Sunday, February 28, 2016

This Week's Writerly Tarot: The Four of Swords

Rest and recuperation are the key concepts of this card. And I'm taking them seriously, since I am suffering from a bout of what my mother always called The Crud.

I hope you'll find a space this week outside of busyness and your hamster-wheel schedule to heal the parts of yourself that need it. I always look at sickness as a reminder that if I don't take time out on my own accord, my body will time-out me in its own fashion. And that, friends, is never pleasant.

Back to bed I go, Vitamin C toddy in hand. Lesson learned. Until next week...

Monday, February 22, 2016

This Week's Writerly Tarot: The Ten of Pentacles

You want coins? This card's got coins.

Because as you might expect when the card of culmination (the 10) meets the suit of material resources (the Pentacles), this card represents abundance of the highest order. Comfort AND joy. Love AND riches. Peace AND prosperity, as my sistah Kate Stockman often reminds me. This, my friends, is the card of having it all. And it's yours this week.

I can feel your puzzlement, oh writerly ones. How many of us creative sorts are literally rolling in money, money that falls like rain from the blue sky? How many of us can attach "New York Times Best Seller" to our resume? Okay, some of us can, but certainly not all of us, and certainly not forever, not for anyone. Therefore, despite the ridiculous amounts of abundance in this card, I'm addressing this week's reading to the Not-Quite-Having-It-Alls among us.

Because and here's the secret this card's really for you.

See, the 10s are cards of culmination. They are the end, the result, the grand finito. They are the last page of the novel. They always point forward, to a new beginning. To the next phase. Because no matter how tightly we try to hold on to a space or a moment, the nature is life is dynamic.

So if you are not right now swimming in gold, if your mansion is still in the imaginary stage, if the dogs aren't sitting properly and are instead yakking up something under the kitchen's the promise. This too shall pass. All things shall pass. Even gold.

And if you are materially blessed right now, savor it. Enjoy it. Store the memory away for future leanness. And if you are not, know that your situation is not destined to remain that way forever. Take pleasure in what you do have, for another message of this card is that money is grand, but it ain't everything. The love of a good dog counts for something too.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

This Week's Writerly Tarot: The Two of Cups

Should you wish to celebrate Valentine's Day in a decidedly unusual fashion, you can visit the flower-adorned skull of St. Valentine in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Rome. This other bits and pieces of the saint's skeletal remains have a more vagabond existence -- they can be found in reliquaries throughout the world, including Ireland, Scotland, England, France, and the Czech Republic.

Should you choose to celebrate closer to home, however, the Two of Cups is here to help you out. Cups are the symbol of free-flowing emotion, and the Twos represent new beginnings. The Two of Cups is the quintessence of fresh relationship energy, the kind that sparks and energizes. The kind that softens and warms and make possible great growth and change.

And it's not just about romantic love. This Valentine's Day, celebrate everyone who shares a heart connection with you -- your spouse, your kids, your friends, your pets. Everyone with whom you give and receive love. Valentine's Day is about love in all its pink and red glory, but the Two of Cups is about that love in the flesh.

We writers can be a solitary lot. But I bet there is a beating heart close to you right now, a heart that beats for you even when you are locked alone with your words.

So this Valentine's Day, give the owner of that heart a hug, or a phone call, or a card with lace and your own words on it. They most surely need it. And so do you.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

This Week's Writerly Tarot: The Five of Cups

It was bound to happen. Where there is milk, there will eventually be a spill.

Such it is with bounty and abundance. Such it is with the universe, galloping headlong toward entropy. "Nothing gold can stay," Robert Frost reminded us. As does the Five of Cups.

There's a reason that the suit of emotions is represented by a vessel. Feelings flow. They surge and ebb they roil and tumble. Without containment, they would have no form, and without form, we wouldn't be able to understand them. We'd drown in them, the tidal wave of them.

Our gentleman here is grieving. Three cups lie on the ground at his feet, their contents split and running. They may as well be a flood, even though all that remains is a puddle. And soon, even that will be gone.

Creative folk will recognize this feeling. It comes with the rejection letter. It comes with the bad review. It comes with contracts that aren't renewed, signings that go unattended, readers who walk by with their eyes averted.

But let's not get too personal. Suffice it to say, we've all been there.

So mired is he in his pain that he cannot see that two cups still remain full. There is still some good in his life, some sweetness. It is the tendency of those who love us is to press those brimming chalices to our lips and bid us drink, and drink deeply, of what we still have to be grateful for. We can forgive them this. They want us to be happy.

But first and this is perhaps harder for them than us we must grieve. We must be in the moment. Yes, the past is water under the bridge (note the stone bridge and flowing river in the background, a not-too-subtle reminder of that very truth). But right now, right now...we mourn.

What is it in your life that is passing away? Are you mourning it properly? Are you giving it the full eulogy it deserves? Are you capable of standing present in your grief?

I hope so. And I hope that soon you taste hope on your lips once again.