By: Diane Twineheart
The World As We Know It
Sometimes it can be really challenging to keep your faith in humanity, especially after a particularly difficult and trying year (I’m looking at you, 2016.)
This past year has made me disillusioned with the state of the world. I’ve long since considered myself a social justice warrior, aware of the problems in society and committed to helping humanity become more enlightened. However, after a devastating year of massive tragedy, human injustices, and the rise of many horrible people into positions of power, I found myself reassessing my worldview.
The constant question I kept struggling with was this: how can I believe in progress despite witnessing such oppression?
Thankfully the tarot has helped me work through these doubts.
A Tool For Introspection
For those of you who have no experience with the tarot, or my unique perspective on it, allow me to quickly explain my approach to these incredible cards.
The tarot is my favourite spiritual tool. It helps me tap into my intuition, gain perspective on my life, and cultivate my inner wisdom. The cards depict universal human struggles and emotions, pushing the user to face their inner desires and acknowledge their personal challenges.
Put simply, the tarot is an incredible tool for introspection.
Back to dealing with conflicting emotions about the state of the world; at times it can be a struggle to remain confident that humanity is evolving towards being more enlightened and loving, but I firmly believe this to be true.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the tarot cards and see how their wisdom can help us make sense of everything, starting with The Emperor.
This past year we saw the rise of one very controversial, and seemingly popular Emperor figure. I won’t name him here, because he seems to thrive on negative publicity, and this is an uplifting post, not a depressing discussion about politics.
Trying to make sense of how this person was granted such a high position of power was very challenging for me; my faith in humanity was deeply shaken on that particular fateful night.How Tarot helped me find peace with the current state of the world @msTwineheart Click To Tweet
Every tarot card has a positive side, and the opposite problematic or negative side. At his best, The Emperor card represents the ideal leader. (Note: this card is a masculine card, but it speaks about masculine traits, not gender. The masculinity evoked can exist in anyone, regardless of gender.)
Ideally the Emperor is strong, moral, wise, bold, loyal, inspiring, confident, motivating, and fair. He is the leader we all aspire to be, or be lead by. However, at his worst, he is manipulative, controlling, suspicious, quick to anger, violent, cowardly, dominating, and power-hungry.
What this negative Emperor is missing is his connection to The Empress, the card that comes before him on his spiritual path. He needs to learn compassion, caution, love, nurturing, sacrifice, and to rebuild his connection to nature.
I find it’s easier to have compassion for someone when I view them in the context of the tarot. The negative expression of The Emperor clearly lacks an internal confidence and security, so he looks to control and dominate those around him. He doubts himself and is guided by fear, not wisdom.
Make no doubt, a person like this in a position of power is very dangerous. Look at every terrible and violent ruler humanity has ever had, they were all the dark expressions of the Emperor card.
We Are All Multidimensional Beings
With the perspective of the tarot, we are able to understand such figures as multidimensional beings. They suffer internally, full of rage and fear, and act out by dominating everyone around them. I believe that through this understanding of The Emperor, we can better equip ourselves to deal with them. We won’t underestimate their danger, but we can also find ways to hold on to our faith in humanity.
By seeing these people as the shadow side of human potential, we can find ways to deal with their actions, and better understand and educate those who follow them.
I won’t lie, having compassion for someone so blatantly horrible can be a great struggle, especially when that person is continuously doing and saying abhorrent things. However, I find having acceptance and compassion helps me face society’s challenges from a positive perspective. In this way, the tarot has helped me stay positive when facing some of the darkest parts of humanity.
Born From the Ashes
Let’s look at things a bit more generally. When we talk about all the various problems in our society, which are too numerous and complicated to list here, it’s easy to feel that society is crumbling around us. I’m here to tell you that it is, and this a good thing.
The Tower is one of my favourite tarot cards. I know I say that a lot, but it’s true for this one! (If you want to know more about my views on the tarot, or receive motivational spiritual wisdom, join my Inner Circle to get inspirational goodness straight to your inbox!) This card often shows a tower being struck down by lightning, crumbling to the ground as people fall from its windows plummeting to their death. It has a really positive message, I swear!
