What is the Tarot’s general guidance for making the best of the cosmic weather this month, spanning the zodiac signs of Sagittarius and Capricorn?
The reader has also drawn a Norse rune from the Elder Futhark for further insights.
Cards: The Hierophant, Knight of Swords, and Four of Pentacles
These cards are detecting, reflecting, or projecting themes we will be observing in the news in December 2021 or experiencing in our own daily lives one way and another.
December looks pretty eventful on the world stage, with sudden flurries of news, mostly not welcome, but the cards look reasonably reassuring that the month sees progress on some environmental, medical, diplomatic, and technology fronts, despite sharp words between governments or in Europe, between governments and the EU in particular respect of migration and trade.
News is quieter between Christmas and the end of the month, but this is nothing unusual this time of year during the festive season, although really, there have been no quiet news months anywhere in the world since December 2019, when we first learned of a newly emerging health crisis in Wuhan, and as we now approach the second anniversary of the global covid pandemic with all its unrolling economic, political and social effects.
Covid alone, while an event with far-reaching social implications is not the only reason for this general global instability. This is largely man-made in origin; for reasons that are socio-economic, industrial, and political. But it is also natural, due to extreme weather events, to seismic, volcanic events such as the ongoing eruption on La Palma, and recent periodic increases in solar flare activity.
The Hierophant as finances, challenged by the Knight of Swords, could bring fiscal surprises or unsettling developments on the stock market but if so, it does not seem to become a crisis. As suggested by the Four of Pentacles.
This is a very broad picture, and it seems likely to provide the ongoing backdrop for all of us at least over the next few years, but of the 78 cards in a Tarot deck, these were the three cards we drew for this coming month, December 2021.
Let’s look at that picture again.
Taurus the Bull, spring, planetary ruler Venus, love, beauty, wedding, marriage, luxury, money, established order, governments, global finance (think ‘Bull’ market) tradition, status quo, establishment, hospitals, publishing, agriculture, religion, church, keys
The Knight of Swords
Aquarius, Saturn, Uranus, a clever, cool-minded individual aged 25-40. Legalities, intelligence, espionage, an agent, a spy, a warlord, shipping, trade, commerce, Decisive action, attack, airborne, choices, air travel, trade, commerce, shipping, deliveries, financial decisions, ambition, clarity, cutting loose
The Four of Pentacles
Capricorn, earth, saving, conserving, resources, money, possessions, inheritance, prudence, provisioning, legacy
The Four of Pentacles is ruled by Mercury, the planet of travel, research, trade, and commerce. Mercury also rules IT and data analysis, and it rules Virgo, which in astrology is the sixth house of health, routines, and hygiene
Rune: Othala: meanings: wealth, ancestry, ancestral homelands, family, old age, our old folk, different generations, memories, identity, belonging, and all the things that we most treasure.
What do these cards mean in practical terms this month?
Well, this is obviously a very general reading, but The Hierophant represents stability, security, and continuity, doing things ‘by the book.’
However this December, it looks as though we might not be doing things ‘by the book.’
The Hierophant is turning up a lot in my readings at the moment, which is hardly surprising. Sometimes it is drawn the right way up, but just as often it is being drawn upside down, reflecting a situation in which old wisdom, old ways of seeing things, and doing things are being challenged or turned topsy-turvy.
Why is this not surprising? The Tarot acts as a mirror of what is already happening. The Hierophant reversed marks a time of widespread social unrest, such as we have been witnessing for some time now, every time we turn on the television or engage on social media.
We have been seeing plenty of signs of this in public life since 2019. In the UK, for example, we have seen the rise of the Extinction Rebellion, Insulate Britain, BLM, increasingly vocal and powerful pro- transgender interest groups, challenging the validity of various existing practices and accepted norms.
Astrology associates this with the fact that Uranus, the planet of rebellion and innovation, is stationed in Taurus, the steady Bull sign associated with The Hierophant. Uranus is retrograde for parts of December which brings a mood of intense inward reflection on what needs to stay and what needs to go or change, and this means collectively, and privately and individually.
Uranus moved into Taurus in 2019 and will stay there until April 2026 so we are in for a tricky haul and the question is how we can best handle things on an individual level, re-evaluating our priorities, keeping our cool, learning new skills at every opportunity and helping our children to do the same.
