A Fanfare for Aries the Fiery Sky Ram

Photo by Kat Smith on Pexels.com

This year we entered the zodiac sign of Aries the Ram Sunday 20 March 2022, the day of the spring (vernal) equinox in the northern hemisphere (autumn/fall equinox in the southern hemisphere.)

The word ‘zodiac’ comes from the Greek meaning ‘circle of animals.’ The only zodiac sign non-representative of a living creature is Libra, the sign of the scales, but even its scales are borrowed from the stars of Scorpio, the giant scorpion in the heavens next door.

Aries, heavenly sky Ram is a cardinal fire sign; the first sign of the western zodiac, the sign of spring in the northern hemisphere, and with it – lambing time.

Public Domain

Picture the star-ram lying or sitting head downwards. New life is ignited. The planetary ruler of Aries is Mars, the red planet of action, energy, enthusiasm, courage, passion, initiative- and war.

The real life ram is strong, brave, and at certain times of year, downright aggressive, charging headlong into the field, king of all he surveys. Ewes can be aggressive too if disturbed by strangers when they have new lambs to protect.

aries-johann-bayer-uranometria

History and Mythology

The sheep was among the first animals ever domesticated by humans by around 11000 – 9000 BC (BCE). Once upon a time Aries marked the end of the main lambing season of wild sheep in Europe, 21 March – 20 April.

(The dog was the first domesticated species, and the only large carnivore to have been domesticated, possibly 15000 years ago -or earlier. The Bonn-Oberkassel dog found buried beside humans 14,200 years ago is to date the earliest undisputed dog, with disputed remains dated 36,000 years ago. )

The ancient Sumerians called the sun, ‘Subat’, meaning the ‘Ancient Sheep’ or Ram and the planets were the ‘Celestial Herd’. The Sumerians were one of the oldest known urban civilizations in what is now Southern Iraq, during the Neolithic-Bronze Age, 4500 BC to 1500 years BC.

In ancient Egyptian astronomy, Aries was called ‘Lord of the Head’ – a reference to its symbolic significance, and it was associated with the god Amon-Ra, who was depicted as a man with a ram’s head and represented fertility and creativity. Because it was the location of the spring (vernal) equinox, it was called the “Indicator of the Reborn Sun”.

The position of Aries at the zenith at that time coincided with the rising of Sirius in the east and the flooding of the Nile. The Temple of Amon-Ra at Karnak bore the likeness of the supreme sun-god with the horns of a ram, while the road to Karnak was formed from the wings of two granite sphinxes bearing the head of Aries.

However, Aries was not fully recognized as a constellation until classical times about 1580 B.C. to 360 B.C. when the ancient Greeks oriented the construction of many of their sacred temples in relationship to Hamal – in Arabic ‘The Head of the Ram’ and the brightest star in the constellation.

In Hellenistic astrology the constellation of Aries was associated with the golden ram of Greek mythology.

Aries and the Golden Ram

The brother and sister Phrixus and Helle were the children of the Boeotian king Athamas and the cloud fairy, Nephele.  But then she died, the king remarried, and his new wife, Ino, planned to kill Phrixus and Helle as a perceived threat to her own two later children by the king.

They were warned and fled, rescued by a flying golden ram sent by Hermes at the plea of Nephele, their dead mother watching in anguish from the other world.

Phrixus was seated on the ram, holding on to its horns, Hell behind him, clutching his waist, but Helle got tired and lost her grip. She plunged into the sea far below and was lost in the Dardanelles, known ever after as the Hellespont in her memory. Later, safely in Colchis, Phrixus (respectfully if rather ungratefully) sacrificed the Golden Ram, returning it to home to the gods, and presented its fleece as a gift to King Aeetes, who placed it on a tree in a grove under the guard of a dragon. This was the Hydra, whom Jason later killed in order to steal its fleece for its magical healing properties, on the orders of his uncle, the murdering usurper Pelias (who had no intention that Jason would return alive.)

