I teach a year-longtarot course and last Tuesday night, we had fun predicting the upcoming General Election in Aotearoa, New Zealand - as well as the Big Vote in Scotland.
Scotland is on a knife edge between “Yes” and “No”.
New Zealand too, has had an exciting campaign with shocking revelations of dirty politics smear campaigns and Edward Snowdon and Glenn Greenwald revealing this week that our Prime Minister has been lying when he stated last year (and goes on stating now) that there was/is no mass surveillance of NZ citizens by NZ spooks.
Prediction is always a bit like reading the weather and those who live in Aotearoa know how challenging that is. However let’s bite the bullet and say that we think Scotland is going to vote “Yes”!
Aotearoa has a MMP government so figuring out the recipe for a potential coalition brew is a lot less straightforward to read. The images on the cards we drew are ambiguous in their interpretations. But with any oracle, hindsight is always a wonderful thing and offers a juicy learning curve.
There were 5 of us reading - 3 had strong political feelings, one had no knowledge of politics and one was unable to vote as she was from a different country. We were using the Illuminati deck by Erick C. Dunne, The Oracleof Delphi by Janet D.H. Hinkel and the Waite-Smith deck. I have included all the images, as they are crucial when reading the tarot.
We made a cross layout. The first card represented the Mood of the People. This sat above on the vertical line of the cross.
King Pentacles (Illuminati)
On the left on horizontal line we pulled 2 cards for the "Yes" vote.
The Empress (Delphi) and Ace of Fire (Gaia)
On the right of the cross bar we pulled 2 cards for the "No" vote
7 Wands (W/S) and Hierophant (W/S)
The last card sat underneath on the vertical line representing the Outcome
The Illuminati deck’s King of Pentacles and Princess of Wands even look Scottish and vaguely Celtic.
The mood of the people seems confident in their sense of who they are, thinking about the practical aspects of the consequences of their decision, especially the economic and financial. But also aware of their own Scottish wealth such as oil and resourcefulness of character. This card reminded us also of the Kings and heroes of the past, when Scotland was an independent nation.
The "Yes" vote was symbolised by the Empress who in this deck is represented by an historical Queen – Zenobia, here shown as a prisoner of Rome. (Rome as a symbol of Empire!)
To quote the deck’s creator, Janet Hinkel “she is bold, intelligent authoritative and skilfully wielded political military and civic power …. Need we say more?
The Ace of Fire from the Gaia deck is a baby dragon peeking out of his/her shell. With fireworks in the sky behind.
The "No" vote has 7 wands in the Waite-Smith deck with a person on higher ground wielding a baton in the face of opposing batons coming at them. Feels like David Cameron and other Brits desperately attempting to turn the flood of popular opinion at the last moment. The traditional meaning of this card is potential success and standing one’s ground. But 7 is always an unpredictable number and Pythagoras likened its movements to a “flock of geese”.
The Hierophant is Westminster, the Establishment, the status quo, hierarchical authorities in their conservative robes preaching convention.
The last card pulled sits underneath and represents the outcome.The Princess of Wands is young and idealistic, standing against a backdrop of snowy mountains, possibly indicating challenges to climb. She bears no resemblance to the "NO" vote cards but grasps her wand from the Ace of Fire – she is the baby dragon beginning a new cycle - the child of the Empress.
I believe this reading is telling us loud and clear that the Scottish “YES” vote will win. The Scots have fire in their belly – out of the initiating King of Pentacles emerges the fiery Wands suit. Sound out those jolly bagpipes!
As for Aotearoa.
We used a circle. We all used our different decks and went round the circle pulling a card for each party. The first and last card were in the middle.
The first card pulled was placed in the middle and represented What the People Want.
The Empress from the Illuminati deck shows a splendid ruler seated in countryside holding wheat and a golden orb. Aotearoa is one of the richer countries in natural wealth, reliant on an agricultural economy that sells dairy, meat and food products to the world. We used to think of ourselves as clean and green but lately our image has been tarnished by polluted waterways and toxic environments. Our lady’s gorgeous red robe looked like a carpet that could easily be used to sweep under all kinds of hidden agendas and abuses while giving us a gorgeous appearance. We have a thriving Green and organic movement, we love gardening and the great outdoors Mother Earth provides us. But many women in power are arrogant and materialistic including every woman in Team Key’s incumbent governing National party.
In general, women in Aotearoa have an independence and an autonomy that the rest of the world’s women might envy. However the image also suggests a stationary smugness, a conservative as well as conservationist approach.
