Yesterday, 20 children and six adults were shot dead in a school in Newtown, Connecticut and 22 children were stabbed (but lived) in Beijing, China. These shocking events are leaving people numb, enraged, sorrowful, confused. At first, I thought, “You know what? Maybe the world blowing into dust on December 21, 2012 wouldn’t be such a bad idea after all. Then Life could start over and do a better job.” Then, I remembered a phrase that teacher, shaman, ceremonialist, and musician Chris Reynolds said to a group of us last week: “When you don’t want to be here, it’s an act of violence toward the Earth.” Remembering that moved me to tears and snapped me out of my cynicism.
We need to process the trauma and grief. Each of us has ways to do so in the face of such moments. My own ways include using the tarot to help sort out my thoughts and feelings, journal writing, and being in collaborative conversation with peers. Here, my intention is to offer what came to me as I asked questions and drew tarot cards from the 1JJ tarot deck. Please feel free to join the conversation in the Comments section. It’s a highly charged event, so let’s please honour each other’s point of view and simply comment on the questions, cards, and responses. Thank you in advance for that.
- What is the root cause of events such as what occurred in Newtown and Beijing yesterday? XXI, The World, reversed. Feeling that the various aspects of self are separate or fractured. Being caught up in one’s own inner world without noticing others.
- What is our first step in healing that separation, fracturing, and lack of awareness of others? 5 of Pentacles, upright. Make changes in health programmes. Interrupt patterns of physical violence or abuse.
- What resources can help us to make those changes? XIIII, Temperance, upright. Inclusivity and integration, making art, willingness to find unity and commonality, meetings between people and groups who don’t usually mix together.
- What is our least healthy or least helpful response to yesterday’s events? 8 of Pentacles, upright. Stinginess with tangible resources. Cutting back anything health-related.
- What is our most healthy or most helpful response to yesterday’s events? XI, Strength, reversed. Do what’s necessary to survive emotionally. Use our strongest inner coping mechanisms to ensure psychological survival.
- What do the survivors of those events most need from us at this time? King of Pentacles, reversed. The termination of our unconscious suicidal tendencies. A willingness to disengage from our outworn security platitudes.
- What questions are we invited to carry with us as a result of yesterday’s events? 4 of Cups, reversed. What addiction(s) am I tempted to act on? What steps am I willing to take toward healing and recovery? How can I embody my relationship with the Great Mystery in this moment? How can I demonstrate self-love here and now? What does acting with depth and intimacy really look like?