11 Reasons Why ANTONIA’S LINE Helps Shatter Patriarchy

John Lett (About) (Sessions) (tarotworldtour YouTube)

See what happens when one woman upends the social order of a small Dutch village.

I have recommended the film Antonia’s Line frequently. It is easily my favorite and the one that opens the most doors into what is possible. Beware there are many spoilers here.

Antonia (played by Willeke van Ammelrooy) brings her daughter to her to the village she grew up in, initially to say good-bye to her dying mother who spews out religious dogma and nonsense on her deathbed, but with the backdrop of World War II having just finished. With the former matriarch safely tucked away in the graveyard, Antonia’s brand of independence and revolutionary openness swiftly breaks down centuries old roles and expectations.

1.  Antonia attracts a widower with five sons. In short order, he proposes marriage to her because his sons need a mother. “But I don’t need your sons,” she replies. “You don’t?” he asks her, stunned. She sets the terms that she will offer meals, milk, and vegetables for things she can’t do herself. “But I already have those things.” A relationship comes about later, but it is not one that leaves her in a position to be chattel.

2.  Antonia’s daughter wants to have a baby, but has no compulsion to marry or maintain a relationship. Antonia spells out the hardships to her, finally insisting that the one condition is that the father of the child must not be one of the villagers. She takes her to the nearest city to a center for fallen women. A plucky, enthusiastic woman who loves being pregnant helps Danielle conceive with a relative of hers. Initially, the religious order of the town shame Antonia and Danielle out of the church, but a combination of blackmail and exposing clerical predilections get the family in good graces with the church again.

3.  A rapist from a wealthy landowning family casts a pall over the village in a couple of different instances over a long period of time. This is the only crime that is reciprocated with violence in Antonia’s culture because it is the ultimate expression of domination. Mob rule and promises of eternal curses give those around him the courage to serve out justice.

4.  One of the victims of the rapist is his mentally handicapped sister Deedee. She and a man with a similar state of mind find each other as they gravitate toward and eventually work for Antonia’s farm. They conceive a child, marry, and do not face harassment or threats to be sterilized by the community, because their value and attributes are recognized and cherished.

5.  Danielle’s daughter Therese is a child prodigy who seems to have infinite intelligence at the expense of expected feminine behavior. She becomes attached to the village hermit (Crooked Finger) who is a devout nihilist, explaining to her how nothing exists. She forms a strong psychic bond to him and no one interferes in the process of knowledge transfer the bizarre bachelor imparts to Therese.

6.  Feminism is varied and misunderstood, but in the case of this story seems to entail accommodating all types of people and finding the cadence of life cycles and emotions. When the nihilist’s life ends, the whole of the village senses it and comes running in their collective concern.

7.  The plucky woman from the city comes to Antonia’s home with her two children, presumably with resources or other forms of luck having run out. She and the children are downcast until Antonia welcomes them to the outdoor dinner table where her growing community are seated. The village priest who has recently left the post simply because his zeal for life is too great is in thrall with this woman in her pregnant state and they go on to happily have a dozen more children together.

8.  When the woman dies in childbirth later on, her husband and the progeny leave to devote their lives to social work in the city.

9.  Therese experiments sexually with the intellectuals at university and finds them highly egocentric and boring, so she returns to a childhood friend who is not her intellectual equal. She becomes pregnant, and the dozens children and other affiliates of Antonia’s circle have open debate as to whether she should or should not have the child. To the great offense of the nihilist, she has the baby, in part because she knows how much it means to her lover who accepts her totally. He is the primary caregiver for their daughter, giving Therese clearance to be intellectually productive.

10. Sarah, the daughter of Therese, is a contemplative young writer who also giggles when she sees the colorful ghosts of those who have died in the village. She comforts the villagers of the generations that have been present from the beginning of Antonia and Danielle’s arrival by observing their gifts. She writes a poem about all the gifted women around her but featuring Deedee, the mentally handicapped acquired family member, which provokes Deedee to speak the first and only time in the film.

11. Finally, Antonia foresees her own death and informs Sarah that it is coming, as she had promised she would do. She is not the victim of an illness or accident, but in a nurturing environment where one is not preoccupied with competition, conforming to others’ expectations, and not anticipating violence, oftentimes the rhythms of life can be detected in this manner. She, like others in her created community before her who do not die of accidents, is surrounded by family who will be hurt by her passing, but all of whom gain something different and positive from the experience.

In Antonia’s circle, someone can choose to never have children, they can choose to have a child every year if they want, they can devote their life to philosophy, and generally be left to do what they do best without interference… leading to actual maximum productivity. In an environment not driven by exploitation and warfare, life springs from all encounters.

