Oracle of Ybor: Secretly Trying To Unionize
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Oracle of Ybor: Secretly Trying To Unionize

Aug 31, 2023

By Caroline DeBruhl

Dear Oracle,

Without going into details, I work for a well-known company, and my co-workers and I are secretly trying to unionize. Is there anything we should know? Anything to look out for?

-Striking While The Iron’s Hot

Cards to Know: Strength, The Seeker, The Empress (rev.)

Cards to Watch Out for: The Devil (rev.), The Moon, Seven of Swords.

Dear Strike,

When it comes to union support, I’m Norma goddamn Rae, so good on y’all for organizing. I know it’s a tough road ahead, and with so many states being At-Will, it’s not an easy decision to rock a boat when job security is on the line, but I hope y’all can unionize and get the protections you need.

Five of the six cards I drew are major arcana, so this is a mighty issue.

As far as what to know, things seem pretty good. With the Strength card, I would remind you that there is strength in numbers (“solidarity forever/for the union makes us strong”), and this is something to pursue with solidarity, not force. You’re walking with a beast. The Seeker is a card unique to my deck (Uusi’s Pagan Otherworlds) and represents the seeking of the divine and Truth. You know this is what y’all are supposed to be doing. To help with your recruiting and your organizing, we have The Empress. The Emperor is traditionally known as the diplomatic one, but the Empress rules with love as well as discipline. It’s a card of hard work and compassion. When drafting your demands, it’s crucial that you do not sacrifice your more vulnerable member’s needs to make something more palatable to the boss hogs.

What you need to watch out for are egos and strategy. Both could sink you. The Moon is both subconscious and shadow—the parts of ourselves that we keep hidden because they’re ugly or base or selfish. With the single-mindedness of The Devil, it’s easy to see how a few egos, drunk on power or convinced that they alone are right, can send you down a path you didn’t want to go. The Devil is often a prison of our own making—or a downfall we brought upon ourselves.

The Seven of Swords, too, is about choices: taking a path that leads to gloriously ego-filled gluttony and destruction or a narrow and dangerous path to freedom. Remember, unions are about the collective, the quiet voices as well as the loud, and it’s challenging to rule by consensus. It’s incredibly easy for a de facto leader to start calling shots without consulting, so be very conscious of how this plays out. Make sure there are some checks and balances for leadership and that things are brought back to members to discuss and vote on. This isn’t to say expertise shouldn’t be relied on or that smaller groups focusing on different parts of the union shouldn’t exist—but broad strategies should be agreed upon by all, not just some.

By keeping the collective in mind, y’all have the strength to fight the good fight.

Godspeed with your organizing, love.

Dear Oracle,

I’m a ”millennial” dad, happily married and raising two kids. My wife and I have a lot of couple friends and parenting friends. Usually, we both really like the wife… but the husband ends up being a dud. My wife has connected with many of these women and found great friends, but I haven’t had the same luck. I still have some great guy friends from childhood, high school, and college, but I don’t really have any that live near me. Do the cards have any advice on making dad-dude friends?

– Dad-bo(n)d

Cards: Five of Wands, The Emperor (rev.), Six of Swords.

Dear DB,

Adult friendships often have two issues: they can be hard to make, and the dear friends you do have end up living an airplane ride away. While modern technology has certainly made it easy to catch up with long-distance friends, no one can deny the fun of meeting up for a spontaneous dinner on a Wednesday just because you can.

I’m sorry you’re dealing with some dud dads. With the Five of Wands, it does suggest that you do not see eye to eye with some of them. That might be because you disagree on more significant beliefs (different values, different lifestyles) or because of more minor issues (no similar interests or sense of humor.) Either way, things feel a little isolating.

Fittingly enough, the lonely Emperor is the earthly father, so it’s no surprise that he’s here. He rules with diplomacy and a wide worldview, so it might benefit you to expand your social scene by trying things that would bring you in touch with a different crowd. (Or, if you’re a political junkie, working on some sort of campaign. The Emperor can also be a stand-in for the government.) The Six of Swords also suggests trying something new and exploring new territory as an active participant. You might have to really put yourself out there and be the one who asks for numbers/texts/arranges hangouts. As someone who is not a cool dad herself, I don’t know where they hang out, but follow your interests/values (Community action projects? Improv classes?) and see if anyone there seems like a pal.

The Emperor, however, is also a card of deep thought. I don’t think shallow relationships are your thing; you might find them more draining than fulfilling. Deep friendships do take time (otherwise can be a red flag), so hopefully, you find guys who are worth it. If not, remember you have close friends who are a phone call away.

I’m sorry. I know parenting can be very isolating, and I honestly hope that you’re able to make friends with some dads who can understand the experience of parenting in the modern world and who can land a joke over a beer at a barbeque.

Best of luck, my darling.

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