There is no such thing as a sensible tragedy. Every time violence occurs, it is senseless. And worse yet, we are left feeling vulnerable and powerless.
When heinous events happen, many emotions surface: anger, sorrow, shock, and fear. We may even wonder what could have been done to prevent it or what could possibly motivate someone to do such a horrible act.
I’m not a professional psychiatrist so I cannot even begin to fathom what would cause someone to take lives needlessly. All I can say is that “hurt people hurt people”. That simplistic statement is the only way I can wrap my head around this level of violence (or any level of violence for that matter).
In situations like these, I find myself going into contemplation mode. This is the right time to look at my own words, thoughts and actions and ask myself what am I doing to spread fear or hate in this world. How am I reaching out (or not) to those in pain? And more importantly, what can I do to help the world heal from this type of tragedy?
I decided to do a little tarot spread on that last question. Here is that reading:
2 of Swords reversed; 8 of Wands; 4 of Cups reversed.
These three cards say to me: take an action of some sort.
The 2 of Swords is often a card of indecision. Here the figure sits alone wearing a blindfold and carefully balancing two swords in her hands. Reversed, the period of contemplation and isolation ends. It’s time to get involved in the world and to erase any notion of separation. Seeing those who may be of a different creed, color, gender or sexual orientation as “different from us” creates a feeling of division. That mindset often leads to ignorant actions. If we change our thinking from seeing the differences towards seeing how similar we really are, that is a step in the right direction.
The 8 of Wands is the card of swift action. This is also the time to come out of our comfort zones and do something to help the victims. Perhaps we can donate time or money to aid in the healing process. Maybe we can communicate a new, positive message to the world. Expanding our own consciousness through meditation and prayer or through volunteer work is another way to start the healing process. As a card of travel this can also indicate that simply visiting with other cultures may help to promote understanding and tolerance.
Lastly, I pulled the 4 of Cups reversed. I often see the 4 of Cups as apathy – as in a refusal to get involved. After all, if it didn’t happen to us, it doesn’t affect us, right? Wrong – every deed in the world does affect us. Sometimes we see it directly, other times in more subtle ways. Reversed, this card seems to say that we only need to look up to see the opportunity to help. Reach out. And that also means reaching out not just to the victims, but to the troubled souls that would take such despicable actions. Imagine if the perpetrators had more loving support in their lives (as I do not know these two particular people in the tragedies above, I cannot be sure if they did or didn’t have support in their lives). Would they have done such a horrific thing to their fellow humans if they felt loved? We’ll never know the answer to that question but perhaps if we take time to notice those who are in pain and offer to assist them, maybe we can make a difference.
In a nutshell, we can get involved, get out there, spread love and compassion, reach out and most importantly take down the barriers that cloud the eyes of men and women the world over. Start by seeing each other as the same. That may be the first step towards healing or preventing another tragedy.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that.
Hate multiplies hate,
violence multiplies violence,
and toughness multiplies toughness
in a descending spiral of destruction….
The chain reaction of evil –
hate begetting hate,
wars producing more wars –
must be broken,
or we shall be plunged
into the dark abyss of annihilation.”
~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2012
I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you believe we can move forward from these types of events. Please share your thoughts in the comment section below: