December dramas. Ding, dong, dang and blast?

Gabriel, yoohooo! Give us some good news!

The Annunciation by Van Eyck

What is the Tarot’s general impression of the cosmic weather this month, spanning the zodiac signs of Sagittarius and Capricorn and therefore including Christmas?

The cards were drawn in mid November and are from the Rider-Waite deck, illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith

I also drew a rune from the older Norse alphabet, the Elder Futhark.

Cards: The Hierophant, Knight of Swords and Four of Pentacles

Rune:  Othala

The Hierophant

Card Meanings

Taurus the Bull, spring, planetary ruler Venus, love, beauty, wedding, marriage, luxury, money, established order, governments, global finance (think ‘Bull’ market)  tradition, status quo, establishment, hospitals, publishing, agriculture, religion, church, keys

The Knight of Swords

Card Meanings

Aquarius, Saturn, Uranus, a clever, cool minded individual aged 25-40. Legalities, intelligence, espionage, an agent, a spy, a warlord, shipping, trade, commerce, Decisive action, attack, airborne, choices, air travel, trade, commerce, shipping, deliveries, financial decisions, ambition, clarity, cutting loose

The Four of Pentacles

Card Meanings

Capricorn, earth, saving, conserving, resources, money, possessions, inheritance, prudence, provisioning, legacy

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.

Rune: Othala

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.

General Impressions

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.

From The Gilded Tarot Royale, Artist, Ciro Marchetti

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.”

More Here

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.

UK

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.

Europe

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.

Covid

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.

Personal

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 Pentacles has 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.

Photo by Francesco Paggiaro on Pexels.com

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

Photo by Jared Vega on Pexels.com

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.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Sagittarius, Celestial Archer, a Teapot and Temperance

Photo by Virginia Magat on Pexels.com

Here we are again in the zodiac season of Sagittarius the Archer, aiming high, reaching for the light as the sun sinks to the solstice and the daylight dwindles. What is the story behind this mutable fire sign?

Common associations

Symbol:

Date of Birth: Nov 21/22 to Dec 21

Ruling planet: Jupiter

Element: Fire Quality: Mutable- the ending of one season, and the beginning of another

Key phrase:  I seek

Body: Thighs

Birth Stone: Topaz, Citrine, Turquoise 

Colour:  Light Blue

Tarot card:  Temperance: Timing, Moderation, Education, Solstice, Healing of Chiron

Public Domain: Rider-Waite

Astronomy

Source :Wiki

Sagittarius, the zodiac sign inspired by the constellation of Sagittarius, from the Latin meaning Archer, was recorded in the 2nd century by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy.

The constellation of Sagittarius is near the centre of our galaxy, the spiral Milky Way, mainly visible in the southern hemisphere June-November. In the Northern hemisphere we can see it low on the horizon August- October.

Sagittarius gets its nickname, ‘The Teapot’ on account of its vaguely teapot-shaped star pattern, or asterism.

To find ‘The Teapot

The best time to look is in August or September. We need somewhere really dark, locating the hazy band of The Milky Way stretching right across the sky. Looking up in the northern hemisphere, the Milky Way seems to bulge as it descends to the southern horizon. This ‘bulge’ is roughly the middle of the Milky Way and is contained within the boundaries of the constellation of Sagittarius.

Photo by u200bu0468u0477u047bu048f u046au0454u0459u0469u04e1u04c4u047bu0487u0477 on Pexels.com

Sagittarius contains a massive star-forming region, the Omega Nebula, home to the bright blue hyper-giant Pistol Star, one of the brightest stars in the Milky Way, discovered 1930 using the Hubble Space telescope.

The Pistol Star is largely hidden in the dust of its own nebula, but it’s 100 times as massive as our Sun, and 10,000,000 times as bright.

Mythology

Sagittarius is the ninth sign in the Zodiac, not to be confused with the constellation itself, and represents those born between Nov. 22 and the advent of winter solstice, Dec. 21.

Sagittarius is nowadays generally associated with the ancient Greek story of Chiron but the story is far more ancient and goes back to Mesopotamia in the 26 century BCE, to the story of Pabilsag, a deity or divine king of a city called Larak.

The story of Pabilsag was handed down to the Greeks through the Sumerians.

The Sumerian word ‘Pabil’ means ‘ancestor or relative’. Combined with the final element ‘sag’, meaning ‘chief, head, tip or foremost,’ his name can be translated as the ‘Chief Ancestor’ or ‘Forefather’.

The Archer is a hunter just as our forefathers were hunters at the dawn of human civilization.

Here, 3 millennia BC, we portray him as a winged centaur type figure, and yes, he is an archer too, and his arrow points at the heart of Scorpio, the red star Antares. But look at Pabilsag. No horse’s tail! He has a scorpion’s tail as the wheel of the Zodiac turns, and sure enough, as Sagittarius comes galloping in, we are leaving behind the sign of Scorpio.

Sagittarius is a solitary hunter. He does not work as one of a team, bringing down the really big prey. He is an individualist, working alone, just as many a hunter or trapper still hunts alone in winter.

The constellation of Sagittarius-Pabilsag is seen within the Milky Way, rising from the southern regions close to the horizon into the higher reaches of the skies. This section of the Milky Way represents a symbolic bridge or a rainbow for the souls of the dead on their way to the afterlife, as the arrival of Capricorn draws near, marking the advent of the winter solstice.

Sagittarius, or Pabilsag, is a ‘psychopomp’ – like Hermes, the messenger of the Gods of Ancient Greece. He is both guardian and guide ofthe dying year itself, and offers safe escort to the souls of the dying as they ascend to the heavens through the gates of Capricorn.

Chiron the wounded Centaur

Most modern versions of the story refer to much later, classical variants of the old Babylonian myths, and say that Sagittarius represents the gentle, cultured centaur, Chiron, who was accidentally shot by Herakles with a poison arrow.

The centaurs were a rough lot, hard- drinking, hard- fighting and smelly – not remotely glamorous. The legends of the centaurs may originally have arisen from perfectly mortal reality of ancient Greek cowboys.

But whatever the centaurs were, Chiron ‘the wisest and justest of the centaurs’ was something different, representing a bright star of hope for the race of the centaurs, and for Humanity itself, as collectively it strives to rise above the ever present tyranny of the Id and its own worst nature.

Here he is, teaching the young Achilles to play the lyre. Chiron had many pupils; Asclepius, Ajax, Achilles, Theseus, Jason, Peleus, Perseus, and Phoenix. And he taught Herakles, who brought about his death, when he was sent there to be schooled with Chiron.

Herakles was sent after his killed his music teacher back home. His tutor, Linus, criticized his playing, and Herakles smashed his lyre over the teachers head, killing him. Though in some accounts he used a stool.

And so he was sent to be schooled by the illustrious Chiron. And for some time, all was well, until one day Herakles got caught up in a fight and in the confusion accidentally wounded Chiron, shooting him with a poisoned arrow dipped in the venom of the Hydra.

Chiron was left in terrible and permanent pain. He was wise in the ways of medicine, none wiser, but he could not heal himself, and none could help him. Nor could he die, being an Immortal.

Still, he carried on until he could bear it no more, and asked Zeus to release him from immortality so that he could escape the pain in the blessed release of death.

Zeus placed him in the heavens as Sagittarius. Or did he? There is a bit of a question here because Chiron already has another constellation named after him- Centaurus.

And to add to the confusion, there is another version of the story of Sagittarius, referring to him instead as Krotos, a satyr who lived on Mount Helicon with the Muses. Krotos was the son of Pan and Eupheme, and his mother had nursed the Muses. He was a renowned archer, hunter, horse rider – hence a possible source of confusion with the centaur, and besides all this, a devotee of his childhood companions, The Muses and their arts.

By Aratus – Leiden University Library Catalogue, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7660666

Krotos means ‘One who Claps his hands.’ He was credited by the Greeks with not only having invented archery, but introducing the convention of applause at artistic performances.

It was the Muses who, for his own musical talents, when Krotos died, asked Zeus to place him among the stars, which he did, transforming him into the constellation Sagittarius, says this variant of the zodiac story.

So Sagittarius is either the cultured wounded healer, Chiron, already represented in the constellation Centaurus, or he is the cultured satyr, Krotos; goaty, horse-riding archer, culture vulture and hunter extraordinaire as the sun is sinking to the winter solstice.

Chiron or Krotos? Take your pick.

Or go Babylonian with Pabilsag.

The Muses

Sagittarius is keenly intuitive, and usually has a marked talent, a gift, in the field of the Arts. Sagittarian subject Winston Churchill for example, was clearly psychic, subject to visions and feelings of premonition, and also painted.

Delphi said there were three Muses. But c 600 BC Hesiod wrote in his Theogony that there were Nine Muses, the daughters of  Zeus and Mnemosyne (Memory personified) and this is the version that has generally stuck.

The Muses, it ought to be mentioned, were not necessarily always benign. They were touchy for one thing, sensitive to human hubris, and liable to exact vengeance of anyone they decided was getting above themselves.

Photo by Matheus Henrin on Pexels.com
  • Kalliope ‘She of the Lovely Voice’ was the muse of epic poetry. Also of Diplomacy.
  • Klio ‘She Who Proclaims’ was the muse of history.
  • Erato ‘The Lovely One’ was the muse of love poetry.
  • Euterpe ‘She Who Pleases’ was the muse of music.
  • Melpomene ‘She Who Sings’ was the muse of tragedy.
  • Polyhymnia ‘She of the Many Hymns’ was the muse of sacred poetry.
  • Terpsichore ‘She Who Delights to Dance’ was the muse of dance.
  • Thalia ‘The Cheerful One’ was the muse of comedy
  • Urania ‘The Heavenly One’ was the goddess of astronomy, astrology, and later, Christian poetry.

The Astrological Personality of Sagittarius

Of course there is no such thing as THE Sagittarius personality. Everyone is unique. We are speaking here of an archetype. 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.

Sagittarius is the Archer, the eternal student, aiming high and far even as the sun sinks; the optimist, the voyager, maybe a seer or a prophet.

The archer is a hunter. This time of year was the time for hunting. The crops were gathered in and finished for the year. Meat would be caught and hung, cured, salted away for the hungrier months ahead.

But since the origins of Tropical or western astrology were based on the seasons in the northern hemisphere, what if we live in the southern hemisphere?

Some astrologers have suggested that if you were born in the southern hemisphere and your zodiac sign really doesn’t feel right, why not look up  your opposite zodiac sign and try that on for size, see if that feels like a better fit. So for Aries, read Libra’s horoscope, for Taurus read Scorpio, for Gemini read Sagittarius, and so on.

Photo by Belle Co on Pexels.com

These are astute, clever, capable people but they need career flexibility, and they may refuse to fail to apply themselves if bored.  Like Gemini, they are prone to restlessness. They may fail to stick at a job or a succession of jobs, and may struggle financially long term in consequence.

Hence their challenge, but also their guiding light is the idea of Temperance, personified in the Tarot, symbolizing patience, prudence, and the art of good timing.

They can do domestic. But you wouldn’t really call it how they roll. And they do tend to roll, from place to place, job to job, and a rolling stone gathers no moss. The problem here being the other things it doesn’t gather either, such as a steady income, or savings or other means of security in old age, if Sagittarius does not find a way to balance their great need for freedom , space and independence with prudence and good timing.

Sagittarius tends to have lots of friends. More than almost anyone else, so much so, family and friends can feel neglected at times, forgotten, when Sagittarius goes off yet again, devil may care, to share experiences with new best friends.

Sagittarius must have inspiration, and the freedom to follow it, and to roam. But this humanitarian, kindly, if restless rolling stone sooner or later almost always comes trotting, or should we say, rolling home again, expecting to find their loved ones exactly where they left them. And usually, they will. Though others too, do not enjoy being taken for granted, and this may need care.

Sagittarius will be the star of this show, but what they really need for domestic happiness is a quietly confident, self-reliant partner.

From The Rider-Waite Smith Tarot

Card Meanings: A quest, sudden arrivals and departures, adventure, heat, speed, movement, daring, challenge, determination, foreign travel, leadership, spontaneity, unpredictability.

Sagittarius is a potential high flyer, like an arrow, well aimed, hard working and clever. They have an enlarged curiosity, always learning. They are adventurous and progressive, and work best in teams within large organizations.

They tend to be good at earning money, but not so good at saving it, generally due to impulse buying.  They need plenty of physical activity outdoors and to be in contact with nature. They tend to be animal lovers. At home, they tend to be happier married than single, and they are co-operative, fun, efficient and reliable partners but they can be detached, reserved, restless and impulsive, and they sometimes fail in consideration to their partner in their search for independent fun, seeking new adventures outside the home.

They may be psychic; religious or spiritually inquiring, with a prophetic or visionary gift which they may express through music, writing, animal connections or group endeavours for some common cause.

But as we have already observed, of course there is no such thing in reality as THE Sagittarius personality. Your zodiac sign (sun sign) is a major keynote, but it is nothing like the full picture in real life – or even in astrology.

There are many other factors in play; your rising sign, your Moon sign, and the planets in your houses, elements, modes, aspects, transits, the decans, degrees and so on. 

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

What are the decans?

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The Zodiac is the arc of the sky as visible from earth, which tracks the pathway of the sun, ‘the ecliptic.’ Obviously, what we can see depends on where we are on Earth at any given time, but the zodiac belt follows this same pathway.

The zodiac belt is 16 degrees deep with the ecliptic running along the middle, rather like a layer in a cake. The layers of this cake are 8 degrees above the sun’s pathway- the buttercream filling of the ecliptic- and 8 degrees below.

The Greeks divided this imaginary zodiac belt into twelve sections, choosing this number for ease of arithmetic, and named them after constellations found along this same pathway.  There are more than twelve constellations, above the ecliptic, or straddling it or below it, but the zodiac signs named after them, recorded by Eudoxus of Cnidus and Ptolemy of Alexandria get their name from just twelve, again, for reasons of arithmetic.

Each zodiac sign represents a 30 degree section of this 360 degree belt. Each sign is then sub-divided into three blocks of ten degrees, roughly ten days in length.  This gives us the decans of the zodiac, nicknamed ‘the thirty six faces of astrology.’ The decans break down each zodiac sign into three sub-chapters, shining extra light on the story.

First Decan Sagittarius

Sagittarius-Sagittarius

Dates:  22 November-30 November

Planetary rulers: Jupiter and Jupiter

Tarot card:  Eight of Wands

From The Gilded Tarot

Card Meanings: speed, changes, news, sudden developments, arrivals, departures or situations that may prove to be short lived- a ‘flash in the pan.’

Jupiter, planet of expansion, progress, ambition and optimism is both the ruler and sub-ruler of this decan. There is idealism and a love of knowledge here. Sagittarius-Sagittarius is an enthusiast for life, upbeat, spontaneous, and fun. They are highly competitive, and don’t like to lose, with intellectual capabilities of a high order and a keen sense of justice,

There is often a fascination with medicines, shamanism of any kind, and an interest in ancient cultures and their healing traditions. Sagittarius loves wide-open spaces, fresh air and being close to nature.

Sagittarius-Sagittarius is outgoing, yet actually rather private and reserved, not easy to get to know well. They can be the life and soul of the party, but when it comes down to it, they confide in very few.

Famous first decan Sagittarius subjects:  Winston Churchill, Pablo Escobar, Tina Turner, CS Lewis, Britney Spears, Gianni Versace

Second Decan Sagittarius

Sagittarius-Aries

Dates: 1 December-11 December

Planetary rulers: Mars and Moon (Aries Triplicity)

Tarot card: 9 Wands

From The Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot

Card Meaningscourage, stamina, fortitude, stubbornness

Mars brings to this decan an adventurous spirit; energy, courage and ambition. This decan could be an explorer or adventurer, but does well in business and commerce with marked executive abilities. They are natural sportspeople or soldiers.

