Today I got this song stuck in my head, especially the line “Stop children, what’s that sound? Everybody look what’s going down.” Considering that much of the news lately makes me scratch my head and wonder if the water has been drugged, maybe this isn’t a surprise. I avoid much of what passes for news because parsing through the chaff to find the wheat is exhausting. When entertainment news about some crap having to do with Disney is given the same weight as a shooting or protest because Disney is the parent company of ABC, it makes my head hurt. When politics is so divisive, partisan and bogged down in rhetoric and spin, it’s difficult to determine fact from opinion. It’s demoralizing.
So, I decided to ask the Universe for insight. I used my sonic screwdriver aka my Tarot deck for insight and guidance. This is the message my Tarot of a Moon Garden offered:
This situation is weakening us, undermining our ability to pull together, despite our differences, and achieving our goals. Instead of us taming the beast, it seems to be running amok. If we’re not careful the beast will devour us leaving things in shreds.
Temperance reminds us that the middle path is the only way through. Moderation and merging opposing sides into a cohesive unit is the best way to rebuild and strengthen our world. There is a unicorn visible on this card and the Strength card. I think it’s a sign of hope & healing. Miracles can happen; healing can occur but we have to do our part too. Instead of focusing on our differences we need to reconnect to our commonalities. Quite a challenge in this climate.
The King of Pentacles offers two messages to me. One is a reminder that we’re a democracy and don’t need a wannabe king, benevolent or otherwise. The second, and more important, message is that we need to work towards ensuring that people have enough; that they feel secure and settled in their lives. People who feel treated fairly don’t riot. Unfortunately the income inequality has grown worse over the years and more business as usual won’t fix that. I don’t know how to fix that but it seems that with each year it grows worse.
So, considering this reading I think the most important thing I can do is support issues and movements that reflect my values and beliefs. I may not be able fix the income issue but I can try to donate food to food pantries or find ways to directly help local charities. I can speak out about what I believe (preferably without inciting anything). I hate feeling marginalized and helpless and I’m the only one who can fix that.
I know I’ve been MIA for awhile and I decided it was time to jump back into the swing of things. I’ve decided to take a slightly different approach this time. For each message of the day I ask my matron goddess what message she wants me to share. Then I draw three cards for the answer. Here is today’s message:
“The bullying, betrayal and backstabbing will be left in the past. The new ideas and concepts we all hoped for did not produce the outcomes we actually wanted. Now we need to take a mature, rational yet nurturing approach to things in order to fix the situation.”
I can see this message applying to a number of matters currently being covered in the news. However, I’m not adding my personal take on this. I prefer to put the message out there and let it reach the people it needs to reach. Let whoever reads this interpret it in the way that best suits them.
I’ve noticed a somewhat disturbing trend among some police procedural shows – especially ones like Cold Case and Criminal Minds – very often the victim of the crime was a shining spirit, a unique and special individual. It’s as though they are sending a subtle (or maybe unsubtle) message that to be special, to rise above the average is worthy of punishment. It’s reminiscent of slasher flicks in which the rowdy, promiscuous and out of control teens are killed but the virginal “good girl” is spared.
You can see this message reinforced on any schoolyard in the country (maybe even the world); the mob mentality. Whenever a child is different – smarter, “nerdy”, awkward, vulnerable, the pack turns on that child. They mock and ostracize the child. Some children learn to adapt and blend in order to survive. Others suffer and eventually snap resulting in horrific situations like Columbine or suicide. There are some who endure, convinced that they will reap the benefits of their unique gifts as they grow older. They are often called adaptive children. They can look at the most horrific situations and see the silver lining.
I sometimes ponder if this type of attitude towards those who are different is because they hold up a mirror to us and we don’t like what we see. In work situations, I’ve often seen it when a new employee full of new ideas and enthusiasm runs smack into the wall of apathy and dissatisfaction sometimes found in long-term employees. The newcomer is mocked and derided for being so optimistic. What is wrong with hopefulness and optimism? Nothing, unless you have already jettisoned yours. Why do resent someone else’s success? Because we see it as a negative commentary on our current status. Are we not as successful because we didn’t try as hard? Is it really all about being in the right place at the right time or knowing the right people? I’m not sure. What I know is that I often feel an initial flash of resentment and envy at someone else’s good fortunes. It doesn’t last and I usually acknowledge it but that doesn’t stop it from occurring.
Sometimes even the targets of this type of bullying can become bullies and ostracize peers if the circumstances are right. Have you ever seen a group of artistic students who mock the jock who wishes to participate in their activity? Or the “nerds” who mock the popular beauty queen? Is this a defense mechanism or revenge for past moments of ostracism? I’m not sure. This is certainly a much more complex topic than I can address within the confines of this blog.
What I do know is that I’ve caught myself doing it. When I attend events like the Tarot School’s Readers Studio, I have noticed that the larger the group, the most I self-select with whom I interact. I become more clique-ish and clubby. If I catch myself doing this I often make efforts to stop the behavior but it is usually so unconscious that I don’t realize it. It’s not an aspect of my personality of which I am proud. In fact It’s something I wish to minimize or eliminate altogether.
I would like to challenge anyone reading this blog post – let’s eliminate this tendency to mock or ostracize those who are different from us. Children are not the only ones who bully – adults are just more subtle about it. Let’s try to minimize this shadow in the world and teach children by our own examples. Reach out to someone who is different from you. Who knows maybe you’ll learn something transformative from them.