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It’s Earth Day today. I can’t think of a more appropriate card than the World, so I shuffled through the deck and drew it on purpose.
There is nothing really all that mysterious about the World card. This is a place where the utterly practical and deeply spiritual meet.
In the fourteenth century, in the earliest known days of Tarot, the world was pretty much as big of a concept as you can get. The deck as we know it first emerged around the time of the Renaissance, just before great scientific minds like Copernicus and Galileo and philosophers like Spinoza and Bruno began to think in terms bigger than the world. In many ways the abstraction of the World in the major arcana Tarot card and the modern concept of the cosmos have much in common. Much as in everything.
As Carl Sagan said, “The cosmos is everything that is or ever was or ever will be.” The Earth is an inseparable part of that. An itsy bitsy teeny tiny speck of it, but part of it. So are we; each of us individually but also collectively as part of the human species.
Or as Max Landis et al wrote in the TV adaptation of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective agency, “everything’s connected.”
So yeah, symbols and ideas represented on pieces of cardstock can affect your choices. Your choices inform your actions, your actions become causes, and causes create effects. Tarot cards help you create your future but they don’t predict it.
So yeah, hatred and bigotry really does reverberate out to the cosmos. But so do thoughts of peace and compassion. Both are subtle causes with subtle effects, but effects nonetheless.
So yeah, that one plastic shopping bag really does make a difference, along with that one solar cell phone recharge and that one meatless meal.
So yeah, the atoms of your body really were born in long ago stars.
One of the best things we can do for the Earth on Earth day is to think of it all as if we were in outer space. Like Copernicus. Or the Apollo astronauts. Or the World Tarot card. See the Earth as a whole. See it as a tiny fragile ball of rock painted in a thin layer of a miracle. We are a mote of dust painted in a near-nothing layer of life. If the world is a speck in the cosmos, how does our few miles thick biosphere stand up to that comparison? Such a tiny home for something as enormous as the human mind and consciousness that is capable of knowing and understanding the Cosmos itself. Try celebrating Earth day by reading Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot. Celebrate Earth day by learning what the minds who live upon it have learned about the universe that contains our little Earth-speck. When we think of our world from that perspective, renewable energy seems easy. The little things we all can do become microscopically trivial, to the extent that we should burn in shame for not doing them.
It’s a web, not a rope. When you pluck one strand, the whole thing vibrates. Thoughts pluck. Words pluck harder. But actions twang the whole thing in a big way.
Or break it.
It…meaning that grand everything…is part of you. You can’t cause harm or think hate without it affecting something. Something including you. There is a good chance the thread you pluck will vibrate back to you. There is nothing good or bad about it. It’s just the mechanics of how things work. Good or bad is up to you to decide. Whatever you decide it is, that’s what reverberates. What goes around, comes around, however you judge it to be. What you send out into the world comes back to you sooner or later, one way or another.
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Thanks again. See you at the next sip!
Deck: Alleyman’s Tarot by Publishing Goblin llc and Seven Dane Asmund used with permission, featuring the “BNF again” world card from the Jeude Minchiate de Fantaisie. Image of Earth from Mars from nasa.gov, to the best of my knowledge is in the public domain.