Archive for December 10th, 2016

Tarot for December 10th, 2016: Truce


Today’s Tarot card is the 4 of Swords (Truce).  As noted in today’s astrology post on this site, multiple aspects draw attention to Neptune and Saturn, re-emphasizing the waxing square between them, so drawing the Truce card now suggests that the hard lessons we’ve had to learn from these two over the past year may now be yielding fruit.

Truce is ruled by Jupiter in Libra, which is Jupiter’s current position, and this card made an appearance on November 30th as well, so clearly the lessons of this card bear repeating and are especially pertinent during this transit.  After the nastiness of the most recent US election cycle and its continuing virulent aftermath, bringing ourselves back to the center of love and equality may seem a particularly daunting task.  This is a time when deep healing is needed, but that healing won’t be helped by sweeping unpleasantness under the rug, as Librans are all-too-often wont to do in the name of keeping the peace.  The 4 of Swords is a reminder that Truce is not an inherently lasting thing, and there is much rebuilding to be done if we want it to stick, and we may well dish out (and have to listen to) some very pointed commentary along the way.

The fours in Tarot are all foundational in their action, drawing influences from each of the four directions to set their boundaries and establish order.  The fours are tied to the Emperor card, who represents the ordering principle and rule of law.  In the suit of Swords, that foundation is built within the element of air, governing thoughts and speech.

How on earth do you build a foundation of air?

By taking a deep breath.

There is a reason that so much meditational practice is built upon attention to the breath.  Calming and centering ourselves, quieting our thoughts and getting very clear on our intentions, focusing on our breath shifts our attention and with it our consciousness.  It takes us back to the foundation of life, the breath that sustains us, and the sound that depends upon breath to be heard.  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)

Sound (and the breath that fuels it) is the primal building block in so many creation myths.  Small wonder then, that Truce is represented within the suit of Swords, paradoxical though that may seem.  And within that paradox is another lesson of this card:  The sword can establish either peace or war.  Our words can calm and clarify, or rattle and confuse us.  We can rally others to our cause or ignite centuries of enmity with well (or poorly) chosen words.

At a time when would-be leaders have used their words like swords to draw the lines that divide us, we see also how many of us are calling to each other to unite in defense of those who the wielders of dividing swords would exclude from the table.  As Neptune and Saturn continue to move out of the clash between ideals and limitations, the longing for inclusion and our deepest fear of the Other, Jupiter in Libra is asking us to balance our paradoxes, meeting each other equally and with a willingness to breathe through our confusion, speaking in service of greater understanding.  Yes, there is much that we feel the need to cut away to get to clarity, and yes, we are moving into a state of ecological crisis where that severance will mean the difference between continued life on this earth or the death of our entire species (and many more besides).  Now we have to come to grips with paradox, contradiction, and all of our many differences if we are to ever come to a truce, and maybe even real peace.

“Only in silence the word,
Only in dark the light,
Only in dying life:
Bright the hawk’s flight
On the empty sky.

—The Creation of Éa” (Ursula K. LeGuin)


Astrology of December 10th, 2016: Goals and Comforts


The waxing Saturn/Neptune square gets an oblique revival today, with two sextiles supporting Neptune and the Sun conjuncting Saturn.  Since the sextiles are supporting aspects, they may ease some of the tension of these two outer planets each trying to transform the other and us in the process, but regardless our awareness of the conflict between the real and the ideal is likely to get a shot in the arm.  That said, given the overall positive tone of the day’s aspects, I wouldn’t be surprised if that boost to our awareness lends a practical tone to our daydreams, or a spiritual note to our work.

The two biggest aspects of the day actually struck during the wee hours of the morning – Mercury in Capricorn sextile Neptune in Pisces and the Sun in Sagittarius conjunct Saturn in Sagittarius.  Of the two, the Sun conjunct Saturn is definitely the heavy hitter.  With the Sun and Saturn meeting at the tail end of the second decanate of Sagittarius, we may get very serious about our beliefs and goals, and feel a determination to eliminate that which we register as “evil” or opposed to our world view.  Mercury in Capricorn sextile Neptune in Pisces may help to soften the intensity of our self-righteousness, or at least help us to see the possibility that there are more ways to experience the world than in simplistic factions of “us or them,” but both Mercury in Capricorn and Saturn in Sagittarius have a tendency toward bluntness, so the early morning hours may find us at our most tactless.

The Moon entered earthy Taurus shortly thereafter, which has had the benefit of grounding and steadying our emotions, but a square to Venus in Aquarius later in the morning can add to the potential friction stirred up by the Sun conjuncting Saturn.  Still, there is also the potential that the Sun conjunct Saturn will help us with our self-discipline, making this morning a good time to get things done so long as we don’t require others to work with us, though with the Moon in Taurus at odds with Taurus’ ruler Venus, some of that self-discipline is likely to peter out by late morning.  The Moon square Venus is not likely to be anywhere near as harsh as other squares, as both the Moon and Venus tend to be sympathetic forces, but in this aspect they do tend to encourage self-indulgence.  Given the serious bent of the Sun conjuncting Saturn though, a little self-indulgence might be needed to balance the scales.

This evening the Moon in Taurus gently brings our attention back to Neptune in Pisces with another sextile, giving a slightly dreamy tone to the evening, but with the fixed earth nature of Taurus continuing to keep us grounded, especially with the Moon/Neptune sextile followed shortly by the Moon trining Mercury in Capricorn.  This is a great time to enjoy a hint of Neptune’s rose-coloured glasses without succumbing to confusion or delusion, and also to express what we feel in a practical manner.  This is a good night for conversation with friends, and a good time to enjoy some creature comforts and unwind.