Once upon a time there was a fertility festival called The Lupercalia. Men in wolf masks ran about the streets of Rome, and in honour of the fertility god Lupercus and in memory of the she-wolf who suckled Romulus and Remus, would symbolically thrash (lightly touching) any women they met of child-bearing age. Any woman not wanting to be fertile had better stay indoors. But some would deliberately loiter in the streets, hoping to encounter the wolf men.
Later Christianity claimed the festival, originally held on February 15th, renaming it in memory of poor Valentine, a physician who was cruelly beheaded in Rome after doing many a good turn to other people, including the daughter of his jailer, whom he apparently cured of blindness.
The violent death of a well-disposed person on religious grounds. What could be less romantic?
Do you see him up there, the giant man in the clouds? See what he is carrying before him?
Here he comes. Aquarius.
Bridging water, land and sky
Cloudy, cool Aquarian eye
Pours, refills an empty jar
Learning, thirsty, leads us far
But Hope outshines all other stars.
Pluto in Aquarius
This year we entered the zodiac territory of Aquarius with the New Moon in Aquarius 21 January 2023.
Aquarius is even bigger news than usual in 2023, when Pluto enters Aquarius, leaving Capricorn where it has been since 24 November 2008, when Pluto, the lord of wealth, mining, death and the underworld made its ingress into Capricorn, the sign of money and property. This followed hard on the heels of the Stock Market…
In 2023 we leave the year of the Black Water Tiger and enter the Chinese Year of the Rabbit. This is a year of the black rabbit. Black represents the element of water in Chinese astrology. The Year of the Rabbit, as with all the animal signs in the Chinese zodiac, comes round once every twelve years. But then we also have the rotation of the four elements in the Chinese zodiac: Earth, Water, Wood and Metal. The last year of the Water Rabbit was 1963.
2023 Chinese New Year Day is on Sunday, 22 January 2023 and is widely announced as the start of the new Rabbit year. However there is a distinction to be made between New Year and the first day of the New Zodiac Year which in Chinese astrology is based on the lunar calendar.
Technically speaking, the first day of the 2023 Chinese Astrological Year is actually 4 February or the previous day depending on the lunar calendar in any given year.
This date marks Li Chun (立春), the Beginning of Spring.
This means that for a baby born before 4 February 2023, the baby’s Chinese Zodiac sign is still technically the Water Tiger, and not the Water Rabbit. Just be aware, the dates vary depending on the date of the February new moon. If your birthday is in February you need to check the dates in February for that particular year.
You are a Rabbit if you were born in the following years: 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, and 2011
In the astrology of Vietnam the Rabbit is replaced with the Cat, and in Malay astrology, the Rabbit is represented instead by a mouse-deer.
The Year of the Black (Water) Rabbit ends 9 February 2024 when we will enter a new Wood Dragon year.
The rabbit is traditionally regarded as one of the happiest Chinese zodiac signs. People born in a Rabbit year are known for their extreme patience, and for reliability, kindness, loyalty and also elegance and a certain air of mystery. People born in a year of the Rabbit are quick-witted, sociable, careful and inventive – even ingenious. But they are watchful- cautious just as in Nature the real Rabbit is a prey animal. The rabbit runs. But nothing is ever quite so simple or one dimensional, and the rabbit will also fight. A rabbit will kick or box ….allow me to share an old family story.
Back in the sixties, my parents had a buck rabbit, Arnab, who once offended a Syrian ambassador. His name, Arnab was Arabic for rabbit. We had friends from Damascus and Palestine who lectured in Arabic Studies at the Uni of Durham. Arnab got his name when Hanan and Hussein came round for drinks one night (they were Muslim, officially but they drank alcohol- and they celebrated Christmas too) and Hanan said, ‘oh, you have an ARNAB??’
They were not keen on rabbits- or rodents, ‘oh, Margaret (this to my mother) You have a filthy arnab!”
Cue my mother’s unrepentant screams of laughter.
One day Hussein asked my mother to host a visiting guest to the Department of Arabic Studies at Durham University while he visited Hanan who was in hospital.
This guest was a VIP, a visiting ambassador from Syria, a certain Judge Hoshea (if I have the spelling correct.) This gentleman duly arrived at my mothers house for afternoon tea, and was seated in an armchair by the gas fire, which on this chilly day in early spring was switched on, not least for the greater comfort of a guest from warmer climes.
While my mother was busying herself in the kitchen, Arnab, who had the run of the place- my mother says she should have forestalled this but she had thought Arnab was asleep in his favourite den in the airing cupboard upstairs- came loping down the stairs and into the sitting room.
