The image of Grenfell Tower ablaze evokes the Tarot card of The Lightning Struck Tower and its association with the 27th path of the Tree of Life, Hod – Netzach.
If you are not familiar with the glyph, briefly: the Tree is an energetic map represented by ten (or eleven) spheres, each of which stands for a spiritual principle or state of being, arranged in three columns. The right column (Netzach, #8) represents force, yang, the masculine imperative; the left column (Hod, #7) represents form, yin, feminine fecundity.
Netzach = passion; Hod = reason. When Hod and Netzach are in harmony, a leisurely stroll or a languorous roll along path 27 may be intensely pleasurable, but these twin levels of awareness are in opposition and the path that connects them is fraught with the possibility of conflict. A confrontation between feeling and thought is liable to be painful, even if it is only one’s preconceptions that are upset.
The opposing qualities of Netzach & Hod are aptly personified by our current political leaders: Uncle Jezza, a passionate idealist; vs. the coldly calculating Maybot. Mr Corbyn, buoyed by a General Election result that surprised those who are unaware of the greater context of what’s happening, energetically, rushed to the scene of the Grenfell conflagration to comfort the traumatised survivors.
Contrariwise, Ms May – aka Dismay – nearly sunk by the consequences of her miscalculation in calling an unnecessary (un)popularity contest and shattered by a succession of recent unfortunate events, seemed more concerned with the emergency services’ operation than anguished residents of the stricken tower, whom she was reluctant to meet (although a delegation later visited Downing Street.)
Traversing from Hod to Netzach, the most rational being may encounter another who plugs them in, emotionally, triggering uncontrolled reactions. Terror that arises partly from fear of insanity accompanies the failure of reason as the structure of the mind collapses like the twin towers on 9/11. Have you seen the haunted expression on Ms May’s physiognomy, lately?
Coming the other way, in the course of manifestation, righteousness may be tempered by philosophy; the fire of Netzach quenched by the water of Hod. The urge to construct tall buildings is constrained by adequate regulations, or else the erection could be consumed. In 2013, a report into a similar fire made recommendations that have not been implemented. The 22 falling Yods on the card represent, not sheets of flammable cladding, but the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, which float to indicate that their power is not Earthly.
27 is represented by the Hebrew letter Peh, the mouth, where personality is expressed in words that may be more or less skilful. Inspiration and investigation are not natural enemies, as both are required for coherent speech, but when these basic levels of consciousness are under-developed, argument inevitably ensues. Hod & Netzach frequently clash; or they collaborate to dramatise a crisis.
The shattered Tower represents the fall of earthly attachments and false structures of the egoic mind. Still, as Eckhart Tolle says, ‘As long as the egoic mind is running your life, you cannot truly be at ease.’ The Tarot Tower is struck by a lightning bolt of insight hurled from the Higher Self, flipping the lid and displacing the crown which, in this context, represents false materialism, i.e.: the cost of cutting corners when re-cladding Grenfell for dubious reasons.
The solitary tower shows the error of personal isolation, which may be interpreted as the philosophy of individualism that has prevailed in our society and is exemplified, institutionally, by the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council, which includes some of the world’s most expensive, privately-owned real estate. RBKC, which has hundreds of millions in its coffers, has prided itself in recent years with being so frugal with its finances that it could afford to give rebates to the wealthiest residents, who had paid their Council Tax in full. Talk about a false economy and the wrong use of will. Talk about paying the price of presumption!
Typically dynamic, Uncle Jezza had an expedient solution to the overnight loss of 120 homes. Requisition some of the vacant houses in the neighbourhood, purchased as financial investments rather than dwellings, and let the dispossessed move in. Or, as The Times thundered from behind its pay wall, ‘Corbyn: seize homes of the rich to house Grenfell homeless’. Naturally, Mrs Dismay could countenance no such thing, as possession is nine-tenths of the law her Government makes and modifies.
Early last year, Dismay and her Tory cronies enacted their pernicious Housing & Planning Bill via a series of sneaky Parliamentary manoeuvres that included filibustering and inserting 60 extra pages at the last minute. A Labour amendment, introducing a requirement for private landlords to ensure their properties were fit for human habitation, was defeated by the opposition, many of whom have vested interests as private landlords.
Among the Major Arcana, the The Lightning Struck Tower dramatises a battle between the rational mind and the loving soul. As Kerry-Anne Mendoza, editor of alt.media web site, The Canary, told Emily Maitless, moderator of BBC’s Newsnight, the recent election offered British voters a stark choice: hope vs. fear. Indeed, much of the debate was squandered upon a preposterously expensive nuclear weapon, a souvenir of a war that ended a quarter century ago and which can never be used.
As the Great Prophet, Saint Bill Hicks, reminded audiences at the end of his later performances, the choice between Love & Fear exists in every moment. Only when the two are reconciled and the rational mind and emotions are in harmony does it become possible to raise consciousness to the level of Tiphareth (#6) and join the Glastonbury revels to frolic in its beautiful sunshine, although the current chaos will be amplified by the Solstice and a hard rain is gonna fall.