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

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.

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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

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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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

Pisces the Heavenly Fishes, the seasons in the stars, the reasons in the signs

 

Chartres cathedral window, early 13 th century, photo by Vassil

Most of us know our zodiac sign but what does it look like in the night sky, and what’s the story behind it? Let’s get better acquainted with Pisces.

Common associations

Symbol:

Zodiac Sign placement: 12th and last sign, completing the wheel of the zodiac year

Date of Birth: 18/19 Feb to 20/21 March. Variable cusp depending on the leap year cycle

Ruling planet: Neptune (before Neptune’s official discovery in 1846 it was Jupiter)

Element: Water

Quality: Mutable – versatile, the ending of one season and the beginning of another

Lucky Days: Monday and Thursday

Energy: Yin -receptive

Key phrase: I believe (as in the ‘Fishers of men’, early Christianity adopted a fish as its symbol)

Body: Feet, eyes, bladder

Birth Stone:  Aquamarine especially, but also amethyst, ruby, bloodstone and jasper. Brazil is one of the best sources for this stone. Aquamarine (meaning ‘the water of the sea’) is a blue variety of beryl where Emerald is a green beryl. The aquamarine is a hexagonal crystal structure, sometimes confused with blue topaz, and was traditionally believed to enhance foresight and clairvoyance, and a sense of happiness, with the power to repel evil – or help you talk to the Devil (I wouldn’t give the bugger the time of day, personally)

Aquamarine-Wiki

Tarot card: The Moon

Meanings: The Moon, literally, Mondays, tides, cycles, ebb and flow, feminine cycles, fertility, instinct, wildlife, walking on the wild side, hunting, fishing, visionary capabilities, psychics, ghosts, visions, dreams, delusions, madness, contamination, fever, food poisoning, uncertainty, danger, confusions with documentation, risks in travel.

The Gilded Tarot Royale, artist Ciro Marchetti

Note the wolves, hunting and howling by the light of the full moon, and the spawning crab, though this is often depicted as a crayfish instead, as in the Rider -Waite decks.

The minor arcana cards associated with Pisces are the 8, 9 and 10 Cups, ranging in interpretation from the melancholy to the sublime.

The 8 of Cups says you were ready to offer devotion. A door stayed shut, but you have learned something of value, not least about where you belong. Do not wait overlong outside any door that fails to open. The world is wide, new horizons beckon. Walk away, not looking back in anger.

The 9 of Cups is truth, grace, happiness-the Grail, and heart-felt wishes may be granted

The 10 of Cups is home sweet home, arrival.

The Astronomy

There are 88 constellations registered with NASA. The 12 that have constellations given their names to the zodiac signs in Western or Tropical astrology have their earliest known origins in the ancient Indo-European civilizations located at the latitude 36 degrees north and 30 minutes. Other constellations were named later, many of these later ones by Greek navigators.

Pisces, the Latin plural of fish is a large but rather faint constellation, the 14th largest constellation overall, covering a large V shaped region in the part of the sky known as The Sea or The Water, possibly named by the Mesopotamians because they had learned to associate the appearance overhead of these heavenly bodies with their rainy seasons; Aquarius, Capricornus (the Mer-Goat).

Capricorn signifies the ibex and its mating season which starts in December, but it also has an ancient Sumerian origin story associated with it, where the goats came out of the sea to climb to the mountains, leaving behind the father of all the goats, a solitary mer-goat who was promoted to the skies.

So these three zodiac signs, Capricorn Aquarius and Pisces may have come to represent predictive seasonal co-ordinates for the rainy months at the thirty sixth Parallel, 36 and half degrees north.

The vernal equinox currently occurs during Pisces, 19-21 March, the astronomical marker of the start of spring.

Pisces is represented as two fish swimming at right angles to each other, one to the north and one to the west and attached by a cord and are usually depicted as koi.

Its stars are faint — none brighter than fourth magnitude — and hard to see with the naked eye. But its brightest star, Eta Piscium, also known as Alpherg or Kullat Nunu, is a bright giant star (G class) 294 light-years from Earth and has a luminosity 316 times greater that of the sun.

Kullat Nunu is its Babylonian name. ‘Nunu’ means ‘fish’ and ‘kullat’ is a bucket.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Pisces second brightest star is a yellow giant about 130 light-years from Earth, Gamma Piscium. Alpha Piscium is the third brightest star in Pisces, and is made up of a pair of white dwarf stars in close proximity. Its other name is Alrescha (“the cord.”) and marks the spot where it appears that the tails of the two fish are joined or tied together.

The best time to see Pisces in the Northern Hemisphere is 9 PM between 6-9 November looking below the Square of Pegasus.

History and Mythology

The first spawning of most freshwater fish starts in the spring, from late March onward, but, depending on latitude and therefore temperature, some species may spawn from as soon as late February onward, and in the warmer Indus, this surely played its part in the rationale for the astronomical calendar slot historically allocated to Pisces the heavenly fish.

Pisces represents the principle of THE THAW, THE MELT. Fish may rise again to the top to feed. Frogs and Toads will spawn.

If you want to insult a Pisces subject, call them a MELT (but first, ask yourself if you are really sure about this.)

The fish of Pisces are attached by a cord of stars, just as life and death are conjoined and cannot be separated. Pisces is not only the last sign of winter, moving into spring; it is the last sign of the whole zodiac year, the culmination of all the signs that came before it.

The western signs of the zodiac are thought to origin from about 2900-2700 BC, emerging among the peoples living at 36 and a half degrees latitude. The 36th Parallel.

Click here to see the regions involved.

This latitude was the cradle of Indo-European civilization (you will also see that the 36 Parallel was of key symbolic significance to the American Civil War) Younger, later constellations that were not adopted as zodiac signs were often named for maritime navigational purposes, many of them by the Greeks.

The Egyptians

“It (Pisces) is one of the earliest zodiac signs on record, with the two fish appearing as far back as c. 2300  BC on an Egyptian coffin lid ” -(Wiki)

The two fish of the constellation Pisces were the offspring of the Great Fish. In Egyptian mythology, this fish saved the life of the Egyptian goddess Isis and she placed this fish and its descendants into the heavens as a star constellation.

India

In Hindu mythology Matsya is an manifestation or avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu the Preserver who rescued the first man, Manu from a great deluge. (…and here we are again, back to the great flood stories of Aquarius) The Matsya may be depicted as a giant golden fish or as a merman, half- fish half humanoid Lord Vishnu.

Vishnu is the second god in the Hindu holy trinity (Trimurti) This triumvirate consists of three gods who are responsible for the creation, upkeep and destruction of the world, Brahma was the Maker,god of creation and passion, Vishnu, the face of light and preservation, and Shiva, the face of the dark, and destruction.

Wiki

Greece

Pisces is often represented as a pair of koi carp. and the reason for this comes from Greek mythology. To the ancient Greeks, the fish were the goddess Aphrodite and her son, Eros, who were out walking by the Euphrates one day when a terrible monster, Typhon, suddenly rose up out of the water.

This monster had been terrorizing the gods of Olympus ever since the war with the Titans. Typhon was a Titan, a son of Gaia, and he hated the gods of Olympus as invaders and upstarts, the new kids of the block who had overthrown and dispossessed his own, more ancient race of Titans. He was as tall as the heavens and his eyes shot flames. Instead of fingers, he had 100 dragon’s heads sprouting from his hands -for which one could read ‘flames’ or magma.

None of the Olympians had the power to destroy Typhon, or confront him, not alone. For a time, all they could do was avoid him or flee for their lives, which they often did by transforming themselves into animals, and Aphrodite and Eros, in this case, transformed themselves into two fish (koi) and swam away.

The work of John Flamsteed the first Astronomer Royal. Image from the Atlas Coelestis, posthumously published by John Flamsteed, 1729, illustrator John Thornhill.

Ultimately, Zeus imprisoned the terrible Typhon beneath Mount Etna…but Zeus didn’t deal with him for good. He couldn’t, not even Zeus, and Typhon is still very alive down there and pretty disgruntled. A deeply alarming spectacle, as we have seen on the news these last few days, as of 16 February 2021 and there have been a number of related astrological and psychic prognostications, talking about such seismic activity as a potentially major global influence in 2021.

Rome and Early Christianity

Early Christians used the Fish as a symbol of their faith…and called the TWELVE apostles of Christ the Fishers of Men (Pisces as the twelfth sign.

The secret code name for Jesus- Yeshua Ben Joseph- was Ichthys

The so- called Age of Pisces began 1 AD and- depending on your source, will end in 2150 when we enter the so-called Age of Aquarius, though some astrologers say we are already in that Age. The Age of Pisces saw the rise of the Monotheistic religions, Christianity and Islam. The Age of Aquarius is supposedly a secular age, all about technology and collectivism.

Read more about the astrological ages HERE

But religion shows no sign of going away. Islam is currently on the rise in the west, Christianity on the wane, with vacuums filled by socio-political ideological transmutations of the religious instinct, and in another two thousand or so years, it will be succeeded by another ‘earthy’ chapter – a new Age of Capricorn. (This thing works ‘retrograde’, working backwards through the zodiac signs)

The Astrological Personality

From The Golden Tarot, by Kat Black

In Tarot, whether the subject is male of female, Pisces is embodied as The Knight of Cups. In Arthurian legend this would be Sir Percival or in later versions of the legend, Sir Galahad. This knight is a champion of the underdog, a protector, a lover, a bearer of grace and the healing chalice.

In a Tarot reading this generally translates as a happy situation, a new friend, an admirer, possibly a marriage proposal, news of a baby on the way, or a job offer or other good news is coming soon, and your cup ‘runneth over’.

Of course there is no such thing in reality as THE Pisces personality and the same goes for all the zodiac sun signs. Your sun sign is an archetype, a keynote, but of course it is not, and never could be the whole story, least of all in astrology. There is far more than just the sun sign in your own personal chart. You can find this out for yourself by looking up your own chart free online (obviously just be careful re spam etc).

Pisces combines imagination with the determination of a salmon fighting upriver, although, depending on the decanate, there may a certain quite marked passivity, even inertia. This may actually serve them very well at times, but could in some cases degenerate into darkness involving depression, alcohol or other substance misuse.

These individuals are talented natural artists, writers or musicians. They are famously loyal once committed, compassionate and sensitive. They adapt with ease, are spontaneous and full of surprises, but while their steel may be hidden, all the same, it is there. Not much is said about this scaly Pisces steel. They can be tough, even hard in a quiet way. They may not say much but watch the face harden, and cross the line once too often, you are gone, and that is it.

Where they demonstrate a lack of proper consideration for others, or undue stubbornness, it is not due to lack of goodwill, but they are not paying attention, too focused on their inner preoccupations.

Photo by Laura Porter on Pexels.com

Pisces needs variety, and structure must allow them room for a degree of autonomy. Desk based work, although Pisces can certainly do it, is not really their thing.

Pisces can make excellent and approachable team leaders with a reputation for loyalty to their staff. Passing the buck is not their style. They will take on injustice, take on those senior in status, but Pisces, unlike, say Aquarius, acts on an individual basis. Group actions, campaigns or crusades do not sit with their temperament, except just possibly for early Pisces, born on the Aquarius cusp. Later subjects, born close to the Aries cusp 20/21 April, are very much the ‘doers’ of Pisces.

Pisces is as brave as it is kind but these water sign denizens need to guard their physical energy. It can be erratic, and once depleted, is not always easily restored. If they are prone to headaches at the back of the head, there may be related bladder infections or other issues.

The Decans of Pisces

Each zodiac sign contains three decans, blocks of ten days or so, each with a different planetary ruler.

Pisces Decan 1 February 19 to February 28 (approximately) is ruled by Neptune. Those born within this decan will present as typical Pisces. Seldom aggressive or offensive, they conduct themselves with kindness and courtesy and very reasonably expect the same in return. Neptune, planet of illusion, is both their ruler and sub-ruler, emphasizing their imaginative capabilities. Pisces-Pisces readily connects with other people on an unconscious level, almost as if hearing what they are thinking, and able to anticipate their next moves, but they are likely to take a lot of detours before finding their own sense of direction. Tarot card: The Eight of Cups

Pisces Decan 2 March 1 to March 10 (approximately) The sub-influences for this decan are Cancer/MOON. Cancer – natural ruler of the fourth house of home base, family, and security – may keep them very close to family members, whether this is a positive or negative influence. They often bear a striking physical resemblance to a parent and may struggle to loosen break parental ties and become independent, but they must, if they are to develop their own potential, and often they are warm, well- balanced emotionally, cultured, artistically gifted, with charm and a keen sense of humour, from the zany to the dark or possible ingenious. They need plenty of quiet time alone. Tarot card: The Nine of Cups

Pisces Decan 3 March 11-March 20. A thinker, possibly even a visionary, the very last decan of all in the wheel of the zodiac year is a FINISHER. They are energetic, symbolized by the Mars influence on Scorpio.Pisces-Scorpio has an intensely practical side and often well-developed technical or scientific skills. They need activities, outlets for their physical energy and it matters a lot to them helping other people. This decan is considered fated to an unusual degree, and one day a calling may come to them in the form of a great challenge. Tarot card: The Ten of Cups

Famous Pisces in history

Michelangelo, Amerigo Vespucci, Copernicus, Vivaldi, Handel, George Washington, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Albert Einstein, Nat King Cole, Elizabeth Taylor, Nina Simone, Harold Wilson, Yuri Gagarin, Sidney Poitier, Steve Irwin.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

‘No man is an island’. Yes we are. Islands in archipelagos.

But there are boats.

Until next time 🙂

February Feeling

I am running late with this Tarot reading, done 24 January, looking ahead at February but with no particular question, just fishing in the ether.

I felt drawn to pull two cards for February, and drew The Ten of Pentacles (Reversed) and The Eight of Cups from the Rider-Waite Deck.

Noah’s Ark in shown here in reference to another recent reading which mentioned precipitation, and the risk of flooding in the UK during February. This is nothing unusual for February, though some years are worse than others. February starts with Aquarius and ends with Pisces, and the Babylonians called Aquarius ‘the curse of rain,’ -or in northern latitudes, rain or snow.

Il Matrimonio took this pic of the heron on a nearby pond, while Junior Sprog’s young fellow, Carpenter Henry, is in mourning for his beloved koi carp, which last week disappeared from the garden pond of their rental cottage, presumed dead, prey to their own hungry heron.

Back to the Tarot.

The Ten of Pentacles (Reversed)

From The Rider Waite Tarot

Keywords: Homeland, Family, Home, Money, Family Tree, Legacies, Continuity, Heritage, Family Business, Family Gatherings/Events/Celebrations, Businesses, Old Age

This card drawn reversed highlights particular challenges to do with these areas during the month of February 2021, from government level to an individual level.

The Ten of Pentacles is an earth suit card, to do with everything that we most need, value and treasure: security, belonging, homeland and the family home, money and inheritance, cultural heritage, wills, bequests and legacies of all kinds, financial, cultural, physical, and even genetic. So your middle name was given to you in memory of your great-grandfather? That’s the Ten of Pentacles. So, people say that you have your mother’s eyes? That’s the Ten of Pentacles.

It is the card of architecture, in every sense of the word, and the inter-generational relationships which make the bedrock of society.

In terms of planets and timings, the Ten of Pentacles correlates with the zodiac sign Virgo, and is ruled by Mercury, planet of communications, trade and travel, all of which continue to present a challenge during February 2021.

Late spring, late summer and late autumn look like the generally optimal months in 2021.

2020 was a dark year. 2021 does look brighter and better as Jupiter pulls away from Pluto, planet of the Underworld, but still, we all see there are major hurdles as the world’s governments struggle with a second wave of covid, and according to the Tarot, this may peak, or have passed its peak around 21 February in the UK.

This card of financial governance reflects the challenge of many Governments in raising or borrowing the finances to support their respective economies through this time of severely reduced economic activity. The Tarot has previously indicated to me that the global economy will recover perhaps surprisingly quickly, by or before early 2023. If only enough smaller businesses survive, not to have the giants ruling the roost any more than they do already.

History suggests global pandemics in general have been something of a once in a century phenomenon, and have tended to last between 1-3 years, and it is travel by ships, trains and planes which have carried them ever more swiftly around the world. Plane hopping = zero chance of eradication. And this is SARS, not flu.

Significantly, the Ten of Pentacles has been drawn reversed -upside- down – for February.

This puts the card in its less positive light, reflecting not only the extraordinary struggle of governments in so many countries, but at a personal and family level, the ongoing struggles of those small or family owned businesses, and the anxiety and frustrations of so many individuals and families unable to meet during lockdown measures.

