DISCLAIMER: As always, everything presented here is for entertainment and semi-educational purposes only. Please do not mistake this for mental health therapy or advice. If you need mental health counseling or treatment, please contact your insurance company, local college’s student counseling clinic, county crisis line, or the Psychology Today Portal.
If you want a running list of COVID-19 resources and news, check out my list here. Also, check out this running list of disaster hotlines by state. **I have quite a few articles for the news and resources page, but way too much else is calling my attention right now. Sorry to be so slow.
NOTE: I have to stop doing that part of my weekly post where I rant about current events and give you some CBT-style journal prompt. It’s not you, it’s me. In addition to pulling longer hours at work, I’m working on putting out more books. You might like them, but I won’t know until I finish them. Current events still piss me off and I still hate society’s lack of distress tolerance. I just don’t have time to write about it each week and put out a weekly reading. I apologize.
ANOTHER NOTE: I originally tried to create this post for mid August, but I had a few other things that ended up being more urgent. And something about breaking down the exit from Afghanistan filled me with dread.
But let’s break down one of the big stories, shall we…?
After 20 years, the United States finally pulled all troops out of Afghanistan. We also managed to create a lot of controversy doing it. (Before we begin, check out this article if you want a timeline of Afghanistan’s history.) There’s so much wrong here. First we have the U.K. Defense Minister pointing out that Trump went into the peace talks thinking he was somehow friends with the Taliban. (This strategy is similar to his belief that he is such a magnetic guy that North Korea was forced to bow to his magnetic American-ness, which proved to be utter bullshit.) Then we have the withdrawal process itself. I’m going to paraphrase this article here. The highlights:
- Trump and his fabulous ego take Air Force One to Afghanistan. He reduced the number of American troops from 13,000 to 2,500 (5/1/2020). The problem with this deal is, TRUMP DID NOT THINK TO INCLUDE THE AFGHAN GOVERNMENT IN HIS NEGOTIATIONS. Nope. These magical negotiations were only between Trump and the Taliban, aka the radical Islamic faction that is terrorizing an entire country. To quote the scholarly 6ix9ine, “Are you dumb, stupid, or just dumb?”
- Meanwhile, the Taliban keeps on terrorizing the Afghanistan government and recruiting al-Quaeda thugs into their ranks. Smooth, Trump. Real smooth.
- Biden gets elected and is like, “Wtf did I just walk into? We need to extend the May 1st date to extract our troops.” He decides to shoot for August of 2021.
- The Taliban is like, “Thanks for the free government, stupid!!” They basically wipe their collective ass with Trump’s negotiation treaty and announce their plans to overtake the Afghan government to the world like they’re showing off a house they’re building on Facebook.
- Biden and Trump actually agree that we need to get the fuck out of Afghanistan, so Biden sticks to his plan of getting the U.S. troops out of Afghanistan in August. Of course things do not go according to plan and we end up with a shit ton of missing children during the melee at the Kabul airport.
- Congress orders a probe into the events leading to and involving the withdrawal of troops. Even though a Republican president set these dominos in motion, Republican leaders see fit to bitch about how the new Democrat administration chose to clean up the mess. Grow. The. Fuck. Up.
There has been quite the trail of articles leading to the U.S. troops leaving Afghanistan. I found some dizzying nuggets across teh interwebs. I found myself reading more articles from foreign news outlets than domestic ones because I figured other countries would be a bit more direct in this case. Here are the ones that seem most credible:
- Reuters reported U.S. spy agencies warned Pres. Biden that the Taliban was going to take over in March of 2021. Al Jazeera backed this up, further stating U.S. defense officials reported that the Taliban could overtake Kabul in as little as 90 days. This makes me wonder if Biden proceeded with extracting the troops and evacuating the people because he is planning a major strike.
- Remember how I said Trump’s 2020 negotiations had nothing to do with the Afghan government? Weeeellllllll, Trump may have had a motive for that. You see, our friends at Al Jazeera reported the Russian military may have been paying Taliban thugs cash to kill American soldiers. Former Emperor Orange Julius made a big stink about dismissing these reports as a hoax. You know, like he downplayed COVID.
- Meanwhile, more reports on Russians offering the Taliban cash to kill Americans showed Trump and his crew may have known about this back in 2019. If you continue to support Trump, please shut the fuck up about how you support the troops. This was in the news in June of 2020.
I’m just a tarot reader, but my gut feeling is, Pres. Biden is evacuating as many people as he can before getting a new plan of (probably literal) attack. This isn’t over, people.
If you need to shake that off, check out this yoga challenge:
Or you can watch this:
As always, I have to mention the MindBody/Wellness Research and Science Network group on Facebook. The chick who runs it takes an evidence-based approach to holistic topics. I appreciate her common sense-meets-spirituality way of doing things.
