The Sun: Looking for New Shoots

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The Sun: Tarot of the Vampyres; Tarot Mucha; Mystical Cats Tarot

The Sun is the urge towards living fully and consciously. With this consciousness comes the signs of the maturing of our current writing cycle, and we are greeted with the young shoots of the fruition of our plans.

Can we believe that the shoots that are pushing through are signs of growth and movement into the future? Perhaps we have not yet made peace with our fears of failure, or other parts of our shadow self. This will form a barrier between us, blocking our route to step into the vitality and clarity of the Sun. If this is the case, then we will need to stay with the energy of the Moon and work with our shadow selves until we gain a better understanding of these fears. There is no rush.

Or perhaps we are doubting the new shoots are even there. Yet have we even taken time to look for them among the weeds of our self doubt?

Last week was a hard writing week. I completed only half of the pages I had set as my goal for the week. And every one of those was painful as I covered some distressing terrain. There was travel chaos in my city as a WW2 bomb was uncovered on a building site and then (thankfully) safely detonated. For a couple of days, nobody was moving on the roads around where I lived. There were four, five hour delays for journeys of just a few miles. Time and patience had been sucked up through a vortex and replaced with the choking fumes of a city under seige by immobilised traffic. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised that my writing wasn’t moving any where quickly either.

With the bomb safely dealt with, the roads back to normal, and a weekend to replenish energy levels I took a step back from the day to day mechanics of my writing and looked at my progression. The A4 plan for my novel that I wrote is dated 6th March, and in just two and a half months I have written almost six of the thirteen chapters. Some weeks I have not met my writing goals, but for each month I have still managed to exceed my overall targets. Last month I aimed to write four poems to get my poetry vibe up again, and I wrote ten poems plus other fragments.

The ragged weed of a bad week should not be allowed to take our energy or conceal the early growth of the seeds and bulbs we have carefully and consciously planted. Pull those weeds out and get some perspective! Do not let the weeds feed on the ground we have nourished and prepared, do not let the weeds bask in the Sun we have made our pilgrimage towards.

Now’s the time to look for the shoots and enjoy the delicious golden glow. Take the time to lounge, to sun bathe. The Sun brings the energy of clarity and optimism. Delight in the new growth. Take the day off, before the journey moves onward.

The Moon ~ A View from the Bridge

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The Moon: Mystcial Cats Tarot; Morgan Greer Tarot; Tarot of the Vampyres

The Moon and its focus on the subconscious makes sure that we don’t miss our shadow shelves on this journey we’re taking.

And who is my shadow self?

I am secretive. I write to try and keep myself accountable, grounded. I write to keep my thoughts and body connected, so I don’t lose my tether to the material world and spin out into fantasy. Secretive can so easily slip into sneaky and self deceptive.

I am learning to trust dreams as the truth. When I think ‘should I be spending so much time writing without any signs yet of outward success?’, I remember that this writing life was a dream, a wish planted in me a long time ago, and that it was planted for a reason, even when that reason is obscured from me. The Moon asks us to remember the call of The Star, but reminds us that our destiny and purpose does not just exist outside of us: our purpose is anchored and rooted to something deep within us too.

This moonscape is as vast and fathomless as our subsconscious, and its sheer size can bring about panic as it reminds us of our comparatively tiny size. Panic can play us into the hands of our darkest fears, leading us from love to terror. The danger feels real. What if we are lost in the realms of our mind forever, always doomed never to bring forth anything more than the merest thimble full that we could gather? It is okay. Thimble by thimble we will gather what we need from the enormous ocean of our subconscious mind. And while we undertake this task, day after day, let us also remember that the Moon reflects the light of the Sun. Keeping our eyes fixed upon this light when all else around us is darkness will ensure we don’t get lost within our own night sky.

As I travel with the energy of the Moon into my own subsconscious, I clutch at my writing goals like a precious compass grasped inside my palm. Things can look strange by the light of the moon, but when the moonlight is shining within me, I may not look any different to the casual observer. Yet how I look at myself, how I am relating my writing to the rest of my life’s journey is changing. This subtle illumination is the key I have been looking for in my writing life. It is the key to the bridge which stretches between my inner and outer self. From this vantage point I can view my subconscious by the light of the conscious mind, just as the Moon reflects light from the Sun.

The Star: Honouring Our Lost Parts

img_8874The Star: Tarot Mucha and Tarot of the Vampyres

With the Star we continue with the outpouring of grace.

The fire of the Tower has left us open to receive this grace as the truth, and so we receive the answers to the questions that have been holding us back from moving forward with our writing projects. This truth, these answers brings us the mental calm we have been craving with the roiling turmoil of the last few cards. We are now filled with the energy to move forward with our projects, and a renewed sense of trust that we are indeed moving towards our goals, which are likely to have have been adjusted and tweaked with the new clarity of thought that the Star brings.

A third of the way into writing this first draft of my novel, I have been taught that outward goals of word counts and the number of writing sessions I manage a week are important, but they are not enough. I am writing for the deep sense of satisfaction that writing gives me: writing is my Star because of what it teaches me, not just because of what I can teach others through my writing. I ask that I feel the joy of writing as a way of connecting to Spirit through the flow of grace through my mind and through my pen.

