Well, what do you think you deserved? ~ Justice

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Justice: Tarot Mucha and The New Mythic Tarot

Like most of the Major Arcana so far, there are many ways we could apply Justice to our journey as writers. We could look at how our everyday writing actions are fitting into our long term plans, remembering that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. It could be that it’s time to make an effort to include impartiality in our process, perhaps with the help of a writing group, or by taking time to switch our writers’ hats for our editors’ hats. Maybe it’s even time to take a step and consider if there is any area of our goal setting around our writing which needs an unprejudiced eye cast upon it.

But given that in this sequencing Justice follows the Wheel of Fortune, let us consider that the most significant energy of the Justice card is that which resets balance, and then let’s move to apply this to our writing life.

There’s every chance that you weren’t born into the perfect circumstances to become a writer. Perhaps your spelling and grammar were derided in school and all that swirling red pen scribbled over your confidence for years? Or perhaps you were born into a family where writing was never going to be approved as a path to pursue? What has blocked me most as a writer is the balancing act I have tried to pursue between speaking my truth and not wanting to upset anybody, a fear born from how I was parented as a child (love my parents! We’re all doing what we can…) and then developed through my schooling.

We have worked through the first eleven cards of the Major Arcana in our journey as writers now. We have cleared the ground, sought to connect with ourselves, put up supporting structures, fought our demons, sought a relationship with our work based on the light of our soul, and we’ve let the wheel of fortune spin. In ‘Dirty and Divine’, Alice B. Grist writes of Justice as adjusting the circumstances of our birth,  ‘A gentle pulling back to what should be.’ I find these words so healing ~ there were gentle tears when I first read them.

Imagine your writing life as it could have been if you’d have followed the clear path of fate without the heart muddying circumstances that held you in fear or frustration for so long. Hold that dream in your mind’s eye because the work you have done to get this far has reset the clock and recalibrated your heart to point in its true direction. You are now living in circumstances where your writing life can be all that it was ever meant to be: soul connected and tethered to your deepest self; excavating the answers to all the questions you’ve ever needed or will need to ask; juicy, vital the truest expression of who you are. Now. Now is the time that your writing life is meant to be.

Justice brings what, all along, we have deserved.

 

Haiku Journey of the Writers’ Tarot~ from the Fool to the Wheel of Fortune 

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0

One man and her dog
journey of a carnation
the Fool’s soul calls.

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I

Fire, water, air, earth
offered the world on a plate
now just hold God’s hand.

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II

Between dark and light
between two wordless columns
mystery deepens.

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III

Mother’s no cliché
in nurture and sacrifice
there’s surpressed rage too.

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IV

Father’s not the law
but his structure and order
can contain the truth.

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V

Called to belong
to spiritual traditions
the Fool brings questions.

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VI

This other she seeks
vessel of passion and drive
both find the fruit’s sweet.

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VII

Steer those twin horses
but don’t break their wild gallop
it’s fuel for the drive.

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VIII

Strength is not lack
turn up to wrestle filled with fear
Fool? Lion? Transformed.
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IX

A small light’s glowing
it is the lamp of the soul
draw into the cave.

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X

Goals begin in souls
If all that’s wanted is more cake
This wheel throws the Fool.

There’s More To Goal Setting Than Wanting All The Cake ~ The Wheel of Fortune

The Wheel of Fortune: (from top , then left to right) New Mythic Tarot, Mystical Cats Tarot, Tarot of the Vampyres, Morgan-Greer, Tarot Mucha, Nicoletta Ceccoli Tarot

I have trouble with goal setting for my writing: those goals made under the ubiquitous advice of “dream big!”. Call me boastful, but I have a fabulous imagination and I’m a world class daydreamer. I’m quite sure I can dream as big as anybody else could imagine. But I also know that some of my daydreaming is pure escapism.

When I’m goal setting in the “dream big” framework, am I planning from a place of connect, the Hermit staring at her soul lamp? Or am I planning from my love of escapism, the part of me that wants to be the girl with the most cake?

The Wheel of Fortune is the card of those forces which are out of our control. The drawback of the “dream big” mentality is the belief that as individuals we are omnipotent and in control of all circumstances. But there is more to us than our will to succeed and the desire for outwardly measurable success.

If we have set goals which are based on our comparison monsters, or if we set any goals before we’ve spent time by the light of the Hermit’s lamp, then there’s every chance we will be rudely thrown off the Ferris Wheel of Fortune. It’s called hubris ~ arrogance in the face of the Divine.