Before we had CGI, we had Ray Harryhausen….

The Aries Archetype

The Sun from The Golden Tarot, Kat Black

All the zodiac signs represent archetypes, meaning something that is considered to be a perfect or typical example of a particular kind of person or thing.

A zodiac sign paint a poetic portrait of a person born at a particular time of year, in a particular season. A baby born in summer arrives into a different physical environment from a winter baby; differences of temperature, hours of daylight, maternal diet and so on, with potentially different effects on the baby’s physical makeup and constitution.

Aries is a cardinal sign, marking the start of a new season. The other cardinal signs are Libra, marking the start of autumn in the northern hemisphere and Capricorn, marking the onset of winter. The cardinal signs are traditionally considered the most innovative and proactive, the signs most at ease with driving change.

Aries is sunny, young at heart. It is the metaphysical ‘baby’ of the zodiac, adventurous, optimistic, generous, curious, brave, passionate, direct, self-willed  and inclined to lose its temper if denied or crossed. Aries represents the concept of The Self. It seeks to express itself through exploration and pushing at boundaries. It is self-willed like a very young child. It wants its own way.

Aries is number one, the first sign in the Zodiac, youthful and exuberant- and let no-one forget it. Aries is the star of this show.

But it is also the sign of a king, and not only that but a warrior-king, as illustrated in the watchful, slightly weary, Emperor card in the Tarot.

See those Ram’s heads decorating his throne?

Rider-Waite Smith Tarot

Aries is ultra-virile with a warrior spirit, just as a ram will charge headlong, at an intruder, and may attack or even kill a person who enters his field, threatening his ewes and his territory at the wrong moment. If knocked down by a ram, although it is counter-intuitive, stay down till he loses interest and wanders off.

Aries is known for its determination and zest for life, and in the same spirit, Aries can be reckless and with it, accident prone in its general haste to get on and do whatever is the next thing. Aries are at a statistically increased risk of  accidents, especially with head and neck injuries in comparison with other signs, largely due to impatience and risk-taking behaviours.

Aries is ready to experiment or pioneer but may not finish what it starts. They are determined but can be diverted by their own impatience if they don’t get quick results.

Aries subjects may exhibit  careless or even ruthless behaviour with a disregard for others in their desire to achieve and excel. They can bear grudges but, though they are sensitive, they can be careless about the sensitivities of others. In their closest personal relationships however, Aries are generally lively, pleasant, frank, direct and generous. Full of bounce and joie de vivre, there is much to admire about the early springtime subjects of fiery Aries, the Mighty Ram.

The Tarot will tell us more …

Aries in the Tarot

The Tarot cards associated with Aries are The Emperor, the Queen of Wands and the 2, 3 and 4 of Wands, and these minor arcana cards represent the decans of this zodiac sign.

The major arcana card associated with Aries is The Emperor. This sets the overall tone for this zodiac sign. The Emperor of the Ram seeks to claim territory and to create and impose order in that territory. At his best, he rules wisely and with care and justice. At his worst, he is a tyrant.

Card Meanings: a man of authority, parent, employer, a military man, maturity, order, experience, hard won leadership, discipline, authority, government, organizations, rules, bureaucracy, doing things by the book, ego, I am in charge, what I say goes, Drawn reversed: bully, tyrant, warmonger. Note the ram skulls decorating his throne.

Every suit in the Tarot has its own court with a king and queen, a knight and a page. The Court card associated with Aries is the Queen of Wands. Aries is ruled by the element of fire in the Tarot, Wands is the suit of fire. Aries is ruled by the Sun, the ruler of the day. Notice how she holds a sunflower as her sceptre (We are seeing a lot of sunflowers online right now, as the symbol of Ukraine. Let us hope the sunflower of Aries will bring a ceasefire between now and 20 April – soonest.)

