Saturday, November 26, 2016

Saturday & Sundry riddling of the inevitable

In the following lines from T.S. Eliot's The Dry Salvages, third of his Four Quartets, after the poet used water and the ocean as metaphors, the ocean symbolising the collective unconscious, later in the poem, in Part V, Eliot describes interest in mystical arts used as guides - something he saw as mistaken attempts to uncover the future.
(Note: a haruspicate = Taoist method of fortelling the future by the examining animal entrails. Scrying = act of gazing at a shiny stone, mirror, or crystal ball. Sortilege = casting or drawing of lots.)

To communicate with Mars, converse with spirits,
To report the behaviour of the sea monster,
Describe the horoscope, haruspicate or scry,
Observe disease in signatures, evoke
Biography from the wrinkles of the palm
And tragedy from fingers; release omens
By sortilege, or tea leaves, riddle the inevitable
With playing cards, fiddle with pentagrams
Or barbituric acids, or dissect
The recurrent image into pre-conscious terrors—
To explore the womb, or tomb, or dreams; all these are usual
Pastimes and drugs, and features of the press:
And always will be, some of them especially
When there is distress of nations and perplexity
Whether on the shores of Asia, or in the Edgware Road [London]............

....For most of us, there is only the unattended
Moment, the moment in and out of time,
The distraction fit, lost in a shaft of sunlight,
The wild thyme unseen, or the winter lightning
Or the waterfall, or music heard so deeply
That it is not heard at all, but you are the music
While the music lasts.

Eliot didn't use the word "tarot" in the poem, but I suppose the term  "playing cards" covers that genre. Reading these lines again tempted me, later, to unwrap my tarot deck from its silken cover once more, and ask a question.

"What do I need to know about Donald Trump?"

Cards drawn, in this order, after giving the deck a good shuffle.

9 of Pentacles/Coins
6 Rods/Wands
The Hermit
(I've used illustrations of cards from my own David Palladini deck: "Aquarian Tarot";
and interpretations from Learn Tarot, here)

9 Pentacles/Coins

being disciplined
exercising self-control
showing restraint
reining in impulses
sacrificing to reach a goal
sticking to a program
taking a step-by-step approach

relying on yourself
handling the situation alone
acting on your own
falling back on your own resources
doing it all by yourself
wanting to be alone
feeling sure your way is best

pursuing refinement
achieving a comfortable lifestyle
avoiding the coarse and unsavory
being tactful and diplomatic
seeking high-minded activities
enjoying the finer things of life
remembering to be gracious
enjoying leisure

6 Rods/Wands

having your day in the sun
being vindicated
walking away with the prize
prevailing against all comers
coming out on top
achieving success

receiving acclaim
being acknowledged
getting a pat on the back
receiving an award or citation
getting praise or a compliment
earning applause
achieving recognition

feeling pride
enjoying healthy self-esteem
strutting your stuff
holding your head up high
feeling worthy of notice
having a high opinion of yourself
putting yourself above others
being arrogant
feeling self-important

THE HERMIT (Major Arcana card)

being introspective
thinking things over
focusing inward
concentrating less on the senses
quieting yourself
looking for answers within
needing to understand

seeking greater understanding
looking for something
wanting the truth at all costs
going on a personal quest
needing more
desiring a new direction

receiving/giving guidance
going to/being a mentor
accepting/offering wise counsel
learning from/being a guru
turning to/being a trusted teacher
being helped/helping

seeking solitude
needing to be alone
desiring stillness
withdrawing from the world
experiencing seclusion
giving up distractions
retreating into a private world.

I'm quite surprised at the level of positivity here. Many strands of interpretations for the first card, 9 Pentacles/Coins are nowhere near a comfortable fit for The Donald, as we have come to know him, but some certainly do fit. Second card definitely fits as regards his attaining the position of President-elect. The third and most important card, from Major Arcana, tells of a future Donald. As past, present and future these cards do not, I suspect, tell an unremitting tale of doom for us. However, it is left still to unfold as to whether the Hermit card tells of Donald Trump, in the near future "retreating" (as in resigning) or of him being overtaken after a vote recount, then replaced by Herself, resulting his withdrawal from the [our]world or... simply becoming far more thoughtful and introspective due to the rigours of office.

It ain't over 'til it's over!


mike said...

Well, your question for the cards, "What do I need to know about Donald Trump?", is less about Trump and more about YOUR interpretation-reaction to him. At least, that's how I discern your query to the cards. But, you are the seeker and the editor for the outlay, so probably not fair of me to interject my opinion, though I will...LOL.

9 of P Rely on yourself
6 of R Find pride and satisfaction in your actions and thoughts
Hermit Look beyond The Donald and find a higher source

Always difficult to filter the desired outcome from the actual, whether astrology or Tarot cards. You're soft on The Donald and I certainly don't share your velveteen attitude toward him. He was maniacal before the election and he's given every indication that nothing has changed, except life as we know it now, if he's actually sworn-in on January 20, 2017. I do hope your optimism is correct, but I fear my pessimism is the better fit for the narcissistic, sociopathic profile he's employed up to now.

Twilight said...

mike ~ It did cross my mind that the first 2 cards are fairly positive that my own feelings about Trump might have influenced this (i.e. that he's a pain in the ass and shouldn't be president, but that he is certainly not the monster the liberal media is describing him to be). I did ask the question in good faith though and expected something far more negative to emerge, I was not looking for something to boost my own views.

Anyway, the first 2 cards describe circumstances well enough, if looking at them with an open mind. The Hermit is the mystery card.

Hermit connects to Virgo in astrology and to the number 9 in numerology.

A possible interpretation I've just seen, when in connection to career or finance:

The Hermit tarot card in career readings could mean that you're getting nowhere with your business. In fact no other tarot card screams out "being unemployed" more than this one. So you have to consider this when you interpret the outcome. Or it could mean taking time to reflect on your true life purpose and adjust your job and career accordingly.