They are often highly physically attractive to others, and though they are reserved, and may even push people away, guarding their space, they are passionate when in love with a reputation as potential heartbreakers. They are also known for having a bit of a short fuse, and for bearing grudges.

They need to spend plenty of time outdoors and need lots of physical activity to be at their best.  

Second Decan Sagittarius are kind and courageous, clever, good with their hands, quick with their minds, technically proficient, independent, and no matter how rough a time they are having, as with the first decan, they will usually keep that to themselves, showing their best face to the world. 

Famous Second Decan Sagittarius subjects: John Kerry, Kirk Douglas, Jim Morrison, Tyra Banks, John Malkovich

Third Decan Sagittarius

Sagittarius-Leo

Dates: 12 December-21 December

Planetary ruler: The Sun and Saturn (Leo Triplicity)

Tarot card- Ten of Wands

From The Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot

Card Meanings:  effort, determination, shouldering a burden, ‘going to town,’ ‘taking it to town.’

Ruled by the Sun, the centre of our solar system, this person is very much the centre of their own universe. There is a great love of change and a desire for reform. This decan is full of enterprise and novel ideas. They are realists, possibly cynics, but they are very much in tune with their instincts, and make great researchers, investigators or teachers.

They are not known for small talk. They say what they think, and this can give them a reputation for being rude or judgemental. They may have a dark sense of humour. But their sub-ruler, the Sun, which stands for warmth, pride and vitality, joining up with beneficent Jupiter means they have initiative combined with magnetism, and when they feel like it, a talent for making other people laugh. (Not that there was much funny about Stalin but, every zodiac sign has its seriously bad boys and girls)

Famous Decan 3 Sagittarius:  Jane Austen, Beethoven, Nostradamus, Joseph Stalin, Steven Spielberg

The Cusps of Sagittarius

22 November- 25November

This earlier native has Scorpio qualities. Their ruling planets are Jupiter and Mars. They are courageous with great physical endurance. They tend to take on a lot of responsibility, maybe too much, which can load them down and hold them back. They take much care over their work, and have a vivid imagination but will voice share strong opinions, and though they are sensitive, they can be tactless, and in consequence are sometimes misunderstood.

19 December -21 December

This later native has Capricorn tendencies. Their ruling planets are Jupiter and Saturn. They are generally very good company, entertaining, easygoing, witty and well-informed although they sometimes rub other people up the wrong way. They will not hesitate to disagree with others, and will criticise other viewpoints.  On the other hand, they have a strong sense of duty, they seldom betray a confidence and they don’t interfere in matters which don’t involve them directly.

Happy Birthday Sagittarius!

We can expect volcanic events this month, literally and metaphorically,

2022 is looking like a pretty good year for you, with bright prospects for work and finances, thanks to a big fat, optimistic Jupiter influence. Ambition and hard work really could pay off for you this coming year. Put your back into it, Ten of Wands style.

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

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What is the valley of death? We know it as a poetic expression from the Bible, but what might it mean in reality? What is the limit of the definition of reality anyway, when it comes to the imponderables. In algebra, we have to rely on symbolic placeholders too, as in X and Y.

Is the valley of death a poetic description of the end of life experience, a final sensory experience, a vision explainable in terms of a firing-off of neurons by the dying brain, or could it be something more?

I do not advertise as a psychic or clairvoyant or a medium, but tarot readers may get listed as such because there is no separate listing for Tarot in the telephone directory.

But why don’t I advertise as such? Well, Tarot card reading for divination, strategy and support is the service I undertake to guarantee to deliver, as my professional promise, and this is the bottom line and this service depends on acquired skill underpinned by knowledge. OK. But am I psychic? Yes. So are you, most likely, but psychic insights and experiences happen when they happen. Like a wind that ‘bloweth as it listeth’ – psychic insights may be confidently expected, but cannot be guaranteed.

Learning how to read cards, or any other system of divination, although card reading can facilitate them however, as the reader goes down a rabbit-hole, descending into a sort of Hades, seeking to find the ‘right’ interpretation of the cards in any given context. A reader can be asked absolutely anything about anything, and can never prepare, but only prepare to respond.

Every reader has their own story to tell, about how and why they started to learn to do readings. It need not start with a history of psychic experiences. Not at all. But often, it does and in a way, it did with me

‘The Mind has many corridors’ wrote Emily Dickinson. The world is older and stranger, not only than we do imagine, but more than we can imagine.

All animals are pattern seekers, pattern makers or pattern breakers, whether in order to hunt or to hide. Man is hardwired for the power of pattern, and communicating pattern, and the meanings of pattern, and of breaks in pattern, is the eternal task of storytelling. Man – meaning all of Mankind- is a storytelling animal.

‘In the beginning was the Word’.

The Day I met a Dead Man

Many years before I ever so much as opened a pack of Tarot cards, to be grabbed by the art and story telling embedded in them, I met a dead man on the street, a stranger, though we didn’t so much meet. It was more of a case of receiving a summons.

Leicester, 1988. I had just had coffee with a friend I’d used to work with at the Costume Museum in Wygston’s House, now a restaurant. My friend had been the curator at that time and way, way back, the eponymous Roger Wygston had been a wealthy wool merchant and several times Mayor of Leicester.

“Roger Wygston was born about 1430. His father, William, made the family fortune from the wool trade in the first half of the 1400s. Roger was elected chamberlain in 1459 and mayor of Leicester in 1465, 1471 and 1487. He was Member of Parliament for Leicester in 1473 and 1488. He died at Whitsun 1507.” More HERE 

I worked in a little room upstairs, putting the Museum’s collection records, index card system on to computers for the first time, and helped put together an exhibition telling the story of hosiery and featuring our star exhibit, a Coptic sock from about AD 400. It had a bifurcated foot and horizontal stripes in red, brown and green.

Wygston’sHouse, Public Domain

I had coffee and a catch up with my friend, and then we said goodbye. I had a legal appointment at the top end of New Walk at 2.00 PM.

There was a time I walked up and down New Walk almost every day, and I worked a short while in the Museum there too. The portico entrance seen here on the right. This one, Wygston’s House and others were all part of the Leicestershire Museums Service run by the County Council.

New Walk and the Museum, Leicester

I was selling a house among other things, with a lot going on at this time, some of it stressful. Anyone reading this may dismiss the following account on those grounds if they feel so inclined. This would be a perfectly reasonable option, if personally somewhat uncomplimentary in relegating the writer to the role of unreliable narrator, but that would certainly be the easiest, least challenging take on it.

Hardly sooner had I set off walking heading off to this appointment than I began to feel peculiar. Not exactly unwell, but certainly not good. There was a crackling in my ears, white noise like an un-tuned radio. Spots started dancing in front of my eyes, fizzing red and black. My body felt weirdly heavy.

I had never fainted in my life to recognize what that felt like, but, thinking maybe I was about to faint, I decided to keep on walking, thinking it would clear my head. But I was unaccountably scrambled, disorientated.

I could not for the life of me, remember or think where I was supposed to be going. I was on autopilot.

My feet took charge, leading me as it were, one step in front of the other until only a few minutes later, I had crossed a busy street.

I followed a small pedestrianized back street round the curved back wall of what was still called Marks & Spencer then, now M & S and then I came to a standstill.

There was a man lying on his back in the narrow street, sprawled across the pavement. A paramedic was attempting resuscitation, another kneeling by them, a small crowd anxiously watching, an ambulance waiting, .

There he lay, defenseless against exposure; an older man, but not exactly elderly, his trousers unbuttoned and unzipped, showing purple underpants, while the paramedics worked on him. His purchases, a few oranges presumably just bought in the market, had rolled out of his striped canvas shopping bag, and into the gutter.

I kept a distance, standing alone, with a blindingly sudden feeling of certainty, a sensation of astonished comprehension, ‘oh, that’s why I came this way. He fetched me.’

The fog rolled back and now I remembered I was on my way to the New Walk. I was by no means far out of my way, but nor would I have naturally thought to come this way.

I knew it was no good them trying to resuscitate him. I remember thinking, ‘he’s not in there anymore’.

I had the feeling, not only was the man not in his body any more, he was standing close beside me, on my right.

I saw nothing, heard nothing and felt nothing in that moment except a pang on his account, but this, with a dissociated neutrality. I think perhaps I was a little shocked, but I wasn’t frightened, only sad, not so much at the suddenness of the man’s death, but that he was caught so unprepared, and was so very frightened, finding himself unable to get back in his body that he had sent an SOS and pulled me off my own path to bring me, a perfect stranger, to where he lay, so abruptly evicted from his own body in a city centre back street on a sunny day.

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Maybe it works something like radio waves, and I happened to be in the right place at the right time, and I was tuned in on the right frequency, like the story of the haunted house in my previous post.

I talked to him, and told him he had done the hard bit, and not to try and get back in, that he’d had a most tremendous shock, but it was OK, it was all right, and there was somewhere else he needed to go now, but it was perfectly all right.

Had I thought of it I might have said a prayer. I’m not religious, but words have power across the boundaries of time and space, and who knows what other boundaries.

I reckon that the old Wakes, company, food, alcohol, song, were a wise tradition rooted in this ancient understanding. That the dead might need a bit of time to process what has happened. That they might need encouragement and reassurance before they set off on their lone but universal odyssey once more to greet the rising sun. Read Here about Wakes.

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A friend of my mother’s once told her that she had not been close to her father. But after he died and she went to see the body and say goodbye, she thought his face did not look quite right. She felt he looked frightened. The mouth was twisted. She sang to him ‘The Lord Is My Shepherd’, and she thought he must have heard her, because his mouth relaxed, and all at once his face looked quite different.

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Some go swiftly and easily through the Valley. Others, not so.

The archangels Uriel and Michael are psychopomps; escorting the dead as they ascend back up to the heavens via the Gate of the Gods in the constellation of Capricorn.

In Greek and Roman mythology, the god Hermes or Mercury, would escort the souls to the banks of the River Acheron, or The Styx if you prefer, to wait for Charon the Ferryman and the crossing to the Isle of the Dead and the Fields of Asphodel.

Wiki: Psychopomps (from the Greek word ψυχοπομπός, psychopompós, literally meaning the ‘guide of souls’)[1] are creatures, spirits, angels, or deities in many religions whose responsibility is to escort newly deceased souls from Earth to the afterlife. Their role is not to judge the deceased, but simply to guide them.

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23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

But I didn’t think of that. I was young, inexperienced in such things, too astonished and unprepared. So that was all I said to him, and then I went on my way and I put it out of my mind for a long time to come.

But I hope that he did hear me, however inadequate the response, if only to know that yes, he might have left his body, but he still existed and he stil lhad agency.

The living were still trying to help him, and though they could neither bring him back nor accompany him on his forward journey, whatever that might be, still, he had sent out a distress signal, and someone had received it and responded.

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We send them. We receive them. Messages in bottles, sailing to shores near and far.

Some perhaps, farther than we can ever know.

Season of the Celestial Scorpion

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Common Associations

Zodiac symbol

Dates:  October 23 –November 22 (It may vary. In 2021 it will be Sunday Nov 21)

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

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

Zodiac element: Water

Zodiac quality: Fixed

Keywords:  I desire. I transform

Colour:  Dark red

Birthstone:  Yellow Topaz, Opal, Aquamarine, Tourmaline.

Tree:  Walnut. Hawthorn. Blackthorn

Tarot Card:  Death

From The Gilded Tarot

Note the Biblical ‘pale horse’ and the white rose. The rose signifies beauty and immortality. What has ever once been, lives somewhere, somehow, forever.

Astronomy

Scorpius from which the zodiac sign gets its name, is a massive, spectacular j- shaped constellation located in the skies over the southern hemisphere near the centre of the Milky Way. In the Northern hemisphere it can be seen in July and August, but is most visible in July at 9.00 PM. In the Southern hemisphere it is visible from March to October, like a faint band in the Milky Way overhead.

By Till Credner – Own work, http://www.AlltheSky.com, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9296434

Its name, no prizes for guessing, is Latin for scorpion and it is one of the 48 constellations identified by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the second century AD. Like Aries, Taurus and Leo, it is an ancient constellation, meaning it has been recognised as a constellation pre-dating the Greeks.

Scorpius is the southernmost constellation in the zodiac between Libra to the west and Sagittarius to the east. Its claws do double duty and also represent the scales of Libra.

Its unbelievably huge brightest star- our sun is barely more than a dot in comparison- is one of the brightest in the night sky, the ‘heart of the scorpion’, Antares, meaning ‘rival of Ares’ (the Greek name for the Roman god of war, Mars) So-named because it is bright reddish in colour, like Mars, and because Scorpio’s traditional ruling planet is Mars.

By kind permission of EarthSky.Org

Modern astrologers may argue that Scorpio is ruled by Pluto instead (Death, The Transformer) depending on whether the astrologer is working with a traditional or modern interpretation after the discovery of Pluto 1930.

Scorpius contains exo-planets, some extremely old, and others considered potentially habitable. The planet PSR B1620-26 b, nicknamed “Methuselah” is estimated at 12.7 billion years old  (The universe is about 13.7 billion years old.)  Methuselah has a mass about twice that of Jupiter and it orbits around not one, but two stars.

Cue potential existential angst.

Gliese 667Cc is a “super-Earth” about four times as massive as Earth, part of a three-star system only 22 light-years away from Earth. It’s considered potentially habitable and the same system contains two other potentially habitable planets: Gliese 667Ce and Gliese 667Cf – both about 2.7 times the mass of Earth.

“Habitability” is defined as a rocky world close enough to its parent star for liquid water to exist on the surface. Other factors may rule it out, though, such as the variability of its star or the composition of the planet’s atmosphere.

Mythology and History

Nature, Religion and astrology were intertwined in the ancient world. The ancient world was wiser and knew better than we do in this respect.

The scorpion has been here far longer than we have – hundreds of millions of years, more than 450 million, compared with our six million or so.

Sometime around four thousand years ago the Babylonians looked up, discerned the brightly leaning J- shape in the summer stars and called this constellation MUL.GIR.TAB – the ‘Scorpion’, literally read as ‘the (creature with) a burning sting’.

The movements and relative positions of Scorpius were mapped by Babylonian magicians and astrologers, who left written records of the omens they observed.

“When a halo surrounds the Moon and Scorpio stands in it, it will cause men to marry princesses, (or) lions will die, and the traffic of the land will be hindered.”

A comet appearing in Scorpius was read as a dire warning of a coming plague, but when the Sun rose in Scorpius, alchemists saw their one chance for the transmutation of lead into gold.

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Orion and The Scorpion

Orion The Hunter was a friend of Artemis, Greek goddess of the Moon, of the Hunt, and patron of all wild creatures. One day he was overheard boasting to Artemis and her mother Leto, that there was not a single beast he could not, and would not hunt and kill.

Gaia, goddess of the Earth, heard this and did not like it one bit. Artemis was a great hunter herself, but Artemis did not kill for the sake of killing, and offered protection to all creatures. Gaia sent a giant scorpion to deal with Orion. He fought back, and sure enough, he killed the scorpion, but the scorpion also killed Orion.

Public Domain

Zeus, much impressed by the scorpion’s battle spirit, and at Gaia’s request, raised the scorpion to the heavens, and at the request of the heartbroken Artemis; he did the same for Orion.

But see them back to back? Still, they avoid each one another, these ancient deadly foes, one rising as the other sets.

