Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Writerly Tarot for the Week: The Two of Wands

Ah, decisions decisions. Choice is a fantastic problem to have, one of the finest, but it does come with challenges. Such is the energy of the Two of Wands.

Wands are the suit of fire and passion and soul purpose (get used to seeing them if you seriously pursue any creative endeavor). As such, they are expansive, direct, and somewhat chaotic. Twos, however, are cards of balance and union. Which makes for a peculiar tension in this particular card.

Luckily, we writers know that tension is necessary -- it's the building block of conflict, and it adds a fine singing tone to our work, much like the properly adjusted strings of a violin create its rich soulful music. Real life tension can be a little more nerve-wracking, but it is just as necessary, and just as useful.

Think about your work in progress, your abilities in progress, your creative purpose in progress: what options are you holding? What ideas are you weighing? It's good to be patient, to ponder, to take the long view -- as the Steampunk Tarot explains, "A wielder of fire does not chant 'eenie-meanie-miny-moe.'" But do not dither. You've got some powerful energy at work. Choose and move forward.

(Pro Tip -- sometimes a choice is not either/or. Sometimes the choice is to hold the two options in tension . . . and walk between them).

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Writerly Tarot for the Week -- The Seven of Wands

Feeling a bit embattled? You and me both.The fact that it's taken me until Wednesday to write up this Monday reading says a lot of the state of the creative state around here (Mercury retrograde too! Oy vey!).

The wands can bring a lot of creative energy to a situation, but a lot of chaos too. Just look at this card -- our hero is taking on six different enemies, all at one time, all with their pointy sticks aimed right at him. I bet you can easily think of six things competing for your time and attention -- six chores, six e-mails, six bills, six phone calls to return. And you and your one stick to fight them all.

This week, box up any perfectionistic tendencies you have and shove them on a high shelf. Put out what fires you can, the ones liable to flare into conflagration. Plant your feet on whatever solid ground you can find. Muster your reserves. And give yourself a pat on the back for every accomplishment, no matter how small.

And above all, protect your creative time from all those hostile forces. Shut the door. Turn off the phone. Take whatever snatches of clear and open time come your way to write, to ponder, to look at pretty pictures, whatever refuels your creative mojo. Soon enough the clatter of sticks will fill the air, and you'll have to grab your own stick and whack away. But in the small moments, when the blue sky is empty and silent, connect with your purpose, your joy, your reason for doing this thing. And do whatever you can to celebrate and own that purpose.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Your Writerly Tarot Reading . . . Coming Soon

So I'm revamping my tarot practice again. It's a regular thing I do, like cleaning the closet or reorganizing the laundry room. And it never fails to turns up surprises both pleasant and not-so-pleasant -- missing earrings, decayed cookies, that birthday card for your best friend that you swore you'd left right on the counter.

Artwork Courtesy of Thalia Took
One of the things I'm happy to be dusting off is my daily practice -- pulling one card a day, mulling it over during the next unfolding hours. Watching the ways its energy manifests, making new connections. I always tell people that the daily one-card reading is the best way to get to know the tarot, the best way to get to know a new deck, and the best way to develop a relationship with yourself as a reader.

And yet my practice dwindled. I got caught it in other things (what were they? I wonder now) and my practice fell by the wayside. I only pulled out the cards for momentous occasions. Which is no way to treat such a fine companion as a tarot deck. It's like only calling your best friend when you need money.

So I am recommitting myself to the daily practice. In addition, I'm committing to a weekly shared practice. I've written many many times about how tarot is a fine tool for creative work, especially writing, how my work as a tarot reader is similar to my work as a mystery writer -- that is, I connect themes and images into a coherent narrative. Tarot helps you break through blocks, uncover hidden ideas, and connect pieces and parts that perhaps seemed vastly different on first glance. It is a tool of discovery . . . perfect for any writer, especially those who look at the writing process using Stephen King's brilliant comparison -- that writing is like fossil hunting, more about searching and finding what is already there than making something new out of thin air. And -- especially important -- treating the fossils you find with the care they deserve.

So I've decide to use this space to offer a weekly reading for all you writers out there, seeking a nudge from the Universe. Feel free to send me your own questions and interpretations.

So what say you? Shall we begin?