This second wave has overtaken the first wave in terms of mortality. The UK second wave may possibly pass, or have recently passed peak mortality during February, after which, things will turn a corner again, and the new challenge is to keep that R rate down. I was unduly optimistic last year, and perhaps I am something of a glass half-full person and I need to watch that potential for bias. But right or wrong, the cards I get are the cards I get, no conscious control. That’s the entire point of this kind of exercise, and that’s the nature of this beast.

I was accurate in respect of timings in the UK, forecasting the end of the first wave and the release of that lock-down, but detected the risk of a significant second wave as roughly fifty- fifty or lower. Badly underestimated that one!

Good job I didn’t work for the Emperor Tiberius. He’d have had me chucked off the cliffs in Capri.

Astrology of The Ten of Pentacles

The Ten of Pentacles is ruled by Virgo, the Zodiac House of Health, which in turn is ruled by Mercury. This planet went retrograde 30 January and stays retrograde until 21 February, symbolically making this a time when misunderstandings may quickly arise, and making this a good time to rethink a few things, not only in respect of paying close attention to health and hygiene, but to be extra risk averse and vigilant in checking arrangements and information, for example, double- checking appointment times, important paperwork or travel plans, especially around 17 February when there may be an extra risk of (probably minor) mishaps.

Virgo is famously detail focused, very, and warns us not to relax our guard with things like distancing and frequent hand-washing, even though people may be, very naturally, fed up to the back teeth of hearing it.

Like that rock and roll classic by The Coasters, 1958

‘Yakety Yak.’

Take out the papers and the trash
Or you don’t get no spendin’ cash
If you don’t scrub that kitchen floor
You ain’t gonna rock and roll no more
Yakety yak (don’t talk back)Just finish cleanin’ up your room
Let’s see that dust fly with that broom
Get all that garbage out of sight
Or you don’t go out Friday night
Yakety yak (Don’t talk back)You just put on your coat and hat
And walk yourself to the laundromat
And when you finish doin’ that
Bring in the dog and put out the cat
Yakety yak (Don’t talk back) – Source: LyricFind

But the Roman Goddess HYGEIA is associated with Virgo, so there we have it.

Hygeia says ‘Yakety yak!’

(Don’t talk back.)

Hygeia

We want to protect our elders, but neither do we want to leave them lonely, afraid and isolated. This is a challenge highlighted by the Ten of Pentacles but this card reminds us, old age has value. Even as they may need our help, our older people can help and support us too,. They are not to be patronized as charity cases. They have many things to share and to teach, things seen and learned in their lived experience. Things understood.

RIP Captain Tom.

The Eight of Cups

From The Ride-Waite Tarot

Keywords:  moral courage, emotional courage, walking away, sadness, acceptance, resignation, disappointment, decisions, and hard lessons learned.

This card is about saying goodbye, and walking away. It’s about the things we leave behind; the people, the places, the situations, maybe even hopes and dreams that no longer mean what they used to. Maybe we have lost interest.

Donald Trump has left The White House. The UK has left the EU. They will not return. It seems unlikely that Donald Trump will want to run again for President in four years time, even assuming that the option will exist, which looks increasingly unlikely. Britain has much hard work ahead, but is setting her face firmly to the future and will not rejoin the EU under a future UK government. The showing of teeth in the recent near debacle in respect of the Northern Ireland border only makes that possibility less likely.

Astrology of The Eight of Cups

In terms of astrology and timing, the Eight of Cups correlates with the first decan of the zodiac sign of Pisces, February 19 to March 20.

Pisces, previously ruled by Jupiter, is nowadays largely considered as ruled by psychic, dreamy planet Neptune, identified as a planet in 1846.

This card is suggesting a calmer, gentler closing to the month. For many, there will be intense, vivid dreams and perhaps powerful religious or even psychic experiences.

22 Feb Update: I had such an experience during the night 18 Feb. I woke and reached for the water beside the bed, saw a grey glow to my right, and turned and saw an vaguely human like apparition. It was looking at me and the face was not pleasant, though it faded almost at once. I got a bit of a scare and prepared myself for worrying news in the coming days. The ‘explanation’ came within 2 days, a close family member in distress.

Or paranoia. Oh yes. There is plenty of that about, blooming nicely.

The virus too, is fighting for its life, and it does not do negotation of timetables, but month by month we draw nearer to the inevitable end of this pandemic situation, and spring is nearly here. The snowdrops are long since out already.

The Ace of Cups (summer solstice) and the King of Wands signal a return to much greater normality by or before Leo –late July-late August. More about that in a minute.

I’m still keeping my own travel plans inside in the UK this year regardless of progress, on the principle of not making oneself a hostage to fortune- and there speaks my Virgo ascendant, yakety yak.

The Chinese (Lunar) New Year

12 February – 31 January, 2022

In Chinese and other Far Eastern Asian astrology traditions, the Lunar New Year 2021 brings the Year of the Metal Ox, also called the Gold Ox; a Yin quality sign, receptive and inward.

The powerful Ox is practical, productive, traditional, hardworking, dutiful and orderly, placid unless provoked too far. (And really, why would any sensible person want to provoke it?)

We think of Bull markets. The Stock Markets could do better than expected in February.

The Ox represents you and me, the so-called ordinary citizen, the family person, and the working public.

This Chinese zodiac Sign has a lot in common with the ideas embodied in the family-minded, industrious, traditional Ten of Pentacles.

You were born in the year of the Ox if you were born in 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997 or 2009.

The Metal Ox and Health

The Metal Ox is especially associated with the lungs, which could be taken as a lucky sign, a good omen for the easing of this second wave of the pandemic by around 12 February.

The Ox says ‘small is beautiful’, and local is best for quality when it comes to fresh foods. The Ten of Pentacles suggests we support small, local family businesses and farmer’s cooperatives as much as possible during the lockdown, to preserve as many of these vital businesses as we can, who may otherwise be forced to shut up their shops and walk away, like the figure in the Eight of Cups.

The Ox is slow, but strong and surefooted.

Tweeted 19 January

#Tarot when will Cov Sars 2 be sufficiently under control for UK to ‘reopen.’ Issue: Strength card=benchmark. Winter now (Ace Coins) Struggle till after Pisces (late Feb/late March) Then 2 wave MAY have peaked & situation grad improves. King of Wands/Leo/July=Strength returns

From The Legacy of The Divine Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

Sod’s Law says I am now erring on the side of caution, and it will happen far sooner, or begin to. And it almost certainly will, big style, from late March onward (that Piscean Eight of Cups)

The King of Wands is the king of 23 July-22 August. He is THE King of Speed, Movement, PR and Travel, ruled by big, buoyant planet Jupiter.

Take care and stay safe.

Till next time 🙂

Aquarius, the Cloud bearer, Mankind, Rain and Flood

Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric 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? This month it’s the turn of Aquarius again, the rain-maker of the Zodiac; the cloud bearer, and therefore an Air sign despite the ‘aqua’ in its name…

‘It never rains but it pours.’

As we enter Aquarius again, poised right on the cusp today, 19 January, flooding is on the news here in the UK, Storm Cristophe. I mentioned this possibility, among other things including the US Presidential Inauguration, in a piece written for Ask Astrology 27 December 2020, but that was hardly a great psychic hit, though some years are worse than others.

Aquarius is the eleventh astrological sign in the Zodiac, named after the constellation of Aquarius, recorded by the Greek astronomer and mathematician Ptolemy in the 2nd Century AD. 

Common Associations

Dates: Vary but typically January 19February 18

ElementAir

Quality: Fixed (meaning a sign that corresponds with the height of a given season)Ruling planetsSaturn (originally) AND Uranus

Body: The circulatory system, shins, and ankles.

Birthstone: Amethyst

Tarot Card: The Star (Hope, Vision, Recovery, Equilibrium, Bridging, Searching, Exploration)

Minor Arcana cards the 5, 6 and 7 of Swords.

From The Gilded tarot, Ciro Marchetti

The figure is unclothed because The Star (Truth) has nothing to hide

Astronomy

From the Earth’s perspective, the Sun now actually passes in front of the constellation of Aquarius from February 17th to March 11th, a month later than the dates associated with its zodiac sign.

However, zodiac constellations are not to be confused with zodiac signs. The dates did used to coincide, but Western (Tropical) astrology is a fixed arithmetic system, and so the dates of the zodiac signs and the constellations after which they were first named have separated over time due to the ‘wobble’ of the Earth – an effect known as precession.

Astronomers who deride astrology on these grounds are not taking into account the basis and history of western (Tropical) astrology as a mathematical, not an astronomical model of the heavens.

Aquarius the Water-Carrier is one of the oldest identified constellations of the Zodiac (meaning that the sun, moon and planets all occasionally or regularly pass within its boundaries) It’s the tenth largest constellation, a big though faint constellation in the southern hemisphere, and it’s appearance is almost universally associated culturally and historically with sky, water and therefore rain.

Aquarius lies in the dark region of the sky called The Sea, containing other ‘watery’ constellations; Pisces (the fish), Eridanus (the river), Cetus (the whale), Capricornus (the Sea-goat), Delphinus (the Dolphin), and Hydra (the Water serpent).

Via Wiki

Helped out here by those added lines, you can see the pitcher, pouring out water.

The brightest stars in Aquarius are two yellow super-giants, several times more massive than the Sun; Alpha Aquarii (Sadalmelik) and Beta Aquarii (Sadalsuud) 537 light-years distant.

Sadalsuud is the brightest star in Aquarius, with a mass six times that of the Sun. It’s 2,200 times more luminous than the Sun and its name comes from the Arabic phrase sa’d al-suud, meaning the “luck of lucks.”

Other deep-sky objects include the Aquarius Dwarf Galaxy and the quirkily named Atoms for Peace Galaxy.

Aquarius also contains the Saturn Nebula and the Helix Nebula, the remnants of dying stars, and these are the closest planetary nebulae to Earth, 400 light-years away.

The Saturn Nebula
The Helix Nebula

(Talk about The Eye of Sauron)

Aquarius is home to at least 3 meteor showers. The Eta Aquariids, 5th and 6th of May, are the strongest with up to 35 meteors per hour coming from materials shed by Comet Halley as it travels through the solar system. The less active Delta Aquariids peak twice: on the 29th of July and again on the 6th of August. The weakest is the Iota Aquariids, peaking August 6th each year. 

The constellation of Aquarius is large but faint, complicated and not easy to spot, though it can be seen from almost anywhere on Earth. The best time to see is 9-10 PM in October but you will need a dark sky to pick it out.

History and Mythology

Throughout the whole of human history, arguably the number one danger to Man has been flood, knocking spots even off the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, War, Famine, Pestilence and Death.

Aquarius overhead meant winter rain was coming to the lands of Mesop0tomia. and this meant life itself- but it wasn’t all good news.

The water carrier, the cloud, can also be an agent of death, destruction, flood and disease, and the oldest flood stories underpinning the zodiac story of Aquarius arose in the Middle East.

The story of Noah’s flood came much later.

For the Sumerians, Aquarius was a frightening figure. He held the vessel from which a great flood flowed from the heavens onto the earth to ravage the entire planet, while the Babylonians called Aquarius’ appearance in the night sky ‘the curse of rain’.

Aquarius to the Babylonians was the god Ea, or GU.LA , ‘The Great One’ in the Babylonian star catalogues, often shown holding an overflowing vase. During the Early Bronze Age, the appearance of Aquarius or the ‘Way of Ea’, corresponded to the period of 45 days on either side of winter solstice, when the Babylonians regularly experienced destructive levels of flooding.

In Ancient Egypt, their versionof Aquarius, the god Hapi, God of The Nile, was associated with the annual flood of the Nile when Hapi put his jar into the river, and this marked the beginning of spring, replenishing their farming soil. But their flooding season was June.

Greek mythology describes three floods, the flood of  Ogyges, the flood of Deucalion, and the flood of Dardanus. The Ogygian Deluge, they said ended the  Silver Age, and the flood of Deucalion ended the First Bronze Age, ‘parting the mountains of Thessaly’. 

The ancient Greeks naturally feared fire, and the ever present threat of earthquakes ‘convulsions’ and recorded events where fire and water they happened together (tsunamis)

They believed Aquarius caused a great flood which inundated the Earth during the Bronze Age, of which only Deucalion, son of Prometheus and his wife Pyrrha survived by variously, climbing in a chest and toughing it out, or building a great boat stocked with provisions, just as later in the Old Testament, Noah built his Ark.

Ancient Greeks avoided living near lakes and rivers, it’s thought, for hygiene reasons as well as protection from floods. There are apparently, impressive remains of hydraulic anti-flooding works; dams, walls, and channels in cities and other settlements in the Minoan era, and the Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic and Roman periods. 

Another very different Greek legend, associated Aquarius with the beautiful Trojan prince, Ganymede, carried off by that arch-sexual predator Zeus (aka The Nonce. Did he never give it a rest?) This time, he disguised himself as an eagle, and Ganymede, like it or not, became his lover and protégé, and the cup-bearer of the Gods.

Public Domain, Ganymede

The ‘Age of Aquarius’

Is it here? What does it mean? What might it portend? There has been a lot of discussion about this, and much excitement surrounding the Great Conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in Aquarius that occurred 21 December 2020.

The Age of Aquarius has become synonymous with a mythical new Golden age of Mankind, but is it? And when was it? Or when will it begin? There is no consensus and no definite answer.

In astrological terms, an age lasts roughly 2200 years and is identified by the name of the constellation in which the Sun appears in on the first day of spring (the vernal equinox).

To know when the age of Aquarius begins, we would need to agree the start date for the previous/present Age of Pisces- but Astronomy and astrology don’t agree on this, even among themselves.

Some, but not all astrologers say the Age of Aquarius is already here, and began in 2012. To arrive at this, they are using the star Regulus, the heart of the Lion in the constellation of Leo as the marker of the ancient border between the constellations Leo and Cancer.

Regulus moved to within 30 degrees of the September equinox point in 2012, Working with the arithmetical model of constellations as calculated by Ptolemy in the second century AD, this places the border of the constellations Pisces and Aquarius at 150 degrees west of Regulus, or at the March equinox point. By this reckoning, the Age of Aquarius started in 2012.

Alternatively, according to the Belgian astronomer and mathematician Jean Meeus, the sun at the March equinox passed from being in front of the constellation Aries to being in front of the constellation Pisces in 68 B.C.

This would mean that the March equinox will cross over into the constellation Aquarius in 2597 but once again, these are the astronomical, not astrological dates.

The Age of Aquarius denotes or predicts on the one hand the space age, the age of super-technology, and on the other, the age of the human collective, The Brotherhood of Man as opposed to the age of the individual (as in the current Age of Pisces which is associated with the rise of the monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam.)

On the horizon in 2021 Space Technology

Saturn and Jupiter conjunct in sci-fi star sign Aquarius on 21 December 2020 prefigured hi-tech space adventures to come during 2021.

Mars is having visitors -us.  Oh yes. Put the kettle on, Mars peeps. And we don’t suppose you’ve got any biccies? Sarnies? Cake? No? OK, OK, well, we know we weren’t invited, but you could have just…

Well, never mind. For a month or so, Earth and Mars line up in a way that makes it viable to land a probe. Miss that window, and it would mean waiting two years for the next opportunity.

The United Arab Emirates, China and the United States all launched in July 2020, all three due to arrive during well…soon, starting with NASA’a mission, scheduled to land Thursday 18 February 2021.

NASA is proposing to land its rover, Perseverance in the Jezero crater, an ancient river delta.

The NASA Rover via Wikimedia Commons

 China and the United Arab Emirates are sending their own exploration missions to Mars…all due to arrive at the Red Planet in February 2021.

China is sending the Tianwen-1 Rover. After sending a rover to the far side of the moon, this mission is called Tianwen-1, ‘quest for heavenly truth,’ and aims to be the first Mars mission to drop a landing platform, deploy a rover, and send a spacecraft into the planet’s orbit all at once. The rover will be equipped with a radar system that can detect underground pockets of water. It will also help China prepare for its own mission to return a sample from Mars to Earth in the 2030s.

The UAE is sending The Hope Orbiter, the Arab world’s first mission to another planet. The satellite will study the Martian atmosphere.

Russia was planning to send a mission to Mars, as was The European Space Agency, but the Covid pandemic demanded a postponement, and the European Space Agency likewise had to delay the launch of its new Ariane 6 launcher which has since been rescheduled to launch during the second half of 2021.  

NASA is also working to return to the Moon – robotically. The Artemis Project is using commercial delivery services to send science investigations and technology demonstrations to the Moon twice per year beginning in 2021.

The Moon in The Space Age

Photo by Alex Andrews on Pexels.com

The Moon is a goddess, sacred, mysterious. Humanity needs its mysteries for its happiness and sanity. It needs the inaccessible. This need cannot be measured except by an entire history of story-telling, which says we need stories, that we are hard-wired for this need, and that the effects of what we might call sacrilege, will only become known by its despoiling, negation or denial.

I hope therefore, that humanity is successful in these explorations, but not too successful, for the sake of its ultimate sanity, which is not a co-factor of reason or science, but the immeasurable spirit, which is the divine spark for which there can be no calculation, no formula, no equation.

We need to beware hubris and behave with respect. Or else. Hence, NASA’s Artemis Accords. Well, but who has not yet signed up? Will this be enough? Who gets to be the arbiter, and can anyone claim that right? To plunder the Moon, now garnished with two golf balls hit by Alan Shephard Apollo 14 and here is a partial list of the artificial objects now up there.

The Artemis Accords

With numerous countries and private sector players conducting missions and operations in cislunar space, it’s critical to establish a common set of principles to govern the civil exploration and use of outer space.

Via the Artemis program, NASA will land the first woman and the next man on the Moon by 2024, heralding in a new era for space exploration and utilization.

While NASA is leading the Artemis program, international partnerships will play a key role in achieving a sustainable and robust presence on the Moon while preparing to conduct a historic human mission to Mars.

The Artemis Accords will describe a shared vision for principles, grounded in the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, to create a safe and transparent environment which facilitates exploration, science, and commercial activities for all of humanity to enjoy.

Eight countries have signed up so far, The United Kingdom, Italy, Australia, Canada, Japan, Luxembourg, the United Arab Emirates and the US . Other countries have not done so as yet for a variety of reasons, these including Russia, Germany, France and India.

The Moon Agreement of 1979 was an attempt to to prevent commercial exploitation of outer-space resources, but only a few states have ratified it – these have not included the US, China and Russia.

Read more HERE

Photo by luizclas on Pexels.com

In 2024, Artemis III will mark humanity’s return to the surface of the Moon – landing astronauts on the lunar South Pole, the next man and the first ever woman.

Meanwhile OSIRISREx is currently on a NASA asteroid-study and sample-return mission. The mission’s primary goal has been to obtain a sample of at least 60 g (2.1 oz) from the near-Earth asteroid Bennu and it is due to land back on Earth in 2023 with its samples. Bennu is carbonaceous and large enough to be potentially hazardous to Earth. (It won’t hit, says Tarot)

Russia is planning to return to the Moon in 2021, the first moon mission since 1976Russia’s Roscosmos space agency aims to launch its robotic Luna-25 moon landing craft in October 2021, and has drafted a deal with the U.S. space tourism company Space Adventures to fly two passengers to the International Space Station in 2021.

So. The Age of Aquarius, what will it bring? What is to be expected? Well, what is the story of humanity and what does that tell us? The happiness or otherwise of our collective future depends on the size of our future global population. It took over 2 million years of human  history for the world’s population to reach 1 billion, and only another 200 years to reach 7 billion though it is slowing now

‘The world population growth rate declined from 2.2% per year 50 years ago to 1.05% per year’. See SOURCE

The Human Portrait: Aquarius Personality/ Archetype

Photo by Robert Stokoe on Pexels.com

There is no such thing in reality as THE Aquarius personality, and the same goes for all the zodiac sun signs. Your sun sign is an archetype, a keynote, but of course it is not and never could be the whole story.

Aquarius is ruled by two planets, Saturn, known to the ancients, planet of duty and conformity, but also the more recently discovered Uranus, the planet of upheaval and rebellion, and therefore, as you might imagine, this is a sign potentially containing acute paradoxes.

There is on the one hand the authoritarian Aquarian, prone to dogma, and the freewheeling Aquarian archetype, but all are radically independent in their thinking, often for good, but not always, and even rebellion may become another dogma.

Aquarius is generally kindly, exceedingly humane, refined, civilized and meticulously honourable in personal dealings. They set great store on friendship and loyalty, and need to belong and be of service, just as their symbol is the water-bearer or cup-bearer, a person pouring water from an urn.

Although this symbol can be interpreted to imply a destiny to serve others, Aquarius also carries water to cleanse the world of errant thinking and taken to extremes, this represents potential for fundamentalism.

 Aquarius represents cerebral thinking, dealing in abstracts, but not necessarily seeing the reality of the individual in front of them. Where they make a false step it may be because they trust to their cerebral process at the expense of their instinct.

Aquarius may be moody or prone to bouts of depression, or sparkle with the brilliance of diamonds, when their chart is warmed by the  courage warmth, honour and charisma of their opposite sign, the zodiac counterpart contained within Aquarius – Leo.

Famous Aquarius subjects

1864
  • Abraham Lincoln. Ferdinand Magellan. Galileo Galilei. Thomas Edison. Charles Darwin. Frederick Douglass. Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Take care.

Till next time 🙂

When The Devil Meets The Star on the Capitol…

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It is 20 January, and in the US, once every four years, this means Presidential Inauguration Day. The Devil in the title is the zodiac sign of Capricorn and The Star is Aquarius.

The Inauguration date represents the astrological cusp between Capricorn, the third decanate, and Aquarius, the first decanate. Every zodiac sign is divided into thirds: 3 ‘decanates’, 10 days, representing 10 degrees of the 360 degree Wheel of the Zodiac. Each Zodiac sign represents roughly 1/12 of that Wheel,as determined by the astronomer, astrologer and mathematician Ptolemy in the second century AD.

The Presidential Inauguration bridges The Four of Pentacles, nicknamed by some ‘The Miser card. ‘What I have I keep.’and the minor arcana card correlating with the first decanate of Aquarius, the emotionally and sometimes physically violent Five of Swords, a card that says, ‘I’ll get you back for this.’

Tweeted 12 January

11-19 January. Decan 3 Capricorn, THE worker of the zodiac, ruled by Saturn, Great Teacher. Sub-ruled by Mercury. Capricorn with Virgo attention to detail but agility of Gemini. #Tarot Four Pentacles ‘I store’. Miser? Unjust nickname. You can’t share what’s not there in storage.

From The Gilded Tarot

But, just running with that traditional Tarot nickname, the Miser, who do we see has been trying to hang on when all the signs have said, it is time to let go?

The first decanate of Aquarius correlates with the Tarot’s Five of Swords.

From The Gilded Tarot

One look says, dear me, this is an angry card, The Five of Swords, chagrin, mortification, loss of face, pyrrhic victories.

“A Pyrrhic victory is a victory that inflicts such a devastating toll on the victor that it is tantamount to defeat. Winning a Pyrrhic victory takes a heavy toll that negates any true sense of achievement or damages long-term progress.”

See the winner, sword aloft. The loser wanders off, beaten, broken. But, if the loss of face is too unsupportable, he will return. Just as Hitler rose in the ignominious aftermath (for Germany) of the Treaty of Versailles.

An adversary may still be dangerous in defeat is the obvious message, borne out in real life, and no psychic interpretation required whatsoever for that.

How many people tragically died as a direct result of the incursion on Capitol Hill.

The Five of Swords. Five people. That card kicked in early.

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

Purely in terms of symbolic association, any astrologer or Tarot reader might wish that the US had its very own Dr John Dee, the famous astrologer who advised Elizabeth 1 and helped her choose the date for her coronation.

But maybe the US DOES have a Dr John Dee quietly on hand somewhere, just as Nancy Reagan had Joan Quigley. And, not to get carried away here, clearly there have been many, many Presidential inaugurations, held on this same traditional date without undue incident.

But maybe no Dr John Dee is needed at all next week. They have the FBI.

Forewarned is forearmed, says that Five of Swords. This trouble has been brewing in plain sight ever since the Election. The miracle is, that the Capitol could have been caught so apparently unprotected and unprepared on 6 January for an attack that went beyond the murderously self-serving criminal, as in St Louis, June 2020, to the murderously revolutionary.

Psychic practitioners and practitioners of divination in general are keeping fairly quiet about all this on social media right now. And they are right, on the principle that one must say what one sees, framed within a given context, but like Hippocrates, a reader must first do no harm. Stoke no flames. There are plenty of others doing that.

People who dismiss all such practitioners as hoaxes or simply deluded may say, well, let those crackpots spout whatever nonsense they like. They are an irrelevance and have no influence. This is fair enough, but is to underestimate people’s curiosity in the sayings of the Cassandras- however guarded the curiosity.

The tragedy of Cassandra of Troy is a not only a cracking story and a terrible tragedy in its own right, but also a cautionary tale for all prognosticators.

Cassandra, the beautiful daughter of Hecuba and Priam had the gift of prophecy but was considered insane. She saw danger when others did not, but her warnings went unheeded. She was not believed, and was not listened to when she warned Paris against going to Sparta where he met Helen, or when she warned against bringing in the Wooden Horse.

Troy fell and she was captured by Ajax, given to Agamemnon as a concubine and taken away into captivity. Agamemnon was murdered in Mycenae on his return home, by Clytemnestra his wife, and it served him right, for murdering their daughter Iphigenia, but the innocent Cassandra was murdered too, collateral damage of his baggage train.

Based on the myth of Cassandra there is a modern syndrome and metaphor recognized by experts; the Cassandra complex, a term coined in 1949 by the French Philosopher Gaston Bachelard in 1949. It describes the tragedy of someone who raises a valid concern or outright warning, – maybe we would call them whistleblowers now -but is not believed, or maybe they are silenced as being too problematic, and often this refers to the fields of psychology and politics or science.

Social media is something of a snake-pit at the moment, hissing with venom, when we all know that saying, pardon my English…”Opinions are like -” well, never mind what they are like. But everyone’s got one.

My main work is doing readings for people who have requested a reading, investigating their questions, trying to see the best strategy going forward. I have their permission to look at them, and tell them what I see, like it or not – and they do not always like it, but please don’t shoot the messenger, you did ask, and this is the risk in consulting with oracles.

Just as, on a far grander scale, Democracy relies on the principle of loser’s consent. 2016 Hillary Clinton conceded early, though she won the popular vote. Democrat Al Gore contested the election for weeks in 2000 but conceded after he lost a legal challenge in respect of a Florida recount.

He won the popular vote by 500 000 votes. And lost the Electoral College by one state, Florida. by a count of 271-267, and this was considered suspect for a number of reasons. Al Gore didn’t agree, was furious, and he still believed he was in the right, yet conceded, saying love of country must come first.

But, after 62 court rulings, President Trump won’t concede because he believes he is in the right. Let’s draw a few cards around the Inauguration.

The First card out is The High Priestess: Major Arcana Two. A sanctum, a shrine, an enclosed space.

From The Gilded Tarot Royale, Ciro Marchetti

Now this is mighty odd. Notice the letters J and B. These initials actually stand for the words Jachin (beginnings) and Boaz (Negation) and they represent two pillars in The Temple of Solomon.

Beginnings and negations. How very peculiar for the first card out, that these same letters just happen on this uniquely particular question, to be the initials of Joe Biden.

But then again, that kind of synchronicity is just typical of the Tarot.

Perhaps the High Priestess herself represents Kamala Harris, operating ‘front of house; and for some, ‘walking on water’ a refined, remote presence, observant, somewhat dispassionate. The picture seems to show her performing ‘front of house’ going forward as Vice President, supported by those ‘pillars’ of Joe Biden.

Beginnings and Negations. The ‘negations’ is a little worrying.

Let’s pull a few more cards.

The Page of Swords Reversed. Trouble is to be expected. The question is how widespread and to what degree. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. The Page of this suit, though ominous is nonetheless usually describing short lived events, local in scale. It also suggests covert intelligence, FBI, trouble that is acute but localised, sporadic or short-lived. Hopefully therefore, no further fatalities, though with the Page of Swords this can never be ruled out. President Trump is losing more support or is about to, from the Republican party. More will cut loose before the Inauguration of the new President.

The Ten of Cups. Inauguration will be completed and Joe Biden installed in the White House (Ten of Cups = home and I drew this same card for Mr B back in September)

The Five of Swords Reversed. President Trump will probably never concede The Four of Wands. The White House. How to manage his departure with safety for all.

The Star. By night? Will it be by road or by air,quietly a helicopter at the back of the White House, or by car out front, in a full glare of publicity. Will a further Impeachment attempt succeed, or only trigger further unrest.

President Trump’s loss of face some may feel is absolutely a case of justice served, and why should they care. Yes, but handled badly, it risks avoidable provocation of further trouble (because of that Five of Swords we talked about at the start, and because of those five people who are now dead.)

The Star card is very welcome, turning up anywhere in this reading as it just did. BUT there is a caveat with this card, potentially a major one, given the circumstances.

The Star card, the overall card of Aquarius (21 January-19 February) is ruled on the one hand by Saturn-tradition, government, authority AND on the other by Uranus- planet of innovation, but also revolt and rebellion.

The figure in The Star card is naked because there is nothing to hide. In respect of the allegations of electoral fraud, the consensus seems to be that there will definitely have been irregularities, but that these will always occur. There has been no appearance from the Seven of Swords today, and no Devil card, and also no Justice card reversed (denied) any of which might be the Tarot’s way of alerting me to a rigged election.

The US Electoral college system has been a point of contention for a long time now. This via Wikipedia:-

On March 22, 1977, President Jimmy Carter wrote a letter of reform to Congress that also included his expression of essentially abolishing the Electoral College. The letter read in part:

My fourth recommendation is that the Congress adopt a Constitutional amendment to provide for direct popular election of the President. Such an amendment, which would abolish the Electoral College, will ensure that the candidate chosen by the voters actually becomes President. Under the Electoral College, it is always possible that the winner of the popular vote will not be elected. This has already happened in three elections, 1824, 1876, and 1888. In the last election, the result could have been changed by a small shift of votes in Ohio and Hawaii, despite a popular vote difference of 1.7 million. I do not recommend a Constitutional amendment lightly. I think the amendment process must be reserved for an issue of overriding governmental significance. But the method by which we elect our President is such an issue. I will not be proposing a specific direct election amendment. I prefer to allow the Congress to proceed with its work without the interruption of a new proposal

The Star, drawn upright as here, suggests the situation may ease after 21 January, and more so by the time we reach the second decanate of Aquarius, 30 January-8 February. Perhaps The Star also denotes in this context, the vision of US electoral reform, such that voters can more readily trust to its transparency, in an effort to ensure this situation cannot happen again.

The Tarot card corresponding with the second decanate of Aquarius is the solemn card of loss, mourning, recovery and progress, the Six of Swords.

I have grown to feel quite deeply about this card for one reason and another. There is sorrow in here, loss and mourning, but just as The Star says the world is full of wonders, while not denying the evils, the Six of Swords says, set a new course, and don’t look back. Where there is greatness in the world, that is where we can set our sights and how we can measure ourselves, setting our faces towards the future, ready to seek out new learning, new understanding and discovery.

She is heading east, alone but not lonely, sustained by new bright hopes of herself and her fellow man, and by the beauty of the natural world, setting her face to greet the rising sun.

From The Gilded Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

In summary

Let’s look back once again at that High Priestess card. The shrine. The sanctum of the Capitol. An enclosed space. A private space? Perhaps this Inauguration will need to be conducted very differently, in the interests of national security.

The Covid situation is sufficient reason already.

Take care till next time 🙂

Capricorn the Cosmic Sea Goat, Warrior Ibex and the Gate of the Gods

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Common associations

Symbol:

Date of Birth: 21 Dec to 20 January

Ruling planet: Saturn

Lucky Day: Saturday    Lucky Numbers 2 and 8

Energy: Yin

Element: Earth

Quality: Cardinal (the start of the season of winter)

Key phrase:  I build, I use

Body:  Skin, knees, skeletal system

Birth Stone:  Red Garnet and Black Onyx

Colour:  Deep red

Herbs/Flowers: Wintergreen, Ivy, Carnation

Tarot card:  The Devil (Pan/Nature, Earth, Will-Power, Determination, Mystery, Fascination, Charisma, Need, Hunger, Entrapment)

The Devil from The Gilded Tarot

The Astronomy

Wiki Capricorn: The Gate of The Gods

Capricornus is thought to be the oldest recognized constellation, just as its subjects are known for being born as old souls, wise beyond their years. Its name is Latin for ‘horned goat’ or ‘having horns like a goat’s,’ and it is commonly represented in the form of a sea-goat: a mythical creature half-goat, half-fish, Pricus, the son of Chronos (Time.)

The constellation of Capricornus from which the zodiac sign gets its name is located in an area of sky known as ‘The Sea’ or ‘The Water’, containing other water-related constellations including Aquarius, Pisces and Eridanus, the Celestial River, which is the sixth largest of the 88 modern listed constellations.

