All posts by Colin McPhillamy


The Sun moved into Aquarius yesterday. Season of friendship? Season of originality, of the novel and the inventive? What will the water-bearer bring?

I reckon there is an acceleration in the ongoing new awareness of the body of the solar system.

Well ok, maybe I reckon so because when I start googling stuff about the planets my head tends to explode…

When a new planet is discovered or when the human authorities alter the status of a known celestial body, as in Pluto from planet to dwarf planet, astrological thinking says it indicates a corresponding shift in human awareness.

Here is what looks to be a fascinating seminar on Ceres offered by MISPA. Ceres was named a planet (when it was first discovered in 1801), then an asteroid (in the 1850s), and just recently, a dwarf planet (according to the classification given by the IAU – international astronomical union – in 2006). So what might it mean in human affairs that Ceres is now on equal footing with Pluto? And is it significant that celestial bodies tend to be named via mythology? And how mysterious is the solar system anyway?

If, like me, you are looking for answers to these and other questions, this seminar might be somewhere to start.

First day of 2018

What are my predictions for 2018?

There are none.

This is not a prediction. It’s a forecast, the astro-weather will be what it will. What we do with it personally and collectively is up to us and will vary according to the complex of will, values, motivation, and more than anything – consciousness.

Interested in a bargain? Check out the Special. (for existing clients only).

Ok back to the astro:

Something unusual happened on the day of the Northern Hemisphere winter solstice in December 2017, the shortest day of the year. What happened was that Saturn moved into Capricorn (nothing unusual about that, it happens every 30 years or so), and the Sun also moved into Capricorn, (again, not unusual, a yearly occurrence).

What was unusual is that the Sun and Saturn were conjunct (in the same place in the sky as viewed from the Earth) at the potency of zero degrees in a new sign (when it’s all potential, as yet unknown), on the day when the balance of light and dark between the two hemispheres of our planet starts its twice yearly reversal.

How rare is that?


And in some way it will affect all of us.


What does all that astro-babble actually mean?

Saturn, as any astrologer will tell you, is the lord of time, form, death.

Also, boundary, restriction, delay and frustration, among many other things.

Sounds like fun, huh?

Ah yes, but can you make friends with Saturn, contract to cooperate with his powerful influence? If so, the promise and the possibility of his unique rewards: technique, application, discipline, and eventually… mastery in your chosen field… all that begins to open up.

And Capricorn?

Cardinal Earth. Leadership potential in the material world. Ability to initiate projects and plans in the realm of manifestation. Concerned with issues of money, health, tangible achievement.

And guess which planet rules Capricorn.

Right, Saturn!.

Saturn will move through Capricorn for the next three years, touching and crossing, then re-crossing the Capricorn/Aquarius boundary in 2020, finally exiting Capricorn at the end of that year.

Ok that’s enough astrology, except to say that, of course, each of the other planets, along with all the other signs of the zodiac and how they move and aspect your personal set-up, all of that obviously continues.

So here are my hunches: – if you want the astrology behind these thoughts (not everybody does) there are notes at the end of the post.

On a personal level:

It’s a great time to get real about what you want, particularly these next two months Jan/Feb 2018 which kick-start the year energetically.

It’s also a great time to ditch any lingering, residual, anger, resentment, envy and all that stuff, and as these next 30 months go by there may be an impulse to serious psycho-therapeutic work.

Careful review, and ongoing attention to detail will pay double dividends in the planing and the execution of any project.

On a social level:

The markets crashed or reversed in 1929, 1958, 1987, … and in 2018 … who knows, but it sure looks possible (NB: this is not a prediction. Do not make any financial decisions based on what you read here!!!)

The tension between the hyper libido-liberation of the late 1960s and the ongoing secret sexual abuses of power through all of recorded history, is being lanced. Rage and revenge will gather, disclosures at all levels will continue, eventually a new paradigm may emerge.

We will see incredible technical innovations, very possibly especially in robotics, the march of tech-science will accelerate and there will be greater awareness of environmental issues. Clean energy is available.

At a national/international level:

The governments of the USA and elsewhere will continue to strive for control of the public mind. Attacks on, and restrictions of, the media will continue.

Legislation will have unintended consequences. This will be a natural result of the fact that legislators have a known tendency to leave legislation unread before they vote on it.

In many ways governments are now puppet proxies of the corporate-ocracy which rules large operations. Many of these larger bodies are slow to catch on, therefore the damaging excavations in tar-sands, fracking and good old coal-mining will continue… however it is very possible in the next few years that sudden transformations will come onto the international scene.