John Lett (About) (Sessions) (tarotworldtour YouTube)

Roger Ebert’s review: www.rogerebert.com/reviews/antonias-line-1996

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#1 Record or #1 Single?

John Lett (About) (Sessions) (tarotworldtour YouTube)

I have been a big fan of Kylie Minogue for roughly ten years and even more, I love to see music charts, analytics, and to break down what may have gone right or awry with marketing of any number of things. Minogue, the Australian who has had something like forty Top Ten hits in the UK, this week failed to continue that streak with her lead single “Into the Blue” from twelfth studio album Kiss Me Once. The single debuted at Number 12 on the Official Singles Chart Top 100. Meanwhile, on the albums chart, the record, which was released one week after the single was officially released (though it has been widely available online since late January), looks poised to reach Number 2, according to The Official Charts Company. Expected to reach Number 1 is George Michael.

I argue that whoever is topping the singles charts has a more youth-focused audience base and may be reaching more people in the here-and-now, whereas established artists who are not really reaching critical mass can still top the album chart due to preferences in purchasing behavior. Physical singles are harder to find or produced only rarely, a shift in the music industry that briefly displaced the UK as the world’s third largest music market (behind the US and Japan) and put Germany ahead for one year as that country lagged behind adopting digital downloads.

The even bigger hallmark of a veteran artist is to make the most impressive numbers on tour. In the US, at this point, most teenagers do not know who Madonna is, but she had far away and the most successful tour in terms of revenue in 2012 an was the highest earning celebrity in 2013. Bruce Springsteen is, who came in at second on the touring circuit in 2012, is also unknown to tweens and teens.

Perhaps these component charts are indicative of life stages – 99 cent song downloads for the 25-and-younger crowd, a record for the 18 to 45 demographic, and a $300/£200+ concert experience for Babyboomers and further aided by the so-called “pink pound.”

Which chart would you rather top? With your potential body of work, which #1 would make you feel most validated?

John Lett (About) (Sessions) (tarotworldtour YouTube)

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2014: The Year of Self-Assuredness

026John Lett (About) (Sessions) (tarotworldtour YouTube)

Competition for my attention has been such that I have not been able to write as frequently as I wish, but once per annum I do like to do a forecast of a major theme and minor themes that my tarot cards indicate will be prominent in the ensuing year. The world is such a vast place that I can only presume that the predictions are primarily relevant to who may read the contents and I am certain that events are skewed by an Anglo-American bias or relevance to readers in North America and Western Europe as they, and expats from those areas, who constitute the lion’s share of the readership. I have attempted to mitigate this emphasis as there are readers in upwards of 60 countries that visit this website each year.

2012 was, in my predictions, experience, and observation, “The Year of the Opiates” whereby there was optimistic spin in the media to keep attention directed at economic recovery and preventing any comprehensive regime change from occurring in the face of serious unrest in the Middle East – essentially a systematic effort of preventing contagion or disruption of the status quo in developed countries. 2013 was “The Year of Deconstruction” where norms were upended and corruption had fewer and fewer places to hide. The way I have summed up 2013 is that it is like a Berlin Wall is falling down every day. Many would argue that there was a palpable shift sometime around 2000 to 2001 that ushered in an unsettled period that has never really gone away, but by 2013 this has become normalized and yet were just beginning to understand the full nature of how we are all implicated and impacted.

I will re-use some of the questions from 2013, but one of them, “Are our assets safe?” does not seem to be a front page question this year. I can’t say I had a premonition about the banking situation in Cyprus, but I have been aware that raiding of accounts is a matter at hand. For 2014, I am concerned about actual or simulated cyber attacks being staged against accounts and will ask the relevance of this question.

As always, I say a prayer and ask for benevolent thoughts and influences as the preface to my queries. My primary aim is more refined now in that I want people to be able to navigate globalization and to optimize their local situation in the most seamless way possible, avoiding turbulence primarily coming from asset-stripping mechanisms our current economies foster.

What is the overall, prevailing experience many people in the world will have this year?

PAST, PRESENT: Both Justice and The Fool are reversed in this stage of our query. We are in a very litigious mindset coming into 2014. There are not quick solutions to moral or legislative issues and there will be a lot of conclusions arrived at, then reversed, then analyzed again. People are not too sure of what they actually believe. Many more people are capable of thinking in terms of moral relativism (I do not claim to know that topic inside and out but that is a term that sprung to mind). Furthermore, the opposite force at work here is that people are trying to maintain a sense of normality that they have known during the entire Post-War period from 1945, but it continues to buckle under the pressure of spiritual interests.

The second factor at the present is people noting the absurdity of their life situation. Some interpretations of The Fool in reverse take it as a warning against enticing offers, and this is a persistent threat in life, but I am pulling a feeling of farce. Many more people at the moment are questioning “How did I get here? Why am I doing what I’m doing? Everything that happens is a constructed reality.”

