Today & Tomorrow are Two of Wands Day/ if you want your reward take action now

With the sun in Gemini (ideas) and the moon in Aries (courage & action), today and tomorrow are Two of Wands Days.

The Two of Wands carries with it a sense of impatience and urgency.  This card is often referred to as The Lord of Balance.  But the balance today is anything but comfortable.  Today’s energy suggests you believe you’ve done your spadework and are now waiting for your reward.

So why hasn’t it arrived?

Because you don’t trust your intuition as much as you think.  Hence you wait instead of taking action.

Like all other Two’s of the Minor Arcana, the Two of Wands polarises the raw energy of the Ace, which has already coalesced into something new (be it an aim, an idea, a goal, or a creative project) into action.    But recall, the energy of Two of Wands is one of  balance.  Nothing will move forward until you tip that balance.

On a Two of Wands day it’s imperative you seize the bull by the horns and progress that something to the next stage.

If you fail to take action now, your reward may never come.

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Note that with Mercury, Venus, and Mars all in Taurus – fixed earth – it’s much harder to take that action then at other times when Aries and Gemini combine.  Aries is fire, Gemini is air – when hot air combines with earth you end up with scorched (not fertile) soil.

Today is a Page of Coins Day – Prepare for un-looked for news

With the Sun in Taurus (sensuous, indulgent, and naturalistic) and the moon in Gemini  (inquisitive, observant, and eager), today is a Page of Coins day.

In the tarot, the Page of Coins represents a tender, young soul who is amazed at the wonder of the universe and whomever – or whatever – created it.    In many respects this is most spiritual card in the deck.

Thus it is not surprising that on a Page of Coins day you are motivated by a genuine desire to learn – both through study and meditation.  You needn’t be in a temple, church, or mosque to find that for which you’re looking.  Intuitively, you know it can be found in the wild, sweet song of a meadowlark as well as in the whirring of a well-oiled factory machine.

This attitude of pure wonder is both the promise and danger of a Page of Coins day.

In the Kabbalah, the Page of Coins corresponds to the attitude of kavanah, mindfulness or holy intention.   With kavanah, everything is experienced as blessed.  In this state of mind however, it’s all too easy for your spiritual quest to turn into one purely of the material world.   For on a Page of Coins day, all that glitters appears to be gold.

Unless you’re particularly vigilant (i.e. cultivated kavanah requires conscious intentionality), you’re as likely to seek money, prestige, and power as you are something of more lasting value.

Whichever you choose, know that in the tarot the Page of Coins heralds the arrival of that which surprises as well as other un-looked for news.  In other words, be careful of what you seek today because you might just get it.

Enjoy the Garden of Eden – Today is an Ace of Coins

With the upcoming new moon in Taurus, today is an Ace of Coins day.

In the Kabbalah, all the aces belong to Kether which is the topmost sefira on the Tree.  It’s from Kether that all creation arises and, because of its correspondence to the crown chakra, it is the point through which divine energy enters your body.

Literally, Kabbalah means ‘receiving’.  It’s the study of how you receive fulfilment in your life.  On an Ace of Coins day, you are about to receive something big.  The gift of Coins is nothing less than that of incarnation and materiality.

Contrary to popular belief this does not necessarily mean financial riches – although in certain circumstances – it might do.

Instead, the Ace of Coins promises luck and success in all your spiritual and material comings and goings – whatever they may be.

When dealing with this energy,  it’s worth remembering that in the Judeo-Christian religion the first gift from God was the Garden of Eden.  Indeed in many versions of the tarot deck, the Ace of Coins is represented by a garden brimming with red roses and white lilies.

What a wonderful gift –  an earthly paradise in which to wander  – where green grass grows and blue waters flow and the sparkling stars come out each night.  This paradise is your birthright as well as your home.  Yet if you fail to take proper care of it, you could find yourself quite literally – like Adam and Eve – out in the cold.

So on a Ace of Coins day, take time out to consider the material resources available to you and yours as well as to honour that from which they emanate.  It also wouldn’t hurt to consider what you need to do to ensure that these blessings remain forever yours to enjoy.

Resurrection leads to Judgement and from there to ….?

Easter is an excellent time to consider that the doctrine of the resurrection leads straight to that of judgement, which like Karma, leads to the moment  when the ‘rewards’ for your past efforts appear.

Sounds scary, I admit.   But the wisdom of the Tarot suggests that for those who’ve met certain preconditions, judgement is a time of transformation, healing, and – at long last – becoming whole.

So what are those preconditions?  The symbolism on the card makes them clear.

The three persons who are being resurrected from the square grave embody the trinity (divinity), which is now freed from the quarternity (the earthly world).  This suggests that what is authentic, essential, and divine in you is liberated but only to the extent you have been true to yourself.

