Sagittarius, Celestial Archer, a Teapot and Temperance

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Here we are again in the zodiac season of Sagittarius the Archer, aiming high, reaching for the light as the sun sinks to the solstice and the daylight dwindles. What is the story behind this mutable fire sign?

Common associations

Symbol:

Date of Birth: Nov 21/22 to Dec 21

Ruling planet: Jupiter

Element: Fire Quality: Mutable- the ending of one season, and the beginning of another

Key phrase:  I seek

Body: Thighs

Birth Stone: Topaz, Citrine, Turquoise 

Colour:  Light Blue

Tarot card:  Temperance: Timing, Moderation, Education, Solstice, Healing of Chiron

Public Domain: Rider-Waite

Astronomy

Source :Wiki

Sagittarius, the zodiac sign inspired by the constellation of Sagittarius, from the Latin meaning Archer, was recorded in the 2nd century by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy.

The constellation of Sagittarius is near the centre of our galaxy, the spiral Milky Way, mainly visible in the southern hemisphere June-November. In the Northern hemisphere the constellation is low on the horizon from August to October.

Sagittarius has a nickname, ‘The Teapot’ on account of its vaguely teapot-shaped star pattern, or asterism.

To find The Teapot

The best time to look is in August or September. It needs somewhere really dark, locating the hazy band of The Milky Way stretching right across the sky. Looking in the northern hemisphere, the Milky Way seems to bulge as it descends to the southern horizon. This ‘bulge’ is roughly about the middle of the Milky Way and is contained within the boundaries of the constellation of Sagittarius.

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Sagittarius contains a massive star-forming region, the Omega Nebula, and it’s home to the bright blue hyper-giant Pistol Star, one of the brightest stars in the Milky Way, discovered by the Hubble Space telescope in 1930.

The Pistol Star is largely hidden in the dust of its own nebula, but it’s 100 times as massive as our Sun, and 10,000,000 times as bright.

Mythology

Sagittarius is the ninth sign in the Zodiac, not to be confused with the constellation itself, and represents those born between Nov. 22 and the advent of winter solstice, Dec. 21.

Sagittarius is nowadays generally associated with the ancient Greek story of Chiron but the story is far more ancient and goes back to Mesopotamia in the 26 century BCE, to the story of Pabilsag, a deity or divine king of a city called Larak.

The story of Pabilsag was handed down to the Greeks through the Sumerians.

The Sumerian word ‘Pabil’ means ‘ancestor or relative’. Combined with the final element sag, meaning ‘chief, head, tip or foremost,’ his name can be translated as the ‘Chief Ancestor’ or ‘Forefather’.

Just as we were hunters at the dawn of human civilization.

Here, 3 millennia BC, we we have a winged centaur type figure, and yes, he is an archer too, and his arrow points at the heart of Scorpio, the red star Antares, but he also has a scorpion’s tail as the wheel of the Zodiac turns, and as Sagittarius gallops in, we leave Scorpio behind.

A distinction to be made with Sagittarius is that he is a solitary hunter. He does not work as one of a team,bringing down the really big prey. He is an individualist, working alone, just as many a hunter or trapper still hunts alone in winter.

The constellation of Sagittarius-Pabilsag is seen within the Milky Way, rising from the southern regions close to the horizon into the higher reaches of the skies. This section of the Milky Way represents a symbolic bridge or a rainbow for the souls of the dead on their way to the afterlife, as the arrival of Capricorn draws near, marking the advent of the winter solstice.

Sagittarius, or Pabilsag, is a psycho pomp; a guardian and a guide to the dying year, and to the souls of all the dying.

Chiron the wounded Centaur

Most modern versions of the story refer to much later, classical variants of the old Babylonian myths, and say that Sagittarius represents the gentle, cultured centaur, Chiron, who was accidentally shot by Herakles with a poison arrow.

The centaurs in general were a pretty rough lot, hard drinking, hard fighting, not remotely glamorous. It has been suggested that the legend of the centaur may originally have arisen from perfectly mortal, mounted ancient Greek cowboys.

But whatever the centaurs were, Chiron ‘the wisest and justest of the centaurs’ was something different, representing a bright star of hope for the race of the centaurs, and for Humanity itself, as collectively it strives to rise above the ever present tyranny of the Id and its own worst nature.

Here he is, teaching the young Achilles to play the lyre. Chiron had many other pupils; Asclepius, Ajax, Achilles, Theseus, Jason, Peleus, Perseus, and Phoenix. And he taught Herakles, who brought about his death, when he was sent there to be schooled with Chiron.

Herakles had previously lost his temper with Linus, his music tutor back home. Linus, criticised his playing, and Herakles responded by smashing his lyre over the teachers head, killing him. Though in some accounts he used a stool.

One day the disastrous Herakles got caught up in a fight and accidentally wounded Chiron, shooting him with a poisoned arrow dipped in the venom of the Hydra.

Chiron was left in terrible and permanent pain. He was wise in the ways of medicine, none wiser, but he could not heal himself, and none could help him. Nor could he die, being an Immortal.

Still, he carried on until he could bear it no more, and asked Zeus to release him from immortality so that he could die and be free of pain.

Zeus placed him in the heavens as Sagittarius. Or did he?

Chiron already has another constellation named after him- Centaurus.

And to add to the confusion, there is another version of the story of Sagittarius, referring to him instead as Krotos, a satyr who lived on Mount Helicon with the Muses. Krotos was the son of Pan and Eupheme, and his mother had nursed the Muses. He was a renowned archer, hunter, horse rider – hence a possible source of confusion with the centaur, and besides all this, a devotee of his childhood companions, The Muses and their arts.

By Aratus – Leiden University Library Catalogue, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7660666

Krotos means ‘One who Claps his hands.’ He was credited by the Greeks with not only having invented archery, but introducing the convention of applause at artistic performances.

It was the Muses who, for his own musical talents, when Krotos died, asked Zeus to place him among the stars, which he did, transforming him into the constellation Sagittarius, says this variant of the zodiac story.

So Sagittarius is either the cultured wounded healer, Chiron, already represented in the constellation Centaurus, or he is the cultured satyr, Krotos; goaty, horse-riding archer, culture vulture and hunter extraordinaire as the sun is sinking to the winter solstice.

Chiron or Krotos? Take your pick.

Or go Babylonian with Pabilsag.

The Muses

Sagittarius is keenly intuitive, and usually has a marked talent, a gift, in the field of the Arts. Sagittarian subject Winston Churchill for example, was clearly psychic, subject to visions and feelings of premonition, and also painted.

Delphi said there were three Muses. But c 600 BC Hesiod wrote in his Theogony that there were Nine Muses, the daughters of  Zeus and Mnemosyne (Memory personified) and this is the version that has generally stuck.

The Muses, it ought to be mentioned, were not necessarily always benign. They were touchy for one thing, sensitive to human hubris, and liable to exact vengeance of anyone they decided was getting above themselves.

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  • Kalliope ‘She of the Lovely Voice’ was the muse of epic poetry. Also of Diplomacy.
  • Klio ‘She Who Proclaims’ was the muse of history.
  • Erato ‘The Lovely One’ was the muse of love poetry.
  • Euterpe ‘She Who Pleases’ was the muse of music.
  • Melpomene ‘She Who Sings’ was the muse of tragedy.
  • Polyhymnia ‘She of the Many Hymns’ was the muse of sacred poetry.
  • Terpsichore ‘She Who Delights to Dance’ was the muse of dance.
  • Thalia ‘The Cheerful One’ was the muse of comedy
  • Urania ‘The Heavenly One’ was the goddess of astronomy, astrology, and later, Christian poetry.

The Astrological Personality of Sagittarius

Of course there is no such thing as THE Sagittarius personality. Everyone is unique. We are speaking here of an archetype. All the zodiac signs represent archetypes– something that is considered to be a perfect or typical example of a particular kind of person or thing.

Sagittarius is the Archer, the eternal student, aiming high and far even as the sun sinks; the optimist, the voyager, maybe a seer or a prophet.

The archer is a hunter. This time of year was the time for hunting. The crops were gathered in and finished for the year. Meat would be caught and hung, cured, salted away for the hungrier months ahead.

But since the origins of Tropical or western astrology were based on the seasons in the northern hemisphere, what if we live in the southern hemisphere?

Some astrologers have suggested that if you were born in the southern hemisphere and your zodiac sign really doesn’t feel right, why not look up  your opposite zodiac sign and try that on for size, see if that feels like a better fit. So for Aries, read Libra’s horoscope, for Taurus read Scorpio, for Gemini read Sagittarius, and so on.

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These are astute, clever, capable people but they need career flexibility, and they may refuse to fail to apply themselves if bored.  Like Gemini, they are prone to restlessness. They may fail to stick at a job or a succession of jobs, and may struggle financially long term in consequence.

Hence their challenge, but also their guiding light is the idea of Temperance, personified in the Tarot, symbolizing patience, prudence, and the art of good timing.

They can do domestic. But you wouldn’t really call it how they roll. And they do tend to roll, from place to place, job to job, and a rolling stone gathers no moss. The problem here being the other things it doesn’t gather either, such as a steady income, or savings or other means of security in old age, if Sagittarius does not find a way to balance their great need for freedom , space and independence with prudence and good timing.

Sagittarius tends to have lots of friends. More than almost anyone else, so much so, family and friends can feel neglected at times, forgotten, when Sagittarius goes off yet again, devil may care, to share experiences with new best friends.

Sagittarius must have inspiration, and the freedom to follow it, and to roam. But this humanitarian, kindly, if restless rolling stone sooner or later almost always comes trotting, or should we say, rolling home again, expecting to find their loved ones exactly where they left them. And usually, they will. Though others too, do not enjoy being taken for granted, and this may need care.

Sagittarius will be the star of this show, but what they really need for domestic happiness is a quietly confident, self-reliant partner.

From The Rider-Waite Smith Tarot

Card Meanings: A quest, sudden arrivals and departures, adventure, heat, speed, movement, daring, challenge, determination, foreign travel, leadership, spontaneity, unpredictability.

Sagittarius is a potential high flyer, like an arrow, well aimed, hard working and clever. They have an enlarged curiosity, always learning. They are adventurous and progressive, and work best in teams within large organizations.

They tend to be good at earning money, but not so good at saving it, generally due to impulse buying.  They need plenty of physical activity outdoors and to be in contact with nature. They tend to be animal lovers. At home, they tend to be happier married than single, and they are co-operative, fun, efficient and reliable partners but they can be detached, reserved, restless and impulsive, and they sometimes fail in consideration to their partner in their search for independent fun, seeking new adventures outside the home.

They may be psychic; religious or spiritually inquiring, with a prophetic or visionary gift which they may express through music, writing, animal connections or group endeavours for some common cause.

But as we have already observed, of course there is no such thing in reality as THE Sagittarius personality. Your zodiac sign (sun sign) is a major keynote, but it is nothing like the full picture in real life – or even in astrology.

There are many other factors in play; your rising sign, your Moon sign, and the planets in your houses, elements, modes, aspects, transits, the decans, degrees and so on. 

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

What are the decans?

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The Zodiac is the arc of the sky as visible from earth, which tracks the pathway of the sun, ‘the ecliptic.’ Obviously, what we can see depends on where we are on Earth at any given time, but the zodiac belt follows this same pathway.

The zodiac belt is 16 degrees deep with the ecliptic running along the middle, rather like a layer in a cake. The layers of this cake are 8 degrees above the sun’s pathway- the buttercream filling of the ecliptic- and 8 degrees below.

The Greeks divided this imaginary zodiac belt into twelve sections, choosing this number for ease of arithmetic, and named them after constellations found along this same pathway.  There are more than twelve constellations, above the ecliptic, or straddling it or below it, but the zodiac signs named after them, recorded by Eudoxus of Cnidus and Ptolemy of Alexandria get their name from just twelve, again, for reasons of arithmetic.

Each zodiac sign represents a 30 degree section of this 360 degree belt. Each sign is then sub-divided into three blocks of ten degrees, roughly ten days in length.  This gives us the decans of the zodiac, nicknamed ‘the thirty six faces of astrology.’ The decans break down each zodiac sign into three sub-chapters, shining extra light on the story.

First Decan Sagittarius

Sagittarius-Sagittarius

Dates:  22 November-30 November

Planetary rulers: Jupiter and Jupiter

Tarot card:  Eight of Wands

From The Gilded Tarot

Card Meanings: speed, changes, news, sudden developments, arrivals, departures or situations that may prove to be short lived- a ‘flash in the pan.’

Jupiter, planet of expansion, progress, ambition and optimism is both the ruler and sub-ruler of this decan. There is idealism and a love of knowledge here. Sagittarius-Sagittarius is an enthusiast for life, upbeat, spontaneous, and fun. They are highly competitive, and don’t like to lose, with intellectual capabilities of a high order and a keen sense of justice,

There is often a fascination with medicines, shamanism of any kind, and an interest in ancient cultures and their healing traditions. Sagittarius loves wide-open spaces, fresh air and being close to nature.

Sagittarius-Sagittarius is outgoing, yet actually rather private and reserved, not easy to get to know well. They can be the life and soul of the party, but when it comes down to it, they confide in very few.

Famous first decan Sagittarius subjects:  Winston Churchill, Pablo Escobar, Tina Turner, CS Lewis, Britney Spears, Gianni Versace

Second Decan Sagittarius

Sagittarius-Aries

Dates: 1 December-11 December

Planetary rulers: Mars and Moon (Aries Triplicity)

Tarot card: 9 Wands

From The Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot

Card Meaningscourage, stamina, fortitude, stubbornness

Mars brings to this decan an adventurous spirit; energy, courage and ambition. This decan could be an explorer or adventurer, but does well in business and commerce with marked executive abilities. They are natural sportspeople or soldiers.

They are often highly physically attractive to others, and though they are reserved, and may even push people away, guarding their space, they are passionate when in love with a reputation as potential heartbreakers. They are also known for having a bit of a short fuse, and for bearing grudges.

They need to spend plenty of time outdoors and need lots of physical activity to be at their best.  

Second Decan Sagittarius are kind and courageous, clever, good with their hands, quick with their minds, technically proficient, independent, and no matter how rough a time they are having, as with the first decan, they will usually keep that to themselves, showing their best face to the world. 

Famous Second Decan Sagittarius subjects: John Kerry, Kirk Douglas, Jim Morrison, Tyra Banks, John Malkovich

Third Decan Sagittarius

Sagittarius-Leo

Dates: 12 December-21 December

Planetary ruler: The Sun and Saturn (Leo Triplicity)

Tarot card- Ten of Wands

From The Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot

Card Meanings:  effort, determination, shouldering a burden, ‘going to town,’ ‘taking it to town.’

Ruled by the Sun, the centre of our solar system, this person is very much the centre of their own universe. There is a great love of change and a desire for reform. This decan is full of enterprise and novel ideas. They are realists, possibly cynics, but they are very much in tune with their instincts, and make great researchers, investigators or teachers.

They are not known for small talk. They say what they think, and this can give them a reputation for being rude or judgemental. They may have a dark sense of humour. But their sub-ruler, the Sun, which stands for warmth, pride and vitality, joining up with beneficent Jupiter means they have initiative combined with magnetism, and when they feel like it, a talent for making other people laugh. (Not that there was much funny about Stalin but, every zodiac sign has its seriously bad boys and girls)

Famous Decan 3 Sagittarius:  Jane Austen, Beethoven, Nostradamus, Joseph Stalin, Steven Spielberg

The Cusps of Sagittarius

22 November- 25November

This earlier native has Scorpio qualities. Their ruling planets are Jupiter and Mars. They are courageous with great physical endurance. They tend to take on a lot of responsibility, maybe too much, which can load them down and hold them back. They take much care over their work, and have a vivid imagination but will voice share strong opinions, and though they are sensitive, they can be tactless, and in consequence are sometimes misunderstood.

19 December -21 December

This later native has Capricorn tendencies. Their ruling planets are Jupiter and Saturn. They are generally very good company, entertaining, easygoing, witty and well-informed although they sometimes rub other people up the wrong way. They will not hesitate to disagree with others, and will criticise other viewpoints.  On the other hand, they have a strong sense of duty, they seldom betray a confidence and they don’t interfere in matters which don’t involve them directly.

Happy Birthday Sagittarius! 2022 is looking like a pretty good year for you, with bright prospects for work and finances, thanks to a big fat, optimistic Jupiter influence. Ambition and hard work really could pay off for you this coming year. Put your back into it, Ten of Wands style.

The ghost who came to tea

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Alas, poor Yorick. I knew him well…”

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

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

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

From The Legacy of The Divine Tarot

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Tarot, the Journey to the Valley and the day I met a dead man.

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What is the valley of death? We know it as a poetic expression from the Bible, but what might it mean in reality? What is the limit of the definition of reality anyway, when it comes to the imponderables. In algebra, we have to rely on symbolic placeholders too, as in X and Y.

Is the valley of death a poetic description of the end of life experience, a final sensory experience, a vision explainable in terms of a firing-off of neurons by the dying brain, or could it be something more?

I do not advertise as a psychic or clairvoyant or a medium, but tarot readers may get listed as such because there is no separate listing for Tarot in the telephone directory.

But why don’t I advertise as such? Well, Tarot card reading for divination, strategy and support is the service I undertake to guarantee to deliver, as my professional promise, and this is the bottom line and this service depends on acquired skill underpinned by knowledge. OK. But am I psychic? Yes. So are you, most likely, but psychic insights and experiences happen when they happen. Like a wind that ‘bloweth as it listeth’ – psychic insights may be confidently expected, but cannot be guaranteed.

Learning how to read cards, or any other system of divination, although card reading can facilitate them however, as the reader goes down a rabbit-hole, descending into a sort of Hades, seeking to find the ‘right’ interpretation of the cards in any given context. A reader can be asked absolutely anything about anything, and can never prepare, but only prepare to respond.

Every reader has their own story to tell, about how and why they started to learn to do readings. It need not start with a history of psychic experiences. Not at all. But often, it does and in a way, it did with me

‘The Mind has many corridors’ wrote Emily Dickinson. The world is older and stranger, not only than we do imagine, but more than we can imagine.

All animals are pattern seekers, pattern makers or pattern breakers, whether in order to hunt or to hide. Man is hardwired for the power of pattern, and communicating pattern, and the meanings of pattern, and of breaks in pattern, is the eternal task of storytelling. Man – meaning all of Mankind- is a storytelling animal.

‘In the beginning was the Word’.

The Day I met a Dead Man

Many years before I ever so much as opened a pack of Tarot cards, to be grabbed by the art and story telling embedded in them, I met a dead man on the street, a stranger, though we didn’t so much meet. It was more of a case of receiving a summons.

Leicester, 1988. I had just had coffee with a friend I’d used to work with at the Costume Museum in Wygston’s House, now a restaurant. My friend had been the curator at that time and way, way back, the eponymous Roger Wygston had been a wealthy wool merchant and several times Mayor of Leicester.

“Roger Wygston was born about 1430. His father, William, made the family fortune from the wool trade in the first half of the 1400s. Roger was elected chamberlain in 1459 and mayor of Leicester in 1465, 1471 and 1487. He was Member of Parliament for Leicester in 1473 and 1488. He died at Whitsun 1507.” More HERE 

I worked in a little room upstairs, putting the Museum’s collection records, index card system on to computers for the first time, and helped put together an exhibition telling the story of hosiery and featuring our star exhibit, a Coptic sock from about AD 400. It had a bifurcated foot and horizontal stripes in red, brown and green.

Wygston’sHouse, Public Domain

I had coffee and a catch up with my friend, and then we said goodbye. I had a legal appointment at the top end of New Walk at 2.00 PM.

There was a time I walked up and down New Walk almost every day, and I worked a short while in the Museum there too. The portico entrance seen here on the right. This one, Wygston’s House and others were all part of the Leicestershire Museums Service run by the County Council.

New Walk and the Museum, Leicester

I was selling a house among other things, with a lot going on at this time, some of it stressful. Anyone reading this may dismiss the following account on those grounds if they feel so inclined. This would be a perfectly reasonable option, if personally somewhat uncomplimentary in relegating the writer to the role of unreliable narrator, but that would certainly be the easiest, least challenging take on it.

Hardly sooner had I set off walking heading off to this appointment than I began to feel peculiar. Not exactly unwell, but certainly not good. There was a crackling in my ears, white noise like an un-tuned radio. Spots started dancing in front of my eyes, fizzing red and black. My body felt weirdly heavy.

I had never fainted in my life to recognize what that felt like, but, thinking maybe I was about to faint, I decided to keep on walking, thinking it would clear my head. But I was unaccountably scrambled, disorientated.

I could not for the life of me, remember or think where I was supposed to be going. I was on autopilot.

My feet took charge, leading me as it were, one step in front of the other until only a few minutes later, I had crossed a busy street.

I followed a small pedestrianized back street round the curved back wall of what was still called Marks & Spencer then, now M & S and then I came to a standstill.

There was a man lying on his back in the narrow street, sprawled across the pavement. A paramedic was attempting resuscitation, another kneeling by them, a small crowd anxiously watching, an ambulance waiting, .

There he lay, defenseless against exposure; an older man, but not exactly elderly, his trousers unbuttoned and unzipped, showing purple underpants, while the paramedics worked on him. His purchases, a few oranges presumably just bought in the market, had rolled out of his striped canvas shopping bag, and into the gutter.

I kept a distance, standing alone, with a blindingly sudden feeling of certainty, a sensation of astonished comprehension, ‘oh, that’s why I came this way. He fetched me.’

The fog rolled back and now I remembered I was on my way to the New Walk. I was by no means far out of my way, but nor would I have naturally thought to come this way.

I knew it was no good them trying to resuscitate him. I remember thinking, ‘he’s not in there anymore’.

I had the feeling, not only was the man not in his body any more, he was standing close beside me, on my right.

I saw nothing, heard nothing and felt nothing in that moment except a pang on his account, but this, with a dissociated neutrality. I think perhaps I was a little shocked, but I wasn’t frightened, only sad, not so much at the suddenness of the man’s death, but that he was caught so unprepared, and was so very frightened, finding himself unable to get back in his body that he had sent an SOS and pulled me off my own path to bring me, a perfect stranger, to where he lay, so abruptly evicted from his own body in a city centre back street on a sunny day.

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Maybe it works something like radio waves, and I happened to be in the right place at the right time, and I was tuned in on the right frequency, like the story of the haunted house in my previous post.

I talked to him, and told him he had done the hard bit, and not to try and get back in, that he’d had a most tremendous shock, but it was OK, it was all right, and there was somewhere else he needed to go now, but it was perfectly all right.

Had I thought of it I might have said a prayer. I’m not religious, but words have power across the boundaries of time and space, and who knows what other boundaries.

I reckon that the old Wakes, company, food, alcohol, song, were a wise tradition rooted in this ancient understanding. That the dead might need a bit of time to process what has happened. That they might need encouragement and reassurance before they set off on their lone but universal odyssey once more to greet the rising sun. Read Here about Wakes.

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A friend of my mother’s once told her that she had not been close to her father. But after he died and she went to see the body and say goodbye, she thought his face did not look quite right. She felt he looked frightened. The mouth was twisted. She sang to him ‘The Lord Is My Shepherd’, and she thought he must have heard her, because his mouth relaxed, and all at once his face looked quite different.

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Some go swiftly and easily through the Valley. Others, not so.

The archangels Uriel and Michael are psychopomps; escorting the dead as they ascend back up to the heavens via the Gate of the Gods in the constellation of Capricorn.

In Greek and Roman mythology, the god Hermes or Mercury, would escort the souls to the banks of the River Acheron, or The Styx if you prefer, to wait for Charon the Ferryman and the crossing to the Isle of the Dead and the Fields of Asphodel.

Wiki: Psychopomps (from the Greek word ψυχοπομπός, psychopompós, literally meaning the ‘guide of souls’)[1] are creatures, spirits, angels, or deities in many religions whose responsibility is to escort newly deceased souls from Earth to the afterlife. Their role is not to judge the deceased, but simply to guide them.

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23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

But I didn’t think of that. I was young, inexperienced in such things, too astonished and unprepared. So that was all I said to him, and then I went on my way and I put it out of my mind for a long time to come.

But I hope that he did hear me, however inadequate the response, if only to know that yes, he might have left his body, but he still existed and he stil lhad agency.

The living were still trying to help him, and though they could neither bring him back nor accompany him on his forward journey, whatever that might be, still, he had sent out a distress signal, and someone had received it and responded.

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We send them. We receive them. Messages in bottles, sailing to shores near and far.

Some perhaps, farther than we can ever know.

At Halloween, hailing Hekate, goddess of ghosts

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

From The Gilded Tarot Royale, illustrator Ciro Marchetti

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scorpio Photo by Jo Kassis on Pexels.com

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

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

Liminal Spaces

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hekate, goddess of ghosts

The Triple Hecate William Blake, Public Domain

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

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

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

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

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

Astral travel. Not all ghosts are necessarily dead.

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

Mythology

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

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

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

The Kindness of Hekate

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Magickal Traditions, Symbols and Practice

Her colours are black and red.

Her symbols keys, torches

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

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

SONY DSC

What might Hekate help with?

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

-Assistance with banishing harmful situations

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

Asking help from Hekate

1/ Attitude

Care and respect is required as with any request.

2/ Naming

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

3/ Timing

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

4/ Place/rituals

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

5/ Gifts and thanks

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

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

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

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

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

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

A True Ghost story

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

We have the dictionary definition.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From The Gilded Tarot

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

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

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Season of the Celestial Scorpion

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Common Associations

Zodiac symbol

Dates:  October 23 –November 22 (It may vary. In 2021 it will be Sunday Nov 21)

Ruling planets:  Ruled by Mars and after Pluto’s discovery in 1930, considered by many modern astrologers to be co-ruled by Pluto

Symbol:  Scorpion, Serpent, Eagle, Phoenix (nearby constellation, Aquila, the Eagle)

Zodiac element: Water

Zodiac quality: Fixed

Keywords:  I desire. I transform

Colour:  Dark red

Birthstone:  Yellow Topaz, Opal, Aquamarine, Tourmaline.

