The HermitAfter the many ego excesses of Leo, it’s time to drop back and regroup and what better energy with which to do this, than with pure Virgo.

In the tarot, Virgo corresponds with the 9th card of the Major Arcana, The Hermit.

The Hermit is a venerable and mysterious figures of solitary intention. Leaning on his staff, he pauses to hold up his lamp (of intellect) and drive away the darkness (of ignorance).

Contrary to popular belief, the Hermit is not a lonely, sorry individual bereft of family and friends. Quite the opposite. He is the kind old wise man whom others eagerly seek out.

But in many respects he does stand alone in that he separates himself from the crowd so that he’s no longer controlled by their moods and desires.

To be like The Hermit does not mean you must renounce society.

But what it does mean is that you must stand aside from it long enough to turn on your own lamp ti discover who and what you really are.

What would you do, be, wear, or think if no one else were watching?

What would you spend all your time doing – not for money to be gained from it – but for the pure joy of doing it?

What would it feel like to forget all your troubles?

This is not to suggest your troubles have gone away – but only that if you can use the energy of the new moon in Virgo wisely, you and your troubles will no longer one and the same.

The TowerWith the Sun in Virgo (perfection) and the Moon in Leo (aspiration), today is a ‘Tower of Destruction” day.

Throughout history, there have been plenty of examples where hubris (i.e. excessive self-confidence, OED, n) has been the cause of a disastrous fall. Check out The Icarus Syndrome by Peter Beinart for insight.

Yet if in today’s world we’re pushed to ‘be all that we can be’ (and more) then where ought we draw the line between well-deserved success and hubris?

Meditations on the Tarot (A Journey into Christian Hermeticisim) provides a thoughtful answer:

Every Christian has been taught that man was ejected from the Garden of Eden for desiring more ‘knowledge’ than God wished to reveal.

Yet why was it so important to have such knowledge?Meditations on the Tarot

Origen (circa AD 185) suggests this is hard-wired in our souls – i.e. we are built to push the boundaries of nature with the purpose of breaching them – i.e. for example through scientific research.

According to the Hermetic tradition, this is dangerous for if God wished us to have such knowledge, He would have revealed it.

Does it mean that we should never strive for more than we’ve been given?

Of course not. The StarAccording to Hermetic wisdom, it is absolutely necessary for us to work and grow – to think and await the ripening of our thoughts – to cultivate and maintain ourselves as we would care for our garden – wherein we realise all will grow and be harvested in its own time.

So why do we push ourselves more than we push our gardens?

Hermetic wisdom suggests that (through ignorance), we identify ‘self’ with ‘ego’ – ‘I’ must have this or that because ‘I” want it (not because I need it or because it is good for me but because I WANT) – and such behaviour is further fueled by advertisements suggesting you should want whatever is for sale for no other reason than because ‘You’re worth it’.

Danger – danger – danger !!!!

What will you be ‘worth’ after your personal fall?

If on a ‘Tower of Destruction’ day, you’re tempted to push beyond your boundaries- beyond the bounds of your own nature  – and like Icarus, fly too close to the sun, resist and be heartened.

In the tarot, the card following ‘The Tower of Destruction’ is that of The Star’ – a kneeling woman with two urns being poured in equal measure so as to achieve balance and equilibrium.

8-StrengthWith a serious stellium (Sun, Moon, Pluto, Mercury, and Venus) in Capricorn (not to mention the last hours of a waning moon) at 0:00 AM 1 January 2014 (GMT), the prevailing energy of the entire of calendar 2014 for everyone will be one of Strength.

CAPRICORN = ambition, concentration, determination, authoritarian

STRENGTH = courage, commitment, enjoyable acceptance of life

Without renewed passion, this year you will not be able to continue in your chosen direction. You will have difficulty enduring the challenges and could be forced to drop back and regroup.

Because the Strength card relates to Leo, this year your experience a ‘lust’ for creativity and self-expression. Like the sap rising in spring, life-force surges through your veins. Hopefully you will direct this passion into meaningful projects and not waste it or worse – allow it to convert into a destructive force.

StrengthIn ritual magic, this is akin to raising a ‘cone of power’, which when released must be directed toward a specific purpose else it wreaks havoc.

During the whole of 2014 you’re called to look carefully at what you’re doing because quite honestly, you will be ‘playing with fire’. Like fire, your emotions can be a great civilising force or a source of destruction. The key to getting this right is to embrace what you feel to be ugly or beastly in yourself, because in a year of Strength, is only through acceptance that you build character.

You will be challenged to persevere through difficult situations perhaps in career, health, or family. You will be challenged to balance your needs with those of the people you love. You will be challenged to stick with it no matter now rough the going gets because this is the only way to discover what it is that you really want.

