Musings on the cards

On Deities and Respect

Over the past couple years, I have been working on mending my relationship with spiders. They creep me out, but I respect their power, creativity, and skill in hunting. I have done my best to relocate the ones I find indoors and to share space with those outside. I have been envisioning each spider as an embodiment of Anansi and this has helped me to see them as a keeper of wisdom and not just a household pest.
 
There is an orb weaver that lives in the outdoor stairwell to our basement that I have been trying to cooperate with. Since the first sighting in the spring, this spider and I have been working towards mutual respect and boundaries. I have agreed to not disturb its webs and it has agreed to not build them in such a way as to obstruct my path down the stairs.
 
This agreement has had little issue and through the summer I have watched this tiny spider grow to nearly an inch and a half across. They have had plenty to feast on, and I have had fewer flies to deal with in the moist, dark corner where the basement door is. All in all, it has been a good relationship. So much so, that when I started my new job a few weeks ago, this spider, or more likely its kin, greeted me at the front door as I left for my first day. Seriously, all summer there had not been one web on the front porch, but that morning there was an enormous and elaborate web just to the side of the door with a very similar looking spider right in the middle. It was gone when I cam home, likely taken down by a human, and I haven’t seen one there again.
 
Over the last week or so, there has been a shift in the relationship. There have been a few times when the anchor threads have been cast to block my path down the steps. The first time it happened, I was annoyed. The second time, I was frustrated. I knew that the spider was gearing up for fall and winter and likely trying to get more food. But I did not treat it with respect. I took down the anchor thread and chastised the spider for violating our agreement. After all, this is my house and I am allowing you to feed here, dammit.
 
This morning was the final straw. Again, the thread was across my path and again I was angry.  In retrospect, petulant might be a better word.  I did not treat the spider with respect, and frankly, I was kind of pissy with it. I still did not rip the web down, but I did remove the anchor that was blocking me and sent the spider clamoring for safety as the wind whipped the web around.  There was no apology on my part, just another chastising for being in my way.  Previously when I have taken down the thread, the spider would stay off to the side of the web for the rest of the day.  Today, when I came down the steps the next time, there it was.  Right there in the middle waiting for me.  No thread blocking me, just eight little eyes staring me down as I came down the steps.  As I walked past, my petulance was repaid. My foot missed the last step and I went tumbling forward into the cement wall.  
Fuck.
Point taken, Anansi.

You see, I tell myself that I have this friendship relationship with the deities that I work and associate with.  I work to view them in less of a master/servant or ruler/subject kind of way and try to see them as the kind of best friend that everyone really needs.  The kind that you can tell your deepest secrets too and the kind that will do anything you ask of them because they know that you will do the same in return.  Also, the kind of friend that will call you out when you are being a tool.  I failed in my part of the friendship today as I removed the respect from the relationship.  I would not have treated a human friend like that, so why did I treat an ancient spirit friend like that.  Today, my friend called me out for being a dick.

I have since apologized to the spider and I am working to rebuild the relationship. I am also trying to use this as a teaching moment for the rest of my deity relationships.  Each day, I want to be a better person and a better friend than I was the day before.  I know that this is one of my biggest challenges but I am up for it.

 

#takeaknee

Unless you have been living under a rock, you are at least mildly aware that members of the National Football League have been protesting during the national anthem.  This protest has been in the form of kneeling during the song, instead of standing which is customary.  Big deal, right?  It’s just a few rich guys getting some publicity, right?

Well, yes. But, mostly no.

The face of this protest has been Colin Kaepernick and the seed behind the start of this action was a call to recognize the systemic oppression of people of color in the United States.  Since then it has been portrayed in the media as a stand against the nation itself, a disrespectful act towards the flag, and even a slap in the face to our military.  With the controversy surrounding this, I decided to ask the cards what we really need to know about this protest and what we can take away from it.

What is real? – The Empress

The reality of this protest is that it is being started by those in a comfortable position to do so.  There is no doubt that this is a group of influential multi-millionaires that can likely afford to weather some controversy and challenging press.  However, that is exactly who the “little guy” needs to have speaking up.  The word “privilege” has been twisted to be seen as a bad thing, but we all have it in one way or another.  There is some aspect of our life that is relatively easy for us where others have it harder.  When we recognize this, we can use the advantages that we have to help others get closer to where we are.  This is exactly why we need celebrities and people of influence to speak up on controversial issues.  The voice of the oppressed is often muffled and drowned out by the oppressors. There is rarely a national or even a local stage for them to speak out and be heard.  Having a someone with national stage pick up your torch and carry it to the televisions of the world brings a voice to your cause that is extremely  hard to ignore.

