Reflections in the runes May 2022

May Rune Reading 2022

What are the runes?

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

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

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

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

Via Wiki

Fehu Uruz Thurisaz Ansuz Raido Kenaz Gyfu Wunjo

Hagall Nied Isa Jera Eiwaz Perthro Elhaz Sowilo

Tiwaz Berkana Ehwaz Mannaz Laguz Ingwaz Dagaz Othala

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

Review -April rune reading

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

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

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

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

Photo by Kathryn Archibald on Pexels.com

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

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

Runecast for May 2022

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

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

IMG Katie-Ellen Hazeldine

Elhaz/Algiz/Eohl

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

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

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

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

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

Personal Reflection

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

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

Ingwaz

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

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

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

The Green Man, Rochester Cathedral via Wiki

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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

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

Personal Reflection

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

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

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

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

Further Reading

The New Book of Runes  by Ralph Blum

Futhark. A Handbook of Rune Magic by Edred Thorsson.

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

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

 

In the Time of Taurus, Tarot talking Ukraine…

Photo by u0410u043bu0435u043au0441u0435u0439 u0412u0430u0441u0438u043bu044cu0435u0432 on Pexels.com

Readings 29 April and 10 May 2022

Left hand column represents Ukraine

Top to bottom

Aspect/Issue-present-future

Right hand column represents Russia

Top to bottom,

Aspect/Issue-present-future

Authors own Image using the Illuminati Tarot

We all see the issue although we may have different interpretations, depending on where we are living in the world, and our own historical and cultural perspective and personal outlook.

The reader is not free of bias. However, the reader exercises absolutely zero conscious control in selecting the cards, which are drawn blindly and at random. No- one knows what the ultimate outcome will be. Everyone is ‘looking in the glass darkly’, and although the reader may be influenced by personal prejudice when it comes to interpretation of the cards drawn at random, the rules of Tarot divination allow the reader only so much freedom of latitude.

Anyone can look at these cards and form their own intuitive impressions, based on the imagery alone, helped by their own experiences of reading faces and situations in their own lives.

Possible Outcomes (as we all know)

-Russia will completely overrun Ukraine, install a puppet government in Kyiv and then possibly invade other territories, Moldova, Estonia.

-Ukraine will repel the Russian invasion and recapture the Donbas and Mariupol, if not Crimea, though this seems unlikely.

-There will be ongoing guerilla warfare in Eastern Ukraine drawn out over years if not decades. This war started in 2014.

-Ukraine will remain an independent nation state but Russia will succeed in taking the Donbas/Mariupol and Ukraine will become further partitioned.

The Runes

You will notice two stones drawn against each column of cards. These are old Norse runes.

Ukraine has drawn SOWILO and ISA. These runes signify happiness (sunflowers) and success. However, this happiness has been frozen by ISA, the rune of Ice, cold and stagnation. Reading these runes in another way, the Sowilo rune looks like the Z on the Russian tanks, while Isa suggests Russian tanks are stopped. These runes suggest eventual victory at great cost, Russia stopped in its tracks.

Russia has drawn DAGAZ and HAGALL, meaning Daylight and HAIL/Storm. These runes are saying that Russia dreams of a new Imperial dawn (and every dog will have its day) but HAGALL brings a great blow.

The Cards

Card One: The disruptive (quite an understatement) Five Wands REVERSED. Meaning: Conflict/competition/unsettled market forces. This suggests active fighting continues at least into early summer. In terms of timing the Five of Wands represents the first decan of Leo which spans 21 July-22 August. The first decan is the last week of July, 23-1 August. Perhaps we will see a ceasefire about this time.

This is a massive simplification, but these cards suggest the last scenario as the most likely outcome.

The Justice card is drawn opposite The Hanged Man- a sacrifice made for a return to Law and Order.

Ukraine is fighting for ‘Justice’- the rule of Law. By this we mean its own autonomous law, and the principle of international law and order. Russia is fighting for the surrender of Ukraine. The Hanged Man means surrender of sacrifice. Russia wants the removal of Zelenskyy, who has personally been represented by The Hanged Man in previous readings (see archives) Russia has made a series of attempts on Zelenskyy’s life starting 23 February. Ukraine has made plans in case of his death, and this is unpleasant but only prudent.

It would be wrong to make predictions of death, but in previous readings, the cards have indicated that while the risk is very real, Zelenskyy survives the conclusion of hostilities. The central Ten of Swords however suggests a fresh blow to Ukraine or to Zelenskyy personally, possibly another attempt or added risk in June, correlating with third decan Gemini,around 11-20 June.

At the same time, perhaps directly connected to that Ten of Swords or its aftermath, we have the Four of Swords for Russia -or for Putin personally. This is a classic card of rest and retreat. The Four of Swords is nicknamed the sick bed card or hospital card. This reader does believe that President Putin has a serious health issue. By the same token, this card of retreat could mean a peak in the conflict, and in consequence, a pause, truce or ceasefire.

But what’s the process in play here? This reading is merely a snapshot in time. The reader is asking themselves, “what am I feeling about this situation right now?” Using the cards to reflect their own feelings back at them, the better to articulate them.

Ukraine Future cards

Seven of Pentacles, slow progress, patience, persistence, disappointment but there is a harvest. This card equates with third decan Taurus ie now, if we are to read the card in this way. Why might this be? M Macron has apparently said it would take ‘decades’ to admit Ukraine into the EU, although the EU will seek other ways to help Ukraine. Macron proposes to create a new Pan European body- which countries like Ukraine could join. Read more about that here

The Fool card: Destiny. There is no card more numinous, more powerful than this one in the Tarot deck. It is the card of the Portal, Ground Zero. Again, like The Hanged Man, it is Odin who sacrificed an eye in exchange for knowledge. Ukraine has already worn so many identities in the past, but will be reborn with a new constitution. How is that, when they are fighting with such determination to preserve their current identity? Does it mean that Russia is going to conquer Ukraine?

