Do you feel that we live not just one life, but a whole series of them?
Does our consciousness continue to jump back into the material world in a succession of temporary physical vessels so that we can learn lessons, face challenges, and evolve onward…?
Your birth chart actually holds clues as to the kind of person you may have been in an important past life, and what might have happened to you in that other existence…and a good reading can put you in touch with those past life facts.
An even better reading can also offer insight into how you can best move forward from here, processing and releasing old karmic patterns that are holding you back from the development that you came here to accomplish.
Find out who you were there and then, so you can do your best work here and now…
Astrology Update: Just as one tough square fades, another steps up to take its place… You may have felt the effects of the Venus/Saturn square that’s been testing our relationship structures since around the time April Fools’ Day was applying pies to faces all across the land. Thankfully, that square is fading now, and likely has only a few more days of fight left in it.
What’s probably of more pressing importance now is the fact that Saturn has found a new partner to square-dance with in the form of Chiron. This already powerful square is building toward peak effect this coming Sunday, April 30th.
So what does all that mean…? First of all, as always, you really need to plot this activity against what’s going on in your own birth-chart. Do you have anything around the 27th degree of Sagittarius (where Saturn is right now) or the 27th degree of Pisces (where Chiron is kicking it for the time being)…? Or do you have anything in the corresponding degrees of the other Mutable Signs, Gemini and Virgo? If so, this square may pack an extra bit of wallop in your world. The same may hold true if Saturn or Chiron are highly influential in your chart in general.
But outside of putting thumbtacks in maps, it may help to ponder the symbols involved here in broad terms, too. Saturn symbolizes a rather chilly, impersonal force in the Universe. It wants us to be excellent in all things, but its preferred methods are not of the warm and cuddly variety. Saturn plants foot in posterior when it wants to motivate. Saturn is a drill instructor, a merciless personal trainer, a constipated auditor doing a full and scathing review of your financial records.
When Saturn shows up with sickle in hand, the question is always: How much preparation have you done leading up to this visit…? If you’ve been diligent in your work, putting in the time, attending to details, and not cutting corners, then you’ll probably pass Saturn’s tests with flying colors. If you’ve been careless, lazy, or prideful in your approach, though, Saturn is likely to dash your shabbier efforts apart like trembling little houses of cards. These types of Saturn visits can lead to periods of rebuilding, damage control, and even razing everything down to the soil and starting over from scratch.
And what about Chiron? This “Planetoid” is named for a mythological character dubbed “the Wounded Healer.” In darker times, Chiron is more about the soul-wounds that we carry around with us. These are the traumas that seem built right into us, and that may even to some extent define us. In more positive periods, though, Chiron emphasizes the healing and the healer parts of that “wounds/healing” spectrum. During Chironic passages, we may find ourselves more able to heal others, and maybe even more able to heal ourselves. Epiphanies and rejuvenation may be on the menu.
So is this square period more about the wounds or the healing…? It’s important to think about the nature of the square relationship. Any Aspect that links two Planets together represents an occasion of those Planetary energies trying to work together. Some Aspects are easier and more user-friendly to experience, though. The square is one of the more friction-heavy varieties. Squares can feel uncomfortable and abrasive to the spirit when they exert themselves, and they can signify instances of Planetary energies merging badly, misfiring, or even working against each other. Planets in square can bring out the worst in each other.
In this case, just as Saturn has been taking harsh and critical stock of our relationships lately (that now fading Venus/Saturn square), and shaking them vigorously to see if they’ll come apart or not, with this new square, the same sort of attentions will be turned upon our wounds and our health. This isn’t to say we’re all doomed or anything – squares aren’t necessarily deadly, and we’ve all lived through thousands of them in our lives, and we’re still here. But the point is that this may be a time during which old hurts are brought to the surface, and loneliness and depression come easily. Saturn might dig a few fingers repeatedly into your tenderest bruises just to verify that those bruises still cause you pain. Recurring hot-button issues may be triggered, and it’s possible that actual physical health woes could surface alongside any mental, emotional, or spiritual ones.
The best thing to do is to work with Saturn’s demands rather than against them. Take extra-good care of yourself for the next two months or so until this square has had time to fizzle out. Make some positive changes to your diet, be a bit more devoted to some sort of exercise regimen, meditate with some regularity, and be very realistic with yourself about what your own strengths and weaknesses truly are (as opposed to what you’d really, really like them to be).
And it’s not all bad news. While squares can be tricky to weather, they’re still very powerful connections between Planets. And as mentioned, Chiron can bring about sudden revelations, and fairly sweeping upgrades in a person’s worldview, especially regarding those aforementioned soul-wounds. Maybe study your wounds: what are they, how have you approached them in your life, and how might you either view them differently, or try to deal with them in ways you haven’t yet tried? Even when Chiron is being squared, opportunities for great healing can still manifest – just don’t let Saturn’s heavy presence get you so down and depressed that you fail to make use of them!
