I watched the Moonrise this evening, pretended I was an ancient Mediterranean pagan for a moment while I emptied my wine glass into the grass as libations to the gods, and smoked a couple cigarettes, all while contemplating my spirituality.
Once the Moon was fully in view over the trees and hills, after a tantalizingly slow climb, I decided to go inside and do a Tarot reading by the light of my Hermit Lantern.
I’m in an odd mood tonight.
I used the Deviant Moon Tarot,* laid out in the Full Moon spread that is described in its accompanying instructions booklet. I figured it was apt.
Considering I wasn’t really consulting the Tarot about a specific question, I would say it was fairly accurate in describing my current state of mind, if a bit vague. But I expected nothing less.
The card that stood out most to me on this evening is the High Priestess, which came up in the “spiritual influences” spot in the spread.
How fitting as the Full Moon rises and I contemplate the gods by its glow.
I used to keep a Tarot journal, which I used to record my thoughts about each card. I still do keep one, in which I collect spreads and record readings, but once I began this blog, my thoughts about the cards stopped entering my notebook in favor of this cyberspace.
Unlike many scholarly writers, I don’t take notes prior to composing a draft. I just write, editing as I go. I usually begin with a vague idea or a talking point, and let it evolve. Once I’ve finished, I go back over a couple the draft a couple times, changing words, adding or subtracting sentences, until it’s more or less coherent, and I’m satisfied with the sound of it. Then I post. I usually have a couple drafts going at any given time (there are six separate WIPs currently in my “drafts” folder now, some of which have been languishing there for quite some time).
The point is that this blog is really nothing more than a high-tech journal for me, effectively replacing my old notebook as a place for my thoughts. Here, I publish my posts, and they are available for anyone to read if they please. And of course, I always appreciate feedback. But this is a personal place for me to reflect upon a personal passion, and so I don’t adhere to any schedule.
From the time I began this blog a couple months ago until very recently, I’ve been fairly prolific in my output. I don’t want to make any assumptions that anyone actually cares, but I do want to say that, because this is essentially my journal, and not a magazine, I won’t always be writing.
Or, to put it another way, I’m currently experiencing a touch of writer’s block.
It’s like any of my other passions. I play guitar, but I go through phases occasionally when I do not touch my instrument for weeks or even months at a time. But when I’m compelled to pick it up again, I do it with a new energy, and I often find that, where I was previously stuck on a plateau, I am now quickly ascending to new levels of skill.
So, to those few of you who do follow my musings (which I do appreciate, by the way), I will sometimes take a leave of absence. Don’t mind it. I’ll be back eventually with fresh perspectives.
Anyway, I’m going to go stare at the Moon some more and contemplate stuff.
I have been playing with my cards lately. I’ve just had nothing to say about them for a while. They’ve told me nothing significant in my readings, and I’ve had no noteworthy revelations in my studying and contemplating them. I do think about them. I wonder about broader things than the cards’ internal symbolism or relationships, sometimes, like how the Tarot as a concept, as an oracular guide or consultant, how its possible function as a book of wisdom on a divine level, fits into the larger puzzle of my life in general. Can I put faith in it? Do I wish to?
I think I do, but I question these things. And it all stems from my uncertainty of the role faith plays in my life. How much of a role I want it to play. How I want to define it, if I even do.
I suppose it’s a combination of a couple factors that keeps me from recording these thoughts here. On one hand, I think it is a result of my intent in starting this blog to keep my personal life at least relatively separate from my writing on the Tarot. There are practical concerns related to identity on the internet, of course, plus the admittedly romanticized notion of anonymity. But I also respect the Tarot as a serious path of study through an academic** lens, and I try to treat it as such when I write. I write here as if I would turn my work in to a respected professor at the end of the term (with appropriate editing for grammar and content, of course, and properly cited).
On the other hand, these sort of thoughts often expand faster than I can come up with words to describe them, and to realms where, sometimes, words just can’t do justice anyway. I’m thinking thoughts too big for man.
Of course that’s not true. Questions of faith and our place in the greater scheme of things have been plaguing man since before collective memory. I believe my internal struggles, while unique to me, are shared on a subconscious level by all, or at least many. But how many of the multitudes throughout time have managed to put sufficient words to it? Proportionately few is the answer. It’s no easy task to communicate deep existential struggles to others, no matter how many of them can identify with the feeling.
In other words, my word-smithing skills are as yet too unrefined for me to put them to regular use describing the abstractions in my head about the Tarot’s role in my life.
Things are moving along, though, both in my head and in my life. I feel as though I’m beginning to emerge from my time as the Hermit (I’m always the Hermit deep down, but it is lonely in there, and a guy’s got to live). My thoughts will eventually crystallize, and I’ll be more willing to go back to regularly writing about mythic archetypes and other such musings on the Tarot.
I admit, astrology is not my thing. I do not expect to find the same sort of significance in this combination Summer Solstice / Full Moon as many of you probably do. But I do find a personal significance in it. I’ve been fascinated by celestial happenings since I was a child. Not in an astrological sense, nor even an astronomical sense. I don’t know very much about the stars at all, except for some basic principles from both disciplines that I’ve picked up over the years. But I gaze at them often, and I have been for years. My perspective was different after I witnessed a full lunar eclipse a couple years back; I have memories of watching meteors fall with my buddies when we were carefree (not that we realized how carefree we actually were at the time). Once, Jupiter and Mercury lined up to point directly to the Tree of Life, and I saw it. I saw it.
The Full Moon following the Longest Day of the Year is significant to me, and I am honored to be in the presence of the High Priestess on this night.
I am in an odd mood tonight.
*In retrospect, I kind of think I should have used the Sun and Moon Tarot, because, you know, Solstice and Full Moon. Oh well.***
**When I say “academic”, it should be understood that I’m speaking in broad terms, such as having an ‘academic mentality’. I’m not studying Tarot at any college (is that even possible?).
***I’ve decided to do a small, four-card Yin~Yang spread with the SaM just before I end this day, after all: