2023: Chinese Year of the Black Water Rabbit…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cue my mother’s unrepentant screams of laughter.

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

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

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

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

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

Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This could be detecting developments in the Black Sea.

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

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

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

Smith Waite/Rider-Waite Tarot

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

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

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

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

In the Water Rabbit Year of 1963

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

Inventions/Technology

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

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

-The Smiley Face icon/emoji

-The Computer Mouse and Hypertext, American inventor Douglas Engelbart

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

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

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

Lucky colours in a Rabbit year

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

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

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

Till next time 🙂

2023: In the Glass darkly, a Tarot’s eye view

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Introduction

Tarot readers don’t claim to ‘know’ what the future holds. They use their cards to access and articulate their feelings and intuition, and to take soundings in any given context with a weather eye on the ‘so what?’ That is all.

That said, what are the prevailing tides and currents “in the affairs of Men” in 2023 as suggested by the Tarot and in astrology?

Forecasts need a context. Let’s take a quick look back on some of the predictions made by my Tarot at the beginning of 2022, published here and at Ask Astrology.com

Review of 2022- and an ‘otherworldly’ manifestation

The study of great events in history has revealed something fascinating- that astrology is really on to something that is concretely observable on the ground, and always has been, even before science and astronomy caught up.

Large planetary cycles correlate and reflect changing patterns in human behaviour when studies as a collective whole. Empires have risen and fallen, revolutions, wars, mass movements of people, epidemics, technological and medical breakthroughs. You name it. They have been tracked and mapped in time against the ancient meanings of the major planetary movements.

Predictions need a background- a context for interpretation. We have been living through especially turbulent times since the spring of 2020, when the planetary giants Saturn in Aquarius and Uranus in Taurus formed a tight, unfriendly square, and the covid 19 pandemic took hold on much of the world.

I had a peculiar and unpleasant vision or encounter one night in the first week of January 2020. I had woken and was reaching for a glass of water when a movement drew my eye, and saw a thing that with the benefit of hindsight, and for lack of a better word I could only describe as a djinn, standing in the doorway of the room where I was sleeping.

It was tall, humanoid, but the arms were too thin and long. It came closer. The head angled towards me, as if thoughtfully, but the face was hidden. It was horribly unpleasant. I sharply ordered it gone and it disappeared.

I took this vision as a warning that I needed to prepare myself for bad news to come in the next few days, and sure enough, there was some extremely concerning family news.

And then the covid thing hit, and a previously healthy young man, a friend of one of my daughters died of it, after ‘flu’ became septic shock, and he was placed into an induced coma, and several days later died.

The ‘djinn’ was a visual manifestation of some as yet unaccounted for deep state of unease, I feel.

2022

2022 has been a tsunami of a year, dominated by war, civil unrest, mass migration by land and sea, catastrophic flooding, and all things to do with the breaching of boundaries and borders. This has included the travel and spread of new variants of the coronavirus, travelling by land, sea and air, breaching our auto-immune defences.

We predicted major upheavals to do with the blurring and breaching of boundaries and borders. These were predicted in the Tarot by the appearance of the Hanged Man. This card is ruled by the zodiac sign of Pisces, with a powerful Jupiter, Neptune and Mars influence. What will we let go of, to go where we need to go?

Rider Smith Waite Tarot

Jupiter= ambition

Neptune =water, dreams, lack of borders

Mars = aggression, fire, war

Ukraine

My cards predicted major issues to do with the blurring of borders and boundaries, with a Neptunian ‘watery’ theme. The Russian invasion of Ukraine 24 February happened in Pisces season. The maritime city of Mariupol was devastated. Then Russia blockaded maritime grain shipments for a short period, threatening food supplies to many parts of the world including Africa and the Middle East.

Queen Elizabeth the Second

From The Gilded Tarot

The Three of Swords card showed the passing of a much loved national figurehead to come in Leo season or after (Leo is late July-late August. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 11 passed away 8 September in Virgo Season.)

I did not name the person. That would not be right or ethical, but it was the Queen of Pentacles who was seen in the reading. This card rules the Earth signs, Capricorn, Virgo and Taurus. Her Majesty, RIP, was a Taurus subject, while Leo represents the concept of a ruler or royalty.

But the Queen was not only a national figurehead. She was a global figurehead; the Head of The Commonwealth.

“The Commonwealth is made up of 54 member states from Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Pacific. The member states are home to a total of over 2.4 billion people.”

The Queen represented a link with Britain’s past, domestically and globally after the end of Empire, a link to the generations who lived through the Second World War.

That emotionally powerful symbolic link is broken now. Here again, was the message of the World card, signifying the completion of a cycle, the end of an era. I was surprised at my own grief.

Floods

We predicted a higher than usual risk of major flooding in 2022. Heavy rains caused a disastrous landslide in Peru in March 2022. Pakistan experienced unprecedented monsoon flooding June-August affecting millions of people. Australia has also experienced unusually severe flooding in 2022, from February to late April and then again from October onwards and is experiencing more flooding at the time of writing.

China and Taiwan

We predicted an escalation of tensions in the Strait of Taiwan in the second half of the year. This later manifested in the wake of Nancy Pelosi’s official US visit to Taiwan, 2 August 2022. This was seen as a formal recognition of Taiwan’s independent sovereign status, subsequent to China’s signing of the China- Solomon Islands Security Pact signed in April 2022.

This agreement has been viewed as a significant potential threat to the US and allies including Australia, paving the way for the presence of Chinese military installations in the Solomon Islands.

So what about 2023?

2023 –Broad Overview

Change is the only thing that is constant, but there are quieter periods of change, and then there are dramatic or traumatic periods of change. It is clear that we are not going back to ‘normal’ any time soon, taking January 2019 as a benchmark of the previous ‘normal’.

We talk about history in terms of ages and eras- The Greeks, the Romans, The Ming Dynasty, the Renaissance and so on. We are on the threshold of an era for which we do not yet have the name.

The big story in the astrology of 2023 is Pluto in Aquarius. We are leaving an age of Capricorn and entering a new Age of Aquarius.  It starts in spring 2023 when Pluto leaves Capricorn and goes into Aquarius. It will only stay there for three months, and then we go back into Pluto in Capricorn for a while. But it will go back into Aquarius in 2024, and this time it will stay there until 2044.

This 20 year planetary transit means big changes to the organization of society, to the global economy, to the mining industries (this means not only fossil fuels, but lithium and cobalt) to crypto-currency, to science and digital, space and medical technology.

A new age of sci-fi is here, as in previous transits of Aquarius in Pluto when there was the Industrial Revolution- and also the French Revolution, and also the American War of Independence.

Pluto in Aquarius can unseat plutocrats, rulers whose power is based primarily in personal wealth/plutocracy. This will include Putin and his prime ally Lukashenko, the dictatorial president of Belarus.)

Pluto was last in Aquarius in 1778-1798. This was a period of revolutions. It brought sweeping changes-sometimes with a great deal of violence. It brought the Industrial Revolution in Britain. It brought the French Revolution. It brought American Independence. It brought the start of the movement for women’s rights.The next twenty years will be bringing social changes on this kind of scale.

Natural Events 2023

The risk of severe flooding in 2023 is looking lower this year when compared with the risk of flooding we detected at the beginning of 2022. I’m not seeing flooding so clearly in the cards. The astrology, however, is not reassuring when Saturn arrives in Pisces 7 March 2023 and stays there until May 2025. Saturn describes structure. Pisces is the ancient sign of fresh water flooding in particular. Especially spring melt downriver of mountainous regions.

We may notice more solar flares, with possible effects on the earth’s magnetic shield and satellite technologies.

Uranus in Taurus which began 15 May 2018 and continues until 17 April 2026 continues bringing an upheaval of what was ‘normal’ in global health and the economy. Uranus in Taurus rules the throat- the point of entry for the disease. This problem is not going away although the incidence seems to to ease on a global scale March- August 2023.

No, the covid pandemic is not over yet. In our local hospital at the time of writing, three people are in the ICU- not with covid, but with Flu A.

