One of the most rewarding aspects in consulting with divinatory tools consists of realizing that you CAN help others with their questions, and that you CAN say something about the way in which others get a clearer sense of their purpose in life. In this sense I regard the predictive aspect in divination as active, rather than passive or fatalistic, insofar as the aim is always to guide ‘towards’ the unfolding of events, rather than ‘against’ them. Being prepared to meet what may befall you is more interesting than sitting around saying that there’s nothing you can do about it. On this I can refer to one of my favorite diviners, horary astrologer extraordinaire Deborah Houlding’s essay Prediction, Providence, and the Power of Self in Horary (even if you’re not interested in astrology, I’d still strongly recommend that all those with an interest in divination read this essay, as it makes some significant points regarding the function of the divinatory arts as demonstrated through horary history).

Now, dealing with the idea that not all aspects of life are illuminated, and which hence fall under the category that most ‘rational’ folk would dismiss by default – and that is all fine, since, Lord only knows, there are many who know everything already – poses some fascinating work for the diviner who doesn’t give a flying fuck for what is and what is not an ‘appropriate’ life question vis-à-vis the incredulous ones.

Today is one such glorious day, when you say to yourself, ‘yes, what I’m doing here is not just for fun, but a lot more rewarding than the regular lies we’re all fed on a daily basis, and which would have us believe that we are all much better off not sticking our noses into the Devil’s cauldron’ – the assumption being that you can derive the same amount of passion attributed to the Devil from sticking sticks in other people’s passions. Just because. Obviously you can’t have the diviners of the world having too much fun, when you yourself have none, so something must be done – the righteous always say.

Today’s question – quite mundane – led to some interesting discovery. I started divining with my specialty – if you can call it that – the Tarot de Marseille cards, but then, because of the very powerful first impression, I ended up casting a horary chart. The most magical part of this reading occurred when I realized that the horary chart completely mapped the cards in a way that I can’t say I’ve seen before. This is significant in itself, and, at least for me, it enforces the idea that whatever motivates my interest in the so-called ‘occult sciences’ is the right stuff.


The leading question concerned a hard-working woman, Lara, who expressed her frustration with the public that she was serving as part of her job. She felt that there was a gap, or incongruence between what she had to offer and what the public wanted – I bet the celebrities of the world, or all those in the selling business know this problem all too well.

In an exasperating tone, she asked: ‘What do they all want from me, and what is it exactly that I give them? How can we be on the same page, and be happy about it?’

This is a classic question that I get all the time. For good reason, as most folks are not versed in the art of paying attention to other folk’s needs, which always leads to crisis, which then often leads to me.

The cards were very straightforward:


The public is attracted by this woman’s magnetic power – without even realizing it – and the public demands more of it. The public wants to be enslaved (Devil). The woman delivers whatever fascinates (The Moon). If there has to be a winner, there’s one already (The Charioteer). It looks like the public and the woman are already on the same page. Some more self-confidence is needed on the woman’s part. The public, being just that, is not in any need of personal expression.

At worst, however, we can talk about the public actually being afraid of this woman. Quite literally, and since I know people of power, I also know that most people that don’t have power but pretend that they do are afraid of real power. Especially women’s. What else is new? Of course, however, in any encounter, if one party is both attracted and fearful of the other, there’ll be consequences. Especially for women. They tend to burn, them witches.

On a more mundane level here, we can argue that what it takes for being on the same page is a bit of pretence, actually. All those forces (Devil + Moon), some of them either unpleasant or unspoken of, can be too much for everyone involved. Too much beyond the mere mortals’ control. So, the Charioteer here, all shiny in his armor and seemingly in control of his achievements and his horses, can do just fine as a substituting prop. Real power passing off as fake power because it’s more convenient. After all, we don’t all need to get to the bottom of our unconscious drives – or so some claim.

The pip cards offered an incredible symmetry here as well. The public wants the woman to deliver a bit (Page of Coins), yet she delivers a lot (Queen of Coins). There’s already a stable return of investment (4 coins). Though here one may talk about the idea that since the Queen is higher in rank than the Page, she may come across as intimidating, which may well be the reason for the tension the querent wants to explore. Giving more than what the public wants to begin with is never a good idea, as this can easily be misconstrued as an attempt to impose one’s values on the ones that make their modest demands.



Now, this being the full moon and all, and since I thought that the combo Devil + Moon is an interesting one, I proceeded to my other nerdy interest: the horary chart.

‘Holy schmoly, someone blow my head, please’, I found myself yelling, as soon as I saw what I saw.

Screen Shot 2014-11-07 at 10.16.09 PM
Nov. 7, 2014, 18.33, Roskilde

Clearly there’s a tension between the woman and her audience. Lara is represented by the Ascendant, ruled by none other than the Moon. And where do we find the Moon? In the house of all things hidden, the 12th House including witchcraft, as horary master William Lilly tells us. The public is duly represented by the ruler of the 10th House, Saturn, now found in the 6th House, the house of servants.

