The Fool with Four of Pentacles

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.


Four of Swords with The Empress

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

The old adage seek and you shall find may sound simple enough, but it isn’t as clear as it sounds. First, one needs to know what one is seeking. Sometimes that in and of itself is challenging enough to determine. Next, it doesn’t specify what one will find. It only says you shall find; it doesn’t say what. 

Simply put, due to that fact that one is seeking something they will invariably find something. They may not find what they’re looking for, but in the process of seeking something will be unveiled. Sure, you’re sweeping the beach with your metal detector hoping to find that 15th century Spanish doubloon but in the process you dig down in the sand to discover the bedazzled Barbie blouse. You see, the saying doesn’t say seek and you shall find what you’re looking for.

The source of most any disappointment, when you distill it down, is the fact that our expectation has been dashed. We had envisioned and anticipated a particular outcome, but a different option was indicated on the rubber flapper once the wheel came to a stop. One can heed that broken advice and try to hope for the best, expect the worst in a vain attempt to circumvent disappointment but the hope and the expectation cancel each other out, in the same manner as a concert double-billing Rufus Wainwright and Korn.

Many people see Zen Buddhist principles as dull and unrealistic. They look at the idea of pure acceptance of any situation that arrives with the moment as tantamount to chanting Om while getting punched in the face. I like to think they realize the disappointment created from expectation is far worse that the reality of the outcome.

So right here and now I’m going to tell you the secret to life. The secret to life is that it’s a secret. We are soaking in a bit vat of mystery, all of us. We can’t know it, we can’t predict it, we can’t control it. I will go so far as to say it’s the mystery of life that actually turns the gears of our reality. It’s the unknown that moves and drives everything forward. Everything we know to be real and true is a result of reaching deep down into the unformed vat of chaos and being surprised by what we pull to the surface of our being.

So when we find ourselves tired of not getting what we want, we need to simply stop and let things happen, then figure out what we want to do with what just happened. Embrace the mystery. Feed ourselves on the unrevealed. If we knew all the answers ahead of time, we would be so well acquainted with ennui that we wouldn’t see the point of being alive. There’s no better stimulation in life than not anticipating whatever is coming and letting the surprise light up all our senses.

Wheel of Fortune

A wheel in the sky is surrounded by the four creatures of earth, the Sphynx seated atop, a snake descending and Anubis ascending around it
A wheel in the sky is surrounded by the four creatures of earth, the Sphynx seated atop, a snake descending and Anubis ascending around it

Manifestation is far from being a static, predictable process. The journey of creating our desired outcome is fluid and ever changing, with many shifts and turns, twists and surprises.

We do best when we allow the dynamic nature of manifestation to unfold as it will, in a myriad of ways. All too often we set such an intense focus on our desired outcome that we will attempt to force the process to move in a given direction, the direction that we expect it to take.

The truth is, if our desired outcome unfolded exactly as we expected it to, we would have no need for the journey toward our goals. Manifestation would be an instant process, occurring at the snap of a finger or the blink of an eye, tantamount to asking a genie to grant a wish. However, the true process of creation is embedded with blind alleys and unexpected turns. It is these unexpected events, these seemingly random blips in our travel plans, that serve as tools of manifestation.

When we try to force the process of manifestation to follow a presupposed path, we actually risk stifling the process. We put a chokehold on the tributaries of creation. We prevent the river from flowing as it is naturally inclined, following the landscape in the direction most appropriate for the way it flows. The direction may seem counter to the way we expect it should travel, but all rivers eventually end up reaching the ocean. We do best to trust what we know is inevitable.