© Dianne Lancaster | Written July 25, 2016
Tarot XVI – The Tower Is Burning
Introduction: The Cosmic Call
For persons living in America at this time, our fate seems in the hands of everything but the conditions which portions of this writing idealize and invoke. As the ancient teachings of the Tarot help identify archetypes and their purpose, the current developments in this nation compel us to understand the meaning and presence of the high-office-seeker archetypes of this time.
While the Divine Plan and purpose of this period of America’s history are not yet fully revealed, the soul-powered consciousness of persons finding this writing is obviously and urgently needed. Our assignment is to bring forth and manifest an alternative to that which has been like a gathering storm.
We surely have weathered worse storms. Many lifetimes have prepared us for “the fierce urgency of now,” which the visionary Martin Luther King invoked at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963. Yet, as members of a collective that has steadily replaced principles and violated values, many of us sat on the sidelines because others had the power and resources.
We have long been observers of this old model of power – a model of leadership in decline even in 1978, when Russian dissident and hero Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn said in his Harvard commencement address that with its withering values, America no longer produced statesmen. By continually abusing power and disproportionately allotting resources, this nation “of the people … and for the people” was committing serial denial of the First Principle of the Aquarian Age: The greatest good for the greatest number.
As a result, the old model is now divinely self-destructing, leaving those of us who have a certain Cosmic assignment, to create alternatives with the very energies that are in default. We must therefore boldly claim whichever parts of those reconstituted energies have been allocated to each of us to make the world better, not the ego greater.
This writing affirms that Cosmic Call. It is time to summon the fierce courage to BE in accordance with our highest guidance; our highest principles, qualities and values; and our deepest commitment to fully manifesting our purpose and our potential. The energy is there. It is waiting to be claimed.
The current collapsing of corrupt, self-serving hierarchies prepares their energies to be dispatched into the Cosmos, to be recalibrated never again to serve ego enrichment and power hungering, and then to be redirected back to the Earth plane to create equitable, sustainable alternatives. Those energies are to be entrusted to and stewarded by world servers whose qualities – such as love, truth, courage, fairness, integrity, accountability, compassion, and balance – assure that the transformed energies will be utilized as divinely intended.
“Archetypes and the American Presidency” confirms an important passage in the redistribution of power and resources so described: a period long referred to as the dawning of a new age, a return to harmony and understanding, with truth and sympathy abounding, resounding with a promised healing from strife of all sorts and sources.
This writing series is designed to ignite the destiny and potential within each soul it reaches. As ancient teachings have assured: “When it is intended that you walk through a pounding waterfall, as you take the steps, the passageway will appear.” No longer a time for hesitating, this writing affirms that the Cosmic Call has sounded. The guidance will manifest so long as we take the steps that the following words inspire:
There is no greater purpose, no greater challenge,
than to reclaim the divine right of our potential.
It is bequeathed by the Universe, administered by the soul,
and urgently needed on this planet we call home.
Let us therefore call forth, in all space and time,
the truth of who we are, what we know,
and what we are to do.
So BE It.
~ from Reclaiming the Authentic Self
Dianne Lancaster, Author – 1996
When Karma Comes Calling
An autopsy of the American presidency would show that the first shot, which struck the head, was fired on April 14, 1865. “Four score and seven years” were indeed testing whether any nation so conceived could long endure.
Almost a hundred years later, the presidency suffered another mortal head wound, after which conspiracy theories abounded despite 888 pages of investigation overseen by the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. This nation, unable to find peace in the truth, was besieged by a pandemic of untruth, strains of which have by now spread with uncontrollable, incalculable proportions and consequences.
More recent self-inflicted wounds further tore apart the American body politic: Vietnam, Watergate, Iran Contra, Lewinsky, Mission Accomplished, and a leadership vacuum through which a 1929 repeat almost crashed again. As a result, that body is now on life support. A gifted man turned into politician did try to stop the inevitable, but too many arteries vital to functioning were blocked. Too much self-serving lined the halls and pockets of the 114th Congress and its predecessors. The perfect path was thus opened to invasion by an outsider masquerading as a politician wearing the mask of a fool.
And how fitting. The whole system must start all over again anyway, its leadership having reached near-mockery. But first the system must collapse, which process it has officially commenced. Since 2000, when preoccupation with Y2K distracted from the real threats, the official decline of American “politics as usual” has been tracking the steps hidden in the ancient teachings of the Tarot Major Arcana.
It is to that wisdom that this series is dedicated.
Tarot Zero signifies the first step in the evolution of human consciousness. Its Arabic number represents the Universe and the ever-turning, ever-evolving wheel of life.
