Libra 2021

Most of us know our sign of the zodiac, but what is the story behind the sign? Read on for the story of Libra…

Libra marks the advent of the autumn equinox in the northern hemisphere. The scales of Libra represent this temporary state of balance in nature, and the closest equality of the hours of darkness and daylight.

Common Associations

Symbol

Element: Air

Quality: Cardinal (it instigates)

Affirmation: I (seek to) Balance

Ruling planet: Venus

Body: Lower back, buttocks, kidneys, bladder Tissue salt: Nat Phos (sodium phosphate)

Colour: Indigo Blue

Flower: Rose, Hydrangea

Birthstones: Sapphire- September birthdays. Opal- October birthdays

Lucky Number: 6 (community, childhood)

Tarot card: Justice Minor Arcana cards: 2, 3, 4 Swords

From The Legacy of the Divine Tarot, illustrator Ciro Marchetti

Astronomy

Constellation Libra

Libra (which technically, though I don’t know anyone who actually pronounces it this way, is pronounced Ly-bra as in Library) is a small but distinct constellation next to the constellation Virgo in the evening sky.

It looks rather like a lopsided diamond and is visible in the northern hemisphere between April and July and is most visible directly overhead at midnight in June.

It is 29th in size of the 88 known constellations and is is bordered by the head of Serpens to the north, Virgo to the northwest, Hydra (the biggest constellation) to the southwest, Lupus to the south, Scorpius to the east and the serpent bearer, Ophiuchus to the northeast.

Libra, like Cancer, is fainter from Earth than other constellations, and contains no spectacular first magnitude stars, but it contains a very old galaxy cluster that is thought to be around 10 billion years old, the same age as The Milky Way, our own galaxy.

Libra also contains a red dwarf star, Gliese 581, which has three orbiting planets, one of which may possibly be suitable for life. This system is about 20 light years from Earth.

Libra though recognized as an asterism long before, was only formally classified as a constellation by the Romans, and used to be regarded, not as a constellation in its own right, but as part of the neighbouring constellations Scorpio and Virgo.

This legacy explains the names of its brightest stars; a binary star about 77 light years from Earth. α Librae. called Zubenelgenubi, in Arabic “the Southern Claw” in Arabic. The second-brightest star is β Librae, or Zubeneschamali,  the Arabic for “The Northern Claw.”  

Once upon a time, about three thousand years ago and until AD 730, the Sun used to move into the constellation of  Libra at the time of the northern autumnal equinox (c. September 23) and stay there until about October 23.

This changed over time, owing to the wobble of the Earth, owing to an effect called the precession of the equinoxes so that since 2002, the Sun has actually appeared in the constellation of Libra from October 31 to November 22.

HOWEVER This does not affect the dates or the meaning of the zodiac sign of Libra which is based, not on the science of the astronomy in real time, but on an arithmetic model.

Mythology and History

From Urania’s Mirror

Libra was known in Babylonian astronomy as MUL Zibanu (the “scales” or “balance”) with an alternative name, the Claws of the Scorpion. In ancient Greece too, Libra was seen as the Scorpion’s Claws.

The scales were sacred to the Babylonian sun god Shamash, who was the patron of truth and justice, so that since these very early times, Libra has been associated with law, fairness and civility.

Libra was first recognised as a constellation in its own right in ancient Rome, when it began to represent the scales held by Astraea, or Dike, who in Greek mythology was actually associated with Virgo. In ancient times, the stars of Libra, The Scales, were also intermingled with those of  Scorpius by the Greeks, but were always considered as a separate group by the Romans.

According to the writer Manilius, whether this was factually correct or not, more Roman judges were born under the sign of Libra than under other zodiac signs.   

Venus and Libra

Libra, like Taurus, is traditionally ruled by Venus, planet of love, beauty, friendship, diplomacy- and also wealth, because wealth provides luxuries.

The Birth of Venus, Botticelli

Everything has its shadow side of course, and Venus can also mean over indulgence, undue materialism, or uncontrolled desires or obsession.

The Libra Archetype

The Archetype of Libra is The Judge.

All zodiac signs are archetypes, meaning something that is considered to be a perfect or typical example of a particular kind of person or thing,

The zodiac signs paint a ‘typical’ portrait of a person born at a particular time of year, in a particular season. A baby born in summer arrives into a different physical environment from a winter baby; differences of parental diet, especially in the days long before supermarkets where food was a matter of seasonal availability, plus other environmental factors; temperatures, hours of daylight exposure and so on, with potential physical effects on that baby’s makeup and development.

Libra is one of the three zodiac air signs, the others being Gemini and Aquarius.

 Libra is the only sign that is not represented by a human or animal, but the scales signify the collective and enduring human hunger for justice, as well as Libra’s own especially keen personal need for balance, order, and equality.

Many astrologers view Libra as an especially lucky sign because it occurs during the peak of the year when the rewards of hard work are harvested.

Libra is suave, clever and extremely easy to like. The classic Libra subject has charm and can be a great listener with sharp observation skills and acute perception.

Because Venus, the goddess of love, rules Libra, the Libra subject is especially, even acutely sensitive to beauty in anything, whether it is a person, nature, art, or music. They dislike loud noises, nastiness, and vulgarity, as they are naturally extremely civilized people. They can sometimes be a little tiring to be with as they are constantly re-assessing and adjusting their thinking, and can be restless, more changeable even than Gemini.

Late Libra may show some of the more negative Scorpio traits. They may be touchy and thin-skinned, and tend not to handle criticism as dispassionately as they dispense it.

But Libra on a good hair day, when it is sunny side up, smart as anything, smiling, civilized, ready to be amused, that lollipop face, what’s not to like?

The archetypal human face in the Tarot representing Libra is the Queen of Swords, though of course in real life, this may represent male or female.

This court card represents a queen of keen observational and analytical capabilities, combining intellect and instinct. She has worked hard, given her best service, learned many life lessons, may well have experienced much loss, and while often charming, has a certain air of aloofness. Many seek her out for her wise advice, and receive fair,considered advice. In her most negative aspects she may be vindictive.

Photo by Anderson Miranda on Pexels.com

These archetypes are based on thousands of years of observation, but of course there is no such thing in reality as THE Libra personality.

You are a unique individual. Your zodiac sign (also known as your sun sign) is a major keynote, but nothing like the full picture in real life – or even in astrology.

But your decan, which depends on where your birthday falls within your zodiac sign, digs just a little deeper. If you don’t feel like a ‘typical’ Libra, perhaps you are a second or third decan Libra, rather than a ‘most typical’ first decan Libra.

What are the decans?

The decans have been described as ‘the thirty six faces of astrology.’

 The Zodiac, a portion of sky as seen from earth, represents an imaginary belt or wheel; a circle of 360 degrees. This circle was seen as divided in Tropical or Western astrology into twelve ‘slices,’ of approximately thirty degrees each. Each slice represents a zodiac sign named after a chosen constellation appearing inside this belt of sky, giving us the zodiac signs we are familiar with today.

Astrologers then sub-divided each of these 12 signs into three parts of ten degrees each. Every degree – every birth date -supplies added insights or texture in respect of character and potential destiny.

The first ten days of a zodiac sign are the first decan. The next ten days or so are the second decan, and the last ten days or so are the third decan.

“If you’ve ever wondered why people born in the same sign seem different, decans can help answer this puzzle,” – astrologer Rachel Lang.

Libra First Decan

Libra-Libra

Dates:  23 September – 2 October

Planetary rulers: Traditional –Moon / Modern –Venus

Tarot card: Two of Swords Truce, pause, standoff, taking stock, information gathering, indecision, obstinate, none so blind as will not see, refusal to engage

Libra-Libra gets a double dose of Venus glamour, as both its planetary ruler and sub-ruler; here is the most ‘typical’ Libra subject; sensitive, perceptive, attractive and well-balanced, keenly intuitive and extra sensitive to beauty, the arts and fashion.

They are clever as anything, strategic thinkers, great at seeing patterns, dealing with data. They are diplomats, cool operators, experts at avoiding unpleasant conversations. They are sensitive to loud noises and dislike crowds.

They hate conflicts, arguments and will avoid direct confrontation, though this is not always helpful. This means they may also avoid uncomfortable decision-making – or indeed any decision-making and may put off a boring job in the hope that someone else will deal with it, though they are perfectly capable of doing it themselves.

Libra is not known for nothing as ‘the iron fist in the velvet glove.’ They can turn away, cut you out cold, and you may never find out why. There will be a reason, but they don’t do those kinds of conversation, for all their essential kindness and usual generosity of spirit. First decan Libra for all their gifts can be self-critical and prone to anxiety or sudden mood swings. They really, really need their space.

Libra Second Decan

Libra-Aquarius

Dates: 3 -12 October

Planetary rulers: Traditional – Saturn / Modern – Uranus

Tarot card: Three of Swords. Sorrow, stress, separation, love triangles, karma, making peace with the past. All signs must learn to deal with loss. Important to note, none of these messages are intended for Libra alone, and may simply represent Libra timing in a reading.

Libra-Aquarius, ruled by stern Saturn and rebellious Uranus is not only brilliantly clever, but dutiful, patient, wise, and inventive, even downright psychic, more curious about subjects like astrology than other Librans. Here is a thinker with a strongly independent streak – even a little quirky. This Libran is urbane, naturally sophisticated, and much sought after for their wit, knowledge, sparkling company and good advice.

They are known for combining artistic gifts with a logical, rational scientific way of thinking.  The writer’s father was a second decan Libran; an academic author and scholar of French philosophy, and an exhibiting artist, a painter, with powerful ESP.

All Librans have good earning potential above average, but this decan, ruled by disciplined Saturn, though not remotely mean, is careful, especially prone to saving up for a rainy day, or with an eye to leaving money for their dependents.

Never underestimate them. If a second Libra thinks something is wrong or unethical, if they disapprove of something they may react with a shocking finality, bringing down the sword of judgement. It’s the same with all Librans but the second decan Libra, while oh so polite….will coolly tell you to your face what they do not approve of. 

Libra-Aquarius, inspiring devotion and respect, is an enigma, remote and distant, like a kindly priest or a shaman, or a shining lone star.

Photo by Kindel Media on Pexels.com

Libra Third Decan

Libra-Gemini

Dates: 13- 22 October

Planetary rulers: Traditional – Jupiter / Modern – Mercury

Tarot card- Four of Swords: rest, bed, recovery, retreat, regrouping after mental or physical exhaustion

Libra-Gemini is known for above average physical attractiveness and typically looks younger than their actual age, with a rounded face, bright, keen eyes, medium build, and a light to medium build, usually above average height.

Knowledge is power to this most restless Libran. They need to feel up to date, well informed. They may not necessarily share what they know, unless they feel challenged or contradicted. They can be competitive and also secretive, not because they are deceitful, but to avoid the risk of hassle. They cannot bear dealing with bad news, or to be the bearer of bad tidings. Libra decan 3 is not the one to volunteer to handle this.

They are capable of aggression, but still, are more timid, more of an introvert that many would take them for on first acquaintance.

They may have found themselves cast in the role of outsider at some period of their lives. This may have proved a formative experience, or it may have dented their confidence and given them a bit of a hang-up.

They take themselves very seriously, and are serious about money, and about their obligations, and make excellent family providers. They do need to feel that whatever they do for their loved ones was entirely their own idea, and do not respond well if they get the idea they are being pressured, but a bit of praise goes a long way with Decan 3 Libra.

They are kindly, and they notice things, but they don’t tend to give out a lot of feedback. They are born judges, but it can seem as if other people’s problems aren’t entirely real to them, and if they’re in the wrong, they may never admit it for fear of being judged themselves.

This decan in particular craves travel, and is known for a love of the sea. They have a tendency to become restless, withdrawn and irritable when bored, or when they can’t travel as much as they would like. Pandemic travel restrictions really might have been quite a frustration for this Libra subject.

Photo by David McEachan on Pexels.com

Libra Season 2021

This will not be a quiet news month on the global stage or in the media. It promises to be pretty interesting, and possibly at times, a bit too interesting, reflecting lively and intense astrological transits, particularly until the Mars square Pluto conjunction 21,22 and 23 October, which suggests we take special care how we go, avoiding getting into confrontations, and when going out and about.

On the other hand, we could get a lot of stuff sorted out this Libra season, spurred on helpful bursts of Mars energy.

Libra is laid back, or at least, quietly focused, going about its business. But this Libra season, 2021, is in all probability, not a case of business as usual.

Further reading:

For more about the decans: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decan_(astrology)

For more about The Chaldeans:  https://erenow.net/common/astrology-and-religion-among-the-greeks-and-romans/2.php

The Tarot: History, Symbolism, and Divination by Robert M Place: https://www.amazon.com/Tarot-History-Symbolism-Divination/dp/1585423491?tag=horoscopeco07-20

Harvest Moon in Pisces-Aries

Samuel Palmer, Public Domain

Tonight was the Full Harvest Moon, the full moon closest to the autumn equinox which in 2021 is 22 September, occurring at 20:21 (British Summer time. )

Unlike other full moons, the Harvest Moon rises at nearly the same time, around sunset, for several evenings in a row, lighting the fields for the workers bringing in the harvest.

In the US, the First Nations called it The Big Moon, and so it can be, lighting the harvesting till late in the evening, or they called it The Sturgeon Moon.

The sturgeon, a really ancient, prehistoric fish found in fossil beds from the Cretaceous, and that can be 3.5 m in length, has been hunted nearly to danger of extinction on account of caviar.

Look at this old variety of maize grown by the Lakota…a glass gem corn cob. It is not eaten like this, but ground into a purplish meal.

How beautiful is that?

Glass gem maize cob

This year’s Harvest Moon is happening in third decan Pisces. The corresponding Tarot card is the rather lovely Ten of Cups. Home sweet home. Or perhaps home and dry…it kept appearing for Joe Biden during the US Election, Trump v Biden,though an oddly domestic card perhaps, in that particular context. (Mr Biden is a deep water, Scorpio subject, Mr Trump airy Gemini.)

