NewMoon Notes and World Server's Spread
With the Tarot of the Holy Light: A Continental Esoteric Tarot book finished and the Foundations of the Esoteric Tradition companion volume soon to follow, it is time to adjust my focus. I will begin by putting astrology back in service to the Tarot, rather than the other way around. My goal from the mid 1970’s has been to learn the esoteric applications that the Renaissance magi would have observed and employed in the Tarot. It was obvious to me even then that Tarot’s internal outline makes it a perfect esoteric calculator, suited to allow an astrologer to skip over the hours and days of mathematics required to erect a proper horoscope. It seems that all the popular oracles of Europe have this function — to allow access to the astrological worldview and vocabulary, without getting bogged down in all the figuring. A case in point can be seen in the protocols and charting system of geomancy.
After all this time I’m pretty confident in my studies, and have constructed the Tarot of the Holy Light in such a way that it reflects what I have learned. From now on, these ArkLetters will be structured to provide examples of how a 15th or 16th century Magus, alchemist, physician or philosopher might apply the recombinant quality of the Tarot to the astrological events of the day, using the classical world-view inherited from the Alexandrian Synthesis.
Tarot was designed to speak to a 7-Planet, 12-Sign, three-Element (or three Worlds) cosmology. This is how our predecessors would assign the esoteric values upon the Trumps, based on the numbers that have historically appeared on their faces. The suited cards derived from the Mamluk pack also house their own Zodiac with all the trimmings. This gives us our fundamental meaning-mesh when using the cards to illustrate an astrological situation or analyze a birth chart.
What follows is a translation of the current NewMoon chart, converted into Tarot following the Continental roots of the art. To illustrate these planetary placements in Trumps, you can use the THL or any other European pack from the first five centuries of Tarot’s existence. When the planetary placements are seen in their Tarot guises, we can bring another layer of understanding to our charts. This makes it easier to unlock the alchemical relations between the Planetary Pairs, which are Saturn/Moon, Mars/Venus, and Jupiter/Mercury. As you look at these groupings of cards, drop them into the relevant areas of your personal chat to see how they are likely to be operating in your life.
Astrological Placements in Tarot Terms
Sun and Moon conjunct in Taurus: Priestess and Fool in the realm of the Lovers. These two are left and right hand of the Divine Impulse in humanity, and each month they come together in a new sign to mold a fresh manifestation according to their shared vision. This month the sign Taurus offers sensual and instinctive attraction as the font from which to draw creative inspiration. Instructions are to move towards things we have a natural affinity for, and come away from those things that offend our inherent sensibilities. Give your body a vote in how the future will form! There are only five days left before the Sun rolls into Gemini, best use this time to focus our efforts towards tangible manifestation of our goals.
Because Saturn is the Moon’s alchemical partner, it is important to notice how the current NewMoon has a wide opposition to retrograde Saturn. You might consider projecting this whole structure into your birth chart. This will help illustrate those areas of your life most likely to be give evidence of the NewMoon/Saturn (and NewMoon/Mars) oppositions. Remember that the Moon, as the governor of the waters, is trying to bring Taurean healing and softening to the stances taken by both Mars and Saturn at this time. Let the Priestess appeal to the higher qualities of both Strength and Judgement.
Mercury/Mars in Gemini : Star and Strength together in the Chariot. Mercury is at home in Gemini, so even though he is stationary today in preparation for a retrograde cycle between April 19th and June 10th (retreating to 4+º before turning forward again), he will remain in his comfort zone the whole time. Retrograde Mercury is due to converge with Mars at 10+º on May 27th, at which point the Sun/Fool will be at 5+ Gemini. The retrograde hits just as the Star is hosting The Fool and Strength in the Chariot, ferrying them through the mid-section of Gemini. Extra care must be devoted to maintaining the Star’s emotional/intellectual balance because Strength is inclined to take control of the vehicle at this point. Mars will leave Gemini about the time when Mercury has caught back up to that 10+º point (on July 25th), so the rest of Mercury/Star’s progress through “his/her” realm (remember, the Star/Mercury is the androgynous Lady Alchemy) will be considerably more graceful and comfortable.
