Monday, June 13, 2016

The Writerly Tarot: Three-Card Summer Solstice Reading

The Earth is spinning her way around the Sun in a dance older than every story we have ever told, soon to be at one of the year's two solstice peaks. For those of us here in the Northern Hemisphere, this is the Summer Solstice approaching, the longest day of the year. The word "solstice" has its root in in stillness, and so that is what we are doing this week—slowing down and looking at the Universe in a grain of sand.

Or a spread of cards.

I've been analyzing the three-card reading I did over a month ago, one that turned out to be rather monumental—Judgment, The Moon, and Temperance (you can read my individual analyses by clicking on any of the previous). As in the above illustration, Judgment was the central card in the spread, the thematic statement of the reading, its message flavored by and echoed in the two supporting cards. So let's start there.

Judgment is the card of the calling, and as such, shows up at times when the Universe is delivering a summons (being "called" is a feature of all the cards in this spread, a through-line that gives us the major theme of the reading). Judgment features the angelic messenger Gabriel blowing upon his celestial trumpet, waking the departed from their graves, and as such it calls to parts of us that perhaps we have thought long-dead. It bids us to rise and come forth and—and this is the most important part—heed the call.

That's your first question—what are you being called to do? Since this is a celestial call, you'll feel it in your bones, which are made of stardust. This call might scare you—angels are not exactly the bland pastel presences that greeting cards make them out to be. They are the messengers of all that matters and can be frankly terrifying, with beating wings and rushing air. So there might be fear associated with this call, perhaps a deep existential kind. Your rational brain will probably try to hold you back from leaping to this call, terror being one of its clues that maybe you are venturing too close to the edge/the sun/the monster/the unknown. It responds to this cue like a dog to a whistle.

Such is fear, which is the most primal of protective responses. It's a huge part of the second card, The Moon, too. The Moon beckons you to move forward, from the waters of the subconscious and past the baying wolf and hound, up the crooked path and between the imposing pillars. The Moon send up the warning that whatever you are being called to do, it will have a nightmare or two attached. But all calls that matter come with fear because all calls that matter come with the threat of loss. So ponder for a while on these moonlit shores—what are you attached to that is preventing you from answering this call? What do you fear might happen if you say yes to it?

Take some time with this step. Call your fears up from the deep. Look at them clearly. Sit with them for a while. This is the hard part, but it is necessary preparation for the second angel, Temperance.

Alchemists describe the process that Temperance initiates as solve et coagula—dissolve and coagulate—and as you might expect, people sometimes have a harder time with the breaking apart of things than the coming together. But breaking must happen. This is how the building blocks of whatever is coming next will be formed, in the ash and crush of something returning to source. Think atomic energy. Think combustion. Think raw materials. Temperance may be compassionate, and deliberate, but she is not necessarily gentle.

As you can tell, this is no fortune cookie reading. This is Big Deal Stuff. Yesterday I posted about love, and how this is the only thing that can save us in this burning world. This reading compels you to love as fiercely as you can through whatever art you make—writing, painting, singing, sculpting, playing, moving, acting, dancing, praying, storytelling—and to do it now. Release whatever you must to make room for that love to thrive in this world, even if that means letting go of a fear that seems to be keeping you safe. Share your art with others, and receive theirs in return. This will make you wildly vulnerable. Do it anyway.

You have been gifted. It is time to unwrap that gift and take it out of the box. It really really is.



Annie said...

Wow! This a a triple threat. I'm sharing this sucker with some folks who are ready for it. And soaking it up for me. So great! Thanks, Tina.

Tina said...

Thank YOU, Annie! I was thinking of you the whole time. Gabriel sends smooches.