Today (28-02) Ukraine and Russia have gone to the negotiating table. But is Russia really interested in negotiating?
The cards drawn show how the situation will develop for Russia in the next weeks. The cards are uncompromising. With such strong spades, the situation for Russia is a power struggle. The king of spades (Putin) is the warlord who does not sit at the negotiating table. He has a plan (ace of spades) that he will implement at all costs – whatever it takes. Russia is willing to go all the way (9 of spades, king of spades and ace of spades). With the ace of spades and the 9 of spades, the nuclear weapons cards have appeared. As things stand now, Russia will allow Belarus to recover its nuclear weapons. But will Russia use nuclear weapons or is it a scare offensive? With the strong and dictatorial king of spades at the end of the spread, the answer must be that he will, if it should become necessary.
The two nines are aggressive and conquering. The spread clearly shows that Putin has unmasked himself. He has thrown away the mask. For Putin, there is no going back. He has bet everything on one board. With the cards, one must say that the world is in a moment of destiny.
What about Putin’s role / fate in the slightly longer term? Putin’s days are numbered. The King of clubs (Putin) becomes more and more isolated (4 of clubs) when his misinformation (7 of diamonds) and the economic sanctions (7 of diamonds) begin to affect the Russians. He will be pressured by economically strong forces (oligarchs). The 10 of diamonds shows the hour of truth and it will bring factual things to the table that Putin cannot run from. The current situation will lead to a weakened Putin and his downfall.
At the time of writing, there has for several days been a hectic communication between several heads of state to find a diplomatic solution to the extremely tense situation between Ukraine and Russia. Russia has deployed about 130,000 troops along the Ukrainian border and a military exercise is being conducted along with Belarus on Belarus’ territory. Belarus, like Russia, borders Ukraine and fully supports Putin.
Ukraine would like to be a member of NATO, but the current situation traces all the way back to Stalin’s time, World War II and 2014. The Ukrainian desire for NATO membership is Russia steeled against and may at all costs prevent this from happening. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, several of the former Eastern bloc countries have joined NATO, and Russia is increasingly feeling squeezed by NATO and Western values.
And suddenly the seriousness has risen for the West. Is Putin considering invading Ukraine? The situation has sent tremors through Sweden and Finland and throughout the Western world. Mysterious (military) drones fly over nuclear power plants in Sweden and over Stockholm. The Swedes send soldiers to Gotland. Denmark is preparing to send two F-16 aircrafts to Bornholm. Britain will send weapons to Ukraine. The United States is doing the same.
The West threatens not to open the new gas pipeline from Russia, Nord Stream 2. Germany has become quite dependent on Russian gas and has been very sparing in supporting this sanction option. The yoke of history also rests on Germany’s shoulders as up to 30 million people lost their lives on the Eastern Front during World War II.
All the while, Putin has repeatedly stated that Russia has no intention of invading Ukraine.
The West threatens quite severe sanctions if Putin were to invade Ukraine. But as the Russian ambassador to Sweden Viktor Tatarintsev stated in an interview with the Swedish Aftonbladet.
“- “Excuse my language, but we don’t give a shit about all their sanctions. … We have already had many sanctions, and in a way, it has had a positive effect on our economy and agriculture.”
On President Putin’s official website, on July 12, 2021, he posted a rather long and in-depth article: “On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians”. This article is interesting reading and has been quoted by several news media. It provides an insight into some of Putin’s thoughts on historical background. Here are a few quotes:
“During the recent Direct Line, when I was asked about Russian-Ukrainian relations, I said that Russians and Ukrainians were one people – a single whole. These words were not driven by some short-term considerations or prompted by the current political context. It is what I have said on numerous occasions and what I firmly believe.”
… I am confident that true sovereignty of Ukraine is possible only in partnership with Russia. Our spiritual, human and civilizational ties formed for centuries and have their origins in the same sources, they have been hardened by common trials, achievements and victories. Our kinship has been transmitted from generation to generation. It is in the hearts and the memory of people living in modern Russia and Ukraine, in the blood ties that unite millions of our families. Together we have always been and will be many times stronger and more successful. For we are one people.”
Putin concludes with these words:
“And I will say one thing – Russia has never been and will never be” anti-Ukraine “. And what Ukraine will be – it is up to its citizens to decide.”
On January 23 this year, the Atlantic Council published an article “Disarming Putin’s history weapon”, which critically reviews Putin’s article. They write:
“Ever since 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin has weaponized history as part of his hybrid war against Ukraine. On numerous occasions, most infamously in his July 2021 essay” On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians, “Putin has used highly selective interpretations of the past to undermine Ukrainian national identity and legitimize his own expansionist imperial ambitions. “
In latest news, it has been reported repeatedly that we do not know Putin’s thoughts and plans. So, it’s tempting to see what the cards might tell us. The question is: “Show Putin’s thoughts on the Ukrainian situation”:
The spread is a snapshot of Putin’s thoughts on the Ukrainian situation.
The spread is read as a “U” in this order: jack of hearts, 3 of spades, 10 of spades and queen of spades. The first thing that catches your eye are the many spades and the absence of clubs and diamonds. It already tells of strong (nationalist) feelings, but also of Putin keeping his thoughts, plans and decisions secret. One might be tempted to say that with so many spades on the table, he is devising a psychological battle of exhaustion.
The Jack of hearts shows two different layers of interpretation. As the first card, it represents Ukraine. Ukraine has an almost religious national significance for Putin and is, in his view, part of the Russian people’s soul. Blood ties flow between Ukraine and Russia. But he also perceives the Ukrainian leadership of the country as naive, unrealistic, and dangerous for Russia (jack of hearts pinched between many spades). A situation he wants to change. Putin wants to control (queen of spades) Ukraine. The other side of the jack of hearts shows that Putin is “playing” with the West. He is trying to put a wedge (3 of spades) in and destabilize NATO and the West. Putin has full control (queen of spades) over what he does. The 3 of spades is an attack card, but with so many even numbers: 10, 12 and 6, it is likely that his thoughts are more on scaring Ukraine, the West and NATO and provoking an extreme situation than launching an invasion. The 10 of spades is a gloomy card that is not afraid to go to extremes. The 10 of spades is a demonstration of power. Putin will go all the way to the extreme “border” if necessary. He has thought through all sorts of scenarios.
The 10 of spades also symbolizes NATO. Some readers might be wondering how the 10 of spades can represent NATO? But is NATO a peace movement? No – it’s a military organization. Putin is particularly concerned about NATO’s impact on stability in Russia and Putin’s position of power should Ukraine join NATO.
There is no doubt that Putin fears NATO’s influence more than individual Western powers. The 10 of spades is a powerful card, but the cunning queen of spades finishes the spread. So, in a way, Putin controls NATO’s steps. He is in a way constantly one step ahead. For Putin, it is very much a psychological game.
The bottom card in the stack of cards is another spade – namely the 6 of spades. He tries to push NATO and the West out on a path where they cannot turn around. Maybe his idea is to prepare for a future scenario where NATO and the West are in a place where he wants them to be? When that’s done, he can incorporate the two eastern Russian-dominated Ukrainian provinces of Lugansk and Donetsk. Only Putin himself knows the answer.
All roads lead to Rome, an old Latin proverb says (mīlle viae dūcunt hominēs per saecula Rōmam). We are all on a journey that always takes us to a certain place. Namely, to a realization of who we really are and not who we think we are. The playing cards are here used as reflections of thoughts and a guidance.
Figuratively speaking I would like to add: all “roads” (symbolically shown with the Aces – the ones) lead through the number 4. Here we stop and reflect on our lives and experiences and adjust our course of life. The number four surrounds the four corners of our world of thought and helps to provide structure and awareness. Who am I? What is my point of view? Take a closer look at the answers! This self-knowledge is an important step on the way to the numbers 7 and 10 which are on the horizon and are the next goals on our journey.
The four colors of the suites show different life areas. Spades – my power. Hearts – my feelings. Clubs – what I create. Diamonds – my talents.
If the concept of all roads lead to Rome means contacting one’s true self – well then, all Aces (the ones) and the fours will lead to that goal.
Against everyone’s expectations, the Taliban seized or recaptured power in Afghanistan in record time. On August 15, after just over a week, the Taliban captured the capital, Kabul. The American troops and thus also the NATO-partners officially leave the country on 31 August. After 20 years of warfare and after trying to establish democracy in Afghanistan. Chaotic situations have arisen around Kabul airport, with embassy staff, aid workers and others associated with the West desperately trying to get out of the country. The only remaining and open embassies are the Russian and Chinese. Some hope that the Taliban have changed and become more subdued, as the first days of Taliban announcements could indicate. But is it realistic?
US President Joe Biden has faced widespread criticism that this situation could arise but said in a speech: “US troops must not fight and die in a war that the Afghan army itself does not want to fight”.
It is tempting to ask the cards this question: “How is the situation developing in Afghanistan after the Taliban takes power?”