Mercury is Jupiter’s alchemical partner, so it is pleasant and encouraging to see them sharing a supportive sextile relationship. Wisdom transmitting from Jupiter/Emperor in Leo/Hermit to Mercury/Star will help Lady Alchemy accept a temporary transfer of the reigns into Mars’ capable hands. In view of Mercury/Star’s characteristic inconstancy and wavering progress, the greater wisdom is to surrender control to sturdy Mars, allowing him to chauffer the Sun/Fool in a forward direction without interruption. This frees up Mercury/Star to follow his/her own lights during the three weeks of the reversal.
Venus in Cancer: Empress in the realm of Justice. When the Empress’ Light of Nature shines upon the scales of Justice, many mysteries are solved. The meaning of the phrase “as above, so below” becomes brilliantly clear. Nature’s eternal perspective, motives, and goals are brought to the fore. We witness the operation of Sophia, who metes out all the worldly potentials, drawn from the seminal ideas inherent in the Divine Imagination. It is Sophia who dispenses energy into individual bodies and forms, who seamlessly melds the results together into a multidimensional ecosystem, a perfect incubator for incarnations. The balancing levers of Nature’s creativity, physical and astral, are illuminated.
Venus is Mars’ alchemical partner, but we see that she has moved ahead by a whole sign now, so they are heading into a semi-sextile aspect (a fraction of 1/12). In Renaissance magic this was considered a “move along, never mind, don’t talk about it” aspect similar to that of the inconjunct (5/12.) This implies that Venus/Empress should keep her attention towards the future and not look back at what Mars/Strength is doing. Mars and Venus had their conjunction in Aries, in early March. The Empress is pregnant now and happy to carry the conception forth on her own initiative. Mars, meanwhile, sees himself as assisting Lady Alchemy in steadying the triumphal Chariot while it carries the magnitude of the Sun/Fool. S/he needs help because the Sun and Mars are visiting during the awkward interlude when Mercury must undergo one of his/her three-times-a-year backwards mutations. Venus finds something to admire in Mars’ chivalrous service in Gemini, but doesn’t break stride towards her own future goals.
We should notice also that Venus is currently opposite to Pluto in the Zodiac (Cancer to Capricorn). Pluto represents the element Fire, the element responsible for quickening the attraction between Venus and Mars. I see this as helping Venus to concentrate her focus on dreaming up the new creation she is gestating. Pluto/World will hold the space for Venus to deliver a sturdy, strong and viable little hybrid of Mars’ willfulness and Venus’ grace. From this angle, and with Pluto retrograde right now, we can understand Pluto’s Cosmic Fire/World icon as a patron of Venus’ closely-held project, the same way Demeter dipped the Queen’s infant son in the fire at night (to make him an immortal) during her mourning for her lost daughter Persephone
Let’s remember that, the way we are approaching this interpretation, all of these planetary/Trump functions are going on internally, among our own personal organs and states. We want to envision and assert harmonious relations between all our natural energies, as the planets move the Trumps around our private cosmos. Nothing that is happening around us or within us is unnatural, so we can welcome these different movements as opportunities to experience new combinations and release new potentials.
Jupiter in Leo: Emperor in the realm of the Hermit.
As above, we are seeing in this placement a high-minded and philosophical encouragement for what is called in theology ‘metanoia’, the deep spiritual act of changing one’s mind and re-thinking one’s stances from the bottom up. It is only possible to have understanding after one has sunk down deep into an issue and meditated upon it from the depths. In astrological alchemy, the “fall” is accomplished during the signs from Aquarius to Cancer, while “resurrection” is accomplished in the strip from Leo to Capricorn. Hence the Emperor is sending Lady Alchemy the message “It really does get better from here. Complete the research necessary to achieve understanding, and in the fullness of time your elevation will be unstoppable.”
