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

Ukraine, and Pluto in Capricorn

Pluto bottom right

See also previous readings recently posted here.

Looking in my new astrology readings cards, asking when will we see a resolution in Ukraine, I drew three cards blindly and at random and then did a double take…surprised at the first 2 cards.

Pluto in The Tenth House

From The Astrology Readings Card deck, Alison Chester-Lambert

Top Card: The Tenth House card refers to all things to do with the zodiac sign of Capricorn: work, order, money, responsibility,government and self governance, legacy, tradition, provision for the family, duty to the homeland.

Middle card: The planet Pluto (which is currently transiting the sign of Capricorn.)

Bottom card: Libra. This signifies a possible answer of late September/October 2022. But it could mean diplomacy brings a truce well before then. Why? Because Putin is a Libra subject. Therefore, the cards are showing, the conflict will stop upon his initiative; his say so or agreement.

But why the double take? Well, it’s that synchronicity thing again.

These first 2 cards,straight off the bat, are mirroring the big planetary story right now, and the astrological background to this tragic confrontation in Ukraine. This has been a long time coming.

Pluto is in Capricorn The Tenth House. This is a planetary transit that occurs only every 248 years and lasts 12-30 years each time it happens.

This coincides with America’s first Pluto return 22 February, marking 248 years since it became the United States of America. It can mean the fall of an empire but not necessarily. Rome weathered 2 of these Pluto returns before it went into decline. And:-

The British Empire experienced three transformational Pluto returns — one during the Great Famine in 1315 A.D., followed by another at the start of the Elizabethan era and arrival of the golden age of British literature, and the last during the official creation of the United Kingdom in 1801

What this one means for America is a turning point, and the dawn of a new era for America, between now and 2024.

The Tenth House

The wise and ancient Mesopotamian sea-goat was a great teacher. Capricorn is the zodiac sign of cardinal Earth; work, tradition, legacy, and governance; weighty, substantial matters. focus here.

It’s been called the House of World Leaders. Capricorn takes the longest view of the zodiac, planning across time, and for things that will last.  Quality, durability, functionality, beauty, things of concrete value.

Everything comes and goes, but still, the rocks remain.

Pluto

The dwarf planet Pluto (yes, it is a planet) is in terms of astrology, the cosmic harbinger of elimination and regeneration, death, money, and all things found underground. It is the Underworld, the domain of the Greek counterpart of Pluto, the god Hades. It is the underworld in the sense of secrets of state- and the criminal underworld too. It is oil and gas and coal, and minerals mined deep underground. We ‘mine’ cryptocurrency.

Photo by Daniel Dan on Pexels.com

Pluto is plutonic. From Pluto we get plutocrat and plutocracy- and plutonium. Not forgetting the Russian poisonings on British soil, even if it was Novichok (or perhaps we could call it Putinium) and not plutonium.

Plutocracy: noun. a political system where the wealthy govern.

Pluto spends between twelve to thirty years in a sign due to its elliptical orbit and it brings profound, dramatic or downright violent territorial and cultural upheavals.

This one we are now living through, as previously mentioned, began with the banking crash of 2008. Pluto’s previous last entrance to Capricorn in the 1760’s coincided with both the American Revolution and the Industrial Revolution in Britain.

The previous transit was 1995-2008 when Pluto was in Sagittarius; a time of freewheeling optimism,expansionism, buoyancy, lack of checks and regulations and governmental and economic institutions that were deemed too big to fail. Wrong! Pluto in Capricorn brought that optimism – or hubris- crashing right back down to earth.

Libra

Libra suggests late September-late October in answer to the question of when this conflict may be ‘resolved.’ The previous cards seem to confirm that it will happen while we are still in the Pluto in Capricorn transit. We are now approaching the end of this transit, but that is still way too far off to be of comfort to Ukraine. However, other ‘cosmic’ factors may help.

Astrology suggests a crisis or peak or defining occurrence a few days either side of Sunday 20 March, 18-22 March.

After this one possible hope for ceasefire looks to me like early April, based on a number of appearances by the Queen of Clubs/Wands…because she signifies Aries, 20 March-20 April.

If that fails to materialize, another cosmic window is when Jupiter, planet of expansion moves into Aries ruled by Mars, 10 May. This is warrior energy all right. But at least it is upfront, in symbolic terms. Perhaps it is less frightening than Jupiter in Pisces in some ways, less terrifyingly bottomless, murky, lacking boundaries.

Full Fathom five thy father lies. -The Tempest

Canst thou draw forth leviathan with a hook? (Book of Job)

Beyond this, Libra means diplomacy, and Putin is also a Libra subject. Here is a caveat (am I hedging my bets? You bet I’m not betting. I am looking for clues via cartomancy, that is what this is. Listen to any number of astrologers and readers. Do they all agree?) Cessation of hostilities could still happen long before we enter the actual zodiac sign of Libra, and before Jupiter goes back into Pisces 28 October.

In astrology, Aries is the nemesis of Mr Putin. How is that? Aries is the opposite sign of Putin’s Libra. Aries the warrior is his shadow side, and his potential nemesis. Mr Putin himself, for all he has great intelligence- and venom- Scorpio rising, is not a military man. This has not been his CVto date. Not his customary ‘modus operandi’. He is a man whose strength and subtlety lies in shadows and half light.

A peek in the playing cards

I was at my parents last week, and my mother asked, what did the cards show about Mr Z – would he survive this conflict?