Rider-Smith Waite Tarot

Card Meanings: A helpful woman, a mother figure, a lucky person (signified by the black cat, also notice the royal lions) She has good instincts and may also have occult abilities. Warmth, directness, spontaneity and independence, nurturing, generosity, enthusiasm, impatience are her qualities, but she may be either male or female in a real life reading. A man born under Aries may appear in a reading as the Emperor, a King of Wands or the Queen of Wands.

Lastly, the minor arcana cards associated with Aries are Two, Three and Four of Wands. These are the cards that talk about the decans of Aries.

If you don’t feel like you are a ‘typical’ Aries, well, we are all unique, but perhaps you are also a second or third decan Aries native, rather than a ‘most typical’ first decan Aries.

The Decans

The Zodiac is the belt of sky we can see from earth, tracking the path of the sun across the sky over the course of the year. We call this pathway of the sun ‘the ecliptic.’

The Greeks named the signs after twelve of the constellations appearing on, or crossing this zodiac belt: Aries, Taurus, Gemini Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and lastly, Pisces.

Each of these zodiac signs represents a 30 degree section of the zodiac belt. Each sign is then further sub-divided into three blocks of ten degrees, each about ten days in length, with slight variations. This gives us the ‘decans,’ from the Latin meaning ‘ten,’ also called decanates, or the ‘thirty-six faces of astrology,’ bringing added depth and nuance to the story of your zodiac signs.

First Decan Aries (0-10 degrees of the sign)

21 March-31 March

Rider- Waite Smith Tarot

Card Meanings: vision, ambition, melancholy, trade, global trade, entrepreneurship, agreements, partnerships, government, meetings, the world is my oyster. Reversed: fear of the unknown, lack of planning

The ruling planet is Mars and the co-ruler is also Mars, giving this first Aries decan a double dose of fiery, headlong Mars, bringing out the positive and dominant side of this Aries subject. Aries seeks power and usually they have great charisma too.  But one of the nicknames of this card is ‘The Melancholy of Alexander,’ referring to the restlessness of the conqueror Alexander the Great, who won great lands but was never satisfied.

The personality is independent, forceful, temperamental, often generous, sometimes domineering, dictatorial or even aggressive. This is the first decan in the whole zodiac, the most aggressive Aries decan and –perhaps not coincidentally- the most sporty.

These natives of Aries think fast, act fast- too fast at times- and they can tend to be irritable with others who act more slowly. Respect, it must be remembered, is a two-way street. They are known for having a gift with words and public speaking abilities.

Famous first decan Aries: Harry Houdini, Robert Frost, Elton John, Mariah Carey

Second Decan Aries (10-20 degrees of the sign)

1 April-10 April

Rider-Waite Smith Tarot

Card Meanings: progress, expansion, overseas opportunities, new horizons, a launch, your ship comes in, planning, critical timing, preparation, teamwork: Reversed lack of foresight, timidity, thinking too small, unexpected delays

The co-rulers of this decan are Mars and the Sun, the ‘Ruler of the Day.’

The sun is the centre of the solar system, the bringer of life itself, and here it stands for dignity, honour and ambition. This Aries personality not only welcomes change but actively seeks it out, relishing a challenge. This gifted Aries native desires a creative challenge and maybe a global challenge too, while they are at it.

They are generally known for their honesty, while rather stern in outlook. They will tell you something to your face but though they really do not like to be told what to do, they don’t shirk from telling others.

This Mars-Sun combination is considered a particularly lucky planetary combination. Everyone gets their own mix of luck, good and bad. That’s just life. But still, these Aries natives have a knack of landing on their feet.

Famous second decan Aries: Otto von Bismarck, Hans Christian Anderson, Bette Davis, Al Gore, Russell Crowe, Jackie Chan, Celine Dion, Quentin Tarantino

Aries Decan Three (20-30 degrees of the sign)

10 April-20 April

Rider-Waite Smith

Card meanings: professional qualification, an achievement, property improvements, building, setting up home, celebration, joy, homecoming, publishing, creating an artwork.  Reversed: bad luck, frustrations, roadblocks

This Aries native is generally more peaceable and easy-going than the other two decans; co-ruled by Mars and Jupiter, known as the God of Fortune. Jupiter brings good fortune and opportunity to the drive and ambition of Mars.

