Tarot Daily Dot Decoder, August 29, 2014


Today’s Tarot is from the Major Arcana, VIII Strength. A woman closed the mouth of a lion, who licks her hand. It’s the power of self-control, fearlessness and trust. Both the woman and the lion illustrate these qualities. This is a card of inner strength, also a card of overcoming patterns of opposition and separateness– at risk on both sides. She is not a lion-tamer with a whip, she is using the power of touch, empathy and love.

More connections and meanings for this lovely card are found here at Tarot, The Royal Road.

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Tarot Daily Dot Decoder, August 28, 2014

7 of swords

Today’s Tarot is the VII of Swords, deception, using the enemy’s own weapons against him. In this case, a class-stratified, masculinist society allows children to be exploited, then blames the human-rights movements of recent decades.

This week the news broke about Rotherham, a town in England that ignored child sexual abuse, torture and exploitation for 16 years. It hardly seem believable. This story cries out for real news reporters to get past the ‘what’ to the ‘how’ and ‘why’ parents and authorities allowed this organized crime to hide in plain sight. Perhaps a clue is ‘organized’. There are parallels to the Catholic Church scandals and other religious and secular groups that sell an alternate version of reality to adults while isolating children. Just a quick read suggests that the perpetrators targeted vulnerable children. The ‘delinquents’ and those whose parents were not able or willing to protect them. Their child protective system clearly failed, as did their law enforcement, and their schools as well.

I first heard this story on NPR, which was parroting the Daily Mail’s conclusion that anti-racism is to blame even though there were two previous reports of child abuse that the town authorities failed to act on.
From the Daily Mail-

The sexual abuse of about 1,400 children at the hands of Asian men went unreported for 16 years because staff feared they would be seen as racist, a report said today.
Children as young as 11 were trafficked, beaten, and raped by large numbers of men between 1997 and 2013 in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, the council commissioned review into child protection revealed.
And shockingly, more than a third of the cases were already know to agencies.
But according to the report’s author: ‘several staff described their nervousness about identifying the ethnic origins of perpetrators for fear of being thought racist’.

The Daily Mail is what you would get if Fox News married the National Enquirer. It’s discouraging to hear NPR mindlessly repeating what the Daily Mail cherry-picked from a complex story that will ultimately show failures on every level. Child abuse? Never happened before those politically correct anti-racists made the authorities too afraid to pursue criminals with brown skins. That’s why British prisons are whiter than a bake sale in Utah. Oh, wait, not.

This is the same country where a Brazilian man was shot multiple times in the head by police because he was seen running to catch a subway train. And an American Fox News commentator responded with admiration, because even though de Menezez was innocent the British cops were man enough to shoot first and ask questions later.

But the Daily Mail wants the public to know that the way to protect the children is MORE RACISM! It’s just a shame that NPR did not apply their BS filter before reporting this story, or even check the source.

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Tarot Daily Dot Decoder, August 27, 2014

9 of wands

Today’s Tarot is the IX of Wands. According to ‘A Feminist Tarot’ by Gearhart and Rennie, this card illustrates the knocks taken from our own comrades in the greater struggle. But today when I look at this I see the struggle itself that is as relentless as the tide. At a cost, the situation has been brought under temporary control. All the wands are in a row.

The Tarot is a rich source of archetypal imagery from Western culture. For many of us it is deeply familiar. The cards make excellent writing prompts, as Jessa Crispin wrote in last Sunday’s New York Times blog. I totally will be that kind of card reader in my post-retirement years, gods willing.

But the cards are only cards. Sometimes I look for symbols of ideas that I don’t find well-represented in the Tarot. Like solidarity among workers.

If I ever design my own deck I will include a barn-raising card. Communal labor in a common purpose. Connections and coalitions. If you don’t find what you need in the old scriptures you can always write new ones. That’s the eternal process.

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Tarot Daily Dot Decoder, August 26, 2014

3 of pentacles

Today’s Tarot is III of Pentacles. Sometimes you have to work to specifications, in systems you didn’t invent. The results can be beautiful if you have good tools and the right skills.

Today in vice-

Science Daily reports that reading ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ is associated with lousy mental health. Reading all 3 books is worse than 1. Jeeze, what will happen when the film comes out?

But medical marijuana is associated with fewer opiate overdose deaths.

Anyway, is it worth sweating it to stay healthy when super-massive black holes are gobbling stars like potato chips? How do we know that we won’t be next?

If we don’t do ourselves in first. A ruptured tank at a New Mexico nuclear waste dump exposed workers and the surrounding area to radiation. How much? Well, someone had the week off so it didn’t get measured.

I’m going to go to work now, where what I build may last only minutes when other factors screw up what looked like good plans. Or a life may be saved. Not in my control, just have to do it the best I can.

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Tarot Daily Dot Decoder, August 25, 2014

page of cups

Today’s Tarot is the Page of Cups. Water is associated with intuition, the unconscious. The Page holds a chalice of water with a fish peeking out. Behind her rolling waves under a grey sky may foretell storm. Is she standing on solid ground, or on a raft?

Perhaps the lack of cues allows the creative mind to entertain possibilities as unlikely as a message from the ocean in your water glass. The Page appears calm, even cheerful. The card is auspicious.

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Tarot Daily Dot Decoder, August 24, 2014


There’s a story behind this for sure.

T. Francis Hackett, beloved husband, reaches his carved hand across the memorial to wife Araletta, for the hand of John M. Haggerty, beloved friend. Above them is the Hebrew word, ‘Mizpah’.

And what is ‘Mizpah’? Per Wikipedia, in category, ‘emotional bond’,

Mizpah is Hebrew for “watchtower.” As mentioned in the Bible, it marked an agreement between two men, with God as their witness.