Note the symbols hanging in the hearth-place, Mars in Pisces.

The Legacy of The Divine Tarot

What could be more peaceful? Well, yes, but Pisces can also be tricky; dream states, illusions, delusions. Neptune. This full moon might be full on emotionally intense, and this may be agreeable, OR anything but, or actually a teensy bit bonkers. One may be extra accident prone. Passions may boil over, a touch of paranoia perhaps, angry words said. One may need to watch one’s step and beware rogues and trickery.

This Moon is teetering into Mars ruled Aries later on tonight, and Aries is currently in opposition to Mars, This is heated, volatile…volcanic even. Think Cumbre Vieja.

Il Matrimonio had an odd encounter this morning, out in town. Potentially a mugger (?) sizing him up, first asking him the time as they crossed, going in opposite directions, walking on but then turning back again and following him. He, we will never know, but he felt the man’s presence behind him and stopped sharply to let the man know he was alert to him. The man meandered into a nearby bus stop he had previously just passed and hopped on a bus. Possibly there was an innocent explanation, or else the man was after Il Matrimonio’s smartphone, a snatch and run prospect.

Be alert. The country, so the old saying goes, needs lerts.

Poor old sturgeons. There they are, been here all this time, fossils dating back in the late Cretaceous era, more than 65 million years ago, being brought to the brink on account of a human hankering for blobs on toast…or is it blinis?

Photo by Ivan Samkov on Pexels.com

But what do I know. Il Matrimonio has had it, and says it is delish.

I’ll take his word for it.

Sturgeon, Wiki

Till next time 🙂

Psychic Skies; Mercury, Mars and the Moon this month

Mercury goes retrograde 27 September until it goes direct again 18 October for the last time in 2021. So what does this mean?

A Mercury retrograde is a regular event, no big deal, happening three or four times a year, and lasting about three weeks but with effects felt for up to two weeks ahead of the retrograde and up to two weeks after it.

Astronomically. a retrograde simply means that the planet in question seems to be moving on a backward trajectory, as seen from earth, due to differing speeds of orbit. It is merely an optical illusion. Mercury briefly overtaking Earth in its orbit round the sun

We have more Mercury retrogrades than any other. Mercury is the smallest planet, closest to the Sun with the shortest, fastest orbit round the sun, only 87.97 days. Let’s call it 88 days

Astrologically, any retrograde signifies a shift in the “tide in the affairs of men”- a new prevailing wind. The nature of it, how it manifests in real life depends on the planet in question.

Fast moving Mercury is the symbolic ruler of intellectual activities, trade and communications. So what’s the fuss? When it goes retrograde, and for a few days before and after this retrograde, during the so-called shadow, what can we expect?

Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Public Domain via Wiki

Maybe nothing at all. Not every retrograde is the same. It could simply mean business as usual. But likewise, we could find ourselves noticing an unmistakable cluster of gremlins-things going wrong noticeably more than usual:-

-We have delays

-We mislay things

-We have personal misunderstandings, crossed wires

-We have travel problems

-The car needs attention or even breaks down

-Appliances malfunction.

-Deliveries go astray

-We have IT glitches

You get the picture.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Pexels.com

It may turn out to be a total non-story, or just the odd bit of nuisance rather than any drama. But if you catch yourself saying things like, ‘I don’t believe this!’, and ‘oh no, not again’, or howling in utter exasperation, ‘what the f*** is this happening NOW?’ -then you know what and who to blame.

Mercury, facilitating mischief until around 18 October or even early November.

Astrologer’s advice for optimal working in this abstract(?) celestial weather.

They will tell you that a Mercury retrograde is optimal for reflection, reviewing, research and extra meticulous planning, but not for initiating or making major purchases and acquisitions, particularly if these are electronic items. Double-check important paperwork. No. Triple-check it. Do read the small print.

But as mentioned before, not every Mercury retrograde is the same. This one is in Libra, affecting relationships, alliances and partnerships in particular, and what’s more, energetic Mars invaded peaceable Libra 14 September.

Mars, planet of fire, action and potentially war. Mars gets things done. This can be just what’s needed, or it can be combustible.

This will be why I have drawn the fiery Page of Wands. Fireworks. Trade salvos for now. Growlings and mutterings in respect of a new deal between Australia, UK and the US, and the loss to France of a major submarine contract. China does not like it of course, having banned Australian coal imports in retaliation for the Australian call for an independent investigation into the origins of the Covid pandemic in Wuhan. But China’s coal alternatives are coming with their own costs.

Things are only hotting up in the Indian Ocean, and also the Straits of Hormuz.

From The Gilded Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

We say peaceable Libra. Well, that depends. This is the sign of marriage and domestic partnerships, as well as wider global partnerships of all kinds. Libra is outwardly suave, savvy, debonair even, and charming. It may seem peaceful, ruled by Venus, Mars’ opposite number.

But it is contractual in dealings. It may be the zodiac sign of diplomacy, but in the real world, especially geo-politics, this diplomacy or compromise is generally liable to mean “either you scratch our back, we’ll scratch yours”, or the “iron fist in a velvet glove”. Either way. soft, it isn’t.

Also to note, the autumn equinox 22 September as we enter the zodiac sign territory Libra, sign of the scales, day and night in balance. Uranus in Taurus (upheaval of tradition) goes head to head with Saturn in Aquarius (Fundamentalism, group-think collectives)

Extinction Rebellion could be viewed as an example of a collective ruled by Saturn in Aquarius. The Taliban too. Ugh. But hang on on a minute. Am I seriously making a comparison here? What could they possibly have in common?

What is in common is their motivation and their characterizing Saturn in Aquarius spirit. It is about the exercise of control by an non elected group, justified in the name of some holy grail- however that is to be defined.

It is a fundamentalist way of doing things. Secular or religious. In the end, it makes little difference. Fundamentalism says the ends always justify the means. It is this way, their way, the only right way – the way of the righteous. They are the self-declared sole arbiters of truth.

Saturn in Aquarius is always right. It is righteous. It is their way or the highway. Except that right now in the UK, with Insulate Britain blocking motorways, it is a question of them having their way but NO highway either for ‘the others’.

Extinction Rebellion, Public Domain

Meanwhile steadfast Taurus won’t be bullied, doesn’t budge, but Uranus sets it off at a charge, or turns it topsy-turvy. Saturn when in cool, remote, cerebral Aquarius won’t flow, won’t adjust, but sets like ice while preaching whatever is its own form of gospel. What does this bode for public order round this time? We’ll soon see.

Warning: Unpopular opinion: I have sympathy with certain of the aims of Extinction Rebellion, as with its objections to the risks of fracking on the marshy Fylde in Lancashire for instance. But there is an elephant in the room Extinction Rebellion won’t acknowledge, the poison chalice, the kiss of death to honesty; what we can do about global overpopulation and the inevitable resulting environmental pressure on landscapes and resources this inevitably creates.

Will they go ‘there’? Utter one peep? No way! Anymore than they would dare to block roads in China.

Our best efforts to reduce our footprint will be too little to mitigate the mess we can’t help making, so long as we are so many. But what is to be done? China tried but the experiment had to be abandoned. It was simply too dreadful; tragic, socially and economically damaging.

We may just possibly mine the Moon some day, or Mars, but we shall find no other home. We need Gaia. Who does not need us at all. Unless, yes, to get rid of us as she has done many times before with countless other species. How many species went extinct before we were even here? The likes of a thousand Extinction Rebellion won’t prevent it, if it’s going to happen, and to paraphrase Dr Malcolm in Jurassic Park, sooner or later, ‘Life finds a way’.

Meanwhile, what can we do but tread lightly where we can.

Photo by Ben Mack on Pexels.com

The Full Moon this month is the Harvest Moon in Pisces on 21 September. Deep of feeling. Fathomless. Beware of accidents and scammers. Muggers. Keep your wits about you. Il Matrimonio had a dodgy encounter only this morning 21 Sept) but pre-empted and saw it off, if that’s where the guy was heading.

Harvest Moon by Samuel Palmer, 1833

The Age of Pisces

The Age of Pisces is the age of the rise of Monotheism, two thousand years ago, and we are still in the Age of Pisces. We are not in the Age of Aquarius yet, and what it represents – technology and collectivism (ugh)

But when we are, give it another 2 millennia and we shall return to a new Age of Capricorn, and that would be a very different beast again.

Read here for more about the so-called ‘Ages’ of Aquarius and Pisces.

No, we are just having a little taster. But a Pisces Moon, now, there is a moon to dream on. Or pray upon.

Photo by Ruvim on Pexels.com

This month’s New Moon in Pisces, 20 September is actually considered a happy, lucky Moon in astrology, occurring an hour after Mercury is trine the big beast, optimistic, expansive Jupiter. Around this time, if one was inclined to take notice of such things, would perhaps be September’s most promising window for going for a new job or signing a contract, and doing anything really, thumbing our noses at any small beer Mercury retrograde stuff.

Mercury, or Hermes as he was to the Greeks, is very big beer, actually. Tiny planet. Big beer supernatural entity. Not only is he the messenger of the gods, arbiter of trade and travel, he is a psycho pomp, who escorts the souls of the newly dead to the banks of the river Acheron, or Styx if you prefer, to wait for the crossing with Charon the Ferryman to the Resting Isles- the Isle of the Dead.

Here he is, winged helmet, caduceus, looking distinctly mischievous, and Puckish, rather elf-like- perhaps even a touch of Loki, Norse lord of misrule.

Quicksilver.

Painting by Hendrick Goltzius, 1558-1617, Public Domain

Libra is about the rule of reason, fairness, keeping a cool head, not losing our balance. Libra suggests, if Mercury retrograde does rub us up the wrong way, or Mars gets uppity and rattles the cage, we take a deep breath, count to ten, walk away, zoom out the lens, keep our powder dry. It isn’t personal, even when it feels personal.

You can always get them later, if you really must. The devil is in the detail.

Till next time 🙂

Season of The Lion Sun, Leo

Leo

We moved into the astrological sign of Leo on 22 July. It’s time to roll out the red carpet…running late this month, due to a bit of an IT nightmare.

Leo Associations

Symbol: Lion

Celestial ruler: Sun

Element: Fire

Metal: Gold

Quality: Fixed (mid- season/high season)

Body: Heart and spine

Trees: Palm trees, laurel, walnuts, olive trees, lemon and orange trees.

Plants: Marigolds, sunflowers, dandelions, celandines, passion flowers

Gemstones: Peridot, carnelian, ruby, onyx

Wikipedia: peridot

Key phrase: I love

Tarot card: Strength

The Gilded Tarot Royale, Ciro Marchetti

Minor Arcana cards: The 5,6,7 Wands.

Astronomy

Leo is one of the 48 constellations described by the 2nd-century astronomer Ptolemy, and one of the 88 modern constellations recognised by NASA today, situated between Cancer to the west and Virgo to the east.

Leo is the 12th largest, and one of the most easily recognizable constellations due to its many bright stars, and a distinctive shape suggesting a crouching lion, apparently facing right.

The bright light beneath Leo as seen in the photo below is planet Jupiter.

In the northern hemisphere, in the Spring is the best time to see the Lion, starting around the March equinox. By June, Leo is descending in the west in the evening, drifting progressively westward, and by late July or early August, the Lion begins to fade into the sunset, returning to the eastern sky and visible before dawn around late September or October.

Look for the Big Dipper then look southwards, Leo is below the Big Dipper.

Leo’s brightest star, Regulus, Alpha Leonis, ‘The King Star’, is a sparkling blue-white star at the bottom of the backwards question mark pattern. The star’s name, Regulus, means “little king” or “prince” in Latin and its Greek name, Basiliscos, has the same meaning. The Arabic name is Qalb al-Asad, which means “the heart of the lion.”

Mind boggling factoid coming up- Leo’s fifth largest star, Epsilon Leonis, 247 light years from Earth, is 288 times more luminous than the Sun, four times as massive, and has a solar radius 21 times bigger.

A triangle of stars in eastern Leo depict the Lion’s hindquarters and tail, the brightest, Denebola, Arabic, means the Lion’s Tail.

Look out for meteor showers during Leo but actually these will be The Perseids, peaking around 12 August. The Leonids are the meteor showers associated with the constellation of Leo, coming from that direction around November 17-18 every year, and again in January; with a smaller shower peaking January 1 – 7.

There are 15 stars in Leo with 18 known planets between them, but none thought to be habitable.

Mythology

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

Leo the Lion has since ancient times been associated with the sun, and is ruled by the sun in astrology.  Leo is one of the oldest constellations collectively recognized in the sky, with many ancient civilizations agreeing on perceiving it as a lion. Archaeological evidence suggests that Mesopotamians recognized a constellation similar to Leo as early as 4000 BC. The Persians knew the constellation as Shir or Ser, Babylonians called it UR.GU.LA (“the great lion”), Syrians knew it as Aryo, and the Turks as Artan.

The story goes that the ancient Egyptians venerated Leo because the sun shone in front of this constellation at the time of the annual flooding of the Nile River, the lifeblood of their agriculture and indeed, the nation entire. Marking the end of drought, this flood shortly followed the arrival of desert lions at the river. The lions had come to the river out of need, driven by the drought of the desert at that time, but this was a welcome sign that the flood was on its way, and this connection was welcomed by the Egyptians, who honoured the lion with festivals, and even today many statues of lions can be found along the course of the Nile River, proof of the reverence with which the ancient Egyptians regarded the desert lions.

It’s thought that the lion-headed fountains commonly designed by Greek and Roman architects equally symbolized the life-giving waters released by the sun’s presence in Leo.

Many stories are associated with Leo the Lion. Perhaps the best known tales feature Hercules’ first labour and the Nemean Lion.

This terrifying lion lived in a cave in Nemea in the south-west of Corinth. It was killing and eating the locals, and no-one could kill it because its skin could not be pierced by any weapons. Hercules surprised the lion in its cave and strangled it, and then rather disrespectfully, if pragmatically, skinned the lion with its own claws, and wore its skin as a cloak, making himself even more ferocious in appearance, as well as presumably, and even more importantly, arrow-proof.

The Astrology of Leo

This fixed sign is known for its pride, ambition and determination, warmth and generosity of spirit, but above all, Leo is known for bravery. Leo is represented in the Tarot by the “Strength” card, representing the divine expression of physical, mental, and emotional fortitude, which is a virtue.

Courage takes many forms. Active bravery is about proceeding in the face of fear, “feeling the fear and doing it anyway.” And then there is the courage to endure, the discipline of damage limitation, and the fortitude that quietly says to itself, “tomorrow I will try again”.

Eternal optimists, tough sometimes with a dark streak, Leos can be their own worst enemy; loud, reckless, self-centred, headstrong and careless, and for these reasons, unless they can learn greater patience, consideration and self-control, they are not necessarily always as lucky in life as their generous nature deserves.

Leo is both the sign of childhood, and childhood’s end.

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Dandy Lion

Dandy Lion’s greying mane

Casts away

Alight on chance

To lionize again

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.

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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 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.

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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.

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The Ides of March and all that -Astrology, Prediction and Politics

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The use of astrology and other forms of divination is nothing new in politics. Over many centuries leaders and politicians, both in the West and East,  the most highly educated people of their times, and, notwithstanding progress and all the discoveries of science since, they would still be regarded as more generally and highly educated than many people even today, have used the services of astrologers in an advisory capacity.

This brings us to the question, why do people in general use such services?

Well, why do they watch weather forecasts, or conduct polls, buy Lottery tickets, play guessing games, or follow the Stock Exchange

Forecasting in an activity as old as humankind. It is about coping, control, risk assessment and preparation, and ultimately, survival. The human race has always exercised its wits in trying to sense the future, preparing to meet opportunities, challenges, or even downright threats.

But sometimes decisions need to be taken when we don’t have all the facts we ideally need. This is where an astrological or other divinatory perspective may offer a fresh view of the situation, and a sense of the options, the stakes and the odds.

“Astrology is like a weather report; it tells you what conditions you’re likely to face in the future. If the weatherman says it’s probably going to rain, you bring an umbrella. If you follow that advice, you won’t get wet.”– Lee Goldberg, Meteorologist

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 Julius Caesar

“Beware the Ides of March,” is a famous line from Shakespeare’s play ‘Julius Caesar,’ and is  associated  with 15 March, the date on which Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC.

Below, The Emperor from the Legacy of the Divine Tarot deck. Looking very Julius Caesar, though Julius was never actually Emperor, despite lending his name to the later titles of Czar and Kaiser. The Emperor is the card of Aries the Ram, cardinal sign of spring and lambing season, authority, organizations, rulership, fire, daring, and fatherhood and all things masculine.

The truth: there was a bit more to it, but Shakespeare relied solely on Plutarch for his sources. A seer called Spurinna, a haruspex who read animal entrails as a system of divination, had examined the entrails of a bull on 15 February, and had read a bad omen there; some problem with the heart of the bull, we don’t know what exactly, whether it was malformed, or not quite where it should have been.

Spurinna, alarmed at the condition or ‘absence’ of the bull’s heart and possibly also by a few things he had heard, joined these dots and warned Caesar of a serious threat to his life during the coming 30 days, by or on The Ides (15 March)

Caesar heeded the warning and mostly stayed home for the next few weeks, partly because his wife Calpurnia was very worried. Spurinna had a good reputation for accuracy. Not only was he from Etruria, and Etruscan seers were highly regarded for their skill in divination, he was well connected with the elite of Rome, and had no doubt read the mood there.

Caesar was due to depart Rome again on the 18 March, on military campaign in Spain. The conspirators were running out of time.

But on the 15 March, he disregarded Calpurnia’s fears after a bad dream she had the previous night, and was persuaded to go to the Senate by a friend, Decimus, his closest friend or so he thought, but Decimus had aligned himself with the conspirators. Any betrayal by Brutus, with whom he had quite a mixed history, was nothing compared to the betrayal by Decimus.

On his way to the Portico of Pompey (Caesar’s former friend, ally, one time son in law and later enemy) where the assassins waited forewarned and ready, every eventuality planned for, Caesar passed the seer and joked, “The Ides of March are come,” and Spurinna is said to have replied “Aye, Caesar; but they are not gone.” Caesar here was referring back to the fact that on 15 February, Spurinna had warned him of a threat to his life during the next 30 days on or by the Ideas of March.

Caesar was no lamb to the slaughter. He was a soldier. He defended himself. Tried to escape. Tried to fight back and when he finally went down, touchingly, he covered his face with his robe, in an effort, it is thought, to preserve his privacy and dignity at the very end,or in the hope of avoiding facial mutilation.

The political consequences of this assassination were profound. Caesar’s death backfired on the conspirators, largely for big money reasons, and actually brought about the end of the Roman Republic, and the rise of the Emperors, the tragic irony here being, the assassins killed Caesar because they were afraid he was planning to overthrow the republic and become Emperor.

But could Caesar have avoided this fate?

This is the big question, one of those eternal questions, and of course we can never know. Astrologers today would argue our fate is not fixed, and that Caesar might have escaped, and thereby proven the seer wrong, if he had chosen to act on the warning, or “astrological intel,” as some astrologers describe it – astrological intelligence.

John Dee was a 16th century British mathematician, astronomer, geographer, and astrologer to Queen Elizabeth 1. He was briefly imprisoned at one time, on charges of sorcery during the reign of Mary 1 (“Bloody Mary”) but luckily for him, he had powerful friends and was released. and once Elizabeth became queen, he became her trusted astrological advisor and was appointed to choose an auspicious date for her coronation – an application of what is termed today event astrology electional astrology.

John Dee, in the Ashmolean, Wikimedia

What ended the use of astrology as an accepted practice close to the centres of political power?

The Enlightenment during the 17th century brought new discoveries in astronomy, chiefly and most significantly that Copernicus was right, and the Earth went round the sun, and not the other way round, and they had imprisoned Galileo and burned Giordano Bruno for stating a fact, though in Bruno’s case he had gone rather further than this.

But this threw a new light on astrology, and brought its basis into question.

The German mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler, famed for his improvements to the telescope and his work on the laws of interplanetary motion, was also a renownedastrologer, and he urged fellow scientists not to ‘throw out any baby with the bathwater.’

They were forgetting or overlooking a key point; that western astrology is an arithmetic symbol system based on a vast, ancient collection of psychological and natural observations and data. Discoveries in astronomy changed the science, expanded its range but did not render this arithmetic model invalid.

But his warnings were not heeded. Astrology was now relegated by mainstream academia to the realm of mere superstition, where it largely languishes to this day, yet while thriving as a Humanities subject, with an MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology currently taught at the University of Wales

Meanwhile in China too, the disciplines of astrology and astronomy had drifted ever further apart, and the use of astrology in the Imperial courts was in decline by the end of Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD).

Astrology and Politics Today

Politicians today are unlikely to admit employing the services of an astrologer, especially after the excitement of 1998 when the former White House Chief of Staff, Donald Regan, stated that Nancy Reagan used astrologers to help plan the president’s schedule of activities.

Source: Timeline

“Donald Regan, Reagan’s chief of staff until he was ousted amid the Iran-Contra scandal, spilled in his 1988 book, For The Record, what he viewed as “the most closely guarded domestic secret of the Reagan White House.” He wrote that “Virtually every major move and decision the Reagans made during my time as White House Chief of Staff was cleared in advance with a woman in San Francisco who drew up horoscopes to make certain that the planets were in a favorable alignment for the enterprise.”

Before long, the astrologer who was advising the White House was identified as Joan Quigley.

The New York Post ran a story with the headline, “Astrologer Runs The White House” and the disclosure became fodder for jokes in Washington. On Capitol Hill, Representative Tony Coelho, the Democratic whip from California, blamed astrology for Republicans backing out of a revised trade bill. “Maybe an astrologer is telling them to object today.” Speaker of the House Jim Wright shot back, “It’s all right with me. I’m glad he consults somebody.”

The Reagans denied this but Joan Quigley herself later wrote that she had been actively involved in activities involving the President’s international relations.

Perhaps they still do. Perhaps they don’t. Astrologers are publicly at least, consigned to the realms of entertainment, but at least they are free to practice their skills and publicly discuss their findings without fear of persecution, imprisonment or execution for heresy or sorcery, while politicians, like anyone else, can consult in private or access free astrological commentary and forecasts via a thriving online and other publishing market.

But politics aside, some might still be surprised to learn who today uses astrology, Tarot and other such services, not for entertainment, not for fortune telling, but for analysis and forecasting, for an extra inside track, using such readings as a sounding board, weighing the odds, exploring the most likely outcomes in respect of a choice from their range of available options.

Black cats are lucky.

Lucky.

But sometimes even luck can use a little help, if only to warn where the cracks are, or potholes on the road ahead.

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Happy Ides of March.

Back soon 🙂

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 🙂

Night Skies and Starry Stepping-stones : The Moon this Month: December 2020

Photo by Stefan Stefancik on Pexels.com

Why do astrologers study the Moon?

‘Astrology’ comes from Greek and means ‘the study of the stars.’

Humans have been studying and recording the phases of the Moon for at least 25, 000 years. The Moon, though our satellite and not a planet, is the closest celestial body to Earth, an average of 238,855 miles (384,400 km) away depending on its orbit.

The Moon provides us with a map and a guide to the seasons, with a measure of predictability as to when certain things will happen, such as the tides or the migration of animals for hunting and much more besides, for example, the spawning of corals, animal mating seasons, crop growth, hormonal cycles and quite possibly human behaviour (lunatic, moody, moonstruck, love-struck mooncalf and so on).

Cave paintings show that early humans collected and correlated Moon observations, and this created a database of information for their very survival in timing the organizing of hunts, and much later, now living in built settlements, planting and harvesting crops.

The mass of anecdotal evidence gathered over many millennia, describing the effects of the Moon on human health and behaviour is simply too great to be dismissed.

December Headlines

The Winter Solstice

The key astronomical event this month is the winter solstice 21 December. And in astrological terms too, this is especially significant in 2020, with the Sun moving into conjunction with Mercury in the first degree of Capricorn and then Jupiter, making an exact conjunction Saturn in the first degree of Aquarius.

This marks a symbolic shift, called by some astrologers a new Age of Aquarius, described as an age of high technology, balanced by greater collectivism and less individualism in a world with a human population currently double the size that it was in 1970.

Earth’s resources are finite. This ‘shift’ may mean ‘working smart,’ with less available resources per person, in effect, and the effects could be seen for the next few centuries as humanity adapts tries to reconcile itself with best practice with rising use of digital and other technology on the one hand, and urban design, food production and our connection to the natural world on the other. 

None of this is new. It is a conversation that has been taking place for some time. But this coming conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius, happening on the solstice of all days, marks this as a symbolic doorway.

The Victorian era was not like the Regency era. We are entering a new post-post modern era of social change, but only history will enable us to see it more clearly…such that we will name it. The Industrial revolution sent us away from home to work. This era may well bring far more of us us home again to work enabled by new, rising digital alt-tech, a necessary check, as the tech giants grow ever more powerful, monstrous, even to the operational detriment of legitimate, democratically elected governments.

Saturn warns, don’t get carried away with this digital revolution. Be aware of the downsides as well as the benefits. These are very serious downsides, as prejudicial to liberty as the upsides potentially enabling, and I for one, am thankful for the opportunities it has brought me to work from home during illness.

I remember, teaching evening class in college in 1992, telling adult students in that this ‘thing’ was coming, called ‘The Information Superhighway’.

And with what shocking speed it became part of our daily lives. But hour after hour online is not what our bodies were made for, and over-sharing online compromises the privacy and security of your physical space, finances and personal safety. Our feet, and those of our children, for their future well-being, must stay firmly grounded, earthed and rooted in the real, living, sensate, world. 

The Geminids

This month, watch for the Geminid Meteor showers, starting around 4 December, peaking 13-14 December when it will be New Moon and the skies will be darkest, providing optimum brightness in 2020, cloud cover permitting. The Geminids are matched only by the Perseids in August, the brightest meteor showers of the year. The Geminids come from a rocky comet near the bright stars Castor and Pollux in the constellation of Gemini the Twins, and are also visible but less dramatic in the Southern Hemisphere. The meteors are very white and bright with 50 or more meteors per hour. The best show is in the small hours after midnight, around 2 a.m. local time (the time on your clock no matter where you are on Earth)

Photo by Raman deep on Pexels.com

The Ursids

There is another, less spectacular, but symbolically significant meteor shower, the Ursids, during the night of 22/23 December, as if the Giant Sky Bears wake briefly from their winter hibernation to welcome the returning sun after solstice.

The Ursids come from the Big and Little Dipper in the constellations Ursa Major and Ursa Minor.

The Big Dipper, Wikipedia

Find the Big Dipper high up in the north-northeast at around 1 a.m. That’s the best time to start watching. This year, 2020, the first quarter moon sets in the evening, with dark skies at late night and the morning hours for maximum visibility, the Ursids falling at a rate of about ten meteors an hour.

Humanity around the globe looked up and saw Sky-Bears more than 13,000 years ago.

Photo by Janko Ferlic on Pexels.com

Lunar Headlines

December is the month when winter begins for most of the Northern Hemisphere, and the Full Moon is called the Cold Moon. The Old English/Anglo-Saxon name is the Moon Before Yule

Key Dates

Dec 14   New Moon in Sagittarius (and a solar eclipse)

Dec 21   Winter solstice and waning half moon in Pisces and Aries

Dec 22    Look out for shooting stars- The Geminids Meteor shower

Dec 30   Full Moon in Cancer

  • The Full Moon is when the moon is on the opposite of the Earth from the Sun on the same celestial longitude and we can see the entire illuminated face of the moon.
  • The New Moon is the first/last lunar phase when the moon is between the Earth and the Sun, and the moon is largely invisible, hidden in the sun’s glare.