Top Row: Will Mr Z make it out in one piece?

I do not make predictions of death, regardless, but may assess likelihood of risk. The absence of dire spades cards on that top line, and the dominance of red suit cards, and the benign final card suggest that yes, Mr Zelenskyy will survive, despite the real and present danger and at least three failed assassination attempts. Curiously, my mother drew 2 club cards, 2 diamond cards and 1 Hearts, and so did I, in a separate draw, although the cards were not identical. If they had been, we would know that I had simply not shuffled the cards enough.

But the balance and mix of suits was the same both times and the overall appearance translates as, yes, we are seeing a probability of 3/5 he will survive and still be here 1 January 2023.

One might say – my mother did- oh dear, that’s not great. Well, no. It isn’t. But given the context…..

Middle Row: Will Putin capture Kyiv and if so, how quickly?

It still remains possible that Putin will not take Kyiv. The 6 Diamonds shows a critical week ahead (bearing in mind I drew these cards on Friday.) The 6 Diamonds also refers to speed of movement of vehicles. The attacking convoy has been anything but speedy, but there it is. The 6 Diamonds also means diagnostics, energy and hi- tech, and Mr Zelenskyy is doing pretty well in the propaganda war, and with everything that is happening about this on Facebook/Meta and other online social media sites, there is a heck of a lot in this fast, fast card.

It is a strange card. You want a yes/no answer? Forget it. This card is asking, is it really worth Putin’s time? That depends on his objectives. If he is aiming at the ultimate re-absorption of Kaliningrad, yes it is, and that is very likely the further goal. But if he finds himself on the back foot, he may appear to settle for less- for now.

The next card shows Mr Zelenskyy himself as the King of Spades (Aquarius, fixed air) He is looking at the 4 Clubs- meaning, a place of work.

In terms of dates, the shortest time frame here is 6 days. But in terms of DATES this card correlates with Taurus. In which case the cards suggest Mr Putin expects to take Kyiv by 30 April -10 May and what an ugly business that will be, as if it isn’t hideous enough already.

But this date frame, 30 April-10 May does look critical, given the partial solar eclipse in Taurus, happening Sat 30 April. Eclipses in astrology always,but always reflect huge events which bring profound consequences, but often these play out in the longer term, and may not announce themselves at the time.

But where is Mr Zelenskyy looking? (shown as the King of Spades, Putin is a Queen of Spades-Libra) He is looking at his place of business, the 4 Clubs, the Ace Clubs, it is turned upside down or he is underground? And that last card, 6 Spades, will only slow things down. Spades generally mean delays. The attack on Kyiv starts with shock and awe but then slows down. Siege? But the 6 Spades contains hope, because while in terms of timing it means delays, its story is about progress and recovery, healing, exploration slow, solemn and sure, though it is also, sadly reflecting this new mass, involuntary diaspora.

But Mr Putin absolutely does not want a siege either.

Bottom Row: Will Ukraine survive as an independent democratic state?

It remains a real possibility. On Friday I drew the Ace of Diamonds for Ukraine, sitting pride of place with and that means ‘piece of land.’ Like the Tarot’s Ace of Pentacles. It is the Ace of Earth. Land. Soil.

From The Legacy of The Divine Tarot, illustrator Ciro Marchetti

I couldn’t remember the other cards drawn on Friday to reproduce them accurately. Last night (Saturday 12 March) I asked again and drew from scratch that bottom row of cards shown above.

The Queen of Spades, that last card on the bottom row shows Mr Putin himself. He is looking across at what he wants. He wants a new President or Prime Minister as shown by that first card, the King of Clubs. He wants it all, says the 10 Diamonds. He wants the whole of Ukraine.

But, if it gets too costly, too difficult, there seems to be a little part of his thinking, that the least thing he will settle for, the least he might possibly agree upon for now, to stop the slaughter and retreat without losing face, once he gauges he has inflicted enough damage is- Donetsk, Luhansk (2 Spades) and Mariupol (Jack Diamonds= new acquisition) plus Ukraine’s recognition of the Crimea ie; the much discussed Land Bridge. Ukraine will more likely than not agree, based on this picture I am seeing. Like those stories of the fox that will chew off its own leg to get out of the trap alive.

But what comes across, is that despite everything, a successful outcome in Kyiv is still far from a done deal for Putin if he wants all of Ukraine ‘neutralizes,’ west to east. It may survive as a democratic nation state, a sovereign entity, but it seems inevitable that if it does it will considerably diminished. It would be far better for Putin if he can get the whole of Ukraine now, as fast as possible, because now he has shown his hand. He did warn everyone, and now they will believe it. Next time will be a tougher proposition. Far better for him to go for broke and ‘finish it.’

The cards are painting a slightly more optimistic picture than I logically expect. But no one wins. Not Ukraine, for all their fortitude, terrorized and dispossessed, though the Nine of Cups did turn up on the Ukraine story-line on Friday-the card means hopes fulfilled, wishes granted. It came up when I asked this same question; whether Ukraine would survive, even nominally as an independent democratic state.

For all the odds stacked against Ukraine resistance, and though territorial gains for Russia may be inevitable, there is no sign in sight of a Russian celebration. There is no Three of Cups, no Six of Clubs, no Ten of Hearts or Nine of Hearts on his future timeline, and whether right or wrong, I report the cards I draw or do not draw.

