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Join Date: 26 Sep 2006
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MAAT Study Group The Wheel of Fortune


The Wheel of Fortune

Cross-Quarter Day-February 2

Candlemas/Oimelc



"First Milk"
Oimelc or Candlemas is the halfway point between Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. Oimelc means ewe's milk. Few urban dwellers today would know or even care that it is lambing season, the time of the year that lambs are born. But to our ancestors the birth of lambs would be the first signs of spring approaching and the abundance of life returning. The lambs meant there would be meat, milk and wool and that autonomy could be maintained.

Most Christians will say "Lions lay down with lambs". Yet no where in Scripture is that ever mentioned. It is the wolf that lays down with the lamb, not the lion. The New Testament always contrasts lamb with
wolves, not lions. This interesting phrase came from somewhere... perhaps it came from some old folk knowledge that Ewe's lay down to lamb when in the month the moon is full in Leo. The constellation of the reclining Lion
is clear and prominent in the late January and February sky. The whole point of Isaiah 11:6 is to foretell a time of peace. This year (2007)the full moon actually falls right on Oimelc.

In the MAAT Tarot The Wheel of Fortune alludes to the astrological natal chart as it represents the sky at the moment of one's birth (As Above So Below). Your natal chart marks the personal laws that you were born with. Your individual character can be understood by the descriptions and placements of the stars and planets it is your virtual Wheel of Fortune. This opens a beautiful and personal metaphor for the idea of a macrocosm and a microcosm. Everyone's chart is different, like a fingerprint, every individual is a manifestation of the universe at the moment they were born. It is said that a person's character is their destiny.

The study of Astrology dates back to ancient India and the Chaldeans of Mesopotamia around 3000BCE. The Egyptians, Assyrians and Babylonians adopted astrology and made their contributions. Along with sun and the moon, the "lesser" lights of the sky are also observed. The planets and the stars were considered divine beings (gods), Watchers over the children of Earth. European stone circles may well be associated with the watching of the stars and planets.

The concentrated trail of stars in our galaxy is called the Milky Way and the origins of this name turn up in Greek mythology. The story goes that Hermes [in an effort to give the child immortality] placed the child, Hercules on the breast of Hera while the goddess was sleeping. As soon as she opened her eyes, Hera pushed the baby aside, but it was too late. Her milk had let down and began to flow from her breast spraying milk into the sky creating a trail that became the Milky Way. Other Goddesses given credit for this milk were Rhea, Hathor and Isis.

This tale not only gives a delightful example of the primacy of a feminine principle in the creation of the galaxy, but also speaks volumes about fertility, reliability and the power of woman's bodies to provide for their offspring. Hera's milk let down shows that her body was willing and impartial to her cantankerous will. Her unconscious body would have given the child Hercules the immortality he craved. But when she consciously saw him she would not suckle the child of her husband (Zeus) by a mortal woman. It was her consciousness that decided to whom she would grant her power of immortality.

For some Native Americans the Milky Way Galaxy, is the path that souls follow to the land of the dead. There are theories about Ancient Egyptians seeing the Nile River as a reflection of the Milky Way on earth.

The MAAT Tarot Wheel of Fortune offers the metaphor of the personal astrological natal chart as your wheel of fortune and combines this attribute with the first signs of spring. It also brings us to a place in time when mother's milk was held in such high esteem that it was thought the stars in the sky were made from it.

Other names: Imbolc (in the belly of the mother); Oimelc (milk of ewes); Lady Day; Brigit's Day; Lupercalia (Roman Fertility Festival) The milk of Hera, Rhea, Hathor/Isis forming the Milky Way.

Symbols: Candles; birthing of lambs; first milk; ancient tools of invocation, sacred fires The Milky Way

Attributes: Paradigm shift; invocation, destiny, hope, and fate.
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