Ace of Wands with The Moon

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Witches Tarot by Ellen Dugan and Mark Evans

Simple question: Who doesn’t like to be tantalized and titillated, mesmerized and mystified, enthralled and enraptured?

Did you raise your hand? Did you say “No, I’m not one for wonderment”? Probably not. I didn’t. I like to have my senses all atingle. I am much like most people I know; we love to find ourselves enthralled by some stimuli that widens our eyes and pries our mouths agape.

This might come in the form of a plot twist in a movie or tv show, it might be the high conflict in a novel or a story, perhaps it is a juicy piece of news about some big event that happened to someone famous, or innocent, or notorious.

Maybe our senses were stimulated by something new in the form of the material; we bought a new car, we tried on a new fancy wig, a puppy was introduced into our home, we just powered on the latest version of the smartphone we just received.

I don’t know if it’s a cultural thing or a human condition thing, but we are addicted to newness. New events, new circumstances, new things, new technological advances, even new concepts and ideas. We love the moment when we cross the threshold from the banal to the thrill, we love to gasp at the reveal.

The problem is, the eternal stretch of the jejune that lives between the moments of delight inevitably rises up. It is during those lingering moments when we leap out of staying in the present like a cat walking across a hot stove. We play in our mind the highlight reels of the past events which tickled our senses, or we drum our fingers on the table waiting to be delightfully surprised again.

We as present-day people are jaded by peace and quiet and solitude. The irony is that true inspiration is found in the still space beyond the senses. We believe we are moved by all the little twinkles of delight that we so fervently seek, but these really are just distractions.

In all honesty, we are quite often afraid of those quiet moments where we are left with nothing but our own thoughts and feelings. The unspoken and unseen recesses beneath our senses are regarded like under-the-bed monsters. We live in fear of facing the part of ourselves that is meant to be grounded indefinitely without tv, phone, or dessert. We do anything to avoid having that long overdue nonverbal conversation with our subconscious. We know it will tell us what we need to do to be who we want to become, who we need to become, but it requires of us the work we aren’t willing to sign up for. It requires ripping the bandaid off our tender ego to reveal the shadow side that comprises our wounds and begs to be washed, rinsed, and exposed to the air in order to heal.

If we find ourselves frequently uninspired, with an insatiable itch to be tantalized by the next distraction be it through acquisition of the next latest and greatest thing or through a volley of escapisms, that is our queue to seek out the quiet space within. That realm may seem like it offers nothing but void and formlessness, but in all actuality it is the source of that which propels us toward our own rich becoming.

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The Moon with The World

Witches Tarot by Ellen Dugan and Mark Evans
Witches Tarot by Ellen Dugan and Mark Evans

Let’s talk about the subconscious for a moment…

When I first learned about the subconscious mind, I was probably in high school. I was taking the most basic of psychology lessons which spoke of ids and egos and superegos, of a coked-up closeted Freud who saw penises wherever he looked. I suspect at some point the teacher was out sick and brought in Bela Lugosi or Boris Karloff for a substitute who wrote on the chalkboard in drippy spooky handwriting The Subconscious.

The subconscious gets such a bad rap, doesn’t it? It’s basically the dank basement of the mind where damp mildewed Playboys are stashed, where vermin chomp on millipedes. It’s the secret hidden family raised in a bomb shelter. It’s the boogeyman of the identity, hiding under your bed to come out and play once the waking conscious has finished sweeping the floor and flipped the store sign to “Closed”.

While the conscious or the ego or the what-have-you is the protagonist of the Harry Nilsson song “Best Friend”, the subconscious is this creepy bastard that makes us do things that we have not necessarily intended. We seem to peg its decisions on desires that only float to the surface once the goldfish has overeaten. We make the subconscious our scapegoat, fall guy, stool pigeon, patsy for all those words, deeds, and actions gagged and bound by our conscious mind.

Personally, I believe the subconscious, rather than a root cellar, is more like a system of roots. It is more like a subterranean space with a set of networked tunnels that connects to all the other caverns of the world. In other words, our subconscious is not ours alone. If you think about it, pop psychology has claimed the ego wants to disavow any association to the nefarious underworld of the mind. If the ego is all about maintaining a GI Joe Kung-Fu grip on the identity of the self, the subconscious has no concern regarding such trivial matters as self-identity, much less self-awareness. See where I’m going with this?

Let’s sharpen this pencil a bit more, like that kid that’s trying to stall before taking that state-mandated test: The subconscious is not concerned with only our immediate survival. The subconscious only recognizes its formless borderless self, devoid of the demarcations imposed by identity. It sees itself as the cellular spokesman of the world-at-large. While it is making recommendations and decisions based on what is best for the self that otherwise renders the cowardly lion of the ego immobile, it knows what is best for the self is what is best for the whole.

So while pop psychology wants to vilify the subconscious on a cultural level, it truly is the hero of the story. It pulls us back to functioning as an integral part of the big picture. It knows that if the body dies, so does each and every cell along with it. To persistently listen to and follow the machinations of the ego is a path to certain death. Cousin Id with its identifying characteristics hidden beneath a haystack of hairiness is actually what is looking out for our best interest, as it knows what is in our best interest is actually what is in the best interest of everything and everyone.

The Moon

The Moon
The moon hangs in the sky between tow pillars, raining moonlight down on a howling dog and wolf, as a crustacean crawls up from the depths

So we have determined what we want to manifest in our lives, we have set our intention, we have applied the prerequisite visualization, and we have taken action to create our desired outcome. Yet time and time again we keep encountering roadblocks. We find obstacles in our path. Or efforts seem to unravel before us, no matter how diligent, and we experience one setback after another.

Why, if we understand the concepts of manifestation, do we find ourselves stalling out in attracting what we desire? We often forget that what is drawn into our lives is what we are attracting. We are perpetually manifesting. So if we are encountering obstacles and insurmountable challenges, it is not for lack of applying the right steps in manifesting. Continue reading The Moon