A Piece of my Mind

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By Jeanne Fiorini

The current session of Introductory Tarot class has been a treat for the students and teacher (me) alike. The group is comprised of five women friends, each over the age of 60, who decided that they wanted to learn how to use Tarot cards.  

Maybe because of their life experience, or maybe simply as a function of how they think of things, these folks are very attuned to the larger picture of what Tarot is. For instance, during our first session together someone asked me how my life had changed as a result of studying Tarot. This inquiry does not arise from a mind looking for the cookbook equivalent of Tarot class…yippee!

It’s a wonderful thing to know that at sixty-something there are places to grow and people yet to become. The other day this group was reflecting on the experience of one class member whose mother had recently died, and we began to consider which of the Major Arcana cards could encompass this event. As you might expect, the group concluded that the Death card was more the experience of the people left behind than for the deceased.  

It doesn’t take long in a study of the cards for a person to begin to see Tarot’s symbols and archetypes played out in the physical world. We may recognize an Empress character in a book we’re reading, or The Magician in a friend’s opening of a new business; how the Strength emerges during a personal struggle, or that The Lovers is a motivator in a child’s dream to become a musician. 

These experiences connect us with the universal patterns of growth and transformation, those forces of nature that are so much larger than us but so deeply influence our lives. It is this transpersonal connection that makes Tarot a vigorous, living system of images, a useful tool for self-development, and a map for personal growth.

So let’s take a look at something that is on the mind of everyone these days and ask the question, “What’s up with Wall Street?” There are few of us who will be unaffected by the events of the past few months. What are the symbols and images at work in this drama? What dynamics are being played out in the financial arena of our reality? Who might be some of the players?

Magician: Sure, I can do whatever I want. Sure, I can take one dollar and turn it into one hundred. We’ll make it up as we go along, it will be great! The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well; let ‘er rip.

Emperor: Establishing wealth and security is very important. This country was built on the concept of a free marketplace. Commerce and ownership reflect basic American values. You’ve got to spend money to make money. We have everything under control.     

Hierophant: As the Credit Card company, we’re happy to inform you that you are entitled to a $25,000 credit line. As the Bank Manager, I deem you qualified for a $350,000 mortgage. As a Loan Officer, I’ll be giving you a personal loan for as much as you want so that you can have whatever you want. 

Wheel: This buying and spending thing is quite a fun ride, but how long it can last? Well, no sense worrying about that now, we’ll deal with it later. Besides, the bank keeps sending new credit cards, so I guess we’re OK.

Death: For some people it’s already too late: the plagues of bankruptcy, business defaults, job losses, and home foreclosures change lives forever. Identities are dismantled.

Devil: Oh dear, I can’t make the payments this month. We’ll borrow a little more for the time being; I don’t want to have to give up anything and I don’t want people to think we can’t afford it. Hey, why are prices going up? Sure hope someone does something about that before it gets out of hand.

Tower: Someone, somewhere, gets the picture that time is running out on this game and perhaps recognizes that it’s time to change jobs, downsize a company, or cut up a few credit cards. But the light has not dawned on enough people to stop what has been put into motion.

Moon: We are in a place that we’ve never experienced and are clueless about what to do next. None of the options look good. And so we wait.

Judgment: The jig is up. End of the ride, game over. Bail out time.

Star: Can we envision something new? Can we learn to think differently? Can we set aside the outworn forms and begin again from a mature and conscious perspective? Can we do so being mindful of our connection to one another? Do we have enough trust and confidence in ourselves to move beyond what we know? Do we believe that our future can be bright?

Magician:  What will we create given the tools we now have on the table? 

© 2008 Jeanne Fiorini 

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Tarot Reflections is published by the American Tarot Association - Copyright (C) 2008

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