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Sagittarius II The Bridle begins on December 1 at 12:51 pm EST just a bit less than an hour after noon. It ends on December 11 at 9:15 am EST as the Sun enters Sagittarius III the Horse’s Skull. Described as the reins and harness of a horse, it suggests the way in which an animal is brought into alignment with the desires of the human rider — communication is facilitated between the beast and the mortal, with the mortal officially in charge, even though the beast could choose to act out its own desires at any moment, leaving the sensible and intelligent path to pursue its own desires and ontology.
The ancient Greeks of Alexandria, encountering the 36 decans of Egyptian astronomy and time-keeping, gave the ten days when the Sun was in Sagittarius II to Kore, which is simply the ancient Greek word for “young woman” or “Daughter” — a generous and kindly way of hiding the fact that this is the way you address Persephone, the Queen of the Underworld. Queen of vegetation and healing plants, goddess of flowers and poisonous herbs, spirit having charge over the challenges of the underworld — it’s best to address her by title alone and maybe not mention her by name lest she ask you to appear before her. In person. Down below.
A number of lead curse tablets are addressed to her, to do just that. They appear to summon enemies of the scribe to appear before her abyssal majesty, some significant amount of time earlier than their intended appointments in Hades, for an emergency hearing of the justice or injustice the petitioner records: theft, bribery, adultery, unjust injuries, malpractice in doctoring and pharmacy. The number of things that ancient scribes seem to have recorded as a reason to ask for an early death of someone, seems to be quite large. Malfeasance seems to be a common theme of human behavior in all sorts of societies. Kore, a guise or aspect of Persephone, seemed to be one of the people you asked to rectify those problems in ancient Mediterranean society. But her role goes deeper than that, too — she was also the person you went to, to stay out of the underworld: to bless your medicines, to ask for assistance in choosing a doctor, to avoid legal trouble in this world (which often carried fatal punishments for a guilty verdict). She was an ally to the imperiled in the world above, and an implacable judge in the world below. As the children in our lives begin to wonder about whether or not they’ve been naughty or nice in the past year, it’s worth considering our own relationship to kindness and cruelty — sooner or later, we meet with something or someone very much like Persephone, when our generosity and selfishness may indeed be weighed in the balance.
This decan is ruled by the Moon, which in some occult texts is called “the treasure house of images,” a beautiful turn of phrase that I find myself returning to quite often. It suggests that the Moon is a museum of sorts — or perhaps a Cineplex-∞ — filled with pictures, or paintings, or sculptures… or memes. When we consider it in the context of Kore, it suggests that kindness and cruelty are not abstract concepts: they are movies of real-world, practical actions that can be turned into movies, or paintings, or memes. When Timmy falls down a well, the responsible thing is to rescue him and help him recover; when your neighbor comes on your property and chops down your apple tree, robbing you of both the apples of the next several decades, and the wood — of course you would drop a lead curse tablet down his well… if Kore doesn’t get him, the lead poisoning in his water just might. Of course, it also might get you, too. The roots of Kore’s dominions show that we are all interrelated; the root network touches us all and weaves us together and binds us to significant soil: the harm that others do to us is not re-balanced by the harm we do to them. I’m reminded of an uncle’s efforts to plant black walnuts on his property. He bought 10 saplings in the 1970s, and planted them all on a wooded lot and a field. The trees cost a few hundred dollars, but the harvested wood might have fetched $50,000. The saplings in the deep forest all died of strange rots and tree diseases — the one in the field killed everything around it, and grew so gnarled and twisted that the wood was useless for anything but firewood, and would still cost a bunch of money to take down. The vegetation in the forest knew what kind of neighbors the black walnuts would be —the field generously made space for their new neighbor and paid a heavy price. It’s a very Kore-centric story, really — sometimes we must be standoffish or even cruel to keep ourselves alive, and sometimes generosity and openness is the best strategy. There are consequences to both tactics, though, and all must be paid for in the end.
