The horoscopes of Decan I of any sign are free to everyone, but Decans II and III are available to supporters of my Patreon account at the $3 or greater tiers. If someone contributes to my Ko-Fi account though, I’ll make my next column free, as well — to everyone. Your generosity opens the column to any potential readers. You can also schedule an appointment with me using Accuity Scheduling, for a natal or solar return consultation. My Almanac is also available! It’s for sale through my Etsy website as a PDF.
Chief of the goddesses called Horae, collectively either the Seasons or the Hours, was Eunomia — a pun suggesting both “good order” or good law, but also “green field.” Her sisters were Eirene (Peace), and Dike (Justice), and together their triad ensured peace and prosperity in any community. Good order without justice or peace is totalitarian; peace and justice without greenness is feral and impoverished; peace without justice or order is a mass grave. Eunomia was the first of the sisters, and the Sun enters her realm at 11:04 pm EDT on 29 April 2021, a place that Austin Coppock titled The Lingam-Yoni in his essential book 36 Faces: the history, astrology and Magic of the Decans from 3 Hands Press (we should be seeing the second edition any week now!)
Yet by the standards of Greek myth, the trio is obscure. The children of Themis and Zeus, they were worshiped hi farmers, and recognized as the queens of the three seasons ancient Greeks recognized as part of the growing season: planting, increase, and harvest. In cities like Athens and Argos, they were weather workers more than plant-deities. There is perhaps a modern comparison, in the way the sisters were treated in the country versus the city in ancient times to the way that modern neopagans celebrate a pseudo–agricultural calendar, without being able to tell a hops from a hornbeam in the wild.
Still, it is hard to get away from the green queens. The Romans had their own version of the Horae, three sisters too, named Ceres, Flora and Pomona: grains, flowers, and fruit. In that guise they watched over orchards and fields, gardens and groves, bringing the produce of the world to Rome— and motivating the farmers at the fringes to build a messy sort of multicultural, sustainable farming method that might have been a precursor to modern permaculture.
Both versions of the Horae, the Greek and the Roman, were recognized as a rhetorical device as well as a triple goddess: the hendriatis in public speaking is a triplet of words designed to convey a clear idea: peace, order, and good government makes a good political slogan in almost any age. Wine, women, and song is another, equally well-represented by the Horae, as it suggests the pressed grape and the fertility of the community and the voices of its people raised in joyous chorus. We haven’t really forgotten the Horae, just obscured their worship under other names.
And indeed, the worship of the Horae was familiar to the grandparents and great-grandparents of my readers, in the guises of Ceres, Flora and Pomona, who were the divine patrons of the National Grange of the Order of The Patrons of Husbandry — otherwise known as The Grange. Virtually every farming community in America had a local grange hall once upon a time, for community dances and meetings, funerals and wedding celebrations, and other public and semi-public events. In their more private rituals, members of the grange would take on the god-forms of the Horae, and appear on stage to new initiates and remind them of their duties to the lands, the fields, the crops and to each other — and would receive reverence in due turn from the assembled Grangers. In other words, the honor due to the obscure and vague trinity of goddesses of the soil, sickle and seed bag (another hendriatis)were still receiving worship in American grange halls as recently as the 1960s — in the 1940s, at least, state Grange conventions were the site of re-enactments of the Mysteries of Eleusis, minus the ergot. Funny that our church-going great-grandparents should be closet pagans on meeting nights, and church-going Christians on Sundays.
But it does suggest something primal and weird about the worship of the green queens in whatever form and name they take. We can’t really escape them. A vegan is wholly dependent on them, and no meat-eater can really escape completely from doing them necessary honor. We must also recognize that the two hendriatii of wine, women and song, and peace, order, and good government, both spring from a common source. That common source seems to be the Horae in their nameless dignity, before any hendriatis was yet invented: seeds, leaves, and fruit, the primary means by which sunlight is turned into food and drink, calories and nourishment. Without them, there is no wine with which to elevate women or song; and when bread is found wanting, peace and justice are the first things overturned by the revolutionary.
The Horae aren’t just about green ones, either: they also celebrate the bringing of mortal human children into the world: the hopefully-pleasurable act of planting, the challenges and difficulties of growth and nurturance in the womb, and the difficulties and joys of childbirth. The green queens are both a symbol and a reality that mirror the experiences of animals and mortals alike; we all take our place in the world by similar methods, which are organic and not mechanical. They’re also lunar and feminine in nature, not solar or masculine.