Capricornus is best seen in the northern hemisphere in the southern sky, early evenings in September. Capricornus is the smallest constellation in the zodiac, with no first magnitude stars. Not easy to find, you will need clear skies. Even so, its brightest star, The Tail of the Goat, or Deneb Algedi (Delta Capricorni A) is a white giant with a luminosity 8.5 times that of our Sun.

Capricornus has three stars with known planets, and contains a Messier object, Messier 30, a globular cluster 28,000 light years distant and about 90 light years across in size. This cluster is approaching us at the speed of 181.9 km/s and was one of the first deep sky objects discovered by Charles Messier in 1764.

Five meteor showers are associated with Capricornus: the Alpha Capricornids, the Chi Capricornids, the Sigma Capricornids, the Tau Capricornids, and the Capricorniden-Sagittarids.

The planet Neptune was discovered in the constellation Capricornus, near Deneb Algedi, the brightest star in the tail of the goat, on September 23, 1846.

Neptune is not visible to the naked eye. Galileo saw it first, in 1612 -13 but he mistook it for a fixed star as it was retrograde at the time of viewing. Read more about Neptune and its discovery here

By Justin Cowart – https://www.flickr.com/photos/132160802@N06/29347980845/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=82476611

It is curious that this Neptune connection was so recently discovered, in the face of an existing ancient mythic connection between Capricorn the Sea-Goat and Pisces the Fishes.

History and Mythology

Even though Capricornus is the second faintest constellation in the sky, the faintest after Cancer, its imagery is very ancient indeed, associated with myths that go back to the 21st century BC and which centre on various sun gods supposedly nursed by a she-goat.

Goats, and their relatives, ibex, were the inspiration, as depicted in Ice Age paintings.,

In the early Bronze Age, the arrival overhead of the constellation Capricornus coincided with the winter solstice and, in modern astrology (as distinct from astronomy) we enter the zodiac sign of Capricorn’s rule on the turning point of the winter solstice.

Male ibex start fighting and mating during early winter, December and January, coinciding with the dates first ascribed to Capricorn. The constellation of Capricorn itself is no longer overhead at the time of the winter solstice due to the wobble of the earth, an effect known as precession,and now appears overhead in late January, during the dates of the next zodiac sign, Aquarius.

The Sumerians

Before 1000 BC the Sumerians knew Capricorn as the goat-fish, or SUHUR-MASH-HA. There appears to be a connection between Capricorn as a seagoat and Enki, the Sumerian god of wisdom and waters,  who also had the head and upper body of a goat and the lower body and tail of a fish. Enki, Later known as Ea in Akkadian and Babylonian mythology, was the god of intelligence (literally ‘ear’), creation, crafts; magic; water, seawater and lake water.

The Greeks

Pricus was king of the mer-goats in a Greek evolution myth. The children of Pricus left the sea to dwell on the mountains, leaving him alone in the oceans, very sad and alone with no-one to care for or teach any more- and Pricus was a great teacher.

Zeus placed him in the Sea of the Stars so that he could see his children again, and they could look up and see him.

But the constellation is nowadays more widely associated with two mythical creatures from Greek legends: the deity Pan, and the she-goat Amalthea who suckled the baby Zeus, although these legends, like the other Greek legends, came in turn from far more ancient stories.

Photo by Niklas Jeromin on Pexels.com
Pan-Bacchus, a set of pipes, and the terrible Typhon

Pan, so the legend said, was placed in the sky by Zeus in gratitude after he came to the rescue of the Olympian gods when they sought refuge in Egypt after an epic battle with the monster Typhon, son of the Titan Tartarus and Earth.

Typhon wanted revenge on the Olympic gods because they had overthrown his own race, the Titans who had ruled before Zeus defeated them, and he was one terrifying adversary, a fearsome fire-breathing creature, higher than mountains and with dragons’ heads instead of fingers. He had the gods of Olympia on the run, and they tried to escape by adopting various disguises: Zeus, a ram – Hera, a white cow, and Bacchus (or another version of the myth suggests Pan)- a goat.

Zeus had the unpleasant experience of being caught and dismembered by Typhon, who was presumably not fooled by the ram disguise, or otherwise had worked up an appetite, with all that raging, and just fancied lamb chops for tea.

Happily for Zeus, Bacchus/Pan played a sound on his pipes, ‘panikos’  -from which we get the word ‘panic’ – and this earsplitting sound disorientated or ‘panicked’ Typhon long enough for an agile Hermes to collect the limbs and restore Zeus to life, and he was so grateful not to be served up with mint sauce that he raised Bacchus/Pan to the heavens as the constellation Capricornus.

And so, thanks to the magic of the pan-pipes, Zeus lived to fight another day. He eventually managed to trick Typhon, and trapped him beneath Mount Etna…though he still tries to escape.

The Gate of The Gods

Neo-Platonic/Chaldean philosophy said that while the souls of those about to be born descended to Earth through the constellation of Cancer, the gate of the summer solstice, arriving through M44, the star cluster known as the Beehive Cluster, the souls of the newly dead return to the cosmic sea, ascending through the Gate of the Gods, the star-gate of Capricorn.

Beehive Cluster

The Astrology

There is no such thing in reality as THE Capricorn personality and the same goes for all the zodiac sun signs. Your sun sign is an archetype, a keynote but of course it is not and never could be the whole story.

The archetype of Capricorn, the tenth sign of the zodiac, and the House ruling material affairs, is shrewd, wise, even Gnostic. They are profound thinkers, deeply inquiring, and with a wry sense of humour, self-reliant, stoic in the face of adversity, hard-working, determined and resilient.

They have high standards, and expect much of themselves but also others, which, depending on other aspects of their astrological portrait, can make them stern, demanding or even overbearing task-masters, holding others to their own very high standards of conduct, or their own preferred way of doing things.

They are sometimes accused of dourness, lacking a sense of humour but this is absolutely not the case. It is just that they are choosy of their company. Capricorn has a dry wit, a keen sense of the absurd, and loves a good joke.

Conversely, the Saturn influence can make them seem somewhat downbeat, cynical and suspicious, seeing traps and problems everywhere, quick to issue corrections, or to douche cold water, viewing the enthusiasm of others as ill advised or naïve.

Capricorn is no-one’s fool. Capricorn carries its own weight, and very often the weight of others too.

But however far it climbs, Capricorn is dignified, canny, circumspect, proud but not vainglorious. Capricorn climbs the mountain to see the world. It does not climb so that the world will see Capricorn.  

However many are watching.

“Duties are what make life most worth the living. Lacking them, you are not necessary to anyone. And this would be like living in an empty space. Or not being alive at all.”- Marlene Dietrich, born Dec 27, 1901

Season of Sagittarius, culture vulture and celestial archer of the sinking sun

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Common associations

Symbol:

Date of Birth: Nov 22 to Dec 21

Ruling planet: Jupiter

Element: Fire

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

The 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, somewhere really dark. Locate the hazy band of The Milky Way stretching right across the sky. Looking in the northern hemisphere, the Milk 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 Sagittarius.

Photo by u200bu0468u0477u047bu048f u046au0454u0459u0469u04e1u04c4u047bu0487u0477 on Pexels.com

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.

The Myth

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 story of Chiron.

But the story is far, far older, and goes back to a Babylonian god, Pabilsag, and even further back than that.

Public Domain: Celestial Atlas 1822

Pabilsag and the approaching Solstice

Pabilsag was the ancient Babylonian name for what we now call Sagittarius, handed down to the Greeks through the Sumerians and Kassites. 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.

The distinction of Sagittarius, though, is that he is a solitary hunter. He does not work as one of a team to being 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 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. so that Sagittarius, or Pabilsag, is a psychopomp; a guardian and a guide to the dying year, and also the souls of the dying as the sun sinks ever lower.

Chiron the wounded Centaur

Most modern versions of the story refer back 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 rose from perfectly mortal, mounted ancient Greek cowboys.

But whatever the centaurs were, Chiron ‘the wisest and justest of the centaurs’ was something very different, representing a hope for 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, trying to teach Achilles to control his temper, learning to play the lyre. Chiron had many other pupils, as well, including Asclepius, Ajax, Achilles, Theseus, Jason, Peleus, Perseus, and Phoenix. And 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 it was a stool.

Later, Chiron, wounded by the poison arrow, was left in terrible pain. He was wise in the ways of medicine, none wiser, but could not heal himself, and none could help him. Nor could he die, being 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 and the story goes, placed him there as Sagittarius.

However, Chiron already has another constellation, Centaurus, and in addition, there is another classical version of the story of Sagittarius, referring instead to 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.

There is a secondary link here, Krotos the Satyr linking Sagittarius with Capricorn, the next sign coming up, sun 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. Winston Churchill for example, was probably psychic, subject to visions and feelings of premonition, and he 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.

They were not necessarily benign. They were touchy, sensitive to human hubris, and liable to exact vengeance of anyone they decided was getting too far above themselves.

Via Greekmythology.com
  • 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.

Sagittarius: The Astrological Personality

Of course there is no such thing as THE Sagittarius personality. Everyone is unique. We are speaking here of an archetype.

Sagittarius zodiac sign subjects need constant adventures to stay interested. Freedom is of the utmost importance to them. Movement. Travel. Space and room for manoeuver. Likewise they allow space and freedom to their partners.

The archetype of Sagittarius is brave, lively, warm, optimistic, curious, adventurous, rational but also insightful, even visionary.

Photo by Belle Co on Pexels.com

They are generally astute, clever and 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 and symbolising patience, prudence, and the art of good timing.

They can do domestic. It’s not that. But you wouldn’t really call it how they roll.

And they do tend to roll, place to place, job to job, and a rolling stone gathers no moss. The problem being, other things it doesn’t gather either, like a steady home life, or steady income, or savings or other means of security in old age, if Sagittarius does not balance the 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.

They will be the star of this show, but what they really need for domestic happiness, is a quietly confident, self-reliant partner who has plenty of interests themselves; and much life experience, who will be their rock but who will not roll.

Who will be above all, their best friend.

Take care till next time 🙂

Shine on, Harvest Moon in Aries

Photo by Ruvim on Pexels.com

What is astrology and why do astrologers study the Moon?

‘Astrology’ comes from Greek and means ‘the study of the stars.’

Humans have been studying and recording the phases of the Moon for at least 25, 000 years as the closest celestial body to Earth, an average of 238,855 miles (384,400 kmaway depending on its orbit.

The Moon provides not only a guide to the seasons, and a measure of predictability as to when certain things will happen, such as the migration of animals for hunting, but exerts visible effects on the tides and a lot more besides, for example, the spawning of corals, animal mating seasons, crop growth, hormonal cycles, and quite possibly human behaviour.

Mooning about, moon-struck, looney-tunes, lunatic. Words and sayings mean something and they come from somewhere.

October is going to be a busy month, moon-wise with two full moons starting tomorrow with a full Harvest Moon in the sign of Aries, and another in Taurus on Halloween last day of the month.

The Harvest Moon is the name given to the Full Moon closest to the September equinox which happens on the 22 or 23 September, and which marks the start of autumn/fall.  The Harvest Moon occurs in September two years out of every three. However the astronomical seasons don’t match up with the lunar month and once every three years, as this year, the Harvest Moon occurs in October.

The Harvest Moon

For several days around the time of the full Harvest Moon, the Moon rises about 30 minutes later each night, and this extra light early in the evening is what makes this time of year especially atmospheric -weather permitting- and gave farmers extra light for harvesting after sunset.

This was the artistic terrain of one of my favourite painters, Samuel Palmer.

Harvest Moon by Samuel Palmer 1821-32

The 2020 Harvest Moon tomorrow will rise at 19.01 (UK) and set at 06.10 (UK) if only the skies will be clear enough to see it.

The major arcana Tarot card associated with Aries, the zodiac sign ruling this full moon is The Emperor.

The Emperor from the Legacy of the Divine tarot, Ciro Marchetti

Traditional meanings: rule, power, government and governance, authority, law and order, fatherhood, masculinity.

This Full moon can bring a short burst of vitality. Yippee. It’s spring again…well it is in the southern hemisphere, anyway. It can signify a restless, edgy, even sporty mood, classic Ram energy, with a burst that may be short-lived but that can get things done, especially short-term projects.

Aries is the sign of the First house of the zodiac, the Self. Me, Myself, I.

What can I do? Where does the buck stop with me and no-one else?

There could be some intense feelings and inner tension round this time, perhaps a spot of impetuosity, but by the same token, it’s a good time to clear the air, and it’s considered a lucky moon for taking chances; for example, launching a new idea, project or product, or if you’re going for a job interview. 

Julius Caesar by the way, looking at the imagery of this card, although he certainly walked the walk of the Aries Emperor, and with too many bells on to count, was a Cancer subject, born 12 July 100 BC ,and Alexander the Great was also a Cancer subject, born 20 July 356 BC. Cleopatra was a Leo subject.

Hitler was born right on the cusp Aries/Taurus 20 April 1889, and Aries and Taurus folk have been known to fight over who doesn’t get to keep him.

Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

Charlemagne, the Holy Roman Emperor, unifier of most of western Europe, great king of the Franks, was an Aries subject, 2 April 742 , and so was Thomas Jefferson, “Never trouble another for what you can do yourself.”

Now that is definitely a hallmark statement of sturdy, sovereign Aries self reliance.

Happy Harvest Moon.

Till next time 🙂

Heavenly Queen- Harvest Goddess Virgo

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

“The Virgin with her sheaf belongs to Ceres,” The Astronomica, Manilius, 1st century AD. 

Common Associations

Zodiac symbol

Date: August 23-September 22

Symbol: The Virgin

Element: Earth

Quality: Mutable (Sagittarius and Pisces are also Mutable signs, marking the transitions between seasons, suggesting these subjects are capable and versatile; and generally inclined to conform, going with the flow if it’s for the greater good.)

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

House: Sixth, ruling health, habits and routines

Colour: green, white and yellow

Body: Intestines/digestion

Birthstone: Carnelian

Flowers: all small bright flowers, clover, buttercups

Tarot cards: The Hermit (introspection, perception, analysis, care for nature)

Also the Eight, Nine and Ten of Pentacles, and all of these are beneficent cards to do with productiveness as a direct result of study, diligence, application and direction of self discipline, focus and a sustained effort

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

Virgo Astronomy

Public Domain

Virgo is the second-largest constellation in the sky after Hydra, and the largest constellation in the zodiac between Libra to the west and Leo to the east, and below the Big Dipper.

In the northern hemisphere it is most visible in the evening sky May- to late June. In the southern hemisphere, it can be seen in autumn and winter. 

Find its brightest star, the brilliant-blue-white Spica, and you will work out the rest of Virgo with her feet pointing east.

Own Image.

It might seem a bit of a stretch, but add in a few more of her stars, imagine her lounging, dangling a sheaf of wheat from one hand (Spica.)

And now you see her.

Urania’s Mirror

 

Spica is actually a double star, brighter than our sun. Its name is from the Latin, meaning an ‘ear of grain.’- also called ‘The Lonely One’ because it is so far from the others. Ptolemy saw these twin stars as ruled by Venus and Mars respectively, mated together in a chaste, androgynous union, rather like the slightly remote purity of Virgo herself, even when she is a living human wife and mother.

The star Vindemiatrix is ‘the Grape-Gatherer,’ because once it was seen at daybreak, this was the sign to start harvesting the vines.

Galaxies: The Virgo Cluster

It’s mind-boggling to consider that our own Sun is just one star of the Milky Way, and the Milky Way is only one of a collection of galaxies known as The Local Group.

The Local Group contains three large spiral galaxies: the Milky Way, Andromeda, and the Triangulum Galaxy plus a few dozen ‘dwarf’ galaxies. But The Local Group is only one member of the Virgo Cluster – a collection of more than 1300 galaxies stretching across 15 million light-years of space.

And the Virgo Cluster is just one cluster in the Virgo Supercluster.

And I do like to look up and see The Milky Way but enough already, existential angst beckons, and now I need to lie down with a damp cloth on my head. And a cup of tea and a biccie. No, scrap that. No biccy. Stop trying to tempt me, Spica.

Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

History & Mythology

The Sumerians

Shala was an ancient Sumerian deity (in what was later Babylonia, the area now known as southern Iraq and Kuwait) She was the goddess of grain -and also compassion. Why link these two things? Famine is suffering.

Shala was married to the fertility god, Dagon, or the storm god, Ishkur, or possibly both, with one as her consort.  This is significant. Virgo the Virgin is not about a state of physical virginity – but refers more to an attitude; a slightly elusive and rather refined quality, male or female.

