Did the way that whole thing went down seem just a bit ‘hinky’ to you? When the Al Franken sexual misconduct scandal first broke in late November, I was jarred like many people were, because it just didn’t seem to be in line with the man’s reputation. A leading progressive senator, a serial groper? The fact a proxy Twitter account for Roger Stone tweeted the night before the first accuser came forward, “…it’ll be Al Franken’s turn in the barrel next” only heightened my suspicion something ‘hinky’ happened. I finally did a reading on the matter December 24, 2017, weeks after Al Franken declared his intention to resign from the U.S. Senate. The deck I used was the Robin Wood Tarot Deck. The spread I used was a combination of the Celtic Cross and the block method I used for reading about the Democratic Party. I asked, “Give me an overview of Al Franken’s situation right now.” The result looked like this:
This is the kind of reading where you choose a significator to represent the person you’re reading about. As the King of Cups represents a man of law, the Church or government, I chose that card for Al Franken. Covering his significator was:
The Page of Swords, Reversed: Some Tarot readers don’t do reversals. That is, they don’t acknowledge the reversed meaning of the Tarot cards when reading, and they choose to read them right-side up. I do reversals, as that can give you more information about the situation. This card covering the significator represents the most important matter facing the person being read for. Yikes. The Page of Swords reversed is a nasty piece of work. He is a cunning, vicious, deceitful, intrusive person who is good at digging up dirt on people, skilled at verbal attack, and an expert at causing people grief. This card reversed can also mean unexpected events which force a change in plans. And it’s right on top of Franken’s significator. Since the Court cards in the Tarot most often represent actual people, this card is one person in particular who was the mastermind behind the whole scandal.
The Sun. This is the card which crosses the first card and the card-which-crosses is always read right-side-up. This can augment the first card, or represent an opposing force to it. The Sun is success, victory, happiness, joy, and liberation, among other things. The reversed Page of Swords’ success in creating the scandal which forced Al Franken from office has made that person very happy. Downright joyful, in fact.
The Hermit, Reversed. The card in this position is the Foundation card. It represents the essential fact of the whole matter being read for. The Hermit reversed simply means wisdom rejected, enforced silence, someone who has been sent into the wilderness by people who don’t want him around anymore, someone who may have been the source of their own undoing.
The Knight of Wands, Reversed. The card in this position represents a concurrent influence to the first (covering) card, or may be on it’s way out of the inquirer’s life. The Knight of Wands in many Tarot decks is depicted as a young man on a horse, wielding his wand like a spear or a lance. Given the Knight of Wands’ location in this reading, and the fact that he’s reversed, it looks like he is directly prodding Al Franken’s significator. The Knight of Wands reversed is an argumentative person who loves conflict, can be a liar, a bigot, an opportunist, and just generally is an untrustworthy person. The scandal which ended Al Franken’s senate career was primarily a two-man operation.
The Ace of Wands, Reversed. This card is in the Crowning position. I always think of the Latin phrase ‘fini opus coronat’ — ‘the end crowns the work’ when I think of this card position. The Ace of Wands reversed in this matter basically means that a once-promising and thriving senate career was thwarted, dashed, aborted, brought to an ignominious end. Well, so far, this reading hasn’t told me anything I haven’t already known or suspected.
The Six of Wands. This card represents the Future. The Six of Wands is a card of victory, success, achievement, and recognition for this. But for who? Al Franken? Or the people who brought him down? Well sit tight, because here comes The Block reading:
These cards I’m going to read from left to right, and from top to bottom. Some of these cards in this spread are singletons, and some of them seem to function as pairs, trios, or even quartets. The Three of Pentacles represents job success and garnering closer scrutiny of one’s work. I think this means that with time, Al Franken’s senate career will be receiving a re-examination and possibly a more favorable opinion of him will form along with it. This card may also indicate people will be taking a second, closer look at the scandal which forced him from office.
The Four of Cups and the Two of Wands I interpret to reflect Al Franken’s position right now. The Four of Cups depicts a man completely shutting out the presence of three beautiful full cups lined up in front of him, and a fourth, hovering in thin air, being offered to him by a disembodied hand on the left. But his body-language is closed off. He is in retreat and disregarding all inducements to come out of his shell. He may be depressed or doing some heavy-duty thinking, or both. The Two of Wands depicts a merchant who is watching his ships sail away. This card is a watch-and-wait card. Not much is happening, or can happen right now. The man in this card is feeling the need to wait and see how things develop before he takes any further action.