For someone trying to be compassionate and positive as an ongoing way of life, I’m pretty lousy at forgiveness. I could write this off to a mad-powerful Scorpio nature, but today I decided to pull a card pinpointing the nature of my particular forgiveness-related blockage…
Answer: THE AEON
This suggests three things to me all at once:
1) Anger. This card is associated with the Element of Fire…and one of the chief possible components of Fire is anger. I tend to react with anger when I don’t get what I want. Maybe I learned this from early childhood, or maybe it even predates my birth. The important point is that anger is very often unhelpful…and much of the time, it’s downright toxic. Calling it forth at the slightest stimulus is usually pretty self-defeating for me, and this is a response I’ll do well to unlearn.
2) Mythic Scale. The Aeon card says that an old era is giving way to a new one. This is pretty grand stuff, scope-wise. And it appeals to me: I love mythology…and it now occurs to me that I view life as the unfolding of a grand myth, with everything in it serving as Archetypes and Gospels and Fables. This just might involve me elevating every perceived offense and every careless word and gesture as grave infractions committed by Demigods, instead of letting them just be the very minor, inconsequential errors or lapses that they truly are most of the time. That is, I may turn molehills not just into mountains in my psyche, but into entire mountain ranges.
3) Buried Complexes. This card is also about heavy psychological material, often long-hidden and buried deep. Some of what fuels my disconnect with forgiveness may be planted in strata so subterranean that it will take me more than the analysis of this one Tarot card to see it, understand it, and heal it. Sometimes a thing is just what it appears to be, sure, but sometimes it’s just the tip of an iceberg, while at other times, it stands for something else entirely. In other words…grappling with this issue might require some extended devotion of my own bandwidth and energy. But the results may be a terrific return on that investment!
Meanwhile, I hope you’re all enjoying this shiny new year so far! May it bring us all much to be thankful for, and a minimum of experiences that truly call for anything to be forgiven…
You’ve heard about Planets going retrograde, right? Even non-astrologers like to reference upcoming retrograde events, and usually in fairly ominous fashion…
Retrograde periods are not necessarily just horrible intervals to be waited out in the storm-cellar, though. It’s important to look at where a given retrograde shift is happening, and then see if you have anything in certain affected areas of the sky in your own birth-chart. If not, a given retrograde might pass you by with barely a whisper of impact.
Late December of 2016 features two relevant events here: on 12/19, Mercury goes into retrograde motion in the Sign of Capricorn, and on 12/29, Uranus comes out of retrograde motion in the Sign of Aries. How do you know if these developments will affect you…?
Look at your chart! Go to Astromatrix.org or Astro.com, and enter your birth information – that’s your date, city, and time of birth – into their FREE birth-chart generators. If you have any placements in the Cardinal Signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn), then this month may likely be an eventful one for you! If those stretches of sky are empty in your chart, though, then you may skate this time around in pretty carefree fashion.
Do check with a real, live astrologer for help with interpreting such things if needed…
And so we reach Card VIII in our travels through the sequence of the Major Arcana in the TAROT CARD MEANINGS section of my website.
But wait…which card exactly is Card VIII?! Some decks offer up their version of the Strength card in this position. Others, though, hold forth their Justice card or its analogue. It can’t be both Strength AND Justice, right? So which one is correct?
Answer: Both. Or neither. There are reasons and historical precedents to support either approach. Much of this will depend on you applying some critical thought as to which one works better for you…
And fortunately, to help you along in this thought process, I just put up a new NOTE ON STRENGTH AND JUSTICE that breaks down the history of this issue for you, and hopefully makes it clear that there is no One Right Way of doing things here.
You can ponder this odd and interesting schism among Tarot practitioners and their viewpoints for a bit, and then we’ll resume our march through the Majors with some thoughts on the Strength card in the next post in the series, to follow soon…
AND NOTE: The TAROT TOOLKIT ONLINE COURSE will be discontinued at the close of this calendar year of 2016! Get your copy of this info-packed and accessible resource before the final bell tolls on its availability: 10 class sessions in MP4 format, a 120-page PDF Workbook, and a few extra freebie files to get you started on mixing some Astrology and Kabbalah principles into your Tarot game, all for the low, low price of only $33 USD!!!
Today, the website’s TAROT CARD MEANINGS section sees the addition of its very own motor pool, as The Chariot screeches onto the playing field! From the Bible to the Bhagavad Gita…from the Batmobile to Stephen King’s Christine…there’s no shortage of evidence supporting the notion that Chariots are some pretty high-impact constructs.
But what exactly does the Chariot card mean when it shows up in one of your readings? Check this latest entry to find out: meet THE CHARIOT!
Over a century ago, there was this group of mystics in England who called themselves the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (often shorthanded by us modern types into just the “Golden Dawn” or even the “GD”). Their work still pervades almost every corner of present-day Tarot, and one of the more interesting things that they accomplished was the creation of a system of occult correspondences that mapped a semi-staggering amount of symbols onto Tarot.
Want to find the four seasons or the four primary compass point directions in Tarot? The GD paired each one with one of the four Tarot Suits. Care to work with principles drawn from Qabalah? You’ll find that the GD has Tarot and the Qabalistic Tree of Life gloriously intertwined. Do you prefer working with various plants and animals? The Golden Dawn got there ahead of you, pairing all manner of flora and fauna with different cards.
