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 RadicalTarot.com 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.

Relax

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! colin.mcphillamy@gmail.com

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.

Outside the Box

The book this month is The Only Way to Learn Astrology and it’s reviewed here.

Aquarius is an air sign. Where cardinal Libra can sometimes be dogmatic, where darting, mutable Gemini can chase every new shinny thought. Aquarius in fixed mode, can hold, investigate any paradigm and catch the emerging trend.

When the Sun moves into Aquarius expect the unexpected. Questions arise…

Aquarius, rules The Star card, and has in turn two planetary rulers. They are Saturn and Uranus. Saturn was featured in last month’s blog. Uranus delivers all that is random, chaotic, revolutionary. Revolving on a horizontal axis, this planet often brings progress through disruption.

Is that star quality? A bit of scientific but unconventional thinking. Inspiration that serves the community but is also free-spirited. Another thought, here.

The Goddess Nuit, great creatrix in the heavens, pours heavenly waters from inexhaustible vessels.

Venus in Aquarius – The Lord of Defeat.

Looks like a scene after a dust-up, doesn’t it? A disagreement became a conflict, which then involved violent use of weapons.

This card has a theatre reference in the picture. See the horizontal line behind the figure in the distance? It indicates a front-cloth. And the actors are playing a scene downstage of it. If the cloth were to fly out we’d see that we’re really in the great theatre of life. And then what?

What if we could resolve our disputes with a bit of storytelling. Some acting, even?

Mercury in Aquarius – The Lord of Earned Victory

The very middle of the sign. The second decan (period of ten days).

Journeys. Back and forth between realms. Exchange of information. The Planet Mercury facilitates travel, and therefore new understanding, reception of new influence. What is the victory and how difficult was it to earn it?

In life’s struggle which victories are the ones worth striving for? And what about the great journey that everyone who ever lived or ever shall, has already or must one day, take? As Tolstoy said, “… the truth of that, each of us will very soon know.”

Pamela Coleman-Smith who painted the pictures in this deck, worked as a theatrical designer.

The Moon in Aquarius – The Lord of Unstable Effort

The trickster tip-toes away from the encampment. Is this stealth to avert the discovery of a theft? Or is the trickster simply reclaiming a neglected debt? And what time of day is it, is this enterprise observed? If so by whom?

See that horizontal line? Theatre reference again?

“… that this huge stage presenteth naught but shows, whereon the stars in secret influence, comment.”

Shakespeare, sonnet 15.

 

 

A New Look at an Old Devil

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“Love is a devil.” – Love’s labours Lost.

“For use can almost change the stamp of nature and either master the devil or throw him out with wondrous potency.” – Hamlet.

“He needs a long spoon that would sup with the devil” – Comedy of Errors.

Shakespeare was no stranger to the use of the word devil. It appears a total of 225 times across each of his plays, and in no instance does the usage impart a positive meaning.

When Liz Greene published her book Saturn: A New Look at an Old Devil, she not only did something to rehabilitate the scary word, but she planted the seed of the development of psychological astrology, the book is reviewed here.

And the Devil as painted by Pamela Coleman-Smith is said to be based on the God Pan, and he rules the sign of Capricorn.

Capricorn goes from 21st December to 20th January

The two of pentacles is Jupiter in Capricorn. Zeus meets Chronus, and they have a long history those two. Expansiveness meets responsibility. Celebration meets achievement. Success meets disciplined effort.

As with all the twos in the deck a decision or a transition is at hand. The puzzle of it is, the mobius strip, and the reference to infinity. To say nothing of the fact that this is one of Ms. Coleman-Smiths front cloth cards. But something is changing, moving, growing, transforming.

Mars in Capricorn. Here is desire, drive, ambition, all expressed in craft and co-operation. The apprentice studies, mastery is some way off, but long and diligent practice under time, and the novice becomes the master mason. Rarely is Mars as controlled, as directed, as useful as this. How will this crafty accomplishment manifest?

Is this the card that build the great gothic cathedrals of Europe with their vaulting aspiration, transforming filigree in stone into sunlight and etherial sound?

The late British writer and poet, William Anderson wrote a poem called Salamander. It’s in a volume called the Waking Dream and out of print, I don’t have it or I’d publish it here – but if you ever come across it, you’ll see what I mean about this card.

A man, he’s a prince or a king, clings on to four coins. The Sun in Capricorn. His measly wealth is so married to his identity he daren’t let go. This is poverty consciousness, the man who has everything and who also has nothing. And that skyline in the background, kinda looks like Manhattan, do you agree. Maybe greed isn’t so good?

Or… he could loosen up and go with the magician’s dictum, “I have nothing of my own; I have everything I need.”

Then he could smell the flowers, taste the coffee, take a walk in the park…