My Brain On Crack

Naked Tarot

I frequently work with a portion of the Tarot deck to seek clarity or perspective on situations. For years I rather pointedly ignored Tarot, thinking that using it was 1) weird and woo woo (yes I see the irony in that, thanks), and 2) too complicated for my wee brain to comprehend, because after all it would require Memorization and Effort, and maybe I was feeling a wee bit sorry for myself and also lazy. But whatever. A friend turned me onto the lazy-ass method of Tarot, which involves the Major Arcana, 22 cards instead of an entire deck. Oh, and also intuition. Which I can totally get behind. So.

Tonight I decided to draw a card and then blog about it. Whatever it turned out to be. Disaster? Who knows. I asked only to be shown something about the present-moment state of a situation that has emerged in my life. When I asked about it in the past I drew fun happy cards like The World, The Sun, and The Lovers, all cards that show promise and auspiciousness, at least in my reality. I hadn’t drawn a card on this in, oh, weeks, trusting instead in the richness of my internal indicators (and there are many). How are things looking now? (as if my internal experience was null and blank on this, which it most certainly is not and in fact is filled with exquisite wonderfulness.)

The Tower.

Oh god.

This is the card I dread drawing in any circumstance. Look at it! Mine depicts a bleak grey stone tower beset by lightning. The top of the tower is engulfed in flames and people are jumping to their deaths on the rocks and roiling waves below. It’s a medieval 9/11. Not a happy sight. Pit-of-my-stomach uh-oh’s.

But wait! The Tower can mean a lot of things. Let’s look at this.

Epiphanies, transcendental states of consciousness, and Kundalini experiences Sounds like my kind of stuff. Not bad. Go on…

The Tower further symbolizes that moment in trance in which the mind actually changes the direction of the force of attention from alpha condition (pointed mindward) to theta condition (pointed imaginal stageward). A Theta condition (especially in waking versions of theta states) is that moment when information coming into the ego-mind overwhelms external or sensory stimuli, resulting in what might otherwise be called a “vision” or “hallucination.” Well then. I have those all the time. No problem.

But what does it MEEAAAAN? I thought things were pretty awesome. Is there something coming up? Not that I base life decisions on cards or anything, but it’s nice to have a heads-up if there is one available.

I decided to draw three more cards that would give clarity on The Tower’s meaning in this instance.


I also haven’t liked this card much. Bah, judging. Right? But let’s investigate.

Justice, in many Tarot representations, is Athena. I like Athena. Warrior Princess. Gets shit done. Sexy beeyotch. Maat was a goddess of justice in Egypt. Okay, cool. When Justice appears in a throw, it usually signals that some injustice needs righting, that something in the world is dangerously out of balance. It is important, however, to be aware that most things in the exterior world that you perceive are in fact an externalization of some interior process or conflict. Hmm, okay, the wheels are turning here. How does this apply to me, exactly?


Judging? Temperance is all ABOUT judging. Related also to Maat, like Justice. Hmm. Temperance represents the unconscious, which can guide us to a deeper understanding of ourselves. It represents the unification of the external and internal, conscious and unconscious, realms. Under these approaches, when Temperance appears, it is a warning or invitation to be prepared for a confrontation with the deepest questions of who we are, who we think we are, and who we will become. I’ve been saying for a few days that the energy of this week is all about determining who and how to be. Coincidence? I think not!  At any rate, after feeling into this card I had relaxed considerably. We’re showing movement here. Movement is good. It’s internal, yeah, but that’s okay. That’s how life works a good part of the time.

The Empress.

For awhile I related highly to this card, thinking of it as a representation of myself. Not as the Mother but as a creator. Lately, not as much, but it’s a powerful card nonetheless. She can represent the creation of life, of romance, of art or business. The Empress is often associated with Venus, goddess of beautiful things as well as love. The Empress may also represent the Object of Desire; most obviously, the love of the beloved. Nice. Okay.

I think I’m getting the picture here. The Tower is change, structures turning from false to real and tumbling down. Justice says this has to do with a perceived injustice, one that has arisen as a construct of an internal process. Temperance says the process will help create a deeper self understanding, and The Empress says it will all be okay, that it’s part of the creation process, and that yeah, it has to do with love. So yay.

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