Form over function

by Rai



The Emperor from Da Vinci Tarot and The Hierophant from The Robin Wood Tarot

Going into this week, the advice/energy I received was The Hierophant. Because I felt like it, I drew a clarifying card from my other deck, The Da Vinci deck. I received The Emperor.

There’s a quiet frustration I feel when I receive these cards. I’m not sure why. They are very powerful energies being that they are Major Arcana cards which carry a massive amount of weight (over court cards or minor arcana). They are very masculine energies. They are no nonsense energies that not only know how to get things done, but demand that you better follow their lead.

Respectively, they are both of the highest order. The Emperor to his kingdom and The Hierophant to heaven. They both hold a staff, a symbol of power. In The Emperor’s hand is a small globe, symbolizing the world. To me, he’s the highest progression of The Two of Wands who starts out as an eager explorer, tools in hand, just waiting for the world to open a path to him. The Emperor is the culmination of that path. He’s seen it all. And for him, the only advice he takes at this point is that of a spiritual nature, like that of The Hierophant.2_of_wands

The question that has been on my mind is that of structure. This week I’ve been focusing heavily on restructuring chapters, arranging and re-arranging. Really, I feel more like this Two of Wands, having but only an idea of how things will turn out, tools in hand.

The Emperor and The Hierophant are stern reminders that my focus is in the right place: right now it’s form over function. Right now I have to see the big picture. The bigger picture for me, beyond story structure, is college. I’m back at it again, finishing a degree that I started in 2001. It will take me a few more years to get my BA, but I’m ready. I’ve been winging it for far too long, thinking talent was all I needed- how stuck that mindset has left me. Stuck in my life, no way to advance.

I see the outcome I want and I know I can’t have it without discipline and higher learning. But hell, I’ve been doing it and it feels so good when I do. When I turn in an assignment and I’m one week closer to my goal; when I suddenly see how this section would be so much more effective attached to that chapter- suddenly the effectiveness of my story strengthens. It’s a glorious feeling, to be making progress in this way.

Without a solid structure, story will crumble; the kingdom will crumble. Reminds me of an ICHING hexagram I drew only the day before these cards- Line 5 in Hexagram 45, Gathering Together with says,

When people spontaneously gather around a man, it is only a good. It gives him a certain influence that can be altogether useful. But of course there is also the possibility that many may gather around him not because of a feeling of confidence but merely because of his influential position. This is certainly to be regretted. The only means of dealing with such people is to gain their confidence through steadfastness and intensified, unswerving devotion to duty. In this way secret mistrust will gradually be overcome, and there will be no occasion for regret.

With these cards before me and this message, I’m reminded that I have a heavy responsibility to do this right, not rushed, not half-assed, but wholeheartedly and with a dedication to better my own talents and education along the way. If I ever want people to listen, to read, to understand, to trust that my words and my path are true I have to build upon them slow and methodically, I have to walk the walk. And I have to stick that message, that idea, that path for as long as it takes.

So, if anyone out there is feeling the weight of responsibility within their own path or endeavors, why not think a little bit like an Emperor, a little bit more like The Hierophant. If you’re path requires higher learning, do that. If you can’t advance without going back to school or taking a few courses, do that. Get serious with the work and in the end it will pay off.

And for the music, Tom Misch & Laura Misch with “Follow”. A fitting message to “follow your heart… I know our dreams are clear, don’t you know we all fear… maybe you should take the first step and the rest will follow.”

Be well, love often and enjoy.