Tarot and the Administrations
My husband and I were looking at my new tarot deck today, and I remembered how during the week before 9/11 attacks, I had repeatedly drawn the Tower card. I told him that after the attacks I looked to the cards to see what came next just by using the usual order of the cards. It was the Star, keyword, “Hope.” I now recognize that as the Obama Administration. I have a poster with his face on it and Hope written beneath that. He is definitely a star. So, we laid out the greater arcana in order to see if it was still true - if the next card would still captured the essence of the current administration. The Moon was next. It describes the Trump Administration quite well - the lies, secrets, corruption, deceit, et cetera, all coming up to be exposed. It finally occurred to me that we are where we should be. It felt like a parallel universe in the beginning, but it was just the changing arcana. We needed a thoroughly corrupt President to expose and eliminate the corruption in our government. (For me, that’s McConnell, but maybe he’s not so much corrupt as just doing his job as a Confederate to overthrow democracy and change the constitution so that we become an oligarchy. It’s why he’s there, after all. Kentucky must really hate having a vote. But this is clearly a different topic.) Anyway, maybe Trump really will MAGA just by being so obvious and dumb about being completely and totally corrupt. Mueller is a hero and deserves a medal already.
Looking ahead to the next Administration, we get the Sun. For the moment, I think of Biden’s sunny smile, but I’m not making a prediction. He does have the best smile, though. After the Sun Administration, we get Judgement (I prefer to call it Adjustment, like in my now ancient Thoth deck. It makes more sense to me like that.) I think the reason why we need to adjust is not because of the wrongs of that future Administration, but because of our collapsing ecosystem. That Administration will have to be nimble, I expect. After that, the World, then begin again. I’m not sure if we get a fool or a charlatan in that new cycle. Does the Fool actually count for anything? I’m not convinced.
I laid out all the major arcana in order and worked backwards. I found them to align very well with the defining aspects of the past administrations. Here they all are with a slight recap:
Future Elect - The Sun. Looking forward to the inclusivity and celebration of our gathered diversity in this nation based on creed not blood.
Trump - The Moon. Can you believe it? How did this conman ever get into the White House? Doesn’t anyone vet who gets access to our secret information? The daily lies from everyone around him. The lone wolf attacks. Mueller is fishing the most corrupt out of these murky waters.
Obama - The Star. Yes, he was. The poster with the word HOPE under his image. The hope that we had that we could actually evolve into a better nation.
Bush, Jr. - The Tower. The twin towers, the wars that followed, the economy crashing. Torture. Dirty bombs. Mercenary armies. Our fall from a moral high ground. Everything you could imagine with the Tower, basically.
Clinton - The Devil. He was beholden to the Republican Party to make draconian criminal justice reforms. He made that deal to get elected. And then, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” is perfect for the phallic image on the Thoth deck.
Bush, Sr. - Temperance. The bipartisan gentleman.
Reagan - Death. The end of prosperity for the middle class. The prospering of James McGill Buchanan’s philosophy in the GOP, and the ensuing empowerment of Oligarchs. The end of that great social experiment, which began in the early part of the century: the edification of the common man. The end of intellectual curiosity and innovation. The Death of the technological and scientific wonder we had been.
Carter - The Hanged Man. There is a lot I can say here, but one thing that always stood out to me was how seriously he took the science on global warming. Those solar panels on the White House were absolutely a new perspective on energy. Reagan’s Death Administration took them down.
Ford - Justice. Pardoning Nixon didn’t go over well.
Nixon - The Wheel of Fortune. Karma. What goes around comes around. That cheating really bit him on the butt. Does anyone even remember the good things he did or is he really just remembered for his sad turn down the wheel?
Johnson - The Hermit. An isolated man. Depending on the deck, Cerberus may be featured there. War is Hell.
Kennedy - Strength. Khrushchev. Cuban missile crisis. Taking control and taming that beast took some divine, gentle strength.
Eisenhower - The Chariot. Best remembered for that quick war with Korea. And for being the last decent Republican.
Truman - The Lovers. I think we all know how challenged Truman was by Stalin’s giant mustache and machismo. Man crush! From what I can tell, Stalin did not at all share those fuzzy feelings with his fellow genocidal leader. Oh no! Reverse the card and you get massive disharmony. The seeds of the Cold War. If only FDR hadn’t died just yet, the world would be an entirely different place. Truman made a choice to bomb Japan after they had surrendered. What kind of values are those? Definitely the Lovers reversed.
FD Roosevelt - The Hierophant. Government. A lot of government. And thank God for FDR.
Just one more to see if it still works...
Hoover - The Emperor. An ambitious life of public service and humanitarian aid, but when it came down to it, his policies could not stop the worsening Depression. So, reverse the card and watch his leadership fail in every important way. Imposed tariffs on imports, which made things much worse. Lost reëlection. Wrote some fearsome books about FDR: The Destroyer of Freedom in his abundant spare time. Cool dam, though. Very strong.
Are the Republicans all reversed? I’ll have to look into that another time.
Some interesting insights, SDJ. Responding to your comment about Trump and the need for a corrupt president to expose dark inner workings of government, I would also add that Trump is a mirror exposing all of the decay in contemporary American society; our narcissism, idolatry of power and celebrity, the corrupting influence of money, etc. So as much as I hate to watch him speak or read about his antics, I sometimes feel like I have to look this administration square in the eye if I want to become a better person myself (weed out my own character flaws) and help bring about cultural transformation in the years to come.
It makes sense to me to not count the Fool. Without it, Taft would be the World (having been both President and Chief Justice), but I will have to see what his admin did to see if it is still true. This would make Teddy Roosevelt Adjustment. He delt with busting up huge corporations and conserving our land. National Parks. I can see the parallel there with the administration that will have to deal with the catastrophes of Climate Change.