9 October 18: The Hanged Man

Hamstrung. This is one of the weirdest cards to me, Number 12 of the Major Arcana, The Hanged Man. A human hangs upside down from a tree by a bit of rope tied to one ankle. There is a lot of mythology in the tree alone, linking heaven to the Underworld, but on the Morgan-Greer image it is not a tree but a scaffolding made from two dead trees with a pole stretched between them from which he hangs gracefully. He may have even built the structure himself. His face is serene, and he holds his hands clasped behind his back, one knee bent forming a triangle shape with his legs. Aerial yoga. He’s simply looking at the world from another point of view. Yogis assume the Sarasana pose – standing on your head – when they want to see the world from a different point of view  and stimulate the brain.

From above, he looks right side up. This is a card of surrender, no doubt, to a higher power which could be God or the Universe or the weather, but it’s as if the rope were a puppet string controlled by an unseen hand from above and we’re not in control right now. This card is unique in that when the card is right side up our human is upside down, meaning that’s exactly where he’s supposed to be at this juncture. To everyone else it looks pretty strange but this ‘suspension’ is necessary right now.

Neptune, the Patron Saint of the Hanged Man, loves all things foggy and weird and wobbly and wavy and misty and mystic, like the gray wall of fog we see behind the hanging man. Neptune also loves art and music, and this dedicated and passionate (the red pants give him away) artist is sacrificing all for his art. When he finally does come back down he will have created (1+2=3, the number of Creation) something divinely inspired, as did the Norse God Odin, who after having hung himself upside down for nine nights in the World Tree, the one that grew up from the center of the flat Earth, was granted the wisdom to create the Runes.

This is basically being ‘hamstrung’ for some reason, sometimes even literally. An accident victim in traction who came out of his coma declaring he’d had a revelation and was never the same, it changed his life. That’s obviously an extreme example, but the epiphany is the same. The Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, an invalid for much of her life, affixed a mirror to the canopy of her sickbed and created her beautiful and complicated self-portraits, considered some of the world’s greatest works of art.

This is delay, but a productive one in some way. Worth the wait, worth the ‘hangup.’ Be patient. This isn’t the time to move, that’s all. You may be having to wait on something or someone else before you can do much of anything anyway.

Or, a psychologist is giving you another perspective on your own ‘hangups’.

Which is Major.

 

 

 

 

2 Aug 2018: Strength

 Card of the Month as in Please Give Us. I actually drew this card on the 25th of June, but before I could write about it my long-suffering 2012 Macbook Pro finally, after the latest OS update, heaved and died. I’m afraid there was no more we could do. I’m glad the old girl is free from pain. Her missing-teeth broken keys, her revving and grinding too loud to record anything for months anyway,  her heating up the whole damn house, she just couldn’t take one more f****** update. RIP, we had a good run.

Sun and Moon in Virgo, of course I’m backed up.

Although I haven’t in a long time, on a good night I shoot a mean game of pool, or billiards, if you like. Many years as a touring musician with no money and a lot of downtime in between soundcheck and doors gave me many opportunities to work on my eye-hand coordination and win many free beers.

I imagine the current clusterf*** that is our solar system as planets on a pool table. Call it barroom astrology if you want, but sometimes you have a sweet angle and it’s all symmetrical and a straight bank into the pocket you CALLED, and sometimes you look down and shake your head at the antipodal orbs and the vast green space between them and realize there’s nothing you can do but point and shoot and hope for the best, and if the planets align, maybe sink a lucky shot (you didn’t call the pocket but what the hell, we’re friends, nice one).

But when the opposing planets (solids) get in the way of the happy planets (stripes) we have all kinds of problems, all kinds of weird angles, all kinds of potential to sink the wrong ball or make an ill-considered, wild shot, lose the 8 or the cue, and the game altogether.

Simmer down.

So it’s been a week of updating and going through old files on the old 2011 Acer, and the rest seems to have done her good. Quiet, cool, and only 1 key missing.

If there’s anything more appropriate for a Mercury/Mars retrograde, this is it…and it’s actually been very inspiring. A couple of old programs I miss, and of course bits and pieces of things started or forgotten – some worth dusting off, some not.

Strength is a patient, quiet card, and very Leo, whose hot, sunny influence we’re under right now (more fire, anyone?). But this is all about controlling fire. We see a woman who just to  look at could lower your body temperature, she’s so cool. Her expression is calm and she wears fresh flowers in her hair and a gracefully flowing gown as she somehow manages to easily tame a potentially dangerous lion seated beside her, gently closing its snarling jaws. Soothing voice, soothing hands. Even her surroundings are ‘cool’: palm trees, green mountains (Morgan-Greer).

Those familiar with the Cards of Destiny (Robert Camp) which is a system I refer to in a lot of readings recognize the 52 days before your bEarthDay as the Neptune period, influenced by that oceanic God of everything watery, dreamy and foggy. I love this period of my year as it does coincide with the surreal, foggy monsoons, and except for the potential element of illusion or deception (try not to sign anything legal until Neptune takes off your rose-colored glasses after your b-day) I love ‘diving in’ until then.

And so I shall.

This retrograde is perfect for what I need to do right now, seriously finish up work by Fall. Since you’re probably going to feel like you’re slogging through mud anyway, may as well re-do, re-build, re-sort, re-think, re-lax, re-read, re-visit, re-write, re-do.

 

Re-hearse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

20 April 18: The Moon & The Hanged Man

There’s a fine line between genius and madness. 

“The moon is a chin of gold.” – Emily Dickenson

No it’s not. It’s rocky, cold, dusty and weird. That’s the thing about the moon, which I do believe is dissected earlier in the archives. La Luna (‘the moon’ in Latin) inspires the very word ‘lunatic”.  This mysterious little satellite has a huge effect on the Earth and on us, whether we are conscious of it or not. On this card, under the huge full moon a crawfish is creeping up out of a still pond on to a bank, but never crawls all the way up out of it. This is a very psychic card, but we can’t be sure what is real and what isn’t. The crawfish is half in this world and half submerged, like being half-awake. What the hell were those crazy dreams last night? The Moon is a Major Arcana card associated with the watery, emotional astrological sign of Pisces and warns us we don’t know everything, something is hidden. We can’t see to the bottom of the pond, and even if we’re looking, all we see is our own distorted reflection on the surface.

The Hanged Man is also of the Major Arcana of the Tarot. His planet is Neptune, Lord of the Sea. Also explored in detail in the archives somewhere, this is a card of suspension before transition. The man on the card has voluntarily hung himself by one foot from a tree to surrender himself to a period of meditation. The Hanged man has seen life from a whole new perspective from this unusual angle. Not everyone has seen things from his point of view, this visionary.

The moon was just a cold gray rock until the poet showed us his point of view, until we saw it through the artists’ eyes, until we heard the singer sing about it.

So the martyr suffers for his art, but the world is a more beautiful place for it. This is a combination of a serious creative genius for sure, extreme as he or she may seem.  There is serious potential for escapism through drugs, legal or illegal, or ‘oceans’ of alcohol. Someone may be into very kinky and dangerious sex scenes under the cover of darkness.

I know! He’s transitioning into a werewolf under the full moon! That’s it. Or he’s totally tripping and thinks he’s a damn werewolf.  He’s not ‘coming down’ for awhile.

The Moon being all things female could indicate a couple weeks you’ve been pregnant, or a couple weeks to delivery, or your cycle is here for a couple weeks, more or less. I don’t miss that, that’s for sure.

 

“We are going to the moon that is not very far. Man has so much farther to go within himself.” -Anais Nin

 

 

 

15 April 18: Judgment

The Awakening. I could make myself crazy looking back at the archives on previous readings of this card, but it wouldn’t necessarily mean anything today, in this particular space and time. Cosmic, yes? Yes. Today is Beautiful Sunday, influenced by Neptune, who is the Big Daddy of water signs Pisces, Scorpio, and Cancer. Dreamy and of the heart.

I’m no astrologer, but I know Mercury is now direct, meaning we can stop treading water and going over and revisiting and revising whatever and maybe we’ll stop misplacing things and appliances will stop frying. All systems go. Also, a brand new moon in Aries today, and she’s wanting action.

The Resurrection is the familiar Tarot image of Judgment. An angel emerges from the clouds to blow a golden horn like a flying snakecharmer raising the dead from their graves.  Men, women and children all rise from their opened coffins, arms outstretched. This End of the World thing is not exclusive to Christianity or the Bible, the idea is consistent in many pre-Christian cultures.

Let’s take a breath and look at the Salvador Dali card.

In the accompanying book describing the cards of Dali’s deck, ‘Judgment’  is described as ‘a choice between good and evil’ and ‘men freed from the shadows of the world’.  His illustration is much more complicated than that.

I’ve noticed that when Dali’s figures appear as line drawings, outlines of figures, as on this card, he means ‘other people’. I think. On this card, there is only one recognizable figure rising up out of a gold coffin surrounded by other figures whose faces are obscured by butterflies, or their butterflies ‘can’t fly’ due to the weight of the religious robes we can see on their bodies: one is in a red robe, the other in a robe trimmed in gold.  There is an angel blowing a golden horn, but he’s blowing it directly at the only figure who seems to hear it – or who the angel is choosing to hear it.   The angel is only aiming that horn at one person – a dreamy bearded hipster who looks an awful lot like Jesus. It seems the richly-robed butterfly heads – Jesus has a butterfly on his head, too, but it’s black, not blue, the color of their dreams – aren’t listening, they don’t hear the horn.

On either side of this scene are the loosely painted, sketchy outlines of two faces, turned inward, as if judging.

But the Awakened is not listening to the faceless hordes, only to the horn, who is trying to breathe life into his dead butterfly.

Salvador, you truly exhaust me.

So ‘The Awakening’ is really the essence of this card today it seems.

Spring and all.

This card can also mean feeling a calling of some kind – so whatever you feel you are called to do – from the deepest place within –  all systems are go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

27 March 18: King of Hearts in Venus

Love power. Tuesday is Venus’ day, the beautiful Goddess of love and beauty and all things dreamy, foggy, fuzzy and romantic. Venus is emotional and brings art, music, and harmony. She sings, she dances. The most famous image is undoubtably Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus” depicting the naked Goddess rising out of the sea on a large seashell as angels look on. She’s the feminine, as soothing and beautiful as a lake or a wave. Or even a nice bath. Venus encourages us to beautify all things: ourselves, our surroundings. Flowers, music, a fresh coat of paint in the bedroom, a new haircut. She likes things pretty.

The King of Hearts joins us today from the M.C. Escher poker deck. Sweet King. He’s the cousin of the King of Cups of the Tarot, as hearts are cups, full or empty of love. These two are a perfect pair, and on a Tuesday this King, who is of the water himself as a Pisces/Cancer/Scorpio is tender and feels deeply as well, but has learned to master his own emotions and affections. This King – male or female – rules with heart, and can’t help but be successful in relationships whether they be personal or professional.

For a man, you may find out you will soon be a father. For a woman, you may meet your King.

I would even read this King as Neptune, the higher octave of Venus, and the God of the sea. A more beautiful and perfect pair would be hard to find.

Don’t underestimate a touch of something beautiful to lift your spirits and inspire you. A flower, a painting, a song.

Something so beautiful it makes you want to cry.