Saturn (retrograde) in Sagittarius: Judgement in the realm of the Devil.
This pair of Trumps represents an alchemical pun of such depth that I’m at pains to render it in words! Saturn’s ancient role as the Ring Pass Not makes him the judge over the quick (those who have learned Earth’s lessons and have become worthy of immortal life) from the dead (those who never cultivated their inner being, no matter how many lives they have lived on Earth). Just as we see in the Judgement vignette, Saturn’s role is to say Yes to those who have eternal merit, and No to those who lack it. Meanwhile, the Devil card gives us a peek into the work of the Hermetic Androgyne, the two-in-one, which emerges at the paradox point where opposites converge and self-annilalate in each other’s arms. In the late Middle Ages this moment of scintillating transformation was called the coincidentia oppositorum,. Jacob Boehme seized upon this idea as his model of the theological Restitution, the moment when fallen humanity reawakens to its original nature and consequently sees through the apparent limits of this world. This revitalizing breakthrough re-engineers even the Devil (whose real identity is Lucifer, Venus’ divinely beautiful morning appearance), revealing Sophia (Baphomet) behind the Trickster’s mask.
The exact opposition of Moon to Saturn is due just a few hours after NewMoon, followed by the Sun/Saturn opposition on April 28th. At that point the Sun will be just past the first degree of Gemini, focusing our attention on Lady Alchemy’s realm and the sophisticated triangulation between the Sun, Mercury and Mars.
Making a conceptual bridge between the Renaissance and modern times, the three so-called Mother Letters, which denominate the three Worlds or Celestial Elements (unconscious, individually conscious, and superconscious) are symbolized as the outer planets representing the subtle elements with which they have the most affinity:
Subtle Air (that which is individually conscious, or conscious of being individuated) is symbolized by Uranus, currently in Aries. Translated into Tarot terms, that’s the Magus, currently in the realm of the Hierophant. In my experience, this is a signature of great encouragement for those who are striving to win their way past their accumulated acculturation and its attendant tabus. Jupiter and Mercury are the planetary pair most influenced by this energy.
Subtle Water (that which is unconscious or group-conscious only) is symbolized as Neptune, currently in Pisces. In Tarot terms this is Death, (the narcoleptic waters of Lethe), currently flowing through the realm of Apollo, The Sun. Lyre in hand, Apollo hallows the underworld bringing Light to those who can reincarnate again for another adventure in the time/space world of materialization. In my experience, this signature represents the narcoleptic and addicted aspects of our times, though it also supports eruptions of psychism and flashes of deep symbolic insight. Moon and Saturn are the planetary pair most influenced by this energy.
Subtle Fire (that which is superconscious) is symbolized as Pluto, currently in Capricorn. In Tarot terms this is the World, which is currently in the realm of the Tower. This composite symbol suggests that those who position themselves as overlords (at the top the Tower) might be due to find themselves with feet of clay (struck by lightning and cast down into the dust with the commoners). Venus and Mars are the planetary pair most influenced by this energy.
World Server’s Spread for April 17-18, 2015
To catch up with the assumptions built into this spread, you can refer back to the original article explaining the logic behind the World Server’s Spread. See here.
You are also invited to review the last World Server’s Spread I wrote in 2010, which breaks down the knowledge-categories embedded in the Tarot according to its inherent design considerations. See here.
We roll back to our earlier mode of analysis because, upon release of the THL book, people will have the in-depth guidance to orient their thinking along these astro-alpha-numeric lines, as I am doing here. We shall proceed as if you have the Tarot of the Holy Light in hand, although in fact any old or new Tarot manifesting the Marseille ordering on the Trumps is fine. In view of NewMoon chart and cards that emerge from today’s shuffle, we will try to make sense of the moving manifestations unfolding around us. Here’s the question I am asking as I handle the cards:
Knowing that each reader is on his or her own divine path, how can we individually modulate our unique body/mind vibration so as to benefit most easily from the current astral configuration?
