Meditation on the Four of SwordsThe chapel for the vigil is in A wild forest, a wild stony river, bugs and birds. Heat, but the breezes are cool. The sound of water everywhere. The chapel is a stone hut by the river, right where it turns; Its window has a view of the lands downstream, very hazy now. He blesses me and leaves me here to meditate. Inside it is somewhat damp and dusty. I lie down, take a brief nap, and when I wake the sun is setting; everything is red and hazy gold. I feel the birds in the air and the fish in the stream. They speak languages I have not heard before. I feel called to go outside the hut and plant seeds in a circle around it. When the sun sets I listen to the water and the crickets. A wind picks up and tosses the trees. The night is quite dark — no stars. Silence comes and goes, following the night’s hunters on their rounds. This is wilderness, but it is full of voices.
In the previous two posts in this series, I reviewed Steve Pavlina‘s new book Personal Development for Smart People, and suggested a way in which his seven principles (Truth, Love, Power, Courage, Authority, Oneness, and Intelligence) could be mapped to the seven visible planets in astrology (the Sun, the Moon, Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, Venus, and Mercury, respectively). In this post I’ll carry it further, and tackle the correspondence of these principles with the Tarot.
My nine-year-old daughter absolutely adores the Chronicles of Narnia. Nothing unusual about that, really — lots of kids do — but why?
After all, isn’t Narnia Christian allegory? It’s blatantly obvious to anyone who gives it a moment’s thought. But I’ve argued elsewhere that children are natural born pagans. So what’s the attraction? Does Christianity touch something in children, after all? Or is Narnia not wholly Christian?Continue reading “The Narnian Tarot”
What does fiction have to do with divination?
The common thread is the story structure, the plot. A work of fiction is an illustration of prototypical event structures, plotlines that are moving or meaningful. A divination system also provides plotlines, as well as general elements to flesh out the events of the story. A divination system shows you a possible plot line for your own personal story; it allows you to construct a tale to make sense of your life.
A Tarot spread can be thought of as a narrative structure upon which you can hang the life events surrounding the theme of your reading. The classic three-card reading — past, present, future — is just about as basic a narrative structure as one can imagine. The Celtic Cross is an elaboration of that basic narrative, showing obstacles, influences from ‘above’ and ‘below’, etc. Diane Sylvan has a marvelous spread (the Storyteller) that echoes Campbell’s journey of the hero. The Tetractys spread, which I learned of while researching this article, is a fascinating one that I’d love to try sometime, and seems to combine four plot patterns into one.
The Tolkien spread uses Tolkien’s favorite six-part plot pattern, which I explain in detail in the previous post; it underlies most of the action of The Lord of the Rings, as well as the overall arc of the novel itself. It illustrates Tolkien’s primary theme, eucatastrophe — the sudden twist, unexpected and yet intimately bound up with the framework of the tale, that brings the story to a positive conclusion.Continue reading “The Tolkien Tarot Spread III: Fiction and Divination”