FUTURE/2014: Seven of Pentacles indicates people taking stock of their lives and seeing their achievements. Things are not so bad after all, and many people will realize they have accumulated more than they thought they did in recent years. Pentacles generally indicates work, assets and property, skill, and anything associated with money or success. In the seventh card, one objective is clearer and is obvious by bigger size. This is the year people want to move on and step boldly into the future and have some idea as to what can achieve this. This card is not a passive, lucky card however – it is one where the word is required to back it up. In the coming months, something of a majority of people will see their hard work paying off.

Nine of Cups in reverse comes in to say what the actual Tarotimageresults will be for the year, as felt by a “majority” and this warns of gluttony and too much consumption or vanity. Thus, a continuation of a bubble building in many segments of the world population is expected and this is not the year of the next crash (bear in mind I am not referring to the BRICS countries and emerging market countries which have suffered from the US and EU pushing inflation their way). As there is always a counterculture, a large minority of people will be more sensitive to these consumption patterns and will continue to build up their resources in such a way to avoid the next battery of social and economic problems. We may start seeing the return of religious or spiritual cults, which have been relatively quiet since the late 1990s.

2013 was a year marked with violent incidents of a cruel nature, such as the Boston marathon explosions, two incidents in Washington, and the slaying of a soldier in London. Are these events to escalate in 2014? How will violence be curtailed?

FUTURE: The Wheel of Fortune denotes how unpredictable life is and some degree of fatalism in one’s expectations. This card offers the advice of telling people to go about their business and to try to realize that there is a larger picture and meaning to their misfortunes that ultimately contributes to knowledge accumulation and enhanced life experience, even in horrifying circumstances. I will add to this that there is no wasteDogmatic and fear-based propaganda continues to unravel, hence the wheel. The seeds for real reform are planted but not yet harvested.067

The next card seems appropriate, the Page of Pentacles lands to usher in a very powerful combination of youthful exuberance and fiscal success. Youth leadership is stepping up and, as I have said before, the generation that is entering adulthood now is very, very good. The Page of Pentacles has a feathered cap and looks at a large Pentacle, combining wisdom, a plucky spirit, and a firm resolve.

In the context of this question, there will be more incidents of random terrorism, shootings, and so forth, but they are going to weigh less heavily on us because we can see that they are not necessarily evidence of a society in decline. Furthermore, as the youth start to tilt our reality to one more grounded in reasonable tolerance of others and less competition associated with all the “-isms” (nationalism, sexism, ageism, etc.), there is less harassment and violence to be expected in the sum total (in other words, high profile incidents will happen but they do not reflect the consistent decline in violence overall).

Legislation will most likely not be a part of the reduction of violence, it appears to be happening in response to social changes.

What traits or steps to be taken are the most life-enhancing ones particular to 2014 given economic and social changes in the Western world?

FUTURE: For this question, Nine of Swords and Nine of Pentacles appeared. Nine in tarot represents completion as well as beginnings and the triumvirates we know (mind, body, soul, etc.). This is a time to bask in the light of all that is already good. I have always said that wherever you are in the world is never worse than the second best place for you. Again, there is a lot of youthful energy infused into this year and you will see a lot of people giddy with their purchases, counting their blessings, shaking off fear, and letting go of some responsibility to entrust to junior members of groups.

WAR

The one persistent thorn of a very big nature that bothers me is the buildup of defense systems in the Pacific. In the last days of 2011, it was announced that the US would be sending thousands of troops to Australia quietly each year for the next five years. Meanwhile, there are frequent references to the “pivot to the Pacific,” and there have been more disputes between South Korea, China, and Japan over territorial waters and islands. I absolutely cannot express unfiltered conjecture here but I advise everyone to think very critically of what they are informed of on this front in the coming years. There will be false representations of what is happening and the parties responsible will not necessarily be who or nations that they are proclaimed to be. Your discernment and objections are of the greatest importance in the safety of others.

Will there be any worldwide conflicts this year that lead to a large-scale war situation?

FUTURE: The Lovers appears in reverse. Harmonious relations are tested and rhetoric is not romantic and cooperative. As it stands now, China and the US could not exist without the other but this is starting to shift as both countries are less dependent on each other. Turf and procedures are being sorted out and neither party is certain how to go about this, not to mention the thousands of industrial players and political factions that do not agree on what is effective.

Six of Swords also appears in reverse. This card depicts a journey by water and this literally means hostile waters in this particular case, which is more than coincidental. It also means that so far in 2014 this is mainly a war of rhetoric rather than actual combat, but the stage is set. There is a lot of obstinance at work from all factions.