What do the moon phases mean symbolically?

A waxing Moon as we approach Full Moon is the optimum time to grow, build, add to, make or get something. It is about bringing in something new, or bringing something to completion or fruition.

A Full Moon is the optimum time to take stock and evaluate, or to gather, collect, harvest or cash in on something.

A waning Moon after the Full Moon is the optimum time for ending something, clearing out what’s no longer wanted or needed, including unhelpful or unhealthy habits. It may mean releasing something, or even getting rid of something (someone.)

A New Moon is the optimum time to launch something, make a plan, start from scratch.

15 November 2020: New Moon in Sagittarius 

Rider Waite Tarot, copyright Arthur Waite

The major arcana Tarot card associated with this New Moon is Temperance.

Traditional meanings: Upright Vision, Inspiration, fun, friendships, Timing, Travel, Healing, Patience, Moderation. Reversed: Hastiness, temper, excess

This could be an auspicious time for a job interview, audition or other important meeting or contract, especially if it is attached to Teaching, Publishing, the Arts, Entertainments or Travel industries.

This New Moon and its total solar eclipse suggests a dynamic mood with a lively, fun and friendly feeling, but watch out – things could suddenly turn quarrelsome and we could be slightly more accident-prone than usual.

Temper temper? Time to cool it. Just give it a rest, will ya?

30 December 2020: Full Moon in Cancer

The major arcana Tarot card associated with this full moon in the cardinal water sign of Cancer is The Chariot.

Traditional meanings: Upright: ambition, direction, focus, self-control, teamwork, progress, determination. It can refer literally, to a journey, a new car or other vehicle. Reversed, impatience, self-indulgence, ploughing a trail of damage, car trouble.

Rider-Waite Tarot, copyright Arthur Waite

The first full moon of 2020 was on 10 January, and was also in Cancer. This last full moon of the year makes a circle to wrap up the lunar year on a calmer note.

What new page has been turned in 2020? What is our own new normal going to look like? What lifestyle changes have we made in 2020, possibly as a consequence of the Covid- 19 emergency, that we did not choose to start with but that may actually be working OK for us?

The Tarot’s Comment

Rider-Waite Tarot, copyright Arthur Waite

Here we have the gentle, harmonizing, summertime card of the Two of Cups.

Traditional Meanings: romance, friendships, offer, invitations, partnership, trade, positive exchanges

Here we have the words HEALING and MERCANTILE symbolically conjoined. Or MEDICINE and TRADE, and how entirely apposite is this, with Vaccines the topic of the day, and with a fast looming deadline for a Free Trade Agreement between the UK and the EU.

I have blogged about this before, back in 2018 and it looked like a Hard Brexit-But-with some Add-on- or Sub-deal-Not-Hard-Enough for many who voted to leave on the basis that Out meant Out, and that the mutual needs of trade would take care of the rest. I may look again, though, ahead of time.

Curiously, in addition, this Two of Cups coincides symbolically with this December’s Full Moon in the zodiac sign of Cancer the Crab.

The constellation of Cancer was known as ‘The Gate of Men.’ Platonic legend said the souls of Mankind descended through the stars of Cancer to be born on Earth.

The constellation of Cancer, Wiki

Babies conceived in December during or after the winter solstice will be born during Virgo, at harvest-time, late August to early September.

Lock-down may result in more Virgo born babies in 2021. Virgo is already the most common birth sign in the northern hemisphere for this reason, that arrivals in harvest time, especially in late September, meant a mother in optimum nutritional health for bearing and nursing a baby. The most common birthday of all, according to various sources, is 25 September.

The least common birthdays are in December and January.

This positive card is about partnership and romance, but in more general terms, talks about give and take, and could be a sign for recovery in the retail sector from summer 2021, and a boom in Fair Trade consumer choices as suggested by the staff of Mercury with the Lion’s head on top.

This card is a good omen for a global return to greater normality by late June 2021 if not sooner, and March-April seems likely to see a turning in this tide.

There is such a lot of noise on social media, much of it angry and abusive.

The worry and frustration are only natural, but none of all this shouting changes the difficult reality governments all over the world are trying to deal with, in their own different ways, some distinctly less libertarian in their approach than our own.

The Two of Cups says now more than ever, this is not about ‘me me me’ and my rights. It’s about ‘us us us’, and our reciprocal responsibilities and duty of care.

They boarded people up alive inside their houses in London, is how desperate it got in 1665/6.

I looked in my cards last night, looking at the Pfizer vaccine, inquiring as to its safety only, and the picture was largely reassuring. There were no spades cards saying DANGER, though future problems were detected in terms of the logistics of supply, storage and delivery, as we have already seen in public discussion.

Cartomancy and The Line of Five

The Queen of Hearts (Cancer)- Ace of Diamonds (Ace of Science.) -8 Cups (Stability-vaccinate staff to help protect care homes)- 2 Clubs (Contract, logistics, delivery is the challenge) -9 Diamonds (obstacles, delays)

These are the individual card meanings, but my question was about the safety of this vaccine. For this I note the suits and colours.

We had four red suit cards and one black suit card, and no Spades cards. Taken as a whole this indicates a strong likelihood that this will prove a safe vaccine. Had I drawn any one of 3, 9 or 10 Spades, or heaven forbid, all three, I would be thinking, oo-err, I no likee this.

That Queen of Hearts indicates that we may be coming out of this tunnel late June-late July 2021.

It yet remains to bring the lens of cartomancy to bear on the same question for the vaccines from Moderna and the vaccine in Astrazeneca. But I will, when it would feel like a less idle, hypothetical or inflammatory question.

The results from the Oxford Astrazeneca trials which were recently halted are currently expected in late January. Read HERE.

Meanwhile, the Two of Cups says, we do what we can. We look to our dear ones, wherever they may be, and we say to one another- and to ourselves, ‘chin up and…here’s to the journey!’

“Not for ever by still waters/ Would we always ask to be…”

Well, we might ask, but that’s not what we’re getting, any more than those earth-bound bears of winter get an easy ride of this thing called Life, waking or even sleeping in hibernation, mere calories from death.

Photo by u0410u043du043du0430 u041eu0440u043bu043eu0432u0430 on Pexels.com

Season’s Greetings!

Season of Sagittarius, culture vulture and celestial archer of the sinking sun

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Common associations

Symbol:

Date of Birth: Nov 22 to Dec 21

Ruling planet: Jupiter

Element: Fire

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

The 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 the constellation is low on the horizon from August to October.

Sagittarius has a 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, somewhere really dark. Locate the hazy band of The Milky Way stretching right across the sky. Looking in the northern hemisphere, the Milk Way seems to bulge as it descends to the southern horizon. This ‘bulge’ is roughly about the middle of the Milky Way and is contained within the boundaries of the constellation Sagittarius.

Photo by u200bu0468u0477u047bu048f u046au0454u0459u0469u04e1u04c4u047bu0487u0477 on Pexels.com

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

The Myth

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 story of Chiron.

But the story is far, far older, and goes back to a Babylonian god, Pabilsag, and even further back than that.

Public Domain: Celestial Atlas 1822

Pabilsag and the approaching Solstice

Pabilsag was the ancient Babylonian name for what we now call Sagittarius, handed down to the Greeks through the Sumerians and Kassites. 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’. Just as we were hunters at the dawn of human civilization.

Here, 3 millennia BC, we we have 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 he also has a scorpion’s tail as the wheel of the Zodiac turns, and as Sagittarius gallops in, we leave Scorpio behind.

The distinction of Sagittarius, though, is that he is a solitary hunter. He does not work as one of a team to being 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 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. so that Sagittarius, or Pabilsag, is a psychopomp; a guardian and a guide to the dying year, and also the souls of the dying as the sun sinks ever lower.

Chiron the wounded Centaur

Most modern versions of the story refer back 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 in general were a pretty rough lot, hard drinking, hard fighting, not remotely glamorous. It has been suggested that the legend rose from perfectly mortal, mounted ancient Greek cowboys.

But whatever the centaurs were, Chiron ‘the wisest and justest of the centaurs’ was something very different, representing a hope for 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, trying to teach Achilles to control his temper, learning to play the lyre. Chiron had many other pupils, as well, including Asclepius, Ajax, Achilles, Theseus, Jason, Peleus, Perseus, and Phoenix. And Herakles, who brought about his death, when he was sent there to be schooled with Chiron.

Herakles had previously lost his temper with Linus, his music tutor back home. Linus, criticised his playing, and Herakles responded by smashing his lyre over the teachers head, killing him. Though in some accounts it was a stool.

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

Still, he carried on until he could bear it no more, and asked Zeus to release him from Immortality so that he could die and be free of pain.

Zeus placed him in the heavens and the story goes, placed him there as Sagittarius.

However, Chiron already has another constellation, Centaurus, and in addition, there is another classical version of the story of Sagittarius, referring instead to 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.

There is a secondary link here, Krotos the Satyr linking Sagittarius with Capricorn, the next sign coming up, sun 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. Winston Churchill for example, was probably psychic, subject to visions and feelings of premonition, and he 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.

They were not necessarily benign. They were touchy, sensitive to human hubris, and liable to exact vengeance of anyone they decided was getting too far above themselves.

Via Greekmythology.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.

Sagittarius: The Astrological Personality

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

Sagittarius zodiac sign subjects need constant adventures to stay interested. Freedom is of the utmost importance to them. Movement. Travel. Space and room for manoeuver. Likewise they allow space and freedom to their partners.

The archetype of Sagittarius is brave, lively, warm, optimistic, curious, adventurous, rational but also insightful, even visionary.

Photo by Belle Co on Pexels.com

They are generally astute, clever and 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 and symbolising patience, prudence, and the art of good timing.

They can do domestic. It’s not that. But you wouldn’t really call it how they roll.

And they do tend to roll, place to place, job to job, and a rolling stone gathers no moss. The problem being, other things it doesn’t gather either, like a steady home life, or steady income, or savings or other means of security in old age, if Sagittarius does not balance the 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.

They will be the star of this show, but what they really need for domestic happiness, is a quietly confident, self-reliant partner who has plenty of interests themselves; and much life experience, who will be their rock but who will not roll.

Who will be above all, their best friend.

Take care till next time 🙂

The High Priestess: Hathor, and Hecate, goddess of ghosts…

From The Legacy of The Divine Tarot

In the language of the Tarot the High Priestess may simply mean ‘a woman’, just as The Magician may simply signify ‘a man’.

The High Priestess corresponds with Monday as a day of the week. The reader may of course also correlate the Moon card with a Monday, but should be aware of The High Priestess connection, not to miss out on a potential clue in a reading.

The Moon card additionally correlates with the zodiac sign of Pisces, and in terms of timing of events may be suggesting dates late February- late March.

The High Priestess may be a scholar, and/or something of a witch. She may be a reader, an artist in any medium, a writer and a teacher. She may be a herbalist or hedge-witch, a midwife or a doctor. She may be in any line of work at all, but whatever she does, yes, she studies – hence the scroll in her hand- yes, she learns from others, but above all she learns from herself, and she is ready to talk in silence, like her masculine counterpart, The Hermit, and to walk and work alone.

She is recognized by HOW she does things, rather than necessarily what she does. She may be single, but even if she is married and a devoted family woman, there is always the sense that she has her own domain, separate, not shutting others off, but hers to rule.

The light is cool, silvery, remote at times though not cold.

You can see in this card various mythological references: the pomegranate of Persephone, as she wanders alone between the World and and the Underworld, and the cow horns of Hathor, goddess of the sky, of beauty, fertility, music and joy.

You see the Owl of Hekate, daughter of Zeus and Asteria, the triple goddess of ghosts. She is identified with the Crone and the waning Moon. She is the keeper of the dead, of boundaries and of the crossroads, purveyor of poison, but kindly to the broken, kindly to Demeter when Persephone was abducted. Hekate herself is no mother, but also took pity on the tragic mother Hecuba, queen of Troy, after Hecuba’s death by suicide,jumping overboard the Greek ship that was taking her into slavery after the fall of Troy and the deaths of so many of her children. Hecuba had suffered more than anyone could bear. Hekate, seeing this, rescued her soul with the gift of forgetting and transformed her into a hound which she keeps safely at her side at all times.

The Triple Hekate, William Blake

The owl as a totem animal is strongly associated with the intellectual warrior goddess Athena but hers was a Little Owl. Hekate’s totem animal is a Barn Owl, aka screech owl.

This owl is also associated with Welsh mythology, the Mabinogion, and the legend of a magical woman who was turned into an owl; a story which featured in a famous novel by Alan Garner, The Owl Service.

The Owl Service-

Garner was fascinated by the love triangle of Lleu Llaw Gyffes (the man cursed never to have a wife on this earth), Blodeuwedd (the woman who was magically made out of flowers for him) and Gronw Pebyr (her lover). In the Welsh tale, Blodeuwedd conspires with her lover Gronw to kill her husband Lleu, but Lleu escapes his murder, turns into an eagle and flies away, eventually to be restored to life by the magician Gwydion. Blodeuwedd’s punishment is to be turned into an owl, while Gronw is killed by Lleu with a spear that passes through him and pierces a stone”.

Source: Times Literary Supplement

The High Priestess wears a headdress refers to the sacred Bull cult of Apis, corresponding with the material sign of Taurus, which is also associated with Hathor, the cosmic cow which carried the weight of the whole world.

The element of Earth is no less ‘spiritual’ than Fire, Water or Air.

When The High Priestess is drawn reversed in a reading, a female (though not necessarily female) enquirer may be feeling unhappy and lonely. If it refers to a woman in the enquirer’s close environment, this card may be picking up on a female friend where there has been a distancing or a disagreement, or this other woman is not after all a true friend. Be careful who you trust is the warning of the High Priestess.

Anyone who sees you as a competitor can never become a true and trusted friend. What they want in life, you cannot give to them, even if you wanted to, any more than a cow could simply shed its horns. But whatever they may want for you or from you, is, ultimately, not motivated by goodwill.

