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

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

Introduction

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

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

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

Review of 2022- and an ‘otherworldly’ manifestation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2022

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

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

Rider Smith Waite Tarot

Jupiter= ambition

Neptune =water, dreams, lack of borders

Mars = aggression, fire, war

Ukraine

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

Queen Elizabeth the Second

From The Gilded Tarot

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

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

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

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

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

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

Floods

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

China and Taiwan

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

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

So what about 2023?

2023 –Broad Overview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Natural Events 2023

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Technology

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

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

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

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

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

Mass migration

Rider Smith-Waite Tarot

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

China and Taiwan

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

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

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

The US

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

The UK

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

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

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

Russia and Ukraine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Europe

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

The US

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

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

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the Black Sea too.

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

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

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

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

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

In 1963

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

Lucky colours in a Rabbit year

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

In Summary

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

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

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

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

From The Legacy of The Divine Tarot

The Two of Coins 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reflections in the runes May 2022

May Rune Reading 2022

What are the runes?

The word ‘rune’ comes from the old Germanic, ‘runa’ or ‘runo’ meaning a secret thing, a mystery. The northern peoples saw the Earth, its forces and all things in nature seen as living forces or spirits to be honoured and respected.  The runes were and still are used for psychic readings and advice- divination -or used for magical purposes and good luck – seidr.

Runes were the first systems of writing developed and used by the Norse and other Germanic peoples. These runic alphabets are known as “futharks” after the first six runes (Fehu, Uruz, Thurisaz, Ansuz, Raidho, and Kenaz) – just as the word “alphabet” comes from the names of the first two Semitic letters (Aleph, Beth).

There are three rune alphabets or futharks: the Elder, Younger and Saxon futharks. The 24-character Elder Futhark was the first fully-formed runic alphabet, dating back, so far as we know, to the first century CE/AD, though it may have been in development from about 200 BCE.

Today we are working with the Elder Futhark, illustrated below.

Via Wiki

Fehu Uruz Thurisaz Ansuz Raido Kenaz Gyfu Wunjo

Hagall Nied Isa Jera Eiwaz Perthro Elhaz Sowilo

Tiwaz Berkana Ehwaz Mannaz Laguz Ingwaz Dagaz Othala

The more specific the question, the more specific and detailed the reading. Here, we have no specific question., so the findings are very general. The reader is looking for the feel of things, the tone, and for challenges, opportunities or guidance contained within the runes selected blindly and at random.

Review -April rune reading

In a rune reading done late March 2022, the runes talked about a highly volatile, tense and unstable month to come in April 2022. 

The reader wrote, “Thurisaz is the Thorn rune, symbolizing the hammer of Thor, the Norse god of Thunder and Thursdays. This rune is known as the rune of chaos, such as we have all been witnessing at extreme levels in recent weeks. Thurisaz talks about ‘thorny issues’- major challenges. It describes or forecasts situations of defence, attack and storms. This may also refer to other related natural events, such as floods or tsunamis in April.”

12-14 April we witnessed floods in South Africa, Kwazulu, Durban, 12-14 April as reported here in the ‘The New York Times’ 19 April 2022:-

Nearly 4,000 homes have been destroyed and more than twice as many damaged in the Durban area after a week of punishing rains and mudslides. The death toll is now 448, with about four dozen people unaccounted for.

Photo by Kathryn Archibald on Pexels.com

Runes, like astrology, like Tarot or card reading, may be used for guidance and advice, for forecasting/prediction or for both. Many readers nowadays use runes purely for personal guidance. The problem with forecasting is, we will not always like it, and what can we do about it anyway? The answer to this can only be that forewarned is forearmed. The forecast may turn out to be wrong. It may prove to be unduly pessimistic, and if we are feeling anxious or depressed, this may only add to the weight of our burden.

The best way to use psychic prediction is to treat is as a hint , see how it fits with your own assessment and gut feeling, and for the rest, time will tell. If a weather forecaster says it’s sunny outside right now, and there is not a cloud in the sky, but the weather forecaster tells us there is a new weather front on the way and it’s going to rain later, we can decide whether or not to go out and if we do, whether to take a raincoat.

Runecast for May 2022

We have drawn two runes for this coming month, Elhaz and Ingwaz, choosing these runes to represent the general tone and dynamic in world affairs and in our personal affairs as well this month.

Such a reading will obviously be general in scope but there are seasons in events, just as there are different seasons in the year. We have times that are quieter than others. Then we have times of mass general turmoil, as with World Wars 1 and 11 for instance, 1939-1945, and these things tend to go in cycles. We are currently in a cycle of which began in 2019 and which astrologers suggest will calm down 2025/2026.

IMG Katie-Ellen Hazeldine

Elhaz/Algiz/Eohl

KEYWORDS: Protection, guardian, awakening, courage, defence, acting on our instinct

The rune on the left, Elhaz the Elk is also known as Eohl or Algiz.

It means The Elk or The Sedge, or even, The Elk-Sedge. The runes were inspired by things familiar in the landscapes inhabited by these various northern peoples. The wild antlered elk was still roaming wild in northern Europe at that time. The sedge is a grass-like plant that grows on wet ground, found in temperate and colder climates.

