Of the many things in this big, wide world that fascinate me, the tools people use in the practice of their spiritual beliefs are some of the most intriguing. They are sometimes looked on as representative of divinity, sometimes as actual body and blood of their figurehead. Sometimes they are understood as symbol, as metaphor for something believed to be real but yet unseen.
The Tarot deck is one of those tools through which the language of the subconscious can make its voice heard. I haven’t studied any particular deck or divination system in depth, nor does it particularly appeal to me to do so, but I enjoy the window that gets cracked open, the fresh breeze that’s allowed to sweep through the corners of my brain, whenever I settle in and a draw a card. I don’t make any particular ritual out of it. I don’t light incense or candles. I don’t wear any special clothing. And? I don’t take any of what I glean too seriously. Drawing a single tarot card gives my brain some focus, drags one or two strong things up out of the miasma of my everyday thoughts, and allows me time to narrow my world down to that point where there is little noise, little fear of interruption, little guilt that I am leaving work undone (because here’s a secret: there’s ALWAYS work left undone, every single day of forever).
So when I saw the Writing the Wisdom of Your Soul writing challenge hosted this month by author Lyn Thurman and found out that it was going to be centered around the main figures of the Tarot, I admit, I was intrigued. I did the math and, yes, I was already participating (to varying degrees) in FOUR other challenges: #AStoryAWeek by author Jessica McHugh, Zen (Doodle) Challenge by Green Grass Art, Blank Canvas Phobia ecourse by Nicola Holland, and the Warrior Goddess Bootcamp by HeatherAsh Amara. Woo! That’s a full calendar in addition to, oh, you know, a REAL LIFE that includes a full-time job, two bright little boys, one patient-as-hell husband, a home to care for, and laundry to ignore. What the heck, I figure, what’s one more thing piled on the pyre?
The Fool card comes up first in this writing challenge and asks where you want this journey of life to take you, no matter whether that seems practical or reasonable right this moment. There are stories I fall back on when this question arises, stories I tell other people about wanting to speak and write and travel. Mostly pretty vague. There are stories I tell myself that are more intricate, though made up more of feelings and impressions than words or thoughts. I want to listen to people’s stories, specifically the stories of their passions. I know that means that I will sometimes hear their stories of lack, of sorrow, of disappointment, of bewilderment that everything has somehow gone to shit and there’s no saving any of it. But/And I will be treated to their stories of delight, of success, of overcoming, of trying. One. More. Time. That makes my heart quicken. I dream of travelling to distant shores, flying on small planes, walking through wildernesses, sneaking around limitations, exploring forgotten library aisles. And, yes, that is vague, too, because there are only so many words I can reasonably expect you to read before you can get a clear picture of where the Fool is tempting me to go. So I’ll allow myself to be okay with generalizations because I know laying down specifics won’t get me there any faster anyway.
Next up is the Magician who invites you [me | us] to set out the tools that we will need to go on our journey. What do I need to get where I think I want to go? Ah… Deceptively simple. More time with words. Why deceptive? There are so many opportunities to be diverted from my words. So many ways to play and stay small. Such an overwhelming tide to push back against until the current flows the direction in which I’d like to travel. And why simple? Time after time I have proven to myself that when I DO sit down at the keyboard and set my fingers free, there is rarely any pause in their desire to set down a few more syllables, another couple sentences, more and more and more of this thing labelled “storytelling.”
And here I am, sitting in my bed, propped up on pillows, wondering whether this post makes any damn sense or if I just needed to pour the words out on the screen for myself, so that I might wander back here on another day and grin at how green I was “once upon a time” or maybe even nod in approval of a turn of phrase. What if I come back later and think, “That’s not how you sound when you’re talking, why do you write like that?” What is the point of putting this little piece onto the interwebs? Did I do the writing challenge the right way?!?!
Shit if I know.
If you’ve made it this far, I thank you and wish you a fond evening. Chances are I’ll be back much sooner rather than later because this? This is MY passion.