Rules, Teachers & Parties

Today’s card is one that I have personally struggled with for a long time. When I first started studying the Tarot, I was told that this card traditionally held the meanings of rules, church, structure, government. The radical lesbian feminist that I was then balked hard at those ideas. I associated church and government with male power. Fist in the air! I was not going to be subjugated by the Man.


Yeah, I’ve mellowed a bit since then. I still see Church in its political role as something that does not fit my worldview. The government is an institution that could use a bit of change (and hope–WEG). But this card now has a more hopeful message. It can mean go back to what feeds your spirit. It can mean that it is time to play by the rules rather than waste energy trying to figure out how to break them.

In Joanna Powell Colbert’s Gaian Tarot, she’s renamed the Hierophant (aka the Pope) the Teacher. A laughing, older spirit holds out a very unlikely gift. Many of us would shake our heads at this old fool. That’s a weed, dude. A WEED.

But is it? Is the dandelion truly a weed? A plant with no redeeming values? I think most of us would know that it is not.

The same can be said for people thrust into our lives. There’s a quote by Kahlil Gibran that I was reminded of today. “I have learnt silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strange, I am ungrateful to these teachers.”

And isn’t that the truth? I’m learning how not to be. I’m learning what not to say. I’m learning how to be the person I want to be by taking lessons from those I don’t want to emulate. Seems a bit negative to me but in this, I will have to embrace that negativity. A positivie approach has gotten me much further in my personal life than any amount of fist-shaking, tongue-lashing, ugliness.

Yes, I will still state my political opinions. Yes, I will probably be a not-so-positive person in that arena. I’ll just do my best to curtail it. I’ll do my best to focus on seeking joy. I’ll do my best to let those teachers of what not to do not rule my world so much. It’s not easy but it’s my best defense in a world so warped by anger and hatred. I won’t shoot God no matter what party he votes for.

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Teacher, Gaian Tarot, Llewellyn Publishing, 2011

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