Monday, April 9, 2012

Journey Work II: Home

Morning, Monday, April 9:

Thinking about balance between writing & Amazon, and how freaking impossible it is. Both of them demand a lot of time and energy, and I cannot release either one, really. Leaving Amazon is obviously impossible, at least for several years. And if I just stop writing, I go nuts -- slowly, but surely.

My recent plan has been to write in the early morning, and work for Amazon the rest of the day. But I've found that it's an energetic matter -- if I pour too much personal energy into Amazon, as it's all too easy to do, then when the time comes, I can't write at all. And I've found it harder and harder to actually write in the office, especially when I know Ryan is in the next room. The upshot is that I'm left with no time, space, or energy to write, and that's unacceptable.

For today's card, I drew the Magician. Wherever I put my energy, I will achieve mastery. Well, fine, but what am I to do? ...The solution may just be to find energy from elsewhere... Or ask that one or the other of these commitments get dialed back... Or something like that. But it's something I have to decide. I can't go full tilt on both.

Evening, Monday, April 9:

Diane Sylvan: "The story begins at Card 1: Home.  This is where the hero is at the beginning of the tale--the querent's mindset, life circumstances, or current situation.  In most stories there are two ways for a hero to leave home--either he is comfortable there and is shaken out of that comfort by what comes next, or his life is already somehow intolerable and he is seeking a way out. "

I expect this card to deal specifically with the City of the Sidhe, and circumstances there that are dissatisfactory in some way, or unsustainably comfortable...
  • Primary card (current situation): 4 of Wands. There's a lot of pent up energy around (wands), but it's structured (4) in a way that makes the "fire shine even brighter". Space is carved out for celebration and action.
  • Secondary card (impetus for motion): the Chariot. Marshalling forces that appear to be contrary. Once you've settled on a direction, not much will stand in your way.
  • The structure put in place by the Sidhe (who prepared the ground for this move, and have been guiding events) is collapsing, as it should. It is time to begin to replace that structure with one of your own devising. ... As the work at Amazon becomes more chaotic, less predictable, and less supportive in some ways, it is time for you to step up and provide a structure and ritual of your own -- to take to your feet and establish what you want, here in Seattle. The structure is unravelling because they (the Sidhe) are not here to guide your whole life; now that you've arrived, you need to decide what will happen. (Echoes of the Magician card from this morning again.) ... The Chariot indicates the new structure you're going to put in place, which will carry you far and fast.
  • Images. -- The controlled energy of the City of the Sidhe is shown by energetic currents running through the white marble throughout the city. It's like the marble is flowing with electricity; it's almost like water. I got to see the central library, which wasn't very large, but impressive in scope, square, with a central short pillar with a crystal ball on its top.
  • Lots of work activity around the Bee and the docks. Short, friendly exchanges with all the members of the crew, except the engineer (Amazon), who remains distant and polite and smiles knowingly to herself. This situation with her is unacceptable -- I need a handle on her, she's too important to the journey to remain an enigma. Some insight into the workings of the Bee itself: it flies by balancing gravity against an attractive force from the sky. Again, as with the Chariot, balance of opposing forces generates motion.

Journey Work I: Preparation

This is a brief log of a 12-day session of meditation, regular exercise, regular rest, and semi-fasting (raw vegan). I've been feeling a bit frustrated, rushed, and rudderless, as if I was being pushed around by events and people in my life, rather than feeling grounded, centered, and in-myself. That feeling is understandable, given that we just moved across the country, but now I need to get a handle on things and get my feet under me, and get a clear view of the territory. Like our plane has landed, we've disembarked, and it's time to take stock.

The procedure is to use the Storyteller Spread (as outlined by Diane Sylvan) just as I did about a year and a half ago, drawing a card each evening and building up a complete story. The issues I'm trying to get clarity on will be represented by companions or objects that accompany me on the meditative journey. I'll work on doing more to establish a true meditative journey rather than meditating on each card separately -- I think that was a weakness of the last time I tried this.

Morning, Sunday, April 8. 3 of pentacles. Auspicious beginning of a project of manifestation; union of spirit, logic, and physical into something of great beauty. Nice quotes from the card description (p. 209-10).

Evening, Sunday, April 8.

I. Draw a card for the 'stage', the landscape in which the story will take place. Meditate on it.

Knight of Wands. -- A woman with a sword-cane, standing in what's obviously an Egyptian temple. ... Meditation showed that across the ocean from the docks by the City of the Sidhe, in the direction of Earth and Water, the World Tree rises out of the water in a knotted mass of roots; and built on those roots is a half-drowned city, Atlantean in origin, empty, moss- and seaweed-grown, its stone pillars carved with hieroglyphics. I am the only one who will be able to decipher them.

I decide to use the Difference Engine (Steampunk Tarot, p. 288) to give a twist to this basic premise. The four cards are Knight of Swords, Ace of Wands, Queen of Pentacles, and Four of Swords; I decide to go with the Ace of Wands.

Under the Ace of Wands there is: Three of Pentacles, King of Pentacles, King of Wands. These are really powerful cards. I am set to wondering about Kings and the extent to which they represent the influence of Jeff Adams, his boss Bill, and my friend Bill, and the extent to which they might affect the course of this journey... I'm also wondering whether and how they represent parts of myself. To the extent they're Bill, Bill, and Jeff, my gut feelings are: I fear them, they are Other, they will never support me, they will knock the wind from my sails. To the extent they are myself, I am confident of their support, and know that I can meet any challenge...

I will set aside the question of their actual identities for now, external or internal, and assume that they are spirits that are available to assist during the journey. For example, maybe they'll supply me with a steam-ship to get me to the lost city. I think they'll do so if I promise to assist them in some way, or if they're headed that way anyway...

Yes. In medtation, they provide me with a gigantic bronze and glass bee, which will be our transportation. It glitters in an ethereal unearthly way, as if surrounded by a shimmering lace network of force fields.

II Draw one card for each of the five 'issues': Alison, kids, health, Amazon, writing. Meditate on it to determine what kind of companion / object / steed it will be.

 - Writing - Queen of Wands. Forceful, skillful, driven, she is the pilot of the bee, and the inspiration of the journey.
 - Alison - Page of Wands. Powerful, driven, but not yet skilled, she is the assistant to the Queen of Wands. (And now all four Court Wands have appeared in the spread.)
 - Kids - Six of Wands; this was unclear to me, so I drew another card, the Page of Cups. It seems like the kids are being portrayed as people who look up to me. I think that I will be bringing along a small bag of wooden fetishes (wands) to represent their good wishes as I embark, but otherwise I don't think they're coming on this part of the journey.
 - Health - Seven of Cups. Again (this theme has appeared more than once recently in my occasional readings) I'm presented with choices. I think I'll pick the dragon in the cup, and bring along a golden Fire Lizard that rides on my shoulders.
 - Amazon - the Queen of Swords. She's the judge. I think she'll act as engineer for the bee-flyer, but I'm not certain. She will come along, and we'll see what she does.