Archive for December 31st, 2016

Tarot for December 31st, 2016: The Fool


Today’s Tarot card is (0) The Fool, a perfect card for wiping the slate clean and starting fresh with a whole new year.

The Fool is ruled by Aries, the youngest sign.  It is the sign of the child, and also the sign of the hero.  Aries wants to be the big, damned hero and how, but first that requires some willingness to fall on one’s face, which is why Aries is sometimes impetuous, courageous to the point of foolhardiness.  Aries also still has a sense of wonder at the world, a kind of purity and innocence that goes hand-in-hand with their willingness to dive headfirst into danger.  Keep in mind that in myths and legends, more often than not the hero is someone who really had no idea what he or she was stepping into when they got involved in whatever situation made them a hero in the first place.  It is not the knowledge (or lack thereof) that they set out on their grand adventure with, but rather how they rose to the occasion that distinguishes them as heroes.

The Fool is also the eternal optimist, aligned with instinct and nature, trusting the Universe and himself.  He doesn’t plan or scheme; he is honest and open about his intentions, and lives completely in the moment, with no concern for either past or future.  The Fool exists in a state of absolute freedom as a result.

The Thoth deck portrays The Fool in a suit of green, a colour of creativity and regeneration.  He ignores the tiger attacking his leg, the crocodile at his feet – fear is non-existent for him in large part because he lacks the wisdom to see the reason behind the fear.  The zero (0) number that is associated with The Fool that is reinforced in the hoops hung from his shoulders is indicative of his emptiness – his lack of wisdom, his lack of experience, his lack of fear.  This emptiness is a prerequisite to becoming wise, experienced, both cautious and courageous.  It is a prerequisite to having the adventures that lead to becoming the big, damned hero.  In the zero, all possibilities exist, because that space hasn’t been filled yet.  This is at the heart of the Zen Buddhist concept of Shoshin, “beginner’s mind,” a mental state that is cultivated in order to progress in studying, no matter how high the level of study, because it enhances one’s capacity to welcome in new knowledge without preconceptions based on what one has already learned.

2016 has been a rough year, and in order for us to greet 2017 and bring about the changes that we desire, we need to cultivate beginner’s mind, and great the New Year with the joyful anticipation of legendary fools and children.  We need to clear away our frustrations from 2016, rid ourselves of regret about the past and fear of the future, and step into the unknown with a gusto.  This is the leap of faith!

Astrology of December 31st, 2016: Escapist Tendencies


After the year that 2016 has given us, we could use a break…  

The Moon in Aquarius is social without being clingy, which is perfect for parties and letting go of whatever residual yuckiness may be left over from 2016.  Plus, Aquarius is future-oriented, so it’s a great Moon to welcome in the New Year with, especially so soon after the New Moon in Capricorn with its practical, intention-setting energy.

The twist to the evening is that the sole aspect of tonight is Mars in Pisces conjuncting Neptune in Pisces right around the time of the changing over of one year to the next.  Pisces is a mutable water sign, also known as the eldest sign of the zodiac, deeply spiritual but prone to dreaminess and escapism when challenged, including escapism into alcohol and drugs.  Neptune is the transcendental ruler of Pisces, and is also known for embodying our escapist tendencies, along with our hopes, dreams, illusions, delusions…  Mars is all about our drive, our energy, how we focus our will.  And Neptune, like all of the outer planets, transforms whatever it touches from the ground up.  So when our drive connects with a double-whammy of escapism fundamentally transforming it…  Yeah.  There’s likely to be some heavy drinking and escapist tendencies tonight, especially as a backlash against the wretched year that 2016 has been, and we may well plunge headlong into our fantasies in a way that is hard to come back from safely.  Best to make sure our designated drivers are on board with our plans now!

There is also the potential for this conjunction to increase our tendencies to feel sorry for ourselves and wallow in the awfulness of 2016, and let that colour our visions of 2017.  This would be one of the worst possible uses of our time on this night, when we should be celebrating the birth of the New Year and establishing an abundance of happy, celebratory energy to launch us into 2017.  Those of us who have had a particularly rough year and know that we’re in danger of this should take extra steps to safeguard ourselves and be close to people who are healthy influences at this time.

All of that said, focusing the drive of Mars on Neptune and Pisces’ spiritual power may well be the best way to deal with this conjunction.  Giving ourselves a safe space overnight in which to enjoy fantasies of our ideal 2017 would be a wonderful way to make sure that this dreamy energy helps rather than harms.  This could also be an amazing night for lucid dreaming.  Since mutable signs like Pisces are highly adaptable, let’s strive to slip out of the grip of our more depressive tendencies tonight and into a space of hopefulness for the future.  Neptune governs hope, after all.  And now is definitely a time when our world needs it.

This New Year, let us dream of the better world we most long for, and set our intentions to make it so.


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(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.  Readers from further abroad will need to adjust time-frames accordingly.)