The Moon being exalted in Taurus is a happy one. Indeed, if the Moon wants to drop a bomb, or perhaps just a little curse on the Saturnian public, she can do so without any qualms. The public would not even know what hit it. In terms of power, the Moon also scores the most points here, if we count all her essential and accidental dignities (triplicity, term, decan), while Saturn is lagging behind considerably. Indeed, if I were the public, I would also be afraid. On the other hand, this being the house of detachment, it may well be that the Moon is on the path of remaining indifferent to whatever conflict. At house level, as the ruler of the 12th, Venus, is in her detriment, while the ruler of the opposing house, the 6th, Mars is in exaltation, this denotes that Lara’s enemies are stronger than her. Indeed, riding away in her Charioteer may be the preferred solution.

In a way I can’t help thinking of the irony here. Lara wants to know how to best serve her public, but we find the public serving her – in spite of resisting here, through Saturn’s opposition. Perhaps, again, a classic situation when we talk about celebrities. The public makes demands of a person to be served, when in fact it is the public itself that ends up serving the celebrity. And then resenting it, of course. While the public may know what fascinates it, it often has no idea what rules the celebrity’s drive from the inside. Often the media at large has its own private schemes at work that the public never gets to learn anything about. But precisely because there’s something unsettling in this fascination, and as history has also shown, people who exert too much of that attractive power often end up being the most despised or hated. Let us not forget that Saturn in this aspect of opposition to the Moon spells out exactly that, extreme hatred.


Writing about a horary chart can get very elaborate, but suffice here to say that insofar as the Moon is conjunct the most fearful of all the fixed stars, Algol, the Head of the Medusa, whose force leads to decapitations, I’m fascinated myself by the suggestion that this public’s demand of Lara is for her to vanish. They want little from her. And why? Well, because of her association with Algol. In her giving (a lot), she may be giving everyone a taste of their own undoing. If the Moon draws down the Medusa’s Head, and dictates: ‘Mess with their heads’, I wouldn’t want to be in the other camp. The Moon in 12, the House of the evil Daimon, and conjunct Algol, is the most unfortunate of all. For the others, that is, since the question was: ‘What do they want from me, what do I give them, and how can we be on the same page?’ A dreadful answer and a mighty power, but who wants war?


In any event, we’re dealing here with a ‘double’ Grand Cross going from Moon, Venus, Jupiter, Midheaven, and then again from Moon, Jupiter, Saturn, Midheaven. This being the case, with the suggestion that Lara and her public are at square odds with each other, hemmed in at all four corners, it is perhaps advisable for the woman to just exit the public scene. Before she knows it, the public will crucify here and she will take their heads in turn, one by one. Saturn doesn’t need any reason for resenting being fascinated with the Moon.

The card of the Charioteer actually suggests that much. Instead of coming, and claiming the winner’s laurel, we’re perhaps dealing with the suggestion that it is better for Jack to hit the road and never come back. Sometimes being on the same page with another entails nothing other than leaving each to their own cauldrons.


It is a shame, really, when you have to tell people who are actually familiar with this discourse here, that the best way to go about it is to either ‘stay put’ or ‘hit the road.’ Saturn may be going against the Moon, but as Saturn shoots in the dark, it’s not sure that he can hit his target. The Moon in the 12th House is capable of many things, including running faster, but she is also vulnerable in her potentially saint-like attitude. Here, looking back at the cards, we can see that while there’s tacit understanding between Lara and the public that they can tend to the same cauldron as suggested by the 4 Coins, ultimately, staying within the square, is bound to lead to nothing but boredom and convention.

It is also a shame that the public, more often than not, misunderstands the motives of the ones serving it. Fear is often to blame. A capable person comes along on the new job, and we hear the whispers in the corners: ‘Let’s sack her big Coin; we can’t have the person whose coin is bigger than ours get ahead. No sirs, mediocrity must rule. But, what a fascinating tart.’

Yes, diviners can do a lot. We can help people think about their circumstances, and we can show these people some of the most incredible solutions to their problems. If some want to say, ‘but this is all fiction’, we can all retort, ‘so what, if it helps?’


Note on the cards: Jean Noblet, 1650, as reconstructed by Jean-Claude Flornoy.

The astro program: Morinus.


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Published by Camelia Elias

Read like the Devil | Martial Arts Cartomancy | Zen

2 thoughts on “PURPOSE

  1. Little Bo-Peep has lost her sheep, And can’t tell where to find them; Leave them alone, and they’ll come home, Wagging their tails behind them.

    1. Exactly. Often I like to read on this topic as it always teaches me something more nuanced about the idea of symmetrical relations. While people may be speaking the same language, it’s not always the case that the supply and demand are matched in size. Giving too much when the demand is modest is bound to create waste. The one giving ends up disappointed while the one receiving settles in the conviction that the one giving was probably trying to impose her stuff. Neither of these scenarios may be ‘true’, but since that is how it is often felt on the emotional level, that will be what rules. So it goes.

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