Knight of Swords The reader looks to the next card for the possible answer. The Knight of Swords represents anything but a defeat. This knight is swift, agile, ruthless. The god is Mercury, the zodiac entity is Gemini. The Knight of Swords is intellect, law, cool air, a rushing wind, an east wind. The Knight of Swords attacks. This is an aspect of Zelenskyy himself, and his deployment of the modern media has been masterly, Mercury in action. Zelenskyy is a modern leader. Tech savvy,media savvy, and a match for Putin intellectually. Maybe more than. He represents the future. Putin is non tech savvy, essentially a leader from the nineteenth century.

This card suggests a fierce fight back. Ukraine seems likely to move from fighting in defense mode to counter offensive, and may already be doing so, with an effort being made at this time to retake Snake Island and deny Russia that strategic position on the Black Sea.

Ukraine is mobilizing social media, Art and Beauty.

Knight of Swords says Ukraine will build a new air force. Never again will it allow itself to lie defenseless and naked to the skies.

Russia Future cards

The Hierophant is Taurus (now) The Hierophant is the Church. Putin has the endorsement of the Russian Orthodox Church to go take the two separatist republics, as represented by the two keys shown on the card. and also, kill sexual deviants and decadent people while doing so, because there is nothing deviant about the rape of unarmed civilian women. And children. The Hierophant is orthodoxy and tradition. Putin is an Imperialist, not a Communist. The Hierophant does suggest to the reader, that, like it or not, Russia may ultimately succeed in annexing the Donbas because of those two keys, and because The Hierophant speaks of tradition and conservation. Reclaiming the past.

The Two of Swords is the central card drawn. Here it has been drawn reversed. Again, added to that Hierophant, this suggests a severance of two entities. Partition. It also means the end of a period of indecision or the end of a long stalemate or deadlock. Someone may be experiencing headaches or eyestrain; either Putin himself or someone very close. I have known this card to mean exactly this too many times before for me to discount that interpretation.

The Two of Swords may additionally refer to Putin’s undoubted chagrin in respect of the applications of Sweden and Finland to now join NATO in response to the perceived threat to their own borders as a consequence of Putin’s unbridled aggression in Ukraine.

King of Swords. Libra (October) and Aquarius (late January-late February) 2023 could be definitive for Putin personally. Other card readings have suggested that he leaves or has left power no later than February-April 2024, but other cards, including The Joker, suggest it could well happen sooner.

Zelenskyy is astrologically a King of Swords, born 25 January, 1978 if the information is correct, and is quite possibly going to prove to be Putin’s nemesis, although at this terrible cost, with that cost still mounting. What can one do with an opponent who simply does not care how much damage he inflicts? There is a spitefulness in Putin. Astrologically he is a Queen of Swords. This card has come up on repeated occasions, usually drawn upside down or and when draw reversed, this otherwise savvy, wise and subtle Queen becomes bitter and vindictive.

In metaphorical terms, Zelenskyy, being drawn as a King of Swords drawn upright, is capable of steely ruthlessness in a desperate situation, and will cut off your head if he judges the emergency warrants it, but it isn’t personal.

Putin, being drawn as a Queen of Swords drawn reversed, will cut off your head after you have already surrendered, and it’s personal.

Henry v111 has been used as the model for this card in this deck, and I’d say he was both a King and Queen of Swords reversed in terms of his behaviour, although astrologically he was a sun Cancer subject, born 28 June and his rising sign was Virgo; exceedingly sensitive emotionally, and at the same time- that Virgo Mercury influence- highly analytical and detail focused.

But the appearance of this powerful court card does suggest Putin gets something for his efforts. He has to, or he is toast.

7 May I drew playing cards asking when Putin leaves power laying out the cards in rows, each card representing a month.

I asked my cards, ‘show me the Ace of Spades or Ten Spades to show me when Putin goes from power’.

The Ten of Swords turned up in the time slot representing March 2024 and this card was flanked by two Aces which struck me as significant. Aces mean new starts. The Ten of Swords was flanked by the Ace of Diamonds,representing February 2024, and the Ace of Clubs representing April 2024.

These Aces suggest a new leadership. Either one of them can mean a new government.

However, The Four of Swords drawn for late 2022 and the Joker drawn for January 2023 suggest big changes could happen far sooner, on the Russian side.

In particular The Joker, denoting change that is as sudden or surprising as it is momentous.

The Joker is no laughing matter. He never was. He is The Fool on The Hill, neither good nor evil but still, a portal. The Joker says…a great destiny is in play here that will help shape the future world order for a long time to come. To those who say ‘what is this to do with us in the UK?’ (That is, if we leave the nukes out of the question, and no, the UK is not going to get nuked, much as Putin may be itching to teach us a ‘lesson.’)

To those people, The Joker says, what is freedom? What is justice? The rule of Law? Self-respect? Self determination? What do we mean by these words? How much do they matter to us based on our understanding of what they mean when applied in action? In every day living? What is their value? What is their cost? What would we pay, what would we sacrifice to guarantee them for ourselves or our own people? Not to live under the boot.

April 2024 for Putin’s departure may seem a long way off, but it could chime with that Two of Swords reversed on the Russia timeline, which brackets a time frame running from October 2022 Libra- or up to another two years in duration from today 10 May 2022.

One can see that scenario is perfectly credible and realistic, but I somehow don’t feel this will continue so long as 2024, not at this intensity, partly based on that appearance of The Joker.

Putin preparing for a long war, say US officials

Vladimir Putin appears to be preparing for a long war in Ukraine, top US intelligence officials said.

