Summer Solstice, Reincarnation & The Sun card

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We are coming ‘home’ again, entering the zodiac sign of Cancer the Crab on Tuesday 21 June, the day of the summer solstice, the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, and the shortest day in the southern hemisphere.

The word ‘sol –stice’ is from the Latin ‘solstitium’ and means the ‘sun stands still.’

The month of June has got a lot going on, calendar-wise. We have got:-

-The meteorological start of summer (1 June)

-The astronomical start of summer, the solstice (20, 21 or 22 June)

-Midsummers Day (24 June.)

Meteorological or Astronomical Summer?

What does it mean?

Public Domain The British Library

The meteorological calendar is a more recent invention based on seasonal temperatures, separating the year into four groups of three months, based on the observation that summer is the warmest time of year and winter is the coldest, with transitional seasons in- between. These seasons are always 90 to 92 days long, and always start on the first of the month except for leap year. This definition makes it easier to calculate seasonal statistics for the purposes of weather forecasting.

The astronomical calendar is ancient, based on thousands of years of observations of natural phenomena used to establish and mark time. This calendar follows the Earth’s rotation around the sun, defining the four seasons by two solstices and two equinoxes. The Earth’s tilt and the sun’s alignment over the equator determine these events, so the two solstices mark the times when the sun passes over the equator, on June 21 and around December 22 and the two equinoxes are on or around March 21 and September 22.  

At the summer solstice, the Northern Hemisphere receives sunlight at the most direct angle of the year with the North Pole tilting towards the Sun at its maximum  (about 23.5 degrees) resulting in the longest period of sunlight hours.  In the Southern Hemisphere, it’s the opposite and the Sun is at its lowest point in the sky.

Astronomical timing is variable, depending upon when the Sun reaches its northernmost point from the celestial equator, and this date varies between June 20, 21, and 22.

Midsummer’s Day, 24 June is an ancient agricultural festivalIt marks the midpoint of the growing season, halfway between planting and harvest. It is traditionally known as one of four “quarter days” in some cultures. Folks celebrated by feasting, dancing, singing, and lighting bonfires to usher in the hot summer days ahead where once the mighty auroch roamed and the prowling sabre tooth tiger crouched low, watching and waiting in hope.

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Every summer solstice in the UK, as many as 10,000 people arrive at Stonehenge for a pagan style summer solstice festival on British shores, complete with druids. The main event is sunrise, when the first rays of the sun strike the gigantic Heel Stone and illuminate the centre of the stone circle, and people are allowed to touch the stones- a rare opportunity, and the only day of the year they are permitted to do so.

The Tarot and the Sun card

The Sun card is the ultimate summer card in the Tarot deck; number 19 in the Major Arcana. This positive card signifies all kinds of good news, starting with sunny weather in the literal sense, and overseas travel, usually to a hot country. It is our moments in the sun. It is the state of childhood. It is good health or recovery from sickness. The Sun card is vitality, just as the sun is life itself. The Sun card can therefore be predicting new life- a birth.

The Sun card, when it is drawn reversed is like the setting sun. It can mean the memories of childhood, nostalgia, beautiful, bittersweet twilight. It may mean sadness or delays or getting less than you hoped for.

Every card has its downside, just like every situation in life. The fire of the sun can also be cruel, even savage when ‘reversed.’ We might have drought. We might have wildfires. And then the Sun means death and we pray for rain.

The Sun gods can be cruel; Ra, Arinna, Surya, Mithras, Helios, Apollo, Sol – by whatever name we have called the Sun.

Reincarnation and The Sun card?

As the sign of the Sun’s highest point in the skies as seen from Earth, the constellation of Cancer the Crab was considered nearest to the highest point of heaven. Greco-Roman philosophers (The NeoPlatonists) called it ‘the Gate of Men.’

Decapoda, the Head of The Crab, Acubens, The Claw, Al Tarf, the Foot.

The stars of Cancer, specifically The Beehive Cluster, were the gateway, the portal in the heavens through which  souls descended to Earth to be born.  

Thee Beehive Cluster also known as Prasaepe, THE MANGER

The opposite constellation, Capricorn, marked the midwinter solstice and was the ‘Gate of the Gods,’ where the souls of the departed rose back to heaven. 

But did they later descend again to be reborn, in a cycle of reincarnation?

A true story

From The Golden Tarot, Kat Black

I have sometimes been asked, do I believe in reincarnation? I don’t believe in it. I don’t disbelieve in it. I don’t know. But many people do believe in reincarnation around the world. The Hindu and Buddhist faiths believe in reincarnation, while Easter is the great Christian celebration of Resurrection, signifying the hope of the soul’s eternal life.

Nature is cyclical. The seasons run in cycles and life runs in cycles. Our lives only seem linear because they represent such a short piece of a curve. Perhaps it is only logical and natural that some will see human life as cyclical too, not only in terms of successive generations, but in terms of the individual persona, spirit or soul as something that is continuously recycled.

As the American poet Emily Dickinson famously wrote, ‘the mind has many corridors.’

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Many years ago I did a distance Tarot reading by email for a young lady who wanted to know, was her brother OK?  This struck me as a strange question. I asked her, what did she want me to investigate that she could not ask him herself?

The lady answered that her brother was dead, and that he had committed suicide. She did not tell me more, nor did I ask about the circumstances, but as one would expect there was great distress attached to her questions:

-Where was her brother now?

-How was he now?

I do not advertise as a psychic medium. Not at all. Nor did I agree to accept payment for this particular reading and am not handling new readings just at present. But I have, all the same, over the past twenty years done a number of Tarot card readings which have been focused on client’s questions about deceased loved ones, when the Tarot has facilitated me in offering feedback which only the client could verify, and there have been some deeply curious and strange, and equally, deeply moving responses.

Now, looking at this lady’s brother, wondering what on Earth the Tarot would make of this. I drew the Sun card, the card of sunshine, happiness, innocence, childhood. Birth.

The Sun is life itself. If our planet were closer to the Sun, or further away, there would be no life on Earth. People like to post images of Earth to make the point that we are tiny and insignificant. I think those images from space, the photographs taken by Cassini from Saturn, showing Earth as a teeny white dot make the exact opposite point; illustrating the enormity of the miracle that was the sweet spot of a ball of rock exactly the ‘right’ distance from the Sun.

But where was this young lady’s brother? Some would say, perfectly reasonably, that the question was nonsensical. That he was gone. That he was nowhere or that he was in the grave.

But it wasn’t them she was asking. It was my Tarot she was asking.

It is hard to describe, but as you look deeper into a card, a door opens in the mind, or in the imagination if you wish to classify it as that. The brain wave activity has switched from conscious, intellectual, beta state wavelength to a more meditative alpha state wavelength.

I gazed into the Sun card and it suggested to me that ‘wherever’ her brother was, ‘whatever’ he was, he was like a child again, sometimes awake, sometimes asleep. I received the strong impression- there is no other word for it- that he did not remember his death. Not at all, or whatever it was that drove him to it. 

He was a little boy again. And then I was struck with another sudden but vivid impression. I saw him kicking about, splashing in a puddle. He had his back turned on the Earth. He was neither bored, nor sad nor lonely, simply quietly, happily preoccupied.

He had forgotten how he died. He did not remember whatever it was, however it had been for him, what it had felt like, being him in his life, that had driven him to such a point of nihilism.

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If her brother had any memories or consciousness surviving death- if that could be possible, then this was his afterlife, all trauma forgotten.