Shala was associated with the constellation of Virgo and vestiges of symbolism associated with her continue, such as the star Spica, the ‘ear of grain’, even as the deity name changed from age to age and culture to culture.

In 10th century BC the Babylonians called part of this constellation, “The Furrow,” referring back to the goddess Shala and the Shala Mons is a mountain on Venus named after the goddess Shala.

In Egyptian mythology, the sight of Virgo in the night sky was also associated with harvest time, and with the goddess Isis.

In Indian astrology she was The Maiden, Kanya.

The Greeks

To the Greeks she was the harvest goddess Demeter, also called Ceres, (root of the word ‘cereal’) and also by association, her beloved daughter, Persephone.

When Hades abducted Persephone to live with him in the underworld, Demeter went into mourning. There was no harvest that year. People and livestock starved and Zeus, the king of gods, eventually intervened, insisting that Hades return Persephone to Demeter. But Zeus also stipulated that Persephone must not eat until her return, and Hades, not wanting to part with her, gave Persephone a pomegranate, knowing fine well how much she liked them, and she ate some of the seeds on her way home.

So Persephone went home to her mother, but because of the pomegranate she has to return to the underworld for four months every year, and then Demeter grieves; winter returns, and the land sleeps.  

The Virgo Archetype- Personality

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

Their quest of self-improvement includes their appearance. They are perfectionists, highly concerned about the impression they make on others, but at the same time, generally kindly and ready to help others

The sign of Virgo is ruled by agile, communicative Mercury, and Virgo’s brain is in overdrive much of the time. These folk can do big things and get a lot done – if they don’t lose sight of the original vision, and don’t get too bogged down in detail.

Elizabeth 1

Elizabeth 1, ‘the Virgin Queen’ was a Virgo subject. Born 7 September 1533 she ascending to the throne aged 25 following an exceedingly tough time during which at one point she was disinherited and imprisoned in the Tower on suspicion of treason in collusion with Wyatt against her sister Mary. She could even have lost her life, like her mother before her .

But even as a girl of 20, outnumbered and beleaguered by statesmen decades her senior, ‘she hath a very good wit and nothing is gotten of her but by great policy,’ said one of her exasperated inquisitors.

Virgo Season 2020

Keynote cards: Ace Pentacles Reversed and the Nine of Pentacles

The Legacy of the Divine Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

The Ace Pentacles Reversed shows us coming in and out of our homes and places of work. This card also reflects the economic effects of global and UK recession still to come. The upright Nine of Pentacles offsets and counterbalances the negative message here to a degree and suggests that key developments in September may be clustered around, or be concentrated before this turning point of 22 September. The Nine of Pentacles is a good general omen in particular for the second decan of Virgo, 4 September-13 September. We need to get past that moody full moon first, with its potential for shadowboxing and doubtless, further incidents of social unrest and whatever the causes, historically, these have gone hand in glove with the aftermath of a pandemic and we are not yet quite in the aftermath, though getting there.

I’ve been getting the feeling there may be news of a mudslide or landslip this September, but maybe I am confusing it with a feeling I got on 12 August, triggered by the Ace Pentacles Reversed.

It seems to have been the Aberdeenshire train accident that I was picking up on. But it had already happened, and though I hadn’t heard the news yet, and did not know about it, or that it had been caused by a landslip on the line, maybe I was confusing it with events still to come in September, in which case I will be very glad to be wrong.

The finance, beauty, health and hospitality industries are specifically associated with this earth card, as are interior design, architecture, financial services, schools, universities; food production and horticulture. All of these, though of course, many other industries besides, will face a major effort this September as they work to recover lost ground and we restart the national engines, although localized lockdowns and lifting of lockdowns may be a pattern that continues for some time to come, at least until Christmas 2020 or into Feb/March 2021.

Globally

This is a card of women in power, and individually may refer to Kamala Harris, Joe Biden’s new Vice-President. It suggests there is tremendous focus here, and self-discipline; a serious work ethic, though it may be that her greatest gifts are executive rather than presidential. This appointment may help Mr Biden’s chances, and the polls seem to think it will, but I can’t see it as anything like THE deal-maker for the Democrats come election time.

In the UK

In September children will be returning to school, and more parents will be returning to work as the government furlough scheme starts drawing to a close. This could prove unsettling and tensions may arise at home, anxieties and a sense of disorientation, as suggested by the appearance of The Hanged Man, reflecting the effects of the Full Corn Moon on 2 September in dreamy, moody, Neptunian Pisces.

The Nine of Pentacles suggests we navigate this transition, staying focused on the known facts and the immediately available information, taking things one day at a time, focusing only on what is within our direct personal power to control, just as the lady in the Nine of Pentacles controls the bird on her gauntlet.

Things seem to settle again somewhat during the middle two weeks of September, as collectively as well as personally, we start to find a new footing.

At Home

Virgo rules the concept of routines and also hygiene. The Roman goddess Hygieia is another of the many faces of Virgo. Click here to find out more about her.

The return to school is a major milestone in the return to normal routine but frequent hand-washing continues more important than ever, and may also reduce cases of seasonal flu which also claims many lives each year. These strains of flu which can kill but which we more or less take for granted now, may have caused pandemics when they first appeared in humans. A pandemic of the 1200’s which killed an estimated million people in central Asia is known as the Russian flu and is thought to be the ancestor of one of the common modern flu strains

The Nine of Pentacles as a personification of both Demeter, goddess of the harvest, and Vindemiatrix, goddess of the vines, recommends the consumption of more fresh food, and less fast food. Slow cooking, a one-pot meal, is a delicious, nutritious and seriously budget-friendly way to eat and feed a family. (The odd glass of wine doesn’t go amiss either, says Vindemiatrix.)

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” ― Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

Until next time 🙂

The Sun is in Leo, the Full Moon is in Aquarius…the Lion gets a perm

Photo by Alexas Fotos on Pexels.com

Leo is such a glamour-puss. So what’s this about the perm?

The sun has entered the second decan of fiery Leo, August 2-August 12 and tonight’s full moon, 3 August, is in Leo’s opposite zodiac sign; Aquarius, the water-bearer, the cloud bearer.

This is a strange, dreamy, quirky, quixotic and steamy combination. Maybe in a good way but not necessarily.

It might mean a few nights of oppressive humidity over the next two weeks.

It might mean getting frazzled.

It might mean steam coming out of your ears. Like this little lioness with a rather enviable perm.

Photo by Luriko Yamaguchi on Pexels.com

The Major Arcana card associated with Leo is Strength: physical, mental, moral, emotional. Fortitude which demands patience. Nothing much can be achieved without the ability or willingness to stand and endure.

Centuries apart:

“Here I stand. I can do no other,” Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms.

 “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”-Martin Luther King.

Strength from The Gilded Tarot Royale: Ciro Marchetti

The second decan of Leo is associated with the Tarot’s Six of Wands, the 6 Wands; a card of action, vision, passion ,courage and superb self-discipline. This is what it takes to enter the arena – any arena. Riding high on the accomplishment of a great effort. But there are no short-cuts. No escaping the Herculean labour to be done. This is dedication to excellence; the attribute of the zenith of the sign of Leo.

The Six of Wands From The Legacy of the Divine Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

Tonight this energy is tempered by the quirky, remote, cerebral Moon in Aquarius. The corresponding Major Arcana card here is The Star: inspiration, a vision, recovery, the application of reason, but this can also be the card of social revolution.

The Gilded Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

The Star


Bridging water, land and sky

Cloudy, cool Aquarian eye

Reasons, gauges Rain assuages

Pours, refills an empty jar

Learning, thirsty, takes us far

But Hope outshines all other stars

Katie-Ellen

A very different mood. May steam be expected, and will it be steam coming out of someone’s ears? It may be best to keep your head down and just get on with your own thing, always assuming it’s not against the law, of course.

The Minor Arcana card corresponding with the degree of tonight’s Full Moon in Aquarius is the solemn yet benevolent Six of Swords; a road to recovery, new learning and discovery, charting new waters, leaving behind the past and with it any vain regrets.

The Legacy of The Divine Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

The next two weeks look unsettled and a lot of us are likely to be feeling more jumpy than usual, even given all the anxiety of recent months . This is a time for staying extra cool, calm and flexible and avoiding risk and conflict. This is a time for focusing hard on work and personal projects, but not for making sudden moves or big changes.

There’s plenty to push our buttons right now. Leo says we can put our energies to plenty of good uses, doing our own thing, and Aquarius says we can keep our cool, even if others are losing theirs.

Every clever hunter keeps low, but stays high.

Photo by Bess Hamiti on Pexels.com

Till next time 🙂

Salutations, Star Lion Leo

Today we leave the zodiac sign of Cancer, the mysterious and elusive Crab in the Starry zodiac sea, the sign of the zenith of the summer, and we move into the astrological sign of Leo the celestial lion. Most of us know our zodiac or sun sign, but what does it actually look like in the night sky, and what’s the story behind it?

It’s time to roll out the red carpet for the star-lion, Leo…

Common Associations

Zodiac Symbol of Leo

Dates: 22-23 July-23 August

Symbol: Lion

Element: Fire

Metal: Gold

Position: Fixed

Ruler: The Sun

Body: Heart and spine

Trees: Palm trees, laurel, walnuts, olive trees, lemon and orange trees.

Plants: Marigolds, sunflowers, dandelions, (dents de lion =lion’s teeth) celandines, passion flowers

Gemstones: Peridot, carnelian, ruby, onyx

Peridot By Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10478407

Key phrase: I love

Tarot card: Strength

The Gilded Tarot Royale, Ciro Marchetti

The Lady and the Lion. Perhaps it is Una. Or perhaps her name is Leona or Leonora, for the lion is also the lioness. Her hold on the leash could not be lighter. She is controlling the lion, but only because it is allowing it, not fighting her restraint, signifying that the lion is also a part of herself. This is just as one would imagine, a very welcome card of better health, signifying recovery if someone has been ill.

Astronomy

Leo is one of the 48 constellations described by the 2nd-century astronomer Ptolemy, and one of the 88 modern constellations recognised by NASA today, between the neighbouring constellations of Cancer to the west and Virgo to the east.

Leo is the 12th largest constellations, and one of the most easily recognizable due to its many bright stars, and a distinctive shape suggesting a crouching lion, apparently facing right.

The bright light in the sky beneath Leo as seen in the photo below is Jupiter.

Wiki

The best time to see the Lion is Spring in the northern hemisphere, from around the March equinox. In early April, the constellation Leo reaches its high point for the night around 10 p.m. By around May 1, Leo reaches his high point for the night around 8 p.m. local time  In early May, the Lion begins to set in the west around 2 a.m. local time and by June, Leo is descending in the west in the evening, drifting progressively westward.

By late July and into early August, the Lion is beginning to fade into the sunset, returning to the eastern sky and visible before dawn around late September or October.

Look out for the Big Dipper, Leo is below it. You are looking for a backwards question mark pattern called the Sickle; and you can see its curve outlines the Lion’s mane.

Leo’s brightest star, Regulus, or Alpha Leonis, ‘The King Star,’ is the heart of the celestial lion, a sparkling blue-white star at the bottom of the backwards question mark pattern. Regulus, means “little king” or “prince” in Latin. The star’s Greek name, Basiliscos, has the same meaning, while the Arabic name is Qalb al-Asad, meaning literally “the heart of the lion.”

Mind Boggler -Leo’s fifth largest star, Epsilon Leonis, 247 light years from Earth, is 288 times more luminous than the Sun, four times as massive and has 21 times the solar radius.

A triangle of stars in eastern Leo represents the Lion’s hindquarters and tail. The brightest star of the triangle is named Denebola, Arabic, meaning the Lion’s Tail.

There are 15 stars in Leo with 18 known planets between them, but none of the planets is in a habitable zone.

The Leonids are meteor showers associated with the constellation of Leo. They peak around November 17-18 every year, and there is another minor shower, the January Leonids, peaking January 1 – 7.

Photo by Henrik Pfitzenmaier on Pexels.com

Ancient History & Mythology

Leo the Lion has since ancient times been associated with the sun and royalty, ruled by the sun in astrology and is one of the oldest constellations collectively recognized with many ancient civilizations agreeing on perceiving it as a lion.

Archaeological evidence suggests that Mesopotamians recognized a constellation similar to Leo as early as 4000 BC. The Persians knew the constellation as Shir or Ser, Babylonians called it UR.GU.LA (“the great lion”), Syrians knew it as Aryo, and the Turks as Artan.

Photo by David McEachan on Pexels.com

The story goes that the ancient Egyptians venerated Leo because the appearance overhead of this constellation used to coincide with the annual flooding of the Nile River, the lifeblood of their agriculture and indeed, the nation entire. Marking the end of drought, desert lions would arrive at the river, driven by desperation, and their appearance was welcomed as a certain sign that the floods were shortly on their way. The Egyptians accordingly honoured the lion with festivals, and even today many statues of lions can be found along the course of the Nile River, proof of their reverence.

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

It’s thought that the lion-headed fountains commonly designed by Greek and Roman architects equally symbolized the life-giving waters released by the sun’s presence in Leo.

Herakles’ first labour was the killing of the Nemean Lion. This terrifying lion lived in a cave in Nemea, a town located to the south-west of Corinth. It was a man-eater, dining on the local folk, not OK, and a few had tried to kill it, only to find to their (terminal) horror, nothing could pierce the lion’s hide, it was so preternaturally tough.But someone must have survived to tell this tale, for Herakles, being forewarned of this additional teensy problem, managed somehow to sneak up on the lion asleep in its cave, and strangled to death the uber-kitty; poor puddy-tat.

Herakles then rather disrespectfully, I can’t help feeling, if undeniably pragmatically, skinned the lion with its own claws, and wore its skin as a cloak, making himself even more ferocious in appearance, as well as presumably, and even more importantly, arrow-proof.

The Astrology of Leo

Photo by Alexas Fotos on Pexels.com

This fixed fire sign is known for its pride, ambition and determination, warmth and generosity of spirit, not to mention, charisma, but above all, Leo is known for bravery; the lionhearted one, the divine expression of physical, mental, and emotional fortitude, which is a very great virtue. Leo parents are typically devoted, but they rule their households, no question about it.

Courage takes many forms. There is the courage of initiative, the will to advance, engage and attack. There is moral courage, proceeding in the face of fear, “feeling the fear and doing it anyway.”

And there is the courage to endure, to withstand, and the fortitude that quietly says to itself, “I will keep smiling, and tomorrow I will try again”. No banners and no accolades.

Leo can be its own worst enemy; hasty, arrogant, reckless, self-centred, headstrong and careless, and for these reasons, unless these subjects learn patience, consideration and self-control, they are not necessarily always as lucky in life as they could be, or as they, and the great, shining Leo truly deserve, proud and thirsty children of the sun.

Leo
Dandy Lion

Dandelion’s

Golden Mane

Prideful

Greying

Casts away

Alight on Chance

To someday seed

And newly golden

Lionize again

K Hazeldine

Photo by Nita on Pexels.com

The Tarot and a Full Thunder Moon

The Full Thunder Moon, the Tarot and what it means this month

Photo by Vedad Colic on Pexels.com

What is astrology and why do astrologers study the Moon?

‘Astrology’ comes from Greek and means ‘the study of the stars.’

Humans have been studying the Moon since at least 25 000 years ago. This is only natural. It is the closest celestial body to Earth, exerting visible effects on the tides, and on every living thing that depends for its way of living on the behaviour of the tides, and possibly a whole lot more besides, though this is debated, e.g.; crop growth, hormonal cycles and moods.

It’s about the search for meaning and planning on earth using clues in the sky. Astrology began as humanity made conscious attempts to measure, record, and predict seasonal changes by paying attention to astronomical cycles. They did this largely for practical planning purposes, for example:

  • When would the wild cattle- the aurochs migrate – and they could organise a hunt?
  • When would the salmon or other fishes spawn?
  • When would the rains come – and possibly floods?

Early evidence of sky-monitoring appears as markings on bones and cave walls in the Neolithic period 25,000 years ago, recording the movements of the sun, and the moon and its influence upon tides and rivers. This led to the creation of the first written calendars in the Bronze Age 3,300 – 1200 BC by the Sumerians in the ancient Near East.

Symbolically, because it has no light of its own, The Moon represents our shadowy side, our deepest instincts, our dreams, hidden health, and the impulses that drive our behaviour whether or not we are consciously aware of them.

The Moon Headlines July 2020

July 5: Full Moon in Capricorn (a lunar eclipse)

July 12: Last Quarter (Waning)

July 20: New Moon in Cancer

July 27: First Quarter (Waxing)

The July Full Moon is nicknamed the Thunder Moon. This name comes from the indigenous American Algonquin people in the areas first colonized by the Pilgrims. This time of year was associated with powerful thunderstorms in the northern forests.