All manner of rather peculiar viruses are about, at a time when more questions being raised than can yet be answered, about the action and effects of certain covid vaccinations, as discussed in a book ‘Viral,’ by Alina Chan and Matt Ridley. There is no definitive proof of a Wuhan lab leak, but they demonstrate why it cannot be discounted either, as the origin of the pandemic, with US involvement too, and with grave implications for future risk management in public health.

I am not ‘anti-vax’ as such. The zoonotic explanation struck me as entirely plausible, though I had questions. But it is becoming increasingly clear that the story here goes back some way in time, to the illness, treatment, and some deaths of miners who became ill after entering caves in South east China, inhabited by a certain species of horseshoe bat.

The risk of a there being a nuclear accident or attack instigated by Vladimir Putin cannot be discounted, but is not looking likely to happen as viewed through the lens of the Tarot, and the risk diminishes further after the end of March. There will no asteroid striking Earth.

Readers look for the cards and the card combinations which do not appear, as well as those that do. For example, there was no Star combined with the Devil or The Tower and Judgment or The World. It would take a combination of cards like this to suggest an apocalypse level event.

Technology

Aquarius is the sign of technology. Pluto in Aquarius will mean exciting new developments in mining technologies, digital technologies, crypto-currencies or space tech. Some of this we will see in 2023. There may be an event or an accident involving a satellite or something similar. But we will not be hit by any asteroid.

Pluto is the planet of death and regeneration. This includes genetics. Pluto in Aquarius says that there will be exciting discoveries in medical science. We have recently seen the first cloning of red blood cells in a lab setting. There will be more like this in 2023.

Manufacturing will enter a new phase in those countries which closed down their manufacturing in favour of globalism, choosing instead to rely on cheap imports of goods manufactured elsewhere.

The war in Ukraine and China’s attitude towards Taiwan (which happens to be the world’s biggest manufacturer of computer chips) has shown those developed nations that this was a serious mistake. They must rebuild their own manufacturing capabilities back again as fast as possible, and in 2023 they will be using new, robotic technology to do it.

Globalism has failed to ensure the maintenance of an international rules based order.

Mass migration

Rider Smith-Waite Tarot

We will see more urgent issues in 2023 to do with mass migration, particularly in the spring. This is not only in Europe, though it is partly in consequence of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It is also the aftermath of extreme weather events, such as the floods in Pakistan in 2022. There will also likely be issues to do with shortages in food production, at east in the first quarter of 2023.

Attached to these events, exacerbated by them, there will be ever greater numbers of people on the move in early 2023, (esp during Aquarius) as shown by the people in the boats in The Six of Swords card, with critical legal and political developments in respect of uncontrolled channel migration in the UK, possibly taking effect by mid-late spring when Saturn (law and order) goes into Pisces (the sea).

The growing scale of migration is an emergency, not only for genuine refugees, but for those destination countries, and the strain on their infrastructure and their own populations, trying to accommodate the needs of unprecedented numbers of new arrivals.

Mars, planet of action goes into watery Cancer, zodiac sign of the family home and homeland security, Mar 25, 2023 – May 20, 2023. We could see key events to do with traffic at sea in the English Channel, or to do with events at sea in the Black Sea, the Strait of Hormuz or the Strait of Taiwan. This action, if taken, is Mars action that is defensive in motivation.

The fall of the Roman Empire saw mass migration on this scale.

The Migration Period was a period in European history marked by large-scale migrations that saw the fall of the Western Roman Empire and subsequent settlement of its former territories by various tribes, and the establishment of the post-Roman kingdoms. The term refers to the important role played by the migration, invasion, and settlement of various tribes, notably the FranksGothsAlemanniAlansHunsearly SlavsPannonian AvarsMagyars, and Bulgars within or into the former Western Empire and Eastern Europe. The period is traditionally taken to have begun in AD 375 (possibly as early as 300) and ended in 568.[2] Various factors contributed to this phenomenon of migration and invasion, and their role and significance are still widely discussed -(Wiki)

Historians differ as to the dates for the beginning and ending of the Migration Period. The beginning of the period is widely regarded as the invasion of Europe by the Huns from Asia in about 375 and the ending with the conquest of Italy by the Lombards in 568

Mass migration always creates turbulence, at least initially. Social unrest or outright violence.

China and Taiwan

The reader is seeing heated words and gestures, with possible further Chinese naval incursions or illegal entry of Taiwanese air space. What is not being shown is an attempt to launch an actual land invasion in 2023.

The reader drew the Eight of Diamonds for China. Eight represents stability, Diamonds is money and government. President Xi is looking cautious this year, and seems anxious to maintain economic stability. He seems likely to avoid taking risks on anything that will seriously destabilize the prosperity of China. Putin’s actions in Ukraine, by shrinking western economies are indirectly threatening China’s economic interests at a time when it is seeking to recover from the effects of the covid pandemic, just as China experiences a whole new wave, relaxing its zero covid policy in the wake of public unrest.

Mars in Gemini is retrograde until 12 January, when its effects may ease, and its effects include airborne warfare -including missiles and also including aerosol/germ warfare. After this date Mars turns direct, though it stays in volatile Gemini until 15 March.

The US

2023 could mean a political change in the United States which is currently experiencing its first Pluto return; a time when many empires and dynasties have risen or fallen. President Biden has come through the mid-term US Elections, not strongly, but secure enough for now. The reader is not ‘pro-Biden’ but is not detecting a return for Donald Trump 2024, and is not detecting Kamala Harris as a future US President.

The UK

The Conservative government is having a tough time in January and February but Labour has also alienated its own electorate and has hard lessons to learn. The UK will carry on supporting Ukraine in 2023. The coronation of King Charles 111 is planned for May but there could be changes to this date. King Charles continues to have worries to do with “a child who is living overseas,” shown by The Sun card drawn reversed and the Three of Wands.

The UK could have a good year in terms of inward foreign investment in the second quarter (Jupiter in Taurus.) There could be ambitious long term plans for improvements to our waterways after growing concerns about pollution (Pluto in Aquarius, Saturn in Pisces, Mars in Cancer.)

The national mood improves later in the year during a more buoyant optimistic Jupiter-Pluto alignment around August-September, possibly due to more popular government initiatives.

Russia and Ukraine

The Star card of Aquarius has made multiple appearances. Late Feb onward looks critical for the war in Ukraine, bringing big changes for President Putin, whose natal ascendant is in Capricorn, while President Zelensky is an Aquarius subject. This is likely to represent a key juncture, and possibly a hopeful opportunity for the ending of hostilities with Ukraine in a strong negotiating position. It may be there will be disappointment for Zelensky, -Pluto (wealth, power, death) -the price of peace, as Putin seeks to redraw the border at the Dnipro river. For all the superb courage of Ukraine, there are no clear winners here that the Tarot has been able to detect. Much depends on the vision of the US but my cards are showing that if Europe does not lose its nerve, it is not out of the question that Ukraine will take back Mariupol- and the Crimea.

Putin does not win. Ukraine survives as a sovereign entity. He has chosen to respond to Ukraine’s resistance and military counter challenge by waging a total war against unarmed civilians and civilian infrastructure, and now Eastern Europe is a hive in uproar. We need no cards to see this is a war with a very long tail of consequences in geo-politics, with major implications for the future direction of NATO.

A number of Vedic astrologers have said it looks possible that Putin will remain in power in Russia until 2030.  On the other hand, UK/Australian Astrologer Jessica Adams predicted on her website 13 March 2022, shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, that Pluto’s temporary departure from Capricorn 24 March 2023 will mark the beginning of the end for Vladimir Putin as the man in power in Russia.

The Tarot concurs more closely with Jessica than with those Vedic astrologers. The cards rightly or wrongly do not show that Putin stays in power until 2030. March –May does look like a critical time in the course of this war, as represented by repeated appearances of The Hanged Man (Pisces.) The cards for Putin himself, on a personallevel, do not look encouraging in the second half of 2023 and into 2024.

The Ace of Swords and the Death card were drawn, suggesting his possible departure from power by or before autumn of 2024. (The Death card often does not mean physical death- although it certainly can mean exactly that. But it can correlate with Scorpio dates, late Oct-late Nov in respect of timings.)

Russia seems destined to undergo another upheaval from Feb 2026, triggered by a Neptune-Saturn conjunction, based on previous such conjunctions tracked in the history of Russia, eg; the assassination of Alexander 11, and the death of Stalin. But there are previews of this coming upheaval in 2023

The writer does not see any clear sign that there will be a lasting ceasefire sooner than the end of March. By summer (Queen of Cups-Cancer- Strength -Leo season) is looking more hopeful. But things may start to calm during this period by a series of steps and stages.

Russia has already failed to annex Ukraine in entirety. Will Russia be able to hang on to all four of those illegally annexed territories in Ukraine? It seems probable that Ukraine will very slowly reclaim much if not all of this territory, with the possible exception of Donetsk. Russia will now remain a permanent threat to Ukraine, and therefore the stability in the rest of Eastern Europe.

Europe

The political solidarity of Europe could be tested this year, particularly around April and August, but there could be new ideas and proposals for reorganization within the European Union in May/June. Germany seems to be doing better after February 2023, going into economic recovery. But as previously mentioned, this war in Ukraine has major implications for the future mission statement and changing remit of NATO.

The US

2023 could mean a political change in the United States which is currently experiencing its first Pluto return. This is a time when empires and dynasties have risen or fallen. President Biden has come through the mid-term US Elections slightly better than predicted, not strongly, but securely enough for now. Rightly or wrongly, the reader is not detecting a second term for Donald Trump after 2024, and is not detecting Kamala Harris as a future US President. Ron DeSantis, currently governor of Florida, is said to be a man to watch in 2023 as a possible future contender for another Republic presidency in 2024.

The Chinese Year of the Black/Water Rabbit (兔年 tùnián)

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

In 2023 we enter the Year of the Rabbit. This is a year of the black rabbit- black represents the element of water in Chinese astrology. The Year of the Rabbit, as with all the animal signs in the Chinese zodiac, comes round once every twelve years.

2023 Chinese New Year Day is on Sunday, 22 January 2023, although I have read that technically speaking the first day of the 2023 Chinese Astrology Year is 4 February 2023. This date is different from the Chinese New Year Day for reasons based on the lunar calendar.

If a baby was born before 4 February then the baby’s Chinese Zodiac sign is the Tiger, not the Rabbit. 

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

Be aware, the dates vary depending on the date of the February new moon. If your birthday is in February you need to check the dates in February for that particular year.

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

The rabbit is traditionally regarded as one of the happiest Chinese zodiac signs. People born in a Rabbit year are known for kindness, reliability, loyalty and also elegance and a certain air of mystery. People born in a year of the Rabbit are quick-witted, sociable, careful and inventive – occasionally ingenious. But cautious.

The Rabbit is a prey animal. A buck/jack rabbit may indeed be aggressive, but in general the rabbit is not confrontational. This may prove good news in 2023 in geo-politics. This year is expected to be a little quieter overall than 2022, the year of the Water Tiger which represents outward, expansive – and maritime Yang energy.

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

Xi has recently been ramping up aggression in Taiwanese air space, but he is aware he needs to be very careful, and he will likely have Covid to contend with, and all the attendant economic implications at least until the end of the first quarter of 2023.

The Mars in Cancer transit (war at sea?) may be tense from late March-late May-

In the Black Sea too.

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

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

The diplomatic Rabbit again, brings hope of a ceasefire in Ukraine in 2023, and an easing of tensions in other areas, despite some much gloomier forecasts from security analysts. While the gloom is realistic, and while Putin is ruthless and very determined, the wider stakes are too high for him to be allowed to annexe Ukraine, but the more attacks Ukraine can absorb or repel, the more of everything Putin too, must spend. As ever, only time will tell.

Meanwhile astrologers in India are predicting a boom year of economic growth for India.

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

In 1963

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

Lucky colours in a Rabbit year

These colours are lucky for everyone but especially lucky for rabbit natives: green, blue, black, beige, white, and silver, gold.

In Summary

Buckle up for another eventful, sometimes bumpy ride in 2023, particularly until the end of March. World economics are definitely bumpy. But constructive Jupiter in Taurus from 16 May onward could mean a boost to the global economy, a more ‘bullish’ Stock Exchange, and smoothie Venus in diplomatic Libra from November is reason for hope, suggesting that a conflict quietens by the end of the year, starting after we pass mid-summer.

This arrival of Venus in Putin’s own sun sign in November 2023 may prove with hindsight to be significant for Putin as a Libra native. This war seems to quieten in stages after the first quarter of 2023, but it does not seem to end on any one single clear event. The Ace of Swords and Death card have come into sight though, for Vladimir Putin himself. These cards cannot be clearer in their meaning. They mean The End. It seems possible, there will be a ceasefire or a brokered peace late in 2023, and Putin may leave power, if not then, then in the following year in 2024.

Both Taurus and Libra are ruled by Venus, the celestial antidote to the sporadically retrograde, aggressive Mars energy that has been ruling the roost since early 2022.

How do we best navigate this year at a personal level?

From The Legacy of The Divine Tarot

The Two of Coins 

You have got a lot on your plate, rushing to and fro. But you are coping, just about.  Drop any spare baggage if you must, and travel light, but take your time. Don’t force the issue. Do not “throw the baby out with the bathwater.”

Delay making big decisions until you feel more sure of the ground.

The Ace of Coins is a powerful and positive card of new beginnings to do with money, work and career. It can also be a new home. It can be a garden. This is about keeping at it, working steadily to build, to grow and to accumulate your resources. Its colour is green; a bright beautiful springtime green, like fresh new leaves on a tree.

The Ten of Cups is the card of a happy home and happy relations between family members.  But there will be times early in the New Year when we might be feeling more irritable than usual.

The Ten of Cups is ruled by the zodiac sign of Pisces, and by the planets Jupiter and Mars. Gently does it round family members this year, especially with siblings. 2023 is likely to be personally demanding at an individual level, especially in the first half of the year. But we are helped along the way by generous Jupiter in Taurus and diplomatic Venus in Libra.

Jupiter in Taurus is also great news for agriculture after May 2023 when food supply issues should ease, as well as in the fields of finance, training, business, higher education and publishing, while Venus in Libra is good news for legal situations and for partnerships both personal and professional; creative and artistic pursuits, especially in the second half of the year.

Determined efforts will likely pay off, starting or culminating 16 May 2023- 25 May 2024.

Wishing you the very best for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year, 2023.

Tarot and The Scorpio Eclipse Season

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Scorpio is the season of Halloween, when the sap drops, the leaves fall. The year is dying in front of us. Scorpio in the Tarot is represented by the Death card, and this is the reason why.

Next stop, the winter solstice.

This autumn/fall’s eclipse season means the partial solar eclipse, New Moon in Scorpio 25 October 2022, and a lunar eclipse at the Full Moon in Taurus, 8 November 2022.

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Eclipses have been viewed as omens or portents since ancient Mesopotamia, and doubtless, long before that.

They announce momentous changes, unfolding over the next two weeks-six months.

What could this eclipse season mean in terms of real life events over the next six months?

The Astronomy

Like the Full Moon, a New Moon happens at a particular point when the sun and moon have the same ecliptic longitude and this can be measured down to the exact second that it happens.

On the day of the New Moon we don’t see the moon. It is too close to the sun, rising and setting with the sun. The night sky is darker, making the New Moon an ideal time of the month to see other celestial objects more clearly.

A solar eclipse is seen when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, blocking Earth’s view of the Sun, totally or partially. This latest one 25 October blocked our view of the sun by about 25%.

A lunar eclipse is seen when the Moon moves into the Earth’s shadow.  This can occur only when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are exactly or very closely aligned and the Earth is in between the other two, which only happens on the night of a full moon. 

The Astrology

23 October we entered the zodiac sign Scorpio, named after the constellation of Scorpius with its alpha star, the Heart of the Scorpion, red Antares, the rival of Mars/Ares.