Amidst 21 other cards in the deck that bear Roman numerals, the subtlety of the number difference designating The Fool is truly esoteric. The Zero, the Universe, flows among all the messages and lessons represented throughout the Tarot teachings. Indeed, the matrix of the evolution of human consciousness can be likened to an enormous Rubik’s cube: infinite cubicles with infinite matrixes-within-matrixes whirling within each one, cube after cube, matrix after matrix, ad infinitum.
The Universe/Creator Consciousness filled all those cubicles with the lessons humanity must experience in its consciousness quest to reach enlightenment: a seamless connection to truth, which creates the conduit to the Universe/Creator/God. To facilitate that Earth-bound evolutionary journey, the Universe activates which lesson at which moment which human is to experience. Thus, the role and capacity of The Fool: the Zero – the Universe launching a new series of lessons to elevate the consciousness of a person; or, in a macro-consciousness manner, the consciousness of a nation, an aggregate such as an economy or a corporation, a collective behavior like addiction or abuse.
Always it is the Zero that activates; and in the matrix of the Tarot teachings, The Fool commences countless journeys through consequences in pursuit of truth.
The originating card is titled The Fool because the representative figure looks like he is totally unprepared for the challenges of a life on the Earth plane. Sparsely clad and carrying but a small knapsack shouldered on a walking stick, with a small canine companion by his side, the card shows that The Fool has reached the top of a mountain range. But as his next step is poised to plunge him into an abyss, instead of looking forward, The Fool looks up, his countenance clearly unconcerned. He knows that the divine guidance that led him to this peak will safely take him to the next one. And so he prepares to step into apparent nothingness, signifying the meaning of Tarot Zero: Trust.
“Only a fool would take such risk,” a mundane scholar might conclude, but students of ancient wisdom see a different message. Knowing how the Universe works, they recognize the symbology of the picture that depicts the beginning, and continuation, of the journey of life, evolution and consciousness, purpose and potential, all in accordance with the Divine Plan.
The Fool embodies the path, and way, to fulfilling purpose and unleashing potential: acknowledge the Source, follow its guidance, and resist substituting the ego’s options for the Creator’s. That choice exists, the ego knows; but it leads to consequences… which the ego learns and learns and learns until it masters truth and no longer requires consequences as a teacher.
The informed student of the wisdom of the ages recognizes that The Fool’s unconditional trust of Universal principles has successfully brought him to many lofty peaks, principally by transcending humanity’s most formidable weapon against truth: doubt.
Throughout his 22-step journey, The Fool follows the first principle of Universal Truths: The Creator has allocated all the resources needed along the path IT created for each human’s consciousness evolution. Having mastered that principle from lifetimes spent in the Truth OR Consequences karmic model, The Fool knows, without doubt, that truth always reveals the highest path and, ever so impeccably, the steps along the way. The Fool also knows that to disregard truth ensures consequences… thus the OR in the Truth Or Consequences model.
Accordingly, at this 2016 Earth moment in the era of consciousness evolution, truth is humanity’s greatest challenge… the consequences of having denied truth now looming large.
Although consequences aggregate in multiples of layers, The Fool epitomizes the simplicity of truth. He needs very little from the mundane plane. His attunement to the divine is all he “needs,” and the conduit for that attunement is what humanity calls truth: the word used to describe the quality and quantity of information coming to the human ego from the Creator Consciousness by way of the soul.
As such, truth is the energy that evolves human consciousness. It is the impulse behind each choice that elevates the ego’s awareness instead of sending the ego into the density of lessons, karma and consequences. The Fool thus reflects the outcome of mastery sought by the human ego – that journey revealed by the very first card in the Tarot to inspire the human ego to know there is divine guidance for the Earth journey; to seek divine guidance for every step of that journey; and to thereby experience a soul-directed life manifested by a soul-directed self.
Following the beginning card Zero, other cards in the Major Arcana depict the various steps the human ego must pass through and master in order to accomplish its greatest capacity for truth through the merger of ego and soul: the fourth level of consciousness that disburses truth to the ego from the Creator Consciousness by way of intuition.
Due to the consequences now amassed on Planet Earth, the human collective is finally coming closer to that merger. But the many monuments to the ego’s infidelity to truth must first be dismantled – a process accelerated particularly in this year 2016, apropos of Tarot Sixteen: The Tower.
The year 2000 commenced an intensified excursion through the 22 steps of the Major Arcana, for both the individual ego and the collective ego. Marking a quantum step in the Passage of the Ages, this one from Pisces to Aquarius, it was revealed that from 2000 through 2022, human consciousness would encounter relentless representatives of an Ages-old accumulation of karma. That specific melding of karma started in 2001 with the terrorist attack of 9/11. Steadily since then, each year has followed the respective Major Arcana themes, and now it is the year of Tarot XVI – The Tower.
