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That’s the impetus for this month’s tarotscope. It conveys frustration, exhaustion, and exasperation. It’s a universal and collective WTF to this year, this country, this society. And it’s more of a statement than a question.

The first six months of 2020 were a wake up call for many people. A lot of others chose to remain asleep, but that is a story for another day.

Those of us who began to awake saw, for the first time, the mirage-like quality of our lives — something symbolized in the Castles in the Cloud card I drew this month for the past.

“Castles in the Clouds” is the syndrome of creating something idyllic in our minds and projecting it onto a vast screen for ourselves and for others. So this card represents the life we’ve always wished for, the life we can sometimes convince ourselves we are living.

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Castles in the Clouds, Fire of Sacrifice, and Solar Return: the cards for this month’s Tarotscope for the Collective.

The collective projection of our society painted a false collective picture for us of progress, stability and success. Then one day, POOF! A global pandemic. POOF! An economic depression. BAM! A civil rights revolution. We’ve seen the failure of systems we were told existed to support and protect us. 


Now, we can no longer “imagine away” reality.

Now, we have to acknowledge the mess we’ve made and figure out a way to clean it up. This brings us to the Fire of Sacrifice card, where we sit currently.

This card is a massive reckoning that we’ve messed something up and have been ignoring it for too long, that now we must not only acknowledge the mess, but also clean it up.

This card made me think of a controlled prairie burn, which is a field scorched clean by a crew of trained professionals. Controlled burns are a way to destroy growth that is invasive, causes harm, and prevents growth.

We’ve been sitting amid a figurative burning prairie under a controlled burn, vacantly sipping our coffee, telling ourselves and everyone else “this is fine.”

But it’s not fine. And here’s the thing: we have to let it burn. We have to completely rid ourselves of that which hinders or prevents us from growing and flourishing.

This process usually means throwing something we thought we valued into the fire — because the very idea of a sacrifice implies letting go of something we love. It is a process of purification.

The fire has already been lit. We can pretend it’s not burning and that we’re not choking on the fumes. Or we can learn to control the burn in order to produce the desired effect.


Over the weekend, many of us acknowledged the anniversary of America’s independence. We also experienced a celestial event greater than any municipal fireworks display: A full moon rose in the eastern sky, and for three hours was eclipsed in shadow.

That’s why I’m genuinely spooked that the Solar Return card fell out of my deck as the third card. Coinciding with the weekend’s full moon eclipse, I feel this reading is leading me to recognize America’s Solar Return.

America may be another year older, but is it another year wiser? I don’t think so. America, in many ways, is infantile, immature, and doesn’t understand what it means to grow. Trauma inhibits growth, and what is America if not one traumatic occurrence after another?

The month of July, identified with the grand occasion of our nation’s birthday, is a time to collectively assess our path over the last year, the last century, the last 244 years.

In many ways, we have moved forward. In many ways, we haven’t. The good news is that the future, like an eclipsed moon, is a void. It’s up to us to fill that void.

This month, think about how we will choose to fill that void. And while you do, think about the themes these cards have presented this month:

  • Projection
  • Imagination
  • Purification
  • Sacrifice
  • Illumination

What has been obscured in your life? What has been illuminated? Look into the void of the future, and imagine all that we will build there: castles not in the clouds, but on solid ground, with support and protection for everyone.

This Month’s Cards: Castles in the Clouds, Fire of Sacrifice, Solar Return


This Month’s Deck: Tantric Dakini Oracle

Editor’s Note: Tarotscope for the Collective helps bring the mystical practice of tarot card reading to modern day topics and issues. Starting this month, Tarotscope for the Collective runs monthly instead of bi-weekly