And here we are again…embarking on the selection process of a new Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party
I will be looking further in the Tarot as this new contest unfolds. We will all know sooner or later of course, and in that respect, one might say there is no need and little point in doing any Tarot reading. But this is a Tarot blog, and I am writing this for those people who are interested in divination or psychic thinking and its workings. That’s what this blog is about, getting the Tarot’s Eye view on a real life situation and then seeing how that works out on the ground.
Rishi Sunak is the obvious front runner at the time of writing, and he could well get the post. I have drawn the Nine of Cups for him (the card means wishes…
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.’
There is another saying we have probably all come across, ‘opinions are like a*holes. Everyone’s got one.’
However, we all do predictions all the same, whether we see it that way or not. We are constantly planning on the basis of predicting what we will be doing next.
Forewarned is forearmed (trotting out all the cliches here)
However unsolicited comment, when it’s not welcomes is next to useless for practical purposes. It will be disregarded or worse. Plus, regardless of whether subsequent events prove them right or wrong, history shows that unwelcome ‘messengers’ really do get ‘shot.’
The Curse of Cassandra
The Curse of Cassandra refers to the princess of Troy, the legendary seeress Cassandra, daughter of Priam and Hecuba. Although she was truly gifted in prophecy, she was so weird and her warnings were so depressing, she was not believed when she spoke the truth, 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. Troy has fallen, and it’s only going to get worse.
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.
This in itself might be enough to send someone a bit crazy, don’t you think?
To shout into the wind. To see the approaching doom of everyone and everything you know, and to know that you will be unable to help your loved ones? Wouldn’t that be a kind of a living hell?
Then again, the truth may hurt, but beyond that, assuming it is indeed the truth, can it do any good?
That depends on someone’s readiness to consider the warning, or whatever other information you might have to share.
Was this input solicited?
Is it within their nature and their capability at any level, to have the resources to use it?
Unsolicited advice often falls on deaf ears (as does actively solicited advice) People work 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 so much hot air, solicited or unsolicited proselytizing, depending on the circumstances, though of course media pundits do it all the time.
Journalists have approached me on occasion, seeking a quote, an interview, a soundbite, eg; about Brexit. I have done many readings around Brexit and written them up here. But the journalist doesn’t want to trawl through those. They haven’t the time. They want a snappy sound bite.
Journalists are looking to tell a good story. This may mean, not that they lie, but they do not necessarily quote one verbatim either, while my blog archives are available to browse anytime.
‘A word to the wise,’ we may say, when offering advice. Even assuming the advice is good advice, it takes a wise person to listen, let alone act on that advice in timely fashion, especially when the advice really isn’t what they want to hear.
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.
The Masters of Magic Deck
Yesterday I decided to try out a deck I have not used before, to pull a single comment card – no context, nothing but a straw in the wind.
I was using, 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.’
Back to William Lilly. With 21 June fast approaching, the proposed UK date for the final release of lock-down this card struck me as timely.
People were upset, shaking their fists, shouting ‘no-one is going to tell us what to do.’
Well, I didn’t like it either. But sorry. Yes they are or there could be no such thing as a society. Infrastructure demands co-operation and regulation. When there is a revolution, there is anarchy for a while but then a new society emerges. Just with a few new and different rules.
And we will see plenty of this during the next 20 years.
But our individual freedoms were already in hock when we were born, negotiated far, far back in exchange for the most basic safety and security, and later, for the many benefits of modern life depending on a hugely complex organization of infrastructure. Habitation. Protection. Roads. Lighting. Water. Food security.
If we really want to be completely free, we need to go analogue and go off-grid. But then we’d pretty soon be dealing with opportunistic human predators. New ‘zombie swarms’. They’d find us soon enough. Meanwhile the weather would tell us what to do, and so would hunger and thirst and any illnesses. The seasons would command us, and the availability of all vital food resources. We’d have very little freedom in real terms, simply in terms of everything we’d have to be doing simply 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.
On the other hand, no, 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
This card from the Masters of Magic deck, William Lilly, seemed most apposite, drawn 10 June 2021, 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.
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.
“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.“
Historically, a pandemic usually 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 at least until March -June 2022, and that will not mean the end of it either before it peters out to a generally ‘manageable’ risk. But it will take some time to see its full effects via Long Covid and other damage.
The World card as shown here is from The Legacy of The Divine Tarot, illustrator Ciro Marchetti
I was previously over-optimistic April 2020, when the chances of a second lock-down looked about 50:50, and I was hopeful that we might escape it.
I tend to be a glass half full person though I am myself 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.
At other times, as with anything, any tarot reader or other 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?
I do not bet. I don’t follow football, only now and then, and I don’t gamble. I do look at it in the cards sometimes but his is just for exercise, and to test myself.
