Sunday, July 10, 2016

This Week's Writerly Tarot: The Three of Pentacles

Roll up your sleeves and let's get to work, peoplethe Three of Pentacles is in the house.

Since the Pentacles (or Coins or Discs) is the suit of all things foundational and material, it has a lot of advice to offer about work, especially the nuts and bolts and day-to-day practice of it.

Because as any writer knows, putting words on a page is real, often challenging, work. Sometimes inspiration flows; sometimes we're digging spoonfuls of dust from a dry well. Sometimes anything, even cleaning out the proverbial litter box, sounds better than bellying up to our work in progress.

And yet writers write. We show up at the page again and again. We keep our appointments and trust that our Muses will keep theirs. Writing is Pentacle business, sure enough, and this week the Three of Pentacles is here to remind us why that practical aspect of writing is just as important as its more emotional or imaginative components.

Let's start with that word "work." It has connotations of drudgery, unpleasantness. Work is the thing you must do before you can do the thing you want to do. Mystics of an alchemical bent, however, speak of the Great Work, a holy process of becoming, of learning and achieving one's true will and purpose. When we do the thing we are called to do, when we practice our spiritual vocation, we play our part in this great unfolding. The Great Work is huge, yes, but it is composed of our daily work in the same way that a novel is built word by word, each word built letter by letter. In the Great Work, there is no separation between the mystical and mundane except in our thinking.

This understanding is key to the Three of Pentacles. A group of workers gather under a gracefully constructed arch. The brickwork around the arch reveals it to be part of a larger building, but this singular feature holds our workers' attention. One has climbed atop a bench to get a closer look. Another consults what looks like plans or blueprints. They know that this piece matters, that it belongs to a greater creation that can only be achieved by getting this part exactly right. And so that is what they are doing. It is work, yes. But it is also love.

This week, you have work before you. The Three of Pentacles is here to assure you that it is good work, that you are laying a strong foundation for a larger success. Knowing this, seek satisfaction in even the smallest task. Pay attention to the minute details. Get up close. Run your finger along the lines of what you are creating and be grateful that the Universe has placed such a finely wrought piece into your care.

Ready to begin? Then let us begin.


Annie said...

Lovely! Such appropriate advice for a week of dithering and uncertainly. The work is its own answer. Blessings upon you, O Tarot Tina. I hope your week is moving smoothly from good work to good work.

Tina said...

And the same to you! My own WIP is less cathedral-like and more half-constructed yurt thing right now.

Laura Valeri said...

This is a great card for writers, and I love your interpretation of the Great Work. I also think it has to do with collaboration, which is not necessarily just about collaborating among writers, but all the people that make writing happen: readers, agents, editors, research buddies, etc. Thanks for this. A great inspiration for this week's writing.

Tina said...

I'm glad you brought up the collaborative aspect of this card -- like the Three of Cups, another of my favorites cards emphasizing the nature of community. I'm glad to have you on my team, Laura -- thanks for your ever-insightful comments.