In other cultures this constellation is not seen as a scorpion. In Indonesia it’s the “the brooded swan” or the “the leaning coconut tree.” In Hawaii, it is “The Fishhook” of the demi-god Maui.

In Chinese mythology, the constellation is part of the Azure Dragon a deity of the underworld ( a cthonic deity = subterranean) and in Japan the guardian spirit of the city of Kyoto. presumably for magical protection against earthquakes.

But about the scorpion, there is consensus across hemispheres, not only continents. Thousands of years before the Greeks and Romans established their societies, the Australian Aboriginal peoples also looked up and saw the stars of Scorpius in terms of a cosmic scorpion, as did the Aztecs of Central Mexico.

The Lowland Mayans  had scorpion constellations. These may have matched up with THE Scorpion of the zodiac, but there no clear proof. It is thought that the Mayans viewed the celestial scorpion as an eclipse-causing agent.

The arrival of Scorpio’s sign in the northern hemisphere coincides with the advent of mystery, the fast fading autumn light, and the ghosts, myths and superstitions of Halloween, or All Hallows Eve.

Facts about scorpions

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  • As mentioned previously, they are a staggeringly ancient creature. The earliest evidence dates from the Silurian period 450 million years ago, when the first scorpion ancestors left the seas for the land. Fossils from the Carboniferous 300 million years ago indicate little change since then. Early scorpions may have had compound eyes. 
  • They are arachnids: arachnida scorpiones, with a body in two sections, 2 pincers or pedi-palps, 8 legs like a spider, and an exo-skeleton made of chitin. They are more closely related to Harvestmen than spiders.
  • They dance before mating, a stately promenade. They give birth to live young and carry them on their backs until the babies have their first moult and disperse. The mothers may eat the young if resources are desperately scarce.
  • They have a long life span compared with other arachnids, 2-3 years in the wild but they have lived up to 25 years in captivity. They can live a year without food and eat insects, spiders, other scorpions and lizards. They also eat small mammals, such as mice.
  • They glow in the dark except when newly moulted. Scorpion fossils still fluoresce, despite spending hundreds of millions of years embedded in rock.
  • They are famously venomous. However of the nearly 2,000 known species of scorpions, only 25 have venom powerful enough to be dangerous to an adult human. In the U.S., the Arizona bark scorpion, Centruroides sculpturatus, produces venom strong enough to kill a small child, but anti-venom means deaths are rare.

The Scorpio Personality -planetary aspects

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Scorpio is known as The Sorceror, The Detective, The Hypnotist, and The Alchemist

Scorpio is an extreme sign, at the same time fiery hot and icy cold, symbolically reflecting its contradictory planetary rulers. Scorpio is traditionally ruled by the red planet Mars, planet of action, named after the Classical Greco- Roman god of war.  But its modern ruler is the icy dwarf planet Pluto, not discovered until 1930 and named after the Greco-Roman god of the underworld.

Pluto, although small, and though its status as a planet is an ongoing debate, is large enough, with a gravitational pull sufficiently powerful to make it spherical, like a planet. And it is symbolically powerful in modern astrology, by virtue of the very fact that it is so far away from the sun. Its orbit takes 248 years, so that its symbolic effects are deep, far reaching and long lasting.

Like the other water signs, Cancer and Pisces, Scorpio is considered clairvoyant, or at least, keenly intuitive. (All signs are of course,potentially psychic in their own way) But Scorpio has far greater intensity. This is water behaving as steam like an underwater volcanic eruption or a bubbling hot spring.

Scorpio rules the eighth sign of the zodiac, to do with Birth, Sex and Death.  It is both destruction and regeneration.

No wonder these subjects can be intense, and they are often possessed of great personal charisma. They are watchful but keep their feelings hidden. Born executives, investigators, spies or secret agents, they are shrewd judges of human nature, while less conscientious Scorpio subjects make use of this to their advantage, and drop friends whom they no longer see as useful.  But combined with their intense determination, and loyalty-where they decide to accord it, Scorpios can make great leaders, scientists, and devoted doctors. They are quick learners, instinctive, analytical, adaptable, often ‘moulting’ (changing careers) going down new paths.

Scorpio is vengeful…and patient. But they never forget a kindness.

The major arcana card in the Tarot representing Scorpio is the Death card, one of the most famous and most feared cards in the Tarot deck.

Public Domain: artist Pamela Colman Smith

The prospect of Death is frightening, hard to comprehend even though we understand it full well. And often desperately upsetting, though we understand full well Death is part of Life. Without Death, there would be no space for new life. We are getting our turn at life right now. Others are waiting their turn. Others before us have had theirs, and who knows, maybe they will get another turn one day.

When we leave, I feel we really do go through ‘the Valley’. Some intermediate state. Some zip through double quick. Others take longer, a few take much much longer. This much has been my observation through work with clients and a small number of unforgettable personal experiences.

What it is like to find ourselves there, in ‘the valley’ to find ourselves evicted and locked out of our earthly home for so long, our abode in the familiar city of our body? It is easy to imagine that some could panic at first. Whether we forget, or dream, or are utterly subsumed again into wherever we came from before, when maybe we were frightened to get born, not knowing what we were coming to this time round.

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This card is the annual collective zodiacal reminder that, just as the daylight is dying; so Death comes for everyone alike, old or young, man or woman, the archbishop and the child as shown in the Death card.

There are no guarantees we will make it to the age of ‘three score and ten,’- that any of us will see the age of seventy. Old age is not a right. In the natural world, few animals in the wild live into old age. Life is for living now, says Scorpio, and it is this awareness that gives Scorpio its drive, intensity, its passion, and sometimes its preoccupation with the dark side of life, and with the occult and the mysterious.

The court card of Scorpio is the King of Cups, the man of Scorpio, Cancer and Pisces. In a reading The Queen of Cups may also be used.

Legacy of the Divine Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

MeaningsWater, the sea, sailor, fisherman, mature Male, husband, friend, grandpa, advisor, priest, doctor, counsellor, teacher, academic, artist, poet, musician, deep wisdom, calm, considerate, sensitive, supportive, protective,  disciplined,  intuitive, psychic,  reserved, secretive

Scorpio needs a challenge. They like to unlock puzzles and mysteries and they need to feel that their work is important or meaningful. Hence they will often be found in high pressure situations, handling urgent, even life or death issues; in the emergency services, or in the police, detection, crime & prisons, or working in psychotherapy. They often have a talent for management, including financial management, and research and resource management within the financial sector and power production industries

This is the archetype. But of course there is no such thing in reality as THE Scorpio personality. We are unique individuals. Our zodiac sign (sun sign) is a major keynote, but it is nothing like the full picture in real life – or even in astrology.  

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

The decans

The Zodiac is the belt of sky we see from earth, tracking the path of the sun across the sky from dawn till dusk and throughout the year. We call this pathway of the sun ‘the ecliptic,’ and the zodiac belt shares this same pathway.

The zodiac belt is 16 degrees deep or across; 8 degrees above the sun’s pathway, the ecliptic, and 8 degrees below.

The Greeks divided this belt into twelve sections, choosing twelve for ease of arithmetic and named them after some of the constellations found along this same pathway.  There are more than twelve constellations, both above the ecliptic and below it, but the zodiac signs, as formalised by Eudoxus of Cnidus and Ptolemy of Alexandria get their name from just twelve.

Each zodiac sign represents a 30 degree section of this 360 degree belt. Each sign is then sub-divided into three blocks of ten degrees, about ten days in length.

This gives us the decans, nicknamed ‘the thirty six faces of astrology,’ breaking down each sign into three chapters that shine a little extra light on the story of that sign.

First Decan Scorpio

Scorpio-Scorpio

Birth Dates:  23 -31 October (0-10 degrees)

Planetary rulers: Mars and Pluto

Tarot card:  Five of Cups

From The Legacy Tarot

Card Meanings:  Grief, disappointment, recovery from loss. Taking stock,counting our blessings, and what still remains

Here is the most ‘typical’ Scorpio subject. Mars, the ruling planet of Scorpio is doubly powerful in this first decan. This is an active, determined, dominant individual. When the going gets tough, so do they.

Scorpio/Scorpio individuals are incredibly driven, and more prone than other people to extreme behaviours, matched by courage, tenacity, and the willpower to bounce back after a setback, and start again.

Famous first decans

Hillary Clinton, politician, 26 Oct 1947

Dylan Thomas, poet, 27 Oct 1914

Second Decan Scorpio

Scorpio-Pisces

Dates: 1 -11 November (10-20 degrees)

Planetary rulers: Jupiter and Neptune

Tarot card: Six of Cups

From The Gilded Tarot

Card Meaningshappy memories, nostalgia, home, childhood, children, childhood, old friends, and old haunts

This Scorpio decan is also intense and driven, but is cooled and moderated by Pisces and its rulers, Neptune and Jupiter. This is a changeable nature, unpredictable or at times explosive, but at other times slow or even sluggish.  There is an element of contradiction here.

Jupiter is the planetary symbol of good luck is the ultimate extrovert, and Neptune ‘The Dreamer’ is the ultimate introvert.

This individual’s greatest battles may be with themselves, starting at an early age. The influence of Neptune may be an inspiration, or could become their downfall, should they once start indulging in escapism via drugs, alcohol, gambling or other addictive, risk-taking behaviours.

These people are often interested in esoteric subjects; religion, the mystical, and the occult.  They need s stable home, a reliable partner and they need to be careful in their friendships and choice of company. They usually have a natural talent for medicine or the healing arts, and are searching for some sense of a greater purpose.

Famous Second Decans

Billy Graham, evangelist, 7 Nov 1918,  

Carl Sagan, astronomer, 9 Nov 1934

Third Decan Scorpio

Scorpio-Cancer

Dates: 12-21 November

Planetary rulers: Moon and Venus

Tarot card- Seven of Cups

From The Gilded Tarot Royale

Card Meanings: visions, possibilities, options, choices, daydreams

This decan is as visionary as this card illustration suggests; imaginative, creative and dramatic.  Moon and Venus cool and soften the energy of Mars. This is a magnetic personality, a natural artist or performer.

The Decan 3 Scorpio often has a particularly close relationship with his or her mother; generally a healthy thing, so long as it isn’t given more importance than their relationships with their chosen life partner.

This is the Scorpio decan most likely to curate a legacy to loved ones or leave money to favourite causes. Money, privacy, loyalty and property are of supreme importance. A keeper of secrets, they carry mysteries or grudges to their graves.

They are more domestic at heart than other Scorpio natives, but still, very brave and tough in their own way. They may be activists of some kind, and their charm and eloquence can make them very effective when working with a group for a common cause.

Famous Third Decans

Robert Kennedy, 20 Nov 1925

Prince Charles, 14 Nov 1948

Born on the cusp?

First decan Scorpio born on the cusp is a more airy Libran Scorpio with marked Libra qualities. Third decan Scorpio born on the cusp is a less fiery Sagittarian Scorpio with marked Sagittarius qualities.

Fixed water Scorpio, the opposite number of Fixed Earth Taurus is a hidden face of The Bull, just as The Bull is a hidden face of the Scorpion. The Bull from The Sea was sent to Crete by Poseidon. Steamy depths indeed. Only Pisces goes as deep or deeper.

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

Back again soon for Halloween!

Till next time 🙂

The Tarot, the Fool and the Return of Orion

The Fool and the return of Orion...
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Orion The Hunter, ‘Man of the Mountains’ or as he was known to the early Sumerians, the Akkadians, The Light of Heaven, returns to the northern hemisphere in late July or early August, once again striding the eastern horizon at sunrise, though he is tilted on his side this time of year facing up.

But when we say return, where has he been, then? The answer is, he has been invisible, hidden in the glare of the sun since May. Yes. Now he is back, and will rise earlier each day until he is visible all evening by early December. As a girl I used to like to go out on cold frosty evenings to fill the coal scuttle from the coal bunker in the back garden. Looking up at him. I knew his name. I knew he was The Hunter but that was all, and I wondered about him, and what he was hunting up there. Those winter evenings still have that same kind of magic.

Orion is only the 26th largest constellation, sitting on the celestial equator, facing the constellation next door, the oncoming, charging, Taurus the Bull. It’s smaller than another Greek hero, Perseus but Orion’s got more brilliant stars.

(The biggest constellation is Hydra, and the biggest Zodiac constellation is Virgo.)

Orion’s brightest stars are the blue-white star Rigel, representing the Hunter’s left foot (where the scorpion bit him, sent by Gaia, and caused his death) and the red super-giant Betelgeuse, his right shoulder,only ten million years old, which makes Betelgeuse young to be a red super-giant, but it’s evolved faster due to its enormous mass. It is expected to go supernova in the next million years, and when it does will be brighter than the Moon and the brightest supernova ever to have been visible from Earth.

Orion’s third brightest star is Bellatrix, his left shoulder, while Orions’s Belt is one of the most easily recognized asterisms with its three stars, nicknamed in Arabic ‘the Golden Nuts’.

Their Arabic names, read east to west or left to right; Alnitak (girdle), Alnilam (string of pearls) and Mintaka (belt) But of course they have many other names across the world; The Magi, the Three Mary’s….

The Mayans called them ‘The Fire Drill’, invoking them in an annual fire ceremony to delay the onset of the end of the world.

‘No other constellation more accurately represents the figure of a man,’ said Germanicus Caesar

Orion has been identified as a human figure in every culture at every latitude, with countless story variations

Orion, aka Nimrod, was the son of Poseidon in Greek myth; the most handsome man ever to walk the earth. He was a great hunting buddy and friend of Artemis.Her twin brother, Apollo glowered, seeing that Artemis fancied Orion something rotten, though she had taken a vow of perpetual chastity.

Orion was a bit of a sex pest, chasing the Pleiades, so that Zeus confiscated them to the sky for their own peace and quiet. And a fat lot of good it did them, because when Orion was killed by a scorpion (THE scorpion) Artemis in her grief, asked Zeus to post Orion upstairs to the heavens, which he did, right next door to the Pleiades, who also represent the celestial bull pen of Taurus.

Thanks Zeus. You didn’t think that one through, did you?

Should Taurus ever break free of his pen, said an ancient Arabic legend, it will be the end of all things, so let’s hope he’s happy up there, and that Orion doesn’t chase the Pleiades away.

Orion bravely strides towards the Bull, but although he killed the scorpion that also killed him, he still fears it, and dreads its appearance fleeing west as the autumn wears on and Scorpius rises (Scorpio)

Orion in his eternal battle with Scorpius

The stand off between Orion and Taurus the Bull, its red eye, Aldebaran glaring at him, daring him to come nearer, does not fit the story of Orion, and a question has been raised in some quarters over the identity of Orion, and whether he has become confused with Herakles/Hercules at any time in his identification with this constellation.

The reasons are likely historical. The constellation as recognized by the Greeks originated with the Sumerians, who saw in it their great hero Gilgamesh fighting the Bull of Heaven whereas, as previously mentioned, the Sumerian name for Orion was URU AN-NA, meaning ‘light of heaven,’ and Taurus was GUD AN-NA, ‘bull of heaven’.

Gilgamesh was the Sumerian equivalent of Heracles, the greatest hero of Greek mythology, and one of the labours of Heracles was to catch the Cretan bull, but Orion was never in a fight with a bull. Heracles, it has been suggested, deserves a magnificent constellation such as this one, but has been consigned to a much more obscure area of sky.

The Sumerian story is older.

Orion and the Tarot

The Golden Tarot by Kat Black

The Tarot card most commonly associated with Orion is The Fool. The most numinous card in the deck, its element is Air and it is ruled by the planet of revolution, Uranus.

It is the portal of the number Zero. The Fool or as some called him, The Jester, is both beginnings and ending.