Il Matrimonio grassed me up once and told other Dover Athletic fans what I had said to him about the result. That Dover Athletic would win against Blackpool. A Dover newspaper got hold of this anecdote when the fans got home again, celebrating, and printed the story, and fortunately I got it right, so it was funny, and all was well that ended well. But who needs that kind of publicity.
Prognostication, psychic divination and forecasting requires us to look, then to go down a hole, then to come up again and think.
This is not the same thing as a totally unsolicited psychic experience which comes out of the blue. However such psychic moments can arise on the back of reading the cards. Divination can open the ‘door.’
In general, a psychic experience or insight comes AT us right out of the blue, and may seem entirely random and without purpose, at least, at the time.
Divination sends us to do a job in tooled-up, going purposefully into the blue. Or at least that’s the theory.
The Two of Pentacles is the minor arcana Tarot card associated with the first Decan of Capricorn according to Western (Tropical) astrology. The first Decan of Capricorn runs 21 December-31 December.
And as we enter the first Decan of Capricorn….Kent is the seething focus of national attention in the UK. We have a new crisis of the Medway, but this time it is not a hostile foreign maritime engagement as such, or not directly. It is not the Dutch, but the now swiftly accelerating misery of the new strain of coronavirus.
Plus, for good measure, there has been -still is- a 48 hour blockade by France, more than 600 lorries queuing on the M20, trapping unfortunate drivers, unable to get home via the ferry to France or going through the Channel Tunnel. This, ostensibly, in an effort by France to prevent or minimize the arrival of the new coronavirus strain. This seems an understandable response to such a threat, but many of those trapped are EU nationals, and the new strain is already in Europe. This new strain, which was identified in September, has apparently been identified in Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands- and also Australia.
17:22 today: Source Highways England
This is being resolved apparently, as I am typing this, or so Il Matrimonio informs me, shouting through from the other room, watching the News on the wretched shrieking box.
And all this with less than ten days to go until the end of the Brexit Transition period 31 December. There is speculation that if a Deal is managed…and the signs suggest a further UK compromise is on the table, to the great relief of many, and the huge misgivings and disappointment of many others…then Parliament may be recalled to vote on such a Deal on 30 December.
So. A prudent and timely precaution or a politically driven act of aggression?
Covid or Brexit?
Dover, ah, Dover. Topped with its castle founded in the 11th century. So much history here, defining moments, witnessed by this giant stone sentinel overlooking -guarding -the shortest sea crossing, those mere twenty one miles, between England and the Continent.
Today, as we enter the first Decan of the zodiac sign of Capricorn, ruled by Saturn, the ultimate planet of material power, restriction, rules and the bottom line, you can see it for yourself.
It is all suggested here in this card.
“Entering 1st decan Capricorn, cardinal earth, the minor #Tarot card is 2 Pentacles. A card of commuting or coping- just about. A need to take stock, simplify, rationalize before we ‘drop the ball.’ Tricky balancing act, little spare or slack in the system. IMG Gilded Tarot Royale”
Traditional meanings for this card: ambition, determination, keeping one’s own counsel, a difficult juggling act, running to keep up, commuting, managing material affairs, embarrassment, moving money between accounts, just getting by, robbing Peter to pay Paul, a need to rationalize and simplify.
This is not what you would call a BAD card. Not by any means. But it’s not an easy or sustainable situation either. Study the image, think of coronavirus and if you are in the UK, the imminent end of the Brexit Transition period, and the challenges are manifestly symbolized and reflected in this imagery.
Here is a negotiation, a juggling act of competing interests. The Pentacles themselves represent territory, money, goods, and the movement of goods.
Here is fishing. Note the dolphin. Just wait till the next super trawler comes along and swoops it up as ‘side-catch’. Let’s hope there’s good news there.
My cards have always shown me that Brexit would happen, and there were times, this seemed in real doubt, but also they never shown me a consistently, strong signal for a No Deal (WTO) Brexit. Nor have they shown A DEAL from which I could only conclude it will be a scenario of SOME DEAL.
But, since 2016 I have consistently been shown a picture of onward forward progress over the coming decade via a new era of UK independence, as shown by the maritime card, the Six of Swords. It may or may not seem like a ‘fudge.’
But this ‘ship’ The Britannia IS inexorably pulling away from the EU berth. We have a very long and complicated relationship. It will always be complicated. The history of the British Isles, its unique melting-pot of the many peoples, and the many waves of invasions that forged it, is the reason why. We are too near, but not near enough. Too far away, but not far enough.
Here in the Two of Pentacles, earthy though it is, we are shown a coastline, ie, a natural border. We see the figure, claiming ownership of territorial waters, a mercantile vessel in the near distance.
