Reading tarot for the White House itself–NOT for its occupant–as Washington DC burns

Card positions above: Situation: Eight of Wands. Crossing card: Regeneration. Root of situation: Knight of Pentacles. Past: Eight of Swords. Crowning card: Four of Wands. Near future: Four of Swords. What to know: Five of Wands. Support: Two of Pentacles. Advice: Six of Swords. Outcome: The Devil and the Chariot.

I read on Twitter that the trees in front of the White House were on fire, so I read for the House itself–NOT its occupant—with the Tarot of Trees.

Things seem to be happening very fast at the White House (Eight of Wands). The situation there, the rushing around, the hasty attempts to react, are crossed by the need of the House and the land itself to regenerate. (This is the one card in the Tarot of Trees that is not in other decks–the 79th card.) I feel like the trees know what’s happening and they know that regeneration is needed. And they also know that when things burn, ash is left behind. And the ash regenerates the forest.

And until now, the trees were stuck with the situation. They held the house up. They, along with the house, are part of the grounds. They contributed to stability. And they waited.

But then this thing happened. Look at how the Knight of Pentacles card shows a pentacle traveling along a long well-lit tunnel of trees to another place so far away that we can’t see what it’s like there. I think that traveler is George Floyd, but it’s also every other person who has died unnecessarily before their time at the hands of police. That’s the root of this. And the trees bow to it, to this situation. They stand at attention, and they stand in respect, as this recently passed traveler passes by. And consider how the trees are able to gently steer the situation. A branch here, a branch there. So the Knight of Pentacles knows where to go.

Hurricane Katrina, here to illustrate the unstoppability of natural forces
Are you mad at protesters? You might as well get mad at a hurricane. The one shown here is Katrina. She was not going to stop to hear your criticism and concerns. And if you told Hurricane Katrina that she was irresponsible for destroying communities, you’d be an idiot, because we all made Katrina, we were complicit in climate change and we’re complicit in what’s happening now.

Soon there will be some rest, but it’s the precarious rest of a situation propped up unsustainably. Because the present situation is unsustainable. It’s dynamic and it will bring change. It’s unstoppable. Whether you like that change or whether you don’t, I really don’t care. We are not talking about what we like and don’t like. We are talking about what is and is not sustainable. And we are talking about a wave of change that has built up too much momentum to stop. It’s really rather irrelevant whether you like it or not. Your personal preferences on this fall in the category of things that are really only mildly interesting, at best, at this point.

What do we need to know about this? We need to know that it’s a struggle and there are competing interests. (My late husband would say, “you need a tarot card to tell you that?”) The competing interests are strong and they are tangled. And they have their own merit, whatever that may mean. It is possible for issues that have genuine merit to still get pushed aside. Like the burning church across the street from the White House. Saving an old historical church is always a nice idea, it’s objectively speaking meritrecious, but right now we are more concerned with lives. It’s not that the church lacks merit. It has merit. That merit does not, however, stand up in the face of the current and much larger concern, which is the not murdering of people. Do you see how the not murdering of people might be regarded as more important than saving a building, even a valuable, old, historic and maybe even beautiful church, from burning? So let’s have a little perspective on this. If it burns to the ground, it burns to the ground. The land knows how to use the ashes.

Where can we find support? And by we I mean the White House (NOT its occupant, the actual building), the land, and the trees. We find it in the seeds. This House has burned before. It has been rebuilt. That’s how regeneration works. The ash falls. The seeds are there. In due time, they sprout. This particular House has presence that does not necessarily depend on its actual physical structure. And in fact, I wonder how the House has been treating its current occupant. But that’s another question for another day.

In the meantime, the advice for the House is the Six of Swords: movement. As in moving. As in pack boxes and get the fuck out of there. The outcome of that is startling to see–I accidentally drew two cards, and when I say drew, what I mean is that they flew out of the deck at me. The Devil and the Chariot. To me this looks like the Devil was the one packing boxes, and then he gets into a car and drives away. But I feel like it’s insulting to the Devil to compare the current occupant of the White House with him. I mean that. It’s kind of, I don’t know, demeaning. Because the Devil is a force majeure and the current occupant of the White House is teeny weeny in comparison.

Trying to sort that out, I threw all the cards back in the deck and asked for a card to represent Trump. I got the Sun. I asked for a card to represent his future, and got the High Priestess. Which when I look at it in this deck and think about Trump, it gives me a chill. The moon on this card suddenly starts to look like a human eye clouded by an octopus-like thing right in front of the pupil. Is it possible this House and this job are driving him insane? It’s like he has a premonition of something bad that’s going to happen to him. I don’t like that version of this card or this interpretation of it, it’s spooky, and it makes me feel sorry for the president even though I can’t stand him. This card makes him look like a villain in a B movie staring his own fate in the face and saying, “but it’s not my fault, I’m just an actor, I didn’t write the script! I got good ratings!” And to a degree that’s true for everyone. We didn’t write the script, and, as Billy Joel says, we didn’t start the fire. And yet, here we are, with choices to make.

This post is going to sound like I’m a Democrat and I am, but I didn’t pick these cards consciously, I shuffled until each of them rose out of the deck on its own, because when I’m worried about being truly objective, I do that. And I AM being objective. No one needs to even read this post! Because you already know this is bigger than we are.


  1. Wow. I had to go into my reader to get connected to your site today since MailChimp says you don’t exist somehow, but! what a great post and really, most welcome and helpful. THANK YOU.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know what is going on with WordPress, it seems like people can like and comment on my posts but not actually see them? So strange. You can reach me any number of other ways though, I’m @quietbonnie on Twitter, still tarotsalve (my old business name) on Facebook, and my phone is 414-595-8200, I tend not to answer calls unless I know who it is, but I usually do see and answer texts. Sometimes I answer slowly though, this is a stressful time and I turn my phone off during tarot readings. But feel free to reach out in any of those ways.


      1. Excellent! my cel only works in town but if facebook doesn’t work i’ll text you….soon. indeed, stressful. deeeeeeeep breath. but I really deeply admire your work.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s