As I mentioned in my post on 17th September Predicting Election Results with Tarot predictions are notoriously challenging. I am sure economists and weather forecasters who deal in futures would agree.
So I – and the tarot class – were sadly wrong in thinking that it would be a “Yes” vote in the Scottish elections. The Scots were brave, but not brave enough.
Let’s pick over the entrails to see where we went wrong. Becoming a mistress – or master – of a craft takes persistence, but hindsight is the best learning tool we have.
The biggest mistake we can make – and we did! – is not to be a clear channel for the cards.
Reading is a Service Profession and Readers want what is best for our client. We want to offer hope. But if our feelings are focused on “fixing it” - then we have become a muddy river that will not allow the waters of the oracle to flow cleanly through.
This makes reading a political question even more challenging, as most of us have strong convictions and fears around outcomes in big elections.
We all wanted the Scots to win Independence from Westminster!
And our biases shone through in our interpretations.
Another challenge in predicting objectively is one that I often find in Astrology. An astrologer works to open spiritual options for their client. They help the person by encouraging them to make break- throughs from a stuck negative position that often has been unconsciously adopted. An astrologer wants an individual who is facing hard decisions, to make their choices from a more self-aware and conscious place. The astrologer – or Tarot reader – confirms a client in their courage and a stronger belief in themselves.
But when predicting mundane events, it seems to me that the symbols of tarot or astrology are manifested in a much more negative fashion. The symbolic language is filtered only through the Reader who works in isolation from the “client” ie the mass of people the question is about. So the prophetic powers of the craft are utterly reliant on the purity of the medium.
Added to this, human individuals behave differently when in a group. Humans are a herd species that steadfastly follow their animal nature. If the herd is frightened or uncertain they will stampede blindly following unreliable instincts.
The group mind appears to work at the lowest common denominator of the symbols involved in predictive work.
I suggest a reader has to interpret the more negative meanings from their symbolic language – tarot cards or astrology - when trying to predict a decision made by the greater collective.
So turning to Scotland – the cards reflect the accuracy of the event, BUT we predicted the ‘yes” vote would win.
We completely under-estimated the power of Card Number 1, the mood of the people; the King of Pentacles.
Traditional meanings of this card include - Conservative, hidebound, love of comfort and the status quo.
Kings are the part of ourselves that are the least likely to change! Pentacles are the Earth suit and think about security – both economic as well as the need to be feeling rooted. The mood of “Let’s hang onto what we have” prevailed on the day.
This kind of character is most aligned with the “No” vote’s The Hierophant. Westminister comforted the King’s anxieties and appealed to the populace’s more conservative nature. The leap for independence was just too great a risk for this electorate. The Establishment was the safest bet.
The 7 wands certainly argues for the fight Westminster put up at the last moment and yes the traditional meanings of the card indicate success is possible if you stand strong.
As for the “Yes” vote. Well that historical figure Queen Zenobia (in the Tarot of Delphi deck) is in chains. Once her lands were lost to the Roman Empire, she never regained her freedom and died in captivity.
The lovely Ace of Wands of the Gaia deck does indeed represent the emergence a Scottish desire for independence; a fledgling plan too young and not strong enough to break through the intransigence of the King of Pentacles and The Hierophant. A new start though. 46% of the people won’t forget or resign themselves to passive surrender.
The Princess of Wands has taken up the baton and although youthful, feisty and gorgeous. She will grow – the future belongs to a Free Scotland!
The NZ General Election
Despite my own astrological reading of the election and its leaders, which seemed overwhelmingly to be in favour of the incumbent National Party, I had allowed myself to be positive about the Left’s chances after studying this tarot layout. Mostly this was influenced by the colour coding and a desire for the Right to be defeated.
The mood of the People is The Empress.She is surrounded by trappings of consumerism and materialism with her back to the beautiful natural setting she finds herself in and which is actually the foundation of her power.
A complacent figure who ‘loves” the folksy John Key as leader. The electorate voted with their personal feelings about his personality. The Empress symbolises the feeling nature and the vote’s outcome was certainly based on a mood (of anxiety) rather than on logic. The Empress represents a patrician notion that the authorities can be trusted to create security and keep at bay instability. The Empress wants to continue business as usual, fuelling economic growth with our agricultural produce (food and land), despite her marketing brand of 100% pure NZ being total fabrication.
Clean waterways? In the picture she has her back turned to her waterfall.
She promises the Empire she rules will keep providing the voting electorate’s comfortable lifestyles, so they can ignore the very real poverty of a large number of citizens around them. Sweep all that under that large carpet of a dress she is wearing.
This Empress believes in an old myth that Aotearoa is the land of milk and honey. The tarot card represents Mother Earth, yet our kiwi electorate is oblivious to the environmental rape of her land, extinction of species, granting permissions to frack and mine to continue with fossil fuel economies.
