4 min read

The Tower, The Star

The Tower. The Star. Rider-Waite Smith deck.

I’m getting divorced. Okay, queer divorced. I was queer married. Which is to say we never got married in the eyes of the law but we lived together for 7 years. Our finances, our material life were entangled, are entangled. Before the breakup, my ex and I envisioned what our life together in old age would be, we argued about how we’d raise kids if kids ever came along, we planned for retirement together. We ignored the ways in which we were incompatible and the ways in which our incompatibility was growing and becoming more obvious with each passing week. We loved each other. Well, perhaps I was the one who ignored the incompatibility while my ex gently brought it up every once in a while. Hey, is this like, not good?

Before the breakup, I did a tarot reading, a vibe check on my not-marriage. At this point, I think both of us had sort of seen the corpse of our relationship laying on the table and begun mourning in our own private ways. Our slow motion Earth sign temperaments working up towards an ending. Or avoiding an ending. By the time we broke up, it was a relief for both of us. We felt free. The deeply Nicole_Kidman_Post_Divorce.jpeg vibe was mutual.

The Tower. Aquarian Tarot. Rider-Waite Smith. Thoth Deck.

I don’t remember the cards I got for my pre-breakup reading but I remember pulling The Tower. Struck by lightning and exploding into pieces, the occupants falling through the sky. It’s the card that tells you change is inevitable and ignoring the signs only ends in devastation. I knew I was avoiding something and I thought the Tower indicated a tough conversation, a chat about our feelings. I didn’t really think it was foretelling a breakup, a paradigm-changing shift in the way I lived my entire life. But The Tower is as much about catastrophe as it is about getting rid of a blockage, setting you free from the life you have built for yourself.

We’re doing better now, I think. We can coexist in the same room without filling the air with bad vibes. We can share tiktoks and laugh together again — an occurrence that was increasingly rare in the last year of our relationship. It’s hard. It’s weird. I can feel my heart stretching in ways that I’ve never felt before, carrying a new sort of — not damage — weariness maybe. My world-weary-weathered heart. I’m surprised by the depth of this feeling, a mixture of grief and appreciation and joy and excitement and hope all at once for the past, the future and the present.

I’m a worrier. I feel, at times, cursed with visions of the future. Not necessarily accurate ones but timelines that could happen. I think of myself being stranded without a home, not being able to scrounge up the money or credit to get an apartment on my own. I imagine the landlord coming into our apartment and finding something illegal, an excuse to evict us. I imagine losing my job. I imagine hurting others deeply irrevocably. Being hurt. I imagine bad things. I see destitution and pain and suffering in my future. I see becoming a burden on my friends and family, leaning against them while I’m down. I see my credit getting ruined somehow, I see my bills becoming debt, debt transforming into collections, collectors chasing me down, I see a vision of myself, trapped.

The Star. Thoth. Rider-Waite Smith. Aquarian Tarot.

In the last couple of weeks, The Star has been placing herself into my tarot readings. In the tarot, the Star comes right after the Tower, sequentially. It’s about hope. It’s about believing there’s something that comes after a catastrophe — that a catastrophe is temporary. It says destruction was inevitable, necessary and okay. The tower sits in ruins on the horizon, no longer blocking the view. It says put your feet in the pond and look at the pattern in the sky. It says you’re one star in a constellation. It says everything’s going to be okay. Believe me.

I’m trying to narrow my visions of the future. To set my sights on a timeline that is not plagued by misfortune, poverty, suffering. I can look into the future and see my friends and family surrounding me with love. A life of ease. Fun. Adventure. Things working out – like they always have. That’s what I do now when I get the urge to see the future. But, for the most part, I’m trying not to worry, pointedly not looking into the future. I’m trying to be in my body, in this exact second. Put my feet in the water. Look at the pattern in the sky.

I’ve made a promise not to read my own tarot while I’m on this trip. No more peeking, no reaching out for assurance. Just trusting in the universe that what will happen, will happen.