2023: Chinese Year of the Black Water Rabbit…

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In 2023 we leave the year of the Black Water Tiger and enter the Chinese Year of the Rabbit. This is a year of the black rabbit. Black represents the element of water in Chinese astrology. The Year of the Rabbit, as with all the animal signs in the Chinese zodiac, comes round once every twelve years. But then we also have the rotation of the four elements in the Chinese zodiac: Earth, Water, Wood and Metal. The last year of the Water Rabbit was 1963.

2023 Chinese New Year Day is on Sunday, 22 January 2023 and is widely announced as the start of the new Rabbit year. However there is a distinction to be made between New Year and the first day of the New Zodiac Year which in Chinese astrology is based on the lunar calendar.

Technically speaking, the first day of the 2023 Chinese Astrological Year is actually 4 February or the previous day depending on the lunar calendar in any given year.

This date marks Li Chun (立春), the Beginning of Spring.

This means that for a baby born before 4 February 2023, the baby’s Chinese Zodiac sign is still technically the Water Tiger, and not the Water Rabbit. Just be aware, the dates vary depending on the date of the February new moon. If your birthday is in February you need to check the dates in February for that particular year.

You are a Rabbit if you were born in the following years: 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, and 2011

In the astrology of Vietnam the Rabbit is replaced with the Cat, and in Malay astrology, the Rabbit is represented instead by a mouse-deer.

The Year of the Black (Water) Rabbit ends 9 February 2024 when we will enter a new Wood Dragon year. 

The rabbit is traditionally regarded as one of the happiest Chinese zodiac signs. People born in a Rabbit year are known for their extreme patience, and for reliability, kindness, loyalty and also elegance and a certain air of mystery. People born in a year of the Rabbit are quick-witted, sociable, careful and inventive – even ingenious. But they are watchful- cautious just as in Nature the real Rabbit is a prey animal. The rabbit runs. But nothing is ever quite so simple or one dimensional, and the rabbit will also fight. A rabbit will kick or box ….allow me to share an old family story.

Back in the sixties, my parents had a buck rabbit, Arnab, who once offended a Syrian ambassador. His name, Arnab was Arabic for rabbit. We had friends from Damascus and Palestine who lectured in Arabic Studies at the Uni of Durham. Arnab got his name when Hanan and Hussein came round for drinks one night (they were Muslim, officially but they drank alcohol- and they celebrated Christmas too) and Hanan said, ‘oh, you have an ARNAB??’

They were not keen on rabbits- or rodents, ‘oh, Margaret (this to my mother) You have a filthy arnab!”

Cue my mother’s unrepentant screams of laughter.

One day Hussein asked my mother to host a visiting guest to the Department of Arabic Studies at Durham University while he visited Hanan who was in hospital.

This guest was a VIP, a visiting ambassador from Syria, a certain Judge Hoshea (if I have the spelling correct.) This gentleman duly arrived at my mothers house for afternoon tea, and was seated in an armchair by the gas fire, which on this chilly day in early spring was switched on, not least for the greater comfort of a guest from warmer climes.

While my mother was busying herself in the kitchen, Arnab, who had the run of the place- my mother says she should have forestalled this but she had thought Arnab was asleep in his favourite den in the airing cupboard upstairs- came loping down the stairs and into the sitting room.

Arnab had an ongoing feud with the gas fire. Apparently, he had burned his paw on it one time. Now, when he came in and found it switched on, he would establish his dominance and also exact revenge by pissing on it. Possibly he was also trying to put the fire out, who knows. A tiny puff of steam would rise, the hotter the fire, the bigger the puff of steam but this pissing competition, the filthy Arnab would always win, the steam whiffing ever so slightly of a cabbage-like smell.

Mother comes in with the tray, bone china cups and saucers, a dainty plate of cakes and notes the whiff of cabbage and the tiny whiff of steam coming off the fireplace.

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Arnab has the guest at bay, loping round the feet, the elegant shoes of the distinguished guest.

Judge Hoshea is sitting rigidly, clutching the arms of the chair, his face like stone. But impassively correct, exquisitely courteous, he sips his tea, saying not a word as Arnab is unceremoniously shooed from the room and shut out.

He has the most beautiful manners. But it doesn’t need saying. He has now understood and is still processing this terrible truth- horrors- he is truly among the barbarians.

The point of this story is to address that non confrontational Rabbit archetype, and somewhat round out the picture.

A rabbit may indeed be aggressive, at least the buck/jack.

However the rabbit is not usually confrontational, and this may prove welcome news in 2023 in geo-politics. This year is expected to be a little quieter overall than 2022, the year of the Water Tiger which represents outward, expansive – and maritime Yang energy.

