2017: Love, Justice and the Flaming Crapsack

I blew it.

This is exactly and precisely why I won’t make predictions. For over a week now, I’ve been trying to write one of those nice little “year ahead”, prediction-ish readings for 2017. I must have started a dozen different times, yet each one screamed wrong, wrong wrongitty-WRONG. I kept getting stuck on the prediction-style reading I wrote for the Pittsburgh City Paper last year. If anyone got any prediction right it was reporter Rebecca Nuttall who wrote that 2016 looked to be a volatile year.  If you approach the reading as only a prediction, it was an enormous, monumental, epic failure. I like to think the reading (written late December 2015) was dialed into the energies that actually existed around March of 2016 and simply didn’t reach out far enough to see the drastic changes that came in October through December. I also take some personal comfort in the notion that there may be a parallel world existing out there in the multiverse where Bernie Sanders is president. I like to think there is a place where love trumps hate on a large scale, not just a quiet individual scale.

That reading was the wrong way to go about looking ahead. So here we are with 2016 all said and done. No matter what we predicted a year ago, 2016 happened and here we are with this flaming crapsack of a national political situation on our doorstep. So NOW what do we do? After eating a heaping helping of crow for breaking my own policy about predictions, I finally listened to my real hunch, which was to pull a one-card over-arching “thought for the year” and roll with that instead of the usual “look at the year ahead” motif.



The rest of the planet might want to ignore this reading. As I see it, this card speaks directly to the the mood of America right now. Honestly, on an a subtle energy level as much as on the overt level, the election has been the 880 lb gorilla in the room for weeks now. There are very real problems, and the energy is ominous.

I ‘hear’ “were is your citizenship” – NOT the build a wall were you born in Africa kind of citizenship…but the energies now ask us to know where our heart and loyalties lie. Where is your spiritual citizenship? Who do you stand beside? Whose back do you have? Who has yours?  Do you stand up to be counted among those who love or those who fear? Actions speak. In this time, actions are particularly important in their symbolism and motivations. Who and what we act to support speaks volumes about our spiritual citizenship.  In a time of seemingly inevitable division, we must choose which side of the rift we stand on – or risk falling into the chasm to be lost. The divisions may be beyond repair, but they can be bridged. Building a bridge takes people on both sides. To build a bridge we have to know which side we are on, where we are, and where the other half is located.

Luckily the Justice card also hints at a way forward. THIS is what Tarot is really all about – understanding where we are now and finding inspiration about the best way forward.

Justice is a card of clarity. Rules and boundaries must be set and communicated in order for them to be followed. Look around euphemisms for the reality behind them

Justice is a card of facts and reason. Hearsay is not permitted in a hearing. Justice sees through propaganda, spin and misinformation. Believe in facts, no matter how many times mis-information is repeated.

Justice works from a place of strength. The more confident we are in who we are, the easier it is to negotiate boundaries and agreements with those who oppose us. If we are strong and “comfortable in our own skin” then we can stand up for what we believe important without anger, fear and defensiveness.

Justice is a card of wisdom. Justice is a card of balance. For every ounce of hate we see, it is our right, privilege and duty to balance it with love in equal measure. There are many ways to love. It can mean adding pebbles to the love side of the scales or it can mean blocking, opposing, pushing away pebbles from the hate side. It can mean doing compassionate things or it can mean standing up to those who do harmful things. Doctors, police officers, firefighters, soldiers, teachers, meals on wheels volunteers and so many others serve the greater good in vastly different ways, but serve they do. Valor Dohaeris.

Justice is a card of boundaries. In knowing the difference between private and public, between personal choice and general policy, between self and others we can then respect others and respect ourselves in equal measure. Like the scales on the card, Justice must have even balance. There is no one true path to the top of the mountain. Justice is an egalitarian endeavor. If it isn’t equal justice FOR ALL it isn’t justice AT ALL.

Justice is a card of action. The sword in her hand isn’t resting in her lap. It is lifted up, poised for action in defense of that which is right. The problem now is that everyone thinks they are the only right ones and that their particular, individual way of life is the one under attack.  At the same time, it serves no higher good to allow harmful things to happen just to keep things peaceful and quiet on the surface. It serves nothing to polish an apple that is rotten at its core. As Edwin Burke is often quoted “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” The Justice card reminds us that whatever our chosen action may be, we can no longer stand aside and do nothing at all.

As I see it, the cool thing about this card today is the way it speaks both to us as individuals and to the energy environment at large. The energy is still volatile, still crying out for Justice and balance. Things can change but will require much diligence, effort and every bit of our insight, wisdom and mental faculties to do so. On the individual level, Justice resides with us, and is placed in each of our capable, compassionate hands.