Arnab had an ongoing feud with the gas fire. Apparently, he had burned his paw on it one time. Now, when he came in and found it switched on, he would establish his dominance and also exact revenge by pissing on it. Possibly he was also trying to put the fire out, who knows. A tiny puff of steam would rise, the hotter the fire, the bigger the puff of steam but this pissing competition, the filthy Arnab would always win, the steam whiffing ever so slightly of a cabbage-like smell.
Mother comes in with the tray, bone china cups and saucers, a dainty plate of cakes and notes the whiff of cabbage and the tiny whiff of steam coming off the fireplace.
Arnab has the guest at bay, loping round the feet, the elegant shoes of the distinguished guest.
Judge Hoshea is sitting rigidly, clutching the arms of the chair, his face like stone. But impassively correct, exquisitely courteous, he sips his tea, saying not a word as Arnab is unceremoniously shooed from the room and shut out.
He has the most beautiful manners. But it doesn’t need saying. He has now understood and is still processing this terrible truth- horrors- he is truly among the barbarians.
The point of this story is to address that non confrontational Rabbit archetype, and somewhat round out the picture.
A rabbit may indeed be aggressive, at least the buck/jack.
However the rabbit is not usually confrontational, and this may prove welcome news in 2023 in geo-politics. This year is expected to be a little quieter overall than 2022, the year of the Water Tiger which represents outward, expansive – and maritime Yang energy.
The Rabbit is creative. Spring is rime Rabbit power season. March, the month of the Rabbit in the year of the Rabbit is therefore looking like the key window in 2023 for launching new jobs, plans, projects and enterprises.
China’s President Xi has recently been ramping up aggression in Taiwanese air space, but he is being very careful, and he has Covid to contend with and all the attendant economic implications looking likely at least until March, the end of the first quarter of 2023.
The Mars in Cancer transit (war at sea?) could, though not necessarily, be detecting maritime developments or tensions late March-late May-
This could be detecting developments in the Black Sea.
President Erdogan, a Pisces native, turning up in the cards as the King of Cups, will most assuredly not want to see Russia succeed in taking the Ukrainian port of Odessa. This would be a challenge to Turkey’s maritime hegemony in the Black Sea. But President Erdogan does not want to fall out with Moscow,one of Turkey’s key trading partners, and has a tricky balancing act, with a general election coming up June 2023.
When I look at what if any single factor may affect when/how this war ends, I draw The King of Cups reversed. There are two figures here who fit this descriptor; the mutable Piscean ‘water king’ Erdogan-and the fixed Scorpionic ‘water king’ President Biden, and we don’t need cards to know that.
All the same. Readers can only work with the cards they get, or do not get.
For the rest of us in general, the rabbit is at its prime in the spring, saying March-April 2023 is the optimal time for new opportunities. This is the time to make a push and to persist. “The early bird catches the worm”.
The diplomatic Rabbit again, brings hope of a ceasefire in Ukraine in 2023, or negotiations just possibly late in March-late April, and an easing of tensions in other areas, while astrologers in India are predicting a boom year of economic growth for India.
The last Rabbit year, 2011, signified positive news for the economy after the crash of 2008. 2011 brought a curbing of inflation. But the last Water Rabbit year was in 1963. What events or themes of 1963 may be coming round again then, this year, echoed, recycled or followed up in this new chapter in the Zodiac book of The Rabbit?
The cycles of history do not repeat, but they have a strong tendency to echo.
In the Water Rabbit Year of 1963
French president Charles de Gaulle prevents Great Britain’s entry into the Common Market.
Nuclear test ban treaty is signed by the U.S., Great Britain, and USSR.
Buddhist-led military group overthrows the government of South Vietnam.
Kenya becomes an independent republic.
Assassination of John F. Kennedy (by LBJ? That is the rumour. Strictly a rumour)
-Instant coffee (freeze dried and generally made with Robusta beans, rather than the highly aromatic Arabica beans traditionally used in coffee.)
-Dr Who and the Daleks. My father comforted us that they could not climb stairs. But then, horrors. They learned to levitate.
-The Smiley Face icon/emoji
-The Computer Mouse and Hypertext, American inventor Douglas Engelbart
-The modern Hang-glider, the flexible wing airfoil concept
-The Lava Lamp, invention by British inventor David George Smith commissioned by British entrepreneur Edward Craven Walker, founder of Lighting Company Mathmos in Poole, Dorset.