October’s New Moon on the 25th was also a partial solar eclipse in sun Scorpio.

In astrological terms, this signified the advent of an intense period, opening new doors and bringing fated changes into our lives.

This is not a time for making big decisions or taking risks with our wealth, health and personal relationships. This New Moon eclipse can come with a sting in its tail…taking that chance or forcing that situation, pushing that envelope might look OK right now…

The sting comes later.

Astrology advises us to be especially careful with financial, land and property dealings around the time of this eclipse, and for the following couple of weeks.

This Scorpio sun eclipse will be followed by a Taurus lunar eclipse. The two will work together in their effects- which will be to do with our security, finances, food and comfort in a deeply unsettled world where aspects of the past have been coming round again, including the ghosts of the world wars.

Eclipses announce turning points. Their effects are deep, not felt at once but over a longer period. This October, that means the next two weeks until the following lunar eclipse in Taurus 8 November, or over the next six months until the next solar eclipse in Aries, 20 April 2023.

But other planetary factors are also in play during the rest of October and November.

The Saturn-Uranus square

This is a big feature in astrology during the past two years and only becomes more influential throughout the rest of October and November into December.  We’ve been living with Saturn square Uranus for nearly two years, with respite when the planets have separated due to retrogrades.

This big, difficult planetary square goes exact this month so will be at its most intense from now and through November, when the square starts to separate in December 2022. There will likely be a cooling off, then, however temporary, of the conflict in Ukraine.

The Saturn square Uranus influence is challenging, full of contradictions. On the one hand there is history, tradition, duty and order. On the other, there is innovation in technology, but also rebellion and chaos.

On a collective level, this means continuing tensions, disruption and instability on the world stage, on our streets and in our personal lives, continuing well into November at least. Human society in general is in a strange, disordered place, almost hysterical, like ants running about all over the place, not quite knowing what they’re meant to be doing.

This is something that has been observed to happen from time to time in human history, particularly during the first decades of a new millennium. It will start to pass off again. Some astrologers suggest in 2026. Others think sooner. But big changes are happening. The world is reordering its axes of power and influence in a new Aquarian high tech era. This is a time for resilience and robustness on the one hand, and circumspection on the other in counterbalance the shocking speed of change. I remember in 1990, telling students about this new ‘thing’ that was coming- the ‘Information Super Highway’. But we didn’t know what it looked like yet.

It was the Internet.

Mars stations retrograde in Gemini 

Fiery action planet Mars has been transiting airy Gemini since 22 August but it goes retrograde 30 October.

This may turn up the heat in trade and communications including politics. This will affect the city of London which is ruled by Gemini.

A few short days ago it meant I was wondering, could Liz Truss survive as Prime Minister beyond this date?

As it turned out, Liz Truss could not survive as PM even until this date, with another three days still to go.

(See my previous blog where we looked at the cards surrounding the contest for the new Prime Minister of the UK. https://truetarottales.com/2022/10/24/the-contest-for-the-new-pm/  )

This eclipse season is going to be a bumpy ride. Fasten your seat-belt, avoid making life changing decisions, and especially avoid confrontation until the timing is more favourable after 8 November- and delay it longer if you can. 

We also need to avoid gossip. Gemini is a chatterbox, but when it is in Mars retrograde, this isn’t friendly chatter and misunderstandings will easily arise. Things may not be what they seem. Switch off the television and social media if it all gets too much. Very likely, it will.

The Tarot 

Author’s own image, The Legacy of the Divine Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

The Water Element

Three out of five cards are water element cards, Cups card, dominating the mood and feel for the period between now and mid-November.  (The Hanged Man, King of Cups and Two of Cups drawn reversed.)

The court card designating Scorpio in particular is The King of Cups, though he will also stand for a Pisces or Cancer subject, usually male, though not necessarily.

From The Illuminati Tarot

Scorpio is a water sign and looks set to deliver according to its deep and secretive cosmic personality. The water element was the key theme in the predictions for 2022 in general as published here at Ask Astrology in January.  2022 has been a tsunami of challenges. These are mysterious, dangerous and unstable times for the whole world.

We also predicted a more than usually high risk of extreme flooding for 2022.

Sadly, the reality has meant catastrophic flooding in Pakistan, and also in Australia, in Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania only six months after the disastrous east coast flooding in March and April.

The Hanged Man

In general terms this card represents a time of withdrawal, of solitude and introspection. It can be indicating that we are looking at a situation the wrong way round. Maybe we need to take another look and think again. Sometimes we realize that something isn’t working like it used to. It hasn’t been working for some time now but we don’t see a way to fix it. Perhaps it can’t be fixed. Then we can either accept it for what it is and make the best of it. Or we let it go. Surrender it. The Hanged Man is doing some deep thinking.

The reader has come to associate this tarot card with President Zelensky in particular when looking at world events. Astrologically The Hanged Man corresponds with the zodiac sign of Pisces. I am very concerned for him, though here comes better news to offset the bad news.  Jupiter, the giant planet of opportunity is re-entering Pisces 28 October 2022, moving retrograde until it turns direct on 23 November 2022. It then goes direct, moving forward in Pisces until it heads into Aries on 20 December, 2022.

What does this mean in practical terms?

Jupiter is known as the Greater Benefic. Jupiter can be a bully, king of the gods, but it is happy in Pisces, even when retrograde.

President Zelenskyy is an Aquarius subject, an air sign king, and he has been well served by an ability to emotionally detach himself during critical decision making in moments of crisis. This does not mean he does not care. Far from it. But this is what has made him such an effective leader, but this detachment may fail him from time to time, when dealing with an adversary who is operating at a primeval level, caring nothing for the damage he entirely deliberately inflicts on non combatant civilians. This new Pisces season, may be something of a personal struggle for President Zelenskyy on this long haul.

President Biden is a Scorpio subject, with mid term elections falling on the lunar eclipse and a potential money nemesis in Taurus.

Putin has Scorpio rising. The implications of this, I do not find welcome, though the prospect of an eclipse now kicking in over the next six months would be a massive relief to a very great many people who just want to go home and live their lives.

This influence is bold and expansive, opening new doors. This is a powerfully positive aspect for growth and new opportunities in any area of life, especially if there was something that we started back in May 2022.  It could finally start to move forward between now and Christmas.

The King of Cups

This court card is representing the zodiac sign of Scorpio itself, sitting centrally in the reading. This is a curious coincidence, given the focus of this reading which is the eclipse in Scorpio, but then again, that is just typical of the Tarot.

UPDATE 2/112022

Curiously, this card could stand for President Erdogan of Turkey. He is a Pisces subject, a water sign king. This figure is deep. He isn’t particularly talkative but he can be relied on for sound, calm advice.

In this instance, his personal intervention has helped restart grain shipments from Odesa which Russia had blockaded again, although Russia has still attacked a civilian cargo ship and killed two of its crew.

In a personal reading he will often represent a father, husband or mentor.  

Additionally, the King of Cups followed by the watery Two of Cups reversed shows that Scorpio subject President Biden is in for a tough mid-term election 8 November and the Democrat Party may be weakened in Congress.

The Two of Cups

In Ukraine we had a temporary pause, de-escalation and standoff- (The Hanged Man) But only temporary.

What will be the final outcome? What seems likely is that Russia will escalate again, but end up with far less than Putin was aiming at he started this war. But that Hanged Man can’t discount the possibility that Russia may still end up getting more than simple justice says it should. 

When? The Hanged Man suggests that there could be an end to the Russian attacks on its neighbour 2023- late February-late March, but this does not mean the end of the consequences, which will be politically long lasting and far reaching.

The Two of Pentacles could mean a ceasefire in late December. This card correlates with the first decan of the zodiac sign of Capricorn, approx 21 -31 December. This may be due simply to weather conditions rather than an attempt at resolution.

These are indisputably dangerous times, this second half of October month especially, although the cards have not shown a nuclear catastrophe.

resident Putin is subject to at least one rather significant check on his freedom of action in the shape of the newly reelected President Xi.