They also worked with Astrology. If you study your Astrology, you’ll come across this notion called Planetary Rulership. The idea is that each Planet “rules,” or exhibits a very powerful affinity for, one or two of the 12 different Zodiac Signs. The GD employed only the seven visible “Planets” in their system, but modern Tarot people have since woven in some of the bodies that humanity discovered after the creation of the telescope (notably Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto).
It occurred to me that we might pull some real value out of a careful inspection of the card that the GD paired with each Zodiac Sign and the card that the GD paired with the Planetary Ruler of each of those Signs. Surely there must be some enlightening connections running between each pair, right?
Here are the the GD astrological associations marrying each Planet or Sign to one of the Major Arcana cards (and I’ve added in the three “modern Planets” name-checked above):
Major Arcana Card
Major Arcana Card
The High Priestess
Wheel of Fortune/Fortune
The World/The Universe
The Hanged Man
Because Astrology to this day still doesn’t have a completely neat and efficient system of Planetary Rulership such that we enjoy a one-to-one set of correspondences – i.e., we do not yet have a system in which each Planet rules one Sign, with no Planets doing double duty and no Signs having more than one Ruler – we see a couple of Planets, and therefore a couple of Major cards, being referenced more than once here.
Specifically, astrologers still credit Venus with ruling both Taurus and Libra, and Mercury is deemed to rule both Gemini and Virgo. This state of affairs then lends itself to the possibly mistaken impression that – within the context of this exercise that I’m trying to undertake here – the cards associated with Venus and Mercury (The Empress and The Magician, respectively) are somehow more important or more influential than any of the other cards in the Major Arcana.
Then again, if we were to rejigger the distribution of associations somehow, by, say, relieving Venus and Mercury of their added Rulership burdens, we’d solve one problem, but in doing so, we’d be creating another.
By way of example, let’s say we decide to usher in a couple of additional entrants into the category of what we consider valid astrological Planets. There’s some support among modern astrologers, for instance, in viewing the Planetoid called Chiron as maybe working as the modern Ruler for Virgo. Cool…
But what if we wholeheartedly endorse that assignment, and bump Mercury from Rulership of Virgo in favor of Chiron? That does eliminate the double-presence of Mercury and The Magician card in the mix here that we’d been facing…but we don’t have a card to represent Chiron at all. The Planetoid wasn’t discovered by humanity until decades after the Golden Dawn had peaked in its activity and influence and then basically subsided. So reworking the system like this would mean that for one thing, we wouldn’t be able to examine a given birth-chart’s Chiron placement through the filter of Tarot, because no card is available to serve as Chiron’s Tarot-y stand-in.
And we have another issue. Part of the appeal of working with the chart above is that we have the opportunity to study the pairs of cards created in each row of the table. It feels likely that if the astrological associations are on point, then we should be able to find some real value in the synchronicities and synergies flowing within the pairs of cards that are formed when we line up Sign-analogues with their matching Ruling Planet-analogues.
To illustrate, if Aries is ruled by Mars, then we should be able to find some fairly deep and illuminating connections when we look at the Aries card (The Emperor) and the Mars card (The Tower) together, right? And it’s not hard to make this work at least to some extent. It’s pretty arguable that a good Emperor, along the road to Empire, will be tasked with toppling a Tower or three…or conversely, that in the wake of a Tower-crash, there will be a considerable need for an Emperor-figure to step in and take command of the rubble-clearing and rebuilding efforts. Some resonance between these two cards is there if you look for it. In some of the cases, that resonance may be even stronger than this, and in others, it might demand a bit more effort on our parts to see it (or…manufacture it, even…?).
But look at what happens to The Hermit if we do replace Mercury with Chiron as the Planetary Ruler of Virgo. Instead of looking for connections between The Hermit (the Virgo card) and The Magician (the Mercury card), we’re left with trying to analyze The Hermit with a Chiron-analogue card that doesn’t exist. We have no Major card that Tarot people will agree is “the Chiron card.” So The Hermit will basically be swindled out of having a card-partner to play off of in this analysis. And if we try to address this shortcoming by simply declaring one of the Majors to be that Chiron-analogue card, then we’re back where we started…because if we give each Zodiac Sign a distinct and unique Ruler, we have 24 astrological symbols to capture (12 Signs plus 12 different Planets), but only 22 Major Arcana cards to do the capturing, and we’ve already assigned astro-symbols to all of them. Admitting a Chiron or a Juno or a Black Moon Lilith onto the playing field will just create another case of a card appearing twice in our table in the same way that The Empress and The Magician are appearing twice now.
But so with that one nagging issue in mind, it might still prove to be a worthwhile exercise to run through the table above one row at a time, and see if you can squeeze some new insights out of the operation. Do The Chariot and The High Priestess actually share some previously unguessed at but informative connective tissue running between them that might help you to better understand these two cards, or to more helpfully work with them in readings? Do The Moon and The Hanged Man have some enriching observations to make about each other that you’ve never noticed before…?
Try taking a few minutes to ponder each row’s pair of cards, and see if you come away with any new understanding that had been escaping your notice until now…