The Rabbit is creative. Spring is rime Rabbit power season. March, the month of the Rabbit in the year of the Rabbit is therefore looking like the key window in 2023 for launching new jobs, plans, projects and enterprises.

China’s President Xi has recently been ramping up aggression in Taiwanese air space, but he is being very careful, and he has Covid to contend with and all the attendant economic implications looking likely at least until March, the end of the first quarter of 2023.

The Mars in Cancer transit (war at sea?) could, though not necessarily, be detecting maritime developments or tensions late March-late May-

This could be detecting developments in the Black Sea.

President Erdogan, a Pisces native, turning up in the cards as the King of Cups, will most assuredly not want to see Russia succeed in taking the Ukrainian port of Odessa. This would be a challenge to Turkey’s maritime hegemony in the Black Sea. But President Erdogan does not want to fall out with Moscow,one of Turkey’s key trading partners, and has a tricky balancing act, with a general election coming up June 2023.

When I look at what if any single factor may affect when/how this war ends, I draw The King of Cups reversed. There are two figures here who fit this descriptor; the mutable Piscean ‘water king’ Erdogan-and the fixed Scorpionic ‘water king’ President Biden, and we don’t need cards to know that.

All the same. Readers can only work with the cards they get, or do not get.

Smith Waite/Rider-Waite Tarot

For the rest of us in general, the rabbit is at its prime in the spring, saying March-April 2023 is the optimal time for new opportunities. This is the time to make a push and to persist. “The early bird catches the worm”.

The diplomatic Rabbit again, brings hope of a ceasefire in Ukraine in 2023, or negotiations just possibly late in March-late April, and an easing of tensions in other areas, while astrologers in India are predicting a boom year of economic growth for India.

The last Rabbit year, 2011, signified positive news for the economy after the crash of 2008. 2011 brought a curbing of inflation. But the last Water Rabbit year was in 1963. What events or themes of 1963 may be coming round again then, this year, echoed, recycled or followed up in this new chapter in the Zodiac book of The Rabbit?

The cycles of history do not repeat, but they have a strong tendency to echo.

In the Water Rabbit Year of 1963

  • French president Charles de Gaulle prevents Great Britain’s entry into the Common Market.
  • Nuclear test ban treaty is signed by the U.S., Great Britain, and USSR.
  • Buddhist-led military group overthrows the government of South Vietnam.
  • Kenya becomes an independent republic.
  • Assassination of John F. Kennedy (by LBJ? That is the rumour. Strictly a rumour)

Inventions/Technology

-Instant coffee (freeze dried and generally made with Robusta beans, rather than the highly aromatic Arabica beans traditionally used in coffee.)

-Dr Who and the Daleks. My father comforted us that they could not climb stairs. But then, horrors. They learned to levitate.

-The Smiley Face icon/emoji

-The Computer Mouse and Hypertext, American inventor Douglas Engelbart

-The modern Hang-glider, the flexible wing airfoil concept

-The Lava Lamp, invention by British inventor David George Smith commissioned by British entrepreneur Edward Craven Walker, founder of Lighting Company Mathmos in Poole, Dorset.

-And last but certainly not least, in the field of astrophysics came the discovery of the cosmic microwave background-detected via a previously unexplained background noise via radio signal signifying a low level of radiation throughout the known universe that was interpreted as proof of The Big Bang Theory, in which the Universe is seen as rapidly expanding. More about this discovery HERE

Lucky colours in a Rabbit year

Considered especially lucky in a Rabbit year: green, blue, black, beige, white, and silver, gold.

In western cultures too, the rabbit is imbued with symbolism and superstition. Rabbits represent fertility, but the ancient Europeans also held rabbits numinous and sacred -mysterious creatures of the underworld, because they spent so much time underground. 

Wishing for the best that the Rabbit can bring to you in 2023.

Till next time 🙂

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:

Masters of Magic. The precarious art of Prediction, and when psychics stay schtum…

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There is a saying, ‘if you can’t say nothing nice, don’t say nothing at all’.

This holds true in many situations and is often the wisest thing, as well as the kindest thing, as expressed by the Hippocratic principle of medicine, ‘first, do no harm.’

There is another saying we have probably all come across, ‘opinions are like a*holes. Everyone’s got one.’

Just because one operates/offers delivers a psychic reading service, it doesn’t follow that when it comes to public affairs, one is going to offers own’s unsolicited opinions, feelings or psychic impressions.

Forewarned is forearmed (trotting out all the phrases here)but unsolicited comment, if unwelcome, is next to useless for practical purposes. Plus, regardless of whether subsequent events prove them right or wrong, ‘messengers’ really do sometimes get ‘shot,’-warnings disregarded.

