When I drew this card this morning, I thought “sad person, obsessed with their possessions, greedy, materialistic, isolated. Everyone scoots past them thinking they’re a bit weird.”
I read around the card a little and found that there are commonly thought to be two different broad interpretations. The first is, as I’d felt, about materialism, possessiveness and greed. In my Waite-Smith deck, the image is a man who’s isolated himself from his community (the city behind him) and clutches desperately and awkwardly at his large gold pentacles.
In Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom, Rachel Pollack also points out that he has covered his head, his heart and the soles of his feet with these pentacles, representing how he has lost touch with his emotional/spiritual self, and cares only for money.
I stared at him on the bus and wondered how these characteristics might materialise in my day.
Then I checked the news. Of course! Budget day.
George Osbourne tells us what’s going to get funded and what’s going to be cut. And it’s not going to be good. As thousands of us have been saying for months and will shout en masse at Saturday’s march, the government’s cuts tear at what’s meaningful, what’s important and ethical in life, and focus on a very narrow view of economic ‘growth’, strengthening capitalist structures whilst chopping funds for services that benefit those in need.
Until the fantasy reading I did last week, I’d never thought about government being symbolised by a tarot card. Perhaps that’s because I’m in the privileged position of not being too greatly affected by what the government does or doesn’t do. Perhaps if I lived in Egypt, or Libya, or Zimbabwe, I might feel slightly different. Here I am focusing away merrily on the angst of my everyday life, my friendships and relationships and where we’re all directing our energy, when the outcome of today’s budget is going to actually decide whether this woman gets help to leave a violent partner and that woman gets to learn English and that man gets some extra help with his disability and that kid gets to attend mainstream schools.