Sometimes I write because I have something to say that I think will be helpful to others. Sometimes I write because a deity wants something written and They pick me to write it. Other times, though, I write because there’s something I need to work through, and rather than leave it in my private journal, I publish it so others can read it. Maybe someone else is going through the same thing. Maybe someone else has an insight that I’ve overlooked.
This post falls into that third category. This isn’t exposition or analysis or advocacy. This is just me thinking in public.
A disturbance in the force
In the past couple of weeks I’ve had several people I consider both friends and experienced practitioners check in on me. To put it in pop culture terms, they “felt a disturbance in the force.” While that disturbance wasn’t centered on me, it was close enough they felt the need to check in.
I’m fine… or at least as close to fine as anybody can be these days. I’m overloaded with mundane work, spiritual work, and trying to figure out how to live out the rest of my life in the Long Descent. My health is OK, but age is bringing limitations I’m not happy with. None of that is worthy of a premonition.
My employer had a major layoff during this time. I still have a job, but some of my friends don’t. Perhaps the disturbance around me means that I made the cut by a lot less than I assumed. Now that I think about it, I can easily see the decision makers weighing me vs. one other person and deciding that since he was a few years older and somewhat better paid, they’d let him go and keep me.
If you want to know why I’m a liberal who’s getting closer to socialism the older I get, this is at the top of the list. So much of “winning” and “losing” comes down to arbitrary decisions and random occurrences that are out of the control of the person who must bear the consequences. And many of those decisions – like this one – are made so that those who are already rich can get even richer.
I don’t intend for this post to be a political rant, but this is stream of consciousness writing and this is what it’s like to be in my head…
Is this the new normal?
I’m not very psychically sensitive. There are certain deities I can hear loud and clear, but They speak when They have something to say – it’s not an on-going conversation. For the most part, if I want to hear/see/sense I have to stop, ground and center, lower my shields, and actively listen.
When yet another person asked me if anything was going on, I decided I needed to pay attention. So I did what I do in these situations – divination.
I asked “what’s going on that’s causing people to check in on me?” and threw a standard 10-card Tarot spread.
I didn’t take a picture of the reading and I don’t remember all the cards. But it was about as clear and as low-key as you can get. I’m on the right path, things are hard and they’re going to remain hard, but I’m going to get where I’m trying to go.
Ask a vague question, get a vague answer.
But as I was picking up the cards, another thought occurred to me. Is this the new normal? Maybe my “hearing” isn’t bad. Maybe I’ve been hearing this social and spiritual roar for so long I’ve started tuning it out.
We’re never going back to the old normal
This much I know: whether you’re talking politics or spirituality, the only way out is through. Things are never going to be like they used to be – for better and for worse.
Some of you want to go back to 2015. Some see 1999 as the peak of the American empire. The MAGA folks want to go back to the 1950s. None of that is happening. The future will be different. The West will decline, China will rise, the climate will become more unfavorable, and the rich will figure out a way to stay rich and convince the rest of us to fight each other over what’s left.
Spiritually, I’ve talked a lot about the Shredded Veil over the past couple of years, and I’ve speculated about what might be causing it. I don’t really know any more about the causes now than I did three years ago, but I’m even more convinced that magic and Otherworldly influences are getting stronger. The myths and methods that served our parents and grandparents well will at best be sub-optimal for us. They may be entirely inadequate.
If this is the new normal and I haven’t noticed it, what else am I missing?
With my shields down and my ears open, I suddenly felt the need to ask that question to a different deck – the Sola Busca.
The Sola Busca – a dark Tarot for dark timesI reviewed the Sola Busca Tarot last month. If you missed that post I suggest you read it now. The Sola Busca has been dated to 1491 (a date I now think is probably correct) and it’s unlike any other deck from that era… or really, any era before the last few years.
Since that review, I read The Game of Saturn by Peter Mark Adams. This book is religious and political detective work, trying to uncover the origins and purposes of the Sola Busca. The details Adams presents are plausible but unconvincing. However, his main thesis is almost certainly correct.
The Sola Busca was a diplomatic and magical attempt by a powerful Italian family to regain the stature it lost in a conflict with Venice. It was an attempt at a Pagan revival – not in the sense of converting Italy from Christianity back to ancestral Roman religion, but rather an attempt to invoke the power of Pagan Gods and heroes for their own private use.
Remember that this is the same environment that produced Niccolò Machiavelli, who lived from 1469 to 1527 in Florence, yet another competing Italian city-state.
I cannot help but think of those in our time who profess a Christian faith but whose lives could not be farther from the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Their real religion is the pursuit of unbridled power and wealth.
The Sola Busca speaks to our time and our circumstances here and now. I’m going to continue to experiment with it and see what I can find.
Getting ready to fight the last war
I learned to read Tarot by committing the “standard” meanings of the cards to memory. Only then did the cards start to speak to me. Lately, though, I’ve been listening to Camelia Elias: “just read the damn cards.”
I asked “what in all this am I overlooking?” and I threw a 5-card spread, from left to right.
The first thing I noticed was the prominence of the six swords and the ten batons. I think it was Gordon White who said that while the suit of batons generally corresponds with the suit of wands, a baton is not a wand. A baton is a weapon used by those in authority to beat people into submission. Throw in the ace of swords (swords are used to kill people) and you have a very authoritarian spread.
The second thing I noticed was that for the most part, the figures in these cards are facing left. For this reading, that means they’re looking backwards.
These cards do not show overt conflict. They show preparations for conflict, only the kind of conflict we’ve experienced in the past. The old saying is that generals are always preparing to fight the previous war, and thus end up being unprepared for the next war that inevitably comes.
Am I spending too much time studying the past? Am I assuming that the strategies and tactics that got me this far will take me the rest of the way?
Does any of this sound familiar?
If this was an ordinary blog post, this is where I’d write something encouraging you to think about what I said, and if you found it helpful, to put it into action. But there’s no call to action here, because I don’t know what I’d suggest you do. I don’t even know if this reading is all about me or if it concerns our wider community as well.
I know the “disturbance in the force” worries me. I think it’s a wakeup call telling me that I’m a frog and that this nice pan of room temperature water I’ve been sitting in is getting awfully hot.
I’m most concerned about the reading with the Sola Busca. I pride myself on paying attention and being ready for what’s coming. This tells me I’m looking at the wrong things. This requires more thought, more meditation, and likely, more divination.
And that’s all I have. If any of this sounds familiar, I’d appreciate hearing your stories. If you have any insights, I’d love to hear them. I don’t promise I’ll agree with them, but I do promise I’ll listen.
I welcome any observations that advance the conversation, no matter what you think of premonitions and divination. Comments that are condescending and dismissive – from any religious or philosophical viewpoint – will be deleted without warning.