21. utopia!

fulfillment, dance, fullness, completion, ecstasy

21. utopia

In Utopia the journey of Hope comes to its completion. Inside the circle of Eyes, Swarms, Houses and Waves, the bag is dancing out its coming into full realization of itself, the World, and all that is in it. In Utopia all four elements have reached complete harmony. The Waves, which stand for the unconscious and the emotions that guide our lives, have reached a perfect balance with the rational wisdom of the Eyes. The Houses’ pragmatic take on the ordering of the world through economy and work has entered into a fruitful dialogue with the ever-changing commonal demands of the Swarms. Hope has found its place in the community, the economy, the intellect and the emotions. Utopia is the mirror of the zero-card Hope, where the conflictuous disarray of the elements threatened to destroy the city and disperse the community, under an avalanche of subconscious retribution, leaving the rational mind’s Eye impotent and confused. Now all elements have rearranged in a continuous oval circle dance, reminiscent of the female sex in all its potential of creation and renewal. All is in movement, and all is ecstasy because all differences have succumbed. The subconscious and the conscious have dissolved into a state of completed consciousness. The male and the female have become one and many.

Utopia is the card of success, of a journey coming to a happy ending. In the Tarot of Hope however Utopia is not the end point, but a beginning. In fact, Utopia is not a state to linger in, it is only a mind-set that drives the journey, a momentary state of intensity for the journey to pass through; it never begs its own realization. Utopia is the place that is no-place, nowhere, that does not exist but in the mind’s imagination. But the fact that it can exist there is because our deeper sense of knowledge, consciousness itself, tells us so. In philosophy, literature and political theory Utopia often takes the form of sectarian models for society, that unavoidable shift into violence, inequality and as such take on unmistakable dystopian characteristics.

In that sense we could say that we live currently in the utopian/dystopian amalgam proposed by capitalism: the promise of a free-roaming market that would produce wealth and equality for all. The shimmering grail of success embodied by the myth of the self-made man. The dystopian toxic waste of a political-economical global policy of endless growth and accumulation.
In such a context we have to admit that Utopia is not a state that can be realized in practice. In a spiritual context the utopian thought expresses itself through attaining a detached consciousness of all that is, and of our being the expression of this All in its fulness. But also this knowledge is only attainable to few, and proves to be only moderately practical in communicating with non-spiritual-practitioners.

In the Tarot of Hope Utopia is an experimental model to test the relations as they exist in the world. A feminist utopia that imagines the queer equality of the sexes can be an important and forceful tool to re-perspectivize our view on society. As can the development of a model for equal distribution, and all the difficulties it brings with it, nourish our view on world economies and politics. But a Utopia put into practice will easily lose its ecstatic bliss, since the material concreteness of any practice will very quickly start to act as an obstacle to come to uniform agreement. In life as it is experienced on Earth, exchange and difference, mimicry and disagreement, and the displacement of opinions and attitudes this produces, is the motor for movement and change. Rather than the perpetuum mobile movement of the perfect balance as depicted on the card.In a reading Utopia reminds us to keep thinking about the realization of whatever it is we would imagine our utopia for the world to be. And use it to give form to our life practices. Make sure that everything you do carries within it at least a kernel of this utopian mindset, at least a trace of that which you are afraid might never be accomplished. Utopia is an invitation to work out these kernels in a balanced practice of mind, body, emotions, and spiritual aspirations. It is a reminder that life is one and many at the same time. That your emotions should not contradict your politics, or your politics the way you deal with people on a personal level, although all these levels carry within them a very specific potential of realization.
When this card comes up at the beginning of the reading, it signals an impatience to meet perfection. At that point your strive for completion becomes so dominant that it petrifies all movement. Then Utopia becomes a place of death, of stand-still. Instead of opening up to a new beginning, the card then warns us that we are stuck in a certain idea of the world that does not correspond to the reality of our practices.
Negatively this card can also indicate a sense of achievement in the petitioner, that stops him from moving on and changing his point of view on the world. Then the self-proclaimed balance of the self and the world stops producing anything, and becomes smug and self-congratulatory. In this case the card reminds us to take the ecstasy of the completion of Utopia only as a pharmakon, in small doses, unless it should start to poison you and turn you blind to what is around.

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