Tree:  Walnut. Hawthorn. Blackthorn

Tarot Card:  Death

From The Gilded Tarot

Note the Biblical ‘pale horse’ and the white rose. The rose signifies beauty and immortality. What has ever once been, lives somewhere, somehow, forever.

Astronomy

Scorpius from which the zodiac sign gets its name, is a massive, spectacular j- shaped constellation located in the skies over the southern hemisphere near the centre of the Milky Way. In the Northern hemisphere it can be seen in July and August, but is most visible in July at 9.00 PM. In the Southern hemisphere it is visible from March to October, like a faint band in the Milky Way overhead.

By Till Credner – Own work, http://www.AlltheSky.com, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9296434

Its name, no prizes for guessing, is Latin for scorpion and it is one of the 48 constellations identified by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the second century AD. Like Aries, Taurus and Leo, it is an ancient constellation, meaning it has been recognised as a constellation pre-dating the Greeks.

Scorpius is the southernmost constellation in the zodiac between Libra to the west and Sagittarius to the east. Its claws do double duty and also represent the scales of Libra.

Its unbelievably huge brightest star- our sun is barely more than a dot in comparison- is one of the brightest in the night sky, the ‘heart of the scorpion’, Antares, meaning ‘rival of Ares’ (the Greek name for the Roman god of war, Mars) So-named because it is bright reddish in colour, like Mars, and because Scorpio’s traditional ruling planet is Mars.

By kind permission of EarthSky.Org

Modern astrologers may argue that Scorpio is ruled by Pluto instead (Death, The Transformer) depending on whether the astrologer is working with a traditional or modern interpretation after the discovery of Pluto 1930.

Scorpius contains exo-planets, some extremely old, and others considered potentially habitable. The planet PSR B1620-26 b, nicknamed “Methuselah” is estimated at 12.7 billion years old  (The universe is about 13.7 billion years old.)  Methuselah has a mass about twice that of Jupiter and it orbits around not one, but two stars.

Cue potential existential angst.

Gliese 667Cc is a “super-Earth” about four times as massive as Earth, part of a three-star system only 22 light-years away from Earth. It’s considered potentially habitable and the same system contains two other potentially habitable planets: Gliese 667Ce and Gliese 667Cf – both about 2.7 times the mass of Earth.

“Habitability” is defined as a rocky world close enough to its parent star for liquid water to exist on the surface. Other factors may rule it out, though, such as the variability of its star or the composition of the planet’s atmosphere.

Mythology and History

Nature, Religion and astrology were intertwined in the ancient world. The ancient world was wiser and knew better than we do in this respect.

The scorpion has been here far longer than we have – hundreds of millions of years, more than 450 million, compared with our six million or so.

Sometime around four thousand years ago the Babylonians looked up, discerned the brightly leaning J- shape in the summer stars and called this constellation MUL.GIR.TAB – the ‘Scorpion’, literally read as ‘the (creature with) a burning sting’.

The movements and relative positions of Scorpius were mapped by Babylonian magicians and astrologers, who left written records of the omens they observed.

“When a halo surrounds the Moon and Scorpio stands in it, it will cause men to marry princesses, (or) lions will die, and the traffic of the land will be hindered.”

A comet appearing in Scorpius was read as a dire warning of a coming plague, but when the Sun rose in Scorpius, alchemists saw their one chance for the transmutation of lead into gold.

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Orion and The Scorpion

Orion The Hunter was a friend of Artemis, Greek goddess of the Moon, of the Hunt, and patron of all wild creatures. One day he was overheard boasting to Artemis and her mother Leto, that there was not a single beast he could not, and would not hunt and kill.

Gaia, goddess of the Earth, heard this and did not like it one bit. Artemis was a great hunter herself, but Artemis did not kill for the sake of killing, and offered protection to all creatures. Gaia sent a giant scorpion to deal with Orion. He fought back, and sure enough, he killed the scorpion, but the scorpion also killed Orion.

Public Domain

Zeus, much impressed by the scorpion’s battle spirit, and at Gaia’s request, raised the scorpion to the heavens, and at the request of the heartbroken Artemis; he did the same for Orion.

But see them back to back? Still, they avoid each one another, these ancient deadly foes, one rising as the other sets.

In other cultures this constellation is not seen as a scorpion. In Indonesia it’s the “the brooded swan” or the “the leaning coconut tree.” In Hawaii, it is “The Fishhook” of the demi-god Maui.

In Chinese mythology, the constellation is part of the Azure Dragon a deity of the underworld ( a cthonic deity = subterranean) and in Japan the guardian spirit of the city of Kyoto. presumably for magical protection against earthquakes.

But about the scorpion, there is consensus across hemispheres, not only continents. Thousands of years before the Greeks and Romans established their societies, the Australian Aboriginal peoples also looked up and saw the stars of Scorpius in terms of a cosmic scorpion, as did the Aztecs of Central Mexico.

The Lowland Mayans  had scorpion constellations. These may have matched up with THE Scorpion of the zodiac, but there no clear proof. It is thought that the Mayans viewed the celestial scorpion as an eclipse-causing agent.

The arrival of Scorpio’s sign in the northern hemisphere coincides with the advent of mystery, the fast fading autumn light, and the ghosts, myths and superstitions of Halloween, or All Hallows Eve.

Facts about scorpions

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  • As mentioned previously, they are a staggeringly ancient creature. The earliest evidence dates from the Silurian period 450 million years ago, when the first scorpion ancestors left the seas for the land. Fossils from the Carboniferous 300 million years ago indicate little change since then. Early scorpions may have had compound eyes. 
  • They are arachnids: arachnida scorpiones, with a body in two sections, 2 pincers or pedi-palps, 8 legs like a spider, and an exo-skeleton made of chitin. They are more closely related to Harvestmen than spiders.
  • They dance before mating, a stately promenade. They give birth to live young and carry them on their backs until the babies have their first moult and disperse. The mothers may eat the young if resources are desperately scarce.
  • They have a long life span compared with other arachnids, 2-3 years in the wild but they have lived up to 25 years in captivity. They can live a year without food and eat insects, spiders, other scorpions and lizards. They also eat small mammals, such as mice.
  • They glow in the dark except when newly moulted. Scorpion fossils still fluoresce, despite spending hundreds of millions of years embedded in rock.
  • They are famously venomous. However of the nearly 2,000 known species of scorpions, only 25 have venom powerful enough to be dangerous to an adult human. In the U.S., the Arizona bark scorpion, Centruroides sculpturatus, produces venom strong enough to kill a small child, but anti-venom means deaths are rare.

The Scorpio Personality -planetary aspects

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Scorpio is known as The Sorceror, The Detective, The Hypnotist, and The Alchemist

Scorpio is an extreme sign, at the same time fiery hot and icy cold, symbolically reflecting its contradictory planetary rulers. Scorpio is traditionally ruled by the red planet Mars, planet of action, named after the Classical Greco- Roman god of war.  But its modern ruler is the icy dwarf planet Pluto, not discovered until 1930 and named after the Greco-Roman god of the underworld.

Pluto, although small, and though its status as a planet is an ongoing debate, is large enough, with a gravitational pull sufficiently powerful to make it spherical, like a planet. And it is symbolically powerful in modern astrology, by virtue of the very fact that it is so far away from the sun. Its orbit takes 248 years, so that its symbolic effects are deep, far reaching and long lasting.

Like the other water signs, Cancer and Pisces, Scorpio is considered clairvoyant, or at least, keenly intuitive. (All signs are of course,potentially psychic in their own way) But Scorpio has far greater intensity. This is water behaving as steam like an underwater volcanic eruption or a bubbling hot spring.

Scorpio rules the eighth sign of the zodiac, to do with Birth, Sex and Death.  It is both destruction and regeneration.

No wonder these subjects can be intense, and they are often possessed of great personal charisma. They are watchful but keep their feelings hidden. Born executives, investigators, spies or secret agents, they are shrewd judges of human nature, while less conscientious Scorpio subjects make use of this to their advantage, and drop friends whom they no longer see as useful.  But combined with their intense determination, and loyalty-where they decide to accord it, Scorpios can make great leaders, scientists, and devoted doctors. They are quick learners, instinctive, analytical, adaptable, often ‘moulting’ (changing careers) going down new paths.

Scorpio is vengeful…and patient. But they never forget a kindness.

The major arcana card in the Tarot representing Scorpio is the Death card, one of the most famous and most feared cards in the Tarot deck.

Public Domain: artist Pamela Colman Smith

The prospect of Death is frightening, hard to comprehend even though we understand it full well. And often desperately upsetting, though we understand full well Death is part of Life. Without Death, there would be no space for new life. We are getting our turn at life right now. Others are waiting their turn. Others before us have had theirs, and who knows, maybe they will get another turn one day.

When we leave, I feel we really do go through ‘the Valley’. Some intermediate state. Some zip through double quick. Others take longer, a few take much much longer. This much has been my observation through work with clients and a small number of unforgettable personal experiences.

What it is like to find ourselves there, in ‘the valley’ to find ourselves evicted and locked out of our earthly home for so long, our abode in the familiar city of our body? It is easy to imagine that some could panic at first. Whether we forget, or dream, or are utterly subsumed again into wherever we came from before, when maybe we were frightened to get born, not knowing what we were coming to this time round.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

This card is the annual collective zodiacal reminder that, just as the daylight is dying; so Death comes for everyone alike, old or young, man or woman, the archbishop and the child as shown in the Death card.

There are no guarantees we will make it to the age of ‘three score and ten,’- that any of us will see the age of seventy. Old age is not a right. In the natural world, few animals in the wild live into old age. Life is for living now, says Scorpio, and it is this awareness that gives Scorpio its drive, intensity, its passion, and sometimes its preoccupation with the dark side of life, and with the occult and the mysterious.

The court card of Scorpio is the King of Cups, the man of Scorpio, Cancer and Pisces. In a reading The Queen of Cups may also be used.

Legacy of the Divine Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

MeaningsWater, the sea, sailor, fisherman, mature Male, husband, friend, grandpa, advisor, priest, doctor, counsellor, teacher, academic, artist, poet, musician, deep wisdom, calm, considerate, sensitive, supportive, protective,  disciplined,  intuitive, psychic,  reserved, secretive

Scorpio needs a challenge. They like to unlock puzzles and mysteries and they need to feel that their work is important or meaningful. Hence they will often be found in high pressure situations, handling urgent, even life or death issues; in the emergency services, or in the police, detection, crime & prisons, or working in psychotherapy. They often have a talent for management, including financial management, and research and resource management within the financial sector and power production industries

This is the archetype. But of course there is no such thing in reality as THE Scorpio personality. We are unique individuals. Our zodiac sign (sun sign) is a major keynote, but it is nothing like the full picture in real life – or even in astrology.  

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

The decans

The Zodiac is the belt of sky we see from earth, tracking the path of the sun across the sky from dawn till dusk and throughout the year. We call this pathway of the sun ‘the ecliptic,’ and the zodiac belt shares this same pathway.

The zodiac belt is 16 degrees deep or across; 8 degrees above the sun’s pathway, the ecliptic, and 8 degrees below.

The Greeks divided this belt into twelve sections, choosing twelve for ease of arithmetic and named them after some of the constellations found along this same pathway.  There are more than twelve constellations, both above the ecliptic and below it, but the zodiac signs, as formalised by Eudoxus of Cnidus and Ptolemy of Alexandria get their name from just twelve.

Each zodiac sign represents a 30 degree section of this 360 degree belt. Each sign is then sub-divided into three blocks of ten degrees, about ten days in length.

This gives us the decans, nicknamed ‘the thirty six faces of astrology,’ breaking down each sign into three chapters that shine a little extra light on the story of that sign.

First Decan Scorpio

Scorpio-Scorpio

Birth Dates:  23 -31 October (0-10 degrees)

Planetary rulers: Mars and Pluto

Tarot card:  Five of Cups

From The Legacy Tarot

Card Meanings:  Grief, disappointment, recovery from loss. Taking stock,counting our blessings, and what still remains

Here is the most ‘typical’ Scorpio subject. Mars, the ruling planet of Scorpio is doubly powerful in this first decan. This is an active, determined, dominant individual. When the going gets tough, so do they.

Scorpio/Scorpio individuals are incredibly driven, and more prone than other people to extreme behaviours, matched by courage, tenacity, and the willpower to bounce back after a setback, and start again.

Famous first decans

Hillary Clinton, politician, 26 Oct 1947

Dylan Thomas, poet, 27 Oct 1914

Second Decan Scorpio

Scorpio-Pisces

Dates: 1 -11 November (10-20 degrees)

Planetary rulers: Jupiter and Neptune

Tarot card: Six of Cups

From The Gilded Tarot

Card Meaningshappy memories, nostalgia, home, childhood, children, childhood, old friends, and old haunts

This Scorpio decan is also intense and driven, but is cooled and moderated by Pisces and its rulers, Neptune and Jupiter. This is a changeable nature, unpredictable or at times explosive, but at other times slow or even sluggish.  There is an element of contradiction here.

Jupiter is the planetary symbol of good luck is the ultimate extrovert, and Neptune ‘The Dreamer’ is the ultimate introvert.

This individual’s greatest battles may be with themselves, starting at an early age. The influence of Neptune may be an inspiration, or could become their downfall, should they once start indulging in escapism via drugs, alcohol, gambling or other addictive, risk-taking behaviours.

These people are often interested in esoteric subjects; religion, the mystical, and the occult.  They need s stable home, a reliable partner and they need to be careful in their friendships and choice of company. They usually have a natural talent for medicine or the healing arts, and are searching for some sense of a greater purpose.

Famous Second Decans

Billy Graham, evangelist, 7 Nov 1918,  

Carl Sagan, astronomer, 9 Nov 1934

Third Decan Scorpio

Scorpio-Cancer

Dates: 12-21 November

Planetary rulers: Moon and Venus

Tarot card- Seven of Cups

From The Gilded Tarot Royale

Card Meanings: visions, possibilities, options, choices, daydreams

This decan is as visionary as this card illustration suggests; imaginative, creative and dramatic.  Moon and Venus cool and soften the energy of Mars. This is a magnetic personality, a natural artist or performer.

The Decan 3 Scorpio often has a particularly close relationship with his or her mother; generally a healthy thing, so long as it isn’t given more importance than their relationships with their chosen life partner.

This is the Scorpio decan most likely to curate a legacy to loved ones or leave money to favourite causes. Money, privacy, loyalty and property are of supreme importance. A keeper of secrets, they carry mysteries or grudges to their graves.

They are more domestic at heart than other Scorpio natives, but still, very brave and tough in their own way. They may be activists of some kind, and their charm and eloquence can make them very effective when working with a group for a common cause.

Famous Third Decans

Robert Kennedy, 20 Nov 1925

Prince Charles, 14 Nov 1948

Born on the cusp?

First decan Scorpio born on the cusp is a more airy Libran Scorpio with marked Libra qualities. Third decan Scorpio born on the cusp is a less fiery Sagittarian Scorpio with marked Sagittarius qualities.

Fixed water Scorpio, the opposite number of Fixed Earth Taurus is a hidden face of The Bull, just as The Bull is a hidden face of the Scorpion. The Bull from The Sea was sent to Crete by Poseidon. Steamy depths indeed. Only Pisces goes as deep or deeper.

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

Back again for Halloween

Till next time 🙂

Libra 2021

Most of us know our sign of the zodiac, but what is the story behind the sign? Read on for the story of Libra…

Libra marks the advent of the autumn equinox in the northern hemisphere. The scales of Libra represent this temporary state of balance in nature, and the closest equality of the hours of darkness and daylight.

Common Associations

Symbol

Element: Air

Quality: Cardinal (it instigates)

Affirmation: I (seek to) Balance

Ruling planet: Venus

Body: Lower back, buttocks, kidneys, bladder Tissue salt: Nat Phos (sodium phosphate)

Colour: Indigo Blue

Flower: Rose, Hydrangea

Birthstones: Sapphire- September birthdays. Opal- October birthdays

Lucky Number: 6 (community, childhood)

Tarot card: Justice Minor Arcana cards: 2, 3, 4 Swords

From The Legacy of the Divine Tarot, illustrator Ciro Marchetti

Astronomy

Constellation Libra

Libra (which technically, though I don’t know anyone who actually pronounces it this way, is pronounced Ly-bra as in Library) is a small but distinct constellation next to the constellation Virgo in the evening sky.

It looks rather like a lopsided diamond and is visible in the northern hemisphere between April and July and is most visible directly overhead at midnight in June.

It is 29th in size of the 88 known constellations and is is bordered by the head of Serpens to the north, Virgo to the northwest, Hydra (the biggest constellation) to the southwest, Lupus to the south, Scorpius to the east and the serpent bearer, Ophiuchus to the northeast.

Libra, like Cancer, is fainter from Earth than other constellations, and contains no spectacular first magnitude stars, but it contains a very old galaxy cluster that is thought to be around 10 billion years old, the same age as The Milky Way, our own galaxy.

Libra also contains a red dwarf star, Gliese 581, which has three orbiting planets, one of which may possibly be suitable for life. This system is about 20 light years from Earth.

Libra though recognized as an asterism long before, was only formally classified as a constellation by the Romans, and used to be regarded, not as a constellation in its own right, but as part of the neighbouring constellations Scorpio and Virgo.

This legacy explains the names of its brightest stars; a binary star about 77 light years from Earth. α Librae. called Zubenelgenubi, in Arabic “the Southern Claw” in Arabic. The second-brightest star is β Librae, or Zubeneschamali,  the Arabic for “The Northern Claw.”  

Once upon a time, about three thousand years ago and until AD 730, the Sun used to move into the constellation of  Libra at the time of the northern autumnal equinox (c. September 23) and stay there until about October 23.

This changed over time, owing to the wobble of the Earth, owing to an effect called the precession of the equinoxes so that since 2002, the Sun has actually appeared in the constellation of Libra from October 31 to November 22.

HOWEVER This does not affect the dates or the meaning of the zodiac sign of Libra which is based, not on the science of the astronomy in real time, but on an arithmetic model.

Mythology and History

From Urania’s Mirror

Libra was known in Babylonian astronomy as MUL Zibanu (the “scales” or “balance”) with an alternative name, the Claws of the Scorpion. In ancient Greece too, Libra was seen as the Scorpion’s Claws.

The scales were sacred to the Babylonian sun god Shamash, who was the patron of truth and justice, so that since these very early times, Libra has been associated with law, fairness and civility.

Libra was first recognised as a constellation in its own right in ancient Rome, when it began to represent the scales held by Astraea, or Dike, who in Greek mythology was actually associated with Virgo. In ancient times, the stars of Libra, The Scales, were also intermingled with those of  Scorpius by the Greeks, but were always considered as a separate group by the Romans.

According to the writer Manilius, whether this was factually correct or not, more Roman judges were born under the sign of Libra than under other zodiac signs.   

Venus and Libra

Libra, like Taurus, is traditionally ruled by Venus, planet of love, beauty, friendship, diplomacy- and also wealth, because wealth provides luxuries.

The Birth of Venus, Botticelli

Everything has its shadow side of course, and Venus can also mean over indulgence, undue materialism, or uncontrolled desires or obsession.

The Libra Archetype

The Archetype of Libra is The Judge.

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

The zodiac signs paint a ‘typical’ portrait of a person born at a particular time of year, in a particular season. A baby born in summer arrives into a different physical environment from a winter baby; differences of parental diet, especially in the days long before supermarkets where food was a matter of seasonal availability, plus other environmental factors; temperatures, hours of daylight exposure and so on, with potential physical effects on that baby’s makeup and development.

Libra is one of the three zodiac air signs, the others being Gemini and Aquarius.

 Libra is the only sign that is not represented by a human or animal, but the scales signify the collective and enduring human hunger for justice, as well as Libra’s own especially keen personal need for balance, order, and equality.

Many astrologers view Libra as an especially lucky sign because it occurs during the peak of the year when the rewards of hard work are harvested.

Libra is suave, clever and extremely easy to like. The classic Libra subject has charm and can be a great listener with sharp observation skills and acute perception.

Because Venus, the goddess of love, rules Libra, the Libra subject is especially, even acutely sensitive to beauty in anything, whether it is a person, nature, art, or music. They dislike loud noises, nastiness, and vulgarity, as they are naturally extremely civilized people. They can sometimes be a little tiring to be with as they are constantly re-assessing and adjusting their thinking, and can be restless, more changeable even than Gemini.

Late Libra may show some of the more negative Scorpio traits. They may be touchy and thin-skinned, and tend not to handle criticism as dispassionately as they dispense it.

But Libra on a good hair day, when it is sunny side up, smart as anything, smiling, civilized, ready to be amused, that lollipop face, what’s not to like?

The archetypal human face in the Tarot representing Libra is the Queen of Swords, though of course in real life, this may represent male or female.

This court card represents a queen of keen observational and analytical capabilities, combining intellect and instinct. She has worked hard, given her best service, learned many life lessons, may well have experienced much loss, and while often charming, has a certain air of aloofness. Many seek her out for her wise advice, and receive fair,considered advice. In her most negative aspects she may be vindictive.

Photo by Anderson Miranda on Pexels.com

These archetypes are based on thousands of years of observation, but of course there is no such thing in reality as THE Libra personality.

You are a unique individual. Your zodiac sign (also known as your sun sign) is a major keynote, but nothing like the full picture in real life – or even in astrology.

But your decan, which depends on where your birthday falls within your zodiac sign, digs just a little deeper. If you don’t feel like a ‘typical’ Libra, perhaps you are a second or third decan Libra, rather than a ‘most typical’ first decan Libra.

What are the decans?

The decans have been described as ‘the thirty six faces of astrology.’

 The Zodiac, a portion of sky as seen from earth, represents an imaginary belt or wheel; a circle of 360 degrees. This circle was seen as divided in Tropical or Western astrology into twelve ‘slices,’ of approximately thirty degrees each. Each slice represents a zodiac sign named after a chosen constellation appearing inside this belt of sky, giving us the zodiac signs we are familiar with today.

Astrologers then sub-divided each of these 12 signs into three parts of ten degrees each. Every degree – every birth date -supplies added insights or texture in respect of character and potential destiny.

The first ten days of a zodiac sign are the first decan. The next ten days or so are the second decan, and the last ten days or so are the third decan.

“If you’ve ever wondered why people born in the same sign seem different, decans can help answer this puzzle,” – astrologer Rachel Lang.

Libra First Decan

Libra-Libra

Dates:  23 September – 2 October

Planetary rulers: Traditional –Moon / Modern –Venus

Tarot card: Two of Swords Truce, pause, standoff, taking stock, information gathering, indecision, obstinate, none so blind as will not see, refusal to engage

Libra-Libra gets a double dose of Venus glamour, as both its planetary ruler and sub-ruler; here is the most ‘typical’ Libra subject; sensitive, perceptive, attractive and well-balanced, keenly intuitive and extra sensitive to beauty, the arts and fashion.

They are clever as anything, strategic thinkers, great at seeing patterns, dealing with data. They are diplomats, cool operators, experts at avoiding unpleasant conversations. They are sensitive to loud noises and dislike crowds.

They hate conflicts, arguments and will avoid direct confrontation, though this is not always helpful. This means they may also avoid uncomfortable decision-making – or indeed any decision-making and may put off a boring job in the hope that someone else will deal with it, though they are perfectly capable of doing it themselves.

Libra is not known for nothing as ‘the iron fist in the velvet glove.’ They can turn away, cut you out cold, and you may never find out why. There will be a reason, but they don’t do those kinds of conversation, for all their essential kindness and usual generosity of spirit. First decan Libra for all their gifts can be self-critical and prone to anxiety or sudden mood swings. They really, really need their space.

Libra Second Decan

Libra-Aquarius

Dates: 3 -12 October

Planetary rulers: Traditional – Saturn / Modern – Uranus

Tarot card: Three of Swords. Sorrow, stress, separation, love triangles, karma, making peace with the past. All signs must learn to deal with loss. Important to note, none of these messages are intended for Libra alone, and may simply represent Libra timing in a reading.

Libra-Aquarius, ruled by stern Saturn and rebellious Uranus is not only brilliantly clever, but dutiful, patient, wise, and inventive, even downright psychic, more curious about subjects like astrology than other Librans. Here is a thinker with a strongly independent streak – even a little quirky. This Libran is urbane, naturally sophisticated, and much sought after for their wit, knowledge, sparkling company and good advice.

They are known for combining artistic gifts with a logical, rational scientific way of thinking.  The writer’s father was a second decan Libran; an academic author and scholar of French philosophy, and an exhibiting artist, a painter, with powerful ESP.

All Librans have good earning potential above average, but this decan, ruled by disciplined Saturn, though not remotely mean, is careful, especially prone to saving up for a rainy day, or with an eye to leaving money for their dependents.

Never underestimate them. If a second Libra thinks something is wrong or unethical, if they disapprove of something they may react with a shocking finality, bringing down the sword of judgement. It’s the same with all Librans but the second decan Libra, while oh so polite….will coolly tell you to your face what they do not approve of. 

Libra-Aquarius, inspiring devotion and respect, is an enigma, remote and distant, like a kindly priest or a shaman, or a shining lone star.

Photo by Kindel Media on Pexels.com

Libra Third Decan

Libra-Gemini

Dates: 13- 22 October

Planetary rulers: Traditional – Jupiter / Modern – Mercury

Tarot card- Four of Swords: rest, bed, recovery, retreat, regrouping after mental or physical exhaustion

Libra-Gemini is known for above average physical attractiveness and typically looks younger than their actual age, with a rounded face, bright, keen eyes, medium build, and a light to medium build, usually above average height.

