In the glass darkly, Tarot and the battle for Kherson

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Article from American-Canadian journalist and author Diane Francis, dated 15 August 2022:

Yellow ribbons painted on poles or walls suddenly appear in Kherson, the only regional capital city that Russia has captured in this war. The symbol, memorializing missing loved ones, has taken on a new meaning and represents defiance against Russia’s upcoming phoney referendum votes in Kherson and other occupied regions to approve annexation by Russia. Kherson’s vote is scheduled for 9/11 — the anniversary of America’s worst terrorist attack — and only half of its 280,000 residents remain there after it was occupied in March. Russians offer $165 to vote in favor of annexation and may end up forcing most of them to do so. People are being jailed or shot there for protesting, speaking Ukrainian, or refusing to use the Russian Ruble and yet resistance builds. Now Russian soldiers stay off its streets following assassinations and last week its Russian-backed Mayor was poisoned by his chef. Now in the run-up to the vote, a military battle has begun to recapture the region and a great deal rests on its outcome. Read more HERE

Diane Francis also has fascinating things to tell us about the largely silent ‘war’ in the Arctic, the ‘battle’ for control of the Arctic Circle.

She is on twitter @dianefrancis1

Update: Posted on Twitter today, 22 August

@WarMonitor3

Ukrainian forces destroyed a whole convoy of Russian logistics crossing the Antonivskyi bridge when the bridge was hit. Reportedly the trucks were carrying ammunition.

When Russia first invaded Ukraine in February, I drew cards asking about Putin’s objectives.

I had not predicted the invasion. I don’t know any Tarot readers who did. It was predicted in astrology, by Vedic astrologers in India, who were mostly emphatically pro-Russian and were, at least back, In February, extremely confident of his successful conquest of Ukraine. They do not seem to have posted again since. Perhaps they see no need. They have spoken.

Fortunately for me, I do not work for the likes of the Emperor Tiberius, or he’d have had me hurled over the cliff. I had expressed misgivings however, in a general world reading posted January 2022, and published at Ask.Astrology.com that we were in for a dangerous year, deep, dark waters, Pisces in Neptune, full fathom five.

My focus at that point, in so far as I specified arenas, was the Strait of the Taiwan. This is a Chinese Year of the Black Water Tiger. Neptunian and Mercurial, mega mercantile and expansionist, although China’s room for manoeuvre has possibly been complicated by Putin’s invasion, and we’re all watching that space. And we need to do something radical about upping our own, independent chip production in Europe and the UK, and we need to do it yesterday.

Jupiter is re- entering Pisces in late October-where it was when the war in Ukraine started in February. October seems to bring the end of a cycle, and the start of a new cycle in this war in Europe. A card that I have drawn many times for Zelensky is The Hanged Man, a Piscean figure rendered almost transcendental by his responses, in this fateful trial on which so much hinges.

When Russia invaded Ukraine 24 February 2022, I looked in the Tarot for its take on what Putin wanted, and the eventual outcome.

Two cards in particular came up, and have come up again many times since: the Two of Pentacles and The Ten of Swords.

The Two of Swords

This juggling earth suit card card is saying, what does Putin want? He wants earth-territory. He wants gold and grain. He wants that land bridge to Transnistria and Moldova, next stop, the Baltic all the way through to Kaliningrad. But he is operating on ‘shifting sands.’ Putin must juggle his military actions and what he really wishes to do, or needs to do militarily, against the economic disadvantage. That mega deal with China, and the projected Siberian pipeline to deliver energy to new markets in China is no help to him now, and won’t be for years to come, while ships are taking over from giant pipelines. New ships, three times as long as a football field, are delivering natural liquid gas in volumes equivalent to three days delivery via the biggest pipelines.

The Ten of Swords

This is another card that has come up repeatedly when I look at President Putin, and has done so since the invasion began 24 February. This card means ruin. Hitting rock bottom. It can mean serious health issues too. This card says to me that Putin will do a huge amount of damage, but he does not achieve his objectives and by this, I am envisioning that he wants Odessa, all of Ukraine, Transnistria, Moldova and then more.

The suit of Swords in terms of timing is tricky. It can mean that something happens very swiftly, like the strike of a sword. But Putin did not succeed with his February lightning strike, and now it seems entirely possible that this conflict could carry on as a war of attrition over the next ten years.