And here is the astro


All the planets are direct for the first few months of 2018 – a lot of energy.

Saturn will stimulate isolation, fear, loneliness and all the attendant anxieties, as Saturn makes its slow approach to its conjunction with Pluto (January 2020), the great excavator,  all this can be examined, worked through, transformed.

Saturn is the scrutinizer. In Capricorn this is very practical.


When Saturn hits Capricorn bubbles have a tendency to burst.

Jupiter is in Scorpio, an expansive impulse to get to what’s really going on. Plus Pluto discloses, Saturn disposes. These mighty energies are active. And shall we talk about Eris?

This is Uranus moving into Taurus in may 2018. He dances backwards for a few months, but then gets back into earthy Taurus and will transit there for 7 years, he will also aspect our friends in Capricorn. If you have planets in Virgo, pay attention, this could be the big opportunity!



Saturn/Pluto again. broadly speaking upcoming transits will oppose the midpoint between the natal USA Sun/Mercury.

The recent tax legislation is a case in point, there was a conjunction of the Sun, Venus and Saturn in the USA 1st House of identity. A plutocrats dream.

Well huge amounts of money (Venus) are tied into corporate structures (Saturn) and excavation (Pluto) on natural resources with zero attention to replenishment (natal Pluto in the USA 2nd House).


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Scorpio Season

By the way, we’re in Scorpio season (northern hemisphere) the coming festivals celebrate a time when the veil is thin. It might be a chance to park that left-brain filter for a spell. What better way to start than check out these spooky tarotscopes?!

These monthly ‘scopes appear at The amazing Siobhan hosts an eclectic group of (tarot) card sharps. Check in with your Sun sign, Moon sign or rising sign. If what you read or see rings bells, follow a link and get a reading?

It’s that time of year…

Taking a Breath

It’s been a little more than a year since I began posting on the astro correspondences in tarot. See my latest book review here.

This is a fascinating subject and brings these two mighty symbolic systems together. Almost perfectly. But not exactly. The seven planets of the ancient world are matched to the twelve zodiacal signs. Each sign has three periods of ten days, called a decan. Here is the arithmetic.

12 (signs) x 3 (decans) = 36

But 36 (decans) ÷ 7 (planets) = 35 with a remainder of 1

So Mars appears one extra time. The Two of Wands is Mars in Aries and all the way around the zodiac to the Ten of Cups we have Mars in Pisces. A double dose of Mars.

Fair enough, maybe those esotericists of The Hermetic Order Of The Golden Dawn who came up with this method of ascription wanted a deliberate imperfection in the wheel?

I don’t know.

In any case I am taking a breath before I move on to another aspect. So the next post will be at about the winter solstice (northern hemisphere). Meanwhile if you are interested to know more about this fascinating mis-match check out the book I recommend here.


We’ve come a long way together

The focus of this blog since July 2016 has been, month on month, astrological correspondences in the tarot cards mostly focussing on the minor arcana. 

So it’s about a year later. Which means our planet has done a circle around the Sun. There are some big numbers involved. Remember 2 pi r from high school geometry? When r is 93 million miles, (the Earth’s mean distance from the Sun), the resulting orbital distance we’ve all traveled in this last journey around the zodiac is 584 million miles (approx).

But it’s more complex than that. The Sun is also moving in an orbit. But the Sun’s passage through space is perpendicular to the plane of the solar system. Which means that the Earth’s orbit around the Sun is a spiral (a big one) not a circle.

If you are interested in number, ratio and harmony in the context of the planets and their satellites, take a look at this month’s book review here.


Love, Abundance and Blended Pleasure

The focus of this blog since July 2016 has been, month on month, astrological correspondences in the tarot cards mostly focussing on the minor arcana. 

This month’s book review here.

The Lord of Love, The Lord of Abundance, The Lord of Blended Pleasure.

These encouraging titles belong to the two, three and four of cups respectively.

This is Venus in Cancer.

The Goddess of Love.

In the most sensitive sign.

A deepening of friendship. A new stage in a relationship.

Mercury in Cancer. Three graces dance in a garden.

A celebration.

A trio of beauty.

The Moon in Cancer.

Take your time.

Let it come to you.


Oh, and if you haven’t already, check out Siobhan’s Mirror for  monthly Tarotscopes!

A Twofer

The focus of this blog since July 2016 has been, month on month, astrological correspondences in the tarot cards mostly focussing on the minor arcana. 

