I tied myself to a river so that I could make music. Music is my favorite art. I tore my flesh and flung open my arms. My ribs became a harp, my lungs two flutes. The river laughed. Each day I would be visited by my daemon, a bald creature with wings and a serpent’s body. She also knew what I was doing, and that my work was important—I was not to be disturbed, I told her—but she was often lonely, and this world is very frightful if you are alone. That’s why I tied myself to the river in the first place, so that I might be filled with song, since the world is so awful. Yes, I divined after all the suffering of my lifetime that the solution should be music. The message came from Neptune. I needed to go to the river, devote myself to it, and I would be saved. But… now that I have done so, Neptune seems to have forgotten me. He never visits. I never feel his glittering tail. Not even a hair off his body floats down the river to meet me. Where is he? Where is Poseidon, who advised river marriage and music? And if he is gone, why am I still tied to this fast deep water?
Today is a special day. They say the veil between this world and the next is thinnest, and as such, we have more luck passing through to contact the spirit realm. Messages from ancestors or guides can be divined maybe with a little more clarity. It is a day to honor those who have passed on from the material realm, and to give thanks to the spirits that guide and protect us in our daily life.
In this spread, I see the end of a cycle and a subsequent new beginning. Today is also considered the witchy “New Year,” the day where the old cycle dies and a new one is born. It is Scorpio season, after all. From the ashes of the pyre soon comes the red-plumed phoenix, born again from her own self-immolation, a death induced by fire.
The Queen of Wands is a fire queen. She sits on her throne, receptive, warm, empowered. Sunflower in hand, she evokes the Sun, and the black cat at her feet evokes lunar power. With her lap full of flower, there is a feeling of abundance here. The queen is in control of her creative power, and as such she is a font of pure life.
But! Energy is always moving, being pushed along by the Wheel of Fortune. When we reach the apex of one cycle, when we reach our queendom, we much push through the veil, shown here in the Seeker card, and begin again. In the Pagan Otherworlds tarot, the Seeker talks about beginning a new story or cycle. With the wisdom one has gained by living the past cycle to its fullest extent, she is now able to cross from one realm to the next, and begin again.
When we start fresh, we can really only begin at the beginning, and this is evoked by the presence of the Page of Wands. You can see that the Page holds their want forward, toward the future, whereas the Queen held her wand backwards, toward the past.
The Page of Wands signals a message, a messenger, or a call to a new rush of energy around our projects, dreams, and goals for the future. We are starting again from the position of beginner. To me this was so potent. It seemed like a call to take the power one might have collected as the Queen of Wands manifestation of self, and to retain that, use it as sustenance. Then, while draped in the simple cloak of the Seeker (note that he, too, carries a staff/wand), cross over into the next realm of our life that we are being called to. We start fresh as a Page with much to learn. There is beauty here. It is a reminder that there is power in starting again, and a reminder to be wise enough to trust that fresh start, even if you’re starting from square one.
Moon in Leo
lunar honey, the moon now
stung golden, pressed fiercely
in a coverlet mane
of sungold. strike forth
from between ribs,
the heart in its cavern
bursts luminous forth
and from jealousy foams.
law bent to charisma,
pride struck competitor,
the moonlion in water pierced
with sun pierced ego—
On October 30th, 2018, at 9:39pm, Today, Mercury moves from Scorpio to Sagittarius. This shift from the sign of the underworld to the sign of Jupiterian expansion signifies a change in the way we use, think, and express our intellectual selves through language. Mercury is of course, the wing footed messenger god. He spent time in Scorpio from October 10th, but his time in that sign ends today.
Mercury’s transit through Scorpio reacquainted us with some of our deeper, more obscured intellectual needs and modes of expression. Scorpio is the ruler of the 8th House, the house of sex, death, transformation, amongst other things. Mercury’s trip through Scorpio was akin to our intellectual minds taking a sojourn through the underworld. This was a period of time where we had access to insight normally hidden from us, as the underworld is a realm of shadow. The ancient Romans thought the underworld, Dis, was a dense pine forest. With Mercury in the underworld, we bathed in the cool shade of ponderosa pine, our intellectual selves playing under Dis’s wine-dark boughs.
But just because one enters the underworld does not mean that they can immediately understand the messages they are given. Think about the way we understand things said or given to us in dreams. These messages are often coded, shrouded in metaphor or compressed as a symbol. Two swans are not two swans, but perhaps your mother, or a ghost. Waking up and moving into the public sphere, into the dayworld, we must continue to meditate on the language of our dreams to find sense, and to let this insight enrich us. This is the feeling of Mercury moving from Scorpio to Sagittarius. The dream symbol translated in the light of day.
Sagittarius is a mutable fire sign ruled by Jupiter. Ruler of the 10th House, the house of the high intellect, this sign is relentlessly restless, curious, expansive in their world view. Always hungry for travel, for new ideas, for new interactions with interesting people. Sagittarius is drawn to grand ideas, philosophy, spirituality, and interested by all things “foreign,” or external to their immediate circumstance. Energetic to the core, this fire sign tends to shoot before it thinks, just as the sign’s symbol, the centaur archer, looses his arrows with quick confidence, but does not bother himself much with where they land.
As we move out of Mercury in Scorpio and into Mercury in Sagittarius, our minds take on the expansive quality of the sign. Hungry for knowledge, we will take to our studies. Hungry for growth, we will experiment, and put ourselves in new situations. Wrapped in the velvet cloak of Hades, we are armed now with deep psychological insight. It is time to put that powerful insight to work, to forge it with fire, and let it be our new sword and shield.
Mercury in Sagittarius brings elemental fire to our current planetary weather, and will be joined by Jupiter in Sagittarius on November 8th. But Mercury will go retrograde on November 17th, and will wind up re-entering Scorpio on December 2nd, leading us back through the underworld, to make sure we gathered all the dark yarrow we needed for our journey. With so much to see, there is a chance we forgot to catch something up in our basket.