Her Majesty the Queen is a Taurus subject, a pillar of our society. Above politics, she has seen many leaders come and go. She is very much a figure who has always believed in putting wider duty before personal convenience. She does things by the book, like the Hierophant. Elizabeth 11 represents a part of the national psyche, the young monarch of our parent’s childhoods, those born during the war or soon after it. Lately, this first year of her widowhood, we have witnessed signs of a decline in her health. At the age of 95, this is only natural, and to be expected, but since we have drawn the Taurean Hierophant for December, and it has been drawn next to the challenging Knight of Swords, it remains to be seen whether the Queen will make her annual Christmas address quite, as usual, this year.
Covid cases have been rising again, with new lockdowns and protests in the Netherlands, Austria, and other countries. The signs are that this most recent rise in cases as at the time of writing (14 November) may continue into December and flu may add to the pressure on health services, but with luck, the Four of Pentacles is a stable card, suggesting that the situation may improve again somewhat by/towards the end of December. Medical observers are suggesting we may soon be approaching the endemic phase, when a brand new virus, in this case, SARS‑CoV‑2 gradually becomes part of the new ‘normal’ in human epidemiology, and it becomes a question of living with it.
EU, Poland, Belarus and Russia
The current border situation is tense. It may well escalate, suggests the Knight of Swords, but again, the steady Four of Pentacles hints that if it does, the crisis abates again at least somewhat by late December/early January.
The Knight of Swords can mean sharp messages, saber-rattling, and military aircraft in December, just as the weather associated with the Knight of Swords is northern and easterly; cool, cloudy, windy, but it can bring sudden frosts, sudden rain, or snowstorms.
The Knight of Swords traditionally also refers to airborne objects, including missiles but also viruses and bacteria sharp objects, including surgical instruments such as injection needles and pens.
Trade and Travel
The Four of Pentacles is ruled by Mercury the planet of travel, trade and commerce, also IT and data analysis. In addition, Mercury rules Virgo, the sixth house of health and hygiene.
This, together with the Knight of Swords, reminds us that common sense says, vaccinations or no vaccinations, we need to stay alert and continue taking common-sense precautions against covid and flu this Christmas. There seems to be a continuation of the vaccination booster program well into December, which then slows or plateaus after Christmas, whether for holiday reasons or because targets are being sufficiently met by that point.
But meantime, certain international restrictions may be reintroduced again on an emergency basis, while a further lockdown has not been entirely ruled out by the UK Government. The Four of Pentacles, sometimes nicknamed the Miser card, describes a real-life pragmatist, who is ready to take responsibility for making unpopular decisions, should it detect that need.
Some people have suggested that covid is ‘just’ ‘flu. SARS‑CoV‑2 is a new coronavirus, not a ‘flu virus. But even ‘just’ ‘flu is no joke at all if we get a bad dose.
You seem a bit restless early in December, looking to make changes and you seem focused on practical matters, your work prospects or finances as well as for some of you, a relationship situation. Someone is being a bit “off” or standoffish, or sharp words are exchanged. The Knight of Swords drawn next door to the domesticated Hierophant suggests one of you may be feeling a need for extra space right now. If you’re single, perhaps you are wondering whether you want to commit, or you are wondering about the commitment of another person, or you just need a bit of a change.
Perhaps you are trying to save up for something major, a home or a car, or you’re looking to find better places to grow what you’re saving. You are likely putting a lot of energy into making progress on these fronts, and there may be some tensions this month between you and a loved one, possibly based around these issues, but with enough focus and determination, you’ll get there, says the Knight of Swords. There could be good news to do with work and money as soon as late January –late February, in consequence of actions taken in December.
The Four of Pentacles has a lot in common with the rune, Othala. Look back at the things you have bought over the years. What did you buy in the past that you still treasure? What have you been given by older family members that you treasure? Othala talks about the things we treasure. These include cherished memories. But every day, we are creating new memories.
A recovering economy needs our spending. Business needs our money and it’s great to treat loved ones – and ourselves to a bit of spending. But the festive season can be tyranny and a worry for people needing to economize. There has been much speculation about shipping and supplies in shops, and talk on the media about ‘must have’ toys from overseas arriving in time for Christmas.