Knowledge is power to this most restless Libran. They need to feel up to date, well informed. They may not necessarily share what they know, unless they feel challenged or contradicted. They can be competitive and also secretive, not because they are deceitful, but to avoid the risk of hassle. They cannot bear dealing with bad news, or to be the bearer of bad tidings. Libra decan 3 is not the one to volunteer to handle this.

They are capable of aggression, but still, are more timid, more of an introvert that many would take them for on first acquaintance.

They may have found themselves cast in the role of outsider at some period of their lives. This may have proved a formative experience, or it may have dented their confidence and given them a bit of a hang-up.

They take themselves very seriously, and are serious about money, and about their obligations, and make excellent family providers. They do need to feel that whatever they do for their loved ones was entirely their own idea, and do not respond well if they get the idea they are being pressured, but a bit of praise goes a long way with Decan 3 Libra.

They are kindly, and they notice things, but they don’t tend to give out a lot of feedback. They are born judges, but it can seem as if other people’s problems aren’t entirely real to them, and if they’re in the wrong, they may never admit it for fear of being judged themselves.

This decan in particular craves travel, and is known for a love of the sea. They have a tendency to become restless, withdrawn and irritable when bored, or when they can’t travel as much as they would like. Pandemic travel restrictions really might have been quite a frustration for this Libra subject.

Photo by David McEachan on Pexels.com

Libra Season 2021

This will not be a quiet news month on the global stage or in the media. It promises to be pretty interesting, and possibly at times, a bit too interesting, reflecting lively and intense astrological transits, particularly until the Mars square Pluto conjunction 21,22 and 23 October, which suggests we take special care how we go, avoiding getting into confrontations, and when going out and about.

On the other hand, we could get a lot of stuff sorted out this Libra season, spurred on helpful bursts of Mars energy.

Libra is laid back, or at least, quietly focused, going about its business. But this Libra season, 2021, is in all probability, not a case of business as usual.

Further reading:

For more about the decans: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decan_(astrology)

For more about The Chaldeans:  https://erenow.net/common/astrology-and-religion-among-the-greeks-and-romans/2.php

The Tarot: History, Symbolism, and Divination by Robert M Place: https://www.amazon.com/Tarot-History-Symbolism-Divination/dp/1585423491?tag=horoscopeco07-20

Harvest Moon in Pisces-Aries

Samuel Palmer, Public Domain

Tonight was the Full Harvest Moon, the full moon closest to the autumn equinox which in 2021 is 22 September, occurring at 20:21 (British Summer time. )

Unlike other full moons, the Harvest Moon rises at nearly the same time, around sunset, for several evenings in a row, lighting the fields for the workers bringing in the harvest.

In the US, the First Nations called it The Big Moon, and so it can be, lighting the harvesting till late in the evening, or they called it The Sturgeon Moon.

The sturgeon, a really ancient, prehistoric fish found in fossil beds from the Cretaceous, and that can be 3.5 m in length, has been hunted nearly to danger of extinction on account of caviar.

Look at this old variety of maize grown by the Lakota…a glass gem corn cob. It is not eaten like this, but ground into a purplish meal.

How beautiful is that?

Glass gem maize cob

This year’s Harvest Moon is happening in third decan Pisces. The corresponding Tarot card is the rather lovely Ten of Cups. Home sweet home. Or perhaps home and dry…it kept appearing for Joe Biden during the US Election, Trump v Biden,though an oddly domestic card perhaps, in that particular context. (Mr Biden is a deep water, Scorpio subject, Mr Trump airy Gemini.)

Note the symbols hanging in the hearth-place, Mars in Pisces.

The Legacy of The Divine Tarot

What could be more peaceful? Well, yes, but Pisces can also be tricky; dream states, illusions, delusions. Neptune. This full moon might be full on emotionally intense, and this may be agreeable, OR anything but, or actually a teensy bit bonkers. One may be extra accident prone. Passions may boil over, a touch of paranoia perhaps, angry words said. One may need to watch one’s step and beware rogues and trickery.

This Moon is teetering into Mars ruled Aries later on tonight, and Aries is currently in opposition to Mars, This is heated, volatile…volcanic even. Think Cumbre Vieja.

Il Matrimonio had an odd encounter this morning, out in town. Potentially a mugger (?) sizing him up, first asking him the time as they crossed, going in opposite directions, walking on but then turning back again and following him. He, we will never know, but he felt the man’s presence behind him and stopped sharply to let the man know he was alert to him. The man meandered into a nearby bus stop he had previously just passed and hopped on a bus. Possibly there was an innocent explanation, or else the man was after Il Matrimonio’s smartphone, a snatch and run prospect.

Be alert. The country, so the old saying goes, needs lerts.

Poor old sturgeons. There they are, been here all this time, fossils dating back in the late Cretaceous era, more than 65 million years ago, being brought to the brink on account of a human hankering for blobs on toast…or is it blinis?

Photo by Ivan Samkov on Pexels.com

But what do I know. Il Matrimonio has had it, and says it is delish.

I’ll take his word for it.

Sturgeon, Wiki

Till next time 🙂

Psychic Skies; Mercury, Mars and the Moon this month

Mercury goes retrograde 27 September until it goes direct again 18 October for the last time in 2021. So what does this mean?

A Mercury retrograde is a regular event, no big deal, happening three or four times a year, and lasting about three weeks but with effects felt for up to two weeks ahead of the retrograde and up to two weeks after it.

Astronomically. a retrograde simply means that the planet in question seems to be moving on a backward trajectory, as seen from earth, due to differing speeds of orbit. It is merely an optical illusion. Mercury briefly overtaking Earth in its orbit round the sun

We have more Mercury retrogrades than any other. Mercury is the smallest planet, closest to the Sun with the shortest, fastest orbit round the sun, only 87.97 days. Let’s call it 88 days

Astrologically, any retrograde signifies a shift in the “tide in the affairs of men”- a new prevailing wind. The nature of it, how it manifests in real life depends on the planet in question.

Fast moving Mercury is the symbolic ruler of intellectual activities, trade and communications. So what’s the fuss? When it goes retrograde, and for a few days before and after this retrograde, during the so-called shadow, what can we expect?

Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Public Domain via Wiki

Maybe nothing at all. Not every retrograde is the same. It could simply mean business as usual. But likewise, we could find ourselves noticing an unmistakable cluster of gremlins-things going wrong noticeably more than usual:-

-We have delays

-We mislay things

-We have personal misunderstandings, crossed wires

-We have travel problems

-The car needs attention or even breaks down

-Appliances malfunction.

-Deliveries go astray

-We have IT glitches

You get the picture.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Pexels.com

It may turn out to be a total non-story, or just the odd bit of nuisance rather than any drama. But if you catch yourself saying things like, ‘I don’t believe this!’, and ‘oh no, not again’, or howling in utter exasperation, ‘what the f*** is this happening NOW?’ -then you know what and who to blame.

Mercury, facilitating mischief until around 18 October or even early November.

Astrologer’s advice for optimal working in this abstract(?) celestial weather.

They will tell you that a Mercury retrograde is optimal for reflection, reviewing, research and extra meticulous planning, but not for initiating or making major purchases and acquisitions, particularly if these are electronic items. Double-check important paperwork. No. Triple-check it. Do read the small print.

But as mentioned before, not every Mercury retrograde is the same. This one is in Libra, affecting relationships, alliances and partnerships in particular, and what’s more, energetic Mars invaded peaceable Libra 14 September.

Mars, planet of fire, action and potentially war. Mars gets things done. This can be just what’s needed, or it can be combustible.

This will be why I have drawn the fiery Page of Wands. Fireworks. Trade salvos for now. Growlings and mutterings in respect of a new deal between Australia, UK and the US, and the loss to France of a major submarine contract. China does not like it of course, having banned Australian coal imports in retaliation for the Australian call for an independent investigation into the origins of the Covid pandemic in Wuhan. But China’s coal alternatives are coming with their own costs.

Things are only hotting up in the Indian Ocean, and also the Straits of Hormuz.

From The Gilded Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

We say peaceable Libra. Well, that depends. This is the sign of marriage and domestic partnerships, as well as wider global partnerships of all kinds. Libra is outwardly suave, savvy, debonair even, and charming. It may seem peaceful, ruled by Venus, Mars’ opposite number.

But it is contractual in dealings. It may be the zodiac sign of diplomacy, but in the real world, especially geo-politics, this diplomacy or compromise is generally liable to mean “either you scratch our back, we’ll scratch yours”, or the “iron fist in a velvet glove”. Either way. soft, it isn’t.

Also to note, the autumn equinox 22 September as we enter the zodiac sign territory Libra, sign of the scales, day and night in balance. Uranus in Taurus (upheaval of tradition) goes head to head with Saturn in Aquarius (Fundamentalism, group-think collectives)

Extinction Rebellion could be viewed as an example of a collective ruled by Saturn in Aquarius. The Taliban too. Ugh. But hang on on a minute. Am I seriously making a comparison here? What could they possibly have in common?

What is in common is their motivation and their characterizing Saturn in Aquarius spirit. It is about the exercise of control by an non elected group, justified in the name of some holy grail- however that is to be defined.

It is a fundamentalist way of doing things. Secular or religious. In the end, it makes little difference. Fundamentalism says the ends always justify the means. It is this way, their way, the only right way – the way of the righteous. They are the self-declared sole arbiters of truth.

Saturn in Aquarius is always right. It is righteous. It is their way or the highway. Except that right now in the UK, with Insulate Britain blocking motorways, it is a question of them having their way but NO highway either for ‘the others’.

Extinction Rebellion, Public Domain

Meanwhile steadfast Taurus won’t be bullied, doesn’t budge, but Uranus sets it off at a charge, or turns it topsy-turvy. Saturn when in cool, remote, cerebral Aquarius won’t flow, won’t adjust, but sets like ice while preaching whatever is its own form of gospel. What does this bode for public order round this time? We’ll soon see.

Warning: Unpopular opinion: I have sympathy with certain of the aims of Extinction Rebellion, as with its objections to the risks of fracking on the marshy Fylde in Lancashire for instance. But there is an elephant in the room Extinction Rebellion won’t acknowledge, the poison chalice, the kiss of death to honesty; what we can do about global overpopulation and the inevitable resulting environmental pressure on landscapes and resources this inevitably creates.

Will they go ‘there’? Utter one peep? No way! Anymore than they would dare to block roads in China.

Our best efforts to reduce our footprint will be too little to mitigate the mess we can’t help making, so long as we are so many. But what is to be done? China tried but the experiment had to be abandoned. It was simply too dreadful; tragic, socially and economically damaging.

We may just possibly mine the Moon some day, or Mars, but we shall find no other home. We need Gaia. Who does not need us at all. Unless, yes, to get rid of us as she has done many times before with countless other species. How many species went extinct before we were even here? The likes of a thousand Extinction Rebellion won’t prevent it, if it’s going to happen, and to paraphrase Dr Malcolm in Jurassic Park, sooner or later, ‘Life finds a way’.

Meanwhile, what can we do but tread lightly where we can.

Photo by Ben Mack on Pexels.com

The Full Moon this month is the Harvest Moon in Pisces on 21 September. Deep of feeling. Fathomless. Beware of accidents and scammers. Muggers. Keep your wits about you. Il Matrimonio had a dodgy encounter only this morning 21 Sept) but pre-empted and saw it off, if that’s where the guy was heading.

Harvest Moon by Samuel Palmer, 1833

The Age of Pisces

The Age of Pisces is the age of the rise of Monotheism, two thousand years ago, and we are still in the Age of Pisces. We are not in the Age of Aquarius yet, and what it represents – technology and collectivism (ugh)

But when we are, give it another 2 millennia and we shall return to a new Age of Capricorn, and that would be a very different beast again.

Read here for more about the so-called ‘Ages’ of Aquarius and Pisces.

No, we are just having a little taster. But a Pisces Moon, now, there is a moon to dream on. Or pray upon.

Photo by Ruvim on Pexels.com

This month’s New Moon in Pisces, 20 September is actually considered a happy, lucky Moon in astrology, occurring an hour after Mercury is trine the big beast, optimistic, expansive Jupiter. Around this time, if one was inclined to take notice of such things, would perhaps be September’s most promising window for going for a new job or signing a contract, and doing anything really, thumbing our noses at any small beer Mercury retrograde stuff.

Mercury, or Hermes as he was to the Greeks, is very big beer, actually. Tiny planet. Big beer supernatural entity. Not only is he the messenger of the gods, arbiter of trade and travel, he is a psycho pomp, who escorts the souls of the newly dead to the banks of the river Acheron, or Styx if you prefer, to wait for the crossing with Charon the Ferryman to the Resting Isles- the Isle of the Dead.

Here he is, winged helmet, caduceus, looking distinctly mischievous, and Puckish, rather elf-like- perhaps even a touch of Loki, Norse lord of misrule.

Quicksilver.

Painting by Hendrick Goltzius, 1558-1617, Public Domain

Libra is about the rule of reason, fairness, keeping a cool head, not losing our balance. Libra suggests, if Mercury retrograde does rub us up the wrong way, or Mars gets uppity and rattles the cage, we take a deep breath, count to ten, walk away, zoom out the lens, keep our powder dry. It isn’t personal, even when it feels personal.

You can always get them later, if you really must. The devil is in the detail.

Till next time 🙂

Virgo Season: stars, soil, domain of Demeter, vineyards and Harvest home

Photo by Luiz M. Santos on Pexels.com

Most of us know our sun sign or sign of the Zodiac, but what does the constellation look like in the night sky, and what’s the story behind it? The season is the reason. It’s time to meet Virgo again, and get to know her better.

Virgo Season 2021

This year we entered the zodiac territory of Virgo 22 August and will stay there until 22 September. Virgo is a mutable Earth sign representing the cooling weather as we approach the end of summer and the beginning of autumn in the northern hemisphere (or the end of winter and into early spring in the southern hemisphere.)

It is harvest time- ‘the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ (From An Ode to Autumn by English poet John Keats) Virgo represents the classical Hellenistic goddesses of wheat and agriculture. The brightest star in the constellation of Virgo, far brighter than our own sun, is Spica, aka ‘the ear of wheat’.

Virgo the Maiden, named after the constellation as shown in the illustration below, is the sixth sign of the zodiac, and rules the concepts of work, service, order, practical intelligence, food, harvests, health, digestion, hygiene, and routines.

Virgo is traditionally ruled by Mercury, planet of communications, inquiry, science, commerce, trade and travel. This symbolic planetary influence brings to the Virgo-born subject, an enlarged curiosity and a combination of analytical ability, but also a certain contemplative or even mystical quality.

Common Associations

Zodiac symbol of Virgo

Date: August 23-September 22

Symbol: The Virgin

Element: Earth

Quality: Mutable (Sagittarius and Pisces are also Mutable, suggesting these subjects are capable and versatile; generally inclined to conform and go with the flow for the greater good.)

Ruling planet: Mercury (Travel and all forms of communication)

House: Sixth, ruling health, habits and routines

Colours: green, white and yellow

Body: The digestive system

Birthstone: Carnelian

Flowers: small bright flowers such as the buttercup

Tarot: Major Arcana card: The Hermit (introspection, perception, analysis, care for nature)

Minor Arcana cards: The 8,9 and 10 of Pentacles or Coins.

The Hermit from The Golden Tarot, Kat Black

Astronomy

Via Wiki: Credit Till Credner

The zodiac sign of Virgo gets its name from the constellation of Virgo; the second-largest constellation in the sky after Hydra, and the largest constellation in the zodiac.

It’s mind-boggling to consider that our own Sun is just one star of the Milky Way, and the Milky Way is part of a collection of galaxies known as the Local Group. This contains three large spiral galaxies: the Milky Way, Andromeda, and the Triangulum Galaxy, as well as a few dozen dwarf galaxies. The Local Group is just one member of the Virgo Cluster. This is a collection of 1200-2000 galaxies that stretch across 15 million light-years of space. And the Virgo Cluster is just one cluster in the Virgo Supercluster.

Virgo is visible from all around the world. In the northern hemisphere, Virgo is most visible in the evening sky from mid-March – the start of the planting season- to late June. In the southern hemisphere, look for it in the autumn and winter. 

Own image. Free to share. Credit Katie-Ellen Hazeldine, True Tarot Tales.com

This may seem a bit of a stretch, trying to picture a person here, but add in a few more of her stars and imagine her lounging semi-recumbent, dangling a sheaf of wheat from one hand, Spica, a blue-white giant. Its name is from the Latin meaning an ‘ear of grain’- a sheaf of wheat. Vindemiatrix, ‘the Grape-Gatherer,’ seen at daylight, was once upon a time a sign that now it was time to pick the grapes.

But if the constellation of Virgo is most visible late March- late June, why are the birthdates for the sign of the zodiac August 22-September 23rd?

Zodiac constellations are not to be confused with the signs after which they were named. This difference in timing is due to the effect of the Earth’s wobble over a long period of time; every 26 000 years, creating an effect known as the precession of the equinoxes. Once upon a time, the dates of the signs reflected the dates of the constellations directly overhead, but have since separated. This does not change the symbolic link between the constellation and the sign named after it. Western or Tropical astrology is based on an arithmetic, not an astronomical model, as formalized in the second century AD by the Greek astronomer, mathematician and astrologer, Ptolemy.

History & Mythology

Virgo from Urania’s Mirror, Public Domain

Shala was an ancient Sumerian (Iraq) goddess of grain -and also compassion. Why link these two things? Famine is suffering. A good harvest was seen as a blessing of the gods.  What is planted in the spring must yield a crop in the autumn or famine follows. But this cannot be guaranteed from one year to the next.

From early times, more than ten thousand years ago, Shala was associated with the constellation of Virgo and vestiges of symbolism associated with her continue, such as the naming of Spica, the ‘ear of grain’, even as the deity’s name changed from age to age, and culture to culture.

The Shala Mons is a mountain on Venus named after the goddess Shala.

In 10th century BC the Babylonians called part of this constellation, “The Furrow,” again, referring back to Shala.

While this is only one myth of the origin of Virgo, she is seen as a bringer of crops throughout all myths. In Egyptian mythology also, the arrival of Virgo in the night sky meant harvest time.

Ceres (think of the word ‘cereal’) or Demeter, Greco-Roman goddess of the harvest, was the mother of Persephone.

It was the same with the Greeks and Romans “Spicifera est Virgo Cereris”  —  “The Virgin with her sheaf belongs to Ceres,” The Astronomica“, Manilius, 1st century AD. 

When lonely Hades abducted Persephone to live with him in the underworld, her distraught mother, Demeter, earth goddess, went searching,and was enraged to discover that Zeus had known all along where Persephone was, and had turned a blind eye to Hades’ abduction. She demanded his assistance, went on strike and no crops sprouted or flourished. That year the harvests failed and people and livestock starved. Humanity might have died altogether had not Zeus intervened. He insisted that Hades send Persephone home, and sent Hermes to collect her. Hermes discovered, not a wretched weeping girl, but a woman, a wife and a radiant queen, the apple of Hades’s eye,and he had built for her the most beautiful gardens that the underworld could contrive, with underground pools and gems and stalactites. She loved Hades. However, Persephone did miss her mother, and she desperately missed the light, and Hades agreed she could go home, but said that Persephone must not eat until her return.

Hades had no intention of giving her up so easily and purposely gave Persephone a pomegranate, knowing how much she loved them, and she ate some of the seeds on her way home.

Painting by Frederick Leighton, Public Domain

Persephone was sent back to her mother, but a deal is a deal, and because of the pomegranate she returns to the underworld for four months every year and then Demeter mourns, winter returns and the land lies cold and fallow.

Photo by invisiblepower on Pexels.com

 

The Virgo Archetype- Personality

Public domain

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

The zodiac signs paint a ‘typical’ portrait of a person born at a particular time of year, in a particular season. A baby born in summer for example, arrives into a different physical environment from a winter born baby, varying temperatures, the available hours of daylight and so on, with a range of potential effects.

The archetype of Virgo is the Craftsman, paying careful attention to every detail, taking pride in doing the job, whatever it is, to the highest standard possible. There’s no substitute for skill and hard work, according to Virgo.

The major arcana card in the Tarot representing Virgo in total is The Hermit, as previously mentioned, denoting a deep-rooted sense of connection to Nature. Here is wisdom, maturity and the value of solitude and self-sufficiency. The Hermit represents work and the idea of service – the desire to help Humanity.

Virgo is ruled by agile Mercury, the fastest moving planet of communication, and Virgo sign’s brain is in overdrive most of the time, but grounded in common sense by their associated element, Earth.

Virgos are practical but artistically gifted. They are hard-workers who love to better themselves. They think deeply, they love to analyse, and their perceptiveness means that they can always find or create order within chaos. They are honest friends although, being discerning, and analytical, they might have a tendency to analyse you, and point out your strengths and also your mistakes and weaknesses. This can undoubtedly be annoying, though it’s well meant. They may also give great advice because of those same analytical abilities.

Their appearance is generally neat, well groomed, well kept nails. Slob is not in their vocabulary. Their quest of self-improvement includes personal presentation. They can be incredibly concerned about the impression they give, and even worry about it, but at the same time, they are very ready to help others, maybe sometimes even too generous. Some may try to take advantage.

But of course there is no such thing in reality as THE Virgo personality. We are all unique individuals. Your zodiac sign (also known as your sun sign) is a major clue, a keynote, but it’s by no means claiming to represent the full picture in real life – or even in astrology.

The Decans however, will tell us a little more.

What are the Decans?

The decans were a feature of Egyptian astronomy, later adopted by the Greeks and incorporated into astrology.

The visible area of sky as seen from earth is what we call the wheel of the Zodiac, and represents an imaginary circle of 360 degrees. This circle divided by arithmetic into twelve ‘slices’- the zodiac signs we are familiar with today.

Each of the zodiac signs represents a 30 degree slice of this imaginary ‘pie in the sky,’ as seen from Earth. Each zodiac sign can be further sub-divided into three blocks of ten degrees, equivalent to about ten days in length. This is not exact, and may vary by a day or two because not every month is the same length. These three sub-divisions of all the zodiac signs are what we call ‘decans,’ from the Greek word for ten.

The decans are known as the ‘thirty six faces of astrology,’ and provide added insights and texture. The first ten days of your zodiac sign are the first decan. The second ten days or so are the second decan, and the last ten days are the third decan.

There is more than one decan system, depending on whether we are using traditional or Modern astrology, which uses the outer planets, not discovered at the time of the original model of Western astrology as recorded by Ptolemy in the second century AD.

Some astrologers may dispute which approach works ‘best.’ But astrology is not an exact science. It is an Art with an element of science. They both ‘work,’ and it is worth bearing in mind, the great seventeenth century astrologer William Lilley used traditional astrology –correctly- to predict the Great Plague and Fire of London in a book published in 1651, years ahead of the actual events in 1665-1666, when the outer planets, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto had not yet been formally discovered (Uranus was recorded in 1690, Neptune in 1846 and Pluto in 1930).

Astrologer William Lilley from the Masters of Magic Oracle deck

For the avoidance of confusion, we are using the traditional system.

The Tarot cards shown below are from the Rider- Waite deck, which many Tarot practitioners now refer to as the Waite-Smith, in recognition of the artist, Pamela Colman Smith.

First Decan Virgo

Dates:  23 August-1 September

Planetary ruler: Sun

Tarot card: The Eight of Pentacles: ‘Lord of Prudence,’ art, craft, industry, skill, concentration, application, studiousness, apprenticeship, crafts, heritage, buildings

Look at him. This person is absorbed in his work, and he seems to be enjoying himself. This work has meaning and purpose for him. This is typical of this decan. There is a mixture of quiet warmth and a cool mind with a talent for acute observation and incisive analysis; however this is expressed artistically, commercially or scientifically or in administrative tasks. Virgo is a master of the spreadsheet.

They see more than they say, but they have a talent for communication via the spoken and written word; making many of these subjects potentially great teachers. They are hard-working, industrious. ‘We reap what we sow,’ goes the old saying. This is not necessarily always true or fair. Misfortune strikes plenty of people who have done nothing to ‘deserve’ it. And plenty of wrong-doers escape justice.

However, it is broadly true to say, we can’t reap what was never sown. Wild berries had to be first sown by the wind or by birds. First decan Virgo understands this better than almost any other sign, except Capricorn and Taurus.

They are serious but cheerful company, faithful friends and partners, devoted in their quiet way.

Second Decan Virgo

Dates: 2-11 September

Planetary ruler: Venus

Tarot card- Nine Pentacles: ‘Lord of Material Gain’ beauty, luxury, hard work that pays off, horticulture, agriculture, viticulture, gardens, vineyards

This decan is traditionally associated with Venus, planet of love, beauty –and money. A perfectionist; conscientious, devoted, and above all focused, they can turn anything they do into an art form in its own right.

Notice the hooded falcon on her wrist. She has ‘tamed’ wildness – or chaos. She has cultivated a home, a garden, a business, and made it thrive, healthy and beautiful. She is financially self- reliant and self-sufficient, but this does not mean it came quick or easy. To achieve this she has learned to control the wild falcon representing her impulses, wants and desires. She has learned self-discipline and self-control, the power of deferred gratification.

A squirrel will have no nuts in the winter if it scoffs them all at once, or couldn’t remember where it hid them, because it wasn’t paying attention. This, the second decan of Virgo is often the most capable, conscientious provider for themselves and for others, and they enjoy spoiling their loved ones. But though they have learned to do without (and at times in their own life, they probably had no choice) still, they do value beautiful things.

Third Decan Virgo

Dates: 12-22 September

Planetary ruler: Mercury

Tarot card- Ten of Pentacles: keywords: ‘Lord of Wealth,’ commerce, messages, deliveries, Hermes, home, homeland, ancestry, genetics, inter-generational relationships, inheritance, gifts, legacy, bequests, town planning, art, museums, banks.