While dozens of Tarot decks portray their cards in many different ways, it is difficult to make the requisite image of The Tower anything but dramatic, because, after completing 15 specific steps – ranging from love and truth to being shown the secrets of the Universe – if the ego is still holding onto unproductive, truth-effacing patterns (such as doubt, which is confronted specifically at Tarot XV), then the 16th step is where the resistance and residue are expunged.
And not particularly gently, as Tarot XVI shows. With Truth represented by a huge lightning bolt striking the big grey tower that represents the human personality, the tower erupts in flames. The gold crown (ego) atop the tower is knocked askew. More flames shoot from the tower windows. Two figures (male and female) tumble frantically, headfirst, toward the ground. Blazing embers fill the black sky, adding to the ominous image portending that some magnitude-of-the-first-order-type of change is at hand.
And indeed, at this time in 2016, the previews of that change are “Now Playing.” The full-length feature is a 21st Century morality play. It includes strong performances by Corruption, Exploitation, Greed, and Abuse of Power. No plot could be more perfect – no protagonist better suited – than The Tower’s favorite occupant, Hindu God Shiva: the legendary Creative Destroyer.
Mr. Shiva Goes To Washington
No Cosmic lightweight, this actor knows his lines. He relishes his role. When shown the consequences converging on Planet Earth – environmental, economic, ethical, and emotion-fueled rage – knowing he would be playing alongside his favorite Cosmic co-star, Planet Pluto, Mr. Shiva was ready to reprise his take-no-prisoners part in the “if only this were theater of the absurd” production.
As word of the upcoming Shiva Show spread, those responding to the casting call were recognized worldwide. They included:
Politics, governance, tax laws, wars. Wall Street, wage inequality, healthcare costs, poverty. Deficit spending, budget imbalances, outsourcing, racism. Climate change, wealth distribution, transportation safety, discrimination. Gun laws, drug and alcohol abuse, judicial reform, infrastructure decline. Privacy, student debt, redlining, homelessness. Child abuse, spousal abuse, law enforcement abuse, elder abuse. Social media abuse, animal abuse, clergy abuse, voter registration abuse. Bullying, gang violence, terrorism domestic and abroad. Judgment imbalances, values imbalances, leadership imbalances, mentor and role model imbalances, education inequities, living standard inequities… and a number of supporting characters worthy of dishonorable mention.
Barack Obama: Sentinel of the Ages
“But wait!” Shiva & Company protested. “We are only gods!” Then Pluto, too, chimed in. “And I’m just a planet. Granted,” he added with well-earned aplomb, “I’m a major player in the heavens – being Lord of the Underworld and such – and I admit I am perfect for the part.” But, the duo still insisted. “We need someone on Earth to do the ‘heavy lifting.’”
Luckily, a good man, willing to become a politician whose actions would be lauded only decades later, showed up in the form of a highly evolved soul and dedicated world server: Barack Obama.
Agreeing to accept the assignment of illuminating truths hidden behind the power and esteem of the American presidency, and unveiling diplomatic twists and cloak and dagger turns rumored to have taken out world leaders and rulers, Obama endured the obstructing of the good for the purpose of the perfect collapse of a system rife with wrongs.
On a soul level, this President knew his was a mission of great sacrifice, able to illuminate only a few and eliminate only a few of the conditions steeping his nation further and further into its Shiva Era. And so it all started… with a tea party (of sorts).
Leading up to the watershed 2016, the unrest in America was palpable. The threat to reason was even greater. So the President hunkered down and waited for the unrest to pass. Instead, it built to a roar. The opposition party was emboldened. Quashing Obama’s legislative proposals and refusing his candidates for judgeships and government leadership posts, the scenes made comedy out of comity. World leaders watched, concerned that the Mr. President was not in control.
The unsteady U.S. economy and unreduction of U.S. troops abroad were highlighted alongside the steady rise of caliphates and conquerors, bombers and plotters. Everything was playing out as the perfect storm. The finest product of America’s political system, the President, was to “fail” so that a new worldview could be born and a new Cosmic Contract could be signed.
Archetypes for America
Shiva and Pluto had already signed on to be the Universe’s emissaries of creative destruction, and after coaxing, their Earth partner agreed to an ego-pummeling as part of the whole production package. Surely Obama never imagined he might relinquish the bully pulpit to the Universe’s choice of fools, Donald Trump. But then, who else could take everything down so quickly, enabling the rebuilding to start so soon?
