Looking at the two images on these cards I was struck by the idea that no one cares, no one is watching out for me or seeking to help me. The female figure on the Deviant Moon card (described as a fallen woman in the LWB) is straggling through the streets in search of succor and it seems she can find it at the church. However that one big eye peering out at her is unnerving and seems to be watching her struggles and judging her. So the question becomes – will she be allowed into the sanctuary of the church or condemned for her lifestyle and turned away? There is often help available but when we ask for it we are asked a series of questions and judged as to our worthiness to receive aid. It is discouraging and demoralizing to go through this process and be denied. How many people in the US right now are in need of assistance but cannot receive it because they don’t meet the criteria?
On the Dark Grimoire 5 of Pentacles, a lone man sites in an alley watching cloaked and hooded figures parade by him. At his side is a bottle – could it be alcohol? He has the appearance of a man haunted by his dreams or perhaps his nightmares. Are these hooded figures searching for him? Perhaps he was expected to participate in these rites but his fears and conscience would not let him. Or perhaps this is the first time he has been made aware of this group and their practices – could they hold the answers he seeks? Although there is something vaguely repellant and frightening about these figures, it does not necessarily follow that they are evil. Or maybe he is just trying to convince himself of this because he so desperately wants what they seem to offer. How often have we ignored our better judgment, not listened to our inner voice because it was telling us not to do something which we truly desired. In retrospect we often come to regret our impulsiveness and wish we had heeded our inner wisdom but it is often too little too late.
Combined these cards present a portrait of a lonely figure who is seeking answers, the way, assistance or simply shelter from the cold. Sometimes we are afraid to ask for the aid we need, other times we do ask and are denied or judged wanting and do not meet the standards imposed by those providing the aid. Looking at them reinforces my sense of being alone and helpless in an uncaring universe. However I refuse to dwell on these feelings. There are people who care and who will help if they can. Unfortunately bureaucracies are often useless in times like this (for example, how is FEMA’s arranging loans for flood victims to have lost everything actually helpful?) but where bureaucracies fail, human kindness and generosity often makes up for the lack. Maybe that is what I need to see today – there is assistance out there but I need to seek it from individuals and small good Samaritan organizations rather than NPOs and government agencies. There is often assistance, succor and support available if we look in the right places.