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Tag: the writing process

The Cup, The Key: The Quiet Act of Knowing

Been a minute since I asked these cards about writing. What I asked is if I posses the skills of a writer, not so much because I believe I don’t, but  I figured if I got some disheartening cards back I may have to re-think what I want this chapter in my life to look like.

What I got was an affirmation of the time – exactly what tarot is, mind you – a window into the tools one has in front of them, the option of energies either to use, or not. For this I turned to my very first tarot deck , The Da Vinci Tarot. Seemed fitting that while revisiting old doubts I summon an old deck, the deck that was with me 2 years ago when on the road writing From The Other Seat, the deck that birthed the idea of incorporating tarot into my blog as a way to lighten the pressure, and to offer fodder as I continued to explore the act of writing.

I still love the dark romanticism these cards evoke. Even on the positively inclined cards the images appear wistful – perfect for the writer’s mind. There’s a seriousness to the tone of this deck, it begs that you consider the balance of light and dark when interpreting the message.

So here’s what turned up. They all popped out on their own in this order: Ten of Chalices, Four of Swords, and the Knave of Chalices.

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As a quick intuitive interpretation, Ten’s are a completion and an end to a cycle. Ten of Chalices says both, yes, you have everything you need, all the passion is there, either you’re nurturing your talents or the energy exists for you to do so. But ten’s are also the end of a cycle, not to say it’s all going to go to shit afterwards, but with every ending, there is a new beginning, and there will be a change, a shift. How have you shaped your perception? How will you have used that nurturing love of, say, a mother and her baby? How will your baby grow?

That question follows into the Four of Swords perfectly because this card signifies a sabbatical, a much needed time out. Swords signify thoughts and assessing what those thoughts mean. The Four of Swords is recharging the batteries and making sure that these thoughts are yours and yours alone. I love how the figure in this image looks entirely confident and totally at peace, as if he’s Siddhartha, having come back from a long walk in the valley you see behind him. He knows the answer, or at least has a sense, he’s got the key there in front of him, but he’s taking his time. There’s no hurry, the journey will continue when the time is right.

Timing is key, for the right thing at the wrong time would no longer be the right thing.

And this is why taking a step aside to make time for inner contemplation is so important. One must cultivate the patience to wait for the right time.

The description in the Da Vinci Tarot reference book calls it “peaceful receptivity”. One must have a clear state of mind before making any decisions on the future, and this card signals a time to calm the mind, to find a quiet place all your own, trust in the process, and be open and objective about the path ahead. The figure in the Four of Swords is receptive enough to adapt to anything that might challenge this sense of peace – he’s found equilibrium or is currently seeking it. He’s not taking advice from others, he’s looking within and collecting his own personal strength. The Four of Swords is one of my favorite cards because it tends to come up when a sabbatical is needed. I love sabbaticals, I just took one actually, so I feel like the card that answers my question, whether I posses the skills of a writer, is the third in this spread.

In the third card, the Knave of Chalices is renewed passion. Knaves, or knights, refer to young energies, sometimes young people. It could be that a young person will inspire you, or that a new burst of inspiration is just in its beginning phase, but the fact is – it’s there. It’s naked, and vulnerable, innocent, wanting; emotions pure and simple, raw and abundant, observing the world in a new way, with new words to color what it sees and feels. It’s love, new love, for a person, for a task, for life… for whatever. Life is presenting this now, or it’s coming very soon.

Mid writing this, I got a call about a job, an editing position. I think the initial phone interview went well. They said they’d follow up next week. Promising.

Almost immediately after, my roommate beckoned me to the kitchen where an owl sat on the window ledge. It flew away and was replaced by a pair of cardinals singing to each other, male and female. Owl omens are usual seen as the harbinger of death, could be a metaphysical one, but with death is renewal. Cardinals are a see as a message that you’ve been visited by Spirit. Knaves, cardnials, cups, and keys – the air is ripe with new love, opportunity, and the support is there from a divine quarter, telling one to keep going.

Anyway, I’ve lost focus, gone off the metaphysical deep end, so I’ll leave this here. Musical selection is The Tallest Man on Earth – The Gardener. His lyrics are wrought with symbols and they really speak to me. Hope this post was interesting in some way. Mostly, if anyone is reading, thank you. Happy to share this space with you.

Be well, love often, and enjoy!

NaNo Update/ Life Update

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I’m going to try and make this brief because I know I’m not the only one feeling a little unhinged today and I really just want to go outside and do something physical to make me feel more grounded.

