Tags: political question

juwelenkist, vanitas

Wouter Bos, Financial Minister and St. Barbara

A long time ago I had a dream about Wouter Bos, right now our minister of Finances, but back then a promising party leader. Right after this dream I wanted to use a photo of him for a sun card in a tarotdeck. It has never come to that, but I often think of it, when I see him on television. 


He nationalized a bank last week en the week after that, he sold the Belgian part and hold on to the healthy Dutch part. I never thought that he would come in this postion.

I pulled a card tonight focused on his name. The card I pulled is the Tower from the Saints Tarot. 


Pictured is St. Barbara who was held in a tower by her father because she did not want to marry. She stood firm in her wish, died by the hand of her father and became a martyr. 

Here is Wouter Bosch on the cards as Barbara, striding purposeful and gracefully in white, while holding a disintegrating tower (economy) in his hands.

Madonna del "Magnificat" (detail)

Opening of Parliament

Today is the opening of a new year for our parliament. Yearly on this day, the second tuesday of september our queen is being driven in a carriage, (The Golden Coach) to the Knights'Hall where the opening takes place. This day is an important day for the unity of the nation and for our democracy.

It is becoming important to give attention to the value of democracy itself, because it is more and more under attack by extremist forces. To honor this day I will ask a tarot-question about my relation with my land, The Netherlands, my country, inspired by a meditative text from Caitlín Matthews.

Matthews claims that it is necessary to engage oneself with the land ones live in and to love it, in order for the nation to thrive.

"When a land is out of love with itself, many people want to leave it and live elsewhere, sensing that something dynamic has gone out of the relationship. But, just as in marriage, the first signs of fracture require deeper attention and better communication, not just a parting of the ways. This is the time to remain and work hard at the brightening of the relationship between ourselves and the land.

The contract of nationhood is not drafted in bigoted, nationalistic displays of patriotism; rather, it arises from the deep, mythic engagement of lives lived in the context of a land. By becoming active lovers of our land ourselves, we learn to sense and see the things that injure our beloved's good, as
well as perceiving the things that make it glad. When enough people engage this way, the self-esteem of the nation will rise."  
                                                                             Catlín Matthews, The Celtic Spirit, HarperSanFransisco, 1999, p.343.

The question I will answer with the help of the tarot is: "How do I relate to my my land, my country, The Netherlands?" 


The Grail Hallow, the Ace of Cups, from the Arthurian Tarot is the card that shows me the answer. In this deck this card is the Grail, the cup that will be able to heal Arthur and with him his country, because in the Grail-story they are one.

The Grail is a cup of abundance. I like to live here. I love the meadows, the flatness, the rivers, and the strangeness of living below the sea level. I also feel privileged to live in The Netherlands, for I live in a democracy. There are conflicts here, and things that are really  really wrong, like the treatment of asylum-seekers for instance. But, there is a promise in the cup of the Grail. In it there is nourishment to heal what is wrong. Of course the promise of a healed king, of a returned Arthur is mythical, a promise never fulfilled, but still, I think there is no other direction than believing in the strength, the promise and elasticity of democracy. 

gezicht van een meisje

Like a Puppet on a String

Today I have asked myself the question "How did 9.11 influence my life?"

I have pulled the King of Swords from the Baroque Bohemian Cats' Tarot. 

I feel as the puppet on a string on this card in the face of terrorism (the puppet even looks like me, eerie!). I feel controlled, not only by the terrorists -not knowing if and when an attack comes (the sword)- but also by the safety-measures that are taken against them. Last Saturday it took me four hours to travel home by train from Amsterdam instead of two. One of the reasons that it took so long were the precaution-measures that were taken. I went from train to train, doing what the station-managers told us passengers to do so. Of course these measures are important and necessary, but they make me feel not in control.

Because the safety-measures are taken because of terrorism, this stern grey, manipulative cat signifies terrorism itself.

I do not want to give him that much power as I do now!
Madonna del "Magnificat" (detail)


On this day in 1945, the United States dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. With that in mind I asked myself the question: "In what ways can I contribute to world-peace?" 


I pulled 3 of swords, from the Golden Tarot of the Tsar. On the picture are Adam and Eve, being expelled from the Garden of Eden.

Usually 3 of Swords means 'pain and sorrow'. This particular version shows the 'condition humaine'. Humans are fallible beings, prey to evil, although we want to do the right thing. That accounts for me as well. I want to do the right thing, but I do not know what is right.

This card shows apt how I feel about myself and the issue of peace. Adam and Eve are ashamed of themselves, and vulnerable (powerless, being naked). I am ashamed of not being able to do anything about world-peace, especially now, in the face of the war between Israel and Hezbollah. I feel powerless as well.

This card teaches me that I do not live in Paradise anymore. I am not being cared for, I must care myself, and taking care of. I am responsible for my actions as a human being, accountable, guilty, no excuses.

So, in what way can I contribute to world-peace now? Well, I think it is important for me to be aware that I am responsible for my decisions and actions, but still I do not know what to choose or what to do. It makes me utterly powerless, utterly human.

Derrida had to say important things about responsibility. Please do not read them as an excuse for doing nothing. Responsibility is infinite. At least, this is as I read him. You can read it here: http://www.iep.utm.edu/d/derrida.htm#SH6a