What do the moon phases mean symbolically?

A Full Moon occurs when the Moon is in opposition, meaning it is on the opposite of the Earth from the Sun on the same celestial longitude and we can see the entire lit portion of the Moon.A lunar eclipse only ever happens at full moon and suggests mysteries, hidden truths or sometimes danger. A Full Moon is traditionally the optimum time to take stock and evaluate, or to gather, collect, harvest or cash in on something. Emotions may be especially intense.

A New Moon occurs when the Moon is between the Earth and the sun, and we can only see the side that is in shadow. Traditionally, this is a time to clear away what is no longer wanted, make a wish, and start something new.

What does this potentially mean for you and me this month?

Full Moon in Capricorn:

Tarot card: The Devil

From the Gilded Royale Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

Themes: authority/ lack of authority/power/powerlessness/obsession/addiction/attraction/desire/sexual chemistry/compulsion/ anger/ fear/ excess/ getting carried away/duty v violence

Tweeted today

#Tarot COTD The Devil. Sexy beast? Can be. And it can mean PARTY but this is a party that brings trouble. Drugs. Chaos. Lawlessness. This card in Tarot equates with Capricorn. Tomorrow’s full moon lunar eclipse is in Capricorn Sun 5 July.

We think of the current trouble in London, block parties out of control, neighbourhood’s terrorised, police and police vehicles attacked; last night in Hammersmith, police running away again, seven officers hurt but no arrests, sent in without protective gear. Doubtless there will be more such behaviour tonight.

The last lunar eclipse was the full moon on 5 June and public events got pretty intense.  This month’s eclipse full moon may look reddish —the reason it is often referred to as an ‘umbral’ (umber)  or as a “Blood Moon”

During lunar eclipses, we are encouraged to let go of whatever is no longer serving our best interests. This is the time to release, get rid, clear out and say goodbye to things that no longer do us any good. A little of what you fancy does you good, but overdoing it does just the opposite. Some places and people do you good, others mislead you or drag you down.

Focus on practical matters. Live and let live. This energy demands more give and take. Perhaps more give and less take. Take it easy round other people at this time.

New Moon in Cancer:

Tarot Card: The Chariot

From the Gilded Tarot Royale, Ciro Marchetti

Themes: ambition, determination, effort, focus, self- discipline, co-operation with others, aggression, or lack of effort, lack of focus, no direction

The imagery on this card makes me think of Cleopatra, and her partnership with Julius Caesar who bequeathed his name to July.

Around the New Moon on 20 July, your best well-being is symbolically focused on home, family and close friends. Your own nest is probably best right now. You may be feeling extra moody, more up and down than usual. Try to stand back a little and don’t let it get on top of you. Switch off the news if that’s what it takes to get a better night’s sleep. Life has been slow but it is going to speed up again before long. Let it find you in the best possible shape.

Advice card

The Magician

From The Legacy of the Divine Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

Themes: the Self, Knowledge, Skill, Communications, Self-Control, Self-Mastery

Things could continue tricky in July for many; on the world stage and potentially in domestic life. But the appearance of The Magician, drawn upright, and not reversed, means that it is certainly not all bad news in July.

The Magician is ruled by Mercury, planet of communications, media, commerce, trade and travel.

Mercury went retrograde on 18 June. You may have noticed any number of hopefully minor annoyances in connection with this; losing stuff, miscommunications, things breaking down.

But Mercury goes direct again after 12 July, which may indicate a lightening of mood, and perhaps represent something of a liberation. Things may noticeably start going a bit more smoothly, fewer blips and glitches. Likewise, in respect of the covid crisis, The Magician (because it represents the Number 1) is reflecting a wider reduction of the 2 metre social distancing rule, to a 1 metre rule, which would be beneficial to the retail, beauty and hospitality industries.

This card is likewise reflected in the opening up of overseas travel,expanding beyond the travel corridors originally mooted by our own as well as other governments.

On a personal level, The Magician is the ultimate card that says ‘a man.’

If single, you may meet someone new, but this seems more likely to happen after July 12 than before.

The Magician is also you, yourself, and the things you can or will do. It is the card of personal will-power, and the drive to do, learn, execute and manifest. The Magician has skills. He or she works hard to develop these skills or know-how. The Magician watches and learns, and is curious, and ready to put in the effort to achieve his/her goals. The Magician initiates, creates, practices, polishes, and then is ready to seek out opportunities.

Allied with the passion of The Devil, and the self-discipline of the Chariot, The Magician is a route map, and a recipe for progress. 

There will be more public disorder on the streets of London tonight, highly likely. Watch out for that Devil and take it easy.

Until next time 🙂

The Strawberry Moon, June 2020

The Full Strawberry Moon and what it means for you this month

Photo by Taner Soyler on Pexels.com

What is astrology and why do astrologers study the Moon?

Humans have been studying the Moon since at least 25 000 years ago. This is only natural. It is the closest celestial body to Earth, exerting visible effects on the tides, and on every living thing that depends for its way of living on the behaviour of the tides, and possibly a whole lot more besides, though this is debated, eg; crop growth, hormonal cycles and moods.

‘Astrology’ comes from Greek and means ‘the study of the stars.’

It’s about the search for meaning on earth as seen mirrored in the sky, seeking to understand human behaviour through the symbolic influence of planets and other celestial objects, Luna, our Moon being the closest.

Astrology began as humanity made conscious attempts to measure, record, and predict seasonal changes by paying attention to astronomical cycles. They did this largely for practical planning purposes, for example:

  • When would the wild cattle- the aurochs migrate – and they could organise a hunt?
  • When would the salmon or other fishes spawn?

Early evidence of sky-monitoring appears as markings on bones and cave walls in the Neolithic period 25,000 years ago, recording the movements of the sun, and the moon and its influence upon tides and rivers. This timekeeping led to the creation of the first written calendars in the Bronze Age 3,300 – 1200 BC by the Sumerians in the ancient Near East.

Symbolically, because it has no light of its own, The Moon represents our shadowy side, our dreams, hidden health, and the impulses that drive our behaviour whether or not we are consciously aware of them.

The Headlines

June 05, 2020          Full Moon in Sagittarius (Lunar eclipse)
June 13, 2020            Last Quarter Moon (Waning)
June 21, 2020            New Moon in Cancer (annular solar eclipse)
June 29, 2020            First Quarter Moon (Waxing)

The Full Moon occurs when the Moon is on the opposite of the Earth from the Sun on the same celestial longitude and we can see the entire illuminated portion of the Moon.

The New Moon is the first/last lunar phase when the Moon is located between the Earth and the Sun and the moon is largely invisible, hidden in the sun’s glare.

A Full Moon in Sagittarius happens in late May/early June when the lunar sky path is crossing the ninth sector of the zodiac – 240-270 degrees, containing the constellation of Sagittarius, and the sun moves into the opposite zodiac sector of Gemini. The Full moon of June 2019 was also in Sagittarius.

A New Moon in Cancer happens in late June- July when the Sun is also in the zodiac sign of Cancer.

What do the moon phases mean for you and me, symbolically?

In general terms, folklore suggests that:-

A waxing Moon building up to the Full Moon is the optimum time to grow, build, add to, make or get something. It is all about bringing something new in, or bringing something to completion or fruition. Some may perform magical summoning rituals.

A Full Moon is the optimum time to take stock and evaluate, or to gather, collect, harvest or cash in on something.

A waning Moon is the optimum time for ending something, clearing out what’s no longer wanted or needed, including unhelpful or unhealthy habits. It may mean releasing something, or even getting rid of something (someone.) Some may perform magical banishing or protection rituals.

A New Moon is the optimum time to make a decision, and start from scratch,

What is the Full Strawberry Moon?

This is strawberry harvesting time in the northern hemisphere, which before modern agriculture methods was only a very short season. These full Moon names were used during Native American and Colonial times to help track the seasons—they came from the Algonquin tribes who lived in the same areas as the Colonists.

In Europe we have traditionally nicknamed this moon the Honey Moon…first crops of honey, and gifts of honey were presented to newly-wed couples…hence the term honeymoon.

The month of June is the most popular month for weddings, and it is no coincidence that it gets its name from the classical goddess of marriage, Juno (also called Hera in Greek mythology.)

Photo by Asad Photo Maldives on Pexels.com

A strawberry moon sounds very nice indeed. But what about this one?

Sadly, probably not this time, at least not in public life in the US, and to a superficially lesser extent in the UK, with major talks coming up with the EU. And now we are days away from the lunar eclipse, when an energy peak of this kind may theoretically be expected.

Full Moon in Sagittarius

The major Arcana Tarot card associated with the zodiac sign of Sagittarius is Temperance; traditional meanings: healing, balance, timing, waiting, diplomacy, moderation

The Rider-Waite Tarot

The court card associated with Sagittarius is the Knight of Wands: traditional meanings: energy, initiative, adventures, new ventures in study, marketing, the media, travel, writing, performing arts, disruption, gossip and fighting.

What does this mean for me and you?

Temperance is generally a deeply optimistic card, just as Sagittarius is an upbeat and optimistic sign of the zodiac, full of  fun and ‘can do’ energy,’ if somewhat impulsive on occasion. We can get a lot done and have a few laughs.

That’s the brighter side of this June full moon.  

BUT this will be a lunar eclipse, a Gemini-Sagittarius eclipse, plus, the planets Mars and Venus go retrograde this month, and Mercury went retrograde last month, and this all translates as volatile, potentially quarrelsome or even warlike energy. There is frustration here. Sagittarius is the desire for travel, and right now, that’s an urge that can’t be satisfied for a lot of people who would normally be making travel plans by now, or looking forward to summer travel. This is an eclipse with a focus on discontent.

Globally and historically, astrologers have correlated these sorts of planetary combinations with events of war, and with earthquakes.

At home there could be an unusual degree of tension, or sudden eruptions of anger.

Take a deep breath and count to ten before starting or responding to any arguments. A lot of people are a little out of sorts.Some are way, way out of sorts.

Likewise, we could overdo things around this Full Moon, eating or drinking. We could even overdo the exercise if we’re not careful, and hurt ourselves.

Do your own thing but ‘gently does it.’

Speaking of which, will there be a second wave of #Covid19 in the wake of starting the release of the lock-down? Logically, that would seem almost inevitable as the price of returning to normal, although my cards have been indicating small spikes of increased infections rather than a second wave as such, between today and 21 June, as we are trundling along just below the critical R rate of 1.

If we do have to return to lock-down in the UK because of lack of proper self management, well, Cancer is the card of staying at home…and the card of the New Moon 21 June is in Cancer. This date or thereabouts looks like the next turning point one way and another.

The world is not a designated safe space for any single living creature. Safety is the greatest illusion of all in the modern bubble. There is only ever risk mitigation, and if we really want freedom, and not just to talk about it, we must be prepared to manage it for ourselves. The alternative is to have it managed for us, with or without our consent, and even then, regardless of what we think about that prospect, it is still no guarantee of safety.

So then.

Will the UK have to go back into strict lockdown?

Line of Five Reading: King of Hearts (yes)- 5 Spades (no)- 7 Clubs (no)– 3 Clubs (no)- Queen Diamonds (yes)

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The crux card here is the 7 of Clubs, the work card, a difficult, erratic card of holding one’s own, the need for the nation to go back to work, and also a card of moral courage in the face of heated opposition, and even, in modern parlance ‘trolls’ and ‘haters’.

A return to the original terms of lock-down looks like a 2/5 chance. So, definitely possible. We wish it was a 0/5 or a 1/5. But it’s not a 4/5 or 5/5, so not looking highly probable. There might be a close call as the R rate pushes up to 1 again, or it may even rise higher, in which case it may be sufficiently briefly, that we only just escape a further lock-down.

Those who are at a statistically low risk, they need to think more about the way they move around, and use extra careful public hygiene. Those at a statistically high risk know who they are, and need to keep their guard up, and be careful where they go, and when.

Napoleon may not have meant it as a compliment when he said we were a nation of shopkeepers, but still, we need to keep it that way. The alternatives are too bleak to contemplate.

Small is beautiful, and so is local.

New Moon in Cancer

The Chariot from The Gilded Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

The major Arcana Tarot card associated with Cancer is The Chariot: traditional meanings, victory, progress, ambition, determination, self control, teamwork, but also lack of self control, waging war, riots, and disruption.

The Chariot itself is the shell – the carapace of the Crab. Cancer may be seen as gentle, but it is also a hunter. Children must be provided for.

The court card is The Queen of Cups; motherhood, children, home and family, the arts. Here it refers to homeschooling too. This is in general a gentle, reflective card. 

However, this new moon will be a lunar eclipse, and Venus, retrograde during this new moon, is famous as the classical goddess of love and beauty but is also the hottest planet, hotter even than Mercury. Mars is famous as the god and planet of warlike energy. Homeschooling might struggle somewhat today, parents and children tired and fractious. Astrologically this influence eases after 25 June when Venus goes stationary, and things flow more calmly.

What does this mean for me and you?

Where the Full Moon in general brings a peak or a re-boosting of energy and initiative, the New Moon in general represents a time of greater introspection and a pause for reflection. This seems especially the case during this New Moon.

This annular solar eclipse suggests this may not be business as usual in New Moon terms. There could be offers or surprises, and these seem most likely close to home; new developments, perhaps news of a baby on the way, or an unexpected call from a relative or old friend you haven’t spoken with in a long while.

The full moon this year additionally falls on a day designated Father’s Day in the UK. The ultimate Tarot card of fathers and fatherhood is the Emperor card.

This is also the card of government, Law and Order and the Army, whose members and officers are citizens too, and whose ultimate duty is to protect the people of their nation states, and to protect and promote their collective interests, in whichever country, under whatever government.

These are all coming in for exceptionally heavy stick at present, struggling in their different ways with not only arenas of political difficulty, but a pandemic of unproven origin and peculiar aetiology. Covid19 is now suspected to be a vascular disease as opposed to a strictly respiratory disease; a veritable viral Frankenstein.

Failures and frailties notwithstanding, I will still convey my respectful greetings to all that is the very best in The Emperor as embodied in the Tarot.

Read more about The Emperor here

We’re all on the road together, you and me.

The Humming from Enya

Until next time 🙂

Time to say ‘hi’ again to Gemini

We’re crossing into Gemini zodiac territory today, and will stay there until June 20/21.

We were born into a particular season. Children of that season. 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 is Libra, the Scales.

The sign of Gemini is airy Nature on the wing. Nestlings are fledging, baby waterfowl are on the swim; birds, bees and butterflies are foraging and cross-pollinating -the pollen too, is on the wing.

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, high spring-spring, Gemini is emergent mutable spring-summer.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Gemini associations

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

Affirmation: ‘I think, I inquire.’

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

Tree: all kinds of nut trees

Flower: Lily of the Valley, Lavender

Tarot cards: Gemini has two cards associated with it: The Lovers (love, choices, decision-making) And The Magician. Most writers focus on the duality represented by the Lovers card, but today I’m going with another key aspect of Gemini, the mercurial Magician.

Astronomy

Gemini is a constellation in the northern sky, one of the constellations in the zodiac, the name for the area of the sky we see from Earth, including the apparent paths of the sun, moon and planets.

The Gemini constellation has been described by cultures since ancient times, with many different names and stories. It was listed as one of the 48 ancient constellations by Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the second century, though Ptolemy called the constellation The Star of Apollo (Castor) and The Star of Heracles (Pollux).

Gemini remains one of the 88 modern constellations defined by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). 

Gemini is the northernmost constellation in the zodiac, high in the winter sky in the northern hemisphere, the thirtieth largest in size.

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

Gemini can be seen by the naked eye, looking north east of the constellation Orion between the Taurus and Cancer constellations. Best viewing is during February and during April and May you might see it by 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.

Pollux, the westerly twin, is a 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 is brighter, with a massive planet orbiting it, called Beta Genorium B, 1.6 times bigger than Jupiter. The other twin, Castor is actually not a single star, but a star system made of up six stars not visible to the naked eye.

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Public Domain – Gemini from Helvelius

Ancient History

The concept of twins has been addressed in mythology at least as far as the so-called Age of Gemini, during the Palaeolithic era, 6, 500 BCE, arising from actual births, no doubt at all, and our general reading of the world, understanding it 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; a major theme across all cultures.

Gemini is Latin for “twins,” – the first sign of the western tropical zodiac that has a human representation rather than an animal one after Aries the Ram and Taurus the Bull.

