The Shipwreck: Surrendering to the Sirens’ Song By Janet D.H. Hinkel

Janet D.H. Hinkel is releasing an amazing creation into the world – the Tarot of Delphi, a Neoclassical-themed deck using imagery that is powerful and mesmerizing. In this post, she discusses the process of surrender in her reimagining of the major arcana card The Tower as The Shipwreck.

The Shipwreck: Surrendering to the Sirens’ Song

By Janet D.H. Hinkel

Sirens are magical creatures. Beautiful and feared, they embody what it means to surrender – the dread we feel about letting go, and the delightfully unexpected rewards when we do.

In the traditional Tower card of the tarot, also called the Lightning-Struck Tower, the ego experiences surrender like being tossed from a flaming building. In the Tarot of Delphi, this card is titled the Shipwreck. Instead of lightning, Nature produces colossal waves in a high seas storm, and the ego is thrown from a sinking ship.


For me, that’s a great description of how it feels. Because honestly, I’m terrified to surrender. It’s not that I want to stay on a sinking ship. It’s that I’m terrified to plunge into unfamiliar waters, to trust the unknown.

Sure, I like the idea of trust and surrender. I like the idea of dropping the cargo that weights me down, of finding a truer course. But… wow, my mind swirls with what’s at stake. I’m quite attached to my burdensome cargo! And the truth is, even after I jump, you may find me clinging to the wreckage. This is the fearful side of surrender.

And then it happens. I’m there. In the sirens’ cave, surrounded by the their song and the music of the sea. This is the beautiful side of surrender. Inevitably, surrender leads to a place I couldn’t have imagined from the deck of my ego’s swiftly moving ship, a place glittering with promise. The sirens, beautiful fearsome agents of change, harbor me from the rough seas and help sort through the flotsam to find the healing gems.

The course I had been sailing wasn’t suitable for me. Okay, so being thrown overboard is scary. Now that I think about it, there were plenty of warnings, beacons flashing in the night saying, “Hey! You’re sailing into the rocks!” (Based on my own life experiments in refusing to listen, it seems the scare-factor is directly related to the level of resistance.) A course correction was necessary.

The Shipwreck, i.e., the Tower, is not an easy card to find face up on the table. I’m soaking wet and sputtering, after all. I wanted to go North, and the storm tossed me South. Slowly, I dry myself off. And I realize I am truly thankful for the misty, salty air and soft sand between my toes.

The sirens are literally sifting through treasure, as if to say, “Look at the riches in your life!” These are the jewels I didn’t even know I had. These are the resources that surface when we face difficulties with grace. The sirens love gemstones and shiny things, because they value the rewards that surrender brings.

On my previous course, I had no idea these treasures were in my possession. After surrender, I find myself in a place that is far more satisfying, truer to my life’s path, and richer with intangible value. The fearful part was my ego, but once I took the leap, I found myself in a place glimmering with beauty.

This card, the Shipwreck, is from the Tarot of Delphi, a deck illustrated with original Neoclassical Victorian artworks. The deck is available through Kickstarter, where you can watch the video and learn more. Making this deck and taking it to Kickstarter has been the biggest plunge I’ve taken in years. I hope you’ll jump in – it’s going to be fun.

Thanks to Amoret for inviting me to guest post on Siren Afire. Successful plunges are possible only with such kindness and support.