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2011-2012 Capitals Predictions: Part III September 24, 2011

Posted by CapitalSpirit in Uncategorized.
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Good morning, everyone, hope you slept well.

Today we’re going to be looking at the Distant Past position of the reading. This is where we take a look at older issues that might still be hanging around, or long-term concerns that might come into play this season. The cards in this position are the 7 OF CHALICES (Becali El) and the 4 OF PENTACLES (Hen El). Well, now…darned if this doesn’t repeat something I’ve been writing for several seasons.

Okay, 7 of Chalices. This card usually refers to mixed emotions, or (more traditionally) to being overwhelmed by too many choices–you just don’t know what to think. You may have heard of what’s called an approach-approach conflict. That’s when you’ve got two choices, both of which you want, but only one of which you can have.

Well, the 7 of Chalices is an approach-approach-approach-approach-approach-approach-approach conflict. There’s too many choices, dagnabbit! Even worse, there’s sometimes an undercurrent of “pick one soon, or lose them all” associated with this card.

Now, if this doesn’t speak to how a lot of people see this team, nothing does. On the one hand, there have been 30-plus years of hockey in the District, and only two playoffs that have extended beyond the second round. On the other, the current squad has a ridiculous amount of talent, headlined by one of the best players in the world right now. On the other other hand, well, the past few springs I need not comment upon.

So we don’t know what to think. Do we Believe, or not? Is it really safe for us to go all-in with our emotional investment in this team, or not? Will the Caps finally figure out this whole playoff thing this year, or not? As of now, we still don’t know…but that’s why I’m here, if I may say so myself. 😉

And it’s this indecision, this “what can we believe,” which could spell a bit of trouble at some points this season. The first purpose of a fan base, and let’s be honest here, is to pay the bills. Verizon Center isn’t the cheapest building in the District, players don’t pay themselves, and unless I miss my guess, all those road games come out of the team’s pocket, as well. That’s where fans come in: we buy the tickets, we buy the merch, we hit the concession stands on game night, we patronize team sponsors (at least, I HOPE we do), and on and on.

But AFTER that, once you take off the green shades–and this is where the 7 of Chalices comes in–the purpose of a fan base is to support the team emotionally and spiritually. (At least, it had BETTER be, or else I’ve been getting it wrong for years.) We cheer on game nights; we attend practices; we lustily boo the opposition; we blog; we spread the word among friends and family; again, on and on.

Spiritual support matters. I’ve written more than once that a mass expectation can have a way of becoming a mass intention. What we all think, as a group, matters more than you would expect at first blush. It’s true spiritually, and it’s also true at a quantum level: the observer matters. Just ask Schroedinger’s cat, assuming that a) it can talk, and b) it hasn’t been poisoned, poor thing. Observations matter; observers matter; thus, fans matter, and we have to be careful what we expect.

Now, how do I explain the Tampa series last spring, when almost everyone was expecting plain sailing coming in? Sean Bergenheim scored the opening goal for the Bolts less than three minutes into Game 1, and you could just FEEL the energy get sucked right out of Verizon Center. Add a power play goal with less than a minute in the second period, and you could almost feel it in the air, that sense of “Oh no, here we go again.” And, eventually, there we indeed went again. I’m not going to presume to know the hearts and minds of every Capitals fan, but I do have to wonder in print how many of us had our Belief shaken so badly that night, that we ceased being the support our team needed us to be. Again, I don’t know–I’m just wondering.

And that sense of “What do we believe” may end up becoming a factor in the season we’re about to start–for better or for worse.

The other card in this position is the 4 of Pentacles. 4 tends to indicate stability, and Pentacles are all about the material, so that’s good news, right? Well, hang on a second. There’s also an undercurrent of “I don’t want to lose this” with the 4 of Pentacles. Sometimes, the 4 of Pentacles can indicate a reluctance to commit to something. And while you could snarkily reply that you’d be reluctant to commit, too, if you knew the next card was going to be a 5, that kind of misses the point…as well as the 7 of Chalices that’s in the same position.

See, the cards are emphasizing this. Getting two near-in-meaning cards in one position is essentially the cards’ way of yelling in this spread. The biggest issue, the biggest undercurrent this season, is that spiritual uncertainty, and that reluctance to fully invest in this team. Don’t forget, this position is at the base of the Celtic Cross, so we are looking at foundational issues, issues that are holding things above them–perhaps, even, holding things UP in an idiomatic sense.

Expectations create intentions; intentions create outcomes. Put simply, it is time to Believe, Caps Nation. For if not now, then when? Are we just going to keep thinking we’ll believe it when we see it, even though we have to believe it BEFORE we can see it? It. Is. TIME. The train is leaving the station, and you can stay on the platform and watch it go; you can try to stop it, and get run over; or you can jump on board and enjoy the ride. I know where it’s going, and I’ll share that in due course, much to my trepidation.

But every present comes with a past. And tomorrow, we’re going to take a look at the recent past, and some things that are soon to be behind us, for better or worse.

Don’t forget–there are some Majors to come, including The Hanged Man (which could spell trouble) and Death (which, believe it or not, shouldn’t.) And I did mention that there’s a major archangel who may be taking an interest in the team this year, and I will get to all of that in due course. Tomorrow, though, we’ll take a look at the recent past, and see what’s going away.

See you tomorrow morning at 8 AM, Washington time.–CS

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