Tarot Card Reading: The Public Stoning of Amina
By Gina Rabbin
Amina was publicly stoned to death in Afghanistan several weeks ago. She was 29 years old, married to a man who had just returned from living in Iran for five years. Amina had asked for a separation on the grounds that her husband could not support her. Her husband claimed she was having improper relations with another man. By a decree from the local religious scholar, Amina was sentenced to death. Eyewitnesses said Amina's husband and local officials dragged her out of her parents' house before stoning her to death. The man accused of committing adultery with her reportedly was whipped one hundred times and freed. Six people, including Amina's father, have since been arrested for her killing. This event, heavily reported by the foreign press, received minimal attention by the U.S. corporate-owned media.
Not surprisingly, no one I've talked to has heard about this incident. What I don't understand is why no one wants to hear about it. No one even wants to know about it. Yet, everyone seems to be mesmerized by the on-going Michael Jackson trial. The run-away bride who got cold feet just days before her wedding continues to make the news, long after she returned home. The popular TV show Desperate Housewives is the talk of the town. However, a young woman who is stoned to death in a country that continues to violate the human rights of women is ignored. Why? Where is the public outrage? Why doesn't anyone care? Afghanistan is a country that we have "liberated," according to the Bush administration. It is a country, we are told, that is now experiencing democracy. Yet, such a horrific violation of human rights goes virtually unnoticed by our leaders and our media. Why?
As an intuitive and psychic reading tarot cards, my clients are always asking me Why? They want to know the "why" about relationships that fail, jobs that are lost, lives that are not fulfilling. Using the tarot cards, I am able to help them gain clarity and understanding of the situation they are faced with. If the tarot can do that for an individual, why not for a nation? What can the cards tell us about why we choose to bury our heads in the sand and pretend that what happens in a country almost 7,000 miles away has no connection to our lives here? So, I pull three cards, hoping to find some answers as to our collective apathy.
The first card pulled is The Devil. As I contemplate the various possible meanings of this card, a single word comes to me: Fear. Fear is the basis for our denial. Fear keeps us from wanting to know the truth about the atrocities that are taking place in a country we bombed into "liberation." Fear keeps us caught in the tangle of our own lives, in our desire to survive at any cost. Fear keeps us believing that we are not like "them," that we are different, that their lives have no effect on our own. But what is this fear? It's that we aren't different from them. It's that if we acknowledge the horror, we also have to accept responsibility for its occurrence and its transformation. It's that if we truly let such an event touch our heart and soul, it will rip us apart and we won't be able to survive. We are like a child who hides her head under the blanket so the monster in the closet won't see her and gobble her up, without understanding that the monster is her monster, her creation.
I am reminded of John Donne's words: "No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee." What hope is there for us, for humanity, if we cannot acknowledge that each of us is a part of the whole, that no one - not a person nor a country - can exist separately from the other? Can we move past our fears into an acceptance that what happens to one of us happens to us all, even if that one is 7,000 miles away? The next card I pull, Death, tells me yes.
This card is about transformation. We do have the ability to transform ourselves, as individuals and as a country. We do possess the ability to take the blanket off our heads, to face our fears, to embrace our responsibilities, to accept that "no man is an island." How do we begin to transform our lives? By allowing ourselves to be touched by a higher power, by expanding our spiritual beliefs. This is the challenge Death offers us: to shift our level of consciousness, to bring a higher awareness into our lives, to begin acting from compassion rather than fear. When we begin to feel the truth of John Donne's words, we begin the process of transformation.
This is what is so clearly validated by the third card I pull from the deck, Judgement. This card signifies liberation from our limitations, shifting our perception of life and our place in it. By connecting to our spiritual self, we rise above the narrow focus of our tangled lives and see the world with a new awareness and understanding. We accept responsibility for what happens in the world in the same way we accept responsibility for what happens in our own selves. Fear is no longer what drives us. We know that we do not live in this world alone. Everything we do affects every other living thing, and what is done to another affects us.
If Amina's death is to have any meaning at all, let it be that which begins the transformation for each and every one of us. We need to see our own death in Amina's death, and in so doing find a way to end the violence.
I welcome reader questions! If there is an issue you would like to see addressed in a future column, please email me at (Please note that real names of clients are never used in this column.)
Gina Rabbin is a life-long intuitive and catalyst for clarity. She helps people clarify and resolve their personal and professional issues in order to create more fulfilling and meaningful lives. Currently residing in San Francisco, CA, Gina is available for tarot card readings in person or by telephone. For more information, please visit http://www.ginarabbin.com.