Appropriately following The Fool is The Magician, represented by the Garbage Pail Kid, Mad Max. In traditional tarot, The Magician can often be juxtaposed with The Hierophant even though the Hierophant is the 5th card in the journey through the Major Arcana. Pulling the Hierophant during a reading typically means it’s time to start listening to what other wiser, more seasoned figures can teach you. The Magician, however, calls on you to keep playing The Fool and be your own teacher first.
This means don’t be afraid to go bat shit crazy with your farfetched ideas and creative endeavors. Mad Max has opened his skull and let some wacky ideas loose, and in the center of these pyrotechnic brain farts is an infinity symbol. No matter how well our plans are going, always be ready to make new ones because at the end of the day, life doesn’t give a rat’s ass about your plans. All that fire is likely to be rained on in some way. It’s an infinite cycle of duds and Roman Candles.
Still, The Magician, or Mad Max in GPK universe, reminds us to keep pushing our creativity and imaginations to the absolute limit regardless of how many times we are forced to blow into the Nintendo game cartridge of life.
While we’re on the subject, pat yourself on the back if you were able to make it to The Champ in Mike Tyson’s Punch Out without the cheat code. You’ve already won at life.
Anyway, in order to truly honor The Magician, we have to think back to the days when exploration and good, clean experimentation were second nature – because we were children of the 80’s and 90’s.
Here is what many of us can creatively but safely apply to middle age at this point…
The Merry-Go-Round – Sure, it probably wasn’t a good idea to have the biggest, strongest kid on the playground spin you and your friends around on one of those cold, steel merry-go-rounds, but you had the best time riding it, didn’t you? Depending on the speed, you were likely to break something if you let go, or at the very least, suffer pure humiliation.
How many times in your adult life have you felt that same kind of pressure? The only difference is when we were kids, that fear-for-our-lives situation was fun. We also knew when it was a good time to let go of the bars and launch ourselves onto the ground with little to no injury. As adults, it’s hard to judge when it’s a good time to let go.
The Magician encourages us to get back on that merry-go-round and watch the sky as it spins. It’s in these moments when we come up with our most creative and brilliant ideas, when we’re spinning out of control but still have a good grip on safety and reality. When the Magician is upside down, that means we’re purposely letting go of the bars when someone’s 300 pound football player of a big brother is spinning the wheel. It’s a fantastic feeling to throw caution to the wind and watch where the bodies may fall, but we have to be realistic. There’s a fine line between taking reasonable risks and being too impulsive or reckless.
Believe in fairytales again, but with caution – In the last 10 to 15 years we’ve seen classic stories, fairytales, and myths undergo retellings or modern day revisions. Somehow the villain is the revered one now, and that has taken some of us time to get used to. In a big way, it’s a good thing. Not every good guy is truly good, not every bad guy is thoroughly bad. There are often many different dynamics going on underneath someone’s skin. So once we reach adulthood, we often conclude that all of the storybooks were full of shit.
There is no love at first sight, but there is definitely lust at first sight. How many of us actually end up with the person we thought we fell in love with at first glance?
Chivalry is kind of dead, and I stress “kind of”. But a lot of that has to do with where our heads are at now. A significant amount of women now want to defy expectations and skip the whole married, two and a half kids, suburban bi-level, fully-loaded minivan life. A lot of single men in their 30’s and 40’s gravitate to these women because it’s a conquest. Deep down, most men want to see if they’re able to get a woman’s biological clock ticking like a mallet hitting sheet metal, no matter if she’s ready for yoga and playdate servitude, or if she decides to hold on to her thigh-high boots, birth control pills, and girls’ trips to Cozumel.
Romantic relationships have become more of a tangled web we weave with each passing decade, but that doesn’t mean we have to erase our fairytale stories in favor of glorifying the villain. Sure, there are two sides to almost every story, but there’s a danger in teaching our children to show compassion towards evil doers. The modern belief is that the bad guys are products of their torturous pasts; therefore, they are justified in their actions and willing to redeem themselves. In reality, there are very few Anakin Skywalkers. Not everyone can be saved, nor can they save themselves, and the hero doesn’t always show up on time.
Despite our often agonizing realities clouding our fairytales, we can still hold on to what our imaginations gift us – the belief that what’s right and good can still win, and the idea that there’s always hope in finding unconditional love, whether that love comes from a beagle, a significant other, or yourself.
Mad Max and/or The Magician wouldn’t stop riding the merry-go-round or start writing off fairytales. Why should we?
Mismatch everything – Sticking to one pattern, color, or theme, limiting yourself to only one hobby, profession, or fixed mindset can make for a banal life full of suck. The Magician tells us the more varied our experiences are, the more fulfilled we become. So mix everything up…
All of your socks
Neon colors like we did in the 80’s
Take up both crocheting and ax throwing, just don’t do both at once.
Make every room in your house have at least 5 contrasting colors.
Dip bacon or fries in a milkshake – don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.
Be so furious you giggle and so happy you scream, maybe even find something to safely throw at a wall.
Life has got to be more of a playground, and how are we going to make it that if we’re eating the same damn oatmeal every morning or spending too much time finding all the matches to our 12 packs of Walmart socks? To the Mad Max or The Magician in all of us, there really is something to being a gloriously hot mess – or simply refusing to give anymore f&$!s.
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