The High Priestess is watchful, and under no illusions as to whether someone is friend, foe, neutral or indifferent. But she knows it takes all sorts. She doesn’t take it personally.

In this respect, the shrine or sanctuary of The High Priestess corresponds with an old Norse rune called Perthro or Perdhro, meaning secrets, cup, chalice, sanctuary or paddock.

People meet on the road, or on the bridge, or on the strand between the shore and the sea, but, like The Hermit, the High Priestess accepts solitude as the price of learning, the sanctum she serves….whatever that sanctum may mean in reality; a home, a job, a business or a creative endeavour, or a cause dear to her heart….

People are quick to commiserate with bad news. But the real test, the acid test of a friendship is, when a friend also truly, sincerely rejoices in your good news.

The Watcher by The Well of Wyrd

Circe by Waterhouse

She works alone with words and stones,
Disposing glyphs on graven runes,
Wyrd runs water; she must deal,
In whisperings and Fates unsealed,
Winds of fortune shape and shatter,
Time, disposing of all matters,
Is Serpentine, the ouroboros,
Endless, rolling, still coils sinuous.

Till next time 🙂

Salutations, Star Lion Leo

Today we leave the zodiac sign of Cancer, the mysterious and elusive Crab in the Starry zodiac sea, the sign of the zenith of the summer, and we move into the astrological sign of Leo the celestial lion. Most of us know our zodiac or sun sign, but what does it actually look like in the night sky, and what’s the story behind it?

It’s time to roll out the red carpet for the star-lion, Leo…

Common Associations

Zodiac Symbol of Leo

Dates: 22-23 July-23 August

Symbol: Lion

Element: Fire

Metal: Gold

Position: Fixed

Ruler: The Sun

Body: Heart and spine

Trees: Palm trees, laurel, walnuts, olive trees, lemon and orange trees.

Plants: Marigolds, sunflowers, dandelions, (dents de lion =lion’s teeth) celandines, passion flowers

Gemstones: Peridot, carnelian, ruby, onyx

Peridot By Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10478407

Key phrase: I love

Tarot card: Strength

The Gilded Tarot Royale, Ciro Marchetti

The Lady and the Lion. Perhaps it is Una. Or perhaps her name is Leona or Leonora, for the lion is also the lioness. Her hold on the leash could not be lighter. She is controlling the lion, but only because it is allowing it, not fighting her restraint, signifying that the lion is also a part of herself. This is just as one would imagine, a very welcome card of better health, signifying recovery if someone has been ill.

Astronomy

Leo is one of the 48 constellations described by the 2nd-century astronomer Ptolemy, and one of the 88 modern constellations recognised by NASA today, between the neighbouring constellations of Cancer to the west and Virgo to the east.

Leo is the 12th largest constellations, and one of the most easily recognizable due to its many bright stars, and a distinctive shape suggesting a crouching lion, apparently facing right.

The bright light in the sky beneath Leo as seen in the photo below is Jupiter.

Wiki

The best time to see the Lion is Spring in the northern hemisphere, from around the March equinox. In early April, the constellation Leo reaches its high point for the night around 10 p.m. By around May 1, Leo reaches his high point for the night around 8 p.m. local time  In early May, the Lion begins to set in the west around 2 a.m. local time and by June, Leo is descending in the west in the evening, drifting progressively westward.

By late July and into early August, the Lion is beginning to fade into the sunset, returning to the eastern sky and visible before dawn around late September or October.

Look out for the Big Dipper, Leo is below it. You are looking for a backwards question mark pattern called the Sickle; and you can see its curve outlines the Lion’s mane.

Leo’s brightest star, Regulus, or Alpha Leonis, ‘The King Star,’ is the heart of the celestial lion, a sparkling blue-white star at the bottom of the backwards question mark pattern. Regulus, means “little king” or “prince” in Latin. The star’s Greek name, Basiliscos, has the same meaning, while the Arabic name is Qalb al-Asad, meaning literally “the heart of the lion.”

Mind Boggler -Leo’s fifth largest star, Epsilon Leonis, 247 light years from Earth, is 288 times more luminous than the Sun, four times as massive and has 21 times the solar radius.

A triangle of stars in eastern Leo represents the Lion’s hindquarters and tail. The brightest star of the triangle is named Denebola, Arabic, meaning the Lion’s Tail.

There are 15 stars in Leo with 18 known planets between them, but none of the planets is in a habitable zone.

The Leonids are meteor showers associated with the constellation of Leo. They peak around November 17-18 every year, and there is another minor shower, the January Leonids, peaking January 1 – 7.

Photo by Henrik Pfitzenmaier on Pexels.com

Ancient History & Mythology

Leo the Lion has since ancient times been associated with the sun and royalty, ruled by the sun in astrology and is one of the oldest constellations collectively recognized with many ancient civilizations agreeing on perceiving it as a lion.

Archaeological evidence suggests that Mesopotamians recognized a constellation similar to Leo as early as 4000 BC. The Persians knew the constellation as Shir or Ser, Babylonians called it UR.GU.LA (“the great lion”), Syrians knew it as Aryo, and the Turks as Artan.

Photo by David McEachan on Pexels.com

The story goes that the ancient Egyptians venerated Leo because the appearance overhead of this constellation used to coincide with the annual flooding of the Nile River, the lifeblood of their agriculture and indeed, the nation entire. Marking the end of drought, desert lions would arrive at the river, driven by desperation, and their appearance was welcomed as a certain sign that the floods were shortly on their way. The Egyptians accordingly honoured the lion with festivals, and even today many statues of lions can be found along the course of the Nile River, proof of their reverence.

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

It’s thought that the lion-headed fountains commonly designed by Greek and Roman architects equally symbolized the life-giving waters released by the sun’s presence in Leo.

Herakles’ first labour was the killing of the Nemean Lion. This terrifying lion lived in a cave in Nemea, a town located to the south-west of Corinth. It was a man-eater, dining on the local folk, not OK, and a few had tried to kill it, only to find to their (terminal) horror, nothing could pierce the lion’s hide, it was so preternaturally tough.But someone must have survived to tell this tale, for Herakles, being forewarned of this additional teensy problem, managed somehow to sneak up on the lion asleep in its cave, and strangled to death the uber-kitty; poor puddy-tat.

Herakles then rather disrespectfully, I can’t help feeling, if undeniably pragmatically, skinned the lion with its own claws, and wore its skin as a cloak, making himself even more ferocious in appearance, as well as presumably, and even more importantly, arrow-proof.

The Astrology of Leo

Photo by Alexas Fotos on Pexels.com

This fixed fire sign is known for its pride, ambition and determination, warmth and generosity of spirit, not to mention, charisma, but above all, Leo is known for bravery; the lionhearted one, the divine expression of physical, mental, and emotional fortitude, which is a very great virtue. Leo parents are typically devoted, but they rule their households, no question about it.

Courage takes many forms. There is the courage of initiative, the will to advance, engage and attack. There is moral courage, proceeding in the face of fear, “feeling the fear and doing it anyway.”

And there is the courage to endure, to withstand, and the fortitude that quietly says to itself, “I will keep smiling, and tomorrow I will try again”. No banners and no accolades.

Leo can be its own worst enemy; hasty, arrogant, reckless, self-centred, headstrong and careless, and for these reasons, unless these subjects learn patience, consideration and self-control, they are not necessarily always as lucky in life as they could be, or as they, and the great, shining Leo truly deserve, proud and thirsty children of the sun.

Leo
Dandy Lion

Dandelion’s

Golden Mane

Prideful

Greying

Casts away

Alight on Chance

To someday seed

And newly golden

Lionize again

K Hazeldine

Photo by Nita on Pexels.com

1 -2 February, Imbolc, Candlemas and Brigid’s Day

Today is Candlemas, the Christian festival of presenting Jesus at the temple, but before that, a more ancient celebration in Gaelic Britain of coming spring. Go on folks. Get with the programme. Parade down the street, go pray for the health of the fields! It’s all about the soil.

Plus today is a palindrome date: 02022020.

Candlemas is a continuation of the ancient festival Imbolc, which spans 1-2 February and began yesterday with St Brigid’s Day. The original Brigid was a pre-Christian goddess of the Tuatha Dé Danann. She was a daughter of the chief of the gods, The Dagda, and was known as a goddess of healers, poets, smiths, childbirth and inspiration. Her name means “exalted one”.

Her story was later merged with the Christian saint of the same name in the middle ages, St Brigid of Kildare.

This fire festival, whether viewed as pagan or Christian, began as a neolithic festival also celebrated in Scotland and the Isle of Man, roughly marking the 1/2 way point between the winter solstice and spring equinox.

From The Sacred Circle Tarot

There are various suggestion about the etymology of ‘Imbolc. ‘ It is commonly thought to come from a word meaning “in the belly.” This reflects goddess Brigid’s role as a protector of women in childbirth, as well as the safe birthing of precious livestock.

Any time now, is the time of the very first lambs. The start of the lambing season varies by up to two weeks in any given year.

Brigid was said to visit one’s home at Imbolc. Asking her blessings, people would make a bed for Brigid and leave her food and drink, and items of clothing would be left outside for her to bless. Brigid was petitioned to protect homes and livestock. This was a time for feasting and visits to sacred wells, and a time for ritual divination.

St Brigid’s cross is the classic icon of her saint’s day today, though this too, predates Christianity. It is made from rushes and was placed in doorways to protect the home from harm.

A new Christian story was created for it, that the earthly manifestation of Brigid, St Brigid of Kildare, had woven it for a dying man, using rushes from the floor, baptizing him at the point of death.

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

Spring fire, fierce quickening of new green shoots.

Imbolc was when the Cailleach. —the divine  crone of Gaelic tradition—gathered her firewood for the rest of the winter. Legend said if she wished the winter to last a good while longer, she would make sure the weather on Imbolc was bright and sunny, so she could go out and about, and gather firewood.

It was lucky, therefore, if there was bad weather at Imbolc (and the wind was screaming as I was typing this.)

If Imbolc was a day of foul weather, as it was here yesterday, and today is still damp and blustery, it meant the Cailleach was sound asleep, and winter was almost over.

Until next time 🙂

Ophiuchus: The Thirteenth Sign of the Zodiac?

Dang. I meant to post this in November and forgot. I’ll blame it on Brexit. Why not.

Is there a missing thirteenth sign in the astrological zodiac? NASA, astronomers and mainstream media suggest there is, trotting out this story every few years, to the frustration of Tropical western astrology scholars and practitioners. Sidereal (eastern) astrologers may agree with NASA, but Tropical (western) astrologers absolutely do not.

So what’s all this about?

It hinges on the confusing of zodiac signs with the constellations after which they were named, treated them as mutually interchangeable which they are not.

There are 12 signs in astrology. Modern astronomy records 88 constellations covering the southern and northern hemispheres of Earth’s sky.

Thirteen of these constellations cross or touch the ecliptic – the trajectory of the Sun’s apparent path across the sky as seen from Earth.

ecliptic.jpg
Public Domain: the Plane of the ecliptic

These include the 12 constellations that inspired the names of the 12 zodiac signs plus a thirteenth constellation– Ophiuchus (Oaf-ih-YOU-kus)

Astronomers and NASA have presented this thirteenth constellation, Ophiuchus, as the thirteenth sign of the zodiac, while also pointing out that the zodiac itself…the section of sky directly overhead as viewed from Earth- has changed from when the ancient Babylonian astrologers first viewed it, so that, claims NASA, the generally accepted dates for the zodiac signs as supplied in horoscopes are now a month out of alignment.

This change in the skies has been the result of an effect called precession. The gravitational pull of the Moon and the Sun causes the Earth to ‘wobble’ and as the Earth orbits around the sun; a different constellation appears behind it each month.

So while the zodiac signs have remained in a fixed position, and their dates have remained the same, varying only by a day or two here and there, the constellations have drifted.

Based on this, astronomers have suggested the new astrological zodiac should more correctly look like this, with these new dates:

•Capricorn: 20 Jan – 16 Feb
•Aquarius: 16 Feb – 11 March
•Pisces: 11 March – 18 April
•Aries: 18 April – 13 May
•Taurus: 13 May – 21 June
•Gemini: 21 June – 20 July
•Cancer: 20 July – 10 Aug
•Leo: 10 Aug – 16 Sept
•Virgo: 16 Sept – 30 Oct
•Libra: 30 Oct – 23 Nov
•Scorpio: 23 – 29 Nov
•Ophiuchus: 29 Nov – 17 Dec
•Sagittarius: 17 Dec – 20 Jan

So you thought you were a Taurus sun sign, says NASA. No, actually, you are an Aries subject. So you thought you were an Aries sun sign? No, you are Pisces. So you thought you were a Sagittarius? No, you are Ophiuchus, and so on.

Whoa. But let’s not get too excited. As astronomers are quick to point out, astronomy is not astrology. And that works both ways.

First let’s take a brief look at the astronomy.

The Astronomy and the Constellation of Ophiuchus

200px-OphiuchusCC.jpg
Wiki

Ophiuchus ([Oaf-ih-YOU-kus)  is one of the largest constellations but in general the least well known,  straddling the celestial equator northwest of the centre of the Milky Way, near the constellations Aquila, Serpens, and Hercules, and opposite Orion, the southern section lying between Scorpius to the west and Sagittarius to the east. Below Ophiuchus, down to the right, look out for a bright reddish star, Antares in Scorpio, for help in confirming that you have found it.

Right now -July- is the best time to see it in the northern hemisphere, mid-winter in the southern hemisphere.  Hence this story is in the news again right now.

Its name comes from the Greek Ὀφιοῦχος Ophioukhos; “serpent-bearer,” and it is commonly represented as a man grasping a snake.  In medieval Islamic astronomy the constellation was known as ‘Al-Ḥawwa,’ “the snake-charmer.” It used to be called Serpentius, when the constellation counted more stars, including the constellation of Serpens, representing the snake itself. Marking the head of Ophiuchus, Alpha Ophiuchi has an older, Arabic name: Rasalhague, the “Head of the Snake Charmer”.