Castor and Pollux

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

Castor comes from the Greek Καστωρ (Kastor) and means “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) and means “very sweet.”

Gemini in late May and June brings us honey and strawberries.

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.)

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Public Domain; the young Castor and Pollux by Meissen

The mortal Castor was a renowned horseman and a master at fencing, while Pollux was known for his great strength and skill at boxing. They travelled with Jason on the Argo on the quest for the Golden Fleece (Aries)

But then Castor was killed in a quarrel, a disagreement over dividing the spoils after a cattle raid, and Pollux was distraught.  He didn’t want immortality, not if it meant being without his twin brother and he begged his father, Zeus, for help. Kill me, he said. Zeus said, er, give me time to think about this, son, and scratched his head, wondering how to fix it, and decided to place them both in the stars, to be together forever as the constellation Gemini.

The Greeks worshipped the twins as gods who helped shipwrecked sailors.

Later the Romans developed a cult around Castor and Pollux dating back to 484 B.C. A temple to the twins was built in the Roman Forum in 414 BC in thanks for their help in defeating the Latins; an old enemy, in the battle of Regillus. The Romans considered Castor and Pollux the patron gods of horses, and of the Roman mounted knights; the equites and Castor and Pollux appear on many early Roman coins.

Gemini 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 but the natal sun sign sets the tone.

We are a product, expressive of the season in which we arrived.

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

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

Gemini is ‘mercurial’, restless, intellectually agile but 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 and above average height, with neat features in an oval face. Classic Gemini subjects are lively, agile, sparkling, charming, chatty and inquisitive, though not easy to really get to know.

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 sometimes seem superficial, or 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 also brave. These subjects don’t shy away from saying what they think, and of course, they think plenty.

Until next time 🙂

The Moon in May 2020

The Full Flower Moon and what it means for you this month

Photo by Vedad Colic on Pexels.com

What is astrology and why do astrologers study The Moon?

Humans have been studying the Moon since at least 25 000 years ago, Luna, the Moon being the closest celestial body to Earth, exerting a physical gravitational effect on the tides, and on every living thing, though the exact nature and extent of that influence is open to debate. The word ‘Astrology’ comes from the early Latin word astrologia, which derives from the Greek ἀστρολογία—from ἄστρον astron (‘star’) and -λογία -logia, (‘study of’—’account of the stars’.)

It’s about the search for meaning on earth as seen in the sky, seeking to understand natural events and human behaviour through observing, the movements relative to Earth of planets and other celestial objects, and making correlations.

Symbolically – because it has no light of its own- The Moon represents our shadowy side, our dreams, hidden health, and the impulses that drive our behaviour whether or not we are consciously aware of them.

The things that we feel ‘in our water.’

More directly and practically, humanity began to measure, record, and predict seasonal changes by paying attention to astronomical cycles. They did this for practical planning purposes.

When would the Auroch arrive and they could organise a hunt?

When would the first lambs or kids arrive?

When would the salmon spawn?

When would the first grapes or berries be ripe enough to eat?

Early people used the skies searching for the first clues, using them as their first calendars and clocks, and nothing remotely laughable or ‘woo-woo’ about it, except for the stories that grew up around all this, and the impact of those stories on the collective psyche of the people making their living in their particular territory…their evolving cultures shaped, or rather driven by their imaginative preoccupation, emotional connection and working relationship with that landscape and its many natural wonders.

Early evidence appears as markings on bones and cave walls  recording the Moon’s influence upon tides and rivers and in time, building a body of knowledge which led in time to the creation of the first calendars.

Progress is not necessarily linear, and perhaps there is a modern tendency to underestimate the intellectual as well as technological prowess of more ancient societies.

There will be a partial solar eclipse on 21 June 2020. The next total solar eclipse will be 14 December 2020, but not viewable in the UK when the next solar eclipse will be August 2026.

The Moon in May: The Headlines

May 07, 2020    6:45 AM               Full Moon in Scorpio
May 14, 2020    10:03 AM             Last Quarter Moon (Waning)
May 22, 2020    1:39 PM               New Moon in Gemini
May 29, 2020    11:30 PM              First Quarter Moon (Waxing)

The New Moon is the first/last lunar phase when the Moon is located between the Earth and the Sun and the moon is largely invisible, hidden in the sun’s glare.

The Full Moon occurs when the Moon is on the opposite of the Earth from the Sun on the same celestial longitude and we can see the entire illuminated portion of the Moon.

What do the moon phases mean for you and me, symbolically?

In general terms, folklore suggests that the waxing Moon phase building up to the Full Moon is the optimum time to grow, build, add to, make or get something. It is all about bringing something new in, or bringing something to completion or fruition. Some may perform magical summoning rituals.

A Full Moon is the optimum time to take stock and evaluate, or to gather, collect, harvest or cash in on something.

The Moon from The Gilded Tarot, illustration by Ciro Marchetti. Wolves bark during a Hunter’s moon, and crayfish move and spawn on the changing tides. The Moon card is also the card signifying contagion, disease and epidemics.

A Waning Moon is the optimum time for ending something, clearing out what’s no longer wanted or needed, including unhelpful or unhealthy habits. It may mean releasing something, or even getting rid of something (or someone) 

Some may perform banishing rituals, symbolically clearing out what’s no longer wanted or needed.

What is the Full Flower Moon?

These full Moon names were used during Native American and Colonial times to help track the seasons—and often came from the Algonquin tribes who lived in the same areas as the Colonists. Other such names are the Mother’s Moon, Milk Moon, and Corn Planting Moon.

The May full Moon means spring in high season with rising temperatures, a declining risk of late frosts, and plants and trees in first bloom. 

7 May: The Full Moon in Scorpio

Death card.jpg
Public Domain The Death card from the Rider-Waite Tarot

Scorpio is the sign of death, sex and regeneration and is represented in the Tarot by The Death card. Don’t let this worry you. It’s not saying that you or anyone close to you is going to die this month. But the Tarot covers all aspects of human experience. Death is part of life. Without death, there would be no space for new life. This is potentially a very highly charged sexy, and even baby-making moon.

Scorpio is known as a powerfully psychic sign. A Full Moon in Scorpio can be intense and its card in the Tarot is The Death card. This rarely refers to an actual person’s death, though it may do on occasion, in which case it is generally a peaceful death in old age. But far more often it refers to the end of a chapter in your life.  This may be a job, a business, a location, a relationship, an object or a habit.  It may be time to review a few things, close accounts, complete unfinished tasks, and gather your harvest. It is time to move on. This is not about rejecting others or hurting them in any way. It is simply that it is time to move forward, not allowing nostalgia or outworn loyalties to tie you down, holding yourself back from where you really need to go.

Scorpio is deep, secretive, intense, passionate…even obsessive. A little of what you fancy does you good. But this full moon could be a bit full on for comfort.

Sharp words may be said. Brooding silences may – brood. Conversely, and less quietly, crockery may sprout wings and go flying.

Scorpio has a sting. Secrets may be revealed at this time, or you may make unwelcome discoveries. Should you find yourself dealing with a situation of this kind, the advice for this full moon and the three days surrounding it either side is, do not act in haste. Take plenty of time to think about things. Don’t ignore your own needs and wishes. Listen to them, but be careful how you act on them. Take it easy around this full moon.

22 May: The New Moon in Gemini

Public Domain The Lovers from the Rider-Waite Tarot

The Lovers card is the Tarot card associated with air sign Gemini. This is a very different mood, and now that we have left the zodiac sign of Taurus and entered the zodiac sign of Gemini, we have an astrological double whammy; both the sun and moon are in Gemini.

This is a very different mood; lighter, sparkling, volatile, communicative and social.  Gemini is intellectually agile, curious and sociable like its planetary ruler, Mercury.  That Full Moon is Scorpio has been followed by a Gemini butterfly. Enjoy this lighter mood, but not every acquaintance is actually a friend and social media can become a snake pit if one is not careful how one treads. Gemini is friendly, everyone’s friend, but it keeps its distance.

The Lovers card is about love and romance of course, but above all, it’s about making choices. The problem is that here, the choices probably aren’t equal or straightforward. Will it be the apple or the orange? Or neither or both?

Or you may find yourself at a crossroads. This Tarot card advises you to look beneath the surface and be completely honest with yourself. Is this person or situation really right for you?  Which do you go with, your heart or your head? Is there something niggling at you? Some doubt? Something you don’t really want to believe or you can’t quite nail what it is, or you’ve got your suspicions but you’d rather tell yourself you’re imagining it.

Anything like that, you’ll do better to stay quiet, to watch, to wait, and to go with your head.

Click here to read about what’s coming up in the night sky this May. With all five of the ‘bright’ planets on parade, and with Venus in splendour, and in its closest conjunction with Mercury -there’s a lot to look out for.

Until next time 🙂

The Seasons in the Stars- Hey Toro! The Star-Bull Taurus

Taurus symbol.png
Taurus Symbol
250px-Taurus2.jpg
The Black Bull by George Bellows 1919

Common Associations

  • Dates: April 21-May 21 The cusp is April 19/20
  • Element: Fixed earth (mid spring)
  • 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, resting place of King Arthur went was the ‘isle of apples’
  • Colours: pastel blue, green, pink
  • Famous for: strength, stamina, stubbornness, practicality, thoroughness, duty, honesty, sensuality, money sense, a pleasant speaking voice, artistic/singing ability, green fingers, good cooking, independence
  • Professions: Politics, Banking, (also think Bull markets) Agriculture, Construction, Arts, Musician, Entertainment, Beauty, Fashion, Restaurants
  • Tarot card: The Hierophant- Tradition, Received wisdom, Books

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, known as The Seven Sisters, swarm like bees above his back.

The best time to observe Taurus in the night sky is during the months of December and January. By March and April, you might see it in the west in the   twilight.

To find Taurus first the three stars of Orion’s belt. That’s usually easy on a clear winter’s night. Now look up to the right, looking north- east, See that bright orange-red star? That’s Aldebaran, ‘The Follower,’ a red giant, the biggest, brightest star in the constellation, the red 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. Let’s hope nothing upsets him.

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  

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.

Ancient History

In modern astrology Aries is the first sign of the western zodiac, ushering in the spring (vernal) equinox along with the first lambs.

However, 4000 years ago it was Taurus, not Aries that coincided with the vernal equinox, 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.

Taurus coincided with the start of the calving season.

The bull, like its ancestors, the wild aurochs, is a potent symbol of strength and fertility, 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. One of the several archetypes associated with Taurus is ‘The Farmer,’ and many a bull has worn a ring through its nose for the sake of the farmer’s safety. The dairy bulls, breeds such as the Charolais for instance, are especially to be handled with care where the famous black bulls used in bullfighting are by comparison, more easygoing.

The bull has exerted a magical influence on human imagination even before the dawn of agriculture. 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.

It is thought that the aurochs migrated at this time of year; 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.

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Lascaux

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.

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 happened first in Northern Europe and today 35 % of the global human population can digest the milk sugar, lactose. Click on this link to find out more on this subject.

The Cult of the Bull and related Worship

Bull Leaping in Knossos

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.

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 concept 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.

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 …and they don’t give a lot of warning.  The mistake of the other person was in underestimating them, taking their good nature for granted 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  either dig in hard, or may charge head on.

Taurus in a full-on rage is a ‘bull in a china shop’ – the Earth sign that will withstand or demolish the opposition of  other more famous ‘fighting’ signs, Aries, Leo, and even lethal Scorpio, its opposite number in the zodiac.

Taurus doesn’t like to fight but doesn’t lose in a fair fight. The bull ring is not a fair fight; that’s the tragedy of Taurus. But if a Taurus is being unreasonable, misbehaving, or being a ‘bully’ quietly stand your ground.  It should pass. Taurus is not at all vindictive as a rule.

But why upset the Bull? Look at him, quietly grazing. Taurus is not a saint, and can be difficult or grumpy sometimes, but he’s really not looking for trouble. Do as you would be done by, and everything should be buttercups and daisies in your everyday dealings with the Taurus subject, man or woman.

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Seen by The Light of the April Moon

Photo by Vedad Colic on Pexels.com

Astrology

Astrology is about the search for meaning on earth as seen in the sky; seeking to understand human behaviour through the influence of planets and other celestial objects, Luna, our Moon being the .

Astrology began as humanity made conscious attempts to measure, record, and predict seasonal changes by paying attention to astronomical cycles.

Early evidence appears as markings on bones and cave walls 25,000 years ago; an early step towards recording the Moon’s influence upon tides and rivers, and towards creating the first calendars.

Symbolically, because it has no light of its own, The Moon represents our shadowy side, our dreams, hidden health, and the impulses that drive our behaviour whether or not we are consciously aware of them.

Why do astrologers study The Moon?

Humans have been studying the Moon since at least 25 000 years ago as the closest celestial body to Earth, exerting a physical gravitational effect on the tides, and on every living thing. Our bodies are largely water, subject to the pull of the tides, and we are no exception.

This affects men and women alike, but is more is readily noticeable in women, through their menstrual cycles.

The Moon in April: The Headlines

There is a lot of lunar drama going on this month, just as there is down here right now during this coronavirus pandemic.

 This month’s Full Moon is a Super-moon, a Pink Moon, and it is also the Paschal (Easter) Moon

The Full Moon this month will be in the sign of Libra.

The New Moon this month will be in the sign of Taurus.

The New Moon is the first/last lunar phase when the Moon is located between the Earth and the Sun and the moon is largely invisible, hidden in the sun’s glare.

The Full Moon occurs when the Moon is on the opposite of the Earth from the Sun on the same celestial longitude and we can see the entire illuminated portion of the Moon.

Key Moon phases in April:

1 April First Quarter Moon (waxing moon)

7 April Full Moon (in Libra)

13 April Last Quarter (waning moon)

23 April New Moon (in Taurus)

29 April First Quarter Moon (waxing moon)

What is a Supermoon?

A supermoon is a full moon or a new moon that nearly coincides with perigee—the closest that the Moon comes to the Earth in its elliptic orbit—resulting in a slightly larger-than-usual apparent size as viewed from Earth.

What Is A Paschal Moon?

Easter is observed on the Sunday following the Paschal Full Moon, which is the first full Moon that occurs on or after the March equinox.

This year, the March equinox occurs on Thursday, March 19. The first full Moon to occur after that date is 7 April UK time.

So that Easter this year is the first Sunday after 7 April: Sunday, April 12.

What is a Pink Moon?

Historically, full Moon names were used to track the seasons and, for this reason, often relate closely to nature. The Moon names that we use today stem from Native American and Colonial-era sources and apply to the entire lunar month, not only the full Moon itself.

April’s full Moon coincides with the first appearance of the “moss pink,” or ground creeping phlox …early spring flowers.

ground-phlox pub dom.jpeg

Public Domain

What does this mean for you and me, personally?

In general terms the New Moon and waxing Moon phase building up to the next Full Moon is the optimum time to make a new plan, to initiate or apply for something, or to grow, make or get something.

A Full Moon is in general the optimum time to take stock and evaluate, or to gather, collect, harvest or cash in on something.

A Waning Moon is the optimum time for ending something, releasing something, or clearing out what’s no longer wanted or needed.

7 April: Full Moon in Libra

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The Justice card: Rider- Waite Tarot

This full Moon shines a spotlight on the rule of reason, law and order, fair play, give and take, diplomacy

It can suggest romance in personal relationships, or repairing a disagreement. The sign of Libra, ruled by the planet Venus, is all about creating balance, harmony, and keeping the peace.

Libra is associated with The Justice Card in Tarot, which is about respect and fair play, following procedure, and applying logic and reason to problem-solving.

This is an unsettling time but The Justice card says, above all do not panic.

The Justice card suggests there will be added paperwork or other personal administration for most people one way or another in direct consequence of this situation. This paperwork may be legal in nature, or it may be financial, business or personal administration. It may be related to consumerism and provisioning, online shopping etc.

For small businesses and the self employed, the Justice card suggests special  measures put in place in the next few weeks, according to each country’s own national decision-making processes.

The pendulum swings. A degree of disruption and anxiety is natural and inevitable. Uncertainty makes us anxious, but the only real illusion is certainty. Nothing is certain, as the old saying goes, but Death and taxes.

Let’s keep our cool, look out for one another, and pay attention to process, procedure and detail. Dot the i’s and cross the t’s to get the very best we can from this April Full Moon in Libra.

Professor Karol Sikora is Professor of Medicine at the Uni of Buckingham, an oncologist for 50 years, he tweets @ProfKarolSikora:

I can’t tell you how helpful the social distancing is. If we all keep it up, I think a feasible scenario is a return to some normality at the beginning of May. As long as we keep to the rules now, we’ll end up in a much better place after Easter than is feared. Social distancing works. The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine estimate that before the lockdown one positive person would infect 2.6 other people. Now it is 0.62. This means the virus is cornered and will burn out.

