Using Scott's Tarot deck, a Waite/Classic deck, I did a ten-card spread with the following questions.
Significator: Birthday - May 18, 1982. 5 + 18 + 1982 = 2005 = 7
The Chariot: sometimes called Victory. Signifies the person who has successfully traveled through the challenges of the previous cards (The Magician, The High Priestess, The Empress, The Emperor, Hierophant, and The Lovers). The charioteer has not really resolved all the troublesome issues with problems and contradictions in life. The Charioteer represents will, which focuses energy to a purpose and unites the qualities and lessons of the previous cards.
Main question to start the spread: How should I relate to you, Cabot-Koppers Superfund?
1. What does it mean to be part of the Gainesville community?
Drawn: Ten of Swords. Position within the spread: immediate present.
Classic reading: The Ten of Swords is the most fearsome card because it carries the Swords theme of conflict and mental difficulties. Yet, using Scott's Waite/Classic deck, the image has calm water and light below the black clouds, meaning things are not as bad as they seem.
Updated reading: Although major conflicts exist, more often than not there are smooth ways to deal with them. The solutions to the conflicts are not as overwhelming as one may think. Staying calm and consistent will be fruitful in moving toward an effective solution. Because Gainesville is a semi-transit town (nearly half of its “residents” are college students who are only here for four years and then move elsewhere to start their careers), most, if confronted with the Cabot-Koppers Superfund issue, would be conflicted on how to approach such a disaster: they don’t have any real investment in the town; yet, possibly their conscience would move them to be involved. In other words, this card signifies the conflict that people might have while living temporally in a place and knowing a major environmental and social issue will affect many people and the environment. Being part of the Gainesville community during this moment means having to deal with the conflict of consumption for satisfaction of desire and the ramifications that consumption has.
Archived image: Cabot-Koppers “You are here” map
2. What special message does Cabot-Koppers bring me?
Drawn: The Lovers. Trump card. Position within the spread: immediate challenge
Classic reading: Many see the Lovers card as a choice between different paths in life. The three Waite/Classic figures (the man, the woman, and the angel) show aspects of the self, so that the card does not always mean an intimate relationship. The man symbolizes conscious awareness, the woman the emotions and unconscious energy. The angel signifies that higher consciousness that we seek as we move through the trumps. We need knowledge and reason but they can take us only so far.
Updated reading: Prudence. Before making decisions consider all the angles and consequences of the options. In other words, think critically about your choices. Then, make a decision. The Lovers functions as an immediate challenge to what we can understand about the Cabot-Koppers site. We have a (major) choice to make with Cabot-Koppers Superfund: continue to argue who is responsible for the accident or all take responsibility for the accident and invest the resources to resolve the intoxication before the problem gets to be much worse. We can’t only rationalize who is responsible, but must identify our own desires that have far-reaching implications (exemplified in Cabot-Koppers as a product of our desires).
Archived image: Aerial view of checkered table with coffee and cigarettes
3. What does Cabot-Koppers teach me?
Drawn: Ace of Pentacles. Court card
Classic reading: The gift of reality. The magic of nature. Often, this card is the most favorable of all cards
Updated reading: The Ace of Pentacles shows us that reality at times simply is. Although most of reality is socially constructed, reality also is what it is, regardless of humans’ activity to manipulate, create, and shape it. Humans are not powerfully enough to control nature; rather, nature has its own agency, often times much more overpowering than any individual or collective human efforts to master it (epistemologically or ontologically). Humans experience their limit.
Archived image: New Orleans living room after Hurricane Katrina OR Miss Bessie
4. Where does Cabot-Koppers come from?
Drawn: Wheel of Fortune. Trump card
Classic reading: The cycles of nature, especially the way the Sun fades and returns, and the way plants die and come back to life, all imply the idea of continual rebirth. Traditions that teach of reincarnation often describe the soul as moving from life to life on a turning wheel. Sometimes we rise up, sometimes down, according to laws we do not fully understand. Our lives sometimes depend on events we cannot control. The Tarot itself is a game, sometimes played for money. As in readings, the game works because we cannot control where the cards will fall. The Wheel of Fortune card signifies our lack of control over the outer circumstances of our lives.
Updated reading: In following the Ace of Pentacles for this spread, the Wheel of Fortune underscores the limitations humans have in understanding the consequences of their activities. Yes, many (potential) ramifications can be identified, and humans can try to take the necessary steps to prevent such disasters, but to be human means to have a feeling of limit, that limit being knowledge of consequences. Both individually and collectively, we cannot totally control destinies. Cabot-Koppers emerges from past and present consumptions that both each person and other people had/have.