“The Russians aren’t winning and the Ukrainians aren’t winning and we’re at a bit of a stalemate here,” Lieutenant General Scott Berrier, the head of the Defence Intelligence Agency, said before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Russia, which calls the invasion “a special military operation,” poured more troops into Ukraine for a huge offensive last month in the eastern part of the country but its gains have been slow.

US Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, also appearing before the Armed Services Committee, said: “We assess President Putin is preparing for a prolonged conflict in Ukraine during which he still intends to achieve goals beyond the Donbas.”

She added that Mr Putin was counting on the Western resolve to weaken over time and as the conflict continued, there was concern about how it would develop in the coming months.

Source: The Independent

The reader has got things right before, Brexit, tsunami of January 2022, the election of Boris Johnson first as party leader and then as PM. But readers also get things wrong. Of course they do. This is divination, not black magic. This reader was pretty wobbly on the re-election of Donald Trump, not seeing that the Ace of Swords, which she mistook for a likely election victory was in fact, the armed incursion on Capitol Hill in the aftermath (and- declaration of bias- she is not a Trump fan, but nor is she a Biden fan)It’s all in the archives.

As ever only Time will tell. But meantime, I will keep looking.

We ‘look in the glass darkly’ to ‘see the world in a grain of sand’ or a drop of water – or a mote in the Mind’s eye.

Photo by Jani Tisler on Pexels.com

President Putin, former President Poroshenko and The Joker

Moscow Pexels.com

What if?

The joke is not remotely funny, but could this be the wild card, The Joker in real life action? In the living person of former Ukraine President Poroshenko.

Has Ukraine set a trap for itself of its own devising? That the Ukraine judiciary chose in January, with Russia growling ever louder, to summon to court former President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko who had fled to exile in Russia but flew in from Warsaw for this court case January 2022?

Read here for that story: Aljazeera 19 January 2022

“On 25 February 2022, amid the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, Poroshenko appeared on TV with a Kalashnikov rifle together with the civil defense forces on the streets of Kyiv. He also stated that he believed that “Putin will never conquer Ukraine, no matter how many soldiers he has, how many missiles he has, how many nuclear weapons he has… We Ukrainians are a free people, with a great European future. This is definitely so”- Wikipedia

Yes. But. But.

Tweeted 07 March

Katie-Ellen

@TrueTarotTales·

Ukraine ordered in its own Trojan horse? Extraordinary timing of this court case. Mr Poroshenko has flown in from Warsaw (not exile in Russia?) Now in situ, out on bail, Mr Putin’s replacement of choice for Mr Z if/when Russia captures Kyiv?

It wouldn’t be Mr Poroshenko,who would be Mr Putin’s choice, would it, but more likely former pro Russian President and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych currently in exile in Russia

But the cards are detecting a logic.

If you were Mr Putin, and you didn’t want to wreck Ukraine but to claim it, harness it and harvest it, or simply neutralize it, so you needed a new government ready and waiting in case or when you captured Kyiv, how might it solve a problem: the presence on Ukrainian soil at this critical juncture of a former Ukraine President who, while displaying ultra Ukrainian nationalism has also been also accused of funding pro-Russian separatists in the Donbass via alleged illegal sales of coal: is this is someone who for gain, is not averse to politically facing two ways at once? While Yanukovych in exile is a far more straightforward proposition. He was actively against a closer ties with the EU.

Could Yanukovych, in the event of a conclusive Russian victory, offer Putin

  1. A way to govern the Donbass installing a Ukrainian puppet, harder for the world to argue about, knowing it is now in your pocket with more to follow later, quietly
  2. A way to claim a political as well as a military victory at home, hopefully heading off any coup, plots, internal adversaries before they arrive at the pass, while snookering the foreign opposition who know fine well what you have done here but may well only be grateful, though now of course, more wary, suspicious and …more respectful?

If if it is Yanukovych, will Poroshenko need to disappear right off the scene, assuming what is not by any means looking certain at this stage, that Russia ultimately captures the Kyiv government.

The Joker is a card of destiny. Of a rebirth. It is a portal, the number Zero. It is the Tarot’s equivalent of The Fool. It is Odin, god of war. The god who hung nine days upside down on the world tree, and gave an eye to learn the runes, and the knowledge of all things.

And where does that leave Mr Z if Kyiv is captured? We drew this card before.

He concedes or he is gone.

But with a pro-Russian president back in Ukraine, pro-Russian separatists active near and within Moldova, perhaps, if he can take Kyiv soon enough before he HAS to get Odessa, and has an experienced Ukrainian politician already in situ; an able and willing Russian proxy president …perhaps Putin could call the troops home, avoiding the need to take Odessa, no need to wreak destruction on this iconic port city. It is now politically re-secured for Russia.

Moldova has applied to join NATO But as we are seeing, a lot can happen in a day right now. Joining Nato could take years. And the West is making an elementary error of psychology, in stating so categorically what it will NOT do. Whatever the West’s actual intentions, to state up front what they will not do, to remove certain cards from the table so as not to frighten everyone, is a gift to Putin, but not enough of a reassurance sufficient for him to stand down.

The Fool

Zero draws the Number of the Fool

But only fools will fail to fear

The oddly smiling one who walks alone

Exiled, outland, dawn and dusk

Fleeting, glimpsed by tree and mere

Where ripples lap without a breeze

Or single casting of a stone

Zero, Odin’s one remaining eye

The other traded for all knowing

Nine days he hung considering

On Yggdrasil, the great ash tree

But Life is flux and unfulfilled

 And hungry, Odin walks abroad with Men

Entranced by their technology

Their blindly restless struggles to get free

Refusing that their final liberty

Is in their choice of sacrifice

Their ultimate expression

In their direst of necessity

Insatiably, dispassionate, he watches, waits

And sometimes smiles, but has no tears

For what might dim or blind his sight

Of conjurings and reckonings with Fate

The newborn come and dead depart

His scouts of Thought and Memory

Twin ravens, Hugin, Munin, fly

Through Odin’s questing, flaming Eye

The singing echo-chamber of The Gate.