There is sincerity, honesty and warm-hearted nobility in this last Aries placement. Like the second decan Aries, these Aries natives often have some particular and well developed creative or artistic talent. They are witty, personable, and with a sense of humour. They are righteous, some might say self- righteous on occasion, other people may find them arrogant. They are proud, impatient and they may have every good reason for it, but they too, need to remember that others have their pride, but these are passionately devoted family people with a keen sense of justice, much concerned with right and wrong.

Famous Third Decan Aries: Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, Charlie Chaplin, Tom Clancy, Francis Ford Coppola, Victoria Beckham, Gary Kasparov

Happy Birthday, Aries, 2022.

This will be a much faster moving year for you than last year, with new work and career opportunities. The red planet of action, Mars, your ruling planet enters your sign on Tuesday 24 May and stays there until Tuesday 5 July, adding even more drive to your determination. You can make a lot of forward progress this year and Aries likes to win, but beware self-sabotage and consider when, should you find yourself struggling with a challenge to your feelings and self-esteem, where this anger is really coming from and whether you will be wiser to exercise utmost restraint and diplomacy.

The Fiery Sky Ram Aries, The Emperor, and the Passing of a Prince

Photo by stein egil liland on Pexels.com

9 April 2021

The Tarot’s Emperor  flags up the spirit of Aries, the Ram of spring, cardinal fire sign, and with it the eternal archetype and image of the Emperor or  Patriarch

Our queen is in mourning, and many, many mourn with her. On this day in the season of Aries the Ram, a nation witnesses the passing of Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, first prince of the realm . He has died at a very good age, peacefully in his own home, but it is suspected he had had cancer, had been ill for longer than we, the public, were told, and in this case could not have escaped considerable discomfort or even suffering.

A long and eventful life, high achievements, gifts, talents and endeavours, also great troubles and sorrows. 

Early upheavals, displacement, his family scattered, and further close family losses before he was sixteen. A royal castaway, adrift in Europe, a schoolboy who had to be sent to Britain from Germany, his sister afraid he would get into trouble for goosestepping in the street, a schoolboy, mocking the Nazi salute. An athlete,  a naval officer who saw active service against Nazi Germany, who directly saved many lives at sea through his own quick thinking, who held naval rank for 82 years.

Aged 18 Philip passed out from Dartmouth Naval college, and in January 1940 he joined his first posting onboard the veteran, not to say venerable royal Sovereign class battleship, the HMS Ramillies had served in the Great War, and was built 1916.

Prince Philip served four months as a midshipman patrolling the Indian Ocean, escorting troops from Australia to Egypt.

My maternal grandfather later served as a Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve officer on this same ship in 1944, with my mother, his first child, a baby daughter, born December 1939.

Philip was the real deal, a true Renaissance man of many interests; science, space exploration, even UFO’s, wildlife and adventures for the young of the inner cities. One of my own daughters did The Duke of Edinburgh Award and went camping, much to my happiness because I was becoming too disabled to do these sorts of things with her, to walk with her up on the mountains, as I had done in my teens with my family.

He was a horseman, expert carriage driver, author and artist, painter of landscapes, a husband, father and paterfamilias to three younger generations. 

All this, we are being told, if we didn’t know about it before.

Less commonly reported, is that Prince Philip was a Gemini sun sign subject; hence his curiosity, intellectual agility, humour and restlessness (also perhaps, mischief) His Moon was in Leo (regal, family man, and there is a certain star quality and charisma with this placement.) The Moon sign is an indicator of the emotional temperament.

His Ascending or Rising sign was in Capricorn, and this represents the outer face of the person…duty, dignity and discipline with a red hot bullsh*t detector, and a firm grasp, always, of the reality of the bottom line.

It is the passing of an era.

