A little background. While I always call on insight for the collective, this week’s reading initially felt tailored to the experience of my most immediate collective – of the reactions and responses to the results of our federal election here in Australia – but when I consider broader outrage and disbelief at the intrusion of more and more aggressive conservatism and radical dismantling of rights, then the results of our Federal Election are sadly reflective of the movement of the shadow across the globe.
The tower speaks to sudden and unexpected turns of events. It speaks to a lightning bolt hit to our authenticity, blowing away what does not align in powerful and often dramatic or violent ways. It is not the expected evolution of change as seen in the Death card. This is ground zero. And almost always comes literally ‘as a bolt from the blue’.
FOUR OF SWORDS
In contrast, the 4 of swords is an acknowledgement of all that’s gone on and a need for down time. It is an invitation to rest. To recharge. To restore. It is the bodily pause demanded after a massive adrenalin surge. The exhaustion which comes after which we can ignore (to our detriment) and push through, or honour with slow gentleness – in however we feel best serves us.
This always felt like a two part message which the tarot cards confirmed when I pulled them.
It began as a gentler message of know your truth, of taking off masks and costumes and the other things which clothe and protection us from the shock and unexpectedness of ‘naked truth’ – or clear seeing:
- Who am I, in relation to my truth.
- Who have I become in the disconnection from my truth?
The Tower card threw extra amplitude into it – as in not just a gentle walk down memory lane with truth, but how truth has the capacity to be both the fire in the belly of our inner warriors but also a protection, of holding firm because you have your truth at your back, regardless of what anyone else says or does.
If you’re not sure about your truth – knowing your core values is a good place to start. We do not intrinsically know our core values but we do instinctively recognise them in a list.
It is also an invitation to view the truth of others from a place of detachment, to not allow intolerance and judgement to become the energies du jour because it is easy to fall into separation and blame-shaming – especially when we are shocked and hurt.
Charged is such an interesting word to see in a poem.
- Charged as in ‘dished the responsibility’ to remember
- Charged as in ‘charged up’ – fuelled – at full working capacity to remember
- Charged as in you’ve just been hit by a bolt of lightning…’wake the fuck up’. If you don’t know what your truth is, it’s time to know. No more fence sitting. No more ambivalence.
Then there is ‘simply’: How does your truth sit with the way you arrive as an individual within the collective?
It is also a reminder that it is meant to be an ecstatic dance between truth and individuation. This is not everyone’s experience and it is not everyone’s safe place now and we are possibly entering into a period where it is going to be less and less safe for us to openly be our individuated selves. For those of us who can hold a space for this enlivened change may we remember to also hold a place for those who are denied this space.
The second part of calls for persistence (and yes, that word is in bold) in spiritual nourishment and self care. It is a daily commitment that, especially during the intensity of these times, is a non-negotiable part of our daily lives. There are very real phenomena called empathy burnout and compassion fatigue. If you feel as though you are running at a brick wall over and over again, and you’re not taking the time to care for yourself, it will eventually destroy you.
Right now – take time out in a way that best support you: take a week of social media, take a break from mainstream news, opt out of interactions with toxic people or situations. And choose something kind for yourself instead.
The poem also speaks to a gentler reminder that sometimes we fall out of alignment with our soul and self care practices. Or has life got in the way of things you once did. Is it time to make space, time and energy for them again. Habitual attendance can become just that, habitual attendance without the deeper connection and support that these practises, routines or rituals once held for us.
- Do you still deeply love what you do?
- Do you feel excited about engaging in it?
- Does it reliably help elevate or ground you?
- Is it simple, easy and fit with the time you have on hand?
- Is there something you’ve always wanted to try?