Katie-Ellen Hazeldine  

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“Nevermore”, quoth the raven.

As ever, only time will tell. I am just wondering about that Joker.

PS: 20:35 PM There is a feeling that something new is afoot. If Pres P were to present Mr Z with terms, and if he has grave enough concerns re Kyiv, who knows, perhaps he may, then he could withdraw and still claim victory, if Mr Z agrees that Ukraine shall let go the 2 seperatist states in the Donbass and Crimea. Since Mr P has been telling the Russian people all along that these were his objectives.

Katie-Ellen

@TrueTarotTales·

#cartomancy I don’t know; is something shifting- 6 Clubs, Ace Hearts rev, 6 Spades, grief, loss, progress, healing, King Diamonds, Mr Putin? 3 Clubs, a meeting. New talks – a breakthrough? 3 -6 days (3 /6 Clubs) longest 6 months but no, will be sooner if at all.

Till next time 🙂

December dramas. Ding, dong, dang and blast?

Gabriel, yoohooo! Give us some good news!

The Annunciation by Van Eyck

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

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

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

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

Rune:  Othala

The Hierophant

Card Meanings

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

The Knight of Swords

Card Meanings

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

The Four of Pentacles

Card Meanings

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

The Four of Pentacles is ruled by Mercury, the planet of travel, research, trade and commerce. Mercury also rules IT and data analysis, and it rules Virgo, which in astrology is the sixth house of harvest, health, routines and hygiene.

Rune: Othala

Meanings: wealth, ancestry, ancestral homelands, family, old age, our old folk, different generations, memories, identity, belonging, and all the things that we most treasure.

Where do we feel at home?

This rune also picks up on migration and surrounding questions and issues.

General Impressions

December looks pretty eventful on the world stage, not to say stressful, with sudden flurries of news, mostly not welcome. We might want to switch off the media for a bit, and have a break from all the shrieking.

These cards look reasonably reassuring all the same, not too much shock and awe. Here’s hoping we’ve already seen the worst of December.

The Knight of Swords; sudden attack, storm, wind, can be read in reference to recent terrible weather events, and the damage and tragic casualties in Kentucky.

The Earth itself is always restless, and currently more unsettled than usual. Perhaps it is little wonder that we are too. The world is never quiet, never at peace. Nor is the Earth. It is always relative. Each year, the Moon pulls away, and so does the Sun in this present cycle.

But really, short of an actual world war, the whole world is embattled one way and another, no quiet news months since December 2019, when we first learned of a newly emerging health crisis in Wuhan.

We now approach the second anniversary of the pandemic with its new variants, and unrolling economic, political and social effects. There is no government, that is, no government that permits even peaceful dissent, that is not grappling with this monstrously slippery eel, while experiencing furious criticism and dissent from one quarter or another, no matter what response they make, deciding how to tackle the problem. The Hierophant as a symbol of governments anywhere is either taking a pasting right now, or, depending on the country, dealing them out.

These are times of instability. This instability is not only man-made but natural, due to extreme weather events, and seismic, volcanic events, such as the ongoing eruption on La Palma, and recent periodic increases in solar flare activity.

The La Palma eruption has now become the longest running on the island, and the cards suggest it will still be erupting into January 2022 though it seems to be calming now. Article HERE

What is the Tarot connection? Well, we are in the zodiac time frame of Sagittarius, 22 November- 21 December, and the court card of Sagittarius is the Knight of Wands, as seen here in the Gilded Tarot Royale.

From The Gilded Tarot Royale, Artist, Ciro Marchetti

Sagittarius is the element of Mutable Fire. Changeable fire. Changeable states. Blow me down, if this depiction of Sir Sagittarius does not actually show a volcano erupting magma.

Then in Java, Mount Semeru erupted 4 December, spilling out a deadly pyroclastic flow. 

“The slurry of debris that swept down Semeru proved catastrophic to villagers living around the mountain’s base in the Lumajang Regency, particularly Curah Kobokan. According to The Jakarta Post, at least 39 people have died. Large numbers of homes were destroyed or damaged, and many animals are among the eruption’s victims.”

More Here

Of course, this is not to say that the month of the zodiac sign of Sagittarius= volcano eruption month.

But there it is, or there it was. A card specifically correlating with the dates 22 November-21 December and we are looking at it. The synchronicity, at least for 2021 is undeniable.

What else might these cards mean in practical terms?

Obviously, this can only be a very general reading, and is therefore limited in its specificity, but The Hierophant represents stability, security and continuity, doing things ‘by the book.’  And it also represents the converse as previously discussed. This December we are not doing things by the book, while at the same time there is plenty of ‘throwing the book ‘ at XYZ.

The Hierophant is turning up a lot in readings at the moment, which is hardly surprising. Sometimes it is drawn the right way up, but just as often it is being drawn upside down, reflecting a situation in which old wisdoms, old ways of seeing things and doing things are being challenged.

Why is this not surprising? Well, it shouldn’t be. The Tarot detects, reflects and projects.

First it acts as a mirror on what is already happening. This is crucial in a reading because it confirms the baseline for the reader.

The Hierophant attacked by the Knight of Swords marks a time of acute unrest, such as we have been witnessing for some time now, every time we turn on the television or engage on social media.

Astrology associates this with the fact that the outer planet Uranus, ‘planet of rebellion and innovation’, is stationed in Taurus, the steady Bull sign associated with The Hierophant.  

Uranus is retrograde for parts of December, signifying a mood of intense inward reflection on what needs to stay and what needs to go or change, both collectively, and privately and individually.

Uranus made this move into Taurus in 2019 and will stay there until April 2026, so we are in for a bumpy ride. The question is how we can best handle things on an individual level, re-evaluating our priorities, keeping our cool, learning new skills at every opportunity and helping our children to do the same.