The Two of Cups reversed

This card correlates with the first decan of the zodiac sign of Scorpio= the first ten days of Scorpio.

This card of diplomacy is drawn reversed, reflecting the fact that President Zelensky is not ready to engage in talks with Russia, though President Putin has recently made a few noises to the effect he might be open to talks via third party mediation.

The cards weakly signal a small range of possibilities as to when there will be a ceasefire, including just before Christmas 2022, decans 2 and 3 of Capricorn, then into Aquarius 2023 and Pisces into Aries, by or before March-April 2023.

But a whole new escalation of crisis seems likely meantime, and this could come any time during this eclipse window between now and 8 November, or then again, in late December.

For us personally, what can be achieved between now and mid- November? Deep changes are happening now, whether these are personal or professional. The Hanged Man and the King of Cups are visionary cards. This might not be the time to act on them.

But something is stirring, and when the time is right, big changes will be happening, some driven by circumstances beyond our personal control but others, definitely created by us.

So much for the water cards. New readers will often discuss the water cards in terms of how lovely they are, and healing, and sensitive, beautiful, ‘spiritual’ and emotional. And they can be. But great emotions will just as readily wreak great turmoil. There are floods. There are storms at sea. Sometimes tsunamis.

The fixed water sign that is the Scorpion of the zodiac is ruled by Mars and Antares. It doesn’t freeze. It may steam. It may gently simmer. But it may scald. It may boil.

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Three of Wands Reversed

This is fiery Mars energy. The Three of Wands is great news for global business or launching an enterprise, but the card has been drawn reversed. There could be snags or delays with exports, imports and deliveries, whether we are sending them or expecting to receive them. If we’re going off on foreign travels we had better treble check every single travel document and take out comprehensive insurance cover.

Any renewal of escalation in Russia’s aerial attacks against civilians in Ukraine would seem most likely to happen around this time, 23-30 October and the following few days, but this does not mean that it WILL happen.

Tarot shows the human weather conditions, but no reader can claim to see ‘the future.’

What the cards do is detect, reflect and project past, present and possible future events and the reasons for them, glimpsing hints of the most and least likely possibilities.

Two of Pentacles reversed.

This card is about juggling finances and options and is talking about the continuing global economic situation which seems likely to continue more volatile than usual until Christmas (Capricorn).

Personal Hints

The Hanged Man

This card requires us to recognize that we are not in control of some situations. There are times we just need to go with the flow. This is a time to watch, wait and reflect. This is not a time to push an issue. If in doubt, as always, it is probably wisest to do nothing.

The Two of Coins reversed

We probably need to take things a bit easier this month. We’re rushing about juggling time, energy and finances. We are spreading ourselves too thin, and need to reconsider our priorities. This also means looking for where there is money wastage e.g.; with standing orders and subscriptions we may have forgotten that we even had, looking for easy ways to reduce financial wastage and tighten the budget.

The King of Cups

This king is the court card associated with the zodiac sign of Scorpio but more generally stands for any mature man born under one of the water signs, Pisces Cancer or Scorpio. Maturity demands that we learn to exercise our best judgement and self-control even when feelings are running high. That’s the best policy this eclipse season- but there is plenty of scope for enjoyment with the King of Cups. When he represents a life partner or a potential new partner, he is deep, devoted- and passionate.

The Three of Wands reversed

This eclipse is not the time to launch-well, anything really. A work or business plan or project may require more planning and research before it’s ready to go, or there could be tensions within a small group or a team at this time.

Easy does it. When this card is drawn the right way up, it’s time to go for it. But right now, we need a bit of a rest. Scale back. Reschedule. Turn the volume down. Nothing constructive is likely to be achieved at this time by rushing.

The Two of Cups reversed

This card appears to be detecting the upcoming Venus in Scorpio transit, 23 October and it’s talking about relationships and money for the next six months. The Two of Cups is about love relationships and friendships. Scorpio is about passion. The card has been drawn reversed so things could go either way, or both ways. On the plus side, we could be in for a truly wonderful time with our loved one, or we could meet someone we are very attracted to. On the other hand, the intensity might be welcome or it might not.

Admirers can be obsessive when Venus is in Scorpio, whether we feel the same way or not.  Beware unwanted admirers and be careful how much information you share with other people.

When it comes to existing relationships, the Two of Cups says Venus in Scorpio can bring power struggles and money concerns out into the open. How money is spent or invested is about to become an intense point of focus in partnerships where financial resources are shared.

Venus in Scorpio is powerful stuff. Allure, sexual desire, lust for power or wealth. Secrets.

This is looking like an especially profound and powerful eclipse season for us, Halloween 2022

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Tarot talks October, Putin, Poseidon and the nuclear threat

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Disclaimer. This is a Tarot reading only, for readers generally interested in the modern use and applications of Tarot and cartomancy divination.

War is raging, people are dying. The political seas are boiling, the news is non stop, but we will all be glad if it gets no worse in light of Putin’s threats to use nuclear weapons.

This deeply unprepossessing personage below, Chechen warlord Ramzan Kadyrov, 46, son of a Muslim cleric, Head of the Chechen Republic, who is apparently nicknamed Putin’s lap dog or Putin’s attack dog, has reportedly been urging Putin to up the ante, deploying tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine. He has just been promoted to the rank of general and looks like a choleric killer-gnome with high blood pressure. Better learn to calm himself down if he wants to make old bones.

Ramzan Kadyrov

Kadyrov fought against Russia in the first Chechen war, when he was pro Chechen independence. It is only natural and laudable to defend one’s own homeland, but he swapped sides in the second Chechen war. His province is economically weak, it has been reported. He relies on the Kremlin for money, and has a reputation for ‘human rights abuses.’

Kadyrov has said he will send his three sons to fight in Ukraine – aged 14, 15 and 16.

Putin’s PR man, Dmitry Peskov has apparently lamented that Kadyrov gets ‘too emotional at difficult moments’.

If this isn’t an exceedingly difficult moment for President Putin…

Let’s hope that Kadyrov’s promotion is actually Putin’s way of managing him, kicking him upstairs,keeping him sweet while at the same time, putting the frighteners on everyone.

Biden has said that Putin is not joking. Ukraine knows he isn’t, and we have all seen that Putin’s regime is capable of pretty much anything. It’s not that he’s bluffing. But I am not seeing that he will do it.

Dmitry Peskov

President Xi meantime has plainly intimated that the deployment of nuclear weapons is a red line that Russia had better not cross, while Saudi Arabia has joined up with Russia to agree a managed reduction of oil stocks from November, which will drive up prices, and which the Biden administration views as an act of betrayal by OPEC and the Saudis, driving up the price of Brent crude oil just before peak season demand. US views this as an act of solidarity with Russia. OPEC says they have done this to stabilize the market.

Will Putin deploy nuclear weapons? On the face of it it may seem entirely plausible that he will do so, given the current desperate circumstances, but he has many different audiences, each with their own stakes in play.

What does the Tarot show in respect of this nuclear threat this coming month?

Events in October

Tweeted 6 October

@truetarottales

#Tarot #Ukraine #Putin October direct nuclear attack not shown, test not unlikely. 5 Swords=defeats. King Cups=water/Poseidon/threat +message to Biden. Week 3 fiery+4 unstable. 9 Pentacles/Temperance/3 Coins-China would be alienated. No clear gain +P hopes winter splits opposition

Tarot readers don’t claim to know ‘the future’. They use their cards, that is all, to try and sense the coming weather, and articulate their findings.

October is deeply worrying, The fourth week is potentially most worrying as seen in the cards. November too, highly likely. But I am not being shown an impending nuclear Armageddon outcome. Let’s consider the cards in more depth.

