“You can dance in the storm. Don’t wait for the rain to be over before because it might take too long. You can can do it now. Wherever you are, right now, you can start, right now; this very moment.”
― Israelmore Ayivor
The winds howl fiercely
and the water pours
droplets trickle down me
as I take my first steps
hesitantly, I pull forward and turn
The lightning flashes
and I leap
The mood is dramatic
yet still I am restrained
A battle between fear and lust
of the excitement
with just an element
of finding my place
I start spinning
The sky opens
The thunder cracks and I grow bolder
with leaps and falls that
the night itself envies
I dance the storm
in all its wonder
and will make it through the rain
— G A Rosenberg
“The word ‘politics’ is derived from the word ‘poly’ meaning ‘many’, and the word ‘ticks’ meaning ‘blood sucking parasites’.”
— Larry Hardiman
So I’ve talked a bit about religion and a bit about sex so let’s finish the trilogy of things we aren’t supposed to talk about with politics. Where sex is about the physical relationships between two (or sometimes more) people on an intimate level and religion is about the spiritual relationship between us and the universe, one of the definitions of politics according to Merriam-Webster is ” the total complex of relations between people living in society”. In other words all these beings are here with me, how are we going to deal with each other? Everybody has different ideas on how to answer this question and everybody is sure they are right and equally sure everyone else is wrong. We elect the people whose answers we are convinced are the closest to ours to govern us and then deride them when we find out that they lied. We have office politics, relationship politics, family politics and even personal politics. Believe me quite often the decision to not tear someone apart either verbally or physically is based totally on political considerations.
If something is this important than why shouldn’t people discuss it in polite conversation? Partly as with sex and religion, it involves the fear of the different. If someone has a different idea about how to relate to people than I do than his might be better and I might have to rethink things. I would show myself to be wrong in front of other people and be embarrassed. To avoid this, I either need to not talk about it or be able to make my opponent look bad. This normally ends up with someone feeling bad or foolish and again it comes from fear.
Why can’t people admit that when it comes to Sex, Politics and Religion, no one has the perfect way of doing things? We can all learn from each other and come up with an integrated approach that incorporates all views. Barring that we can stick to our guns and say “Maybe this doesn’t work for everyone but it works for us. Learn from us or leave us alone.” Yet it seems we can’t be left alone. Too many people need to impose their views on everyone in order to feel that their way is the right way. In S P & R fear makes us either Tyrants, Slaves or Isolated. Following our own paths and decisions, learning from others as we choose makes us happy. This might not be politically correct to say, but for me it feels like a truth.
Tonight some rapid fire quotes and comments just to mix things up a bit:
“You are precisely as big as what you love and precisely as small as what you allow to annoy you.”
Robert Anton Wilson
So many reasons for working on our shadow selves and this is one of the best.. What good is it to love the universe (love universally) if you become irritated at little things that parts of it do and say? The cognitive dissonance that this can bring up alone makes it a good idea to deal with those raw parts of ourself.
“It is a thousand times better to make every kind of mistake than to slide into the habit of hesitation, of uncertainty, of indecision.”
— Aleister Crowley, Magick Without Tears
Uncertainty and Hesitation tend to be parts of my own shadow. When choices seem equal and they almost always do, it becomes difficult to choose. Still gradually I am learning to lead with my chin and choosing rather than leaving it to others or to the universe. It is my own learning to take responsibility.
It’s done by hurling yourself into the abyss, and discovering that it’s a feather bed.
There’s no other way to do it.”
— Terence McKenna
In combination with the quote above, it is sometimes better to take that leap towards self-knowledge and empowerment and be willing to risk the changes that it may bring rather than to stall out at the edge. It might be a featherbed or I might end up like a Loony Toons character running on air and falling but I will make those leaps and if I fall I will rise again.
Click on images to see full-sized:
In Search of Lost Treasure (Valac) by G A Rosenberg
“Fortunate are those who take the first steps.”
― Paulo Coelho
To change and grow takes courage. All too often we believe that we will change instantly just by wishing it to be so. That is an important step to be sure. Tho it is only the starting step. Next comes the actual doing of the change, the steps needed to make it work.
Say for instance, we want to change our habit of procrastination. We make goals for ourselves that we will see a few projects through to the end. We then have to work towards achieving the goals. Perhaps we decide that for 15 minutes a day we will do something that we have been putting off for awhile. Call and make the appointments we’ve been putting off. Research or write the next page or poem. Meditate. Baby steps are ok. If we can do just that one thing each day that brings us closer to achieving what we want and get into that habit,we will quickly find ourselves progressing. It’s those continual fortunate first steps that build the momentum to bring us success.
