Tuesday Tarot – Give Me A Moon?

Fingertips very sore today, typing will be minimal!  Yes, there are the final four Major cards – all neatly scanned together weeks ago.

However, since it is painful to type – you get to muse on your own about the final three until next week.  I will discuss only #18 The Moon!  

The moon is full today, so it seems appropriate to focus so singularly rather than skipping the Tuesday Tarot entirely as I first thought about doing.  Laura Perry takes this card in a direction I do not agree with at all.  Her entire definition is what I have long regarded as the proper interpretation of a reversed presentation.  Her operative phrase is “I deceive” and the Linear B tract says “Neither”.  She insists the card means illusion  and specifically self-deceit, seeing reflections and thinking it is reality.  As I said, for me, this IS the correct read for a reversed Moon.

To me, the Moon card always speaks of the tides of life and intuitive pullings.  It suggests being at a low point and seeking a way to rise.  It may suggest occult forces, secret enemies, the need for psychic protection and attention to dreams for a useful psychological clue.  It can suggest a flood tide of change — usually voluntary, but tumultuous all the same.

It is a potent card for me presently; lots of change in my life tides of late have me feeling rather wave wracked.  I am dreaming in significant “Get a clue and a BREAK” ways.  I intend to take the advice of dreams and this card and work some “me” time into my crazy life ASAP!

Magical Battle of America – The Answer Blowing in the Wind?

Last week, I did not work for this – not only were we overwhelmed with the final chapter of grief and loss for a friend – but I don’t feel a personal need to “clean America’s archetypes” much. The past IS as it is, I don’t need to white wash it to still defend the product OF that past — the NOW America I reside within.  If our archetypes are the results of the flawed actions of flawed humans?  Well, it is through failure and flaws that we learn; and then we move forward to put loss behind us.

This week’s task was summoning strong, cleansing winds of change.  I got my protective circle in place, looked around my Nor’west — spotted  the stream, visualized the fish leaping — because it was dark, I saw nothing.  I zipped to the dark Plains, and sat on the roof of my sod house, looking first up at the pentagram overhead.  No dripping sparkles of light this time, just a soft glow.  I looked to the East, a very faint golden-pink glow there, the dawn almost hitting the coastline.

I turned my back on the distant dawn and stood facing the dark West, though there should have been a nigh full moon.  Perhaps it set already, I did this quite late?  I shut my eyes, visual things are not my strength – having been nearly blind most of my life.  I listened, expecting to hear the banners flap and rope-fittings ringing; but no, scarce any sound in the still dark air.  I consider my energy and feel the almost unnatural stillness around me.  I decide I would rather get something partial done right than fail entirely.  I will call only for the West wind.

I lift my face and begin a summoning whistle.  For a moment, I am very much two places — lying relaxed with my cat purring at my shoulder, and standing there whistling and clearly hearing the high piping sound of my call.  I continue to whistle — once, twice, four times before I feel a motion in my own belly.  A swirling there, suddenly if barely perceptible.  Far away, I hear the slap and bluster of a blue banner…and a red one.  I scent dust in the air and feel my hair lift.

The grass moves against the bare sides of my feet.  I raise my right arm and pivot to the Northeast, directing the barely warm breeze growing in strength.  In my mind, I picture Washington, D.C – a place I have not visited since 1986 on a cold December day the week before Christmas.  But I paint it mentally with Spring’s colors and see cherry blossom pink.  The West wind rifles the trees, like children hitting chocolate filled Easter baskets — pink petals fly into the air.  They sweep in drifts along street curbs.

“Carry change,” I say, “carry courage and Will.”  I think of all the economically blighted places the wind passes and say, “Carry courage, give power and truth.”  I hear flag pole rings ringing against the metal and fabric snapping.  The glow of dawn is brighter, lighting up thin dancing waves of pink sweeping the streets before the Capitol.  “Relax,” I say to the wind, “Rest upon the sea and ride home round the world…”

My cat’s purr brought me back to my bed.  She moved closer to me as I opened my circle, and put her paw on my face.  And then to sleep, to dream, to hope, to dare…perhaps other nights for other winds?

Tuesday Tarot – Late Again!

