Category Archives: Astrology

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.

 

 

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?

 

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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!

 

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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.

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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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All The Tarot You Can Eat

servicesI am excited to tell you that I have been invited to be a guest speaker at Telesummit 3 Tarot Wisdom It’s quite an honor as the field of experts includes some of the best known names in tarot today. I’ll be talking live on Monday August 1st at 1pm Eastern time, USA.

My subject is the correspondence between the cards and the planets of the ancient world. My talk is called ‘The Stars in the Cards’ and will include a step by step demonstration of how this technical knowledge can greatly enhance your readings.

Click the link to register for free. Access 20 tarot specialists.