Before I start thinking about what this phase looks like… some general context:
Astrological houses are divided into 3 decans per sign:
1st decan = 0-10° and is ruled by the sign the decan finds itself in. So for example, since I’m a Capricorn, I’ll use Capricorn. The first decan of Capricorn is Capricorn, ruled by Saturn.
2nd decan = 11-20° The 2nd decan of a sign is ruled by the next elemental sign. So the 2nd decan of Capricorn is ruled by Taurus and Venus.
3rd decan = 21-30° The 3rd decan is ruled by the remaining elemental sign. The 3rd decan of Capricorn is ruled by Virgo and Mercury.
When we add the minor tarot cards (2-10) to these decans, we do so in the following ways:
Cardinal signs = cards 2, 3, 4 of the the element. The 1st decan is 2, the 2nd decan is 3, the 3rd decan is 4. So every 1st decan of the sign, every year, is associated with the 2 of that elemental suit. The same applies the 2nd decan of the cardinal sign being associated with the 3 of the elemental suit and the 3rd decan with the 4th card of the element suit. Aces are not counted as they are considered the spark of the suit that starts working it’s way down the Tree of Life (Qabala) and is expressed through the journey of the suit.
Fixed signs = cards 5, 6, 7 of the element. The same logic applies as above. The first decan of a fixed sign is associated with the minor trump 5 of the element, the 2nd decan with the 6, the 3rd with the 7th card of the minor elemental suit.
Mutable signs = cards 8, 9, 10 of the element. The 1st decan is associated with 8, the 2nd with 9 and the 3rd decan with 10.
So for Earth signs: Pentacles
Capricorn – cardinal = 2, 3, 4 of pentacles. Anyone born in the 1st decan of Capricorn is influenced by the 2 of pentacles. Those born under the 2nd decan are influenced by the 3 of pentacles. Those born in the 3rd decan are influenced by the 4 of pentacles. The same logic can be applied to the other cards in fixed and mutable signs.
Taurus – fixed = 5, 6, 7 of pentacles.
Virgo – mutable = 8, 9, 10 of pentacles. Following the logic worked out by the decan, we can also ascribe the energies of those cards to the phase we find ourselves in.
As I write this we are in the 2nd decan of Virgo, which is associated with the 9 of pentacles, a very auspicious card. It’s a time of harvesting all that we have sown and enjoying the fruits of our labour. It’s a moment ruled by Capricorn, being the next sign in the element, which makes this moment an interesting contrast of abundance and discipline. There’s a decadence to the moment and even, dare I say it, a potential for excess as we relish all that we have sown and see the bounty of our harvest (all the work of the 8). And yet, in the Western, Northern Hemisphere, this phase is typically associated with back to school and the frenzy of new beginnings in the midst of enjoying the last gasp of summer. We are delighting in those last moments even as we are getting to work.
What I find even more fascinating in this mix, is how the decks you work with will qualify this moment just a little differently depending on how they spin the interpretation.
Some of these decks really stick with the Rider Waite interpretation of abundance, while others almost introduce a starkness or rejection of said abundance into the mix. There are so many different decks and a multitude of ways to interpret the moment/card, which is outside of where I really want to go today, but I always find it intriguing to think about how the moment I’m living in is potentially linked to the decan/tarot combo.
As I meditate on this particular moment, I can’t help but think about how the world feels like it is imploding. From BLM protests to a Canadian parliament hiding from the WE scandal, it feels like the structures that have been built up over years are on the verge of coming down – or at least people are doing their damnedest to maintain or tear down said structures. As a witch, I find it hard to sit in this moment and talk about crystals and herbs; to pretend like any of these things have meaning when the world feels like it’s on fire.
As I harvest the garden I planted in the spring, I can’t help but wonder, what really matters?
I feel, oddly, like the woman in the garden, looking at her bird, asking it what it really sees from it’s vantage point. The irony of course, is that this bird is domesticated, so what can it really see? How can I, from my position of abundance, actually see things clearly. But at the same time, what has ever really mattered more than the gardens we tend and the nourishment we create for ourselves and our families? Therein lies the paradox of this moment for me in this decan. We are situated between work and abundance: Saturn loves the plenty but also recognizes that time marches on and prods us to get back to work.
What does the 9 of pentacles represent to you? And how would you apply it to this moment in your life (or society at large)?