Today spirit called us to drop in. With all the varied ways we are struggling to make sense of the reality of this political and social time we are living in, we can forget that our deepest source of wisdom is within. I had been thinking about doing a tarot reading to specifically offer us some guidance around these times. Then this morning my love, and partner in crime, Niralli, asked me to do a tarot reading for our people. Tarot, like other divinatory tools and technologies, can help us connect with spirit, and our guides - both deities and the ancient ones - to tap into information not easily accessible through the mind.
We asked the deck 4 questions. Below is the wisdom we received.
How do we make sense of what is happening re: the election?
We are emerging from a fantasy. We are being asked to move from illusion to illumination. We must engage our creativity and imagination to dream up the new world that is waiting for us. There are infinite energetic potentials available now that were never here before. We can have whatever we want - literally. But we must choose wisely. I read a great piece about the black imagination yesterday that speaks to this. Can we envision a world without white domination? Misogyny? Capitalism? Transphobia? Homophobia? Ableism? Xenophobia? If we dream it, and then truly know what this feels like, then we can build it. In many ways this work is already happening. The experience and leadership of people of color, women and queer and trans people is being centered culturally, politically and socially in new ways. It is in this context that we witness the rise in hate and violence.
Side note: This most definitely will eventually require action. We can’t just all “give it up to God” and wait. Faith + works my people.
We are all pretty much losing it. Scrambling to make sense of and integrate information some of us are receiving for the very first time. There are lots of new ideas and theories floating that we are being asked to engage with. I know some of us are glued to the news on television or the think pieces, memes and GIFs being shared on social media. We should check in to see if these are distractions or actually helping us to process the trauma we are experiencing or a healthy balance of both. Lol! This is the end of a huge historical cycle. The old ways and structures are crumbling and a new radical and more just way is being birthed. In the midst of these two parallel and intersecting dynamics we must remember that this process is incomplete. More work is needed to get us there. It can be unsettling to be in this in-between place, but it is what it is. Liberatory structures and the new world order are coming which is why white cisgender heterosexual men are trying to regain a sense of power and control.
The realities of violence, abuse and hatred towards black, indigenous and people of color, Muslims, women, queer and trans people, people with disabilities, and undocumented folks are collectively undeniable. This knowing has been increasing for the past several years but hit an apex this week. Ignorance is bliss they say. With knowledge comes great responsibility. Will we experience this as a burden or a blessing? Will we whine, weep and put our heads back in the sand or know that we need to truly recognize what is before us to build a much more vibrant future. Reality does not have to be burdensome. In fact, many of us have been good friends with this reality for a long time. Those who have not, particularly white people, are having the biggest challenge because y’all are ill-equipped to deal with this level of realness due to your privilege. To really embrace this knowledge means we may actually come up with solutions that address the root of these issues instead of the symptoms. For people of color who already had this knowledge, it is still horrifying and yet many of us have chosen to take responsibility to lead the transformation necessary for our freedom.
How can we be in right relationship collectively to what is happening?
We should feel devastated, broken down, betrayed, and terrified by what is and has been happening in our country. First we must tend to our very real emotional reality. If we skip over this part, we will pay later. Prioritize your own healing before you try any of the following suggestions.
There is no doubt about it. We have lost a lot - not just this week but for some of us for centuries. At the very least we are losing our illusions about this country. At most we are literally losing family and friends to the violence that has erupted over the past few days. Can we also see that in the midst of all of this we are also winning? Why else would the “white-lash” be so intense and strong? The mass movements that have come to the forefront, the rise in visibility and leadership of the most marginalized are all proof of the the change we are grappling with. The intensity of the resulting reaction from mostly conservative white folks is directly proportional to our work for freedom and justice. How can we leverage the HUGE opportunity before us? What in us must die to bring forth the new? Keeping it real, a lot of us are not there yet. When the shock subsides, it can be helpful to focus on what we still do have while simultaneously tending to the loss. The real question for all of us is what are we gonna do a month from now? My hope is that we don’t slip back into denial.