Though neither of these cards refer to commerce in any way, invariably people with investments in these territories have to consider long-term disruption. Though there is a strong presence of international trade, there is actually a quiet tilt toward regional or continental trade. Eventually each continent will mostly be self-sufficient through a combination of evolution and necessity with the US, Germany, and China being the main hubs (they actually already are but that has not been recognized yet for political reasons. Russia is the wild card that will eventually operate like a Nordic social democracy).

CONCLUSION

This a year of strong performance and enhanced self-esteem at the individual level. There is not going to be a feeling of “all our problems are solved” and from the legislative perspective, this is a heavy period of combative back-and-forth disputes, but the people will rise above it and buck centralized power by frequently ignoring it. While personal investments in more environmentally friendly products and practices will continue to move forward, this is more of a year of advancements of the Self. We can laugh at ourselves and yield more power to new players.

See both the positive and negative words associated with “Self-assuredness” at merriam-webster.com

John Lett (About) (Sessions) (tarotworldtour YouTube)

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Unleashing the Velocity of Money

026John Lett (About) (Sessions) (tarotworldtour YouTube)

I recently read a pre-release manuscript that has since been published. Rethinking Money: How New Currencies Turn Scarcity into Prosperity is easily the best book I have read this year. Financial systems and currencies are not new topical areas for me but I was pleasantly surprised and then outraged with what I learned from some case studies in this new release by Bernard Lietaer and Jacqui Dunne. Many of you reading are already familiar with the Chiemgauer, Brixton pound, and other alternative, local currencies in operation right now in the US, Germany, UK, and elsewhere. We are also regularly informed that a solution to long-term economic stagnation is to go back to gold-backed currency and that devaluation is primarily attributed to the floating currency policies initiated in the 1960s and 70s. However, these authors convincingly argue otherwise with both startling historical precedents and emergent strategies taking place in the present day.

The crux of the argument of the book is that local currencies have far greater velocity or turnover than national currencies. The key factor that seems to underpin a successful operation, in addition to mutual trust, is a slight demurrage fee, meaning in this case that the currency must lose a small portion of its value in 30 to 90 days in order to encourage movement, which is the essential factor in wealth creation (or sensation).

The most sensational and disturbing portion of the book is worth outlining – the authors cite a case I had never heard of. In the 1920s and 30s, the German-speaking world was economically decimated through both losing World War I and the reparation debts that famously created nightmarish inflation in the Weimar Republic era. At this time, inflation was so intense that people were paid twice daily and had to scramble to the Lebensmittelgeschäft (grocery store) while prices skyrocketed. What is not known is that many German and Austrian towns developed their own currencies to avoid business closures and to meet their municipal budgets.

In the case of Wörgl, Austria, in the Tyrolean Alps, in 1932, a situation developed that was later called “Miracle of Wörgl” (chronicled in the book in pages 177-8 and reiterated here). Facing 30% unemployment and an inability to meet payroll for the employees of the city, the town’s mayor, Michael Unterguggenberger, employed an economic theory of Silvio Gesell of “Freigeld” (free money), issuing labor certificates. The result was more powerful than the creators probably imagined or intended. Within a couple of months, the town was the only one in Austria with full employment and they encountered the peculiar situation of people paying their taxes early. “[W]hen people ran out of places to spend their local currency, they would pay their taxes early, resulting in a huge increase in the town’s revenues” (pg. 178). The town carried out all of their intended projects, but also built additional houses, a reservoir, a ski jump, and a bridge which still stands today. It was estimated that this money circulated 12-14 times more than Austrian money and the situation drew so much attention that it brought about a special visit from the French Prime Minister, Edouard Dalladier. However, the Austrian Central Bank shut down the operation one year later and within a couple of months the town faced 30% unemployment again.

The most terrifying thing about this and other less notable experiments is that there may be a connection to their failure and the rise of fascism. Cooperative currencies were in use in Germany and Austria primarily from the 1924 to 1930, according to Lietaer and Dunne, and during this time the support and representation for the National Socialists fell from 6.6% to 2.6% in Germany. When alternative currencies were outlawed , employment increased by 500% in three years and the percentage of seats for the Nazi Party went from 18.3% in 1930 to 43.9% by 1933, the year that Hitler consolidated power.

Most hauntingly perhaps, as I learned here, the plaque at the bridge proclaims “This bridge was built with our own Free Money.”013

There are other examples in the book of Switzerland having an inter-business currency that helped them stave off instability in the 2008-present crisis, particularly when the Swiss franc overheated in 2011, and then also an alternative banking system in Sweden whereby an operation somewhat similar to a credit union run by volunteers charges low or no interest, but requires loan seekers to hold deposits for several years before partaking in a mortgage of 15 years, and then having to keep the title to the house in the “bank” a further 12 years (thus funding other mortgage seekers), before being able to pull out the money, and thus having a huge savings package available.