The Two of Pentacles is talking here in real time, but also acting in character right here in its designated astrological time slot.
Here is synchronicity of Tarot imagery, working in real time again.
Yesterday lunchtime a little after twelve, I got a phone call from the senior sprog. She was anxious because she had not seen her little black cat, Salem since returning from a trip to the pet store.
Was the cat OK? Would I look in the cards?
I made the obvious noises, it had only been a couple of hours etc,
‘What if I see bad news?’ I said, ‘there is no guarantee that it will be good news, and I could be wrong either way’.
This is the risk in consulting with oracles, and the reader knows it fine well.
She said that if I saw bad news, she would manage her expectations, but that I had been right about such things before, and it’s true, I have done a number of similarly cat related readings over the years, and besides, I would not decline such a request from my daughter, who has been somewhat under stress lately, working in a crazy busy pharmacy. They processed over 1,100 prescription requests one day last week, and this is a SMALL pharmacy, with a max 2-3 staff front of house dealing with the public, and they are not always nice. Often it’s just her on her own.
Will Salem come home soon, safe and sound?
I used a 6 card Answer Spread used by a cartomancer David J Arcuri, and if you are interested in learning to read with playing cards, I recommend you visit his website at The Art of Cartomancy
This spread is read as three pairs of vertical columns
Column 1 describes the premise of the situation
The Ace of Diamonds, a shop, a short trip. Sprog had been to the pet store. This card could also been detecting a sudden loud noise, such as a firework, or a car exhaust backfiring. One of her neighbours has the deeply anti-social habit of letting off fireworks any time of day, and the cat is terrified of them.
The Six of Spades can indicate a car, a voyage, a delay, progress, loss and recovery, journey into the unknown. My daughter had returned and called for Salem who usually responds to her call, but did not do so on this occasion.
Column 2 contains the answer to the question
The Ten of Clubs described a place of business, a trip, and often, a body of water, such as a bathtub or a puddle. Had my daughter checked the bathroom?
Our own cat once disappeared but was only in the bathroom, where she had hidden, scared by the noise of the window cleaner outside. The Ace of Diamonds combined with this made me wonder if something had startled Salem while she was outside, so that she had been lying low, even though she may have heard my daughter calling for her.
The bathroom had been checked, but the ten of diamonds is in general a very lucky card. In terms of money, it indicates a lucky win or unexpected sum of money, and she had recently had a modest Christmas windfall. In terms of character, this card refers to a highly self-willed and independent-minded personage but one way and another, it indicated a happy outcome.
The Queen of Hearts shows the queen in question, looking anxiously back at the Six of Spades. But her appearance here is welcome news.
‘The cards are saying who are you, the cat’s mother?’ I told the sprog, ‘And yes, you are the cat’s mother, and the Queen of Hearts says ‘happy mummy,’
It was going to be OK.
Column 3 offers additional comments
Two of Clubs…a meeting, a reunion, an exchange of gifts, sharing of time. This is a positive card though it carries a warning, that I am in consultation with my own child, and perhaps anxious about what I might see. Beware of bias.
Nine of Diamonds, the brain, psychic activity, electromagnetic fields, the wishes of my ‘client’ that personally affect me. This bottom right hand card is the hinge card upon which the answer depends, and was a clear indication that Salem would show up soon.
The absence of Spades cards in the second and third columns was particularly reassuring.
‘She’s just come in now,’my daughter said quietly. Looking somewhat sheepish, so my daughter said.I suspect Salem had heard or seen the return of my daughter’s car out at the front of the house, had heard her calling, but had been lying low, either scared of something, or too engrossed in her own exciting pursuits to come home when called.
Timing in cartomancy
Diamonds can be as fast as a bolt of lightning. They denote minutes, hours or days
Clubs are fast, but not so fast as Diamonds. They denote days or weeks.
Hearts denote weeks or months
Spades denote months, years or not at all.
The overall balance of suits give the reader an overall impression of how fast something seems likely to happen.
Here, that Ace of Diamonds top left, matched and bookmarked by the Nine of Diamonds, bottom right, seemed to be saying ‘sudden.’
Was the cat’s reappearance within nine minutes after first drawing the cards?
I can’t say. I wasn’t looking at the time, but it could well have been, which didn’t half make this reading feel like a storm in an egg-cup, or a sledgehammer to crack a nut.
But love in all its guises is a wind that bloweth as it listeth, and the wind blows very strong. Diamonds, Clubs and Hearts blew a warm south-westerly.
There are plenty of bigger fish a reader could be frying right now. I don’t see a further Brexit delay or extension in my cards today, and I have to say, I should dearly hope not. I have looked at this before during 2018 and 2019, and written up those impressions here in the archives.