Aaaannnnyyyyhoo… Onto the Reading, Shall We…?
I asked the cards what we need to know about the week of 9/14/21 – 9/21/21 and I got: Queen of Swords (air sign female, someone concerned with fairness and equality between people, logical decisions, someone who is more cerebral than emotional, independent person or a loner, having a cold exterior due to emotional scars, someone who offers advice and straight answers, the need to use tact, and someone who can be harsh); the High Priestess (number 2, a more independent or detached person, intuition, the need to be resourceful, a warning against rushing things, the need to listen to one’s inner voice, a wise person who offers advice, and the need to use downtime constructively); Nine of Swords (number 9, sadness, depression, things not being as bad as they seem, a clear head is needed, and possibly the need to look within for answers); and Death (number 13, inevitable endings, the need to grieve, rebirth, the need to let go of old attachments, the need to accept change, the end of a cycle, and a warning against dwelling on resentment or “what if”). Zoinks, yo!! This spread indicates a loaded week. Like, loaded baked potato-type stuffed. The strange irony of this loadedness is, each card in this spread has an empty, possibly lonely feel to it. Let’s get into what makes this spread so heavy. First, we’re looking at a four-card spread with two Major Arcana (High Priestess and Death) and a court card (Queen of Swords). Anyone who has read this blog for longer than a couple weeks will know when I see more than one Major Arcana card in a spread, I will tell you that we have a karmic sammich on our hands. The Death card adds an extra touch of karma to this reading for a couple reasons. First, Death corresponds to the number 13, which my longtime readers will know is the number of karmic debt. In practical terms, the karmic debt being paid by 13 energy involves a shit ton of chaos and change. There will be a shake up and some past karma will be knocked loose, but #13 karmic debt is the type that can make or break you. Which leads me to the second layer of karmic sammich from the Death card: Death often signifies a crossroads situation that comes from the inevitable change. Make a mental note of that because it colors the rest of the spread. Let’s take the rest of these cards in order. The first card staring at us is The Queen really doesn’t give a fuck about whatever religious or emotional hang ups caused you to do what you did. It is what it is with this lady. Think of her like the ideal U.S. Supreme Court Justice—objective, fair-minded, wise, educated or willing to research the situation at hand, and interested in the facts. You know, the exact opposite of anyone Trump picked for the court. If she’s a person in your life, don’t sugarcoat anything you have to say to her. She’s not interested. If the Queen of Swords represents you, it could be a sign that you’re completely done with a situation and don’t have enough energy to engage in the niceties and denial it would take to keep the situation going. Whatever the case, the Queen reinforces Death’s message: Do not use rose-colored glasses or bullshit yourself. Let things be what they are. Our next card is the High Priestess, which signifies stillness and intuition. The High Priestess has a detached, objective energy to her. There is no mistaking anxiety for intuition with the High Priestess. The energy here is cool, detached, and objective. It’s like she and the Queen are shaking their heads at crass emotionality over tea. The High Priestess is independent, almost loner-ish energy. She does not depend on a friend committee or echo chamber to make a decision. The High Priestess uses her own inner guidance. Next to the Queen in a spread covered with inevitable change energy, I feel like this week will be one where you completely understand a situation. Also, not only will this facet of your life be utterly obvious, you will need to make a decision without listening to others. Next is the Nine of Swords, the one card in this spread we have not covered. This is a card of mental stress and sadness. The blessing with this card is the sadness is temporary, we just have to ride it out. Combined with the other themes in this spread—seeing things for what they are, objectivity, needing to be more independent when forming opinions, and change—the Nine is telling us that what we are shown won’t be pleasant. Be that as it may, the karmic nature of this spread tells me this disappointment was unavoidable. There was nothing you could do to get around it, which means pretending it never happened will only make things worse. This might be a good week to write pro and con lists of your options and see which ones will help you the most long term. I also feel like this could be a week where you get told something you absolutely don’t like—probably something that pokes your beliefs about family, religion, government, or anything else precious to you with a sharp stick—and you will have to listen without reacting. You may want to stay the fuck off Twitter for a while. You might also want to incorporate tonglen meditation or Minfulness-Based CBT exercises into your meditation or journaling this week. It’s less exhausting than manslaughter, but you do you.