Araletta C. Dingwell survived them both. Was it she who designed this 3-person memorial? She must have been the one who ensured that it was placed there in Riverside Cemetery to mark the resting place of these intertwined lives.

There is a long inscription on the stone–


The phrases, ‘Sweet Bye and Bye’ and ‘Beautiful Isle of Somewhere’ are Christian hymns, but rather adaptable to other religious concepts.

The phrase, ‘Life’s Golden Chain’ is echoed here-

Love is the golden chain that binds
The happy souls above
And he’s an heir of heaven that finds
His bosom glow with love

Why She Became a Spiritualist: twelve lectures delivered before the Minneapolis association of spiritualists

Abby Ann Judson, 1895

The decades after the Civil War were years of recovery from national trauma. Spiritualism gave some comfort to the countless souls who were bereaved in the War and after, with hope that their loved ones survived in a better place. The displacement of ordinary relationships brings loss, but also freedom to build new connections.

What kind of relationship does this gravestone memorialize? T. Francis Hackett died at age 22, when his wife Araletta was 25. John M. Haggerty would have been only 17 at the time. Did the two men love each other for the brief time they shared on earth? their carved hands reach not to Araletta, but across her name to each other. John Haggerty passed at age 55, leaving Araletta alone at 63, she lived to age 77.

And does it mean anything that she did not take the name of her ‘beloved husband’ on her memorial, or was she following the custom of using her maiden name there? Or was there another husband whose mark on her life was not important enough to carve in stone?

The 3 linked lives did not leave a mark on history, all there is to remember them is a gravestone and a mystery.

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Tarot Daily Dot Decoder, August 23, 2014


Today’s card is from the Major Arcana, XIV Temperance. The message is balance and integration of the body and mind, internal and external, person and community. Temperance is a refuge from swinging between extremes.

A recent medical study shows that ‘lifestyle’, by which is meant decent food and some exercise, has a measurable effect on how many days people spend in the hospital.

We know that already anyway. Temperance is a discipline and not always easy, especially in a society that runs more and more on addiction. Workaholics, adrenaline junkies– why do we have these concepts if not for a constant swing from crisis to crisis?

It’s hard for us to find the middle way. Historically, the Temperance Movement of the 19th Century didn’t stop at moderation in alcohol use– they went straight ahead to Prohibition. And we know how that turned out.

Now we have that dumb phrase, ‘zero tolerance’– sounds tough but in most cases is too rigid to implement. There’s plenty of things we shouldn’t tolerate, but ordinary humans are never perfect in anything and it only confuses the issue to pretend that we are.

Coming down off a stressy week, looking for Temperance, think I’ll ride my bike.

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Tarot Daily Dot Decoder, August 22, 2014

10 of cups

Today’s card X of Cups illustrates hope in the uncertain, but hope beats stagnation and discouragement any day. I seen on my Facebook that mayoral candidate Brett Smiley has withdrawn from the race to support Jorge Elorza. Here’s confirmation in the ProJo.

This relieves me of the agonizing decision who to vote for, because I really like Brett Smiley, but I feel The Force is with Jorge Elorza and with his experience in the basics of housing in The City of Providence he can do a great deal to revitalize our neighborhoods. Actually, the South Side is one of the most vital parts of the city, just lacking political and financial support for the hard-working homeowners and renters who live and work there. An East Side/South Side coalition will beat the politics as usual we are expected to choose from ever since Buddy (Vincent) Cianci jumped into the candidate pool with his muddy boots on.

I’ll be cheerful for the morning, maybe longer.

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Tarot Daily Dot Decoder, August 21, 2014

5 of Cups

Today’s Tarot, V of Wands, can illustrate conflict among allies, or simple disorganization. It doesn’t take much to set people against each other, misunderstanding and hurt pride are the root of many unnecessary battles.

In the suit of Wands, this is a non-lethal fight. It’s sticks, not Swords. But most of the time for most people this is the battleground.

The strategies of nonviolence can be used in ordinary human relations. It’s not just for singing on the barricades, it’s for de-escalating situations that are starting to blow up.

There’s no way to resolve differences when everyone is waving sticks, so today’s Tarot message is– chill.

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Tarot Daily Dot Decoder, August 20, 2014


What made me cross the invisible border into Billy Taylor Park on Tuesday? I was invited.

I was walking back from the Lippitt Park Farmer’s Market this Saturday and I ran into Dr. Dannie. She gave me a flyer for Valerie Tutson & Friends- storytelling at Billy Taylor Park- last performance of the Summer.

On Tuesday right after work I walked 2 blocks to enjoy storytelling and sit on the green grass on a perfect afternoon, with the sun sinking behind the trees on the edge of Mt. Hope.

Neighbors I hadn’t seen for years were there telling stories about Mt.Hope in the 80′s and 90′s.

Valerie Tutson and Kevin Jackson gave a tribute to Billy Taylor, a man who did not let heart trouble stop him from dedicating his time to the good of the community. It’s not how long you live, but how well.

The phrase, ‘invisible border’ I first heard from artist and neighbor Paul Badger, who marked out the territorial line between Mt. Hope and Blackstone. A couple of his street signs still exist, though I could not find a record of his project on the net. I see many other references to invisible borders internationally. In Providence the border may be 2 blocks away.

There’s a rumor that a coffee shop is going to open on Camp St. Since we lost 729 Hope there is a lack of coffee places where you can get a table, so I’ll be looking out for this.

Dr. Dannie gave me another flyer at the storytelling. The Mt. Hope Community Health Worker Team & Collaborating Organizations. I may check this out, now that I’ve been invited.

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