Position #1 (The World) represents the Mandate of Heaven that orients the Sun, Moon and Planets in their courses.
The card appearing here is the Queen of Disks (sign of Capricorn). This Queen stands at the culmination of the Dry Way of Detachment, which is the alchemical name for the path of ascension between Leo and Capricorn. Her commanding presence confronts us with the necessity of discarding our “I, me, mine” thinking if we are ever to accomplish any lasting good in this world. Each one of us is currently embedded, hip-deep, in the after-effects of our past beliefs. Current circumstances are the sum total of the actions and results those beliefs engendered. This Queen asks us to get clear in our minds what we want the future to look like, and what actions we are ready to take to ensure that the future is not just an echo of the past.
Position #2, (The Fool) represents, the astral body emanating from the Heart, known to the Kabbalists as the Merkabah, which is the lodestone that orients our private experience to the greater whole.
The card appearing here is the Page of Wands (“Spring”) reversed. This card reminds us that the roots of worldly action are traceable to signals coming from the Astral body. Because this card is reversed I would counsel that we wait a bit and hold back from taking any specific action until all the inner conditions have been met to create an unqualified YES in the heart. That will be the moment to “spring forward” and leap into motion. The Pages serve at the behest of the cardinal-sign Queens, so when our Queen of Disks gives the signal, you can know your moment for action is nigh.
Position #3, (The Magus) symbolizes Astral Air, arising as individuated consciousness through the ego, expressing as the personal will.
The card appearing here is the 2 of Cups reversed (11º - 20º Cancer, ruled by Mars). This card is located very close to the bottom of the Wet Way, the path of “falling into Matter” along the alchemical arc that originates in Aquarius and ends in Cancer. This deuce occupies the middle degrees of Cancer, which are overseen by the planet Mars. Our NewMoon Notes analysis has shown us that transiting Mars has the important function of providing continuity and uninterrupted forward progress during the Sun’s transit through Gemini, even though Mercury’s retrograde might be distracting or confusing in the short run. I’m in favor of turning up the heat because of this 2 of Cups. Now is the time to show some outreach towards those people, situations, things, and ideas that we love and naturally resonate with. Since this card points out how close were are to an inflection point or metanoia moment, it gives us the salutary suggestion to reach out and connect with those values and frequencies that we want to incorporate into the resurrection that is soon to come. I am reminded of the advice from the ancient Greek philosophers, to the effect that very few souls are truly free in any lifetime. Therefore, whenever we are given an opportunity to exercise our will in matters large or small, we should determine what we prefer and take a stand on that. We may not get what we ask for as a result, this is not a perfect world. But keeping the will-muscle strong ensures that the day we are faced with a choice that can make a difference to our futures, we won’t shy away from knowing our preference, nor defer the choice to others.
Great blessings to go out to all at this peak of Spring. Next time you hear from us, it will be because we have brought to birth our second child.
With love from Christine and Michael
Stages of the Moon; Dates/Times for the American Northern Hemisphere
• The Present NewMoon is at 26+Taurus across the date line of Monday May 18th, at 12:13 AM (EDT) / Sunday May 17th at 9:13 PM (PST). From this moment, the Moon begins to wax, or increase.
• 2nd Quarter, Waxing Half Moon is at 4+ Virgo on Monday April 25, at 1:18 PM (EDT) /10:18 AM (PDT).
• FullMoon is at 11+ Sagittarius on Tuesday June 2nd, at 12:19 PM (EDT) / 9:19 PM (PDT). From this moment, the Moon begins to wane, or decrease.
• 4th Quarter, Waning Half Moon is at 18+ Pisces on Tuesday, June 9th at 11:42 AM (EDT) / 8:42 AM (PDT)
• The next NewMoon is at 25+ Gemini on Tuesday June 16th at 10:06 AM (EDT) / 7:06 AM (PDT). From this moment the Moon begins to wax, or increase.
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ArkLetter 121, May 18, 2015
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