Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Thoughts at the Angel Oak

Some random thoughts I had while walking around and under the Oak today:
  • Most trees are a tall trunk, from which spread the branches in a halo. The human body is much the same. Slightly different theme for most animals: a horizontal trunk, supported by multiple limbs. Human architecture tends to follow the animal form, oddly enough. Exceptions include Fuller's house, and the yurt.
  • The Angel Oak has multiple support points, like an animal; but the overwhelming impression is more like an atom or an amoeba, with a central pillar that branches in all directions.
  • Time. Time is measured in changes. Something that changes little... time moves more slowly. The Oak moves slowly compared to humans, but it still loses and regains its leaves each year (in the spring); it is not changeless. Humans tend to come and go quickly, rather than lingering under it.
  • It is a sculpture carved by gravity, light, air, time, and the forest around it. The branches curve and twist in unexpected ways, echoes of obstacles the tree once faced, now long-gone. For some reason, it hasn't grown to the east. Maybe there was a building there, or another large tree, now vanished?
  • The tree has grown to become an axis mundi. It exerts its influence on the land all round it, physically and spiritually, so that it echoes the oak; and the oak reflects the land all round it, too. Of course, this is true of all things; it is only our manners of seeing that pick out axes mundi.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Reading, Beltane to Midsummer 2011

What advice do you have for Jeff between now and the Solstice?

Alison did this reading for me:
Judgement | Hanged Man | Page of Pentacles


A call to new beginnings, restoration and wholeness, absolution and forgiveness. New life arising from death, a time of joy and rebirth. The trials and tribulations have passed and you are called, by destiny or a greater purpose, into renewed life in the light of a new dawn. Also, a time to reflect on the past and understand how the actions of yesterday have helped to shape today.

Hanged Man

Self-sacrifice, especially for the greater good. A time of release and surrender, letting go of the effort and will normally exerted towards concrete or practical accomplishments; instead, withdrawing into solitude, contemplation or more mystic/"spiritual" pursuits. "Turning the world upside down" to gain new perspective. This may be a period of difficulty - it depends on how willing or unwilling the sacrifice is.

Page of Pentacles

Opportunities for new growth and prosperity, a spark of initiative and potential offered. Grounded in earthy qualities like diligence, responsibility and practicality - relying on the tools and resources at hand - there is still a certain lightness and playfulness that accompanies every new beginning or intriguing opportunity. Also suggests an enjoyment of physical pleasures of the five senses, possibly in particular an engagement in nature (perhaps a literal garden?).

The Story

The energy of the cards doesn't seem to have one clear direction. The Angel of Judgement faces to the left to sound her call, but both the Hanged Man and the Page seem to face forward or out of the card (though the Hanged Man's body is turned to face towards the right, his head hangs down so that he's looking almost behind him). Considering the association of the Judgement card with the events of the past and the Page of Pentacles being associated with new opportunities, there is some indication that the energies should be read from left to right like a simple past-present-future spread. In this case, Judgement might be strongly indicative of the transformation and new life of spring (associated so strongly with Beltaine, especially with the undertones of death and "breaking free"). The Page of Pentacles might be associated closely in time with the Solstice, then - perhaps in a very literal way, as a time when your activities and projects are "bearing fruit" in the form of new opportunities or potential being realized… but in a way that still demands continued steady work and commitment in a very practical, grounded way. In the meantime, there's a suggestion, by the Hanged Man, of acceptance or surrender, perhaps a period of rest and release, turning inward to seek the inner wisdom of spirit… or perhaps simply in preparation for the work to come, in order to gain some new perspective or insight that might be useful for taking full advantage of those future opportunities when they arise.

My Commentary

This echoes a lot of what I've been thinking and feeling the past few days. I feel like I need to retreat a little, find my bearings and my touchstone. To that end I've decided to join DOTR and work on their aspirant path for a while. I also feel strongly called to get back into exercise, and commit more firmly to eating better. None of this is particularly creative or groundbreaking work; it's more about stepping back and shoring up the foundation, making sure I know where the ground is, so that I have a place to stand.