The Four of Pentacles is about HANGING ON IN THERE. And there are times, when continuity offers the best scenario all in all.

Some astrologers think Boris Johnson is about to meet his political nemesis. Possibly, but to me it does not look that way, not this month, parties or no parties, knowledge of parties, or no knowledge of parties. Why not? Because of the appearance of the Four of Pentacles.  If he goes, having inherited the poisoned chalice of this pandemic at the very beginning almost, of his premiership, it will be of his own volition because of sheer exhaustion.

This is a very broad picture, very general, yes. But of the 78 cards in a Tarot deck, 75 stayed in the deck and these were the three drawn for this coming month, December 2021.

Let’s look again. Save scrolling up.

UK

Her Majesty the Queen is a Taurus subject, a pillar of our society. Above politics, she has seen many leaders some and go. She is very much a figure who has always believed in putting wider duty before personal convenience.

She does things by the book, like the Hierophant.

Elizabeth 11 represents a part of the national psyche, the young monarch of our parent’s childhoods, those born during the war or soon after it.  Lately, this first year of her widowhood, we have witnessed signs of a decline in her health. At the age of 95, this is only natural and to be expected, but since we have drawn the Taurean Hierophant for December, and it has been drawn next to the challenging Knight of Swords, it remains to be seen whether the Queen will make her annual Christmas address in quite the same way as usual this year.

Europe

Covid cases have been rising again, with new lockdowns and protests in the Netherlands, Austria and other countries. The signs are that this most recent rise in cases as at the time of writing (14 November) may continue into December and flu may add to the pressure on health services, but with luck, the Four of Pentacles is a stable card, suggesting that the situation may, not improve perhaps, but be maintaining a standoff by/towards the end of December.

Covid

Some Medical observers are sanguine about the Omicron variant, suggesting we may soon be approaching the endemic phase, when a brand new virus, in this case, SARS‑CoV‑2 gradually becomes part of the new ‘normal’ in human epidemiology, and it becomes a question of living with it.

Today however, 13 December, sadly marks the first UK death of someone with the Omicron variant.

EU, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine and Russia

The current border situation is tense. It may well escalate, suggests the Knight of Swords, but again, the steady Four of Pentacles hints that if it does, the crisis abates again at least temporarily somewhat by or until mid January. Why? In terms of timing the stable Four of Pentacles represents the third decan of Capricorn, dates 11-19 January.

The Knight of Swords can mean new laws, sharp messages, sabre-rattling and military aircraft, just as the weather associated with the Knight of Swords is northern and easterly; cool, cloudy, windy, but it can bring sudden frosts, sudden rain or storms.

The Knight of Swords traditionally also refers to airborne objects, including missiles, but also viruses and bacteria sharp objects, including surgical instruments such as  injection needles and pens. Here is an escalation of covid vaccinations across Europe.

Trade and Travel

The Four of Pentacles is ruled by Mercury the planet of travel, trade and commerce, also IT and data analysis. In addition Mercury rules Virgo, sixth house of health and hygiene.

This, together with the Knight of Swords, reminds us that common sense says, vaccinations or no vaccinations, we need to stay alert and continue taking common sense precautions against covid and flu this Christmas.

But meantime, certain international restrictions may be reintroduced again on an emergency basis, while a further lock-down has not been entirely ruled out by the UK Government. The Four of Pentacles, sometimes nicknamed the Miser card, describes a pragmatist, who is ready to take the dour responsibility for making unpopular decisions should it detect that need.

Some suggest that covid is ‘just’ ‘flu.  We know it isn’t. SARS‑CoV‑2 is a new coronavirus, not a ‘flu virus. But even ‘just’ ‘flu is no joke at all if we get a bad dose.

Personal

The Hierophant represents whatever is your own status quo. You may be somewhat restless and unsettled. I know I am. The Knight of Swords drawn next door to the domestic Hierophant suggests a need for ‘fresh air’ and extra space this month.

Not all of us fancy a party this year. Many of us are not in the mood. for doing whatever is our usual thing this year, suggests this combination. Maybe we never were, but this applies with bells on this year.

The Four of Pentacles has a lot in common with the rune of ancestry, households and inheritance, Othala.

Look back at the things you have bought over the years. What did you buy in the past that you still treasure? What have you been given by older family members that you treasure to remember them by? Othala talks about the things we treasure. These do not have to be things. They include cherished memories. But every day, we are creating new memories.

A recovering economy needs our spending. And it’s great to treat loved ones – . But for a lot of people the festive season can be a dreadful money worry. Last month there was much excited media speculation about shipping and supplies this year, and worries about ‘must have’ toys from overseas arriving in time for Christmas.

What’s with this ‘must have’ business? Conspicuous consumerism ruling the roost in the home? Is this healthy or a helpful preparation for children, to suggest this is how it really works?

The Four of Pentacles advises that friends and loved ones will be understanding if finances are tighter this year than previous Christmases. And given the way things have been in 2021 and 2020 before that, they may welcome that same understanding in return.

The Tarot is not trying to be a Scrooge or a kill-joy in presenting this card. Spending less, or spending carefully, based on quality, durability or longer term thinking doesn’t equate with not having any kind of a good time.

Photo by Francesco Paggiaro on Pexels.com

It’s just that no- one has infinite resources, debt is no joke, and this year looks like a departure from the way many of us have done things before.

24 December: The Hierophant also represents Christmas time, as a traditional religious season of celebration. But long before Christianity we celebrated Yule in northern Europe, meaning ‘wheel,’ to mark the turning of the wheel of the year, the solstice and the passing of the darkest day.

