Lessons on Partnership from The High Priestess, The Emperor, The Empress, The Hierophant, and The Lovers

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The people you choose to attach yourself to can alter the course of your life. Tarot readings often deal with relationships. Romantic love readings are among the most popular, but there is nearly always something about the way we relate to others and the way they relate to us coming through any tarot reading. Who we are is reflected most clearly by those we choose to draw to us, and we’re often too close to make out the image.

The major arcana tarot cards numbered 2–6 (in sequence: The High Priestess, The Emperor, The Empress, The Hierophant, and The Lovers) make up something of a “relationship stretch” in the tarot. The lens of romantic relationships highlights the coupledom at play. The Lovers — well that one’s obvious: a blessed union, a soulmate connection, twin flames. The link between The Emperor and The Empress is also easy to see: they are considered the mother and father of the tarot, and an individual embodying either archetype is considered to be highly evolved. The tarot is also a bit slippery to get a handle on, though, and things don’t always play out as you’d expect. The High Priestess (called The Popess in some decks) may be considered the partner of the Hierophant (called The High Priest or The Pope in some decks). They’re not placed next to each other the way the Emperor and Empress or the kings and queens of the suits of the minor arcana are. …


Chapter 6: The Written Statement of Mary Elizabeth Sutherland

By Kitanya Harrison, writing as Harrison Kitteridge

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DATE: [REDACTED]

I made them get me paper. I demanded it. And a pen. It took them ages.

I’ve never been to a police station before. Never had any reason to. Once when I was on my way home from a concert I shoplifted some tampons. I didn’t have enough money, and it was fast becoming an emergency, so I stole them. I think that’s the only time I’ve ever knowingly broken the law. So, how did I end up here, then?

Have you ever seen the film Gaslight? 1950s film noir starring Ingrid Bergman? It’s about a woman whose husband is trying to drive her insane. He keeps dimming the gas lamps, and whenever she points it out, he says that he doesn’t know what she’s talking about, that they’re still turned up to full brightness. It’s so subtle — a disagreement over something minor, but it’s enough of a fulcrum to dislodge someone’s confidence in what they see with their own eyes. When deceitful, scheming people gain your trust and lie to you they can change your perception of reality. They can change your perception of yourself. We think we know what we know and are certain about our [illegible], but if no one else knows it too, if no one else sees it, then you’re mad, aren’t you? …


Goodbye, “Twice-impeached Private Citizen”

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Photo by Max Letek on Unsplash

Donald Trump is no longer the president of the United States. It’s such a relief not to have to worry about what absurd malevolence will tumble out when the White House clown car crashes into another dumpster fire. The whims governing a narcissist’s drama cycle aren’t shaping the civic and political life of the most powerful country in the world anymore. The nonsensical chaos that trampled every norm it met has left the building. I can scarcely believe it’s over.

The normalcy of Joe Biden’s inauguration was such a stark and welcome contrast. There are dangers in embracing the pageantry of empire, and we shouldn’t forget that the scaffolding upon which Trump built his excesses and violations predated his presidency. Even so, everyone should welcome the absence of the naked cruelty, the petulance, the virulent racism, the apocalyptic pessimism, the evil filth Trump and his henchmen spewed. Most importantly, the raving delusions were swept out. The consequences of that particular aspect of Trumpism are the most troubling. He managed to radicalize average people into staging a coup, with nothing but a confidently told pack of lies. His acolytes are still out there, writhing in a toxic stew of disinformation, white grievance, and divorce from reality. …


The Light and Shadow Sides of The Magician

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Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash

I’ve always struggled with the concept of manifestation. I believe a positive attitude is better than the shoulder-slumped acceptance of a “born loser” narrative. I believe living your life with intention — setting and striving towards clear goals — is more likely to produce contentment than desultory wandering. Direction matters a great deal. Choosing a direction for yourself matters more. Focus and drive can help you get to your destination and venture beyond. What we believe about ourselves and our place in the world is important. …


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Failing to recognize that Donald Trump is a narcissist and treat him as such may be one of the great breakdowns that led the United States to the precipice of a coup. There are plenty of moving pieces and bad actors involved, and the blame will be apportioned as more details of the siege of the Capitol emerge. I’ve cautioned against scapegoating Trump and making the state of America’s tattered civic and political life about one man. Plenty of people threw their lot in and fomented and participated in the violence at the Capitol. …


Chapter 5: A Case of Identity

By Kitanya Harrison, writing as Harrison Kitteridge

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When I awoke, it was early afternoon, and I was a bit peeved that Sherlock had let me sleep so long. My military habits had me washed and dressed in just under ten minutes. I headed to the kitchen for a cup of tea and was surprised to find a trio of homeless youths gorging themselves on an enormous quantity of takeaway and what looked like the entire contents of the fridge.

“Hello,” I greeted them uncertainly.

“Dr Watson!” exclaimed the smallest of the bunch, who could have been a young woman or a teenage boy. …


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I have a skeptical nature. Perhaps, it’s even fair to say that I’m cynical. I usually seek rational solutions to my problems. When faced with difficulty, I’m more likely to draw up a sensible chart than say a prayer. This approach has served me well on many occasions. I’m an anxious person, so I’m loath to trust “gut feelings” that I know are often out of whack and draw the lines of my courage and confidence in the wrong places. I know I have to step outside of what feels “right” or “safe” to me. Logic, charts, matrices, and bulleted lists help me accomplish this. Analysis, I’m coming to learn, is another comfort zone I need to break out of. …


Chapter 4: The Problem of the Pieces of Confetti

By Kitanya Harrison, writing as Harrison Kitteridge

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  1. The murder of Edwina May Lucas.
  2. The theft of a hardcover copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows from Edwina May Lucas’s flat.
  3. The presence of unexplained confetti in the hardcover copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
  4. The gift of the hardcover copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to Edwina May Lucas from her childhood friends, one of whom was Mary Elisabeth Sutherland, former Sociability Maintenance Engineer of Charles Augustus Milverton.
  5. The shooting of Charles Augustus Milverton.
  6. The blackmail enterprise of Charles Augustus Milverton. …


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Netflix’s historical romance series, Bridgerton, based on Julia Quinn’s bestselling novels, seems to be a hit. I’m one of the many viewers who enjoyed the show, which explores the absurdities and complications of young, English debutantes entering the marriage market in search of wealthy husbands. I thought the story balanced intrigue, passion, flirtatious banter, and tragedy well. There was enough angst to create tension and tug at your heartstrings but not enough to erase the frothy lightness of the slightly ridiculous narrative or create any doubt in a happy ending for the romantic leads. Bridgerton was a nearly perfect execution of the historical romance formula. …


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Photo by Dalton Caraway on Unsplash

Yesterday, a white supremacist mob stormed the Capitol Building of the United States. A female veteran was killed. Bomb techs had to defuse pipe bombs. I’m surprised by none of this. I saw it coming (as did many) and honestly thought it would be worse. That’s not to downplay the seriousness of what has happened or what it means about the fate of the collapsing American empire. It is an attempt to push back against the appalled, tearful pearl clutching that’s been on display. What happened in America’s capital yesterday was not only foreseeable, it was predicted loudly. …

About

Kitanya Harrison

*squinting in Nanny of the Maroons* | Read my essay collection, DISPOSABLE PEOPLE, DISPOSABLE PLANET: books2read.com/u/mBOYNv | IG: kitanyaharrison

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