Issue: The Five of Swords and The Seven of Cups

The Five of Swords is Defeat, rage, mortification, humiliation and chagrin. This is a reflection of the recent defeats experienced by Russian forces, but is also holding up a mirror to the defeat he wants to inflict. He wants it finished by Christmas. This may not be possible. The Five of Swords is Aquarius, late January to late February. Putin could make use of a pause at this juncture. Ukraine has no reason to seek one, but it does have every reason to push harder and not lose momentum

The Seven of Cups talks about ‘castles in the air.’ Daydreams and potentially, delusions. This is about Putin’s dream, his vision. This card generally talks about those things which inspire us, but which are not realized. In terms of timing, this is a card of Scorpio and late Scorpio time, late November, suggesting that Putin is envisioning a next stage strategy working towards that date frame. This is a card of deep water, which in the context of the Poseidon submarine being deployed in the Kara Sea, is not a reassuring card. This card therefore, benchmarks the threat. (Not forgetting the nuclear train being deployed to the border with Ukraine.)

Week One: The King of Cups

This card represents a number of possibilities:-

  1. A man acts as a broker or peacekeeper. The suit of Cups is calming in general
  2. The card represents Neptune- dominant planet in 2022 and the alter ego of Neptune is Poseidon- well, here we are, in week one, talking about the Poseidon missile threat.
  3. The deployment of the submarine-and the train- is a direct threat and intended as a rebuke to the ‘King of Cups’, which is the court card representing Scorpio native President Biden in response to recent further US armaments to Ukraine and the new Lend Lease.

The Russian Poseidon submarine is in the Kara Sea, in the Arctic, a prime fishing ground with vast reserves of untapped petroleum and gas. The US government sanctioned Exxon from drilling there in 2014. One wonders whether this is Putin’s way of reminded the US government that he has the means to prevent them from accessing those energy fields.

If I am understanding this correctly, for Putin to use that Poseidon submarine to carry out a nuclear attack on Ukraine it would need to enter the Baltic undetected.

Image via Wikipedia

However, this Neptune card conveys a strong sense of key coastal or maritime developments.

Aug. 24, 2022 

On the 31st anniversary of Ukraine’s independence, the United States is reinforcing its long-term commitment to the nation with $2.98 billion to train and equip the Ukrainian armed forces for their struggle against the Russian invasion.

President Joe Biden announced the aid at the White House. He said the people of the world have been awed and inspired by Ukrainian resistance and pledged the United States will stand with the people of Ukraine as they fight to defend their sovereignty. 

The aid “will allow Ukraine to acquire air defense systems, artillery systems and munitions, counter-unmanned aerial systems, and radars to ensure it can continue to defend itself over the long term,” the president said. SOURCE

Week Two: The Empress Reversed.

I am struggling with this one, to gauge its meaning apropos of the question. The Empress is Demeter, so, land and agriculture. The Empress is mothers and motherhood eg; Mother Russia. Maybe to Putin she is a vision of Catherine The Great, and attached to this, the city of Odessa which she founded. If so, perhaps this card is detecting that Putin may seek to scatter Ukrainian forces with further attacks on Odessa this month.

I think this card pertains to the problem Russia now has during this time, of identifying and declaring the boundaries of the land they have claimed via the four ‘sham’ referendums, now that Ukrainian counteroffensives are reclaiming ever more territory in those four Oblasts, Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. Wherever Russia now declares those lines to be drawn, are the lines that Russia must be seen to defend. They have not as yet made that announcement. Let us wait and see if Putin’s military chief minister, Shoigu falls down the stairs this month in weeks three or four.

There has been a sense since February, as seen in the cards, that Putin will end up with much less than he wants, but more than he should rightfully get, and finally comes a cropper. It will not be an easy exit for him, says the Ten of Swords. Perhaps it will be Donetsk that he gets to re-acquire, which may just possibly have a genuine majority in favour of returning to Russia. But now he risks losing what he has already seized by invasion, however ‘peaceful’.

Ukraine is now a hive of fury and is set on taking back the Crimea.

Curiously, the moon in the second week in October is a waning moon in Taurus, the zodiac sign of agriculture – Virgo is the other. Taurus is ruled by the planet Venus, all things sociable, beautiful, harmonious and luxurious. This means money.

A waning Venus-Taurus moon…this for Putin could therefore signify waning money, the erosion of the boundaries of the four annexed Oblasts, and in addition there may be some private worry or grief to do with a significant woman in his life.

This is a man whose upbringing and mother, The Empress Reversed, is a mystery. The mother, rather a touching figure in this photograph, the child withdrawn and anxious.

By Kremlin.ru, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5389243
Week Three and Four: The King of Wands Reversed and The Fool Reversed

A man who is a’king of wands’ may leave the scene. A man of action. Is this a reference to Sergei Shoigu, who has been the Russian Minister of Defense for some years? Astrologically this card represents Leo, but the planets are Mars and Jupiter. One can see the potential for heat here, suggesting missiles used or exchanged with Ukraine. But the card is reversed, and it remains possible that the situation may be somewhat defused by this time. There is a strong feel of ‘fire and water’, this could mean explosions rather than missiles but these are traditional, so to speak, below the grade of nuclear.

The Fool is the most dangerous card here in this spread, in this context. The Fool is the wild card in the Tarot, never to be discounted. ‘Accidents’ can happen. Fools jump in. Surprises are likely, putting it mildly.

But the more Putin looks before he leaps, the less likely it looks here that he will act to unleash nuclear weapons, however much he is tempted. Why will he not? The reader looks for the cards that follow, to get clarification on The Fool. People talk about the Death card. This most numinous card represents the concept of zero and can mean death. For whom, apart from all those who will certainly lose their lives this month, on both sides, not to mention the blameless Ukrainian civilians?

That Three of Pentacles tones down the Fool, and suggests Putin decides to stay his hand on the nuclear option at least until the winter. The Three of Pentacles correlates with 1) a team of close advisors 2) second decan Capricorn, late Dec-late January.

If it was a regional nuclear wipe out, I’d be looking at the World card reversed.

Putin does want this war ended as soon as possible, and he may not care how. He has lowered his sights. He would settle for Crimea and those four annexed Oblasts -for now. He wants it done but such is the damage done to Ukraine, a ceasefire may not be a realistic prospect.

But given the risks to him of using nuclear weapons, the Three of Pentacles suggests Putin hopes a delay will work in his favour, not least because it gives him more time to produce/manufacture the resources he needs to support the now expanded military logistical demands. Another factor in his favour, from now on the cold weather will put pressure until spring 2023 on European support and UK support of Ukraine’s defense. It will now cost even more, thanks to the decision by OPEC.

Other cards

The Nine of Pentacles says Putin must be able to see a clear material gain as his justification and reward for deploying nuclear weapons. Such an action must be able to be presented as justifiable, at least, to those allies who are already maintaining a critically delicate diplomatic position. The Nine of Swords reversed shows the grief and anger of mothers in Ukraine, and now in Russia too, the mothers of the newly mobilized civilian population. Fathers too, of course, but we are working with the card language.

President Putin dare not push Russian public opinion ‘too far.’ The danger here is that these Russian mothers, however ambivalent they were before, would support the use of nuclear weapons, and likely they would, if it meant their own loved ones were sent home again safe and sound, and were not needed to fight after all. This would likely be Putin’s justification at home then.

But he needs China onside. Would this excuse wash with President Xi? Highly doubtful.

Temperance is a mighty card of restraint. This plus Putin’s OPEC ‘coup’ offer a modicum of hope that Putin will not order the use of these weapons during October. He can just wear Ukraine down and wait for the West to get fed up.

The intensity of the risk continues into late November or even Christmas, based on the connection of the Temperance card with the zodiac sign of Sagittarius, the Archer.

Ukraine’s war so far has been largely defensive. Its offensives have been counteroffensives and its civilians have been shelled in their beds by Russian long range missiles. But if we think of Temperance as the archer, then Ukraine’s increased HIMAR capability and longer range missiles, would be a significant ramping up of their own deterrent, since after all Ukraine was persuaded to forego its own nuclear capability in return for the promise of protection.

SOURCE NPR

Three decades ago, the newly independent country of Ukraine was briefly the third-largest nuclear power in the world.

Thousands of nuclear arms had been left on Ukrainian soil by Moscow after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. But in the years that followed, Ukraine made the decision to completely denuclearize.

