Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. There is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of filling a vacuum, it makes one.
As we gear up for a very intense astrological week, still reeling in the aftermath of the American leader’s chaotic posturing following his Helsinki trip last week, along comes a stabilizing, very grounded ally. Approaching, too, the ancient sabbat of Lughnasadh next week, let us welcome this most timely visit from the King of Pentacles.
Crowned in flowers, he sits in a walled garden overflowing with blossoms and vines. His ornately carved throne features bulls’ heads – a nod to his connection to Earthy Taurus. We see a glimpse of his armor, suggesting his military prowess, as his left foot rests on another carving of a bull’s head.
But he is primarily garbed in a robe that features clusters of ripe grapes, symbol of the sweetness and intoxication of Life. The vines on his gown are entangled with the actual vines in the landscape, grounding him in their lush, earthy energies.
As he gazes at his Pentacle, he seems calm and thoughtful, at least compared to the other Kings who range from the somewhat melancholy King of Cups to the rather stern Kings of Wands and Swords.
Real World Wisdom
The King of Pentacles, being a court card, is often an actual person we know, or else some aspect of ourselves.
Like the Page and the Knight, who also quite recently came to visit, he (or she) is very focused on matters to do with money, work, health, home, and other concerns regarding our material, physical sustenance.
This King is a pinnacle of success in such endeavors and may have profound abundance at their fingertips. They may be an important business person, or a leader in finances. The King of Pentacles may also be a home and garden guru, or a very skillful trades person.
Often, King of Pentacles people are masterful regarding interests like collecting treasures (think antiques, expensive cars, or art), farming and gardening, animal care, fine dining and cooking, real estate, architecture, or environmental issues. Most often, in any of these arenas, they enjoy the spotlight, and rise to the top as leaders.
Wealth comes easily and naturally to them, although they may or may not necessarily accumulate lots of it. Instead, they recognize it is an energetic flow that grows when it’s kept moving.
Rarely big risk-takers, they are judicious with how they share what they have, and they build abundance sustainably, with a slow and steady hand, and a true sense of stewardship.
This King is not the most intellectual of the four, nor does he go in for big drama (more likely he hates it!). Nor is he the touchy-feely type who likes to examine his emotions.
He is earthy, practical, methodical, and is the steadfast worker who gets things done. He makes a devoted father, a sensuous lover, and prefers to savor the very best of what life offers. It is no accident that his scepter is the same as that of The Empress.
The First Harvest
How perfect that our splendid King of the Harvest, wealth, and good health comes visiting in the week just before Lughnasadh!
In modern Irish Gaelic, the name for the month of August is Lúnasa, and in Scottish Gaelic, Lunasda literally means the 1st of August. For millennia in countries throughout the Northern Hemisphere, the first week of the month (named in English for Augustus Caesar) has been a time for gathering in the first fruits, and observing the turning of the Wheel of the Year from High Summer, to the approaching Autumn.
Despite the hot days still ahead, this time will usher in the traditional beginning of Fall festivals. This sabbat known as Lammas, Lughnasadh, and First Harvest is the start of state and county fairs springing up like chanterelles.
We will now commemorate the gathering-in of late summer fruits and vegetables, and the enjoyment of grain — both oven-baked, as well as fermented, in the tradition of John Barleycorn.
Retrograding to the Max
Despite the sumptuous energy of this card, this is not a time for risk-taking. Pause before being seduced by every hip new status symbol now showing up on the market, or before making uninformed, careless investment choices.
If possible, postpone big purchases or contractual agreements, or, at least, check and triple-check the fine print, because on Thursday the 26th, Mercury turns retrograde.
This is a time for circumspection, and a thoughtful review of what has been working for you and what has not.
Communication, commerce, travel, and technology are all impacted by Mercury retros, and often will trigger difficulties. This King would fine-tune the emphasis to being extra careful regarding your home, finances, and health.
The astrologer who coined the term, SuperMoon, Richard Nolle, cautions that this may be an especially rocky retro, since we are in a “Mercury max” cycle.
Mercury and Earth are in their close approach (perigee) phase during this cycle, when Mercury on its faster, inner orbit catches up to Earth and then passes us. Like Mars Max – and SuperMoon, for that matter – Mercury’s perigee pass means that it appears bigger and brighter in the sky at this time. So far from being weakened, Mercury is actually more prominent during its Max phase.
Mercury has from time immemorial signified the light in our eyes: intelligence, cleverness, guile and wit. If a more prominent Mercury wrecks all your plans and projects during the retrograde portion of Mercury Max – when the little planet is at its brightest – it’s only because you’re not paying attention or doing your due diligence; or because someone who does have their eye on the ball is eating your lunch.
Stay sharp, stay focused, and have a Plan B mapped out in advance!
With the help of the King of Pentacles, we can trust that any downturns are opportunities in disguise that might help us recalibrate plans and ideas, so that later next month, we can steam forward with better progress. Meantime, pay attention!
In addition, the ongoing tensions and frustrations of Mars in retrograde have also made for big drama.
This week, besides the Mercury Max, Richard also warns that Mars reaches its “Mars Max,” meaning that Earth is at perigee (its closest orbit) with Mars.
The biennial Mars Max cycle inevitably signals a peak in tension and conflict on the human level – both individually and collectively. Whether it’s interpersonal or international, this is never a peaceful time. It’s a phenomenon that consistently shows up in the heavens when the tide of human violence surges to extraordinary levels.