Here, Elhaz has been drawn reversed (merkstave.) First let us imagine it turned upright. Now you see the ‘antlers’ and you can see that this rune also looks like rather a person raising their arms to heaven in appeal for help, or else making an invocation.

Elhaz is a rune of general protection, very powerful but the power comes from the mind of the person using it to protect themselves or another. It will not remove all obstacles. We cannot and will not always be comfortable and safe in this life. Sometimes we struggle. Sometimes we need to stand up for ourselves and fight our own corner.  We will never arrive at our full power if we always run away from a fight. Viking warriors used to decorate their shields with this rune but some still died in battle. The Vikings did not take this as a sign that the rune had no power, but instead as a sign that this was the warrior’s time to die; that The Norns or Fates had decreed it. It is worth noting, that the Norns, although they scratched our names and destinies in the bark of the World Tree at the moment of our birth, did allow scope for a mortal to change their own destiny, unlike the Fates of Greek mythology. The Norns saw the future in more fluid terms, less a fixed destiny, more of ‘becoming,’ or that which should be.

Personal Reflection

Elhaz reversed is a sign of vulnerability or warns us that we may be making a sacrifice with no gain. Perhaps this month we need to watch out that we are not misled by others or possibly conned out of our money, or made a scapegoat for someone else’s mistakes. Elhaz reversed warns us to pay attention to our surroundings, not to take our own safety for granted, and not to make any big moves too soon in a new relationship. We need to give it more time, and learn more about this person. Everyone makes mistakes. But we must learn from any past mistakes or be doomed to repeat them.

There may be a person to avoid this month or an offer which should be refused. The classic advice applies with Elhaz reversed. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Ingwaz

KEYWORDS: Protection, guardian, awakening, courage, defence, instincts

The rune on the right, Ingwaz is also known as Ing or Inguz. It may look like a simple diamond, as illustrated above. Alternatively it may look like this:

The word Ingwaz means literally ‘god-seed’. This rune, Ingwaz, Inguz or Ing, comes from an ancient god image Ing, which was an older name for Freyr, a later Swedish Viking god of virility, fertility and agriculture, like another famous pre- Christian figure of mythology, The Green Man.

The Green Man, Rochester Cathedral via Wiki

Ingwaz is talking about the earth itself; the planting of seeds, germination and new life. It is talking about fertility, in this case especially masculine fertility. But it may also be talking in a more abstract sense as in, planting the seeds of a new idea.

Ingwaz is a favourable rune of positive action, unity, agreements, and peace, although the situation may require plenty of careful treatment, and enough time and space to flourish. Ingwaz is all about ‘doing.’

 ‘Ing’ is in constant use in modern English as a language participle “-ing” adding action to a verb. We say ‘Go-ing’, ‘Read-ing’, ‘See-ing etc. The addition of “ing” represents action.

Ingwaz suggests a successful conclusion in solving a problem at hand. Ingwaz can signify milestone events, such as a new baby or a new job.  It cannot be reversed. It looks the same right way up as it does upside down so it has no negative meaning unless it is surrounded by negative runes. Here, it has been drawn opposite Elhaz reversed, a negative meaning of danger. The appearance of Ingwaz in this context offers a faint glimmer of hope for diplomatic efforts to bear some fruit in May. But if not, this fiery rune promises a very determined and courageous on-going resistance to attack, wherever it is being waged by one state against another.

Ingwaz the ‘seed’ is by extension also to do with agriculture-food. Looking at Ingwaz in relation to our first rune, Elhaz merkstave, we can see that issues to do with food supplies, shortages and increases in the cost of food will be featuring large in the news this coming month, as Russia’s war on Ukraine affects exports globally, but especially Egypt and Africa.

The danger of Elhaz drawn reversed married up with the vital spark of Ing can mean sudden fiery events in May 2022, such as rockets and missiles, as we are so horrifically seeing, or wildfire such as we have witnessed in New Mexico already this month.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It may also be worth noting that 10 May big bold Jupiter, the ‘Greater Benefic’ an optimistic, generous, benevolent planet in astrological terms, left deep watery Pisces and moved into bold, fiery, hyperactive Aries, where it stays until 28 October 2022. This is big, bold, active energy for good or bad,

Generally, this planetary transit is understood as a positive influence, happening only every 11 or 12 years, although the potential for disruption is self evident. World War 1 and World War 11 both began during a Jupiter in Aries transit, but that also meant of course, a number of such transits in between these events with no war, so let us not worry too much.

Personal Reflection

Ingwaz is a powerfully positive rune in general. It tends to bring an easing of something that has been worrying us. There may be a sense of relief about something this coming month or a sense of excitement, pride or accomplishment for a problem sorted or a job well done, or a new project coming over the horizon.

Ingwaz is a positive rune in relationships, starting a family or launching a new project or venture if that is what we are looking for. It brings a boost of energy, physical and mental.

Ingwaz indicates that this coming month is a good time for home improvements on the one hand, spring cleaning, maintenance and upgrades, and at the other end of the scale, taking into account the challenges in this coming month signified by, Elhaz reversed, do we need to review our safeguarding, home security or our personal security?