The abuse of her women and children, the cutbacks to education, health and welfare go unnoticed. I would say 66% of the voters are complacent “mothers” of their own land and people. The other 33% of voters are Green and/or are worried about their land and rights being sold down the river into foreign ownership. The Maori party who also pulled The Empress have their Whanau Ora – looking after families – plans to be continued.
Traditionally, The Empress means unleashed productivity. Her husband, the Emperor represents boundaries, limits and regulation. He “husbands” her productivity. A belief – or rather a fantasy - of limitless and endless economic growth is at the very heart of the capitalist system. None of our political parties discussed the core assumption the Empress takes for granted. She and her complaisant New Zealanders trust we can go on forever under institutions that ignore the basic reality - there has to be a finite end to the way we are conducting business. Boundless growth is not sustainable and antithetical to the reality of any garden.
The National Party was represented by the 8 of Swords.
Oh dear this will teach me to pay more attention to the old Myths. Andromeda is pictured in this card. Her name means “ruler of men”.
Because of the hubris of her family (Judith Collins and Team Key) Andromeda was stripped naked and chained to a rock (under duress from accusations of mass surveillance of domestic citizens and smear campaigns of gross proportions, not to mention corruption of a cabinet minister stripped of position – all of course staunchly denied by the virtuous heroine!). Then offered to the monster (of public opinion and the great ‘poll of polls”) However she was rescued by a hero (hurray for the good old one million voters!) who married her. Although there was a fight at the wedding, the rival for her hand was turned to stone by the Gorgon’s head (the Opposition in post- election paralysis ). Perseus prevailed and the marriage produced a lineage! (yikes - gird our loins all those on the Left!) of 6 sons and 1 daughter – oh dear sounds just the correct percentage of men to women in Key’s good ol’ boys networks. It would be funny if it weren’t tragic.
The Labour Party pulled The Hermit and this is resonant. Socially isolating themselves, they refused to back anyone else on the Left – turning down the Green's early request to join forces. Then they actively overthrew Hone Harawira in the North with one of their own. It is strange and sad that this Party, founded on the rights of the working class, has so lost contact with its roots. It has become ingrown, tunnel-visioned and navel-gazing. The Party is depressed.
Winston Peters looks like the Kingmaker in the 6 Pentacles, but on the night despite his largish vote, he proved to be superfluous, because of the enormous shift in the popular Right-leaning consensus. Actually the card does reflect Peter’s habitual choosing one side and then another, then back again. He’s all about making deals and exchanging favours but enjoys being the one in control. He certainly felt short-changed on the night – a traditional meaning of this card. And yet he had ungenerously interfered in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate, putting his weight behind the Labour Party candidate, denying Hone’s place in the sun.
The Internet-Mana party coalition was symbolised by The Threads of Fate. The Fates measure, spin and cut all our destinies. In this instance the thread was fatally cut with Hone Harawira’s ousting. His political death ensued. Kim Dotcom was flung by Lady Fortune from high to low .......Oh how the mighty fall!
But the Rule of Nemesis is to harvest what we sow. The extreme shifts of the great ever-turning Wheel are not over yet.
The United Party’s Knight of Swords is hilarious – a white knight charging to the rescue of Andromeda? More like Don Quixote tilting at windmills. Peter Dunn achieved the same amount of votes as the Legalise Marijuana Party, but sadly thanks to the vagaries of MMP, he takes yet again his seat in parliament.
As for The Fool – yes indeedy the Act Party won in Epsom and a young naïve Babe in the Woods takes his place in the Beehive. He may prove to be an entertainment if nothing else.
The outcome is the 6 Swords and as we commented earlier, the ship of state moves forward with an impeded view of the future. Black clouds hang ominously over the helmsman’s head. The weather is in an indicator of climate change which the Nats deny and ignore. With storms brewing, has this Party the capacity to navigate into the future with honest policies that don’t sink the ship? The passengers in the boat look anxious .The Empress seems resigned; the child (our future) seems worried.
The mists swirling round the boat’s bottom suggests smoke and mirrors at the base of the vehicle. The National Party will no doubt do all in its power with ongoing dirty politics and backroom deals to distract the populace from the leaks in their – and sadly our foundations.
And to finish The Fool from the Tarot of Delphi deck.
This is me. I pulled this card, while writing this piece.
The painting is Orpheus Returning from the Shades by W. Richmond.
In the picture, Orpheus emerges howling, unsuccessful from his quest in the Underworld. Later in his story he is torn asunder and becomes an oracle. His name partly signifies prophesy. The word Orpheus makes up a complex of meaning - meaning “to lament or sing wildly” as well as being connected to the English word “orphan”. I do feel foolish, orphaned, howling into the wilderness after surviving the shock results of Saturday’s election.
The Tarot Fool symbolises idealism, folly, the wisdom to see the absurdity of life in all its futility and paradox
Thanks to the Tuesday Night class of fellow Fools, for their invaluable input and wisdom about these Tarot readings we read together.