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In “Magical Tarot, Mystical Tao” Diane Morgan reads this card as “selflessness”. 10 is the maximum of the number cards, giving a sense of something taken to the extreme becomes it’s opposite. We generally think is extreme selflessness as a good thing. Yet, taken to an extreme, it becomes its own kind of grandstanding… a showy form of self-lessness that is really, at its heart, ego-stoking and not selfless at all. What is the true pinnacle of selflessess? Is it that one dramagic sacrifice for the good of all? Is it Mr. Spock exposing himself to fatal radiation? Is it the soldier who throws himself on the grenade who saves the rest? These are heroic, chilling examples – but is it the best of selflessness? What about the toll it takes on those left behind by their sacrifice…friends and family who endure loss, grief, survivors guilt, post traumatic stress…

What about this? What about the selflessness that survives? Isn’t that the ultimate in selflessness? What about the person that immersese themselves not in dramatic exits but rather eduring service? What about those who put community about all through quiet, ongoing, virtually anonymous service? Isn’t that the ultimate in selflessness?

The thought that came to mind when I drew this card was “community above all”. The quiet and commonplace service, the random acts of momentary kindness, that is the kind of selflessness suggested by the 10 of wands, more than the throw yourself on your sword kind.

We watched “Divergent” this weekend, so this card also calls to mind parts of the book that the movie just couldn’t cover. The book gives you a sense of just this kind of selflessness within the Abnigation faction…most doing quiet community service and little kindnesses (like Tris’ brother) while others flaunt their virtue to cover for other wrongdoing (like Marcus). I really enjoyed both the book and the movie – it is fun sci fi on the surface (who wouldn’t want to be Dauntless and ride that zipline?) – plus there are depths of ideas and symbolism there that is a potential feast for thought.