Through its cross sum, Judgement (XX) connects to The High Priestess (II), to which the cross sum of Strength (XI) also leads.  This link makes clear that commitment and a will to life (Strength) are preconditions of the redemption and healing of Judgment, which comes not from your actions but from the mercy  dispensed by the High Priestess if – and only if –  you’ve allowed yourself to be guided by a higher power than your own.

Today is a Hanged Man Day

With the sun in Aries  (initiation) and the Moon in Libra (completion), today is a Hanged Man day.

The Hanged Man aways leaves a lasting impression.  When holding the card for the first time, you can’t decide if it’s rightside up or upside down.  This is both the problem and the solution with this uniquely uncomfortable energy.

In the Middle Ages, the punishment for traitors was to be hung, like our Hanged Man, by the foot with the head down.   Even today, with this card we sense treachery afoot.

From the symbolism of this card, you can easily see where the problem lies.  The Hanged Man forms a cross with his legs, while his arms are in the position of a triangle.

Like the square, the cross stands for the number 4, which is the number of material order.  We have the 4 directions (East, South, West, and North).  We have four phases of the moon (crescent, waxing, full, and waning).  We have four cardinal (or turning) points to our year (vernal and autumnal equinoxes and the two solstices – summer and winter).   Four stands for what is real and essential here in the earthly realm.

Conversely, the number 3 symbolizes the divine.  Many have tried to explain the unfolding One into the multiplicity by reference to the number 3.   Lao-tzu says: “the Tao produces unity, unity produces, duality produces trinity, and the triad produces all things.”  In Hinduism the great triad appears in the form of Braham the creator, Shiva the destroyer, and Vishnu, the sustainer.  And of course in the Christian concept of Trinity, we have the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

Composed of both 4 and  3, the Hanged Man represents the upside-down world in which the divine is below while the earthly realm is above.   In other words, that which is truly ‘real’ is buried the ‘reality’ of everyday life.  No wonder we feel so stuck in our increasingly secular lives.

Even worse, by multiplying 4 by 3, we come to 12 – which symbolizes the closed circle – an impasse of the most pressing kind.   However will we find the energy needed to break free of the rut?

Yet when we turn 12 around, we reach the number 21.  In the tarot, 21 represents the end of our journey – The World or Paradise Regained.  But we only reach 21 if, when stuck at 12, we turn ourselves around.

The Hanged Man represents the multitude of life’s crises that invite us to do just that.  A crisis is always a turning point.   Yet even then it remains our choice whether we accept the challenge.

On a Hanged Man day, you are forced to pause, so as to consider the direction your life is taking.

Rather than betray your self yet again, you might take heed of the words of the psychologist, CG Jung –

“We cannot live the afternoon of life according to the programme of life’s morning.  For what in the morning was true will at evening have become a lie.”

Boxing Day Tradition/The Spirit of Christmas

Traditionally, Boxing Day was the day when those who ‘have’ gave something to those who ‘have not’ – like coins dropped in the special alms box at church or presents given to the servants. May sound condescending to modern minds, but perhaps the gesture was better received than we imagine.

At any rate, these days Boxing Day means nothing more than beginning of the famous after Christmas sales.  In other words, not only do those who ‘have not’ continue on their sad trajectory, but those who already ‘have’ acquire even more.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love a sale as much as the next guy.  But I can’t help thinking that somehow, as a society, we’ve lost the bigger picture of Christmas.

Because of its association with the Christ (and hence Christmas), Tiphareth, the 6th sephirah of the Kabbalistic Tree, may shed light the problem.

According to the occultist, Dion Fortune, Tiphareth is associated with the tarot sixes – victory (wands), joy (cups), earned success (swords), and material success (pentacles).    There’s nothing wrong with money.  It’s what we do with it that matters.

In Hebrew, Tiphareth signifies Beauty.  True beauty consists in the relationship of harmonious forms, on both the material and moral planes.   Yet all too often our focus gets stuck on the material plane.  Given the media hype to which we’re exposed every day, that’s no surprise.  Yet morality has always had a key role in a functioning society.  Without it, we could take no man for his word and that would spell disaster for commerce.

Tiphareth also called the Sphere of the Sun; because of its central location on the Kabbalistic Tree, it holds the same place in human lives, as does the Sun in our solar system.

As such, a strong sense of self is indispensible with Tiphareth.

Yet  Tiphareth requires  more.  It it requires the simultaneous centrality of self and communion with others.  Perhaps this why the gift-giving traditions of Christmas arose.

Tiphareth also is associated with the sacrificed God, the Crucified Christ, the Divine Redeemer who having, incarnated is fated to die.  Dion Fortune reminds us we can never understand Tiphareth unless we understand of the real meaning of sacrifice.

