Weighing Up The Right With The Wrong

I’ve just spent two weeks shut in my apartment.

Not because I have coronavirus.

Not even because I’m a close contact of someone who does.

What happened to me is symptomatic of a system in chaos. A society under stress. A modern workplace, which is so concerned about not doing the wrong thing, it doesn’t do the right thing.

A student diagnosed with coronavirus had come to school.

Teaching staff were informed we’d need to stay home until close contacts of this student had been traced. It was meant to take one to two days. Three days, tops.

Each evening, around 5 o’clock, a message came from the education department, informing everyone to stay home the next day.

This message came on Tuesday. On Wednesday. On Thursday.

And then it came again on Friday. After the three days had passed.

And then the next evening. And the next. And the next.

Until the entire school staff had done a full quarantine, regardless of whether or not we were a close contact.

For some people this was probably fine. But I live on my own. In an apartment. There’s no-one to do the shopping for me. I can’t get groceries dropped at the door. And I never knew, from one day to the next, that I would be staying home, so it was hard to put a system in place to get support.

Fortunately, my daughter returned from the country, and replenished my food supplies in the nick of time. But that was just sheer, dumb luck!

What made the whole situation more distressing, was that the school leadership team never once directly addressed what was happening. Oh yes, they implied we must all be at home. But they never asked how we were going, or if we needed support in any way. Just referred us to the department messages and available hotlines.

I suspect they were afraid of saying the wrong thing. Getting in trouble. There’s so much compliance pressure in schools these days, no one wants to do anything but what they’re told to do.

We’re so focussed on not doing the wrong thing, we don’t do the right thing.

And I wondered if Tarot had anything to say about this.

I think the lesson comes in this card…

Temperance: Finding the right balance

There has never been a system invented that takes into account every factor involved. Let alone, one that does this in the workplace. Yet we’re expected to be compliant to the letter, without taking into account other possible issues. There’s so much focus on ticking boxes in schools these days, there’s no opportunity to step back and ask:

What else should we be doing?

What are we missing?

Temperance is a card found in the Major Arcana. Or, as I like to call it: Life Lessons Tarot. Finding the right balance is an important lesson to learn. As the card points out, in its association with health, this is what maintains well-being.

Right now, it feels like work environments are this…

Justice Reversed: When the scales are out of whack

Don’t get me wrong! We need compliance in systems. As this card reminds us…

The Emperor: Boundaries

But we definitely place too much emphasis on it…

Eight of Pentacles + The Emperor: Intense focus on following the rules

Does it feel like this in your work place?

Opening Old Wounds

My eyes are red and swollen.

I couldn’t stop bawling yesterday.

A beloved character in a TV show died.

Clearly, an over-reaction.

So what happened exactly?

Despite terrible reviews, I’m a big fan of the apocalyptic Netflix show, ‘The Rain’. In the penultimate episode of the entire series, my favourite character, Martin, bit the dust.

He reminded me a lot of my last boyfriend.

Six of Cups: Remembering happy times

Only better!

Knight of Cups: The ideal man

However, my mini-breakdown wasn’t about the character on tv, or even the old boyfriend.

It was about this..

The Fool + Two of Cups: The possibility of relationship

I was distressed that his partner lost the chance to grow old with him.

Which was a reflection of my distress at not having a life partner like him myself.

This is a classic example of this card…

Three of Swords: Opening old wounds

For no good reason, I felt consumed by grief.

Five of Cups: Crying over what you’ve lost, despite the good things in your life

The Three of Swords comes up when you’re reminded of a loss.

Even though you’ve done this…

Eight of Cups: Well and truly moved on

In fact, you feel like this…

Nine of Pentacles: Very content with your life

We all carry wounds in our hearts.

The longer we’ve lived, the more knives to the chest we’ve experienced.

People we’ve loved and lost.

Times when we were hurt deeply.

The important thing is not to be over-whelmed by these injuries.

Not to do this…

King of Cups Reversed: Drown your sorrows

Or this…

Six of Cups Reversed: Lose yourself in nostalgia or fantasy

Or even this…

The Moon Reversed: Succumb to a drug fuelled haze.

We have to keep moving forwards.

Carrying our secret griefs.

Using them to remind us to do this..

Judgement: Show compassion to one another

Always!

Black Lives Matter

It goes without saying that all lives matter.

But right now, non-whites are incarcerated and killed by law enforcement at higher rates than whites. So that’s where the focus needs to be. Including in my own country of Australia.

Let’s look at the Tarot of this…

The Tarot of 2020

This year continues to be the gift that keeps on giving. In the worst possible way. Every time we feel like we’re moving forward again, another one of our worst nightmares pops out of a box.

Let’s explore the tarot of this, shall we…

The Tarot of Mental Illness

I’ve talked about mental illness before. But in my opinion, as someone who’s had extensive experience in this area, you can never talk about it enough. There are lots of peeps suffering out there with one form or another of this insidious disease.

Let’s dive deep into the Tarot of Mental Illness shall we… Continue reading

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

Easter is a time of hope. It therefore seems the perfect moment to explore the riveting survival tale of the Jewish man who tattoed prisoners at the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War 2. His story has not come to light until now because of the incredible guilt he carried about what he was forced to do to his fellow prisoners.

Let’s explore his story shall we? No spoilers, I promise. Continue reading

The Tarot of a Music Concert

I was lucky enough to see Ed Sheeran in concert the other night, with the added bonus of one of my favourite Australian musical acts, Missy Higgins, thrown in. I bought the ticket a couple of hours beforehand on impulse. It was a beautiful Melbourne day, the concert had been getting rave reviews, and I have a soft spot for Missy (even more than Ed).

This led me to wonder about the Tarot of a Music Concert.

Let’s explore that, shall we? Continue reading

The Tarot of Grace and Frankie

My latest television obsession is a Netflix program called ‘Grace and Frankie’.

I don’t know why I enjoy this show so much. I’m not really a series kind-of girl. I prefer my television short and sharp, like mini-series or movies. In a long-term drama character development can often stop making sense in an effort to maintain the excitement.

But I like this one. Maybe because it’s a bit like a middle-age Friends. I enjoy watching the characters negotiate the little everyday challenges that can be thrown your way later on in life.

Let’s dive deep into the Tarot of Grace and Frankie shall we… Continue reading