Blessings to survivors! We are a family devoted to the truth and to each other. And we will prevail.

Around two o’clock on Saturday, I drew a card to give me an idea of how the Kavanaugh vote would go. Using the Wildwood Tarot deck, I drew The Blasted Oak, this deck’s version of The Tower. Instead of a tower on fire, we see on this card that lightning has struck and shattered a gnarled tree limb casting a man, his own limbs burning, to the ground. The Blasted Oak describes the power of creation and destruction and our ability to let go of outward possessions and power, clearly what the “conservative” party in our country is unwilling to do at this point.

Traditionally, the Tower is considered a positive card and The Blasted Oak is no different. Change occurs in our lives, whether intentional or otherwise. The Blasted Oak counsels us to understand the illusion that surrounds us, allowing its destruction, and refusing to be its victim. From the standpoint of the Kavanaugh appointment, it suggests a couple of things. For survivors, we must continue to see ourselves as just that: survivors. We were never victims although someone indeed tried to make us so. And although the “conservatives” would like to pigeonhole us into a victim mentality, their efforts will fall on deaf ears as we continue to stand up and speak truth to power, now and forever. Their demeaning comments and abusive stance will be their undoing. The momentum is too great for anything else to happen now.

Not to diminish the effect upon survivors, but there is a greater value at stake here and one that I believe will ultimately be preserved. It’s the ability to think beyond ourselves for a greater purpose. At no time should anyone be assaulted, sexually or otherwise. The abuse that occurs in this country is rampant. As a society, we’ve excused behavior by boys and men that should never have been excused. Women and children aren’t believed and no one seems to care.

But after Dr. Ford’s testimony and Kavanaugh’s subsequent meltdown, it seemed as if a shift occurred. All of a sudden people who were supporting him were coming out with a different response. Protesters gathered everywhere from the halls of Congress to the Supreme Court raising their voices on behalf of sexual assault survivors, something I’ve really never seen before, at least not at this level. So I began asking a series of questions and began drawing more cards.

Ultimately, I wanted to know what happens now and I drew the Page of Bows represented by a stoat, a weasel-looking animal. The Page in any deck depicts a student or messenger, along with undeveloped potential. In the Wildwood Tarot deck, Wands and the Fire Element are represented by Bows or the energy of will. The stoat stands alert on a branch overlooking an unseen river or creek. He’s a hunter that burrows into the ground, his fur changing color to match the changing seasons. If there’s a message here, it’s that those in power will change with the wind, taking on whatever tactic necessary to achieve and retain that power. But there’s also the potential for a new understanding and considering the change in heart by Kavanaugh’s supporters that new understanding may be expressed a month from now. Too much is known and too many male lawmakers didn’t keep their mouths shut. We see them now, in full clarity and in all their ugliness.

I next drew the Queen of Arrows illustrated in this deck by a beautiful swan. Representing the suit of Swords and Elemental Air, this suit informs our intellect and interactions with others. The swan symbolizes grace and purity along with the protection of others. She swims alone, seeking solitude after loss or conflict, a backward look indicating her continued concern. There’s a sense of wounding with this card along with taking time to rethink one’s position. The Queen of Arrows does not suffer fools gladly preferring to cut through illusion rather than tolerate deception. And that’s what’s coming through now. Plenty of deception for the Queen to conquer. But make no mistake about it, the survivor as Queen has the inner strength to do just that. And when we gather together, we’ve proven that our voices can drown out even the oldest Judiciary Committee member’s idiotic and self-serving remarks. And we’re not done yet.

So what’s next? The Six of Arrows tells us that a new direction is on the horizon. Transition is its title and is probably the most incredible depiction of the Six of Swords (the traditional name of the suit) that I’ve ever seen. Instead of a journey taken by a small family over water, we see a swan-shaped boat with a single cloaked man at the helm, its sail swelling against the wind. Six arrows arranged in a wheel-like pattern on the sail appear to point the way forward as the sun sets on the water while a full moon looms large in the night sky. The Six of Arrows tells of new opportunities and letting go of ideas which no longer serve us. Traditions can provide us with a foundation, but if old thinking is causing great pain and harm, then it’s best to let it go in favor of ideas which better serve the greater good.

The final card that I drew was the 2 of Arrows with the title of Injustice. Spirit attempts to balance greed on scales which hang above a woman, blindfolded and holding two arrows crossed in front while one foot rests on the bow beneath her. A decision must be made in spite of the chaos that surrounds her. She seeks clarity without the noise and confusion disturbing that process. The uneven balance suggests that greed overshadowed truth and that deception prevailed. Although it may be tempting to stoop to the level of those who deceive, we need to remain steadfast to our values and our focus on the truth.

We’ve learned a thing or two in the last few months, haven’t we? There’s a growing momentum that’s been building that to the chagrin of the old men in Congress may not subside anytime soon. Survivors have been silenced in the past but now the tide is turning and we’re not staying silent and in our own private hell ever again. Now, survivors are speaking out who have never spoken out before, some in their seventies and eighties, telling their stories for the first time. And it’s not only women who are speaking out but men who have been sexually assaulted as well.

There’s a cleansing happening, bringing light to a darkness which has surrounded and controlled us forever. The latest addition to the highest court in our country may be a travesty in progress. He may not serve long as more information is revealed. But even if he does, those of us who have survived something this horrible, this life-changing, will never stop working for the day when those individuals, men or women, who assault others (allegedly or otherwise) aren’t rewarded with positions of authority over anyone. Quid pro quo has become the norm and its insidious nature rewards good soldiers with positions they shouldn’t have.

We witnessed the dereliction of duty by Congress and our country is worse in one sense for it. But in another, the blinders are off and they’re never going back on. We see clearly what’s been happening as women and men are harassed and assaulted and cast aside like we’re nothing.

Except, that we’re not nothing. We’ve never been nothing. No matter what they say, no matter how they demean us. No matter if they say we’re liars. No matter if they agree only with the predator. It doesn’t matter anymore. Our silence is over. The stain of misogyny and patriarchy was on full display for everyone to witness. There is no spin possible to take away the sight of a senator telling survivors to grow up or to call a cop instead of listening to what the survivors had to share. This was a moment when compassion could have been the response, but instead, they doubled down, strengthening our resolve all the more.

So, thank you. November is coming.

Blessings to survivors! We are a family devoted to the truth and to each other. And we will prevail.

Blessed Be

Originally published at on October 7, 2018.

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