Earth Wisdom Tarot Sacred Art

Reading: the Wall Street Fall

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Like so many of you, I was disturbed yesterday by the news coming out of Wall Street.  Hecate wrote a juicy post about how it impacts us personally, and astrologer Lynn Hayes pointed out that the financial fall happened just as Pluto left expansive Sagittarius for the reality check of Capricorn.  (It will stay in Cap until 2023, BTW.)

The good news about Capricorn (trust me, this Cap knows) is that dedication and hard work are always rewarded.

But first, Pluto breaks down structures to make way for their transformation.  (Read Lynn's article for more insight on Pluto in Cap.)

So I pulled my head out of the creative focus it's been in, over the last few days, and did a short reading. 

I asked:  What do I need to know about the current economic crisis and how it will affect us personally?

Opportunity – the Lovers

Mmmm . . . well, that's odd, I thought, when I first saw the card.  Then  I realized its ramifications. We have the opportunity to draw closer to the ones we love.  The ties that bind us to our loved ones and our communities cannot be bought or sold.   Not only that, but this card always carries the message of following your heart's desire when making a choice. "When times get rough," writes Hecate, "joy has a huge premium." She urges us to stockpile, now, tools for the things that give us the greatest joy — like books, art supplies, yarn for spinning, garden tools, musical instruments. We can always clap our hands and sing. We can create art, we can do ritual, we can make love. We can meditate, and stay in the present moment.  (Hmmm . . . perhaps it was no accident that Eckhart Tolle brought his message to millions last spring, in preparation for the hard times ahead.)

Challenge -  Ace of Air

We're going through a metamorphosis (there's that pesky Pluto again) and may feel like we're just hanging by a thread.  We're challenged with new thoughts, ideas, decisions, strategies.  We have to figure out how to live a different way — to live more simply and give up some of our overinflated consumer habits. (Credit card debt, anyone?)  It may be a challenge to stay as light-hearted as a butterfly . . . so it all comes back to joy.  Where do we find our joy?  ("Joy is the happiness that doesn't depend on what happens," I hear David Steindl-Rast saying.  And it grows from the fertile soil of gratitude.)

Resolution -  Awakening

Ah.  Now there couldn't be a better resolution, could there?  Our consciousness is raised, and we "wake up" in some way.  We're out of denial.  Yup, things are really bad.  So how do we now live?  Differently from the way we've lived in the past.  Again, paraphrasing Hecate:  Hunker down.  Get out of debt.  Cut expenses.  Grow some of our own food.  Brainstorm creative ways to bring in more money.  Live authentically.  And serve others.  

And vote!  On November 4th.  You know what to do.

I'd love to hear your insights into this reading.  Blessed Be.

(Added:  Here's an excellent post on the situation from PaulaG at BlogHer. Read the comments too.)

Thoughtful, sparkling comments. . .

  • Inanna Thu - Sep 18th 2008 9:32 am

    I love this reading. I always value Hecate’s insight and analysis, but I felt a lot of fear while reading her post yesterday. Your reading helps me see the hope in what she was saying.
    The Awakening seems like a perfect card for the movement of Pluto from one sign to another. The traditional Rider-Waite image is of the Christian day of judgment, when bodies rise from their tombs. Your image retains the feeling of bodies and earth (sacralizing them rather than emphasizing transcendence, I think), but the overarching theme isn’t judgment. It’s Kwan Yin’s compassion. Pluto is all about unearthing buried treasure, about unsustainable structures falling. I’m reminded of that expression, “barn’s burnt down, now I can see the moon.” Pluto can feel like a bulldozer, or an earthquake. If this necessary movement isn’t approached with compassion and mercy, then it’s indeed very frightening.
    I think of religion or spiritual practice as a lens for seeing the world, a way of interpreting and making sense of reality in accordance to certain values. I’ve chosen the path of Wicca because it reenchants the world and allows me to see the things I value in the world. Your tarot is such an amazing gift and so meaningful to me personally because it provides that lens, that way of seeing things according to my values, especially when I’m forgetful, busy, scared, overwhelmed or sad. It helps me keep the things I care about in focus.
    That’s how I felt reading about your reading.

  • joanna Thu - Sep 18th 2008 11:30 am

    Inanna, I love that phrase: “Barn’s burnt down, now I can see the Moon.” Hadn’t heard it before. Thank you for your comments. I completely forgot to look at Kwan Yin in the Awakening image (can you imagine?) Yes, how important it is for us all to have grace and compassion for each other, and for ourselves. Thank you.