It may simply have been telepathy, and I was picking up on the lady’s own memories of her brother. I had never met her

But then, and again this was prompted by The Sun card, I told the lady that she would soon be hearing news of a new baby on the way. This was probably a birth within the immediate family, and whether it was a boy or girl, the Tarot was suggesting the possibility, however bizarre, that it was the soul of her brother being reborn. Or that he could be reborn, when he was ready. The Sun card said that her brother would be returning soon, whether or not the coming baby was her brother returning again (down through the Gates of Men)

Some souls, it is said, wait many centuries before they are ready to get in the queue again. Others wait decades. Others only months. Time means nothing to them. It is when they feel ready. Just that.

Stanley Kubrick was a visionary. A seer.

The Star Child, Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick

Has someone been here before? This is not a thing that can ever be known, and in this instance, the coming baby was his or her own unique self.  Each birth is unique. And if we are reborn, we are not clones or carbon copies of the person we were before. The soul needs free of old burdens.

I once had a small experience that has sometimes made me wonder. I was in the kitchen, stirring a pan when suddenly the kitchen changed around me. I was now standing in a very different kitchen with white walls, a stone floor, a high ceiling. It was simple, a few notches above basic, an urban kind of rustic, not rural. There was an open door to my left, with an evening light sunshine streaming in at a low angle, and I knew that the door led down a set of steep stone steps to a small, rather dark cobbled courtyard. I was not anxious but I was starting to wonder where Pietro was, and when he would be arriving home. I know no such person as ‘Pietro.’

A vision. A day dream? An hallucination? Of course. It could have been anything or nothing. It has only ever happened that one time.

I sent off the lady’s email reading and three weeks later received an email in reply, telling me among other things that her sister had just found out she was expecting a baby and was about six weeks pregnant. Wouldn’t it be something, she joked, if she was going to be her brother’s auntie this time around?

Again, this story is easily explained away as a co-incidence. But if nothing else, the Tarot was proven absolutely correct in predicting the imminent news of a new birth in the family.

I would like to think the Tarot’s vision offered this lady and her family some kind of comfort, however peculiar, for a truly terrible grief. Some griefs are more natural to be borne than others. Not all griefs are equally terrible.

“There are more things in heaven and earth Horatio, than are dreamed of in your philosophy”-Hamlet, Shakespeare.

Indeed, Mr Shakespeare.

There are many documented stories of people claiming that they have lived another life before this one; some so detailed, that it does at least offer food for thought.

Till next time 🙂

Stories here:

Birds and bees and butterflies, it’s time again for airy, flighty Gemini

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The word ‘zodiac’ comes from the Greek meaning ‘circle of animals.’ The only zodiac sign that is non-representative of a living creature is Libra, the sign of the Scales, but even its scales are borrowed from the stars of Scorpio, the giant scorpion in the heavens next door.

Gemini the sign of the Heavenly Twins is a mutable air sign and the third sign of the western zodiac, representing late spring into early summer in the northern hemisphere.  

Common Associations

Dates: May 21- June 20

Astrological symbol:

Ruling planet: Mercury

Element: Air

Quality: Mutable

Affirmation: ‘I think, I inquire.’

Birth Stone:  Born in May, Emerald. Born in June, Pearl (although it is not a stone, it is thought to be ruled by Mercury)

Lucky stone, Tiger’s Eye. Why? Grounds fidgety Gemini, brings focus

Colour: Yellow

Tree: all kinds of nut trees

Flower: Lily of the Valley, Lavender

Astronomy

The Gemini constellation was listed as one of the 48 ancient constellations by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the second century, though Ptolemy referred to it in terms of its two brightest stars, as ‘ The Star of Apollo (Castor) and The Star of Heracles (Pollux)’.

Gemini is the northernmost constellation in the zodiac, and is the thirtieth largest in size. Gemini can be seen with the naked eye looking north east of the constellation Orion between the Taurus and Cancer constellations. Best viewing is during February. By April and May, the constellation is visible in the west soon after sunset.

The two brightest stars in the constellation, Castor and Pollux, represent the heads of the twins from Greek mythology, while fainter stars outline their bodies. Pollux, the westerly twin, is a red giant star, 33 light-years from Earth while Castor is about 51 light-years away. A light-year is the distance that light travels in a year – about 6 trillion miles/9.6 trillion kilometres.

Pollux is the brighter of the two stars, and has a massive planet orbiting it, called Beta Genorium B, 1.6 times bigger than Jupiter. Castor is actually not a single star, but a star system made of up six stars not visible to the naked eye.

Ancient History

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Gemini represents the principle of duality or polarity, similarities and opposites, and in late spring in the northern hemisphere, this is seen in action in the climax of splitting or cloning. Pollen flies free. Eggs hatch. Butterflies and dragonflies hatch out of their chrysalis. The mythology of twins goes back at least as far as the so-called Age of Gemini, during the Palaeolithic, 6, 500 BCE, arising from our understanding of the duality fundamental to the nature of reality.

There are many twin stories in world myth, representing polarities, night and day, light and dark, heat and cold, male and female, war and peace, good and bad, life and death. The creation myths of ancient cultures across the world reflect this eternal battle of seeming opposites.  Many surviving objects feature twin gods and goddesses. In some cultures twins have been feared In some remote places, so much so, that twins have been killed at birth, and it is thought the practice continues to this day.

In Egyptian astrology the stars of Gemini were twin goats, or else they were the two gods, Horus the Elder and Horus the Younger,  while classical Greek mythology identified them as the twin brothers, Castor and Pollux, The Gemini.

Gemini is the first sign of the western tropical zodiac year that has a human representation rather than an animal one, following Aries the Ram and Taurus the Bull.

Castor and Pollux

Gemini is the name by which the constellation is known today throughout the western world. Gemini is Latin for “twins,” and Gemini is The Hellenistic names of the Heavenly Twins, Castor and Pollux.

Castor comes from the Greek Καστωρ (Kastor) and means “to excel, to shine.”  In Greek myth Castor was a son of Zeus and the twin brother of Pollux.

Pollux comes from the Roman form of Greek Πολυδευκης (Polydeukes) and means “very sweet”.

The circumstances of their birth were unusual, to say the least. Queen Leda of Sparta was seduced by Zeus who had disguised himself as a swan. ‘Seduced’ is putting it rather too politely. She was bathing in the river. He glided about pretending to peck at things and then pounced on her while she was looking the other way, minding her own business. Later that evening, notwithstanding this shock, or perhaps, who knows, because of it, Leda also slept with her husband King Tyndareus and went on to produce four children; Castor, Pollux and their sisters Helen (later Helen of Troy) and Clytemnestra (later married to Agamemnon as queen of Mycenae.)

Pollux and Helen were immortal, fathered by Zeus, while Castor and Clytemnestra were mortal, fathered by Tyndareus. 

Source: Public Domain, the young Castor and Pollux (Meissen)

The brothers, known as the Dioscuri, meaning Sons of Zeus, were handsome, curious and always up to something.  The mortal Castor was a renowned horseman and a master at fencing, while the immortal Pollux was known for his great strength and skill at boxing.

But then Castor was killed in a quarrel, in a disagreement over dividing the spoils after a cattle raid. Pollux was distraught.  He didn’t want immortality, not if it meant being without his brother, he said, and he begged his father, sneaky swan Zeus to please make him mortal, and then kill him so he could be with his brother. Zeus couldn’t bring himself to do that, scratching his head, wondering how to fix this, and decided to place them both in the stars, to be immortal together forever as the constellation Gemini.

The Greeks, and in particular the Spartans, though the twins had a temple in Athens, worshipped the twins as horsemen, and also as patron saints of shipwrecked sailors. Sacrifices were offered to the Dioscuri before a voyage, with a request for favourable winds.

Later, the Romans too, developed a cult around Castor and Pollux dating back to 484 B.C. They built a temple to the twins in the Roman Forum in 414 BC in thanks for their help in defeating their old enemy The Latins, in the battle of Regillus.

Castor and Pollux were the patron gods of the Roman cavalry, the mounted knights or equites, and appear in this role on many early Roman coins.

The Zodiac Archetype: of the Mercurial Gemini

Mercury by Hendrick Goltzius, 1611, Public Domain

The planetary ruler of Gemini is Mercury, the planet nearest the Sun, representing the winged god Mercury or Hermes; patron deity of all forms of communication, media, trade, global commerce and travel, medicine, research and analytics.

But Mercury has a lesser known role as a psychopomp; one who can go between the realms of the living and the dead, a go-between and safe escort to the dead. It was Hermes who escorted the souls of the newly dead to the banks of the Acheron or The Styx, where they waited for Charon to come in this boat and ferry them across to the Underworld.

It was Hermes who escorted Persephone out of the dominion of Hades to be reunited with her mother Demeter, not knowing that despite his instructions that she was not to eat anything, or the deal was off, Hades had tricked Persephone into eating six seeds of her favourite pomegranate fruit. Seeds don’t count, Hades told her, and she believed him, but now she was bound to his side for six months of the year.

All the zodiac signs represent archetypes; something that is considered to be a perfect or typical example of a particular kind of person or thing.

A zodiac sign paints a poetic portrait of a person born at a particular time of year, in a particular season. A baby born in summer arrives into a different physical environment from a winter baby; differences of temperature, hours of daylight, maternal diet during pregnancy and so on, with potentially different effects on the baby’s physical makeup and constitution.

As a mutable sign, Gemini rules a borderline between seasons, in this case late spring into early summer. The other mutable signs are Virgo and Pisces, and all three mutable signs are considered the most changeable and agile of the signs, inquiring, analytical, logical and restless.

Mid- May is the start of grass pollen season which then builds to a peak in mid July:-

May is quite the rollercoaster when it comes to tracking pollen. Dock and lime pollen start triggering hay fever in May as they begin their season, while both pine and oil seed rape peak and end within the month. Oak and plane end their peak – but grass pollen begins hitting its high notes.

Photo by Kristina Paukshtite on Pexels.com

The Gemini temperament is friendly yet watchful, generous but changeable -mercurial as personified by Hermes with his winged sandals and caduceus- staff of trade. The well-known delivery company of the same name clearly chose its name for this same reason.

In medical astrology, Gemini rules the arms and hands. The typical Gemini native is of above average personal appearance, personable, attractive, usually slim and of average height or taller and with neat, tidy facial features. The Gemini is socially gifted, cheerful, humorous, witty, capable and quick to learn.

Limbourg, Anatomy of The Zodiac, Wiki via ©Photo. R.M.N. / R.-G. OjŽda

At the same time, Gemini can also be surprisingly dogmatic, attaching themselves to causes, even inclining towards fundamentalism, whether it is to do religion or some other entirely secular creed or manifesto, or to do with lifestyle, for example, exercise or diet choices.

Gemini can be, not insincere, at least, not in that moment, but quick to lose interest, fluttering like butterflies, looking for the next new thing, looking for some better, brighter flower. This can apply to the way they interact with other people, here today and gone tomorrow, even though once mature, and once committed, they make dutiful and devoted partners and parents.

Gemini in the Tarot

The Tarot cards associated with Gemini are The Lovers, The Knight of Swords and the 8, 9 and 10 Swords.

Rider-Waite Tarot via Wiki

Card Meanings: love, friendships, partnerships, agreements, contracts, difficult choices, decisions

Every suit in the Tarot has its own court with a king and queen, a knight and a page. The principle Court card associated with Gemini is the Knight of Swords.

Rider-Waite Tarot via Wiki

Card Meanings: speed, action, forward movement, sudden developments, attack, assertiveness, intelligence, sudden news, cunning, calculation, good timing, a pre-emptive strike, a confident, forceful young person, windy weather, east wind, motorbike

The Decans

The word ‘Decan’ comes from the Latin meaning ‘ten.’  Each zodiac sign lasts about 30 days and is further divided into three blocks of roughly 10 days each.  These are the decans or decanates, or as they are sometimes called, the ‘thirty-six faces of astrology,’ bringing added depth to the psychological profile associated with your zodiac sign/sun sign.

The minor arcana cards associated with Gemini are the Eight, Nine and Ten of Swords and they correlate with the dates of the decans.

If you don’t feel like you are a ‘typical’ Gemini, well, we are all unique, but perhaps you are also a second or third decan Gemini native, rather than a ‘most typical’ first decan Gemini.  Gemini is still Gemini, whatever the decan and this holds true for all the zodiac signs. But an early born Gemini is born under a slightly different planetary influence than a later born Gemini. It’s all still Gemini, the same heavenly recipe, but with varying amounts of common ingredients.

First Decan Gemini

(0-10 degrees of the sign)

21-31 May

Legacy of The Divine Tarot

Card Meanings: Entrapment, uncertainty, a sense of helplessness, waiting for rescue, there is a way out if only you will open your eyes, look around and take a step forward. I have personally also come to associate this card with plumbing, drainage issues.

This decan gets a double dose of the planetary influence of inquisitive, rational, Mercury.  This is an alert, perceptive, intellectual and forceful personality. The acumen is sharp.  The negative side of this coin is a Gemini native who is just as inquisitive but careless, flighty, forgetful, restless and unreliable.

First decan Gemini is a multi-talented juggler, light on their feet, graceful and agile. But at the same time they tend to develop a strong point of view on a wide range of subjects, and they have a clearly defined belief system. For all their apparent flightiness they are also tough and resilient- even stubborn, a quality more usually associated with Taurus, its next door neighbour and predecessor in the zodiac.

Gemini make devoted partners, contrary to whatever people might assume. They will hang on in there when the going gets tough, though they are prone to boredom, can quickly tire of routine quickly; and have considerable charisma or sex appeal. But they know when they have a good thing so long as there is plenty of social interaction and short distance travel to keep their restlessness under control.

Second Decan Gemini

(10-20 degrees of the sign)

June 1-10

The Golden Tarot

Card Meanings: The Nightmare card. Worry, ‘the black dog’ anxiety, stress, grief, insomnia, things that keep us awake at night.

The personal planet of this decan is Venus, planet of love, beauty- and money. This Gemini has charm, and a generous and giving spirit. The sub-ruler is Libra, ruled by Venus, the natural ruler of the seventh house of marriage, partnerships, close associates, associations, and legal matters. This Gemini is more of a “me-too” person, rather than an “I-am” person when compared with a first decan Gemini.

This Gemini native needs to be especially careful in the selection of companions/associates. The choice of a mate is, of course, of the utmost importance. This Gemini especially needs to avoid making big decisions about a choice of partner when they are too young to fully understand what they are doing.

These are easy going and pleasant people. Gemini strives on change while Libra works to establish equilibrium. Their Venus/Libra influence is their salvation, because it makes them artful in their judgments and full of affection for those they do judge.

Gemini 2nd decan is drawn to quiet, reserved people. Not only do opposites attract, but the secrecy fascinates Gemini-Libra, ans they also match up well with reliable, practical types who can get the job done with little fuss or excitement. A person that will ground, refine and implement the Gemini-Libra.