When we look at the Tarot card assigned to this Decan, the Three of Wands, and examine Pamela Colman Smith’s image, we see a man who’s planted three stakes i the ground, claiming a place for himself in the world between them. Yet his gaze is directed further out, toward the claiming of what lies beyond. Once we know where we stand and what we have, it’s easier to make a determination about what comes next. By duodecimas, the next ten days are given to the first four signs of the Zodiac: Aries, Taurus, Gemini and Cancer. This implies the first kick to the sides of the horse to get it moving, the reining in of the horse to keep it on the desired path, the constant choosing and rechoosing between the direction you want to go and the way the horse would like to go, and finally the nurturing relationship between the horse and the rider, where an attitude of mutual kindness and respect results in a better experience for all.
The Ascendant is in Pisces, with Neptune just 5° above the horizon. The Ascendant is in the decan called The Cup of Blood (associated with the Tarot card the 9 of Cups), while Neptune is in the middle decan called The Net (associated with the Tarot card the 10 of Cups) — it’s a pair of placements that indicates both material prosperity and emotional wealth, yet Neptune’s presence here points to dispersal or distribution of wealth rather than accumulation. When I consider that The Net usually signals the internet, this looks a lot like “dispersal of physical resources in search of the perfectly fulfilling emotional gift for winter holidays. Pisces, as the sign of mutable water, indicates that we face a series of shifts or changes in our emotional life over the next ten days, with a good many undulations in the wave form between ‘up’ and ‘down’. Getting a handle on your emotional roller-coaster may be a pressing matter, affecting career, household life, and relationships all at the same time.
Mars, the burning and cutting force that awakens ambition but also creates conflict, is in the second house of money and personal possessions, and highly dignified in this chart: below the horizon with the Moon, in a sign he rules, and direct. In the middle decan of Aries, The Crown, Mars promises leadership but leadership via fierceness or government by authoritarianism. Mars is trine the South Node in the house of career and reputation; and sextile the north node in Gemini — For some readers this may signal a raise, with a promise that you’ll have to deal with additional sh*t at work. For other regular readers, it’s an indicator of “they’ll be spending more time at home with their family.” A round of layoffs and promotions seems forthcoming in many industries including travel and tourism, especially in the US: do you want to be the bastard who announces the layoffs or the sad sack packing his desk? (Mind you, something in between those positions is certainly possible…).
Uranus is retrograde in Taurus’s The Plough, bringing surprise and upheaval to questions of food and fuel, and the seed-corn stocks for re-igniting the program later in the year. It indicates that family members or close associates, or people in your neighborhood, may be experiencing what’s euphemistically termed, “food insecurity” — aka, they don’t know where their next meal is coming from. It’s a good reminder that surplus and wealth means having enough to share: if you’re stuck at home on a throne of canned goods, consider that some of your neighbors may be in need; if you cupboards are bare but you have the cash, a mild amount of stocking-up is warranted; if you have nothing and no cash either… laying in a store of friends may be a worthy goal.
The Moon in Gemini is hot off an eclipse yesterday at 8° Gemini in the decan called The Apple of Eden. In the decan called The Executioner’s Sword and in the Seventh Mansion of the Moon, The Forearm, the Moon’s position promises several weeks of successful petitions and promises — but as the movie Almighty Bruce pointed out, when everyone wins the lottery nobody wins very much at all; as many plans and processes are likely to be foiled as succeed, simply because of the vast numbers of conflicting desires as we approach the end-of-year holidays both secular and religious.
The Lot of Fortune speaks to just that problem. In the first decan of Libra in the 8th house, a place called The Blindfold and Sword, the Lot promises fortune or luck dealt out by the terms or rules of justice: laws meted out with both punishment and reward regardless of station or status. The question of who gets to whisper in Justice’s ear, though, alternately whispering “strike” or “mercy”, inclines more to a Solar ‘by the book’ approach, than to an intuitive feel for how the case should be adjudicated.