But that Ten of Swords can’t be fudged in terms of its basic meaning, ruin, failure, and it can mean sickness or death. This card says to the reader that Putin, for all his brutality and patience is not going to achieve that goal of the land bridge, while astrology suggests the inexorable turning of a tide against him from March 2023 while in terms of zodiac correlations, the Ten of Swords correlates with the last decan of Gemini, meaning roughly 11-20 June.

It’s no use counting on such things, if one is counting on them. But experience says it’s worth noting, at least. The reader notes it, that is all, and time will tell.

Can/Will Ukraine retake Kherson?

Lord Dannett, former chief of the UK Armed Forces has said we need to be realistic; that we must help Ukraine, Putin’s actions and weaponization of oil and gas supplies, are a direct and calculated threat to all Europe, but that Russia will not lose this war.

Defining the winning and losing for both sides- what that will look like- there is the rub. A victory for Ukraine would mean in clear terms that Russia is pushed all the way back out of Ukrainian territory and reclaims the Donbas in entirety. I can’t see in my cards that Ukraine will win back Luhansk.

But Kherson, it looks as though Ukraine can take it back and quite possibly will, but not yet awhile. I drew this spread asking for the Tarot’s impressions of the progress and outcome.

The top central card is a benchmark card.

The left hand column represents the Russian forces.

The right hand column represent the Ukrainian forces.

The Queen of Swords here represents the question being reflected back at the me as the Tarot is seeing it:

-Putin himself, as a Libra sun sign subject, born 7 October 1952 or possibly on the same date but in 1950

-Libra season 22 September -23 October

-Justice, rule of law, truce, agreement

Just as a matter of incidental curiosity, countries that are ruled by Libra include: France, Tibet, Argentina, Austria, Burma, Canada, China, Japan, Siberia, Botswana, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Iraq, Israel, Lesotho, Nigeria, Palau, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Tuvalu and Uganda.

Cities that are ruled by Libra include: Lisbon, Frankfurt, Paris, Copenhagen, Johannesburg, Nottingham, and Antwerp.

Russia’s cards

The King of Wands, Six of Pentacles, Eight of Swords and Nine of Swords.

Russia succeeded in capturing and occupying Kherson shortly after the invasion, hence we have drawn that upbeat King of Wands card (I go abroad and I am victorious.’

The Six of Coins means community, translating here as the Russians saying ‘this is our place, ours again now’. The Ukrainians have blown up the bridge, more than once, but has not made any significant progress as yet in retaking Kherson. But it has forced the Russians back across the river Dnieper (Dnipro) to the east bank. The Eight of Swords (stuck, trapped, no way forward) is reflecting a situation in which the Russian occupation is starting to experience difficulties, now that Ukraine is better equipped to mount a counteroffensive.

The Eight of Swords shows a lady tied up outside a city. This describes a situation where someone has got stuck. It does suggest a siege type situation. Meanwhile the Ukrainian citizens of Kherson are under siege from a hostile occupation inside their own city.

That last card at the bottom of the column, the Nine of Swords means ‘stress, sleepless nights.’ Again, and the timing may prove a red herring, the Eight and Nine of Swords, like the Ten, refer in terms of the calendar, to something pivotal in late May-late June, Gemini season, 2023.

Ukraine’s cards

Strength, Three of Swords, Four of Wands, Ace of Cups

The Strength card is reflecting the fact that Putin had a great shock when he discovered the Ukrainian resistance was so much stronger than he had anticipated. We are just leaving the season of Leo, and though Ukraine has lost Kherson, and the Ukrainian front line is still apparently 60 km away, some parts of the region of Kherson have recently been recaptured, thanks in part to new arms supplies.

The Three of Swords signifies very great anguish. Here is loss, mourning, deprivation, severance and separation. Russia has severed part of Ukraine from itself, and has not cared in the process to limit the damage, but has used calculated acts of gratuitous violence and cruelty against a civilian population, while proclaiming that they are all one family, one people of one motherland.

How many Russian motherland Ukrainians died during the horror of The Holodomor, Stalin’s entirely deliberately manufactured famine of the winter of 1933/39? Conservative estimates put it at 3.9 million, other estimates suggest 7 million or more.

President Putin may prefer to disassociate himself from Stalin, and see this invasion in Imperial terms, Peter the Great and Catherine the Great. But there speaks the history of the 20th century: Lenin, Stalin, and now, still in that mould, Putin, who yesterday closed the Nordstream 1 Pipeline for three days for ‘unscheduled’ maintenance. There will be few who will not see in this, a warning act of retaliation against Europe for the armaments now being supplied to Ukraine, and in response to recent Ukrainian strikes on Russian targets in Crimea. Severance of energy, here is another manifestation of the Three of Swords.