In a real life reading it may detect or forecast a birth of a child, or a new offer or a launch or opportunity of some kind. And change happens all the time but this is always major or significant in scope. But although is not associated with Death, unlike the famous Death card, it can mean a death too, representing infinity, the ouroboros.

An ouroboros

The Fool lives in the moment. He may be fun, he may be joy, or he may be frightening. There’s every reason a lot of people are scared of clowns as the living embodiment of The Fool. He represents the wisdom of innocence, or mistakes made through impulsiveness or ignorance rather than stupidity. But he may represent a threat, whether direct or existential, clearly sensed but not as yet clearly identifiable. The fear is visceral, not lightly to be dismissed.

He may be a shamanic, gnostic figure; the stranger, the outcast, the wise Fool or the Fool on the Hill. He dances to his own tune. He takes chances, risks, and sometimes these pay off, but sometimes he steps over the edge of the cliff, heedless of his dog’s most urgent warning.

The dog in the card is not biting the Fool, but desperately trying to get his attention. If someone asks the Tarot’s advice and then I draw this card reversed….someone needs to draw back from the precipice and look again before they leap.

I may bark like the Fool’s dog but will they act on this advice? CAN they? Will they even really hear it, let alone find a way to use it? We are who we are, and we do what we do, based on who we are. It is a rare person who can step back and see things anew once they are committed to Opinion A or B or they are emotionally invested in outcome A or B.

Advice, to be heard, must be sufficiently timely, before the paint dries.

Everywhere the Fool goes, his dog follows, just as Orion is followed in the skies by his two hunting dogs, Canis major and Canis minor. Sirius, the Dog Star is in the constellation of Canis Major and is THE brightest star in Earth’s night sky.

The only objects that outshine Sirius in our skies are the sun, moon, Venus, Jupiter, Mars and Mercury – and Sirius will usually outshine Mercury too.

All Mankind is Orion.

We were hunters at the dawn of man (The Fool) And gatherers too, but we were never gorillas, and never herbivores on our ancestral line.

“We were risen not of fallen angels but risen apes, and they were killer apes besides” – Robert Ardrey, in African Genesis.

Hunting was what brought us together in teams, then communities. Co operation meant compassion.

Fatboy Slim tells a version of that story here (except that we were apes but we did not evolve on the gorilla branch).

Watch out for Orion overhead in the final frame of the video.

Until next time 🙂

Summer Solstice, and the Starry Crab in the Celestial Seas

Cancer by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 Most of us know our zodiac or sun sign, but what does it look like in the night sky, and what’s the story behind it?

Common associations

The pincers: Zodiac symbol of Cancer

Ruling heavenly body: Moon

Key phrase: I feel

Body: The chest, breast

Birth Stone:  Stones and metals fall under the rule of planets, not signs, but through its association with the Moon, Cancer has symbolic affinity with pearls, silver and crystals.

Colour: White, silver

Tree: all trees rich in sap

Flower: Acanthus

 Tarot card: The Chariot (see how it is a shell?) Drive, control, progress, self discipline, teamwork, and the harmonizing of different elements.

The Chariot, Rider-Waite Tarot

The Astronomy

Wiki

Cancer, Latin for crab, is in a dark region of the sky, and is the faintest constellation in the Zodiac, with only two stars above the fourth magnitude of brightness: Acubens (The Claw) and Al Tarf (The Foot)

Cancer is visible in the Northern Hemisphere in early spring, in March at 9 PM and in the Southern Hemisphere is seen during autumn.

It’s almost impossible to see Cancer with the naked eye or even binoculars, looking between Leo, the lion, and Gemini, The Twins. And really, it doesn’t look much like a crab, more like a faint, upside-down Y that has been compared with a crayfish or lobster. It was actually called the Crayfish in classical astrology, and in Egyptian astrology they called it The Scarab.

Whatever its name, it’s always been pictured as a creature with an exoskeleton; an arthropod, and it is said that Cancer appears to rise in the zodiac as if with a crab-wise movement, not sideways, but ascending backwards.

The Sun’s entry into Cancer announces the summer solstice. ‘Solstice,’ from the Latin sol stice means the Sun seems to be ‘standing still’ as it approaches this point.

However, although Cancer may be faint it’s got one heck of a star cluster glowing at its centre. Praesepe or ‘The Manger’ was identified in 1771 by French astronomer Charles Messier.

Its modern name is M44 or The Beehive Cluster. Through the telescope it looks like a swarm of bees, but to the naked eye it looks like a small, fuzzy patch of light -or a tiny cloud floating through the stars.

Public Domain: The Beehive Cluster

As the sign of the Sun’s greatest elevation, Cancer was considered nearest to the highest point of heaven – and in Neo-Platonism was called ‘the Gate of Men’ through which souls descended to Earth to be born.  The opposite constellation, Capricorn was the ‘Gate of the Gods’, where souls of the departed rose back to heaven. 

I knew a soul who descended through the Gate of Men and ascended again through the Gate of The Gods the same day, the day of the solstice, 1993. He stayed in this world one hour and twenty five minutes, and then he gave just one little tiny sigh and left. A baby soul, his name was Rowen, and he was our son, and always will be, as long as light lasts. He arrived as a first decan Cancer subject, but came early, and should have come later, in Virgo season.

Cancer also contains a planetary system; 55 Cancri, containing five known planets, with possibly more awaiting discovery. 55 Cancri is about 40 light-years away, just about visible to the unaided eye, although you need help to find it. The innermost of its planets is a “super Earth,” a few times heavier than Earth – but none of these planets has the right surface conditions for liquid water, and life there is thought not likely.

The Myth

In classical mythology Cancer is associated with the Twelve Labours of Hercules/Herakles after he went mad, mistook his wife and children for monsters and killed them. He undertook the Labours in penance.

The second of his great challenges was to kill the Hydra, a terrible water serpent but his enemy, Hera, who had always hated Herakles as the illegitimate son (yet another one) of her husband Zeus, sent a crab to harass him while he was fighting. The crab faithfully did its very best, nipping Hercules again and again, but he stepped on it and crushed it beneath his heel, or in other versions of the story, killed it with his club.

Look at that crab, getting right stuck in. Go on, crab! Give him a nip. That’ll larn him. Heracles was always a loose cannon. He terribly wounded Chiron, killed his music teacher in a tantrum and killed his own wife and children in a fit of madness for which Hera got the blame.

Hera rewarded the Crab’s loyalty by placing it in the heavens, but she placed it in a dark portion of the heavens with only faint stars because crabs need dark, quiet places to feel safe and at home.

This quiet celestial location however, happens to be the highest point in the zodiac, nearest to heaven, and The Crab is the star of the show, and the humble herald of the glory of the summer solstice.

The Astrology

Cancer is the fourth sign of the Zodiac, representing those born between June 20 and July 22. It is considered a water sign, and is one of the four cardinal signs, which are the signs indicating a change of season when the sun makes its annual passage into them.

Cancer is all about the shoreline, and tides, monthly and annual. Cancer is uniquely both the moon and the sun.

The sign of Cancer, ruled by The Moon, is a cardinal sign, herald of the seasons, announcing the arrival of summer in the northern hemisphere and winter in the southern hemisphere.

The Cancer Personality

There is of course no such thing in reality as THE Cancer personality. Your zodiac sign or as it is also known, your sun sign is a major keynote, but it’s not the whole story. You are a unique personality.

The archetype stands, however, and the Cancer personality is complex, elusive and riddled with contradictions.

Cancer stands for both mother and father. It is the zodiac sign of the nurturing parent. Cancer famously adores babies and small animals, all wild things and does very well with them. The empty nest can be anathema to the Cancer parent.

Cancer is often musical or artistic, but also has a strong scholarly bent, and many Cancer subjects are drawn into the fields of teaching, counselling, psychology and behaviour sciences.

By Rose Maynard Barton

Cancer is the sign of hearth and home, and expanding this; the wider tribal or national identity, and our ancestral legacy, historical, cultural and genetic.

It is the sign of memory, nostalgia, sometimes regrets, and a longing to return to happy childhood haunts. A garden, a meadow, a walk we used to go. A bucket and spade at the seaside if we were lucky. Maybe a dabble in a rock-pool.

The Decans of Cancer

Each zodiac sign is 30 days long and is divided into three Decans of approximately 10 days each, with slight variations possible year on year. 

Decan 1 21 June-1 July

Cancer-Cancer, ruler The Moon

Tarot card: Two of Cups

From The Legacy of The Divine Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

This is the decan of love or friendship between equals, and the Two of Cups is an especially fortunate and benevolent card. Cancer Decan 1 will fight hard for its loved ones, and will also stick up for the underdog.

They may be a bit of a do-gooder or something of an activist, wanting to pass across that cup as shown in the Tarot.

Cancer decan 1 is also, not only enigmatic and something of a dreamer or even a mystic, but a natural born astronomer, and watcher of the moonlight skies, as are all the decans of Cancer.

Decan 2 2 -11 July

Cancer-Scorpio, ruler Mars (traditional ruler) or Pluto (modern ruler)

Tarot card: Three of Cups

From The Legacy of The Divine Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

They like to be left in peace but not to be left alone. The subjects of this decan get stronger as they get older which may seem obvious but which is not universally true of all people, but they are resilient and of the three decans of Cancer, this is the decan with the reputation for bouncing back most readily. They are generally sensible about money, good with finances, reliable and trustworthy, helpful to their relations, but they expect the same in return, and do not easily forgive or forget a slight. They have a reputation for holding grudges. Feast and famine, exotic blooms, hot house flowers.

Photo by Jacub Gomez on Pexels.com

Decan 3 12 -21 July

Cancer-Pisces, ruler Jupiter (traditional ruler) or Neptune (modern ruler)

Tarot Card: Four of Cups

From The Legacy Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

The figure in the Four of Cups has a rich inner life, and may be something of a visionary, but may from time to time feel restless and dissatisfied, bored by mundane realities yet unsure what to do about it, while haunted by the sense there is somewhere else they should be, something else they should be doing. As with Pisces, physical energy levels can be quite variable, and this too is reflected in the card.

Cancer 3 decan is traditionally understood as the moodiest of the crabs. Dedicated and devoted to their loved ones, they may all the same be unapproachable at times. They need to feel family around them, they really do, but they also need plenty of outlets.

Read HERE about the health and constitutional makeup of Cancer.

They are, well, somewhat crabby at times, but deeply humane, kindly, reliable and trustworthy, and they sparkle in company, attracting admiration- when they choose. Reclusive at times, but they never lose a certain sense of fun.

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Until next time 🙂

The Hermit, Virgo and the River

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“Even the upper end of the river believes in the ocean.”-said William Stafford.

But even if it doesn’t, that’s where it’s going anyway. Slowing, broadening and deepening as it goes. Like us, if we get the chance, if we are given the time. And the closer we get to the ocean, the less we strive, the more we carry, the more we reflect and the less we hurry.

Photo by Sindre Stru00f8m on Pexels.com

Like The Hermit, who walks alone in the wild places, following a far-off light, or answering the ancient drum beat. The Hermit is feeling the weight of his years and experience but casts his own light all the same. He/she withdraws more from society, but the wild creatures draw near and cautiously welcome The Hermit home. He – us- humankind of the modern world left their path many years ago, branching away from the path of the wild.

The Hermit is airy Mercury in earthy Virgo; watchful, enquiring, creative but analytical, self-disciplined, seemingly aloof yet approachable,with a quiet warmth.

The Hermit from The Golden Tarot by Kat Black

William Stafford died aged 79 at his home in Virgo Season,  Lake Oswego, Oregon on 28 August, 1993. The morning of his death, he had written a poem containing the lines, “‘You don’t have to / prove anything,’ my mother said. ‘Just be ready / for what God sends.’

Ask Me

Some time when the river is ice ask me
mistakes I have made. Ask me whether
what I have done is my life. Others
have come in their slow way into
my thought, and some have tried to help
or to hurt: ask me what difference
their strongest love or hate has made.

I will listen to what you say.
You and I can turn and look at the silent river and wait.

We know the current is there, hidden; and there
are comings and goings from miles away
that hold the stillness exactly before us.
What the river says, that is what I say.

Photo by Brandon Huff on Pexels.com

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”― Plutarch

There is what Life does to us. There is how we respond. But first there was always who we were to begin with, and the ways we are still becoming it.

Tabula rasa is the theory that individuals are born without built-in mental content, and therefore all knowledge comes from experience or perception. Epistemological proponents of tabula rasa disagree with the doctrine of innatism, which holds that the mind is born already in possession of certain knowledge. Wikipedia

There was never a ‘Tabula Rasa’…no blank slate.

You only need to look at the newborn.

The Taurus New Moon and The Tower

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Tuesday 11 May, was a New Moon in Taurus. A New moon is the optimal time for new launches, say the lunar calendars, while Taurus is all about beauty, security, and the sensory delights and material comforts of life, also the status quo.

There were plenty of new launches all right, and challenges to a current status quo. Lightning struck more ways than one. A new peak of tragedy in Gaza, seemingly never to be resolved, no peace without an agreement on justice, the skies raining missiles, the death toll rising, children killed inside Gaza, a whole family today,and a little baby.

Locally, close to my own home in Lancashire in the UK, a little boy was tragically killed, struck by lightening, while he was out doing football training. Jordan was only nine, clearly a very nice little boy, and well known locally, and a big Liverpool FC fan, already known for his charity endeavours. RIP, little lamb.

Junior Sprog’s young man meanwhile, had been up to his waist in his fish pond about half an hour before this horribly tragic event, doing a spot of DIY, installing a new filter for his beloved koi carp. I told her, half- joking, he needed to come out of there. He was at risk of being struck by lightning. But the storm’s gone, she said. Well, yes, it had, just about. The hail had stopped but the sky was peculiar, ominous, the conditions ripe.

It looked like that scene from Independence Day, said Il Matrimonio, the scene when the aliens arrive, creating clouds as they hover on their coordinates across the world’s cities, waiting the moment to strike.

I have written about The Tower card more than once before in previous postings here on this blog.

From The Golden Tarot, Kat Black

Well, it’s a biggie, and generally, I am not pleased to see it. The Tower card and I have had direct encounters before, and they were not fun.

But that’s by the by. Keep your friends close, as they say, and your enemies closer. Let’s take another look at it today, The Tower, Major Arcana number 16. Sandwiched -entirely by design between The Devil, Major Arcana 15, and its obsession, dependency, desire, frustration and rage, and The Star, Major Arcana 17, cool, impersonal, harbinger of hope and recovery, humanitarian but oh, so logical at times, prone to abstractions and ideological dogmatism (as today Saturn moves out of Aquarius; an ideologue’s dream and dogmatic stellar combination if ever there was one, but sadly moves back in again during July 2021.)

Countless numbers are living The Tower experience right now.

Some high profile practitioners have made it something of a mission to intellectualize and sanitize the Tarot, and to educate other readers to present its manifold truths in purely metaphorical or psychological, sometimes Jungian terms.

So The Tower card symbolizes a great awakening. Pride comes before a fall and the truth will come out. And ultimately, this is good, they may say, because what is lost can be scrapped as not fit for purpose or rebuilt on better foundations. It is for the spiritual good. Good for one’s soul.

I agree, up to a point. I am all in favour of looking for the silver linings in any cloud, and of the notion of putting myself and others in charge of our own destinies, at least assuming responsibility for our own decisions and the consequences of those decisions.

But readers of the Tarot limit themselves in stipulating HOW the Tarot is to be used. The Tarot is a tool kit. A flying carpet for thinking and feeling beyond the normal personal and social boundaries.

There is no standardization in this field, and it needs to stay that way. There is no such thing as ‘A’ Tarot reader. There is only the particular individual reader and their own service remit and their own way of working.