Venus holds the middle decan of Scorpio, called The Double Distiller (Austin Coppock‘s name for this is The Alchemical Apparatus for Double Distillation, which gets across the mutuality a little more clearly.) If Venus is the integrating and harmonizing force, she promises to do so through more forceful means in the next ten days — less like a jigsaw puzzle process of assembly and more like an arc welder. Remember to wear a mask and eye protection during your high-temperature assembly processes during the next week and a half. Mercury is also in Scorpio in the third decan The Crow, promising that this arc-welder process is going to be accompanied with a running commentary which is likely to be half-truth, half-bullshit. Be aware that the cutting remark or the sharp-tongued quip may be cover for a poisoned wound in the speaker’s emotional life.
The Sun in Sagittarius II The Bridle invites us to shine the flashlight of our higher mind — the desires, aspirations and goals set for us by the better angels of our nature — upon the practical real-world experiences around us. How do you intend to achieve results in completing your works this year? Do you intend to create solutions to the problems you face as a human being? OR are you giving in to your feral nature? The eclipse on December 14 takes place in the next decan, so you have most of two weeks to bring a project to fruition… but only if you bring your more human side to full awareness of your goals. Reflect and meditate on what you need to do, but also take practical actions to bring about your aims, and rein in the less-harmonious desires for now.
The South Node – North Node Axis flows at present from the fourth house of Gemini and the tenth house of Sagittarius, between the hunger for home and the emergent shit in your career and reputation. The lead-up to the winter holidays of solstice and Christmas is likely to be especially stressful this year; Hanukkah, a Jewish winter festival, begins during this ten-day period on 10 December, just about 18 hours before the transition to the next decan. Allow the hunger for home and for family to help you plan your dreams and give practical shape to the holiday you can envision under present circumstances and limitations; but recognize that the next ten days are likely to be full of unavoidable horse manure and allegedly-humane dunk in your workplace (especially as that workplace is online). Keep the events of November 30 in mind, as you navigate the next ten days, too: however the eclipse manifests in your life is likely to continue for several more weeks).
The stellium in Capricorn in the eleventh house retains its malignant nature: Jupiter remains besieged between Pluto the lord of accumulation on the one hand, and Saturn the lord of limitation and decline on the other. Situated in the decan called The Throne, they promise restraint of good things and the expansion of bad things, until at least late December. This trouble may emerge in the relationship between you and a spouse, significant other, or business partner — or it may be that the trouble is able to help you close a distance between you and a partner in an effective way, as you close ranks. Keep in mind this problem of scarcity of goodness, and try to make up the lack with your own action. Additionally, try to avoid being the major source of crud in other people’s lives.
Horoscopes by Rising Sign
Pisces: Your all-encompassing worldview is in for some new waves, especially if you experience any financial turbulence. Be prepared to enact significant changes at home in pursuit of your dreams: a purge of unwanted objects and ephemera may be necessary, too. Some friend or group of friends remain in a state of difficulty; help where you can but also set boundaries. Circumstances at work may turn into a circular firing squad: avoid casting blame on others, point out systemic failures, then shut up. Nothing good comes from trying to control your workplace right now; wait until after December 14 to get others aligned with the big projects. Hold your own endeavors, personal learning and creative works under a seal of secrecy for now.
Aries: Don’t be peeking in a partner’s closets or presents-storage areas right now. You may want to know what’s being given to you, but the surprise will be worth it. Concentrate on your own giving responsibilities for the moment: think about neighborhood charities on the one hand, and the people and institutions you support online. A sibling or neighbor may experience a rough time during the two week eclipse season coming up; be alert to how you can help them. What legacies are you hoping to be a part of? Have you communicated your intentions to your team leaders? Be aware, they may notice holes and deficiencies in your skill-set, and may require you to get certified in things you know how to do but don’t have documentation for: take the classes, get the certificate, and put in your receipts for ongoing educational credit where you can. Someone is going to get saddled with the stark task of laying people off before Christmas, too: if it’s you, insist you be given some tools to make the task sweeter for your targets: bonuses, resume counselors, severance money. The folks you lay off now may be in a position to hire YOU in six months, and you might need their help.