All the rest of the cards pulled were placed around the circle until the last card which was popped beside the first card. We placed the different parties in order of their popularity in the polls.
2. The National party - 8 Swords from the Tarot of Delphi.
This is Andromeda shackled to a rock on the edge of a troubled sea. She is a sacrifice to appease angry gods. However although in the image, she is chained, hemmed in by sea and stone, buffeted by wind, the story goes on that she is rescued. So the National party is shown as restrained, exposed and subject to censure. All true in this election campaign, despite the Party’s colossal and overwhelming denial of all claims and evidence. Although a slavish weak 4th Estate has attempted to shore them up, maybe this card indicates the general public understands only too well the need to sacrifice this party? Or perhaps rescue will come from smaller parties?
This party has been unable to gain traction and is at a very low ebb. Father Time works slowly and meticulously but in this image is sitting still. There is gravity in his contemplative pose. The wise owl observes – lessons must be learned. Traditionally a card that means the need to understand the past, possibly it speaks of the people voting for this party who are still loyal to the Labour Party’s proud roots. But others have long memories of all the betrayals of those roots and earlier philosophies.
So this party has the vehicle to take it where it wants to go. It is a Major Trump, so carries weight in the spread. I would say its confidence and comprehensive policies will convince the voting public it can succeed in governance (it has always found itself in opposition since its formation). This card brings success that is earned through effort. It also has a ring of victory.
Despite its Minor Arcana card, this party looks to be in the “Kingmaker” position as far as forming a coalition government. Its leader Winston Peters is shown doling out favours with two different competing factions on either side. Confusingly for the predictor, on his righthand the person receiving his beneficence is dressed in orange (Labour Party is ‘left’ and red) and the person on his leftside missing out is dressed in blue (National Party is right and blue). Winston is known for his sleight of hand and ambivalent giving and taking away.
The man in Blue (Right party) is heaving a weight of sticks but struggling to get over the line. It seems clearly to be saying this Party won’t quite make the numbers of 5% needed to get into parliament (the path is leading to the castle).
7. The Internet-Mana Party - The Threads of Fate from the Delphi deck.
This is the Wheel of Fortune in the older decks. In this picture we have the Moirai - the Fates – spinning the threads of destiny, apportioning life and death. This card symbolises unexpected fortunes and uncontrollable events. Kim Dotcom, creator and funder of the Internet party is a larger than life personality who has dominated the headlines in this election and has been instrumental in bringing to our attention Greenwald and Snowden’s revelations about mass surveillance on NZ citizenry. This has been world-wide news which has yet to play out for this government in all its ramifications. What goes around comes around on the great wheel of fate.
8. The Maori Party – The Empress from the Gaia deck
So here we have a card resonating with the mood of the people in card number 1. The Maori party represent many of the indigenous people of Aotearoa. I would think this means that the Maori Party will be a significant player in the outcomes of the election. The barefoot woman is wearing a red dress – does this mean the party will become more radical in their actions? She appears pregnant, fruitful and empowered. This does not suggest a party that is disappearing.
9. The United Party - Knight Swords from the Waite-Smith deck
Is the leader – really a one-man band – Peter Dunne going to be the knight in shiny armour rushing to the National Party’s distressed side? He’s full of himself and a man with a mission.
10. The Act Party – The Fool from the Waite-Smith deck
Need I say anything at all?! Hilarious really. The party is a joke and the leader a racist. So far down in the polls it hardly rates. Obviously the NZ public think its foolish. Still one of the meanings of this card is “out of left field” – oops that’s left field, not right field.
11. The Outcome – sits in the middle beside Card number 1 - what the people want.
6 Swords from the Illuminati deck
The woman in the boat appears to be The Empress (the people) in our red dress. A small child in green and red sitting elevated on a box - looks beseechingly up at the man rowing dressed in red. Could this be a coalition of Labour and Green? However if it’s National rowing us forward, is the small child (party) NZ First?
There are swords (adversity) blocking our view of the future and the green land ahead. The woman passenger appears distressed but unresisting. Certainly many of our electorate appear to be submissive consumers on whatever the authorities feed us.
There is an ominous black cloud above the boat – the ship of state – but it sails forward convincingly. There are 2 patches of blue and red on the bottom of the boat representing the 2 major parties.
I really can’t call on this one, but will have fun de-briefing in hindsight.
I welcome your input and insights!