Till next time 🙂

Cartomancy, Kyiv, reflections, 5 March 2022

The Fortune Teller by Albert Anker, Swiss painter, 1880, Wiki Commons

Cartomancy is the art of divination/psychic using ordinary playing cards. The cards- once we learn their associated meanings, it’s a language- help us access the psychic mind, which means the human equivalent of the hive mind. They reflect our unconscious thinking or the collective subconscious.

Yesterday I sat down to look at Ukraine, using this deck of beautiful rather old butterfly playing cards from the Fifties, gifted by my father, left to him by his own father; a keen card player socially, though he never used cards for divination that I am aware of.

The butterfly is a symbol of the soul, or the psyche. The root meaning of the Greek word ψυχή (psyche) was “life” or may have come from the verb ψύχω (psycho, “to breathe/blow”). Associated meanings: “spirit”, “soul”, “ghost”, “self” .The word “psychic” derives from this same root.

The reader (blindly and unconsciously) draws/selects the cards which most accurately detect what is on the readers mind and reflects it right back at them. The apparent randomness of this exercise is what makes it so peculiar- or downright psychic. The very first card out is an instantly recognizable mirror of the question that is on the reader’s mind while shuffling. Or it is not. The reader can’t just make this up.

The reader then pulls more cards to see what the cards may advise, project, foreshadow or predict in respect of that given situation. Sometimes what emerges is a comment or insight into an unfolding situation which may or may not turn out to be a prediction as events unfold. It can be hard for the reader to tell which.

We are witnessing the playing out of a tragic situation. Prediction outright is not appropriate here. If Putin withdraws, still, a horrible tragedy is still playing out. While there have been many times over the years in which I have pushed hard for a yes or no answer for a client, working to a brief on their behalf, this is not one of those situations. No client privacy, no direct feedback available, so many variables, no clean cut answers.

But still, glimpses may be read between the lines. Putin’s victory is far from assured. Like the Viet Cong in Vietnam, Ukraine doesn’t have to win. It has to not be defeated. But should Putin become desperate, it will only make him more dangerous. March this year is not only coming in like a lion, but seems likely to stay like a lion and not go out like a lamb.

Question One what is Mr Putin thinking in respect of the Ukraine situation, as of right now, today, 5 March 2022?

The first card out of the deck was the King of Diamonds. This is Mr Putin, actually very confident. The King of Diamonds means someone who in charge of business. “I have got this. I am on top of this.”

The second card out was the 10 Cups. Mr Putin is looking at it. The 10 Cups is a very happy card, none happier except for the Ace of Cups.

It means ‘Home sweet home’. 10 is the number of completion. I complete my home. Mr Putin genuinely feels that Ukraine is Russian. Ukraine ‘left home’.

The languages are NOT the same. The mutual history is very long and complicated. But Ukraine ran away, the naughty child. He has gone to fetch it back home again, together with all its natural resources. Is partition the best case scenario outcome? Or is it Odessa and then Transnistria and Moldova next?

In general terms of dates, this 10 Cups means Pisces, the final ten days of Pisces season which means 11-20 March. Obstacles notwithstanding, the cards show that as of yesterday, Mr P was confident that he will have, should have Kyiv surrounded, and in his control by 11 March-20 March.

Question 2: what most worries Mr Putin right now?

The King of Spades reflects the subject of the question, Putin himself. Notice how he appears to be looking right back at that confidently expectant money king, the King of Diamonds card.

King of Spades:-“A man of authority, ambition and power. Divorced or widowed, an older man, a leader, lawyer, judge, police officer, health specialist, man from a foreign country. He can be arrogant, opportunistic, deceptive, cold, calculating, shrewd, possessive, emotionally controlled, detached, a rival in business or love.” – David Arcuri, The Art of Cartomancy (link for those interested in learning more about cartomancy)

Mr Putin is a King of Spades in terms of his natal astrology; a Libra subject according to his given birth date 7 October 1952. Although it should be noted, Mr Zelensky is also a King of Swords; an Aquarian subject: 25 January 1978.

Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot

So what causes Mr P most anxiety just now? Mr Zelensky himself, clearly, plus The 9 Clubs + 2 Clubs + 9 Spades.

9 Clubs =long range business, long term planning + 2 Clubs, talks and cease fires + 9 Spades, grief, mourning, death. The 9 of Clubs drawn adjacent to the 9 of Spades in particular, suggests delays. He fears postponement and delays.

(A ceasefire is a 9 Clubs delay so far as Pres Putin is concerned. His soldiers must eat. Supply lines can be attacked. A ceasefire puts his forces on to the defensive.) See the 9 Wands?

Rider-Waite Tarot, artist Pamela Colman Smith

This card as you can see, this tarot equivalent of the 9 Clubs, also represents the courage and defiance of Ukraine.

In Tarot, the 9 Wands can also mean long range foreign intervention. It could therefore also mean a fear of long range missiles or satellites. How is that? The 9 Wands is the card of Sagittarius, the Archer.

And, just as Putin is using elite non- uniformed military groups to terrorize civilians without accountability, and though the UK government does not endorse this, UK and foreign volunteers are travelling to Ukraine to fight or otherwise support the Ukraine resistance on a private volunteer military basis. Here we have Mr Zelensky proactively deploying Aquarius in defense of Ukraine (collective IT/socia media/space technologies/ Elon Musk and Star Link).