The cards are against there being A Deal, but I am still being shown a possibility of ‘a deal’, whatever that means in practice, and we’ll know soon enough, but I fear a delay in respect of Fishing. The UK will get free and clear and reclaim control of its waters, but it may take longer than many feel it should.
Ursula Von der Leyen is showing up as a Queen of Spades, and she is looking at a Deal (MONEY Two of Diamonds) and she is also looking across this card at Boris Johnson, shown here as a King of Spades -which he is astrologically, as a Gemini air sign. He has turned away, facing forward into an unknown future. Both are ready to strike a ‘clean blow’- BJ in particular, suggests cartomancy, since the Queen is looking at him. But although he is definitely listening very carefully, one ear cocked, he is not reciprocating that gaze.
He is actively planning on the immediate necessities of the No Deal scenario, no time to lose, as the EU surely is too, although I am looking at this from the UK perspective. I also feel, despite all the extreme incivility of discourse on social media, particularly the ad hominem comments directed at the UK PM, that there is actually mutual respect and personal goodwill between these powerful ‘monarchs’ of the same suit.
His mind is made up. He is clear. Both these ‘monarchs’ have the capability to bring down the sword to cut a Gordian Knot. But do not wish to do so. The PM seems to have something in reserve, points of manoeuvre if he hears the ‘right’ thing. So that even at this very late stage, the future is not sealed, and an agreement cannot be discounted, even if it falls well short of a comprehensive FTA.
Update 14/12/2020 *The Deadline is now potentially extended until New Years Eve.
It is now a ‘game’ of attrition. A game of chicken. The baseline motivation is legal defensiveness on both sides, and the EU team remains hopeful the UK will blink or buckle, and they feel it is entirely possible, and worth pushing for, as the PM has veered off his stated position before, under internal pressures.*
Will he ‘buckle’? Gemini is famously mercurial and Mr J is Gemini three times over. The Six of Cups, The Queen of Swords (Spades) drawn Reversed, and the Six of Swords which I have drawn many times before. This card of loss, recovery, exploration, maritime, science and tech, paints the picture of the UK destiny, irrespective of the detail. Steering a new course, navigating new waters. The maritime issue is key, as we all know, and it’s not only the fish, but because it is a principle of territorial boundaries.
Our collective legacy is necessary and key to the collective future.
Regardless of a so-called No Deal or some kind of a Deal, the 9 of Clubs indicates a big new challenge, an adventure, and a fiscal recovery earlier than may be realistically expected, referring here to the UK’s post- covid recovery post-Brexit.
That 2 Diamonds in the middle column is THE classic card of a business Deal, and so is the Nine of Clubs and that’s the hinge card. The ‘adventure’ quality suggests a WTO exit IS something the UK is prepared to do.
‘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. The Moon, though our satellite and not a planet, is the closest celestial body to Earth, an average of 238,855 miles (384,400 km) away depending on its orbit.
The Moon provides us with a map and a guide to the seasons, with a measure of predictability as to when certain things will happen, such as the tides or the migration of animals for hunting and much more besides, for example, the spawning of corals, animal mating seasons, crop growth, hormonal cycles and quite possibly human behaviour (lunatic, moody, moonstruck, love-struck mooncalf and so on).
Cave paintings show that early humans collected and correlated Moon observations, and this created a database of information for their very survival in timing the organizing of hunts, and much later, now living in built settlements, planting and harvesting crops.
The mass of anecdotal evidence gathered over many millennia, describing the effects of the Moon on human health and behaviour is simply too great to be dismissed.
The Winter Solstice
The key astronomical event this month is the winter solstice 21 December. And in astrological terms too, this is especially significant in 2020, with the Sun moving into conjunction with Mercury in the first degree of Capricorn and then Jupiter, making an exact conjunction Saturn in the first degree of Aquarius.
This marks a symbolic shift, called by some astrologers a new Age of Aquarius, described as an age of high technology, balanced by greater collectivism and less individualism in a world with a human population currently double the size that it was in 1970.
Earth’s resources are finite. This ‘shift’ may mean ‘working smart,’ with less available resources per person, in effect, and the effects could be seen for the next few centuries as humanity adapts tries to reconcile itself with best practice with rising use of digital and other technology on the one hand, and urban design, food production and our connection to the natural world on the other.
None of this is new. It is a conversation that has been taking place for some time. But this coming conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius, happening on the solstice of all days, marks this as a symbolic doorway.
The Victorian era was not like the Regency era. We are entering a new post-post modern era of social change, but only history will enable us to see it more clearly…such that we will name it. The Industrial revolution sent us away from home to work. This era may well bring far more of us us home again to work enabled by new, rising digital alt-tech, a necessary check, as the tech giants grow ever more powerful, monstrous, even to the operational detriment of legitimate, democratically elected governments.
