I’m a Whovian. I’ll admit I’ve been glued to the TV lately watching all of the 50th anniversary shows for Doctor Who, and loving every minute of it. No wonder Brits say things are “brilliant”…there is no better word, in my opinion, to describe the writing in the show.
For all of it’s sci-fi-ness, Doctor Who works with classic archetypes (the wanderer, the anti-hero, the warrior, the healer and many more). You could write big books and spend hours on hours talking about the difference between a fighter, a soldier, and a true warrior…but the “Day of the Doctor” and, to some extent, our card today, begs the question of can a warrior be a doctor and vice versa.
Like many things, I see it as a Vinn diagram…overlapping bits of arbitrary definitions within the whole of humanity. In this case, where does a warrior and a doctor overlap: Making things better in a disciplined way. A doctor (especially in our allopathic, modern, mainstream medicine) “fights disease” and protects health. A warrior fights other foes, and protects others. We see this in martial arts (film and the real thing too) – Jackie Chan once said “We learn martial arts as helping weakness. You never fight for people to get hurt. You are always helping people”.
Helping people? Sounds very doctor-like to me.
In the classic Rider Waite deck, this card shows three swords piercing a heart. Swords with a heart…warriors who heal…it fits. Diane Morgan reads this card as “corruption”. In the context of the warrior-doctor archetype, I would ask this:
Corruption exists. Bad things happen. It is just reality. When these things happen, what will you do? Will you strike out in revenge, want destruction or protect yourself in a way that results in the least possible pain and suffering.
To put in TV terms…will you push the big red button and blow everything up, or will you move Gallifreyout of the line of fire?
“The War Doctor” did the best he could in the moment he had with the resources in reach. That’s all any of us can do.No one blames him for that. In the second chance the time-travel afforded him, he could take advantage of different resources (the 400 years of experience and calculations by his later regenerations) to choose a better path.
For us, we can find inspiration in TV shows, Tarot cards, oddball blog posts…anything…to choose a better way when challenges come and come again. We can be a warrior and a doctor.
“Never cruel or cowardly. Never give up. Never give in.”
– “Day of the Doctor” written by Steven Moffat
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