The last three days has been intensity in motion. So again, I am late. Thus is life, it is merely peculiar in that my busyness has actually been semi-priestessy in nature instead of mere mundane hectic.

But I now will focus and calm myself continuing the viewing of Laura Perry’s Minoan Tarot!  Again, this week’s selection begins with a card I ADORE as an “instead” of the traditional representation of a Christian devil.  I love the Major Arcana card

#15 The Minotaur – the operative phrase assigned to this card is “I fear.” and the Linear B inscription reads “bindings/ties.”  What more poignant representation of captivity/enslavement/a state of being trapped than the Minotaur?  If the Major cards suggest things that come from outside ourselves, at least partially, or through poor choices that we DO participate in?  Well, the Minotaur – cursed from birth to terrify and horrify, so thus finding himself confined and confused and left to become a monster in his lonely rage and impotence – is there a better image.  It is not about evil; we need no Christian devil (that often demonized the image of older gods).  It is about the darker self, the denied self, the neglected self — the vampire times starved self that we all might lock away in shame.  It is about obsession, fear, addictions, compulsions – it is about material affairs denied spiritual outlet.  This card shouts of the need to embrace and rehabilitate the darkness within so it serves you as your inner ally.  Reversed, it warns you of projecting your darkness onto others and attacking THEM, instead of facing your own rejected self.

This card reminds me of the last three days.  Sunday we attended what was called a “celebration of life”; in other words, a funeral/memorial service.  For a tiny baby girl who had one normal month of life before she was battered and assaulted so viciously that the next two months were spent dying.  It was like being immersed in fire to sit through Disney montages and music amidst bright balloons and an insistence upon forced jollity.  Some bereft mourners fled to the parking lot to weep without breaking the rules of this celebration.  When did we become so ashamed to be justifiably angry and to mourn with understandable tears?  When did we become bound to a convention of pretending there is joy instead of deep sorrow?  Monday, here, we slept — exhausted with anger and grief for those forbidden to show their grief.   And today, we dressed and left to go escort a tiny white casket to the crematorium.  This was no celebration of joy and blessedly private.  There were muted tears, and hands clinging to each other.  This brief all but silent affair felt real and genuine – but it certainly was not public, but hidden.  Are we, as a culture, locking our most serious innermost moments away in a labyrinth with NO public exit?

#16 The Tower – has the phrase “I collapse.” and the inscription “Palace” and portrays  a Cretan palace overwhelmed by a tsunami such as destroyed at least one coast of Minoan Crete when the massive volcano on Thera exploded.  Perry attributes this card to upheaval, crisis, ego destruction and revelation.   She credits it to a “force majeur” beyond personal control.  It has links to the 10 of daggers and 5 of horns — cards I personally prefer to never see in a spread (and yet had both of those in one spread together this week).  What she doesn’t say in her book, is what some more traditional mythos attributions do — the “tower” in question is NOT the “house of god” or a palace, but the walls of hell, which Christ allegedly broke in his three days buried and vanished from this world.  In other worlds — this breaking is a necessary, a good breaking.  I think either definition suffices — because no matter how needful, it isn’t going to feel very good while it happens to you!  The reversal means you are clinging to something fallen, and the harder you resist the more you will lose in energy wasted holding up something that needed knocking down.

 

#17 The Star – I always like to see this card, but this image doesn’t much move me, I admit.  The phrase is “I hope” and the inscription is “everyone/thing” — light at the end of the tunnel is good thing, yes.  Inspiration and a change of heart is a good thing.  But I somewhat dislike it being equated to “hope” as that follows on the oft quoted word “faith” — which I have none of and want none of, either.  Hope can be a poison, keeping you from seeing just HOW dark something is, keeping you in a position of subservience that needs to be over.  The reverse, Perry insists, is clinging to fear and doubts.  I would suggest it means maybe the light at the end of some tunnels is a train.

 

Tuesday Tarot -Majors 12, 13, & 14

The Minoan Tarot images lure me from the everyday. Even in the currently busy and hectic days, I want to sit down and stare at them. I suspect this is because they contain potent “headology”.  My favorite witch is not one of the classics like vengeful Medea or the pig-making Circe.  My favorite witch is Diskworld’s Granny Weatherwax who says it isn’t about spells and sticking pins in things — it’s about “headology.”  To me, this speaks a real truth about magic and enchantment — the one we usually must enchant is ourself!  Or sometimes the need is to disenchant someone.  I think the images of the Minoan Tarot have the deeply woven clues and hints to do both!