I’ve done a lot of writing about shadows and personal darkness. Yet looking at the vast majority of my art, conversation and writing it all verges on brightness and aspiration and positive energy. When I get into discussions where I disagree with people I tend to pull my punches. Part of the reason for that is that usually I can see where they’re coming from. Part of it is to avoid conflict. I have some fear in that area. Not only what amount of anger or negativity may come out of the other when I’m talking to them but what I may reveal to them about my own negative side.
My temper tends towards the sharp and vicious. When I was younger and much less discriminate and I grew angry at someone, all too often I would clue into their area of greatest personal insecurity and attack them there. I had almost a preternatural instinct for where that was. I hurt a few people deeply and ruined a few friendships and relationships before I gained anything like control. Now if only I could learn a way to combine that control with the insight I could / can help people a lot. To do that I have to not be afraid of my own shadow.
In art and writing as much as I love beautiful things that inspire, I also have a fondness for horror. Oh not so much the slash, slash splatter serial killer Friday the 13th type (tho Freddie who dwells in Nightmares can touch some interesting triggers for me) but the more psychological gut-pulling horror of Edgar Allen Poe or Stephen King. Stephen King has this ability to show the dark side of human beings. The side made even uglier because it is repressed. I also have this enjoyment for stories and art that show the underside of creation, the type of art that H. P. Lovecraft wrote about and Hieronymus Bosch drew.
Yet aside for the occasional picture full of eyes I’ve resisted that in my own art. Part of that it’s been dawning on me has had to do with the same type of fear that keeps me in the ‘nice guy’ role in discussions. Am I that worried what people who enjoy my art may think? That is partly it. Partly there has been a fear of what may happen when the bottle is uncorked and the genie come out. I have a strong suspicion tho that it may just unlock further creativity and growth in me. Facing one’s fear and leaving one’s comfort zone tends to do that.
“Great artists make the roads; good teachers and good companions can point them out. But there ain’t no free rides, baby. No hitchhiking. And if you want to strike out in any new direction — you go alone. With a machete in your hand”
― Ursula K. Le Guin
There’s a difference between being lonely and being alone and its a key one. As much as I enjoy company and genuinely enjoy speaking with others, at times especially while creating, thinking or meditating I crave solitude. Those are the times that even if I have gone where others have I am still blazing my own trail. The territories of the mind, heart, spirit and imagination are infinite and while there is a lot of cross-overs each passageway is unique. We can admire the path that someone else has made but we cannot take it as our own, they’ve paid for it with their experiences and those are unique to each.
After we have journeyed for awhile, it is fun to call a friend in to show them what we have found on the passageway as it is to see what they have found. Since we create our trail as we go, we can never know when we will use something given to us by another. Each item whether internal or external is sacred. Eventually the trails will converge with lifetimes of experiences shared by all.
“Bottom line is, even if you see ’em coming, you’re not ready for the big moments. No one asks for their life to change, not really. But it does. So what are we, helpless? Puppets? No. The big moments are gonna come. You can’t help that. It’s what you do afterwards that counts. That’s when you find out who you are.”
― Joss Whedon
We’ve all had them. Maybe we didn’t recognize them at the time but all of a sudden we look up and everything has changed. I call them cusp moments, tho they can also be called crossroad moments or twilight moments or any other metaphor that catches your mind. It could be a parent’s death or a graduation ceremony. It almost always is when you lose your virginity. It could involve a bad breakup or an accident. It could even be a peak experience. However it happens in one fell swoop every map of reality that you have gets systematically erased. You look around you at places and people that were once familiar and you see strangers and strange places.
When this happens you can freak out and scramble towards anything that reminds you of your past and try as best as you can to recreate your own map or you can look at everything with the wonder of a child. You can be free to draw a new map with each new thing in front of you that you see with your new eyes. It can be the best thing ever.
I have spoken before about how every moment can be a new starting point and it can. You may not be able to force either a traumatic or a peak experience but you can consciously and willfully toss out your existing maps and look at your life and your environment with new eyes as if you’ve never seen it before. Redefine your relationships with everything and anything in front of you. Feel free to explore and learn and grow. Grab a hold of the potential new beginning that every moment brings
“Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing.”
― August Wilson
I look into the mirrored
eyes of my friends
and want to be better
than the reflection I see before me.