Taurus: No, the upheaval in your life is not going to suddenly end. You have an image of a new way to live in your head, but that dream may be eclipsed; be prepared to find a new inspiration if this one suddenly dies. Put some ambition toward finding your own solo road forward around personal wealth and finance; make plans to learn some new skills with a friend… but be wary for three may prove to be a crowd. Legacy systems in the workplace interfere with your professional flow; bring it to the attention of the experts, and then step back… don’t try to whip the system into shape yourself, unless that’s actually your job. Your partner is putting their communicative and creative gifts to work in ways that are likely challenging for you, but lead to good fortune for you both much later on — suggest appropriate workflow changes where needed but try not to blow up their experimental method.
Gemini: If you’re finding yourself in a divided state of mind, consider using a mix of prayer and elbow grease: use the first to set your dreams in some sort of order of priority, and use the second to set your material affairs in order. A mix of the divine and the practical will yield results. A friend’s money problems stir up trouble, but maintain a boundary here: your own fiscal security is dependent on a job that may be less secure than you think. Widen your relationship to other people’s money: if you don’t have a side hustle, you may need one soon; if you do, consider how you might improve your game, at the very least through outreach to friends this holiday season. It’s a time to make communicating your creative gifts a more regular activity.
Cancer: A little solitude would give you the ability to dream big, and perhaps solve some of the concerns about housing that you may face. All will be well on that front, but you may have to rely on a little legal advice, or a loan or gift from older relatives. A friend asks for assistance in a local matter — but it may intrude on your own relaxation time, or hours that should really be reserved for your children. Be clear and hold the line on what you will and won’t do. Your daily routines at work are disrupted by yet more meetings on the project or report that just won’t quit; gently redirect your energy toward your own work if a boss can’t take the hint. A peer at your workplace is meaner and crueler than they need to be — remind them of their kindness and generosity, and help them overcome their current short-sightedness if you can.
Leo: Have a little fun in the next ten days — emphasis on the little. A more humane, less bestial activity is probably on the right track; engaging with an old friend in a “just the two of us” sort of way would be ideal. A partner may want some of your cash, but it’s best to treat that idea as dead and buried — unless the intended outcome is an improvement to shared living quarters. The daily workload is currently quite unpleasant, and it has more to do with the arguments between professional colleagues than the actual work (which has its own surprises, really). If you have a spouse or statistically significant other, they’re craving space, downtime and silence at the moment. You can give it to them, but don’t be forceful about it.
Virgo: You may be wrestling with a partnership question — should I get into one, or leave one, or try to change the one I’m in? For some of you, such questions are illusory: there’s no real human being there, just a fiction or a fantasy. Some underlying concerns are motivated by what you see as cuts to your income or dependence on the goodwill of others; some belong to anxieties about your housing, or your standing as a community member. That may point the way forward, though: do you have a leadership role of your own? Learn that post well enough, and you may not need another. Additionally, you may want to consider the other side of partnership, too: you currently wear the crown, and set your own rules; but in a partnership you might find that you’re only a servant of the throne, and must bow to the will of another more often than you’d like.
Libra: Good fortune and financial benefits both come from considering questions of basic fairness in the next ten days; you may find there’s a mis-match between what you have, and what you ought to get. A physical withdrawal from people in your neighborhood, or extended family, may be good for your health; but this doesn’t mean shutting out opportunities to learn with them at home via software gateways. Seek some independence from your existing clients. If you have an argument with a partner, recognize that they have a “must win” chip on their shoulder about something right now… it may be better to yield in some matters that they consider themselves passionate about, and seek dominance in other fields like the state of the household and your shared domicile.