Saturn warns, don’t get carried away with this digital revolution. Be aware of the downsides as well as the benefits. These are very serious downsides, as prejudicial to liberty as the upsides potentially enabling, and I for one, am thankful for the opportunities it has brought me to work from home during illness.
I remember, teaching evening class in college in 1992, telling adult students in that this ‘thing’ was coming, called ‘The Information Superhighway’.
And with what shocking speed it became part of our daily lives. But hour after hour online is not what our bodies were made for, and over-sharing online compromises the privacy and security of your physical space, finances and personal safety. Our feet, and those of our children, for their future well-being, must stay firmly grounded, earthed and rooted in the real, living, sensate, world.
This month, watch for the Geminid Meteor showers, starting around 4 December, peaking 13-14 December when it will be New Moon and the skies will be darkest, providing optimum brightness in 2020, cloud cover permitting. The Geminids are matched only by the Perseids in August, the brightest meteor showers of the year. The Geminids come from a rocky comet near the bright stars Castor and Pollux in the constellation of Gemini the Twins, and are also visible but less dramatic in the Southern Hemisphere. The meteors are very white and bright with 50 or more meteors per hour. The best show is in the small hours after midnight, around 2 a.m. local time (the time on your clock no matter where you are on Earth)
There is another, less spectacular, but symbolically significant meteor shower, the Ursids, during the night of 22/23 December, as if the Giant Sky Bears wake briefly from their winter hibernation to welcome the returning sun after solstice.
The Ursids come from the Big and Little Dipper in the constellations Ursa Major and Ursa Minor.
Find the Big Dipper high up in the north-northeast at around 1 a.m. That’s the best time to start watching. This year, 2020, the first quarter moon sets in the evening, with dark skies at late night and the morning hours for maximum visibility, the Ursids falling at a rate of about ten meteors an hour.
Humanity around the globe looked up and saw Sky-Bears more than 13,000 years ago.
December is the month when winter begins for most of the Northern Hemisphere, and the Full Moon is called the Cold Moon. The Old English/Anglo-Saxon name is the Moon Before Yule
Dec 14 New Moon in Sagittarius (and a solar eclipse)
Dec 21 Winter solstice and waning half moon in Pisces and Aries
Dec 22 Look out for shooting stars- The Geminids Meteor shower
Dec30 Full Moon in Cancer
The Full Moon is 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 face of the moon.
The New Moon is the first/last lunar phase when the moon is between the Earth and the Sun,and the moon is largely invisible, hidden in the sun’s glare.
What do the moon phases mean symbolically?
A waxing Moon as we approach Full Moon is the optimum time to grow, build, add to, make or get something. It is about bringing in something new, or bringing something to completion or fruition.
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 after the Full 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.)
A New Moon is the optimum time to launch something, make a plan, start from scratch.
15 November 2020: New Moon in Sagittarius
The major arcana Tarot card associated with this New Moon is Temperance.
This could be an auspicious time for a job interview, audition or other important meeting or contract, especially if it is attached to Teaching, Publishing, the Arts, Entertainments or Travel industries.
This New Moon and its total solar eclipse suggests a dynamic mood with a lively, fun and friendly feeling, but watch out – things could suddenly turn quarrelsome and we could be slightly more accident-prone than usual.
Temper temper? Time to cool it. Just give it a rest, will ya?
30 December 2020: Full Moon in Cancer
The major arcana Tarot card associated with this full moon in the cardinal water sign of Cancer is The Chariot.
Traditional meanings: Upright:ambition, direction, focus, self-control, teamwork, progress, determination. It can refer literally, to a journey, a new car or other vehicle. Reversed, impatience, self-indulgence, ploughing a trail of damage, car trouble.
The first full moon of 2020 was on 10 January, and was also in Cancer. This last full moon of the year makes a circle to wrap up the lunar year on a calmer note.
What new page has been turned in 2020? What is our own new normal going to look like? What lifestyle changes have we made in 2020, possibly as a consequence of the Covid- 19 emergency, that we did not choose to start with but that may actually be working OK for us?
The Tarot’s Comment
Here we have the gentle, harmonizing, summertime card of the Two of Cups.
Traditional Meanings: romance, friendships, offer, invitations, partnership, trade, positive exchanges
Here we have the words HEALING and MERCANTILE symbolically conjoined. Or MEDICINE and TRADE, and how entirely apposite is this, with Vaccines the topic of the day, and with a fast looming deadline for a Free Trade Agreement between the UK and the EU.