The third and final square between Saturn and Uranus in Taurus, these big planets, these heavy hitters, bring a feeling of push and pull between Uranus (splurging, doing your own thing, party time) and Saturn (saving, doing family duties, staying home and relaxing) this Christmas Eve 2021.

Ways of doing things that worked OK for you in the past, don’t sit so well with you right now.

Uranus is retrograde for nearly half of the year every year. This is nothing new or unusual, just a seasonal opportunity to go back to the drawing board and re consider occupations and habits.

19 December- Full Moon in Gemini

Photo by Jared Vega on Pexels.com

In Tarot this is represented by the Lovers card meaning: news, calls, social events, new ideas, chat, gossip, communication, curiosity…it is also about short travel, trade, commerce, shopping . Think Mercury, ruler of Gemini. Another name for Mercury, Hermes.

Astrologers consider this a favourable Full Moon, in harmonious aspect with Jupiter, lucky for new partnerships and ventures, and for legal and business matters, though with possible tensions attached in terms of close relationships.

The Lovers can present us with a need to make difficult choices. Again, these could be totally unromantic; hard-nosed, to do with our work, security and finance.

Venus planet of love, beauty,luxury – and finance goes retrograde in Capricorn 19 December shortly after the Full Moon until 29 January.

This is glamour but serious with it. You could say Cinderella grows up, Prince or no prince. Venus retrograde in Capricorn is no- frills power dressing, literally or metaphorically. Fashion or Beauty here goes hand in glove with perceived status material power, like a Queen who wears her jewels f in token of her reach of power for the world to see.

This is a planetary euphemism for an examination of our personal standards of conduct and deportment, at home and at work. What is our public persona? How about a bit of gravitas, says Venus in Capricorn, style, poise, dignity and rectitude?

Beauty is in a serious mood. Beast better behave.

21 December – Solstice

We leave freewheeling Sagittarius ruled by big bouncy Jupiter and move into Capricorn, ruled by serious hardworking master of self-discipline and dominion, Saturn.

But Saturn brings the solstice, returning us to the light, for all his serious face.

This is the spirit of the agile, tough and hardy ibex or mountain goat, Capricorn.

The ibex nimbly scales the heights, stands atop the farthest crags. In Europe, the alpine ibex does battle in December for territory and mates.

The ibex, inspiration of Capricorn, reckons to do battle to get what it needs in life, delicately sniffs the cold, clean air, every inch a master of all he surveys.

The sunshine is free, and the rain and the snow, and the moon and the stars. Our good health too, if we are lucky. But we all must do battle some day one day in our lives, sooner or later, up against some kind of authority or other, or make peace with the fact we didn’t when maybe we really needed to,for our own or someone else’s sake.

Who says we wait until New Year to make a new plan?

Any day will do for a new resolution But from a natural, seasonal, symbolic and magickal perspective, 21 December works even better. 

Season’s Greetings with all Best Wishes for a brighter 2022.

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The Sun card, Reincarnation and the old Norse rune of resurrection

Photo by Jacub Gomez on Pexels.com

Nothing new under the sun? Someone once asked me, did I believe in reincarnation? Well, of course, plenty of people do, around the world. Easter is the great Christian celebration of Resurrection, when Jesus Christ, Yeshua Ben Joseph, was said to have risen from the tomb on the third day following his barbaric crucifixion, signifying the hope of the soul’s eternity for all mankind.

Let’s consider The Yew, Taxus Baccata. The Yew tree is widely viewed as a symbol of resurrection.  Why is that? Its branches grow down into the ground to form new stems, which then rise up around the old central growth as separate but linked trunks. After a time, they cannot be distinguished from the original tree.

It is susceptible to death by damage or disease but has been described as the the one living thing on Earth that could, at least in theory, however hypothetically, live indefinitely.  It’s thought that there are English yews 4000 years old. Hence its popularity in graveyards, as a symbol of resurrection on Judgement Day.

Photo by Skylar Kang on Pexels.com

The old Norse rune Eiwaz represents the yew, and its numinous capacity for regeneration. For this reason, it is considered a good omen for recovery if someone is ill.

Eiwaz

The Memory is supple as the Yew, the Mind as mysterious and it can play strange tricks.

Some years ago, stirring a pan, standing by the stove, I had an oddly vivid experience, a flashback, and I was standing in an entirely different kitchen, sparse, white painted, with a high ceiling and a door to my left. There was sunlight coming in at the open door from which I knew there was a flight of steep, narrow steps leading down to a courtyard, and I was wondering where ‘Pietro’ had got to, and why he was not home yet. I knew this unknown faceless personage Pietro was a husband. NB The name of the present Il Matrimonio  is not Pietro or remotely Peter-ish. 

Could this have been an ancestral memory? I am Anglo-Irish-Scottish. Not Italian. A vivid daydream then. A snapshot. A picture from a book maybe, or a film? Possibly. I had never had this particular vision or experience before, and have not had it again, but I ‘knew’ at the time, that I was in Siena.

Photo by Kai Pilger on Pexels.com

I have to say, I don’t welcome the idea of coming back once I am done and out of here. I’m not keen on the idea of reincarnation, except as recycled material. Life on Earth is 4.5 billion years old, and we are just the current manifestations of it. If Earth is a closed system, in the sense that material may enter through the atmosphere but not leave it, then in that sense, it may seem unscientific NOT to believe in reincarnation, if only in the sense of particle recycling.

But what if particles could retain impressions, memories? Like those stories of people who have heart transplants, and later develop new tastes, and behaviours, subsequently discovered to have been part of the donor’s personality? You don’t have to look far to come across such stories and make up your own minds. Urban legends? A degree of skepticism is sensible and healthy, except when it is of the howling variety, and I heartily mistrust pronouncements on what may not be possible.

I don’t personally welcome the idea of repeating the human experience, and this is not meant as a complaint. I am pretty sure of this much though. Whatever happens, it won’t be my choice.