The Curse of Cassandra

The saying refers to the princess of Troy, the seeress Cassandra, daughter of Priam and Hecuba. Although she was truly gifted in prophecy, she was so weird and bonkers, she was not believed when she spoke the truth, and could not save her city, her people, or finally, her son or herself. And she knew it. No room for hope. Here we see Cassandra having a rotten time with that thug Ajax. Troy has fallen, and it’s only going to get worse.

Painting by Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein, 1806

Cassandra was a priestess of Apollo, and he wooed her with the gift of prophecy. When she turned him down, he couldn’t withdraw the gift, so he made it a curse so that whatever she said, people just thought she was loopy and took no notice.

This in itself might be enough to send someone a bit crazy, don’t you think?

To shout into the wind. To see the approaching doom of everyone and everything you know, and to know that you will be unable to help your loved ones? Wouldn’t that be a kind of a living hell?

Then again, the truth may hurt, but beyond that, assuming it is indeed the truth, can it do any good?

That depends on someone’s readiness to consider the warning, or whatever other information you might have to share.

Was this input solicited?

Is it within their nature and their capability at any level, to have the resources to use it?

Unsolicited advice often falls on deaf ears (as does actively solicited advice) People work things out their own way, according to their own needs and understanding and resources available to them at that given time.

Making predictions in public may be regarded as solicited or unsolicited proselytizing, depending on the circumstances, though media pundits do it all the time.

Journalists have approached me on occasion, seeking a quote, an interview, a soundbite, eg; about Brexit. I have done many readings around Brexit and written them up here. But the journalist doesn’t want to trawl through those. They haven’t the time. They want a snappy sound bite.

Some readers might welcome such opportunities. All publicity is good publicity etc. Maybe so, if we are looking to build a high profile business or a personal brand. But if we don’t want that, then who needs the aggro that would undoubtedly follow. Journalists are looking to tell a good story. This may mean, not that they lie, but they do not necessarily quote one verbatim either, while my blog archives are available to browse anytime.

‘A word to the wise,’ we may say, when offering advice. Even assuming the advice is good advice, it takes a wise person to listen, let alone act on that advice in timely fashion, especially when the advice really isn’t what they want to hear.

All around us, people are issuing their own predictions left, right and centre. The state of the country, the state of the world, management of the Covid situation, and so on. We are all broadcasters now, and publishers, such is the easy reach of social media, the global village pump on multi-billion steroids, which meanwhile is farming us.

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The Achilles heel of any reader is pride or vanity, or fear – performance anxiety, which can interfere with their process and badly trip them up.

This work demands moving rapidly between a relaxed alpha state, and a controlled, analytical beta state.

People want to behold a mystery. They also want mystery and poetry- they require – substance and specifics. The reader want to have these experiences too.

But to get specifics out of a reading, we need a context. We ask questions, aiming at a target, sorting the wood from the trees. So that, for instance, if I draw a ‘card of the day’ for sharing with the general public, for whom is the message actually intended? It’s bound to make sense to someone, and it may even make poetic sense across a wider topical spectrum, but still, it is lacking a context and a directed aim.

In this scenario the cards are simply offering a message as a point of meditation, but hopefully this message will contain some sense of relevance or resonance for the time period it has been chosen to represent.

The Masters of Magic Deck

Yesterday I decided to try out a deck I have not used before, to pull a single comment card – no context, nothing but a straw in the wind.

I was using, not a Tarot deck, but an oracle deck, ‘The Masters of Magic’ by Severino Baraldi & Laura Tuan, and is published by Lo Scarabeo. Link HERE

This 32 card deck offers a miniature potted history of key figures in western magic, including the so called natural philosophies which were in their time regarded as sciences: alchemy, astrology etc. Their theories and works are examined in the little book that comes with this deck, affording the reader the opportunity of drawing down directly on a distillation of their knowledge and experience.

I asked myself whom I needed to consult on this day of the solar eclipse, 10 June 2021, shuffled and drew Card Number 20, featuring the astrologer William Lilly.

You can see the keyword that has been ascribed to this card is ‘Independency.’

Something in me reacted with, ‘why does it not just say Independence?’ But doubtless, I was just nitpicking. I’ll blame it on my Virgo rising sign. But we talk about dependency, so why don’t we use this other word, independency more?

‘Hey,’ I said to Il Matrimonio, ‘what do you think of this word, independency?’ He said, ‘never heard of it. I heard of dependency.’

American English? Back to William Lilly. With 21 June fast approaching, the proposed UK date long scheduled for the final release of lock-down, but always with caveats, data not dates and so on, and with feelings running high, this card struck me as timely.

People are upset, shaking their fists, shouting ‘no-one is going to tell us what to do.’

Well, sorry, yes they are or there could be no such thing as a society, however imperfect its various workings. Infrastructure demands regulation.

