In Tarot, the Tower Card is an event. When it shows up in a reading, the energy shifts. Things get more serious. The stakes get very real. If you’ve ever seen this card in a reading I’ve given you, you may have noticed me get a little more quiet, more thoughtful, more deliberate in my choice of words. More eager to offer tools to mitigate the inevitable shock to the system this card will bring. Why is this? The Tower Card brings the thing that we fear the most: chaos. But it also asks the question: what if chaos is a gift?
I know, I know....but hear me out.
Several years ago, I kept pulling the Tarot Card for myself…and it didn’t disappoint. Cataclysmic breakup, threats to my life, fear for my safety, unplanned move across the country, loss of belongings and money, series of minor strokes and a nearly dead dog and the medical bills to go with it. Oh- and I quit a job that threatened me with legal action if I ever worked in the industry again.
I had less than nothing. I was exhausted. Heartbroken. Terrified. Actually sick. And yet…
…I was alive. The day after my minor strokes- and the day of my dog’s 8 hour, life-saving surgery- I taught a Shamanic Journeying workshop to 50 people. The day after that, I woke up. And I kept waking up. And I kept doing life. Because that is the gift of the Tower Card: the things that we think will bring our “personal Apocalypse” do not end us. We don’t cease to exist just because “everything falls apart”. We live. A friend asked me, “how could you just go there and teach that with everything that’s going on?” and my answer was simply, “what else am I going to do? Just lay here and die?”.
And there’s a freedom to that. When contemplating the colossal scale of my new, outrageous medical bills I remember thinking, “What are they going to do? Come and repo my body if I don’t pay them?”. Of course not. And that’s the first gift of chaos- you learn that you exist outside of all of the things that you thought defined you: money, job, relationship, even your body. Not in a theoretical way. In an actual way.
The second gift? The Tower Card doesn’t break anything. That stuff was already broken. The Tower Card is just the wave of chaotic water that comes to wash it all away. In this sense, chaos is a controlled burn, destroying the old, outmoded ways of living such that the new and authentic growth can emerge.
The Tower Card brings the sudden flash of insight required to see past the veil of illusion which, if anything, is the single most destructive force in our world. It is the great lie. With chaos, we can see what has been keeping us in bondage: it’s not that we’re not good enough, that we don’t work hard enough, or that we’re just not smart enough. It’s that the deck is stacked and “the House” always wins. Unless, of course, the House comes down.
For the last two years, I have been pulling the Tower Card a lot- but not in relation to me as an individual. That card, appearing over and over again, alongside psychic downloads I’ve been receiving from my guides, indicated a complete and total upheaval of global society- particularly the economy. When I was in corporate, I would talk to my coworkers about this persistent message- they’re now texting me to confirm that the Tower Card is here (some even attaching a Google image they found of the card to their text messages).
When I was laid off in March, I embraced it because I knew this chaos was coming for everyone. Hell, I had already written a resignation letter. I was never the job I had and this was an opportunity to truly become who and what I am. Also, I knew that those who may have danced over the proverbial grave of my career were not immune from this chaos. Nor was the company. Nor the entire industry, which I anticipate will effectively die later this year. To be in the first round of layoffs was about as good as it was going to get, so I embraced it with gratitude and worked relentlessly to not attach to ego.
During my last few weeks at that job, someone I worked with uttered, “I just want to make sure we’re taking advantage of this crisis”. In that moment, I saw it very clearly. That single statement, more than anything else, sums up the dysfunction and rot of our self-cannibalizing society. The urge to control. Take advantage. Scheme. Consolidate power. Hang on to what has been collected through hook and by crook. And, above all else, make money for quarterly reports for shareholders, regardless of what bodies litter the path along the way.
Not a focus on making something of value. Of providing a service to help others. Of innovating. Of embracing integrity and authenticity in a moment of crisis, creating a human and humane response to pain and suffering. Nothing but zero sum. Race to the bottom. Diminishing returns. The same scam that has literally, never once in history, ever worked.
I remember thinking: “Oh, she thinks this isn’t coming for her. She thinks this is a blip on the radar. She things that this will not come to her country, her city, her company, her home…to her. But it will.” I felt pity for this person. Yes, it was a gross and shocking thing to hear- even among hardened, deadened corporate drones like us- but more than that, it was a depressing example of the delusion of our system. It was genuinely sad. This was not a person that would have the skills to “survive” what’s coming…because in the new world on the other side of all of this, “taking advantage of” anything isn’t going to work.