Third Decan Virgo is both a creative and a practical thinker. These are proud people, not vain, but dignified – big difference. They need to be their own masters and it’s not about the money, or at least, not for its own sake. These people are careful, prudent, but they are not misers. They have a winning way with people and may work in the public eye; such is their talent for communication; personal, professional, artistic, written and spoken.

Notice the old man surrounded by family, adults, children, and dogs too. Virgo cares for animals. What he or she has built, was created in order to share, to pass on, seeing themselves as part of a bigger picture, a link in a chain of legacy. This could mean money. It could mean ideas. It could mean a place that means everything to them, their own home or their homeland, with a sense of belonging, of being in the right place – to feel this way is a treasure beyond price.

These are family minded people, realists with an optimistic temperament and a ‘can do’ approach.  They enjoy family outings, a walk in the woods, or a trip to the seaside. They will organize it. Virgo are makers and menders, and usually good with animals too. Eco-warrior is not their style. But they do care about the environment. Virgo is about food for the mind and the spirit, as well as the body.

Virgo has both feet on the ground. And yet, it is something of an artist, something of a scientist. Like the Hermit himself, something of a sage.

Grounded, rooted in the earth, but looking inwards and upwards, moving to its own dance, steering by some quiet inner star.

Till next time.

Photo by Giuseppe Russo on Pexels.com

References:

For more about the decans: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decan_(astrology)

For more about The Chaldeans:  https://erenow.net/common/astrology-and-religion-among-the-greeks-and-romans/2.php

When The Death card literally means Death

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I do not issue predictions of death. Never. Nor will any responsible psychic reader. We might well be wrong, but if we are not, who and what do we serve by sharing such a prediction?

This is not to say I will not discuss death with a client. Death is part of Life. Sometimes people want – need– to talk about it. Maybe they are preparing for a death they already know is coming soon, to them or a loved one. Maybe they are dealing with probate. Maybe they want me to look at a dead loved one, act as a conduit using Tarot as a form of medium-ship. I have been asked, for example, if the dead loved one is OK, where are they now, and is there anything they would like to say?

The Tarot will talk this talk, walk this walk with them, if the reader is willing. Some are, some are not.

The Death card, associated with autumn and the zodiac sign of Scorpio, while perhaps the most notorious card in the Tarot deck, will usually not be detecting an actual physical death. Usually it signifies the natural conclusion to a situation. We have come to the end of the road now with this one. As such, it may actually be a welcome card. Some things, we are desperately happy to see the back of.

From The Touchstone Tarot

There are other cards that may also mean death: the Nine and Ten of Swords. The Fool card reversed (Number Zero, we go through the gate) and The Sun card reversed (The sun has set,our done is done) may also rarely, refer to a literal, physical human death.

But when we are discussing the actual dead, there are no spirits present at the reading so far as I understand it. I am accessing the understanding of the person I am sitting with. Still, it is quite astonishing, what the cards will show me, what they will convey about the dearly departed that make complete sense to the client, and that I could not possibly know.

Such is the Tarot. At its most acute, it is an enabler of downright telepathy. Or maybe something even more; an intimation of what we call the Divine, the Oneness of Everything.

“There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamed of in your philosophy.” – Hamlet- Shakespeare

Horatio (standing, dressed in red) with Hamlet in the “gravedigger scene” by Eugène Delacroix[

Yes, there are. There really are. I do not care who does not believe that. One feels it, encounters it directly, perceives it, apprehends it, or one does not.

I like to test myself, and sometimes I lay out a spread for the coming day, to see what it ‘looks’ like, and then I look back and take stock that same evening or next day, to see what I can learn.

I did this two weeks ago, laying out a cross shaped spread of 5 cards like this:

In the position representing The Unexpected, I drew the Death card.

I studied the surrounding cards. These were health related cards, and included the Four of Swords. But the cards did not indicate any family members; an absence of tell-tale court cards or family cards, such as the Two, Six or Ten of Cups.

I said to Il Matrimonio, ‘today or tomorrow, I may hear news of a death, unexpected, but it’s not in our immediate circle, though I don’t think it’s something on the news either.’

People die every minute of course. That is a constant, but the Tarot will show me things that mean something to me personally. The Tarot is dealing at one and the same time with Universality and Particularity. Hacceity, and the unique or special ‘this-ness’ of a thing.

The next day, visiting one of my online places, a health clinic I used to visit, I read the very sad news that a lady I slightly knew, the former manager with whom I had had a few dealings, always very helpful, had died the previous day at 5 PM. She had died after a week in hospital. She was admitted with Covid. It was the reason for admission and she died of it. Leaving behind an utterly distraught daughter of 18, who had been excited to go off to University this autumn, and is now dealing with the funeral arrangements, and left all alone, so far as one can tell.

Enough of the conspiracy theories. This lady is not the only one I have personally known of to die before their time of this horrible new virus. Covid is real. Yes, flu can kill you. This is not flu. It is an epithelial disease, and may attack the cells anywhere in the body, not only the respiratory system. It is now wrecking the health of young people it does not kill. Hopefully not long term, but there are situations for which the ‘normal, healthy immune system’ is not prepared. As I should know. Something like this happened to me some time during my twenties. There was some ‘insult’ to the immune system, never conclusively identified, and it went on to cause me years of severe pain, and put me in a wheelchair from which I may possibly not escape, except in Death. And I was perfectly good health up until this mystery event. I had always thought I had a perfectly normal immune system before this happened, in so far as I thought of it at all.

A brand new virus, whatever it is, whatever its origins, is always a challenge to the immunity of the wider collective of humanity. Globally, we do seem to be heading on out of this particular pandemic, and this should be more apparent by March-June 2022.

Death is an angel. Death was the price of our freedom. We could have stayed immortal, living as clones in the primordial seas, but we chose otherwise. We chose specialization of species. We, then at some further level ‘chose’ specialization of the individual as an unique entity.

‘We’ did not want to be ‘immortal’ at the price of immortality experienced as identikit clonal single celled soup. OK. But space on Earth is not infinite. So we chose Death, The Hourglass, and the foreknowledge that our sands are forever fast running out.

This is it. Our moment in the sun.

Photo by Jacub Gomez on Pexels.com

It could be said then, that Death came as a friend from the very beginning. One could say Life invented Death, as the enabler of The Individual.

It is suffering with no hope of reprieve, not Death, that is the enemy. Though we might be nowhere near ready yet, to welcome our one definitive meeting with this mightiest of rescuing angels, swooping by to collect us and carry us home to the Source.

Photo by Rakicevic Nenad on Pexels.com

Till next time 🙂

Cartomancy: Euro 2020/21 Footie and The Line of Five

Photo by Tom Fisk on Pexels.com

The Euros 2020 were supposed to happen last year but were cancelled because of Covid, and are being referred to both as the Euros 2020 or the Euros 2021. As with the Tokyo Olympics, one imagines, a veritable snow capped mountain of merchandise would otherwise go to a terrible and even tragic waste.

I have done quite a few football readings over the years. Not that I follow any particular team, or know much about football. But I take an interest now and then, largely because Il Matrimonio takes a much closer interest, and sometimes asks me what do I reckon, and of course the Euros 202/21 is a red hot potato of recent weeks.

I do significantly better than 50:50 overall with this kind of thing, but definitely nowhere near 100%. I don’t get the scores but in terms of overall team outcomes, I’d say it’s around the 75% mark.

There do not seem to be too many readers or astrologers looking at football. Possibly because they simply don’t follow it. Why would you do readings on it, if you’re not personally interested or invested?

I do it to push myself, for the sake of it, to test it out. This is a very different activity from doing a reading for an individual client where I ‘lock on’ to that person as it were, one to one, and then drill down on questions, discussions or requests for forecasting.

This kind of reading is a one to one communication, allowing for the whole package of social cues, clues and connection, even without empathy and telepathy. And telepathy is a two way thing.

A client who on the one hand wants an answer while at the same time they try to shut you out, to test you, can make it harder to read them, though it won’t stop telepathy, the refusal to validate renders the telepathy useless. Pointless. Most clients however, don’t waste their own valuable time playing games, and bring their own engagement and wherewithal to the reading table, and what emerges then in a spirit of non- verbal communication, as well as perfectly straightforward verbal dialogue, is greater than the sum of the parts.

No-one has asked me to look at this game. Not even Il Matrimonio. He says he can’t stand the noise or tension that is building up. There is no communion, no hand reaching out, palm uppermost, no question, and no answering pull on the rope.

Here are the cards for England’s last 2 games, and the final game tonight.

3 July: England versus Ukraine

I have used playing cards (cartomancy)with just one or two added tarot cards. One of the simplest layouts for a predictive reading in cartomancy is ‘The Line of Five.’

Tweet posted online 3 July 8.26 PM

Playing cards, Eng drew 8 Diamonds before kickoff, Ukraine 4 Diamonds. Both lucky cards. The 8 is hardworking, the 4 suggests ‘chemistry’. In card reading a 8 generally trumps a 4- but things can change fast with Diamonds. England better not slacken pace/attack. Hierophant=Rome.

It may also have been a foreshadowing that ‘Italy awaits you, England.’

Via Conde Nast“Supporters of the Azzuri, as the Italian team is known, are a committed bunch with a flair for the dramatic (think firecrackers and actual flares). They also boast the most historic fan zone—the Circus Maximus in Rome. In 2006, an estimated 200,000 watched Italy win the World Cup in ancient environs, then marched through the city to a symphony of car and vespa horns, dancing fully clothed in the Eternal City’s fountains”.

The Rider-Waite Tarot AE Waite

I drew these cards just a few minutes before kick-off, but the game had been underway for 26 minutes by the time I posted them online.

I had actually drawn a Line of Five cards for each team, but on this occasion I had not photographed them, only summarizing the final card for each team, treating these as the indicators of the likely outcome.

Both teams drew good cards in the outcome position, from the same dynamic suit of Diamonds, and this is where numerology comes in handy. England drew the 8 of Diamonds and this numerically trumped Ukraine’s 4 Diamonds.Had Ukraine drawn the 10 Diamonds, it would have suggested a win for Ukraine, though still depending somewhat on the previous cards.

And since the game was being held in Rome, the appearance of the Hierophant card, also known as ‘The Pope’, read to me as lucky for the England team, since that was where my bias lay, if I had one, and probably I did.

I wouldn’t exactly be upset if England were to lose…I think fans who boo the national anthems of other teams are a total disgrace…mean spirited, disrespectful and chicken. Anyone can act brave, beating their chests, bellowing and booing in a crowd…or a mob.

But, of course I’d be happy to see our team bring home the trophy. But win or lose, for all the skill, discipline, strategy, stamina and personal courage, there is no discounting altogether of the element of luck.

7 July: England v Denmark and The Line of Five


Katie-Ellen H.@TrueTarotTales
· Cartomancy Line of Five re tonight’s game. Each team, 5 cards. England drew +ve Ace Diamonds in position 5 =outcome position. Denmark drew -ve 2 Spades. Yet uneasy based on other cards. Eng also drew 9 Spades- ugh. Eng supporters pray Ace Diamonds and psychic chickens are right.

Top Row England: the reader looks at the overall tone of colours and suits. Three black suit cards of which 1 is a clubs suit card and 2 are spades. 2 red suit cards. If we had 4 or 5 red suit cards here, it would look like a dead cert for England to win. If we had 4-5 black suit cards, irrespective of the individual card meanings, likewise, it would look like a dead cert for England to lose.

Three black suit cards and 2 red suit cards is not reassuring, except that the picture is altered by the final card being such a strong red suit card: The Ace of Diamonds is an ace of the material world, top dog, plus, this card can be lightning fast. It is the suit of earth, and electricity.

The time line read left to right, present to future, suggested a rocky start, but finishing on a high, and the winning goal was a moment of drama.

Bottom Row Denmark’s line has 4 black suit cards and only 1 red suit card. Not promising for them, but this looks like a strong team. The first card,the 5 of Clubs says so, and so does the central card, the 6 of Clubs. But not only did they draw only 1 red suit card, the final card is the 2 of Spades. In every day reading terms this card may signify a split, as in a divorce for example. Here, it was foreshadowing that Denmark, which scored the first goal and did it early, much to the terror of many England supporters, ultimately conceded 2 goals.

Outcome
Katie-Ellen H.@TrueTarotTales· Ace Diamonds it is. After a LOT of stress coming out of Him Indoors, howls from the other room. Those spades cards =stress, frustration, extra time.

Dignity, grace and noblesse oblige from the Danish Ambassador.

Going high when others had gone low, shame on those who were so unsporting and un-chivalrous as to boo the Denmark national anthem.


Lars Thuesen@DKAmbUK
· Congratulations England. Looking forward to the final. All the best to your great team.

11 July: Euro 2020/21: The Final- England v Italy

First of all, pray tell, what do the psychic chickens say? (this poultry prediction was posted on YouTube 8 July)

The Line of Five: 11 July Euro 202/21 Final: England V Italy

Tweeted 11 July c 3.00 PM @TrueTarotTales Final: left-right: ENG 10 Spades (ugh) 6 Hearts, Jack D, Jack H, 9 D + Ace Hearts ITALY 7 Spades, 8 Hearts, 2 Spades (ouch) Jack S, 3 Hearts+Jack Clubs This pic suggests ENG win but Italy start stronger and (J Spades- assassin) could snatch late victory (Fool= surprises)

Top Row England start with a setback, a bump (or a boo) The 6 Hearts shows a home crowd, home turf, detecting the fact that the venue today is Wembley, and the team has the so-called psychological ‘home team advantage’. The Jacks, which are young people, or new or sudden developments look traditionally ‘English’ despite the demographic makeup of the team. Compare them though with the pages on the bottom row, which funnily enough, look really Italian.

Will England win? The reader looks at the overall look of the Line of 5. How many red suit cards (more red = a yes) How many black suit cards more black =a no) We have four red suit cards, 1 black suit card and an extra card which is also a red suit card. This balance suggests a yes answer, and a win for England, and then I pulled an extra card and got the Ace of Hearts.

‘Oh England, my lion heart,’ sang Kate Bush. ‘Hold the ravens in, keep the Tower from tumbling’. We are heading towards Leo, but not yet awhile, We have only just come out of a Cancer New Moon, just coming out of a shell shadow. Cancer stands for Home turf.

This is not great, it’s going to be tough. Had this match taken place only two days ago, I suspect this England team would be fighting even harder, not only against the Italy team, but against the drag of that extra unseen tide.

From The Gilded Tarot by Ciro Marchetti

But now we are pulling away from that powerful lunar vacuum, though only just –

The Ace of Hearts means a birth, a ‘home’ a proposal or just good news in general, remembering we drew a red suit Ace of Diamonds for the extra card when we were looking at the Eng v Denmark game.

Bottom Row Italy are the favourites, and if they aren’t, they should be, based on a long run of superbly consistent form. England have not shown anything like such consistency or fluency.

Italy starts with the 7 Spades, a card of diplomacy, craft and cunning. Is this a new strategy of formation, or an early ref intervention?

The Eight of Cups denotes a solid team, players working in natural sympathy with one another. The Two of Spades suggests they come a cropper, perhaps a goal by England round mid match, but then recover somewhat, demonstrating high skill and intelligence (The Page of Swords) The Three of Hearts is the outcome card, weaker than the 9 Diamonds but not discounting the possibility of a very late goal in extra time….that extra card, the Page of Clubs.

But where England’s Line of 5 had 4 red suit cards and 1 black suit card then the extra card was another red, and a strong one, Italy’s Line of 5 here has 2 red suit cards and 3 red suit cards and the extra one is another black, and a solid one.

Is it strong enough, right at the end there, to turn it around for them, assuming they need to turn it around at the last minute?

The extra Tarot card here, The Fool, warns of surprises and this worries me for England, and warns me to be ready to award myself this bad gold badge of failure. But it won’t worry me. One can not learn to do this stuff by book study alone. One has to just hold one’s nose sometimes, and jump in.

‘Do or do not do. There is no try.’ Said Yoda in Star Wars.

Well, OK, but there is no trying except in doing.

But, having invoked the psychic chickens (and I hear a psychic banana has also spoken for England based on its seed pattern upon being cut) We should allow the psychic eagle to speak. Romeo, majestic psychic eagle, what hast thou to declare?

He couldn’t be more laid back. ‘What do I care, he says? Oh, go on, have this then’.

See delighted comments below his prognostication, from hopeful Italian supporters.

If Italy wins, I got beat by the eagle, and I feel no disgrace in that, whereas if England wins, I did as well as the psychic chickens, a psychic banana and Uri Geller.

Nil Desperandum.

Take it easy folks. It’s only a game, after all. Isn’t it? (?)

Until next time 🙂

UPDATE: Italy did it. And many congratulations to them – and the psychic eagle. That mighty Fool card was indeed the clincher at the very last minute.

The Fool card is a game changer wherever it appears and also, at a physical human level represents youth and inexperience, in this case of two of England’s players who took the penalties, all credit to them for trying but how was this a case of ‘best foot forward?’

The hideous 10 Spades on the England timeline (disappointment, ruin, betrayal) did not make sense at first after the very strong start with England’s very early first goal. But on reflection, it is obvious that the Tarot was detecting ahead of time, the disgraceful scenes ahead of the match when fans without tickets forced their way into the game, either not knowing, not caring or both, acting as though the horror of Hillsborough had never happened or Heysel. Read the accounts, identify the common denominator, join the dots.

Here was how they did it, getting in through the disabled access.

Summer Solstice, and the Starry Crab in the Celestial Seas

Cancer by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 Most of us know our zodiac or sun sign, but what does it look like in the night sky, and what’s the story behind it?

Common associations

The pincers: Zodiac symbol of Cancer

Ruling heavenly body: Moon

Key phrase: I feel

Body: The chest, breast

Birth Stone:  Stones and metals fall under the rule of planets, not signs, but through its association with the Moon, Cancer has symbolic affinity with pearls, silver and crystals.

Colour: White, silver

Tree: all trees rich in sap

Flower: Acanthus

 Tarot card: The Chariot (see how it is a shell?) Drive, control, progress, self discipline, teamwork, and the harmonizing of different elements.

The Chariot, Rider-Waite Tarot

The Astronomy

Wiki

Cancer, Latin for crab, is in a dark region of the sky, and is the faintest constellation in the Zodiac, with only two stars above the fourth magnitude of brightness: Acubens (The Claw) and Al Tarf (The Foot)

Cancer is visible in the Northern Hemisphere in early spring, in March at 9 PM and in the Southern Hemisphere is seen during autumn.

It’s almost impossible to see Cancer with the naked eye or even binoculars, looking between Leo, the lion, and Gemini, The Twins. And really, it doesn’t look much like a crab, more like a faint, upside-down Y that has been compared with a crayfish or lobster. It was actually called the Crayfish in classical astrology, and in Egyptian astrology they called it The Scarab.

Whatever its name, it’s always been pictured as a creature with an exoskeleton; an arthropod, and it is said that Cancer appears to rise in the zodiac as if with a crab-wise movement, not sideways, but ascending backwards.

The Sun’s entry into Cancer announces the summer solstice. ‘Solstice,’ from the Latin sol stice means the Sun seems to be ‘standing still’ as it approaches this point.

However, although Cancer may be faint it’s got one heck of a star cluster glowing at its centre. Praesepe or ‘The Manger’ was identified in 1771 by French astronomer Charles Messier.

Its modern name is M44 or The Beehive Cluster. Through the telescope it looks like a swarm of bees, but to the naked eye it looks like a small, fuzzy patch of light -or a tiny cloud floating through the stars.

Public Domain: The Beehive Cluster

As the sign of the Sun’s greatest elevation, Cancer was considered nearest to the highest point of heaven – and in Neo-Platonism was called ‘the Gate of Men’ through which souls descended to Earth to be born.  The opposite constellation, Capricorn was the ‘Gate of the Gods’, where souls of the departed rose back to heaven. 

I knew a soul who descended through the Gate of Men and ascended again through the Gate of The Gods the same day, the day of the solstice, 1993. He stayed in this world one hour and twenty five minutes, and then he gave just one little tiny sigh and left. A baby soul, his name was Rowen, and he was our son, and always will be, as long as light lasts. He arrived as a first decan Cancer subject, but came early, and should have come later, in Virgo season.

Cancer also contains a planetary system; 55 Cancri, containing five known planets, with possibly more awaiting discovery. 55 Cancri is about 40 light-years away, just about visible to the unaided eye, although you need help to find it. The innermost of its planets is a “super Earth,” a few times heavier than Earth – but none of these planets has the right surface conditions for liquid water, and life there is thought not likely.

The Myth

In classical mythology Cancer is associated with the Twelve Labours of Hercules/Herakles after he went mad, mistook his wife and children for monsters and killed them. He undertook the Labours in penance.

The second of his great challenges was to kill the Hydra, a terrible water serpent but his enemy, Hera, who had always hated Herakles as the illegitimate son (yet another one) of her husband Zeus, sent a crab to harass him while he was fighting. The crab faithfully did its very best, nipping Hercules again and again, but he stepped on it and crushed it beneath his heel, or in other versions of the story, killed it with his club.

Look at that crab, getting right stuck in. Go on, crab! Give him a nip. That’ll larn him. Heracles was always a loose cannon. He terribly wounded Chiron, killed his music teacher in a tantrum and killed his own wife and children in a fit of madness for which Hera got the blame.

Hera rewarded the Crab’s loyalty by placing it in the heavens, but she placed it in a dark portion of the heavens with only faint stars because crabs need dark, quiet places to feel safe and at home.

This quiet celestial location however, happens to be the highest point in the zodiac, nearest to heaven, and The Crab is the star of the show, and the humble herald of the glory of the summer solstice.

The Astrology

Cancer is the fourth sign of the Zodiac, representing those born between June 20 and July 22. It is considered a water sign, and is one of the four cardinal signs, which are the signs indicating a change of season when the sun makes its annual passage into them.

Cancer is all about the shoreline, and tides, monthly and annual. Cancer is uniquely both the moon and the sun.

The sign of Cancer, ruled by The Moon, is a cardinal sign, herald of the seasons, announcing the arrival of summer in the northern hemisphere and winter in the southern hemisphere.

The Cancer Personality

There is of course no such thing in reality as THE Cancer personality. Your zodiac sign or as it is also known, your sun sign is a major keynote, but it’s not the whole story. You are a unique personality.

The archetype stands, however, and the Cancer personality is complex, elusive and riddled with contradictions.

Cancer stands for both mother and father. It is the zodiac sign of the nurturing parent. Cancer famously adores babies and small animals, all wild things and does very well with them. The empty nest can be anathema to the Cancer parent.

Cancer is often musical or artistic, but also has a strong scholarly bent, and many Cancer subjects are drawn into the fields of teaching, counselling, psychology and behaviour sciences.

By Rose Maynard Barton

Cancer is the sign of hearth and home, and expanding this; the wider tribal or national identity, and our ancestral legacy, historical, cultural and genetic.

It is the sign of memory, nostalgia, sometimes regrets, and a longing to return to happy childhood haunts. A garden, a meadow, a walk we used to go. A bucket and spade at the seaside if we were lucky. Maybe a dabble in a rock-pool.

The Decans of Cancer

Each zodiac sign is 30 days long and is divided into three Decans of approximately 10 days each, with slight variations possible year on year. 

Decan 1 21 June-1 July

Cancer-Cancer, ruler The Moon

Tarot card: Two of Cups

From The Legacy of The Divine Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

This is the decan of love or friendship between equals, and the Two of Cups is an especially fortunate and benevolent card. Cancer Decan 1 will fight hard for its loved ones, and will also stick up for the underdog.

They may be a bit of a do-gooder or something of an activist, wanting to pass across that cup as shown in the Tarot.

Cancer decan 1 is also, not only enigmatic and something of a dreamer or even a mystic, but a natural born astronomer, and watcher of the moonlight skies, as are all the decans of Cancer.

Decan 2 2 -11 July

Cancer-Scorpio, ruler Mars (traditional ruler) or Pluto (modern ruler)

Tarot card: Three of Cups

From The Legacy of The Divine Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

They like to be left in peace but not to be left alone. The subjects of this decan get stronger as they get older which may seem obvious but which is not universally true of all people, but they are resilient and of the three decans of Cancer, this is the decan with the reputation for bouncing back most readily. They are generally sensible about money, good with finances, reliable and trustworthy, helpful to their relations, but they expect the same in return, and do not easily forgive or forget a slight. They have a reputation for holding grudges. Feast and famine, exotic blooms, hot house flowers.

Photo by Jacub Gomez on Pexels.com

Decan 3 12 -21 July

Cancer-Pisces, ruler Jupiter (traditional ruler) or Neptune (modern ruler)

Tarot Card: Four of Cups

From The Legacy Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

The figure in the Four of Cups has a rich inner life, and may be something of a visionary, but may from time to time feel restless and dissatisfied, bored by mundane realities yet unsure what to do about it, while haunted by the sense there is somewhere else they should be, something else they should be doing. As with Pisces, physical energy levels can be quite variable, and this too is reflected in the card.

Cancer 3 decan is traditionally understood as the moodiest of the crabs. Dedicated and devoted to their loved ones, they may all the same be unapproachable at times. They need to feel family around them, they really do, but they also need plenty of outlets.

Read HERE about the health and constitutional makeup of Cancer.

They are, well, somewhat crabby at times, but deeply humane, kindly, reliable and trustworthy, and they sparkle in company, attracting admiration- when they choose. Reclusive at times, but they never lose a certain sense of fun.

Photo by Emma Bauso on Pexels.com

Until next time 🙂

The Hermit, Virgo and the River

Photo by Jonathan Meyer on Pexels.com

“Even the upper end of the river believes in the ocean.”-said William Stafford.

But even if it doesn’t, that’s where it’s going anyway. Slowing, broadening and deepening as it goes. Like us, if we get the chance, if we are given the time. And the closer we get to the ocean, the less we strive, the more we carry, the more we reflect and the less we hurry.

