Tarot of the Day #6: UK Instability

In light of the riots…

John Lett (Readings)

Piccadily circus, Nevalenx

Upon the shooting and bombing in Norway and some of the remarks of the shooter (I will not name him here because I do not want to expand his fame in any way), I immediately began looking for some events in the UK. It seemed as though it would manifest in something more racially motivated or against the institutions, but instead it has come through with no particular motive or order to it except disorder (which is probably a good thing, because that means it is easier to stamp out and racial hatred is very difficult to reform).

When I was in the UK in 2005 finishing up a tour, it was astounding to see the class divides there. The US also has such divides but they are more spread out and they do not appear in dialect as much if the differences are in one area. You can meet native Londoners and yet they will all have separate, class-distinct dialects. When such distinctions exist in a small area, that means there is not a lot of interaction.

An English professor of mine in Kansas had a similar experience in England in the 1960s. He was hot and sweaty on a train and it was crowded and so he moved forward on the train and ended up on an empty car, except for an elderly lady, perhaps a dowager or the like, occupying the car by herself. He had gone into first class seating. She said, unsolicited “You’re American, aren’t you?” “Yes.” And after some words she said, “We tried equality over here before once – it didn’t work.”

I have checked up on some people in England to see if they were okay, and I got some version of this response from most “Nothing like this would ever happen in America!” (I’m assuming this refers to the non-response from the police.)

If my interpretation is correct, Brits and/or English people have arrived at this situation because it is an unassuming place now. People are trying to be tolerant and not give the underclasses a harder time than they already have. Nobody wants a police state, because the UK has the cameras and facilities to pull it off if the funding is available.

It is difficult to form a question about these riots for tarot and what kind of direction the country is headed as it is so multi-faceted. However, the best way I can think of is an either/or presentation.

Dear God, given the instability of the UK and a crossroads of identity between old world, the end of New Labour, “Big Society” by what meaning it may have later, more policing, or total decentralization, where is this all headed? What kind of society is coming there? Will it be an unstable free-for-all in the coming years or will 1990s prosperity be restored?

Past and Present: The Magician; Four of Cups

The Magician is the supreme card. The one that can do everything. Self-confidence. Diplomatic or political power (in this context). Power. This also affirms that in the present order, the UK is the ideological center of the world, although we mostly know that the main apparatus of this is through the US. It has alchemy meanings and mastering the spirit world to some extent, so this is quite indicative of discrete power. So there is this line of straddling creativity and manipulation that is the core of the power structure there.

Four of Cups is a card of having random opportunities but lacking a sense of self-fulfillment. I am surprised this card comes up with its parallel to the introduction I made here. It indicates boredom and having something of an identity crisis. Disappointment, a feeling of failure. The empire was lost – and while it was a bad deal, what do we do now? We often think these things are ridiculous and it doesn’t effect individual people, but if a nation is exuberant or contracting, it affects the people profoundly. This card also indicates defensiveness. A profound need for money.

All pretty relevant, it appears, although there are certainly pockets of prosperity and growth.

Future: Seven of Swords; II The High Priestess, reversed

Betrayal, sneaky. There will be a period of high efforts of renewal but to some extent it is betrayed. More consolidation of resources. In this context, many people will lose things, but some people are romantically going to be moved to achieve great things outside of the system. Swords have to do with ingenuity and cleverness. Therefore, I interpret this as cunning people running things, but an equally cunning underground will match wits and work outside of the system. There are negative aspects to this and your average person who wants to live a comfortable life will not really have a niche, it will require sharpness to live there and prosper. The positive side is that puzzle people are going to be awakened and great feats of effort will happen.

The card advises not to run away. Keep up the pace. Meanwhile, the swords indicate militarization to some extent… or better said, mobilization. People in the UK are mobilizing more and know what is up. There is some indication this could mean a very quick civil war in a modern context, which means an overthrow of the government, but not totally effective.

The High Priestess in a reverse position can either be a negative prediction or a warning. It means that the majority of the people understand on a superficial level that things are wrong, but they are too consumed in self-interest to really make any necessary changes. There are many right ideas but people are not fully listening to their instinct, they are still looking for others to fix the problems.

Furthermore, I am not an advocate of a particular religion and I do not like organized faith, but this is saying that the general citizen in the UK has been demoralized and does not have a spiritual core to fall back on. It has been educated out. Drink and a general education have prevented many people from going deeper.

The UK is a special place of spiritual and ideological importance. To not acknowledge it on a day-to-day basis causes disruption. What will save the country is a grassroots level organization outside of the government that outlines in simple terms what the ethics and values of the country are and to reach the youth with this, making them feel included regardless of class or background. It must not be group-thinky or forceful but at the same time put a sense of safety and shame back into the population. On some level, this is already what the policing desires in the UK are, as the present crisis came out of community policing, but there are not strong ethics to back it. By this level of participation outside of corporate and political control, a new economy can emerge that will push malevolent forces out.

Will the average person in the UK thrive economically once again in the near future?

Future: Nine of Pentacles; Five of Rods

Absolutely and with a deeper sense of satisfaction. Nine of Pentacles is the card of achievement and knowing you have done a good job. The middle will get there (although as a caveat outside of this context, inserting my own part – if you are heavily invested in real estate, do look for prices to come down substantially as the economy becomes normalized. Rent out the rooms that you can in order to get returns). Without arrogance, people will be moving to smaller cities and the countryside and carving out a living off the land, sort of like The Good Life to some extent. Five of Rods does bring it down to Earth somewhat in that there will be some trouble with the pecking order in this system and people are not sure how to deal with the replacement of old power structures. It could also mean more political plurality rather than three big parties, but some of the evil taken out of the equation. It is saying that some aggressiveness is necessary and productive, so long as it is not meant to hurt or destroy.

Conclusion

Yet another reminder of the psyche of a lost empire, which we’ve all heard before, in the UK or not. The riots are caused by a lack of sense of purpose more than anything else. People have been forgotten and cannot hope to participate and even if participation was possible, it is not clear what the objective is.

There is some suggestion that as English values and ideas later went on to influence most of the world, a lot of this has run its course and now the next task is to find something to make the country distinct and individual again. All people must participate and be included and yet it cannot involve mind control or force. As a country that values individuality so much and which had major roles in liberty, it must reassert this again in a modern context, and these cards indicate that this will happen, with a rocky start. I do not see dangerous anarchy or a lot of death, but I do see people filling in for all the gaps of the state and taking over things in a negotiation oriented way. The country must find a spiritual core because many of the people are too wrapped up in opiates (drink, entertainment, sports, sex) to see things at a more profound level.

– John Lett (Readings)

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One Response to Tarot of the Day #6: UK Instability

  1. Good, I seem to be able to comment here. Very good blog, the only one I sub, and I will share this with some others who are likely to be interested. I think both the best and the worst of the British! Oddly, as a country, I admire the way they are often prepared to self-criticize and think things out “in a civilized, reasonable way” yet as individuals, frankly, I have found them all to be either criminal, substance abusers, mentally ill or all of the above. This sounds highly judgmental but I have known British citizens since the ’70s and have spent a lot of time in the UK. I really value my ongoing friendships and contacts there but let’s just say I am NO LONGER INCLINED to invite any of them into my home. It’s just been too much costly, sometimes judicial, hassle.

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