Friday, July 19, 2013

The Omily Tarot: Go (See Black)fish!

Happy Friday, little Omilers!  Is anyone else super excite about the release of BlackfishThe documentary about orcas in captivity that was huge at Sundance?  Ok, maybe this is just me, but it's totally been getting a lot of buzz, alright?  I thought it'd be interesting to pull a few cards about it, and see what the Tarot says about the response to its release.  It's been out in LA for a couple weeks I think, and the first showing here in NYC is in less than two hours (I'll be missing that one, sadly, but I'm totally going to the 7:15 one tonight!).

This is the kind of predictive reading I like to do best, ie a low-stakes one.  Now don't get all, "ooooh, that's witch craft!!!" on me.  We humans do predictions all the time: if you leave ten minutes later than usual, you predict that you'll arrive at your destination ten minutes later than usual.  Maybe you'll get a lucky break and make it on time, and maybe the trains will hate you and you'll be twenty minutes late.  Your prediction isn't iron-clad, and you wouldn't trust your predictive powers to something high-stakes.  Like, you meet a guy and you really hit it off and you develop really strong feelings really fast.  You may predict that this relationship will go the distance...but you probably won't move in together or get married for another couple of years just the same.  The stakes are too high: if it turns out you're right, you haven't lost anything, but if you're wrong, the ensuing complications are going to really suck.

Predicting with the tarot is the same thing: you're using information that you have to make educated guesses about the future.  The tarot can often be more specifically correct, because the tarot allows you to access your subconscious, and arguably, the whole planet earth collective conscious, too, and that's a lot of info to be working with (you can review how the tarot works here).  BUT, tarot predictions can absolutely be wrong, because after the reading has been done, it's quite easy for you to change your behavior in unpredictable ways, hence changing the outcome.  Get it?  Got it?  Good.

So, on to Blackfish.  I'm using my Goddess tarot for this reading, because the dreamy illustrations feel right for a predictive reading, and the feminine energy also feels very watery to me, which is relevant to our subject.  You don't have to have real reasons for using a particular deck.  Maybe you've just been meaning to use it lately, or it was the only one you could find right then.  Or it's the only one you have. No problem.  Just roll with it.  I'm going to ask my question, and then flip over one card at a time, maxing at four, just for the sake of time, to get my answer.  The question is: "What will the nationwide response, both in terms of opinion and action, be to the movie Blackfish?"

So, the first thing that happened was that, most of the way through shuffling, the deck slipped out of my hands as I tried to slide it back together, and cascaded across the desk in a way that looked a lot like ocean waves, especially since this deck is blue on the back, with a white border.  Very cool!  I finished shuffling, asked the quesetion out loud, cut the deck, and turned over one card.
The King of Staves is associated with the element of fire, which can mean ambition, passion, spiritual matters, great potential and growth.  These are all things that pertain to Blackfish: a movie that wasn't expected to reach a very broad audience made it to Sundance, sold out at Sundance, and has sparked coversations all across the internet already.  It's a movie that asks us to confront the morality of what we're doing to these whales, and to confront the spirit of these whales, and what their own ambitions and passions might be, ourselves.  The fact that this card is the King may suggest that the movie is a fully developed and mature exploration of these ideas.  People won't be able to avoid answering the questions the movie is asking by pointing to flaws within it: there aren't any, at least none big enough to question its credibility.  The King of Staves is a benevolent figure, someone you want on your side.  This card could suggest that someone powerful, with the ability to enact real change will be moved to inspire that change because of the film.  It may speak of the fully matured, acting fiery spirit in us all.  If this card had been the queen, the suggestion would be that while this film would force us to really feel and to question all these ideas, we may not yet be prepared to act on them.  We may need to sit with those feelings a while first.  Fire being so very different from water, this card may also speak to us being forced to see just how foreign and unfathomable these creatures are to us, no matter how long we study them in tanks.
XII: Sacrifice (The Hanged Man in a more traditional deck) This card is about the story of the goddess Kuan Yin, who achieved divinity through her great kindness on earth, but before crossing into heaven, she heard a cry of sorrow on earth, and asked to be sent back.  She wanted to remain on earth to help until all suffering was alleviated: her great sacrifice.  This card makes me think of the great sacrifices these whales are making for us, through no choice of their own.  In the wild, orcas will swim up to one-hundred miles a day.  They remain in large, complex family groups, and males remain with their mothers for life.  In captivity, of course, these conditions cannot be replicated: not even close.  It's also clear to me what this incredibly compassionate goddess would have to say about what we are doing to these whales.  She would give no credence to the money they make, or even the chance these parks give to children to see orcas, perhaps for the only time in our lives.  She would ask us to make this sacrifice to let these whales go.  Can the United States truly access this level of compassion as we make decisions about these whales moving forward, or will the whales continue to be asked to sacrifice?  Will we, on some level, recognize their suffering, and elevate them to a kind of secular sainthood...but not improve the conditions of their lives?
Wow!  Another King!  This one is the King of Cups, dealing with the suit of water.  I thought I would pull at least one cups card before this reading was done.  The cups deal with emotions, intuitions, dreams, all other fluid, watery matters.  The King is one who is in touch with his own emotions, is comfortable with the emotions of others, and when appropriate can subvert his own emotions to allow the emotions of his subjects to be expressed and satisfied.  He is a figure of great self-control, and great love.  Looking at all three of these cards, I am struck by how much is demanded of us in response to this movie: few people are capable of reaching the maturity of the Kings, and who among us would be compassionate enough to refuse heaven to help those on earth?  Can we be mature enough to use our power for good?  Can we give up the beauty and splendor of seeing these creatures close up on our own terms? This card represents the transcendent handling of emotion: it suggests that while some may be moved to great sorrow, or even anger at the plight of the whales, we will remain peaceful, and grounded moving forward, instead of reacting with violence or extremism to try to reach our goals.
The final card: Another cup!  I love the ace of cups in this deck.  It is so, so beautiful.  The ace of cups is about the beginning of something beautiful, and rooted in love.  I think in many ways that's what we need to hope for: that this movie is the beginning of a new relationship to these magestic creatures, that we can begin to see them for what they really are: brutal predators, intelligent souls, beautiful animals, and fellow beings.  Maybe big changes won't happen right away, but when an idea's time has come, change is unstoppable.  This card gives me the most hope of any of the cards I've pulled thus far, because it seems truly attainable.
Looking at the reading as a whole, I see for real change to happen, a lot of maturity in terms of emotional, spiritual, and ambitious matters is needed.  While we work toward that point, the whales will need to sacrifice more years living with the way things are, and we'll be sacrificing, too: living with another being's suffering, and quite possibly losing more lives along the way.  This movie won't be an end: it will be a beginning.  Our consciousness will be awakened to this situation, and though it will need time to grow up before change can happen, it won't go back to sleep.  We can all work to access our inner compassionate gods and goddesses, and find an appropriate way to deal with the anger and saddness we feel as the plight of the whales continues until we're ready to take action and change it, a little at a time.

So there you have it: my predictions for Blackfish.  Did you do your own?  Will you now?  Are you going to see the movie?  You should totally go see the movie!!!  Tell me what you think!

~em

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