Writing practice

Brought to you today by the Nine of Pentacles, Temperance, and The Sun.

9P. Nine of Pentacles
Fertility, possible conception. Coming growth. Potential is great.
If reversed: Lack of fertility, as yet. No potential return on investment. Get a checkup.

The Nine shows a pregnant woman, in profile, with long blond hair and wearing a green dress. She is standing in a field of sunflowers, each with a Pentacle in the center. Her hand is closed as if holding something in her fist, and she looks away to our right, as if pondering something far away (perhaps she is looking toward the future). Beyond her we can see some tall pine trees, appearing to be in a row from left to right. The sky appears blue, with only a couple of clouds.

The fertility is clearly represented by the pregnant woman, but also by the evergreen trees. The sunflowers are all very short, coming only up to her knee or almost to her hip or belly, so we can imagine that they are baby sunflowers which are going to take off growing very quickly. She is looking toward the future, and the potential is great.

14. Temperance
Emotion and energy added to logic and mind. A hunch can be an answer. Querent will receive energy and inspiration. Creativity added to reason. The numbers 80 and 800.
If reversed: Logic and reason added to emotion. Understanding comes to feeling. Querent may have period ruled by emotion, but reason and logic will come to add stability.

Temperance shows a woman standing before a cauldron, an eagle at the left of the scene, and a lion at the right. The woman bears a large star symbol on her head, which is beaming five colors of light from the five points. She has long dark hair which is quite thick and goes almost to her waist. She wears a light red/pink robe and she holds a blue pitcher in her left hand (at our right) and a torch in her right (at our left), both of these are held high. The lion is calmly looking across at the eagle; only his head and chest are visible, and there is a large green sphere behind him (on the right). The eagle is either paused in mid-flight, or more likely is perched on something we can’t see. His feet are below him and his wings are held high above his head. There is a large orange sphere partly visible on the right. The cauldron looks brass or gold-colored, and a “male” symbol is engraved on its front (cirle with an arrow up and right). There is a fire beneath the pot and steam rising from it. The background behind the woman is red, like a very late, deep sunset, fading to black at the top.

The description says creativity, emotion, energy is being added to logic, mind, reason. The creativity, emotion, and energy are probably shown by the water being the heart and feeling, and the lion being the raw savage power. The logic, mind, and reason are probably the fire of the torch and the eagle who is an accurate and swift hunter. I’m not sure what the pale green and pale orange spheres are for. The water steaming in the pot and the fire below the pot are each making a second appearance. The woman has her eyes closed and she is smiling, as if confident that her spell will work.

If read from left to right, logic and reason is what you have, and emotion and energy is what you are adding. The logic and reason is in your past and the raw power and emotion is in your future. The logic is being tempered by water and feeling and something green. If reversed, probably the direction would be reversed rather than the meaning, so that the raw energy and raw emotion is tempered by reason, accuracy, a vicious mind of logic and an orange fire of, uh, fire. Whichever it is, we are at the crossroads of it and they are about to be combined to be something good.

19. The Sun
Search for knowledge, beginning of study. Progress. The number 200.
If reversed: Enlightenment, the answer to a problem is realized.

The Sun depicts a young girl (left) and a young boy (right) facing each other and clasping each the other’s right hand in theirs. Each is clad in a primitive-looking brown tunic. The only differences that might point to this being a girl and a boy are the hair (long vs. short), the arms (slender vs. a bit pudgy) and perhaps the hips (slightly pear-shaped vs. mostly H-shaped). Both the boy and girl have dark brown hair and an olive complexion. They are standing in front of a stone wall made of huge brown stone blocks. The girl stands in a small pool, only up to her ankles, and the ground looks dry and cracked surrounding the pool. The boy’s feet are obscured behind a huge dark purple sphere in the lower right of the view. The Sun is of course visible above and to the left, big and orange and sending out white rays. The blue sky is thick with clouds that also appear reddish; they would be sunset-colored except that the sun is high, so perhaps they are dust clouds in a continuation of the desert theme.

I am unclear as to how this represents the search for knowledge, or progress. Perhaps it is progress that they are able to bring water to the desert, and create walls out of huge blocks that might be mud-colored. Perhaps the fact that they are young and dressed alike means that they are students? That is probably how I will remember it for now, but I will hopefully find out more from the book.

Taken in concert, these three cards seem to be saying that there is something fertile which is starting to grow, something bringing water of life and enlightenment, study, progress/productivity to the desert, and a harmonious balance to be struck somewhere in between. Keep the balance between thinking and feeling, apply hard work and you will bring life to the parched landscape. The result is not immediate, but over time, since all three of these show the beginning of something, something good.

I didn’t really have a question in mind, but here is a summary of what has been on my mind lately. I don’t know where my life is going, and I don’t know what the next step should be, because the “goal” is not clear. I was talking to M’s cousin J over the weekend, who just got out of prison after like 2 years. It seemed like he didn’t exactly know what he would do with his life, but he knows that he does not want to slip back into the same life as before, taking risks, taking drugs, and being out of control. He knows where that leads and doesn’t want to go there. And yet, he doesn’t see an obvious next step, and doesn’t see anything to “graduate” to except more of the same. He is surrounded by the exact same environment, peers, etc. All the people who know him expect him to be a ruffian, a thug, or a drug dealer. And yet he enjoys reading, does weaving and does craft stuff like bead work, and is quite sensitive and intellectual. If anyone needs to take control of his own destiny, it’s this guy, because if he sits back and lets life happen to him, he will end up serving longer times and getting more tattoos.

So, I said something like “We each have to figure out what kind of future we want, and work our way back. If we figure out how we want to be remembered, what we want inscribed on our tombstone, we should be able to work out how to get there, what we need to do in the next ten years, the next five years, or the next few months.” After I said this and thought about it a bit, I realized that I have no idea where I want to be in 10 years, myself. I am not heeding my own advice, so therefore by my own logic I can expect to be right here, sitting in this chair, not having made forward progress on anything, 10 years from now. I want to improve myself, I want to learn Japanese, program in Java, exercise and lose weight, get a better house, work out relationship issues, etc. I want the same things I wanted a year ago, or two, maybe three, but I have made zero forward progress.

I had been thinking before this conversation about how my life, job, home, hobbies, marriage, etc. are not growing, changing, developing, or making forward progress toward a goal because they don’t currently have a goal. In having this conversation with J, I realized with some clarity that I have a similar problem: lots of potential, and a lack of focus with which to apply hard work toward achievements. So instead of beating my obstacles into submission year after year, I am running in place while the ivy grows up around me.

So, given what is on my mind, what does this combination of cards say about my situation, if anything? I have both ingredients but never in concert. In some areas I have creativity and emotion and raw feeling and power but totally without logic or focus or any application. In other areas I have thoughts and logic and hard work and patience and accuracy, but without passion, flavor, feeling, etc. I need to bring more creativity to my job and more logic and organization to my creative hobbies. I need to spend my time doing things that are both productive and creative. I need to figure out what the obstacles are and start banging on them.

OK that’s all for now. Good night!

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