I asked the cards what we need to know about the week of 9/21/21 – 9/28/21 and I got: Five of Cups (number 5, grief and loss, the need to focus on what remains, being too emotional to see what remains, the need to let go of an old emotional issue, and temporary sadness); Five of Wands (number 5, competition, the need to defend oneself, the need to prove one’s point, the need to compete in a business setting, possibly jealousy); Knight of Wands (fire sign male, one-pointed energy and focus, lack of staying power, vision and good ideas, being too rash to make good choices, impatience, and a surge of energy); Seven of Wands (number 7, knowing one’s rights, making a stand when challenged, not letting others take advantage of one, and reaping the benefits of one’s hard work). This week seems much lighter than last week, but there’s nothing really sunshine-y or happy here. If last week was the raging bender, this week is the hangover. The fucked up part is, we have a Mercury retrograde next week, which focuses heavily on how you’re showing up for yourself and others. Some of this spread could be talking about the retroshade period. This spread starts out with a double whammy of five energy, which is the energy of activity, change, and independence. We feel this unrest in the form of two uncomfortable cards, the Five of Cups and Five of Wands. The Five of Cups is a card of loss, specifically the stage of loss where you’re not ready to let go. The Five of Cups says you’re still in mourning and wishing for things to be as they were. The Five of Wands signifies conflict, competition, and jealousy. Due to the volatile nature of five energy, the uncomfortable emotions you are likely to feel this week exist to move you towards something else. Whether the newness is a different job, relationship, house, or attitude is entirely up to you, but you will be pushed this week. Now that you know you’re going to be nine kinds of uncomfortable and restless this week, let’s move on to the third card in this spread—the super fucking impatient Knight of Wands. This tells me you might have a shorter fuse or otherwise act out of character this week. The warning with this Knight is, he’s not the greatest at follow through, much like your idiot stoner friend who thinks he knows how to fix the government or bend the space/time continuum when he’s high. This Knight is impulsive and acts on emotion. He doesn’t do his research before he runs his mouth. Unless this Knight has a mission to accomplish, homeboy has absolutely no focus or staying power. The moral here is, you probably shouldn’t act on any sudden bursts of anger or inspiration because if you do, it won’t pan out. The final card in this spread—not to mention the third Wands card here—is the Seven of Wands. Alas, our buddy Seven of Wands is another argumentative card. If you aren’t the person everyone wishes would shut the fuck up, you are going to wish the world would just shut its trap this week. The advice for this week is the same as last week: Do your research, shut your mouth when possible, lay low, and try to consider that others aren’t out to get you. Beware of your genius ideas. It might be a good idea to sit on vitriolic emails, sudden urges to walk away from jobs or relationships, or the urge to sink your life’s savings into your latest brilliant scheme for at least two days. After you sit on these urges, it might be wise to reflect on your choices and think about how they could affect you in the long term. Please consider you are getting these rash urges to alert you to any sadness, grief, anxiety, or discomfort you are feeling. Your challenge for the next two or three weeks is to sit with your discomfort and reflect on what you might need, rather than press the Fuck It button.
PLEASE READ: I am not doing private readings for the foreseeable future. I have way too much going on to create content and be an effective reader. Please understand, this isn’t personal. I just need to clean my own mental and emotional house for now. If you want a badass reading, I suggest you hit up my friend Marshall Delaware. You can email him at email@example.com Also, I highly recommend you check out my Keen pal Silverbreeze. You can find her right here.
If you’re looking for an inspirational poem on finding your place in the world amongst a million ghosts, check out Joan Carol Bird’s latest. Hey, sharing is caring. While you’re at it, check out her newest collection of creepy tales right here.
Those wildfires on the West Coast displaced thousands of innocent pets. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) wants to help. If you would like to help the pets affected by the wildfires, please click here. Also, the American Humane Society is looking for donations for these pets. You can donate here. (Yes, they are still accepting donations for this.)
Also, consider donating to Blind Cat Rescue. They do wonders for blind and FLV+ cats.
For those of you who can’t resist a little subtle virtue signalling, why not buy a shirt that gives back? Arm the Animals has some of the cutest shirts I’ve seen in a long time, plus a portion of the proceeds go to shelter pets in need. I also love Meow.com because this site allows me to buy a new workout shirt and give to homeless kitties at the same time.
If beanies or water bottles are more your style, check out the Piper Lou collection. Proceeds from select items benefit the Australian Red Cross. You can see for yourself right here. Or you can take the more direct route through GreaterGood.com
P.S. I managed to publish the first part of my first novel in 2019!! I’m excited and want to share it with you. Check out Water Torture Part One: Have You Checked the Children? Here. Please read and review it. Thank you!!
Did you like my buddy Marshall Delaware, aka G. G. MacLeod? Check out our latest political collab. He’s coming back in the near future, FYI. If you want to read an awesome historical fiction novel, you can get your hands on his book here. It may take place in Ancient Rome, but Augusta couldn’t be any more timely if it tried. He actually dropped Part Two a while ago and then gifted the world with Part Three. Part Four is right here. And, ehrmagerd, you can even score Part Five. For those of you who can’t do the piecemeal thing, check out The Omnibus Edition so you can get Volumes 1-6 in one place. I think you should go get it, Tiger!