Strength

The following enchantment may help:

Light a red candle representing your carnal or animal nature. Take a white candle (representing your higher ‘self’) of equal size and touch it to the burning flame. By mixing the red and white waxes together, the pink power of love will manifest. Let the two candles burn down together and repeat the following:

“With the loving strength of my Higher Self, I will make an ally of my instinctual nature”

Keep a piece of pink wax with you in a sealed envelope to help you remember your pledge.

UnknownWith the Sun and Moon both in Sagittarius (NEW MOON !!!), today and tomorrow are Days of ‘The Fool’.

Wide-eyed and bushy-tailed, The Fool is about to jump off a cliff.

Why would he do that, you ask?

Good question.

Here’s what I think.

The Fool isn’t a fool in the ordinary sense. Indeed, he represents the most enlightened energy in the deck.  He’s the archetypal youngest son in fairy tales in whom initially, no one had faith.

And so our young man set outs with nothing and returns having conquered the world. Not only has he recovered the lost treasure, married the pretty princess, and fathered a stable of beautiful children, but he also has the fidelity to return home to share his gain. While his older brothers, in whom their father had placed his promise, the Fool is bright and sunny for he alone has succeeded big time.

Unlike those brothers, the Fool didn’t over analyse. Nor did he try to be cute or clever. He didn’t even try to rely on patronage and family connections. He just went out there and by sheer force of character ‘did’.

The Fool is the real hero of the tarot. That’s why you’ll often find him both at the beginning and the end of the (Major Aracana) deck.  He started out modest and simple and despite his ‘wins’, he returns the same way. This doesn’t mean he hasn’t grown. On the contrary, it suggests he’s perfected his self par excellence.

For despite all the heart ache and disappointment he’s experienced during his travels, The Fool refuses to let any of it get him down. He’s just as adventurous, curious, and cheerful when he returns as when he first left. That’s not easy, as I’m sure you know because most of us have let our trials and tribulations get the better of us – to the point in which some of us no longer even try.

Days of ‘The Fool’ offer a unique opportunity to put the past behind you and start all over again. Remember what it felt like when you first set out to conquer life?

I bet you can do it again.

UnknownWith the Sun in Scorpio (obsession) and the Moon in Taurus (lust), today and tomorrow are days of “The Devil”.

Usually when you mention the Devil, you’re referring to temptation – temptation that will get you into serious trouble unless you’ve the strength to resist. This in turn generates apprehension and fear as well as – go ahead – admit it – just a touch of curiosity?

The Devil might have made him ‘do it’  – but ‘it’ could never happen to you – right?

It’s not that easy and you know it so why are you so hesitant to agree or disagree?

Because in Christian communities, the Devil is considered as the summum malum – the sum of all evil – and as the result, its energy is believed to be as dangerous as it is unfathomably complex.

I’m no more certain what that really means than you are.

But I do know that today and tomorrow we’re each dealing with ‘it’ – our personal unconscious – at the height of ‘its’ power (the full moon is exact at 15:17 GMT on 17 November at 25 Taurus 26) and that scares the hell out of us for reasons we’d each prefer to ignore.

We all know from Carl Jung that in our unconscious lies buried treasure of tremendous value just waiting for release – but as all myths and fairytales tell us treasures like this must be guarded by monsters and dragons – dangerous adversaries who will stop at nothing to prevent us from recovering the coveted prize.

In reality, these monsters and dragons are nothing more than our own fears – the actions, motives, wishes, intentions thoughts, and qualities that we find most embarrassing  – that which we dread we might someday be forced to face.

Yet on a day of “The Devil” that is precisely what you can expect. The most unloved sides of your personality can be expected to surface – lust for power, money, drink, what have you – causing such havoc in the outer world that you too might be tempted to retort  –  “the devil made me do it”.

And in some respects, you’d be right.

But the trick to dealing with the energy of today and tomorrow in the most constructive way is not to blame the devil or anyone else – but to be humbled and accept these limitations and embarrassments as none other than your own.

With the sun in Leo (play and self-image) and the moon in Scorpio (catharisis and assimilation), today and tomorrow are Six of Cups days.

Kabbalistically, all the tarot sixes are asociated with Tiferet – the place of the Christ – the sacrificed god.

Because Cups signify emotions (both positive and negative),  I’m reminded of Jesus’ message – ‘suffer the little children unto me’ for ‘theirs’ is the Kingdom of Heaven’.

These are powerful words and you don’t need to be Christian to understand them.   Instead, just watch some kids at play.

Isn’t it amazing how free and easy they are?  How is it that they can be mortal enemies one minute and the next, best friends?

This child-like ability to give and take freely (without the resentments and fears which as adults, we harbor and accumulate) is what today’s and tomorrow’s energy is about.   In other words, today and tomorrow you have a unique opportunity to look back at your past and understand how you can use it as the foundation for the future that you’ve dreamed about.

But as with all the sixes – no pain, no gain.  By definition, sacrifice requires giving up something in which you have a vested interest and you’ll be surprised to discover how much you still have invested in the past (happy and sad).

If you can come to grips with this, so much the better.  So start working on it today and tomorrow!

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.