Archive for December 20th, 2016

Tarot for December 20th, 2016: The Hanged Man


Today’s Tarot card is (XII) The Hanged Man, who tells us that it is time to acknowledge where we are stuck in our lives, and just how little we can do about it right now.  Not an enjoyable thing to face, to be sure, but one that can teach us much and impart both wisdom and power in the process.

There is a long tradition in mythology of sacrificed beings undergoing frightening and painful experiences in order to gain wisdom, immortality, and godhood.  Odin hung for nine days on the World Ash, sacrificing “himself to himself” (his lower self to his higher self) for the wisdom of the runes and the magical powers that they enabled.  Emmanuel hung on the cross for three days as a surrogate sacrifice for mankind to remedy their eternal disappointment of Yahweh, and was resurrected to godhood, thus becoming Jeheshua (Jesus), Spirit enlivening the elements of the tetragrammaton of Yahweh.  Osiris was entombed and drowned, then briefly resurrected by Isis so that he could father Horus, then dismembered after death and scattered about Egypt before being gathered together again by Isis and embalmed by her, and only then resurrected as the god of the underworld.

None of this is particularly pleasant stuff.  Chances are, neither is what we’ve got on our respective plates right now.

2016 has been a thoroughly nasty beast for most of us, both individually and collectively.  The handbasket we find ourselves in is crowded, polluted, and requires unending and often painful contortions in order to keep from getting squished into the foulness at the bottom, and is it me or does it keep getting hotter?

For all that we may strive to run from despair, Despair is awfully good at getting her hook into us.  And sometimes being told “don’t give up!” really isn’t helpful.  Sometimes, we actually need to stop wriggling around trying to get comfortable in that damned basket, and recognize that we are in a terrible place and that we don’t know what to do about it.  This isn’t saying that we should throw in the towel on life as a whole just yet, but rather that sometimes all of our efforts, all of our strength, all of our willpower just isn’t enough to figure out a solution right at this very moment, and we’re only hurting ourselves more by expecting ourselves to come up with a solution on our lonesome.  Sometimes a solution is going to take its sweet time appearing.  Sometimes that solution requires help from someone else to gather our pieces and bandage us up, or rain to come make the desert bear the right fruit to revive us, or a spring thaw to make the healing potion work.  And sometimes our conscious minds just aren’t capable of coming up with the right ideas when we’re cold, and exhausted, and in pain.  Sometimes we need to give up for a little while in order to stop doing more damage to ourselves, and have a chance of making it through the ordeal.

In the Thoth deck, there are snakes appearing at the Hanged Man’s head and foot, with that foot that he is dangling from being looped into the Ankh that represents life.  The snakes are symbols of wisdom and regeneration, and in the absence of striving there is time for healing and renewal.  Naked and helpless though the Hanged Man appears, his legs are bent into the shape of the numeral 4 that is also the leg shape of the Emperor – a symbol of foundation, order, and leadership.  How we endure the ordeals of today will shape our realms tomorrow.  Of course, that 4 can also represent death, and we may have to release our attachments to some things and ideas during this process and allow ourselves to be transformed by this experience into the beings that we have yet to become.  Now is the time to endure, not to act.  Answers will come to us in time if we stop struggling for a little while, and listen, and wait.

Astrology of December 20th, 2016: Vulnerable to Fluctuations


After yesterday’s intensity, it would be nice if the cosmos could give us a rest for a day.  No such luck here.  Though we do see the main body of the day free of aspects, it starts off a bit rough with the Moon in Virgo inconjunct Uranus in Aries in the wee hours of the morning.  Our perfectionist instincts may have trouble with sudden changes and flashes of intuition that we may have received during that time, and our nerves are likely to be hard-pressed to adjust, though thankfully we have the whole rest of the morning and afternoon to get back on an even keel.

The Moon enters the 4th Quarter phase in the evening, squaring the Sun in Sagittarius and beginning a void-of-course period which thankfully lasts less than an hour before the Moon enters Libra.  In Libra, the Moon is even more vulnerable to fluctuations in environment than the Moon was in Virgo, and with an inconjunct to Mars in Pisces ending the evening, we may find ourselves thrown off-balance by the Piscean tendency to go in multiple directions at once.  On the plus side, this is one of the less difficult sign combinations to navigate in an inconjunct, as both Libra and Pisces are romantic and sensitive, and prefer to take a gentle or even avoidant approach to interpersonal conflicts.  They may not quite understand each other here, but neither are they truly hostile to each other, just puzzled.

The Moon in Libra brings our attention to the need for balance in our instincts and emotions, and seeks harmony in all things.  Since it governs the 7th house of socially significant relationships, Libra is deeply concerned with partnership, so the Moon’s entry into this sign sees us more intuitively concerned with how we meet others in our relationships, and how we can maintain those relationships peaceably.  The challenge here is to find true balance between ourselves and those with whom we partner, rather than giving in to the temptation to maintain peace at all costs including our own self-esteem and expression.  Though the Moon in Libra may not balance comfortably with Mars in Pisces, or may find itself too eager to smooth the way between warring compatriots with compromises, this can still be a good time for self-expression through the arts, via music or dance, since both of these signs tend to have talent in these areas that sooth the soul without sacrificing integrity.  We may be able to end the night on a harmonious note after all.


(All aspect times are calculated for Pacific Standard Time.  I tend to speak in broad terms when I reference time on this blog, referring to time-frames like “morning” or “afternoon” rather than specific times, since I still have a lot of friends on the East Coast who read these posts and I’d like them to be pertinent to those friends as well as folks here on the West Coast.)