This post is longer than usual. You may want to make a cup of tea before reading it.

This month’s, these two months’ (Gemini), two book reviews are here.

I missed the Taurus season post (Jupiter retrograde may have had something to do with it), so in true Gemini fashion am now making up for it with a ‘twofer’, that is a two-for-one. One value here is to re-visit this sequence:

Saturn…Jupiter… Mars… The Sun… Venus… Mercury… The Moon.

These are the seven planets of the ancient world, and they are listed above in order of their orbital periods, from the outermost planet visible with the naked eye, Saturn, taking approximately 29 years to complete its spiral journey around our star, The Sun…

…Thru Jupiter, 12 years. Mars, 22 months, The Sun, 1 year (from our earthly perspective – of course nowadays everybody knows that the Earth orbits The Sun, but it still looks the other way about!), Venus, 8 months, Mercury, 3 months, The Moon, 1 month (The Moon orbiting the Earth, of course.) NB: values are approximate.

So, in this post I am looking at the 5, 6, 7 of Pentacles and the 8, 9, 10 of Swords. We begin with the 5 of Pentacles, Mercury in Taurus, and the sequence continues with The Moon in Taurus  corresponding to the 6 of Pentacles … are you following? Do you see what the next planet will be?

The sequence starts again with Saturn. So the 7 of Pentacles expresses Saturn in Taurus.

But with the 8 we change suit (pentacles to swords. Earth to Air), and we change sign, fixed earth (Taurus) to mutable air (Gemini), although the planetary sequence continues…

We have two intersecting sequences to cope with; the nine cards 2 thru 10, and the 7 planets.

The Aces, the Court cards, and the Majors have their own assignations.

What I’m getting at, is that once you have the hang of how the 7 planets repeat around the circle of the zodiac, and once you see that there are 3 Minor Arcana cards assigned to each sign, you can marry the two sequences and therefore it will be obvious that next month’s post will begin with the Two of Cups, and the correspondence will be Venus in Cancer, and that therefore that card’s esoteric title, “The Lord of Love” makes perfect sense!

Here is the post below:

5 of Pentacles. Mercury in Taurus. Bear in mind that Mercury (a.k.a. Hermes and many other names) is the trickster God. God of thieves, also. But above all the compactor of the symbolic solar system, alone of the Gods able to move into the underworld and back. Taurus is an earth sign in fixed mode, values here are likely to be; security, solvency, safety. The swift energy of Mercury may disrupt, bring sudden change or alteration.

6 of Pentacles. The Moon in Taurus. The Moon waxes and wanes, rules our emotions and our instincts, moves water around the world and fluid around the body, also speaks to nourishment and to need. In the Rider Waite, the image shows a supplicant, a receiver and a donation – with which figure do you identify? The card of getting what you wish for, or the card of making it happen?

7 of Pentacles. Saturn in Taurus. (You see how we start the sequence again?) Saturn rules. Literally. What are the rules in this situation? The title of this card is; The Lord of Dissatisfied Work. Here Saturn invites/insists that you take another look. Is the work complete to the highest level of your skill? It may be… or, it may be that you need to do another (yet another) draft. Go over the details one more time. Saturn doesn’t let you off the hook.

8 of Swords. Jupiter in Gemini. Mighty Jupiter, (a.k.a. Zeus and by many other names) expands everything he touches. In Gemini, the sign of being interested in multiple ways (Oh, look! That’s shinny!) focus could be a problem. Rushing here and there interested and enthused about everything, everybody and every project – maybe look back and stable Taurus to ground your inspiration and give it form.

9 of Swords. Mars in Gemini. The image here is not encouraging, but consider the Martial energy. It can be expressed at a low level in a drunken brawl, in inarticulate rage, in wordless fury, or, this same energy can be used to; achieve mastery in martial arts, sophistication in forceful debate, precision in enquiry. To lend one’s personal power to conflicting directions, or to be torn by opposite desires can lead to the condition described in the card’s title, The Lord of Despair.

10 of Swords. The Sun in Gemini. It doesn’t look good, does it? The Sun in Gemini, but the image (in this deck) showing the approaching darkness of the setting sun, (or is it the light of the approaching dawn?) and the finality of a slain figure. All beginnings must have an end that precedes them. All birth and re-birth must also glance at death in some way. What ending is occurring or needs to be acknowledged?

