Another January. Another chance to see if
I’m really serious about keeping my New Year’s resolutions—or if I’ll
start breaking them right off just like I did last year. Another chance to
get over myself, to climb the high mountain, expressing the surefootedness of the
CAPRICORN goat, and hysterically laugh at my old ways, those patterns that
don’t seem to be working anymore. Those blocks I keep unconsciously
putting in my own way and tripping over—all those hang-ups that keep
After all, it’s a brand new year, a
brand new day. Is this really time to put my life
in perspective? Can I actually do it? Or am I going
to stayed chained like the poor fools on Tarot Key 15,
The Devil, and accept the
bold-faced lie that I’m incapable of altering my fate? What can I
do to change my life? To change the world? I can’t help but wonder
if Benjamin Franklin ever asked himself that question. He was a
CAPRICORN. Or Albert Einstein? Joan of Arc? Those Voices got her
into a whole lot of trouble, but she listened and changed the course of
wonder whether CAPRICORN Frenchmen Paul Cezanne and Henri
Matisse ever wondered about their art being accepted? Suppose
they turned in their brushes without making any effort? We
all know of a CAPRICORN named Richard Nixon—about the blind ambition
that cost him the presidency (the Father of Lies on this Tarot card has
the wings of a bat, a creature known to suffer from incredibly poor
vision). Yet we also know about Nixon’s extraordinary determination to
climb the mountain of public life one more time. After all, a true
CAPRICORN never knows when to quit, even when it might be the intelligent
thing to do.
CAPRICORN has a knack for learning from
his or her mistakes. Sometimes really big ones. We all have CAPRICORN
in our charts somewhere! Another opportunity for soul growth, as we say in
the metaphysical trade, and believe me, the year ahead is going to be an
opportunity for big-time soul growth for just about every nation in the
world. So pay attention, accept the challenge of the moment, or you could
end up with an even bigger challenge in its place. Why not face the music and
bestialized humans on this card are suffering from
ignorance. They need to
wake up and open their eyes to reality. They haven’t realized the
chains around their necks are loose. It wouldn’t be such a big deal to
slip right out of them. Here we are saying, “Wake up, stupid. Take
the chains off and get the hell out of there.” But do they listen? Of
course not. These are aspects of ourselves, blind resignation to
our present fate, whatever that is They experience shame,
guilt, regret, remorse, or worse. They know they did something to
deserve the mess they’ve gotten into, and naturally, the
devil made them do it
from the start. How could they possibly take responsibility for
the trials and tribulations they face? Heaven forbid!
Perhaps while they were children their father or mother or Aunt Harriet
said they would never amount to anything. They weren’t pretty enough,
handsome enough, smart enough, clever enough. Maybe their third grade
teacher put a hex on them by pointing out their sloppy penmanship,
and they still have trouble reading their own handwriting?
What’s the use? Why try? I hate my
life. What can I do to change things? How many more lies do I have
to tell myself to stay where I am? How long can I go on feeling
guilty about my past mistakes and shortcomings? How tight or heavy can I
make the chains that bind me? How long can I stay depressed about the
economic state of the world? World hunger? Greenhouse warming? Terrorist
acts? Biological warfare? Smallpox vaccine? There’s always something to depress
me, honest to God! Or could it be time to ask
myself—is there anything I can do to change the quality of my life?
Look at what Edgar Allan Poe (CAPRICORN) did with his alcoholic
depression. He wrote dismal, disconcerting, scary stories about
strange people and bizarre circumstances. Thank heavens he didn’t just sit there
and stare into his empty brandy glass or hypodermic syringe. If you
really want to be depressed, it’s fine, but do something productive with it
like Poe. Turn your dark addiction into something profitable like a
genuine CAPRICORN (we all have CAPRICORN somewhere—the same as we all have bones, a spleen, and knees ruled by
CAPRICORN). Write something morose that will be around for a few
centuries and scare the hell out of, not only just elementary school
children, but full-grown college students reading English assignments late
at night when every creak sounds like some maniac ready to
jump out and chop you to pieces before burying what's left behind some
stupid brick wall.
wiggle your hips and sing like Elvis. Then the world may forgive you for
your conspicuous imperfections that took you away from them far too soon.
