Category: Myth, Folklore & Fairytales

Our collective imaginings unfold as stories.

Eclipses, Identity, Enslavement and Fairy Tales
Halvor kills the troll in Soria Moria Castle. “My name is Amanda Berry.” The first words she spoke after she crawled out of the house of her enslavement in Cleveland, Ohio were a statement of her identity. Amanda Berry is much more than what happened to her. Her decade-long [...]
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Mami Wata
Mami Wata 1999, by Moyo Ogundipe   It’s Mothering Sunday here. The Moon (Mama) is in the sign of the Fishes, coming up to conjunct the Sun in a day or so. Mama Wata, Yemanya, La Sirene — these are all names for the mother of the ocean worshipped in West Africa, Brazil, the [...]
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Knowledge Travelling Through Time
William Blake: Seven Spririts of God. Now he had some really funny ideas. Whenever we receive wisdom that’s come down through many centuries, we can be certain that it has lost half its original bodyweight, accrued an encrustation of opinion, developed a strange lopsided bias, and [...]
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Sleeping Nature, Fire Within
In the Northern Hemisphere, nature is sleeping. The leaves have fallen and the ground is frost-hard. Here at England’s navel, dusk is at 4pm. The dark is rising outside my window. Today the Sun moved into the sign of the strange goatfish, Capricorn, ruled by cold Saturn. Capricorn is the [...]
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Mercury in Scorpio: Inner Demons
A detail from Hieronymous Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights “Beware the slinking whisperer who whispers into the hearts of people, whether he is from the world of spirits or the world of humans.” – Sura 114, The Qur’an “The mind is its own place, and in [...]
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The Inception of Monsters: Frankenstein and Dracula
Bela Lugosi as … Lilith? 1816: they called it the summer there was no summer. In the Swiss Alps, the cold was bitter even in June. Huddled under the stormy cloak cast by the unseasonable weather, a band of young  English travellers passed the time with talking, fantasising, [...]
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How I Broke My Achilles Heel
The boy hero was educated by Chiron, the centaur. Here depicted by John Singer Sargent Silver-footed Thetis, the sea goddess, leaned over the the River Styx, and dipped her demigod baby into its dark current. The magical water made the boy invulnerable. But there was one spot that stayed dry – [...]
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Astrology of Now: Where’s Your Revolution?
Lord Shiva, the transformer Today, the god of transformation is joined by the Full Moon in the sign of institutions, establishment, organisation. And the head of Barclays Bank resigns… The Moon slides over Pluto at 8° Capricorn and then opposes then Sun, which is at 12° Cancer. If you [...]
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Enter the Fairy Realm: Venus in Gemini
Steal away with the fairies for the next few months while Venus dances in Gemini “At the beginning of each summer, when the milk-white hawthorn is in bloom, anointing the air with its sweet odour, and miles and miles of golden whin adorn the glens and hill-slopes, the fairies come forth [...]
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The King Is Dead, Long Live the Queen
Princesss Elizabeth and her dashing consort Philip at a polo match in Kenya, just days before she succeeded to the throne in 1952. The 33 daughters of the Roman emperor Diocletian, cast adrift in the grey sea (after murdering their 33 dreary husbands), saw land – a white land, rising from the [...]
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Are You Cinderella or An Ugly Step-Sister?
The ugly step-sisters flank Cinderella in last year’s panto at the Oxford Playhouse. What is it about our brothers and sisters? It’s the longest relationship for most of us. And so often it is a knot of jealousy and loyalty, love and loathing, betrayal and trust. We share a [...]
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The God of Cuckoldry Gives Advice on Marriage
Imagine you are…Classical Lady by John William Godward OK, we are back in Rome, sometime in the 2nd century AD. It’s autumn, the grape harvest is in. We’ve all been celebrating in perhaps too Dionysian a fashion. Imagine that you are a togaed Roman with time and money on your [...]
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Wise Counsellors for Cancer, Leo and Virgo
You may have read some of my previous posts on the “tutelary deities” used by Roman astrologers. These came as a surprise to me when I read about them last year since I’d not come across them in any astrology texts or lectures that I’d attended previously. Suffice to [...]
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Happy Birthday, Mother Goddess
Today is officially the Virgin Mary’s birthday, appropriately in Virgo’s month.  The planet Mercury is the official ruler of Virgo, of course, but according to the Roman astrologer Manilius, the deity (as opposed to the planet) that rules the sign is Ceres, goddess of the [...]
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The (Kind of Creepy) Birth of Venus
In the second post of her three-part series on the myth of Saturn, guest blogger Isy Tifft, takes a look at what can happen to a flying penis when it hits the ocean waves.  Alexandre Cabanel’s Birth of Venus (1875). You can see why Napoleon III wanted this painting for himself. In my [...]
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Castration, Rape and a Sharp Blade: Saturn’s Tricky Childhood
Saturn is the master of time and death I’m very excited to have my first guest here at the Oxford Astrologer. My friend and colleague Isy has very kindly agreed to share her insights into that old devil, Saturn. This is the first of a series on the subject. I think her background in [...]
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Take a Pilgrimage to the Delphic Oracle
The priestess of Apollo – the oracle at Delphi – imagined by the Victorian painter JW Waterhouse. Imagine that you are a rich resident of Alexandria in, say the second century AD. Your culture is Greek with a dash of Egyptian; your rulers live in Rome. But you have a dilemma [...]
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Dominique Strauss Kahn: A Tragedy Unfolds
“That old black ram is tupping your white ewe.” Othello strangles Desdemona  from Othello Othello rose to the highest public office; he fell because of a fatal flaw, a personality defect so big that it opened its mouth and swallowed him. Right now we are witnessing a tragedy. [...]
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Venus and the Virgin
The Virgin at La Salette, France “MAY is Mary’s month, and I Muse at that and wonder why:     Her feasts follow reason,     Dated due to season—   Candlemas, Lady Day;         5 But the Lady Month, May, [...]
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Astrology of Now: One Wedding, A Funeral and Two Fairytale Endings
St George and the Dragon by Jean-Francois Sulpice. The soldier prince Mars married the queen of the May, Venus, last Friday. A monster was slain on Monday. How can these things possibly connect symbolically? The charts, after all, are very similar with a heavy emphasis on Aries opposing solo [...]
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