I have blogged about this before, back in 2018 and it looked like a Hard Brexit-But-with some Add-on- or Sub-deal-Not-Hard-Enough for many who voted to leave on the basis that Out meant Out, and that the mutual needs of trade would take care of the rest. I may look again, though, ahead of time.
Curiously, in addition, this Two of Cups coincides symbolically with this December’s Full Moon in the zodiac sign of Cancer the Crab.
The constellation of Cancer was known as ‘The Gate of Men.’ Platonic legend said the souls of Mankind descended through the stars of Cancer to be born on Earth.
Babies conceived in December during or after the winter solstice will be born during Virgo, at harvest-time, late August to early September.
Lock-down may result in more Virgo born babies in 2021. Virgo is already the most common birth sign in the northern hemisphere for this reason, that arrivals in harvest time, especially in late September, meant a mother in optimum nutritional health for bearing and nursing a baby. The most common birthday of all, according to various sources, is 25 September.
The least common birthdays are in December and January.
This positive card is about partnership and romance, but in more general terms, talks about give and take, and could be a sign for recovery in the retail sector from summer 2021, and a boom in Fair Trade consumer choices as suggested by the staff of Mercury with the Lion’s head on top.
This card is a good omen for a global return to greater normality by late June 2021 if not sooner, and March-April seems likely to see a turning in this tide.
There is such a lot of noise on social media, much of it angry and abusive.
The worry and frustration are only natural, but none of all this shouting changes the difficult reality governments all over the world are trying to deal with, in their own different ways, some distinctly less libertarian in their approach than our own.
The Two of Cups says now more than ever, this is not about ‘me me me’ and my rights. It’s about ‘us us us’, and our reciprocal responsibilities and duty of care.
They boarded people up alive inside their houses in London, is how desperate it got in 1665/6.
I looked in my cards last night, looking at the Pfizer vaccine, inquiring as to its safety only, and the picture was largely reassuring. There were no spades cards saying DANGER, though future problems were detected in terms of the logistics of supply, storage and delivery, as we have already seen in public discussion.
Cartomancy and The Line of Five
The Queen of Hearts (Cancer)- Ace of Diamonds (Ace of Science.) -8 Cups (Stability-vaccinate staff to help protect care homes)- 2 Clubs (Contract, logistics, delivery is the challenge) -9 Diamonds (obstacles, delays)
These are the individual card meanings, but my question was about the safety of this vaccine. For this I note the suits and colours.
We had four red suit cards and one black suit card, and no Spades cards. Taken as a whole this indicates a strong likelihood that this will prove a safe vaccine. Had I drawn any one of 3, 9 or 10 Spades, or heaven forbid, all three, I would be thinking, oo-err, I no likee this.
That Queen of Hearts indicates that we may be coming out of this tunnel late June-late July 2021.
It yet remains to bring the lens of cartomancy to bear on the same question for the vaccines from Moderna and the vaccine in Astrazeneca. But I will, when it would feel like a less idle, hypothetical or inflammatory question.
The results from the Oxford Astrazeneca trials which were recently halted are currently expected in late January. Read HERE.
Meanwhile, the Two of Cups says, we do what we can. We look to our dear ones, wherever they may be, and we say to one another- and to ourselves, ‘chin up and…here’s to the journey!’
“Not for ever by still waters/ Would we always ask to be…”
Well, we might ask, but that’s not what we’re getting, any more than those earth-bound bears of winter get an easy ride of this thing called Life, waking or even sleeping in hibernation, mere calories from death.
#Tarot drawn AM 15 Nov. No Question. Fishing in the ether. 2 Emperors. 1) DT focus on Covid too late (9 Pents Rx) Concede? Prob not. Run again in 4 years? He’s been considering. Unlikely. 2) BJ ‘housebound’ (4 Swords Rx) Brexit gets done (9 Coins) POSS stands down May/June 2021
“Golden Tarot has been collaged completely from artwork of the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance.
From a time of violence, pestilence and oppression came poignant images of gentle beauty and human frailty.
They speak to me of a truth that is timeless, and hope that flowers even in the darkest conditions. I hope that they also speak to you“.- Kat Black, artist/author of Golden Tarot
Interpretation of a Line of Five cards
I had pulled this ‘Line of Five’ Tarot card spread. No stated context or question. I was fishing in the ether to see what cards would be delivered via pure synchronicity; i.e the phenomenon of apparently random and yet seemingly meaningful coincidence.
So what did we here?
CARD 1 The Emperor. Meanings: Power, Leadership, Government, Authority, Aries, Military, War.
The function of the first card out of the deck is to flag up the topic for discussion, or in the case of a reading with a client, to provide me with a benchmark, so that I can proceed with confidence, knowing the client’s question has been ‘heard.’
