I’m sure many who read the news online heard when Justin Bieber was arrested for DUI (driving under the influence of substances) and resisting arrest. I would describe Bieber as the tarot’s Knight of Wands reversed, or ill-dignified.
He has the youth and impetuousness of the tarot’s young and not-quite-mature knights, who are ready to run off and defend a kingdom — or at least seek treasure and a hot princess in the surrounding domains. The knight is trying to grow up from being a page but isn’t yet able to run a kingdom. It will take a few quests, with both successes and failures, to temper the restless knight. I picked Wands because I think Bieber is displaying the rashness of fire that isn’t controlled or managed: he was racing cars in residential areas while allegedly under influence of various substances, without a care for consequences. He thought his celebrity status should give him special privileges, which were apparent in his rude comments to the arresting police officers.
Sadly, that is what I expect to happen: Justin will land on his feet due to his celebrity status. I think this sounds like another instance where a young, spoiled celebrity is going to get a slap on the wrist and be no worse for the wear. It occurred to me to see what the tarot has to say about this. I got my Albano-Waite tarot deck and asked: How will this incident affect Justin Bieber’s career?
I used the elemental power spread from Johanna G. Sherman (Sacred Rose tarot), which is based on the first step of the Golden Dawn’s Opening of the Key. There are four elements, a root card and an outcome card.
Fire – root of the matter, past actions, the base
The elements are read from right to left. The first is fire, which is occupied by the 4 of Swords. As the root of the matter, this card makes me feel a little sorry for the Bieb. It makes me think he isn’t well, and was looking to escape his daily routine. This is air mixed with fire, which is a volatile combination. I kept thinking about Bieber’s apparent self-medication in this case, and wondering if there are mental imbalances that we the public don’t see.
Water – emotions, needs
The next card position is water, occupied by the 2 of Pentacles. Here is the classic image of a man trying to juggle two things without losing either. Looks like Bieber may be overwhelmed with the trappings of success; or other demands in his personal life that we are unaware of. This card is elementally strengthened, which suggests to me that he doesn’t see a way out of his dilemma.
Air – thoughts, wants
The third position, air, has the fast and fiery 8 of Wands in it. I’d say the speed of this card fits in with Justin’s fast living, especially in this situation that caused his arrest. Like the air with fire above, this fire in air is also a combustible scenario; I don’t think we have seen the last of Bieber debacles. It’s interesting to contrast the wants and needs of these last two positions. It looks like the need is to find balance and the want is to live the fast life; these don’t seem likely to mesh. Something our errant Knight has to learn? Carrying on from the first card, this gives me the message of someone trying hard to get away from something.
Earth – culmination, sum
The final element is earth. It’s where the other elements all end up, and how they are grounded. The card is Lovers — air, which doesn’t sit well in earth. In elemental terms, earth and air are enemies, which makes this card weak. It can describe something that isn’t working, as enemies don’t sit well together. The obvious meaning is love. Of a parent? A girlfriend? Self? I don’t know enough about Bieber’s life to say. The secondary meaning of choice fits well: Justin is backing off from the responsibilities that are being thrust upon him on his way to adulthood, and by living fast he can avoid getting to know himself and making the choice to grow up.
Root and Outcome
What is at the root of this whole event? The 10 of Swords… ouch! Could someone have back-stabbed Bieber, and set him up to be under the influence and hopefully arrested? Although Machiavellian, it’s certainly not unheard of. I got a feeling of self-loathing when I originally drew this card, although now I lean towards the betrayal interpretation. Perhaps both are relevant.
The outcome is the 5 of Pentacles. Like the root card, this one isn’t very happy either. Here we have a classic card of monetary loss. In psychological circles, we get the “dark night of the soul.” Since the question was about Bieber’s carrier after this incident, I would say he is going to take a hit in the financial area. I’d expect a fine, of course, but I think it may affect his money-making — fans are forgiving, but can also be fickle. Still, I don’t think it will be permanent: this is a 5, mid-way in the numeric sequence of the minor arcana, which means he can recover from the loss.
A troubled young man trying to escape living his life, or shouldering responsibility, chooses to live fast to put off growing up. He may have been set up in this case. I think he’ll see short term impact on his income but will recover due to his forgiving fans.
As I like to say, time will tell, and we’ll have to wait to see what’s next for Justin Bieber’s career, and whether he can overcome his impetuous Knight of Wands tendencies.
Jason is a tarot enthusiast who started working with the tarot in the early 90’s while studying computers in college. He once created a personal deck (possibly during high school), which is ridiculously thick due to contact paper lamination. His first “real” deck was the Albano-Waite. A modern favorite is the Lo Scarabo Tarot. Jason has explored a variety of cards and other divination systems over the years, including geomancy and Lenormand. Jason lives in northeastern Ohio with three cats, a rabbit and a partner who supports his card habits. He works in the IT industry by day, and enjoys exploring the world of divination by night. He is currently exploring approaches to working with cards that involve visualization and hopes to develop skills for locating missing things via tarot readings. More of his writing can be found at his blog, JaseOnCards.