Photo by Sindre Stru00f8m on Pexels.com

Like The Hermit, who walks alone in the wild places, following a far-off light, or answering the ancient drum beat. The Hermit is feeling the weight of his years and experience but casts his own light all the same. He/she withdraws more from society, but the wild creatures draw near and cautiously welcome The Hermit home. He – us- humankind of the modern world left their path many years ago, branching away from the path of the wild.

The Hermit is airy Mercury in earthy Virgo; watchful, enquiring, creative but analytical, self-disciplined, seemingly aloof yet approachable,with a quiet warmth.

The Hermit from The Golden Tarot by Kat Black

William Stafford died aged 79 at his home in Virgo Season,  Lake Oswego, Oregon on 28 August, 1993. The morning of his death, he had written a poem containing the lines, “‘You don’t have to / prove anything,’ my mother said. ‘Just be ready / for what God sends.’

Ask Me

Some time when the river is ice ask me
mistakes I have made. Ask me whether
what I have done is my life. Others
have come in their slow way into
my thought, and some have tried to help
or to hurt: ask me what difference
their strongest love or hate has made.

I will listen to what you say.
You and I can turn and look at the silent river and wait.

We know the current is there, hidden; and there
are comings and goings from miles away
that hold the stillness exactly before us.
What the river says, that is what I say.

Photo by Brandon Huff on Pexels.com

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”― Plutarch

There is what Life does to us. There is how we respond. But first there was always who we were to begin with, and the ways we are still becoming it.

Tabula rasa is the theory that individuals are born without built-in mental content, and therefore all knowledge comes from experience or perception. Epistemological proponents of tabula rasa disagree with the doctrine of innatism, which holds that the mind is born already in possession of certain knowledge. Wikipedia

There was never a ‘Tabula Rasa’…no blank slate.

You only need to look at the newborn.

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

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

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

But if you see someone is about to make a big mistake, and if you care at all about that, and don’t want to stand by and watch them fall in a hole, you’ve got a problem.

Messengers do sometimes get ‘shot’ and their warnings disregarded. The curse of the princess of Troy, the seer Cassandra, was that, although she was truly gifted in prophecy, she was never believed, and could not save her city, her people, or finally, her son or herself. And she knew it. No room for hope.

Here we see Cassandra having a rotten time with that thug Ajax, and it’s only going to get worse.

Painting by Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein, 1806

Greek myth suggested this was an act of spite on Apollo’s part. Cassandra was a priestess of Apollo, and he wooed her with the gift of prophecy. When she turned him down, he couldn’t withdraw the gift, so he made it a curse so that whatever she said, people just thought she was loopy and took no notice, and this in itself might be enough to send someone a bit crazy, don’t you think?

To shout into the wind. To see approaching danger, and not to be believed, unable to save your loved ones? One might say, well, no one was actually any worse off, because even if she saw it, that didn’t mean it could be changed or averted. True enough, but a truly powerful gift for prophetic foreknowledge is liable to become a curse to anyone; a burden whose only value is in the potential to use it actively in order to influence events and avert undesirable outcomes.

To use it in this way is a practical approach to Tarot reading. So, this seems to be the current situation, the reader might say, as indicated by the cards. These are the stakes and these seem to be the options. So what happens if we choose option A? Heck. That doesn’t look good. OK then, what we go with Option B? That doesn’t seem to turn out too well either. OK, so what can we do, that might work better?

But the person may decide to go with Option A anyway, and one might say well, there we may it, proof that our lives are governed by free will. Or one might argue it is equally a proof of the power of fate or destiny, that they are destined or fated to do this thing, whatever it is.

The truth may hurt, but beyond that, can it, assuming it is indeed the truth, do any good? That depends on someone’s readiness to consider the warning, or whatever other information you might have to share. Is it within their nature, and their capability at any level, to use it? Does it sit sufficiently credibly with their own assessment or their private misgivings? Everyone wants to be the bearer of good news but this is not a popularity contest. This is not about the reader’s niceness or saintliness or ego – or it had better not be.

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

Making predictions in public may be regarded as solicited or unsolicited, depending on the circumstances. Some astrologers and psychics are media figures -Mystic Meg comes to mind. Others sit in quiet corners, available to those who approach them directly. Others, like me, are somewhere in-between, though I slightly favour the quiet corner.

Journalists have approached on occasion, seeking a soundbite, eg; about Brexit, but really, what reader needs the aggro that would undoubtedly follow, unless they are aiming to build a publicity profile. I have spoken with journalists before, and learned they do not necessarily quote one verbatim, while the archives here are available to browse anytime.

‘A word to the wise,’ we may say, when offering advice. Assuming the advice is good advice, it can take a wise person to be able to listen, let alone act on that advice in timely fashion, especially when the advice really isn’t the thing they want to hear.

When you work as reader in whatever field of divination; Tarot, astrology, medium-ship etc, you are responding to a direct invitation, a request, to look at that other person and their situation. You have been granted permission to look. Working in confidence, talking privately one to one is one thing. Addressing a wider audience is another matter.

When you share predictions or other commentary on public affairs in the public domain, and your commentary has not been directly solicited, you may be on a hiding to nothing, even with the best intentions, and regardless whether subsequent events prove you to have been at least broadly correct.

  1. Everyone has an opinion. The readers, is not better, more valid than theirs. Nor is the reader saying so. They are simply saying what their divinatory system is saying on the matter, directing this to an audience who is interested in the workings of such systems. One can take it or leave it. But people may think they are saying so, and no-one likes a know-all while a degree of scepticism- is generally healthy.
  2. Such people, it is to be noted, may not feel equally challenged at similar statements made by anyone who is designated a ‘recognized expert.’ But they may respond to a practitioner of divination if they have won the Lottery yet? The implication here being if they are any good, they will surely have won the Lottery long since, in which case, why do they need to be doing this stuff anymore? (Ha ha gotcha!) In fact, psychics, professional and not professional have been known to win the lottery, and we are not talking about modest wins. There are many such stories, and in one reported case this win was specifically consequent upon someone drawing of a Tarot card, The Wheel of Fortune, and she went straight off to buy a lottery ticket which she did not do on a weekly basis. Links to other stories HERE
  3. If you say nothing, people who are curious may wonder why you are staying silent when all around us, people are issuing their own predictions left, right and centre. The state of the country, the state of the world, management of the Covid situation, and so on. We are all broadcasters now, and publishers, such is the easy reach of social media, the global village pump on multi-billion steroids, which meanwhile is farming us.

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Everyone is psychic to a degree. How do we demonstrate or measure it? By direct witnessing, or journaling triggers and outcomes. Professional practitioners have usually had significant psychic experiences, and have then studied and worked to better understand these modes of perception or receptivity for directed use.

The Achilles heel of any reader is pride or vanity, or fear – performance anxiety, which can interfere with their ‘TV/radio reception’ and badly trip them up. This work demands moving rapidly between a relaxed alpha state, and a controlled, analytical beta state.

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

To get specifics out of a reading, we need a context. We ask questions, aiming at a target, sorting the wood from the trees. So that, for instance, if I draw a ‘card of the day’ for sharing with the general public, for whom is the message actually intended?

It’s bound to make sense to someone, and it may even make poetic sense across a wider topical spectrum, but still, it is lacking a context and a directed aim.

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

Yesterday I decided to try out a deck I have not used before, to pull a single comment card – a simple straw in the wind.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well, sorry, yes they are. At least to a point, like it or not. Those doing any such telling are not free not to, or there would be no such thing as society, however imperfect at at times enraging, its various workings.

Our individual freedoms were already in hock when we were born, negotiated far, far back back, no-one around to blame, in exchange for the most basic safety and security, and later, for the benefits of modern life depending on a hugely complex organization of infrastructure. Habitation. Protection. Roads. Lighting. Water. Food. If we really want to be completely free, we’d go analogue and go off grid. But now we’d be dealing with the ‘zombie swarms’ in the forest. They’d find us soon enough.

Meanwhile the seasons would command us, and the weather, the cold, the heat, and the light, and the availability of all vital food resources, and every passing predator, animal or human. We’d have little free choice and little free time, just in terms of everything we’d have to doing to stay alive from one day to the next.

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

We are not like ants or bees. Short of annihilation, totalitarianism is the ultimate collective nightmare. We have witnessed it in action enough times to know what it means, in all its horror.

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

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

Why should this card, William Lilly, seem particularly apposite, drawn 10 June 2021 on the day of a partial solar eclipse in Gemini, ruled by Mercury, planet of science, commerce and travel?

Lilly’s Plague and Fire Predictions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bio

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

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

However…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Score: Chelsea 1: Man City 0

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

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

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

Until next time.

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Blood Moon Rising: the Moon card, the tides of Earth and in the affairs of men

The Full Moon on Wednesday 26 May 2021 will be not only the biggest super moon of the year, but also a lunar eclipse, when the moon turns a reddish colour and is nicknamed a Blood Moon.

A super moon is a full moon at its perigee, it’s closest approach to the Earth. A lunar eclipse happens when the full moon dips into the Earth’s shadow and there is a change in colour as sunlight scattered around the edges of the Earth, is seen falling on the surface of the Moon.

We are in Gemini season, astrologically (not astronomically speaking) and the full moon is rising in its opposite zodiac sign, Sagittarius, which rules the ninth house of far travel, learning, prophecy and philosophy.

Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter, a benefic planet, but an eclipse represents the shadow side of Jupiter, and then he can be a big bully.

Eclipse or no eclipse, there are enough bullies going stamp-a-bout on the world stage right now. Davids are getting battered, if not outright slaughtered by Goliaths in a tragic listing of ethnic and other minority groups. The weak are being sent to the wall in front of the watching world.

To the ancients, lunar eclipses were generally viewed as ominous.

Extract From The National Geographic

“The  ancient Mesopotamians… saw lunar eclipses as an assault on the moon, says Krupp. But in their stories, the assailants were seven demons.

Traditional cultures linked what happened in the sky to circumstances on Earth, he says. And because the king represented the land in Mesopotamian culture, the people viewed a lunar eclipse as an assault on their king. “We know from written records [that Mesopotamians] had a reasonable ability to predict lunar eclipses,” says Krupp. So in anticipation of an eclipse, they would install a surrogate king intended to bear the brunt of any attack.

“Typically, the person declared to be king would be someone expendable,” Krupp says. Though the substitute wasn’t really in charge, he would be treated well during the eclipse period, while the actual king masqueraded as an ordinary citizen. Once the eclipse passed, “as you might expect, the substitute kings typically disappeared,” Krupp says, and may have been dispatched by poisoning.”

Nice. It is suggested they hoped or believed this ‘healed the moon.’

‘Heavy the head that wears the crown.’

Even for just a day or two. While the idea of being expendable in the grand scheme…quite a thought, isn’t it, in this age of individualism.

Julius Caesar, a superbly capable person; a self-made man, and a military and political high achiever, was perhaps naturally dismissive of such things, but this healthy scepticism also proved most unfortunate. Had he listened to Spurinna the Haruspex (and Spurinna also has his ear close to the ground) and had he listened to his wife, Calpurnia…both of whom warned him, or had he exercise a little more imagination, he might have avoided the fatal trap. It was after all, time sensitive. The assassins had only a short window.

The day of his assassination, he had actually promised Calpurnia not to leave the house, after she begged him not to, after she had a terrible dream, but then an old friend coaxed him out…a traitor ten times the Judas that Brutus was.

Young Marcus Brutus was in on it, of course, but the worst betrayal was another man, an old friend of Caesar’s: Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus, a distant cousin of Marcus Brutus though Shakespeare pretty much left him out of the story.

Decimus came to call, telling Caesar, come along to the senate meeting. No doubt they had a few laughs, when Caesar said no, I’m staying home today. I promised the missus….she’s a bit worried, you know, and Decimus teased him about it. He and Decimus went back a long way. What Caesar didn’t understand was that Decimus bore him a grudge and the plotters had sent him to dig Caesar out.

Machiavelli had much to say about old friends who bear us a grudge. Caesar had given Decimus many rewards, but denied him a particular one he had wanted.

Read more about that HERE

‘Hey, there, Spurinna’, Caesar said on his way to the forum, with his pal Decimus, ‘the Ides of March are come!’

‘Aye, Caesar,’ said Spurinna, ‘but they are not gone’.

He had actually warned Caesar to beware the thirty day period leading up to and ending on the Ides of March.

Sometimes…timing is everything, just as, behind the wheel a split second can be the difference between life and death. 1/5 of a second’s distraction at the wheel, fiddling with your radio or sat-nav or whatever, and taking your eyes off the road, that’ll easily do it.

Modern Western (Tropical) astrology

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Modern western astrology views a lunar eclipse as more potentially disruptive than necessarily ominous.

Eclipses bring sudden events, they suggest, and surprises. New things come to light. This could mean a liberation, a eureka moment.

This Full moon and its eclipse in Sagittarius, a mutable fire sign, is symbolic of fireworks or sudden eruptions of cosmic molten lava. Maybe not only cosmic but entirely earthly.

Gaia is unsettled. The sun is entering a new cycle.

It appears this new solar cycle…which is tending ultimately to the cooling of the Earth….occurred December 2019, when the global pandemic began in Wuhan.

(The UK also held a general election December 2019.)

It is all too easy to join dots and see patterns where perhaps none meaningfully exists. But why should life on earth not feel physical effects at some level.

Harking back to the doings of Humankind, and mindful of the superseded superstitions of the ancients (or their observations, based on many data correlations) who might be seen as a ‘ruler at risk’, or as a ‘substitute ruler’ at the time of this approaching eclipse?

A few possible scenarios come to mind at this present time, as I am sure they do for many others.

Also just co-incidentally, and maybe this will not amount to much in the end, though maybe it will, and while we are thinking of the power of a grudge, Dominic Cummings appearance before a select committee at 9.30 AM on this day of a lunar eclipse could hardly come at a better – or worse time- for the UK government, or PM Boris Johnson.

So particular a coincidence, one could almost imagine someone senior on the select committee had consulted a horary astrologer as to the timing of this session, just as Queen Elizabeth 1 consulted Dr John Dee in determining the most auspicious date for her coronation.

But who here, might such an astrologer have been working to help?

No-one does this kind of thing nowadays, some might say. Well, they might be surprised to discover who still uses these kinds of services today, and not only in personal matters, and why; for an extra edge, an extra inside track in professional and business affairs…and perhaps more.

26 May, Dominic Cummings is expected to launch a damaging critique of the government’s handling of the Covid crisis, while wishing to stress, he has said, that these mistakes are not necessarily to be seen as the personal fault of the PM in such unprecedented circumstances.

The mainstream media is going to town, can barely contain its glee, and many doubtless have a clear opinion on how they would have handled the pandemic better, had they been in the driving seat, and on how other countries have handled it so much better.

Historically, pandemics have lasted 3-4 years. We are in Year 2. I looked at this a few weeks ago, and my cards suggested that, looking at this problem on a global level, we are likely to be dealing with it at least until May-June 2022.

This does not necessarily mean we will be seeing lock-downs until that point. My question to the Tarot was, when will we see that this pandemic has substantially ended, looking at this on a global level. I drew cards in a line, one card per quarter, and I was looking out for the appearance of The World Card.

Why? Because this is a global issue, and because The World card signifies the end of a cycle. Completion.

The World Card from The Legacy of The Divine Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

The World card appeared for the quarter representing May-June 2022.

It may not be Britain, or Europe or the US that are still struggling with it, and I was not asking about the short to medium term economic consequences, which in previous readings, looked more optimistic than one might expect.

But it does look that the pandemic is still high on the agenda well into 2022. It may be northern India and other places. It is still with us, on its way out, but not yet quite reduced to an endemic level. As ever, only Time will tell but that’s what it looked like to me. Some may feel this is too far off, others, not unreasonably, given the historical pattern, that it’s still year 3, and possibly still too soon, vaccines notwithstanding. Especially if people start getting back on planes too soon, in anything like the numbers they did before.

Eclipses: Omens?

The ancient regarded lunar eclipses are omens of disaster. Sagittarius is a lively, freewheeling, life and soul of the party, but also prophetic sign. No- one tells Sagittarius what to do. It does its own thing. The eclipse pushes it into a box in a manner of speaking, into the shadow, and it is liable to come out spoiling for a fight. We have a lot of extremely vocal secular messiahs and missionaries flexing their muscles in respect of various social issues at present.

On a minor note, Il Matrimonio is at the moment of writing trying to find out why the lights have blown in the wardrobe. Is it the fuse box? No. Has a bulb blown, why have they all blown? The hunt continues.

The Moon card in the Tarot

The Moon from The Gilded Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

The Moon card stands for, well, the Moon obviously, and the tides, floods, cycles, hormones, fertility, dreams, illusions, deception, psychic experiences, ghosts, danger in travel, contagion, poison/food-poisoning.

Eastern astrologers may suggest we do not try to look at an eclipse directly….that it may bring bad luck. This may be sensible advice just at the common sense level.

We don’t need an eclipse to remind us nothing stays the same. But if we do need that reminder, well, sooner or later we are going to get it, big time, with or without an eclipse.

You may not wish to click or sign up to cookies, but if that doesn’t worry you, this page via space.com provides links to watch the eclipse live:

https://www.space.com/super-flower-blood-moon-2021-webcasts

Till next time 🙂

All that’s airy, all that flies …it’s time again for Gemini…

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We are born into a particular season. We are children of that season and its environmental characteristics. The light and the length of those days, the warmth or the cold, the dry or the damp, the things that are growing, or not. What food there would be to eat if there was no such thing as a supermarket.

The symbology of the zodiac signs are all rooted in the seasons of Nature here on earth. The only sign not directly symbolic of a real, living thing in Nature is the newest sign historically speaking, Libra, the Scales, symbolic of Justice. An abstract concept, though again, this could be viewed as representative of the concept of, on the one hand, natural justice, and on the other, the ever shifting tides and balance of nature.

The sign of Gemini is airy Nature on the wing. Fledglings are launching. Baby waterfowl are on the swim; ducklings, goslings, cygnets, coots and moorhens. Birds, bees and butterflies are foraging, and as they go from tree to tree, and bloom to bloom, cross-pollinating. The pollen too, is on the wing. The air is typically high in moisture in Gemini season, supporting all these processes.

Atishoo, for some it’s a case of here comes the hayfever. This is traditionally an Achilles heel for the natives of Gemini.

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Gemini is a mutable air sign, meaning it segues into the next season, early summer. Cardinal fire sign Aries is instigation, winter-spring, Taurus is realization, spring-spring, Gemini is emergent mutable spring-summer.

Gemini associations

Ruling planet: Mercury – ‘on the move/the word is out.’

Affirmation: ‘I think, I inquire.’

Body: Lungs, arms, hands, fingers, nervous system.

Birth Stone:  If born in May, Emerald. If born in June, Pearl (although it is not a stone, it is thought to be ruled by Mercury) Lucky stone Tiger’s Eye

Colour: Yellow, green, pink, white

Tree: all kinds of nut trees

Flower: Lily of the Valley, Lavender

Tarot cards: Gemini has two cards associated with it: most typically, The Lovers (love, choices, decision-making) But also The Magician. Tarot readers tend to focus on the duality represented by the Lovers card, but I’ll also be making reference to Gemini as the mercurial Magician.

From The Rider-Waite Tarot deck

Astronomy

Gemini via Wiki

The two bright stars on the left are the heads of the twins, their bodies standing or lying parallel. The brighter, reddish Pollux is on the bottom, or on the left, depending how you may be viewing them.

The Zodiac, from the Greek meaning the Wheel or Circle of the Animals, is the name for the area of sky we see from Earth, including the apparent paths of the sun, moon and planets.

Some of these planets were of course not discovered when the 48 constellations of the ancient zodiac were listed by the mathematician and astronomer, Ptolemy, in the 2 century AD. Today there are 88 listed constellations including the 12 constellations of the zodiac as included in the system of western Tropical astrology.

Ptolemy called the Gemini constellation The Star of Apollo (Castor) and The Star of Heracles (Pollux).

Gemini is the northernmost constellation in the zodiac, the thirtieth largest in size. It is prominent in the winter skies of the northern Hemisphere and is visible all night, December–January, seen by the naked eye, looking north east of the constellation Orion between the Taurus and Cancer constellations. Best viewing is during February. During April and May you might see it, looking west soon after sunset, looking out for the two brightest stars, Castor and Pollux, representing the heads of the twins from Greek mythology, while fainter stars outline their bodies.

To find Castor and Pollux, look eastward from the Hyades, a V shaped asterism ( star cluster) which makes up the head of Taurus The Bull, or again, look east from the three stars of Orion’s Belt

Gemini Wiktionary.jpg
The constellation Gemini via Wiktionary gives its name to the sign of the zodiac

Pollux, the westerly twin, is an orange-red giant star, 33 light-years from Earth, while Castor is about 51 light-years away. A light-year is the distance that light travels in a year – 6 trillion miles/9.6 trillion kilometres.

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

Ancient History

The concept of twins has been addressed in mythology, and artifacts discovered dating back to the so-called Age of Gemini, during the Palaeolithic era, 6, 500 BCE, a response to actual twin births, no doubt at all, and a general reading of the world, understood in terms of a duality fundamental to the nature of reality.

There are male and female twins, standing for night and day, light and dark, heat and cold, male and female, war and peace, good and bad, life and death. Many creation myths reflect this eternal dynamic or battle of seeming opposites. Some societies have viewed twins as a blessing, others have regarded them as an added burden on resources in times of scarcity – or even as a supernatural threat. Article

Recently in the news via Archaeology Magazine, a sad but fascinating discovery, “Two baby boys, whose bodies were covered in red ochre and buried under a mammoth bone about 31,000 years ago in what is now northeastern Austria, are the earliest known identical twins.”

The babies were born full term but one died at about 14 weeks,it is thought, while the other lived to 6-7 months. They were buried with grave goods, one baby with a necklace of evenly matched mammoth ivory beads, the other with a necklace of molluscs. More HERE

Castor and Pollux

The names of the Gemini, the Heavenly Twins are Castor and Pollux.

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

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

Gemini brings us the first honey and strawberries, and the full moon of June is nicknamed The Strawberry Moon.

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Pollux and Helen were immortal, fathered by Zeus, while Castor and Clytemnestra were mortal, fathered by Tyndareus. The circumstances of their birth were unusual to say the least. Queen Leda of Sparta was seduced by Zeus, who had somehow disguised himself as a swan and when we say seduced, that is was putting it politely. He glided up preening while she was bathing and then pounced on her. Later that evening, and one can’t help wondering about this, given the trauma she’d just experienced, she also slept with her husband King Tyndareus and went on to produce four children; Castor, Pollux and their sisters Helen (later Helen of Troy) and Clytemnestra (later married to Agamemnon as queen of Mycenae.)

castor-pollux-porcelain.jpg
Public Domain; the young Castor and Pollux by Meissen

The mortal Castor was a renowned horseman and a master at fencing, while the immortal Pollux was known for his superhuman strength and skill at boxing. They travelled with Jason on the Argo on the quest for the Golden Fleece (and here we cross over into the Hellenistic mythos of the zodiac sign of Aries the Ram)

But then Castor was killed in a quarrel, a disagreement over dividing the spoils after a cattle raid (Hello again, dear zodiac Bull, Taurus, we are afraid you came off worse that time.)

Pollux was distraught.  He didn’t want immortality, not if it meant being without Castor and he begged his father, Zeus, to kill him so he could go to join his brother in the Underworld Kill me Dad, he said. Zeus said, er, give me time to think about this, son, and scratched his beard, wondering how to fix it, and finally resolved to place them both in the stars, to be together forever as the constellation Gemini.

No need to kill Pollux, Zeus just skipped that step and took the pair of them sky high.

Worship

The Greeks worshiped the twins as gods who helped travellers and shipwrecked sailors.

The Romans developed a cult around Castor and Pollux dating back to 484 B.C. They considered Castor and Pollux the patron gods of horses, and therefore, patron gods of the Roman mounted knights; the equites, and Castor and Pollux appear as such on many early Roman coins. The Romans built a temple to the twins in the Roman Forum in 414 BC in thanks for their ‘help’ in defeating the in the battle of Regillus at Lake Regillus in Frascati, between the newly founded Roman Republic and The Latin League, led by the aged former king of Rome, Tarquin (Lucius Tarquinius Superbus.)

The Republic won, finally ending the attempts of Tarquin and his son Titus, to re-take the throne. More Here

John Reinhard Weguelin (1849 to 1927)- Scan of Illustration from book “The Lays of Ancient Rome.” Woodcut from Engraving


The Gemini Archetype in real life

The zodiac signs deal in archetypes, as do the 78 cards of a Tarot deck. Every person is a unique individual with a unique natal planetary profile, their sun sign, moon sign, rising sign etc, paint a more detailed picture, as do astrological transits and aspects, but the natal sun sign sets the tone.

The Magician card in the Tarot deck is the card of Number One, ‘me, myself and I’, and is associated with Mercury, planet of communications, trade, and commerce, the ruling planet of Gemini.

The Magician from the Legacy of the Divine Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

Gemini is ‘mercurial’, restless, intellectually agile, independent minded- and like the Tarot’s Magician, does things his or her own way – whether or not this is necessarily a good idea.

Gemini often has a pleasing appearance; slender, well-proportioned, above average height, with tidy features in an oval face. Classic Gemini subjects are lively, agile, sparkling, charming, chatty and inquisitive, though not necessarily easy to get to know. Gemini may dart in and out, or lose interest and switch off without warning. Gemini introduces, rather than unites.

Gemini tends to change jobs more often than subjects of the other signs of the zodiac, and is better at starting new projects than finishing them, but can do very well in teams where new ideas, agility and a talent for networking are needed.

Gemini can seem flighty; careless, even ruthless, dropping people and projects once they lose interest, which Gemini can do quite suddenly. But once committed, they are intensely loyal to their friends and loved ones. Gemini is mostly fairly peaceable, but it’s brave and and tough Taurus mostly gets the rap for this, Gemini is capable of obstinacy, even mulishness. These subjects don’t shy away from saying what they think, and of course, they think plenty, though whether they always did the research, or whether or not they double- check everything, is just now and then another question.