People respond well to the Second Decan Gemini warm and effusive nature. They also have a sense of adventure, same as the other Gemini decans, and they enjoy travel for the sake of new experiences.  Sharing is part of the Gemini-Libra life; they are generous with their time and friendship and also with possessions.

Gemini-Libra is great company, with a great deal of magnetism. They are kindly, sharp and witty. Just cut your cloth to suit and don’t be too surprised or upset if they disappear as suddenly as they appear or go quiet on you without warning. It’s not personal. It’s just the way they are.

Third Decan Gemini  

(20-30 degrees of the sign)

June 11-20

Tarot Illuminati

Card meanings: Destruction, despair, betrayal, ruin, dark night of the soul, darkness before dawn, the only way is up, illness, comatose, a fall, spinal injury, head injury.

Incidental perhaps, but this card has come up repeatedly in respect of events and outcomes affecting the personal destiny Vladimir Putin since the invasion of Ukraine, 24 February. We shall see what occurs during these forthcoming decan dates, June 11-June 2020.

The personal planets of the third decan Gemini are Saturn and Uranus, painting a portrait full of contradictions. Sometimes this person is ultra-careful, dutiful, responsible, serious, at other times carefree or even careless. Uranus combined with the planet Mercury suggests an unusually active or even brilliant mind possibly even verging on genius. This person may be a thinker who is ahead of their times. Or maybe they are just zany.

Aquarius – natural ruler of the eleventh house of friends, hopes, and wishes-makes this Gemini a social type, a friend-oriented individual interested in social causes. This Gemini is an optimist, always interested in trying out what is new, and never happier than when they are on the move.

Life is rarely dull with a cheerful Decan 3 Gemini around, but they are the most independent- natured Gemini decan. They need plenty of space and freedom, with a partner who makes few demands on their time and attention. They are very hard working when they put their mind to it. But keeping promises, fulfilling obligations and routines are not their strongest suit. It is a mistake for this Gemini native to marry early or settle too soon. Adventure, exploration and experimentation with ideas, people and places- this is what they are about. This is what makes them tick.

Famous Gemini people

Carl Linnaeus, Peter the Great, Adam Smith, Richard Wagner, Arthur Conan Doyle, John Maynard Keynes, John F Kennedy, Frank Lloyd Wright, Boris Johnson. Johnny Depp, Queen Victoria, Charles 11,  George 111,George V, Donald Trump, Muammar Gaddafi, Angelina Jolie, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

Happy birthday, Gemini 2022

 

This year may have got off to a slow start, personally speaking, but the second half of the year requires you to identify goals, and to place a clear focus on finance and your security. This is a good year for meeting a new partner and starting a new life together, but this also means this is the year for the free and easy flighty Gemini to demonstrate efficiency, to get serious, and to pay close attention to their resources, up-grading their nest and investing in nest eggs. Expect key developments in August and October.

Reflections in the runes May 2022

May Rune Reading 2022

What are the runes?

The word ‘rune’ comes from the old Germanic, ‘runa’ or ‘runo’ meaning a secret thing, a mystery. The northern peoples saw the Earth, its forces and all things in nature seen as living forces or spirits to be honoured and respected.  The runes were and still are used for psychic readings and advice- divination -or used for magical purposes and good luck – seidr.

Runes were the first systems of writing developed and used by the Norse and other Germanic peoples. These runic alphabets are known as “futharks” after the first six runes (Fehu, Uruz, Thurisaz, Ansuz, Raidho, and Kenaz) – just as the word “alphabet” comes from the names of the first two Semitic letters (Aleph, Beth).

There are three rune alphabets or futharks: the Elder, Younger and Saxon futharks. The 24-character Elder Futhark was the first fully-formed runic alphabet, dating back, so far as we know, to the first century CE/AD, though it may have been in development from about 200 BCE.

Today we are working with the Elder Futhark, illustrated below.

Via Wiki

Fehu Uruz Thurisaz Ansuz Raido Kenaz Gyfu Wunjo

Hagall Nied Isa Jera Eiwaz Perthro Elhaz Sowilo

Tiwaz Berkana Ehwaz Mannaz Laguz Ingwaz Dagaz Othala

The more specific the question, the more specific and detailed the reading. Here, we have no specific question., so the findings are very general. The reader is looking for the feel of things, the tone, and for challenges, opportunities or guidance contained within the runes selected blindly and at random.

Review -April rune reading

In a rune reading done late March 2022, the runes talked about a highly volatile, tense and unstable month to come in April 2022. 

The reader wrote, “Thurisaz is the Thorn rune, symbolizing the hammer of Thor, the Norse god of Thunder and Thursdays. This rune is known as the rune of chaos, such as we have all been witnessing at extreme levels in recent weeks. Thurisaz talks about ‘thorny issues’- major challenges. It describes or forecasts situations of defence, attack and storms. This may also refer to other related natural events, such as floods or tsunamis in April.”

12-14 April we witnessed floods in South Africa, Kwazulu, Durban, 12-14 April as reported here in the ‘The New York Times’ 19 April 2022:-

Nearly 4,000 homes have been destroyed and more than twice as many damaged in the Durban area after a week of punishing rains and mudslides. The death toll is now 448, with about four dozen people unaccounted for.

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Runes, like astrology, like Tarot or card reading, may be used for guidance and advice, for forecasting/prediction or for both. Many readers nowadays use runes purely for personal guidance. The problem with forecasting is, we will not always like it, and what can we do about it anyway? The answer to this can only be that forewarned is forearmed. The forecast may turn out to be wrong. It may prove to be unduly pessimistic, and if we are feeling anxious or depressed, this may only add to the weight of our burden.

The best way to use psychic prediction is to treat is as a hint , see how it fits with your own assessment and gut feeling, and for the rest, time will tell. If a weather forecaster says it’s sunny outside right now, and there is not a cloud in the sky, but the weather forecaster tells us there is a new weather front on the way and it’s going to rain later, we can decide whether or not to go out and if we do, whether to take a raincoat.

Runecast for May 2022

We have drawn two runes for this coming month, Elhaz and Ingwaz, choosing these runes to represent the general tone and dynamic in world affairs and in our personal affairs as well this month.

Such a reading will obviously be general in scope but there are seasons in events, just as there are different seasons in the year. We have times that are quieter than others. Then we have times of mass general turmoil, as with World Wars 1 and 11 for instance, 1939-1945, and these things tend to go in cycles. We are currently in a cycle of which began in 2019 and which astrologers suggest will calm down 2025/2026.

IMG Katie-Ellen Hazeldine

Elhaz/Algiz/Eohl

KEYWORDS: Protection, guardian, awakening, courage, defence, acting on our instinct

The rune on the left, Elhaz the Elk is also known as Eohl or Algiz.

It means The Elk or The Sedge, or even, The Elk-Sedge. The runes were inspired by things familiar in the landscapes inhabited by these various northern peoples. The wild antlered elk was still roaming wild in northern Europe at that time. The sedge is a grass-like plant that grows on wet ground, found in temperate and colder climates.

Here, Elhaz has been drawn reversed (merkstave.) First let us imagine it turned upright. Now you see the ‘antlers’ and you can see that this rune also looks like rather a person raising their arms to heaven in appeal for help, or else making an invocation.

