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

For the New Client SPECIAL Subscribe to the blog and I will send you details!

“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…

 

 

 

Can you direct me to the centre of the galaxy, please?

Sure … look at the Sun anytime between now and the 21st December, while it is in Sagittarius, and you’ll be looking in the direction of the middle of the Milky Way.

Sagittarius is a fire sign and its mode is mutable. Enthusiastic Sagittarians can be adaptable, flexible, improvisational.

        8 of Wands                                      9 of Wands                             10 of Wands

     Mercury in Sag                               Moon in Sag                           Saturn in Sag

 

      Lord of Swiftness             Lord of Great Strength          Lord of Oppression

Notice that in 2 of the 3 cards above there is a horizontal line above the feet. Ms. Coleman-Smith the artist of these cards worked as a theatrical designer. Is that a theatrical reference? A front cloth that can be flown out revealing the stage beyond (and maybe what’s really going on)?

Half horse half human, Sagittarians can also be party monsters. Unless you get them when they’re connecting with their philosophical quest. At that point an angel may be around.

Daughter of the Reconcilers, Bringer Forth of Life

(I love that title)

Sex, Death and Taxes

It’s that time of year when the veil is thin.

The Death card rules Scorpio see thought maj13on this card here.

I am guest writer of tarot scopes. It’s an interestingly eclectic group of reader-writers. Check them out over at Siobhan’s Mirror.

Take a look at this month’s book review, here.

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Meanwhile with the Sun now well ensconced in Scorpio, the realm of sex, death and taxes (2 of these 3 being inevitable, the third depending on other factors). If need be, deploy The King of Cups. He is the charmer of the deck.

 

 

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The Five of Cups is Mars in Scorpio. Some intensity here, no doubt. And something has been lost, but 40% of the resources remain, can the cloaked figure find the strength to go forward?

Mars, of course is co-ruler of Scorpio, sharing that office with Pluto (discovered in 1930) and currently demoted from planetary status by the astronomers.

Does Mars express here the beserker rage of an uncouth thug? More likely the elevated warrior codes of say John Carter as described by Edgar Rice Burroughs in his martian novels.

 

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The Six of Cups corresponds to the Sun itself in Scorpio. Of all the signs Scorpio is the most constant in friendship. Just one rule; never cross them.

Intensity, perception, courage are some of the Scorpionic virtues. Also, depth, loyalty and passion.

Oh, and even though this image deals with youthful or filial friendship, people with planets in this sign are frequently well along the sexier side of the spectrum.

 

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The Seven of Cups, Venus in Scorpio, called the Lord of Illusory Success by the esotericists, shows the image (and the price) of falling in love with the wrong dreams.

Venus seeks harmony, peace, beauty. In Scorpio the longing for the beloved can turn a touch obsessive.

 

A Balancing Act

The Sun is in Libra. Below is the major arcana card that corresponds, meanwhile, and it seems appropriately Libran, this month I am beginning my own personal archive of brief book reviews here.

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Justice

While on the one hand … yes, but have you considered … let’s look at it another way …

Nothing if not even handed, fair minded, able to see this side and that, Librans are the diplomats of the zodiac, and the idealists.

Yes, and Justice is not Judgement.

And here are the minor arcana correspondences:

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The Moon in Libra.

1st decan September 21st to 30th.

There’s a decision to be made. Are all the facts in, how impartial is your judgement? Tiresias was the blind seer who knows the truth but sometimes wishes he did not.  Can you see more when you close your eyes?

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Saturn in Libra.

2nd decan, 1st October to 10th.

There’s no way to say this image isn’t challenging.

But maybe there can be breakthrough work here? The insight of the head pierces the compassion of the heart. You need both, right?

 

swords04

Jupiter in Libra.

3rd decan 11th to 20th October.

Time to rest. Refresh, restore … repeat.

A little expansive retirement. A respite from life’s battle, go deep within and tap the wellspring of harmony.

Why not? It’s free and you’ll feel better for it!

 

 

 

What Would We Do Without Virgo?

Well without Virgo in the world, no one would know where anything is. Who would do the filing, the tidying, who would notice that things are not quite as they should be? And who would fix it? Getting it done, well done.

I’m interrupting this post with a special. Brevity is the trademark here, but I’ve just been to Oxford in England for an (amazing) astrological summer school and there’s a (brief) account of it on a hidden page, here

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Back to Virgo, of all signs the most analytic. There he is, The Hermit. The major arcana card ascribed (by members of the Golden Dawn) to Virgo. What is his wisdom?

For today, let’s say he’s talking about how smart it is to get things in order!

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The eight of pentacles, the Sun in Virgo.  Skill, craftsmanship. Knowing how to do a thing, and doing it!

 

nine-of-pentacles

 

 

The nine of pentacles, Venus in Virgo, well-ordered abundance.

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The ten of pentacles, Mercury in Virgo, the possibility of the fulfillment  of the mysterious perhaps, as suggested by the placement of the pentacles in this card? But only once there is a place for everything, and everything is in its place.

Tarot in Leo

It’s that Leonine time of year. Midsummer  in the northern hemisphere. Bold, assertive, entertaining. Leo is the star of the zodiac. Right downstage centre in a follow-spot. The stand-up, the charismatic speaker, the principal dancer.

The five of wands is Saturn in Leo. Last ten days of July.

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Saturn, ruler of boundaries, restriction, delay, can also teach the useful lessons of patience, attention, and detail. This image from the most famous deck in the world is often characterized as competition, but the flip side is co-operation.

 

 

 

The six of wands is Jupiter in Leo.

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The first ten days of August.

Expansive Jupiter is nothing if not celebratory. Bold in Leo, bringing a touch of regality in fixed fire, the card is rightly named, The Lord of Victory.

 

 

 

The seven of wands is Mars in Leo.

wands07

 

The middle ten days of August. Called The Lord of Valor.

Imagine undifferentiated rage, some thug going beserk. Now think of elevated, skilled force. A master martial artist perhaps.

Maybe this guy is an apprentice.

 

Tarot Telesummit

The Tarot Telesummit is an amazing resource. Twenty experienced tarot professionals each giving a seminar on some aspect of the cards and how to work with them.

But wait! There’s more!

Yesterday I did a talk on the astrological correspondences in tarot. There’s a system that is basically very simple. Click to get the free re-play today (August 2nd 2016) only – after today there is a charge.

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