Obviously gifted and highly evolved in order to be selected to take the next slice into the American body politic, Trump has only fulfilled his purpose: his ego and personality used as a chainsaw instead of a scalpel because the Universe wants this unreality show over quickly. The antithesis of The Fool described earlier, Trump looks up, down, around, and behind everything. Like a magician, he assembles his show based on what he wants the audience to see. The art of his deal-making-turned-political-mastery lies in identifying the rot in a dying political system and crying out to the lifelike body, “I’m here. I’ll fix everything.”
In a certain way, he will. In an uncertain way, he already has. Whether Trump is elected to be President of the United States is a moot point. The political system of Jefferson and Lincoln was gradually deposed. Its successor system now crowns whoever has the money and savvy to exploit Wall Street and K Street along with the marginally informed.
Candidate Hillary Clinton has played the decrepit system well. Assuming that her backroom deals and front-loader rhetoric would work as they always have, she too is the antithesis of The Fool… only in pantsuits. A powerful archetype following in the steps of Meier, Merkel, Aquino, et al, Clinton has highlighted the workings and remnants of a corrupt system and matched it to perfection by vacating authenticity for electionspeak. That may indeed be the road to the White House one more time, so long as she does not trip and fall through the glass ceiling and drag us through a term we would rather forget.
Another old soul, Bernie Sanders, speaks from the heart with a string of strong admonitions and contempt for those who have seemingly “fiddled while Rome burned.” His passion and path perhaps will produce an upset in the status quo. His message about imbalance and inequality certainly has touched a nerve. His qualities offering a stark contrast. And maybe, maybe he will “outlast the outlaws” in what will be, in the words of William Faulkner, a long, hot summer.
All, in their own way, are showing us the paths to The Tower, trodden by The Fool. From the times of the ancients, The Fool has represented everyone: every experience, every success, every sorrow, every joy, every gratitude, every hope gone asunder and every ungood deed gone unpunished. The Fool knows them all. He chose them all in order to experience and eliminate consequences by reaching the point of choosing only truth. That is how the archetypes of Tarot XVI must be viewed and, for their poignant “Onward to The Tower” service, ideally, blessed. Because meanwhile…
The Tower Is Burning and Karma Is the Tinder
For decades, many of us have alluded to burning off karma. Now, karma is the tinder and we are the flame. Karma is about consequences, the default option in the old Truth OR Consequences model. “Know the truth, trust the truth, seek the truth, Be the truth, say the truth, follow the truth.” They all are alternatives to karma. And each time the collective “we” make the higher choice, we are the flame for that moment. We are The Tower burning, casting out ego-indulging lesser choices and refusing to further extend the jeopardy of karma and consequences.
To be a conscious participant in dissolving karma is quite awesome. We are not given the how-to steps, only the not-to steps, along with painful memories of the consequences of the many times we disregarded both truth and our purpose, faltering in the indomitable presence of “If not us, who – and if not now, when?”, and convincing our egos we could defer because we could always will or unwill “whatever,” irrespective of evidence to the contrary.
Karma Is Burning and We Are the Flame
Tarot XVI is followed by Tarot XVII: The Star, which represents the Introduction to the Aquarian Age. The year 2016 now only half finished, the awarenesses packed into these 365 days are absolutely gripping. The election of a person to preside over this nation is giving all of us a bigger dose of reality, a bigger lump of coal to swallow, than we would like.
So do we cast a vote into a system in shambles? Maybe. Surely. Or maybe not. But probably, because to opt out allows values even more different from ours to prevail. Each of us surely must make a choice this election year according to our own soul’s guidance. And along with that choice comes another responsibility: To revive the system if we can, or remake it if we must, but certainly to know that our own wisdom, presence, leadership, and impact are needed. NOW. As part of a Cosmic Chain that now is igniting, when it is our turn, only we can make the contribution of that certain moment; and only when we fulfill our assignment can the next souls fulfill theirs.
So what might that look like? And what might our voice sound like?
We can inspire with our websites and blogs; write Letters to the Editor, Op-Ed and guest columnist pieces; start discussions at churches or temples; host get-togethers and dinner parties, and start conversations with our friends. We can submit social media commentaries; send emails to our entire address book and let them know what we are thinking, seeing, knowing, concerned about, acting on – and ask them to share and do the same.
This Tower Moment assignment is bigger than any one of us, so there are collective guidelines for how to fulfill the assignment. We must share ideas, expand understanding, and courageously inspire the purpose and potential within each of us so that, in even the smallest of measures, we unleash the truth of who we are, what we know and what we are here to do.
It is part of our Cosmic Contract, and it is our highest contribution to this nation we call home.
So BE It.