Our individual freedoms were already in hock when we were born, negotiated far, far back in exchange for the most basic safety and security, and later, for the many benefits of modern life depending on a hugely complex organization of infrastructure. Habitation. Protection. Roads. Lighting. Water. Food.

If we really want to be completely free, we need to go analogue and go off-grid. But we’d pretty soon be dealing with opportunistic human predators, aka ‘zombie swarms’. They’d find us soon enough. Meanwhile the weather would tell us what to do, and so would hunger and thirst and any illnesses. The seasons would command us, and the availability of all vital food resources. We’d have very little freedom in real terms, simply in terms of everything we’d have to be doing simply to stay alive from one day to the next.

This dog is looking pretty relaxed, considering. Or maybe he is just undecided, wondering if he is running with the wrong pack, and should join forces with the wolves.

On the other hand, no, we are not like ants or bees. Short of annihilation, totalitarianism is the ultimate collective nightmare. We have witnessed it in action enough times to know what it means, in all its horror.

The human animal must have plenty of individual scope and freedom, personal agency. It is in our DNA, in our spirit, but it’s a balancing act and sometimes it has shifted this way and sometimes the other in response to the exigencies of the bigger picture at any given time.

Why is man man? As long as we have had minds to think, stars to ponder upon, dreams to disturb us, curiosity to inspire us, hours free for meditation, words to place our thoughts in order, the question like a restless ghost has prowled the cellars of our consciousness.” – Robert Ardrey –Nature of Man Series

This card from the Masters of Magic deck, William Lilly, does seem apposite, drawn 10 June 2021, the day of a partial solar eclipse in Gemini, ruled by Mercury, planet of science, commerce and travel?

Lilly’s Plague and Fire Predictions

William Lilly was a practicing predictive astrologer, who famously foresaw a dreadful pestilence which turned out to be The Great Plague 1665, and a fire which turned out to be The Great Fire of London 1666. He saw these in his charts and wrote them up in a book published in 1651.

Lilly was well known by this time, following his prognostications during the Civil War, when he had seen intimations of the death of a king, and success for the Parliamentary forces, though in later years, after they had won and the king had been executed, he became increasingly disenchanted with Parliament and with Cromwell and spent two weeks in prison for his remarks. You can read more about that here in this article by Barbara Dunn, via the Urania Trust.

The plague and fire predictions appeared as a series of “hieroglyphic images” in his book of 1651 Monarchy or No Monarchy in England, meaning they were published fourteen years before the events they predicted came true.

Lilly used a coded astrological language, expressing concern that his judgement might be “concealed from the vulgar,” meaning he only wished those who understood the astrology to be able to decode them. He wasn’t addressing his predictions to the general public.

What would have been the response if he had? How could anyone have used this information? He was publishing for scholarly purposes, paying it forward

French astrologer, Andre Barbault, who died in 2019, predicted the 2020 pandemic back in June 2011. No. He didn’t call it coronavirus. He did not specify details. What he did was to identify the planetary patterns, which previous events in history suggested, correlated with these kinds of events.

Barbault identified notable times in history when the concentration or bunching together of the five slower moving outer planets coincided with epidemics, wars and natural catastrophes, eg, floods, earthquakes. For example, in 1347 the planets Jupiter, Pluto and Uranus formed a triple conjunction in the astrological sign of Aries while Saturn and Neptune, the other slow planets, were nearby in the signs of Pisces and Aquarius.

Bio

Barbault noted that in January 2020, Saturn and Jupiter were in a tight conjunction aspect in Capricorn and Jupiter was relatively close by in the same astrological sign.

M Barbault was not a doom merchant. He pointed out that big things, good things could rise from the disruption of such events, and that the Renaissance had been the phoenix to rise out of the Black Death.

However…

“The slaughter engendered a terrible panic, which manifested in punitive self flogging and the massacres of Jews and lepers who were held responsible for the plague.”

When pandemics happen, as they have roughly every century, there is enough time in between them for people not to remember what it meant on the ground, attempting containment, and there has always been a conspiracy theory, different each timebut involving a powerful ‘they’ and sometimes a scapegoat- someone to ‘blame.’

Back to the theme of ‘psychics keeping schtum’ …. in one of Barbault’s books, Planetary Cycles Mundane Astrology, he explained why he often shut himself away “in a remote, faraway place where you can’t guess what’s going on in the world around you. I had to rid myself of illusions.” 

But in this modern, secular world, although Barbault may be disbelieved or his predictions dismissed as vague or coincidental, but at least he was not in danger of a criminal conviction on account of his published astrology. Unlike Lilly.

In 1666, after the fire, Lilly was summoned to appear before a Commons committee to explain himself, on suspicion of arson. If he was not an arsonist, how did he ‘know’ about the fire so long beforehand, to have published these predictions back in 1651? His book had come to the government’s attention following the discovery of an anti-government plot which had used an almanac of Lilly’s to identify their most auspicious dates for action.