-And last but certainly not least, in the field of astrophysics came the discovery of the cosmic microwave background-detected via a previously unexplained background noise via radio signal signifying a low level of radiation throughout the known universe that was interpreted as proof of The Big Bang Theory, in which the Universe is seen as rapidly expanding. More about this discovery HERE
Lucky colours in a Rabbit year
Considered especially lucky in a Rabbit year: green, blue, black, beige, white, and silver, gold.
In western cultures too, the rabbit is imbued with symbolism and superstition. Rabbits represent fertility, but the ancient Europeans also held rabbits numinous and sacred -mysterious creatures of the underworld, because they spent so much time underground.
Wishing for the best that the Rabbit can bring to you in 2023.
Given the long rumbling tensions, and in the wake of recent further air incursions by China into Taiwanese air space, what does the Tarot and what does cartomancy with playing cards detect in respect of the likeliness of an attempted land invasion by China of Taiwan, 2023, 2024 and 2025?
#Tarot China. Invasion of #Taiwan 2023, 2024, 2025? CARDS The Hanged Man, Ace Swords REV, 6 Cups. Air ‘threat’-Fighter jets, yes. Likelihood of attempted land invasion LOW. Pres Xi doesn’t NEED to. Other finance/tech strategies already highly effective+Covid/economy/US/Ukraine.
Card One: The Hanging Man
The Hanged Man steps back, hangs back, takes time to think, weighs the cost. President Xi may personally yearn to make a decisive move, but deduces it is not a logical move at this time, and perhaps, while desirable, the cost may outweigh any future benefits, and is it even necessary?
Astrologically The Hanging Man or Hanged Man depending on the deck corresponds with the planet Neptune, watery, fathomless-lacking boundaries. It deals in dreams. The planetary rulers of the water sign Pisces are fiery Mars, its traditional ruler, but Neptune is its modern ruler. Where is the limit of our domain?
The Hanging Man does not indicate readiness for action. But should hostilities commence in the Strait of Taiwan in 2023, then a couple of timings to watch out could be during Pisces. Another window to watch could be during the transit of Mars in Cancer.
This starts right at the end of Pisces season, 25 March 2023-20 May 2023. Why might this be significant in real life events? Mars in Cancer symbolically translates as Mars/initiation/war/action) in Cancer/sea/early summer.
This may also refer to events in the Black Sea. ‘Fire at Sea.’
Card 2: The Ace of Swords reversed
The Ace of Swords is a card of decision, decisive action- or attack. This is an air suit card suitable to describe aircraft or aerial invasion or bombardment. It is also a card of stress, strife and issues to do with authority and control, as well as Information technology.
Drawn reversed, as it has been here, it appears to be reflecting the fact that President Xi has a lot on his plate at this time. Not least covid, civil unrest and Putin’s invasion of Ukraine which seems to be more of a nuisance for Xi than a green light to make any further moves on Taiwan.
In addition, while Europe has not so far put on a measured, carefully calibrated, costly but still, not particularly impressive show of unity or strength in supporting Ukraine against Putin’s total war- neither has the US- President Xi-despite his extensive intelligence networks- seems unsure as to the likely strength of military response from the US should China escalate aggression against Taiwan. Has the US really not got more Patriot missile systems to spare for Ukraine? Or is it doling them out sparingly, measured just sufficiently so as to prevent a Russian takeover in Ukraine, forcing Putin to expend evermore resources, while keeping its powder dry with a weather eye on China?
The Ace Swords, drawn in the central position, clearly reflects the stakes, and is confirming the issue under discussion. If we wre looking at the Ace Swords in the third, future position, the Tarot would be flagging up a possible yes answer, especially if it had been drawn upright.
Card 3: The Six of Cups
This is generally a peaceable card, but it does suggest that President Xi looks at Taiwan with a kind of nostalgia. That he genuinely believes it is a part of China, and is an asset that should come within China’s direct control. But he does not need to take this risk. China is consolidating its sphere of influence hegemony through ‘soft strategies,’ makings itself ‘local’ pretty much everywhere. Quietly. Barely noticed. The number 6 is a number of health, service, community and heritage.
This card of childhood seems to reflect an awareness of the youngest generation. China seems to be planning for a future in which there are fewer ‘young people.’
The population of China has more than doubled since the 1950s. The country was the first in the world to hit one billion people in 1980.
However, in 1979, in an attempt to control the burgeoning population, the infamous one-child policy was introduced, putting controls on how many children Chinese citizens could have.
While the government eventually recognized the negative implications of this policy, it appeared to be too little, too late. The two-child policy was introduced in 2016, but it has not yet reversed the current slowdown in population growth.