Oh I’m OK
but to live the love reflected
I want to be even more
more honest, braver
and more open
More and more I find that conversations take courage. Oh not the chatty every day ones tho to initiate them with strangers takes its share. I mean the ones where ideas and ideals get discussed and debated. First of all to even engage with someone when you disagree with their point of view can be daunting. After all, perhaps they are correct and I may have to change what I believe. So many people seem to have trouble with that. It is amazing how often we conflate a viewpoint that we hold with our own identity and find a challenge to one to be a challenge to the other. If we are truly open to learning and seeking a higher understanding then doesn’t that mean we want to know when there is a better way of looking at things? If the price of a clearer vision, is merely giving up what we previously believed isn’t that a small one to pay? I believe so. Yet there seems to be much fear over surrendering who we are for who we may become.
Another thing that takes courage is being willing to engage with those who may debate differently than we do. Perhaps they become a bit more aggressive than we are comfortable with and we find that off-putting. Does that mean they are wrong? Not necessarily, they could simply be passionate about the subject under discussion or perhaps they find our communication mode just as off-putting. Is tone really that important? Isn’t what is being said more important than how? Does the problem lie with the other person or does it lay with us? In my experience, when I have a knee-jerk reaction to something, it is normally a reflection of my own stuff. Again if greater understanding is our aim, isn’t a new perception of ourselves and our ‘buttons’ an amazing gift. Why do so many people appear afraid to accept it?
I ask for the courage to accept each lesson of self-knowledge and the compassion to see not only my reflection inside each discussion but also an understanding of the others involved as well. May I be able to teach and learn, to listen and communicate to the benefit of all.
“Philosophy begins in wonder. And, at the end, when philosophic thought has done its best, the wonder remains.”
— Alfred Whitehead
Philosophy begins when we look at ourselves and look at the universe and say something along the lines of “Wow, how did this all come to be? How did I come to be part of this?” “Who am I to ask these questions?” As long as we question and don’t become too attached to the answers we have at the moment being the correct one beyond all others, our sense of wonder remains. After all if the universe is indeed too big to understand all at once than any answer we find to explain it will be at best partial. Which means there will always be something new to discover, to explain further and deeper and to wonder and marvel at. Wonder comes when we find that there are places on our reality map that we have yet to explore. Wonder and courage in this sense go hand in hand. For it takes courage to admit that our current explanations are merely approximations and may in fact be mistaken. This quest for Truth may not be for the faint of heart but wow is it ever worthwhile. Blessings, G
These challenges can be met
We’ve faced worse before
So much stands before me
that I must face
my friends shake their heads
but hey I got this
It’s nothing I haven’t faced before
just a bit more of it tis all
I could fall apart or stand tall
I know which one I choose
you’d do the same in my shoes
Courage feels good
so glad I tried it on
It’ll be so worth it when I’ve won
Victory we’ve owned before
what’s one more battle, one more war
— G A Rosenberg
The suite of Wands deal with force-creative, spiritual, and vital. Sevens represent our desires and wants and the paths and challenges we take to achieve them. The Seven of Wands energy represents our drive to move forward and advance no matter what challenges may be in our way. It represents courage in the face of adversity and the confidence that we can have the outcome that we desire even tho the odds may be stacked against us. Quite often this energy represents individual effort and courage as opposed to a group dynamic. Facing fears and obstacles we may only face defeat once, while if we avoid conflict and give into fear then we live in a state of constant defeat.
Astrological Correspondence – Mars in Leo – The Mars in Leo energy is confident, dramatic and passionate. It is a very optimistic energy and there is a flare to everything it does. Its antithesis is disloyalty. Mars in Leo thrives on adversity and loves a challenge. It may play to the audience on its way to whatever its next challenge may be.
I Ching Correspondence – 43) Kuai – Break-Through –
The Trigram of the Lake is over that of Heaven, When that much water has risen above the clouds, then rain is sure to come. This hexagram deals with removing evil or obstacles. It represents standing resolutely against any remaining problems that may be in our path no matter how large or small. Quite often this is done with no outward dislike but with a zero-tolerance for whatever blocks us from our goals.
When the Seven of Wands shows up in a reading then it is a time of courage. We may be asked to defend ourselves and our position against challenges. This may happen in physical competition or in an academic situation such as defending one’s thesis or engaging in a debate. The Seven of Wands councils holding to what we know is right no matter how many oppose us.It may also represent a question as to our motive in engaging in conflict. Are we doing it to defend what is right or are we doing it because we love conflict itself. Quite often the love of a dramatic conflict may become something of an addiction as the need to prove one’s courage over and over again. The card may also represent the ability to discern when a conflict is winnable or not.
When the Seven of Wands occurs reverse then the querent may be in a state of hesitation or equivocation and need to find their inner hero. It may also represent a time when it is not necessary to prove one’s courage just for the sake of it.