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.
Ate, the monstrous and terrifying deity or daemon of “Ruin”, is said to stalk her prey during the next ten days. Fortunately, she can be driven off by the Litai, literally the “prayers” of the wise and the humble. From May 10, 2021 at 6:46 am until May 20, the Sun will be in the realm of the Litai, where prayer is almost palpable, and brings about desired and helpful change by slow degree of effort. Holiness is a habit, in other words, not a once-and-done experience.
It must be emphasized: these are not pray-ers, people on their knees engaged in prayer. These are the literal prayers that come from our mouths, that we form from our lips and push into existence with our lungs. For at least some ancient Greek philosophers, the act of praying brought the Litai into being: spirits barely in the realm of existence at all, who nonetheless carried our hopes and dreams to the spirit realm. The Litai are our prayers, whether formal or informal, extemporaneous or rehearsed, studied and memorized or revealed in a fit of expostulation and invective. When we speak aloud our hopes, and ward against our fears, new Litai come into being — and their very presence in the sky around our homes and workplaces and common haunts drives Ate far from our door; she cannot stand the cries and musical noises they make, and flees far from the places where they are thick in the air. Thus, the houses of the impious of often afflicted by Ate’s visits, and the foolish meet her on the road far more often than the wise, who fence their journey with constant prayer in the form of thanksgiving and gratitude for the good they have received; and with petitions for a safe return home.
Numerous spiritual traditions have chosen to explain and explore the concept of prayer, and to put the Litai under a microscope to determine what genuses and species they might belong to. This is not specifically late-Classical Greek, but we can examine the Litai ourselves and guess at their origin stories: the prayer of fixed text and standardized postures is one such example, such as the Lord’s Prayer for Christians or the standard movements of a Muslim in the mosque. Jesus much admired the”publican’s prayer,” Lord have mercy upon me, a sinner because it was extemporaneous, spontaneous, unrehearsed, and in earnest — like a beetle with a brilliantly colored back wing, it created fascinating opportunities for study and growth. Yet like many such prayers, it was rapidly pinned to a board and put on display in scripture the way the same beetle might be displayed in a museum: it becomes possible for many to look it over and consider its usefulness, without ever diving into the experience of praying the prayer itself, or seeking to give birth to one’s own Litai.
Saturn rules the third decan of Taurus, and Austin Coppock called this decan “The Prayer Beads” in his book 36 Faces. The two go nicely hand-in-hand, of course: the old man leaning on the staff of his scythe, casually fingering a strand of prayer beads before bending to his work again — the cutting down of the long grass to dry in the sun. Scything a field can be tough work, and it’s ill-suited to an old man; except that the fellow has been doing the work since before you were born. He knows how to hone his blade to the best cut; and he knows the stroke that will keep his back safe throughout the work; and he knows where he’s at risk of a mortal wound from the blade — and where he’s not. What taught him these things? The Litai that came from his own mouth, and shield him from Ate’s clutching dark hands. The scythe is the tool of a responsible and careful adult in command of himself, not a child’s toy; and it takes the long discipline of working with prayer beads to accomplish the necessary attention to detail. The man who wields the scythe does so with hands that are well-tuned to a well-ordered mind.
Taurus III’s four dodecatemoria tell this story, too. These 2.5° increments begin with practical and almost mercenary Capricorn, proceed to intellectual and detached Aquarius and then all-embracing and expansive Pisces; finally, a new ‘fire in the head’ is found in the last dodecatemoria, the one of Aries. And this is the cycle of experiences of people who take up prayer on a regular basis: they do it for practical reasons, to deal with a physical or psychological or social issue they cannot resolve themselves; sometimes it’s a spiritual reason. Some renege on this promise though, and slide into a cynicism and natural disbelief; others become intellectually enamored of the practice, though, and strive to do better — that’s the Aquarian nature talking. After this, a more holistic practice gradually develops, and this is the Piscean nature shining through; whether this takes the form of “I’m spiritual but not religious”, or whether it’s daily attendance at a local shrine to pray the rosary matters little: one way or another, the wholeness of the experience shines through, or the native stays stuck in the deeps unable to see the sunlight glittering through the curtain where ocean and sea-breeze meet. Finally, after long practice (or long avoidance) the fire in the head emerges, and prayer emerges from us ecstatically and explosively. We may stray down the path of “it’s all bullish*t!” or “at last I understand!” The predations of Ate may pick us off long before this point, but the discovery nonetheless comes: prayer may drive off Ate, but it also welcomes the Litai into our presence; they linger in our sphere of influence, and don’t merely drive off ruin, but actively bring help. As C.S. Lewis observed, “Prayer doesn’t change God. It changes me.” At least some of the Neoplatonists of ancient Alexandria would have agreed — though not in the way that the author of Narnia might have intended.
