I’ve been sick for most of the month of February, putting things into perspective for me. With being sick and reluctant to do many things as I’m pulled down by what my body is combating, I’ve kept coming back to a trio of cards that have been on my mind for months. The Devil, The Tower, and The Star. With this trio comes to my mind the act of re-enchanting our lives, of thriving and resilience. Weaving songs of hope along the way. The way from the devil to the star is the song for these times.
The devil binds, ties, and obstructs. This half man, half beast figure stands upon a pedestal holding a wand, a scepter of authority as below the humans turned imps, enslaved with hands and necks tied, look on with sadness. Or is it contempt? In binding, the devil hinders the way forward as he stands formidable and seemingly indomitable, larger and more imposing than those beneath him.
Catastrophe strikes, a sudden flash and the crown is toppled. What was once lofty has been torn asunder. Out of the binds we are thrust, it is sudden. This is the revealing moment, the apocalypse. The veils are torn and perspectives are reversed. Falling, falling, falling while the electrified sky intensifies the nightmare. Foundations are broken, what was solid crumbles. This image highlights vulnerability, our collective vulnerability as humans. Vulnerability because what we know, what we hold as foundation today, can change unexpectedly. Nothing is certain except change, except mutability. This is the moment when, just as those thrust out of the toppling tower illustrate, we move “outside.” It is an expulsion from constructs that forces our position to drastically change.
Sans strictures and fortifications that keep us shackled, we are outside, vulnerable and naked, clearing the air to create for ourselves a life that is boundless and full of possibilities under the light of the stars. To a gentle stream we take our battered selves, there kneeling on the edge of a flowing river, with face turned towards the past in remembrance of the apocalyptic moment, we pour out from our vessels, we pour out our waters, and let them mix with the river. Emptying the anguish and agitations. The dark night has passed and transformed into a sky full of stars, and song, and birds. Then relief seizes us.
The star is the initiator of a life outside the chains of the devil, a hand made life. A life that begins from what is boundless, rolling hills, the expanse of the sky, the distance of the stars, the song of birds, and flowing waters. Moreover, from the devil to the star is the road to resilience, and re-enchantment. Breaking bonds and surviving the terror of the apocalyptic moment. It is a story of strength, and a song of rejuvenation.
I sat with these thoughts for most of the month, dwelling on what it means to be resilient. Taking a cue from the cards, resilience is about seeing possibilities within and without, boundless possibilities unchained from systems of belief and of perspectives. The lesson is in following the rhyme from the devil to the tower, ending with the star. This is how we re-enchant our lives, placing our sight and our selves in the midst of what is immeasurable as opposed to what confines. It is interesting to note that in the traditional Rider Waite Smith deck the background of both the devil and the tower is black, limiting the sight, not allowing our vision to pierce beyond. While the star is embraced by the blue sky and the green folds of the earth. In other words, what binds, does so until we step outside of that frame.