The Four of Wands is a different card altogether as we work our way down Ukraine’s pictorial timeline. This is the outcome card for Ukraine in response to the question. Unlike the Vedic astrologers, whose confidence I admire, issuing statements about the future as if they were a given, I am not supremely confident of anything, ever. But I do not argue with the cards that I have drawn, in trying to tap into, fetch up and articulate verbally my inner feelings on the matter. The Four of Wands detects a real prospect that Ukraine will ultimately succeed in recapturing Kherson. Why? The Four of Wands represents success, completion, a building made perfect, a home made beautiful, a gathering and a celebration. This is cardinal Aries energy, the bounding Ram, which is represented by The Emperor card. But here it is Ukraine that is ‘The Emperor.’

Key timings suggested in these cards are Libra time, October 2022, Aries time, April 2023, and Gemini time, late May 2023, Putin possibly in situ till around October 2023.

These are deeply disturbing times. NATO has started moving forces into Latvia.

The entire Baltic region is now a buzzing hive on high alert. Ukraine was hardly caught napping. Anything but. But if Europe was, after the annexation of Crimea, now it’s not, though whether it (in particular Scholz) can and will stand firm this winter remains to be seen.

Armchair experts. Everyone can make their own assessments and this Tarot reader is certainly no expert. But whether right or wrong the reader chooses the cards blindly and entirely at random. The final card on the Ukraine timeline is the Ace of Cups. This card holds out the offer of the Chalice, the Holy Grail, the Healing Cup. It is a card of a rebirth, but a good one. Peace. Restoration. ‘My cup floweth over.’

Till next time 🙂

The video below is a demonstration of artwork from the deck being used today, The Illuminati Tarot.

In the Time of Taurus, Tarot talking Ukraine…

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Readings 29 April and 10 May 2022

Left hand column represents Ukraine

Top to bottom

Aspect/Issue-present-future

Right hand column represents Russia

Top to bottom,

Aspect/Issue-present-future

Authors own Image using the Illuminati Tarot

We all see the issue although we may have different interpretations, depending on where we are living in the world, and our own historical and cultural perspective and personal outlook.

The reader is not free of bias. However, the reader exercises absolutely zero conscious control in selecting the cards, which are drawn blindly and at random. No- one knows what the ultimate outcome will be. Everyone is ‘looking in the glass darkly’, and although the reader may be influenced by personal prejudice when it comes to interpretation of the cards drawn at random, the rules of Tarot divination allow the reader only so much freedom of latitude.

Anyone can look at these cards and form their own intuitive impressions, based on the imagery alone, helped by their own experiences of reading faces and situations in their own lives.

Possible Outcomes (as we all know)

-Russia will completely overrun Ukraine, install a puppet government in Kyiv and then possibly invade other territories, Moldova, Estonia.

-Ukraine will repel the Russian invasion and recapture the Donbas and Mariupol, if not Crimea, though this seems unlikely.

-There will be ongoing guerilla warfare in Eastern Ukraine drawn out over years if not decades. This war started in 2014.

-Ukraine will remain an independent nation state but Russia will succeed in taking the Donbas/Mariupol and Ukraine will become further partitioned.

The Runes

You will notice two stones drawn against each column of cards. These are old Norse runes.

Ukraine has drawn SOWILO and ISA. These runes signify happiness (sunflowers) and success. However, this happiness has been frozen by ISA, the rune of Ice, cold and stagnation. Reading these runes in another way, the Sowilo rune looks like the Z on the Russian tanks, while Isa suggests Russian tanks are stopped. These runes suggest eventual victory at great cost, Russia stopped in its tracks.

Russia has drawn DAGAZ and HAGALL, meaning Daylight and HAIL/Storm. These runes are saying that Russia dreams of a new Imperial dawn (and every dog will have its day) but HAGALL brings a great blow.

The Cards

Card One: The disruptive (quite an understatement) Five Wands REVERSED. Meaning: Conflict/competition/unsettled market forces. This suggests active fighting continues at least into early summer. In terms of timing the Five of Wands represents the first decan of Leo which spans 21 July-22 August. The first decan is the last week of July, 23-1 August. Perhaps we will see a ceasefire about this time.