I am pretty sure Major Arcana card #12 – Sacrifice – will upset somebody with the somewhat graphic image of an animal awaiting getting its throat cut.  The card usually called The Hanged Man seemed more upsetting to me because although it had connotations of making sacrifices for future good as well; it also had meanings related to betrayal and treachery – and of being left, somewhat literally “twisting in the wind.”  This card, like most of the ‘big 22’ is more existential with the phrase “I surrender” and the Linear B for “olive tree” – long a symbol of peaceful endings.  This card hits me hard personally; there are things I need to surrender right NOW, for instance.  There ARE patterns in my life that need to dissolve.  Reversed, it suggests that refusing to sacrifice what needs to be offered up for the future results in losing control of it all.

#13 – Death – is likewise unsubtle.  An open tomb instead of a skeletal figure, with the phrase “I transform” assigned, and Linear B for “divine” suggests that our deepest fears and the change we really cannot see the other side of are right there in the NOW where we must grasp till tiller of our lives (and very rarely, our actual physical demise).  Perry insists this card does NOT mean physical death.  I beg to differ with her; while it usually means the death of something, not us – that doesn’t mean it cannot.  Reversal indicates refusing transformation, holding on to something in need of release and increasing personal pain.  Drop the hot rock, Pal, and move on!

#14 – Balance – is a card I much prefer to the usual deck!   “Temperance” always had a bit of a preachy vibe to one raised on stories of Carrie Nation bashing in barrels of whisky or beer!  Besides, who could resist that lovely young man vaulting that beautiful bull — nobody dies, everything is handled!  It IS about balance and focus to achieve and maintain towards a goal; avoiding extremes IS key.  Reversed. the card warns against over focus on only one area – over specialization, perhaps?  Or being all take and no give?

Tuesday Tarot, Better Late Than Never Edition

My life is scarcely my own…so I am very late getting to this today.  The Minoan Tarot by Laura Perry continues with major cards 9, 10, and 11!

I admit, Major Arcana #9 delights me out of all proportion!  Instead of the Hermit – a card I get quite often in my layouts – I have The Labyrinth!  It seems very appropriate to me, since I am a sort of hermit and do maintain a labyrinth.  The operative phrase here is “I turn inward.”  The Linear B is merely the word for labyrinth.  It is the card about introspection and deep answer seeking.  Reversed, it suggests one is withdrawing to hide, rather than to seek!

#10 Fate, instead of the more usual “Fortune” has the phrase “I move forward” assigned and the Linear B for “spinners”.  While the card still speaks of outer/cosmic forces  and luck/destiny – is reminds me a bit more of the concept of “wyrd”.  You must go through the thing at hand, but you very much decide how to do so.  You have to power to spin your own fate, in other words!  Reversal would speak of being stuck in a rut, frozen, and spinning wheels rather than your fate.

#11 the Strength card in this deck, also impresses with vivid image!  The operative phrase is “I will” and the Linear B inscription means “powerful” — this card reminds you that endurance, and resolved offer the means to succeed by control and master — of the self, first of all.  A reversal of this card portends picking non-existent battles externally when a lack of self-discipline is the real problem.  (Again, yes, that definition brings current events to mind!)

I need to find some quiet to read again — life is super hectic, complete with injuries and aches.

Tuesday Tarot – Majors Six, Seven, Eight

Will this be the last public Tuesday Tarot?  If not, it nearly is; I admit, I’ve not found the nerve to click the “private blog” button just yet!  But when I do it, I may copy and paste these posts over at Herlander Walking for anyone still interested.  These cards, and the layouts I will be doing as part of the work for the Magical Battle of America, are one of the reasons for going private.  I want to discuss those with trusted others I’ve known online for some time.  But I don’t want to put it out there for just anyone to read.  But enough – on with the Major Arcana of the Minoan Tarot!