Nonetheless. The population of China currently stands c 1.44 billion, more than the populations of the US, Canada, South America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand-and then some. And population growth is slowing in these other regions. Read more HERE
The Six of Cups is usually anything but a warlike card. It has all the ease of a long summer afternoon.
However, it may be worth noting, the beautiful Six of Cups corresponds with the elemental quality of fixed water, and with the second decan of Scorpio 2-11 November. Mighty Scorpio, ruled by Mars and Pluto. The major cards that correlate with this minor card are The Sun and Death. The lower the sun, the longer the shadow, however golden the sunset.
This Sun card connection prompts me to observe that China, in watching Taiwan, does not forget its history with Japan. The United Kingdom, this day, has signed an historic Defence agreement with Japan, also a former ruler in Taiwan.
The playing cards below represent three spreads -three ‘Lines of Five’. The reader is asking, what is the likelihood of China invading Taiwan in 2023, 2024 and 2025?
The reader notes the overall balance of the red suits/black suit cards, then notes the order of the cards, paying particular attention to the central card and the final/prediction card, and then considers the individual card meanings.
A dominance of red suit cards generally indicate a yes answer. A dominance of black suit cards generally indicates a no answer. Why is that? How does that work? Well, it works on self-programming. The reader establishes the ‘code’, telling ourselves that this is the drill, these are the meanings, this is how we’re doing it. With time and practice-or even right away, this instruction to the self starts to function as an inner algorithm.
Row 1 -2023
5 Diamonds/7 Clubs/8 Clubs/ Jack Clubs/ 6 Spades
China’s current priority, as it is being shown here is Business. The economy. This is shown by the central card,the 8 of Clubs. It’s doing well and will only do better in the near future, despite the problems of covid. Why does it seem to get better in 2023? The 98 of Clubs is followed by the Jack of Clubs. NEW business. The 6 Spades signifies progress, recovery fro covid, economic recovery, and boosts in tech and space tech later in 2023. The 6 Spades correlates with the last decan of Aquarius. China has plenty else to be getting on with.
There are 2 King cards in this row. Do they represent Xi himself? The King of Business and Government is looking back at the 9 Diamond of 2023 with a degree of satisfaction. He has chalked up some economic success despite the challenges of covid. But then he hits a rock. Maybe it is a personal health issue. The 8 Spades can mean a hospital. Or maybe it is the public health bill in the aftermath of covid and now it is coming home to roost. Unless, God forbid, it is yet another covid lock-down in 2024.
The final card in the row, the 7 Spades, signifies temptation,frustration,surveillance, and sometimes espionage.
The 7 Spades is also the card that talks about diplomacy and national security. China may find during 2024 that there is a push back from other countries, who have become increasingly anxious that they have allowed China to invest too great a stake in their own national infrastructure.
2 red suit (yes) cards, 3 black suit (no) cards. Likelihood of Taiwan invasion detected as unlikely but possible. That 7 Spades could be provocative. Twitchy.
The first card on this row, the 8 Diamonds denotes power, and a greater economic and social stability. China is rising. But will it be the same China we know right now? The central card, the 3 Spades denotes separation, loss, departure, sometimes death, suggesting that China may see a new leader before the end of 2025.
The second card, the 2 Clubs says it can unify business with Taiwan and in time, this will become a form of mutual governance.
This is the row with the most red suit cards. 3 red suit (yes) cards 2 black suit (no) cards. Likelihood of invasion of Taiwan detected as not highly likely, but somewhat more likely than in either 2023 or 2024.
What cards would most clearly indicate an outright military conflict? I am looking at the central card and also the last card on each of these 3 rows, to see the Ace Spades, Ace Wands, 2 Spades, 10 Spades or even The Joker drawn in either of these positions. None of these have appeared. The closes we’ve come is with the 3 Spades drawn in 2025.
None of which is to say there will be no invasion of Taiwan now or ever. But the signs are not there, indicative that China is ready or prepared to mount such an effort, and nor may it feel the need to, based on the way it sees the wheel turning. And what is its actual military capacity, actually, at this time? Even if it not averse to being seen to flex its muscles in a public invasion of Taiwan’s airspace.
Today is a new moon in Capricorn. It is also a super moon- the moon at perigee, closest in its orbit to the earth, and at its most powerful even though unseen, while the asteroid Chiron, ‘the wounded healer’ stations direct after being retrograde since July. Symbolically, a time of powerful memories; mending and healing. Christmas time always brings a tallying, a counting of heads and faces round tables, present and past. There are more ghost stories attached to Christmas than to Halloween.