One possible ideal scenario they advocate is a situation whereby several currencies are used for different functions. There could be a global reference currency, three main international currencies, scores of national currencies, dozens of regional currencies, even more local cooperative currencies, and a wide range of functional currencies dependent upon how the funds are to be used (199).

The message here is one which I try to drive home but where the authors have succinctly backed up through empirical evidence. Value and unlimited potential are literally omnipresent and centralization – mechanisms which pull money to one administrative location and then try to divvy it out – is not the way to handle our collective wealth-producing capacities.

John Lett (About) (Sessions) (tarotworldtour YouTube)

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Lightworkers! (To Be on The Right Side of History!)

John Lett (About) (Sessions) (tarotworldtour YouTube)

How preoccupied are you with the future? I am a Virgo and my personality card in tarot that I selected when I first began tarot in 2009 is the Four of Pentacles, which I was unaware is another earth-based, conservative type of card. Whether my point of birth or card have any bearing at all, I have always been concerned about how my actions and choice of words will be perceived in 10 or 20 years’ time.

This topic has been brought to the surface for me today – Sundays often get unintentionally devoted to this kind of philosophizing – in part because of reading new press from The Guardian about Margaret Atwood’s upcoming third work in a trilogy, MaddAddam (the other two are Oryx and Crake of 2003 and The Year of the Flood from 2009). The Guardian article led me to a 2009 broadcast in which she discusses the second book and the various factions in a dystopia backdrop. I have read this book and found it very intellectually stimulating with the concepts of science gone awry and the organized theosophical structure of the ecocult that has somehow survived a plague.

Atwood has a way of having work released just in time for what is happening in the media cycle, this time apparently at least in part focusing on surveillance culture and apocalyptic fears (I am not entirely sure since MaddAddam is released September 3rd; ironically for me, my 30th birthday). In the interview with Emma Brockes published August 23, 2013, Atwood refers to her research:

In fact, the only experts she consulted for MaddAddam were hackers, who she turned to for advice on how characters might pull off secret communication in the age of spying. What’s interesting, Atwood says, is that with snooping potential as it currently is – and in light of the NSA eavesdropping revelations – you can “watch people revert to older technologies, as a way around some of this.” Like what?

She grabs my notebook, scribbles something down and theatrically tears it up. “It’s the only safe way. Then you rip it up and burn it. Don’t even flush it down the toilet, it’s too risky. We have ways of opening up those toilets.” As a character in Year of the Flood says of digital technology: “If you can see it, it can see you.”

Depending on who or which faction grabs the reins in the future, let’s say from 019a 2030 perspective, the present time period will be 004characterized by the battle for basic protectionism of all kinds from water resources, labor rights, to privacy, to transportation. While consolidation of power and resources has been occurring perhaps for as long as civilization has been organized, with the exception of a period in the West of 1945 to the early 1980s, something in the shock of the 2008 crash and liberalization of information being freely available on the internet suddenly made average people wise to the s0-called “soft kill” instruments employed against their livelihoods the world over. One of my friends and I a few nights ago tried to project which faction we see winning the narrative of the future and have concluded that actually the “green extremists,” the corporations with no known leader or guiding hand, and the general consumer as we know them now will all persist and end up growing in communities around each other. Much like the three-speed economy that has been publicized in Australia, a US example would be something like the “Breakaway Civilization” described by Catherine Austin Fitts: a major portion of our collective wealth is being allocated to developing an advanced economy and arrangements that the majority of the people will never be able to keep up with. I can sense that transhumanism ideals in chasing technological upgrades will seize most of Asia and much of the US and Canada, with a tiny elite guiding these movements, there will be more illness from the pollution and other environment damage harming the average person, and meanwhile a plucky, steadily growing green faction will be seen as a disruptor of the overall order of things in the coming years. It has recently quietly come into academic discourse that there is a new “Green Scare” on the rise (see: Green is the New Red).

Last year while living and working in Montreal, I met two girls from a green 030commune of sorts in Massachusetts who had been working there for room and board for years, and while I recoiled at the idea of no monetary pay, I can see that in some ways the corporate/evil elite ideal is to have “green” people eschew private property and hierarchies because this can leave institutions and value ripe for the picking for them.

