Six of Wands with Knight of Coins

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Legacy of the Divine Tarot by Ciro Marchetti

I see in my mind the young hero having come back from some great war, sitting on the top of the back seat of an open convertible, grinning and waving to the cheering throngs, ticker tape descending in twirls and flutters onto the pavement around him.

On a whim he snatches from the air one of the thin strips of paper snowing down from the surrounding stories above. He stretches it out before his eyes and reads the text printed upon it:

You will soon have a regular job.

Fast forward to our one-time hero, the top button of his collared shirt loosened along with his tie, the crown of his head barely visible across the sea of cubicles, the sound of office phones chirping intermittently amongst the cadence of computer keyboard clackety-clacks.

On Saturday morning he pushes his lawnmower across the quarter acre lawn then douses the dastardly dandelions with the herbicide that is the second cousin thriced removed of the gas compound used to smite the enemy abroad. He is only a half hour away from drinking a mountain spring filtered canned beer in the maple’s shade while listening to the symphony of the surrounding cicadae.

We often see the lives of these people of greatness in the form of highlight reels, their grand achievements of a lifespan ranging from 24 to 94 years distilled down into vignettes of accolades and awards and recognitions. Yet the gently rolling hills and slightly dipping valleys of daily living comprise the majority of our lifes between those dizzying zeniths of grandeur.

Life is an iceberg. The great milestones such as seeing children born or being handed a diploma or traveling to every continent, the parts of our lives that the world gets to witness in all its magnificence, is only a fraction of who we are and how we spend out time. The vast majority of our lives stays invisible to the world, suspended below the surface. The passing days and the mundane repetition of daily living can feel cold and dark and lifeless as we feel like we’re endlessly drifting through frigid waters.

However, when we dare to dream, when we entertain visions of ticker tape and confetti dancing in the air around us, when we imagine inhaling that oxygen deprived air as we stand atop that alpine peak we’ve successfully reached, that cold deep stagnancy becomes a sanctuary of tranquility.

The Zen saying before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water shows us that the mundane span of time that comprise the largest percentage of our days transforms into peacefulness when we puncture the tapestry of our lives with grand visions and exhiliarating aspirations. The pursuit of those wonderfully lofty goals is what gives meaning to the mundane.

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Eight of Wands with Seven of Cups

Cosmic Tarot by Norbert Lösche
Cosmic Tarot by Norbert Lösche

Once again, I come to this blog with a couple of cards that seem to have a bit of a personal message. Whether you are anything like me, or nothing like me, or somewhat resemble me from the knees on down, there may be a message in these two cards for you as well.

First of all, I want to preface this post with the promise that this is in no way another New Year’s themed memorandum. I’m not vowing to eat more of this or less of that, I’m not planning a lifelong commitment into a workout regimen that will actually fade out in the third week of the year, nor am I promising to be nicer or less snarky to myself or anyone else. I’m not really a resolution maker, as I’m a proponent of the “the best time to start anything is now” credo rather than saving it for a monumental milestone marker date that’s highlighted on a monthly calendar containing pictures of puppies in baskets.

For me, why decide to start something anew on the annual Day 1 when there are so many things I have yet to complete? Admittedly I am one of those forms of folk that like to have a myriad of projects, many irons in the fire.  My grandmother, having recognized the multifaceted attention span that is inherent in us Gemini, often tossed me the “jack of all trades, master of none” idiom (or its Barbadian equivalent) as a harbinger of a life filled with the detritus of incomplete endeavors.

As I take inventory of the works-in-progress that lay strewn about in my mental hopper I see a fictional story, a non-fictional writing concept, an improvement on the coffee roaster, the continuing pursuit of my certifications for work, the next assignment in line toward my metaphysical theology degree, another podcast or reawakening the dormant one, a little music recording… that’s only to name a fraction of them. The list is inexhaustible yet exhausting to ponder. A small thread of anxiety shows itself when I try to discern which deserves the lion’s share of my attention.

Each and every one of these endeavors excites me, so I cannot begin to prioritize them by importance. That’s the trouble with these multiple interests; as each moment passes one of these happen to stop on the wheel’s flapper to say “pick me”, yet the wheel gets respun time and time again as the sun marches across the sky. How do I decide what is most important or most deserving of my time, or which I want to do above all others?

The trick here is to step back and look at it all from a thousand feet away. When all these little projects and interest get displayed on a single large canvas, they take on a completely different perspective. I can look at all these accomplishments I’m aspiring to complete in one singular theme. The question is not about importance or priority or ultimate desire, it is one of purpose and point, not about what I want to accomplish, but who I want to be.

As I stand back and soak in these endeavors in perspective panoramic, I seem to see a mish-mosh of disparate plans and projects, but my Gemini soul gazes upon the vista with great pleasure. I see a collection of tiny pieces of projects, each of which in turn catches the sun as it crosses the sky to create a glint to catch my attention at that moment in time, only until the next piece winks its light at me with the shifting azimuth. It is delighting in the distractions of the dabblings. It is the pleasure of engaging in a tarantella with a myriad of projects that exhilarates me. It is essentially the pure joy in being a jack of all trades, much more gratifying than being the master of one.