The 9 of Spades (Gemini) may turn out to be talking about critical developments in late May that will be unwelcome to Mr Putin. It cannot come too soon so far as many of us are concerned, but that’s what is being shown here. In a previous reading I drew the 10 Swords for Mr Putin on his future timeline. That’s pretty close in time to the 9, both in Gemini, and first he must navigate Taurus the Bull (banks, sanctions, church condemnation, the state turned topsy-turvy, loss of faith of his own people, food security) The eclipse in Taurus Sat 30 April may prove instrumental?

Question 3: What do we see in respect of near future developments in Kyev?

Watching the news earlier today (6 March) It is expected that Kyiv will be surrounded in the next few days, at which point Russia will make “an offer” to the government of Ukraine.

We have drawn the Queen of Clubs and the 8 Spades.

A court card, a king or queen, will describe a real person. I don’t know who this Queen of Clubs might be in respect of Ukraine. I have previously drawn Mr Zelenky’s wife as a Queen of Swords. I will just have to watch that space. Drawn together with the 8 Spades, it could mean a woman is taken hostage or is taken to prison or to hospital.

Another possibility is that this card is detecting another aspect of key timing. The Queen of Clubs is Aries in astrology, 20 March -19 April. Aries is a cardinal sign. It initiates. It attacks with energy. An initiative gets bogged down by the 8 Spades. Or possibly Mr Putin may have reason to seek medical help at this time.

The 8 of Spades:-“Traditionally a card of disappointment, illness and physical restriction. A loss of balance,  a lack of reciprocation, unrequited love, something one-sided and not mutually beneficial. Physical imbalance, health problem, mental imbalance, a doctor, a dentist, a psychiatrist, a wound, pain, an insult, feeling slighted or snubbed, hurt feelings, an emotional upset. Reassessing one’s goals, examining ones accomplishments, investigating or researching a question or problem, a medical exam, civil service exam, scholastic exam, forensic exam, police investigation“- David Arcuri, The Art of Cartomancy

The Tarot correlation with this card is the 8 Swords: entrapment, stress, restriction. I have also learned to associate the 8 Swords with difficulties to do with plumbing – drains, leaks, water supply. Dams too possibly, though the Moon is absent (flooding) One can also see the potential for hostages. as if the entire population has not already been taken hostage, and Mr Zelensky will have taken extra measures for the security of his own wife and children.

Legacy of the Divine Tarot

We understand Russia could already be hitting Ukraine much harder, but Putin does not want to pulverize the place. He will if that’s what it takes, but he would far rather harvest Ukraine for everything it has to offer, not least grain production sufficient to provide food security for 600 million people.

But should Russia achieve its objective of taking Ukraine in the next few days as widely expected, this card is not good news for Mr Putin, and this will be no surprise to anyone.

That number 8 is stable but not in a good way. If we were looking at an outright military success for Russia, there would need to be a number 1, 3 , 6, 10 Clubs or Diamonds, following that 9 Clubs.

Astrology Reading Cards

What astrology cards do we get?

Left: Near future for Kyiv? Aquarius. Rebellion, obstinacy, aided by social media/space tech. But I fear I also see grief, present and future; Mr Zelensky is mourning. That 9 Spades also applies to him in the near future. He already is mourning of course, but now is his time for action.

Right: Near future of Russian invasion? The Twelfth House. The House of Shadows, enemies, dreams, sorrow, joy of Saturn. Mr Putin’s motivation is profoundly emotional. Just supposing that he who sows the whirlwind shall reap the whirlwind, and just supposing that he will not be around to reap the whirlwind personally speaking, for Putin a lose-lose situation might be the same thing as a win-win situation. He will not be forgotten. This for him, is about personal legacy. Either he will reabsorb Ukraine into Russia, ‘home sweet home” (that 10 of Cups card.) Or he will “teach the west and all the world, once and for all, not to mess with Russia.”

If this is where he is coming from, Putin may not care too much about the cost. Since when did Lenin care, and he died a natural death but then who did Russia get next?

The cost, human and other is already high but, despite the attack at  Zaporizhzhia, the largest nuclear plant in Europe, and though there is clear potential danger here, I have not seen that it will be nuclear war. Nor an accidental nuclear catastrophe.

Mr Putin has decided that talk is cheap. NATO is bound like Prometheus, tied up by its own rules, and Mr P is fine with playing dirty, and has decided he cannot rely on the neutrality of Ukraine -or Moldova either.

It is not wise to tell you enemy what you will NOT do, and this is what NATO, namely Stoltenberg has been doing. I don’t know where I read it, ‘the children of the dark are wiser than the children of the light’, but it’s true. To a point, that is, when they send themselves to hell in the handcart of their own design but leaving behind all their mess.

Astrologers have described this in terms of a cycle of events, a kind of perfect planetary storm, replaying some, but not all themes elements of 1939-1945 depending whose interpretations you are reading.

Looking back at readings done 2022, I did not see this coming. I just felt uneasy, and didn’t care one bit for this whole Jupiter in Pisces thing that some astrologers seemed to think was so wonderful. Fathomless depths, dissolving or absence of boundaries (for which we can now also read borders) And giant Jupiter. It made me think of tsunamis. It made me think of that ominous line from the Bible, the Book of Job, ‘canst thou draw forth Leviathan with a hook?’