There is a difference between articulating the professional ethics of reading and promoting an ideological agenda to ditch the Tarot as a futurist or fortune-telling vehicle in favour of its use in counselling, or for ‘spiritual development.’

It needs to be recognized, or else the reader risks being guilty of hubris themselves, not every ‘Tower’ (or Devil) experience, not every destructive event necessarily has a beneficial outcome or valuable Life Lesson attached, or indeed anywhere in prospect. What were the ‘lessons’ for the parents of the child victims of the Moors murderers?

Grace is the sacred Grail in greatest grief that no-one can deliver to another person. No counsellor can do that, no priest and no psychic reader, though a reader may perceive occasional intimations.

Not every question has an answer. This was how I came to study the Tarot, after years wrestling with a seemingly insoluble and relentlessly invasive health problem after my right knee went out from under me one day, and I went down on my face in the road. Sometimes there are no solutions for the cards that Life may deal us. There are only our own, unique responses in coping, which cannot be prescribed by a reader, but may possibly be divined.

The ‘higher truths’ of our existence are not intrinsically more sacred than the bottom line. And, ‘God does not disdain to serve the body’, as Julian of Norwich once said.

People ask about money, work, homes, jobs, travel, studies, prospects, family, other real people they know. They want to know about outcomes, timings, reasons -specifics, if this is possible.

The Tower may also mean:-

A Tower– literally, as in the Tower of Pisa

Tuesday- named after Tyr/Tew the Norse god equivalent of Mars which rules Tuesdays. If your question is when and you draw the tower, it maybe a Tuesday or during Aries late March-late April or Scorpio late October-late November because these signs are ruled by Mars. Or it may mean that it will happen very suddenly.

Rain, wind or storm  not only has The Tower card forecast rain or a thunderstorm on more than one occasion, -and once this was very welcome, during a heat-wave. One Friday evening it forecast a storm which turned out to be an actual tiny, typically British tornado, which came screaming down my road next morning at 8.30 and neatly, tidily  flattened a neighbours garden wall.

-Bad news, a quarrel,  shocks, earthquakes, traffic accidents, the collapse of building or other large structures, bankruptcy, job loss, relations breakups, marriage breakdown, accidents, sudden medical emergencies eg stroke, heart attack.

-Stroke, heart attack, fit, seizure

The Tower might be saying, ‘dognabbit, you need to check your tyre/tire pressures!’

The Origin Story

The Tower card, derivative of the Blasted Tower, the House of God or War, is ruled by the red planet Mars, ruler of the zodiac signs of Aries and Scorpio, with powerful mythic and archetypal associations, not least The Tower of Babel.

Mars is the planet of outward activity, high animal spirits, passion – courage and sometimes -a state of war.

Rider-Waite Tarot Deck

The Tower of Babel or The Tower and the City is an origin myth from Genesis though actually older, that tried to explain why the world’s peoples speak different languages.

According to the story, a united human race in the generations following the Great Flood, speaking a single language and migrating eastward, comes to the land of  Shinar,  in Northern Mesopotamia.

They build a city, so far so good. But then they decide to build a tower tall enough to reach heaven. God doesn’t like that, and confuses their speech so that they can no longer understand each other, babbling on…and now they are at cross-purposes and can’t complete the building works, and they fall out with one another and go their separate ways, and end up scattered around the world.

God  is reacting to an act of hubris. The word Hubris is from Greek, and means “excessive pride, violating the bounds set for humans.” 

Greek myth was very big on hubris.

BUT still readers need to face it, working with the full range of possibilities, that The Tower may be speaking, not figuratively, not metaphorically, but entirely literally, whether we are talking past, present or possible future.

If a reader draws The Tower, they carefully examine the surrounding cards, and if they perceive clear and present danger, may not say so in such terms, but may present any advice for risk reduction or risk avoidance in a calm, matter of fact manner, ‘talking in terms of ‘just to be on the extra safe side.’

I once drew The Tower alongside The Knight of Swords reversed, and, based on other cards, including the Four of Wands (home improvements) got a sinking feeling that the client was at risk of a nasty fall. I asked her, was she doing any decorating? She was. And had she been climbing up on a ladder to do so?

Yes, she said, but she had not come to see me to discuss this. She wanted to know about Mr X.

I persisted with a warning to be extra careful if climbing up on anything. I would have felt negligent in my responsibility towards her had I detected this risk and not said anything. She expressed mild impatience. I left it there and we continued with the analysis of the main issue of the day.

About three weeks later, she was painting, standing on a windowsill, and slipped and fell, fracturing her hip, and had to go to hospital as an inpatient. She was many weeks in recovery and months in physio afterwards (she was a lady in her late sixties) How do I know this? She came herself to tell me.

Life is just deeply sad sometimes. When something life changing has just happened to someone, and they have experienced a Tower experience at full blast, they may not be ready to hear that it was for the best, that it will prove to be a liberation, a blessing in disguise, that their previous existence had outworn its purpose.

It may be a time for on the one hand, practicalities, possibly deeply unpleasant, and on the other, well, in such times we reach for comfort, warmth, solace, beauty. Poetry, essentially. The common treasure chest of poetry, music, hymns, prayers, I will lift up mine eyes, The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, a season to every purpose under heaven, and so on, depending on the person’s own cultural background.

When someone dies, they leave behind mourners, living memories and a dead body, to be handled, dealt with, honoured, visited if there is a grave site, but ultimately, to be reclaimed by the earth or the elements, just as we were first made from the elements released from dying stars.

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

The Tower, like The Death card reminds us that nothing is for ever. Suffering is part of life, and is the price we paid not to live forever as single- celled organisms. Clones. Death was the first ever Faustian pact, the price of evolution and specialization into personal individuality. Suffering was the price of individual consciousness and sensation. Fear was the price of suffering. Hunger was the price of appetite. Grief and anxiety were the price of love.

 ‘This too shall pass.’ the saying goes. This, from a speech by Abraham Lincoln in 1859, “It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words `And this, too, shall pass away.’ ‘How much it expresses!” Lincoln went on, “How chastening in the hour of pride. How consoling in the depths of affliction!”

Abraham Lincoln, 1853, attrib Alexander Gardner

Lincoln was so right. But it’s not like that at once. Not at first. The bucket must first hit the bottom of the well before it can be drawn back up again.

That is why in a tarot deck, The Tower card is followed by the healing of The Star. But healing and recovery, new Hope, like Truth, like Nature itself, can be as stern in its honesty and its travail as it is a marvel, mysterious and beautiful.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

February Feeling

I am running late with this Tarot reading, done 24 January, looking ahead at February but with no particular question, just fishing in the ether.

I felt drawn to pull two cards for February, and drew The Ten of Pentacles (Reversed) and The Eight of Cups from the Rider-Waite Deck.

Noah’s Ark in shown here in reference to another recent reading which mentioned precipitation, and the risk of flooding in the UK during February. This is nothing unusual for February, though some years are worse than others. February starts with Aquarius and ends with Pisces, and the Babylonians called Aquarius ‘the curse of rain,’ -or in northern latitudes, rain or snow.

Il Matrimonio took this pic of the heron on a nearby pond, while Junior Sprog’s young fellow, Carpenter Henry, is in mourning for his beloved koi carp, which last week disappeared from the garden pond of their rental cottage, presumed dead, prey to their own hungry heron.

Back to the Tarot.

The Ten of Pentacles (Reversed)

From The Rider Waite Tarot

Keywords: Homeland, Family, Home, Money, Family Tree, Legacies, Continuity, Heritage, Family Business, Family Gatherings/Events/Celebrations, Businesses, Old Age

This card drawn reversed highlights particular challenges to do with these areas during the month of February 2021, from government level to an individual level.

The Ten of Pentacles is an earth suit card, to do with everything that we most need, value and treasure: security, belonging, homeland and the family home, money and inheritance, cultural heritage, wills, bequests and legacies of all kinds, financial, cultural, physical, and even genetic. So your middle name was given to you in memory of your great-grandfather? That’s the Ten of Pentacles. So, people say that you have your mother’s eyes? That’s the Ten of Pentacles.

It is the card of architecture, in every sense of the word, and the inter-generational relationships which make the bedrock of society.

In terms of planets and timings, the Ten of Pentacles correlates with the zodiac sign Virgo, and is ruled by Mercury, planet of communications, trade and travel, all of which continue to present a challenge during February 2021.

Late spring, late summer and late autumn look like the generally optimal months in 2021.

2020 was a dark year. 2021 does look brighter and better as Jupiter pulls away from Pluto, planet of the Underworld, but still, we all see there are major hurdles as the world’s governments struggle with a second wave of covid, and according to the Tarot, this may peak, or have passed its peak around 21 February in the UK.

This card of financial governance reflects the challenge of many Governments in raising or borrowing the finances to support their respective economies through this time of severely reduced economic activity. The Tarot has previously indicated to me that the global economy will recover perhaps surprisingly quickly, by or before early 2023. If only enough smaller businesses survive, not to have the giants ruling the roost any more than they do already.

History suggests global pandemics in general have been something of a once in a century phenomenon, and have tended to last between 1-3 years, and it is travel by ships, trains and planes which have carried them ever more swiftly around the world. Plane hopping = zero chance of eradication. And this is SARS, not flu.

Significantly, the Ten of Pentacles has been drawn reversed -upside- down – for February.

This puts the card in its less positive light, reflecting not only the extraordinary struggle of governments in so many countries, but at a personal and family level, the ongoing struggles of those small or family owned businesses, and the anxiety and frustrations of so many individuals and families unable to meet during lockdown measures.

This second wave has overtaken the first wave in terms of mortality. The UK second wave may possibly pass, or have recently passed peak mortality during February, after which, things will turn a corner again, and the new challenge is to keep that R rate down. I was unduly optimistic last year, and perhaps I am something of a glass half-full person and I need to watch that potential for bias. But right or wrong, the cards I get are the cards I get, no conscious control. That’s the entire point of this kind of exercise, and that’s the nature of this beast.

I was accurate in respect of timings in the UK, forecasting the end of the first wave and the release of that lock-down, but detected the risk of a significant second wave as roughly fifty- fifty or lower. Badly underestimated that one!

Good job I didn’t work for the Emperor Tiberius. He’d have had me chucked off the cliffs in Capri.

Astrology of The Ten of Pentacles

The Ten of Pentacles is ruled by Virgo, the Zodiac House of Health, which in turn is ruled by Mercury. This planet went retrograde 30 January and stays retrograde until 21 February, symbolically making this a time when misunderstandings may quickly arise, and making this a good time to rethink a few things, not only in respect of paying close attention to health and hygiene, but to be extra risk averse and vigilant in checking arrangements and information, for example, double- checking appointment times, important paperwork or travel plans, especially around 17 February when there may be an extra risk of (probably minor) mishaps.

Virgo is famously detail focused, very, and warns us not to relax our guard with things like distancing and frequent hand-washing, even though people may be, very naturally, fed up to the back teeth of hearing it.

Like that rock and roll classic by The Coasters, 1958

‘Yakety Yak.’

Take out the papers and the trash
Or you don’t get no spendin’ cash
If you don’t scrub that kitchen floor
You ain’t gonna rock and roll no more
Yakety yak (don’t talk back)Just finish cleanin’ up your room
Let’s see that dust fly with that broom
Get all that garbage out of sight
Or you don’t go out Friday night
Yakety yak (Don’t talk back)You just put on your coat and hat
And walk yourself to the laundromat
And when you finish doin’ that
Bring in the dog and put out the cat
Yakety yak (Don’t talk back) – Source: LyricFind

But the Roman Goddess HYGEIA is associated with Virgo, so there we have it.

Hygeia says ‘Yakety yak!’

(Don’t talk back.)

Hygeia

We want to protect our elders, but neither do we want to leave them lonely, afraid and isolated. This is a challenge highlighted by the Ten of Pentacles but this card reminds us, old age has value. Even as they may need our help, our older people can help and support us too,. They are not to be patronized as charity cases. They have many things to share and to teach, things seen and learned in their lived experience. Things understood.

RIP Captain Tom.

The Eight of Cups

From The Ride-Waite Tarot

Keywords:  moral courage, emotional courage, walking away, sadness, acceptance, resignation, disappointment, decisions, and hard lessons learned.

This card is about saying goodbye, and walking away. It’s about the things we leave behind; the people, the places, the situations, maybe even hopes and dreams that no longer mean what they used to. Maybe we have lost interest.

Donald Trump has left The White House. The UK has left the EU. They will not return. It seems unlikely that Donald Trump will want to run again for President in four years time, even assuming that the option will exist, which looks increasingly unlikely. Britain has much hard work ahead, but is setting her face firmly to the future and will not rejoin the EU under a future UK government. The showing of teeth in the recent near debacle in respect of the Northern Ireland border only makes that possibility less likely.

Astrology of The Eight of Cups

In terms of astrology and timing, the Eight of Cups correlates with the first decan of the zodiac sign of Pisces, February 19 to March 20.

Pisces, previously ruled by Jupiter, is nowadays largely considered as ruled by psychic, dreamy planet Neptune, identified as a planet in 1846.

This card is suggesting a calmer, gentler closing to the month. For many, there will be intense, vivid dreams and perhaps powerful religious or even psychic experiences.

22 Feb Update: I had such an experience during the night 18 Feb. I woke and reached for the water beside the bed, saw a grey glow to my right, and turned and saw an vaguely human like apparition. It was looking at me and the face was not pleasant, though it faded almost at once. I got a bit of a scare and prepared myself for worrying news in the coming days. The ‘explanation’ came within 2 days, a close family member in distress.

Or paranoia. Oh yes. There is plenty of that about, blooming nicely.

The virus too, is fighting for its life, and it does not do negotation of timetables, but month by month we draw nearer to the inevitable end of this pandemic situation, and spring is nearly here. The snowdrops are long since out already.

The Ace of Cups (summer solstice) and the King of Wands signal a return to much greater normality by or before Leo –late July-late August. More about that in a minute.

I’m still keeping my own travel plans inside in the UK this year regardless of progress, on the principle of not making oneself a hostage to fortune- and there speaks my Virgo ascendant, yakety yak.

The Chinese (Lunar) New Year

12 February – 31 January, 2022

In Chinese and other Far Eastern Asian astrology traditions, the Lunar New Year 2021 brings the Year of the Metal Ox, also called the Gold Ox; a Yin quality sign, receptive and inward.

The powerful Ox is practical, productive, traditional, hardworking, dutiful and orderly, placid unless provoked too far. (And really, why would any sensible person want to provoke it?)

We think of Bull markets. The Stock Markets could do better than expected in February.

The Ox represents you and me, the so-called ordinary citizen, the family person, and the working public.

This Chinese zodiac Sign has a lot in common with the ideas embodied in the family-minded, industrious, traditional Ten of Pentacles.

You were born in the year of the Ox if you were born in 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997 or 2009.

The Metal Ox and Health

The Metal Ox is especially associated with the lungs, which could be taken as a lucky sign, a good omen for the easing of this second wave of the pandemic by around 12 February.

The Ox says ‘small is beautiful’, and local is best for quality when it comes to fresh foods. The Ten of Pentacles suggests we support small, local family businesses and farmer’s cooperatives as much as possible during the lockdown, to preserve as many of these vital businesses as we can, who may otherwise be forced to shut up their shops and walk away, like the figure in the Eight of Cups.

The Ox is slow, but strong and surefooted.

