Life is not all rainbows and unicorns, and neither is Tarot. The IX of Swords illustrates all that wakes us up at 3am. The fears may be founded and imminent, or just ghosts and nightmares, but how can you sort it out in the dark?
Gearhart and Rennie’s ‘A Feminist Tarot’ offers a path out of fear-
“Opening one’s eyes to face danger, perhaps to claim it. Feeling the fear, yielding to it. Patient analysis or slow deliberate action to remove each individual sword. Careful dealing with each threat without causing harm. Slow recovery from near madness.”
Fear as entertainment is so universal that it’s a challenge to even identify our own personal demons. TV is a deluge of violent fantasy, the ‘news’ grabs our attention with apocalyptic threats that are almost a relief in the face of day to day anxiety. If a meteor strikes I won’t have to go to work today.
Facing the 3am is best done in daylight. It’s a solitary task, but patiently sorting the real threats from the imaginary, and addressing what must be changed in the real world will affect our relationships. Less panic, less irrational anger, less over-reaction. More calm, more constructive action. You can’t solve anything until you know what the problems are.
I’m reminded of a doctor who was treating patients in a hospital flooded by the levee failures after Hurricane Katrina. He said, “I refuse to comply with misdirection.” It’s worse than useless to run after imagined hazards in a real crisis. Here is a good post about the Fox News Ebola Fest. I wish people could see what I see every day, they would be panicking about diabetes. But that is here, now and needs action and sacrifice. Not as easy as freaking about a disease that has infected a handful of Americans out of 300 million. Ignorance kills even more than disease, but the cure is somewhat painful and reality is so dull and difficult. Coffee at 3am is not the worst thing.