Now I can see Mr Zelensky, sitting in Pisces (now) and shown as The Hanged Man, a sacrificial or Christ type figure. I remember the pang I felt, drawing the Three of Swords reversed in Leo, Regulus, heart of the royal lion. Sorrow to the lion hearts. Sorrow to the summer of 2022. Unless Pres P is dealt with by his own people- and it does look as though he will over reach or come a cropper, suffer a setback in the next 3 months, 9 and 10 Spades, the end of this crisis is not in sight that I can see. But of course, I have got things wrong before or fudged them, not hit them dead on. Any reader who says they haven’t is not to be trusted.

Once when I was very small, we went to the zoo, and apparently I said I couldn’t see the elephant and I was looking at it. But to me it was so big and I was so close, I couldn’t see its overall shape. Very funny really. But do we think an ant can see us just before we tread on it? No. It feels the vibration. It sees the shadow. I suppose I must have seen a wall of grey.

Photo by Flickr on Pexels.com

This is close and huge. The reader must therefore take the helicopter up very high. But to see clearly one has to be dispassionate, and preferably, not care at all, or just enough and no more. That’s the nature of the human mind in oracular mode when otherwise one could just weep.

To open up the oracular mind, that’s sometimes a hard thing. To see or sense but to have such little power to avert. The reader does not get to write the story, nor the ending and must tell the truth as they see it, but at the same time, like a doctor, do no harm.

But Putin may find that Taurus the Bull is his nemesis. Why? In a previous reading published here, the appearance of the Hierophant reversed sitting on the near future timeline. Money, banks, breaking faith. Secular ‘excommunication.’ Possibly Taurus timing too, late April -;ate May, and watching for the eclipse in Taurus Sat 30 April.

Until next time:)

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

Back soon 🙂

The ghost who came to tea

One day on a rather gloomy Saturday afternoon, late July 2007, my younger daughter Ariane went to a friend’s house for tea. It was the friend’s fourteenth birthday. The little girl, let’s call her Nadia, had, if I remember correctly missed a lot of school in recent months, due to health difficulties.

There were four girls altogether; and Nadia’s mother and father.

Nadia blew out the candles, and her mother was cutting the cake when the lights began to flicker out in the hallway, and the mother said, ‘oh, here we go again. You really need to come and see this, everyone.’

She shepherded them to the foot of the stairs, calling to the father in the sitting room, ‘it’s happening again!’

He grunted some reply over his newspaper but didn’t move to join them. My daughter didn’t hear what he said. There they stood, four girls and the mother as the lights flickered and then my daughter saw a man standing at the top of the stairs.

One minute, there was no-one there. The next, there he was, looking entirely solid and real as real; a young man with brown wavy hair, dressed in jeans and a pale yellow shirt.

They stood looking up. He was looking down as if looking at them, but gave no sign that he saw them, or any indication of being in any way aware of their presence.

Then, just like that, he disappeared as suddenly as he had appeared, and the lights stopped flickering.

Nadia explained, the family had been terrified when it first happened, and had asked the council to re-house them, but now they’d got used to it.

They had no idea who he was (or who he had been) But was he necessarily even dead, or was it some manifestation of astral travel…though transference on the part of the young man who had presumably, once lived in the house.

But because the hosts were so matter of fact about it, my daughter wasn’t frightened, just a little freaked out. Well, you would be, wouldn’t you.

“Alas, poor Yorick. I knew him well…”

Photo by Boys in Bristol on Pexels.com

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

It’s like that old conundrum, does a falling tree make a noise if there is no-one there to hear it? It takes a living person to perceive a dead one, and in this case, if there was a conduit, or a conjuring, the Tarot suggests it was the father who was the psychic ‘enabler’ in this household, though it was completely unconscious on his part. Maybe he had been worried about his daughter’s health.

My reason for wondering was the appearance of the reserved, moody, kindly psychic King of Cups, a man of deep waters, particularly associated with mature males born under Pisces, Cancer and Scorpio.

From The Legacy of The Divine Tarot

The young man was shown as The Hanged Man, suggesting all manner of tragic possibilities.

I once did a reading for a young man, and this card appeared with other cards in a troubled picture that prompted me ask if a friend had died recently, and his friend had hanged himself, and he hoped I could tell him.

I couldn’t. Nor would it have been right. He was not a family member. But no-one had realized he was so deeply depressed, and there was a sense of secrets being kept, and a great fear they would be discovered.

The Hanged Man , it is important to note, almost never refers to suicide. But the Tarot can talk in absolutely literal terms, and does what it says on the tin, such that a card means exactly what it says in the picture.

Say I draw the Eight of Swords, for example. Most interpretations will talk about entrapment, helplessness, passivity, and so on. But I have learned through doing readings for other people, that tarot might well be telling me about a problem with someone’s plumbing or drains. Yes, the Tarot talks toilets. Quite right too. It needs to go wherever someone needs it to go. Just as when you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go.

As the famous anchoress, and one of the earliest woman authors Julian of Norwich once put it, ‘God does not disdain to serve the body.’

It is thought she kept a cat, shown here in a depiction in a roundel in Norwich cathedral, to hunt rodents, and this too, served the health of the body; hers and the cat’s, assuming the cat had the freedom to roam.

Source: https://www.winged-heart.com/acatalog/copy_of_Cathedral___Angel.html

Am I saying the Tarot is God? Of course not. We are discussing the interconnectedness of Everything, though I see no reason why God would be a man in the sky with a big white beard either, and if he is, does He need to go to the toilet?

