Last night, everybody was (understandably) upset here in Italy, as ballots where being counted, etc. Because, you know, general election. Widespread fear of a gridlock (opposing sides prevailing in the two chambers, albeit by a narrow margin) dominated conversations.
I was moving a bunch of books around, and found myself toying with my Fortune Deck from Jonathan Tweet's Everway role-playing game boxed set — which as a teenager I routinely used as a "divination" tool. In jest, then, I interrogated the cards about the next Italian government! Here's what I got:
Fate: the Satyr (indulgence vs. moderation)
Virtue: the Dragon (cunning)
Fault: Spring (new growth)
Past: the Creator (nurture)
Present: Fearing Shadows (unnecessary fear)
Future: the King (authority)
An interesting - and very poignant - spread! Starting from the bottom, I read the Present/Future set as meaning that there will be no gridlock and the new government will hold together. How long? I don't know, for a full five years would be rare and unusual in Italy, but I felt confident enough to bet pizza with a friend that it would last longer than a year and a day.
I read the Creator as meaning that the present state of things was deliberately crafted, and is not the result of random events: just some staple, everyday conspiracy business.
The Dragon as a Virtue means that our elected representatives aren't stupid — not all of them, at least. If they're smart enough, they could occasionally take the right decision instead of surely damning all of us. But Spring as a Fault means that the newcomers, being inexperienced in politics, may act to our general disadvantage as often as for our good — that their overall unpredictability could prove more of a liability than anything else.
In the end, there's only a gray hint of hope in our Fate: politically, this is going to be an inconclusive government. The risk is it will slowly dilapidate Italy, wasting resources over near-sighted gains. But this doesn't need happen: with just enough cunning (an ill-fitting substitute for the actual wisdom we want for) they could as well preserve the current - grim but not hopeless - state of things, for somebody else to tackle in the future.