Ophiuchus contains notable features and objects, including Kepler’s Supernova, or Kepler’s Star, named for German astronomer Johannes Kepler.

It was by far the brightest star in the sky for over 3 weeks during 1604 and actually Kepler wasn’t the first to note the supernova, due to cloudy conditions, but he made observations over the course of an entire year and wrote about the “new star in the foot of Ophiuchus”.

Kepler’s Supernova continued visible for 18 months, and its remnants are still studied today, still the most recent supernova to be observed with the naked eye.

Mythology

To the ancient Greeks, the constellation represented the god Apollo struggling with a huge snake that guarded the Oracle of Delphi.

Later myths identified Ophiuchus with Laocoon, the tragic Trojan priest of Poseidon, who warned his fellow Trojans about the Greek’s wooden horse, and together with his sons, was killed by a pair of sea-serpents sent by Poseidon to shut him up, because clearly, Poseidon was on the side of the Greeks, or else under orders from Zeus, or else Laocoon had already annoyed him in some other way, and you know, nothing less than death by giant sea-snake would do.

Public Domain

Pluto (Hades) complained to Jupiter (Zeus) that Asclepius was interfering with death, an act of hubris which upset the natural order, and meant the end of the circle of life, with no room for new life.

Immortality would be a terrible evil. Life itself would die, stagnated, and Jupiter (Zeus) duly put a stop to it by killing Asclepius, hurling a lightning thunderbolt straight at his head, giving him an instant perm.  

Apollo was, rather understandably, we may agree, furiously upset, “you zapped my son you b*stard!” Jupiter tried to comfort him by placing Asclepius in the heavens to honour his good works, and the rod of Asclepius remains the symbol of western medicine to this day.

The rod of Asclepius is not be confused with the Cadeuceus, a symbol of medicine, but also of trade. The cadeuceus is assciated with Mercury, and has not one but two snakes twined round the staff, and it has wings.

rod of asclepius.png
Public Domain

So, is Ophiuchus the thirteenth zodiac sign? Or does your zodiac sign stay the same?

Sidney_Hall_-_Urania's_Mirror_-_Taurus_Poniatowski,_Serpentarius,_Scutum_Sobiesky,_and_Serpens.jpg
Image: Public Domain: The Snake-Wrangler in Urania’s Mirror, 1825. Above the tail of the serpent is a now ‘obsolete’ constellation, Taurus Poniatovii

If you are born between 29th November and 17th December, NASA, other astronomers and Sidereal astrologers may argue that your zodiac sun sign is technically Ophiuchus.

Key personality traits:

Humanitarian* Poetic* Hungry for knowledge* Intuitive* Psychic*Intense *Likes bright colours *High achievers *Prone to harbouring enemies without realizing *Lucky (so long as the enemies don’t succeed, obviously)

These are, not surprisingly, a mix of classic Scorpio and Sagittarius attributes in this profile.

But- there is a But here. And it is a blooming big BUT.

What astronomy is failing to recognize is the logic of the system which is the very basis of western (Tropical) astrology, and which makes a key distinction between the positions at any given time of the constellations themselves, and the zodiac signs named after them.

The signs of the zodiac as we know them today are based on Ptolemy’s twelve-fold division of the ecliptic, designed so that each sign spans 30° of celestial longitude, or roughly the distance the Sun travels in a month. 12 was a cleaner, tidier number to work with than was 13.

Ptolemy aligned these divisions with the seasons so that the March equinox always falls on the boundary between Pisces and Aries, whereas Sidereal (Vedic) astrology is based on the constellations themselves, as was western astrology way back at the time of the Babylonians, whose data Ptolemy worked with.

Tropical western astrology, with its 12 associated zodiac signs is a static, modelled system based NOT on the constellations themselves, but on the wheel of the seasons which also accord the signs of the zodiac their personalities, but the idea of the ‘missing’ thirteenth sign is nothing new.

It was developed by Hipparchus in 130 BC,” says astrologer, Susan Miller, “but you don’t get your characteristics from the constellations. You get them from the planets, from the sun and moon. We measure everything by the degree to which the earth is rotated around the sun. So if you’re born at the beginning of the zodiac, which corresponds to the spring equinox and typically falls on March 20, you’re at the 0º point—or the point at which the sun is crossing directly over the earth’s Equator. If we didn’t have names like Virgo or Gemini we’d have to walk around saying, `Hi, I’m a 136º,’ and I’d say, `Oh, really? Well I’m a 352º and so on.”

In Summary

NASA’s supposed debunking may be logical in strictly astronomical terms. But that’s astronomy. It has nothing to do with western Tropical astrology as practiced today, and would only matter if the timing of the signs relied upon being tied to the actual positions of the constellations.

But they do not, and your zodiac sign, also known as your sun sign still stands, both as it is and where it is, based on the principle and according to the system on which it was first described.

Queen of the Heavens, Harvest Goddess Virgo.

“The Virgin with her sheaf belongs to Ceres,” The Astronomica, Manilius, 1st century AD. 

Virgo is known as a sun sign or sign of the Zodiac, but what does the constellation look like in the night sky, and what’s the seasonal story behind it? Let’s investigate Virgo, Corn- Goddess of the Zodiac, also known as Shala, Ishtar, Demeter, Ceres...

Common Associations

Virgo symbol

Date: August 23-September 22

Symbol: The Virgin

Element: Earth

Quality: Mutable (Sagittarius and Pisces are also Mutable, suggesting these subjects are capable and versatile; and generally inclined to conform, going with the flow if it’s for the greater good.)

Ruling planet: Mercury (Travel and all forms of communication)

House: Sixth, ruling health, habits, and routines

Colour: green, white and yellow

Body: Intestines

Birthstone: Carnelian

Flowers: small bright flowers, clover, buttercup

Tarot card: The Hermit (introspection, perception, analysis, care for nature)

The hermit tarot card

Source Wikipedia: The Hermit from the Rider-Waite Tarot deck

Astronomy

Virgo astronomy

Public Domain

Virgo is the second-largest constellation in the sky after Hydra, and the largest constellation in the zodiac, located between Libra to the west and Leo to the east, and below the Big Dipper.

In the northern hemisphere, it is most visible in the evening sky in May- to late June. In the southern hemisphere, it can be seen in autumn and winter.

Find its brightest star, the brilliant-blue-white Spica, and you will work out the rest of Virgo with her feet pointing east.

It might seem a bit of a stretch, trying to picture a person from that photograph, but add in a few more of her stars, imagine her lounging, dangling a sheaf of wheat from one hand (Spica.)

And now you see her.

Spica

Author’s own image

Spica is a double star, brighter than our sun. Its name is from the Latin, meaning an ‘ear of grain’- or a sheaf of wheat.

It’s sometimes called ‘The Lonely One’ because it is so far from the others, and the astronomer and astrologer Ptolemy saw these stars as ruled by Venus and Mars respectively, mated together in a chaste, androgynous union, like the slightly remote purity of Virgo herself.

Vindemiatrix, ‘the Grape-Gatherer,’ seen at daylight, was once seen as a sign that now it was time to pick the grapes.

Galaxies: The Virgo Cluster

It’s mind-boggling to consider that our own Sun is just one star of the Milky Way, and the Milky Way is only one of a collection of galaxies known as The Local Group.

This contains three large spiral galaxies: the Milky Way, Andromeda, and the Triangulum Galaxy, and a few dozen dwarf galaxies. But The Local Group is just one member of the Virgo Cluster – a collection of 1200-2000 galaxies that stretch across 15 million light-years of space.

And the Virgo Cluster is just one cluster in the Virgo Supercluster.

the constellation of Virgo

Wiki Commons: the constellation of Virgo is especially rich in galaxies, with more than 1300 galaxies in the Virgo Cluster. One of these, NGC 4388, 60 million light-years away, is captured in this image, as seen by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3.

But if the constellation of Virgo is most visible in May in the northern hemisphere, why are the birthdates for the sign of the zodiac August 23-September 22nd?

Astronomy is not Astrology. The sky as we see it is called the celestial sphere: a giant blue ball that rotates around us (its rotation axis crosses the poles). The Sun appears to move along with this sphere every day, rising in the East and setting in the West, but it also appears to move, in this sphere, at a one-degree-a-day pace, on the contrary direction (West-East).

This annual motion is on a circle called Ecliptic, a great circle in relation to the Equator.

Now imagine a belt around this circle. This is the Zodiac. Ptolemy divided this 360-degree belt by 12 for the elegance of arithmetic, based on 12 constellations described by the Babylonians, ignoring a thirteenth constellation, Ophiuchus, so that a zodiac sign represents roughly a 30-degree chunk of this belt.

But the constellations have moved in the last two thousand years, and changed positions relative to Earth, owing to wobbling of the Earth on its axis; an effect known as precession.

The dates for the zodiac signs named after the zodiacal constellations, however, have remained the same, but this great fact of astronomy does not affect the validity of the dates of your Zodiac Sun sign as calculated by Ptolemy.

The exact dates of the Zodiac signs can vary by a day or two each year and are calculated by astronomers every year at sunrise on the day of the Spring Equinox.

History & Mythology

Virgo Urania’s Mirror

Public Domain: Virgo: Urania’s Mirror

The Sumerians

Shala was an ancient Sumerian deity (later Babylonia, the area now known as southern Iraq and Kuwait) She was the goddess of grain -and also compassion. Why link these two things? Famine is suffering. A good harvest was seen as a blessing of the gods.  What is planted in the spring must yield a crop in the autumn, or famine is likely to follow. Shala was married either to the fertility god, Dagon, or the storm god, Ishkur, or possibly both, with one as her consort.  This is significant. Virgo the Virgin is not about a state of physical virginity – but refers more to an attitude; a slightly elusive and rather refined quality, male or female.

Shala was associated with the constellation of Virgo, and vestiges of symbolism associated with her continue, such as the star Spica, the ‘ear of grain’, even as the deity’s name changed from age to age, and culture to culture.

In 10th century BC, the Babylonians called part of this constellation, “The Furrow,” referring back to the goddess Shala, and the Shala Mons is a mountain on Venus named after her.

In Egyptian mythology, the sight of Virgo in the night sky was also associated with harvest time, and with the goddess Isis, while in Indian astrology, she was The Maiden, Kanya.

The Greeks

To the Greeks, she was the harvest goddess Demeter, also called Ceres, (the root of the word ‘cereal’) and also by association, her beloved daughter, Persephone.

When Hades abducted Persephone to live with him in the underworld, Demeter went into mourning. There was no harvest that year. People and livestock starved and Zeus, the king of gods, eventually intervened, insisting that Hades return Persephone to Demeter. But Zeus also stipulated that Persephone must not eat until her return, and Hades, not wanting to part with her, gave Persephone a pomegranate, knowing fine well how much she liked them, and she ate some of the seeds on her way home.

Persephone

Public Domain

So Persephone went home to her mother, but because of the pomegranate she has to return to the underworld for four months every year, and then Demeter grieves; winter returns, and the land sleeps.  

The Virgo Archetype – Personality

Virgo Archetype

Public Domain

Virgos are practical but artistically gifted. They are hard workers who love to better themselves. They love to analyze, and their perceptiveness means that they can always find or create order within chaos. They are honest friends although, being extra discerning, and analytical, they might have a tendency to analyze you, pointing out your strengths and also your mistakes and weaknesses. This will probably be annoying, very, but it’s usually well-meant. They may also give great advice because of those same analytical abilities.

Their quest of self-improvement includes their appearance. They are perfectionists, highly concerned about the impression they give, but at the same time, they are very ready to help others, which can make them targets of those who wish to take advantage of them. Virgo is ruled by agile, communicative Mercury, and Virgo’s brain is in overdrive much of the time. These folks can do great things and get a lot done – if they don’t lose sight of the original vision, and get overly bogged down in non-important detail.

Until next time 🙂

Archetypal Tarot

The Tarot Talks Archetypes.

What is Yours?

Astrology and Tarot are separate artistic disciplines with distinct histories and traditions, but there are powerful connections between them, with many astrological archetypes embedded in the Tarot.

Zodiac Public Domain Book of Hours The Sky Order and Chaos Jean Pierre Verdet

Image: Public Domain from The Book of Hours, Jean Pierre Verdet

The 78 cards of a classic Tarot deck include 22 Major Arcana cards (Greater Secrets) and 56 Minor Arcana Cards (Lesser Secrets.)

The Major Arcana cards shine a light on life-changing situations and events, or draw attention to some crucial aspect of your own personality or behaviour, demanding attention at the time of the reading.

Each sign of the Zodiac is linked with a Tarot card from The Major Arcana. Your sun sign and your Major Arcana card represent key archetypes. But what exactly is an archetype?

Archetypes

The word derives from Ancient Greek and means a very typical example of something, like a model from which other copies are made; a prototype.

Arkhetupon ‘something moulded first as a model’, from arkhe-‘primitive’ + tupos ‘a model’.

The Oxford English Dictionary offers these  definitions

  • A very typical example of a certain person or thing.
  • Later, in Psychoanalysis (in Jungian theory) a primitive mental image inherited from the earliest human ancestors, and supposed to be present in the collective unconscious.
  • A recurrent symbol or motif in literature, art, or mythology.
jung-quote-archetypes-complex-fate-jungcurrents

Archetypes are complexes of experience that come upon us like fate, and their effects are felt in our most personal life.

The ‘anima’ no longer crosses our path as a goddess, but, it may be, as an intimately personal misadventure, or perhaps as our best venture.

When, for instance, a highly esteemed professor in his seventies abandons his family and runs off with a young red-headed actress, we know that the gods have claimed another victim.

From Jung: Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, Image: John Strudwick 1849-1937

The archetype represented by your Major Arcana card does not define you, of course, any more than your Sun sign does. You and I are unique. Every living thing is unique and yet-  it is also classifiable

The archetypes are classifications of behaviours and attributes, and in the Tarot, the Major Arcana chime with the signs of the zodiac.

