There is a trend these days, to delight in the more esoteric ways of knowing. We have self proclaimed witches and shamans coming from all over the globe. Search the internet for tarot or for shamanism and you’ll find communities in every language, from every culture exploring what resides underneath the rules of our world, whether they be political, spiritual or framed in some other way. That’s how deep the revolution is these days, whether anyone likes it or not.
Now, I could get into what this means for organized religions and people who thump on their old books that demand subservience from followers, but I’m going to leave those control issues for another day. Today, I want to help Donald Trump understand where he is, and to do that, I have to turn to James Comey and his apparent mastery of life’s complexities. To do this, I’m going to explore their present situation in archetypes.
Like the tarot or fear it, believe in metaphysics, Jungian psychgology or ridicule it all through rationalism, you can still read on, because I am not telling you to flip the cards or not.
What I am doing here is reaching out to Donald the 45th President of the United States, to help give sense to his pain. Personal grief, betrayal by supposed allies, demands for loyalty that go unreceived, these are the things of the traditional tarot, and these are the essentials of understanding power. For all the executive orders in the world are not enough to make an agenda manifest, if the allies are weak or the king is without focus or self-discipline.
This is what Comey knows from years inside the deep state of the United Staes. Now, evil connotations and conspiracies aside, a deep state is what happens whenever institutions grow and manifest their very own lifecycle. This is not unique or unheard of in history, and so the United States does have its own lifecycle and that massive system, contains many, many minor systems, from me to you, to people like James Comey, and we all have cycles. We all play a part in this game of keeping America alive and in shaping its lifecycle, as much as our own. See, that’s the thing about this game of life, we are born into parameters.
Dear Donald: You have entered a new level, and the parameters are now different than any you have known.
What Comey knows about being inside the halls of power, is he knows his role. He understands it because he came up in it. He is not dramatic, and he is not essentially at odds with anyone as long as he is left to do his job according to the established rules. He is a king in his own right, but one of those minor kings, the kind that keeps order, is satisfied with his status and who ultimately keeps himself in check with the idea of service. Comey knows what it is to serve, and so, to serve his office, no matter how big, he takes care of the very small details. He also minds his mouth and minds his manners in a way that can seem quaint, but which is actually timeless.
When Donald Trump moved into the Whitehouse he got there in a magical way and took the position of being one of the world’s most important “kings.” He also went from being a mover and shaker, and sometimes deal breaker within a familiar terrain to being a newbie in a new land. His magic doesn’t work in Washington, DC the way it does in New York. His hustle doesn’t include historical quotes and it doesn’t thrive on serving anyone but friends who deal in brands before substance. It has been a good hustle, good enough to get into the coveted seat of power but it is not good enough to upend the rules of statecraft. In this new world, Donald is no longer a magician or king despite his office, but the fool, the wanderer, the new person entering old lands. No one is immune to the experience of being the fool. A new baby, a marriage, life offers us plenty of disorienting moments.
The big takeaway for Donald is that in this land of national ideology alliances are in fact everything, and so are the rules of subtlety. 45 is not subtle and neither are most New Yorkers. D, I’ve felt your pain while traipsing through the midwest. I have felt myself gauche and awkward for saying something that in New York would be fine, if not downright worthy of applause. I get it, and I get your frustration, but taking down the American establishment by force or half truths, is not the way. You have to serve others, not just the rich, but the history of truth, justice and liberty. You have to serve things you can’t see and which offer no promise of tangible reward. To survive this, to actually learn from this, you have to be more like Comey.
To serve is boring. To serve is not what privileged people do, at least that’s the underlying message transmitted by The Donald’s persona, the one that many bought into. To be honest, very few leaders really survive with that mentality. Anger the food taster and he might poison you himself. Anger the other, smaller kings and they will simply fail to cover your humanity from the public eye. I am not saying the courtly ways are the best way. I am not saying the deep state doesn’t need a shakeup, but what I am saying is that for every strength there is a point when it becomes a weakness. In tarot that is expressed through the two sides of every card.
The magician is by turns able to manifest using his knowledge of the basics of life, and he is also able to trick others by simulating a control over those basics. One day a magician might be working his magic and winning fans, the next he might disappear or his frauds might be revealed. You see, there is magic and then there is magic. There are also moments when we all feel foolish or unprepared, and then there moments when we prove ourselves the fool by stepping off a cliff. Balance is key to turning situations into learning, or at least into something less terrible than it seems at first glance.
This isn’t an exploration of spells or a roadmap with to-d0 list of easy steps. I can’t peer inside the oval office to know the intricacies of dozens of key players. I can’t manage that nor do I want or need to, because there are some things that are evident from afar.
Comey walks like any human and talks like any human and that is his magic. He knows that he is human and he has never been in a position to forget that. Is he perfect? That’s doubtful. Is he blinded by a life of too much ease and not enough hardknocks? That also seems doubtful.
Today as the Senators ask Comey public questions, they are also walking this territory of archetypes. There are systems, there are subsystems, and there are individual needs and desires that fuel each question and each response. These are powerful people and none of them are looking to hurt their own power. The revelations will come and the specifics will fade from our collective memory, but these Senators will once again be asking themselves philosophical questions in the mirror at night and in the morning. They will splash cold water on their faces asking what part are they willing to play in this circus. They will need to ask themselves at what point did they themselves get loose with their words and sloppy in wielding their power. They will have to determine, as minor kings and queens, if they themselves are willing to serve ideals above media hype, if they are willing to be of creative substance and not mere trickery.
Washington will look themselves in the eye and wonder about the references to history, named during these hearings, to examine what part they are playing in this “Shining city on the hill.” They will need to ask themselves if the petty things matter and what can they do to make it all work, for the people they represent, not just for the people who pay for their campaigns. This is what Trump too, will face, and although I don’t suggest he go and pick up a pack of cards, I do suggest he maybe get out a deck from one of his casinos. He might want to shuffle and cut them and play a game of solitaire. He might want to think about how the house generally wins. He might like to think about houses, those of opulence, those of justice, those not built here on Earth.
He might want to remember the game of life and relearn its rules because the revolution is here and it won’t leave anyone unscathed. The climate, the stagnant wages of we the peasants, the hatred towards “others” built into our systems, all of that needs to be dealt with for the liabilities to be transformed, for the dream of America to persist. In shaman speak they call that “Transmutation” and in a lot of ways it is like tricking your own mind instead of the minds of others. In the trick, you stop asking “Why me? or Why now?” In the process you accept that some hubris, some fear, something tripped you up. You accept that you said things you shouldn’t have and took some turns you didn’t need to, and you accept that everyday, you are apt to be the fool. The wise fool is also a thing, and so you get into that concept and turn that into power as well.
There are many ways to use cards and using them for money, not enlightenment I would argue, is trickier than the other way around. To use them for both is to have a balanced perception of the game as it is in our land, as it has always been in the world. If Comey saw this little write up he might very well hate it, thinking that this was the work of someone caught up in superstition, or maybe he might admit to the idea that lots of us work in hidden knowledge, only to be divulged under a certain protocol. He might admit that although the cards can stack this way or that, it is up to each player to decided how they play every hand. He might also recognize through the archetypes that there is true power in self knowledge and that, is the foundation of all other power. Self knowledge breeds self respect and from there, all actions go from being tricks to being creative, from being self serving, to being in service.