I recently made a decision to start turning some of my problems over to my Higher Powers. And I found that for me – as a Wiccan who tries to be emotionally and intellectually honest – that was a surprisingly easy decision.
Sometimes life turns into a shit sandwich. It happens to everyone sooner and later and this was my turn. Within a period of just a few months I’d lost my beloved life partner to cancer, I was embroiled in a nasty probate process to settle her estate, and the unpaid bills just kept piling up like malevolent imps that had taken up residence on my desk.
In other words, The Wheel of Fortune Reversed. A prolonged period of bad luck.
I was beat up, beat down, and hung out to dry. Emotionally and spiritually exhausted, I knew I needed some help from the higher realms to keep walking down my path, and getting to that help turned out to be more of a revelation than I could have anticipated.
The first realization was that I actually trusted my Higher Powers. I had drifted a long way from the little boy kneeling in a catholic church, being taught that god loved us so much that he let his only son be murdered just to prove it. My view of the universe no longer included some scary, bipolar, vengeful, patriarchal god who might be equally inclined to toss you into eternal flames or welcome you to heaven, depending on how much you’d prayed and how little you’d masturbated.
Somewhere through the many years I’d lived, my view of Higher Powers had morphed into angels and spirit guides, fairies, elves, and gods and goddesses (with a lower case, “g,”) who actually loved and cared about us. The face of Jesus, writhing in pain and covered with blood, had been replaced with the smiling, tender faces of Lakshmi and Tara.
It was kind of a shock to me, to tell you the truth. Despite all of the poison that had been planted in my subconscious mind when I was a child, despite the fact that I was going through a terrible, terrible time in my life, I found that I had unquestionable faith in a loving and nurturing universe.
And that brought along a second, equally powerful revelation: I can live – for the most part – without the need for a constant cause-and-effect spirituality. The universe doesn’t always have to be a comfortable place for me to trust it.
Cause-and-effect spirituality is the basis of all organized religions and has a large part in New Age spirituality. The idea is that if you’re a really, really good person then really good things will happen to you. And if you’re a really, really bad person then really, really bad things will happen to you. And there’s a lot of truth in that.
But then you look at someone like Donald Trump and you think, “Huh . . . what happened there? Why has this tangerine colored, demon infested, piece of human excrement who’s never caused anything but misery been blessed with all of this material wealth?”
Or you have a friend who is a kind, loving, wonderful person who lives in poverty and dies an agonizing death and you think, “Huh . . . what happened there?”
As I said, cause-and-effect spirituality appears to be true a lot of the time. But not always. People have been trying to come up with explanations for why good things happen to rotten people and vice verse since the beginning of human existence. Maybe it’s karma from past lives. Maybe they forgot to say their prayers or slaughter an ox and two sheep and offer them to god. Maybe they masturbated too much. Who knows?
That’s what The Wheel of Fortune Reversed is really all about. Shit happens. It doesn’t put any value judgements on it, it doesn’t say shit happened because you were a bad person or you brought it on yourself. It just quietly observes that shit happens, sooner or later, to all of us.
And that’s a Spiritual Law, just as surely as the Law of Attraction. It can be scary if you need to view the Universe as a neat and tidy place where everything happens for a reason, the good are rewarded, and the evil are punished. Or it can be a strong motivator to deepen your spiritual resources and to cultivate your inner strength and resilience BEFORE it happens. As The Desiderata says, “Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.”