1- What is the wound the collective is currently working on healing?

2- Where is it located? / How is it showing up for us?

3- How was this wound inflicted?

4- How are we responding to the pain of this wound?

5- How does this response heal us?

6- How does this response keep us hurting?

7- What should we do (instead or in addition) to heal ourselves?

8- What truth can be gleaned about our collective experience? What is there to learn about how we are connected?

I pulled this reading today after spending the morning reading the NYT article explaining the depth and breadth of Harvey Weinstein’s gross, horrific abuse and cover-up. I’ve been coming into the understanding that I feel wounds of the collective deeply, often personalizing them as my own. I’m trying to not do that anymore; I’m honing my skill of discernment. So, I practiced that today.

Reading this article, I noticed the energy in my body feeling scared, ashamed, fearful, disgusted, and angry.

I’ve spent a long time in my life repressing my masculinity. As such, it is the most sensitive part of my inner world. It is the most reactive and scared. Reading this article, I realized these feelings were coming from my masculinity—“What does this mean about me?” It asked, “What does this mean about my capacity for evil? What does this mean about my capacity for good?”

I know many of us are working through these feelings. We are all connected, deeply and in ways we cannot yet know.

What does the collective reckoning about abuse mean about all of us? How the fuck do we fix this? What does it mean that we may be on the brink of the apocalypse? That we have a cheeto in the role of US president? That our systems are crumbling—but not before threat of mass upheaval and destruction?

What wound is being inflicted, triggered, relived, witnessed, and healed?

These cards revealed some challenging ideas. It feels tender to share, but I’m trusting the wisdom that comes to me from ancestors and spirit.

Our foundations, our center, is off base. Our wound is that we are lacking security, stability, and a sense of firm reliable reality. We are fearing scarcity. We are fearing loss, and thus we fear giving. We fear the realization that our structure is faulty.

We are tender in our understanding that this structure we’ve relied on is corrupt from the base up. We are feeling the pain of failure, the fear of what that means for our future, what that means about our pasts. What it means about our most basic understanding of ourselves and each other. Of human nature.

We are feeling the wound of an unstable attachment to what came before us, what comes after, and what ties us together. The trauma that comes from being a human, so deeply and intrinsically connected to all humans, to all creatures, to the world itself—yet somehow unable to fully, consciously feel what it is to be in union with all that we are.

We are feeling the wound that comes with the limits of of being human: collective, boundless soul spread among individual, boundaried bodies; infinite mind confined by the limitations of brain.

This wound feels like deep, endless grief and sorrow. It comes out in our tears and our sadness, it comes out as isolation. It comes out as self-pity, sometimes, too. That we are the only ones who have felt the depth of this pain. That we are alone as we carry the burden of this tragedy.

Remember: We are more tied together than we can possibly yet understand.

This wound was inflicted by an overemphasis on the vision. We didn’t spend time on the careful planning and building; we dove right into the ego-centric desire for expansion and creation. We didn’t let every individual human in on the visioning, and so we lost our attunement to the collective pulse. We got suckered into imaginings of infinite power, praise, wealth, and success.

This wound was inflicted on us when we weren’t paying attention, caught up in big dreams. Big promises.

False prophecies.

False prophets.

And now here we are, forced to tend to the wound lest it consume us entirely.

And it comes as no surprise that we do this as a collective through the wisdom and power of The Empress. The feminine, the nurturer, the mother of the tarot.

Women and femmes are doing the work of healing.

Again, this comes as no surprise.

We are seeking justice through building systems of trust, nurturance and survival. We are prioritizing and believing the feminine. We are demanding a rise of the Goddess, that she be worshipped, valued, and remembered once again. We are demanding femmes be believed, respected, and uplifted. We are feeling and honoring and fearing and resisting the earth-rooted power of the divine feminine.

This helps us slice through and choke out the parasite that has burrowed itself into the wound we have as of yet been unable to tend to. This heals us by cleansing the infection, by giving our pain a chance to breathe, air out, and finally transform. We are intercepting the behavior that let the wound keep festering.

And yet, with our Empress focus alone, we are hurting.

There is still more healing to be done. There are still more tonics to be found and used.

As we stay on the Empress to heal the pain, we stay stuck in it.

While we must remove the parasite and cure the infection, we must realize that to stay here—we will stay confined to the belief that we are only ever the victim of suffering. We stay blinded by belief that evil deeds are committed by humans possessed of a force beyond what is human; that it is the work of something dark and demonic rather than the work of a wound ignored and abandoned, of a system of violence built and upheld by aching humans.

That we are only either victim or abuser, never both.

That we are only ever Empress or Emperor, never both, and each must compete for its right to be.

By elevating one extreme after the other, we keep the wound throbbing. If we do this, we are still inflicting pain on ourselves, self-destructing through denial and repression.

What part of our wholeness do we abandon when we strip the humanness from our collective capacity for atrocity?

What else we must do to heal is represented by The Emperor.

We must learn what it means to be masculine and divine. We must remember what masculinity, power, and structure can look like when they are not waged against the Empress out of fear or self-aggrandizement, but working alongside her wisdom. We must remember how to nurture and be nurtured by the masculine.

We must remember that we are both and.

Our divine Empire is burning.

If we are both Emperor and Empress, both two binary extremes within and outside of ourselves—how can we save our blazing home? Our people who live within it?

We must believe each other. We must trust each other. We must earn each other’s trust back. We must recognize that we share both purpose and pain. We must be accountable to the pain we perpetuate, and then transform.

If we set either Empress or Emperor on fire, we all burn.

If we see that together, the archetypal Empress and Emperor offer us tools for healing—

If we see that in each of us lives divine energy, feminine, masculine, and energy that defies categorization—

If we see that to reject and dispose the essence of either of these expressions of our collective humanity is to reject and dispose of ourselves—

We will move into the next stage of healing.

We will find Strength.

We must bring to consciousness that we are acting from a place of deep wounding. A wound that in its essence is shared, but in its expression may look vastly different.

We must realize our capacity to enact extreme expressions of our pain that only deepen the original wound.

We must realize we cannot heal ourselves by hurting others.

We must work from compassion, for we are all connected. And we must know that compassion can look like the ferocity of a lion or the gentleness of the rose between its teeth. Our goal is to strike the balance between the two. That is where we will find healing and Strength.

And will find Strength.

And must find Strength.

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