OK. The Tarot wishes to talk about The Emperor. Which one might that be? Or which ones, bearing in mind I’m a Brit.
My first thought, was….that’s Donald Trump. It is striking how very much this card looks like him, the profile, the hair, the demeanour, and the set of the head.
And then I thought, it is Boris too. The Tarot is telling me two stories wrapped up in one.
People have often remarked that Donald Trump and Boris Johnson look alike. Indeed they do not.
Their profiles are very different, for one thing. This Emperor’s facial profile is much more like Donald Trump than it is like Boris Johnson, who has a Roman nose.
Still, he is an Emperor too, closer to home.
What is Donald Trump going to do next? Can he challenge the Election decision through the Supreme Court- and win? Will he quit quietly when it is time to leave the White House?
CARD 2 The Nine of Pentacles Reversed. Meaning: a challenge to self-sufficiency, financial independence,self-worth, over-investment in work, control and control-freakery, hustling.
The Emperor is looking at this card and he is looking mighty melancholy in this deck.
For Donald Trump the 9 of Pentacles seems to be signifying COVID 19.
The 9 of Pentacles represents Virgo, the zodiac embodiment of public health and Hygiene. The Romans associated Virgo with the goddess, Hygeia.
It represents COVID 19 for Boris equally, and the challenge faced by the UK government, dealing with an intractable and mutable problem not of it own creation, but Mr Trump here seems to be saying, he feels definite he would have won a second term if it were not for this serpent, wrapping the globe.
But ifs are only ifs.
Ever since 2016, during the many times I have written about Brexit here on this blog, time and again, The Nine of Pentacles has manifested as Britannia herself. She has appeared the right way up on many occasions looking to the future, and many a time, this has caused me to feel confident for our prospects post Brexit, and I still am, once the storm passes. But she has been drawn upside down on this occasion, and little wonder, given the general mood, anxiety and turmoil, stoked at every turn by those with other agendas. This Emperor, whatever one’s view of his policies, has undeniably been embattled by major circumstances not of his own making, and for which there is no one cast iron definitive solution that can protect both public safety and the economy.
I wrote before that Sweden, much trumpeted as the way ahead for us in the UK, had not ‘cracked’ Covid. Now we see their luck has run out, and they are facing a rise.
But they were are are right to ask people to do their duty by others. Duty. It seems to have become a deeply unfashionable concept. Freedom. We want out freedom. Of course we do, but rights bring responsibilities and so we owe a duty of care to others, and that means a demonstration of care, to protect theor freedom to go out and about, as well as out own.
Card 3 The Four of Swords. Meanings: a knight, a bed, tomb, retreat, confinement, time out, illness.
Donald Trump is working, still in office, and focusing now on the earliest roll-out of a vaccination programme, as well as the challenge to the election result, but in a self-imposed ‘retreat’ inside the White House, and o far as we know, he is not collaborating with the incoming administration.
Within 3 hours of this reading, we learned Boris Johnson had tested positive for Covid as identified by Track and Trace, and, while free of symptoms, and personally, I wish him well and hope he will not fall ill again, has had to go into self-isolation, though some well meaning source has let us all know he has had the temerity to sneak downstairs to the office in No 10, where among the many other perks of the job, he gets to wrestle with a well dodgy broadband connection. There it is, the Four Swords, drawn just a few hours ahead of time, a classic instance of Tarot synchronicity.
Card 4 Seven of Cups: Meaning, dreams, visions, castles in the air, options, choices, critical time frame of third decan Scorpio (where we are right now, and for the next few days)
NOW is the moment for both Emperors to act, to get what they want. For Donald Trump he wants the cup with the laurel wreath in it. Victory.
We need no Tarot card to tell us this, but what about Boris Johnson?
I feel he would choose the goblet containing the House, representing Britain itself, and also a happy home for him, personally.
He has got to call ‘HOUSE’ with the EU and to help get our HOUSE put in order, This might mean a degree of NEW ORDER, but the HOUSE is the goblet that seeks to unify a house, and not have it divided against itself.
The forces of disunity are especially vocal today, hard at work today re Devolution.
Card 5 The Lovers card Reversed: Meaning, difficult and unequal choices, bad choices, hesitation, indecision, loneliness, lost friendships, star crossed lovers, Gemini, late May -late June
This card is a snapshot in time, I would say, rather than predictive. Curiously again, both Donald Trump and Boris Johnson are Gemini sun signs. The Lovers card is ruled by Gemini, and both undeniably under par, to use a golfing analogy.
Boris was very ill indeed. Donald Trump far less so, but both are physically weary, says this card.
‘Gemini’ is literally as well as figuratively ‘upside down.’