Tweeted 19 January

#Tarot when will Cov Sars 2 be sufficiently under control for UK to ‘reopen.’ Issue: Strength card=benchmark. Winter now (Ace Coins) Struggle till after Pisces (late Feb/late March) Then 2 wave MAY have peaked & situation grad improves. King of Wands/Leo/July=Strength returns

From The Legacy of The Divine Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

Sod’s Law says I am now erring on the side of caution, and it will happen far sooner, or begin to. And it almost certainly will, big style, from late March onward (that Piscean Eight of Cups)

The King of Wands is the king of 23 July-22 August. He is THE King of Speed, Movement, PR and Travel, ruled by big, buoyant planet Jupiter.

Take care and stay safe.

Till next time 🙂

Capricorn the Cosmic Sea Goat, Warrior Ibex and the Gate of the Gods

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Common associations

Symbol:

Date of Birth: 21 Dec to 20 January

Ruling planet: Saturn

Lucky Day: Saturday    Lucky Numbers 2 and 8

Energy: Yin

Element: Earth

Quality: Cardinal (the start of the season of winter)

Key phrase:  I build, I use

Body:  Skin, knees, skeletal system

Birth Stone:  Red Garnet and Black Onyx

Colour:  Deep red

Herbs/Flowers: Wintergreen, Ivy, Carnation

Tarot card:  The Devil (Pan/Nature, Earth, Will-Power, Determination, Mystery, Fascination, Charisma, Need, Hunger, Entrapment)

The Devil from The Gilded Tarot

The Astronomy

Wiki Capricorn: The Gate of The Gods

Capricornus is thought to be the oldest recognized constellation, just as its subjects are known for being born as old souls, wise beyond their years. Its name is Latin for ‘horned goat’ or ‘having horns like a goat’s,’ and it is commonly represented in the form of a sea-goat: a mythical creature half-goat, half-fish, Pricus, the son of Chronos (Time.)

The constellation of Capricornus from which the zodiac sign gets its name is located in an area of sky known as ‘The Sea’ or ‘The Water’, containing other water-related constellations including Aquarius, Pisces and Eridanus, the Celestial River, which is the sixth largest of the 88 modern listed constellations.

Capricornus is best seen in the northern hemisphere in the southern sky, early evenings in September. Capricornus is the smallest constellation in the zodiac, with no first magnitude stars. Not easy to find, you will need clear skies. Even so, its brightest star, The Tail of the Goat, or Deneb Algedi (Delta Capricorni A) is a white giant with a luminosity 8.5 times that of our Sun.

Capricornus has three stars with known planets, and contains a Messier object, Messier 30, a globular cluster 28,000 light years distant and about 90 light years across in size. This cluster is approaching us at the speed of 181.9 km/s and was one of the first deep sky objects discovered by Charles Messier in 1764.

Five meteor showers are associated with Capricornus: the Alpha Capricornids, the Chi Capricornids, the Sigma Capricornids, the Tau Capricornids, and the Capricorniden-Sagittarids.

The planet Neptune was discovered in the constellation Capricornus, near Deneb Algedi, the brightest star in the tail of the goat, on September 23, 1846.

Neptune is not visible to the naked eye. Galileo saw it first, in 1612 -13 but he mistook it for a fixed star as it was retrograde at the time of viewing. Read more about Neptune and its discovery here

By Justin Cowart – https://www.flickr.com/photos/132160802@N06/29347980845/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=82476611

It is curious that this Neptune connection was so recently discovered, in the face of an existing ancient mythic connection between Capricorn the Sea-Goat and Pisces the Fishes.

History and Mythology

Even though Capricornus is the second faintest constellation in the sky, the faintest after Cancer, its imagery is very ancient indeed, associated with myths that go back to the 21st century BC and which centre on various sun gods supposedly nursed by a she-goat.

Goats, and their relatives, ibex, were the inspiration, as depicted in Ice Age paintings.,

In the early Bronze Age, the arrival overhead of the constellation Capricornus coincided with the winter solstice and, in modern astrology (as distinct from astronomy) we enter the zodiac sign of Capricorn’s rule on the turning point of the winter solstice.

Male ibex start fighting and mating during early winter, December and January, coinciding with the dates first ascribed to Capricorn. The constellation of Capricorn itself is no longer overhead at the time of the winter solstice due to the wobble of the earth, an effect known as precession,and now appears overhead in late January, during the dates of the next zodiac sign, Aquarius.

The Sumerians

Before 1000 BC the Sumerians knew Capricorn as the goat-fish, or SUHUR-MASH-HA. There appears to be a connection between Capricorn as a seagoat and Enki, the Sumerian god of wisdom and waters,  who also had the head and upper body of a goat and the lower body and tail of a fish. Enki, Later known as Ea in Akkadian and Babylonian mythology, was the god of intelligence (literally ‘ear’), creation, crafts; magic; water, seawater and lake water.

The Greeks

Pricus was king of the mer-goats in a Greek evolution myth. The children of Pricus left the sea to dwell on the mountains, leaving him alone in the oceans, very sad and alone with no-one to care for or teach any more- and Pricus was a great teacher.

Zeus placed him in the Sea of the Stars so that he could see his children again, and they could look up and see him.

But the constellation is nowadays more widely associated with two mythical creatures from Greek legends: the deity Pan, and the she-goat Amalthea who suckled the baby Zeus, although these legends, like the other Greek legends, came in turn from far more ancient stories.

Photo by Niklas Jeromin on Pexels.com
Pan-Bacchus, a set of pipes, and the terrible Typhon

Pan, so the legend said, was placed in the sky by Zeus in gratitude after he came to the rescue of the Olympian gods when they sought refuge in Egypt after an epic battle with the monster Typhon, son of the Titan Tartarus and Earth.

Typhon wanted revenge on the Olympic gods because they had overthrown his own race, the Titans who had ruled before Zeus defeated them, and he was one terrifying adversary, a fearsome fire-breathing creature, higher than mountains and with dragons’ heads instead of fingers. He had the gods of Olympia on the run, and they tried to escape by adopting various disguises: Zeus, a ram – Hera, a white cow, and Bacchus (or another version of the myth suggests Pan)- a goat.

Zeus had the unpleasant experience of being caught and dismembered by Typhon, who was presumably not fooled by the ram disguise, or otherwise had worked up an appetite, with all that raging, and just fancied lamb chops for tea.

Happily for Zeus, Bacchus/Pan played a sound on his pipes, ‘panikos’  -from which we get the word ‘panic’ – and this earsplitting sound disorientated or ‘panicked’ Typhon long enough for an agile Hermes to collect the limbs and restore Zeus to life, and he was so grateful not to be served up with mint sauce that he raised Bacchus/Pan to the heavens as the constellation Capricornus.

And so, thanks to the magic of the pan-pipes, Zeus lived to fight another day. He eventually managed to trick Typhon, and trapped him beneath Mount Etna…though he still tries to escape.

The Gate of The Gods

Neo-Platonic/Chaldean philosophy said that while the souls of those about to be born descended to Earth through the constellation of Cancer, the gate of the summer solstice, arriving through M44, the star cluster known as the Beehive Cluster, the souls of the newly dead return to the cosmic sea, ascending through the Gate of the Gods, the star-gate of Capricorn.

Beehive Cluster

The Astrology

There is no such thing in reality as THE Capricorn personality and the same goes for all the zodiac sun signs. Your sun sign is an archetype, a keynote but of course it is not and never could be the whole story.

The archetype of Capricorn, the tenth sign of the zodiac, and the House ruling material affairs, is shrewd, wise, even Gnostic. They are profound thinkers, deeply inquiring, and with a wry sense of humour, self-reliant, stoic in the face of adversity, hard-working, determined and resilient.

They have high standards, and expect much of themselves but also others, which, depending on other aspects of their astrological portrait, can make them stern, demanding or even overbearing task-masters, holding others to their own very high standards of conduct, or their own preferred way of doing things.

They are sometimes accused of dourness, lacking a sense of humour but this is absolutely not the case. It is just that they are choosy of their company. Capricorn has a dry wit, a keen sense of the absurd, and loves a good joke.

Conversely, the Saturn influence can make them seem somewhat downbeat, cynical and suspicious, seeing traps and problems everywhere, quick to issue corrections, or to douche cold water, viewing the enthusiasm of others as ill advised or naïve.

Capricorn is no-one’s fool. Capricorn carries its own weight, and very often the weight of others too.

But however far it climbs, Capricorn is dignified, canny, circumspect, proud but not vainglorious. Capricorn climbs the mountain to see the world. It does not climb so that the world will see Capricorn.  

However many are watching.

“Duties are what make life most worth the living. Lacking them, you are not necessary to anyone. And this would be like living in an empty space. Or not being alive at all.”- Marlene Dietrich, born Dec 27, 1901

The Fool and the Return of Orion

The Fool and the return of Orion...
Photo by Frank Cone on Pexels.com

Orion The Hunter returns, and in the northern hemisphere can once again be seen bestriding the east at sunrise. So when we say return, where has he been, then? The answer is, he has been invisible, hidden in the glare of the sun since May.

But now he is back and will rise earlier each day until he is visible all evening during the winter months. As a girl I used to like to go out on cold frosty evenings to fill the coal scuttle from the coal bunker in the back garden. Looking up at him. I knew his name. I knew he was The Hunter but wondered about him, and what he was hunting up there.

Those winter evenings still have that same kind of magic.

Orion is only the 26th largest constellation, sitting on the celestial equator, facing the constellation next door, the oncoming, charging, Taurus the Bull. So it’s far from being the biggest, and it’s smaller than another Greek hero, Perseus but Orion’s got more brilliant stars, commanding the impression of its vastness.

(The biggest constellation of all is Hydra, and the biggest constellation of the twelve included in the Zodiac is Virgo.)

Orion’s two brightest stars are the blue-white star Rigel, representing the Hunter’s left foot, and the red supergiant Betelgeuse, Orion’s right shoulder. They’re both thought to be to be about ten million years old, which makes Betelgeuse quite young to be a red supergiant, but it’s evolved faster due to its enormous mass. It is expected to go supernova in the next million years and when it does will be brighter than the Moon and the brightest supernova ever to have been visible from Earth.

Orion’s third brightest star is Bellatrix, his left shoulder, and Orions’s Belt is one of the most easily recognized asterisms with its three stars.

You can read them east to west or left to right; Alnitak (girdle), Alnilam (string of pearls) and Mintaka (area) They have many other names across the world; The Magi, the Three Mary’s, and the Mayans called them The Fire Drill, invoking them in an annual fire ceremony to delay the onset of the end of the world.

‘No other constellation more accurately represents the figure of a man,’ said Germanicus Caesar

Orion is identified as a human figure in every culture at every latitude, with countless variations of different names and legends.

Orion, also called Nimrod, was the son of Poseidon and was the most handsome man ever to walk the earth. He was a great hunting buddy and friend of Artemis.Her twin brother, Apollo glowered, seeing that Artemis fancied Orion something rotten when she had taken a vow of perpetual chastity.

Orion could be a bit of a sex pest, chasing the Pleiades, so that Zeus confiscated them to the sky for their own peace and quiet. And a fat lot of good it did them, because when Orion was killed by a scorpion (THE scorpion) Artemis in her grief, asked Zeus to post Orion upstairs to the heavens, which he did, right next door to the Pleiades, who also represent the celestial bull pen of Taurus. Thanks Zeus. You didn’t think that one through, did you?

Should Taurus ever break free of his pen, said an ancient Arabic legend, it will be the end of all things, so let’s hope he’s happy up there, and that Orion doesn’t chase the Pleiades away.

Orion bravely strides towards the Bull but although he killed the scorpion that also killed him, he still fears it, and dreads its appearance fleeing west as the autumn wears on and Scorpius rises (Scorpio)

Orion in his eternal battle with Scorpius

The stand off between Orion and Taurus the Bull, its red eye, Aldebaran glaring at him, daring him to come nearer, does not fit the Greek legend of Orion, and a question has been raised in some quarters over the identity of Orion, and whether he has become confused with Herakles/Hercules at any time in his identification with this constellation.

The reasons are likely historical. The constellation as recognized by the Greeks originated with the Sumerians, who saw in it their great hero Gilgamesh fighting the Bull of Heaven. The Sumerian name for Orion was URU AN-NA, meaning light of heaven and Taurus was GUD AN-NA, bull of heaven.

Gilgamesh was the Sumerian equivalent of Heracles, the greatest hero of Greek mythology, and one of the labours of Heracles was to catch the Cretan bull, but Orion was never in a fight with a bull. Heracles, it has been suggested, deserves a magnificent constellation such as this one, but has been consigned to a much more obscure area of sky. So has there been a mix-up, or perhaps we could see it as a mash-up, Orion and Heracles in mutual diguise?

Orion and The Tarot

The Golden Tarot by Kat Black

The Tarot card most commonly associated with Orion is The Fool. The most numinous card in the deck, its element is Air and it is ruled by the planet of revolution, Uranus.

It is the portal of the number Zero.

The Fool or as some called him, The Jester, is both beginnings and ending.

In a real life reading it may detect or forecast a birth of a child, or a new offer or a launch or opportunity of some kind. And change happens all the time but this is always major or significant in scope. But although is not associated with Death, unlike the famous Death card, it can mean a death too, representing infinity, the ouroboros.

An ouroboros

The Fool lives in the moment. He may be fun, he may be joy, or he may be frightening. There’s every reason a lot of people are scared of clowns as the living embodiment of The Fool. He represents the wisdom of innocence, or mistakes made through impulsiveness or ignorance rather than stupidity. But he may represent a threat, whether direct or existential, clearly sensed but not as yet clearly identifiable. The fear is visceral, not lightly to be dismissed.

He may be a shamanic, gnostic figure; the stranger, the outcast, the wise Fool or the Fool on the Hill. He dances to his own tune. He takes chances, risks, and sometimes these pay off, but sometimes he steps over the edge of the cliff, heedless of his dog’s most urgent warning.

The dog in the card is not biting the Fool, but desperately trying to get his attention. If someone asks the Tarot’s advice and then I draw this card reversed….someone needs to draw back from the precipice and look again before they leap.

I may bark like the Fool’s dog but will they act on this advice? CAN they? Will they even really hear it, let alone find a way to use it? We are who we are, and we do what we do, based on who we are. It is a rare person who can step back and see things anew once they are committed to Opinion A or B or they are emotionally invested in outcome A or B.

Advice, to be heard, must be sufficiently timely, before the paint dries.

Everywhere the Fool goes, his dog follows, just as Orion is followed in the skies by his two hunting dogs, Canis major and Canis minor. Sirius, the Dog Star is in the constellation of Canis Major and is THE brightest star in Earth’s night sky.

The only objects that outshine Sirius in our skies are the sun, moon, Venus, Jupiter, Mars and Mercury – and Sirius will usually outshine Mercury too.

All Mankind is Orion.

We were hunters at the dawn of man (The Fool) And gatherers too, but we were never gorillas, and never herbivores on our ancestral line.

“We were risen not of fallen angels but risen apes, and they were killer apes besides” – Robert Ardrey, in African Genesis.

Hunting was what brought us together in teams, then communities. Co operation meant compassion.

Fatboy Slim tells a version of that story here (except that we were apes but not on the gorilla branch). See Orion in the final frame of the video.

Until next time 🙂

Tarot tells of Ghostly Whispers…

It can be confusing for potential customers to know what a psychic reader actually does. Often a caller has not looked at your website, and I may find myself explaining that I do not work as a medium. No, I tell them. I do not ‘get the other side.’ And I don’t. I really don’t, but I have experienced things, some rather odd, that mean I don’t like to send people away entirely empty-handed either if I can refer them or help in some other way.

One night not long ago I was rung by a lady wanting a medium, ideally to come to her house 20 miles from where I live. I  explained that I was not a medium, and she said she needed help desperately, because something was going on in the house, terrifying her, her partner and the children. Someone – a woman- a ghost?-  had spoken to one of the children. Now, at 8 in the evening, they were all huddled in the sitting room, scared even to go to the toilet.

