On Sunday, six people who were members of a Sikh temple near Milwaukee, Wisconsin were killed by a white supremacist gunman. Not only does the heart split open with grief, but the mind staggers at the many issues this incident brings up: racism, religious supremacy, lack of gun control, and more. The moment we cease to remember our interconnectedness is the moment when we see ourselves and others on different “levels”. The shadow side of the archetype of the apocalypse enters the picture and demands that something/someone “lesser” than we are be taken out of the picture. Horrifying! I need to be sure that when I describe people here — Sikh, citzens of Wisconsion, white supremacist, gunman — that I don’t alienate them from the web of life.
As happens so often when things seem out of kilter, I’m checking in with Life’s wise whispers through the language of the tarot, in this case the Dodal version of the Tarot de Marseille, to find some sense and some suggestions for change in these times of divison. For each question, I’m picking two cards and noticing what the pair’s interaction suggests to us.
1. How can we honour those who were killed in the Sikh temple on Sunday? XVIII and VIIII. We can listen to the mournful howls of the grandparents who lost loved ones. We can hold up a way to illuminate and look more honestly into our own night-time depths. We can notice the guidance of elders.
2. What is the larger issue behind this act of violence? XVIIII and XX. An egocentric desire for divine approval. An immature notion of transcendence. A childish attempt to create rites of passage into adulthood.
3. What is a first step to eliminating this violence? X and VII. Examine the cogs and wheels of the war machine. Initiate the deposition of war-like leaders. Find the beasts that spin and whirl in us, then put them to good use as part of something that allows life to move forward.
Please share your responses to these questions as depicted in these cards. Any perspective that can help each of us, and all of us, shift our worldviews and lifestyles is welcome.