I first began to study the Tarot at least partly as an effort to make sense of some deeply strange experiences, downright freaky, a few of them, after which it seemed more plausible to me that our consciousness is not extinguished at the time of bodily death. Death is a process, not an event. The brain is not the mind. Our departure from our home in the body is a process that can take days. The tradition of the Wake was a wise one.

I know a lady near me who runs a care home, and when a resident dies she opens the windows, not only for obvious practical reasons, to keep the room cool and fresh, but to help the newly departed soul on its way to wherever it wants to go.

Photo by luizclas on Pexels.com

Some years ago I received a request for an email reading, a young lady who wanted to know, was her brother OK? I asked what exactly did she want me to investigate that she could not ask him herself, and she said he was dead. He had committed suicide. She did not tell me more, nor did I ask about the circumstances.

Her questions were:

Where was he now?

How was he now?

A lot of my work is directed at immediately practical matters, home, work, business, money, relationships, family. I do not work as a medium, not at all, but I had previously done other readings focused on deceased loved ones, on occasion with some very surprising feedback.

I sat down to think about this and among other cards, was particularly struck by an appearance of the Sun card from The Golden Tarot, Kat Black.

From The Golden Tarot, Kat Black

The Sun card is life itself, travel, children, health and happiness, success, moments in the sun.

This is a card of innocence and animals. Things in their natural state. You can see this for yourself, looking at this card from The Golden Tarot and in the Rider-Waite decks. In some other decks, those meanings are not necessarily so clear.

The Sun card is a card of birth.

The appearance of this card in particular suggested to me that wherever he was, whatever he was, he was like a child again, sometimes awake, sometimes asleep. He didn’t remember his death, not at all, or the events that drove him to it.

Bless his soul. He was a little boy again. In my mind’s eye, I saw him kicking about in a puddle, not idly kicking, bored, not fed up, but happily, quietly preoccupied. If he had any memories, if he had a consciousness surviving death, if that could be possible, then this was his afterlife.

News of a birth was coming soon, I told the young lady, based on this Sun card. This was a birth close by, probably within the family, and whether it was a boy or girl, the Tarot was suggesting the possibility, however bizarre, that it was her brother being reborn.

Three weeks later I received an email from this young lady, very happy and excited, to say her sister was expecting a baby. Wouldn’t it be weird, she joked, if she was going to be her brother’s auntie this time around?

The returning Star Child from the ending of 2001: A Space Odyssey

I would like to think the Tarot’s vision offered this young lady some kind of comfort, however peculiar, for a truly terrible grief, and hope for her brother’s peace. Because not all griefs are equal. Some deaths, as with untimely or violent deaths by suicide or murder, are harder to bear for those who mourn than others.

Reincarnation? I can see it in the genetic sense of the word. Or perhaps I mean epigenetics, and a kind of acquired cell memory. I went through a brief spell at one time of wanting a cup of hot chocolate at night. Not cocoa made with milk in the pan. This was made with water like making an instant coffee, drunk with two cream crackers and a bit of Lancashire cheese. I mentioned this to my mother and she said that was what her father Alfred, my maternal grandfather, always had for supper.

I never knew my grandfather, he died before I was born, of lung cancer, but we share the same birthday. He was a well-known museum curator, who like so many others, took a lengthy leave of absence to serve in the Navy during the war. I worked a short time in Museums after graduating.

Maybe he wanted to send my mother a message, and that was why I wanted his supper. I joked to her that maybe he wanted to say sorry, as he wasn’t always the nicest father he could have been, but she didn’t think that would have been in character.

But where did that very specific temporary new habit come from, I wonder.

Until next time 🙂

Video presentation is a discussion of children’s experiences suggestive of the possibilities of reincarnation with Dr Jim Tucker at the University of Virginia.

Bringing in Beltane…Magical May Eve

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

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

Origins

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

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

Traditionally,” writes Glennie Kindred (in Sacred Celebrations), “all fires in the community were put out and a special fire was kindled for Beltane. This was the ‘balefire’ or the Teineigen, the ‘need fire.’

Bel or Belenus (Celtic: possibly, Bright One) was a deity associated with pastures, meadows and animal husbandry and other agriculture. He was a fire god rather than a sun god as such, though the sun was used as a common motif in religious imagery.

The cattle were walked between two bonfires in a symbolical purification ritual, to be protected by the smoke from Bel’s fire before being put out to the open pastures for the summer.  Bonfires were lit on sacred hills too, and the smoke was considered a magical blessing on the fields, animals, and community, and was also supposed to maintain a fragile balance, keeping up a smokescreen, literally, between the human and faery realms.

The month of May got its modern name from Maia, also called Flora, the Greek goddess of spring and new abundance. Maia was the oldest of the seven sisters known as the Pleiades, and she was the mother of Hermes (Mercury.) The last zodiac sign of Spring, Gemini, is ruled by airy Mercury, as the air fills with butterflies and pollen.

Flora, or Maia by Botticelli

The name ‘May’ has been used in English since about 1430. Before this time the name of this month was spelled Maius or Mai. The Anglo- Saxons called it Tri-Milchus because all that lush new grass meant cows could now be milked three times a day.

The celebration of May Day has its roots in astronomy, celebrating the halfway point between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. It has been celebrated in the British Isles and through much of Europe as a fertility festival since the Dark Ages, and probably before that, with many stories and superstitions attached.

Superstitions

Like Halloween, May Eve and May Day is a magical time of year, liminal, when the veil between different worlds and realities is thinner than at other times of year.

Beltane or Walpurgisnacht is the mirror image, the spring season’s equivalent of Halloween when witches are said to dance at the Devil’s Sabbath.

This is a time for ghosts, but this is also the time of year when folklore suggests you are most likely to meet a supernatural being from the realm of ‘faery.’