This wouldn’t do. And yes, fear is contagious but pooh-poohing would absolutely not do. I said I’d make enquiries but meantime stated emphatically that there was absolutely no danger. The whispering lady may have been a dream, but whatever it was, she meant no harm. She had said only loving things, hadn’t she, to the child?  For now, I suggested the lady put a comedy film on the telly, switch all the lights on, make a noise and dominate the house. Assert her claim to the space right now, going straight to the kitchen to make hot drinks for everyone.

A few quick cards did include the Death card reversed, indicating there may indeed have been something ghostly either in the house OR in the memory of someone in the family. But what is a ghost anyway? A sentient being, knowing exactly what it is doing, or the manifestation, seemingly external, of a memory with great power and atmosphere attached?

If the children saw that she wasn’t frightened, perhaps they’d take their cue from her, and then maybe the strange manifestations would also calm down. I felt there was stress in the house and one of the children in particular was highly sensitive to atmosphere, but sensed this was some kind of stress related psychic family event rather than a haunted house situation.

Later I called back with the name of a reputable medium able to make house visits.The medium and I have spoken subsequently and I was glad to connect professionally with such a nice,  capable, cheerful sounding sensible person for potential future referral. The medium told me that in her opinion, the house was not of itself haunted, but the lady had worries and had suffered losses I won’t mention here. The whispering ghost was, according to the medium, the children’s grandmother.

However unwelcome this manifestation, her whispered words to the frightened child suggested her care and love live on, at least in the memory of a close by living person not aware of the power of their own mind ….

6-swordsg

 

A Styxian Journey: The Six of swords from The Gilded Tarot by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti

 

On another long ago occasion someone asked me, ‘has my father gone to heaven yet?’

The funeral had been held the previous day. This was a loaded question, even though I hold no religious belief, nor a brief for or against heaven. What does it mean, ‘heaven’? What does ‘yet’ mean? I could just have said yes, and that would have been the easy thing but contrary to what ‘skeptics’ might expect, a sincere reader will not ‘diss’ his or her oracle by making up answers. People do NOT pay just to hear my personal opinions. Access to oracular Tarot is what they have come for and that is what they get.

Tarot drew the Three of Swords and Queen of Swords Reversed. These indicated that her father had been at loggerheads with his wife for a long time, which the client confirmed. Here then, I concluded, I was reading the dead, not as a medium, but through the telepathy of the living person who had known him. That’s what Tarot does, operates via telepathy – in this case, via my telepathy with the living person sitting with me whereby I intuitively accessed her own understanding of the person who had passed on.

The indications to me were that he had been terribly frightened at the imminence of death but the moment, when it came, was so easy, he hadn’t fully cottoned on yet that it had actually happened. He only knew that he felt better but strange and different. I felt quite sure he was still in the ‘valley’, but he wasn’t frightened and he was doing all right. He was getting there, wherever or however it is we go.

She could talk to him, I suggested. He might still be in hearing range. Tell him out loud what had happened and tell him he was fine, and so was everyone else at home. (His wife too. Loggerheads or not, there was still warmth of feeling there.) This idea did not seem to disturb my visitor. She smiled and said she would probably do that; it seemed quite in character for him to take a while to make up his mind to go.

Death is as individual as it is universal. And while the oracular doesn’t fudge the inescapable, that death may be uncomfortable or even painful; an anxious, confusing or downright frightening experience, there is something beyond or afterwards, there is indeed something outside our ken, more easily experienced than described. Humanity has known this from the beginning, and religion does not come into it, though it rose out of it.

We could have stayed immortal, had we been content to continue as primordial soup reproducing ad infinitum by identikit cell division. But we weren’t. We, the current denizens arisen from that protean soup, got bored and  demanded a new deal. The soup began to mutate new programmes and to differentiate and create  amazing and interesting plants and animals, but this demanded unimaginable feats of energy, space and organisation. And this in turn demanded boundaries so that Life came up with the solution of Death, and while Death might seem the ultimate antagonist, anathema to us in our highly realised state of individual awareness, we should at least give it credit for letting us out of the soup, and  after all, that was always the deal.

So thanks, Death. I am grateful to be me today, not heaving in the soupy-gloop, bored right out of my tiny multitudinous nucleii. And I will try and remember that next time I am fed up, or Il Matrimonio annoys me or I don’t feel like cooking the tea. Today it’s casserole – rather primordial in fact, but I predict it won’t have enough time to get bored and mutate.

The lines on these roads are not where we paint them. There is more map than there are roads on the map, and the map itself is subject to parameters not proven.

Until next time 🙂

Below: The Angel of Death, Evelyn de Morgan,

angel of death

Further reading:  The Power of the Pendulum both by  T.C Lethbridge in which he sought to demonstrate by scientifically conducted enquiry that the soul is probably immortal.

power-of-the-pendulum

 

Tarot Says, Tummy Bug!

An outing for the Tarot’s Moon card, with Katie-Ellen, UK Tarot reader, writer and business consultant.

Happy New Year, and the tummy bug in question was nothing to do with me, I am happy to say, or the seasonal festivities. I was doing a Skype reading, investigating questions to do with ongoing and future creative projects- the client is an artist and sculptor, when I drew the Moon card.

The image below is from The Gilded Tarot, by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti. Also available from Amazon but the publisher Llewellyn  is getting this shout-out.

Gilded Moon

 

Classical meanings for this card are; the Moon itself, Fertility, monthly cycles, tides, floods (alas), conception, confusion, deception, secrets, vivid dreams, visions, leaps of imagination, fantasy, art, animals, hunting, secrets, fraud, theft, surveillance, risk, travel with danger attached, disease.

Reversed/Upside down: the meanings take on a different complexion, and may suggest any of these things- but they are fading away and now belong to the recent past.

The key challenge for a reader is to decide which meanings are relevant, and quickly, not to bore witless and alienate the client. One must say the first thing that comes to mind. I call it ‘gob-shiting’and I really shouldn’t; it’s hardly elegant and perhaps this should be a New Year’s resolution. The thing is, the reader needs to just speak. 

I said the first thing that popped into my mind and asked whether a loved one had been ill, just recently, and perhaps they had gone down with a tummy bug? Or,  could it even have been a bout of food poisoning, but whatever it was, they seemed to be better now?

I held up the card to the camera. ‘Look at this,’ I said, ‘see the two dogs?’

The client has several dogs, and said, ‘I don’t believe this! Two of my dogs have been ill.  We went out a walk and they went into a ditch after a ball and they were quite poorly for a few days afterwards, both of them. A filthy ball in a nasty, dirty ditch. But they are over it now.’

The reader of Tarot or any other divination system must learn not to self- censor. If they do, because their first thought seems just too stupid, they will likely get it wrong, and then want to kick themselves. Learning to trust yourself enough to do that is the hardest thing, or at least, I found it so and I still sometimes have to tell that inner critic, aka saboteur of the oracular mind, to shut up.

shut-the-fuck-up

People may well say, and many do, sod all the soothsayers. Wits or just good old common sense is what is called for, in working out a response to a problem. This is fair enough and often true…at least, it may be from where they are sitting.  Nine times out of 10, in making their own predictions, they may prove quite correct. But what the oracular reader sniffs out, like a wild animal, using whatever oracle as a spade for digging in the  primal mind, is what is hidden and could not wisely or even reasonably be expected.

Britishwolfhunt

 

The Tarot is nothing but printed card stock, physically. But the imagery and its many and deep rooted associations facilitate telepathy, triggering both receiver and transmitter. The client is equally active in this process, at a level they are not consciously aware of, any more than the reader is consciously aware of why they said A and not B.

For more information about my readings and how to get a reading, visit my website HERE

Until next time 🙂

Stormy Weather

Can Tarot cards help with forecasting weather, accurately? The short answer is, experience tells me yes, but, and it’s a big but, the question needs a clearly defined context. As in, for example, what kind of weather can be expected at X location at X time? If I drive from A to B on this date at this sort of time, what kind of weather experience can I expect?

The Tower Card detects coming severe weather. Storms. It featured in this way in quite dramatic fashion in a previous True Tarot Tale, when it saw a storm coming, and we only had a tornado down our street the very next morning at about eight- o- clock. That’s right. A tornado in Lytham St Annes in Lancashire, UK.

You can read that story on an earlier blog post  HERE

(My Tarot Service Website is HERE)

16_TheTower

The Tower card, from the Gilded Tarot by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti.

Other associations: disaster, accident, argument, bankruptcy, shock.

Weather Associations- If learning Tarot, practise drawing a card for the day ahead, where you are:

Weather coming…

From the North: Knight of Pentacles (grey, cool,cold, rain and snow)

From the South: Knight of Wands (sunny, heat wave, tropical storm)

From the West: Knight of Cups (sunny, mild, wet, windy)

From the East: Knight of Swords (fresh, cool, ice, hailstorms, biting winds, brrr)

Today, just for a change, the story really is a story, prompted by activities on a writer’s forum called Litopia.  Do, please feel welcome to come and join there.

Flash Fiction: Boreas the Blustery

Boreas was bored. The North Wind was fed up of the North. Grizzling and moaning, he stamped about, bending trees, rolling rivers like mattresses and forcing polar bears to roll down snowy slopes, so he could laugh at the way their paws scrabbled as they rolled over and over.
‘Where’s some fun!’ he howled. ‘F*ck off , Captain Bird’s Eye, I want a bit of Southern Comfort!!!’  He ripped off some roofs in Carlisle, straining to go south, but the jet-stream was busy in the higher latitudes, and wouldn’t open the gates.

In the Gulf of Florida, Nota, the South Wind got, er, wind of this, and said to El Nino, ‘ I could fancy a ‘lil trip North to see this Boreas. I hear he’s quite the man.’
‘I can help you there, I think’, said El Nino, ‘I’m heading that way, myself.’

He steered Nota north, skimming seas into mountains and making dolphins sea- sick, isobars winding ever tighter until Boreas saw her, crossing the Atlantic towards him, driving the waves before her. And then they collided, and circled tighter and tighter, high and low . Wires and cables snapped and hummed, and dustbins flew like dust, and wild things cowered in their dens.
‘You couldn’t come to me! screamed Nota, lashing her hair, ‘so, Boreas, I have come to you!’

Shrimp and rice and coconut!
Fish and chips and doughnuts!
Thunder, lightening
The way he loved her was frightening.
Lightening, thunder, until they span asunder
With no air left for more
They parted peaceful on the shore.

‘Great place you’ve got here’, said Nota, sinking weary to the sea. ‘Love it. Really love it. Let’s do this again sometime.’

Boreas puffed out his chest, and gently stroked a trembling tree top, ‘any time, my lovely. Your place or mine. Any time.’

BoreasandOreityiaEvelynDeMorgan

Boreas and Oreityia- Evelyn de Morgan

Touchstone Tarot: Death and The Duckling

ktln at home june 2015 1

Oh no! Oh, yes, I’m afraid. I wish it wasn’t so, but I undertake to demonstrate divination at work in the real world. Sometimes it’s fun, at least for me and I hope it is for you but sometimes it just can’t be. The title gives fair warning. Pass by if you can’t bear it, but if you’re learning Tarot, try to stay with it and not flinch. You may one day find yourself faced with someone in deep distress, hoping to find not solutions or advice, but some kind of sustenance, or at least meaning in their situation. The Tarot will rise to these occasions, if you will. because the Tarot is you, yourself, your deepest, archaic and arcane self.

This is a true outing for Tarot’s Death card, as drawn from my beautiful new deck,  Kat Black’s Touchstone Tarot.

View-Buy here

Her Golden Tarot is another favourite, but one likes to ring the changes now and then.

It’s duckling time again out on the pond, and Nature is wreaking carnage, red in beak and claw. The most relentless predators by day are the sea-gulls. There are two duck mothers this season; one with an excellent track record of rearing and one with a dismal record. The successful mother has for the past 3 years, the neighbours downstairs tell us, reared at least 6 ducklings to independence from a brood of 12-15. The less successful mother loses them all and cries loudly. Anyone who says animals don’t feel what we do doesn’t watch closely enough. If they forget more quickly than we do, if they do, and I have my doubts, well, they need to, and it’s a blessed mercy.

It was cold, and the dismal duck was down to the last of her twelve ducklings on Monday night when Il Matrimonio went over to the pond to feed them, watching as the last duckling ran calling after its mother and she ignored it, eating and then wandering off. Maybe she had given up, and decided it was just no use, and all was lost.

A gull alighted, lingering near the duckling as it crouched shivering, calling for its mother. Seeing this Il Matrimonio could bear it no more, and it was not a ‘good’ thing to do; he knew that; we’ve watched enough David Attenborough, but there it is. The HUMAN animal, male as well as female, is hot-wired to respond to the cry of an infant in distress, and to the immediate, the personal and the particular.

Therefore, enter Il Matrimonio with one shivering duckling. By bedtime it had eaten enthusiastically (not bread; proprietary duck food) It had drunk lots, splashed about in a shallow dish and done much sitting in cupped hands, clearly regarding these as a warm place and acceptable brooding alternative.

Dee Dee eating

It slept on a towel in the bath, curled into the lap of a large teddy bear. Next day it ran around, ate, drank, paddled, pecked my bare feet, calling for its mother, and was incessantly demanding of Il Matrimonio’s cupped hands for brooding.

‘What’s the plan?’ I fretted, ‘it’s been warmed and fed; it needs other ducks; it needs its mother, to go back  as soon as possible and take its chances along with the other ducklings. Maybe the other duck will take it.’

Ducks can count, of course. There was no question of her being fooled by the appearance of an extra duckling.

‘It would be murder,’ said Il Matrimonio. The other duck was unlikely to accept it.

The one hope, and it was a long shot, was to get little D big enough to be safe from gulls, then return it in clement weather, and let it take its chances then. And indeed, it seemed to grow bigger even overnight.

But after Il Matrimonio brought D in on Monday night, I had drawn The Devil card, The Four of Coins and Death.

The Devil shows Pan/Nature in violent aspect. This is the truth, that Nature is full of violence. One creature or many creatures must die for another to live.

Devil card touchstone tarot

The Four of Coins represents holding on, a holding action, a brooding of money or other material possessions or objects.

four of coins touchstone tarot

Death speaks for itself. Many Tarot readers today won’t have it that the Death card may actually represent Death. Too unpalatable. Sorry to disagree. Call me old-fashioned, but the oracular mind is not susceptible to convenient reinvention.

The Death card does not always mean physical death, it is true. It may mean an ending in any other sense, or a transforming situation such as the ending of a job, or other situation,  but to say it never does is to create the most enormous elephant in the room. Sometimes it has meant exactly what it says. Death as represented by this card is usually natural, often timely, rarely cruel or violent. There are worse cards the Tarot could use if it needed to communicate a sensing to do with such a terrible picture as that.

Death card touchstone tarot

Last night at bedtime, little D looked so tired, head drooping as she sat in Il Matrimonio’s hands I felt a misgiving. I said, ‘she looks like she’s dying.’

‘Just a very tired little thing,’ he said, ‘aren’t you? Bed time! Yes!’

Little D passed away very early in the morning, found lying with her eyes shut, still warm, head snugged into the lap of the teddy bear.

Tears in  my cup of tea.

Sick? I asked the Tarot? Had she got too cold? Stressed?

‘Strength Reversed’, replied the Tarot.

Little D had no strength left. It had all been just all too much.

Duckling

She was too dead tired.

Read here for Mallard Duckling Rescue information.

Until next time.