The Decans of The Zodiac

Each zodiac sign can be investigated in more depth by exploring the decans. Each sign may be subdivided into three decans, each with a different planetary sub-ruler, and each relating to approximately 10 days and 10 degrees of the wheel of the zodiac.

The Decans of Gemini

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First Decan (May 22nd- 31st) Gemini-Gemini. Sub-ruler Mercury

The first decan of any zodiac sign is considered the most typical. The first decan of Gemini is ruled by Mercury, the overall ruler of the sign and Gemini is the zodiac third house of communications. The Gemini- Gemini decan is mentally acute, whether or not they are academically inclined. They are agile, adaptable, but it’s not so simple, and at their core they are operating from a belief system from which they do not depart. It might be religion. It might be some ethical question, such as animal husbandry, politics or the environment. This decan typically has good looks and personal charisma…and they are great explorers, not just in terms of physical travel. But once they commit, they commit. They also believe there is a right way and a wrong way of doing things -and they act on it.

Tarot card: The Eight of Swords.

To know the minor arcana Tarot card associated with a zodiac decan can help with timings in a reading, when a reader is trying to narrow down a potential date range.

Second Decan (June 1-10) Gemini-Libra. Sub-ruler Venus

Libra, the sub-ruler of this decan is – natural ruler of the zodiac seventh house of marriage, partnerships, close associates, associations, and legal matters. Where Decan 1 Gemini may say ‘I am’, the smooth and friendly second Decan is likely to say, ‘Me too’. They too have personal charisma, and they have an adventurous streak, but to thrive they also need things around them to be calm and secure. The nature is warm, possibly at times even effusive, and people generally respond well, but their choice of life partner is best not made when they are very young, and though they relish novelty, they may be happiest with someone who is steady and practical, averse to any avoidable drama.

Tarot card: The Nine of Swords

Third Decan (June 11-21) Aquarius-Gemini. Sub-ruler Uranus (ancient ruler Saturn)

Aquarius – natural ruler of the zodiac eleventh house of friends, hopes, and wishes-inclines the Decan 3 Gemini to very much a social type, a friend-oriented individual, amusing, quirky, yet rational, somewhat detached.  Uranus, planet of knowledge, combines with Mercury gives Gemini-Aquarius clear and perceptive reasoning powers and a desire to change things for the better.  Uranus is also however, the planet of upheaval and rebellion. Third Decan Gemini is classically the most independent-natured decan of Gemini. Not easily persuaded themselves; they have great gifts of persuasion.

Tarot card: The Ten of Swords

Also to watch for this Gemini season 2021…

There will be a Super Blood Moon Eclipse on May 26, 2021, a rare celestial event. If the skies are clear we may see a Super Full Moon which will appear bigger than usual in the night sky, and turn red as it is eclipsed by the shadow of the earth. Blood Moon Eclipses get their name due to the reddish hue the Moon takes on during a total eclipse

The Super Blood Moon Eclipse on May 26, 2021, is a rare celestial event. On this night, the Super Full Moon will appear bigger than usual in the night sky, and turn reddish as it is eclipsed by the shadow of the earth.

Blood Moon Eclipses get their name due to the reddish hue the Moon takes on when there is a total eclipse. Western astrology says this Full Moon will be in Sagittarius, House of far travel, exploration and higher learning. Vedic astrologers say it will be in watery Scorpio. Intense.

In terms of Sagittarius, one may aim an arrow but still not control where it lands.

In ancient astrological terms, eclipses represent things coming to the surface. They were traditionally associated with extreme weather events, feelings running high at home, and tensions amplified in matters of state and power on the global stage. As if anyone is going to welcome that prospect, but we are talking here in terms of ancient associations, not predictions.

The ‘medicine’ according to the ancients, was to work with a Blood Moon, leaning into any challenges, but without inflaming them, and to pace oneself until the cavalry arrived. In 2021 this comes 10 June 2021 in the shape of the approaching beneficent solar eclipse (still in Gemini season.)

May it bring good things, just let’s keep our cool, and go a little easy with everything around 26 May.

Until next time 🙂

The Taurus New Moon and The Tower

Photo by Philippe Donn on Pexels.com

Tuesday 11 May, was a New Moon in Taurus. A New moon is the optimal time for new launches, say the lunar calendars, while Taurus is all about beauty, security, and the sensory delights and material comforts of life, also the status quo.

There were plenty of new launches all right, and challenges to a current status quo. Lightning struck more ways than one. A new peak of tragedy in Gaza, seemingly never to be resolved, no peace without an agreement on justice, the skies raining missiles, the death toll rising, children killed inside Gaza, a whole family today,and a little baby.

Locally, close to my own home in Lancashire in the UK, a little boy was tragically killed, struck by lightening, while he was out doing football training. Jordan was only nine, clearly a very nice little boy, and well known locally, and a big Liverpool FC fan, already known for his charity endeavours. RIP, little lamb.

Junior Sprog’s young man meanwhile, had been up to his waist in his fish pond about half an hour before this horribly tragic event, doing a spot of DIY, installing a new filter for his beloved koi carp. I told her, half- joking, he needed to come out of there. He was at risk of being struck by lightning. But the storm’s gone, she said. Well, yes, it had, just about. The hail had stopped but the sky was peculiar, ominous, the conditions ripe.

It looked like that scene from Independence Day, said Il Matrimonio, the scene when the aliens arrive, creating clouds as they hover on their coordinates across the world’s cities, waiting the moment to strike.

I have written about The Tower card more than once before in previous postings here on this blog.

From The Golden Tarot, Kat Black

Well, it’s a biggie, and generally, I am not pleased to see it. The Tower card and I have had direct encounters before, and they were not fun.

But that’s by the by. Keep your friends close, as they say, and your enemies closer. Let’s take another look at it today, The Tower, Major Arcana number 16. Sandwiched -entirely by design between The Devil, Major Arcana 15, and its obsession, dependency, desire, frustration and rage, and The Star, Major Arcana 17, cool, impersonal, harbinger of hope and recovery, humanitarian but oh, so logical at times, prone to abstractions and ideological dogmatism (as today Saturn moves out of Aquarius; an ideologue’s dream and dogmatic stellar combination if ever there was one, but sadly moves back in again during July 2021.)

Countless numbers are living The Tower experience right now.

Some high profile practitioners have made it something of a mission to intellectualize and sanitize the Tarot, and to educate other readers to present its manifold truths in purely metaphorical or psychological, sometimes Jungian terms.

So The Tower card symbolizes a great awakening. Pride comes before a fall and the truth will come out. And ultimately, this is good, they may say, because what is lost can be scrapped as not fit for purpose or rebuilt on better foundations. It is for the spiritual good. Good for one’s soul.

I agree, up to a point. I am all in favour of looking for the silver linings in any cloud, and of the notion of putting myself and others in charge of our own destinies, at least assuming responsibility for our own decisions and the consequences of those decisions.

But readers of the Tarot limit themselves in stipulating HOW the Tarot is to be used. The Tarot is a tool kit. A flying carpet for thinking and feeling beyond the normal personal and social boundaries.

There is no standardization in this field, and it needs to stay that way. There is no such thing as ‘A’ Tarot reader. There is only the particular individual reader and their own service remit and their own way of working.

There is a difference between articulating the professional ethics of reading and promoting an ideological agenda to ditch the Tarot as a futurist or fortune-telling vehicle in favour of its use in counselling, or for ‘spiritual development.’

It needs to be recognized, or else the reader risks being guilty of hubris themselves, not every ‘Tower’ (or Devil) experience, not every destructive event necessarily has a beneficial outcome or valuable Life Lesson attached, or indeed anywhere in prospect. What were the ‘lessons’ for the parents of the child victims of the Moors murderers?

Grace is the sacred Grail in greatest grief that no-one can deliver to another person. No counsellor can do that, no priest and no psychic reader, though a reader may perceive occasional intimations.

Not every question has an answer. This was how I came to study the Tarot, after years wrestling with a seemingly insoluble and relentlessly invasive health problem after my right knee went out from under me one day, and I went down on my face in the road. Sometimes there are no solutions for the cards that Life may deal us. There are only our own, unique responses in coping, which cannot be prescribed by a reader, but may possibly be divined.

The ‘higher truths’ of our existence are not intrinsically more sacred than the bottom line. And, ‘God does not disdain to serve the body’, as Julian of Norwich once said.

People ask about money, work, homes, jobs, travel, studies, prospects, family, other real people they know. They want to know about outcomes, timings, reasons -specifics, if this is possible.

The Tower may also mean:-

A Tower– literally, as in the Tower of Pisa

Tuesday- named after Tyr/Tew the Norse god equivalent of Mars which rules Tuesdays. If your question is when and you draw the tower, it maybe a Tuesday or during Aries late March-late April or Scorpio late October-late November because these signs are ruled by Mars. Or it may mean that it will happen very suddenly.

Rain, wind or storm  not only has The Tower card forecast rain or a thunderstorm on more than one occasion, -and once this was very welcome, during a heat-wave. One Friday evening it forecast a storm which turned out to be an actual tiny, typically British tornado, which came screaming down my road next morning at 8.30 and neatly, tidily  flattened a neighbours garden wall.

-Bad news, a quarrel,  shocks, earthquakes, traffic accidents, the collapse of building or other large structures, bankruptcy, job loss, relations breakups, marriage breakdown, accidents, sudden medical emergencies eg stroke, heart attack.

-Stroke, heart attack, fit, seizure

The Tower might be saying, ‘dognabbit, you need to check your tyre/tire pressures!’

The Origin Story

The Tower card, derivative of the Blasted Tower, the House of God or War, is ruled by the red planet Mars, ruler of the zodiac signs of Aries and Scorpio, with powerful mythic and archetypal associations, not least The Tower of Babel.

Mars is the planet of outward activity, high animal spirits, passion – courage and sometimes -a state of war.

Rider-Waite Tarot Deck

The Tower of Babel or The Tower and the City is an origin myth from Genesis though actually older, that tried to explain why the world’s peoples speak different languages.

According to the story, a united human race in the generations following the Great Flood, speaking a single language and migrating eastward, comes to the land of  Shinar,  in Northern Mesopotamia.

They build a city, so far so good. But then they decide to build a tower tall enough to reach heaven. God doesn’t like that, and confuses their speech so that they can no longer understand each other, babbling on…and now they are at cross-purposes and can’t complete the building works, and they fall out with one another and go their separate ways, and end up scattered around the world.

God  is reacting to an act of hubris. The word Hubris is from Greek, and means “excessive pride, violating the bounds set for humans.” 

Greek myth was very big on hubris.

BUT still readers need to face it, working with the full range of possibilities, that The Tower may be speaking, not figuratively, not metaphorically, but entirely literally, whether we are talking past, present or possible future.

If a reader draws The Tower, they carefully examine the surrounding cards, and if they perceive clear and present danger, may not say so in such terms, but may present any advice for risk reduction or risk avoidance in a calm, matter of fact manner, ‘talking in terms of ‘just to be on the extra safe side.’

I once drew The Tower alongside The Knight of Swords reversed, and, based on other cards, including the Four of Wands (home improvements) got a sinking feeling that the client was at risk of a nasty fall. I asked her, was she doing any decorating? She was. And had she been climbing up on a ladder to do so?

Yes, she said, but she had not come to see me to discuss this. She wanted to know about Mr X.

I persisted with a warning to be extra careful if climbing up on anything. I would have felt negligent in my responsibility towards her had I detected this risk and not said anything. She expressed mild impatience. I left it there and we continued with the analysis of the main issue of the day.

About three weeks later, she was painting, standing on a windowsill, and slipped and fell, fracturing her hip, and had to go to hospital as an inpatient. She was many weeks in recovery and months in physio afterwards (she was a lady in her late sixties) How do I know this? She came herself to tell me.

Life is just deeply sad sometimes. When something life changing has just happened to someone, and they have experienced a Tower experience at full blast, they may not be ready to hear that it was for the best, that it will prove to be a liberation, a blessing in disguise, that their previous existence had outworn its purpose.

It may be a time for on the one hand, practicalities, possibly deeply unpleasant, and on the other, well, in such times we reach for comfort, warmth, solace, beauty. Poetry, essentially. The common treasure chest of poetry, music, hymns, prayers, I will lift up mine eyes, The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, a season to every purpose under heaven, and so on, depending on the person’s own cultural background.

When someone dies, they leave behind mourners, living memories and a dead body, to be handled, dealt with, honoured, visited if there is a grave site, but ultimately, to be reclaimed by the earth or the elements, just as we were first made from the elements released from dying stars.

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

The Tower, like The Death card reminds us that nothing is for ever. Suffering is part of life, and is the price we paid not to live forever as single- celled organisms. Clones. Death was the first ever Faustian pact, the price of evolution and specialization into personal individuality. Suffering was the price of individual consciousness and sensation. Fear was the price of suffering. Hunger was the price of appetite. Grief and anxiety were the price of love.

 ‘This too shall pass.’ the saying goes. This, from a speech by Abraham Lincoln in 1859, “It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words `And this, too, shall pass away.’ ‘How much it expresses!” Lincoln went on, “How chastening in the hour of pride. How consoling in the depths of affliction!”

Abraham Lincoln, 1853, attrib Alexander Gardner

Lincoln was so right. But it’s not like that at once. Not at first. The bucket must first hit the bottom of the well before it can be drawn back up again.

That is why in a tarot deck, The Tower card is followed by the healing of The Star. But healing and recovery, new Hope, like Truth, like Nature itself, can be as stern in its honesty and its travail as it is a marvel, mysterious and beautiful.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Science, Ships and The Six of Swords, Part 2

Part One is in the archives, posted October 2020.

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Photo by Robert Stokoe on Pexels.com

20 October 2020 Scientists for Britain tweeted

Retained EU law could cost our shipbuilding industry billions even after transition and MPs have NO plans to fix it.”

I drew a card in response to this tweet, and funnily enough, but then again, this is entirely typical of the Tarot, I drew one of the maritime cards, The Six of Swords. The Tarot will mirror the question or the issue with the very first card. Another maritime card is The Three of Wands (exports.)

The vessel as depicted in the Tarot is a mighty tiny maritime vessel, I grant you. Here in the Rider-Waite deck it is a mere punt or gondola.

The Rider-Waite Deck, A.E Waite

I am partial to this card. It is a solemn card, with a measure of regret or sorrow attached, but it tells a story of acceptance, resilience, endurance and vision.

The Six of Swords is traditionally a card of losses and mourning, but also recovery and convalescence from sickness or other setbacks. It is a card of learning, and in real life readings this has often meant distance learning, online, or with an element of travel to universities, conferences etc.

The Six of Swords is travel, exploration and discovery, charting a new course. It is independence, self reliance. See the figure at the helm. S/he has autonomy, steering east towards the rising sun (The suit of Swords correlates with the compass direction of east.)

In responding to the tweet from Scientists for Britain, it seemed to me The Six of Swords was doing two jobs. Of all the cards I could have drawn from the 78 cards in the Tarot deck, this is THE card at once capable of painting a future in respect of both the global and national pandemic problem, and telling a story of the British maritime simultaneously.

Pandemics historically last 3-4 years, we are in Year 2. But we have vaccines the governments did not have in 1918, when they were not completely certain whether they were dealing with a bacterium or virus.

The Six of Swords is not particular to Britain. Of course not. I don’t mean to suggest anything of the sort. But I am a reader in the UK. This is my home, and the card is drawn within the context of that headline tweet. If you are a reader in another country, of course this card could equally represent your own maritime traditions and industry.

This card, more than any other except for the Nine of Pentacles, has appeared again and again in my own readings to do with the future of Britain, drawn before and since Brexit, and the 2016 Referendum in which Britain voted to leave the EU.

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The Gilded Tarot, Ciro Marchetti



But roll on six-seven months, as of today, 6 May 2021 the maritime issue of Fishing is nothing like resolved, post-Brexit.

Talks with Norway recently stalled as the North Sea cod are heading ever further northward in our increasingly warmer waters. UK likes cod (There is a slight north-south division of preference in the UK, cod for the south, haddock for the north )

The Norwegians like blue whiting, which they access in our waters but only in the early months of the year. If I understand this correctly, that window has passed for this year. Once more unto the breach then, but meantime it is not good news for many in the UK fishing industry.

Click HERE for more on that story.

Then France made threats to cut off Jersey’s electricity in a row over French fishing access to Jersey’s waters. A wonderful advertisement for diplomacy, and a shot across the bows, and a timely caution respecting the wisdom of interdependence in matters of essential security and infrastructure.

Jersey imports 95% of its electricity from France via French state utility EDF.

This happening as EDF is working on a mega contract at the UK’s Hinkley Point. And it all looks wonderful. Tickety- boo. But not a few private consumers in the UK might now be wondering if they would be prudent to make changes, or daft not to, reviewing their choice of domestic energy supplier.

Then a fleet of small French fishing boats arrived in Jersey waters last night, threatening to blockade the harbour at St Helier in a protest about the new fishing licence arrangements post-Brexit. And two British naval patrol vessels, HMS Tamar and HMS Severn were ordered to Jersey to monitor the situation.

Very perturbing.

I drew a card before going to bed, asking about the short term outcome, and was pleased to draw The Ten of Cups, a card of hearth and home. Pleased because, to my relief, this domestic card implied a peaceful outcome rather than escalation.

By the by- a coincidence of serendipity, this card of contentment correlates with the last decan of the zodiac sign of Pisces the Fishes.

The Ten of Cups from The Legacy of The Divine Tarot

The French boats left St Helier late this morning, heading home. There were talks in the meantime, but obviously, notwithstanding the Ten of Cups, they remain deeply discontented, as do all involved parties, and the issue is far from resolved as yet.

It would need more than one card to predict the ultimate outcome, the question is so multi-factorial. From whose perspective would I be asking? I would need to look at Norway and France as separate questions, and may do that at a later date, but though I am primarily writing to demonstrate the Tarot being used in ‘real life,’ people’s livelihoods are at stake, and feel it would not be right to do so at this point. It might look like good news, it might not.

Nor is this to paint the small French fishermen as the ‘bad guys,’ any more than I see Jersey as the bad guy, regulating access to its own waters in protecting the livelihoods of its own fishermen. Our own fishermen don’t tend to go in for protests ….’manif’…but when it comes right down to it, they are all in the same boat.

One has not only sympathy with the French fishermen as with the Jersey and other UK fishermen, but respect is due to them all; extremely brave, tough, hardworking souls.

But:

Helier high water?    
“It may seem absurd that the Royal Navy is having to defend Jersey from marauding French fishermen. But what’s truly extraordinary is that the French government has supported them. And, with an election on the way, there’s every chance Emmanuel Macron has more nationalist posturing up his sleeve”.    

The mayhem and misery of the cross Channel lorry blockades at Christmas, then the row about vaccines, now this. There is surely more to come before things find their new footing, as they will, says the Six of Swords.

This is a card of progress. It is only that progress is not easy. But when is it?

Good News

Those monstrous leviathans, the factory ships are another issue, and here is -hopefully- better news. The European Parliament and EU member states came to an agreement 13 February over new technical conservation measures for fishing, which includes an EU-wide ban on the controversial pulse trawling starting from mid-2021.

Electric-pulse fishing was originally banned by the E.U. in 1998, but the Netherlands won an exemption in 2006 that allowed it to conduct experimentation and innovation to improve pulse beam trawl systems. As a result, Dutch pulse beam trawlers have been operating on a large scale since 2011. However, in August 2019, electric pulse fishing was permanently banned, with a transition period allowed until July 2021.

Under the terms of the new regulation, new licenses cannot be granted to any vessel during that transition, but the Butendiek BRA 2 was granted a derogation by German authorities for its new rig, and will continue to fish until the end of July 2021″. SOURCE

Other good news

August last year, 2020, the iconic Ship Yard in Appledore in North Devon reopened after it closed in 2019. It was bought by Harland and Wolff owner Infrastrata for £7 million with 350 jobs, and its special angle will be ‘Green’ shipping.

Read more Here

From The Legacy of the Divine Tarot, illustrator Ciro Marchetti

Maritime Britain has a lot of lost ground (water) to make up. It is by no stretch any longer one of the big boys, but greater self-reliance is the bottom line in a volatile world of competing interests, however reliable the bonds of mutual cooperation and friendship

The Six of Swords suggests that slowly, surely we are and WILL be building more again, and hopefully this will mean more new fantastic STEM apprenticeship schemes for young people, while – according to this article about Merseyside the message was diversification.

Maritime will build back with the emphasis on innovation. The innovative specification of the new Sir David Attenborough shows the amazing things that can now be done.

It is a very special place on the seabed, The Dogger Bank and every living thing it supports. Not to be chewed up and churned to bits by factory ships.

I don’t care if it means I have to pay more for fish n chips. Not because I’m filthy rich. I ain’t. But. Fair dos. Count the price of everything, respect the value of nothing.

Read here re the discovery of what could just possibly be the oldest boat-building yard in the world…a platform 8,000 years old off the Isle of Wight.

The Six of Swords correlates with the element of Fixed Air- Intellect -and the Second Decan of Aquarius, dates 30 January- 8 February

Solemnly she takes the helm, standing alone, fixing her gaze ahead, symbolizing here not only the spirit of the melded, mingled, much-invaded Britannia, but spirits and legends originating with the Akkadians, Sumerians, Babylonians, the Greeks and the Star goddess Astraea, and Dike, Roman goddess of Justice.

The Six of Swords is both Air and Water (possibly fog, too cool for steam)

It is associated with Mercury, governing Intelligence, communications and trade (Think Hermes)

And it talks about Science and R & D. This means UK Space Tech too. Ships of the air.

Till next time. I’ll leave you with this ship launch- very Six of Swords.

That massive welding jobbie is nothing to worry about- apparently.

Comments:

“I must have skipped ship building in school but surely making it in two halves like that makes it weaker?”

“No, modern welding tech means the joins are not weak (the rest of the ship is welded sections – they just did the final one outdoors).

Hey Toro, Heavenly Sky Bull Taurus. What’s the story behind the sign, and what does it mean in reality?

Taurus

Common Associations

  • Dates: April 21-May 21. The cusp is April 19/20
  • Element: Fixed earth (mid spring) Quality: Feminine.
  • Ruling planet: Venus
  • Body: neck, throat, tonsils
  • Birthstone: Emerald
  • Metal: copper
  • Flower: the Daisy; innocence, sanctity
  • Tree: the Apple Tree; youth, beauty, happiness, immortality. Avalon, the resting place of King Arthur was the ‘Isle of Apples’
  • Colours: pastel blue, green, pink, lemon yellow
  • Famous for: physical strength/ stamina, stubbornness, caution, practicality, honesty, money sense, oratory/ demagogy, sensuality, gourmet/gourmand, pleasant speaking voice, singing/design/other artistic ability, green fingers
  • Professions: Politics, Banking, (also think Bull markets) Agriculture, Construction, Arts, Publishing, Musician, Entertainment, Beauty, Fashion, Restaurants
  • Tarot cards: The Hierophant- Tradition, Orthodoxy, Received wisdom, Academia, Medicine, a teacher or mentor.
  • Minor Arcana cards: the Five, Six and Seven of Pentacles/Coins/Disks.

Astronomy

Wiki

Taurus (Latin for Bull) is a large and prominent constellation between Aries to the west and Gemini to the east. It ranks 17th in size of the 48 Greek constellations recorded by Ptolemy in his introduction to the Mathematics of the Heavens, the Almagest, written AD 150.

The stars of Taurus depict the face, horns and forepart of the bull’s body. His face is made up of a triangular cluster of stars called The Hyades. There are no legs, the Bull is imagined half submerged. He is the mythical Bull from the Sea.  A second cluster of stars, The Pleiades, also known as The Seven Sisters, swarm like bees above his back.

The best time to see Taurus is during December and January. By March and April, you might see it in the west in the   twilight.

To find Taurus first you need to find the three stars of Orion’s belt, happily, one of the easiest things to see on a clear winter’s night.

Now look up to the right, looking north-east, See a bright orange-red star? That’s Aldebaran, ‘The Follower,’ a red giant, the biggest, brightest star in the constellation, the Eye of the Bull, glaring in the direction of Orion.

Should the Bull escape his heavenly pen, said an ancient Arabic legend, he would stampede the universe to pieces, and it would be the end of things for all time. We had better hope hope nothing upsets him up there in the celestial meadows. Let’s hope he’s got plenty of buttercups and clover up there to keep him happy, and he doesn’t get bitten by horseflies.

A truly freaky factoid ….” in about two million years, the NASA space probe Pioneer 10, now heading out into deep space, will pass Aldebaran.” SOURCE

If that isn’t enough to make one need a quiet lie-down with a cold flannel on one’s head, I don’t know what is.

Wiki Commons: the horns, face and the giant red star, Aldebaran, the Eye of the Bull, glaring menacingly in the direction of Orion the Hunter  

Ancient History

Carving of a Bison, France, thought to be 15000-20000 years old

I am suspicious of that bison. It looks as though it has a ring in its nose.

Taurus has been recognized as a sky bull since at least the Early Bronze Age. Historians think the figure of a bull was first discerned in the stars by the Sumerians around 3000 BC, and was recorded in cuneiform by the Babylonians.

In modern Western (Tropical) astrology Aries The Ram is counted the first sign of the western zodiac, ushering in the spring (vernal) equinox along with the first lambs.

But 4000 years ago it was Taurus, not Aries that coincided with the vernal equinox. The reason this is no longer the case is due to the wobble of the Earth and an effect called the precession of the equinoxes.

Taurus overhead marked the start of the calving season. and for Babylonian astronomers Taurus was the first sign of the Zodiac, ‘the Bull in front,’- leading from the front. The Bull was also the first sign for the early Hebrews, who called it Aleph, as in A, the first letter of the alphabet.