In exchange, the U.S., the U.K. and Russia would guarantee Ukraine’s security in a 1994 agreement known as the Budapest Memorandum.

Ukraine has been asking for long range missiles, able to cover four times the distance of the HIMARS to help them level up with Russia, and has said they are wiling to have the use of these overseen by the US. Biden at this time of writing, is still reluctant to provide these to Ukraine for fear of escalating the war by crossing Putin’s declared red lines.

The Ukrainian defenders must then, either cede that seized territory, or fight to take it back. up against a superior Russian artillery capability, with one hand tied behind their back, so to speak.

But by the same token, the Temperance card suggests, should Putin proceed to deploy tactical nuclear weapons against the Ukrainians, then he is aware- and so is President Xi- the US is liable to change its mind about supplying those long range missiles.

Cartomancy Spread

Tweeted 6 October 2022

#Cartomancy nuclear threat Oct 2022 5, 8,10 Hearts Water theme dominant, maritime. 10 = ocean/Poseidon. But no ace to show nuclear ‘tsunami’. 5 Hearts=Scorpio/23-25 Oct+ (eclipse?) brings a change to situation 5 Clubs. If there is an escalation however, cards suggest contained.

In Summary

Back in December 2021, in an article published in January 2022 I wrote among other things here and at AskAstrology.com that I didn’t like the Neptunian feel of things for the coming year.

Neptune is associated with all manner of desirable things; imagination, compassion- but I didn’t like its boundlessness in 2022, the lack of boundaries or the breaching of boundaries. Without boundaries, there is chaos. Where there is chaos there is distortion, madness and cruelty.

The cards for this coming month have that Neptunian feeling again, especially in the second half of the month, combined with that deep water fire of Scorpio. Both Putin and Biden have Scorpio written large in their profiles.

This, by the way, is not to suggest anything negative about this zodiac sign, or indeed any zodiac sign or its natives. Every zodiac sign has its positive and negative aspects, just the same as in every season of nature. Scorpio is also associated with great vision, drive, natural physical charisma and a gift of healing.

I am seeing correlations between the cards and the astrology in respect of this particular situation, that is all. Every zodiac sign has its positive and negative aspects.

But the ‘graph line’ of the cards does not look what I might expect to see if we were looking at a nuclear attack. I have seen a terrorist attack once before in the cards, before it actually happened. That was terrible. But this would be something far worse.

I had drawn the Chariot reversed, the Devil and The Tower in a casual ad hoc reading done around half past three UK time, a few hours before the truck attack in Nice, 14 July 2016. I did not know exactly what was coming, but I knew I did not like it, that it involved a vehicle and a collision, but with an added element in the mix, a suggestion of intent and of malice.

The key cards were:

The Chariot drawn reversed=a defeat, the zodiac sign of Cancer (14 July is Cancer) A transport accident/disaster /armour (truck, car,train- here it could be a submarine)

The Devil =desire, rage, lust for power, chaos,extremism, terrorism

The Tower, pride, fall, sudden shock, impact+explosion

That presentation has been absent in both of these card spreads today. Of course the reader must point out that this IS only a card reading, done as a demonstration exercise, for general interest, and is to be regarded as such.

None of these findings are to downplay the danger which is very real and present, not only as reported in the news but as reflected in the cards.

However, it seems to the reader, based on these cards drawn yesterday, 6 October, and on further cards which were drawn this morning 7 October, that there is no clear sign of a full on nuclear attack.

It is not evident in the cards, that Putin will deploy tactical or other nuclear weapons. It depends upon how he calculates the risks of doing so. This thing he has agree with OPEC possibly makes it less likely, more than more likely, strengthening his hand as he hopes to grind down Europe, the UK, the US and Baltic countries supporting Ukraine’s sovereignty.

It seems clear that Putin would not hesitate to use anything at his disposal if he could get what he wanted by those means. He may carry out ‘tests’ or demonstrations. That Eight of Diamonds can mean ‘performances.’ But it is a cautious card, the Eight of Diamonds, and here it’s being counterbalanced by the Eight of Hearts which is in essence, a card of balance and restitution. Possibly there will be a positive diplomatic development this month.

What seems likely to limit Putin’s scope for using nuclear weapons, apart from the delicacy of his relationship with President Xi is the problem of the ‘optics.’ How it will look to the world. That card, the Eight of Diamonds also refers to eyesight or specifically spectacles. Perhaps Putin now sometimes wears spectacles- away from the public eye.

Putin has no way of knowing what will be the full extent of the fallout of using such weapons-both literally and physically, from his own point of view-politically and militarily upon Russia, and upon himself personally.

There is a whiff of poison in these dominantly watery cards. Spite. Putin may well be considering biological or chemical weapons, or thinking how and where to do more damage to Ukraine’s water supply infrastructure.

When the Romans went stamping about invading other folk, they used to drop silver coins down the wells to disinfect them. Silver has antibacterial properties. The Maltese and the Knights of St John poisoned the wells in the south of the island, resisting the Turkish invasion during the Great Siege of Malta 18 May 1565 – 11 Sept 1565 (and for the full story I heartily recommend this astonishing book.)

Putin wants to flatten Ukraine once and for all. But the gruesome gnome, Kadyrov, and doubtless there are others of his ilk, are at this juncture, monkeys on Putin’s back. They have agendas which are nothing to do with Ukraine as such, making them as dangerous to Putin as they are to everyone else, including Russia.

Maybe he’ll poison the Kara Sea or drown an island, you know, just to show everyone and especially Biden who’s in charge.

No-one is not saying that the West is free of blame or that it has clean hands. We can all speculate, but had there been a different response to the annexation of Crimea in 2014, who knows, we might not be looking down the barrel of this nuclear threat right now.

This conflict is a polarizing beacon showing that the world order is drawing up and hardening into two global zones- broadly a face off between the model of democracy v the model of autocracy.

I don’t imagine President Putin is having a happy birthday. I don’t see him smiling, cutting the cake, all around him a vale of tears.

The Ten of Swords awaits. Ruin. That card was drawn right back at the start, the day of the invasion of 24 February. How can he avert that now, for himself? Next spring may tell us and he is pinning his hopes on the worst that the winter can do.

But the Empress is not smiling upon him.

When will there be an end to the war in Ukraine? The Crow caws. The Hanged Man speaks

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

No-one knows the answer to this question. I certainly don’t. But what does the Tarot have to say about it? I have looked at the same question in another very recent post, where I used ordinary playing cards. We seemed to be seeing a Russian regrouping with big bumps in the road Oct and Nov and again before Christmas, a new offensive in January, and something big happening in March, and then again by Gemini time, late May-late June.

Last night I asked again, this time working with Tarot, asking, “in what month or year will there be a truce, ceasefire or permanent cessation of military action in Ukraine?”

I drew a single card. This was The Hanged Man- yet another outing for a card which has been jumping out of the deck since the invasion 24 February.

The Hanged Man stands for a waiting game, a state of limbo, an inability to make a decision. Or it can signify a sacrifice for a higher purpose, surrender, letting go, breaking a pattern, metamorphosis, suspension in time, meditation, changing one’s perspective, transcendence.

The Knight of Cups also corresponds with Pisces and The Hanged Man. He is the warrior who is a bringer of peace. He is the bearer of the Grail, of the loving cup or the healing chalice, who may be seen as Siegfried, or as one of the Knights of the Round Table, Lancelot, Galahad or Percival.

He rides along the shoreline, the knight of the liminal spaces.

From The Golden Tarot

Traditionally, the image is associated with a punishment once meted out to traitors in Italy, who were hung upside down by one ankle. Another interpretation is that this ties in with the story of the Norse god Odin. He hung upside down on Yggdrasil, the giant ash tree in exchange for the knowledge of the runes and they came to him in a vision on the ninth day without food or drink. One imagines he also had a mighty headache by that point. But the Tarot has its artistic roots in the courts of northern Italy during the Renaissance.

From the Tarot Illuminati, artist Erik C Dunne

Turn this card the other way up. Does he remind you of someone? Who does he look like? OK. He is not a dead ringer for Zelensky but let’s be reasonable- the Tarot is doing its best.