He explained as follows: Source: Rubedo Press an article published 26 March 2020.

“I was desirous, according to the best knowledge God had given me, to make enquiry by the art I studied [i.e., astrology], what might from that time happen unto the Parliament and nation in general. At last, having satisfied myself as well as I could, and perfected my judgment therein, I thought it most convenient to signify my intentions and conceptions thereof, in forms, shapes, types, hieroglyphics, etc. without any commentary, that so my judgment might be concealed from the vulgar, and made manifest only unto the wise. I herein imitating the examples of many wise philosophers who had done the like. Having found that the city of London should be sadly afflicted with a great plague, and not long after with an exorbitant fire, I framed these two hieroglyphics as represented in the book, which in effect have proved very true.”

These seem pretty explicit, published so many years ahead of the real time events, but that’s easy to say with hindsight and without reference to the book in its entirety to see what was readily accessible to the understanding of contemporary readers not versed in astrology. Faced with an opaque text, and lack of apparent context the significance of the pictures may not have been apparent.

The committee, with reservations, accepted the Great Fire as an act of God.

Lilly didn’t ‘know’ of course. Not as such. Astrologers don’t know as such, any more than Tarot readers or any other practitioners of divination know as such. But they think they recognize something, and that they understand what they are looking at, and this is what they can share.

Lilly showed further ‘Independency’ when his landlord wished him to leave his house, being frightened of the poor people who had started coming to see Lilly for various help and treatments that he offered…like many astrologers of the time he had some apothecary’s knowledge.

Now I come unto the year 1665, wherein that horrible and devouring plague so extremely raged in the city of London. 27th of June 1665, I retired into the country to my wife and family, where since I have wholly continued, and so intend by permission of God. I had, before I came away, very many people of the poorer sort frequented my lodging, many whereof were so civil, as when they brought waters, viz. urines, from infected people, they would stand purposely at a distance. I ordered those infected, and not like to die, cordials, and caused them to sweat, whereby many recovered. My landlord of the house was afraid of those poor people, I nothing at all. He was desirous I should be gone. He had four children: I took them with me into the country and provided for them. Six weeks after I departed, he, his wife, and man-servant died of the plague.

Pandemics pass and change follows. This is a given. Historically, a pandemic lasts 3-4 years. We are in Year 2 and we have vaccines. But we also have air travel. My cards have indicated it is likely that we will still be dealing with this pandemic situation until March -June 2022.

How? I told myself to treat an appearance of The World card as marking the substantial ending of a pandemic situation, viewed on a GLOBAL not national level. I chose this card as my significator because The World card is the last of the major arcana cards in a Tarot deck, and marks the end of a cycle.

I allocated one card to one quarter of a year, laying out a line of cards until the World card appeared. The tail end of this pandemic comet may come far sooner but I doubt it. Or indeed, later. And the last country out of it may be in S America or the Indian sub-continent before it peters out to an ordinarily manageable risk.

The World card as shown here is from The Legacy of The Divine Tarot, illustrator Ciro Marchetti

I was somewhat over-optimistic last April 2020, when the chances of a second lock-down looked about 50:50, and I was hopeful that we just might escape it. I tend to be a glass half full person and it looked pretty much in the balance at that juncture. Whether I am being unduly optimistic or pessimistic this time around, time will tell me and this is how I learn, and it’s a study for life.

I am living with a chronic health challenge, a form of autoimmune arthritis that started in my twenties. Sometimes I have less energy available for predictive exercises, unless reading for a client.

At other times, as with anything, a psychic practitioner may just feel, sufficient unto the day, why make a noise unless someone is asking?

Someone asked me recently, did I bet on the footie when Chelsea played Man City in the UEFA Champions League Final in Porto?

No, I didn’t. I don’t really follow footie, only now and then, and I don’t gamble. But I do look sometimes, other stories in the archives. Il Matrimonio shopped me once before, without my say so, and told other Dover Athletic fans what I had said to him about the result. The newspaper printed it, and fortunately I got it right, so it was funny, and all was well that ended well, but I don’t need that kind of pressure in general terms.

Il Matrimonio asked what I thought about Chelsea v Man City, just before kickoff.

I didn’t think anything. Didn’t feel a thing about it. Nah. Damned if I knew, so I looked in my playing cards and told him it looked like a win for Chelsea because

Chelsea drew the Ten of Hearts. Translation. Completion. We are in clover. A happy home aka in this instance a very happy home crowd. Joe Biden drew this card ahead of the Presidential election.

Man City drew the Three of Spades. Translation. Heartbreak. Injury.

As a north west England person, if I’d had a personal bias or partiality, it would have been for Man City.

