Wednesday, January 11, 2017

I Promise

Last night I settled into a corner of the couch, prepared to read or pull some cards while my husband watched an episode or two from one of his Hulu series. But then he passed me the remote control. I switched over to cable, figuring I'd flip channels until I found something interesting. The moment the television sparked to life, I saw a news anchor announcing the start of Barack Obama's farewell speech. For the next hour, we witnessed his final, formal words as President of the United States.

No matter what anyone says, I love, and will always love, this man. He wasn't perfect (and I'm sure he would agree), and not everyone supported his stances on matters such as healthcare and foreign policy. However he accomplished a lot of good during his tenure; he was a fundamentally good person. He is that. He is deeply intelligent, thoughtful, discerning, wise, and kind. His partnership with Michelle Obama is a beautiful testament to what a good, strong, balanced relationship can and should be. He didn't fulfill everyone's expectations for what he should do (no leader ever achieves that), and yet he will forever stand high above his predecessors, and in my heart, as one of the best presidents the U.S. has ever had.

Last night's speech was a beautiful farewell, and also a gentle-but-firm warning that the future of this country depends on the active involvement of every citizen. As I was listening, I pulled some cards from the Cosmos Tarot and Oracle:

The first card I pulled was meant to capture Obama's essence: Ace of Water, Hydrus.
The Ace of Water, an act of love. That was abundantly evident in his speech and his demeanor. The keywords on the bottom of the card caught my attention: "In one's element" - he certainly was. "Ease of action" - I don't necessarily assume that any of his speeches are "easy" to give, but he certainly makes them appear so due to his depth of grace and comfort in his own skin. The guidebook says:

Hydrus is a symbol of wisdom, steadiness, and focus. Snakes possess a fluid, elegant form that borders on elemental. Water snakes, above others of their species, signify awareness, flexibility, and subtle strength.... one can take time to celebrate a period of emotional peace with oneself.

All I can say is: yes. Not only does this encapsulate how I experience President Obama, the last bit connects beautifully to the core essence of what his farewell speech was all about. 

The next card I pulled was meant to signify Donald Trump's emergence in U.S./World politics: Comet.
An orange monkey that is far too big for the porch it's sitting on holds a woman captive by the throat, and binds her feet with its tail. Hmmm...... I think I'll let that speak for itself. The keywords read: "A sign of fate; a harbinger of change." Yes, that about sums it up. The guidebook reads:

As a comet passes close to the sun, it heats up and begins to emit gases which create a visible aura called a coma. Sometimes the visible coma can be seen from Earth. The coma's presence has given rise to speculation that comets are harbingers of doom or incredible change.

I believe that both are true. Change is already underway, for better or worse. In his speech, Obama touched on the fact that there is a subsection of the U.S. population that has been essentially ignored over the past couple of decades, and that it is that hole that ultimately paved the way for Trump's election. Understanding that dynamic is critical. I believe that many of us feel "doomy" about what is happening in our country... but I do believe that it is when we are faced with the dark that we learn how to shine our light most brightly. So in the end I also believe that we will certainly get through this difficult time to come, and that we will emerge the better for what we are able to accomplish in the meantime. 

Finally I pulled a card asking, "What can I do? How can I help?" I pulled the Moon from the Oracle deck.
Frogs and lizards huddle around a full moon, in a celestial embrace. Frogs represent healing energy, and the moon is the great light that shines in the dark. The positioning of the frogs looks protective: and indeed it's probable that protecting women's rights - especially in terms of healthcare - will be a significant matter in the years ahead. The moon also represents uncertainty and the unknown, which is how I've been feeling lately in respect to politics and the upcoming inauguration. I know that many will take to the streets - in fact even my mother will be heading to Washington D.C. in a couple of weeks to joint the Women's March on Washington. There is value in popular dissent. In my 20s I was very involved in political and social activism, and participated in a great number of marches, across several states. But it doesn't quite feel "right" for me at this moment. There must be another way. The moon governs the darkness, and as the keywords state: "secrets, mystery, cycles." Perhaps my way of acting will be more subtle - less attention-drawing. The guidebook says:

As a card, the Moon suggests that those who act behind the scenes can be extremely influential.

Yes, I thought. I don't have to march to make a difference. I just have to act. I said silently to myself in that moment: "I promise." I promise to speak when I see injustice, and to act in support of environmental preservation, human rights and equality in all its forms. I looked down at the oath ring on my left wrist, as if to seal my promise in its silvery sheen. 


  1. Harbinger of doom. Ugh. I love the ace of cups as a card for Obama. I'm definitely going to miss him. And I love the Moon for your final card.

    1. Thanks - I agree that the Ace of Cups is so fitting for Obama! And this deck has such a unique approach with the constellations... the added descriptive language was so right on.

  2. This is great. Also comforting in some way. Thanks for sharing.