The Star is the star of our destinies, that which gives a sense of meaning, purpose and inspiration to our writing lives. It now becomes clear that the mental blocks and struggles of our writing project have been part of a journey of larger spiritual significance. Following the mental clarity of the Star’s energy will give a sense of finally honouring a lost part of who we truly are.

Abandon the safety of what you know: The Tower

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The Tower: Morgan-Greer Tarot

It is time to meet the energy of holy fire, burning away the old structures that no longer house us but entrap us. The brave will welcome the fiery energy of The Tower, the Holy Spirit upon us in lapping tongues of flames, Kali Ma ripping through our lives. The rest of us will be left feeling apprehensive at the sudden change it promises and the loss of the safety blanket of an established routine that will be ripped from the dribble of our napping chins.

Temperance was the fresh flow of grace, spurting forth like a young river: cutting narrow channels in the rocky structures of our minds, our hearts, our lives, so that the water of grace could clear out and tumble through our softer layers. Still, the hard structures were left standing within us.

To move forward in our writing journey, these hard layers of rock can no longer be left standing. The sediment that old habits of thought and practice have left in our minds will not be be moved by the young, fresh flow of grace. It needs the destruction that a holy fire brings.

The Tower demands that to move forward we must evacuate the structure of writing habits which have become counter productive: the writing book that gave us good constructive advice to begin with, but now seems to hem in our creativity; the early morning writing practice that once left us energised but now leaves us too knackered to tackle the rest of our day; the outline that was perfect when we devised it but is now working in counter direction to the flow of our developing prose.

We must be willing to abandon the safety of what we already know. If we have attempted to write a novel before (perhaps on many occasions too) what we already know has only ever lead us to dead ends in our writing process. What we alone know will not be good enough to lead us to completion. In order for our process to be invigorated with the energy that will lead us through the rest of our writing project we must be willing for our old ways to fall and new structures to emerge from the project itself.

I have learnt that there is no wrong or right way to write a novel. But there is a wrong way to write my novel, a wrong way to write your novel: and that is staying attached to any process or routine which does not allow its development to flourish. We will not be allowed to nap our way through to its completion. The fire ripping through the complacent Tower of our comfortable habits will not allow that to happen.

 

 

Lose the fear not the faith ~ The Devil 

img_8740The Devil: Tarot Mucha and The New Mythic Tarot

What the heck is The Devil? The prevalent Western Christian image of a creature with cloven feet, horns and a long tail is not Biblical, but a construct based on Pan, a figure of Greek Mythology. Half man, half goat Pan was not evil exactly, but untamed, amoral and natural. Okay, that’s a fun fact you might be saying, but how does this knowledge help the writing process?

Well, I think that this conceptualisation of the Devil is not who we need to fear in the development of our writing mindset. For many years, the Devil I feared lived on the inside, a construct of repression and nightmares, of what other people, more respectable people, would think when they read my writing. Why? Because in our writing it is easier for others to see who we really are on the inside, the part of our selves we have painstakingly hidden away to protect us from the judgement of others.

There’s something else we tend to fear when  darkest depths of our psyches are being illuminated. The Devil shown in this card is also the figure that we are told can consume and alienate us from the love of the Divine. We are risking showing this untamed, amoral and natural part of ourselves, and being rejected, condemned even.

I think that this is the right time to share that this blog has outed me to members of my former church community as a woman who has made her choice to use tarot as one of the tools to explore my intuition, psychological archetypes and as a means to self coach on my writing journey. And I have been called out for living a life contrary to God’s will for me.

What’s ironic is that in belonging to the Church I was becoming less and less of who I felt God made me to be. I was embroiled in the fear of not being the person I needed to be to help the Church grow. I criticised myself for being too introverted to evangelise others into faith and for being too focused on moving into my own relationship with Divine. This fear of not being the person the Church needed me to be in order to serve, was the Devil in me whispering that I was not good enough. This card asks us to call out and name those whispers that tell us we are fundamentally flawed in some way, and plain just not good enough. This isn’t a case of ‘don’t sweat the small stuff.’ This is the stuff inside of us that the socially and spiritually conservative are going to have some really big issues with.

I am not the first woman to be condemned for pursuing her own spirituality outside the Church. I won’t be the last. But I’m no longer going to use up energy in the fear of being seen for who I really am, for revealing the individual connection I’ve always felt to God, Spirit and the Divine, and the not-easily-explained level of intuition I navigate my life with. For the first time I feel like I’m being seen for who I am and who I’ve always been. And, yes, I am being condemned for it in the way that I thought that I might. But it doesn’t matter because I don’t fear the condemnation anymore. It is done. I have unlocked the power of this card in my development as a writer, by acknowledging the repressed part of me, and letting go of the fear of what other people project onto me.

I’m not going to use up energy to continue to try and make myself look respectable to those whose fear based constructions I simply do not believe. I release my need to be seen as a good girl, a respectable girl and a fearful girl. I am a woman who only seeks the Light. I am using and transforming the energy that I poured into the fear of being ‘outed’ into a force for good to fuel my writing.