It has occurred to Donald Trump that he could run again in 4 years time (the four of Spades) And surely it has. That would be the obvious line of thought. But once gone, this card suggests he will have plenty of other things to do, and probably would not be interested at that future juncture.
It’s now or never for him, seems to be the refrain, and, based on the Lovers card reversed, it does not look as though the Supreme Court would go the way he hopes.
Back in September, though I was somewhat perplexed as to the outcome of the US Election as it was being shown to me in the cards, but the reasons later became apparent.
The Ace of Swords and the Wheel of Fortune drawn for Mr T in September, compared with the cards drawn for Mr B (Knight of Cups-a charmer, a bearer of good will-and 10 of Cups (home safe and sound) suggested Law and Luck for Mr T with a date attached to Jupiter, and this goes conjunct with Saturn in Aquarius on 21 December.
If that date passes reasonably peacefully, the dust should settle, and when Mr Trump makes a decision to go quietly, may he pour balm on the wounds of his supporters, and seek to reassure them, for everyone’s sake.
We can all envisage a scenario no-one wants to happen, but I haven’t been shown in my Tarot that it will come to that, though I can’t help but remain uneasy.
This card seems to suggest, and there has already been much speculation about this, that Boris has at least considered stepping down after Brexit is finalized, and the possible time-frame here is late spring/early summer 2021.
Will Britain formalize a free trade agreement with the EU?
Time and again this card has turned up specifically in respect of UK future prospects post-Brexit.
The Six of Swords is a serious card; solemn, but not negative in effects. It denotes progress, but it’s a question of holding one’s nerve as one navigates hidden rocks, currents and jetsam.
Here in this card we also see a reference to the fishing issue. Irrespective of who owns these boats or the tricky issue of quotas, the super-trawlers are an ecological abomination, now damaging the Dogger Bank
Britannia is charting a new course, herself at the helm. She will do well this coming decade, once the global storms calm, and we somehow, by means of overseas investors and inward investment, seem to escape a second long haul of austerity.
Science, Space and Technology should bring many exciting innovations and developments, in which the UK shall be an active and indeed pro-active party, with an expansion in technical apprenticeships, and an overhaul or renaissance of technical colleges for post compulsory education.
Playing cards drawn right now: 3 Hearts, Jack Diamonds, Jack Hearts, Ace Diamonds, 2 Spades.
In cartomancy language, the answer translates as a ‘yes, but…’
It detects ‘A ‘deal.
4 red suit cards out of 5 say Yes.
Is it comprehensive?
No. There are exceptions and caveats, quite sharp, remaining areas of non agreement.
The 2 Spades is a sharp application of the brakes. It is severance. Divorce. Continuing areas of contention include legal difficulties re licencing and quotas fisheries, suggests the central card here, the Jack of Hearts (the element of water, sitting centre stage.)
The Referendum asked the British People to decide whether they as a collective wanted to STAY or LEAVE. The vote was to leave. This meant OUT as the letter sent out by the Government ahead of the referendum, and the ballot papers made perfectly clear at the time.
The 2 Spades says OUT. But the Ace of Diamonds is a money ace, and says of course there is much business that can be done, and will be done.
Britannia is charting a new course, herself at the helm. She should, and I feel will do well this coming decade, once the global storms settle. Science, Space and Technology will bring many exciting innovations and developments, in which the UK shall be an active and indeed pro-active party, with an expansion in technical apprenticeships, and an overhaul or renaissance of technical colleges for post compulsory education.
But the UK is going forwards, not backwards as many fear. The Six of Swords denotes a retrograde step if drawn reversed, but my Tarot has never yet shown it to me drawn reversed in this context since 2016. See archives.
The UK will not become inward and insular. How could it, given the whole of the history of the British Isles, and the forging of the many peoples who gradually, eventually and only with much struggle and much bloodshed, became known as the British, including those ….Romans, Danes, Saxons, Normans…who first came as invaders, oppressors – enemies.
Betrayed by his brother
Begged wait by his mother
Stitched in thread
A king still speaks
Of ships on shingle
Blood ruin red
The Normans brought terror, dispossession, punitive famine, subjugation, loss of language, and a new legal and sexual inequality in their battle train.
But they brought things of glory; enduring beauty. The cathedrals alone, says this cathedral city girl, born in sight of Durham cathedral, where Duke William himself came to see the works in progress; those jewels in the crown of so many of our cities, were an achievement, and a testament to a genius; a vision, and a brilliance and beauty that to this day, almost beggars belief.
See ya later, Scorpio!
All of us together, are sailing out of pretty intense Scorpio in Venus territory now, into the more buoyant if bossy, freewheeling territory of Jupiter, and Sagittarius. Let’s hope this manifests on the ground between now and 21 December.