This post is taken from my journal of the fifth and sixth days of my ten-day fast and meditation to gain clarity on my career path.
Friday, Sept. 10, 2010
Dreams. I had three dreams. First, I was riding with some other people on donkeys through an autumn forest, looking for a monastery of some sort. Second, there was a long, involved dream about being stuck in an airport; there were video games and movies of low quality, and lots of smoking and drinking, with an overall general sense of despair. At one point during the dream, I was almost roped back into working in the defense industry. At one point I was almost grabbed back into the military. Third, and much more pleasantly, I was sailing through a strait of tall cliffs on a sunny afternoon; and I think there was something to do with 16th century pirate warfare… Probably a dream inspired by the Princess Bride, which we’re reading now.
On waking, I had a strong feeling that I should look for the connection between the Bear guide and the Pool of the Moon.
I felt pretty grounded and connected today. We had a very late lunch, and I was pretty hungry, so I allowed myself to have some pita in addition to hummus at our 2:30pm “lunch”. That was a cheat on the raw vegan fast, but otherwise things went well today overall. I even got some more writing done on the Great Bear blog post. But I also found myself thinking more about writing a book, and stumbled on some online resources about selling and marketing books.
I drew the fifth card of the Storyteller Spread: The Map. The Map shows the hero how to get out of the woods and face the big bad issue (the ‘Dragon’). Based on the earlier cards, the ‘woods’ are indicated by the Four of Jewels (Pentacles), and have something to do with how to go about this integration. The Map card should show me the path.
Major Arcanum 20: Judgement. The First Sermon.
Now, I’ve seen this card many times in my readings over the last few years, but for the first time I notice that the Sun and Moon both appear behind the Buddha here, in the sky together. That’s… that’s awesome. Talk about integration! …He sits on a lotus and teaches about the Wheel of Law.
Notes from the book commentary. The Buddha is the third light which outshines both the sun and moon. In this card the Buddha is handing out a very literal map: the Eightfold Path, which leads to ‘rebirth’ or ‘eternal life’ in the Christian sense — waking up, in the Buddhist sense. (The Eightfold Path is right knowledge, desire, truthfulness, behavior, livelihood, perseverance, self-awareness, and meditation.)
Another thing the Buddha is doing here is teaching. This is something I’ve often considered doing myself. Hmm…
I tried to meditate on the card, and had some trouble. It was a long and confused meditation; I tried many, many different things to tease out a clearer meaning from the card. Nothing really left me satisfied — I probably ended up trying too hard. Some snatches: the Buddha in the Moon — in the sun too?… The bear and the third light: fire in the cave… Buddha in the Bear’s cave, asking, if you are a weaver of words, why are you in the bear’s cave? Fly in the wind. Did you think to ask the luck-dragon how he was flying? …The bear walking around the Pool of Night, gazing at the moon. Trying to take some of the water back to my Anima; that just didn’t work. Mapping the eight parts of the path onto the 7 planets (+ Earth?).
So I got nothing extremely clear from this card tonight. What’s resonating most here is the idea of the Buddha’s teaching as the 3rd light.
Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010.
Today was a long day and a busy one, lots of coming and going and so forth. Mercury retrograde was in full evidence, but everything worked out. Because of the stresses I was actually too distracted to eat much, and ended up grumpy and tired at the end of the day (though not actually hungry, oddly enough). The spaghetti was very tempting but I persevered. I am still considering breaking down and having a bowl of ice cream later, though. 🙂
Anyway… I was too wrapped up in the day to do any thinking or meditation or feeling… Probably the most moving thing was talking about the Sept. 11 attacks with the kids this evening in our little floating candle ritual. I was very moved when I described the people on the 4th plane; I broke down and cried. Alison also cried when she talked about seeing all the people in New York working together to help each other after the attack.
And now it is late and I will be moving ahead here to the next card: The Sword. This is an important issue that will significantly affect the outcome.
The (Future) Empress (Yasodhara).
Perhaps this important issue is Ali? Or something that she draws out of me.
In my personal Tarot interpretation, the Empress is Power and Oneness. Venus and Jupiter (which are trine in my chart — the Empress is a big part of my personality). The fecundity of the Earth. This may be connected to my karma as well, I’m thinking intuitively…
It seems likely to me that there is some relationship between Venus / Bel and Jupiter / Odin that I’m not picking up on. Something to do with the garden near the Anima’s home; something to do with a labyrinth.
The last few days, it’s been very hard to get a handle on what these symbols mean. I don’t yet know how the ‘sword’ is to be used, but I have it in my scabbard for tomorrow, when I draw the big bad card of the Storyteller’s Spread: the Dragon’s Keep.
(to be continued)