Regarding surveillance, another major bee in our bonnet now (though it has been structured and well funded at least since the 1930s when labor organizers began experiencing all kinds of harassment or worse), there is not much one can do about this, and I would argue the associated fatalist attitude about it prevails in our lack of pride in how we present ourselves in the digital world. Germany appears to be the main country with a constituency that demands some controls on this, but as Atwood mentioned, the very nature of the digital world involves a larger-than-intended audience. The favorable consequence of this that I see coming is that we will see a resurgence of local arts and items with intrinsic value, but these things may not be things that can be exchanged for large monetary compensation. In order to be satisfied with our lives, we will have to find our own methods of measuring what is valuable to us that are not authenticated by external definitions. In other words, don’t let markets fool you into thinking something is worthless even if its dollarized value is near zero; this is a major part of the deception of the present era. A car may be 053“worth” $20,000USD, but it took two years of savings to pay for and actually takes you to places you’d rather not go, for example (and in some instances – not everyone would feel this way).

In the US, UK, and elsewhere, I very much fear a resurgence in ethnic tension, which I feel is more manufactured than the result of even true fundamental differences in social and economic class (but certainly reinforced by these latter two classifications). I urge all people to harness skills of diplomacy and to develop their abilities to speak in an academic, articulate way. While we never want to stamp out unique regional or social class dialects, these expressions from a group can be used against them, not only from outside threats, but through popular culture and “inside” – such as the mainstream hip-hop/thug vernacular or cliches and maxims maintained and proliferated through country music. In the future perception game, this is the most dangerous area in terms of how historians will represent people in the future.

Lastly, I have noticed that in mainstream pop music, the amount of words in the lyrics has been greatly reduced to just a couple of sentences amidst an EDM (electronic dance music) soundtrack. For many decades, though people are more educated now than they were in the past, the number of words in everyday use has been falling, and as a result, I think articulation resurfaces again in this area. A great threat and a great theme of this time period is the lack of an ability to coherently present one’s case and compete with extremely lengthy legal and contractual verbiage that has maintained its Victorian language but grown in scope like Moore’s Law.

The ideal is to be somewhere between one who survives whichever order is in place but to be on the ethical side of history, even if that means the suffering side. Even if one is killed by the proverbial “bad guys,” historically it seems that within five or ten years, the majority of the society follows the convictions and path of justice of the victims and institutionalizes them into progressive law. There are memorials, holidays, and protections built and celebrated in the names of the good generally, but wicked practices, though ongoing, at the incidental level have quick rise and fall scenarios.

John Lett (About) (Sessions) (tarotworldtour YouTube)

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German Election Outcome!

John Lett (About) (Sessions) (tarotworldtour YouTube)

Allow me first to refer back to my September 2011 article and analysis, “Germany’s Pre-Eminence.” I have not altered this article since its September 21, 2011 release. Germany has since become the world’s third largest exporter, now trailing behind the US, which has advanced significantly in the last few years under an administration that has emphasized growing the country’s exports and as more oil and gas harvesting has made the country more energy independent. Still, Germany is perhaps even more recognized as the economic engine (or stabilizing partner) in the EU. This is enhanced even further by today’s news that the eurozone is officially out of recession, led by 0.7% growth in Germany and 0.5% growth in France. As I mentioned in the previous article two years ago, while many of the fundamentals in Germany’s economy are genuinely strong, there are misconceptions about scope of the relative prosperity there, given that low wages and increasing instability in job security are more prevalent than is spoken about.

I want to address Germany now due to the election coming in September 2013 and to get on the topic early. In 2011 I predicted that the economy would see no more than 1% annualized growth, which appears to be supported by this chart and also by the World Bank 2012 figure of 0.7% growth. As other European nations buckled under austerity and scandals, I also could clearly see that Sarkozy and Berlusconi would be booted out of office, but Angela Merkel would

be the last of the major figures in Europe to still hold office. Now the big question is whether she can maintain another term as Chancellor. Her CDU

Photographer: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:%D7%90 (Aleph), taken 30 April 2008

Photographer: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:%D7%90 (Aleph), taken 30 April 2008

party (Christian Democratic Union) party and its Bavarian equivalent are in the lead, but as has been pointed out, with coalitions that does not necessarily mean that she will prevail, particularly with the chief rival party, SPD (Social Democrats) winning some state elections in 2012 and 2013. With Germans simultaneously wanting to have a green economy that backs renewable energy and sustaining a social democratic mixed economy kind of state (for instance, several states have gone back to no out-of-pocket tuition fees for university, against global trends) while wishing to limit subsidies and bailouts to other European countries and at least publicly denounce spying by US institutions and government, Merkel has had to straddle all of these viewpoints to be looked upon favorably.

With all of these competing factors as a backdrop, I wish to put my tarot cards to the test and do so as succinctly as possible. I used my normal prayer and meditation to answer the questions:

Will Angela Merkel succeed in remaining Chancellor of Germany after the September 2013 federal election?

