Archive for December 2nd, 2016

Tarot for December 2nd, 2016: Ace of Wands


Today’s Tarot card is the Ace of Wands, reversed.

The Wands are the suit corresponding with the element of fire, and relate to matters of spirit, creativity, and action.  The Ace of Wands is the seat of creative and spiritual power.  The Thoth Deck’s version shows the Kabbalistic Tree of Life as a pattern formed by repetition of the Hebrew letter Yod (representing fire) in place of the Tree’s ten Sephiroth, which represent ten progressive emanations from the Infinite Divine, from the first point of emanation (Kether – The Crown) that brings the unknowable into the known, to the final Sephira (Malkuth -The Kingdom), at which point the Tree comes into contact with earthly reality.  The number 10 in numerology corresponds to perfection, and the Tree of Life gives us a map for understanding the workings of the Infinite upon the finite.

The Tree of Life represented on the Ace of Wands is thus the reminder of the extent to which we touch Infinity through our creative expression and through opening fully to Spirit in our actions.  The more that we align our actions with our creative drive and spiritual principles, the more that our lives come alight with this divine fire.

So why then the reversal?  Especially with the Sun in Sagittarius, this hardly seems like the time for quenching such a fire.

The problem with fire is how to handle it without burning ourselves, or letting it die out, or letting it burn out of control.  Fire is a tricky thing.  There is a reason that the Greek gods punished Prometheus so for giving it to humanity.  So much power…  So much responsibility…

The reversal is then a suggestion for caution in how we handle our flame at this time.  Just as we sometimes must hold a wick or torch downward in order to allow it to properly catch fire, perhaps we need to turn things upside-down a bit in order to nurture our flame.  A little self-care may be in order, too.  As noted in today’s astrological assessment, there is a lot for us to process right now, a need for careful choices, and a need for Right Action (to borrow Buddhist terminology), not just any action.  Now is not the time to go off half-cocked, nor is it the time to contain our fire so tightly that we snuff it out.  This fire has to last us through the winter and into the spring.

Art and Upcoming Appearances

March 27th 2016

I’ve got new Patrons-only content up on Patreon now.  Now that I’m moving away from daily divinatory drawings specific to each day, I’m starting to tackle the HUGE backlog of unfinished creative projects in need of my attention.  I’ll be posting updates on the progress for many of these on Patreon, with finished work posted there first and then posted here.  I am also hoping to get a Twitch creative stream going sometime in the New Year to give people more insight into my creative process while also discussing a lot of the esoteric subjects that fuel it.

Speaking of esoteric subjects, I will be doing Tarot readings this Sunday at the Metaphysical Market at Spooked in Seattle in Pioneer Square.  I have also just recently confirmed appearances as a Tarot reader for the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors Full Moon Celebration in January as well as the CoSM Full Moon events for April, July, and October.

Finally, I’ve added another modified divinatory drawing to the designs and products I have available on Redbubble.  My progress on getting these added has been a bit slower than I’d like, mostly because the process of editing and placing images is much more time-consuming than I’d originally expected.  However, now that I’m starting to get adjusted to life here on the West Coast I am hoping that my additions there will be a bit more consistent.  I’ve added more of the backlog of divinatory drawing scans to the gallery here, including the unfortunate leonine version of Grumpy Cat, and the drawing at the top of this post (that I think I have not previously posted anywhere) which is from March 27th, 2016 and which I just randomly discovered while flipping through a stack of what I had thought were unfinished drawings…  (Clearly I need a new filing system.)

What’s next?  I’ve got a new Magic: The Gathering card alteration on the way, have just finished another Two Doctors scarf (this one’s a commission, so not for sale!), and have been working on a new design in eyelet silk lace – slippery and time-consuming, but it’s finally starting to shape up.  I’ll be posting more photos and scans as they become available!


Astrology of December 2nd, 2016

The Magnetic Quality of Stillness

Mercury enters Capricorn today.

The Moon in Capricorn is emotionally and instinctively prepared to climb any mountain in pursuit of its goals.  That’s good, because today it’s got a bunch of mountains to challenge it and all of us here on Earth in the process.  

The majority of the aspects that I discuss here on any given day are Lunar aspects because the Moon moves so quickly through the signs, spending only about 2.5 days in each sign.  The Sun and the planets take much longer to move through each sign, and thus the aspects they make with each other occur less frequently.  That said, because they are moving more slowly through the signs, the aspects that they make are of a longer duration and even when they are no longer exact those aspects are still being felt in the background while the Moon zips through its aspects of the day.  And on days like today, the Moon touches players in those longer aspects, re-emphasizing their influences through our feelings, instincts, and subconscious behaviors.

