We’re over halfway through 2017. We’ve seen a lot this year – Trump is now the President of the US, there are constant attacks on our healthcare, a Muslim travel ban is in effect, the Department of Justice told the 2nd US Court Circuit that the Civil Rights Act doesn’t protect individuals from discrimination based on sexuality, and we’re not even getting into the crap going on at the state level.
Many people are talking about spiritual resistance, and it’s the only thing that keeps me fighting.
What is this? It’s a radical understanding of the spiritual importance of our “transgressive” identities that operate outside of the white-supremacist heteropatriarchy. It’s understanding that in a time like this, we need to take deep care of ourselves. For me, a queer witch, to survive and even shout my identities is a radical act of resistance.
But witchcraft will always operate in the shadows. We have learned over the centuries that there is power in community, and there is also power in secrecy. In this amazing post at The Hoodwitch, Jaliessa Sipress reminds us that “working with shadows and lighting a candle in the darkness is what we do best.” She talks about the necessity of our actions in ritual mirroring our actions in public.
Now is the time to wed our rituals, our spellwork, with our other forms of activism. Spiritual Resistance serves as a core of inner strength we can draw on as we fight for what’s right.
One of my primary points of overwhelm throughout the last six months has been feeling like there is just too much to fight. How can I choose just one thing to focus on? And with the constant barrage of terrible news, how can I find the strength to keep fighting?
Tarot, magic, ritual, spirit guides … these all help us connect with our values. Our Truth in this world. When we are connected to our values, we can much more easily determine how we need to connect with the resistance. We can’t all do everything. It’s important to choose where we can have the most impact given our talents and our communities.
Tarot Spread: Justice, Truth, and Values
This spread is based on my understanding of both the Justice card and the Queen of Swords. These cards have been following me around a lot lately, and this has served as an invitation to examine my Truth. Capital-t Truth.
This might not look like what you think, it may be different. More nuanced, more difficult. Getting to truth and what’s right takes longer than a quick fix. And our spiritual resistance can help us to weather the storm when things don’t happen as we expected them to. Spiritual resistance is especially helpful in regards to reconnecting you with your values.
But it’s so easy to get swept away, especially when we are bombarded by constant assaults on our identities. And that’s where tarot comes in.
I designed this spread to help me reconnect with my values, and figure out what I wanted to meld my values with my resistance. It is when we can connect with our values on a deep level that we can find our inner truth.
Tarot Spread for Values-Based Spiritual Resistance
1. What are your core values? This card will help you get down to your core. This is what’s most important to you at your core, and should do the most to inform your spiritual resistance.
2. What has been your challenge in acting through these values? We all have times where our values don’t align with our actions, or when we aren’t effectively living out our values. This card will help you understand how you’re feeling disconnected from purpose.
3. What spiritual support do you need to step into the resistance? This can either be from an outside source or from inside yourself. This card will help you figure out how to start getting around the barriers of the last card.
4. What limiting values do you need to interrogate? We may have picked up a value that doesn’t serve us well. This “value” is a priority that you have that doesn’t help you move forward. For example, a limiting value might be “I value what other people think of me. I value pleasing everyone.” This is a limiting value because if you try to please everyone, you will end up bending over backwards and losing your own sense of self.
Limiting values often come from a good place. The above limiting value might come from a strong community ethic. I care deeply about people around me, and so I want them to be happy, and I don’t want to be the source of their unhappiness, therefore I want to please everyone. To reframe that value: “I believe in supporting my community.” And supporting your community doesn’t always look like pleasing everyone.
It’s important to interrogate these limiting values, and reframe them in a more positive direction.
5. What values have you forgotten that are critical for your spiritual resistance? We all have those values that we don’t realize are important to our resistance.
For me, a value of beauty and creativity is one that I didn’t know how to apply to my resistance. But it’s really important – my commitment to beauty means that I’m interested in moving our society toward a better status quo. Given our current political landscape, of course I will need to do a lot of defensive work, stopping the bad things from happening. But it also means that as I’m stopping these bad things, I need to focus on alternatives. That mine I’m working to stop? That would create jobs in a community that desperately needs jobs. Enacting my value of beauty and creativity means that even as I’m working against this mine I’m considering alternatives and what jobs would be life- and community-sustaining while keeping our water clean.
6. What aspects of your ego do you need to release to connect with your values? Egos are the trickiest things. They’re important because they help us to value ourselves and the gifts that we bring to the table, but our egos more often than not cloud over our values. This card will help you understand what you need to release in order to connect your values to your actions on a deeper level.
7. How can you enact your values in your everyday life? How can they support you through difficult times? Being strongly committed to your values may not be easy. Often, it’s easier to go with the flow, to not stand up, to not say something when the conflict gets heavy. But your values are your Strength. If you follow them, your resistance will have a spiritual depth and meaning that will keep you going for the long haul.
8. What TRUTH are you being called to step into? Your Truth can change. What is your place in the spiritual resistance? This card is the tip of the sword, the way forward. This is your highest sense of truth, the thing that you are being asked to embody in order to create justice.
Let me know how this spread works for you! I won’t be sharing a sample spread, because it’s really personal at this point, but I do hope that in sharing this spread you will be able to reconnect with your values and work toward justice.
Share your experience, or any questions you may have, in the comments!