Tarot Says Miaow: A Tale of Two Kitties

A tale of two cats ( and there’s another Miaow Tarot Tale  or two in the archives.)  Daughter Numera Una, an Animal Care Assistant, and a brill one; rang one evening, ‘we have lost Elsa- cat. Will you look in your cards about it? We’ve been searching and calling for the last three hours.’

She had recently moved address and had two cats, both girls, Elsa and Salem. Elsa was very gentle, borderline dozy, Salem’s practically a genius. Here they are. Elsa top, Salem below with RT. You might be forgiven for wondering which one is the thickie and vice- versa. All I can say is, Salem was being seriously disrespected, being made to wear that pink combo which was actually Elsa’s.

Elsa Cat
Arti and Salem

Where might Elsa be? Let me say loud and clear I had no idea, how would I?

I drew the Moon card first, look at the picture, and put it to my daughter, that Elsa-cat might have been frightened from returning by a barking dog living only a door or two away.

She confirmed there was a barking dog Elsa didn’t like.

Gilded Moon


Image from The Gilded Tarot by courtesy of Ciro Marchetti.

Other meanings for this card: lies, hunting, danger, tricky travel, infection, fertility, psychic dreams,paranoia. But this immediate pictorial association was most I felt was most relevant to Elsa’s absence. Often this is how a Tarot reader works, look-and-speak-and-sod-the-book-meanings.

Next, I drew The Four of Swords; a knight entombed. This card signifies isolation, sickness, hospital visits, chapels and tombs and raised the obvious question, had she got stuck or trapped? I thought of wheelie bins and asked was a collection due next morning? Artemis was horrified, thinking of a notorious incident in the media where a woman had maliciously swiped a kitty into a wheelie bin but the refuse collectors had already been that morning, and I decided Elsa was not trapped inside a wheelie bin, but might well be hiding behind one.

I drew the Five of Wands and asked RT had she been to Number Five to ask if Elsa had been seen there? Yes she had, and the woman had kindly checked her out-houses.

She asked, was Elsa coming home that night?

I drew three more cards, all upside down and said no, I didn’t see that, but I tended to think it would be all right. Elsa was not dead. She was not hurt. She was disorientated by the move, and hiding, no more than three properties away.

Animals may be the primary department of St Francis, but that former librarian, St Anthony, patron saint of lost things, has kindly helped us with lost beasts before, and I suggested she ask him for help in bringing Elsa home.

Next morning I received this message.

Elsa-Smellsa just found 🙂 Could hear plaintive meowing when we called from the back garden coming from property to our rear so walked round and found her cowering down a little ginnel! She was very hungry but none the worse for wear. Salem was behaving very strangely this morning. I think St Antony acted through her somehow…It was her lead I followed when listening out for the meows!

What did I tell you? That Salem cat’s a genius. Yes, and of course, thank you too. Thank you very much, St Antony.

(You don’t have to be Catholic to ask him; we’re not, but sainthood is a state of grace and they won’t hold it against you)

Salem

Until next time 🙂

How Does Tarot Reading Work?

ktln new pic by j2    It works by what Jung called synchronicity (see @Tarot Card Philosophy – HowStuffWorks.) The reader uses the imagery and numbers with all their associated symbolism to help them articulate their intuitive impressions more precisely.

Tarot is an old western esoteric artifact, but is only one of many available systems of divination.

The 78 cards offer a symbolic language. The reader ‘uploads’ a ‘programme’ by learning the meanings and associations of the cards. In a reading, the reader draws cards blindly and at random, and uses the imagery on the cards as a prompt, to share what they feel about a given person, situation or question. The thing that is most amazing, even uncanny, is the absolute relevance of cards drawn at random and blindly (being upside down when they are drawn). This is where the apparent miracle of synchronicity occurs.

mawheel wheel of fortune

The Wheel of Fortune; Public Domain

How does the reader choose cards supposedly at random, which so appropriately identify the enquirer’s situation or question? It can be darn spooky.

The answer is, the reader doesn’t know exactly. They simply trust, or learn to trust the unconscious process. What they have done is trained/strengthened a natural faculty by uploading a kind of programme or whether Tarot, or Astrology or Runes. There are many such ‘programmes’.

Sometimes the card does not actually contain literal relevant imagery. How could a deck of 78 cards contain all the possible images in the world? The cards deal with this by using archetypes, eg The Chariot = effort, progress, ambition, team work, or literally, a vehicle. Any vehicle or a driving job, or test.

1jjChariot-761232

From the IJJ Swiss Tarot, by Stuart Kaplan.

Each card has a number of possible meanings attached, and this starts with book knowledge but the reader must still make a leap of intuition in deciding which meaning applies.  Such a leap in the dark may result in a ‘psychic’ insight, where all existing book meanings for the card is bypassed and a unique meaning arrived at.

During one reading I drew the Page of Cups from the Universal Waite. The card generally signifies happy new developments, sometimes a welcome gift or a message. On this occasion, I looked at it and without thinking, asked the lady, did she ate a lot of those pink and white marshmallows? She was astonished and so was I, and we laughed when she opened her hand bag and there was a packet of those same marshmallows inside it.

It was the pink and white of the picture that leapt to my attention and prompted my question; the rest went into the background. How, exactly that happened, I  do not know. I was almost but not equally astonished as my visitor and by now, take it for granted that a conference with the Tarot can result in these experiences.

 

page of cupsmarshmallow

From The Universal Waite

Tarot accesses a natural talent of the most normal, ancient human mind. We all possess it. A ‘psychic’ reader is simply someone who noticed it,  been interested and through study self training and often many years of practice, gone on to exercise and develop this natural ability, rather like a muscle of the mind.

Until next time 🙂

Inheritance

Inheritance is a meeting point of past, present and future, taking many forms, physical and immaterial. Goods, prospects, genes, ideas. How different in character will the legacy you leave differ or depart from the legacies you have inherited?

The Tarot’s card of Inheritance, both material and immaterial: money, property, ancestry, genes, culture, is The Ten of Pentacles/Coins/Disks.

ten pentacles

From The Gilded Tarot: By Kind Permission of Ciro Marchetti.

See the harvest mouse, custodian of the family riches. These riches are about far more than money.Appearing in a reading right way up, I am being shown that the person feels well-supported by family. They have the security of a sense of belonging. Reversed, the picture is of someone struggling about this, labouring under a sense of alienation, or injustice over wills and other inheritance issues. Or they may be feeling that their family background has been a burden rather than a resource.

The Tarot’s comment to people coming to discuss the disinheriting of challenging children has so far been Justice above all. Equal shares between children, no matter what the relationship, no matter what the history. That one does not get on with a child is sad. It is a misfortune in life, and one may not like one’s child, just as a child may not like its parent. One might even love someone, without liking them. It happens.

But it could be argued that retribution through the power of inheritance is a betrayal of the principle of inheritance, that an unjust will is toxic and divides families for many years to come, perhaps for ever.

Where is our ‘true’ well-spring? Without knowing our family history, we’ll probably never know, and no-one can know all of it, but a lot can be guessed because it’s lodged in you somewhere still. You might be the spitting image of a great-great-grandparent. You might be wearing their face reborn, cast to reflect your own spirit. You might have their skills and talents, their voice and intonation, even their mannerisms, when all your life you had thought you were the ‘odd one out’.

“You and I can turn and look
at the silent river and wait. We know
the current is there, hidden; and there
are comings and goings from miles away
that hold the stillness exactly before us.
What the river says, that is what I say.”

William Stafford (1914-1993)

The Ace of Cups

For students of Tarot, or the just curious, a few words about The Ace of Cups.

Meanings: Inception, Awakening of Love, Creativity, Vision and the Empowerment of Intuition. It is Beauty. It is The Element of Water, it is The Chalice, The Holy Grail. Sometimes it indicates a coming birth. I have known it accurately indicate healing and recovery from illness or after an accident. It is Grace.

It is known as the Ace of Hearts in a deck of playing cards.

‘My Cup Runneth Over’ is the moment that cannot be surpassed.

Whereas the Ace of Wands, Ace of the South, refers to the primal spark, the fires of Creation, the Ace of Cups, Ace of the West, is the matrix of Life.

The Ace of Cups speaks of Source. Physically, The human body runs primarily on water and minerals. Every physiological process that happens inside the body needs water. The human body is made up of more than 70% water. The blood is more than 85%, the brain more than 80%, muscles more than 75%, and the liver is 96% water.

But beyond the immediate physical, what is our most distant physical story, back to the point of Creation, or as some might prefer to think of it, life’s origin in space, or divinity? Dust from space ultimately cross-reacted making water, an epic of chemistry which made the seas, where Life on Earth began.
We are undines, raised by evolution from the deep.
Sublimis ab unda.

The poem below, for me echoes the deeps contained within the image of The Ace of Cups. It’s from a little known contemporary poet of rare subtlety, yet also directness and integrity.

A poem, like a song, like a picture, a sculpture, a photograph, a smile, a kiss, is a manifestation of the Ace of Cups, of the moment, but eternal.

Here is a Ace within the Ace.

Small Object of Desire

I suppose I should have picked my wedding ring
but that is personal and finite to me
as is my two faced charm on a silver chain
triangular, goldstone, tourmaline

But I chose this, lifted from some shore line,
a smaller bit than I’d found and lost before;
a spindle from a whelkish structured shell
more beautiful than any sculptor’s form.

It gives only a hint of its infinite fetch,
newel staircase, ramp to raise the megaliths,
invasive toxic spirochete to invest my blood,
screw my life force with its sickening brood.

No porcelain is half so fine,
that comes from Meissen’s arcane kiln.
This is the divine, the spiral double helix.
Where else should it be but on a beach?

My small object of desire, refined by tidal pull,
inch long, white and deeply curved,
maths of all dimensions along its reach,
shape and key to life, needs only my breath to live.

Margaret Whyte
The Source
2008

Shared here by kind permission of the author.

Until next time 🙂

Tarot Says Apples For Teachers

Apples For Teachers…It Wouldn’t Be Allowed Today: True Tarot on Teachers

English: An original card from the tarot deck ...
Le Pape or Hierophant from the tarot deck of Jean Dodal of Lyon, a classic “Marseilles” deck. The deck dates from 1701-1715. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Soon the children will be going back to school.

The Hierophant, the Tarot’s Fifth Major Arcana card, represents the concept of The Teacher but this is the teacher operating within the Establishment

 

What makes a teacher be a GREAT teacher?

Curiosity about Life, respect and generosity. Life invites ongoing learning. Progress demands it.

‘Schools out for EVER. School’s out COMPLETELY’…though it never is, or shouldn’t be for anyone with a curiosity greater than an amoeba’s.

Teachers: great ones, good and bad ones, the malevolent or indifferent. The ones I remember with affection, I remember for a variety of reasons.

Gentle bachelor Mr F always wore a salmon pink jumper and taught history. I was in his good books for ever, after asking a guest historian, a Professor David Hampson, what was later termed in my report, as ‘a very perceptive question’…an over-egging of my achievement my family found hilarious.

.
Mr F died of cancer quite young, and was remembered by later pupils as prone to violence. But it was the affliction of the tumour in his brain, creating cruel change. He threw blackboard dusters at people.A most gentle person.

It wouldn’t be allowed today.

Big, loud, red-faced Mr W, was Head of Hawk House, of which I was an incumbent and he taught me Maths. You’d hear the roaring from his office after assembly as he dealt with one bully or another.
‘Ohhh,’ he’d roar.’So you think it’s clever to get a little first year lad by his ear, do you? Tell me, how do YOU like it when I do THIS?’

‘Aayaa, ayaa! No sir!’

‘Or this?’

‘Ayaa, ayaa! no sir!’

‘Well, don’t you do it then, or you’ll be back in here for some more.’

It wouldn’t be allowed today.

Meeting me in the corridor at break times he’d press me to the wall with his enormous belly, and, stinking of cigarette smoke, he would bellow good naturedly from his great height.  ‘Hello! SILLY WOMAN! How are you diddling?’
I knew, as did my sisters at the same school and as young people immediately do know; he was OK, not even remotely creepy, so we only laughed about it, while avoiding it if we could. I only smile at the memory but…

It wouldn’t be allowed today.

 

apple for teacher

One of my ‘life lessons’ came from an elderly and very gentle science teacher. Mr Vest (yes, really) gently admonished me one day for my untidily presented homework. Embarrassed, I explained that my pen was leaky.

He said, ‘Now Katie, I know you like sayings. What’s the saying for this situation?’

I couldn’t guess which one he might mean.

‘A bad workman blames his tools’ …

An apple for teacher. But our memories are the apples they have given us, crisp and sharp, rosy and polished, maggoty and rotten.

Until next time 🙂

In Praise of all the best about Fathers, Tarot says All Hail To ‘The Emperor’ ….

Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

Today, the day of summer solstice, and the zenith of the sun, let’s talk about the ultimate Tarot card of Masculinity with a capital ‘M’,  The Emperor.

‘The Emperor’ appearing in a Tarot reading signifies the current extra significance of an important man in your life, at an individual level. He’s a father, husband, employer, friend or advisor.

The Emperor stands for government, law and order, other big, hierarchical organisations. He is the Armed Forces, the Police, the Civil Service.

He is the guiding principle of protection and of the guardian at work in society and in the home. See those ram’s heads on the arms of his throne? The Emperor is associated with the sign of Aries, the fiery ram. It may indicate a future event occurring at that time of year.

Image below is The Emperor from The Gilded Tarot, by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti

GildedEmperor
From The Gilded Tarot

The Emperor in his true dignity is strength with justice, courage with reason: a defender, a chevalier, a sheltering tree, nests held safely in his branches. He is rule with mercy, compassion for the weak. He upholds fair play, raising his shield so not everyone sheltering behind it gets splattered with rubbish and  er…manure.

He has another side to him of course: war, dictatorship, tyranny, petty officialdom, overbearing bureaucracy. The card may alternatively signify absence of structure and leadership. A bully. The Emperor Reversed is a very serious matter. War.

Michaelangelo, Sistine Chapel

But greetings are due to The Emperor at the top of his game –  best friend to womankind; those men that we love, and what we love best in men, sons of the red earth.

Let your Emperor wear his crown and ermine every now and then.

You may be an Empress, and you can wear yours too.

Greetings to the Tarot’s beloved Emperor.

Until next time 🙂

True Tarot Tales

& Other Mysteries of Mind & Myth

Folklore of the Ocean

by Sophie Symons

TheEnlightenedMind622

Open Your Mind

The Astrology Junkie

Musings in Life and Insights as I study Traditional-Hellenistic Astrology and everything Esoteric.

Tarot with Terrence

Tarot Reader and Astrologer

Die Goldene Landschaft

Geschichte der Drei Kaiserberge

Practiced Ignorance

A Spirit Journey

SiLeNt PeN

Learn the art of silence so that nothing is left unsaid!!

Under the influence!

Myths, legends, folklore and tales from around the world

Mental Health Cop

A venn diagram of policing, mental health and criminal justice

Laura Bruno's Blog

Medical Intuition, Astrology, Soul Readings, Intuitive Coaching, Tarot, Reiki: Inspiring and Empowering Visionaries, Artists and Healers

Jordan Hoggard ~ Founder, The Architecture of Well-Being (R)

Enhance & Embody Your Decision Making ~ Clarity Through ImaginAction (R) & Tarot & Astrology… and Writing

The Tarot of Bones

A Natural History Themed Divination Set

Ms. Joyce Tarot

Tarot Readings and Inspiration

The Tarot Lady

The tarot cards tell a story...but you write the ending.

The Order of the Tarot

Tarot, Philosophy, and Christian Mysticism

paulpens

Real, write....

The Slog

A Cognitive Dissident

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