By JILLIAN KRISTINA
We made it. The final month of 2023 is upon us, and if you’re here to read this, congratulate yourself. When I think of one word or image to describe this past year, it’s this – Hellmouth. The jaws of hell pried open with a wide, vicious, dripping grin, poised to pulverize and devour. The death toll continues to rise as the mouth, cracking with disfigurement, makes us bear witness to the real horrors of man – the true crimes against humanity. Until we stop feeding it, the Hellmouth will never close. Until we stop inflicting our rage, violence and prejudices on others, those flesh-crusted, blood-slicked gates will remain open. And we will have only ourselves to blame.
This is the last month of this Chariot year. 2023 (2+2+3 – 7) is represented by the seventh card of the major arcana in the divination system we call tarot. This year has been all about releasing what absolutely cannot come with us into 2024 (a Strength year). Our Chariots have become overburdened with refuse, sludge, and weight, and this year, we’ve been invited to purge the rot to make space for ourselves. But first, we have to identify what the rot is. We have to see what lessons the leeches and the sludge had for us. And after realizing the poltergeists, patterns and behaviors that have continued to play out in our lives, we must commit to letting them fall from our Chariots and smash to the ground, obliterating them, once and for all.
“I thought we could help him, but I was wrong. It’s time we cut out the cancer.”
In James Wan’s mind-bending 2018 horror kaleidoscope, MALIGNANT, Madison (Annabelle Wallis) is full of life… and death. She’s pregnant with possibility and with a baby girl. She’s been pregnant with this possibility before, but something – someone – has stolen that chance from her again, and again, and again. Imagine, so much promise only to be followed by so much loss. So much death. Only to start again, and again, and again.
This isn’t the only trauma Madison has suffered. Surrendered by her young mother to the Simion Research Hospital when she was a child, Madison has almost no memory of what happened there. After being adopted, Madison attempts to live a normal life, but there’s something different about her. She has no friends. She talks to what her new parents assume is an imaginary friend named Gabriel. This friend doesn’t seem to be a very positive influence. In fact, Gabriel seems to be somewhat insidious. He calls her on her toy phone, telling her to do things. He gets in her head, his voice reverberating through her consciousness. And then, as if he’s able to take over, Madison finds herself wielding a large knife over the pregnant abdomen of her slumbering mother. At the sound of her mother’s cries, Madison is shocked from her trance, dropping the knife and screaming.
“I didn’t ask to be tethered to you. You don’t deserve your body. I can use it better than you.”
What do we do in times of horrific confrontation? Moments of excruciating tectonic breaks? Times in which we lose control? When we can’t see the piling debris and decay that rise around us, threatening to consume us? We fertilize fallow ground. Ground for ghosts. Ground for the wailing agonies of our ancestors. Phantoms, screaming the past back to life. Wraiths, seeking their revenge. Slaughtered angels, returning for their vengeance. Wailing, streaking specters. Reverberations of buried atrocities that push forward to have their say.
The room begins to shift, to change. The scene is here but… not. Reality mixes with ink and fog, morphing and reforming. Voices speak through the static, spewing repression and trauma and horrors gone unchecked. Truths too wretched to stay silenced, expressed through gushing wounds. Bleeding craters. Because blood holds our stories, blood never forgets… and rarely forgives.
“Oh my god. He speaks.”
“He’s broadcasting his thoughts.”
This week’s Full Moon in Gemini was loud. Gemini is the sign of the twins. The sign of communication. The sign of the messenger. But what happens when we ignore the messages we’re receiving? What happens when we ignore those parts of us that we’ve tried to subdue? Those parts that make us uncomfortable? Those parts that we’d rather remove than rectify?
“Remove what we can and suppress the rest into her skull.”
Suppress. Deny. Bury. These actions – or non-actions – have a way of rearing their heads when we least expect it. The astrology of this last part of the year is showing up not to punish us, but to urge us to see. To speak. To take our personal and collective power back. To reclaim the reigns of our Chariots and start steering them ourselves, free and clear of the shadows that threaten to sabotage us.
“Gabriel has hijacked her body and is using it himself.”
This week has major Eight of Swords energy. The Swords suit correlates with the element of air – intellect, communication. The Eight of Swords denotes the mental prisons we ensnare ourselves in, all the while, holding the power to free us at any moment by simply removing the blindfolds and finally allowing us to see what’s right in front of us. The Eight of Swords represents our personal Hellmouths. Our private hells that trap and consume us. But the way out, always, is through. And it’s only when we confront these parts of ourselves that have been binding our hands behind our backs that we can truly reclaim the sense of sovereignty and self that was stripped from us so long ago.
“You don’t get to control me, ever again. It’s over, Gabriel. I’m taking it all back. My mind, my body, my everything. Now you get to live in a world that I create.”
I’d like to suggest an anchoring card for this week and the coming weeks. You can use this alongside the Chariot card as supportive energy carrying you through the last remaining weeks of this year. The sixth and preceding card in the major arcana – The Lovers. The core of The Lovers card is a calling back of the self – a reunion with the pieces we’ve lost along the way. This is true reconciliation of mind, body and soul. This is acceptance, assimilation and recalibration. This is sovereignty. This is overcoming. This is healing. This is Madison taking her power back from Gabriel. This is Madison putting an end to the rage and violence. This is Madison saying no to the destructive forces within herself and saying yes to herself for the first time. Finally. We have a lot to learn from Madison. And ourselves.
I’m offering a limited amount of tarot readings throughout December. Feel free to connect through my website, or directly via firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about the energy of these last few weeks, how it might affect you and to book a reading. I wish for the best, most peaceful, most clarifying energies to every single person, near and far. We need each other right now more than anything, and to be able to show up for each other, we need to show up for ourselves. Don’t deny your intuition. Trust yourself more. Believe in yourself. Choose your friends wisely. And as we edge closer into the horrorday season, never, ever, stop choosing yourself.