The Emperor card and Timing

If you ask ‘when?’ and I draw The Emperor, the event in question is likely to occur during the zodiac sign of Aries, late March-late April.

Did I think it would be today, 9 April, the passing of HRH Prince Philip?

Did I look in my Tarot?

No. I did not look in my cards about this. Given the age and recent health issues of the Prince, this news is not unexpected. All the same, I woke one night while he was in the hospital, and thought of him and the thought flashed through my mind, ‘it won;t be now, while he is in the hospital, but before May.’

We had seen the sadness on the face of Prince Charles on his way to visit his father.

The Emperor, ruled by Mars, is in many ways, the opposite number of another classically masculine archetype, The Hermit, whose planetary ruler is Mercury. Both walk alone. The Hermit has learned many things, understands many things, and will shine a light for others. But the Hermit  walks the quieter paths in life, and has to be sought out, while The Emperor feels perhaps even more alone in the eye of the storm in the midst of the machinery of power.

hermit legacy
From The Legacy of The Divine Tarot

The Emperor as an Archetype

For all he was a technocrat, Prince Philip had a poet’s perception, and once said that to change hearts and minds on any great matter, one could do nothing without the arts and religion, and we needed to get all the religions of the world on board to protect endangered wildlife.

This aspect in particular, calls forth the vision of the Tarot’s Hermit card. The Emperor commands, enshrines in law, while The Hermit walks the wild places, in communion with the laws of Nature.

But in zodiac terms, The Emperor marks the rule of Aries, fiery sign of spring, and Philip has passed away under the banner of Aries, the royal warrior Ram.

Life is fierce, getting itself born. The unborn must attack or stay unborn. The fields are full of lambs, but lambing is not gentle.

And a ram may attack anyone entering his field, no less than a bull, and people are still killed by rams. If ever a ram knocks you down, you must stay down. Do not try and get up, or it will keep coming at you.

The Ram at this time of year is driven by the fiercest Life imperative, to defend his patch, his ewes, his lambs.

The Ram of Aries is charging at spring full tilt, the fields, the woods, the hills, the rivers and ponds. Spring has sprung out on the pond here, and you can believe it really is ‘Nature red in tooth and claw’. The coots have already lost their first clutch to the depredations of the gulls. The heron lurks almost invisible in the reeds, so perfect is its camouflage against their winter grey, and the reeds have not yet grown back green. That will not happen till the watch of Taurus.

Video courtesy of Major (ret’d) D P Hazeldine

The Emperor in a personal Tarot reading

The Legacy of The Divine Tarot

The appearance of The Emperor card is likely to be turning the conversation to a senior male figure in your life; a father or grandfather, a husband, and often he is older than you, maybe an employer.

This is the ultimate card of masculinity but of course a woman can also be represented by The Emperor card. Male or female, you could be the Emperor yourself,  for example, in your role as a business owner, or as a manager, soldier, officer, police officer or in many other roles.

In a more abstract sense, this is a card of ‘rendering unto Caesar.’

We all owe dues somewhere, sometime. We all must pay our dues. We can only take out what has been put in the pot.

But Emperors, though they may wield power, are not free. They themselves owe duty. They are not free and they can be brought down. The regalia of power is in token of service. There is no loyalty without reciprocity.

The Emperor may be  a worker in the Civil Service or judiciary. The appearance of this card has several times alerted me to the fact I am sitting with an off-duty police officer, whether male or female.

Once it showed me a judge in the United States.

A client’s son was due in court in the United States. A non-violent offence, a woman had accused him of sexual assault, with potentially very serious consequences for him if found guilty. Not prison, but the client wanted to know the worst, to help herself prepare to support her son and his family, whatever the outcome.

The son had become very depressed waiting for the hearing, had been suspended from his job, a teacher, as was routine in such cases, and banned from seeing his children pending the hearing, and had self-harmed, so the client told me.

I drew  three cards in answer to her question. These were Judgement, The Emperor and Justice.

