Election Anxiety and Beyond-A Reading for Hope and Healing
I've had nightmares about this upcoming Tuesday all week and my chest tightens at the mention of election anything. Living with PTSD is never a cakewalk but this election cycle is another monster entirely. For so many of us living with anxiety, trauma, and mental illness it seems like there's a new trigger at every turn, a new reason to be fearful every time we check into Facebook, a new person in our lives we learn we can not trust because of the levity with which they treat these triggers.
Tarot will probably not save the world--but as a spiritual person I serve liberation and empowerment, and with most things in life that starts in our homes and in our hearts. So while I did a not-quite-cheerful reading about the election with the intention to share it with you all, I ultimately decided against it.
Because we KNOW Tuesday is going to be a living nightmare of anxiety and we KNOW that many will take their anxiety out on others, creating a dreamscape Stephen King himself couldn't have dreamt of, and we KNOW that equity and compassion might lose. Big time. And ONE function if tarot is to warn us of what's to come or give us the truth about where we are right now--but it's not it's only function.
Because like the bulk of my spiritual work, tarot is also about healing and empowerment. It's about learning how to move on even when we don't want to or don't think we can. It's not about the Death card, it's about how we learn to live again after the fact. So here's a simple spread, and a simple reading for all of us to hold on to until Tuesday about how to cope and rebuild.
This is a three card spread--an overarching energy to show what we're actually dealing with.
A card for how to cope and find balance in the meantime
and a card for healing and rebuilding. Even if the worst doesn't happen, this is taking a lot out of us. The initial high of defeating our worst fears will give way to exhaustion and allowing ourselves to feel and live in our spent-ness. And of course, the worst could happen. So this card is how to grow from there.
As for our universal reading (which I did with the Cosmos Tarot and Oracle), we show that we're not wrong--there is definitely an aggressive energy permeating through everything in American society (and those societies closely linked to and affected by it) right now. And Mars is a card of war which is why even those of us who live in magick and whimsy are so prone to pick up pitchforks and begin yet another speech with "OKAY, first of all..." right now. But Mars is also a card of action and vitality--there is good life left in our fight yet. Applied correctly, we could still turn this mess around with Mars looming so closely.
Our "immediate coping mechanism" shows us digging deep down for those last reserves of strength. For better or worse, it's only 2.5 more days. Repeat that to yourself ad nauseum. For better or worse, it's only 2.5 more days. Don't stop fighting for what you believe in for this election because even when it doesn't seem like it, some hearts will still open and some people will still "get it" last minute. But also remember that Hercules has a weakness, as we all do, which forces us to rest and retreat from time to time. Do everything you would normally do for self-care in times of duress. Sleep more. Do less. Love just as hard as you do in good times and hold them all tightly. Remind yourself that you are not how you reacted to this election season. And as a side note, sometimes the cards make a more surface level metaphor. For those physically able to do so, pouring our emotions into exercise and physical activity may be your saving grace right now. Get outside. Eat lots of protein. Put your remaining energy reserves into the things you've been working hard for all month/year/life-long. They will still be here tomorrow and you need the outlet now.
Finally we see the Page of Air. We don't know what things are going to look like from Wednesday on, but we do know we'll have new insight and ideas into how to rebuild. It is important to have a plan for healing and regrowth in your mind, but leave room for freshness and flexibility. Again, lean to those you love and as for help when you need it. Plan a day trip with one or two you hold dear to blow off steam. Remember, there's no shame in hiding until the fury dies down if your life allows you to do so. And hilariously, this card does allow for what we've all be threatening--moving out of the country if we just really can not.
As a final note, while Fire oversees us, the other cards were Swords/Air. So use logic--you know there is an end to this and a next step. Try to get some clarity--meditate, vent to a friend, exercise your brute strength with some rad kickboxing classes--whatever you need to do to just clear your mind and escape the inundation of poll reports and internet fights. Wednesday will come. And there will be one the week after that. And the week after that. Hold on to the GOOD that you know is real--not just the bad that we are swimming in.
Hope this was helpful, lovelies. Blessed be.