We’re looking at a Day Chart, with the Sun above the horizon. Most of the planets, with the exception of Saturn and Pluto, are in the eastern half of the chart, making it a more active and energetic chart, with our own experience more central to the next ten days than that of our friends or companions.
In the first house, Mercury and Venus share Gemini with the Ascendant and North Node. Venus holds the first Decan The Apple of Eden, where it promises almost-gnostic insight from our creative and sensual pursuits. Mercury is conjunct the Ascendant and the North Node in the second decan The Hermaphrodite, where they promise more and a clear range of public events that bring issues of transgender rights and non-binary rites to the fore. Judicial decisions on these matters may emerge.
Mars holds the beginning of Cancer’s second decan The Walled Garden in the second house. Mars is not strong here, and yet a favorable sextile to Uranus and the Moon promises a certain amount of surprise or unwelcome overturning of our stomachs in regard to our personal financial issues. Keep a clear sense of what’s in your wallet!
The Imum Coeli sits in the third house and in Leo’s middle decan The Laurel Crown, indicating a long-dreamed-of recognition of your periodic work, some kudos from your family, or some acknowledgement of your neighborhood activism. For some, this may manifest as a new call to be humbled in the face of the feminine, and recognize the power of the sacred female.
Houses four, five and six are empty, but the home life of house four is emphasized by a strong square between Mercury’s placement in Gemini: many of us may feel a state of conflict between family and self which needs resolution in some sort of hybrid arrangement between you and the ‘community’ under your own roof. The relationship between Libra and its ruler Venus is more favorable, suggesting that we may be weighing and balancing our fun and our entertainments against our sense of self-preservation or sudden insights. House six, representing our daily work and hearty labor, answers to Mars in the second house: we’re likely to have to keep good boundaries to get our labors done in the next ten days, and keep our projects relatively close to the chest and secret.
In the seventh house, the Descendant and South Node occupy the middle decan of Sagittarius The Bridle. We’ll need to steer the important Others in our lives (spouses, significant others, business partners, even open foes) toward a mix of useful rest for the animal self and intellectual work for the humane self.
Pluto in the eighth house is in Capricorn’s third decan The Throne. In the eighth house of responsibility and duty, the lord of accumulation calls us to count our accumulated … debts. Who do you owe? What responsibilities are overwhelming you? This placement calls for you to take the chair of command, and do what needs to be done: you’re the captain of this ship, so take the conn and do what duty impels you to do.
In the ninth house, the Midheaven splits the space between Saturn and Jupiter unevenly, with Saturn and the Midheaven holding the middle decan of Aquarius Heaven and Earth, while Jupiter finds ways to grow by loosening the third decan’s ties in The Knot. Connected by a square to the Moon, Uranus and the Sun in the twelfth house, these three positions bring a great amount of power to the natural world, but also the realm of law and human affairs, and indicate that reputations will be won and lost in the next ten days. The human community will be looking to loosen restrictions and open up options, as Jupiter indicates; but Saturn will seek to close those options down and maintain boundaries, in his role as the keeper of the natural world. Saturn carries the strength here, but the Sun and Moon have their own weight to throw around.
Neptune holds the third decan of Pisces The Cup of Blood, which we’ve seen associated with swirling rumor and vague concerns about vaccines, health care, and the safety of various protocols intended to protect health and preserve life — but also with the challenges raised by questions of blood purity and the dignity of specific lineages or bloodlines. As Neptune is a planet of popular influences and delusions, these issues of medical confusion and gene-purity will likely be prominent and public in the next ten days… but we must remember that Neptune represents popular ideas that are less useful than they appear.
In the twelfth house, The Sun, The Moon, Uranus, and The Lot of Fortune activate all three of the decans of Taurus. The more planets there are in a single sign, the heavier the themes of that house become in our lives. Taurus speaks of luxury and indolence; the twelfth house speaks of solitude, and the planets here tell us that solitude will feed our higher mind, our capacity to find our individuality, and to re-shape our lives in fortunate and lucky ways. Our opportunities to connect with family and our chance to grow great in our career may threaten this isolation: but it’s in that seeking of solitude that we’ll find the favorable experiences of the next ten days.
Horoscopes by Rising Sign
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. Join me for Gemini I on 20 May 2021
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.