The bull, like its ancestor, the wild auroch, is a potent symbol of strength and fertility, especially masculine virility, but where Leo the lion, represents wild strength, Taurus the bull is domesticated, controlled strength, as harnessed in oxen or a bull with a ring through his nose.

The dairy bulls, breeds such as the Charolais for instance, are famously aggressive where the black bulls used in bull-fighting are by comparison, more easygoing.

Before agriculture, we hunted beef in the shape of the auroch. Aurochs, the fiercer, wild ancestors of the modern bull, were painted in the Lascaux caves in France, in paintings thought to date from 15000 BC.

The most famous section of the Lascaux caves in the Dordogne in France is the Hall of the Bulls, featuring four black bulls, or aurochs.  One of the bulls is 5.2 metres (17 ft) long, the largest animal discovered so far in cave art.

This was the time of year of the great migrations of the aurochs; a dangerous but potentially highly rewarding hunting opportunity. Not only did the aurochs provide the luxury of meat, but the horns and hide had many uses.

bull-in-lascaux-cave.jpg
Lascaux

In the UK it is thought that Salisbury plain was a Lek -a mating ground of the auroch, and this is part of the story behind the building of Stonehenge on this site. They massed here, protected from the ambush of the sabre- toothed tiger by its huge wide open views.

Then hunting gave way to farming of animals, guaranteeing supplies with less risk attached. The first ever cattle, goats, sheep, and pig- farming began in the so-called ‘Fertile Crescent;’ a region covering eastern Turkey, Iraq, and south-western Iran about 12000 years ago.

Taurus glares at Orion The Hunter, but then we stopped being hunters and became farmers, and no-one works harder than a farmer, and many care deeply for their animals too, but where is his legend in the skies?

These farming practices spread westwards, and in time had a genetic effect on the human population, with the sudden appearance of a gene mutation that enabled humans to digest raw cow’s milk. It’s not known when this first occurred, but it probably first happened in colder Northern Europe, and today 35 % of the global human population can digest the milk sugar, lactose, as adults.

Click on this link for more on this subject.

Bull Leaping in Knossos

The Cults of the Bull

The bull was considered a divine animal throughout antiquity and was a symbol of the moon, fertility, rebirth, and royal power, while today, the Lithuanian word ‘taurus’ means ‘noble.’

There is evidence of bull cults throughout the Mediterranean starting in Anatolia, dating from at least 70000 BC. From the worship of the Apis bull in Egypt, to bull-leaping in Knossos and the sacrificial portrayal in Roman Mithraism, the bull has been an integral part of many diverse and important religious traditions.

The Egyptian goddess Hathor goddess of mothers, was the equivalent of the Greek Aphrodite (not Demeter) and had the ears and horns of a cow, the original Holy or Sacred Cow.

Demeter Vindemiatrix is Virgo, but Aphrodite Venus is Taurus.

Greek legend associated Taurus with the legend of Zeus and Europa, in which the god Zeus, up to his sneaky tricks yet again, disguised himself as a beautiful, gentle white bull, coaxed the princess Europa into climbing on his back, then abducted her, swam away with her to Crete, and made her one of his mistresses. The many gifts Zeus gave Europa included a pet dog that later became the constellation Canis Major. Their children supposedly included Minos, King of Crete, the builder of the Labyrinth and the famous palace at Knossos where the bull games were held.

Bull worship, or rather, the concept of the bull as divine gradually migrated ever westwards and northwards. The Celtic druids held Tauric festivals at least 2000 years ago, and there is archaeological evidence of bull worship near Newcastle and York in the UK.

The Buddha was born when the Full Moon was in Taurus (Vesak) and his birthday is celebrated at the Vesak Festival which occurs on the first Full Moon in Taurus.

That is a very Taurus face.

Photo by Chase Stine on Pexels.com

Beware of the Bull

Like the Bull himself, the classic Taurus subject, male or female, is generally peaceable, pleasant, even placid. But Taurus will not be disrespected, pushed or driven. Other people can get a shock when Taurus suddenly sees red …they seemed so laid back before ….and they don’t give a lot of warning.  The mistake of the other person was in underestimating them, mistaking their good nature for weakness or stupidity once too often.

Bulls cannot physically see red. It is the movement of the toreador’s cape that provokes them, and not the colour. But when the human bull ‘sees’ red, they  will either dig in hard, or may charge head on. Taurus in a full-on rage is a ‘bull in a china shop’ – the one Earth sign that will withstand or demolish the opposition of  the other more famous ‘fighting’ signs, Aries, Leo, and even Scorpio, its opposite number in the zodiac.

Taurus really, really doesn’t like to fight but won’t be pushed, and doesn’t lose in a fair fight. The bull ring is not a fair fight; nor is the abattoir, that’s the tragedy of the Bull, to be brought low by his physical inferiors.

But if a Taurus is being a naughty bull; unreasonable, misbehaving, or being a ‘bully’ then quietly stand your ground.  It should pass. Taurus may sulk but as a rule is not vindictive.

But why upset the Bull? Look at him, quietly grazing. He’s really not looking for trouble.

Taurus_bull_Latino.jpg

Uranus in Taurus, March 2019-July 2025

The futurist planet Uranus‘The Great Awakener’- is currently in Taurus and has been there since March 2019 .

And there it will stay, sometimes direct, sometimes retrograde until April 2026.

2021 is less tough than 2021 in some ways, and Jupiter is going to lighten and ease things here and there. But it’s still tough. On a global scale this pandemic seems likely to continue into the early months of 2022 but with more, longer easing off periods in-between.

The last time Uranus was in Taurus was 1934 to 1941. Uranus was in Aries when the stock market crashed in 1929, but the aftermath of this event was felt for years after, first the Great Depression then WW2 broke out in 1939. The UK government introduced food rationing January 1940 – remembering here that Taurus rules agriculture and food production.

This transit saw a rise in women joining the workforce- a necessity with the men away at war—Taurus ruled by Venus is a feminine sign. My grandmother left her job in schools, where she taught biology, and worked in a factory by day and with the ambulance service by night. My mother, born in 1939, was largely cared for by her grandmother while her mother was out working. She barely saw her mother, and far less of her father until she was six and he returned home from naval service at the end of the war, to his civilian job as a museum curator. He was a naturalist, an ornithologist, and a Taurus subject, though not what you’d call a people person. Still, he knew a lot, did a lot, created new exhibitions and new educational opportunities for school children, and this was The Taurean Hierophant at work, sure enough.

A story of the war/post-war generation, but why mention it? Uranus in Taurus is the reason why, a transit in common. This was a point in history with profoundly far reaching consequences. Such patterns of history do not necessarily repeat, or not in the same ways. Uranus in Taurus is not sinister. None of this is to suggest there will be another world war, unless it’s a trade war.

We are not seeing food shortages. But we are being asked to ‘ration’ or do without many things we are used to, or have come to expect as our natural rights. For some this might mean things like overseas holidays, but right now all the signs are– no need for any psychic to say this- that stay-cations are still the safest booking options this summer.

Uranus in Taurus, as we have seen historically, may bring big social changes between now and April 2026, and these may include changes for the better; more sustainable practices in economics, trade and agriculture. The fast food industry, for instance, is relatively new and recent but has with remarkable speed become an everyday way of eating for many people, especially young people who don’t remember a time when it wasn’t there. But Uranus in Taurus suggests the enormous fast food industry is likely to prove non-sustainable maintained on anything like its current scale. The Hierophant = Taurus =Bull = money + meat (think beef-burger)

There is no cause for alarm based on Uranus in Taurus, but there are collective changes, challenges, discomfort and upheaval because Taurus (The Hierophant) is about material basics and creature comforts while Uranus (planet of rebellion) upsets apple carts.

My cards suggest we will somehow avoid a second Great Depression, post-pandemic. But it’s a futurist symbol, Uranus, and signifies new technology as a means of solving problems, and this may bring added social unrest, as with the Luddites, textile workers, followers of a mysterious character called Ned Ludd during the English Industrial revolution.

These men risked, and indeed some suffered, hanging or transportation, smashing the machines that threatened to take away not only their jobs, but actually, their whole way of life. New ways that forced them and their children into a harsh new environment outside the home. That put them on a clock, that cared nothing for their humanity, for their pride, skill, and need to see, or at least share in the story of a job seen through from start to finish. That cared nothing at the start, for their comfort or well-being, or even for their safety. The ‘dark satanic mills’. There are graves of the orphans who worked in them, in towns in West Yorkshire. People laugh at them nowadays, the Luddites, ha ha ha, wretched technophobes, but is it wise to laugh?

Taurus is an artisan.

Facing tempests of dust

I’ll fight on till the end

Creatures of my dreams, raise up and dance with me

Now and forever, I’m your king

Outro, Cloud Atlas

A Bull dreams of a meadow. Such is the nature of a bull. No heaven more perfect.

Pandemics run their course, adding their coda to the make-up of the human immune system. ‘Hope springs eternal’, and for many, the Tarot sees new opportunities and good times in the high spring of May. But nature will have its way, in its cruelty and its kindness.

Other months are as beautiful, but what month is more beautiful than May?

“May, more than any other month of the year, wants us to feel most alive.”
– 
Fennel Hudson, A Meaningful Life – Fennel’s Journal – No. 1

“Keep your faith in all beautiful things; in the sun when it is hidden, in the Spring when it is gone.” –  Roy Rolfe Gilson, American author, 1875-1933

Photo by Kristina Paukshtite on Pexels.com

The Fiery Sky Ram Aries, The Emperor, and the Passing of a Prince

Photo by stein egil liland on Pexels.com

9 April 2021

The Tarot’s Emperor  flags up the spirit of Aries, the Ram of spring, cardinal fire sign, and with it the eternal archetype and image of the Emperor or  Patriarch

Our queen is in mourning, and many, many mourn with her. On this day in the season of Aries the Ram, a nation witnesses the passing of Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, first prince of the realm . He has died at a very good age, peacefully in his own home, but it is suspected he had had cancer, had been ill for longer than we, the public, were told, and in this case could not have escaped considerable discomfort or even suffering.

A long and eventful life, high achievements, gifts, talents and endeavours, also great troubles and sorrows. 

Early upheavals, displacement, his family scattered, and further close family losses before he was sixteen. A royal castaway, adrift in Europe, a schoolboy who had to be sent to Britain from Germany, his sister afraid he would get into trouble for goosestepping in the street, a schoolboy, mocking the Nazi salute. An athlete,  a naval officer who saw active service against Nazi Germany, who directly saved many lives at sea through his own quick thinking, who held naval rank for 82 years.

Aged 18 Philip passed out from Dartmouth Naval college, and in January 1940 he joined his first posting onboard the veteran, not to say venerable royal Sovereign class battleship, the HMS Ramillies had served in the Great War, and was built 1916.

Prince Philip served four months as a midshipman patrolling the Indian Ocean, escorting troops from Australia to Egypt.

My maternal grandfather later served as a Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve officer on this same ship in 1944, with my mother, his first child, a baby daughter, born December 1939.

Philip was the real deal, a true Renaissance man of many interests; science, space exploration, even UFO’s, wildlife and adventures for the young of the inner cities. One of my own daughters did The Duke of Edinburgh Award and went camping, much to my happiness because I was becoming too disabled to do these sorts of things with her, to walk with her up on the mountains, as I had done in my teens with my family.

He was a horseman, expert carriage driver, author and artist, painter of landscapes, a husband, father and paterfamilias to three younger generations. 

All this, we are being told, if we didn’t know about it before.

Less commonly reported, is that Prince Philip was a Gemini sun sign subject; hence his curiosity, intellectual agility, humour and restlessness (also perhaps, mischief) His Moon was in Leo (regal, family man, and there is a certain star quality and charisma with this placement.) The Moon sign is an indicator of the emotional temperament.

His Ascending or Rising sign was in Capricorn, and this represents the outer face of the person…duty, dignity and discipline with a red hot bullsh*t detector, and a firm grasp, always, of the reality of the bottom line.

It is the passing of an era.

The Emperor card and Timing

If you ask ‘when?’ and I draw The Emperor, the event in question is likely to occur during the zodiac sign of Aries, late March-late April.

Did I think it would be today, 9 April, the passing of HRH Prince Philip?

Did I look in my Tarot?

No. I did not look in my cards about this. Given the age and recent health issues of the Prince, this news is not unexpected. All the same, I woke one night while he was in the hospital, and thought of him and the thought flashed through my mind, ‘it won;t be now, while he is in the hospital, but before May.’

We had seen the sadness on the face of Prince Charles on his way to visit his father.

The Emperor, ruled by Mars, is in many ways, the opposite number of another classically masculine archetype, The Hermit, whose planetary ruler is Mercury. Both walk alone. The Hermit has learned many things, understands many things, and will shine a light for others. But the Hermit  walks the quieter paths in life, and has to be sought out, while The Emperor feels perhaps even more alone in the eye of the storm in the midst of the machinery of power.

hermit legacy
From The Legacy of The Divine Tarot

The Emperor as an Archetype

For all he was a technocrat, Prince Philip had a poet’s perception, and once said that to change hearts and minds on any great matter, one could do nothing without the arts and religion, and we needed to get all the religions of the world on board to protect endangered wildlife.

This aspect in particular, calls forth the vision of the Tarot’s Hermit card. The Emperor commands, enshrines in law, while The Hermit walks the wild places, in communion with the laws of Nature.

But in zodiac terms, The Emperor marks the rule of Aries, fiery sign of spring, and Philip has passed away under the banner of Aries, the royal warrior Ram.

Life is fierce, getting itself born. The unborn must attack or stay unborn. The fields are full of lambs, but lambing is not gentle.

And a ram may attack anyone entering his field, no less than a bull, and people are still killed by rams. If ever a ram knocks you down, you must stay down. Do not try and get up, or it will keep coming at you.

The Ram at this time of year is driven by the fiercest Life imperative, to defend his patch, his ewes, his lambs.

The Ram of Aries is charging at spring full tilt, the fields, the woods, the hills, the rivers and ponds. Spring has sprung out on the pond here, and you can believe it really is ‘Nature red in tooth and claw’. The coots have already lost their first clutch to the depredations of the gulls. The heron lurks almost invisible in the reeds, so perfect is its camouflage against their winter grey, and the reeds have not yet grown back green. That will not happen till the watch of Taurus.

Video courtesy of Major (ret’d) D P Hazeldine

The Emperor in a personal Tarot reading

The Legacy of The Divine Tarot

The appearance of The Emperor card is likely to be turning the conversation to a senior male figure in your life; a father or grandfather, a husband, and often he is older than you, maybe an employer.

This is the ultimate card of masculinity but of course a woman can also be represented by The Emperor card. Male or female, you could be the Emperor yourself,  for example, in your role as a business owner, or as a manager, soldier, officer, police officer or in many other roles.

In a more abstract sense, this is a card of ‘rendering unto Caesar.’

We all owe dues somewhere, sometime. We all must pay our dues. We can only take out what has been put in the pot.

But Emperors, though they may wield power, are not free. They themselves owe duty. They are not free and they can be brought down. The regalia of power is in token of service. There is no loyalty without reciprocity.

The Emperor may be  a worker in the Civil Service or judiciary. The appearance of this card has several times alerted me to the fact I am sitting with an off-duty police officer, whether male or female.

Once it showed me a judge in the United States.

A client’s son was due in court in the United States. A non-violent offence, a woman had accused him of sexual assault, with potentially very serious consequences for him if found guilty. Not prison, but the client wanted to know the worst, to help herself prepare to support her son and his family, whatever the outcome.

The son had become very depressed waiting for the hearing, had been suspended from his job, a teacher, as was routine in such cases, and banned from seeing his children pending the hearing, and had self-harmed, so the client told me.

I drew  three cards in answer to her question. These were Judgement, The Emperor and Justice.

Based on these cards I felt she would would be greatly relieved by the outcome. I told her so and then something very odd happened.

At the very moment I drew the final card, three greetings cards displayed on the top shelf of a tall bookcase  suddenly flew out mid-air, almost horizontally into the middle of the room, and fluttered to the floor. No open doors, no open windows. Still there was a draught, presumably, but the client was extremely startled. I was a little startled myself, it is fair to say. The movement of the cards in the air flying off the shelves looked so unnatural.

I could not discount the possibility that we had witnessed a manifestation of psychokinesis given the tension attached to the question, the client’s acutely worried state.

It was many months later before I learned the outcome.  The judge had thrown out the case, saying – and these were his actual words apparently, ‘what a crock of sh*t.’

Impersonally, the card signifies government and large corporations organisations,  the Armed Forces, the Law, and global or government organisations

If you are job-hunting and this card comes up, you are likely to find work before long, no matter who the prospective employer may be, while if you have specifically applied to an organisation of this kind, your application looks likely to succeed.

English: Modern bronze statue of Julius Caesar...
English: Modern bronze statue of Julius Caesar, Rimini, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Emperor in real life gets many a bad rap. Many a drubbing. Often well deserved.

The Emperor in his negative aspect is a tyrant or a coward, a bully or a petty pedant. A human monster even.

The ongoing events in Myanmar, a military junta killing its own people, its own children, is a real life demonstration of the worst of The Emperor card drawn reversed.

The ambition of Emperors have over and over again been catastrophic for the peace and happiness of their fellow humans.

Marcus Antonius:
And Caesar’s spirit, raging for revenge,
With Ate by his side come hot from hell,
Shall in these confines with a monarch’s voice
Cry “Havoc!” and let slip the dogs of war,
That this foul deed shall smell above the earth
With carrion men, groaning for burial.

Julius Caesar Act 3, scene 1, 270-275

The Emperor is but frail and mortal. He has feet of clay. But today, let us think of The Emperor at his very best, in his highest, greatest guise. He is a chevalier, a sheltering tree. Rule with compassion, defender of the small and weak. He is the ardent lover.

He is the one who will fight and die, if that is what it takes, to defend his home and his people. Children and animals are drawn to him, and he is ready to run with them, play like a child.

Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

He represents the path of reason and justice and is ready to uphold it by word and deed. He is active in creating order, fixing, mending, making, inventing, reining in his strength at times, exercising it at others so that order prevails, and not everyone gets splattered with the filth of chaos.

Compassion in action, and not just fine words demands courage, nerve and know-how. For compassion of deed and not just words, you have to look to the strong man or woman. In all the light and shade of his complexity, The Emperor represents ‘our’ own menfolk, those we live with, those we work with. Those we love, befriend, honour, love, respect and appreciate.

Even though sometimes we might feel like giving them a ding round the head with a saucepan. The Empress, after all, has her own dominion.

Red earth of Adam, The Emperor may be self sufficient, but at times, there is a certain loneliness. Born to strive, to quest, to see and not to say all that he sees, trusting few with his thoughts or his deepest fears. Throneless Emperors, every one.

RIP, Prince Philip, the once upon a time baby with not even a bed, never mind a home to call his own. He once described himself as a minor Balkan prince of no importance, and he admired so many other lands, yet made his homeland here, joining that company of other, ancient, but never to be forgotten princes, the conquering and the conquered, of these isles, so many times embattled and invaded.

We know all about The Emperor.

harold

Harold Godwinson

Betrayed by his brother

Begged wait by his mother

Story, half told

Stitched in thread

A king still speaks

Of ships on shingle

Ghosts of Senlac

Battled hillside,

Ringed in red.

KE Hazeldine 2017

Spring Equinox, a wobbling world and the fiery Sky Ram, Aries

Aries Profile Image via http://www.underthenightsky.com Johann Bayer Uranometria Star Atlas 1603

The spring of vernal equinox officially occurred this morning, although actually, technically it happened on 17 Match when sunrise and sunset happened at 6. 05 Am and 6.05 PM. Sunrise today was at 6 AM and sunset will be at 6.08 PM.

This event pretty much marks our farewell to the zodiac sign of Pisces for this year. Tomorrow we enter the turf of Aries the Ram, marking the beginning of the new astrological year in Western (Tropical) astrology.

Common Associations

Symbol:

Date of Birth: variable 21 March to 20 April

Ruling planet: Mars

Lucky Day:    Tuesday

 Energy: Yang (Masculine/Extrovert)

Element:  Fire

Quality: Cardinal (the start of the season of spring)

Key phrase:  I am

Body:  Head, neck

Birth Stone:  Topaz, Aquamarine, Diamond

Colour:  Red

Herbs/Flowers: Honeysuckle, tulip, thistle, bryony, peppermint, tiger lily, geranium, hops, impatiens, onions, hollyhock, thorn-bearing trees/shrubs, some firs

Tarot Card: Major Arcana: The Emperor (Masculinity, Fatherhood, Government, Law and Order, Courage, Stability)

Image from The Legacy of the Divine Tarot, illustrator Ciro Marchetti

The Minor arcana cards associated the cardinal sign Aries are the 2, 3 and 4 of Wands.

The 2 of Wands, agreements, career choices, direction, partnerships

The 3 of Wands, making ready to launch a ‘ship’, or a ship comes in, trade, export, new horizons, exploration, but the timing and the planning has to be right. No rushing this. No cutting corners.

The 4 of Wands: a house becomes a home, a business puts down solid foundations, professional achievements, qualifications.

Astronomy

Aries is a small, rather dim constellation located in the Northern Hemisphere between Pisces to its west and Taurus to its east.

The constellation of Aries via Wiki

The brightest star in Aries is Alpha Arietis, or Hamal, from the Arabic Al Ras al Hamal, ‘the Head of the Sheep.’ Hamal is the third star up from the bottom, a red giant with a magnitude of 2.0, and is visible to the naked eye, shining about as brightly as Mars when the planet is at its farthest point from Earth.

Below Hamal, the two bottom stars in the photograph are the stars Beta Arietis, also called Sheratan, a blue-white star, and Gamma Arietis, also called Mesarthim, a whitish binary star with two components. These are the horns of the Ram, and their names mean the Two Signs, meaning these ‘horns’ were seen as the two first signs of spring.

PrecessionThe Wobbling World

Today, 20 March, the equinox is happening during the zodiac sign of Pisces (just about) and the actual conjunction of Aries’s brightest star Hamal and the sun now happens on 24 April. But long ago this happened during the March equinox, hence Aries was seen as the harbinger of spring dating from that time.

Why is that? The zodiac signs are not to be confused with the constellations for which they were named. They no longer line up with the actual constellations overhead as they did when the zodiac sign system was designed as an arithmetic model by the Greek mathematician Ptolemy in the 2nd century AD.

The sun moves westward in front of the backdrop of the constellations by about one degree (two sun diameters) every 72 years. This drifting is due to a motion of Earth, a wobble on its axis, called precession- or the precession of the equinoxes.

2,500 years ago, the annual conjunction of the sun and Hamal happened right on the March equinox, and this was the data used in the astronomer, mathematician and astrologer Ptolemy’s model of Western/Tropical astrology in the 2nd Century AD.

But for historical reasons the spring/vernal equinox is still referred as the First Point of Aries. though the vernal equinox in 2020 was according to Space.com the earliest spring in 124 years. More about that HERE

The best time to see Aries.

The three stars of the Head of the Ram are the stars to look out for, especially December around 9 p.m. local time, seen rising in the east.  December is an especially good month for viewing Aries, when the Earth is on the other side of the sun .

A Northern Hemisphere spring or Southern Hemisphere autumn is the worst time of year. Aries is lost in the glare of the sun. In late October, Aries rises in the east at sunset, reaches its highest point in the sky at midnight and sets in the west at sunrise.

Aries reaches its highest point in the sky – at about 10 p.m. local time (the time in all time zones) in late November, 8 p.m. local time in late December and 6 p.m. local time in late January.

History and Mythology in Western astrology

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

The spring equinox was a time of renewal throughout the northern half of Earth, an event of great significance to people who were much more aware than we are nowadays, of human dependence on the land and sky.

Aries marked the main lambing season of wild sheep in Europe, 21 March – 20 April. The lambing season extended with agricultural husbandry.

The Sumerians

Sumeria is one of the oldest known urban civilizations in what is now called Southern Iraq, during the Neolithic-Bronze Age, 4500 BC to 1500 years BC. The ancient Sumerians called the sun, Subat, meaning the Ancient Sheep or Ram and the planets were the Celestial Herd.

The Egyptians

In ancient Egyptian astronomy, the constellation known to us as Aries was called ‘Lord of the Head’, referring to its symbolic significance, and it was associated with the sun god Amon-Ra, who was depicted as a man with a ram’s head and represented fertility and creativity. Because it was the astronomical location of the spring (vernal) equinox, it was called the ‘Indicator of the Reborn Sun’. Sources suggest the position of Aries at the zenith coincided with the rising of Sirius in the east and flooding of the Nile.

The Greeks

To the Sumerians, the stars of Aries were a herdsman. Aries was not fully recognized as a constellation until classical times when the ancient Greeks from about 1580 B.C. to 360 B.C. oriented the construction of many of their sacred temples to line them up with the star Hamal.

In Hellenistic astrology, the constellation of Aries was associated with the golden ram of Greek mythology that rescued Phrixus and Helle.

The brother and sister, Phrixus and Helle were the children of the Boeotian king Athamas and the cloud fairy, Nephele.  But Nephele died, the king remarried, and his new wife, Ino, feared and hated them as a perceived threat to her own two children by the king,and planned to have them done away with.

They fled, rescued by a flying golden ram sent by Hermes at the plea of the dead Nephele, watching in anguish from the other world, but poor Helle fell into the sea below and was lost in the Dardanelles, named the Hellespont in her honour. Later, safely in Colchis, Phrixus (rather ungratefully?) sacrificed the Golden Ram, as a way of returning it home to the gods, and presented its fleece as a gift to King Aeetes, who placed it on a tree in a grove under the guard of a terrible dragon, the hideous Hydra, whom Jason later killed in order to steal the magical healing fleece.

