People are really worried about the future of Social Security. To listen to the talking heads, you'd think it's an episode of "Fear Factor." Should people be afraid? Is Social Security really going to run out of money? Has it already? If it is failing, who will save the system, and if it cannot be saved, what does that mean for the average family, growing ever more gray at the temples?
So, I put it to the cards in the manner handed down to me from my mother who learned Tarot from the Gypsies.
The Significator, this is what the Tarot reading speaks to: The Knight of Swords. "Hasty action." The knight charges, sword drawn. The hothead. Emotionalism. Not thinking things through. The established order acts in haste. If we think about the Bush Administration and their record on the Weapons of Mass Destruction, they acted hastily and the Knight of Swords showed up there. In this case, we see hotheaded action once again and not well thought through. The watchword here is "Chicken Little."
The Administration is alarming the "silent majority" right on the heels of the election
Covering Card, this covers him: Ace of Wands. In this case, it is "the gift," or that which is promised. Wands are cards of the land - wood, forest, earth, the working people. This is something that has been promised.
It will be hard to tell people they will not get what they were promised and what they have paid into. It is one thing for some corporation to not make good. It is another thing for the government to "default."
Crossing Card, behind the scenes - everything has a secret side: Two of Pentacles "The Manipulator" The "operator," the guy who plays the "shell game." He plays by the rules, even if the rules are heavily in his favor and lines his pockets, and if someone ends up losing, that's the way the cookie crumbles. No matter how this goes, he is going to win because, like any broker, he gets a commission regardless of who wins and who loses.
The money men around Bush are doing their thing. They are out of touch with the people who put them in the seats of power.
The Foundation, this is below him on which he stands: Ten of Cups. This is "family." These are the people who believe in "family values." These are the people who "focus on the family." This issue gets Americans where they live and where they eat. The Administration is telling the American people it will prevent terror, but the social security issue is closer to them than terror or Iraq.
The Administration is now smack in America's heartland and this is probably the first bread-and-butter issue to capture the national consciousness in a long time. Social Security might not be much, but it was always the bedrock and fallback. If all else failed, there was always social security - what Reagan called the "safety net."
Behind, this is finished business: Six of Cups. "Childhood; things of the past." These are the things of childhood. The promises. The dreams of youth. This is the relationship of younger people to older people.
The baby boomers are beginning to get gray. Their own parents made out well enough and part of America's promise was that the next generation would also do well. It would seem the Administration, as it does away with the New Deal programs, thinks it has a mandate to Republicanize New Deal promises, but dreams of even a modest retirement run deep with this group. Moreover, the vast majority of Americans have been paying into this program for years - since childhood.
Bush misunderestimates the bedrock he has encountered.
Above, what is hanging in the air: Ace of Cups "The Gift of Self." Individuality. The Heart. The Ace of Hearts. A very good outcome hovers in the air, but it may not happen.
So far the Administration has not been able to find that lever they have always found to rally people around their programs. There is no good news in anything that the administration is saying.
People believe this is an answer. What does this cup hold?
In Front, this is right in front. Death "Change. An end to the status quo." The change that is come effects all. An end of stagnation. Karmic forces are at work.
It would seem the Administration has set the wheels into motion. The king, the commoner, the children, the cleric - none will be spared. It would seem that events are now moving on their own and not entirely in the control of the neo-cons or progressives. The genie is out of the bottle.
The Outcome, What is the outcome of all this? Page of Cups, Seven of Pentacles, Nine of Swords. One card came out with two cards seemingly refusing to let go, so in the Old World way, this is read as a basic card with two modifiers, leading to a richer meaning.
The Page of Cups is a "New Message." A fish in a cup? It is the intuitive taking form. It is self-examination. It is a card of secrets. Is this the same cup that hovered over us in "what hangs in the air?" That cup is now examined - the cup that runneth over. Once cup of plenty. The American Dream according to Bush.
Modifying this card is the Seven of Pentacles which is "Concern for the Harvest; anxiety about produce." The harvest was planted, but its fruits are in doubt. It is not that the farmer has not worked hard. Notice the staff he leans on, the same one we saw in the covering card - the Ace of Wands. This is no "welfare shirker." He is someone who believes in the story of the "Ant and the Grasshopper." He has been a good "ant." Now, as he looks in the cup, it dawns on him that he shares much with those "grasshoppers" who he once believed fell on hard times due to their own laziness and lack of planning.
We worries that despite his best effort, he will share the same fate. It isn't fair!
Nine of Swords which means "Nightmare. Despair." A card of bad omen - the death card of the Tarot deck. With the concern for the harvest and the card of bad omen, the outcome is about as bad as it gets if we are talking about harvesting seeds that were planted.
The Meanings: The Social Security situation could be a debacle all the way around. This issue touches every voter directly or indirectly and for once in a long time, "guns or butter" will resurface as an issue. In Economics 101, the student is confronted with the idea that resources are limited. A society can make weapons or it can produce food and if a lot goes into weapons, less can go into food.
Will the electorate get savvy and connect the money spent in Iraq with the Social Security shortfall? Will there be resentment in that a war uncovered no weapons of mass destruction?
The Administration's money men are chomping to get their hands on the Social Security funds, yet the Administration has not offered a plan that seems to have ignited the rank and file. Social Security was never meant to be speculative. And how good are the neo-cons at managing money? It is not exactly great news for the Administration to come in and say the fund is bankrupt when the previous party left a balanced budget and the current Administration has gone trillions into debt.
All the cards are very interesting, but I find the story in the Significator, Foundation, Behind, and In Front spread: that is, Knight of Swords, Ten of Cups, Six of Cups, Death. All, but the Knight, are cards having to do with family - childhood, growth, and death. The Social Security fund, for all the grumbling, is an emotional "given," and to take it away, or curtail it, or put at risk when people have paid in will be seen as a major failure of the Administration.
The Administration will bring good news of how benefits will not be affected. Perhaps. However, the great Democratic bloc has always taken this for granted.
The Administration has not shown much fiscal responsibility and is vulnerable to charges of being poor money managers who rush into things, only to be proven wrong in the end. Yet, the Democrats seem to not be doing any better.
The issue is not so much about money here, but about heart. The Two of Pentacles and the Seven of Pentacles are the only money cards. The predominant suit is cups - matters of the heart and family. "Family Values."
The Administration may be paying lip service to family values, but it will not be forgotten if income checks look like they may head south, or if Wall Street makes windfall profits and here the Bush Administration is truly vulnerable for they do not have a strong, clear, believable, message that is playing in Middle America.
Maybe what the voters sense is that the politicians don't know what to do and maybe the voters hear (the fish and) the message.
Trickle down economics was sold to Democratic voters, who have been steadily and increasingly supporting neo-cons, because all yachts will rise.
In the 1980's we saw hostile takeovers and the likes of Milliken and Boesky and the words "junk bond," "greenmail" and "hostile takeover" came into our language. Buccaneer capitalists took over corporations and got a hold of their pension funds, which they stripped out.
Any of this sound familiar?
We have a group that is privatizing government. There is a hostile take-over under way. We have seen this before and now it is happening on a grand scale.
I suggest, if this is a bit hazy, rent "Wall Street" on DVD and see just what the cards hold in store.