The Hanged Man is ruled by Neptune – the suit of Cups again. This is a deep, Piscean card. Once upon a time there was a young man who was very worried about his future. He felt somehow shut out from other people (The Five of Pentacles) But he couldn’t seem to make his mind up what to do or where to go next, or to muster the effort required. Maybe he managed it in the end. I feel that he did. But probably not undamaged. Meanwhile, he had left this mark.

Surprisingly, only a small percentage of paranormal sightings are true ghosts. The majority of them are really sightings of what we call “residual energy” — when an emotional event is replayed over and over again, at the same spot, and at the same time. SOURCE link to SummitDaily

Maybe the young man was a complete stranger, or actually an echo of a living psyche, or if we want to go truly spiral, the ghost of the father himself as a very young man.

Welcome to The Twilight zone. Who wants another piece of cake?

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

At Halloween, hailing Hekate, goddess of ghosts

The Tarot card that in a reading can suggest a vivid dream, a vision, a psychic or supernatural experience or even a ghost is The Moon card.

From The Gilded Tarot Royale, illustrator Ciro Marchetti

Halloween is designated the season of ghosts. Why is that?

Halloween or All Hallows Eve is celebrated 31 October each year, marking the cross- quarter of the year, half-way point between the autumn equinox in the northern hemisphere, 22 September, and the winter solstice, which in 2021 will occur on Tuesday 21 December.

Halloween began as a pre-Christian Iron Age festival 2000 years ago among the various peoples of Britain and Northern Europe popularly known as the Celts.

In parts of Britain and the Republic of Ireland Halloween is still called Samhain (pronounced Sow-an, from Gaelic/Irish) meaning ‘summer’s end.’

This is a critical turning point of the year from the ancient survival point of view of food production, harvesting and storage, as the days grow shorter, the nights longer, vegetation decays, temperatures drop – and possibly more people get sick. We are now in the zodiac sign territory of Scorpio, and the Tarot card correlating with Scorpio is the Death card.

From Halloween in the Anglosphere, to Alfblot in Scandinavia, to The Day of the Dead in Spanish speaking countries, the period 31 October – 3 November is a festival marking the end of the harvest season.

Now we are preparing for the decay of vegetation, the coming darkness, the time of hibernation of many animals, and the hardships of winter. This seems a natural time to be marking the remembrance of the Dead.

Scorpio Photo by Jo Kassis on Pexels.com

Russia does not celebrate Halloween as such. It is not recognized by the Orthodox Church, though it has been gaining popularity among young people since the 1990’s.

In France, again, Halloween is not a traditional festival, though certain elements may be catching on nowadays, cultural imports in the twentieth century. But La Toussaint or All Saints Day, is a widely celebrated national holiday celebrated on the first of November.

Liminal Spaces

This time of year represents a ‘liminal’ space, a threshold – a doorway of some kind, an ‘in-between’ space between outside and inside, one room and another, or between summer and winter, night and dark, and therefore symbolically, between Life and Death.

Being half-awake or half-asleep is an ‘in-between’ state of mind or consciousness, when we are might have a powerful frightening or psychic dream experience or even experience sleep paralysis, traditionally known as a visit from The Night Hag, as portrayed in famous painting, The Nightmare by Henry Fuseli.

This is a not too uncommon experience that can occur when the brain is in-between deep and lighter sleep stages. The person thinks they are awake when they are not. There is a strong sense of threat, a malevolent presence, and they cannot move a muscle to defend themselves. I have experienced it myself, very unpleasant. Read here for the scientific medical explanation.

Any liminal ‘in-between space’ is understood as a sacred or magical space, a gateway through which ghostly or magical (magickal) things may manifest.

A threshold, a doorway is a space to be protected.

Crossroads are in-between spaces, representing a choice of directions or possibilities.

Hekate, goddess of ghosts

The Triple Hecate William Blake, Public Domain

There is no presiding god or deity of Halloween in northern Europe.

Hekate comes from further south. She is an ancient goddess of the night, the heavens and the waning Moon. Over many ages she has become inextricably linked with ghosts and witchcraft, and by association, with Halloween. Today

Hekate is viewed as the chief goddess presiding over witchcraft with followers today among neo-Pagans, Wiccans and solitary occult or magickal practitioners (NB magickal, is spelled this way to be distinguished from stage or performance magic of entertainer magicians).

She is a necromancer- one who can speak with the dead. In a sense, we all do that, speaking to our loved ones, held in the memory or visiting in dreams.

Perhaps in our dreams we are the ghosts who haunt our previous homes. When we dream we are back there, for all we know, we might be giving the current residents a fine old fright, glimpsing a sight of our ghostly ‘thought form’ somewhere round the place.

Astral travel. Not all ghosts are necessarily dead.

But Hekate was one of the few personages who could enter and leave the Underworld, the realm of Hades at will. The messenger god Hermes or Mercury was another.

Mythology

The name Hekate comes from the ancient Greek meaning ‘from afar ‘or the ‘worker from afar.’ This working at a distance is in the very nature of a spell.

Hekate was the daughter of the titan, Perses, and the nymph Asteria, and this gave her powers in heaven, on land and by sea. But her story goes back way before the Greeks, to the Anatolians (Asia Minor) and before that, possibly to the Babylonians and Sumerians who knew her as Innana, Queen of The Heavens, and later as the goddess Ishtar who was associated with love, beauty, sex, war, justice and political power.