The Joker reversed also suggested a fall or accident, I told Il Matrimonio and later on he said, did you say you saw a fall?

Man City’s Kevin de Bruyne, poor soul, had come away with a fractured nose and eye socket. Il Matrimonio says de Bruyne is a midfielder and he is probably one of the best football players in the world right now, but I never heard the name before, and what do I Know? Nowt. And I often don’t want to.

Score: Chelsea 1: Man City 0

Prognostication, psychic divination and forecasting requires you to look, then go down a hole, come up again and think. It is not the same thing as an unsolicited psychic experience which comes out of the blue, though psychic moments do very often arise on the back of conscious prognostication, which can open the door.

But in general, a psychic experience or insight comes AT you right out of the blue, and may seem entirely random and without purpose, at least, at the time.

Divination sends you in tooled-up, going purposefully into the blue. Or so you hope.

Until next time.

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

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

Photo by Rachel Claire on Pexels.com

February was added to the older Julian calendar in the 700’s BCE when two new months were added to create the new Gregorian calendar, matching it up more closely with the actual length of the Earth’s journey round the sun.

But the Anglo Saxons called February Sōlmōnath, from sōl n Old English word for wet sand or mud, alluding to the weather this time of year and the effects of rain and snow melt. The romantic Solway Firth between North West England and South West Scotland is actually the massive tidal ‘Mud way’, rather than the ‘Sun way.’

The northern English scholar monk , saint Bede, wrote that February was celebrated as “the month of cakes,” when ritual offerings of savory cakes and loaves of bread were made to ensure a good year’s harvest.

But is the fire festival of Imbolc and Brigid is a more ancient celebration in Gaelic Britain, including Ireland, Scotland, swathes of Northern England and the Isle of Man.

Brigid’s fire festival began as a neolithic festival marking the 1/2 way point between the winter solstice (Yule) and the spring equinox (Beltane.)

Imbolc spans 1-2 February, celebrating the arrival of Brigid, the Divine Feminine, and the harbinger of the coming of spring and the first lambs, so vital to survival of those early communities. Brigid’s name means ‘Exalted One’.

Brigid From The Sacred Circle Tarot

‘Imbolc’ is thought to mean ‘in the belly’ referring to the precious ewes in lamb Soon is the time of the first lambs although the start of the lambing season varies by up to two weeks in any given year.

Photo by Paul Seling on Pexels.com

Brigid was a powerful protector of women in childbirth, as well as the safe birthing of precious livestock. She was not only a goddess of the Tuatha Dé Danann, The Tribe of the Gods, but a triple goddess of healers, poets and smiths.

Via Wiki Riders of the Sidhe, the Tuatha de Dannan

“The Tuatha de Danaan, the people of the (mother) goddess Danu in Celtic mythology; a race inhabiting Ireland before the arrival of the Milesians (the ancestors of the modern Irish). They were said to have been skilled in magic, and the earliest reference to them relates that, after they were banished from heaven because of their knowledge, they descended on Ireland in a cloud of mist. They were thought to have disappeared into the hills when overcome by the Milesians. The Leabhar Gabhála (Book of Invasions), a fictitious history of Ireland from the earliest times, treats them as actual people, and they were so regarded by native historians up to the 17th century. In popular legend they have become associated with the numerous fairies still supposed to inhabit the Irish landscape”. From The Encylopedia Britannica

Brigid was said to visit one’s home at Imbolc. People would make a bed for her, and leave food and drink and items of clothing outside in the hope of receiving her blessings, petitioning her to protect homes and livestock.

This was a time for feasting and visits to sacred wells, and a time for ritual divination. A St Brigid’s cross is made from rushes and was placed in doorways to protect the home from harm, representing the wheel of the seasons.

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

Spring is fierce in its quickening of new shoots. Spring is initiation. Spring is fire, just as Aries the Ram of the zodiac, though bot starting until later, in late March, is a fire sign.

The old Norse rune ING or INGUZ is a fire sign rune, associated with male fertility, vitality and recovery from sickness. This powerful protective rune can also be noticed incorporated into pargeting, used in half-timbered buildings in Britain and northern Europe

The people would light bonfires on the hilltops by night, and by day might run cattle through the smoke of lower lying bonfires, asking divine protection for the livestock.

Imbolc was a key moment in weather forecasting. This was the time when The Cailleach —the divine  crone of Gaelic tradition—gathered firewood for the rest of the winter. If the Cailleach knew the winter was going to last a good while longer, she’d make sure of good weather during Imbolc and would use it to gather more firewood to top up her stores. Bad weather at Imbolc was good news. The Cailleach wasn’t worried about running out of firewood. She had turned over and gone back to sleep and the worst of winter was almost over.