I am still not weary of the color scheme, tho’ I did not expect that to be one of my favorite parts.  It appeals to my Elemental Magic affinity!  Also, I am just now beginning to attend to the color backgrounds on the Major cards — emotive blue, for instance on the Loves and the Chariot; but airy yellow on Justice.  I could see this deck being excellent for intuitive readers, in spite of the simple format of images.

So, the Lovers #6 –  The operative phrase is “I choose.”   I really like that one; I have ever been a nay-sayer about the old saws about “not being able to choose who you love” – calling that nonsense and existential bad faith!  The Linear B designation means mother/father — perhaps a none too subtle reminder of the results of one sort of love?  Perry defines this card as a union of opposites, a definite choosing and a consequence for every choice.  That sounds a mite preachy, maybe?  But in some ways, it is a useful warning; even NOT choosing is actually a choice, simply an unacknowledged one.  That is the gist of the reversed meaning, too: avoidance of responsibility for choices.  And I have to admit I giggle at this card – isn’t the guy angsty?  Fist to forehead?  The woman’s fist to chest, too?  Wait — is she saying men decide with the head and women with the heart?  Laura, Laura, Laura — you little sexist, you!  I hope she just ripped random images from murals and combined them withOUT that idea.

The Chariot #7 – The phrase is “I control.” and the Linear B means “wheels”.  One certainly hopes to control; I admit the image of a flying courser on the chariot gives pause.  This card is all about taking charge, direct honest action, not manipulation — that said, would not a fiery red background been better than emotive blue?  This card, Perry says, means success by controlling OTHERS.  Ouch.  Not so much my reading, but possibly one to keep in mind.  I’d look at other cards to see if he/she you read for IS into controlling others by some force majeur?  I’ve ever read this card as self control and focus to maintain one’s own course in life.  The reversal connotes a lack of self-discipline and blaming others, flailing and drama, upon losing control.  (Gee, who does THAT remind me of?  Is there a trend here in my reminded-ofs?)

Justice #8 –  I find this card peculiar.  Most of my decks make Strength the 8th card, since multiples of 4, in numerological symbolism, connote stability and strength, I get that.  But #8 and #11 are often switched about in tarot decks; it is the image that confuses me.  The image dilutes this card for me — four guys stomping grapes?!  “I evaluate” is the phrase and the Linear B inscription is “must” — meaning unfermented grape juice.  Perry attributes this card as meaning cause and effect shape your life.  That is a pretty dilute meaning for “justice”, don’t you think?  I think I will consider that line from the Battle Hymn of the Republic about ” trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored” to give it back some vigor!  This card, for me, is always more about a can of whup-ass being opened, not making unfermented grape juice.  Perry gives the reverse a bit more punch – but still leaves it a very personal card, saying “you” might be the focus of injustice, or your own bad act chickens could be coming home to roost.  That can be so, of course – but I’d find that more the meaning in something like a ten of swords/daggers.  With the Major Arcana, I tend to think it is less personal and more archetype-related: bigger trends/beings beyond yourself or your actions and desires.

To me the 22 major cards symbolize the forces outside your own sway to a certain degree.  So while I find a sort of existential satisfaction in Perry’s definitions; I also find it waters down the concept we are all (be honest!) completely uncomfortable with — some things in life do simply NOT respond to OUR cause and effect.  I use a layout with eleven cards; if I find half or more of them are the Major Arcana cards I read that as a time to buckle down for a ride.  A ride in which you are likely NOT driving!

Anyhow, that is it for this week.  If you are a reader who gives a hoot about still seeing these Tuesday Tarot posts?  Let me know in comments, and I will then make the decision whether to post them over on ever-public Herlander Walking!

Tuesday Tarot

On with the twenty two major cards of Laura Perry’s Minoan Tarot!  I am still loving the colors!  They speak to me of the way I visualize the Elements — yellow for Air (damn, what a comment on air pollution, eh?!), red for Fire, blue for Water, and green for Earth — the white for me would be that exciting, intangible fifth thing — spirit, that thing that enlivens.