There are two key archetypes in play in personal astrology; the archetype of your Sun sign, and then there is your ‘outward face’; a key aspect of the public persona, represented by your Rising Sign or Ascendant; the planet rising on the Eastern horizon at the time of your birth. It’s a good idea to read both when reading your horoscope.

If you know your time of birth, you can identify your rising sign via this link

Discover the Tarot’s Major Arcana card for your zodiac sign below.

Astro_signs

 

Aries (Mar 21-Apr 19)

Astrological archetype: The Ram. The Warrior.

Major Arcana card The Emperor – (energy, organisation, leadership)

Spring bursts forth after winter and so does the ram with the year’s first lambs, and so does The Emperor in you and me. The Emperor decrees we can’t just creep through Life. We need to push sometimes, and push hard or we would never get anywhere. The Emperor is fiery, energetic, driven and determined, good at delegating but controlling – some might even say bossy; A battering ‘ram’. The Emperor may be accident- prone due to general speed and haste. Male or female ‘he’ needs to learn how to take it easy, and slow down, to be more careful and patient, to stay curious and listen to the ideas of others. He’s not the only Emperor round here.

Taurus (Apr 20-May 20)

Astrological archetype: The Bull. The Artist. The Farmer.

Major Arcana card The Hierophant – (faith, study, tradition)

This card is about the power and wisdom of the written words and of tradition. Books, publishers, librarians, churches of all faiths, and universities are indicated by this same card. The High Priest (Hierophant) does things by the book, and has faith and trust in the old ways. He is all about standards. He is a protector, a gardener, a teacher, a mentor, a scholar, but the other message of this card is that change can be good, even necessary, wisdom is knowing when to bend with the wind, and that does not necessarily mean the same as throwing out any baby with the bathwater. 

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

Astrological archetype: The Twins. The Jester. Mercury.

Your Major Arcana card is The Lovers – (choices, love, duality)

This card has another name: ‘The Decision.’ Gemini is quick-witted, but sometimes decisions need more care and time than mercurial Gemini gives them. There is an innate restlessness, Gemini can be quick to walk away, even when sometimes they might do better to stick at things, even if they are bored, or the going gets rough. Gemini is the archetype of the Jester, the one who can take any turn of fate with a laugh and makes sure we remember to enjoy ourselves. This is the wisdom of Gemini. We need to be able to laugh at ourselves in order to keep a healthy sense of perspective. Laughter is powerful medicine. What we can’t joke about, we can’t deal with..

Cancer (Jun 21-Jul 22)

Astrological archetype: The Crab. The Mother.

Major Arcana card The Chariot – (progress, effort, co-operation).

The Crab is famously gentle, home-loving, intuitive, private; even secretive, but just look again at this guy/girl. This is Cancer’s Tarot face. The Chariot carries the victorious on parade. The Chariot takes us places. This is a card of triumph through discipline and sustained effort; the harnessing of resources, the charioteer and the horses working as one. Choose your teams well, put in a sustained effort, you and they can do great things together.  The Crab may be the archetypal sign of motherhood where the Ram is fatherhood, but these are qualities, not identities, while a carer is not a servant, and the gentleness of Cancer does not make it a doormat. No way. Push too far they will withdraw.

Leo (Jul 23-Aug 22)

Dominant element: Fire.

Astrological archetype: The Lion. The King.

Major Arcana card Strength – (courage, willpower, fortitude)

Life demands courage to meet it head on. To learn new things you have to take chances and risk failure. But the fire of Leo demands control. The lady patiently restrains the lion. It shall not devour her. She shall not try to harm it. The lion represents the spirit of the Leo subject. There is natural courage and charisma, but the Lady represents strength with gentleness and restraint – moral courage. The lion does not want to be ruled, but nor does she wish to be devoured, power must be used wisely and tyranny is always to be resisted.

Virgo (Aug 23-Sep 22)

Dominant element: Earth

Astrological archetype: The Virgin. The Craftsman.

Major Arcana card The Hermit – (Self-sufficiency, connection to nature, analysis)

The Hermit often likes to walk alone, and this is usually by choice. Time alone, especially in quiet, wild, green places, is especially good for the Hermit, male or female, married, or single. People turn to the Hermit for wise advice. The Hermit knows how to listen and sees far more than he or she says. The Hermit shines a quiet light along his path and others may safely follow in times of need. Animals can trust to the hermit’s compassion. The Hermit is often a talented artist or crafts-person, slow, methodical and a perfectionist, so much so, that she never feelsthe work is good enough to sell, even when it is. Virgo’s challenge is to expedite..

Libra (Sep 23-Oct 22)

Dominant element: Air.

Astrological archetype: The Scales. The Judge.

Major Arcana card Justice – (order, reason, restitution).

Libra combines analytical ability with intuition, and a natural grace and charm, with a talent for diplomacy. Justice is capable of severity, however, and can just now and again be overly keen to apply the letter of the law, forgetting the spirit. See the Sword in the hand of Justice. But the scales don’t stay still. They are rarely in perfect balance. They see-saw, like Libra’s moods and occasional indecision. Libra is changeable. It may be the only sign of the Zodiac represented by an inanimate object, and a Libra subject may be a born judge, but still, they are only human. But without Justice there would be chaos and misery, mature loose and running red in tooth and claw. There could be no society and no civilisation.

Scorpio (Oct 23-Nov 21)

Dominant element: Water.

Astrological archetype: The Scorpion. The Actor.

Major Arcana card Death – (endings, liberation, transformation)

There is no life without death. There can be nothing new without something else changing or ending. But just like the song, the seasons don’t fear the reaper. Death is not the enemy of Life. Scorpio understands this great mystery. Intuitive, subtle, often somewhat secretive, charismatic, intense, Scorpio is devoted to their loved ones, while with others they may be a true friend and powerful ally – or a vengeful enemy. Death has a long memory. He has seen it all before. Get in the way, and he may mow you down with that scythe. Sometimes it is better to walk away. Sometimes it is wiser to call it quits and call time on something that no longer serves you well.

Sagittarius (Nov 22-Dec 21)

Dominant element: Fire.

Astrological archetype: The Archer. The Explorer.

Your Tarot archetype is Temperance – (moderation; timing, healing).

Temperance was regarded as an angel- a force for virtue at the time the Tarot was first in use. Temperance is about moderation, and self- control, and the avoidance of extremes. But Temperance has other meanings…alchemy, the fusing together of two elements, materials or qualities to make a new thing stronger than either individual element; Intellect and feeling, ability and ambition, one person and another, one people and another. This is a force for diplomacy, reconciliation of differences and also for physical healing after illness.

Capricorn (Dec 22-Jan 19)

Dominant element: Earth.

Astrological archetype: The Goat. The Builder.

Major Arcana card The Devil – (also Pan. Wildness, entrapment, liberation)

Powerful opposites meet in the Goat. Capricorn, thought to be named originally for the ibex which mated at this same time of year,  is the builder and the banker of the zodiac; hard working and solid yet agile, with an often understated glamour and a keen, if dry sense of humour. The Devil comes in many guises; often powerfully attractive. Or think of animal magnetism. That’s Pan for you. The Devil warns us to beware compulsion reminding us that we can get trapped by our own behaviour as much as by circumstance but we can choose to liberate ourselves by exercising the willpower sufficient to change the behaviour or the circumstance, bringing order out of chaos.

Aquarius (Jan 20-Feb 18)

Dominant element: Air.  (Special note: Aquarius is sometimes mistakenly identified as a water sign because its symbol is the water carrier)

Astrological archetype: The Water Carrier. The Teacher.

Major Arcana card The Star – (hope, inspiration , humanitarianism).

The Star of hope has much in common with the imagery of the Aquarian Water Carrier. It shines its brightest, far-off light when everything else looks dark. The figure in the card has one foot in the water, symbolising her powers of intuition, and the other foot still on land, denotes her stability. Her knee is a bridge between elements. The stars symbolise the card’s over-arching message of guidance, hope and inspiration. Aquarius loves people as a general concept, but she is not one to blend in with the crowd, indicated by the biggest star above her head, which is bigger and set apart from the others.

Pisces (Feb 19-Mar 20)

Dominant element: Water.

Astrological archetype: The Fishes. The Seeker/Seer

Major Arcana card The Moon– (imagination, instinct, intuition)

Like Pisces, The Moon card is associated with the subconscious, and suggests that things are not always as they first appear. The Moon card also represents our secretive side or “shadow self”. The barking dog and the wolf in this card represent Pisces’ wild side sitting alongside its more domestic self. Pisces may seem gentle but the pull of the wild is strong, and so is the pull of the ocean’s tides. These people are deep. The crayfish crawling from the water represents “coming into consciousness” and the possession of psychic abilities, true of all the zodiac signs in their different ways, but especially archetypal of Pisces.

The archetypes are represented real things, real people. Who do we have here? The Magician? The Hermit? Herne? Cernunnos?

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Watch for the more everyday archetypes manifesting in real time all around you.

Until next time 🙂

.

Cartomancy: The Queen of Clubs

KTLN 2

Actor sprog went to meet with a casting agency yesterday. Sprog has an agent already, and likes that agent very much but 12 months on, there has been nothing as yet; not one send-out, zip, de nada. and just not much sign of activity in general. She had decided to look about for somewhere perhaps more pro-active, had made enquiries and been invited to drop in at another agency, take along her acting CV and meet the creative director (male).

How would it go?

I drew the Ace Clubs, Jack of Spades, 2 Diamonds, Jack of Hearts and the Queen of Clubs. and read it left to right  as a story board

Card 1   The basic issue or premise: Ace Clubs denotes a new work, new job, also, a cave or leaving a cave in the quest for new knowledge. It’s a fiery card, well suited to the entertainments industry.  Think of a spark, or a ‘bat out of hell.’

Card 2   Jack of Spades, this is whom we are talking about; the sprog, and in Tarot the equivalent card would be the Page of Swords. The archetype is a good fit, and she is an air sign subject; Aquarius, which corresponds with the suits of Swords in Tarot, Spades in playing card reading, or as it is more formally termed; cartomancy.

Jack of spadespage of swords

Card 3  Hinge card: 2 Diamonds; well, this is promising firstly but not exclusively because it is a red and not a black card, sitting centrally, but the card itself denotes agreements, investments, suggesting she may receive an offer of representation with this new agency.

Card 4 Jack of Hearts. So what comes next? This card also signified the sprog, I felt; a sharp but comical, quirkily humorous creature in possession of – no use pretending otherwise, a somewhat mythical but edgy beauty, and this card also suggested some ease of rapport between her and the figure in the outcome position.

Card 5  Queen of Clubs, the outcome card.

Queen of clubs

Why not a king card, I wondered, based on the preceding communications?

Sprog arrived 15 minutes early to be bang on time, shutters were rolled up at 3 o clock prompt and she was received, not by the creative director who was away on holiday, she was told, but by a fellow director, a lady.

So that then, was why I had drawn the Queen of Clubs.

This card denotes an outward going woman; honest and extremely confident in dealings. No one tells her what to do, and this living embodiment of the queen said she could make no promises, offered the sprog a few pointers, tips and some constructive criticism, and concluded with an offer of representation.

The sprog liked this clubs queen very much but also has other enquiries outstanding, and I have no wish to interfere, prophecy can be vexatious and meddlesome whether it is eventually proved correct or not, so we will see.

3 black cards, 2 red, and a majority of black cards can be taken simply as a no answer,  where a majority of red is taken as a yes, and the colour method is often accurate, but it just goes to show, in divination it’s a mistake to rely heavily on short cuts.

Until next time 🙂

Tarot Said ‘Ow’!

I’ve been reading Tarot some years but it’s an ongoing study and a daily practice. There is always something more to learn, new techniques for using the cards to get at useful information.

What I often do is pull a few cards at the end of the day, asking for the back-story. This offers the benefit of hindsight as well as the possibility of instant validation.

Last night I asked for the Tarot’s- eye story about my day yesterday and the first card out was The Tower.

16_TheTower

Image from The Gilded Tarot by courtesy of Ciro Marchetti

Keywords: Sudden change, Upheaval, Revelation, Downfall, Shock

Eh? I said to myself. Today began with a Tower moment?

Did it?

No way does a Tower moment escape your attention. It basically says ‘kaboom’!

It may be an emotional shock. It may be physical. It may be getting fired from your job, or learning you have been lied to and now what are you going to do about it? It may be a plane crash, a storm, an earthquake, a tsunami, a detonated bomb.

The Tarot is somewhat under threat of ‘spiritual’ sanitisation these days. There’s a movement afoot to say Tarot’s Death card does not mean Death, the Tower card does not mean physical disaster. And the Eight of Swords no doubt, only means chagrin or an attitude of helplessness, and never means plumbing or toilets (which actually, it may do in my experience)

We are all so engaged in spiritual evolution, these rock bottom, immutable things will soon all be beneath our notice, except that we happen to inhabit the material as well as energetic plane, so had better engage with it while we are here.

But the oracular voice is older than anyone alive, and while it is a living oracle and therefore subject to vagaries of fashion in thinking, it must never lose sight of its roots and neglect the material plane. Life means struggle, Life demands Strength.

The Tower card is ruled by Mars, god of war.It’s day is Tuesday, named for Tyr, Norse god of war. If you ask when something will happen and then I draw the Tower card, it will likely happen on a Tuesday.

tyr

While Tarot is at times exceedingly subtle and The Death card may well not mean an actual physical death and the Tower card may not spell physical disaster, they well MIGHT. Real life readings for real life people demands respect, which means recognising terrible things really do happen, physically, and the reader needs to be prepared to acknowledge that and not seek to sugar coat Tarot with spiritual sounding avoidance, immediately jumping to say things along the lines of ‘the Death card. Well, this card means transformation.’

