Is the world ending? You don’t want to ask so I did.

It’s always fun to ask the tarot an unusual question–and with the American Southwest experiencing wild temps of 120 degrees Fahrenheit and sometimes higher–and likely another summer of fire in California approaching–not to mention hurricane season–it can all start to be pretty demoralizing.

So I asked the This Might Hurt Tarot, is the world ending?

Short answer: Eh, not yet, but we need to stay inside more, or more thoughtfully, and in general, we need to do better.

Here’s the breakdown of my Celtic cross on this:

The world’s situation: Nine of Wands. Boundaries. This card can represent everything from being in lockdown to prevent the transmission of Covid to wearing a mask (a fabric boundary) to closing the door because you want to be alone.

What’s crossing us: The Star. Our consciences, twinkling at us to do the right thing, but we’re stressed and not paying the attention to that that we should. More on that in a moment.

Time out to note: You could take this cross at the center of the spread and turn it around. If you think the Nine of Wands is about stronger borders–let me say that I don’t think so. It’s crossing the Star. That suggests to me that our better natures are being thwarted by our borders–as, for example, when we refrain from helping other countries out with vaccines.

What’s covering and protecting us: Five of Swords. Our willingness to walk away rather than fight. Interestingly, where we’re coming from is another five, the Five of Cups: regret for our past actions.

What we’re rooted in, that strengthens us whether we realize it or not: Death. I’m not one of those readers who says, Death is just transformation and change! It’s all good. No. It may work out well. It’s still Death, as in, the shift from life to no longer living. I would suggest you ask yourself what your ancestors and your beloved dead and the dead of all the world have to say about where we are currently at.

What’s crowning us: Four of Wands, our homes, but also, more fundamentally, the agreements that form those homes. The civil agreements between humans to live together and among each other peacefully. See the walking away from fights part above. That doesn’t mean we don’t fight for what’s right. But think literally. It means we don’t physically hurt each other but rather focus on physically taking care of each other. It also means we honor the spirit of our agreements with each other: We see each other as human and we act accordingly.

What we need to know: the King of Swords. And another King, the King of Pentacles, appears as advice. We need leaders right now and we all need to sit down and think like leaders, like kings. Think about how to protect the community. Because that’s what good kings do–and I don’t mean “king” as in royalty but rather, “king” as in leader. You know how in checkers when you get to the far end of the board you say to your opponent, “king me”? Well, king me, king you, king your neighbor, king everyone, because that’s how much leadership we need right now. King yourself and find your wise inner monarch.

Where is the world’s support coming from? Six of Wands. It’s coming from what we recognize, what we see. Covid has shown us the cracks in our systems (both in terms of public health and social justice–because surely you’ve noticed that public health, community health, the health of all the people all over the globe, depends on everyone taking care of everyone else), and climate change is showing us many of the other errors of our ways. Our support is the fact that our work is cut out for us.

Outcome: Three of Pentacles–and interestingly, the near future card here is another three, the Three of Cups. We have to work together and because we have to, we will.

Naw, this world is not done yet.

Picking up the cards, I realized one was still stuck in the box. The Moon. Has anyone read The Others books by Anne Bishop? They’ve been on my mind lately and this particular Moon card makes me think of them. The world, the wilderness itself, has a role to play here too–it’s not just humanity. Pretty arrogant of us to ever have thought it was. And pretty arrogant of us to assume that we see things as they actually are. Assume you might not be.

The Moon from the This Might Hurt Tarot

Anyone notice a card we might have expected to see that is notable in its absence? I can think of a few, actually. In the comments, tell me what card you’re surprised didn’t turn up here!

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