Christianity

Founded in a society and at a latitude where ‘shepherds watched their flocks by night’…with a clear view of the night skies much of the year round, Aries speaks of God as The Shepherd, and Jesus as The Lamb of God.

Astrological Profile

Photo by stein egil liland on Pexels.com

Of course there is no such thing in reality as THE Aries personality and the same goes for all the zodiac sun signs. Your sun sign is an archetype, a keynote, but it is not your full astrological portrait. We are all unique and it could never be the whole story.

But the archetypes did not come into being for no reason. And you don’t mess lightly with The Ram. Aries is number one, the first sign in the Zodiac year, youthful and exuberant. But it is also the sign of a king, and not only that, but a warrior-king, as illustrated in the watchful, slightly weary, Emperor card in the Rider-Waite Tarot, ready armoured, always on guard. Note the Ram’s heads decorating his throne.

Aries is ultra-virile, with a warrior spirit, just as a ram will charge headlong at an intruder, and may even kill a person who enters his field, threatening his ewes and his territory at the wrong moment.

Aries is known for its determination and zest for life, and in the same spirit, Aries can be reckless and with it, accident prone in its general haste to get on and do whatever is the next thing. Aries are at a statistically increased risk of  road accidents, in particular with head and neck injuries in comparison with other zodiac signs, and must beware of impatience leading to risk-taking behaviours.

Aries is ready to experiment or pioneer but may not finish what it starts. They are determined but run on a short fuse, and can be sabotaged by their own impatience if they don’t get quick results.

Aries subjects may exhibit  careless or even ruthless behaviour with a disregard for others in their desire to achieve and excel. They can bear grudges but, though sensitive themselves, and occasionally a touch too quick to take offense, they are prone to be careless about the sensitivities of others.

However, in their personal relationships Aries are lively, affectionate, pleasant, frank, direct and generous. Full of bounce and joie de vivre, there is much to like and admire about the early springtime subjects of fiery Aries, the Mighty Ram.

2020 was a testing year for most people way and another, but Aries may have had quite a bit of anger going in in 2020, has been suggested by Mars in retrograde in its home sign, Aries. This may have been experienced at its most intense July- November 2020. There may have been a resurgence of long held griefs or resentments. This will pass if you let it. Independent as you are, in 2021 you will get a lot more done by smoothing the waters,not trying to go it all alone.

2021 is tricky but overall more cheerful. Choose your battles wisely and be the bigger person and welcome breakthroughs look likely on the career front after a hard slog in the past few years.

Famous Aries in history

The Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne. Oh wow. Now there is a surprise. I mean, look at him for goodness sake…..

More famous Aries HERE

Video via National Geographic.

Till next time 🙂

The Ides of March and all that -Astrology, Prediction and Politics

Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Pexels.com

The use of astrology and other forms of divination is nothing new in politics. Over many centuries leaders and politicians, both in the West and East,  the most highly educated people of their times, and, notwithstanding progress and all the discoveries of science since, they would still be regarded as more generally and highly educated than many people even today, have used the services of astrologers in an advisory capacity.

This brings us to the question, why do people in general use such services?

Well, why do they watch weather forecasts, or conduct polls, buy Lottery tickets, play guessing games, or follow the Stock Exchange

Forecasting in an activity as old as humankind. It is about coping, control, risk assessment and preparation, and ultimately, survival. The human race has always exercised its wits in trying to sense the future, preparing to meet opportunities, challenges, or even downright threats.

But sometimes decisions need to be taken when we don’t have all the facts we ideally need. This is where an astrological or other divinatory perspective may offer a fresh view of the situation, and a sense of the options, the stakes and the odds.

“Astrology is like a weather report; it tells you what conditions you’re likely to face in the future. If the weatherman says it’s probably going to rain, you bring an umbrella. If you follow that advice, you won’t get wet.”– Lee Goldberg, Meteorologist

Photo by Dziana Hasanbekava on Pexels.com

 Julius Caesar

“Beware the Ides of March,” is a famous line from Shakespeare’s play ‘Julius Caesar,’ and is  associated  with 15 March, the date on which Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC.

Below, The Emperor from the Legacy of the Divine Tarot deck. Looking very Julius Caesar, though Julius was never actually Emperor, despite lending his name to the later titles of Czar and Kaiser. The Emperor is the card of Aries the Ram, cardinal sign of spring and lambing season, authority, organizations, rulership, fire, daring, and fatherhood and all things masculine.

The truth: there was a bit more to it, but Shakespeare relied solely on Plutarch for his sources. A seer called Spurinna, a haruspex who read animal entrails as a system of divination, had examined the entrails of a bull on 15 February, and had read a bad omen there; some problem with the heart of the bull, we don’t know what exactly, whether it was malformed, or not quite where it should have been.

Spurinna, alarmed at the condition or ‘absence’ of the bull’s heart and possibly also by a few things he had heard, joined these dots and warned Caesar of a serious threat to his life during the coming 30 days, by or on The Ides (15 March)

Caesar heeded the warning and mostly stayed home for the next few weeks, partly because his wife Calpurnia was very worried. Spurinna had a good reputation for accuracy. Not only was he from Etruria, and Etruscan seers were highly regarded for their skill in divination, he was well connected with the elite of Rome, and had no doubt read the mood there.

Caesar was due to depart Rome again on the 18 March, on military campaign in Spain. The conspirators were running out of time.

But on the 15 March, he disregarded Calpurnia’s fears after a bad dream she had the previous night, and was persuaded to go to the Senate by a friend, Decimus, his closest friend or so he thought, but Decimus had aligned himself with the conspirators. Any betrayal by Brutus, with whom he had quite a mixed history, was nothing compared to the betrayal by Decimus.

On his way to the Portico of Pompey (Caesar’s former friend, ally, one time son in law and later enemy) where the assassins waited forewarned and ready, every eventuality planned for, Caesar passed the seer and joked, “The Ides of March are come,” and Spurinna is said to have replied “Aye, Caesar; but they are not gone.” Caesar here was referring back to the fact that on 15 February, Spurinna had warned him of a threat to his life during the next 30 days on or by the Ideas of March.

Caesar was no lamb to the slaughter. He was a soldier. He defended himself. Tried to escape. Tried to fight back and when he finally went down, touchingly, he covered his face with his robe, in an effort, it is thought, to preserve his privacy and dignity at the very end,or in the hope of avoiding facial mutilation.

The political consequences of this assassination were profound. Caesar’s death backfired on the conspirators, largely for big money reasons, and actually brought about the end of the Roman Republic, and the rise of the Emperors, the tragic irony here being, the assassins killed Caesar because they were afraid he was planning to overthrow the republic and become Emperor.

But could Caesar have avoided this fate?

This is the big question, one of those eternal questions, and of course we can never know. Astrologers today would argue our fate is not fixed, and that Caesar might have escaped, and thereby proven the seer wrong, if he had chosen to act on the warning, or “astrological intel,” as some astrologers describe it – astrological intelligence.

John Dee was a 16th century British mathematician, astronomer, geographer, and astrologer to Queen Elizabeth 1. He was briefly imprisoned at one time, on charges of sorcery during the reign of Mary 1 (“Bloody Mary”) but luckily for him, he had powerful friends and was released. and once Elizabeth became queen, he became her trusted astrological advisor and was appointed to choose an auspicious date for her coronation – an application of what is termed today event astrology electional astrology.

John Dee, in the Ashmolean, Wikimedia

What ended the use of astrology as an accepted practice close to the centres of political power?

The Enlightenment during the 17th century brought new discoveries in astronomy, chiefly and most significantly that Copernicus was right, and the Earth went round the sun, and not the other way round, and they had imprisoned Galileo and burned Giordano Bruno for stating a fact, though in Bruno’s case he had gone rather further than this.

But this threw a new light on astrology, and brought its basis into question.

The German mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler, famed for his improvements to the telescope and his work on the laws of interplanetary motion, was also a renownedastrologer, and he urged fellow scientists not to ‘throw out any baby with the bathwater.’

They were forgetting or overlooking a key point; that western astrology is an arithmetic symbol system based on a vast, ancient collection of psychological and natural observations and data. Discoveries in astronomy changed the science, expanded its range but did not render this arithmetic model invalid.

But his warnings were not heeded. Astrology was now relegated by mainstream academia to the realm of mere superstition, where it largely languishes to this day, yet while thriving as a Humanities subject, with an MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology currently taught at the University of Wales

Meanwhile in China too, the disciplines of astrology and astronomy had drifted ever further apart, and the use of astrology in the Imperial courts was in decline by the end of Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD).

Astrology and Politics Today

Politicians today are unlikely to admit employing the services of an astrologer, especially after the excitement of 1998 when the former White House Chief of Staff, Donald Regan, stated that Nancy Reagan used astrologers to help plan the president’s schedule of activities.

Source: Timeline

“Donald Regan, Reagan’s chief of staff until he was ousted amid the Iran-Contra scandal, spilled in his 1988 book, For The Record, what he viewed as “the most closely guarded domestic secret of the Reagan White House.” He wrote that “Virtually every major move and decision the Reagans made during my time as White House Chief of Staff was cleared in advance with a woman in San Francisco who drew up horoscopes to make certain that the planets were in a favorable alignment for the enterprise.”

Before long, the astrologer who was advising the White House was identified as Joan Quigley.

The New York Post ran a story with the headline, “Astrologer Runs The White House” and the disclosure became fodder for jokes in Washington. On Capitol Hill, Representative Tony Coelho, the Democratic whip from California, blamed astrology for Republicans backing out of a revised trade bill. “Maybe an astrologer is telling them to object today.” Speaker of the House Jim Wright shot back, “It’s all right with me. I’m glad he consults somebody.”

The Reagans denied this but Joan Quigley herself later wrote that she had been actively involved in activities involving the President’s international relations.

Perhaps they still do. Perhaps they don’t. Astrologers are publicly at least, consigned to the realms of entertainment, but at least they are free to practice their skills and publicly discuss their findings without fear of persecution, imprisonment or execution for heresy or sorcery, while politicians, like anyone else, can consult in private or access free astrological commentary and forecasts via a thriving online and other publishing market.

But politics aside, some might still be surprised to learn who today uses astrology, Tarot and other such services, not for entertainment, not for fortune telling, but for analysis and forecasting, for an extra inside track, using such readings as a sounding board, weighing the odds, exploring the most likely outcomes in respect of a choice from their range of available options.

Black cats are lucky.

Lucky.

But sometimes even luck can use a little help, if only to warn where the cracks are, or potholes on the road ahead.

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Happy Ides of March.

Back soon 🙂

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

The Sounding of The Last Trump?

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What do the cards currently reflect in terms of a second Trump presidency in 2024? We’ll come to that but context is key. First let’s take a look back at previous readings around these events.

Tweeted 12 February

Tarot re outcome of Impeachment proceedings? Yes/no? Doubtful result currently detected only 1:3 it’s a yes. (Reader counts upright cards as yes, upside down as no) L-R First 2 cards=tradition, law, constitution, central cards =crux, ‘a house divided’/sabotage, final 2= ‘muddy’.

This outcome was widely expected as the outcome

A one in three likelihood of impeachment.

The BBC 15 March 2021-

“Trump once again avoided conviction by the US Senate because his fellow Republicans, by and large, stuck by his side. The final tally was 57-43, which left the prosecution 10 short of the two-thirds majority required”.

Let’s take a closer look at the cards posted on Twitter 12 February.

The Gilded Royale Tarot

Past

Ten of Pentacles = family, legacy, constitution, Government. This card referred to the completion of a presidency, in this case, the Donald Trump presidency

Justice = just what is says on the tin, this was a situation created by due process of justice or law – in this case, an election plus the Supreme Court.

Present

The Ace of Pentacles reversed (drawn from the deck upside down) = a missed or delayed opportunity. Material loss of a job, wealth, income, a home, a business

Seven of Swords reversed = suspicion, fraud, theft, surveillance, sabotage, subterfuge, covert intelligence, secret security services. This card is reflecting the former President’s allegations of electoral fraud, as well as networks of intelligence, both state intelligence, and group intelligence. The supporters who invaded the Capitol building were breaching security, and said they were looking for evidence of electoral or other malpractice in support of the former President’s claims of electoral fraud.

This central column often contains the answer to the question as stated. So in answer to this question, will the former President be impeached, the answer here is read as a probable no, based not only on the individual meanings, but on the fact that two cards were drawn upright and four cards were drawn reversed,in their negative interpretation.

Future

Nine of Cups reversed= wishes granted or denied, in this case, being drawn upside down, it was detecting the wishes of those bringing the case for impeachment. Why did this matter so much to them? This President had been impeached before.

Eight of Cups reversed. Drawn upright, this is a card of walking away sadder perhaps, but wiser from a situation that is no longer tenable or working. The former President contested the election results, and took it to court fifty times over (that Justice card again) He was not ready to ‘walk away.’

The failure to impeach means the possibility remains for Donald Trump to run for office again in 2024. That’s a long way off, but what does that look like from here right now?

Predictions; the terms of reference.

The future is not a lump of concrete waiting to fall on our heads. Sometimes the future exists, as in, we all know we will die one day. Sometimes it doesn’t as in, exactly when or where we will die depends on many factors, some of which are subject to our personal control, and others which are not. The future depends on the consequences of both personal choice and impersonal chance.

The cards are antennae. They reflect what the reader feels deep down.

The psychic element of a tarot reading is in the fact of the complete randomness of the draw, trusting that the relevant or ‘right’ cards will be drawn entirely unconsciously.

Disclaimer: I’m in the UK, not the US and my personal feelings in respect of Trump v Biden were and remain pretty mixed. I had reservations about both of them, and wished there was another candidate in the running.

An Elephant In My Reading Room

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I found myself really stuck when, last July 2020 and again in September 2020 I looked at the forthcoming US Election 2020 Trump v Biden and thought it looked more favourable on balance for Mr T. His cards were The Ace of Swords (Victory) and The Wheel of Fortune (luck running his way). This looked like a clear victory compared with Mr Biden’s gentler, though still extremely positive Knight of Cups and the Ten of Cups (a healing messenger, coming home, contentment, happiness)

This Ten of Cups looked like excellent news for Mr B but it had a strong domestic feeling to it, where Mr T’s Ace of Swords looked decisive, focused, almost military, or at least militant in character, although the Ace of Swords can cut two ways and indicate that someone or something gets the chop. It might even be a coup de grace, a blessing in disguise.

So, they both drew strong cards but Mr T’s were stronger, and it had me extremely perplexed. I called it for Mr Trump, and at the same time said I was ready to be wrong, because it didn’t feel right, didn’t make sense, but I have my rules, and right or wrong I must declare the cards I draw, and trust that at some point, if I get it wrong, I will understand why and then I will learn something new.

If I get it wrong, well, boohoo. Too bad. Bad gold star for me. Forecasting in public affairs is nothing to do with my professional reading service which works quite differently. It’s like the difference between natal astrology (personal horoscopes) and mundane astrology (analysis of world events)

I do readings on public affairs for my own learning and interest, to challenge myself, exploring the limits. I don’t always like what I see. Sometimes it contradicts what I might hope to see.

And I respect and trust my Tarot, I have to, or it could not function, and the trust did not come at all quick or easy. But now I am older, and have learned the part of me that is the Tarot is far, far older than I can ever live to be, and sees much farther than me, or at least, the everyday me. Now and then I may struggle to understand the message, and that’s on me, but later it always makes sense.

IMURG via Pinterest

I came to the Tarot late, in my early forties, and I had never had a reading before except once at school, when I was 17. The boy predicted a long illness and he was right, but there was not the slightest sign of it at the time, though he also indicated recovery, and there is no sign of that after twenty five years.

But there is more than one way to heal. Not all are physical.

By now, I expect to get things right far more often than wrong, and am annoyed with myself when I don’t, but I won’t always hit that nail square on. Of course I won’t, and this is more likely to happen when my logical assessment does not fit with my intuitive impressions.

Logically, I expected to see that win for Biden reflected in my cards, which would have been in accordance with the polls. The polls have been wrong before, more than once, but logically, I still expected Mr Biden to win, and for this outcome to be reflected in my cards, hence my perplexity at that Ace of Swords and Wheel of Fortune for Mr Trump.

With the benefit of hindsight, I see the cards were detecting that Mr T was extremely confident of winning that second term, and that he genuinely believed he had been ‘cheated.’

Al Gore also contested his election defeat in 2020, on the same grounds – that he had won the public vote, and the Florida count was in question, but Al Gore conceded after the Supreme Court ruled there was not enough time for further Florida recounts.

The Guardian Thursday 14 December 2000

“Democrat Al Gore surrendered his battle for the White House, accepting Republican George W Bush as the 43rd president of the United States. “I accept the finality of this outcome,” the vice president said.

In a valedictory Wednesday night from the ceremonial office at the White House he will vacate, Gore signalled some of the reluctance to concede defeat that propelled his 36-day legal battle for Florida ballot recounts.

“Now the US Supreme Court has spoken. Let there be no doubt,” Gore said. “While I strongly disagree with the court’s position, I accept it.”

He called for his supporters to unite behind his Republican rival Bush. “We close ranks when the contest is done,” Gore said.

There is the difference.

Will Donald Trump be elected President in 2024?

I did two readings for comparison, one 1 March using playing cards, the other 8 March using Tarot cards.

The Cartomancy Line of Five Reading

We have here three black suit cards and two red suit cards. This spread is read in terms of colour suits for the answer which is a probable no. The system used here is to treat a red suit card as a yes, regardless of suit, and a black suit card as no, regardless of suit. This is a traditional way of doing a counting spread in cartomancy but you could do it the other way round if you wanted. What matters is you decide your system and then stick to it, like uploading a programme.

For me to be able to rule that out in accordance with the rules of cartomancy, there would need to be 5 black suit cards, and if we had five spades cards, you couldn’t get a more definite no. Just as if you had five diamond cards you could not get a more definite yes.

Let’s take a look at the individual card meanings, read left to right, past to future.

10 Clubs. Past government, business, this is detecting and reflecting the premise and the basis of the question.

Jack Hearts A return to a happy place near water, a place of business, Mar a Lago?

The King of Clubs DJT, a man of material affairs, looking back at a 10, but there is no ten on the future line. 10 is a number of completion, a peak of achievement. The only number than can beat that is a one, an Ace, or else The Joker for a whole new start.

8 Clubs. Near future. The ultimate work card. Busy, busy. Also public speaking and conferences.

5 Diamonds. The further future. Property. Acquisitions. City life. Legal affairs.

The numbers read left to right 10-8-5. The numbers decrease and then the 5 is volatile but unstable.

For another term as President, as a card reader, I might be looking for a future Ace of Diamonds, Hearts or Clubs or a Ten of Diamonds, or any suit except the 10 Spades which is ruin.

Now let’s ask the same question, this time looking through the lens of my Tarot cards, and see if the systems agree on the outcome.

Will Donald Trump be elected President in the 2024 Election?

From The Gilded Tarot

As you see, this is a well worn deck, a darling workhorse. I have brought it out of semi-retirement.

Past

10 Swords Reversed and The World card

The 10 Swords, like the 10 Spades, denotes a disappointment, a blow. It may even be or feel like a betrayal. ‘Et tu, Brute?’ Stabbed in the back. Though Caesar was stabbed in the back and the front.

The dancer in the World card is looking into empty space, what is bygone.The World card signifies success, and the end of a cycle.

Present

7 Pentacles drawn reversed symbolizes a poor harvest, a poor ROI, furious efforts do not produce the expected results

King of Pentacles, the earth king, whereas DJT astrologically speaking is a King of Swords, a Gemini air sign king. This King is a banker, a property magnate, though he could work in many other professions, associated construction, farming, mining, medicine, manufacturing or artisanship.

The Ace of Pentacles is sometimes a ring in real life. It could equally be a golf ball.

Mr T is recovering his equilibrium. Look where he is looking, up towards The Strength card in the future column.

Future

The Strength card represents the stakes for the future, a return to full strength. Health and Power. This is the card of Leo, the sun in splendour, zenith of one’s strength, full heat of summer.

An astrologer suggested in The Astrological Journal HERE that Mr T may be a reincarnation of Henry v111.

I really don’t know about that, but funnily enough, I have thought before, not a few times, and I haven’t been the only one to remark on it, that Mr T has a look of him, the stature, the build, the colouring. The mouth, and eyes in particular.

But then we have The Fool. The Fool is the most numinous, powerful card in the deck. The most hopeful, or the most terrifying. He represents possibility, potential, the infinite. He is the gateway of Number Zero. In mundane terms he represents an offer, a whole new start, a birth- or a re-birth.

The Fool is both life and death.

He has been drawn in the bottom right or hinge position in this spread; the events upon which this outcome turns.

He has been drawn reversed.

What Else?

I asked for a freestyle comment and drew The Page of Swords Reversed. This classically denotes a young person, but whomever this refers to, though I have a feeling about it, I will confine myself purely to the question as stated. This is not a personal reading, and I do not have permission to go ‘there,’ intruding on anyone’s private family space.

The Page of Swords represents bad news, sudden developments, not usually welcome. It may represent adverse legal tidings or health problems. These may be minor but may require surgical intervention.

It seems that though Mr T emerged triumphant from the impeachment, he has not emerged unscathed, as will become more apparent should he choose to run again.

The Page of Swords is surveillance, stealth, movement below the radar.

It is IT. It is camera footage. It is the unforgettable scenes inside the Capitol.

Three of the cards have been drawn upright, three reversed. Strength is upright and mighty but the Fool, whether upright or reversed, trumps any other card, and the Page of Swords reversed swings it towards a probable no.

In Conclusion

Never say never, while life lasts, but it is looking like a probable no.

Other readers may have a completely different take on this. I can’t worry about that. I can only keep faith with the cards that appear and those which do not, and say what I do or do not see. This blog is not about politics but the processes involved in Tarot reading and other approaches to divination .As ever, time will tell. One could say it now comes down to Mr Biden’s performance. One could say the onus is now on the Democrats to reach out to Republican voters, not all of whom are necessarily supporters of Mr Trump.

Meanwhile, water under the bridge, and for all that has been said about Mr T running again, it looks as if time may do its work. That Page of Cups, the happiness by the water in a place of business, which may be Mar a Lago, and other media or new property ventures, may turn out to be where Mr Trump decides he really wants to place his main focus, for all the thunder and fury.

But no, I think he is sincere in his belief that there has been some kind of fix, he is not a person to let that go, and we haven’t heard the last of it.

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Take care.

Till next time 🙂

The Tarot, the Magician and a story of Odin

From The Gilded Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

The Tarot card of Wednesday or Wodens/Odins Day is The Magician, Major Arcana 1.

The Magician’s ruler is the planet Mercury, symbolic of communications, diplomacy, travel trade and commerce like Hermes, the Greek Messenger of the Gods.

The Magician can be slippery in the extreme. His other face is The Trickster, his shadow is Loki. If the card is drawn upside down, be careful what you are doing here. Watch this one.

He signifies self-command. ‘Me, Myself, I.’

The elder Norse rune associated with Odin and The Magician, is ANSUZ meaning wise counsel – ‘one of the Aesir’. It is from this same language root we derive the modern word ANSWER. It is the rune of teachers, counsellors, writers, actors, broadcasters and other public speakers. In magical work, you would use this talisman as an aid for exams, interviews, vivas, auditions,public speaking and so on. Draw it, say its name, keep it on a piece of paper nearby or on your person.

From Wikipedia

At one with the elements, he is The Mage. Mastery of skill. Timing. This is an excellent card if one is job hunting, starting a new venture, or hoping to meet someone new romantically. Generally male in readings but a female may embody the Magician. Anyone who is operating at the top of their game is The Magician.

He is agile, like Gemini, endlessly curious and inquiring, restless, potentially ruthless in the pursuit of his aims. But unlike The Emperor, who must engage with organisation, this is ultimately a cat who walks alone, or is ready to at any time.

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The Out-Walker

He stood in outline, stark against the sky, a shadow shape, and where he appeared, the ravens followed; always two of them, wheeling above him or perching on his shoulders, and people whispered they could only be Huginn and Muninn, twin pets and scouts of Odin the All-Father, Grimnir of the One Eye, the other traded with Mimir, the wisest of the Aesir, in exchange for the knowledge of All Things.

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But what did Odin want?

What could any living person offer Odin that he hadn’t long ago surrendered by his own choice in exchange for that knowledge, hanging nine days and nights on the great Ash tree, the world tree, Yggdrasil?

Only their bloody deaths in battle could please him, the songs said, and so the people thought, and the wives and mothers shuddered at these sightings.

They could not know he meant no war, he planned no war and he scented no spillage of blood. Not at this time. Not in this place. Everyone fell silent when the word passed. 

He has been here again.

Beneath the alder, Odin stood, cloaked against the east wind, breathing in the sights and sounds and smells, drawing them in deep, knowing himself an object of terror. But he could not stay away, craving company, thee warmth of their smoking hearth fires and their songs and stories, music; the smells of their cooking; roasting meats, smoked fishes, things savoured all the more by the mortal folk, heightened in their knowledge, that what was left of their lives could be reckoned in mere years, months, hours or even minutes.

The ravens were his pride and joy, his precious ones.

He craved the things he could not have; rough jests with other men, their goodfellowship. Even the fights, though he would always win, and he longed to lose, even just once, to know what it felt like, a knowledge denied him, that even Mimir could not trade. A stout infant to pull on his beard as it bounced on his knee, squealing to the beat of all the old rhymes. A snuffling dog to run with him after rabbits, or lie scratching its fleas or snore at his feet. A woman to laugh with, lie with, warm in bed, and she could even scold him- if she dared.

Valhalla was Valhalla, and the village, the village. Warriors sang of glory and Valhalla, their highest desire and greatest dread. They dreamed of immortality.

But when Odin grew weary of books and battle, of wayfaring, of roads and ships under wheeling stars, he dreamed of the alder on the rise, and wondered what it must be, to dream of a god. To have a god to call on.

He dreamed, and then he was there again.

KEH 2021

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