Past and Present: Five of Rods, rev; Knight of Swords

There is a dislike of the party that she represents overall but the people like her generally and see her as competent. The people do not like neoliberalism that much but her character stands out above competitors. There is the classic need to be all things to all people present. There have not been fiery debates so far or any kind of “rawness” to the leading in of the election but it will be very fiery in a week or two and a rhetorical war will emerge. She is being coached very short, quotable “zingers” that will stand out so that her personality dominates discourse and media, leaving it difficult for other names to be present in the minds of voters and observers.

Future: King of Swords, rev; The Sun, rev

It goes against my logical progression of how I see events unfolding, but both cards indicate the possibility of calamity. If she does not assert herself as protectress of justice and the human condition, she cannot win. I see strong arguments being thrown at her by rival left-wing factions that will force her to take a position, at least rhetorically, in this regard. If she seems as though she is too accommodating to any kind of deregulation, she will be painted into a corner she cannot get out of. The Sun in reverse also indicates that she must indicate to the people that there is a long-term commitment to environmentalism. Moving away from nuclear energy, which began in Germany in 2011 in response to the Fukushima disaster in Japan will be addressed, and her response must be convincing that the commitment to migrating away from nuclear energy is still on. Invariably, the approach to what degree the EU is centrally organized underpins this election and moment, and she must indicate that there is more individual autonomy in each nation, and this will be part of any “unveiling” that happens during the main debate and presentation of her platform.

In 2011′s reading in “Germany’s Pre-Eminence” I saw a female leader through roughly the 2015 period, a recent Yahoo article with some gossip supports this idea. As always, I have said that the future is flexible because of the number of variables, but I think that her party will win but have to co-opt the far-left in many regards and take many directives from the Green Party, though I can’t see an actual coalition being formed with the Greens. Again, if she is not prepared to answer to the far-left and has any soundbites that sound unsympathetic to environmental issues and the country’s overall commitment to renewable energy (though there are plenty of arguments against it being profitable now), a major dissolution of government will ensue. That said, I see female stewardship and feminine qualities prevailing in this election. She cannot be attacked for economic management of the country since it is perceived to be doing well except in the case of falling wages or the lack of security in jobs for which she can only fire back with proposed enhancements and improvements in these areas.

What kinds of developments will be the result of the 2013 German federal election?

Future: IV The Emperor; Five of Pentacles, rev

With her victory, in spite of what is being said now to address the demands from the left, it will be more of the same, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Business as usual for a while. The role of Germany in Europe is also expressed here: it is still viewed as the father of the continent and the only country occupying this paternalistic role in the minds and eyes of the world. Four represents stability because essentially most structures have four sides. However, five is a jeopardy number or a crossroads where relationships are tested. This could also refer to 2014 going into 2015. Around this time, I foresee some insolvency issues coming to light. I have always found the strengthening relationship with Russia for energy needs a bit risky and I think that this is a factor in some kind of crisis around this time. This is not a 019permanently debilitating disaster but could disrupt the balance of left-wing humanist principles with business-forward practice in the country that has the identity of high-end, high-quality exporting capacity.

CONCLUSION: Oftentimes, instead of praying to be correct or to have controlled outcomes, it is best to pray for what delivers the most good and once an election result or other type of decision is made with some permanence, continue to bless all parties involved. Even if someone we dislike wins, we never want to wish failure upon someone or a group because that opens the door for further hostilities and innocent people become ensnared. It is possible for concessions to be made where universal small victories reach all factions and levels of society.

John Lett (About) (Sessions) (tarotworldtour YouTube)

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It’s Not All About Revenge!

026John Lett (About) (Sessions) (tarotworldtour YouTube)

If one were to watch television, particularly cable “news,” one would be led to believe that there has never been a more divisive time and that people are increasingly hateful. What I observe on the ground is more akin to people being disenchanted or aloof while administration and transactions of our daily doings becomes more centralized. For instance, in my decade-long boycott of Wal-Mart and effort to encourage others to stop shopping there, I had neglected to notice that the supermarket chain I have usually shopped at, Dillons (Kroger), is now the second largest retail outlet in the United States. The day I made this discovery, I had decided to begin shopping at my city’s food co-op, only to discover that its doors had shuttered a month before. People will complain about this kind of market efficiency and that there are malevolent forces at work to speed these changes up, but while this is true, many millions of individuals acting separately simply thinking they do not have consumer power has been far more destructive. In this case, a flourishing farmer’s market on Saturdays and a culture more open to organic and locally sourced food had encroached on this niche more than the co-op could bear.