One of those aspects currently in play is the waxing (widening) Pluto/Uranus square that I’ve mentioned a lot in recent years.  There were a series of seven exact squares between these two planets over the past four years due to retrograde motion – they would start to separate and then move back close again, and while this was going on for a lot of people down here on Earth things seemed to be falling apart.  Pluto deals with issues of power and control, institutions such as governments, banks, corporations, hospitals, and organized crime, as well as transformation and death.  In earthy Capricorn, Pluto’s action is tenacious, firmly devoted to upholding the status quo, and unwilling to back down for anything or anyone that challenges its goals.  Uranus deals with science, technology, rebellion, revolution, and sudden change, as well as sudden flashes of insight.  Uranus is electric, and in Aries, that electricity is likely to start fires, like job losses, bankruptcies, divorces, and health crises on the personal level, and bank failures, corporate upheavals, and revolutions on the national and global levels.  Aries is heroic, aggressive, and every bit as stubborn as Capricorn, though it has a much harder time planning for the long haul (hence the longevity issues of the Occupy movement, a distinctly Uranus-in-Aries entity).

The square aspect is what is known as a “hard” aspect, which is confrontational and tends to shake things up, and of all of the hard aspects the square is arguably the hardest.  Even when we can see the merit in the lessons being brought into focus by the square, those lessons are tough love at best.  In the case of this particular square, we’ve seen people all over the planet waking up to insights about what their governments and banks and corporations are doing to ordinary people and to the planet, and how going-along-to-get-along just upholds that ugly status quo.  With increased communication across large distances resulting from the Internet (a Uranian technology), it’s been harder for those institutions to keep a lid on those insights and the rebellion brewing in their wake.  Harder, yes, but they are well-equipped to fight back, with armed police and illegal surveillance and well-funded political action committees.  And that’s just the beginning.  Those who are in power now didn’t get there quickly or easily, and they are well-entrenched and playing a long game.  Uranus in short-tempered Aries might be explosive, but by itself it doesn’t have what it takes to survive a war with Pluto in Capricorn.  And now that it’s slowly gaining distance on Pluto, moving out of that square, it might well seem like the monolithic forces of entrenched oligarchy have won.

Enter Jupiter in Libra.

Jupiter just bumped up against Pluto last week via a waning square, foreshadowing the intensity of their upcoming conjunction in 2020.  Jupiter magnifies Libra’s concern with relationships and social harmony.  Libra is the great mediator and Jupiter is classical astrology’s Greater Benefic, benevolent and magnanimous, and deeply concerned with our faith and belief in the greater good.  Typically, even square aspects with Jupiter are considered more fortuitous and easier to endure than those between other planets.  Except for that pesky tendency of Jupiter to magnify whatever it touches.  And the fact that in the process of moving into square aspect with Pluto, Jupiter moved closer to an opposition with Uranus, which will be exact toward the end of December.  As I’ve mentioned before, the opposition in astrology is a hard aspect like the square but also has the greatest capacity for the planets involved to see each other, to learn from and come to understand each other.  So here we have Jupiter, in a sign of peace, electrified by Uranian insight and rebellion, taking a magnifying glass to Pluto and the powers-that-be and saying “no, really, something’s gotta give.”

Remember, all of this is taking place in three out of the four cardinal signs – Aries, Libra, and Capricorn, with the missing fourth cardinal sign being Cancer.  The cardinal signs govern initiatory energy in each of the four elements.  Cardinal signs start shit!  If there’s a tussle going on somewhere, chances are that a cardinal influence started it.  The tense aspect currently going on between Jupiter, Pluto, and Uranus is what is known as a T-square, and in order for the tension to be released, all of the parties involved need to take on some of the qualities of the missing sign, Cancer.  A few that spring to mind are: emotional sensitivity, loyalty toward and protectiveness of home and family, and a canny business sense.  Of course, those parties taking on Cancerian virtues is not going to happen through osmosis – each of those forces (the rebel, the status quo, and the peacemaker) needs to take the initiative to bring that missing influence to the table.  Cancerian love of home and family can only help if Jupiter can persuade both Uranus and Pluto that we are all still indeed family, and Cancerian business sense only works if Pluto in particular recognizes that it’s not actually good business to keep a death-grip on fossil fuel technologies that have us racing headlong toward extinction.  But one can hope, and if there’s one thing Jupiter is good at, it’s hope.

Why this lengthy explanation of all of these far-reaching, generation-shaping influences at work?  Because today, the Moon in Capricorn hits hard aspects with each and every one of them, and makes aspects with nothing else.  And on top of that, Mercury enters Capricorn today, and so our minds and communication today have entered a realm where we are focused on the hard climb ahead of us, planning how to tackle these challenges, while the Moon is grappling with each of them in turn, and our emotions and instincts will feel that struggle.  No matter how well we may have weathered the past few years, today on both a conscious and subconscious level we know that it is not enough to watch the big forces of history and hope that they will pass us by without harm.  Like it or not, if we didn’t realize it before, today we learn that each of us has skin in this game.