In our personal lives, this rune is has a particularly masculine energy. It signifies good times, new love relationships and weddings. We could see that a project starts coming together. With care, discipline and patience, this rune says it will bear fruit.

Further Reading

The New Book of Runes  by Ralph Blum

Futhark. A Handbook of Rune Magic by Edred Thorsson.

The Runes: A practical Guide to their uses in divination and Magick by Lisa Peschel, published Llewellyn

To discover your personal ‘birth runes’ – your ‘heroic destiny or potential’ https://haquil.com/blogs/viking/how-to-calculate-your-viking-birth-runes

 

A General Rune cast for January 2022

Photo by sam Hancock on Pexels.com

A New Year’s Reading 2022

What are the runes?

The runes have been described as “an ancient alphabet for modern magicians” – Edred Thorsson in his book ‘Futhark, A Handbook of Rune Magic.’

Runes were the first systems of writing developed and used by the Norse and other Germanic peoples. These runic alphabets are known as “futharks” after the first six runes (Fehu, Uruz, Thurisaz, Ansuz, Raidho, and Kenaz) – just as the word “alphabet” comes from the names of the first two Semitic letters (Aleph, Beth).

There are three principal futharks: the Elder, Younger and Saxon futharks. The 24-character Elder Futhark was the first fully-formed runic alphabet, dating back so far as we know to the first century CE/AD but was probably in development from at least 200 BC.

The Elder Futhark Wiki

The word ‘rune’ comes from the old Germanic, ‘runa’ or ‘runo’ meaning a secret thing, a mystery. This was Animism in practise; a belief in the conscious intelligence of the Earth itself; its forces and all things in nature. Animals, tress, the elements, the weather…they were – are-living forces and mysteries demanding recognition and respect.

So the runes are more than just letters. They can be read that way but they are also a pictographic or ideographic symbol of some natural principle or power as experienced by these Germanic-speaking peoples of the climate and landscapes of northern Europe, including Britain and the island of Ireland. 

Rune casters were both welcomed and feared. Runemal (rune craft) took on a ritual function, and went beyond individual personal readings, directed for the protection and prosperity of the entire community.  Runes might be used in casting of lots to decide who did what.

They were used in runes spells to influence the weather, the tides, the crops, fertility and healing. Runes were used to send curses or remove them.  Runes were carved on amulets, carved into doorways and into the wood of ships. Protective runes can be seen in architecture, in the shapes of the decorative timbering of black and white timbered houses throughout Britain and Europe as seen near where I live at Samlesbury Hall in Lancashire.

Runes embedded in half-timbered buildings, Samlesbury Hall, Lancashire UK Via Wiki Commons

A popular rune design you can see here is the multiple use of Elhaz or Elk, a rune of general protection. Picture the antlers of the Elk, or you can picture it as a figure invoking divine protection, arms raised to heaven.

Casting the runes

Rune casters would shake their pouch of runes and scatter them on the ground. Sometimes they would lay a cloth or draw a circle and read only those runes that fell within the circle or on the cloth. Sometimes they would read only the runes that landed upright, and not count those that came out reversed, or ‘merkstave’. Today I am including any merkstave runes.

Given a lack of written history on the subject of rune casting, much information has been lost to posterity to know for sure how things were properly done. A Christian edict was issued in Iceland in 1639 that declared the uses of runic talismans as witchcraft and a man was executed in 1691, burned to death for using them as his forefather had presumably been doing for many generations. This, although runes were still in everyday use at that time in calendars and almanacs carved into wooden staves throughout Scandinavia and Estonia.

Before this and again today the runes were- and are still used today for psychic insights or guidance, or for magical purposes- to request or summon sacred protection or good luck. To pray in other words.

The runes have been found wherever Germanic-speaking peoples settled, travelled, traded or raided, from Iceland to Scandinavia, through England and Central Europe, all the way to Constantinople.

Runes were also chanted or spoken in invocation. We do not know how this sounded, whether it was done falsetto, or done deep as throat singing. Some get quite exercised in these discussions, but however it was done in those times, this chanting is called ‘Galdr’.

Runecast for January 2022

Today we are using the Elder Futhark. You’ll notice the runes are all straight lines, no curves; as scratched or inscribed into wood, metal or stone.

The runes are chosen entirely blindly and at random.

We have drawn three upright runes (Sowilo, Perthro and Kenaz) and two reversed or merkstave runes (Ehwaz and Laguz.) This rune cast therefore translates as more positive than negative for January 2022 and for the rest of year itself. But clearly this is rather a close call. We are part of bigger world events. 2022 promises to be pretty intense, and occasionally downright turbulent, though somewhat more buoyant, optimistic and outgoing than 2021, and brighter by far than 2020.

Position 1: Sowilo/Sigel  

Word/Symbol: The Sun.

Meanings: Victory, Success, Health/Happiness.

This rune is standing for the Here and Now- the Question. You can see this rune looks like a modern capital S, or a back to front Z.

This is a positive rune of victory, success, happiness and good health. Well, that’s a welcome rune, cheers! This rune of the sun can literally mean ‘a year’…one journey of the Earth around the sun. This seems a suitable rune therefore, to start a New Year reading. 

The question broadly translates as, “when will life be ‘happy’ again/get back to normal?” If we mean, normal as, back in 2019, well, no, we can all see that is not happening this year.  There are storms. But there are silver linings.