The ruler of Taurus is Venus, of course, and the concerns of Taurus I with planting seed for future harvest now give way to the preliminaries of May Day (NSFW). Venus may preside over green growing things and bring forth new life… but she does that work in part though a … ahem… a docking procedure. Nor should what I say here be assumed to be only about masculine-feminine interfaces, like sticking an electric plug into a wall socket. As the modern Wicca chants and sacred texts have it, “all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals.”
The administrator of the second Decan of Taurus in the Moon, not surprisingly. One of my favorite titles of the Moon is The Treasure-house of Images, which conjures up from the mental imagination a combination of a magnificent museum crossed with a 18th century library with rolling ladders on brass rails and a painted ceiling showing Apollo with the Muses — and somehow that also crossed with a Blockbuster video store and a cowboy brothel in Wyoming sometime around 1879, and a medieval garden in the ‘Castle of Women’ with a grail-shaped beacon on the tower roof. The range of methodologies by which people are able to express their sexuality and their desires keeps growing, and the Moon in her waxing and waning expresses them all: some have their time to flourish and grow, and others decline in popularity, and all of them find new adherents and celebrants: “Have you ever tried doing it this way? Want to try it? Sure!” All acts of love and pleasure are my rituals, indeed.
In the Tarot of Pamela Colman Smith called the Rider-Waite, this decan is represented by the Six of Pentacles: a man in fine clothes distributes charity to one of two beggars, acting with a mix of kindness and pity. The pentacles themselves are displayed in an imbalanced way: some given away, and some reserved for self, and one in the figure receiving nothing extra.
The dodecatemoria or 12th parts of the sign speak to this path, too: Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius are recapitulated in Taurus II as 2.5° segments — the analytical and overly-precise mind allows itself a time of rebalancing, gives in to the intense desires and animal instincts, and emerges with a new kind of hidden wisdom on the other side. It’s also possible to read the quartet in a more raw and less symbolic way: the Virgin finds a suitable partner with which they’re well matched; they give in to the sting and the heat of their animal natures; and emerge as a hybrid creature which is in touch with both its human and its animalistic nature. No one really understands anything about sex until they’ve had sex with a partner at least once — but having sex makes us into genuinely different beings in ways that are difficult to explain to someone who hasn’t. It’s an initiatory experience that changes us in ways with karmic implications that are almost impossible to over-state.
Taurus II is home to two fixed stars, neither of them in the Behenian list but significant all the same: Almach, connected with artistic gifts and popularity and fashion sense (as well as other Venusian skills like dancing and skill as a sexual partner; and Menkar, a more-unfortunate star associated with throat illnesses and unpopularity as well as unjustified rivalries.” Both are considered to be at 14° Taurus but at different minutes in the Libra dodecatemoria — a reminder, perhaps, of the ways in which Venus is both a fickle ally and a perpetual friend — unreliable and somewhat cruel, and yet constantly desired and welcomed into our circles.
The chart for the Sun’s ingress to Taurus II is a Night Chart, giving the Sun, with Jupiter and Saturn, somewhat less dignity and the Moon, with Venus and Mars, somewhat more. However, all the planets except Mars are below the horizon, making the private, reactive, and unconscious considerably more important than the public and the deliberate, the communal, or the conscious realms. We are all more likely to be affected by personal economic and household issues than by shifts in the political or social realms, or in the circumstances of wider community action.
The Ascendant is at 19° Sagittarius, with the Moon just below the horizon — and the safety switch on the May 26 lunar eclipse is now thumbed off, since the Moon has passed the South Node for the last time before an eclipse. We’ve entered the foreplay period: a mere 27 days from now the full moon will pull the trigger on a series of events that will last 151 days (since every two minutes of eclipse time indicates one day of aftereffects); as eclipses are understood to be malefic events in astrology, we can expect our buttons to be pushed in not-always-agreeable ways. (It’s hard not to reach for button-pushing and trigger-pulling metaphors in a decan named The Lingam-Yoni, by the way — so I’m just going to keep reaching). The Ascendant is in Sagittarius II The Bridle, suggesting that most of us are going to be trying to manage animal instincts in the face of human responsibilities, or vice-versa; the Moon, however, promises a series of grueling and difficult pictures ahead, through her presence in The Horse’s Skull. Overall, these three indicators together show that we will be in a bit of a struggle about how to manage our personhood and personal dignity in a difficult time period: accept our human responsibility, or allow our more feral natures sufficient free rein.