The Empress card has “I connect.” as the key phrase and the Linear B word for “community”.  Other than the silly side-saddle riding position, I have no particular issue with the image.  “I connect” is about adequate for the female political power this card represents to me.  Perry sees it more as a feminine force of Nature – something nurturing, I’m not sure I would word it that way.  The reverse would be a rejection of connection and interdependence, an insistence on going it alone and losing, she says.  Hmmm, I wonder if anyone ever told Elizabeth I of England that; or Catherine of Russia?

The Emperor – apparently just a man and his kitty cat pal – has the key phrase “I order.” and the Linear B inscription for “direct/command.”  Did some man potty train Ms. Perry at gunpoint?  Again, she feels these are cards representing masculine forces in Nature.  Not sure what that would be, after all we used to name storms with female only names!  I always view these cards as being about political nature — and thus this card of authority and self control means plans carried to completion.  The reverse?  A lack of that control, self inflation and bullying.  Gee, who could that possibly remind me of, eh?

The Adept – I rather like the card most commonly called the Hierophant or the Pope to be portraying a female figure instead.  Goodness knows after #3 and #4 being so not gender neutral, I needed SOMEthing.  The phrase given this card is “I learn.” making the bare breasted lady more of a scholar than authority.  Perry wants this card to speak of the human creation of religions – with all the possible errors that includes – but also of the good to be found IN those religions.  I prefer to think of it as connoting a balance of intellect and spiritual pursuits AS a human, not sacrificing pragmatism or experimentation.  The reverse, somewhat obviously, signals a slavish attachment to dogma and fundamentalism.

Luckily, once I get done with the card descriptions here that include Perry’s particular emphasis?  I will go back to seeing my OWN meaning and ignore most of the heavy handed gender assignments.  I do like the images, but I wonder if Perry missed the conclusion of many who studied Minoan Crete — that of an incredibly egalitarian society?

 

 

I Dream…

feather-fortress…again, of military camps.  For decades, my nights left me exhausted in the morning because all night long I worked setting up mess halls and beds in my sleep.  My muscles ached in the dawn, as if I’d been at hard real work.  My skeptic’s mind fought the idea promulgated by more “pagan place” minds that told me about astral planes and work there by night.

But for over half my adult life, several nights a week – my dreams were full of busy activity in a war “we” were certain of winning, but one that never seemed to end.  With the building of the Walk of the Fallen Memorial Labyrinth in 2003, however, those dreams slowed (but didn’t completely stop) – as if my work in the here and now on the stones in my back yard took precedence.  But a few months ago, the martial midnight images returned.

Last night, I was again at work in a vaguely military uniform.  My Minotaur was there with me for the first time ever.  And another man, younger and full of vitality – pursuing me with an odd romantic fervor.  He would rub my aching shoulders and fetch me warming blankets.  I was never one to dream of (even would-be) lovers, so this was a peculiar change.  The other change was less charming and more alarming – gone was the certainty of winning.  A bitter desperation and a grasping after any sweet solacing moment was a theme in the dream.  Thus, I suppose, the romantic against the grinding labor in which my husband and I were engaged?

Do I believe in the astral plane, that “other where” out there?  Let’s say I wonder if it is more than a mental state.  It often seems to me there is a substrate of reality we somehow miss with our ordinary every day perceptions.  I speculate that it is where ideas come from or go to – those curiously contagious ideas that suddenly manifest in four places at once around the planet – as new inventions.  I can’t know this, of course,  I can only wonder as I wander.

But it feels like it would be a sort of dishonesty and cowardice to completely discard the idea as impossible.  Because I can’t prove to myself that it does not exist either.  Perhaps that is what age is for?  Learning to live with unanswerable questions, with ambiguity?  Becoming comfortable with ambivalence?  In youth didn’t we all pursue certainty?  Wasn’t science a wonderful thing because you thought it always gave you that desired proof?

Except it didn’t always.  Sometimes scientists cooked their own books, played with data.  Some claimed they got repeat results that they did not.  Even scientists are humans with a burning desire to see their best hopes realized.  We all still play at least a mental/emotional game of alchemy, do we not?  We move the ideas, beliefs, facts around in our heads like a mental game of Tetris, trying to fill in the magic spots of  “don’t-bloody-know” to get the musical reward and sparkly answers that reassure us, comfort us, answer us.