23 April: The New Moon in Taurus

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The Hierophant: Rider-Waite Tarot

The Hierophant card is associated with Taurus, a warm, earthy but creative, artistic and highly instinctive sign. It is about tradition, sticking with tried and trusted methods, creature comforts, and for many of us, these may have been in short supply, and there has been an unusual degree of extra stress and strain in recent weeks and months, with fire and flood wreaking havoc in 2019, all before Covid-19 showed its ugly face in December, and through its inexorable spread, reminding humanity that we are inextricably interconnected, and distance is no object.

Perhaps afterwards, when things have returned more to normal, as they will, it will be time to review a few of our global, national and personal practices, habits and expectations in respect of animal husbandry and global travel, and perhaps in time there will be some new normalities.

The Hierophant is the card of hospitals, publishers, universities and schools. Possibly things may enter a new phase, and in some cases, start to ease or start to return to normal in these sectors after this date.

In other news

A New Moon in Taurus suggests taking it easy. Don’t complain of boredom. Make an art out of staying home, making and doing new or quiet things, creating as the alternative to consuming.

For losing a little weight without a lot of effort, try working with the Moon, and limit your calorie intake for a 3-day diet once the New Moon begins.

This is also the card of formal studies, traditional crafts and universities and can signify a good time for starting a new study project or recreational group project, such as joining a choir for instance, or an art class.

Taurus is zodiac the sign of mid-spring, and everything alive and green. It is the ultimate zodiac sign of food and agriculture, matched only by the harvest time of Virgo. Why not discover your green fingers, or even experiment with growing a few of your own foodstuffs. You can always start small says the New Moon. A few seeds in a container, and see what happens.

People have been panicking. The supermarkets have been selling out of dried goods, but there will always other ways of doing things, or new recipes, or new ways of cooking or doing things to try out.

We can adapt. We can improvise. What did the Romans do before toilet paper had been invented? They worshipped Hygeia as the goddess of Health. And they had no loo paper, but still, they had ways….

And if that didn’t spoil your ‘bon appétit’, the April New Moon in Taurus says, ‘Eat your greens.’

Until next time 🙂

February, and a One-Card ‘Crystal Ball’ style reading

I am at pains to stress I don’t work as a fortune-teller. I work as an adviser, working to a brief, and I offer forecasting within a specific context, because otherwise, who am I reading for exactly? And I aim to deal in relevant specifics wherever possible.

Context is key for meaning, relevance and precision.

However, I also like to challenge myself. General ‘scrying’ of ‘the’ future, Nostradamus style, is part of a very ancient tradition, and I sometimes work with a well known astrologer, Jessica Adams, writing as a guest contributor for a monthly feature, Tarot Tuesday at JessicaaAdams.com.

The challenge is to pick just one card, and share my intuitive impressions triggered by this card for the coming month. But without benefit of any other context than this loose time frame. One or two other Tarot card readers also write up their one card readings for the month to come, and Jessica then correlates these Tarot findings with current astrology.

Artist Albert Anker 1880

My chosen card for this February 2020 was the Six of Swords.

Book meanings: relocation, progress, exploration, charting a new course, mourning, travel by water, self determination, east

From the Legacy of the Divine Tarot, Image by Ciro Marchetti.

Lick your finger, hold it up…what is the prevailing wind?

Winds are changeable of course, from day to day, even hour to hour, but still, it has been interesting for me as a reader, to correlate my previous one card ‘crystal ball’ readings with events of the ensuing month.

An earlier one card reading said ‘wild fire,’ (you can see previous readings via the link provided below) and it is still playing out, tragically; particularly the Australian wild fires, of which the first were actually in September, and now it is known that several of these were started deliberately.

These single card readings are actually drawn 2-3 weeks ahead of publication, so that I am drawing a card mid January for the first Tuesday in February, and mid February looking ahead to the first Tuesday in March and so on.

Logically, none of it ought to make any sense at all, unless by sheer coincidence. Except that isn’t how it works, when it works.

It works on animal sensing.

Click below to read February’s Tarot Tuesday feature, courtesy of Jessica Adams.

Tarot Tuesdays with psychic astrologer Jessica Adams

Until next time 🙂

Ophiuchus: The Thirteenth Sign of the Zodiac?

Dang. I meant to post this in November and forgot. I’ll blame it on Brexit. Why not.

Is there a missing thirteenth sign in the astrological zodiac? NASA, astronomers and mainstream media suggest there is, trotting out this story every few years, to the frustration of Tropical western astrology scholars and practitioners. Sidereal (eastern) astrologers may agree with NASA, but Tropical (western) astrologers absolutely do not.

So what’s all this about?

It hinges on the confusing of zodiac signs with the constellations after which they were named, treated them as mutually interchangeable which they are not.

There are 12 signs in astrology. Modern astronomy records 88 constellations covering the southern and northern hemispheres of Earth’s sky.

Thirteen of these constellations cross or touch the ecliptic – the trajectory of the Sun’s apparent path across the sky as seen from Earth.

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Public Domain: the Plane of the ecliptic

These include the 12 constellations that inspired the names of the 12 zodiac signs plus a thirteenth constellation– Ophiuchus (Oaf-ih-YOU-kus)

Astronomers and NASA have presented this thirteenth constellation, Ophiuchus, as the thirteenth sign of the zodiac, while also pointing out that the zodiac itself…the section of sky directly overhead as viewed from Earth- has changed from when the ancient Babylonian astrologers first viewed it, so that, claims NASA, the generally accepted dates for the zodiac signs as supplied in horoscopes are now a month out of alignment.

This change in the skies has been the result of an effect called precession. The gravitational pull of the Moon and the Sun causes the Earth to ‘wobble’ and as the Earth orbits around the sun; a different constellation appears behind it each month.

So while the zodiac signs have remained in a fixed position, and their dates have remained the same, varying only by a day or two here and there, the constellations have drifted.

Based on this, astronomers have suggested the new astrological zodiac should more correctly look like this, with these new dates:

•Capricorn: 20 Jan – 16 Feb
•Aquarius: 16 Feb – 11 March
•Pisces: 11 March – 18 April
•Aries: 18 April – 13 May
•Taurus: 13 May – 21 June
•Gemini: 21 June – 20 July
•Cancer: 20 July – 10 Aug
•Leo: 10 Aug – 16 Sept
•Virgo: 16 Sept – 30 Oct
•Libra: 30 Oct – 23 Nov
•Scorpio: 23 – 29 Nov
•Ophiuchus: 29 Nov – 17 Dec
•Sagittarius: 17 Dec – 20 Jan

So you thought you were a Taurus sun sign, says NASA. No, actually, you are an Aries subject. So you thought you were an Aries sun sign? No, you are Pisces. So you thought you were a Sagittarius? No, you are Ophiuchus, and so on.

Whoa. But let’s not get too excited. As astronomers are quick to point out, astronomy is not astrology. And that works both ways.

First let’s take a brief look at the astronomy.

The Astronomy and the Constellation of Ophiuchus

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Wiki

Ophiuchus ([Oaf-ih-YOU-kus)  is one of the largest constellations but in general the least well known,  straddling the celestial equator northwest of the centre of the Milky Way, near the constellations Aquila, Serpens, and Hercules, and opposite Orion, the southern section lying between Scorpius to the west and Sagittarius to the east. Below Ophiuchus, down to the right, look out for a bright reddish star, Antares in Scorpio, for help in confirming that you have found it.

Right now -July- is the best time to see it in the northern hemisphere, mid-winter in the southern hemisphere.  Hence this story is in the news again right now.

Its name comes from the Greek Ὀφιοῦχος Ophioukhos; “serpent-bearer,” and it is commonly represented as a man grasping a snake.  In medieval Islamic astronomy the constellation was known as ‘Al-Ḥawwa,’ “the snake-charmer.” It used to be called Serpentius, when the constellation counted more stars, including the constellation of Serpens, representing the snake itself. Marking the head of Ophiuchus, Alpha Ophiuchi has an older, Arabic name: Rasalhague, the “Head of the Snake Charmer”.

Ophiuchus contains notable features and objects, including Kepler’s Supernova, or Kepler’s Star, named for German astronomer Johannes Kepler.

It was by far the brightest star in the sky for over 3 weeks during 1604 and actually Kepler wasn’t the first to note the supernova, due to cloudy conditions, but he made observations over the course of an entire year and wrote about the “new star in the foot of Ophiuchus”.

Kepler’s Supernova continued visible for 18 months, and its remnants are still studied today, still the most recent supernova to be observed with the naked eye.

Mythology

To the ancient Greeks, the constellation represented the god Apollo struggling with a huge snake that guarded the Oracle of Delphi.

Later myths identified Ophiuchus with Laocoon, the tragic Trojan priest of Poseidon, who warned his fellow Trojans about the Greek’s wooden horse, and together with his sons, was killed by a pair of sea-serpents sent by Poseidon to shut him up, because clearly, Poseidon was on the side of the Greeks, or else under orders from Zeus, or else Laocoon had already annoyed him in some other way, and you know, nothing less than death by giant sea-snake would do.

Public Domain

Pluto (Hades) complained to Jupiter (Zeus) that Asclepius was interfering with death, an act of hubris which upset the natural order, and meant the end of the circle of life, with no room for new life.

Immortality would be a terrible evil. Life itself would die, stagnated, and Jupiter (Zeus) duly put a stop to it by killing Asclepius, hurling a lightning thunderbolt straight at his head, giving him an instant perm.  

Apollo was, rather understandably, we may agree, furiously upset, “you zapped my son you b*stard!” Jupiter tried to comfort him by placing Asclepius in the heavens to honour his good works, and the rod of Asclepius remains the symbol of western medicine to this day.

The rod of Asclepius is not be confused with the Cadeuceus, a symbol of medicine, but also of trade. The cadeuceus is assciated with Mercury, and has not one but two snakes twined round the staff, and it has wings.

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Public Domain

So, is Ophiuchus the thirteenth zodiac sign? Or does your zodiac sign stay the same?

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Image: Public Domain: The Snake-Wrangler in Urania’s Mirror, 1825. Above the tail of the serpent is a now ‘obsolete’ constellation, Taurus Poniatovii

If you are born between 29th November and 17th December, NASA, other astronomers and Sidereal astrologers may argue that your zodiac sun sign is technically Ophiuchus.

Key personality traits:

Humanitarian* Poetic* Hungry for knowledge* Intuitive* Psychic*Intense *Likes bright colours *High achievers *Prone to harbouring enemies without realizing *Lucky (so long as the enemies don’t succeed, obviously)

These are, not surprisingly, a mix of classic Scorpio and Sagittarius attributes in this profile.

But- there is a But here. And it is a blooming big BUT.

What astronomy is failing to recognize is the logic of the system which is the very basis of western (Tropical) astrology, and which makes a key distinction between the positions at any given time of the constellations themselves, and the zodiac signs named after them.

The signs of the zodiac as we know them today are based on Ptolemy’s twelve-fold division of the ecliptic, designed so that each sign spans 30° of celestial longitude, or roughly the distance the Sun travels in a month. 12 was a cleaner, tidier number to work with than was 13.

Ptolemy aligned these divisions with the seasons so that the March equinox always falls on the boundary between Pisces and Aries, whereas Sidereal (Vedic) astrology is based on the constellations themselves, as was western astrology way back at the time of the Babylonians, whose data Ptolemy worked with.

Tropical western astrology, with its 12 associated zodiac signs is a static, modelled system based NOT on the constellations themselves, but on the wheel of the seasons which also accord the signs of the zodiac their personalities, but the idea of the ‘missing’ thirteenth sign is nothing new.

It was developed by Hipparchus in 130 BC,” says astrologer, Susan Miller, “but you don’t get your characteristics from the constellations. You get them from the planets, from the sun and moon. We measure everything by the degree to which the earth is rotated around the sun. So if you’re born at the beginning of the zodiac, which corresponds to the spring equinox and typically falls on March 20, you’re at the 0º point—or the point at which the sun is crossing directly over the earth’s Equator. If we didn’t have names like Virgo or Gemini we’d have to walk around saying, `Hi, I’m a 136º,’ and I’d say, `Oh, really? Well I’m a 352º and so on.”

In Summary

NASA’s supposed debunking may be logical in strictly astronomical terms. But that’s astronomy. It has nothing to do with western Tropical astrology as practiced today, and would only matter if the timing of the signs relied upon being tied to the actual positions of the constellations.

But they do not, and your zodiac sign, also known as your sun sign still stands, both as it is and where it is, based on the principle and according to the system on which it was first described.

The Saturnian Strangeness of the Winter Solstice

Saturn rules Capricorn, the zodiac sign which became associated with the dates of Christmas. Bright lights, good cheer, a nosh- up, a knees-up; the Romans celebrated Saturn as the god of agriculture, and also because, according to their theology, Saturn was the god who ruled the world during the long lost Golden Age, and they wanted it back, please.

The Saturnalia was celebrated 17 December, with festivities usually culminating round 23 December.

Public Domain

Outside of this context, Saturn is not usually so jovial in aspect. It is the planet of great virtues, but stern and serious. Life is a serious business, and requires effort, is the message of Saturn.

Caesar must be rendered to. The bottom line safeguarded. Nothing came from nowhere, nothing is for nothing. Even the birds don’t sing for fun. The birds especially do not sing for fun. They sing to win and stake a territory, and keep it. They sing to win a mate, they sing to ward off threats to their nests, but is their song less beautiful for that?

Saturn is all about the bottom line. Food is the bottom line, and the solstice meant the return of the sun for the new year’s crops. It wouldn’t do to take Saturn for granted.

The face of Janus, past and future, could be seen as another face of Saturn himself. Janus, the primordial god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways, passages, is the god of endings. An ancient legend said the souls of the dead returned to their origin, rising through the gates of the constellation of Capricornus, where the souls of newborn descended to arrive on Earth through the gates of Cancer, zodiac sign of the summer solstice in a never-ending wheel of souls.

Public Domain

For all of us there comes a point where every year, a familiar face or name will leave the orbit of our lives, and we revisit the memories. Maybe it is a person, or maybe it is a place. Perhaps it is something we used to do, or used to wish for. The ghosts have their own pictures, particular songs, sounds and smells.

They are many, bittersweet, the ever-more crowding ghosts of Christmas past.

WHO WALKS THIS EARTH UNSEEN

The ghosts of the Displaced

Those who could have been

Those who never knew

What else where else

To whom they could belong

Not here or now where else

They could have been

What else around us all

The ghosts of Might Have Been

Behind the lives behind the claims

Their space not yet but come their time

Make way

Margaret Whyte, December 2019

Christmas 1972

The Why of Winter

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

My mother turned 81 just before Christmas; wise, shrewd, beautiful, a mother of five; a gifted teacher, naturalist, poet, and for many years, a champion protector of women’s statutory right to give birth in their own home if they wished, not to become mandatory patients in a more or less public setting, rendered subordinates in their own care during what is a personal and family event.

An independent thinker possessed of moral and physical courage, self-discipline and fortitude; and with a keen sense of the absurd -without which there is no sense of humour, she could be described as a classical Capricorn Queen of Pentacles, born 23 December.

Both her parents were naturalists, and she in turn took her children to the wild places, beach combing and. hill- climbing. We climbed in the Lakes, in Glen Coe, on Mull. As teenagers, we were not always in the mood, but she would not leave us at home.

Nor could we always keep up with her, a smallish woman, 5′ 5…same height as me, and with the stamina of…well, a mountain a goat, trotting on ahead with her backpack, my stepfather, Pa, six foot five, toiling moodily at the rear with the biggest backpack.

Capricorn marks the winter solstice, so it marks the beginning of winter, but it also marks the returning sun.

Capricorn is the cardinal sign of Earth in the western zodiac, and also in the storybook of the Tarot, and its associated cards are The Devil (Pan) the Ace of Pentacles (Earth) and the Queen of Pentacles.

Image from The Gilded Tarot, Ciro Marchetti


The Why of Winter

by Katie-Ellen

Sirius hard on the

Hunter’s heels

Stoats in ermine

Gain the field

Resting time

For sap-sunk trees

And earthed in dens

Some sleep

the hungry time

In deathly ease

Blackthorn points

The ancient tracks

Of chasing men

And panting beasts

Sweated salts

And bone-crack feasts

Oaks and sacred

Moons of mistletoe

Call down Life

Or conjure woe

When wolves at doors

Shall seek for more

As Gaia tilts

And wheeling skies

Spin winter stars

There is no other why.