JOLLIMANCY: An Astrological Treatise on Divination through Chickenjoy

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The Head or Neck of the Chicken

Everything above the wishbone, from the skull of the bird, down to its shoulder-blades. Both the head and neck of the chicken lie under the dominion of Aries, the sign of the Ram, of authority, and IV. The Emperor. This attribution between this sign and body part—whether human or poultry—is an old and famous one, correlating with that within the Homo Signorum or Zodiac Man of medieval European medicine, and for more reasons than simply its position as the first sign of the Zodiac. Philologically, take roots for the word "head" across various cultures, such as Proto-Indo-European *kap, whence they derive "chief", "capital", "chef", "captain", and "cabeza" (as in de Barangay), to Proto-Austronesian *quluh, whence we have Tagalog, Cebuano, and Ilocano "pangulo", and so forth. In the sign of Aries is the Sun exalted, chief amongst luminaries, whose corresponding trump in the Major Arcana is assigned the Hebrew letter Resh (ר) meaning "face", which is further testament to this attribution between the head and the Ram.

Of all the signs in the Heavens, there may be none more undeniably masculine than Aries: cardinal of the fire signs, ruled by Mars and within whom the Sun is exalted (themselves two of the most masculine planets.) In the Tarot, I have interpreted patriarchy, primarily in economic/material terms, as expressed most within the card of IV. The Emperor; meanwhile XVI. The Tower (to which Mars is assigned) is notably phallic in its imagery, even ejaculatory. The masculinity of XVIII. The Sun in this binary of man/woman, sun/moon, oppressor/oppressed, light/dark, and fucker/fucked etc. speaks for itself. Between Aries and the chicken, cockfighting, one of the most popular pastimes in the Philippines, lies as an embodiment of the sudden and fleeting violence which the Ram represents. The strike and stagger of two gamecocks, the shine of spurs in mid-air, the splash of blood across the earth. Because of cockfighting's 6,000 year history in the country, chickens are associated with fearlessness and ferocity in Filipino culture, rather than timidity and weakness, as in the West. Most sabungeros are men. When you are eating the fried head of a chicken, your mouth is quite literally on the head of a cock.

Jollibee and the sign of Aries are exceptionally linked by way of IV. The Emperor, the zodiacal trump of the Ram in the Tarot. For instance, as illustrated by Lady Frieda Harris' in Aleister Crowley's Thoth deck: while the heads of rams constitute the pillars which flank the Emperor and the scepter which he holds, it is bees which adorn his mantle. Napoleon I of the French Empire famously chose the honeybee to symbolize himself as Emperor of the French, bejewelling his coronation robes with 300 golden honeybees and even adopting the nickname "L'Abeille". 250 years later, Tony Tan Caktiong chose the bee as the mascot for his new fast food chain, and for the same reasons that Napoleon did for his imperial court: the bee is a relentlessly diligent and hard worker, yet ever benevolent and sweet through his honey. To Caktiong, Filipinos are just like bees: always so jolly, even though they're always so busy. Much as the capitalist appropriates his workers' surplus value, the beekeeper harvests his bees' honey. Our honey is never really ours. We're just like bees. In 2018, Jollibee laid off over 400 workers after refusing to regularize them; (4 + 0 + 0 =) 4 is the number of IV. The Emperor in the Major Arcana. Interestingly, Jollibee's brand colors, red and yellow, are identical to those of Aries and his dignifying planets.

Dominance and domination is inherent to the sign of Aries, which, in the Philippine context, has come manifest foremost in the shape of empire (once again, a literal expression of IV. The Emperor). While rams are associated with independence and assertion, sheep, despite being the same animal, are associated with conformity and subservience. The Philippine government are sheep under the shepherd's staff of foreign imperialists, American, Japanese, Chinese, or otherwise. RAMon Magsaysay was a CIA-backed puppet according to the CIA itself. Filipinos, apparently, are just like bees. On its head, the rooster's comb is a crown of red flesh, as crimson as warfire. Far more uncommon than a breast or a thigh, the severed and deep-fried chicken's head on your Jollibee platter reminds you of the guillotines the French used to execute their monarchy. You remember the way an albularyo's blade glides across a chicken's throat, its blood dripping on the ground. To heal, to bless, to prophesy.