The days are already noticeably longer again in January. The sun is returning to the northern hemisphere where the runes first originated, just as it is slowly leaving the southern hemisphere.

Beyond this purely pragmatic interpretation, Sowilo is one of the most fortunate of all runes, bringing good news, as if the Norse gods are saying, the sun will shine upon your efforts this New Year. Look on the bright side as much as you can. Seize the day.

We are in troubled times. 2021 was angry, 2020 was grim. Pluto had something to do with that in astrological terms, and its conjunction with Saturn. January 2020. We have all felt it. This year will also be difficult, stormy even on the world stage. It’s not personal even when it feels personal. The sun will shine in between the storms. 2022 is intense, perhaps rocky, but also more upbeat and mobile, less coldly relentless than 2021, somehow, less stuck in a rut, suggesting a new phase in the covid pandemic.

On an individual level, Sowilo drawn with Laguz next to it in the reversed position suggests one has become over-tired. This is hardly surprising after such a long haul for many people. They have become drained, fatigued and depressed, not to mention twitchy, nervous and in some cases, worked up, oversensitive or even paranoid, and also quite likely by this point, physically lacking not only vitamin D but low on vitamin B.

Sowilo means sunshine, and through this connection, may be suggesting that you look into your levels of the ‘sunshine vitamin,’ Vitamin D, so important both for mood and optimal immune function. Vitamin D Supplements are ideally combined with vitamin K2 for optimum calcium absorption. This is standard medical knowledge.

Sowilo is a bit like Jupiter in astrology. It is big, bright, bold, and upbeat. It can burn too of course. It can be wildfires though to the Norse it was always positive. This year really could bring you a lucky break, if you can find the energy, seriously applying yourself to whatever goal you set yourself for 2022.

One might say the faces of the gods are not so set against us this year, though there is still big infighting, and we could come a cropper in the collateral damage.

Position 2: Perthro

 

Word/Symbol: cup for throwing dice/paddock.

Meanings: Mystery/Secrets/Initiation/Sanctuary

This rune is standing for where we have recently been and what’s been going on, both on the face of things but also deep down.

Perthro is a mystery rune dealing with things far beyond our personal control, like the covid pandemic. Perthro represents sanctuary. We have been seeking sanctuary. What and where for us, represents our own personal sanctuary? Is it at home? Is it with other people? Is it doing something we love that takes our mind away from worry?

This rune deals with karma, destiny; things that are hidden. There are many theories, much speculation, but the causes of the pandemic remain unproven. That it started in the Far East seems certain. The exact circumstances are less certain. When I asked about this, wondering about Wuhan wet markets or labs and all that, my Tarot showed me The Hierophant, the Tarot’s card of Taurus.

This card bears no suggestion of a coordinated plan. It represents the earth itself and suggests natural causes rather than lab engineering gone wrong. This disease has originated in Nature. Humanity should not have come into contact with it at all, but has done so through over-expansion with an accompanying disturbance of previously undisturbed habitats in the Far East. This new virus variant escaped those habitats, possibly via fruit bats or flying foxes, and then infected animal intermediaries, locally farmed pigs very likely, and then humans, thereby entering the food chain through local conditions of animal husbandry and from those sites in the Far East inexorably spread via mass global travel.

Some think this rune is supposed to show a dice cup- meaning a cup once used for drawing lots in gambling games or throwing dice. As such, you may take a bit of a gamble this year, and it pays off. This gamble however, depends on your doing some research beforehand.

Secrets come to light or we learn useful new information starting this month.  How do we respond and apply this information for personal progress?

We may notice our psychic abilities in some acutely significant way this year.

Beware leaks and spillages. Is this government leaks in the news, domestic gas leaks? A vehicle leak. Another oil tanker? This January, this year, beware leaks.

Position 3: Kenaz   

Word/Symbol: Torch/Beacon/Opening/Ulcer

Meaning: Illumination, learning, opening

This rune is talking about how we handle things for the best in 2022. This is a friendly fire rune, like a domestic hearth fire, cheerful, small and manageable. Uruz the Auroch/physical power rune and Fehu the cattle/wealth rune are also fire runes but more primordial, fiercer. 

It is saying, ‘keep the home fires burning.’ It is reminding us of a certain war time spirit that says we are all in this together; an attitude which has fallen out of fashion since the war, but it is salutary to be reminded from time to time, that the world does not revolve around us and our own personal concerns.

Kenaz talks about energy, drive, recuperation from illness, and enlightenment- learning of all kinds, whether this mean formal or informal study.

Kenaz is a positive rune, with a lot of vitality attached. It suggests good news in respect of the turning of the tide in the covid pandemic, even though we are not free of it in 2022. Still, this virus is evolving and over time, is becoming less dangerous, as human immunity is gradually learning how to deal with it as a brand new enemy of mankind, which it was until 2019.

Kenaz is masculine in its energy, and in a relationship will always denote the male partner. What is he offering? What is he looking for? Where is this going? Laguz, the rune next door in this spread is a powerful feminine rune, and says, well, we can have fun, and maybe this is the year to move ahead with a new partner, but keep your head screwed on tight this year.