Whatever that is,  I suspect it has hasn’t much to do with the Boxing Day sales (unless of course, one counts thee running up of more credit card debt for which at some point in the future, real sacrifice will have to be made).

Today and Tomorrow are Five of Wands Days – Hang on in there – it’ll get better

With the sun in Sagittarius (truth, justice, ethics) and the moon in Pisces (transcendence, sacrifice, and victim mentality) today and tomorrow are Five of Wands days.

The Five of Wands always bring conflict and tension – but it’s not the kind we can directly address through positive action.  The Five of Wands tension is more like a low-grade fever that – resistant to antibiotics – drags you so low you can nothing else but get just plain fed up.

The reason is that on a Five of Wands day, we sense that not only is the whole of humanity not up to the challenge, but we – in particular – have been going about it all wrong.

Actually it’s worse than that.

On a Five of Wands day, we realise that we’ve been lying to ourselves – despite heroic attempts to do otherwise.

We’re all capable of self-deception, but on days like this, we’re downright confused whether the ‘voices’ we ‘hear’ are truthful or not.   Although we’re desperate to be guided by our ‘higher Self’ – yet are thoroughly frustrated we can’t seem to get anywhere near it.

But don’t throw in the towel just yet.

When the moon shifts from Pisces into Aries late Tuesday morning (GMT), you’ll feel fighting fit again.  Then you can look back over the experiences of today and tomorrow and see them for what they really are.

Today’s a King of Wands Day / Pack your Bags for a Guilt Trip

With the sun in Sagittarius (truth, justice, ethics) and the moon in Aquarius (perspective, breakthrough, reform), today and tomorrow are King of Wands days.

But not every King of Wands day throws us the same challenge.

Sometimes it demands we turn our attention outwards to examine ourselves in relationship to others.

TODAY HOWEVER, he demands we turn inwards and examine ourselves in relationship to ourselves.

Kingship means sovereignty.  Sovereignty requires autonomy – the ability to function free from control from the outside.   Sovereignty can only be achieved when we know precisely what it is that we stand for and, most importantly, why.

Socrates said that an unexamined life is not worth living.  The King of Wands would agree.

To the extent we find ourselves experiencing what Nietzsche believed to be the moral luxury of ‘guilt’ we can be fairly certain our actions come not from a position of sovereignty, but of conformity.

According to Nietzsche, guilt greases the wheels of society ; it provides sanctions for bargains not met.  In by-gone days, unmet obligations invoked actual physical punishment – branding or amputations and the like .  Yet in more civilised times, punishment is more likely to be self-inflicted through the guilt trip.  The guilt trip our ultimate indulgence   Upon returning from a guilt trip we feel refreshed – redeemed – ready to get back into the swing.  But the ‘swing’ of what?  Of more promises and obligations that we’ve neither the will nor the means to keep?

We might have more luck in keeping our obligations if we focus less on we what owe to others and more on what we owe to ourselves.

Of course it’s neither possible – nor desirable – to wholly ignore the demands of others in order to be ‘true’ to ourselves.  Indeed the paradox is that for many being ‘true’ to ourselves is a ‘cop out’ for failing to do just that.

In other words being ‘true’ to our ‘self’ isn’t just about an ‘ego trip‘.  Instead, in the true Jungian sense, the King of Wands is about respecting the Self.

Virgo Sun and Pisces Moon – it’s a Five of Cups day – UGGGHH!

With the sun in Virgo (critical and self-conscious) and the moon in Pisces (penitence and forgiveness) today and tomorrow are Five of Cups days.[1]

If Leo, where the sun has resided for the past month, is the sign of superiority, then Virgo where it’s residing now is the sign of inferiority.  While sunny, warm Leo appreciates – cold, critical Virgo depreciates.  Because the sun is still creeping through the first few degrees of Virgo, the shift in energy we’re feeling is from ‘what I do right’ to ‘what I do wrong.’

But with Virgo, it doesn’t stop there.  Virgo is the efficient, effective problem-solver who, like the great Belgian detective Hercule Poiret never misses a trick.  Virgo does however often miss the forest for the trees, and when her blunder is uncovered, she berates herself mercilessly for having done so.

On the other hand Pisces never misses the forest for the trees even if she does miss a few tricks.   And she’s doesn’t berate herself for it either – instead she slips into an abyss of guilt.

On a divinatory level, the Five of Cups implies regret over past actions.  Something has gone wrong  – we feel betrayed and abandoned by one whom we thought we could trust.  Even worse, at some level we know we ourselves have played some part.  Our first impulse is that of Virgo, to hang our head in shame and slink away in silence into the night.

And certainly if we’re feeling critical and self conscious that appears the perfect solution – perhaps the only solution – until by chance (or design) we turn to take one last look and discover that although three cups have fallen, their blood red wine seeping untasted into the thirsty ground, two full cups remain.   Sceptical, critical Virgo would likely wrinkle her nose up in distaste and walk away.  She’s discriminating enough to know that whatever is left behind couldn’t be half as good as what she’s lost.