Based on these cards I felt she would would be greatly relieved by the outcome. I told her so and then something very odd happened.

At the very moment I drew the final card, three greetings cards displayed on the top shelf of a tall bookcase  suddenly flew out mid-air, almost horizontally into the middle of the room, and fluttered to the floor. No open doors, no open windows. Still there was a draught, presumably, but the client was extremely startled. I was a little startled myself, it is fair to say. The movement of the cards in the air flying off the shelves looked so unnatural.

I could not discount the possibility that we had witnessed a manifestation of psychokinesis given the tension attached to the question, the client’s acutely worried state.

It was many months later before I learned the outcome.  The judge had thrown out the case, saying – and these were his actual words apparently, ‘what a crock of sh*t.’

Impersonally, the card signifies government and large corporations organisations,  the Armed Forces, the Law, and global or government organisations

If you are job-hunting and this card comes up, you are likely to find work before long, no matter who the prospective employer may be, while if you have specifically applied to an organisation of this kind, your application looks likely to succeed.

English: Modern bronze statue of Julius Caesar...
English: Modern bronze statue of Julius Caesar, Rimini, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Emperor in real life gets many a bad rap. Many a drubbing. Often well deserved.

The Emperor in his negative aspect is a tyrant or a coward, a bully or a petty pedant. A human monster even.

The ongoing events in Myanmar, a military junta killing its own people, its own children, is a real life demonstration of the worst of The Emperor card drawn reversed.

The ambition of Emperors have over and over again been catastrophic for the peace and happiness of their fellow humans.

Marcus Antonius:
And Caesar’s spirit, raging for revenge,
With Ate by his side come hot from hell,
Shall in these confines with a monarch’s voice
Cry “Havoc!” and let slip the dogs of war,
That this foul deed shall smell above the earth
With carrion men, groaning for burial.

Julius Caesar Act 3, scene 1, 270-275

The Emperor is but frail and mortal. He has feet of clay. But today, let us think of The Emperor at his very best, in his highest, greatest guise. He is a chevalier, a sheltering tree. Rule with compassion, defender of the small and weak. He is the ardent lover.

He is the one who will fight and die, if that is what it takes, to defend his home and his people. Children and animals are drawn to him, and he is ready to run with them, play like a child.

Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

He represents the path of reason and justice and is ready to uphold it by word and deed. He is active in creating order, fixing, mending, making, inventing, reining in his strength at times, exercising it at others so that order prevails, and not everyone gets splattered with the filth of chaos.

Compassion in action, and not just fine words demands courage, nerve and know-how. For compassion of deed and not just words, you have to look to the strong man or woman. In all the light and shade of his complexity, The Emperor represents ‘our’ own menfolk, those we live with, those we work with. Those we love, befriend, honour, love, respect and appreciate.

Even though sometimes we might feel like giving them a ding round the head with a saucepan. The Empress, after all, has her own dominion.

Red earth of Adam, The Emperor may be self sufficient, but at times, there is a certain loneliness. Born to strive, to quest, to see and not to say all that he sees, trusting few with his thoughts or his deepest fears. Throneless Emperors, every one.

RIP, Prince Philip, the once upon a time baby with not even a bed, never mind a home to call his own. He once described himself as a minor Balkan prince of no importance, and he admired so many other lands, yet made his homeland here, joining that company of other, ancient, but never to be forgotten princes, the conquering and the conquered, of these isles, so many times embattled and invaded.

We know all about The Emperor.

harold

Harold Godwinson

Betrayed by his brother

Begged wait by his mother

Story, half told

Stitched in thread

A king still speaks

Of ships on shingle

Ghosts of Senlac

Battled hillside,

Ringed in red.

KE Hazeldine 2017

The Ides of March and all that -Astrology, Prediction and Politics

Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Pexels.com

The use of astrology and other forms of divination is nothing new in politics. Over many centuries leaders and politicians, both in the West and East,  the most highly educated people of their times, and, notwithstanding progress and all the discoveries of science since, they would still be regarded as more generally and highly educated than many people even today, have used the services of astrologers in an advisory capacity.

