Sunday, September 11, 2016

This Week's Writerly Tarot: The Seven of Pentacles

And here we have the Seven of Pentacles, a card that showed up almost exactly at this same time last year (you can read about that here). And I suspect I know why our Constant Gardner has revisited us.

We are a culture enraptured by forward motion. Our language reflects this attitude, our glorification of multi-tasking and milestone charts and the whole notion of progress.

We writers are especially susceptible to this idea. How many words per day? How many pages per week? A page a day is three-hundred and sixty-five pages a yeara whole book!and a book a year is...

And so the math goes. Staying in the same place feels like the opposite of progress. And I suppose technically it is, if we're going to be tedious about it. But the Seven of Pentacles asks us to reconsider the meaning of progress, and it asks us to do that by stepping off the fast and frenetic Highway of Accomplishment for just a minute.

Really, a single minute. You can time me if you wish.

The Seven of Pentacles is about assessment, an activity best done in a state of unhurried contemplation. You will be asked to act soon enough, for assessment is not an end unto itself. But for now, you must put your brain to the grindstone. There might be note-taking, perhaps even a dash of predictive analysis. We won't be going anywhere for a little while, but that doesn't mean we're not being active.

And receptive, especially to information. The Seven of Pentacles requires a certain pragmatism as well (the Pentacles are the suit of foundation and stability, after all). Close examination of your work in progress might reveal the necessity of a difficult sacrifice. You might have pruning to do. Some ideas might be best cut off and chucked into the compost bin.

Only you can decide. So decide. And honor that decision by making it in a space that is clean and clear and grounded. A still space. A silent space. A solitary space.

Trust me, the Wheel of Fortune will still be there when you start moving again. It may even show up next week.

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