We seem to be moving through a season that brings deeper existential narratives to the surface, and so my mind turns to the expansive archetypes so artfully symbolized by the Major Arcana of the tarot.
I will share here with you the card this week inspired:
One of the most dramatic (and hence dreaded) cards in the deck, The Tower brings its own deep medicine to our development, being an archetype of both CHANGE and AWAKENING.
This card illustrates moments of sudden and unexpected change, violent upheaval, and the collapse of our established structures. We can often feel shattered and shocked by the forces beyond our control that turn our world upside down.
This may also appear for us when we’ve cocooned ourselves in denial, refusing to see the changes that need to be made; in this case, it’s our pride, ego, or false sense of security that feels shattered.
The Tower and its lightning bolt, however, may also indicate revelatory flashes of insight, as well as the liberation that an epiphany can bring. Our old, rigid belief structures are suddenly dismantled, destructive patterns are torn asunder, and we dismantle what no longer serves us. We no longer have the choice of remaining in our most comfortable illusions about ourselves and the world.
And this might be the deepest medicine of The Tower: though our human nervous systems naturally react to and resist such shocks, we can consciously use these events to disrupt what is stagnant, harnessing the cleansing, cathartic energy to push us outside our comfort zone into greater phases of growth.
Collapse is scary and painful. Nothing makes that not so. But it can also bring deep clarity, can release us from stuck places, and ultimately set us free onto a new path.
The Tower invites us to remember the seeds that only sprout following forest fires, to have courage to face what grows out of chaos, and to be humbled by the workings of the larger universe.
(Cards pictured here are from the Universal Waite, a recolored version of the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, and the Numinous Tarot, a radical deck with diverse representations and gender-neutral language.)
6/28/2021 08:41:04 am
What is the name of the tarot deck on the right?
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Jessica Katzman, Psy.D.
I'm a psychologist with a private practice in San Francisco's Castro District. I'm interested in harm reduction, LGBTQQIAAP issues, psychedelic integration, social justice conversations, size acceptance, and any intersections of the above. I welcome your comments!
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