This brings us to the question, why do people in general use such services?

Well, why do they watch weather forecasts, or conduct polls, buy Lottery tickets, play guessing games, or follow the Stock Exchange

Forecasting in an activity as old as humankind. It is about coping, control, risk assessment and preparation, and ultimately, survival. The human race has always exercised its wits in trying to sense the future, preparing to meet opportunities, challenges, or even downright threats.

But sometimes decisions need to be taken when we don’t have all the facts we ideally need. This is where an astrological or other divinatory perspective may offer a fresh view of the situation, and a sense of the options, the stakes and the odds.

“Astrology is like a weather report; it tells you what conditions you’re likely to face in the future. If the weatherman says it’s probably going to rain, you bring an umbrella. If you follow that advice, you won’t get wet.”– Lee Goldberg, Meteorologist

Photo by Dziana Hasanbekava on Pexels.com

 Julius Caesar

“Beware the Ides of March,” is a famous line from Shakespeare’s play ‘Julius Caesar,’ and is  associated  with 15 March, the date on which Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC.

Below, The Emperor from the Legacy of the Divine Tarot deck. Looking very Julius Caesar, though Julius was never actually Emperor, despite lending his name to the later titles of Czar and Kaiser. The Emperor is the card of Aries the Ram, cardinal sign of spring and lambing season, authority, organizations, rulership, fire, daring, and fatherhood and all things masculine.

The truth: there was a bit more to it, but Shakespeare relied solely on Plutarch for his sources. A seer called Spurinna, a haruspex who read animal entrails as a system of divination, had examined the entrails of a bull on 15 February, and had read a bad omen there; some problem with the heart of the bull, we don’t know what exactly, whether it was malformed, or not quite where it should have been.

Spurinna, alarmed at the condition or ‘absence’ of the bull’s heart and possibly also by a few things he had heard, joined these dots and warned Caesar of a serious threat to his life during the coming 30 days, by or on The Ides (15 March)

Caesar heeded the warning and mostly stayed home for the next few weeks, partly because his wife Calpurnia was very worried. Spurinna had a good reputation for accuracy. Not only was he from Etruria, and Etruscan seers were highly regarded for their skill in divination, he was well connected with the elite of Rome, and had no doubt read the mood there.

Caesar was due to depart Rome again on the 18 March, on military campaign in Spain. The conspirators were running out of time.

But on the 15 March, he disregarded Calpurnia’s fears after a bad dream she had the previous night, and was persuaded to go to the Senate by a friend, Decimus, his closest friend or so he thought, but Decimus had aligned himself with the conspirators. Any betrayal by Brutus, with whom he had quite a mixed history, was nothing compared to the betrayal by Decimus.

On his way to the Portico of Pompey (Caesar’s former friend, ally, one time son in law and later enemy) where the assassins waited forewarned and ready, every eventuality planned for, Caesar passed the seer and joked, “The Ides of March are come,” and Spurinna is said to have replied “Aye, Caesar; but they are not gone.” Caesar here was referring back to the fact that on 15 February, Spurinna had warned him of a threat to his life during the next 30 days on or by the Ideas of March.

Caesar was no lamb to the slaughter. He was a soldier. He defended himself. Tried to escape. Tried to fight back and when he finally went down, touchingly, he covered his face with his robe, in an effort, it is thought, to preserve his privacy and dignity at the very end,or in the hope of avoiding facial mutilation.

The political consequences of this assassination were profound. Caesar’s death backfired on the conspirators, largely for big money reasons, and actually brought about the end of the Roman Republic, and the rise of the Emperors, the tragic irony here being, the assassins killed Caesar because they were afraid he was planning to overthrow the republic and become Emperor.

But could Caesar have avoided this fate?

