A Drunken Tarot Reading For 2020

Past: Ace of Swords

Aces represent beginnings, or so my tarot guidebook says. Swords are the house of the mind, intellect, and communication, ruling over all the troubling thoughts and ideas scampering around in that big old head of yours, mine, ours (whatever you like). But what beginning is this? Perhaps it is the new normal everyone is going on about, or maybe it’s me starting the linguistic projects that were due two weeks ago. Perhaps it suggests newfound clarity and focus in the form of Adderall and coffee cocktails that help us get through these last few weeks of the semester. That is, if you have access to that sort of thing. Perhaps this card represents the hopes many of us have for our newest white male president… but I’m not holding my breath.

Present: Five of Swords 

Fittingly, the five of swords falls into the present position on today’s tarot spread, reminding us of our endurance through conflict and loss. This year, we have lived through a tenuous election and a global pandemic, making life feel simultaneously over- and underwhelming. I honestly don’t know what to make of it. If this were a conflict or war in the traditional sense, we might have seen buildings turned to rubble, the smell of smoke burning our noses, reminding us every day of our new reality. And yet today, we are still burying bodies, suffering profound economic and personal loss while continuing to sit in our homes (if we even have this privilege) in our sweatpants attempting to meet the demands of our everyday life via the internet. This paradox has left my mental strength fractured, leaving shards strewn across the apartment floor that I have not left since last week and I am so so tired. Are you tired too?

Future: Seven of Pentacles (reversed) 

I wish I had better news, but the future card is the first “reversal” of this spread, usually signaling some form of resistance in the energy that this card carries. Seven is a lucky number for most of the Western world, and turned on its head, one could interpret it as a bad omen, breeding distrust, suspicion, fear, and insecurity. Not exactly the prediction that we were looking for… but what did we expect? I don’t know about you, but my 2020 has turned me into a stay-at-home, fridge-hovering gremlin and connoisseur of “doom scrolling.” So yeah, “suspicion, fear, and insecurity,” seems about right. To try and “cope” with the situation, my tarot guide book prescribes “turning inward,” and deliberately pruning the parts of ourselves that no longer do as they were intended. So maybe I’ll wear some stretchy jeans instead of sweatpants tomorrow or force myself to do a sit-up or two, eat a vegetable, get in a good pillow scream, write some poetry, practice the ukulele, do things that make me feel a little bit more alive. Because on the road to whatever hell we are headed towards, we may as well go down smiling.

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