What is the lie? – The High Priestess

The message that continues to be spread about this protest is that it is a directly subversive act against our nation and our flag.  Colin, and those kneeling with him, are (shudder) UN-AMERICAN! How dare they protest against our flag.  It represents the blood spilled by our military and the sacrifices that were made to ensure our safety and freedom. This act of kneeling during the anthem has been portrayed as part of a larger, shadowy movement to undermine our nation’s freedom and all that it stands for.  The problem is, there has been nothing hidden or shadowy about the motive behind the protest.  When asked, Colin Kaepernick gave a clear, articulate answer as to his motives. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” There is no hidden message here, folks.  This is a call for change.

What can we take away from this? – The Emperor

We need to be ready.  Ready to stand up, ready to speak out, ready to do what is necessary to be the leaders in our worlds.  This doesn’t mean that we need to take to the streets and start rioting, but we do need to be prepared to speak up when we see something happening that is not right.  This type of protest calls for us to use our areas of privilege, however small they may seem, as a springboard for action and change.  It is up to each of us to show those that are struggling that there a people in their corner and that we will not let them down.  Now, you may not feel like you have much influence over the world and that there is not much you can do.  Don’t let that stop you.  Use your influence to make change where you can.  Scale it down to where you know you have some sway, then get to it.  If you don’t have a national platform, speak out to your state. Nothing at the state level either? Go local. Not even a local stage for you to use? Start at home with your family and friends. Wherever you have a voice, use it.

I am struck by the fact that all three of these cards were Major Arcana images.  There are bigger forces at work here than just the mundane struggles of man. While it may not seem apparent in the immediate, I believe history will eventually show that the times we are living in now are drastically shaping our nation’s definition of liberty and freedom.  It is also important to look at the overall backgrounds of these cards and see that what is being shown as real and actionable, are the energies that are in the open and visible to all.  The lies and deception are in the shadows and shrouded from clear scrutiny.  Be cognizant of those that push conjecture and assumptions of other peoples actions and those that are are upfront and open about what they are doing.  You may not necessarily agree with their actions, but by getting the story from the source, you can at least trust that they are giving you the real story.

Tarot and politics

The last 12 months have been extremely contentious in the realm of politics.  You can easily pass this off by saying that politics is always a tense and frustrating sphere, but it would be very hard to not acknowledge that something is a little extra crazy right now.

I have never really been a big follower of the election cycles or the governmental process in general over the years, but I have been trying a lot more recently.  As a citizen of the world, I have started to understand that if you want things to change, you have to be involved.  To be involved, you have to understand what is going on.  While I have been doing my research to understand the national and local politics going on a round me, I have also been looking to the cards to peer into election results, legislation impact, and overall social impact on certain governmental decisions.

After getting some pretty accurate results for the national election last year, I decided to draw some cards for the local elections that we have as well.  A few weeks ago I drew a card for each mayoral candidate to see how they would fare if the election was held then.  At the time, there was a very clear message as to who would win and who would walk away.  Many things have come to light since then and the internet chatter has been filled with facts and accusations alike.  With the election only two days away, I thought I would take today to check in again and see what the potential outcome will be.

For the Mayor, Robert Lovero: The Chariot

For the opponent, Ted Polashek: The Hierophant

 

The first thing that jumps out at me is that the race is much closer than it was a few weeks ago.  If you look at the cards, there is a lot of similarity between them  Both feature a single, central figure with two minor characters in front.  Both feature that figure dressed and prepared for the role they are going to play.  Hell, they are even both wearing crowns and holding scepters.  Pretty even, right?

So let’s get to the differences and where I see the two campaigns diverging.

With the Chariot, we see motion and all three characters going in the same direction. They are also outside prepared for battle.  This shows me that the campaign is moving together as unit and the Mayor is relying on the support of his team for advancement.  They are prepared, calculated, and willing to do whatever it takes to win.

With the Hierophant, there is stability and structure.  This campaign is about sticking to a plan and a trusting that there will always be enough people looking up to him to support his efforts.  It has the feeling of knowing that they are out to do something that is destined and faith will see them through.

When I look at these cards, I see that the odds are very, very close right now for either candidate.  While the mayor will be relying on the team that he has around him, his opponent will be banking on the constituents to keep him afloat.

As with the previous spread that I did, I do see the incumbent mayor pulling this election off.  However, with the support that Alderman Polashek has gained, I do not see him fading away from the city’s future.