This is the big question, one of those eternal questions, and of course we can never know. Astrologers today would argue our fate is not fixed, and that Caesar might have escaped, and thereby proven the seer wrong, if he had chosen to act on the warning, or “astrological intel,” as some astrologers describe it – astrological intelligence.

John Dee was a 16th century British mathematician, astronomer, geographer, and astrologer to Queen Elizabeth 1. He was briefly imprisoned at one time, on charges of sorcery during the reign of Mary 1 (“Bloody Mary”) but luckily for him, he had powerful friends and was released. and once Elizabeth became queen, he became her trusted astrological advisor and was appointed to choose an auspicious date for her coronation – an application of what is termed today event astrology electional astrology.

John Dee, in the Ashmolean, Wikimedia

What ended the use of astrology as an accepted practice close to the centres of political power?

The Enlightenment during the 17th century brought new discoveries in astronomy, chiefly and most significantly that Copernicus was right, and the Earth went round the sun, and not the other way round, and they had imprisoned Galileo and burned Giordano Bruno for stating a fact, though in Bruno’s case he had gone rather further than this.

But this threw a new light on astrology, and brought its basis into question.

The German mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler, famed for his improvements to the telescope and his work on the laws of interplanetary motion, was also a renownedastrologer, and he urged fellow scientists not to ‘throw out any baby with the bathwater.’

They were forgetting or overlooking a key point; that western astrology is an arithmetic symbol system based on a vast, ancient collection of psychological and natural observations and data. Discoveries in astronomy changed the science, expanded its range but did not render this arithmetic model invalid.

But his warnings were not heeded. Astrology was now relegated by mainstream academia to the realm of mere superstition, where it largely languishes to this day, yet while thriving as a Humanities subject, with an MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology currently taught at the University of Wales

Meanwhile in China too, the disciplines of astrology and astronomy had drifted ever further apart, and the use of astrology in the Imperial courts was in decline by the end of Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD).

Astrology and Politics Today

Politicians today are unlikely to admit employing the services of an astrologer, especially after the excitement of 1998 when the former White House Chief of Staff, Donald Regan, stated that Nancy Reagan used astrologers to help plan the president’s schedule of activities.

Source: Timeline

“Donald Regan, Reagan’s chief of staff until he was ousted amid the Iran-Contra scandal, spilled in his 1988 book, For The Record, what he viewed as “the most closely guarded domestic secret of the Reagan White House.” He wrote that “Virtually every major move and decision the Reagans made during my time as White House Chief of Staff was cleared in advance with a woman in San Francisco who drew up horoscopes to make certain that the planets were in a favorable alignment for the enterprise.”

Before long, the astrologer who was advising the White House was identified as Joan Quigley.

The New York Post ran a story with the headline, “Astrologer Runs The White House” and the disclosure became fodder for jokes in Washington. On Capitol Hill, Representative Tony Coelho, the Democratic whip from California, blamed astrology for Republicans backing out of a revised trade bill. “Maybe an astrologer is telling them to object today.” Speaker of the House Jim Wright shot back, “It’s all right with me. I’m glad he consults somebody.”

The Reagans denied this but Joan Quigley herself later wrote that she had been actively involved in activities involving the President’s international relations.

Perhaps they still do. Perhaps they don’t. Astrologers are publicly at least, consigned to the realms of entertainment, but at least they are free to practice their skills and publicly discuss their findings without fear of persecution, imprisonment or execution for heresy or sorcery, while politicians, like anyone else, can consult in private or access free astrological commentary and forecasts via a thriving online and other publishing market.

But politics aside, some might still be surprised to learn who today uses astrology, Tarot and other such services, not for entertainment, not for fortune telling, but for analysis and forecasting, for an extra inside track, using such readings as a sounding board, weighing the odds, exploring the most likely outcomes in respect of a choice from their range of available options.

Black cats are lucky.

Lucky.

But sometimes even luck can use a little help, if only to warn where the cracks are, or potholes on the road ahead.

Photo by David Bartus on Pexels.com

Happy Ides of March.

Back soon 🙂

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