Wednesday 1st April 2020: 10 of Swords

“April,” wrote T. S. Eliot, “is the cruelest month.” This April opens with the Ten of Swords or the “Lord of Ruin,” which is attributed to the Sun in Gemini. Gemini is ruled by Mercury, to whom this day is dedicated. In relation to this arcana Henry Ho writes,

As Gemini is ruled by Mercury, its fluid nature disperses the force of the Sun, causing it to be unbalanced and destructive.

Henry Ho, Tarot and the Path of Initiation, p. 174

Writing in The Mystical Qabalah, Dion Fortune notes that the Ten of Swords is outwardly corrosive, but one waits for the outer corrosion to turn to (inner) gold.

Waxing Crescent Moon in Gemini

Keep in mind that right now the waxing crescent Moon is transiting Gemini, which ties today’s arcana closely to yesterday’s as yesterday was dedicated to Luna. The theme here is all about gaining knowledge or information in relation to our intentions for the coming month. Given that today’s arcana is the Ten of Swords, it may be that our intentions for the rest of the lunar cycle will be conservative ones of staying safe and helping others to do likewise.

Mercury in the Eighth House

Today Mercury happens to be in the eighth house influencing our perspective of death and transformation at this time. Aquarius is on the cusp of the eighth house, which is all about the outpouring of what we posit to be our spiritual, or unique and true inner self, into the world, and here is the clue to what the arcana of the Ten of Swords may be about at this time; a possible dying to the self that the world, or the part of it over which you have any influence or impact, may be healed.

As the Coronavirus spreads on the air (the element associated with the Swords) it attacks both the body of the physically infected, most notably the receptors of air, the lungs, but it is also having a massive impact on the mentality and mental health (domains of the suit of Swords) of many millions more than are physically infected. Be still, then and draw on your inner resources while taking precautions in the outer world, and watch for the breaking down of the old dispensation to prepare the ground for the new.

Strengthening Your Solar Energy

Aquarius is directly opposite Leo and we saw yesterday that Leo was manifesting in (8) Strength Reversed. Leo is all about expressing your own passion, or engaging passionately with life, whereas Aquarius is all about offering that passion in service of the world. If then the solar energy of Leo is somewhat in abeyance, it would be helpful to invoke that energy through Ficinian natural magic to tutor our imagination (as Thomas Moore puts it), adding a Jovial spirit to avoid too much the raging of the red lion of Mars.

Such a process may heal or protect from harm as much through the placebo effect as the location of the planets or anything else, which is exactly why, if it appeals to your imagination, it would be beneficial for you to do. For more on the efficacy of the Placebo Effect, download this free ebook by Seth Godin.

In the meantime, it seems we must await the Suns transition into Aries, or failing that, into Leo, to repel the poison of the “plague” of the Coronavirus from the northern hemisphere:

Now the Sun will conduce in particular to making the spirit Solar when he is under Aries or Leo and the Moon aspects him, especially in Leo; then he so enlivens our spirit that he can fortify it to repel the poison of the Plague. This clearly appears in Babylon and Egypt and regions pertaining to Leo, where the Sun stops the plague when he enters Leo for precisely the reason we have said.

Marsilio Ficino, On Obtaining Life from the Heavens, in Voss (ed), p. 123

Ficino’s comments here are very general and of course the “plague” was flea-borne unlike the coronavirus. To be more specific, then, here is Athen Chimenti’s analysis of the coronavirus in relation to sidereal astrology for the rest of the year. Although it is not supposed to be predictive, is does suggest that when the sun is in sidereal Aries things will start to ease a little as Pluto is due to go retrograde on 25th April. Four months later, “things will probably start to shift” favourably when the South Node leaves Sagittarius and enters healing Ophiucus, which occurs when the Sun is in Leo. Athens comments on the South Node leaving Sagittarius begin at the 18:00 mark:

Do Not Ignore The Omens

The last time the Ten of Swords manifested itself in our daily readings was on 23rd June 2019 when I was contemplating the death of Ceasar. Ceasar ignored the omens and ventured out and was pierced by the swords, knives and daggers of the conspirators. Read in that light, today would be a good day to “stay within doors.” Indeed, setting a good example of social distancing by staying indoors may itself be your contribution to society if you are not one of those in a position to selflessly put yourself forward as 750,000 people have done in England to serve as National Health Service Volunteer Responders.

For many there is no choice but to comply with government guidlines or lockdown rules; but for those of us who have a choice, staying at home would be better than venturing out. Indeed, I had planned to go to the government office to renew my residence card; but the Ten of Swords, the rain, and a reports that a number of foreigners who had congregated in a government office to renew their visas had contracted coronavirus tipped the balance in favour of staying at home.

Using Randomness To Guide Our Decisions?

Incidentally, on the question of whether the random drawing of a card or some such consultation should really be allowed to influence our behaviour, as opposed to being simply a stimulation for meditation, I happened to read this by Nassim Nicholas Taleb only yesterday:

Finally the ancients perfected the method of random draw in more or less difficult situations —and integrated them into divinations. These draws were really meant to pick a random exit without having to take a decision, so one would not have to live with the burden of the consequences later. You go with what the Gods told you to do, so would not have to second guess yourself later. One of the methods called sortes virgilianae (fate as decided by the epic poet Virgil) involved opening Virgil’s Aeneid at random and interpreting the line presented as direction for the course of action. You should use such method for every sticky business decision. I will repeat until I get hoarse: the ancient evolved hidden and sophisticated ways and tricks to exploit randomness. 

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Antifragile, pp. 104-105

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