Tarot is not astrology and I am not an astrologer. However, there is a lot of astrology embedded in the Tarot, and clients have often asked the reader to have a stab at timings, with interesting feedback in respect of results.

In astrology The Hanged Man signifies Pisces, and the dates of Pisces in 2022 were 19 February to 20 March. This card was an apposite reflection of a recent event that had already happened since the invasion happened 24 February

This is what Tarot does- it detects, reflects and projects. Just treat this as a curiosity. I had not predicted the invasion of Ukraine, except that in a general 12 card reading done in December 2021 the Tarot had alerted me to a issue or problem attached to energy supplies from Russia, specifically NordStream 2.

I had also commented in an article published on Ask Astrology in January, that I had misgivings about 2022 on account of a general theme to do with the blurring or crossing of boundaries and borders. This again was connected with the Hanged Man. Its traditional ruler in astrology is Jupiter but its modern ruler is Neptune. Either way, 2022 was promising to be a year of deep waters and seismic events, metaphorically as well as physically. Jupiter goes large. Neptune goes deep.

Pisces, Atlas Coelestis John Flamsteed

John Flamsteed FRS (19 August 1646 – 31 December 1719)[a] was an English astronomer and the first Astronomer Royal. His main achievements were the preparation of a 3,000-star catalogue, Catalogus Britannicus, and a star atlas called Atlas Coelestis, both published posthumously“-Wiki

According to Western/ Tropical astrology, Jupiter is currently retrograde in Pisces and goes direct again 28-29 October-20 December 2022

According to Eastern/Vedic astrology Jupiter will remain in Pisces until 23 April 2023.

In Summary

Photo by Emma Li on Pexels.com

Based purely on the appearance of The Hanged Man, we have a range of possibilities here, suggesting that the war in Ukraine will end when:

-Mr Zelensky agrees to make a sacrifice, Hanged Man style, and decides to relinquish the Donbas to Russia. Mr Putin would claim this as a win, and use it as his way out of an increasingly untenable situation, though he or a successor of his same ilk could be back again in time, for another bite of land.

There is no reason why Zelensky should agree to such a thing, since Russia has broken international law and then gone on to commit war crimes. But if the population of the Donbas genuinely were more than 50% pro Russian separatists, might Zelensky decide that Ukraine would do better without them in the long run, given the state of affairs since 2014. Mr Putin after all, *only* wants to protect the 25 million Russians now living outside Russia’s borders in Ukraine and all across the Baltic.

Without Ukraine’s agreement to recognize referendum results held under the current conditions of duress, Putin will be forever fighting to hold on to the Donbas, and that’s no substantive win.

But it’s not a win for anyone else either, and won’t be unless the West can dig itself out of the hole it has got itself into, and continue to say no to cheap Russian gas this winter. If not, this whole thing simmers indefinitely or escalates next spring.

-or the war may end when Jupiter goes direct in Pisces, Tropical astrology style, 29 October-20 December. This seems highly improbable. Putin will want to squeeze the situation as hard as he can over the winter, praying the energy crisis will really bite down on the current levels of western support for Ukraine and leave her naked unto her foe.

-or the war may end during Pisces season, 20 February- 20 March. Saturn enters Pisces March 7, 2023 until May 24, 2025. Saturn is big on the status quo, on law and order, and it is big on boundaries and borders. The aftermath of this war will bring a long period of turbulence in its wake.

-or the war may end c late April 2023, according to the status of Jupiter in Pisces in Vedic astrology.

Photo by Sebastian Voortman on Pexels.com

There’s a feeling of events moving in stages, pointing towards something more conclusive or definitive March/April 2023. Tarot seems to be seeing a ceasefire slightly earlier than was indicated in my earlier cartomancy reading, though not hugely so.

But supposing the fighting stops right now, the political backwash runs high until 2025/2026. There will also be the small matter of reconstruction.

Something to watch for that is happening sooner, is an eclipse in Scorpio 8 November. Eclipses do not signify immediate changes, but historically they announce profound changes. Mr Putin is a Libra sun sign subject with Scorpio rising, and conjunct his sun is the fixed star Algorab, the wing of The constellation of the Crow, merciless and rapacious.

It doesn’t feel as though it bodes at all well for him personally. But Putin is choosing to wage a total war, so that any victory here, whether for Russia or Ukraine is a pyrrhic one.

The west is clearly not blameless either in all this, but it likely doesn’t bode too well for Scorpio subject Mr Biden either, in the US mid term elections 8 November.

What a year, this Chinese year of the Black Water Tiger

Till next time 🙂

Further reading https://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/Ukraine-Nuclear-Weapons

Lady Fortuna’s Wheel

Photo by Davide Baraldi on Pexels.com

“The ceremonies you have seen today are ancient, and some of their origins are veiled in the mists of the past. But their spirit and their meaning shine through the ages never, perhaps, more brightly than now.”-Queen Elizabeth, Cape Town, 1947

I drew a card at random, just to see what I would get and I drew the Wheel of Fortune.

From The Legacy Tarot

Change will and must come, even as we resist it, fear it or mourn it. This card is associated with both the ancient Greek father of the gods of Mount Olympus, and with the giant planet Jupiter, which basically says, let go, let it be and go large.

Roll with the punches.

Love shows itself more in adversity than in prosperity; as light does, which shines most where the place is darkest. I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink.’

-Leonardo Da Vinci

Wikipedia: This portrait attributed to Francesco Melzi, c. 1515–1518, is the only certain contemporary depiction of Leonardo

The Wheel of Fortune is associated with the classical figure of Lady Luck. It is also associated with our British proto-Germanic roots, the Norse thunder god Thor, his great war hammer Mjölnir and the Thorn rune, THURISAZ.

Public Domain. Detail, Thor fights The Midgard Serpent by Emil Dopler, 1905

The thorn rune stands for the sound ‘th’ in the rune alphabet. This is a runic glyph and letter of both attack and defense. It is the war hammer of Thor, but it is also a hedge of thorns for keeping out the enemy. The invocation of Thurisaz is also directed in magical workings for success in matters of the law, and for focus and concentration when studying for examinations.

The Hawthorn and the Blackthorn have many superstitions attached to them in British folklore. The Hawthorn is occasionally benevolent, the Blackthorn more frequently ominous.

Lady Luck was known to the ancient Greeks as Tyche. She was the daughter of Aphrodite and Hermes or she may have been one of the Oceanids, a daughter of Oceanus. The Encyclopaedia Britannica says that that the first dice were invented by a prince called Palamedes and were offered as a tribute to Tyche in seeking her favour.

Public Domain. Tyche with her baby son Plutus, god of Wealth, 2nd century Ad, Museum of Istanbul

One look at this statue reminds us of, well, whom? The world has always been globalist. For good and ill, by means of travel, trade and war.

We live with the daily conundrum of The Wheel of Fortune, Fortuna’s Wheel. We are subject to events over which we have no control. But we can position ourselves. We can plan and prepare. We can choose how to respond.

We are seeing it in ceremonial action at this time. The Queen’s funeral has been planned for over many years. The Queen herself was consulted about the design of the hearse, agreeing to the lighting, so that the coffin could still be seen transported back to London in the hours of darkness.

Photo by Davide Baraldi on Pexels.com

The death of the Queen was planned for, anticipated – and yet, for all that, and as with even the most peaceful deaths at a good old age, it may be still experienced as a shock, both emotional and environmental.

Symbols are the currency of the collective psyche. The zeitgeist changes but the roots go deeper. There will be a new face on our coins and banknotes, and on our stamps. These are tiny changes, and yet, like a rearrangement of our oldest family furniture, they will take getting used to.

I’m spending a lot of time down memory lane this week, not only because of the death of the Queen, but I’ve been sorting through a box of old family photographs.

Photo by Miray Bostancu0131 on Pexels.com

Images of sorrow

Pictures of delight

Things that go to make up a life

Let us relive our lives in what we tell you

-Genesis, Home By The Sea

Till next time 🙂

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