First, a quick bit of explanation about how I use and understand the Tarot. Unlike a lot of popular mystique surrounding it, I don’t believe the Tarot is best used for fortune telling, although it can sometimes be very accurate in this regard. Instead, I see it as a precision tool with which to better understand the present.
In other words, it’s less about having mysterious magical powers and more like being a meteorologist with state of the art equipment. Like using a barometer, a wind gauge, or Doppler radar, the Tarot enables us to examine current conditions and understand past events. If forecasting is what we want to do, we can study this data, and make educated projections regarding future trends. But I believe the Tarot’s greatest value is in its ability to help us to do what Socrates exhorted us to do millennia ago: “Know thyself.”
So when I examined Barack Obama’s Tarot profile, as the Tarot birth cards are sometimes called, I naturally also wanted to see what Hillary Clinton’s profile would be. In so doing, I made a fascinating discovery.
Hillary Rodham Clinton was born on October 26, 1947. To figure her Tarot profile, you simply add the month, day and year together: 10+26+1,947=1,983. Then, you reduce this number by adding up its digits: 1+9+8+3=21. Since this number is between 1 and 22, it corresponds to a Major Arcana Tarot card, namely The World card. This, in turn, reduces to 3, The Empress. The Teacher card, or Hidden Factor card for this combination is The Hanged Man.
This combination, according to Mary K. Greer’s pioneering work in Tarot Constellations, is the profile of The Empress, the principle of which is “love and creative imagination.” It is, in fact, the second side of the Tarot’s dual portrayal of the feminine leader archetype. And what is the first? It is Barack Obama’s profile of The High Priestess.
The Empress card is the archetypal Earth Mother–nurturing, fertile, and providing for the well being of all. In many decks, she is portrayed as being beautiful, pregnant, and surrounded with fields of grain like the Goddesses with whom she is often associated – Demeter and Ceres. She is also a representative of the Goddess of Love Herself – Venus.
Empress Soul card people are pragmatic, intensely creative, fertile of mind and body, and generous. Their sense of aesthetics is impeccable, for they resonate with beauty and celebrate it in all its forms. They thrive in comfortable surroundings, finding ugliness distasteful and unnecessary.
Mothering is the core issue for Empress people. It is not at all surprising that while she was First Lady, Clinton wrote the bestselling, “It Takes a Village,” presenting her vision for the children of 21st century America.
Also not surprisingly, her book emphasizes the interdependence of society, for Empress people have a profound sense of the interconnectedness of life. They experience this in a very physical way, and their allegiance with the earth, with the Divine, their work, and their loved ones is all one thing. While they can be very commanding, even regal, they prefer to influence others through the remarkable power of their love.
This deeply personal identification with Mother Earth is reinforced by Clinton’s Personality card, The World. The Personality card in the Tarot profile is the card that indicates the life lessons that will shape us as we move through the events of our lifetimes. The World card is the climactic final card of the Major Arcana, and depicts the World Dancer, Shakti/Parvati, the life force celebrating itself in perfect balance and acceptance; it is the Alpha and Omega of All. The World is the celebration of completion and the soul’s coming into its full realization and fulfillment.
Hillary Clinton would never doubt that anything is more privately important to her than being Chelsea’s mom. But the other choices and events in her life have thrust her, with her full willingness, into a global role, as well. She truly is an international citizen, although her Empress energy ensures that she is unfailingly patriotic to her own country. Her point of view is always on the big picture, often preferring to leave the details to others. Her World card reveals that she will always act on behalf of her understanding of the web of life, and is especially sensitive to global issues that impact humanity regardless of arbitrary political boundaries or ideology.
Similarly, she is a born networker, and her innate sense of bringing together skillful, useful people (especially to whom she can delegate) is invaluable. As she implies in her campaign, she indeed knows very well how to play “the game” of politics and power, in order to get things done. But it must hurt her Empress/Mother self deeply to think that people attribute this skill to her own ambition and ego desires. For someone with her Tarot profile, nothing could be further from the truth. All her power broker skills, and all the sometimes Machiavellian choices she makes, originate from her profound desire and ability to serve goodness in the World.
In fact, that brings us to her Shadow or Teacher card – the Hanged Man. The Hanged Man in the Tarot is not about punishment, but about unconditional love and willingly making the sacrifices that give birth to our spirit. The Hanged Man teaches us that we sometimes must surrender the self and the ego in order to receive divine wisdom. Sometimes, the Good Mother may suffer, in order to protect and serve her loved ones.
If there is rancor between Clinton and Obama, it is doubtless very troubling to each of them on a personal level. Obama’s High Priestess Soul card and Clinton’s Empress both represent dual aspects of traditionally feminine kinds of power, the former being that of the intuitive spiritual leader and Clinton’s being the loving nurturer. Both of them are certain to have a powerful sense of this being a spiritual calling, although I would emphasize that this feeling of destiny is utterly different from the egotistical, patriarchal dramas we have seen in other leaders of the past.
But all in all, it must seem strange to them that they are opponents instead of allies. Both are saturated with the most powerful imaginable feminine archetypal energies. Every choice they make is based on deep emotional receptivity and each act of leadership is done for the greater good. Clinton, in particular, is probably more aware of her own personal sacrifices that she has made for the well-being of her family – both her personal family, and the family of humanity that, from her birth cards, she is so clearly called to serve.
Ultimately, Barack Obama is aHigh Priestess visionary who dreams of creating a new, better world. Hillary Clinton is an Empress who knows exactly how to nurture and fulfill the world as it is.
Publication of this article in Innerchange Magazine™ is pending. But due to the timeliness of the content, I am publishing it here today as well. © 2008 – Beth Owl’s Daughter
Reference: Greer, Mary K. 1987. Tarot Constellations: Patterns of Personal Destiny. North Hollywood: Newcastle Publishing Co.