Via Pinterest

‘Dark sacred night’…yes, but when the dark goes on too long, we shout back at the dark, fighting back with the Promethean gift of fire.

Doing a One-Card ‘Yes/No’ Psychic Card Reading for yourself using Playing Cards

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First let’s take a minute to consider what is meant by this word, ‘psychic.’ It comes from the Greek word psychikos (‘of the mind’ or ‘mental’) and the Greek word ‘psyche’ means ‘soul’ or ‘breath.’

That’s pretty vague, but we’ll broadly understand what we’re talking about here. It is the (sometimes spooky) experience of feeling you know something, without knowing how you know it or why you feel it, and then getting the proof, and finding out you were right, though you still don’t know how.

Wiki Moon card.jpg
The Moon from the Gilded Royale Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

Everyone is psychic to a degree. It’s fascinating, but it’s natural. It might be uncanny, and often it is. It really, really is, but that doesn’t mean it’s supernatural. It is you. It is nothing to do with the occult. It is nothing directly to do with religion or witchcraft, though these activities are connected to or derive from that aspect of the human mind/psyche.

It’s about your innate animal intelligence, your instinct and intuition, and is simply a more acute manifestation of these natural functions of the human mind -your sensory capabilities. Intuition is acutely heightened instinct. It’s built in to your software, maybe even your hardware and is a key element in your survival tool-kit.

Jung was interested in the archetypes of Tarot.

So you took an instant dislike to someone but you don’t know why? Don’t simply dismiss that feeling; the reasons may become apparent later. Meanwhile, give it the benefit of the doubt but tread with care.

So you feel an overpowering reluctance to do something, but you don’t quite know why? Trust yourself. You have your reasons.

Feelings can be wrong, of course, in which case we can always reassess the situation or our reactions, and change our minds. But far more often they are right, and they work faster than conscious reasoning. Far, far faster, and it is this very speed that can save our life. That if something feels bad, it probably is.

Avoid.

But if we’re all psychic, why do people pay to go and consult someone else, or go to a professional psychic practitioner for readings?

They are looking for a service, and that depends on skill and a specific kind of experience.  Professional psychics can not rely solely on their intuitive ability in order to deliver a service on demand. Psychic experiences happen when they happen, but the psychic reader needs to respond on demand, and to do this they have trained their abilities, developing specific skills, possibly involving many years of individual study, time and practice so that they can deliver insights that are relevant and that mean something to a total stranger, right here, right now.

But everyone had to start somewhere, and that doesn’t mean we can’t try it for ourselves.

Sometimes we might find ourselves undecided whether to go route A or route B. Using the playing cards might well give us a response that simply reflects what we already knew, or guessed, or suspected, but that is largely the point of doing such readings, and validation can itself be helpful in letting us know we read that situation correctly, whether or not it’s what we were hoping for.

Points to consider

Professional psychic readers are not permitted by law to take payment, reading for people aged under-18.

Or at least, it is not allowed in the UK without the authorization of a parent or guardian. There are good reasons for this, to do with maturity and vulnerability, and a word of caution applies here too, in reading for yourself if you are under 18.

There is a risk is you will not get it right and misunderstand the message. Beware wishful thinking or fearful thinking. Calm your mind. Try and place yourself in a neutral frame of mind.

You may for instance draw the Death card and get frightened, interpreting this as a prediction of imminent death. What is far more likely is that the Death card is reflecting back at you something that has been on your mind lately. Perhaps there has been a death in your circle or perhaps you have been thinking of leaving a job or ending a relationship or other connection, or leaving one area to move away. Professional readers do not always get it right either. Until, and unless you are getting correct answers more than 55% of the time, your results are statistically no better than lucky guesses. Getting it wrong doesn’t mean you don’t have psychic ability, but this ability builds with practise and confidence.

Stay humble or you will be riding for a fall. This is not about power. No-one knows it all, and no one likes a know all. No-one has a 100% accuracy rate.

Is is unwise to make decisions based solely on the turn of a card.

The cards are to be regarded as an opportunity to pause, reflect and maybe think again. Start with easy but specific questions that you can quickly and easily validate, e.g. ‘will it be sunny here outside my window at 10.00 tomorrow morning?’

You might not understand or like the answer.

This is the very real risk in consulting with oracles, even your own – or especially your own. It needs discipline. Words matter. Be clear in your mind what it is you are really asking. Avoid repeating the same questions over and over in hope of getting the answer you want. You may get that answer in the end, but this is not conducive to accuracy, and if it becomes a compulsion, and you find you are doing it A LOT, or if you are experiencing, or have lately experienced depression or anxiety, you will be well advised to leave such activities alone for the time being. It could make matters worse.

Now let’s look at how to get an advisory yes or no answer using just one playing card. That’s all it is, an advisory answer; no court of law could treat this as admissible evidence.