Later, these more ancient story traditions became absorbed into Greek Mythology, passing next to the Romans, who spread the mythology as they expanded their Empire.

The Kindness of Hekate

Hecate is a patron goddess of dogs, horses, owls and serpents.

In Greek myth, the tragic queen Hecuba/Hecabe of Troy deliberately jumped overboard a Greek ship and drowned as she was being taken away into slavery after the fall of Troy. Hecuba was broken by grief, distraught at the deaths of her king, Priam, and so many of her 19 children, and at the fall of her city, and the ruin of her people at the hands of the Greeks.

Hekate rescued the tragic drowned soul of Hecuba and transformed her into a dog, comforting her with forgetfulness of her terrible sorrow. This dog is Hecate’s beloved companion and is a friendly familiar spirit, not like the three-headed dog Cerberus (his name means ‘Spot’) who guards the gates of the Underworld.

Sadly, once upon a time, like dogs, sheep and many other animals, dogs were offered in religious ceremonies as sacrificial animals, intended as immortal gifts to Hekate, as in Thrace in 4th century BC.

But Hekate is called upon as a protector of dogs, and likewise she is a protector of the home (as is a good dog) Pillars called Hecataea stood at crossroads and doorways, for good luck, to ask her to keep away any unwanted visitors, including evil spirits. 

Hekate became one of several deities worshipped in ancient Athens as a protector of the oikos (household) alongside Zeus, Hestia, goddess of the hearth, the messenger god Hermes, and the sun god, Apollo.

Hekate is regarded as a dark deity on account of her associations with witchcraft, but she stands for both dark and light, death and birth, and as a protector and guardian of mothers, as well as her totem animals.

Magickal Traditions, Symbols and Practice

Her colours are black and red.

Her symbols keys, torches

Her totem animal is the dog, her bird the Barn Owl, Tyto Alba, also known as the screech owl.

The Romans feared the Barn Owl as a bird of ill omen, and European and UK farmers have historically sometimes killed them for this reason, even until quite recently, and despite their usefulness to farmers as rodent hunters.

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What might Hekate help with?

-Protection of the household, family, mothers, children and childbirth.

-Assistance with banishing harmful situations

-Help for lost or sick pets and animals, dogs and horses in particular.

Asking help from Hekate

1/ Attitude

Care and respect is required as with any request.

2/ Naming

How do we pronounce her name? There is no wrong way as such. These days, her name is often pronounced Heh-kah-tay or Heh-kah-tee, pronouncing her name with no emphasis on the middle. But to the Ancients she would have been Hecate pronounced Heh-KAH-tay or Heh-KAH-tee with an emphasis on the middle syllable. This honours her oldest origins, so far as we can be sure.

3/ Timing

The best time to make a request of Hekate is during the time of the waning crescent Moon or at the New Moon. A free online lunar calendar will easily identify these dates. (Halloween 2021 will be a waning Crescent Moon)

4/ Place/rituals

Decorate and dedicate a small corner, perhaps in a window sill facing the Moon when you can see it, decorated with artwork of Hekate, Moon, dogs, owls, keys or other totems.

5/ Gifts and thanks

It is only polite to say thank you when asking for help with something, or to acknowledge receiving help.  We could for instance:-

-Burn a candle or a cone of incense (be careful not to leave it unattended)

-Offer a virtual drink; small glass of mead, or a spoonful of honey in water. Hecate likes honey, pomegranates (as did Persephone) lavender, garlic (unlike vampires) breads, sweets and anything shaped like a crescent moon (she would probably enjoy a virtual croissant)

Make a donation to support rescue dogs, or a local owl rescue centre, and tell her you are doing this in her name.

-Just like with a birthday cake, offer a slice of cake, or a cupcake with a candle. Make your request. Blow out the candle, making a gift of the fire.

I leave it up to you whether you eat the cake in her honour, but why not. It’s the thought that counts, is it not?

A True Ghost story

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Do I believe in ghosts? I have met plenty of perfectly sensible people who have told me their stories, and had no reason to doubt their common sense and the validity of their account.

We have the dictionary definition.

Now chiefly, an apparition of a dead person which is believed to appear or become manifest to the living, typically as a nebulous image and attempting to right a wrong done in life; this sense of the word is recorded from late Middle English.

The word is recorded from Old English (in form gāst) in the sense ‘spirit, soul’, and is of Germanic origin; the gh- spelling occurs first in Caxton, and was probably influenced by Flemish gheest”.Source

But the question still remains, what do we mean by a ghost? Are they sentient or merely some kind of an echo? Do they know they are there? Do they know we are there?

I recommend further reading into the work of the Cambridge archaeologist and paranormal researcher Tom Lethbridge T.C. Lethbridge

My phone rang one Saturday night, about 8 PM, a lady calling from Preston, about ten miles away from where I live. She had found my number in the psychic pages of the online telephone directory and she wanted a psychic medium.

Note. I do not advertise as a psychic medium but there is no separate listing for Tarot, and they put readers under that same heading.

The lady wanted me to come over to her house. Right away. There was ‘something’ out in the hallway, and it was blocking the stairs. She, her partner and the children were huddled in the sitting room, too terrified to leave the room.

I could not go in person, sadly. Nor do I advertise such a service. There are others who do. I gave her the name and telephone number of a lady who specializes in ‘haunted houses’ and meantime reached for my cards and asked the lady what was the problem? What had happened? What was going on here?