The Wheel of Fortune, the Knight of Swords, and the Star. The Wheel of Fortune is self-explanatory, and please note, it landed right-side-up, not reversed. The Knight of Swords represents a person or situation which will rush headlong and dramatically into the life of the person being read for. The Star is a card of hope and faith in the future. So if I could sum these three cards up in a sentence, it would be this: Al Franken will experience a change for the better and when the Wheel of Fortune finally turns his way, it will happen in a sudden and dramatic fashion, so he has every reason to hope for the future, because it looks bright.
The Queen of Wands, Reversed and the High Priestess. These two cards are an interesting and complex study, and worthy of meditation. The Queen of Wands reversed is an ambitious woman with high moral standards who insists that others around her be made to live up to those same high moral standards; she’s a bit rigid. The High Priestess these days can be taken to represent female authority and power, but the traditional meaning of the High Priestess concerns me, given that she is standing next to the Queen of Wands reversed. The High Priestess’ traditional meaning is secrets, hidden knowledge, things going on behind the scenes. This suggests one of two scenarios. Either the Queen of Wands reversed is acting without having key information in hand (because somebody is hiding it), or the Queen of Wands herself is harboring a secret about this scandal. I find this pair of cards, along with the Page of Swords reversed and the Knight of Wands reversed, to be the most disturbing cards in the whole reading.
The Ace of Cups. Al Franken will be experiencing an emotional renewal or a new emotional beginning in the future; he won’t be brooding and isolated forever. He will make new connections and start another creative enterprise.
The Five of Swords, Reversed and the Three of Cups, Reversed. The Five of Swords depicts a smirking or laughing young man who’s just defeated and won the swords of two sulking rivals who are walking away. This young man may or may not have won the fight fairly. Reversed, I interpret this card to mean that Al Franken will be exonerated and cleared of wrongdoing. The Three of Cups depicts three maidens toasting each other with full cups of wine. Reversed, this card means that with this exoneration, the party will definitely be over for whomever was involved in his downfall, since his exoneration may mean the consequent exposure of themselves.
The Five of Cups, Reversed, the Nine of Swords, Reversed, the Ten of Swords, Reversed, and the Seven of Cups, Reversed. The Five of Cups reversed means the pain will be over, he will re-establish contact with some of the people he was forced to break things off with when the scandal erupted. The Nine of Swords reversed means his long nightmare will be over. The Ten of Swords reversed means the worst is over; the swords will be pulled out of his back and he will finally be able to stand up again. The Seven of Cups reversed means coming out of a state of wool-gathering and returning to the world of action. But make no mistake…
Strength, Reversed and the Four of Pentacles, Reversed, mean that Al Franken has been considerably weakened by this scandal. Not just his reputation and standing in the world, but his health may have been negatively affected. The Four of Pentacles reversed tells me he will have difficulty ‘unclenching’ from this. Having been the target of universal condemnation will have made him somewhat insecure and defensive. He may be hesitant to reach out to others. The scandal may have left him in a weakened financial condition, or he may feel it has done so. He will not be compensated as much as he might wish for the trouble he has suffered.
The Eight of Wands, Reversed, the Two of Swords, Reversed, and the Five of Pentacles, Reversed. The Eight of Wands reversed means a situation which has been active and ‘in-flight’ coming to an end. The Two of Swords reversed means Franken will slowly, carefully, but surely come out of the treacherous and restrictive situation this scandal has been for him. The Five of Pentacles reversed means the outcast will be restored to the good graces of the larger community and his conditions will improve.
The King of Swords, Reversed and the Ten of Cups. The King of Swords reversed means Al Franken has been the victim of an injustice, and it will make him more cautious, harder and cynical in the future; he will be more guarded with people. But the Ten of Cups is a card of joy, and in the end, all will be well again.
To sum things up: based on this reading, there was a conspiracy between two people to hang this sexual misconduct scandal around Al Franken’s neck. There was a third person who likely wasn’t a part of the conspiracy, but because of her own nature, she certainly compounded his difficulties. (Next day note: now that I think about it, the conspirators may have engineered this scandal knowing the Queen of Wands would react the way she did. She may have been an unwitting dupe in this whole matter, but a key player nonetheless). He will eventually be exonerated and things will be well again for him. He will start off in a new direction in life and he may even re-establish contact with some people he knew from his senate days. But this whole ordeal will have left its mark on his soul. He won’t be the same Al Franken he was before the trouble erupted.