Photo by Ellie Burgin on Pexels.com

The Fae are an ancient race and they do not like humans whom they view as destructive, and who is to say they do not have a fair point there. They are not the cute creatures of fairy tale. Such encounters are dangerous and are best avoided – or you may never be seen again. Do not, whatever you do, go to sleep on a fairy hill at any time, but especially not on May Eve or May Day and especially beware of going to sleep under flowering hawthorn bushes ….

Sex and Scandal

The Christian church made attempts to ban May Day festivities outright because of their overtly pagan nature and “lewd” context as an open celebration of male and female sexuality and fertility – ‘a heathenish vanity generally abused to superstition and wickedness.’ 

May Day meant drinking and fighting, another reason for the church’s disapproval, but this in itself harks back to the ancient traditions of the sacrifice of ‘The Green Man’ – a mythical figure representing the eternal battle waged between summer and winter, feast and famine. Many pubs in England are still named The Green Man.

In Padstow, Minehead and some other places in the UK, mischievous hobby-horses (‘osses) roamed the streets in search of unsuspecting young ladies to ‘carry away’ for- ahem, nefarious undisclosed purposes.

Morris dancers up to no good riding with hobbyhorses, Richmond embankment,1620

Men who had been disappointed in love would make straw men representing their rivals and stick them on bushes. These depictions were needless to say, often deeply unflattering, and fighting might well follow once they were discovered and identified and the maker was known.

May Day harks back to the ancient traditions of the sacrifice of ‘The Green Man’ – a mythical figure representing the eternal battle waged between summer and winter, feast and famine. Many pubs in England are still named The Green Man.

This splendid depiction is on a boss in Rochester Cathedral, thanks to Wikimedia Commons.

The Puritans banned May Day under Oliver Cromwell but Charles 11 brought it back into custom after the Restoration.

Maypole Dancing goes back at least to the 14th century, but it seems the custom was very old even then, though the dance as we know it today, so pretty and decorative(and tame) -children dancing in village squares, is probably a Victorian invention . The maypole is generally assumed to be a phallic symbol, but the Norse peoples connected it with tree worship, and this connects British and Germanic tradition going back to a shared proto-germanic culture which is part of the common root culture in British life even today.

The Maypole dancing which so upset the Church and the Puritans comes down to us from the rites of spring dedicated to Freya.

The maypole originally represented a living tree, in particular the giant ash tree Yggdrasil, the great “world tree” of Norse myth, linking the nine worlds of the Norse cosmology including Asgard, land of the gods, Midgard, or Earth and Hel, the underworld.

“Ygg” means terrible. It was on this tree that Odin chose to hang nine days and nights, thirsty and fasting in exchange for the knowledge of the runes. The Norns sit beneath it and when every new person is born, carves their names into its bark…and with it, their destiny, although this can change. The Norns will allow us to rewrite it, unlike the destinies woven by the three Fates of Greek mythology.

Walpurgis Night

Also In the Germanic tradition, Walpurgis Night, on April 30th is a moon festival sacred to the goddess Freya.

“Walpurga” is another one of Freya’s names. The re-dedication of the holiday to “St. Walpurga” was a later Christian addition.

Freya (Old Norse, Freyja meaning “Lady”) is one of the pre-eminent goddesses in Norse mythology. She was the goddess of love and beauty in Norse mythology, the goddess of marriage and family and a great prophetess – a seeress. She taught her husband Odin how to read the runes, and like Odin, she had a fiercer aspect as a patron deity of war and death in battle.

Freya wears a cloak of falcon feathers and has a magical gold necklace called Brísingamen. She rides in a chariot pulled by two cats and a sacred boar called Hildisvíni runs alongside, though he is not shown in this picture.

The cats, it has been speculated, were two male kittens found by Thor. They had been abandoned by their mother and he took them to Freya. What kind of cats? I’d have thought Freya would surely have a pair of Norwegian Forest cats but legends suggests the kittens were grey-blue in colour, and on that basis it has been speculated they may have been Russian Blues.

Bringing in the May

What sort of things did this involve?

I washed my face in water

That had neither rained nor run

And then I dried it on a towel

That was never woven or spun

  • The rhyme suggests go out barefoot very early on May morning, wash your face in that magical dew (or late snow) Your complexion will instantly improve.  Let the wind and sunshine dry your face and you’ll have good luck all year. Well, you can if you want to….depending on the weather, very early morning this time of year can be utterly wonderful
  • Bringing in ‘the may’ means gathering cuttings of flowering trees for magical protection of the home. Bring in branches of forsythia, magnolia, lilac, or other flowering branches. Decorate the doorway to keep unfriendly fae and other spirits away.
  • Make garlands or decorate a basket or a ‘May bush’ with flowers and coloured ribbons. This would often be a hawthorn bush but it doesn’t have to be.
  • If you need to move a bee hive, May 1 is a traditional day for doing it, hopefully clement for the bees.
  • Turnips are traditionally planted on May 1. Plant now for lovely mashed turnip later. What are you waiting for?
  • Fishermen expect to get lucky with catch on May Day.
  • It’s a powerful day for spell-casting…any spells to do with bringing in health, wealth, and abundance. Light a red or pink candle for love or passion…but be careful what you wish for, and it is unlucky to try and take what is not rightfully available to you.
  • Traditionally it is unlucky to get married in May. ‘Marry in May, regret it for aye.’ But not to panic if you’ve got the date already booked. The writer of this article was born on May Eve and got married in May – 30 years ago this year- and like all of us, has had mixed luck in life but so far is still married.

Until next time 🙂

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

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

The Tarot of Bones

A Natural History Themed Divination Set

Ms. Joyce Tarot

Tarot Readings and Inspiration

The Tarot Lady

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

The Order of the Tarot

Tarot, Philosophy, and Christian Mysticism

paulpens

Real, write....

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