, suggesting we may soon be approaching the endemic phase, when a brand new virus, in this case, SARS‑CoV‑2 gradually becomes part of the new ‘normal’ in human epidemiology, and it becomes a question of living with it.
Today however, 13 December, sadly marks the first UK death of someone with the Omicron variant.
EU, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine and Russia
The current border situation is tense. It may well escalate, suggests the Knight of Swords, but again, the steady Four of Pentacles hints that if it does, the crisis abates again at least temporarily somewhat by or until mid January. Why? In terms of timing the stable Four of Pentacles represents the third decan of Capricorn, dates 11-19 January.
The Knight of Swords can mean new laws, sharp messages, sabre-rattling and military aircraft, just as the weather associated with the Knight of Swords is northern and easterly; cool, cloudy, windy, but it can bring sudden frosts, sudden rain or storms.
The Knight of Swords traditionally also refers to airborne objects, including missiles, but also viruses and bacteria sharp objects, including surgical instruments such as injection needles and pens. Here is an escalation of covid vaccinations across Europe.
Trade and Travel
The Four of Pentacles is ruled by Mercury the planet of travel, trade and commerce, also IT and data analysis. In addition Mercury rules Virgo, sixth house of health and hygiene.
This, together with the Knight of Swords, reminds us that common sense says, vaccinations or no vaccinations, we need to stay alert and continue taking common sense precautions against covid and flu this Christmas.
But meantime, certain international restrictions may be reintroduced again on an emergency basis, while a further lock-down has not been entirely ruled out by the UK Government. The Four of Pentacles, sometimes nicknamed the Miser card, describes a pragmatist, who is ready to take the dour responsibility for making unpopular decisions should it detect that need.
Some suggest that covid is ‘just’ ‘flu. We know it isn’t. SARS‑CoV‑2 is a new coronavirus, not a ‘flu virus. But even ‘just’ ‘flu is no joke at all if we get a bad dose.
The Hierophant represents whatever is your own status quo. You may be somewhat restless and unsettled. I know I am. The Knight of Swords drawn next door to the domestic Hierophant suggests a need for ‘fresh air’ and extra space this month.
Not all of us fancy a party this year. Many of us are not in the mood. for doing whatever is our usual thing this year, suggests this combination. Maybe we never were, but this applies with bells on this year.
The Four of Pentacleshas a lot in common with the rune of ancestry, households and inheritance, Othala.
Look back at the things you have bought over the years. What did you buy in the past that you still treasure? What have you been given by older family members that you treasure to remember them by? Othala talks about the things we treasure. These do not have to be things. They include cherished memories. But every day, we are creating new memories.
A recovering economy needs our spending. And it’s great to treat loved ones – . But for a lot of people the festive season can be a dreadful money worry. Last month there was much excited media speculation about shipping and supplies this year, and worries about ‘must have’ toys from overseas arriving in time for Christmas.
What’s with this ‘must have’ business? Conspicuous consumerism ruling the roost in the home? Is this healthy or a helpful preparation for children, to suggest this is how it really works?
The Four of Pentacles advises that friends and loved ones will be understanding if finances are tighter this year than previous Christmases. And given the way things have been in 2021 and 2020 before that, they may welcome that same understanding in return.
The Tarot is not trying to be a Scrooge or a kill-joy in presenting this card. Spending less, or spending carefully, based on quality, durability or longer term thinking doesn’t equate with not having any kind of a good time.
It’s just that no- one has infinite resources, debt is no joke, and this year looks like a departure from the way many of us have done things before.
24 December: The Hierophant also represents Christmas time, as a traditional religious season of celebration. But long before Christianity we celebrated Yule in northern Europe, meaning ‘wheel,’ to mark the turning of the wheel of the year, the solstice and the passing of the darkest day.
The third and final square between Saturn and Uranus in Taurus, these big planets, these heavy hitters, bring a feeling of push and pull between Uranus (splurging, doing your own thing, party time) and Saturn (saving, doing family duties, staying home and relaxing) this Christmas Eve 2021.
Ways of doing things that worked OK for you in the past, don’t sit so well with you right now.
Uranus is retrograde for nearly half of the year every year. This is nothing new or unusual, just a seasonal opportunity to go back to the drawing board and re consider occupations and habits.
19 December- Full Moon in Gemini
In Tarot this is represented by the Lovers card meaning: news, calls, social events, new ideas, chat, gossip, communication, curiosity…it is also about short travel, trade, commerce, shopping . Think Mercury, ruler of Gemini. Another name for Mercury, Hermes.
Astrologers consider this a favourable Full Moon, in harmonious aspect with Jupiter, lucky for new partnerships and ventures, and for legal and business matters, though with possible tensions attached in terms of close relationships.
The Lovers can present us with a need to make difficult choices. Again, these could be totally unromantic; hard-nosed, to do with our work, security and finance.
Venus planet of love, beauty,luxury – and finance goes retrograde in Capricorn 19 December shortly after the Full Moon until 29 January.
This is glamour but serious with it. You could say Cinderella grows up, Prince or no prince. Venus retrograde in Capricorn is no- frills power dressing, literally or metaphorically. Fashion or Beauty here goes hand in glove with perceived status material power, like a Queen who wears her jewels f in token of her reach of power for the world to see.
This is a planetary euphemism for an examination of our personal standards of conduct and deportment, at home and at work. What is our public persona? How about a bit of gravitas, says Venus in Capricorn, style, poise, dignity and rectitude?
Beauty is in a serious mood. Beast better behave.
21 December – Solstice
We leave freewheeling Sagittarius ruled by big bouncy Jupiter and move into Capricorn, ruled by serious hardworking master of self-discipline and dominion, Saturn.
But Saturn brings the solstice, returning us to the light, for all his serious face.
This is the spirit of the agile, tough and hardy ibex or mountain goat, Capricorn.
The ibex nimbly scales the heights, stands atop the farthest crags. In Europe, the alpine ibex does battle in December for territory and mates.
The ibex, inspiration of Capricorn, reckons to do battle to get what it needs in life, delicately sniffs the cold, clean air, every inch a master of all he surveys.
The sunshine is free, and the rain and the snow, and the moon and the stars. Our good health too, if we are lucky. But we all must do battle some day one day in our lives, sooner or later, up against some kind of authority or other, or make peace with the fact we didn’t when maybe we really needed to,for our own or someone else’s sake.
Who says we wait until New Year to make a new plan?
Any day will do for a new resolution But from a natural, seasonal, symbolic and magickal perspective, 21 December works even better.
Season’s Greetings with all Best Wishes for a brighter 2022.