In order to navigate the very frightening and unknown future requires FAITH. Faith rooted in spiritual grounding and fortitude, not the kind of faith that asks us to give our power away. Faith rooted in surrender and the wisdom of the ancient ones. Faith is the sacred trust that something bigger and more vast is holding us. These times are incredibly unstable because as already mentioned we are simultaneously moving away from the crumbling past into a future that has not yet been built. This is some serious Uranus square Pluto stuff we are navigating. We are being stretched between the old and the new. Find your faith and find your grip. Find your squad.
We have a great ability to connect to the spiritual wisdom available right now. We need to synthesize and integrate all that is emerging. Collectively, we have been struck by lightening this week. Lightening illuminates, destroys and clears. How can we allow this event to transform us, our relationships and the planet? Shit just got real and if we choose to ignore what we are being called to do, there will be even bigger consequences. Some of us were made for lightening. Some of us are terrified. Be afraid but don’t let your fear keep you from the ways you need to grow to meet what's ahead.
What can we learn from the past to build towards a different future?
People of Color: It is essential that we build alliances and deepen our practice around solidarity with each other. We are stronger together and we have numerous historical examples of how this works. Let’s read up, get together, and learn from folks who are building networks of support and power across race and ethnicity in communities of color. We must be ride or die and have each other’s backs!
None of us, especially white folks, can afford to willfully ignore what we are facing. Make a choice and take a stand. It’s ok if you don’t know where to start. Making the decision itself will lead to movement and growth and eventually the right next action.
White folks: There are and will continue to be consequences that affect YOU if you refuse to truly own your choices and power. What do you stand for? We are in this mess because of the ways you avoided this work in the past. Let’s clear this karma folks.
Many of us still don’t have what we need on a material level and it is very likely that this will get worse. Capitalism is not for us folks. We are in this situation now due to the abuse of power and theft of resources starting with the land. To actually right these wrongs will require redistribution of the resources and land taken from indigenous, black and people of color. Those in power have exploited the abundance we have in this country and hoarded it for themselves. There is no getting out of this mess without addressing this directly. A lot of us are hunkering down, and doing some apocalyptic preparations for what’s ahead. If you are stocking up, make sure your peoples have something too. How can we create systems of support that work for us? How can we create self-sustaining communities? What examples do we have from the past? For example, the free health clinics, breakfast programs and radical education programs of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense come to mind. Self-determination and collectivism must replace greed.
We can no longer afford to idealize and glamorize men and masculinity. The organizing and movement building models of the past that upheld patriarchy have failed us. What new models of power, authority and leadership are emergent that we can draw from? Our movements now are being visibly led by women of color, as well as queer and trans people of color. Don’t be scared. Get into it. Patriarchy and misogyny in all its forms has no place in the world that is coming forth. Support the leadership of those most impacted by the election. We know what's best and have the skills to navigate what's to come.
What do we need to do to prepare for what’s coming?
We are getting ready for some seriously crucial times which calls us to embody a new leadership and way of being. Conservation, prudence, awareness and receptivity will help us balance the great responsibility that comes along with true authority - authority on the spiritual level. Again, we can look at many past and current examples of this type of power. Abundance flows from this way of being and will help us when things do get scarce in the future.
Many of us are focused on picking up the pieces post-election. At the same time, we need to integrate a broader perspective in this struggle. If we do not understand where we are, then we won’t know what to do next, or how to protect and prepare ourselves and our loved ones. We have taken great losses but we also have great gains. In what ways have those of us fighting for justice been successful? How can we leverage these wins to build even more power rooted in love and beauty? Let’s be clear about who the “winners” and “losers” really are in this situation.
Lastly, we really need to reckon with the imbalance between the ways masculinity and femininity are socially constructed. There is only so much that our reliance on the rational and logical can bring us. We must center our deep wisdom, intuition and magic to move forward. Those of us who are capable to move beyond duality and polarity will lead the way. (Where my trans, gender non-conforming, and non-binary folks at!?!) When we have a bigger perspective we have more choices. I would suggest figuring out your own ways of dropping in on a regular basis: prayer, ritual, meditation, singing, drumming, movement, making art, accessing nature. Get out of your head. It got us into this mess in a lot of ways, but spirit will get us out.
Several orisha made their presence known in this reading:
Maferefun Eshu, Iroko, Ogun, and Nana Buruku.
Here are a few good resources that you may want to check out!