I pulled out my Ted Andrews “The Animal-Wise Tarot” and handed her the cards. The first card, the situation, was The Chariot, in this deck a powerful horse moving through a field. We laughed, yes, we were sure this election was indeed a horse race, the two front runners neck in neck and a couple others a distant third and fourth. Just like people who’d bet the rent, we desperately needed our horse to win.
The second card, what crosses us for good or bad, was Death, a rattle snake curled up and rattling in warning. If you’ve ever been on, or seen a horse encounter a rattle snake in full rattle, you know that all bets are off, and whether you can stay in the saddle or not, it is no longer about the race. At that we looked at each other and laughed at ourselves. When Death shows up in a reading, especially this version imaged by Rattle Snake, it’s not about someone dying, it’s about change and healing. Many of us in the United States have been obsessing over the horse race, but it’s not about the horse race, it’s not about one of them winning and fixing or destroying everything, it’s about the much larger work of healing and transforming. It’s not about them, it’s about all of us.
The next card, the basis of the situation, was The World, symbolized by the turtle. I couldn’t help but think about the fact that Turtle Island is the english language translation of the terms used by many native tribes to reference North America. The World, Turtle, in this deck, reminds us that “…just as the turtle cannot separate itself from the shell; neither can we separate ourselves from what we do on Earth.” It’s not about them, a win or lose by any of the candidates will not fix things. It’s about us, about how we heal and transform our society for the good of our World.
Many of us face economic struggle, or are descendants or those who did. Because of that, many of us believe there should be laws and regulations making sure people of all genders are paid a living wage and have health care. Many of us believe in a balance of personal responsibility in the context of a larger social safety net. But despite personal or family experience, many of us seem to believe it’s everyone for themselves, or at least every family or small demographic for themselves. How can we heal that division and transform our society for the good of our World?
Many of us are immigrants, or the descendants of immigrants, who made the hard choice of leaving homelands because of war or lack of work. Many of us have compassion for current immigrants who are desperate to feed their families or escape from violence. But many of us seem to have forgotten our own immigrant stories and feel only fear of the current waves of humans fleeing devastating conflict and economic hardship. How can we heal those divisions and transform our society for the good of our World?
Many of us are strong in our spiritual and religious beliefs, or are descendants of folk who were, and came to this country to escape religious persecution. Many of us respect and celebrate with people of all faiths who long for that same freedom. But many of us seem to feel only fear of those whose spiritual and religious beliefs are different from our own. How can we heal that division and transform our society for the good of our World?
Many of us are seeing images of people of color shot by individual law enforcement agents. Those events bring many of us into the streets to protest a larger problem of institutionalized and systemic racism. But those events also make many of us shake our heads and tell our friends that “those people need to behave.” How can we heal that division and transform our society for the good of our World?
Many of us have been impacted by increasingly severe weather patterns and climate change, and seen the water, air, or land around us damaged by fossil fuel extraction and consumption. Many of us see this as a danger to our homes, our farm lands, our sacred and ancestral lands, and the Earth itself, and are taking a stand in places like Standing Rock North Dakota. But many of us depend on short term fossil fuel related jobs to feed our families. How can we heal that division and transform our society for the good of our World?
All of us know that what once was, no longer is, and that change is already upon us. Many of us see the change as a beginning in addressing our long history and legacy of social problems, but many of us see the change as creating the problems. How can we heal that division and transform our society for the good of our World?
No, it’s not about them, it’s about us and we are a people divided. How can we heal and transform that? How can we see each other, hear each other, treat each other with understanding, compassion, and respect? How can we find common ground and work together on solutions? We have been obsessing over the horse race, but it’s not about the horse race, it’s not about one of them winning and fixing or destroying everything, it’s about the much larger work of us healing and transforming our society for the good of our World. It’s not about them, it’s about us.