Election Effluvia (#HauntedHouseTarot) #Tarot

So, I actually did this reading on Thursday night, October 1st, and decided to postpone uploading it after Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19. In retrospect, I regret that decision for a variety of reasons. In many ways Trump’s behavior is exactly what we can expect from him based on past behaviors. And, according to what I was taught in psychology classes, the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Now on with the show.

After watching the Trump/Biden debate with the sort of stunned horror one usually reserves for realizing you just witnessed a live human sacrifice and are now splattered with blood, I decided to pull three cards to get an idea of what 4 more years of Trump would look like and what 4 years of a Biden presidency might look. These are the cards I drew.

The top row (Tower Rx, High Priestess and The Moon) reflects 4 more years of Trump. The bottom row (The Magician Rx, 4 of Pentacles and The Hermit) are for a Biden presidency.

Believe it or not, I’m focusing on this part of the reading for two reasons:

  1. Existing biases will influence how one interprets these cards. For example, I have never liked Donald Trump. I’ve considered him a pompous, bullying, self-important egomaniac for years. Living in NYC and working at a non-profit for which Trump was a (very uninvolved) board member, I’ve been familiar with his shenanigans for years. Luckily, he wasn’t President of the United States so he was easily ignored or avoided. Watching the debate last Tuesday cemented my opinion so I’m inclined to apply the most negative interpretation to this reading.
  2. The messages aren’t surprising or unexpected. I don’t think there are any big reveals here.

Quick & dirty interpretation – 4 more years of Trump would mean more business as usual – ignoring standard protocols and courtesies, more secretiveness and hidden agendas. Of course some folks appreciate Trump’s no-holds-barred approach and consider him a refreshing iconoclast who is willing to ruffle feathers in order to stuck it to the elites. You mileage may vary. A Biden presidency would offer 4 years of transparency, no trickery and an “anti-Trump” approach. It would require hard work, conservation and consolidation to rebuild the economy and relations between the US and other nations as well as among ourselves. It would also mean being a voice in the wilderness, perhaps even a return to serving as something of a guiding light to others. Clearly, I’m biased.

For me, the more interesting part of this reading can be found in the two additional cards I pulled reflecting who these two men really are in their cores. For Trump I drew the Knight of Swords and for Biden The World

I was blown away by these cards. They felt so “right” to me. The image on the Knight of Swords shows a smirking demon aiming energy at the model house in front of her. I think this reflects Trump’s attitude in general. It seems like it’s all a game to him; a mental exercise. I don’t think he truly dislikes all the people he bullies and insults, nor do I think he likes those with whom he aligns himself. They are a means to an end; players in Trump’s game to move as he will. Consider his response when questioned about his taxes – he simply took advantage of the tax code Biden helped create. He implied that he would be a fool not to do so. There was no consideration of rightness or fairness, simply what he was eligible to do. Of course, he’s no different from any many in this regard.

The World suggests Biden is a more inclusive person; wanting to invite everyone to the party. Is he perfect? Of course not but he doesn’t seem to feel the same need to project an image of solo ruler. He acknowledges the input of others in his policies and achievements as well as accepting and embracing the need for collaboration and compromise.

I don’t know what’s going to happen or what the outcome of this election will be, but I think I can comfortably say we won’t be surprised by how either of these men will lead if he wins but only time will tell.

Addendum: External validation

As I was re-reading my earlier post about external validation I realized I have a kink in my nature.  My policy of keeping the boss happy only worked with female bosses.  I was more than happy to find ways to accomplish whatever goals my female supervisors set for me.  We often bonded so that we became friends or at least friendly outside the office as well as during work hours.  However this practice has never been effective with male supervisors.

Whenever I’ve worked with male supervisors I find myself become more assertive, even aggressive.  I find that very often the way male bosses spoke to me or acted towards me triggered negative responses.  Apparently I don’t react well to traditional male supervisory tactics of being told what to do and treated like a grunt and not a team member.  Bumping heads with male bosses has rarely proved beneficial to me and yet I cannot seem to help it.  So apparently my quest for external validation and approval is not as all-encompassing as I previously believed.

Where do I need to focus my energy today? 6 of Wands (Vision & Touchstone)


The Vision Tarot card has the keyword Solitude.  This is not something I would usually associate with this card.  In the companion guide, Dirk Gillabel offers this insight into the card “The world of humans can be hectic, chaotic and sometimes even destructive.  A spiritual person will find a growing need for solitude, a necessity to be by oneself, be it in a cave, a basement, or in nature.  It is a time to calm one’s mind and to reconnect with the life forces all around us.”   Looking at the image on the card I was struck by how much it reminds me of Andrew Wyeth’s painting “Christina’s World”.  In it, Christina sits looking at the landscape before her with a farmhouse in the distance.  Despite the fact that she’s obviously part of this world, she is also distant and separate from it.

So this made me wonder how solitude connects with one of the traditionally associations of this card with victory.  At first there doesn’t seem to be much overlap.  Solitude and victory actually seem to be almost as opposite ends of the spectrum.  Then I really considered it – the times when I have been victorious or highly successful at something have also been somewhat isolating.  Yes, people might crowd around to bask in the glow of victory of experience the thrill of success, but at the end of the day once the parades are over and the trumpets have stopped blaring (and yes, this happens to me every time I’m victorious at something), they disperse and you’re left alone.  Sometimes it even serves to isolate you from your peers.  Who can remember being the champion at something in school and then finding that the other kids tease, avoid or even torment you?   You have managed to stand out from the pack and cast their lack of success into stark relief.  This rarely endears one to those who have not been victorious or successful.  In fact, it can sometimes breed serious hostility.

Perhaps the solitude is a necessary adjunct to success.  It is what allows us to stay humble and grounded.  How many celebrities, sports figures and rock stars have we seen crash and burn because their egos got too big for their talents?  How many times have we seen child prodigies burn out by the time they reach adulthood because the pressure to succeed was relentless and wore them out?  It’s an all to familiar story – those that fly to high and lose touch with reality, like Icarus, often end up with singed wings or even crash and burn.  Not a very positive or hopeful outcome.  Considering this has given me a greater appreciation for how solitude and victory do work together.  The help us stay balanced, grounded and focused because as long as we can see the bigger picture and our part in it, we can avoid suffering from inflated ego syndrome.