Kenaz, like Perthro can also be psychic. We get the modern English words ‘canny/uncanny’ from this rune. ‘Beyond our ken’; is a phrase derived from this rune.

We have been more limited in our options than we are used to. Life imposes changing limits from time to time. That is the nature of reality. Still, we make our own choices, in choosing how to respond to challenges. This is our own instinct at work as we operate within our own environment where we can choose how to respond.  There will be sudden insights, flashes of some new understanding of our situation – perhaps even a psychic dream or waking insights. You can see by looking at it that Kenaz shows something that is opening up, opening outwards. 2022 brings some kind of new awakening, both on a collective level and on a direct personal level. What new things shall we set out to study or explore this year? Kenaz is a morning rune. Start as you mean to go on this year. The early bird catches the worm and all that.

Kenaz is a positive rune for relationships, two people opening up more with one another, greater mutual understanding. It is a lucky rune for fathers and fertility.

Less glamorously, Kenaz can also mean an ulcer, either literally, as in; we may need some kind of skin care. Are we deficient in Vitamin D or zinc, for example? Or it may be speaking figuratively on an emotional level, as in, what apparently small wound never seems to heal?

If you recognize this wound or hurt, then do not nurse it. Do not let this thing fester any longer. Have the conversation. Bring the issue out into the light of day and sort it out once and for all. Or else draw a line under it. Let it go, let it be, make peace and don’t keep picking away at it.

Position 4:  Laguz (merkstave=reversed)

Symbol:  Lake 

Meanings: Water/Flow/Instinct/Emotion/unseen powers/feminine dominion

This rune forecasts the challenges of 2022. The rune I welcome least in this reading is this one. The Lake represents water, both literally and symbolically. Are we swimming or sinking or just staying afloat? Drawn reversed, this rune signifies confusion up ahead. Beware of getting in too deep, too soon, whatever new waters you try out this year. These waters are deep. This is like Pisces in the zodiac. This is like the planet Neptune.

Dreams could come true or they can become nightmares. This rune reminds us, when those around us get worked up, we do not necessarily need to join in and add to the noise. Laguz reversed can mean collective inebriation, getting drunk or high. It can mean new ideas, new visions, but it can also mean delusions, mass hysteria, paranoia and psychosis.

Looking at it from another angle, this rune says global military and political maritime based events will loom large this year on the global stage. This could mean extreme rainfall, flooding, tsunamis and/or big maritime military or scientific events, perhaps in connection with Taiwan.

Update Tonga tsunami 15 January 2022

In Chinese astrology we enter a Black Tiger year in early February. This is the Water Tiger and it is proud, grand, fierce, expansionist. March/April could be the months to watch for in particular here, and then again later in the year, possibly during the summer months. This is not to suggest a Chinese invasion, but it certainly a further ramping up on its ambitions in respect of Taiwan.

Laguz could be maritime technology; submarines, submersibles and developments to do with spying, surveillance or mineral mining; lithium or other mineral extraction or production.  This may or may not feature in the media, but it is big.

Could Laguz also be detecting Nordstream Gas? I think so. Trouble coming, with possible effects on power supplies in Europe in 2022, though not necessarily during the winter. Get in some non-mains power alternatives just in case. A camping stove. Torches. Batteries. Matches. Many of us already keep these sorts of things somewhere safely handy anyway.

Rune 5:  Ehwaz (merkstave =reversed)

Symbol: Horse. Imagine you are looking at it sideways on. See the dip in the middle of its back.

Meaning: Movement, travel, vehicle, progress, transits, shifts  

This central rune is a recurring theme in January, and perhaps throughout the rest of 2022.

I love this rune. Ehwaz is like the Chariot in the Tarot. It is about physical movement and forward progress. Paired with Laguz as it is here, it could be a ship, a boat, or a submersible craft. It refers to overseas ambitions and far journeys over water.

Among other things this rune suggests an upping of the ante again in January in respect of M Macron and the issue of French fishing rights in British waters. Some progress has been made. But it’s not done yet for either side, and this year France holds the EU Presidency. But it is not only the UK that needs to be careful. M Macron needs to be extremely careful. The Horse also means cars and other vehicles, and car imports from the EU to the UK have declined in 2021, and with new import formalities coming in January 2022.

The escalating arrival of illegal small boats is a serious source of tension between France and UK. This moves up at least another gear in 2022.

Divination detects, reflects and projects. There is nothing here we do not know already. The runes are affirming. But they could just as readily contra-indicate.

It is worth noting that there are 19 runes which have NOT been drawn, some of which are more challenging than the spread we have here.

Clearly there are problems. Maybe we will feel effects of power cuts or pipeline issues in 2022. The causes may be weather related but they might possibly be political. I was already inclined to invest in a camping stove after my parents were left several days without power after Storm Arwen, and would not have had hot food otherwise.

This rune drawn merkstave seems to me only to reinforce that message from Laguz merkstave.

This rune merkstave is not necessarily negative, depending on the surrounding runes, but does indicate continuing stops and starts in 2022, both in respect of control of the pandemic and on a personal level. Ehwaz merkstave brings changes that could be sudden and unexpected. Obviously, these bring challenges, not least with periodic issues to do with trade and international travel in 2022.