Oh does it? Does it now? Not that I am necessarily disagreeing, but try for a few specifics, and by the way, I do not wanna be transformed just yet, thank you. I’ve got things to do first, if the universe will allow it, and anyway I am transforming all the time, and so are you , like it or not, and hopefully not just with lines and wrinkles but with each new thing we learn .

And now that I thought about it, staring at my Tower card, I was being plum stupid. My day did indeed start with a teeny Tower moment. Teeny for me, but maybe not for some other living creature.

I can see the bird feeder from where I lie in bed in our first floor apartment. It hangs on the balcony door and it’s my delight to watch the songbirds arriving from about half seven. The robin arrives first and then the coal tit, and they each return a few times in quick succession, stocking up for the day.

robin-01

This morning, a dark shape flared suddenly in the window followed by a smack and a thump as a bird hit the glass and the bird-feeder fell of its hook and dropped out of sight.

Il Matrimonio was out, pumping iron at the gym like a macho man, unless he was getting into quarrels with pensioners- again – and this is never too unlikely -the man is incorrigibly irritable and likely constitutionally deficient in Nat Phos -sodium phosphate.

I could not get up to see if there was an injured bird – pesky damn wheelchair business – and in fact when he got in ten minutes later, there was no bird. And no sign of loose feathers or blood.Even so a sparrowhawk could have come and snatched a bird of the feeder, hitting the pane in the process. Or else some little bird misjudged its flight. Either way, some bird got  a shock, and so did I.

Was it the robin? I now draw The High Priestess, so probably it was.

Was it OK? Knight of Cups Reversed. Not really, poor thing. It had a fine fright.

But there was no Death card and I saw the robin again this afternoon, so hopefully, all’s well that ends well.

Till 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 ‘Baaaaa..d or good investment?’

Updated 12 May 2020:

I handle a lot of business questions in my professional readings. My clients are looking for an extra steer, that is all, but the stakes can be high, and of course, it is the client who will bear the responsibility of their own decision making.

A psychic reading cannot be considered a substitute for a professional financial, legal or medical question.

All the same, if I am asked, I will give it a go and share my findings, and the client may or may not welcome the answer. That is one of the risks in consulting with oracles

I may be asked anything at all. For example: If I go ahead and build these two houses, how well will I do out of it when it comes to selling them, and how fast will I sell them? etc etc

jung synchronicity

I don’t know the answer to their question. How could I?

Or perhaps I do, but I do not know that I know it.

Prescience is not omniscience or psychic readers would go mad. We don’t go round knowing everything. We have to stop and look.

Did I know this hideous coronavirus thing was coming? Did I heck. The only thing was, I had a peculiar experience back in January, I saw an apparition. It was unpleasant and I wondered if something nasty was coming.

I remember saying so to myself. What’s coming? I was uneasy. But that’s not the same as knowing. I didn’t know, though some astrologers did apparently, notably an astrologer called Andre Barbault who wrote in 2011 that he detected a risk of a pandemic in 2020/2021, based on a planetary cluster or stellarium noted before in association with previous historic events.

There is a lot of astrology in Tarot but it is not astrology.

Back to my cards. I cannot prepare in advance for doing a reading. I can only prepare to respond and be ready to make a leap in the dark, inviting a question then looking into my cards to help me decide what I think about the answer.

Reading cards works a bit differently to doing astrological readings. No drawing up of astrological charts. Unless the client wishes to brief me, I do not have any advance information whatsoever. I could be asked absolutely anything and need to deliver a more or less instant answer, shooting straight from the hip so to speak while providing at least some kind of readily verifiable information in that feedback, or how can the client benchmark what I am saying?

What can really help me out here is synchronicity, but what is synchronicity?

Definition as supplied by Merriem-Websterthe coincidental occurrence of events and especially psychic events (as similar thoughts in widely separated persons or a mental image of an unexpected event before it happens) that seem related but are not explained by conventional mechanisms of causality —used especially in the psychology of C. G. Jung

A recent instance was during a reading

Of course I am not reading face to face at present, during the current lock-down, and in any case I mostly read by Skype these days. I suppose I ought to look into Zoom as well but Skype has worked perfectly well so far.

I was doing a Skype reading. The client had a business question and I drew the Seven of Pentacles from

The Gilded Tarot by Ciro Marchetti

GT_7Pentacles

Classically this card refers to reaping a reward for hard work or patience and suggests that there will be a good return on a long term investment, but no quick returns.

I view this card more positively than some readers. One of the traditional meanings for translation is futility. Waiting for a kettle to boil but it’s fused and you don’t even know it yet.

Certainly, if I draw the Seven of Pentacles out reversed, I’m likely to decide I’m looking at a future poor performance or loss on your current or proposed investment.

If the Tower card were to turn up alongside it, forgeddit! The Tower means a crash. But if we got the Ten of Pentacles, well, that’s looking like a safe bet, just slow to mature or materialize.

If you were a prospective buyer, I might well be sensing you need not to buy  in this or that product range. This does not represent a good acquisition. It may either not sell well, if you need to re-sell it, or it might take forever to shift.

The client in this instance was asking about the shifting  of retail stock. Money was the presenting issue, and as often happens, a particular detail suddenly leaped out at me.

‘Do you have sheep living behind your house?’ I asked.

‘Yes’, he said, looking somewhat mystified ‘a field at the back.’

This is a typical instance of what Jung meant by synchronicity. But does it mean I enquire about sheep every time this card appears in a reading?

No. It absolutely doesn’t. I had never asked that before, in drawing this card. It just so happened that on this occasion, the sheep jumped out at me and so I asked.

Would this same card appear in a reading done for a sheep farmer?

Well, it ought to.

Returning to the more usual meaning of this card. If I was thinking of buying stocks or shares and this came up, would I go for it?

Probably, so long as it came out upright, but not necessarily, depending on the surrounding cards.

That’s how it goes.

Until next time 🙂

Tarot Parroting…Another case of psychic Art Imitating life

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Tarot loves to start off a reading, playing parrot.

Just as Art imitates or rather, conjures Life, that’s how Tarot works. As within, so without.  The first thing I aim to do in a reading, is ask the cards to help me identify my client’s most pressing concern or question. The Tarot tells me by ensuring I draw the card that most accurately mirrors that unspoken concern or question, as closely as can be managed from among the 78 cards in a Tarot deck.

This ‘mirror-card’ tells me and my client that we are on the same wavelength, which provides a reliable baseline for the rest of the reading.

My Tarot did it again today, and deserves one of those little nectar pots adored by larikeets and parrots alike.

I was about to self- inject for the first time, trying out a new med for quite a severe severe rheumatoid-type illness (I have tried MANY approaches in 20 odd years, with too much ground covered to mention, while exercising great care in agreeing which pharma meds to try )

The med is called Orencia or Abatacept. It is a new class of meds known as biologics. Orencia works to inhibit the production of T cells, T1 and T1. These are normal proteins, and are essential for your normal immune response, but if that goes wrong for any reason, they can go into overproduction, causing an inflammatory cytokine cascade resulting in acute pain and long term damage.

These biologics, while for some they offer a last chance of respite, can be dangerous, so I thought I’d pull myself a few cards before injecting.

The first card out was The Tower.

 

Katie-Ellen Hazeldine's photo.

Just look at that pic. How well did the Tarot do, with a deck of 78 cards to work with, shuffled and drawn blind and at random…in guiding me to draw this card, signifying the issue in question.

Look at the card again. Look at the injector pen.

Squawk! Pretty Polly! 

This is how readers know their question has been heard and logged by their unconscious mind. The first card out of the deck will mirror the stated question, or even the unstated question.

Next I drew

4 Swords, (illness)
Ace Swords ( a sword, or in this case…spring loaded needle)
and 7 Pentacles. (tend to the crop, patience is required.)
This last card was also a suitable reflection as this med is is a weekly injection.
I therefore concluded, that while I could not expect a miracle, or even a significant observable response, there would be no significant negative response; a finding which I am so far in a position to validate.
Tarot does make me laugh sometimes.
Till next time 🙂

Tarot Guesses The Birthday Pressie

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Or tries to and almost does, but not quite.

A friend came to stay recently and brought a present for my birthday. We thought it might be fun for me to try and guess what was inside the packaging using my pendulum and cards. It was roughly cylindrical, not too heavy, rolled in bubble wrap and brown paper.

I held my pendulum over it.

‘Are the contents of this package edible?’ The pendulum span anticlockwise. No.(sob)

‘Are the contents of this package paper?’ No. ‘Ceramic?’ No.’ Wood?’ Yes.

I drew the Three of Pentacles, a card signifying progress in business and pride in one’s work, and from The Gilded Tarot by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti.

‘Is it a craft item? I asked my friend.

‘Yes.’ she said, smiling from ear to ear, as ducks suddenly quacked outside on the pond and Il Matrimonio ran to the balcony to see there if there was a fox. There sometimes is. Then I drew the Six of Swords, a card of personal progress, solemn journeys and quests for learning.

Was it something to do with a river or riverbank, I wondered. Was it a little wooden boat? Or a frog? I like frogs.

three-pentacles gilded6-swordsg

 

‘No’. My friend said, smiling, ‘But you are warm. Now open it!

And inside it was – this! A wooden Indian Runner Duck. What a little character.

🙂

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Well, I never. No wonder she’d been laughing to herself every time we’d fed the ducks, knowing what she had in store to give me.

Now, that is what I call a friend. And psychically, here was that darn  Jungian synchronicity thing at work again.

Good try, Tarot my friend. Not a bull’s eye this time, but a respectable attempt, and this often is how Tarot works in a reading, too, regardless of the classical card meanings, sparking ideas directly off the imagery.

This is how, while Tarot presents a great academic study, anyone can read it, who likes to use associative thinking.

Until next time 🙂

 

Death, The Diamond Ring And The Mystery of The Missing Diary

Photo by Meryl Katys on Pexels.com

I was cackling peaceably into my cauldron as you do, in other words, cooking lunch when Il Matrimonio meandered in, nonchalantly asking; what did it mean if you had lost something, and you asked the Tarot where it was, and you drew the Page of Wands?

I paused in my stirring and asked why. Il Matrimonio does not in general, derive interest from anything Tarot-related, unless he wishes to consult about finances, and touch wood, I have not (as yet) caused him to come a cropper.

His friend Janet X had lost her diary. She is learning Tarot, had looked in her deck of Tarot cards asking where the diary was, and had drawn  the Page of Wands but wasn’t sure what it might mean.

page wands gilded
mage by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti, from The Gilded Tarot.

In classical terms it means a young person born under one of the Fire signs, Aries, Leo or Sagittarius. A student. It means a trip or a social gathering, or sudden good news, or a sale, or a bright idea for a new business or creative project. On a direct physical level it might mean heat and light, a candle, a torch or a cigarette.

But what did it mean in this particular situation? How could it help to find the missing diary in real, practical, where- the- eff- is- it, terms?

My response, adding a glug of olive oil to the pan, was that her cards seem to suggest she had taken it out with her to some local haunt and left it there.

How did I arrive at this interpretation? Because:

Page = small. Wands = travel. 

Additionally…or instead; I suggested, it was somewhere warm or loud, such as a radiator next to a TV, or in the kitchen near the oven.  

Why? Wands is the suit of the south, of warmth, of loud music, any place fast moving, lively and colourful.

Il Matrimonio came back saying, Ms X  had been adamant she never took the diary out with her, and I remarked that, well, it was between her and her own Tarot, but the Page of Wands suggested she would find it soon and probably nearby.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Ms X  shortly afterwards remembered that she had been to the hairdressers earlier that same day. She returned and found the diary was on the arm of a sofa there, next to the stereo. (noise)

OK. Let’s add ‘stereo’ and ‘hairdresser’, then, to the list of vocabulary for the Page of Wands.

The Tarot is a living oracle for use in the modern world. It expands. It evolves.

The Death Card and The Diamond Ring

I once read for an elderly lady,who had mislaid a diamond ring two years previously. It had been a gift from her husband who had died three years previously, and she still missed him desperately. She wanted to know, was the ring still in the apartment, or had it been lost irretrievably?

I used my pendulum to help me refine the possibilities for its current location, and so far as I could work it out, the missing ring seemed to be in the sitting room.

The Tarot said something really quite freaky. The lost ring was in the keeping of the dead, suggested The Death card. And was there a white rose in the sitting room?

The lady, Mrs C, was very definite that the ring had last been seen in the bedroom. It had fallen off her finger and rolled under the bed just as she was leaving for the airport to go on holiday with her daughter. The taxi had arrived, she couldn’t keep the driver waiting, and she had left with every confidence of retrieving the ring immediately upon her return home.

However, much to her bewilderment it wasn’t there on her return, and as time went on, she worried she had inadvertently thrown it out with the rubbish or during a clear out.

But my Tarot seemed pretty clear, yes, the ring was still at home, ‘in the care and keeping of the dead.’ Near a white rose?

From The Rider- Waite Tarot

The lady insisted there was no white rose.

What more could I say? Whether I was right or wrong, I didn’t know, and all I could say was, well, we can only wait and see.

Mrs C left, but an hour and a half later the phone rang; a very happy and excited lady telling me she had gone home, sat and thought and then had a eureka moment,and fetched a stepladder and found the ring on the top shelf of a furniture unit in the sitting room.

Right next to her beloved husband’s ashes.

She said she had no recollection whatsoever of having put it there.

She also wished me to know, there was a white silk rose in a vase on the mantel piece over the fire.

This is typical of what can happen with the Tarot. The imagery prompt ideas or prods the memory, working via associative thinking in addition to traditional book meanings of the cards.

That’s how we do it. That’s how it’s done, sometimes with fluency, sometimes like pulling teeth. And sometimes of course it fails altogether. My mother lost a favourite ring. The cat took it outside, I ‘saw’ it in a meadow, and I couldn’t provide the clues sufficient to find it in such a wide area of possibilities.

Tarot divination is an on-going study, however long you’ve been doing it.

We can but try to serve.

Until next time 🙂

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.

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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)

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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