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The Pleiades, a Kingfisher and my King of Cups

Updated: Jun 23, 2022

My King of Cups is a warm, loving and wise soul who spent his earlier years, as is typical for such Kings, being the rock that others cling to, the safe haven in the storm, a man of legendary steadfastness and endurance.

The emergence of a serious health condition combined with the bittersweet ending of a long relationship unstitched close-knit family life. Literally, emotionally and metaphorically the heart of the King of Cups hasn’t so much been broken as smashed into pieces, along with his cups, his Kingdom gone.

True to his Cancerian nature, my King of Cups came home to live by Mother Ocean and built a nest hidden away in a valley from the world and all its injustice. A kingfisher lives there, also nesting alongside the sea. This kingfisher is a regular, watchful visitor, a soothing but keen-eyed presence, somehow reassuring him that all will be well.

On the day just prior to Matariki – the rising of the Pleiades constellation at the winter solstice that marks the NZ Maori New Year – one of my very wonderful teachers Jai Gobind (check out Channel for Grace), drew my attention to the star of Alcyone at the heart of the Pleiades, (Venus has entered the sign of Gemini so that they are exactly conjunct at 0 degrees).

Lo and behold, the Kingfisher is associated with the star Alcyone (the Greek for kingfisher is alkyon or halycon). Alcyone’s story is one of grief at the loss of her beloved husband who was drowned at sea by the angry Gods. Bereft and overcome, she too threw herself into the sea to drown. But the Gods took pity on the pair and turned them into Kingfisher (halycon birds). Each winter, they made their nest when the winds would drop and there was a window to nest on calm seas. These are the so-called Halycon days of peace and calm.

It is soon time to celebrate my King of Cups’ birthday and as it came as a gift from some other place, I shared this mythology with him, to remind us both of the mysterious power of the soul at work in his life, guiding him forward even in the midst of great pain, when it feels like we are moving nowhere and simply drowning in our grief and confusion.

For the Kingfisher is a symbol of life and renewal. He visits, quietly colourful, to share that message with my equally understated King of Cups, at the farm by the sea where he has managed to make his nest.

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