This is a massive simplification, but these cards suggest the last scenario as the most likely outcome.

The Justice card is drawn opposite The Hanged Man- a sacrifice made for a return to Law and Order.

Ukraine is fighting for ‘Justice’- the rule of Law. By this we mean its own autonomous law, and the principle of international law and order. Russia is fighting for the surrender of Ukraine. The Hanged Man means surrender of sacrifice. Russia wants the removal of Zelenskyy, who has personally been represented by The Hanged Man in previous readings (see archives) Russia has made a series of attempts on Zelenskyy’s life starting 23 February. Ukraine has made plans in case of his death, and this is unpleasant but only prudent.

It would be wrong to make predictions of death, but in previous readings, the cards have indicated that while the risk is very real, Zelenskyy survives the conclusion of hostilities. The central Ten of Swords however suggests a fresh blow to Ukraine or to Zelenskyy personally, possibly another attempt or added risk in June, correlating with third decan Gemini,around 11-20 June.

At the same time, perhaps directly connected to that Ten of Swords or its aftermath, we have the Four of Swords for Russia -or for Putin personally. This is a classic card of rest and retreat. The Four of Swords is nicknamed the sick bed card or hospital card. This reader does believe that President Putin has a serious health issue. By the same token, this card of retreat could mean a peak in the conflict, and in consequence, a pause, truce or ceasefire.

But what’s the process in play here? This reading is merely a snapshot in time. The reader is asking themselves, “what am I feeling about this situation right now?” Using the cards to reflect their own feelings back at them, the better to articulate them.

Ukraine Future cards

Seven of Pentacles, slow progress, patience, persistence, disappointment but there is a harvest. This card equates with third decan Taurus ie now, if we are to read the card in this way. Why might this be? M Macron has apparently said it would take ‘decades’ to admit Ukraine into the EU, although the EU will seek other ways to help Ukraine. Macron proposes to create a new Pan European body- which countries like Ukraine could join. Read more about that here

The Fool card: Destiny. There is no card more numinous, more powerful than this one in the Tarot deck. It is the card of the Portal, Ground Zero. Again, like The Hanged Man, it is Odin who sacrificed an eye in exchange for knowledge. Ukraine has already worn so many identities in the past, but will be reborn with a new constitution. How is that, when they are fighting with such determination to preserve their current identity? Does it mean that Russia is going to conquer Ukraine?

Knight of Swords The reader looks to the next card for the possible answer. The Knight of Swords represents anything but a defeat. This knight is swift, agile, ruthless. The god is Mercury, the zodiac entity is Gemini. The Knight of Swords is intellect, law, cool air, a rushing wind, an east wind. The Knight of Swords attacks. This is an aspect of Zelenskyy himself, and his deployment of the modern media has been masterly, Mercury in action. Zelenskyy is a modern leader. Tech savvy,media savvy, and a match for Putin intellectually. Maybe more than. He represents the future. Putin is non tech savvy, essentially a leader from the nineteenth century.

This card suggests a fierce fight back. Ukraine seems likely to move from fighting in defense mode to counter offensive, and may already be doing so, with an effort being made at this time to retake Snake Island and deny Russia that strategic position on the Black Sea.

Ukraine is mobilizing social media, Art and Beauty.

Knight of Swords says Ukraine will build a new air force. Never again will it allow itself to lie defenseless and naked to the skies.

Russia Future cards

The Hierophant is Taurus (now) The Hierophant is the Church. Putin has the endorsement of the Russian Orthodox Church to go take the two separatist republics, as represented by the two keys shown on the card. and also, kill sexual deviants and decadent people while doing so, because there is nothing deviant about the rape of unarmed civilian women. And children. The Hierophant is orthodoxy and tradition. Putin is an Imperialist, not a Communist. The Hierophant does suggest to the reader, that, like it or not, Russia may ultimately succeed in annexing the Donbas because of those two keys, and because The Hierophant speaks of tradition and conservation. Reclaiming the past.

The Two of Swords is the central card drawn. Here it has been drawn reversed. Again, added to that Hierophant, this suggests a severance of two entities. Partition. It also means the end of a period of indecision or the end of a long stalemate or deadlock. Someone may be experiencing headaches or eyestrain; either Putin himself or someone very close. I have known this card to mean exactly this too many times before for me to discount that interpretation.

The Two of Swords may additionally refer to Putin’s undoubted chagrin in respect of the applications of Sweden and Finland to now join NATO in response to the perceived threat to their own borders as a consequence of Putin’s unbridled aggression in Ukraine.