Scorpio: Your current creative project would benefit from outside input and a more coherent narrative. At the same time, you have a window of opportunity in which to communicate about it, and to collect the shiny bits for your next project. It’s not that you should stop thinking about project cost, but think about project cost less, even as you’re collecting bits and bobs for the next endeavor. If you have children, a conversation with them about their dreams or plans or their sense of self may yield useful results; it’s also a good time to check in about their sense of the world — try to dispel any delusions that they may hold, but know it may be rough going. A partner (business or romantic) isn’t currently seeking more independence, but they’re taking baby steps in that direction. Nourish and encourage that growth, and help them connect to the right people, and you’ll find that they include you in that bigger plan for themselves. Recall that growth is natural. If you try to shut theirs down, you may find yourself dropped off at the curb. Be hungry for their success, and you’ll find that it feeds yours too.
Sagittarius: Your sense of self-worth feels tied to career and home right now; your partner, if you have one, is in full reputation-management mode as parts of their public life die off, at least for the moment. Your wealth appears to be growing , but so are your expenses, and you’re keeping legacy systems alive that aren’t serving you. Neither is the “butt in seat” model of wealth generation a good long-term strategy. A creative retreat would be a good idea, but it should also include a learning component: choose a skill or a knowledge, study what you can through online resources, but also? Find a new teacher, one who will help you find a groove that leads you toward independence. A big project may be nearing completion — you’ve got until January 6 to stamp “finished” on the front cover and leave it be for a while, otherwise the motivation to finish may just become grounded energy.
Capricorn: Your natural inclinations toward generosity are getting crushed by your personal limits on the one hand, and your acquisitiveness motivated by a sense of scarcity. This is justified by a sense that “I’m the only one around here that knows what’s going on,” which may lead to endless perseverating rants in your journal or your head about how you’re trying to keep things under control. Yet this is leading to situations in which you can be the cartoon Tasmanian Devil at home: a whirling fury who is stirred to scenery-chewing rage in every financial conversation, or insists on being the lecturer in every room, or being the lead on every team. There’s less and less downtime in your professional life, and really, you need to blow off some steam. Communicate. Make some art. Tell people you love them. Try to act with more overall justice and fairness, and not just out of personal justification, and it will reap great rewards.
Aquarius: You’re putting your skills to work on personal projects that appear to enlarge someone else’s kingdom, leaving you as a supporting character in your own story. That’s changing late next month, when you may find that you have clarity about your own way of doing things. For now, try not to be deluded about what money you can afford to spend on winter holidays and celebrations. Try also to keep your siblings’ requests within reasonable limits. And try to use your talents to make your home and household both more useful to the world, and yet also more independent from it. If you have children, a gift that feeds their imaginations while also being useful is a worthy target to strive for, while a spouse or partner may be yearning for something equally imaginative but considerably less practically-minded. If you’re in a gift-giving tradition, it’s the right time to start shopping. If your boss or supervisor wants creative work from you, lay out your expectations and needs, and list the expenses: lots of leaders want diamond-studded results on duct-tape budgets; explain clearly and up front what glitter and gold for their project will cost them, and get a written commitment for reimbursement — better yet, the company credit card.
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I use iPhemeris for my charting software, and screenshot it to make charts. I want to thank the team that develops iPhemeris for the addition of Terms and Decans to their charts, appearing here for the first time!
I use Christopher Warnock‘s The Mansions of the Moon as the basis of my Moon placement delineations, and Austin Coppock‘s 36 Faces as the basis of much of my planetary delineations. Neither gentleman endorses me. My own book, A Full Volume of Splendour and Starlight, is now available as PDF download from my Etsy website.
Any errors in these columns are my own.
If you’d like to schedule a consultation with me, you can find additional information on the Services and Classes page.
If you want to read some of my other astrologically-oriented poetry, To the Mansions of the Moon is a collection of hymns to the angels of the Mansions mentioned in these columns. For the Behenian Stars is a collection of hymns to the first/brightest sixteen stars. The Sun’s Paces are hymns to the thirty-six Hellenistic-era deities and ascended souls of the Greco-Egyptian Decans-calendar. While not astrological, Festae contains hymns to some of the older Roman gods and spirits from the calendar created by Numa Pompilius, the second ancient King of Rome.