Pluto retrograde in Capricorn’s last decan The Throne offers a taste of the challenge to financial systems: the Throne represents the middle command layers of the economy, but Plutonian forces magnify many small actions into a giant maelstrom. When a monarch sits on the throne, the whole apparatus of the state pulls in one direction; when the writhing mass of humanity, with all its individualized and divergent priorities, occupies the seat of power, chaos is the result. Financial matters may be put through the wringer in the next ten days, but be alert specifically to slow changes that produce outsize results.
Saturn in Heaven and Earth and Jupiter in The Knot, the second and third decans of Aquarius, play off of one another in complex ways. If Saturn represents the natural order, there’s a sense that Nature herself is trying to communicate with us through our encounters with the land and the world, and those messages should urge us to real world action; however, Jupiter is trying to get free of constrictions and restrictions in order to grow. It’s hard not to see this as a metaphor for the realities of the COVID epidemic worldwide: a human (if not humane) urge to get everyone vaccinated and back to work, to profit off the challenges of the last year, to shrug off obligations and get free wealth; and the very real restrictions that continue to bind, as variant COVIDians affect Britain, India and parts of the US, and the news emerges that one vaccination may not be sufficient. This also plays out in conflicting messages in our families and our communities and in the nightly news: is it safe to go out? Is isolation good or bad? What’s the right course of action? Saturn still reigns, but Jupiter is about to be wandering in a different kind of ground, a labyrinth of consequences, when he ingresses to Pisces next month.
Neptune is direct in Pisces’ last decan The Cup of Blood administered by Mars, but square to the moon. It often seems to me that Neptune represents the popular rumors and shifts in public opinion, as well as the individuals and organizations that successfully influence those shifts in one direction or another. In the dodecatemoria of Scorpio and about to conjunct the semi-malefic star Menkar, Neptune seems to promise a good deal of difficult and argument-causing delusions at home, which bring about uncharacteristic disagreements and confusions. Be clear about your messaging in the next ten days.
The Imum Coeli occupies the middle decan of Aries, The Crown, administered by the Sun, suggesting that shining a light on our hobbies and pleasures in the next ten days is likely to produce clear-eyed results; so will an appropriate evaluation of your children’s activities. A trine and sextile to the South and North Nodes serves as a useful reminder that sometimes less is more — fewer activities at a higher level of quality is more useful here.
The stunner stellium of the chart is the conference of four planets in Taurus from the Lot of Fortune at 7° 34′ to Mercury at 22° 24′. All three decans are activated in the sixth house (with the Lingam-Yoni itself most heavily acknowledged), and a Sun–Uranus conjunction less than 24 hours away — a day of surprising and complicated labor ahead, when illness stalks us, and when we may experience significant disruptions of our usual routines and duties. Venus and Mercury indicate that acts of connected, networked prayer and communication may be valuable during this time. Make a to-do list, and keep working on the next available and completable item for the next several days.
The North Node in Gemini’s middle decan The Hermaphrodite urges you to spend more time in the company of your beloved others — whether the emphasis is on Beloved, or on Others does not seem to matter much here — The trine to the midheaven in the eleventh house suggests that you treat your relationships as though they were links in a chain, and you should pass on messages of hope wherever possible.
Mars stands alone in a gloaming sky a handspan above the western horizon, in a house associated with both death and responsibility to others. Twitter User Astro_puppy had this to say about Mars in Cancer — that he’s very much like a sailor or a seaman at mercy of wind and tide, who must put natural forces to work (it’s worth clicking through and reading the whole thread about Mars in Cancer…).
but that Mars’s skill and attention to the natural world allows him a favorable wind, even if he must tack back and forth, boustrophedon-style, to reach his destination. (boustrophedon is a Greek word, meaning, back and forth as the ox plows; even at sea, the tacking of the ship references the weight of the stellium in Taurus). Mars is in the early part of the first decan of Cancer, Mother and Child, where he nurtures and nourishes us with ambition to feel, and steels us with courage to carry out our responsibilities. In a sea-storm, that may involve climbing into the rigging dozens or hundreds of feet above the deck; or going into the pitch-darkness of a wooden hull to man the pumps, even as the vessels wooden walls flex and bend under the hammering waves. In the calm, it means a tot of grog and repairing the rigging, so you’re prepared for the next fight with a pirate, or with the sea itself.