It is only wise to be extra careful this January when it comes to vehicles, traffic, travel, and making big decisions just in general. Expect delays and hiccups.

Kenaz encourages curiosity but is opposed by Ehwaz reversed which is saying explore, inquire but do not force any issues. Possibly the timing isn’t right quite yet for you to make a move. January does not look like optimal timing in general for pushing an envelope, and not only because it is winter and nature in the north says, sleep, go slow.

But the birds of the north can’t rest, can they? They must feed or die. Norest for the wicked or the innocent either. We attend to the fundamentals, therefore, and coolly look about us meantime. The spirit of this coming year will make itself better known from March onward.

Photo by Dua Chuot on Pexels.com

Wishing you the power of Sowilo, health, happiness and good fortune in a brighter if episodically tempestuous 2022!

Further Reading

Pagan Magic of the Northern Tradition: Customs, Rites, and Ceremonies

By Nigel Pennick

The New Book of Runes  by Ralph Blum

Futhark. A Handbook of Rune Magic by Edred Thorsson.

The Runes: A practical Guide to their uses in divination and Magick by Lisa Peschel, published Llewellyn

To discover your personal ‘birth runes’ – your ‘heroic destiny or potential’ https://haquil.com/blogs/viking/how-to-calculate-your-viking-birth-runes

December dramas. Ding, dong, dang and blast?

Gabriel, yoohooo! Give us some good news!

The Annunciation by Van Eyck

What is the Tarot’s general impression of the cosmic weather this month, spanning the zodiac signs of Sagittarius and Capricorn and therefore including Christmas?

The cards were drawn in mid November and are from the Rider-Waite deck, illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith

I also drew a rune from the older Norse alphabet, the Elder Futhark.

Cards: The Hierophant, Knight of Swords and Four of Pentacles

Rune:  Othala

The Hierophant

Card Meanings

Taurus the Bull, spring, planetary ruler Venus, love, beauty, wedding, marriage, luxury, money, established order, governments, global finance (think ‘Bull’ market)  tradition, status quo, establishment, hospitals, publishing, agriculture, religion, church, keys

The Knight of Swords

Card Meanings

Aquarius, Saturn, Uranus, a clever, cool minded individual aged 25-40. Legalities, intelligence, espionage, an agent, a spy, a warlord, shipping, trade, commerce, Decisive action, attack, airborne, choices, air travel, trade, commerce, shipping, deliveries, financial decisions, ambition, clarity, cutting loose

The Four of Pentacles

Card Meanings

Capricorn, earth, saving, conserving, resources, money, possessions, inheritance, prudence, provisioning, legacy

The Four of Pentacles is ruled by Mercury, the planet of travel, research, trade and commerce. Mercury also rules IT and data analysis, and it rules Virgo, which in astrology is the sixth house of harvest, health, routines and hygiene.

Rune: Othala

Meanings: wealth, ancestry, ancestral homelands, family, old age, our old folk, different generations, memories, identity, belonging, and all the things that we most treasure.

Where do we feel at home?

This rune also picks up on migration and surrounding questions and issues.

General Impressions

December looks pretty eventful on the world stage, not to say stressful, with sudden flurries of news, mostly not welcome. We might want to switch off the media for a bit, and have a break from all the shrieking.

These cards look reasonably reassuring all the same, not too much shock and awe. Here’s hoping we’ve already seen the worst of December.

The Knight of Swords; sudden attack, storm, wind, can be read in reference to recent terrible weather events, and the damage and tragic casualties in Kentucky.

The Earth itself is always restless, and currently more unsettled than usual. Perhaps it is little wonder that we are too. The world is never quiet, never at peace. Nor is the Earth. It is always relative. Each year, the Moon pulls away, and so does the Sun in this present cycle.

But really, short of an actual world war, the whole world is embattled one way and another, no quiet news months since December 2019, when we first learned of a newly emerging health crisis in Wuhan.

We now approach the second anniversary of the pandemic with its new variants, and unrolling economic, political and social effects. There is no government, that is, no government that permits even peaceful dissent, that is not grappling with this monstrously slippery eel, while experiencing furious criticism and dissent from one quarter or another, no matter what response they make, deciding how to tackle the problem. The Hierophant as a symbol of governments anywhere is either taking a pasting right now, or, depending on the country, dealing them out.

These are times of instability. This instability is not only man-made but natural, due to extreme weather events, and seismic, volcanic events, such as the ongoing eruption on La Palma, and recent periodic increases in solar flare activity.

The La Palma eruption has now become the longest running on the island, and the cards suggest it will still be erupting into January 2022 though it seems to be calming now. Article HERE

What is the Tarot connection? Well, we are in the zodiac time frame of Sagittarius, 22 November- 21 December, and the court card of Sagittarius is the Knight of Wands, as seen here in the Gilded Tarot Royale.

From The Gilded Tarot Royale, Artist, Ciro Marchetti

Sagittarius is the element of Mutable Fire. Changeable fire. Changeable states. Blow me down, if this depiction of Sir Sagittarius does not actually show a volcano erupting magma.

Then in Java, Mount Semeru erupted 4 December, spilling out a deadly pyroclastic flow. 