But slowly, sometimes so very slowly, progress happens.  Science moves forward with truths from experimentation.  So, in the dark wintertime of my life?  I will experiment, since apparently I WILL dream, whether or not it is my desire.  After all, can I really risk losing a “war” because I won’t admit it exists?

Tuesday Tarot – Minoan Major Arcana

Having worked with this deck a few times since I dealt with a gender-role quibble, I am enjoying the deck if I don’t use/look at the most offensive (to me) cards!  So, let’s begin to take a look at the 22 Major Arcana cards, shall we?

minoan-tarot-ma-0-2As I mentioned previously, Laura Perry uses a key phrase for each card.  I find I rather like this for the 22 trump cards of the tarot deck.  I’m still a bit ambivalent about the Linear B phrase on each card – although some of them are a better “fit” on these cards.  Most of her images are adapted from actual murals found in the excavated ruins of Minoan Crete.  I greatly like the colored borders as well.  I find the color use makes for easier reading.  Females and youths have paler skin; the male figures are more sun-tanned.  While I don’t think Minoan women spent less time in the sun?  It is a useful device for rapid recognition.

Perry, working with a civilization that was pre-Christian, somewhat re-defines the cards, generally in ways that I like.  I can more easily ignore a bit of gender stupidity and re-define that for myself than I can constant monotheistic “demonize all else” images on more traditional tarot decks.

The Fool – a Minoan youth whose key phrase is “I am.”  Linear B proclaims “wild” – he doesn’t look wild to me!  Of course, as I type this, it is snowing — so I think he looks likely to chill in his nakedness!  Perry sees this card as a primal beginning, a self-discovery state.  Reversed*, she credits it with speaking of living a non-authentic, entirely too-tamed “playing the crowd” of  “shoulds” life.

I have some issues with this card in any deck; while it is meant to suggest a primal innocence, I suspect it can also mean a willful idiot. In an America where people proclaim a pride in their ignorance, as if there is value in being an intentional moron — someone should explain that ignorance is NOT the same as innocence.  While innocence can lead one to make errors, only willful ignorance can lead to the special kind of harm we see on the news practically daily.

The High Priest – The key phrase is “I act.” and the Linear B is the word for priest.  Perry attributes this to outward action (animus and intellect) – finding one’s abilities and what to most fruitfully do with those strengths.  Again, the reversal of this card speaks of inauthenticity – trouble being other than you are told to be.  I’m sensing a trend in the reverse meanings!  Oddly, the image of this card almost calls to mind something Aztec. — I think it is all the feathers on his head.

This replacement name for the” Magician” works for me; it avoids the problematic idea of trickery and slight of hand.  You see the four representations of elements/suites: dagger-fire, rhyton-water, labrys-air, horns-earth.  I have a feeling my efforts to not be insulted by this “acting” figure may not entirely decline with time.  Of course, Perry would never suggest that her card is gender determinant — insisting it is a “characteristic” available to all.

The High Priestess – “I perceive” is the key phrase and the Linear B says “priestess”.  I still feel there is a bit of gender delineation here, but that could just be my usual contrary nature?  The traditional meaning of this card does speak to anima/intuition and internalization of “mystery” and hearing the inner promptings of spirit/mind.  Perhaps had I not taken such offense to the court cards, this would not be a nagging little bit of bitchery in my head?  It does not help that historically, possibly for every era SINCE Minoan Crete (or Catal Hayuk?) women’s “powers” have been relegated to the “inner mysteries” for the same reason women were known as witches and poisoners — women were denied other outlets of power.  The reversal again connotes being inauthentic — not hearing the inward voice because you fear it brings bad news.

With that in mind, I note to myself that the gender bias I find in the cards is also a reflection of history and FACT.  Just because it hurts me to look at it doesn’t mean the card attributions are wrong.  We don’t really know enough about life in Minoan Crete to know if the bare-breasted beauties of the murals there were so fully circumscribed as later Hellenic matrons and maidens – but I surely doubt it.  I think interpreting the images still vivid on volcano/quake/tsunami battered walls within such limits is an error.  My reading style will evolve beyond those definitions rather rapidly, I suspect.

