dealing the cards like a meditation

Sunday, August 24, 2003

This covers me: king of wands
This crosses me: knight of swords
This is beneath me: 2 of pentacles
This is behind me: 5 of wands reversed
This crowns me: the fool
This is before me: the tower reversed
My fears: page of cups reversed
What others think: the emperor
My hopes: the empress
Final outcome: 8 of cups

Eep. This totally matches up with the last reading. The tower reversed which is directly in front of me is a harbinger of something calamitous. The knight of swords charging into battle also points to this. The 5 of wands reversed suggests something that started off as a mock battle has become deadly serious (although, truth be known, this could very well point to a different situation in my life, having occurred in the recent past. Soemthing that I thought was just for fun suddenly became serious, much to my dismay.) The 2 of pentacles shows my penchant for trying to juggle things instead of focusing on one thing at a time. (While I am probably more linear than most non-linear thinkers, there is definitely an associative, random-walking component to my mind.)

The one thing that is decidedly positive, though, is the fool. While he stands for a lot of things, the thing that he makes me think of right now is Edward Norton's character in Fight Club, the Narrator. As Tyler Durden put it, it is only when we have lost everything that we are free to do anything. As the Narrator puts it: And then... something happened. I let go. Lost in oblivion–dark and silent and complete. I found freedom. Losing all hope was freedom. Tyler Durden again: Hitting bottom isn't a weekend retreat! It's not a seminar! You have to forget everything you know, everything you think you know – about life, about friendship, about you and me.

The Fool is numbered zero on the deck, literally nothingness. He is standing at the edge of the cliff, on the brink of disaster, and while, given the typical interpretation of what a fool is, it may look like he is oblivious, I really think he knows what he's doing. Not that he necessarily knows what is at the bottom of that cliff, only that he really does want to be there, and he is happy about being there. (I am forced to bring up the old chestnut, the trite little saying, that in Chinese, the same character represents both "crisis" and "opportunity." Although, I must say, I think this more illustrates the conservative nature of Chinese culture than anything else...)

The tower reversed is interesting. If it were right-side up, it would be pretty dire. It is a lightning strike. The ivory tower falling. Revolution. But, as Rachel Pollack puts it, the catastrophe is also liberating. (How strange, that the tower ultimately complements the fool.) Now, when reversed, it might indicate that I am reluctant to let go. But the other thing, looking at the tower reversed, is the sensation that the hand of God, Fate, whatever you want to call it, seems to be shaking the tower. But notice that, when the picture is upside, the people are falling up.

It is interesting that the Emperor and the Empress are adjacent to each other. The emperor stands for the rules of society, the laws and the customs. In the position it is in, it makes me wonder: is this how people see me, that I only follow the straight and narrow? Or is this how people wish I were? Given my barely submerged longings, I so very want to take the empress literally as a woman, but it can also mean fertility, perhaps even in a metaphoric way when it comes to the creation of art. Now that would be something. The Empress can also be a warning about letting emotion overrule intellect. The Empress is a card of passion, of drive, of yearning. Taken with the Knight of Swords, it seems to warn me of being too impetuous, too rash.

And finally, the 8 of cups. The story it conveys to me is of a traveler, who finds exactly what he is looking for, then realizes that he cannot tarry there, that he must leave it. (Like in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" with regards to the Holy Grail. Like in The Missing Piece by Shel Silverstein. Like in the song "No One is to Blame" by Howard Jones [lyrics].

Again, perhaps I have to seriously come to grips with where I'm at in my life. The trite saying again: how being alone is quite different from being lonely.

There are worse things in life than living in solitude, I suppose. I just wish that it wasn't so uncomfortable. But, then, given my line of work, what I ought to know is that, given enough time, and assuming that it doesn't kill you, a man (or a woman) can get used to anything.

In summary, though, taken with the last reading, what the cards seem to be telling me is, things have changed. Deal with it, then move on. Such is life. There is no use chasing fading dreams, I suppose. Whatever I seek has to be real. Like with the fool, he is seeking only the edge of the cliff, nothing more. He doesn't really care what's beyond the edge, at the bottom. The edge is enough.

We'll do this one day at a time, same as always. I've gotten this far, I can surely go farther.
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