King of Swords. Libra (October) and Aquarius (late January-late February) 2023 could be definitive for Putin personally. Other card readings have suggested that he leaves or has left power no later than February-April 2024, but other cards, including The Joker, suggest it could well happen sooner.

Zelenskyy is astrologically a King of Swords, born 25 January, 1978 if the information is correct, and is quite possibly going to prove to be Putin’s nemesis, although at this terrible cost, with that cost still mounting. What can one do with an opponent who simply does not care how much damage he inflicts? There is a spitefulness in Putin. Astrologically he is a Queen of Swords. This card has come up on repeated occasions, usually drawn upside down or and when draw reversed, this otherwise savvy, wise and subtle Queen becomes bitter and vindictive.

In metaphorical terms, Zelenskyy, being drawn as a King of Swords drawn upright, is capable of steely ruthlessness in a desperate situation, and will cut off your head if he judges the emergency warrants it, but it isn’t personal.

Putin, being drawn as a Queen of Swords drawn reversed, will cut off your head after you have already surrendered, and it’s personal.

Henry v111 has been used as the model for this card in this deck, and I’d say he was both a King and Queen of Swords reversed in terms of his behaviour, although astrologically he was a sun Cancer subject, born 28 June and his rising sign was Virgo; exceedingly sensitive emotionally, and at the same time- that Virgo Mercury influence- highly analytical and detail focused.

But the appearance of this powerful court card does suggest Putin gets something for his efforts. He has to, or he is toast.

7 May I drew playing cards asking when Putin leaves power laying out the cards in rows, each card representing a month.

I asked my cards, ‘show me the Ace of Spades or Ten Spades to show me when Putin goes from power’.

The Ten of Swords turned up in the time slot representing March 2024 and this card was flanked by two Aces which struck me as significant. Aces mean new starts. The Ten of Swords was flanked by the Ace of Diamonds,representing February 2024, and the Ace of Clubs representing April 2024.

These Aces suggest a new leadership. Either one of them can mean a new government.

However, The Four of Swords drawn for late 2022 and the Joker drawn for January 2023 suggest big changes could happen far sooner, on the Russian side.

In particular The Joker, denoting change that is as sudden or surprising as it is momentous.

The Joker is no laughing matter. He never was. He is The Fool on The Hill, neither good nor evil but still, a portal. The Joker says…a great destiny is in play here that will help shape the future world order for a long time to come. To those who say ‘what is this to do with us in the UK?’ (That is, if we leave the nukes out of the question, and no, the UK is not going to get nuked, much as Putin may be itching to teach us a ‘lesson.’)

To those people, The Joker says, what is freedom? What is justice? The rule of Law? Self-respect? Self determination? What do we mean by these words? How much do they matter to us based on our understanding of what they mean when applied in action? In every day living? What is their value? What is their cost? What would we pay, what would we sacrifice to guarantee them for ourselves or our own people? Not to live under the boot.

April 2024 for Putin’s departure may seem a long way off, but it could chime with that Two of Swords reversed on the Russia timeline, which brackets a time frame running from October 2022 Libra- or up to another two years in duration from today 10 May 2022.

One can see that scenario is perfectly credible and realistic, but I somehow don’t feel this will continue so long as 2024, not at this intensity, partly based on that appearance of The Joker.

Putin preparing for a long war, say US officials

Vladimir Putin appears to be preparing for a long war in Ukraine, top US intelligence officials said.

“The Russians aren’t winning and the Ukrainians aren’t winning and we’re at a bit of a stalemate here,” Lieutenant General Scott Berrier, the head of the Defence Intelligence Agency, said before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Russia, which calls the invasion “a special military operation,” poured more troops into Ukraine for a huge offensive last month in the eastern part of the country but its gains have been slow.

US Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, also appearing before the Armed Services Committee, said: “We assess President Putin is preparing for a prolonged conflict in Ukraine during which he still intends to achieve goals beyond the Donbas.”

She added that Mr Putin was counting on the Western resolve to weaken over time and as the conflict continued, there was concern about how it would develop in the coming months.

Source: The Independent

The reader has got things right before, Brexit, tsunami of January 2022, the election of Boris Johnson first as party leader and then as PM. But readers also get things wrong. Of course they do. This is divination, not black magic. This reader was pretty wobbly on the re-election of Donald Trump, not seeing that the Ace of Swords, which she mistook for a likely election victory was in fact, the armed incursion on Capitol Hill in the aftermath (and- declaration of bias- she is not a Trump fan, but nor is she a Biden fan)It’s all in the archives.