So what if alongside my writing goals of daily word count and first and second draft deadlines, my biggest goal was to be happy in my writing? This goal, I have a better grip on. I am writing with the intention to publish and reach a wider audience, but I must also grapple with the possibility that the greatest reward I might get is what writing the novel teaches me. If I come out of the writing process unable to sell this book but clearer on my own philosophies and how to structure those thoughts coherently, I have lost little compared to what I have gained, if I value my inner life as much as outer achievements.

There’s also the possibility that the process might teach me me that I don’t really like writing novels, or it takes more out of me than I want to give. To hold onto my joy as the process unfolds, I think I have to say to that: so be it. I’m going to use the Wheel of Fortune to remind me that once I have set my intentions, to enjoy the fairground ride I must let go of the outcomes as much as I can.

Ancient Greek mythology tells us that the Moirai, the three aspects of fate, were not the children of any gods. They were the fatherless offspring of Mother Night, the formless void that existed before the rest of creation and the oldest power in the universe.The Wheel of Fortune points to this unknowable part of each of our lives, which sometime works to lift our plans, and at other time seems to work against every step we make.

Is Fate outside of us or part of this mysterious pattern of who we are, knitted into each of us in our mothers’ womb? Either way let us move forward making our writing plans with a lightness of touch and by the wisdom of our own self knowledge. Let us set the goals and then let the outcomes spin. Let us know that letting go is not giving in.

The Soul Knows Why You Are You ~ the Hermit

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The Hermit: Tarot Mucha and The New Mythic Tarot

Once we’ve spent time working with our writing fears and struggles, we move into a time of uncovering why the struggles are there. We may have noticed that as we have established a routine of turning up for our writing each day, when we are ready to make the next leap we become bogged down by comparing ourselves with others, who may well be further along the path than we are.

The Hermit’s energy draws us inwards. Comparing ourselves to others may well be part of our journey, but we will only find out how this can fuel our understanding of ourselves by quieting the voices around us.  It is the time in our writing life when we move out of the influence of others, because it can be all too easy to see their special qualities and worthiness as writers whilst being blind to our own.

One of my comparison monsters comes in the form that I am a very nuts and bolts blogger and Instagrammer, and I compare myself to those who have a very shiny machine of a social media presence. Another comparison monster visits because I am forty one and the monster tells me I should already have my first novel written and published, if not the second.

Right now, I am letting the Hermit’s lamp withdraw me from this comparision and into her cave. She does not dismiss my feelings of inadequacy, but instead uses her lamp to let me see the reasons why I am who I am. She does not berate my struggles or tell me to focus only on the positive. She knows that they relate to what my soul is trying to tell me about the lessons I am to learn in my life.

This card doesn’t have a quick moving energy, I would call it a slow burner. As writers it calls us to plan carefully, work diligently and wait patiently. Silence and patience bring forth the fruit of the Hermit. We will learn our lessons at the same pace too. I am still listening and trying to learn what my comparison monsters have to teach me by the light of the soul’s lamp. Time will tell.

As writers, we hope that if we stare for long enough, the soul that was once invisible to us will begin to glow and lead the way. I think the soul, or life purpose, is like the Hermit’s lamp, for even once we are in connection with it, it so often only throws out enough light to show us the next step. Thankfully, today that’s all I need.

 

 

 

Understanding Fear ~ Strength

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Strength: Mucha Tarot 

Once we’ve spent some time driving the horses of our Chariot, it will become clear that some of the things that hold us back are not just competing drives, but fears.

My fears when it comes to writing are many: that I won’t have time to produce what I want; that I have nothing new to say; that I’ll never fully get the hang of the old adage when it comes to writing fiction: show don’t tell; that I’ll never have a wide readership; that the moment of being overwhelmed and giving up is always only a day away.

If being strong meant that I had to overcome all my fears before I started writing then I would never have been able to make a start. Writing is how I overcome my fears: making time each week day means that I see that I have time to produce work and that it builds up incrementally over time; I let myself free write and see that I have lots of new angles on subjects that I’ve never read anywhere else; I read widely in fiction to help build up my repertoire of what’s possible; I write on this blog and engage with the readers that I have and post snippets on IG to meet other readers where they are at; I keep my promise to myself daily to turn up at the page.

Strength is not a lack of fear. Strength is the courage to recognise and to try and move beyond the fear to see what lies there. There aren’t any shortcuts to tackling the lion, and for the conquest to be meaningful it must bring transformation. When we show up and face that ferocious lion’s mouth each day, we move closer towards the writer we imagine we could be.

Conquering our fears is a process, and a process that starts to establish our identity as a writer, and who we will become if we continue to defeat our fears along the way.