Elhaz is a rune of general protection, very powerful but the power comes from the mind of the person using it to protect themselves or another. It will not remove all obstacles. We cannot and will not always be comfortable and safe in this life. Sometimes we struggle. Sometimes we need to stand up for ourselves and fight our own corner.  We will never arrive at our full power if we always run away from a fight. Viking warriors used to decorate their shields with this rune but some still died in battle. The Vikings did not take this as a sign that the rune had no power, but instead as a sign that this was the warrior’s time to die; that The Norns or Fates had decreed it. It is worth noting, that the Norns, although they scratched our names and destinies in the bark of the World Tree at the moment of our birth, did allow scope for a mortal to change their own destiny, unlike the Fates of Greek mythology. The Norns saw the future in more fluid terms, less a fixed destiny, more of ‘becoming,’ or that which should be.

Personal Reflection

Elhaz reversed is a sign of vulnerability or warns us that we may be making a sacrifice with no gain. Perhaps this month we need to watch out that we are not misled by others or possibly conned out of our money, or made a scapegoat for someone else’s mistakes. Elhaz reversed warns us to pay attention to our surroundings, not to take our own safety for granted, and not to make any big moves too soon in a new relationship. We need to give it more time, and learn more about this person. Everyone makes mistakes. But we must learn from any past mistakes or be doomed to repeat them.

There may be a person to avoid this month or an offer which should be refused. The classic advice applies with Elhaz reversed. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Ingwaz

KEYWORDS: Protection, guardian, awakening, courage, defence, instincts

The rune on the right, Ingwaz is also known as Ing or Inguz. It may look like a simple diamond, as illustrated above. Alternatively it may look like this:

The word Ingwaz means literally ‘god-seed’. This rune, Ingwaz, Inguz or Ing, comes from an ancient god image Ing, which was an older name for Freyr, a later Swedish Viking god of virility, fertility and agriculture, like another famous pre- Christian figure of mythology, The Green Man.

The Green Man, Rochester Cathedral via Wiki

Ingwaz is talking about the earth itself; the planting of seeds, germination and new life. It is talking about fertility, in this case especially masculine fertility. But it may also be talking in a more abstract sense as in, planting the seeds of a new idea.

Ingwaz is a favourable rune of positive action, unity, agreements, and peace, although the situation may require plenty of careful treatment, and enough time and space to flourish. Ingwaz is all about ‘doing.’

 ‘Ing’ is in constant use in modern English as a language participle “-ing” adding action to a verb. We say ‘Go-ing’, ‘Read-ing’, ‘See-ing etc. The addition of “ing” represents action.

Ingwaz suggests a successful conclusion in solving a problem at hand. Ingwaz can signify milestone events, such as a new baby or a new job.  It cannot be reversed. It looks the same right way up as it does upside down so it has no negative meaning unless it is surrounded by negative runes. Here, it has been drawn opposite Elhaz reversed, a negative meaning of danger. The appearance of Ingwaz in this context offers a faint glimmer of hope for diplomatic efforts to bear some fruit in May. But if not, this fiery rune promises a very determined and courageous on-going resistance to attack, wherever it is being waged by one state against another.

Ingwaz the ‘seed’ is by extension also to do with agriculture-food. Looking at Ingwaz in relation to our first rune, Elhaz merkstave, we can see that issues to do with food supplies, shortages and increases in the cost of food will be featuring large in the news this coming month, as Russia’s war on Ukraine affects exports globally, but especially Egypt and Africa.

The danger of Elhaz drawn reversed married up with the vital spark of Ing can mean sudden fiery events in May 2022, such as rockets and missiles, as we are so horrifically seeing, or wildfire such as we have witnessed in New Mexico already this month.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It may also be worth noting that 10 May big bold Jupiter, the ‘Greater Benefic’ an optimistic, generous, benevolent planet in astrological terms, left deep watery Pisces and moved into bold, fiery, hyperactive Aries, where it stays until 28 October 2022. This is big, bold, active energy for good or bad,

Generally, this planetary transit is understood as a positive influence, happening only every 11 or 12 years, although the potential for disruption is self evident. World War 1 and World War 11 both began during a Jupiter in Aries transit, but that also meant of course, a number of such transits in between these events with no war, so let us not worry too much.

Personal Reflection

Ingwaz is a powerfully positive rune in general. It tends to bring an easing of something that has been worrying us. There may be a sense of relief about something this coming month or a sense of excitement, pride or accomplishment for a problem sorted or a job well done, or a new project coming over the horizon.

Ingwaz is a positive rune in relationships, starting a family or launching a new project or venture if that is what we are looking for. It brings a boost of energy, physical and mental.

Ingwaz indicates that this coming month is a good time for home improvements on the one hand, spring cleaning, maintenance and upgrades, and at the other end of the scale, taking into account the challenges in this coming month signified by, Elhaz reversed, do we need to review our safeguarding, home security or our personal security?

In our personal lives, this rune is has a particularly masculine energy. It signifies good times, new love relationships and weddings. We could see that a project starts coming together. With care, discipline and patience, this rune says it will bear fruit.

Further Reading

The New Book of Runes  by Ralph Blum

Futhark. A Handbook of Rune Magic by Edred Thorsson.

The Runes: A practical Guide to their uses in divination and Magick by Lisa Peschel, published Llewellyn

To discover your personal ‘birth runes’ – your ‘heroic destiny or potential’ https://haquil.com/blogs/viking/how-to-calculate-your-viking-birth-runes

 

Bringing in Beltane…Magical May Eve

True Tarot Tales

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30 April is also known as May Eve, marking May Day and the beginning of the ancient Celt festival of Beltane.

Beltane begins at dusk on 30 April and is matched by its European counterpart, Walpurgis Nacht, or St Walpurga’s Night in Germanic tradition.

Origins

The two greatest Celtic festivals were Samhain (Halloween) marking the start of winter, and Beltane (April 30/May 1) marking the start of summer.

Beltane ‘the fires of Bel’ began as an ancient fire festival celebrated since at least the Dark Ages if not long before. The celebrations began at dusk on April 30th when great bonfires were lit to welcome the height of spring now associated with the zodiac sign of Taurus the Bull, representing the fertility of spring in full bloom.”

Traditionally,” writes Glennie Kindred (inSacred Celebrations), “all fires in the community were put out…

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Hey Toro! It’s Taurus time again

Taurus 19 April – 20 May 2022.

The dates for the zodiac signs can vary by a day or two. The Sun enters the sign of Taurus roughly 8 PM tonight, 19 April, Pacific time, and about 3 in the morning, 20 April, UK time.

The word ‘zodiac’ comes from the Greek meaning ‘circle of animals.’ The only zodiac sign that is non-representative of a living creature is Libra, the sign of the Scales, but in astronomy, even the Scales are borrowed from the stars of Scorpio, the claws of the giant scorpion in the heavens next door.

Taurus (from the Latin for Bull) is a fixed earth sign; the second sign of the western zodiac, and represents the height of spring in the northern hemisphere in all its budding glory.  This was the time of the calving of the ancient wild cattle, the auroch. It is thought that Salisbury Plain, and Stonehenge, was once a mass gathering site on their annual migration route. The remains of auroch have been discovered nearby at Blick Mead.

This extract from a blog about Stonehenge and the Ice Age. “Forget about ancient ancestors, healing stones, solar solstice alignments and periglacial stripes.  Stonehenge is where it is because it’s on an aurochs migration route.  The OU team that was involved in the latest investigations of the Mesolithic traces near Amesbury has been putting this press release out and about, and now it’s all over the internet……  some of the headlines are quite splendid.  Aurochs-burgers, anybody?”

No other zodiac sign has more ancient mythology or cult history attached to it than the sign of The Bull, revered for its power and potency since it was hunted by early man, first as the wild ox, the mighty auroch, before the first cattle were domesticated, DNA evidence suggests, about 10, 500 years ago in the Near East, tracing a herd of an estimated 80 animals.