Maybe that’s a good place to end, really — with the recognition that so much of the starry world is hidden below the horizon in the next ten days, affecting our internal processes and challenging our assumptions about home, family, work, pleasure, and even our finances and our selves. Above it all, though, one star leads us westward — Mars says to us all, “seek out the others that are most important to your life, even if it takes a roundabout course to get to them — and recognize that the obligations you have to them are the foundations of your own journey to success.”
It’s a good message to end on: sail toward your most beloved home-port; take care of your crew; and be prepared to go by roundabout routes, in the next ten days.
Horoscopes in the second and third decans of each sign are made available to my Patreon subscribers at the $3 tier and up; or are free to all readers if someone makes a Ko-Fi contribution in the ten days prior to publication.
Several paragraphs appeared at the beginning of this article which were in error. These are those paragraphs, provided to ensure continuity of original publication. All of this material is related to Taurus I, not Taurus II.
Charis (sometimes called Aglaea in Greek mythology) was the Greco-Egyptian goddess assigned to the second decan of Taurus — one of the three Graces and the second wife of Hephaestus, she was a goddess of feasting and dancing as well as of beauty and charm.
The love triangle of Hephaestus, Aphrodite and Ares touches on this in a mythic way: the smith-god invested his honor and dignity in completely controlling his less-than-loyal wife; when she betrayed him and he exposed her, he had nothing left for himself and the other gods mocked him. However, in a more-equal relationship with Charis, he found that he had loyalty and dignity enough; and his wife found a role, too, as bathing attendant and confidante to her husband’s ex. Active and passive, penetrative and receptive, energetic and peaceful — we need a little of both in our attitudes toward the world, in order to be able to reach beyond the merely sexual needs to a more hybrid relationship with everything around us.
The mythology may be well known, of course: Aphrodite was pushed into an arranged marriage with the smith-god Hephaestus, because Zeus foresaw that if he allowed her to choose her partner, it would cause strife among the gods. However, Aphrodite found the lame artificer too dull and ugly for her taste, and she cheated on him with Ares the war-god. Suspecting this adultery, though, Hephaestus had rigged the bed to trap them both in flagrante delicto. His plan backfired, though. The other gods wound up laughing at him rather than at the lovers trapped in his chains and nets, and shrugged their shoulders. “Aphrodite’s gonna be a lover, and no one can keep her from what she wants,” they all agreed, and Hephaestus in fury divorced his wife. His second marriage, to Charis, was much happier and joyful, since his second wife was his equal in craft: a maker of textiles, an herbalist, a vintner, a spinner of wool, and a potter of distinction. And though she was indeed beautiful, she was not tempted to seek the beds and pleasures of other gods; she was ever-loyal to Hephaestus, even as she attended Aphrodite as her bathing-attendant, dresser, and beautician.
And yet here is a classical Greek mystery: Hephaestus was only married once, to Aphrodite. In the myths associated with Hephaestus, he is constantly and regularly described as the love-goddess’s husband, the crafter of matchless jewels for her, and she is also perpetually smitten with him, in undying affection. Perhaps there is something to this notion: that for at least some men unhappily divorced, their second wife is a figure of perpetual happiness and joy; he cannot help but see her as a great beauty and the love of his life — she is indeed his Aphrodite. At the same time, a youthful marriage made as a result of physical attractions to outward signs of beauty must indeed grow in other directions as age and familiarity: the internal beauty of the mind, and the skill of the hands, becomes more dear to the couple as time goes on. Love becomes more than just “I’m hot, you’re hot, let’s get it on!” It deepens and grows richer with time, provided that the dance of sensuality is not the only point of contact between them.
And that’s where we find Charis and Hephaestus again — a marriage of minds as well as bodies, of mature hearts and aging flesh in sexual congress, trying new things because of something they’ve read or seen, keeping love alive and fresh. And so is Venus always married to Vulcan. The mystery comes full circle in this way.
I have a Patreon account for those who want to support this column as it continues its third year. We’re currently doing a decan walk through some Tarot, astrology, mythology, and magic. I hope you’l join us. I use Patreon funds (as well as my own funds) to support artists and artisans and thinkers that I regard as contributing to the well-being of the world. if you don’t want to become a regular patron, you can also buy me a Ko-fi in $3 increments, and any column I write after receiving a Ko-Fi donation will be open to the public. You can also schedule an appointment with me using Accuity Scheduling, for a natal or solar return consultation.
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 Hugh Tran‘s Physis typeface to craft logos for this blog, as well.
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, as is my Almanac for 2021. 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.