Designers of tarot cards are human (alas, like designers of religion?) and thus bring their flaws to their design.  Even reading cards even more psychologically than psychically is more like poetry than prose.  So, for the sake of beautiful cards devoid of monotheistic images, I will cope with the perceived flaws in the stated definitions of the designer.

*I admit, I struggle with the issue of reversed cards.  I’ve been told in many books to cut the cards and reverse one stack.  I find this so artificial as to be impractical.  But with this deck, I did take about 1/4 or 1/3 of the deck at random and so turn it.  But my more usual method is to look at the card in the layout and if it makes no bloody sense at all, I try reading it as reversed even if it is upright.  If it makes more sense, I simply turn it in the spread at that point.  I’ve had much more luck, sense, and accuracy with that method.

Day Two – Or, Why My Difficult Contrary Self Is Solitary

I did the astral temple building meditation of Hecate-Demeter a second time last night. Well, that was an interesting mess for me. The idea, if I am reading her rightly, is that everyone participating in the “Magical Battle of America” to halt the progress of the fascist inclinations of the current Administration, must focus upon the same images to create a visual place where everyone then meets to do work together. Thus everyone needs to see the same images, or the resultant temple-scape would look like a revolving slide show! (Worth a thought – would a slide show be a bad thing, an impossible result?)

I cannot lie.  My second attempt was worse than the first.  I simply cannot make the images for the “Banners” of the temple, whether because my imagination is so limited or the suggested images just don’t speak to me, I don’t know.  I was frothing with frustration my second time “out.”

Thomas, 6' tall, standing in the trench just below the palisades at Redoubt 9, Yorktown, VA

My Jester-son, 6′ tall, standing in the trench just below the palisades at Redoubt 9, Yorktown, VA

Banner 1, representing the Northeast, “an image of Walden Pond” is suggested.  I wonder whether the majority of younger Americans even know what that IS.  I’ve read Thoreau’s book, but still cannot make a meaningful image.  If I want an image from the Northeast that connotes a fight for freedom and democracy?  I see Yorktown — a battlefield small enough that one might even throw a frisbee across it, but in that small field, America was born.

Banner 2, representing the Southeast – the American South, the suggested “image of the Underground Railway” is a worthy ideal indeed.  But what does it LOOK like pictorially? A subway map?  So this is a quandary for me.  I’ve lived in the South and while saying this may offend Southern people – I don’t find an image that represent freedom there.  White freedoms are often touted there, but a universalizable sort of liberty is not – having lived in the segregated south, images of freedom there are few in my memory.

Banner 3, for the Southwest suggests an image of a mounted “cowboy” holding a newborn calf.  This is not the Southwest I came to know.  It isn’t the very best cattle country because it is so dry.  The Navaho and their flocks of sheep spring to my mind for images here — or towering images of Hopi Kachina dancers. Do not indigenous Americans deserve a vision in this vision of resistance?

Banner 4, for the Northwest – where I make my home is a “salmon, leaping upstream”.  And oddly, this natural image is the one that works the best for me.  Perhaps if I delved deeply enough into my memories of the South(east), I would find a similar nature-based focus?

unknownBanner 5, for the upward (due North) point of the pentagram is the Statue of Liberty.  I do absolutely get the meaning here; and yet, having driven through that geographical area more than one, my stubborn contrary mind instead shows me Mt. Rushmore because the men carved into that mountainside would certainly have a stake in this resistance: Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt!  (Also?  I am struggling with Lady Liberty becoming a torch because my mind derails and shows me the burning camps at Standing Rock.)

So I am banging my head here.  I am telling myself I don’t ALWAYS have to be defiant and difficult.  Except, apparently, I DO.  But I know I can build exactly nothing if I am fighting to use something I cannot SEE, regardless of effort.  I DO see well enough, a glowing horizontal pentagram hovering over my nation and at it’s heart a spinning bright sphere of protection over a “hillock”/Plains sod-house somewhere in the heart of my birth-state Kansas. It is a start, I suppose.

We are modern pagans, 21st century witches – even using the suggested images that Hecate-Demeter surely worked so hard to encapsulate in her meditation, what at the odds of every imagined thing matching?  Perhaps, it SHOULD be a slide show astral temple, a glittering array of what we all find “holy” and “free” in America?