The vein is thin again.
Orion is spectacular right now, striding westwards in the southern sky. It is the season of the brightest stars, as seen in the northern hemisphere. The story of the Star of Bethlehem, or Christmas Star, appears in the nativity story of the Gospel of Matthew chapter 2 where “wise men from the East” are inspired by the star to travel to Jerusalem. These magi were later re-designated kings, but they may well have been astronomers.
Norah Lofts wrote a novel, ‘How Far to Bethlehem?’ published 1965 in which she retells the story.
Melchior had never seen anything like it; the star was so bright, so full of tragedy and glory. He knew at once that it was his task to find the child and warn its parents. But Melchior was old, poor and unwise in the ways of men. Providence took him to the barbarian king, Gaspar, who wanted to know if this great King in the East would be a threat to his empire. It was Balthazar, the escaped slave with a wonderful knowledge of languages, who helped them find their way across hazardous and violent country to Judea. Just as the three men began their journey, a young girl stood bravely before her betrothed husband in Nazareth trying to find the words to tell him that she was pregnant. Not only was the child not his but she had never known a man. How could she make him understand that their destiny was to raise the Christ-child together?
Astronomers speculate that the Star of Bethlehem may have been a
*triple conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn c 7-5 BC
*conjunction of Jupiter, Regulus (little prince) and Venus (birth).
We are in the first decan of Capricorn territory, the element of earth. The quality is cardinal. These natives are instigators, initiators and executors; natural born leaders, naturalists and historians. Their drive is to inquire, build, conserve and consolidate.
The first decan of Capricorn is associated in the Tarot with the Two of Pentacles/Coins/Disks-or Stones.
The symbolism here is bridge building, or juggling resources.
Vladimir Putin is a Libra subject, but this card has previously shown his ambition to create a new land bridge, joining port to port. He will join a Russian controlled corridor Mariupol all the way to Kaliningrad if only he can. Though it isn’t looking as though he can though he may have another go at taking Odessa, thus land locking Ukraine, hence the recent public display of talks with Lukashenko.
But should he launch a new front in Transnistria come the New Year, this may be the ultimate aim. What if Germany, using Putin’s same arguments, decided it wanted to liberate Kalingrad, and take it back…decided it was still Konigsberg, actually.
In more general terms Capricorn says, what do we mean by homeland?
It is my mother’s birthday today. A true Queen of Pentacles, daughter of Demeter, she wrote this poem:
The Stone People
We are the people and we are the stones
The greater the stones, the higher we stand
We are the stones, our feet in the earth
And under the earth and over the ground
The shape of the stones is the shape of the land
And the shape of the land shapes us
And the shape that we are says who we are
And the shape of the land is us
And the stones where we are is the place where we are
And the place where we are is us
And we are the stones and our bones are the stones
And the stones are us, are us
When we are not here to hold hands in our ring
To talk and plan as we must
You can hear the beat of our stony feet
In the circles that stand for us
from ‘Mrs Noah Lives In The Real World.’
People of the stones. Our natal, native, physically formative patch of ground can be identified thousands of years after our death by the mineral profile of our teeth.
The lucky stone particularly associated with this time of year is the Moss Agate. It is not a true agate, as it is not banded, but is counted in this family and considered a semi-precious crystal. It’s made of silicon dioxide and chalcedony. The hue comes from emerald ore and a minute quantity of metallic particles, such as iron or chrome.
In superstitious or magical terms it stands for Earth itself and the element of water on Earth. It is said to be a wealth attractor; to soothe anger and calm grief, and to protect against atmospheric pollutants.
Season’s Greetings. I’ll leave you with We Three Kings…wait for the bagpipes-are they Northumbrian pipes-or Persian?
Yesterday we entered we enter the zodiac territory of Capricorn on the day of the winter solstice. But what is the story behind the zodiac sign of Capricorn the Cosmic Sea-Goat?
Date of Birth: 21 Dec to 20 January approx
Lucky Day: Saturday Lucky Numbers: 2 and 8
Quality: Cardinal (the start of the season of winter) Is receptive but equally an initiator.
Key phrase: I build, I use
Body: Skin, knees, skeletal system
Birth Stone: Red Garnetand Black Onyx
Colour: Deep red
Herbs/Flowers: Wintergreen, Ivy, Carnation
Tarot card: The Devil (Pan/Nature, Mystery, Fascination, Obsession, Entrapment) This card paints him as rather a seductive, beguiling beast. One can appreciate the artist’s take on this. The Devil is also the angel of the Morning Star, fallen or not. And if he…