What is it with this ‘must have’ business? Yes, we love to see the smiles on the children’s faces. But is it really so terrible, if times are tight, and we explain this to our children, that they can learn to manage their expectations, and are not invited to write out long shopping lists of what they want for Christmas? Consumerism ought not to rule the roost in the home. Is this healthy or a helpful preparation for how reality works? Simply ask and get?
The Four of Pentacles advises that friends and loved ones will, or should be understanding if your finances are tighter this year than previous Christmases. And after all, given the way things have been in 2021 and 2020 before that, they may welcome that same understanding from you. Take it easy is the message here, and don’t spend this month if it means borrowing money at exorbitant interest rates and regretting it come the New Year.
The Tarot is not trying to be a Scrooge or a killjoy in presenting this card. Spending less or spending more carefully, based on quality, durability, or long-term thinking doesn’t mean not having fun. There seems plenty to enjoy this month; it’s just that no one has infinite resources, and this year may be a departure from the way you have usually done things before. And this may come as something of a feeling of release. Change is in the air, lots of things being turned over quietly in your mind.
24 December: The Hierophant also represents Christmas time, as a traditional Christian season of celebration. Before Christianity we celebrated Yule in northern Europe, meaning ‘wheel,’ marking the turning of the wheel of the year, the time of the winter solstice and the passing of the darkest day, and the return of the light.
The third and final square between Saturn and Uranus in Taurus, these big planets, these heavy hitters, bring a feeling of push and pull between Uranus (splurging, doing your own thing, party time) and Saturn (saving, doing family duties, staying home and relaxing) happens this Christmas Eve 2021.
Ways of doing things that worked OK for you in the past, don’t sit so well with you right now. Uranus is retrograde for nearly half of the year every year. This is nothing new or unusual but it’s a seasonal opportunity to go back to the drawing board and consider what ideas, patterns, and perspectives might have become a pure habit. Do they still work for you? Do you really enjoy them anymore, or are you going through the motions, paying lip service? What do we owe to others at this time – and what do they owe to us?
In Other News – Astrology in December
4 December –A New Moon and Total Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius.
The moon has different phases, with twelve new moons a year or now and then, thirteen. A new moon happens when the earth lines up with the sun, and the moon looks almost invisible from Earth. Each new moon—whether it has a total eclipse with it or not—is associated with a different zodiac sign, each with its own thing going on. This new moon in Sagittarius is an upbeat new moon; the sign of the seeker, the student, adventurer, the voyager and the visionary.
A solar eclipse only happens when there’s a new moon. This one is a total eclipse, which makes it more significant from an astrological perspective even though it won’t be visible in many places outside Antarctica. Eclipses are known for their potent effects on our lives. These effects might not be noticed at once. These are long-term effects making themselves felt across an eighteen-month period of time, but their legacy is long-lasting and tangible. This one on the Gemini-Sagittarius axis is an upbeat, go-ahead, can-do solar eclipse – and as a promise of what you can do over the next eighteen months with that visionary,
Exploring, high-energy cosmic wind behind your sails – get thinking! Hoist those sails. This eclipse is a reason to be cheerful.
19 December– Full Moon in Gemini
In Tarot this is represented by The Lovers card: fun, flirty, social events, new ideas, chat, gossip, communication, curiosity…it is also about short travel, trade, commerce, shopping (think Mercury, ruler of Gemini. Now think of another name for Mercury, think Hermes deliveries) The Lovers can present us with a need to make difficult choices. Again, these could be financial.
21 December – Solstice.
We leave freewheeling Sagittarius and move into Capricorn, ruled by a serious hardworking master of self-discipline, Saturn. But this is a cheerful moment all the same. The solstice marks the end of the darkest day and the beginning of the return of the light. It’s a natural time for us to get with the spirit of the agile, tough and hardy mountain goat, Capricorn, and think about the way our lives are structured, our duties and responsibilities, and our own needs and boundaries. Who says we wait until New Year to make a new plan? Any day will do. And from a natural, seasonal, symbolic, and magickal perspective, 21 December will do even better.
Season’s Greetings with all Best Wishes for a better, brighter 2022.