Bison licking insect bite, carving on antler bone, discovered Dordogne, France, dated 1200 -20 000 years BP (before present)

Stars, Planets, Omens

The planetary ruler of Taurus, Venus, also known as Hesperus the Evening Star and Lucifer the Morning Star is the planet of love, beauty, luxury – and therefore also banking and finance.  Contrary to her popular reputation, as the supposed opposite of Mars, Venus too can be aggressive, and is not always peaceful, just as the Bull is largely peaceable, but is dangerous when disturbed or provoked..

Diverging for a moment on to the topic of aggression, the Tarot shows Taurus as the nemesis of Mr Putin. I do not think it means that the conflict will end before late May 2022. Unfortunately. But there are also Taurus-Scorpio eclipses coming in 2022.

Saturday, April 30: Partial Solar Eclipse in Taurus.

Monday, May 16: Total Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio.

Tuesday October 25: Partial Solar Eclipse in Scorpio.

Tuesday, November 8: Total Lunar Eclipse in Taurus.

Mr Putin is a Libra native with a lot of Scorpio going on. Taurus and Scorpio are opposites. what he is doing in Ukraine, apart from the horror, sorrow and devastation of it all, is upsetting the ‘order’ in Europe, political, economic financial (think Bull markets) agricultural crop exports and otherwise. Taurus is all about order. This war may be neither lost or won as such, and yes, new orders emerge, but this war seems fated, whatever the damage, to rebound on Russia and on Mr Putin himself.

The star constellation of Taurus is visible between August and April. The best months to see it are December and January when it is visible all night long, looking up to the right above and beyond the three stars of Orion’s Belt. You will especially notice a bright reddish star, Aldebaran, the Eye of the Bull glaring down at Orion the Hunter. Should the Bull escape his pen, and break through the gate being guarded by the Seven Sisters (Pleiades) said ancient Arab legend, he would stampede the Universe to pieces. Let’s hope he has plenty of daisies and buttercups up there to keep him happy, and some cows, and no mosquitoes or horseflies to bother him.

The constellation is hidden in the glare of the Sun from May onwards and can’t be observed in June and July.

The Taurus Archetype

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

A zodiac sign paint a poetic portrait of a person born at a particular time of year, in a particular season. A baby born in summer arrives into a different physical environment from a winter baby; with differences of temperature, hours of daylight, maternal diet during pregnancy and so on, with potentially different effects on the baby’s physical makeup and constitution.

As a fixed sign, Taurus rules anything associated with the mid- zone of spring, the height of the season. The other fixed signs are Leo, midsummer, Scorpio, mid-autumn and Aquarius, midwinter.

The fixed signs are traditionally considered the most stable and steadfast signs, protectors of the status quo, the signs most at ease with conservation and protecting continuity.

From The Legacy of The Divine Tarot

The genius of Taurus,and sensual Aphrodite (Venus) and her corresponding Egyptian goddess Isis, like The High Priestess in the Tarot, is often represented as wearing two horns upon her head in imitation of the Bull; a symbol which is frequently confused or conflated with the crescent moon.

Taurus rules the ears, neck and throat, and the Taurus native is known for their distinctive, usually smooth speaking voice and often has an excellent singing voice. Famous Taurus singes include Willie Nelson, James Brown, Ella Fitzgerald, Barbra Streisand, Cher, Bono, Billy Joel, Olly Murs, Enya, Adele.

Taurus may seem slow to learn compared with say, a mercurial, quicksilver Gemini native, but their grasp is thorough, and they are also prone to flashes of intuition and inspiration and possess an excellent memory besides. Once learned, never forgotten is the Taurean way.

These people have a quietly pleasant and magnetic personality, except for the grumpier, taciturn, self-opinionated natives of the sign. Taurus is known for a quiet physical attractiveness, and they are sensual, sensory people. This sign especially needs to watch they don’t overdo the whole comfort thing, over-eating and so on. They usually like to dance and they have natural rhythm. They are strong with good stamina, but they are not overall the most sporty natives of the zodiac.

Taurus ‘wunt be druv.’ They are notoriously resistant and stubborn…their stability is the other side of this coin. Taurus tends to be thoughtful of their friends, and can be relied on in times of difficulty for good advice and encouragement. Taurus is known for a particular magic of soothing and reassuring others, but can be grumpy or irritable, like a bull shaking off gadflies, if you overload them with a lot of things at once, or get in their space while their thoughts are elsewhere.

Taurus in the Tarot

The Tarot cards associated with Taurus are The Hierophant, The King of Pentacles (Coins, Disks) and the 5, 6 and 7 Pentacles, also called Disks or Coins -the money suit.  

The Hierophant

Card Meanings: a man of authority, tradition ,the status quo,  marriage, religion, the Church, Teachers, mentors, Universities, agriculture, money, finance, Banks, publishing, keys,

Every suit in the Tarot has its own court with a king and queen, a knight and a page. The principle Court card associated with Taurus is The King of Pentacles, ruler of the element of Earth.

The King of Pentacles (Disks or Coins)

Rider Waite Tarot

Card Meanings: Earth, mature man, husband, father, grandfather, employer, practical man, capable, responsible, steadfast, determined, instinctive, landowner, banker, prosperity, farmer, builder, businessman, engineer, business owner, artist, singer, sensual, bon vivant

Lastly, the minor arcana cards associated with Taurus are the Five, Six and Seven of Pentacles, Disks or Coins.

These cards correlate with the decans of Taurus. If you don’t feel like you are a ‘typical’ Taurus, well, we are all unique, but perhaps you are also a second or third decan Taurus native, rather than a ‘most typical’ first decan Taurus.

What is a Decan?

The word ‘Decan’ comes from the Latin meaning ‘ten.’  Each zodiac sign lasts about 30 days and is further divided into three blocks of roughly10 days each.  These decans or decanates are sometimes called the ‘thirty-six faces of astrology,’ bringing added depth and nuance to the psychological profile associated with your zodiac sign also known as your sun sign.

Background story– The Zodiac is the 360 degree belt of sky we can see from Earth, tracking the path of the sun across the sky over the course of the year. We call this pathway ‘the ecliptic.’

The Greeks divided this belt of sky into twelve sections of roughly 30 degrees each, using 12 for ease of arithmetic, and named these twelve sections after a chosen twelve of the constellations that can be seen crossing this imaginary pathway or belt. This gave us the names of the zodiac signs we know today.

 Taurus is still Taurus, whatever the decan, and this holds true for all the zodiac signs. But an early born Taurus is born under a slightly different planetary influence than a later born Taurus.

It’s all still Taurus, the same heavenly recipe, but with differing amounts of common ingredients.

First Decan Taurus (0-10 degrees of the sign)

21-30 April

Card Meanings: Upright:  money does not buy happiness, fear of loneliness, poverty, unemployment, ill health. Reversed: misfortunes are overcome, matters improving.

This Taurean has Venus and Mercury in their horoscope and also a lot of leftover Aries fighting energy, so they can be the ‘raging bulls’ of the zodiac, with leadership qualities and a taste for power, more driven and less easy-going than the other Taurus decans.

These are patient but determined people with great vitality and will-power. They are eloquent speakers, natural communicators, and do very well in teaching, broadcasting, public speaking, journalism, acting and entertainment.

This Taurus loves to learn and to test things out, figuring out how they work. They also adore their creature comforts, food, drink and all the rest of it. They tend to be green-fingered, interested in landscape and countryside pursuits, and are fond of animals who usually respond to them very well.

