Sunday, August 28, 2016

This Week's Writerly Tarot: The Hermit

I must confess a special affinity for the Hermit (who last visited us almost a year agoyou can read about that here). Each card in the major arcana has specific zodiacal associations, and this one resonates with the energy of Virgo. We Virgos have a (somewhat earned) reputation as the sign of  the Ultra-Mega Introvert. Our mascot is the porcupine in full prickle, and our motto is, "I vant to be alone."

The Hermit spies us in our solitariness, acknowledges us with a dip of his lantern. I see you over there all by yourself. Carry on, my solitary child.

Virgos and Hermits get along well because they both understand the concept of sovereigntyto be beholden only to oneself. Independent. Contained. Self-sustaining. These are key to understanding the nature of both Hermits and Virgos. Like the virgin forest untouched by chainsaws and bulldozers, those of us who fall under the sign of the astrological virgin know how to be complete and solitary at the same time.

The Hermit understands too. That's probably why he's shown up. Have you been too much of a social butterfly recently? You should probably stop flapping your pretty wings and ponder for a second. How is your relationship with your art going? I don't mean sales and reviews; I mean the deep soul work. Are you tapping new springs in your psyche? Making time for the subconscious to bubble up some new inspiration? Has there been any solitary daydreaming in your life? Any at all?

This week, remember that everything needs a little dark, deep, down time, especially seeds. Especially you. There's a time for connection, and a time to be alone. The Hermit says that at least for this week, your own company is the best company.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

This Week's Writerly Tarot: The Moon

And the moon never beams
Without bringing me dreams....

from "Annabel Lee" by Edgar Allan Poe

Ah, yes. The Moon. We have been in this place before, very recently in fact, during our Summer Solstice three-card reading when The Moon came up as one of the supporting cards.

But that is the nature of the moon. Unlike the still and steady Sun, the Moon is a creature of motion and flux. Its appearance changes ever-so-slightly from moment to moment, moving through its phases: dark, crescent, full. Waxing and waning, waning and waxing, sometimes its face is invisible to the eye, hidden in the shadow of the Earth. Sometimes it shines in full illumination.

But regardless of whether or not we can see it, it is always there. And it will always return. Its approximately 28-day cycle moves it in correspondence to the female menstrual cycle, tying it to the process of creation itself. Birth and death and rebirth, chaos and order, dissolution and coagulation. These are the energies of the moon, and as such, The Moon.

This passage from The Druidcraft Tarot explains this card very well:

As we enter the realm of the moon, we come to a source of creativity: the world of the imagination and dreams—a mysterious and intriguing realm that can ensnare us in delusion as well as inspire us with visions. It is the realm of enchantment, which can be both positive and negative. It is here that we must use our powers of discrimination. The challenge offered by the Moon is to...separate truth from illusion, while at the same time allowing yourself to be open to the realm of the imagination and psychic vision.
This week, take a step into the moonlight. Ask one of your pet fears to sit with you in that pearly glow. There will be shadows. There always are. But just remember: a shadow is simply substance plus light.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

This Week's Writerly Tarot: The Empress

And if last week's woman power trilogy wasn't enough, this week we have the Empress, the ultimate in fertile, fecund, wild female energy. She's the essence of creation, and here she is, right now. Just for you.

And me, of course. All of us. The Empress is a card of abundance, and as such, does not parcel out her favors in bits and pieces. They come like the spring tides, and they come for everyone willing to open to them. Heady stuff, this. It can be a little overwhelming. But trust her; she's done this before. Many many times, as many times as the Earth has circled the Sun.

This week, be prepared to get caught up in the rush of creation. And I mean that literally. Sharpen your pencils. Make some tea or coffee or mojitos, whatever fuel best revs your engine. Clean up your desk so that the sunlight can catch it slantwise. Perfume your wrists. Play whatever music lights the fires of creation, or if music isn't your thing, really tune in to the ambient sounds around you, the tick of the clock and whirr of the fan. Turn off the phone (or take it off the hook for those of you who still practice the ancient art of landlines). The Empress is a creature of the senses, and she responds to the sensuous.

Make time. Make space. She will come. And she will bring you a special gift, just for you, because you are her special one. Shhh. Don't tell the others; just enjoy the attention.


Sunday, August 7, 2016

This Week's Writerly Tarot: Judgment, Strength, and Justice

Judgment. It comes up a lot around here. And I'm not talking about judgey-judge judgment, or even the more polite judgment of discernment. Like Death, Judgment is one of those cards whose meaning is more nuanced and archetypal than the dictionary definition.

To paraphrase Inigo Montoya, it doesn't mean exactly what you might think it means.

Judgment is often called Rebirth in the tarot, and yes, that is exactly what you think it means. And as I noted before, this cards turns up a lot for me (and for you, dear reader, since you're here and all). It turned up most recently in June, in my big Three-Card Summer Solstice reading, and also here and here. Judgment and I have some history, which is fine—I understand that rebirth is often a multi-step process—so I asked for some further classification this time around.

Dear Judgment, I said, care to elaborate on what exactly you are illuminating?

And the answer was even bigger than the question. For corresponding factors, I got Strength and Justice (you can click on the links to read my take the last time those cards showed up). It's like old home week around here, all these familiar faces. So what does it mean, all of them showing up again, this time in each other's company.

My thinking? For one, there is something BIG on the horizon. These are all major arcana cards, which means this next step in our rebirthing is going to be a doozy.

And for two, it's got the presence of the Divine Feminine written all over it.

Just look at those cards. There's Justice with her sword and scales, severity and mercy all in one swift impersonal stroke. And there's Strength, with her hand in the lion's mouth, the very emblem of soft, yet powerful, control.

So what's up for us creative folk this week? I'd say that whatever you have been working on over the past few monthsor the past lifetimeis going to reach an interesting stage in its gestation. You might need a midwife to help you along. And by that, I mean all the fierceness of the female way of thinking and knowing and being in the world.

This might be in the form of an actual woman you know, a friend or sister or daughter, a mother or mother figure, a mentor or maven or minister. If this is this case, she will have advice. There will be wisdom on her lips and she will offer it freely. It would be oh-so-smart to heed those words this week.

But She Herself might show up, usually veiled and in your peripheral vision. In that case, get in touch with the part of you that connects to others even as it remains sovereign unto itself. Open your heart and mind simultaneously. Listen for the whisper that comes from just over your shoulder, the nudge and the pull, the feeling in your gut. Let your feet take a spiraling path instead of the straight and narrow. Stand in your truth. Walk in it too. Speak it as clearly as you can. And know that forgiveness and compassion and empathy are not weaknesses. No, they are actually quite muscular. As is She.

What has all of this got to do with writing? I don't know. But I am certain, absolutely certain, that I will know, in a very little while. And so will you.