But what would Pisces – the poet, dreamer, and artist – do?

The byword of Pisces is compassion.  The job of Pisces is to see the bigger picture; the forest is made up of individual trees.  However bad she’s feeling, in her heart Pisces knows it’s only through compassion – for her and for those who have hurt her – that she can transcend guilt and find forgiveness and with that comes well-deserved peace and rest.  Yet however sensible this sounds, it isn’t as easy as it might seem.

All languages deriving from Latin form the word ‘compassion’ by combining ‘with’ (com) and the Latin word for ‘suffering’ (passio).   So compassion literally means ‘with passion’.   We are not meant to stand by passively and witness suffering, we are meant to participate passionately in some way.

But another word with approximately the same meaning is ‘pity’ (French, pitié; Italian, pieta), which implies condescension toward the one who is suffering.  ‘To take pity on” a someone suggests we are better off than he or she and boy, do we know it.

So although when we witness suffering we not only passionately participate –we also experience highhandedness – a Virgoan criticality – a tone that makes the skin of the person who is suffering creep.

Yet in languages not deriving from Latin, for example Czech, German, and Swedish – the word compassion is translated by a noun formed of an equivalent prefix of com with a word that means ‘feeling’ (sou-cit, Mit-gefühl, med-känsla).

Here there is little suggestion of our Latin highhandedness.   Instead the word-equivalent of “compassion” takes on a tone of equality.  Instead of pitying another – we enter into their suffering – we share their pain.  To do this, we must develop our capacity for imagination.  The art of emotional telepathy requires us to move past the individual trees to the forest of suffering of all mankind.

In English, we have a saying – “A burden shared is a burden halved.”

And on a Five of Cups day, this is precisely what we’re meant to remember.  It’s the Virgoan energy that makes us self-critical.  But it’s the Piscean energy that allows us to move past that and heal.

Today and tomorrow, don’t just turn your back on those three empty cups.  True, they are gone forever.  But if you can practice emotional telepathy on yourself – you just might pluck up the courage to look inside the two cups that remain.


[1] For astrology buffs, the Moon in Pisces at the time I’m writing this is conjunct Chiron/Neptune in the 6th house opposite the Sun in Virgo the 12th.   To my mind, this is an apt portrait of the draining self-pity- and potentially healing – energy that I’m addressing in this blog.   25 August 2010, 7:34 AM, Oxford, UK. (BST).

It’s a King of Wands Day – take the challenge and rise above yourself to be a leader of men

With the sun in Leo (leadership) and the moon in Sagittarius (adventurous philanthropic pursuits), today is a King of Wands day.

In the King of Wands, we meet first-hand astrological fire symbolising the human imagination in its most dynamic aspect.  Ever wondered why we ‘dream’ by the fireside and ‘light a candle’ to ‘show the way’?  It’s because fire speaks in a primitive language we desire desperately, to understand.

However when dealing with fire, there are two key points to keep in mind; (1) by its nature fire transforms and consumes and (2) unless controlled, fire is deadly destructive.

For insight into the energy of a King of Wands day consider the adventures of the mythic hero King Theseus of Athens, who was at the same time brave, inspirational, and downright mean.

After single-handedly slaying the monstrous Minotaur, Theseus abandoned Ariadne, the woman he loved and who’d helped him, and went on to change the course of history with the sheer power of his ideas.

Three cheers for Theseus, we’re tempted to say.

However it takes a certain single-minded selfishness to be a successful King of Wands, which if left unchecked can bring disastrous results.  Such was the fate of Theseus.

After years of chasing dreams, King Theseus eventually married Phaedra, a Cretan princess who tragically fell in love with his son, Hippolytus, whom Theseus had fathered on another.  When Hippolytus rejected his stepmother’s advances, Phaedra convinced Theseus that he’d raped her.  Infuriated, Theseus cursed Hippolytus, which resulted in Hippolytus’ gruesome, untimely death.  After Phaedra committed suicide, Theseus was so saddened by the mess that he’d created that he could see no option but throwing himself off a high rock into the sea.

The trick to getting the best of a King of Wands day is to avoid racing impulsively about to selfishly further our own ends, as did Theseus.  Instead we might summon our innate nobility and rise above ourselves to inspire others (as well as ourselves) to strive for ever higher ground.

Lying at the very heart of our being, fire gives meaning to our lives.  It points us toward new and exciting experiences that will make us into all we potentially can be.  But as the King of Wands discovered, it’s one thing to strive towards greatness and quite another to chase after our own tail.  Once we’ve discerned the difference, we can confidently go forward and give our all to life.