This Taurean likes to be boss but is generally a benevolent, generous person, affectionate in nature, though they know what they want and do not want,and they can be a stick in the mud. Statistically, Taurus is one of the most benign and least criminal signs, but every zodiac sign has its share of villains as well as heroes; and goodness gracious, Taurus is certainly no exception.

Famous first decan Taurus: Leonardo Da Vinci, Queen Elizabeth II, Ulysses S Grant,Saddam Hussein, Adolf Hitler (Aries-Taurus cusp), Emperor Hirohito, David Icke, Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson, Uma Thurman, Barbra Streisand, Penélope Cruz, Renée Zellweger, Daniel Day-Lewis, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Roy Orbison, Willie Nelson, Iggy Pop, Willem de Kooning,

Second Decan Taurus (10-20 degrees of the sign)

1-10 May

Card Meanings: gifts, community, generosity, charity, emergency aid, give and take, financial ups and downs, surplus and scarcity, historical buildings

Second decan Taurus is ruled by the secretive, psychic, domestic Moon and Mercury, planet of intellect and communication. This makes for a rather glamorous combination, in the magical sense as well as the more usual sense of the word. These Taurus natives are studious, alert, perceptive, and forceful with an unusually active mind. The drawbacks may be carelessness, forgetfulness or fickleness, or picking up things or people only to drop them again.

The Moon and Mercury is a combination of emotional intelligence and logical intelligence or communication skills. These people are socially gifted, natural psychologists, instinctively knowing how other people work and what makes them tick, plus they tend to be very good speakers, and they too, are known for their pleasant or at least distinctive speaking voices.

On the negative side, such is their charisma, like a Pied Piper or Svengali-type figure, they may, if so disposed, lead others astray.

Taurus in general is usually a good cook. And they are warm and nurturing parents, but with the best intentions, the second decan Taurus in particular can worry, or become something of a fuss pot or control freak if they don’t rein in their managerial instincts. Taurus likes to keep their loved ones safe but just as they hate to be penned in themselves, and told what to do, so of course do others.

Famous second decan Taurus: Catherine the Great, Karl Marx, Eva Peron Golda Meir (‘Iron Lady’ of Israel), Tony Blair, Oliver Cromwell, Sigmund Freud, William Lilly, Orson Wells, George Clooney, Rudolph Valentino,  Joanna Lumley, Audrey Hepburn, David Beckham, Donatella Versace, Bono,  Tammy Wynette, Johannes Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Robert Browning, J. M. Barrie (Peter Pan)

Taurus Decan Three (20-30 degrees of the sign)

11-20 May

Card meanings: Upright: hard work, industry, perseverance, slow results, long term planning.  Reversed: throwing good money after bad, disappointing results

Third decan Taurus is ruled by serious Saturn, the planet of Old Father Time himself. This Taurean native is responsible, dutiful, thoughtful, careful, patient and considerate. The power of this personality lies in the power of their stability, endurance and tenacity, making gains through thrift and careful investments.

This is Taurus at its most ambitious and hardworking. Saturn is the god of time, and astrologically, associated with boundaries, rules, and limitations. They are cautious and stoic with great respect for authority. Alternatively, they may rebel against authority but always constructively, using their organizational skills and strong sense of structure. These people can a strong sense of fair play. They can be quite political and may be ambitious to lead.

They are proud, independent & self-motivated. Not only do they succeed in politics & business, but many are skilled artists, creators & performers. The later natives of this decan are born close to the Taurus-Gemini cusp, suggestive of multi-tasking and travel.

Saturn is traditionally known as the great malefic and those born under these decan may also be prone to periods of depression, loneliness or melancholy, but broadly speaking, even when this is the case, we are looking at a truly benevolent person with a magnanimous spirit and a sympathetic nature.

Famous Third Decan Taurus:  Socrates, Che Guevara, Mark Zuckerberg,  Ayatollah Khomeini, Idi Amin, Malcolm X, George Lucas, Sofia Coppola, Liberace, Stevie Wonder, Cher, Dame Nellie Melba, Pete Townshend, Brian Eno, Enya, Mike Oldfield, Cate Blanchett, Laurence Olivier, Katherine Hepburn, Dennis Hopper, Harvey Keitel, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Margot Fonteyn, Eric Satie, Florence Nightingale, Pope John Paul II 

Happy Birthday, Taurus 2022!

This could be an unusually busy year socially, and a year of big strides or professional breakthroughs, if that is what you are aiming at. But if you are, then it could be make or break on a certain project. You had better mean business. Work on technical proficiency or new languages. Get that head down. Put that shoulder to the wheel, hoof  that turf – and charge full steam ahead. Change is coming regardless. Be proactive.

Painting by George Bellows, American painter, 1919

Introducing The Decans of Pisces

Chartres cathedral

This year we entered the zodiac sign of Pisces the Fishes 19 February 2022 and we remain in Pisces until 20 March, the date of spring equinox when we will move into the mythical territory of Aries the Ram.

‘Pisces’ is from the Latin plural for fish, and the zodiac sign is named after one of the largest constellations in the zodiac. The two fish are said to represent Venus and Cupid in Greco-Roman mythology after they turned themselves into fish to escape a terrible monster, a Titan called Typhon who was later imprisoned by Zeus, tricked and trapped under Mt Etna where he still roars to this day, seeking to escape.

The twin fishes of Pisces are often depicted as koi carp.

Pisces by John Flamsteed via Wiki

Pisces symbolises the concept of The Flood. This time of year marked the  rainy season in Mesopotamia -where western astrology originated.

This is also the time of the winter flood melt, when mountain streams swell the rivers and will sometimes flood the valleys below. This is the time of year for the earliest spawning of fresh water fish.

The spring equinox now occurs during the zodiac month of Pisces when the sun passes across the ecliptic, crossing the imaginary line of the cord joining the two fishes. This year, 2022, the spring equinox will occur on Sunday 20 March.

Once upon a time the equinox occurred during the time allotted to the zodiac timing of Aries, the first sign of the western zodiac, but this has changed over time owing to the wobble of the Earth; an effect known as the precession of the equinoxes.

Wiki

Pisces is the 14th largest constellation overall covering a large V-shaped region of the northern hemisphere. While it is large, its stars are faint — none brighter than fourth magnitude — making it hard to see with the naked eye.

Pisces is seen as two fish swimming at right angles to each other, one to the north and one to the west, attached to one another by a cord of stars, just as life and death, and winter and spring are conjoined and cannot be separated.

Pisces is the twelfth and final sign of the zodiac year, and rules the twelfth house in a personal horoscope, representing hopes, dreams and fears- what lies beneath. It stands for the mystery of the unknowable. It operates outwith the boundaries. This is its power, its magic and its danger, in the meaning of the spaces between reality and illusion.

Photo by Evelyn Chong on Pexels.com

Planetary aspects: Jupiter and Neptune

Pisces is the constellation associated with watery Neptune in Modern astrology but this planet was not discovered until 1846, and optimistic Jupiter is the original ruler of Pisces in traditional (Hellenistic) astrology. Astrologers vary in respect of which of these rulers they use in their own work.

The Pisces Archetype

Own picture Pisces

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

The zodiac signs paint a portrait of a person born at a particular time of year, in a particular season. A baby born in summer arrives into a different physical environment from a winter baby; with differences of temperature, hours of daylight, maternal diet during pregnancy and so on, with potentially different effects on the baby’s physical makeup and constitution.

The major arcana Tarot card for Pisces is The Moon, The Moon: ebb and flow, cyclical shifts, intuition, dreams, visionary capabilities, fertility, difficulties with travel, uncertainties, shadow boxing, wild creatures, instinct v civilisation, genius, delusion, visions, and ghosts.

