The Fool with Four of Pentacles

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Quantum Tarot 2.0 by Kay Stopforth and Chris Butler

In this particular deck The Fool is portrayed as the Big Bang. You know, that astrophysical concept they teach in science, while forgetting to regularly remind students that it’s just a theory? Behemoth quantities such as 14,000,000,000 years ago which are capable of inducing astronomical ice cream headaches when trying to cognize them get thrown around. I wrote it in numerical form so all those zeros would force your eyes to cross.

Despite having a degree in metaphysical theology I’m not one to see Genesisian cosmology (I just made up that word) as barely more than allegory, yet when I compare this massively adulterated Sumerian origin story draped in anthropomorphic language to the fresh-out-of-the-autoclave science-based “I don’t know… it just happened” account of the forming of the Universe, I really don’t see much difference. In both, there was really nothing, then suddenly there was everything.

Let’s stroll over to the right and look at this deck’s portrayal of the Four of Pentacles. It is represented by a depiction of an elliptical galaxy. Basically, these type of galaxies don’t crank out very many new stars and as a result don’t have many young stars. Think of Branson, Missouri. Thus, they are mostly comprised of older stars and big black holes. They are essentially the Florida or Arizona of galaxies.

So what’s up with these types of galaxies? Why are they packing in the same old stars for eons of ages? With that big black hole in the middle keeping tight reins on everything, it’s suppressing the creation of all those new stars. Bastard.

This is the way I see the energy of this card. It states that we are holding onto something so tightly as a means of maintaining an iron-fisted sense of security. Change is the boogeyman threatening to crawl out from under our bed and consume us. Newness is the Jehovah’s Witnesses knocking at our door right when we’ve sat down with a dinner plate heaped with piping hot food. The unknown is a disruption, an annoyance and aggravation and inconvenience as we would have to go through the trouble of learning how to deal with a fresh situation or circumstance.

Staunch, rigid routines have the appearance of creating a nice safe stasis field, but in all actuality they rush us toward entropy. Ask how the preservation of the status quo is working out for the fly in ember. If we want to cling to an unwavering way of life, we will in the process (or lack thereof) create such stagnancy that it will inevitably become a vacuum. What did Aristotle say? Something about Nature abhorring a vacuum? We can substitute Nature for Life. If Life senses a vacuum being formed by those who “hate change”, it will seethe and punch them in the face. It will ensure an environment so inhospitable only the nastiest of creatures can thrive. Look at deserts and swamps, Nature’s poster children for stagnation. I once again reference Florida and Arizona.

Nothing keeps entropy at bay like a surprise. Life thrives when bursting through the opened door of which we had no clue as to what was behind it. Let us unlock the box of mystery and dump its contents on our dusty floor. Let us choose to take the action of which we have no idea of its outcome, for that choice leads to renewed life.

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Judgement with Death

Cosmic Tarot by Norbert Lösche
Cosmic Tarot by Norbert Lösche

Who of us doesn’t know the Glory Days guys and girls? The members of this club comprised of the defunct elite that include the ones who double-lettered in every sport available in school, offering them an ego on which the sun could set to attract any and all those cute little moths to the light of popularity. They flashed their bright Gleem-polished teeth across the serfs of their Homecoming court, knowing they would knight them with such titles as Best This and Most Likely to Accomplish That in the annals of the yearbook. What has earned them membership is the dues that they pay in the form of leaving a large slice of who they are back in those halcyon days. Their conversations consist of regaling others with highlight high school reels, with the end of the film going flap-flap-flap and the screen showing white the day after graduation.

It’s absolutely outstanding for people to have a bevy of wonderful achievements to list on their teenage life experience resumés, but life continues after age 20. That’s actually the danger of any point in our life where we create a bright vivid glorious set of memories of which we frame and underscore with the caption Best Days of My Life. We sit and reflect on them with a dangerous nostalgia that immobilizes us from reaching any further beyond those achievements.

With all that we work toward, with the culmination of actions and choices that we have made in our endeavors and undertakings, there is a final assessment, an evaluation, a recognition that occurs. We hang that diploma on the wall, we get the guy or girl we’ve been pursuing, we have the position and title and desk we have valiantly earned. All too often we get paralyzed by the attainment of our own accomplishment and we sit and polish our trophy when there’s a whole world outside zipping quickly by. We remain seated in the theater long after the MPAA logo has floated past the top of the screen and the attendants are sweeping up candy boxes and something-distantly-resembling-butter ladened popcorn.

Yay, we’ve unlocked our specific life achievement. It’s over now. What defines us is our pursuit, our reinvention of who we know ourselves to be. We’ve already earned the dots and letters that serve as the appendage to our surnames; what have we done for life lately? Basking in our past accomplishments without recognizing that that particular chapter is over and that it’s time to start on the new one leaves us in danger of stagnating under the marquee of our achievements. Who we are is not who we used to be, even in the brilliance of our past attainments. Who we truly are is who we are striving to become.

Eight of Swords with The World

Legacy of the Divine Tarot by Ciro Marchetti
Legacy of the Divine Tarot by Ciro Marchetti

I figure since the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. is a good three months behind us, what better time to refer to it in a blog post?

You know how we get on Thanksgiving day, where we make jokes about hollow legs and eye size disproportionate to stomach size and all that? We sit at the dinner table with 61 serving platters of various dinner items, enough starch content to drive all the dry cleaners in Poughkeepsie out of business, gravy the thickness of aircraft carrier paint playing duck duck goose with every item on your dinner plate, the Jayne Mansfield of turkeys beckoning you with its syringe of tryptophan in its crispy wingtip waiting to plunge it into your plaque-filled corroded carotid artery.

Sounds kind of unappealing on a cold Monday morning in February, doesn’t it? Yet on the fourth Thursday in November we find ourselves inspired by the cheerleaders of team gluttony in their seam strained skirts chanting “More! More! More!” until we find ourselves attempting to make the exhausting ten foot march from table to recliner in the fashion of Templeton during the fair scene in Charlotte’s Web.

Yes, I know. You couldn’t possibly eat another bite of my Thanksgiving analogy, so I’ll get to the point. When we become overindulgently self-serving, when we gorge ourselves on fulfilling our personal desires at the exclusion of others, we can find ourselves immobilized by the acquisitions of our avarice. We become driven by a fear of potential lack so we begin to acquire and hoard. We feel entitled to gain and gain to the point that the stockpiles we have acquired block us from being able to get to the exit of our storeroom.

When we find we have reached a point in our lives, even figuratively, where we feel immobilized, where we seemingly incapable of making any forward progress, it is time to be of service to our neighbor and fellow human being. During those times when we feel stuck we often experience the compulsion to become self-indulgent, perhaps from fear of having to go without, finding ourselves wedged into our own situation, believing all good things might fall outside of our reach.

We are no cornucopia in and of ourselves. Attempting to create movement and direction in our lives by feeding the insatiable hunger of a suffering ego will only further scorch the ground beneath our feet, only deepening the hole in which we stand. We need to offer our talents and gifts in service to our sisters and brothers of this world. What we give always returns to us tenfold, in some form of fulfillment, material or spiritual, and will in turn move us forward in our lives, carried by the gratitude and hearts of the inhabitants that share this world with us.