These cards appeared:
The first, middle and last cards are the leading ones in the presentation. The centre card is the focus point and constitutes a central element in the spread. The bear is a powerful card, which is further emphasized by the inserted playing card – King of Clubs. The Taliban are sitting heavily on power, which they will do anything to retain. Whatever it takes. The card shows that they actively (clubs) will consolidate their power. With the scythe on the card in the middle, they will do anything to remove or kill the Afghans who do not share their values and views of law and order (10 of diamonds). They will work thoroughly with this task (10 of diamonds). The bear and the scythe together can show brutality. The public and social life are shown by the park and the mirror over the middle card connects it with the fox. The fox is a trickster and manipulates, deceives, and likes to lead opponents behind the light. One simply cannot trust the Taliban’s statements. The 9 of Clubs points in the direction that the Taliban will also manipulate on the foreign policy scene. The Ace of Hearts, which is the inserted card in the fox card, shows that a purposeful and extreme religious direction is their compass needle. What about the last card, the moon? Yes, one can say that the night has sunk over Afghanistan. The moon and not the sun is on the sky. However, the 5 of Hearts carries a hope. Not all Afghans share the Taliban’s worldview, and the strength of this opposition has not yet dawned on the Taliban.
Will Donald Trump be re-elected as president of the US?
At the time of writing, US President Donald Trump has come crashing down with social media Twitter after they started to fact-check some of his tweets. Twitter has long been Trump’s favourite news platform after turning his back on most media. He sometimes sends up to 100 tweets a day, which are read by his 80 million followers. Many of the president’s tweets have been controversial. With a trade war with China and a conflict with China due to the CORVID-19 pandemic, the starting point for a presidential election is dramatic. Trump is probably a president who can split people’s opinion about him, both in the United States and in other countries.
On November 3 this year, there is presidential election and it is tempting to ask the question: “Will Donald Trump be re-elected US President?” To answer the question, besides using ordinary playing cards, I have chosen to get a second opinion from the Italian cards La Vera Sibilla Italiana. Before starting the interpretation of the spreads, I would like to emphasize that I have tried to interpret the cards as objectively as possible. I have no personal interest in whether Trump wins or not and I have no favourite answer.
The attentive reader will probably have already noticed that the King of Hearts appears in both spreads, placed in the same position as the card number two read from the left. The King of Hearts represents President Trump in both spreads.
But let us start with the playing cards. The Ace of Spades starts the spread and it is the only one of the four aces that can indicate both an ending and a new beginning. Being the first card, the Ace of Spades strikes a dramatic tone. It is a fate of choice for the United States. The King of Hearts indicates a man who is more controlled by his emotions than his reason, but one should not underestimate him. Positioned after the Ace of Spades, he is recovering his powers after much resistance. He wants to win the election at all costs, and he works best in headwinds.
The card in the middle, which is the heart of the spread, is extremely interesting. The card symbolizes the right hand and to do the right thing and being just. The 5 of Hearts points to the oath passed by the US Presidents at their inauguration: “I solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” The ritual is carried out by the incoming President raising his right hand and with his left hand on the Bible, giving the above oath. As a rule, you end with the words: “So help me God”. It is precisely this ritual that the 5 of Hearts indicates. The subsequent 4 of Clubs almost seals this oath’s words: “… preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States”
The 7 of Diamonds walls or closes the spread. It carries the greatest weight. The card may have multiple meanings, but the classic one is that one’s efforts are rewarded and recognized. Often in the context of financial investment. There is something chance based about the card, as the card can show that you take chances in risky areas and often get lucky from it.
Will Trump be re-elected as President of the United States? With a preponderance of red cards and with the Ace of Spades, the 5 of Hearts and the 7 of Diamonds in the dominant positions in the spread, the answer must be a yes – Trump will be re-elected. But and there is a “but” because if the luck in the 7 of Diamonds disappears for Trump, the card could indicate chaos both financially and socially in the wake of the election.
Let us look at the Italian cards.
As mentioned earlier, Trump is shown by King of Hearts (Gran Signore). The 3 of Spades (Il Vedovo) which initiates the spread, together with Gran Signore, tells of a president who gradually loses support, isolates himself more and more and who may conflict with his surroundings. At the heart of the spread we find the Ace of Clubs (Imeneo). This card shows an agreement between two parties, an official contract. A contract between the incoming president and the American people. The subsequent card, the 2 of Spades (La Vecchia Signora) can be a difficult card to interpret. She will often indicate that a slow change is happening, and that time is running out for natural reasons. She mirrors Trump and shows an older man who may be about to be influenced more and more by his age. By lying to the right of Imeneo, it could also be suggested that the presidential election may not be held as planned and must be postponed. The 8 of Spades (Disperato per gelosia) walls the spread and it casts a dark shadow over the entire spread. The card alerts difficult times and difficult problems. The presidential election can create an unpleasant atmosphere of gossip and deception. With the 8 of Spades as the last card suggests a societal situation that can develop into a crisis, both financially and socially. A development that can get out of control.
However, even with an overweight of the difficult spades and with a spread ending with one of the most difficult cards, I have to conclude, however, that Trump will be re-elected President of the United States. The Italian cards are, in my opinion, at wavelength with the playing cards.
Posted May 30, 2020
Shown cards: Ciel de France, Miro Company, Paris 1950
Sibilla Originale del 1890, Ed. il Meneghello, Milan 1999