Strength with The Chariot

Legacy of the Divine Tarot by Ciro Marchetti

This goes out to all the control freaks out there and to the control freak that lies within us all.

Control is like trying to grab an eel swimming through an aquarium full of vegetable oil. It elusively works against itself. The harder we work at asserting control over any situation the less control we actually have over it.

Think of the times when we felt if we could only get everything in order, if we could get everyone to cooperate with the plan (the plan of course being our own plan), if we could get all the pieces to stay in one place. We feel like we’re trying to figure out how many dollars we have but we’re trying to stack it into neat piles while in a wind tunnel.

The less control we feel like we have, the harder we work at maintaining control. We apply a greater assertion of our will, we lay down more decrees and demands, we build a higher wall and a deeper moat to keep the critters more tightly contained and the predators at greater bay.

What we seem to fail to realize is that the more we exert our control, the less control we really have. It’s an ironic oxymoron wrapped in a contradictory dichotomy. Ever watch someone try to organize an event to their level of expectations that needs to be measured with a micrometer? They run around frantically, dashing from place to place, task to task, lackey to lackey like a pinball between bumpers. To step back and view the panorama of control corralling, it never appears they have much of it. In their attempt to have everything perfectly set and timed they behave like a mechanical whirling dervish that had coffee spilt on its motherboard.

To continue this concept of contradiction it is when we lighten the reins and loosen our grip that we exert the greatest control. True control is moving the greatest weight with the least effort. When we exert our will over others despite their wishes, our demands are met with inherent resistance beneath the surface, which maintains and accumulates pressure over time. However, when we align our will with the desires of others, we will find that we hardly need to exert much energy at all to accomplish what we desire.

True control is found in the midpoint of the fulcrum. It is found in the place of balance of any situation. On one hand, there is effort required on our part, but there is also required a release as well. It feels so counterintuitive to gain control by letting go, but this is all too often the case.

If we want to guide a situation in the direction of our intention, we have to not only know where to apply our energy, we have to understand where we need to pull our hands away from it. This points to the most often overlooked yet important aspect of maintaining control of any situation; it is in the act of self-control. It is knowing when our efforts are best applied and knowing the point of where our efforts yield very little. Beyond this point we are only applying our efforts to avoid feeling helpless when the situation is beyond our influence. We are simply reinforcing the illusion and expending our precious reserves. The practice of self-control has at its center the act of acceptance and allowing, which is one of the most challenging truths for any control freak to embrace.


The World with The Hanged Man

Quantum Tarot 2.0 by Kay Stopforth and Chris Butler

Because I have a mind that resembles a rebus depiction of a circus, I want to expound on the commonality between music and death. Look at that, the Death card isn’t even present and accounted for. Thanatos didn’t even show up for his senior picture for the yearbook in this week’s post.

I speak to this concept as a musician, though not as one who is dead. I write music, songs as it were. I look at my audial creations as being on loan from the Muse. I get to borrow them as I’m cobbling them together, but once they are complete I have to let them go, release them to the world like a dole of doves that just came into a bit of luck during a wedding ceremony, or each spider I insist on tossing across the threshold to the great outdoors as opposed to meeting its maker under a shoe sole or a rolled up Vanity Fair or in the vortex of the toilet grave. But since we’re speaking of death…

In a way, that song I wrote dies once it has been written. It no longer serves me in such exclusivity as it did during its creation. I no more own it than anyone else who hears it at that point, much to the contrary of James Hetfield’s philosophy. This is no different to when a creature dies. The creature had exclusive use of the body while it was alive, but when it gives up the ectoplasm and falls into decay, as human turns to humus, the breakdown of what was the vehicle of identity focus now gets called dibs on by a myriad of bacteria, insects, and other delightful connoisseurs of carrion.

Alright, let me perform last rites on the above analogy. Much like the written song and the surrendered body, all our endeavors, once they reach completion, no longer belong to us. This is true for what we may be building, the project we are vested in at our places of work, the children we bear, anything that is of our creation. Once the creation process ends, so does our ownership of the creation. Or it should.

The idea of all that we create being for ourselves really does not serve us, though we may believe it does. If we are holding onto our creation too tightly, then we would do well to find a way to sever it from the clutches of our ownership. I don’t mean in a take it to Judge Judy and let her rule on it sort of way, I mean in a true appreciation sort of way. So you made that beautiful bench out of the stern of a Colonial galleon, gold leaf, and the teeth of a crocodile; if you are the only one to sit upon that bench, then what good is it?

Our creations are our gifts to the world. They are ours while we are shaping and forming them, as that’s when we inject who we are into them. Once the finishing touches have been applied it is time to let them go. A gift of our creation to ourselves is not really a gift. It only acquires value once we relinquish ownership of it and surrender it to the world at large.

The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man
A man hangs upside-down suspended by one leg, a halo of enlightenment surrounds his head

When we set our intentions to manifest what we wish to bring into our lives, we are looking to add into our lives that which we do not yet have, that which we are currently without. However, we need to be aware that we may have to make room for what we want to attract, which means surrendering something we currently have.

Everything has a cost. Often the cost to achieving our desires is giving up something we currently have, specifically something we enjoy or something we have grown quite accustomed to having. It is easy to give up a job we don’t want so we can land our ideal job, or to move out of the mediocre house into our dream home. What we often forget to consider is that other aspects of our life have to change to accommodate our new conditions. Continue reading The Hanged Man