This whole thing about how the card and the planet link in a logical sequence was very confusing to me, until I suddenly “got it” and that happened in one swift intuitive flash – honestly it did. If you struggle with this and would like to understand it better, feel free to reach out in an email and we can set up a time to go over it on a pay-what-you-wish basis!

As Viewed From Celestial North

It’s just past the equinox (Spring in the northern hemisphere, Autumn in the southern). It’s interesting to be in Australia at this time of near equal day and night. Here in Sydney the sunlight is bright, sometimes harsh, and can bleach the colors in the landscape, but there is a hint in the mornings of the winter chill to come. The twilights are brief here which is to do with the latitude. I mention all this because I am presently grappling with solar systemic geometry and have reviewed a useful book on the subject here.

In any case, if you haven’t been to Australia yet, it’s closer than you think!

Western astrology is northern hemisphere based. Astrological charts give a snapshot of the heavens viewed from celestial north. Once you blend the horizon, equator and elliptical systems the diagrams and projections of the Earth’s motion in space and relationship to the Sun and the sky in general, quickly become complex and begin to resemble one of these balls made of elastic bands.

Lucky us, I say. To live in a system held in balance by mighty forces which if they were to vary in the smallest degree would finish the human experiment.

Oh, and Tarotscopes here, my cast for Libra here


And so to Mars in Aries, which corresponds with the Two of Wands. Mars, you remember, completes the wheel of the year with the Ten of Cups. Mars begins the cycle again with all his thrust and charge in the young and fiery Spring energy of Aries. If you want to get something done, connect here. This card has the esoteric title, Lord of Dominion.

“… my thrice-puissant liege is in the very May morn of his youth, ready for mighty exploits and enterprises.


The Lord of Established Strength is the Three of Wands and gives us the Sun in Aries. May solar force shine brightly on all your works, bringing illumination, insight and bright blessing. Sunlight, source of all life, vivifying, nourishing, quickening.

“… Yet herein will I imitate the Sun who doth permit the base contagious clouds to smother up his beauty from the world, that when he please again to be himself, being more wished for he may be more wondered at”


With the Four of Wands Venus makes an appearance in Aries. She is not naturally comfortable here, but brings her abundance and her grace into this realm. Hey, Aries! Take a little time to smell the flowers, this is The Lord of Perfected Work.

“… From womens’ eyes this doctrine I derive, they are the books, the arts, the academes, that show, contain, and nourish all the world.”


Quotes from Shakespeare.

Angels in the Mist

The book that caught my attention this month is reviewed here.

By the way, you may like to check out Siobhan’s Mirror run by the fabulous Siobhan Rene. Among a lot of other things, she publishes a monthly tarotscopes page. 12 pro readers are invited to contribute. For the past few months I have been guesting there. This month I did a spread for Libra.

And other news: this blog has been named in the top 75 Tarot blogs. Take a look here There are some highly accomplished readers and authors on the list including but not limited to: The Tarot Lady, the splendid Theresa Reed, the amazing Benebell Wen, and the legendary Mary K Greer. Again, that page is here.

Many of the readers are also networked through the incredible Tarot School, run by tarot experts Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone out of New York

And so to Pisces … the element is water, the mode is mutable.

The eight, nine, ten of cups correspond with the three decans of Pisces. Each decan is a ten day period (flexible).

 The Lord of Abandoned Success

Saturn in Pisces.

But don’t be discouraged if you connect here. With Jupiter having general rulership of the sign (Neptune too) there is bound to be a dreamy tussle.

A number of high achievers have birthdays falling in this misty moment. From Steve Jobs to Anais Nin to Kenneth Williams. And they seemed to do alright!


Then comes expansive Jupiter in Pisces with celebration. The party monster of the deck aka The Lord of (with the word “Material” sometimes included in the title) Happiness.

Wild ravers born here include the late British Astronomer Royal, Sir Patrick Moore, the giant Russian intellect and esotericist P D Ouspensky and the great exponent of melancholy baroque Antonio Vivaldi.

So it’s not all cakes and ale. Not all the time anyway.


The Lord of Perfected Success

But there is martial energy here boiling and bubbling in the final phase of imaginative mutable water. It’s Mars that rules this decan. We end the cycle of the year here with Mars, but we meet Mars again in the very next decan, the first of spring (northern hemisphere). Why so?

Because 5 x 7 = 35 (5 sequences of the 7 planets of the ancient world. In this order Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon)

And 12 x 3 = 36 (12 signs each with 3 decans)

Striving dreamers born here include: Michaelangelo, James Taylor, Liza Minneli.