  • Julie Thu - Sep 18th 2008 2:43 pm

    Lovely post. Very uplifting.
    I keep thinking, as I look at the doom-and-gloomsters predicting a horrible future, how much better off we are, materially, than even people as recently as 100 years ago. Not only were there no TVs, computers, or cell phones… there weren’t washer-dryers! No cars, no electric lights in private homes (except for the very wealthy), no indoor toilets in many cases. And, despite everything, people were happy. People can still be happy. Because we’re people, and we’re adaptable.
    I’ve heard of hunter-gatherer tribes whose entire tribe owns 400 items. That’s not 400 items per person, but 400 items total. For the whole tribe. I think I’ve got more than 400 items in just my desk. Or my kitchen drawers.
    “Stuff” doesn’t make us happy. People and relationships make us happy. And that’s the sort of thing that no economic slowdown can take away from me.

  • Hecate, Runnymead Conspirator Thu - Sep 18th 2008 3:45 pm

    What a great way to do a reading: Opportunity, Challenge, Resolution.
    I may borrow that!

  • Xan Thu - Sep 18th 2008 6:11 pm

    Hecate gives good “how”: practical things to sustain survival without going all survival”ist”, centering on carrying on as a community rather than an isolated self.
    You on the other hand give good “why”: the realization that the changes coming are not just gloom-and-doom, OMG we are going to be deprived of our toys, but are (or can be, if we decide what we want and work hard enough to get it) changes that lead to better lives, better ways of living.
    Ursula LeGuin in The Dispossessed captured the difference bewteen the two societies by saying that the language of the one described a better situation as being “higher” and the other as being “more central.” We need something like that to happen to the notion of progress–it isn’t always having more, it’s having better.
    I love Julie’s comment above (being a sorta 19th century historian by occasional trade). It’s worth looking back just that far, the generation of the grandparents of many of us and great-grandparents of most, to see that along with the wonderful life-improving Stuff we’ve gained (vaccinations, indoor plumbing, hot water on demand, comfortable dentures, worldwide communication, pictures from the Hubble, etc) we’ve dragged a lot of junk along that we don’t much like (most of TV, commuting, jobs doing useless shit, slavery to the clock, etc) that we’d be much happier without.

  • Lunaea Fri - Sep 19th 2008 5:28 pm

    Before reading your interpretation, my quick take on it was that the Lovers reminds you that you (Joanna) are not in it alone — you and Craig form a unit that faces life’s challenges together. I generally interpret the Lovers in this way, as compared to the Two of Cups/Water — the lovers are no longer fixated only on each other, in a romantic way, but have formed an equal partnership where they offer themselves to the world together and take on the battles of life together as well. The Ace of Air, as a butterfly specifically, said “Think outside the box!” to me — or the cocoon, in this case. New ideas and solutions will present themselves — they always do if we can keep an open mind. And Awakening/Judgment speaks to me about looking at lessons learned — really looking honestly at how things can be made better, how you can do better next time, how we all can do better, and always through the filter of compassion. If this financial blip (okay, !BLIP!) makes people wake up and make wiser judgments about what is truly valuable and how it can be sustained, it will surely go easier next time!

  • Quiet Wed - Sep 24th 2008 12:34 pm

    Joanna, your reading seems personal to you but with ramifications for all of us. I have often found that difficult times can bind people in a sense of community. We become oriented to each other rather than to “things”. Current society (even in our country) seems caught up in rampant consumerism. It all can lead to an awakening to what is really important in human life. Mother Earth may be restoring a sense of balance in her inexorable wisdom.

  • Lynn Hayes Sun - Sep 28th 2008 6:24 pm

    Hi Joanna, thanks for the link! Could the Lovers card mean a return to balance? We are after all having a New Moon in Libra tonight, and I feel that the return to simplicity that Saturn in Virgo brings is simplifying our tastes (Libra) as well. We don’t need every fancy gadget and $1000 purses – just the simple things like a beautiful leaf in a pond, a glorious birdsong.

  • joanna Mon - Sep 29th 2008 12:18 pm

    Julie, yes I hear you. People, relationships and connection to Spirit make us happy, not “stuff.” Although I have to admit that this Taurus Moon really likes her stuff. I don’t need new stuff, it’s true. But I love my books and my music and my art supplies. And my laptop and my internet connection. Yes I can release them and let them go if I have to but I’d rather not.
    Hecate, thanks for your great post and your blog. Please do use my Opportunity/Challenge/Resolution layout. It works really well for all kinds of situations.
    Xan, I love the idea of “more central” rather than higher. And yes, let’s go of the stuff that doesn’t serve us. TV can go, no problem!
    Lunaea, yes, one reading of the Lovers is most definitely Craig and I sticking close to each other through this bad patch. We still don’t know how things will shake down with our housing situation, but we are in it together and are not blaming each other.
    Quiet, thank you. I love your reading of the cards. Mother Earth restoring a sense of balance.
    Lynn, you know I love your work. You’re most welcome for the link. Yes the Lovers most definitely can represent a return to balance. Blessed be this Libra Moon.