As ever only Time will tell. But meantime, I will keep looking.

We ‘look in the glass darkly’ to ‘see the world in a grain of sand’ or a drop of water – or a mote in the Mind’s eye.

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Putin: A Two-Card Tarot Snapshot

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`

Tweeted today 11 April

What is President Putin’s current feeling and assessment of the present situation in Ukraine?

@KatieEllenH

No validation available. Tarot Snapshot Putin’s view/attitude of current state of events in #Ukraine Yet AGAIN we draw 10 Swords. Pain/Ruin (watch late May-late June) Hierophant Rev= Taurus 20 April. Worries re money/keys. Fear of not securing 2 critical ‘keys’ -Donetsk/Luhansk

Deck used: The Illuminati Tarot

Card Meanings: betrayal, defeat, ruin, destruction, rock bottom, headaches, throat, spine ailments. Darkness before the dawn. Associated dates late May-late June (Gemini)

For clarification and context, the reader draws a second card.

The Hierophant was drawn reversed next to it.


Card meanings: UPRIGHT Pope, organized religion, faith, tradition, Banks, finance, agriculture, keys, publishing, universities. REVERSED bad advice, tradition that has become a tyranny, the unorthodox, or intolerance of the unorthodox, money losses, crop failure, marriage breakdown, lost keys

Lost /missing keys. Putin NEEDS to show gains, Donetsk, Luhansk and Mariupol. Keys not claimed. Keys still denied.

Also, 2 more Hierophant keys (established order) What is this news about Sweden and Finland possibly joining NATO as early as this SUMMER??

Interestingly, I have already drawn these same cards on several previous occasions when asking to be shown Vladimir Putin’s situation. The Tarot has been consistent here.

The Hierophant can- rarely- actually refer to the pope in the literal sense. Did I miss something? (Goes off to Google) Aha. So I did.

SOURCE: The Guardian, 18 March 2022

Pope Francis denounces ‘abuse of power’ in Russia-Ukraine war

Pontiff asserts Ukraine’s right to exist as a sovereign state and to defend itself against Russian invasion.

Pope Francis has denounced the “perverse abuse of power” on display in Russia’s war in Ukraine and called for aid to Ukrainians, whom he said had been attacked in their “identity, history and tradition” and were “defending their land”.

A Russian Orthodox church in Amsterdam in 2020.

Francis’s comments, in a message to a gathering of European Catholic representatives on Friday, were some of his strongest yet in asserting Ukraine’s right to exist as a sovereign state and to defend itself against Russia’s invasion.

They came days after he told the head of the Russian Orthodox church, Patriarch Kirill, that the concept of a “just war” was obsolete since wars were never justifiable and pastors must preach peace, not politics.

Those comments, during a video call with Kirill on Wednesday, were an indirect criticism of the patriarch’s apparent defence of the war. Kirill, who is close to the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has seemingly justified the invasion by describing it as part of a struggle against sin and pressure from liberal foreigners to hold “gay parades”.

He has blamed the west and a fellow Orthodox patriarch for fomenting enmity between Ukraine and Russia and echoed Putin in insisting they are “one people”.

In his comments on Friday, the pontiff did not mention Russia by name – the Vatican traditionally does not identify aggressors and has attempted to maintain a dialogue with Kirill’s church – but he strongly backed Ukraine.

The heartbreaking scream for help from our Ukrainian brothers pushes us as a community of believers not just to serious reflection but to cry with them and work for them; to share the anguish of a people wounded in its identity, history and tradition,” Francis told the meeting in Bratislava, Slovakia.

A lasting ceasefire may be some months off yet. It looks like months, not years. These 2 cards suggest that late April-late June could be critical turning points in this conflict in which many, including my own mother born 1939, are seeing the devastated city of Mariupol as a new Stalingrad; a moral triumph for the Ukrainians, whatever the outcome, and again, whatever the outcome, a dark and infamous mirror image of those Russian heroes of the Battle of Stalingrad, fighting in defense of their own hearths and homes.

If they are the same people, as Putin says, if Ukrainians are their brothers, this is how they treat their brothers?

The Hierophant reversed is about tradition -rules. Putin cares nothing for the rules, unless they are his own. The next couple of weeks may be especially dangerous.

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