The Tower represents the fall of old ideologies and beliefs. Often we cling to structures (traditions, values, etc) that were already in place by the time we arrived on the scene. Most ideas eventually become outdated, but some people cling to them, finding it hard to let go, and thus find themselves suffering in the downfall.
Think of it like this, our current society is going through The Tower. We have built up this system that we once thought was the answer, and now we realize that it is full of holes and structural problems, like inequality and the rise of global warming, just to name two.
This tower, this materialistic, capitalist, dominator society will fall. It’s inevitable. The beauty and promise that this tarot card represents is that once the old tower falls away, a better one can take it’s place. We need to allow the old to die off so that the new can be born.
What this means for us individuals is that we have two choices: we can anticipate the change and prepare to usher in a more enlightened age, or get caught clinging to a failing ideology and go down with the tower. I know which choice I prefer.
In Darkness There Is Light
Don’t worry, the tarot isn’t all doom and gloom. As I said, each card has dual meanings, so even a card that is seemingly very negative, like Death, has a positive side to it. Sometimes in life we need to find and focus on the silver lining, and that is something the tarot has encouraged me to do.
I deeply believe that humanity can quickly turn things around; change and progress doesn’t have to take decades to slowly be implemented. Ideas can be spread like fire, jumping from person to person, igniting them with passion. This is where we, the Hierophants of the world, come in.
In the tarot, The Hierophant is a spiritual leader who offers wisdom and advice. Now in all honesty sometimes I struggle against the meaning of this card because I’m an antiestablishment rebel and The Hierophant often represents traditional forms of authority.
Generally this card represents any type of spiritual or thought leader. Someone whose words and wisdom teaches, inspires, and guides others. I’m sure you know many people who are like this, although we often look like the regular people we are.
When facing such dark times, I find myself clinging to my own inner wisdom, and the knowledge that I can create change in the world through expressing my ideas. We all have this capacity to affect the world through sharing our beliefs. If we become consciously aware of the ideas and messages we are spreading, we can tailor them to best express our deepest values.
Lead, Inspire, Share
This is an important message of The Hierophant: within each of us is the potential to be a spiritual leader. There is no upwards limit or minimum requirement for leadership. Whether we are mindful spiritual parents, social justice advocates when we see oppression while out on errands, small business owners who infuse their morals throughout their business model, or whatever else we get up to in our incredible lives, our voices matter.
Ultimately the way we spread these ideas is less important than the ideas themselves. Remember, ideas are like fire. Be passionate about what you believe, own it, and spread it at every chance you get. You never know who will be willing to listen, or who will take on those ideas for themselves.There is no upwards limit or minimum requirement for leadership. @msTwineheart Click To Tweet
I could bring up many more examples of how the tarot has inspired me to remain hopeful in these distressing times, but we don’t have the space for that today. After all, there are seventy-eight cards!
Know that what I have shared with you is my interpretation of the cards for these specific situations, meaning my hopeful outlook inspired me to find positive reflections of my beliefs in the cards. If I wanted to be negative and lose faith in humanity, the cards could be used to reinforce that pessimistic worldview.
Ultimately, what we expect from life is what we end up getting, and that is what the tarot reminds us. If we look at everything horrible in our society and refuse to see any silver linings, then we close ourselves off to the possibility of seeing opportunities for growth. We need to remain confident in humanity and believe that ultimately we are evolving towards a more enlightened and compassionate way of living.
If our hope is infused in our souls, when we interact with the world in any small way, we are spreading this message of hope and love.
I will not pretend that there isn’t hard work in front of us, there are many things that need to be changed and overcome. However, there is still hope. Keep the faith, and whenever you start to doubt humanity, or doubt yourself, pick up a tarot deck and reconnect with your spirit. Sometimes we just need a reminder of all there is to be positive about, and the tarot is perfect for just that.
About the Author:
Diane Twineheart is a Spiritual leader, author, poet, and full time mother. She’s passionate about the Tarot and strives to educate others about the powerful self-healing found in these wondrous cards. When she’s not working on her upcoming Tarot e-course, writing about her passionate beliefs, or sharing evocative poems, she can be found chasing her toddler around her progressive Canadian town.