Looking at the card of Strength, we see a rather angelic woman closing the jaws of a lion with her gentle touch. Above her head is the same infinity symbol as was above the Magician for this truly is our eternal struggle. As I am considering this card, and the virtue that it represents, I am in training for Transition, a movement designed to usher in a world without oil by focusing on developing local initiatives.
As the Common Wealth Time Bank is a project of Transition Sarasota, I do have an affinity for the movement and look forward to the time that the initiatives they propose reach mainstream acceptance. The challenge of course, is that the oil industry is a rather large, roaring lion, one that is more likely to bite off the heads of those that oppose it than be suppressed by them. Fortunately, we don’t really need to suppress them, we just need to overpower them by realizing our own power.
The Transition movement does much to share information on some of the more daunting repercussions of our addiction to oil, including climate change, deforestation, reaching peak oil, and debt-based economics. At first glance, for those that look at these things with eyes wide open, they are quite frightening, like looking into the roaring maw of a ferocious lion. Our power comes in realizing that we need not be confined to the mainstream operations that are causing these things to happen. Just as has been done throughout the history of civilization, we can adopt new procedures, cultivate new practices, and start new habits.
By focusing on our strengths, the resources at our disposal, the collective genius of community, and the joy of participating in the cultivation of a better way of living we restore our power to be the changes we want to see in the world. The economy of globalization, which is largely fueled by our addiction to fossil fuels, is ravenous in its hunger for unlimited growth, devouring these hours of ancient sunlight and stealing resources from future generations. In this system of mass consumption, most decisions are made outside of our circles of influence, leaving us largely at the mercy of its whims. Investing our energies into our local communities by seeking out and adapting more sustainable and enjoyable ways to provide for ourselves, we find ourselves more able to control the edges of our circles of influence and can restore balance to the power that has been so poorly misdirected in the faltering Age of Oil.