It loomed large and bright in the sky at the Valentine’s Day Massacre, the start of World War II, the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the start of the Korean War, the Suez Crisis, the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, the Gulf War, 911, etc. …
There’s a reason the ancients knew Mars as a war God …
What a good mediator the King of Pentacles is, in the face of such dangers. He would caution us to stay calm and would be the first to point out that we all might need to think much more carefully about the implications of trade wars with our (former) allies, as well as hurling childish insults and dares at Iran.
He is not a philosopher, but a pragmatist, and knows that such bratty behavior can have immense, irrevocable consequences.
He would also be the one to intervene in a powerful way as the United States prepares to gut the Endangered Species Act, which has protected and possibly saved countless plants and animals from extinction.
For as the world is hypnotized by the perilous melodrama of the latest indictments, accusations, and saber-rattling, the P45 administration is also dismantling the few safeguards for our natural resources that still remain.
The looting of America’s treasures for the insatiable greed of the wealthy elite is making the economic inequity in our country dangerously vast.
The King of Pentacles is well aware that such decisions are, ultimately, unsustainable. Strife and tragedy walk in the wake of ongoing economic injustice.
Instead, he might offer an alternative view of wealth management, for his needs are simple, even if his tastes are refined. He recognizes that all wealth is not financial — health and a thriving natural world are far more precious than gold.
But Wait! There’s Lots More!
Besides the retrograde challenges, this week, we’ll be seeing the Full Moon in Aquarius (while the Sun is in its own home sign of Leo), which also brings with it a hugely important lunar eclipse.
This eclipse will be the longest one of the 21st century, and can be viewed in its totality in Africa and Asia, with Europe, South America, and Australia seeing partial views. Unfortunately, if North American viewers want to watch, they’ll have to settle for live-streaming.
Since the King of Pentacles is our guide for this event, I thought I would share the insight for this week from one of my favorite actual, living King of Pentacles people, the brilliant, famous financial astrologer, Raymond Merriman:
We are in between two powerful eclipses. The solar eclipse of July 12 was important because it was in opposition to Pluto and formed a grand trine to Jupiter and Neptune. Our bias was that the U.S. stock market would make a high around then, and either plummet into the powerful lunar eclipse of July 27, or else explode and possibly make new cycle (or all-time) highs within a week of August 1. It looked like the latter through Wednesday, July 18, as stocks kept rising, and then Mars-retrograde-square-Uranus (otherwise known as POTUS – President of the United States), struck.
The odds of a new all-time high within a week of August 1 – when the slew of powerful Uranus signatures will unfold – just receded, and in its place, the odds of a sharp decline just increased.
But how strong could either a rally or a decline in stocks, or any financial market, be? With Uranus, it is always hard to predict prices, for support and resistance are just boundaries that Uranus itches to break.
Uranus doesn’t like or respect boundaries and limits of any kind. They are just there to be violated and produce surprise, even shock. The probabilities favor the idea that in either case (rally or decline), the price changes will be far more than anyone thinks.
I mean, this is a lunar eclipse that 1) is a day after Mercury turned retrograde, 2) while it forms a hard, fixed T-square with the Mars/Uranus square in very early fixed signs. Mars is 3) not only retrograde, along with Mercury, but Mars is 4) in an opposition to the Sun in the fire sign of Leo.
That is, the fiery planet Mars is in a very hard opposition to the fiery Sun in the fiery sign of Leo, forming a T-square to the master of chaos, Uranus.
It is possible, of course, that nothing remarkable happens to stocks. After all, many indices (like the DJIA) have been range-bound since the sharp selloff to the 23-month cycle low in several U.S. stock markets, on February 9. Instead of manifesting in financial areas of human experience, it might manifest in nature or geopolitics.
These planetary cycles have astrological correspondences to earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and high winds, and electrical blackouts (how secure is the electrical grid?). [And in his July forecast, Richard Nolle strongly urges us to be prepared for these kinds of disruptions – B.]
They also have symbolism pertaining to terrorist activities, and cyber espionage or theft. And those who have strong Uranus signatures at their time of birth are most prone to do something truly brilliant or stupid.
The POTUS has one of the strongest Uranus setups ever seen in a natal chart. He is anything but constant, predictable, calm and in control, or stable. He is a man to be watched closely during this time – as if you have a choice – for his behavior and speech may be very bold, even more than has been observed to date. Yes, even he could surprise people in the next 2-3 weeks.
Some will say this type of behavior and psychological bent (unpredictability) is an asset. Others will say it is a liability. Still others will say it is entertaining. It’s all a continuation of the “Great Reset” we have been under since the winter solstice of December 21, 2017.
This is a new Era of chaos and unpredictability we have entered that is not due to cease until after 2022. By that time, the Federal Reserve Board and the U.S. Dollar may have a totally different status than they possess today.
Planning for Turning Times
Who in your life is playing an important part regarding the use and distribution of your resources? Whose wise advice do you seek, when it comes to spending, or investing?
When was the last time you sat down and got real about your budget or career, and made plans for the long term, particularly with “Tower Time” a growing possibility?
How will you protect and enhance all that you value, including your health, your home, your job, and your money if, as Merriman and countless others suggest, the very definition of wealth and economic security is in flux?
The King of Pentacles suggests that we would be wise to ascertain and protect what offers us wholesome, long-term well-being.
Instead of trying to fill up the bottomless pit of artificially manufactured needs, let us understand how greed and unquestioning acquisition make things worse, both for our Mother Earth, and our own souls.
The King urges us instead to understand and be grateful for all the abundance we already have. How would our environment, our political systems, and our health and welfare be different, if only we would realize that enjoyment, not hoarding, is the true nature of prosperity?
As we prepare to welcome the shifting of the seasons, let us drink a toast to the King of Pentacles. May he share with us a table laden with life’s finest treasures, generously offered for all.