Your face may also end up on a postage stamp. Or make people laugh
like Danny Kay or Cary Grant, two CAPRICORNS famous for
their humor. A subtle meaning attached to Key 15,
The Devil, happens to be
This card represents our great need to laugh at ourselves, to stop
taking ourselves so seriously. Such as on those days when everything
goes so terribly wrong that there’s nothing else left to do but laugh! We’ve all had
those days. As a last resort laughter is a lot better for our
health than tears, although on occasion a good cry is therapeutic and downright cathartic. As long as you don’t make yourself
sick, which is a definite possibility by hanging on to depression.
Let's face it… Satan is a sick joke waiting to push us over the edge of
mountainous precipice into the valley of rejection, denial and abject
cynicism. It’s that little cloud that hangs over the head of a disgruntled
CAPRICORN when the bills from holiday spending arrive on a cold January
morning. When Scrooge wakes up after Christmas and cries out in despair,
“Did I really spend that much on those stupid presents? Have you
seen my Macy’s bill?" Days when a CAPRICORN thinks they’ve
cornered the market on depression. Only the wise know better.
Take Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who
became so depressed and despondent over
the rights and state of his race, that he had a dream, and his
dream started changing things. Some aspects of his dream came true, and those
who believe in his dream keep climbing the icy slopes of the dark
mountain against the harsh north winds of prejudice and hate to the point
color a person’s skin becomes less important than the breadth and depth
of their character. I don't suppose Dr. King ever asked, “What can I do to change
things?” He just did it and altered the course of history. He forced
people to wake up to the chains keeping them in bondage because
they were afraid to do things any differently. Because they were afraid to take a
chance before Dr. King gave them the bright vision.
CAPRICORN is a sign of undaunted leadership.
Fear is another word
for Key 15, THE DEVIL. The fear of failure often
obstructs success—the fear that freezes us in our tracks on a wintry
CAPRICORN day—the fear capable of imprisoning or dissolving our dreams.
Hebrew letter for Key 15,
The Devil, is
Ayin, with one
translation: “the eye as the organ of vision.” Even children
discover soon enough that what you see is not always what you get. A can
of worms can be wrapped in shiny paper tied with a ribbon.
Judging by appearance often
leads us away from our goals, far away from the truth and possibilities
that lie ahead.
Judging in this manner reinforces prejudice, misconception,
superstition, envy, jealousy, and greed—the uglies of Key 15 that keep us
from being fully healthy and whole. The concepts of the
past century could well fail us in our rapidly changing world. It may be
time to enlist a snowplow of courage to clear the path before us.
parent, boss, or authority figure, represented by Key 15 and
CAPRICORN, is seldom as awesome or terrible as first seen
when we take the time to look beyond the façade at the actual human being,
warts and all. Even those who've already “arrived” have defects.
The comedic aspect of this Key reminds us of the manner in which comedians turn
liabilities into assets that may keep them laughing all the way to the
bank. So laugh at the devil. Laugh at your fears. Make friends
with the shadow side of your nature. Dispel the darkness of your ignorance by waking up to the infinite possibilities of living life more
fully each day of the year.
to keep one resolution at least part of the time and plan ahead for next
year’s resolve. Don’t be afraid to apologize to yourself when the parent
within is too tough on the child within. After all, you have a brand new
day to clean up your act and chase the bogeyman of doubt, fear and shame
far away. Things are never as bad they seem, after all, sometimes they're worse!
Smile. Laugh. Look beyond
the surface. Forgive your mistakes, and correct whatever you possibly can.
Throw off the
chains that bind you and chase the dark
shadows of your lower nature into the bright Light of the day. By taking
this advice you may have nothing to gain, except for a renewed sense of
your own self worth and bright future filled with endless possibilities!
(This article was featured in The Georgetowner in the 1980s)