The One-Card Spread

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Ordinary playing cards have been used in this way since at least the 1600’s and probably longer. A deck of playing cards is readily affordable and easy to obtain in many shops and online if you do not already have a deck.

The One- Card Spread is the simplest spread of all, but can do the job perfectly well, delivering an accurate yes or no answer.

First, for simplification and for the avoidance of confusion, remove the Joker. The Joker is a complex card. It correlates to the Fool in the Tarot and may mean a yes, no or maybe depending on a number of factors, so is not ideal for our purposes today.

You need somewhere quiet, no distractions. Some people like to use rituals, smudging, candles etc. I don’t use those myself in doing card readings, but this is purely a matter of personal preference.

Doing the reading

First you need to decide the code or system you will use for your one card spread. How are you going to interpret the answer?

Classical cartomancy uses this system:

Any red suit card, Hearts or Diamonds, will mean yes, irrespective of its meaning

Any black suit card, Clubs or Spades will mean no, irrespective of its meaning

There are no rules except that you decide your system and then stick with it.

Consistency and repetition is crucially important. This is what professional card readers do. They ‘self-programme’ by telling themselves that this card means X and this other card means Y until with repetition and practise – it actually does.

They do it till they make it so.

Consider the question. It needs to be clear and unambiguous, asking for an answer that will serve your highest good, harming none.

You remain in charge, using the cards for advice only. You could, for example, ask questions along the lines of, ‘Is it a good idea/plan/will it work out well at this time (meaning is it in my best interests) to go here, go there, speak to, do this, do that…?” etc.

Now shuffle the deck, keeping the cards blind, asking your question aloud or just silently to yourself.

Draw a card whenever you feel ready. There are no rights and wrongs here, but it is this act of stopping and choosing a card completely at random that is actually the psychic activity involved in the reading.

You have here a deck of 52 cards but you are drawing just one, and expecting it to be meaningful and relevant, more so than all the other cards that you didn’t draw, that have remained in the deck. The cards that are missing may be just as significant in answering your question, as the ones that appear.

What have we got here?

A red card or a black card?

No further action is required or even desirable at this point. Simply log the card. Make a note and allow time to discover if the answer is correct.

If you would like to go beyond the probable yes or no answer, and look at the reasons why you got that answer, you could look up the actual card meaning for additional feedback, to treat that as an extra comment or piece of advice, referring to this very basic key below.

Playing Card Suits

  • Hearts (Cups) = emotions, health, offers, invitations, friendship.
  • Diamonds (Pentacles) = money, health, house, career, communications.
  • Spades (Swords) = intellect, law, IT, planning, challenges.
  • Clubs (Wands/Staves) = action and creativity, travel, marketing, study, ideas, inspiration

Card Numbers

In general, the higher the number of your ‘yes’ or ‘no card, the stronger the answer, except for Aces, which are the lowest number, 1, but are the strongest cards. So the strongest yes answers would be the Ace of Diamonds or Hearts, or the 10 of Diamonds or hearts. The strongest no answers would be the Ace of Spades or Clubs, or the 10 of Spades or Clubs.

  • Ace – new beginnings; the pure energy of their suit.
  • Two – partnerships, attraction, balance.
  • Three – co-operation, connection, growth.
  • Four – security, stability, foundations, inaction.
  • Five – imbalance, challenges, change, adjustment.
  • Six – sweet victory, harmony, attainment and peace.
  • Seven – spiritual discernment, magic, wisdom, turning point, options.
  • Eight – movement (or lack of it), organization, prioritizing.
  • Nine – Growth, understanding, integration, realization.
  • Ten – Culmination, completion, transition, endings, beginnings.

The Court cards (portrait cards)

Knaves/Jacks represent news or new situations, or young people below the ages of around 25.

  • Knave of Hearts – romantic, emotional, sweet-natured.
  • Knave of Diamonds – curious, grounded, sensible.
  • Knave of Spades – witty, clever, focused.
  • Knave of Clubs – active, adventurous, risk-taker.

Queens are adults, actual people; usually female but not necessarily.

  • Queen of Hearts – kind, empathic, nurturing.
  • Queen of Diamonds – practical, down-to-earth, good in a crisis.
  • Queen of Spades – truth-seeker, honest, straight-speaking.
  • Queen of Clubs – ambitious, strong communicator, passionate.

Kings are adults, actual people; usually male but not necessarily.

  • King of Hearts – approachable but reserved, wise, calm.
  • King of Diamonds – wealthy, hard working, shrewd, lover of luxury.
  • King of Spades – analytical, calculating, dispassionate.
  • King of Clubs – leader, inspirational, temperamental, sees the big picture.
English pattern playing cards

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 🙂

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