Archived image: Iggy Pop and Tom Waits sitting at a coffee table
5. How does Cabot-Koppers work?
Drawn: The Fool. Trump card. Position within the spread: immediate future
Classic reading: The Fool gives the Tarot life. Without him, the cards in the Tarot deck would become stiff figures in formal poses. The Fool leads us to take risks, do something impulsive, wild.
Updated reading: The Fool is the flow in life, the force that runs through life, the dynamics within this ecology. Without such flow, life becomes stagnant and nonexistent.
Archived image: Jack and Meg White looking at Tesla Coil.
6. What is the everyday beauty of Cabot-Koppers?
Drawn: Queen of Pentacles. Court card
Classic reading: This is a lush card. The Queen of Earth is a Queen of prosperity and fertility. The Voyager Woman of Worlds is pregnant, while the Waite sits in an abundant garden. She holds her pentacle in both hands and looks down with an awareness of all the good things life has given her. Her physical surroundings matter greatly to her, whether in nature or a beautiful home. She believes in herself and shares her wealth and happiness freely.
Updated reading: As destructive and bleak life can be, life also offers beautiful moments (sometimes found in those dark times), which often emerge in the mundane activities. Furthermore, those dark experiences can facilitate opportunities for novel ways of rethinking decisions, experiences, relationships, and life.
Archived image: Miss Bessie
7. How should we approach/address Cabot-Koppers Superfund site?
Drawn: Strength. Trump card
Classic reading: Strength acts as a counter to the Chariot. When the Fool gives up control, she can discover her inner Strength. The Fool needs Strength to give up the Chariot's outer success and turn inward toward self-discovery and surrender. In a crisis reading, Strength assures the person that she can do what needs to be done.
Updated reading: While others help one to achieve goals, one needs to both explore and identify the agency within oneself and acknowledge and accept the limitation of that agency. Success isn’t defined by what material possessions one owns, rather how not only one develops the strength to see oneself succeed, but more importantly how one shows others’ their own agency.
Archived image: RZA, GZA, and Bill Murray in coffee shop
8. What does the Gaineville community need to know about Cabot-Koppers?
Drawn: Two of Swords
Classic reading: With Swords, communication raises the idea of conflict. A further theme of Two is balance, and here the person seeks balance by avoiding communication. The Waite woman has tied a blindfold over her eyes so she will not have to look at anyone. She holds the Swords at her shoulders as if to strike anyone who tries to approach her.
Updated reading: Conflict will emerge as communication channels open. Some will not want to remove the blindfold and simply feel attacked. This is how Cabot-Koppers has been handled, and that avoidance or blindness will increase with the current communication habits. Different approaches need to emerge though if the Gainesville community is to understand what needs to be done with the Superfund site.
Archived image: Passengers finding their seats on an airplane
9. What should I do with my Einstellung?
Drawn: Kings of Swords. Court card.
Classic reading: One of the most powerful of the court cards, kingly authority matches the Swords themes of intellect, judgment, and force. The card signifies someone strong-minded, even brilliant. He may overwhelm people who do not think as clearly and brilliantly as he does. At his best he is idealistic and fair. He may, however, see things from a narrow rationalist perspective, with little respect for emotions.
Updated reading: Continue with your attitude toward the betterment of others, opening spaces for them to articulate their stories and to empower themselves. While many may view disenfranchised others without enough credit for critical thinking, be more optimistic about their potential. Use your attitude to see the beauty in the overseen dimensions of everyday life and point out these to those who refuse to see.
Archived image: 9th Ward New Orleans folks on front porch
10. What should I do?
Drawn: Nine of Pentacles. Position within the spread: Final Outcome
A simpler and happier card. Prompt fulfillment of what is presaged by neighboring cards. In the Waite/Classic deck, we see a woman in a fruitful garden. The garden is hers, and she has grown it through hard work. The hooded falcon symbolizes the discipline that has allowed her to create a good life for herself. This is a card of property and satisfaction. And yet, she is alone. She may have sacrificed relationships, or pleasure, in order to work in her "garden."
Updated reading: Continue to work hard toward the well-being of individuals and community. This means using various methodologies and methods to express what it means to be part of the macrocosm. Also stress that one’s well-being often means sacrifice, but in the long run and within the larger context, that sacrifice creates a greater sense of existence and meaning. Cabot-Koppers Superfund will be resolved with diligent work in connecting people with each other and with themselves.
Archived image: Swing set in Arequipa