The other normal reaction to situations where one feels like they have less power is to fall prey to someone who does project confidence and who has the ability to compel others to follow them. We all know who these major voices in our respective countries are, but the blame cannot be laid squarely on individuals who are but temporary game pieces that do not disrupt the 005board landscape itself. There is a major effort in many societies to dehumanize and nullify others and pull the funding from social services or other entitlements as we have all witnessed in North America for the last twenty years and more recently in Europe. I always say that everyone wants union wages but slavery-based economy prices when they do their own shopping. Furthermore, everything is welfare and there are no free markets. Who or which free market principles decide(s) that we work x-number of hours, an x-ray costs a certain amount, or the price of any other commodity? It is not demand or intrinsic value alone. If we are to believe our main sources of information, a lifetime of education and enhancement is worthless but uranium, weapons, or other toxic brews are valuable and competitive (though uranium has dropped in market price by almost half since Fukushima).

Pointing Fingers       As I sit and write, I can hear an older man remarking about US president Barack Obama derisively and if I were to sit longer, I would hear something about how Kansas Republican governor Sam Brownback has destroyed the state and so forth. However, unless one is bursting the glory bubble of someone idealizing these public figures, there is nothing gained by complaining about a remote individual and actually, it defers any sense of personal responsibility or ownership of the situation to someone who has very little ability to change policy. The mentality of most Western voters has been to vote for the person or party that proposes the least amount of personal responsibility for improving the human condition, and typically this means lower taxation. The lower the taxation, the less money will circulate (moderate taxation works when the taxed money is not being used for pork barrel projects and that the majority of people are participating by paying their taxes), and thus the more dodgy and unethical investments people will have to make in order to get a return, and the more blatantly we will have to be lied to and mollified with platitudes by whichever media demigod we align ourselves with.

Labels and Categorization    By far the biggest issue in the US media cycle now is the jury’s conclusion of George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the killing of Trayvon Martin. The majority of people I know are outraged and a large minority of other observers are annoyed at endless accusations of racism and an unequal justice system. Does it really have to be exclusively one conclusion or the other? Are not both sides both right? From what I can observe, the reaction of the public with over 100 rallies in the US as I write 001indicates that the majority of people have graduated into realizing this is an unfair society that sometimes has people armed who do not have the mental capacity to handle the weapons. However, it would seem that this kind of low vibration revenge-seeking mentality, while seeking justice and correct in its basis, is feeding rivalries and divides that are actually dying out. Unfortunately, to be correct and to stand on morally high ground often involves quiet behavior rather than demonstrations and outrage which can make those in the wrong or of an opposite viewpoint more mobilized.

When I was studying for my undergraduate degree in sociological studies, there was a course that I had in which the professor and some of the students addressed that major media themes are actually planned six to twelve months ahead of time. In a country as large as the US, there is always so much happening of every story type that there is enough material to make a particular crime or situation seem like a new epidemic. Right now, as of July 2013 in the US, the major planned theme is anything that involves ethnic tension or to a lesser extent, overcoming ethnic tension. At any given time, it can be terrorism, school food poisonings, gay teen suicides, abortion legislation, or any number of things, but they are all constantly occurring rather than having spikes at particular times. One must always question why a particular issue is being brought to the fore and what other major issue may be going on unchecked at the time somewhere else. For instance, in November 2012, while everyone was focused on Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, most people (myself included) neglected reading up on their local candidates and the states of Montana and Colorado voted to end corporate personhood, but our misplaced focus stopped major reforms and implementation from happening. Therefore, the true way to progress for social issues, money matters, and tragedies like the Trayvon Martin case is often less pontificating and more negotiating and flexibility to hearing others out… we are often more in agreement than one would think.

Revenge     I have often referred back to The Celestine Prophecy and I will do so again here. Again when we feel depleted, hopeless, and looking for an answer, we then resort to trying to draw energy from others or to extend our sense of power by verbally or physically dominating space. We will try to win an argument not for the sake of true reform but in order to have the last

Athens subway station, June 2012

Athens subway station, June 2012

word and eventually someone backs down and feels less worthy. In the 30 countries I have visited, I find this style of dominance most common in Romance language countries, the US, Canada, and the Middle East (although not everywhere and it depends more on the context), and least common in Europe, where people can have heated debates and still be friends, and even less common in Asia where people are generally extremely pragmatic and will consider long-term business relationships and hierarchies before spouting off. Every time we prepare to speak, we have to stop and ask ourselves “Am I seeking revenge or am I trying to inform and improve conditions in a gentle and just way?” It is not always right to “let someone get away with doing bad things” but it is generally best to try to not let anyone around you lose face. We can try to assume that the people around us are doing what is most practical, necessary, or what they have been forced to do. By at first agreeing with another party you are then able to enter their world in such a way that you can steer them slightly as opposed to making them feel like they have to capitulate.

Conclusion   In short, last night while out with some friends, a particular line sprung to mind. We all need to react less and read more! Preserve that inner core of self while spending less energy trying to dominate others and our informed decisions can spiritually and commercially move reality to a more desired outcome.

John Lett (About) (Sessions) (tarotworldtour YouTube)

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