Tarot and the Trump Presidency

dealing-with-divisive-issues

Working with the cards allows us to gain distance and perspective when situations and issues overwhelm us emotionally. For those of us who feel close to the US election and its result, this can feel like a turbulent and confusing time.

I posed the following three questions to the cards:

  1. What is the best way to view the Trump victory?
  2. What can those of us who are troubled by this victory do to promote peace and healing?
  3. What is the short-term outlook (about 6 months) for this transition?

Here are the cards:

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The best way to view the Trump victory is the Queen of Pentacles. She is a sort of “earth mother” of the tarot, akin to The Empress in the major arcana, but I believe with more of a focus on self-care as opposed to nurturing others. Thus, the best way to view the Trump victory is with a focus back on the self, and on the beauty and abundance in our personal surroundings. We must look in our immediate environments and see the good around us, and we must also take care of ourselves. In the context of this card that especially means getting out in the physical world and nature, and using our physical bodies through exercise as well as the “sensual” pleasures, ie, experiencing the world around you through your five senses. Tend to your needs and nurture yourself and those around you. View this victory in terms of a return to focusing on what is most important to you and what makes you feel taken care of. View this victory in terms of abundance and the ability of the physical world to provide for your needs.

Those of us who feel troubled by this victory are shown The Chariot as advice for promoting peace and healing. Thus, we are called to concrete and vigorous action. The Chariot charges through and doesn’t go slowly or hesitate. This is a card of moving swiftly forward with powerful and determined energy to achieve a specific goal. The only caution here is that before taking action, you must be clear about where you’re headed. Action for the sake of action can paradoxically produce stagnation: imagine if those two sphinxes each took off in the direction they’re pointed – one to the left and one to the right, and the chariot would remain stuck in place. So here you’re encouraged to take action but make sure you get all the opposing forces within you on the same page, so that you can move forward effectively. Here’s an interesting list of ideas for simple actions you can start now: A 12-Step Program for Responding to President-Elect Trump. Also: Michael Moore’s To-Do List for a Revolution.

In the third card we see the 5 of Pentacles as the short-term outlook for this transition. People are going to feel that they are left out in the cold, and are lacking the basic essentials that they need in order to be comfortable and move forward. The silver lining of this card and this situation is that help is actually close at hand. Look at how those two bedraggled figures who are struggling in the blizzard with inadequate clothing are actually standing right under what appears to be a brightly lit church window. Perhaps all they have to do is step outside of their personal drama and misery for a moment, look around themselves, and reach outside of themselves for help. They must ask for help. The short-term outlook then is one that is seemingly bleak, and that may leave people feeling deprived, but the reality of the situation also leads us back to the Queen of Pentacles: abundance is always at hand, even when we fail to notice it. However, we must have the humility to admit that we can’t do it all by ourselves, and that when we fall, there is no lost dignity in asking for help.

I didn’t like ending this story on the note of the Five of Pentacles, with its overtones of hopelessness, so I drew an additional clarifying card to help us to frame this outlook – the Page of Pentacles. Once again the coin – abundance – is the focus here. Notice how the Queen of Pentacles looks down lovingly on her coin and the Page of Pentacles holds his up admiringly. In terms of the short-term outlook and the sense of lack, this card encourages us to muster our own resources and dedicate ourselves to a project that can produce not just material wealth but that also capitalizes on personal abundance, pragmatism, energy, and using inner resources to produce real value in the physical world.

In short, although there may seem to be cause for despair in the physical world, and perhaps resources really are lacking as a result of this election outcome, the cards here advise us above all to be practical, realistic, and to live in the down-to-earth world of everyday presence. Actions speak louder than words. Nurture and care for yourself, harvest the abundance around you in your immediate environment, make the most of your own resources, and if you feel powerless or helpless and want to bring about peace and healing, take concrete action and move forward boldly.

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