Sunday, August 9, 2015

This Week's Writerly Tarot: The Six of Pentacles

Ah yes. This card.

Some tarot readers say the Six of Pentacles is the only card in the deck that reads the same way right side up as it does reversed. That is to say, it's a card of energy exchange, and as such, it describes a movement, not a static collection of pieces-parts. And movement, especially that guided by the hand of Karma, is hard to pin down into topside and otherways.

Things seem obvious in the image. It's easy to see who's giving (the rich guy) and who's receiving (the beggars at his feet). The scales are balanced. But the card asks you to look deeper. Exchanges never flow one way only, and the act of giving/receiving is no different. It is a relationship, a connection. It is reciprocal. We are all cogs in the Machine of Larger Cycles, each action a tiny whirring gear turning the giant wheels of time and space and human potential. Receiving fuels the engine as much as giving; they are both parts of the same clockwork.

I hear you saying, "Yes, but what does this have to do with my writing? Right now? No rich people with handy portable scales here. No golden coins hovering in the air either."

Well . . . no. We writers may traffic in symbol, but they rarely show up so blatantly in our mundane worlds. And you're so busy, what with all the planning and outlining and submitting and revising and -- you know -- putting actual words on the page, who has time to interpret such an image? Couldn't I just slap a nice inspiring Facebook meme up there?

Oh very well. Here.

Photo by OLU

As for the Six of Pentacles, remember -- no man is a self-made island. No woman either. With apologies to Blanche DuBois, we all exist on the kindness of strangers. For some people, giving is hard (see last week's post on the Five of Swords and scarcity mentality). For others, especially those accustomed to having enough to be a generous giver, receiving is way out of the comfort zone. Both are required, however. They are the yin and yang of everything. Every gift requires a recipient, and you do your part in the great infinity loop when you show up whole-hearted for both roles.

Writers share time and words with readers; readers share time and money with writers. Writers share encouragement with each other, and sometimes more concrete gifts -- a recommendation, a review, a hand up the ladder. We celebrate the sold-out signing and commiserate when That Guy on Amazon writes an addle-minded review.

This week, consider all the actions of giving and receiving that you participate in. Be conscious in them. Be fully present for them in all their joy and squinchiness. There may be a beneficence coming your way. Or an empty hand extended. Or you may be the one reaching out in one fashion or the other.

Regardless, you know what to do. Take a deep breath. You got this.

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