The Tower Card is a lightening bolt. It’s a flash of insight to those ready to see. It’s the Tower of Babel coming undone, making room for something better and more cogent and less complex.
In Tarot, the Tower Card comes after the Devil Card and before the Star Card. What does this mean? Essentially, that the Tower brings the chaos that is required to take down the systems of control and abuse- the lies and narcissism of the Devil. The Devil Card is all about bondage, slavery, and masks- it’s the lies that our society are built on. Senators dumping stocks after a Coronavirus briefing? Palettes of bricks being delivered to protest sites? Politicians blaming things on the Russians or whatever other boogeyman they can point to besides themselves? Coworkers pretending to take an interest in you and then disposing of you like an old Ziploc bag when you cease to be of immediate use to them? These are the triangulated lies of the system, simultaneously scaring you into obedience and offering false hope of a future you can never achieve by playing their game.
With the Tower Card, we know that those corrupt systems are coming apart…and, in my shamanic estimation, we’re only at the beginning of this cycle. This is going to be a year in which everything we took for granted- the “stability” of our steady paycheck or of societal law and order- shows itself for what it really is: a lie.
So what can we do? It’s crazy, I know, but we must learn to release that which is dying, surrender to the evolution, and focus on what tangible new paradigm comes next. And that is where the Star Card comes in, offering hope and healing on the other side of the Tower. The Star is the Phoenix rising from the ashes, better than before but still holding within her the lessons learned from the past.
In this cycle, we can live our lives. We can choose what degree of control we’re going to give fear over our decisions. We can simply do things we love and connect with people we love without attachment to outcome or long term planning. We can seek to learn more about who we really are before we are born and after we die. We can harness tremendous spiritual insights and shake free of the shackles of limitation. We can raise our individual and collective vibrations to shift the energy towards a better, more real future. We can be free. Because, frankly, what's the point of trying to control anything anymore?
And, if things get too intense and we’re feeling the tremendous energy and stress around us, we can go inward and recalibrate. Meditate. Self-heal. Get in touch with the spiritual reality that underpins the bullsh*t of modern society. Nothing can take those resources, guides or connections from us.
And that’s what I’m going to do. This has been a hard time for everyone I know and, while transitioning to my shamanic practice full-time in the middle of this mishigas has been downright terrifying at times, I still know that I’m one of the lucky ones. That it’s a matter of perspective. That I am grateful for the clients and experiences I get to have collaborating with all of you in this practice.
Shamanism reminds me of what is real. It’s frankly the only reason I’m still sort-of-sane. And, when I invite you to an event or suggest a session, I know that I’m doing it for all of the right reasons. I am not "taking advantage" of this or any other crisis, and being able to say that honestly means everything in the world to me.
This Friday brings a Full Moon and Lunar Eclipse for the ages- a very challenging energy in the midst of tons of retrogrades and astrological and social agitation. There’s a curfew. There are protests. There are layoffs and inflation and plague and quite literally hoards of locusts. For real. India is covered in locusts and they’re eating all the crops. So, I guess we can also add famine to the mix.
We are living a scene from V for Vendetta, Blade Runner, the Joker, the Matrix- even World War Z! This is dystopia. But it's been this for a very, very long time. It's just that we're looking right at it now.
And life is still happening. So, I’m going to live. I haven’t been through what I’ve been through, developed the shamanic tools I have at my disposal and gained all the insights I’ve gleaned, to get here and just give up. And, knowing all of you, I can’t imagine you’re going to just throw in the towel either.
Which is why I’m going to be at TOTEM’s Oak Park space this Friday. I invite you to join me. I hear there’s going to be a beautiful Full Moon and Lunar Eclipse and good wine and even better company. And that’s how I look at it: as another night in this incredible, transformative life. I can't guarantee your safety after leaving your house, but the truth is: I could never guarantee your safety before. No one could. The chaos was always there, just beneath the surface...so it's all about free will now.
If you want to learn more about Friday’s event or how shamanism can help you surf the waves of chaos, shoot me an email anytime. Things are intense and will continue to be intense- I can think of no higher good than helping you connect with a community that is seeking understanding and healing just like you are.