Sunday, December 6, 2015

This Week's Writerly Tarot: The Wheel of Fortune

This week, you might want to grab your favorite lucky charm and avoid breaking any mirrors. The Wheel of Fortune is rolling an interesting turn your way. And you know what they say: Round and round and round she goes, and where she stops...well, that's the crux of the issue, isn't it?

Does the Wheel spin in a preordained pattern, one that is fixed and predictable if we could just suss out the mechanisms behind its clockwork mystery? Are its various stops and starts dependent on our actions, the perfect consequences to our choices? Is it destiny or free will that fires those gears? Or is the Wheel a mystery even to itself?

Methinks it's a little of everything. Fate is a giant ship, very hard to steer once a course is set, but it can be steered with the right application of physics at the proper time. Butterflies can indeed stir hurricanes.

Notice, for example, the four figures in the corners of this card, representative of the four fixed astrological signs: Taurus, Leo, Aquarius, and Scorpio. Every single one has a book open! They're all reading! For what is our existence but a novel, and we are both its subject and its author. And -- good thing too -- we're not allowed to skip to the end and see how it all turns out.

So what does this mean for us? After last week's Magician, where we were urged to take some kind of action in the world, the Wheel of Fortune is spinning our actions into...something. And it's going to be something surprising and unexpected. It's going to make you go "hmmm" or "huh?" or "what the...?" Artist and writer Thalia Took uses the phrase "gifts of the tricksie gods" to describe such somethings. Sometimes trinket, sometimes treasure, sometimes trash, sometimes trap, always unanticipated, maybe even miraculous. Because, yes, even miracles have the law of odds in their favor.

What do you do with this something? I can't tell you that. I can't even promise you'll notice it. You may have to keep your eyes wide open for this one. But if you do spot your unusual gift, I suggest you unwrap it. Take the gamble that Lady Fortune is offering. As writers, every time we commit to a new project, a new idea, and new way of doing things -- even a new software program -- we're rolling those cosmic dice. Sometimes the stakes are small. But sometimes they're quite high. Either way, you can't win if you don't play. That's the only guaranteed outcome.

Iacta alea esto! Let the die be cast!

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