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.