Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.
Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh (by A. A. Milne)
This week, we are visited by a card that has come frequently over the years. And for this Full Moon week, it seems apt. But, as fascinating as it is that this follows last week’s Eight, I am taking a detour from my usual interpretations. To see a more conventional analysis of this week’s Nine of Wands, you can visit here or here.
And in the Wands lined up behind them, I saw the parents and sibling survivors of the little children murdered at Sandy Hook; the students who lived and died at Virginia Tech, at Columbine, at the elementary school in Townville, SC.
I saw the kids that saw their dates and friends shot down in a movie theater in Colorado; the 58 dead, 851 physically wounded, and the countless others whose lives were shattered at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas.
Look closely, and you will see Gabby Giffords; the ghosts of James Brady, John Lennon, Bobby and John Kennedy, and Dr. Martin Luther King.
In yet another of Pamela Colman Smith’s “stage cards,” they all stand on the world stage.
Here you will see the thousands shot down in our streets, bodies piling up on a daily basis. Here are the devastated parents whose babies are murdered in their cribs by the drive-by shootings that have become commonplace.
I saw the 187,000 students who have been exposed to gun violence at their schools since Columbine.
I saw the sweet face of my Goddess-daughter in Savannah, who is six, and who had to ask her mommy on Friday if her beloved school is safe. No kindergartner should ever, EVER have to fear for her safety in her school.
Those haunted faces, and their surviving loved ones gaze out at us from the Nine of Wands today.
Wounds and Scars
Even as we listened to the jaw-dropping speeches, and the wisdom and passionate insights of our brilliant young people on March 24, those amazing kids who have turned out in numbers not seen since the war in Vietnam, it is easy to forget that we are also seeing the walking wounded.
The heartless attacks from politicians and gun lovers against these brave children display a shocking indifference to the fact that a) they are kids and b) they have had their lives ripped apart by violence that they should never, ever have been exposed to in a so-called civilized society.
Our young people are strong, brave, and passionate beyond imagining. But every one of them, and their families, and their beloveds, are now scarred for life.
The Washington Post tells us, “the number of children who have been shaken by gunfire in the places they go to learn exceeds the population of Eugene, Ore., or Fort Lauderdale, Fla.”
That means that PTSD will haunt them for a long, long time. They can look forward to years of being affected by the simple backfire of a car; they will suffer dreadful flashbacks in their dreams; they will endure anniversaries filled with wretched grief. The faces and hearts we don’t see in front of the cameras will never be the same.
Like the warrior in the Nine of Wands, they may never quite stop glancing over their shoulders, because feeling safe in the world has been stolen.
And I am not even mentioning the horrific violence little ones suffer in other places. As UNICEF reminds us, children are the first victims during war. There are whole generations of shell-shocked children in Syria, Iraq, Nigeria, South Sudan, to name just a few of the worst.
No More. Never Again.
The Nines of the Tarot point to the logical end of the suit, with the Tens indicating an overflow that points to a new beginning.
Our wounded, broken-hearted, but fierce young people are sick and tired of hearing that our “thoughts and prayers” go out to them.
And we who care are right there with them: the time is over for empty words. It’s time for action.
This is NOT what the Constitution says in the Second Amendment. This is NOT normal. This is NOT acceptable. Enough!
Let us all line up behind our wounded warriors of all ages, who should have never been in any sort of war at all. Let us join them in demanding change, and voting out the scum sell-outs who are beholden to and owned by the NRA and other gun lobbyists.
Let this week’s card be a message that it is time for America to disarm. There is absolutely no sense in criminals, the maladjusted, the angry, the alienated, and the deranged having access to weapons of war.
In this, which countless millions call “Holy Week,” let us — in the name of all that is holy — vow to wage peace.
To you, dear survivors, and your loved ones: You are braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.
And we, your elders who love and honor you, promise to have your backs.