ratio, public sphere, politics, institute
The Eye looms high above the clouds, in a city of its own. Like an eagle it has nestled on the top of the tower, at the summit of layers and layers of historical debris. Everything in this card speaks of a vertical move, a progressive accumulation of what came before. The Eye never closes, and it sees everything. The light beams hover over the city, simultaneously enlightening and surveilling the lives of its citizens. Next to the tower a flock of birds gathers in formation, flying off to their destination.
In this card Hope comes to reason. After the ground has been fertilized for relations to grow and intuitive ethics to appear with Care, now it is time to put these intuitions into action. Where the feminine principle of Care was all about horizontality, about connecting things on the level of life experienced in the now, the Eye is a clearly masculine principle that rises up to the skies, organizing for futures to come.
The Eye gives life to the ‘I’, to the public persona, to the one that steps into societal debate with a clear mind and strong arguments. It is the card of ambition, authority, but also the card of wisdom and the power to act. In other words, this is the card of the enlightened spirit, of the mind coming into its full creative power. From the constant movement of transformation that characterized Care, the Eye creates stability, a clear order for understanding and distributing knowledge and power. Care now gets expressed on an institutional level: ideas get debated and concretized into structures, rules and laws. It is a moment of sharing, discussing and collectively realizing plans that go beyond the scope of the individual actor.
Care and the Eye are an inextricable couple. Sometimes the rules and stratagems of the Eye get inflexible, and move too far away from the concretely lived out experiences of Care. When this is the case Care has to make the Eye aware of the consequences of his rule-making and ambition. At other times, where Care can only voice opinions from a subjective point of view, the Eye makes things issue for public debate and shared action. For change to happen Care as well as the Eye have to be able to fully unfold. It is in the Eye that political sensitivities are shaped, that the idea of a We takes form. But as soon as the Eye loses connection to the basic experience of life-as-it-is on the ground, it squanders its power and becomes impotent, a sheer façade of a very big, very useless skyscraper.
Used with scrutiny and attention, the Eye is the card of wisdom and creative politics. It is the moment the community comes to an understanding of itself, and of the dissensus ruling its togetherness. It is the card that provokes you to take action, to move things around, to make a positive proposition for change. It is also the moment the self values its agency to take an ethical stance within the community. Discovering its ‘inner warrior’ on whatever scale seems fit.
But when the Eye turns into the celebration of the ‘I’, solely caring for individual ambitions and power, for actions largely directed towards the promotion of what is ‘mine’ – be it financial gain, professional recognition, the career, the company, the party, … – it becomes a toxic card with potentially destructive powers. Compassion turns into vengefulness, enlightenment into ingeniousness.
If you get this card in the Tarot reading it means it is time for action. Take the ideas that have been slumbering in the back of your mind for so long and put them out into the world. See what they can do, what you can accomplish. Become aware of your strength to change your circumstances, and by doing so, the circumstances of others. This card is about becoming concrete apropos what has been itching for quite some time. Make a plan, talk to others, swallow the critique, improve and make it happen.