in the tarot deck, the Tower card represents fundamental change. a lightning bolt hits the top of a lone tower, toppling its crown and catapulting a man and a woman head-first towards the unseen ground. there are sparks of fire, grey clouds and looks of surprise on their faces. it is the sudden realization of a truth, flash of insight, the toppling of an old paradigm, a sudden upheaval, exposing what was hidden or being completely turned around...
today, once again, i chose the Tower card. sometimes i choose a card to give me insight, from an archetypal image, on a question i am in. the last time i picked this card was the weekend Egypt erupted and toppled its dictator. i didn't make the connection at the time between my own inner topplings and the bigger picture, but i eventually DID make the connection and saw that something in me was asking to be released just as thousands of others were doing the same.
what is the structure in me that i need to topple? what inspiration can i draw from the fundamental change that is happening elsewhere in the world? what is the Tower teaching us right now?
collective authenticity shakes things up.
we see it in the cascading revolutions and evolutions where hundreds of thousands of citizens across Europe, the Middle East and Northern Africa are standing for nothing less that transparency, authenticity and participation in the making of their own lives. citizens of all ages are modeling the system of relationships they want to live in, the one they want to leave as a legacy to future generations. they are being the change they want to see and it is seriously shaking things up.
“as above, so below”
the Earth is also re-aligning. as she shifts her inner axis points, she ignites instability on her outer realm, where we live. case and point: the earthquake and tsunami in Japan originated deep inside the Earth’s core. as a result, Japan's shorelines moved by 8 metres rocking, shocking and displacing a nation. along with massive loss, grief, re-organizing and renewed resilience are powerful insights: “we have been freed from a life we did not want.”
and the same goes for us~ as our inner worlds seek alignment and ask for more attention, our outer expressions of who we are also must change. when we ignore this, we become dis-eased and fragmented. or we get the Tower card, and fundamental change finds us. but is it possible to change and transform without impacting those we love? who and what will i leave behind? what higher truth am i being called to now?
the more authentic i become, the more disturbance i create around me. i have found that this is a pattern. it is pretty simple, as we become more of who we are, we become more powerful. we recalibrate. some will embrace this and others will not. my friend Alicia and i have diagnosed this time of transition as "The Wierds", a time when one's skin does not fit, when the usual routines feel wrong, when conversation and relationships no longer resonate, when what has been clear is complete fog. and then, at some point, we find some kind of harmony within and around us, and a new flow with life emerges.
to resist change, is to deny life. the Tower represents "the cataclysmic forces that destroy our illusions and allow us to recognise the powers which surround us. when this happens we must react with hope, letting go of our fears. the highest truths can now be realised." such systemic shifts lead to new forms of life.
keeping it real.
much of my work right now is in the field of "systemic transformation." we find ourselves asking over and over again, what is the work we need to tend to in our own systems in order to host the depth of change and complexity we wish to see in the world?
it keeps coming back that we can only ask others to change, shift or transform if we ourselves are willing to. the system is not "out there." it is our bodies, our minds, our families, our work, our communities, nations, our Earth. our most intimate systems are a fractal of the whole. so when we talk about hosting “systems change”, the question is really “what change am i willing to embody, in service to the whole?”
this demands "depth.” it is a journey of intimacy with ourselves and with others, in our shadows and fears as much as with our joy and light. the ability to access and live in our depth creates the capacity to host a high level of complexity.
"Coming home to our own depths can feel frightening” writes Sufi Shafira Norton, "but it is the way to our greatest happiness and freedom. In truth, fulﬁlling our long-forgotten covenant with the Universe is the key to lifting the illusory burden of our lives."
leading from the holes and the whole
the very challenging transitions i have been through in my own life have become navigation points that i can bring to my work with others. the times i have unraveled, lost my ground, lost my centre are deeply personal moments of exposing my vulnerability, and then letting that become my strength. as a result, i am re-framing my own leadership as being able to lead from my whole life, from the depth of my experience, from the learning in my life, from my fragments and from my wholeness.
the Tower today is my teacher. excitement and trepidation, i will ask my questions....