“The slurry of debris that swept down Semeru proved catastrophic to villagers living around the mountain’s base in the Lumajang Regency, particularly Curah Kobokan. According to The Jakarta Post, at least 39 people have died. Large numbers of homes were destroyed or damaged, and many animals are among the eruption’s victims.”

More Here

Of course, this is not to say that the month of the zodiac sign of Sagittarius= volcano eruption month.

But there it is, or there it was. A card specifically correlating with the dates 22 November-21 December and we are looking at it. The synchronicity, at least for 2021 is undeniable.

What else might these cards mean in practical terms?

Obviously, this can only be a very general reading, and is therefore limited in its specificity, but The Hierophant represents stability, security and continuity, doing things ‘by the book.’  And it also represents the converse as previously discussed. This December we are not doing things by the book, while at the same time there is plenty of ‘throwing the book ‘ at XYZ.

The Hierophant is turning up a lot in readings at the moment, which is hardly surprising. Sometimes it is drawn the right way up, but just as often it is being drawn upside down, reflecting a situation in which old wisdoms, old ways of seeing things and doing things are being challenged.

Why is this not surprising? Well, it shouldn’t be. The Tarot detects, reflects and projects.

First it acts as a mirror on what is already happening. This is crucial in a reading because it confirms the baseline for the reader.

The Hierophant attacked by the Knight of Swords marks a time of acute unrest, such as we have been witnessing for some time now, every time we turn on the television or engage on social media.

Astrology associates this with the fact that the outer planet Uranus, ‘planet of rebellion and innovation’, is stationed in Taurus, the steady Bull sign associated with The Hierophant.  

Uranus is retrograde for parts of December, signifying a mood of intense inward reflection on what needs to stay and what needs to go or change, both collectively, and privately and individually.

Uranus made this move into Taurus in 2019 and will stay there until April 2026, so we are in for a bumpy ride. The question is how we can best handle things on an individual level, re-evaluating our priorities, keeping our cool, learning new skills at every opportunity and helping our children to do the same.

The Four of Pentacles is about HANGING ON IN THERE. And there are times, when continuity offers the best scenario all in all.

Some astrologers think Boris Johnson is about to meet his political nemesis. Possibly, but to me it does not look that way, not this month, parties or no parties, knowledge of parties, or no knowledge of parties. Why not? Because of the appearance of the Four of Pentacles.  If he goes, having inherited the poisoned chalice of this pandemic at the very beginning almost, of his premiership, it will be of his own volition because of sheer exhaustion.

This is a very broad picture, very general, yes. But of the 78 cards in a Tarot deck, 75 stayed in the deck and these were the three drawn for this coming month, December 2021.

Let’s look again. Save scrolling up.

UK

Her Majesty the Queen is a Taurus subject, a pillar of our society. Above politics, she has seen many leaders some and go. She is very much a figure who has always believed in putting wider duty before personal convenience.

She does things by the book, like the Hierophant.

Elizabeth 11 represents a part of the national psyche, the young monarch of our parent’s childhoods, those born during the war or soon after it.  Lately, this first year of her widowhood, we have witnessed signs of a decline in her health. At the age of 95, this is only natural and to be expected, but since we have drawn the Taurean Hierophant for December, and it has been drawn next to the challenging Knight of Swords, it remains to be seen whether the Queen will make her annual Christmas address in quite the same way as usual this year.

Europe

Covid cases have been rising again, with new lockdowns and protests in the Netherlands, Austria and other countries. The signs are that this most recent rise in cases as at the time of writing (14 November) may continue into December and flu may add to the pressure on health services, but with luck, the Four of Pentacles is a stable card, suggesting that the situation may, not improve perhaps, but be maintaining a standoff by/towards the end of December.

Covid

Some Medical observers are sanguine about the Omicron variant, suggesting we may soon be approaching the endemic phase, when a brand new virus, in this case, SARS‑CoV‑2 gradually becomes part of the new ‘normal’ in human epidemiology, and it becomes a question of living with it.

Today however, 13 December, sadly marks the first UK death of someone with the Omicron variant.

EU, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine and Russia

The current border situation is tense. It may well escalate, suggests the Knight of Swords, but again, the steady Four of Pentacles hints that if it does, the crisis abates again at least temporarily somewhat by or until mid January. Why? In terms of timing the stable Four of Pentacles represents the third decan of Capricorn, dates 11-19 January.

The Knight of Swords can mean new laws, sharp messages, sabre-rattling and military aircraft, just as the weather associated with the Knight of Swords is northern and easterly; cool, cloudy, windy, but it can bring sudden frosts, sudden rain or storms.

The Knight of Swords traditionally also refers to airborne objects, including missiles, but also viruses and bacteria sharp objects, including surgical instruments such as  injection needles and pens. Here is an escalation of covid vaccinations across Europe.

Trade and Travel

The Four of Pentacles is ruled by Mercury the planet of travel, trade and commerce, also IT and data analysis. In addition Mercury rules Virgo, sixth house of health and hygiene.

This, together with the Knight of Swords, reminds us that common sense says, vaccinations or no vaccinations, we need to stay alert and continue taking common sense precautions against covid and flu this Christmas.

But meantime, certain international restrictions may be reintroduced again on an emergency basis, while a further lock-down has not been entirely ruled out by the UK Government. The Four of Pentacles, sometimes nicknamed the Miser card, describes a pragmatist, who is ready to take the dour responsibility for making unpopular decisions should it detect that need.

Some suggest that covid is ‘just’ ‘flu.  We know it isn’t. SARS‑CoV‑2 is a new coronavirus, not a ‘flu virus. But even ‘just’ ‘flu is no joke at all if we get a bad dose.

Personal

The Hierophant represents whatever is your own status quo. You may be somewhat restless and unsettled. I know I am. The Knight of Swords drawn next door to the domestic Hierophant suggests a need for ‘fresh air’ and extra space this month.

Not all of us fancy a party this year. Many of us are not in the mood. for doing whatever is our usual thing this year, suggests this combination. Maybe we never were, but this applies with bells on this year.

The Four of Pentacles has a lot in common with the rune of ancestry, households and inheritance, Othala.

Look back at the things you have bought over the years. What did you buy in the past that you still treasure? What have you been given by older family members that you treasure to remember them by? Othala talks about the things we treasure. These do not have to be things. They include cherished memories. But every day, we are creating new memories.

A recovering economy needs our spending. And it’s great to treat loved ones – . But for a lot of people the festive season can be a dreadful money worry. Last month there was much excited media speculation about shipping and supplies this year, and worries about ‘must have’ toys from overseas arriving in time for Christmas.

What’s with this ‘must have’ business? Conspicuous consumerism ruling the roost in the home? Is this healthy or a helpful preparation for children, to suggest this is how it really works?

The Four of Pentacles advises that friends and loved ones will be understanding if finances are tighter this year than previous Christmases. And given the way things have been in 2021 and 2020 before that, they may welcome that same understanding in return.

The Tarot is not trying to be a Scrooge or a kill-joy in presenting this card. Spending less, or spending carefully, based on quality, durability or longer term thinking doesn’t equate with not having any kind of a good time.

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It’s just that no- one has infinite resources, debt is no joke, and this year looks like a departure from the way many of us have done things before.

24 December: The Hierophant also represents Christmas time, as a traditional religious season of celebration. But long before Christianity we celebrated Yule in northern Europe, meaning ‘wheel,’ to mark the turning of the wheel of the year, the solstice and the passing of the darkest day.

The third and final square between Saturn and Uranus in Taurus, these big planets, these heavy hitters, bring a feeling of push and pull between Uranus (splurging, doing your own thing, party time) and Saturn (saving, doing family duties, staying home and relaxing) this Christmas Eve 2021.

Ways of doing things that worked OK for you in the past, don’t sit so well with you right now.

Uranus is retrograde for nearly half of the year every year. This is nothing new or unusual, just a seasonal opportunity to go back to the drawing board and re consider occupations and habits.

19 December- Full Moon in Gemini

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In Tarot this is represented by the Lovers card meaning: news, calls, social events, new ideas, chat, gossip, communication, curiosity…it is also about short travel, trade, commerce, shopping . Think Mercury, ruler of Gemini. Another name for Mercury, Hermes.

Astrologers consider this a favourable Full Moon, in harmonious aspect with Jupiter, lucky for new partnerships and ventures, and for legal and business matters, though with possible tensions attached in terms of close relationships.

The Lovers can present us with a need to make difficult choices. Again, these could be totally unromantic; hard-nosed, to do with our work, security and finance.

Venus planet of love, beauty,luxury – and finance goes retrograde in Capricorn 19 December shortly after the Full Moon until 29 January.

This is glamour but serious with it. You could say Cinderella grows up, Prince or no prince. Venus retrograde in Capricorn is no- frills power dressing, literally or metaphorically. Fashion or Beauty here goes hand in glove with perceived status material power, like a Queen who wears her jewels f in token of her reach of power for the world to see.

This is a planetary euphemism for an examination of our personal standards of conduct and deportment, at home and at work. What is our public persona? How about a bit of gravitas, says Venus in Capricorn, style, poise, dignity and rectitude?

Beauty is in a serious mood. Beast better behave.

21 December – Solstice

We leave freewheeling Sagittarius ruled by big bouncy Jupiter and move into Capricorn, ruled by serious hardworking master of self-discipline and dominion, Saturn.

But Saturn brings the solstice, returning us to the light, for all his serious face.

This is the spirit of the agile, tough and hardy ibex or mountain goat, Capricorn.

The ibex nimbly scales the heights, stands atop the farthest crags. In Europe, the alpine ibex does battle in December for territory and mates.

The ibex, inspiration of Capricorn, reckons to do battle to get what it needs in life, delicately sniffs the cold, clean air, every inch a master of all he surveys.

The sunshine is free, and the rain and the snow, and the moon and the stars. Our good health too, if we are lucky. But we all must do battle some day one day in our lives, sooner or later, up against some kind of authority or other, or make peace with the fact we didn’t when maybe we really needed to,for our own or someone else’s sake.

Who says we wait until New Year to make a new plan?

Any day will do for a new resolution But from a natural, seasonal, symbolic and magickal perspective, 21 December works even better. 

Season’s Greetings with all Best Wishes for a brighter 2022.

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