Due to an unforeseen emergency in the family I won’t be able to post tarot readings for the month of May. But since I’m at my uncle’s place where there is a well-stocked library, I shall pick a few books and share some stichomantic advice instead. Scroll down to skip the astrology and go straight to your stichomancy readings if you like.
But before I proceed, a short note on the astrology of May.
In the month of May we have three big daddies — Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto — apparently moving in reverse. Jupiter stationed retrograde in Sagittarius on 10 April, and in Capricorn, Saturn on 29 April, and Pluto on 24 April. I have meditated long and hard on retrograde planets. There is much written about them, most of it from a modern free-will-oriented perspective along with some very scattered mentions of the effects of retrogression in traditional astrology. The latter for the most part focuses on what the motion does to the strength of the planet and its ability to manifest its significations. Indian and Western astrology diverge on this aspect with the former claiming retrogrades make planets stronger, and the latter finding it a weakening influence. In astrology, when in doubt, it always pays to bring to mind the actual and apparent movements of the heavenly bodies from the Earth’s perspective — since that is what we as humans ascribe meaning to; and if god exists and the ‘stars’ are divine agents, then what we see from here is the message we are being given.
The superior planets, those that wander around the sun outside the earth’s orbit, apparently turn retrograde when they approach an opposition to the sun. Therefore during their retrograde periods they rise in the sky at night after the sun sets, shining at their brightest. Their orbit also places them closest to earth. Symbolically speaking, these movements are rich in meaning. It is a recent revelation for me that retrograde superior planets — with the earth (material plane) standing between them and the sun (soul desire, pride, ego) — in their proximity to earth indicate a shift away from the signification of the planet as an ‘intention’ or quality to a preoccupation with the manifestation of the planet in material, earthly terms. To illustrate, ever since Jupiter (expansion, fortune, philosophy, knowledge) entered Sagittarius (invention, guidance, evolution) I have been busy studying for a Master’s degree, and my focus has been on truly absorbing what I learn rather than simply going through the motions of completing the program. Yet, just as Jupiter turned retrograde, circumstances turned a certain way (due to administrative issues etc.) such that I have since been more engaged with paperwork and meetings with officials that are necessary to keep me going on in the program. Note how the emphasis shifts from the intention of learning to the practicalities of formal education. Similar twists have also taken place with respect to Saturn (structure, discipline, authority and father figures, rules) and Pluto (debts, death, transformation, hidden wealth, power struggles, psychological undertows).
In short, the major emphasis in the month of May is on practical, material matters. But since transpersonal planets are involved, these matters pertain to important, life-defining situations. Ketu a.k.a South Node is active too, bringing a feeling of ‘destiny’ to proceedings. Structural aspects of our lives, the power dynamics and the ideologies that inform them, will be in focus during this time. Change is in the air, as is also a chance to redo things in some way. In the month of grounded Taurus, who signifies the earth in bloom, this is an appropriate theme for proceedings — even if it portends some difficulties, bull-bodied Taurus is more than capable of giving us the tenacity and goal-mindedness needed to harvest pleasant outcomes.
I took a random book out for each sign, opened to a random page and blindly pointed my finger at a random spot to bring you messages through synchronicity. Hopefully these will give you something to ponder about in your current context.
Your Stichomancy Readings for May
keep someone/something at arm’s length
avoid contact with someone/something. Mrs. Bloggs is not my favourite person, so I tend to keep her at arm’s length.
(From: Gordon Javie, 1996, Bloomsbury Dictionary of Idioms)
My father, as nurse said, did never fear,
But cried ‘Good seamen!’ to the sailors, galling
His kingly hands, haling ropes;
And, clasping to the mast, endured a sea
That almost burst the deck.
(From: William Shakespeare’s Pericles, Prince of Tyre)
The celebration was held on a meadow by the village, at the brook; there was already a crowd there when we arrived, many people had come in from neighbouring villages, and the noise was bewildering.
(From: Franz Kafka, 1930, The Castle)
I had visits once a week, always of course in the presence of a warder, but nevertheless very cheering. Ottoline and Colette used to come alternately, bringing two other people with them. I discovered a method of smuggling out letters by enclosing them in the uncut pages of books.
(From: Bertrand Russell, 1967, Autobiography)
This beginning is remarkable beyond all measure.
(From: Friedrich Nietzsche, 1979 translation, Ecce Homo)
So to get the total force on a particle, we have to sum up the influences from all other particles, coming from different earlier times.
(From: Frank Wilczek, 2008, The Lightness of Being: Mass, Ether, and the Unification of Forces)
The whole in part, the river in drop, — if you cannot see,
It is then the child’s play, not the eye that sees.
From: K.C. Kanda, 2004, Mirza Ghalib: Selected Lyrics and Letters)
The lady stood there gaping, but the gentleman wasn’t proud: he had a humble appearance, he must have been very familiar with intimidating gazes and brief interviews.
(From: Jean-Paul Sartre, 1949 translation, Nausea)
Even with her cute move with the knife, I’m guessing that she’s not a real blade fighter. If she was, she’d be holding the tanto under my ear, where she’d be right above a major blood vessel.
(From: Richard Kadrey, 2013, Sandman Slim)
Relationships are about coexistence, and pride goes against the concept of coexistence because it is about superiority. Therefore, it is impossible to have a healthy relationship as ego will always form barriers.
(From: Khorshed Bhavnagri, 2009, The Laws of the Spirit World)
All problems of constitution originate precisely in the self-constitution of temporality, in that final limiting stratum of the “primal phenomenal present” which alone is not “being” in the same sense as everything that is constituted as being.
(From: Hans-Georg Gadamer, 1976 translation by David E. Linge, Philosophical Hermeneutics)
The next day was passed in mere mechanical deeds of preparation, both the women being anxious to immerse themselves in these to escape the emotional aspect of the situation.
(From: Thomas Hardy, 1939, Return of the Native)
Until next month! 🙂