The full moon is a hunter’s moon. The crab, sometimes shown as a crayfish, lives between the sea and the land.

Pisces rules the liminal spaces.

From The Gilded Tarot Royale, illustrator Ciro Marchetti

The court card of Pisces is the Knight of Cups, signifying an offer, an invitation, a proposal, a welcome message, a bringer of good news, an admirer, lover, chivalry, a Sir Galahad, good health, a healing cup, loving cup.

From The Golden Tarot by Kat Black

Pisces is a mutable sign, marking the end of a season. The other mutable signs are Gemini and Sagittarius. Pisces marks the end of winter leading up to the spring/vernal equinox. Of all the zodiac signs, the mutable signs are traditionally considered as the most flexible and adaptable, the ones most at ease with endings and transitions and change.

Pisces is not only the last sign of winter as we are moving into spring; it is the last sign of the whole zodiac year, the culmination of all the signs that came before it. Pisces rules the feet and symbolically Pisces has one foot- in the death of the old year, and one foot in the new life of springtime.

Pisces is famous for its emotional depths and visionary capabilities; sensitive, intuitive, psychic, artistically gifted but also competent or capable of scientific or technical brilliance.

But of course there is no such thing in reality as THE Pisces personality. You are a unique individual. Your zodiac sign (sun sign) is a major keynote, but it is nothing like the full picture in real life – or in astrology.  There are many other factors in play, your rising sign, your Moon sign; the planets in your houses, your decan and the degree of the actual day you were born.

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

Many years ago I did this portrait of my parent’s venerable goldfish, Whizz. One of my sisters won him at a fair and that’s how he came to live with us. Perhaps not the greatest start for him but he lived to be seventeen! One fish, two portraits in one in pen and watercolour.

What are the decans?

The decans (or decanates) are a way of marking time, breaking down each of  the zodiac signs into three shorter blocks of roughly ten days each.  

The Zodiac is a belt of sky we see from earth, tracking the path of the sun across the sky over the course of the year. We call this pathway of the sun ‘the ecliptic,’ The Greeks named the signs after twelve of the constellations appearing on, or crossing this zodiac belt: Aries, Taurus, Gemini Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and lastly, Pisces.

Each of these designated zodiac signs represents a 30 degree section of the zodiac belt. Each sign is then further sub-divided into three blocks of ten degrees, each about ten days in length, with slight variations. This gives us the ‘decans,’ from the Latin meaning ‘ten,’ or they may also be called decanates.

The decans are known as the ‘thirty-six faces of astrology’, adding extra depth and nuance to the stories of the signs of the zodiac, distinguishing between someone born at the start of their zodiac month from someone who is born during the middle or at the end of the zodiac month.

First Decan Pisces

Pisces- Pisces

Dates:  19 Feb-29 Feb

Planetary rulers: Traditional: Jupiter/ Modern: Neptune

Tarot card: Eight of Cups

Rider Waite Smith Tarot

Card meanings:  Moving on, cutting ones losses, leaving something behind, disillusionment, regret.

The first decan of any sign is considered the most typical. Pisces makes for versatility and adaptability, while Neptune presents a soft or gentle manner or appearance. This Pisces is very rarely aggressive or confrontational.

But there is a sense of a push and pull going on here. Jupiter means they think big and step forward. Neptune means they swim round in circles or hide in the weeds. Neptune, planet of illusion, is their sub-ruler, which emphasize creativity and imagination. This Pisces native connects with other people on an unconscious level, almost hearing what they are thinking. Maybe they haven’t noticed this about themselves yet, or take telepathy for granted, but watch out for the signs.

This Pisces 1st decan double style has a tendency to go on a lot of detours before arriving at their final destination. While quiet, this Pisces has deep passions and their love life can be tempestuous. Their ideal partner is lively and communicative with a can-do approach.

They often look younger than their age, but they need to be especially beware unhealthy habits in order to protect their health; mood, and the chest, lungs and feet in particular. Pisces is extra-sensitive to the effects of overindulgence of alcohol or mind altering drugs.

A desire to do good for mankind is characteristic of the kindly first decan Pisces.

Second Decan

Pisces-Cancer

Dates:  1 -10 March (approx.)

Planetary rulers: Jupiter

Tarot card: Nine of Cups

From The Gilded Tarot

Card Meanings: dreams come true, wishes granted, food and drink, the hospitality industry, overdoing things

The sub-influences for this decan are Cancer, ruled by The Moon. Cancer is the natural ruler of the fourth house of home, family and security. These Pisces subjects typically stay very close to birth family members. Pisces may struggle to loosen break parental ties and become independent, but must do so if they want to progress and develop and become the adult in the room, to provide for and parent their own children, building their own family unit.

These are the most elusive most watery of the fishes. Now you see them, now you don’t.  Their zone of the sky from March 1 –10 houses the stars of the water of Aquarius, and Eridanus the river and the west fish of Pisces.

These Pisceans are masters of disguise and can blend into any environment effortlessly. Pisces decan 2 absorbs. It is sensitive and psychic, but for the same reason these people need to choose their company with care, and form healthy habits early on in life. These subjects are supremely susceptible to the influence of others in their environment, and this can work positively or negatively.

Third Decan Pisces

Pisces- Scorpio

Dates:  11 March-20 March

Planetary ruler:  Mars 

Tarot card– Ten of Cups

The Legacy of the Divine Tarot

Card Meanings: contentment, completion, arrival, family life, a happy home

The sub-influences for this decan are Scorpio and its rulers, traditional Mars or modern Pluto.

Energetic Mars and Scorpio – natural ruler of the eighth house of desire, willpower, drive and determination – brings to this Pisces extra charisma, and the drive and determination to push forward where Pisces otherwise can tend to hold back, lacking that forcefulness. This Pisces has the artistic creativity of Pisces/Neptune; but has that extra sticking power to turn dreams into realities.

Pluto brings depth and Mars brings speed and energy of attack. This Pisces needs to stay busy, and needs plenty of energy outlets.

Pisces marks the completion of the zodiac wheel and this final decan marks, the point at which we move into Aries and a whole new circle starts over again. Aries too, is also ruled by energetic Mars.

These Pisces natives, just like the other decans, are enormously receptive to their environment, but they tend to stay more aloof and watchful and are less likely to blend in or fall under the influence of what is going on around them. They are highly observant, natural detectives, well suited to police or other kinds of investigative work. Pisces-Scorpio is an excellent listener, tuning in the wants and needs of others, listening between the lines to what is not being said. 

The Cusps of Pisces

Aquarius-Pisces: February 15-21

Aquarius-Pisces: This is a Pisces native with Aquarius tendencies; a person of high principles, often rather quiet, refined, and with strong likes and dislikes. This Pisces is likely to travel a fair bit and has executive ability and can make money, but can become bored quite easily and needs to be extra careful not to get trapped, becoming committed too soon in a relationship that really doesn’t suit them

Pisces-Aries: March 17-23

Born on the Pisces-Aries cusp, this native is especially instinctive and brave. This mix of energy combines physical and moral courage with compassion for others which can make this Pisces individual a successful leader. This person is loyal to friends and colleagues and they are also generous, and eager to see others do well.

Famous Pisces

Michelangelo, Copernicus, George 111, Albert Einstein, Neville Chamberlain, Sidney Poitier, Elizabeth Taylor, Yuri Gagarin, Michael Gorbachev, Osama Bin Laden, Steve Irwin, Steve Jobs…For more see HERE

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