Her youngest child had been upstairs, she told me, when she heard a lady whispering in her ear, and it had really frightened her. The child panicked. Then her siblings panicked. Then the mother panicked, and the partner. It had developed from there. Now there was something outside the sitting room door; a cold spot, a moving shadow.

What had this ghostly lady said to the little girl? The ghostly lady had whispered directly into her ear that her hair was very pretty.

This figured. The cards confirmed a benign presence – or influence. A grandmother? The cards also indicated this lady had been under a lot of strain lately. She confirmed a lot of worries; a prolonged period of acute financial and other worries.

This, I felt, had been the possible, completely unconscious trigger for this startling manifestation. The lady went on to tell me that her mother had died three years earlier, and she was still missing her, quite badly. But the littlest child was too young to remember her grandmother, and how come, if the ghost was her mother, the ghost had not talked to her, but to the child?

Well, whether this had been the grandmother or not, it was because the little girl happened in that moment to be the one tuned in on the ‘right’ wavelength to receive such an incoming message, was my best guess, based on my own experiences.

The little girl had ESP and was very sensitive to atmosphere. This was why she alone had heard it. If there was a ghost, if the grandmother was still around, then she was tuning in to the living, seeking to deliver support or reassurance to the mother, her child, and the little grand-daughter was the most accessible conduit.

First things first, before this lady called the medium – if indeed, she decided to make the call, she needed to restore order in the household right away. She must assert herself and reclaim her territory, ‘psych it out’, and show and tell the children it was safe to go anywhere in the house.

Tell the thing to stop and it will is my experience. I once banished a ghostly cat visitor and am rather sorry I did so. None of which is my way of saying I did not believe what she was telling me. I did, but the living can talk to a ghost or say boo, just as it can say boo to us.

This was not, repeat not, some real life repeat of The Conjuring. No nastiness in the cards.

I suggested she tell the children, it’s gone now, put lights on, open the sitting room door, talk as she went, sing, whistle, make a noise, go down the hallway, put the kettle on, serve up supper for everyone, and talk aloud as she did so. Light and noise will shatter such a spell while fear is contagious.

We can simply do that, ask the thing to stop, asking nicely or firmly or fiercely, depending on the nature of the atmosphere. And it works.

I later heard from the medium. She and her team had gone to the lady’s house next day, taking with them an array of electronic equipment. She told me there was an old lady’s ghost in the house, that it was the grandmother, and that the mother’s state of stress had called the ghost forth. The ghost had simply behaved in character, affectionately, but since the child had been startled, and the mother had reacted with fear, everyone got scared and the thing snowballed and took on an unpleasant aspect. The medium said that now the mother was aware of it, the house should stay quiet now.

Perhaps the dead grandmother was worried about her daughter, and was trying to reach out and offer comfort the only way she could.

No suggestion of criticism attaches to the lady. None whatsoever. Fear was a natural reaction. But if it happened again, now that she had feedback from other sources as to the nature of the occurrence, that whatever it was, it was not malevolent, she could choose a more matter of fact response, whilst not dismissing the child’s experience.

Psychic author Cassandra Eason has written a book with advice for parents with psychic children available from a range of second hand book sellers online.

https://cassandraeason.com/https://cassandraeason.com/

Since I had not spoken directly with the medium myself before her visit to the house, but had simply provided contact details, I was interested that tarot and a medium had told virtually identical stories.

Twice, in a previous house I was frightened, hearing shuffling footsteps coming towards me in the night, once upstairs, once sleeping downstairs. This was an old man who once lived in the house, I felt, but whatever it was, was not hostile but nor was it particularly nice.

This was not happening in haunting prime time, and that time is three in the morning. This was no later than midnight, before I had properly settled to sleep, within minutes of my switching out the lights.

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I had twice seen a smallish dog around the place, running down the stairs. Once it ran into the kitchen while I was cooking. It was only an impression; a smallish to medium sized dog, pricked ears and a short coat, not remotely frightening; and curiously, because I did not mention it at the time, nearly two weeks after this, my younger daughter came running in very excited to tell me she had just seen a dog at the top of the stairs, duly named Spook Dog.

This shuffling of invisible slippers was different. I was not sure I would think this was a very nice person if I had met him in real life. Even if it had once been his house. A budgerigar had also once lived in that house, a man once told me. It was his grandparent’s, and its cage used to hang in what had later become the kitchen diner, but the budgerigar had the good manners never to squawk from beyond the grave.

No. I didn’t like this one bit. I did not want it coming into the room where I was. I spoke aloud and told him or ‘whatever it was,’ that it was not to come in the room where I was, or where any of the family were. On both occasions, the shuffling noises stopped at that point. On the occasion where I was downstairs on a sofa bed, the shuffling paused, and then I heard the feet going up the bottom two stairs, but only two and then they stopped.

The power of the physical, the element of Earth, is the power of the living moment, here and now. We are exalted in the Earth. We take in air. We take up space.

From The Gilded Tarot

This is ours. Our inheritance at birth. The power of Earth. Our ace card in any otherworldly dealings, the Ace of Pentacles. A nice cup of tea, anyone? How about a biccie?

A spiral shell is a symbol of infinity. But likewise, a matrix of calcium carbonate is an expression and signature of infinity, made concrete in a spiral shell.

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