These energies that popped up today, The Star card (which I spoke on in a previous post) and the King of Swords are helping me describe the feeling in the air, but it’s still hard, it’s like, the highly metaphysical and the highly logical are walking side by side, afraid to look at each other, afraid to understand each other. THEE dream, your ultimate dream is in sight, but it’s like, you’re still in this position where you KNOW you have to be highly logical about your next steps- a bit cold and calculating, a bit mean and offish but it’s because you’re just trying to HOLD IT ALL TOGETHER MAN.

Like, that’s YOUR DREAM right there, The Star, you manifested it, this is YOUR WISH, but you’re a little miffed at it, like it showed up early to the party. But the Star is not early, it’s RIGHT ON TIME, and that notion makes you feel excited and scared and you don’t WANT to feel excited and scared right now, dammit, there’s work to do.

Know that it’s the nature of the unknown which makes us feel vulnerable and that it’s totally OK to feel vulnerable. It’s a necessary step.  It means you’re ready for the change.

I mean, The Star is over there just free and naked and like, super calm about it and you’re all like, I can’t get there with you yet and you’re making me nervous with your beautiful magical presence.

You know this is a delicate period, that to complete the process, to fulfill the wish, one needs to be careful, make smart moves, stay on task and that there’s still so much work to do if that dream is to become a reality. IT’S RIGHT THERE, but you’re trying real hard to be that King of Swords, to stay on track, stay focused, to not humor the fanciful feelings just yet.

To bring this back to the writing process, I seriously almost bailed on the NaNo project this week. There were two or three days there that I didn’t write anything at all and I thought I’d have to write a post about my failure, which would have been fine. Failure is fine. But then I had a few awesome conversations with some friends and it got me thinking- what do I REALLY want, what was the dream? And, is that dream going to happen if I don’t push myself to the limit? No. It won’t.

I wanted to go back to working on From the Other Seat. I’m itching to keep chipping away at that edit, but I also know I need a new project, a strong project with a strong foundation to be there waiting for me when I hit a wall with the memoir, and the wall WILL happen so I want to be prepared. Also, I have grand visions of taking a trip to Poland this spring and to work on this new book while I’m there and this is totally contingent on the fact that I have something really tangible started. I want to just be filling in plot holes when I get there and editing and… god, I’m rambling.

My biggest problem with the new project is while I made a loose outline and a character sketch, getting from point A to Z has been a real challenge. I’m a very literal person and taking on a fiction and setting it in a place I’ve never been…. well, I’m struggling with it. So I’m putting aside all environmental descriptions right now and just focusing on the emotional meat of the story because… emotions are my thing. I know how to write about those.

Anyway, this is getting long. On top of all this book writing, I’m also trying to carve a path for myself in my freelance writing in music and what not… and so… it’s been a trying time to fit all this in and know which projects to focus on more at any giving time; where to put the brunt of my energies. So… yeah, I got to be this King of Swords even though my dream, The Star, it’s right where I want it. There’s still so much… so so much to do.

Stay focused everyone. I’m going to go cut the grass. It’s beautiful out.

Musical selection this week is by Jay Daniel a young Detroiter who embodies these logical-dreamy energies. He’s releasing his debut album at the end of the month. The album is called Broken Knowz and it drops via Technicolour Recordings. Be well, love often, and enjoy!!

 

 

 

On writing: Using sadness to your benefit

http://www.fountaintarot.com/

I’ve been away in mind, waiting for the shift in the season, the shift in the cosmos to give me back a little energy; revive me or destroy me, but floating here feels like swords to the soul.

Truth be told, I avoided a post last week thinking I might be in a better state of mind this week, a better place with my book, a better mood for sharing. Whether or not I am isn’t an excuse to remain at a stalemate. If the outward aspects of my life aren’t planning on moving forward anytime soon at least I can attempt to push my mind past this place of numbness.

Over the weekend, I was able to dedicate one whole day to the writing/editing process. In that day, I worked on one chapter. One chapter, and it’s not like I even changed that much. I read it, edited and edited again and again. One word here, cut and paste there. Delete, delete, edit undo. Two new words. Two steps forward, three steps back. That is how it went.

It was a process that rolled on for hours, about 6, until the sun went down and I realized I hadn’t eaten. And while the work on that chapter felt like torture, in the end, it was better than it had been.

It’s with this state of being that I share this card, drawn digitally because I’m not at home by my own deck.

The Three of Swords is a card that tends to strike sadness in the heart of those who receive it. Three knives piercing a heart. It’s a painful present, but with sword energy at least we can rest assured it won’t last. Maybe a painful situation is coming, maybe it’s already here, all the same, there’s lessons to learn in the Three of Swords and as horrible as it may feel, as frustrated and as stuck, it’s still energy that can be utilized.

Writing in this state of mind rather than using it as an excuse not to write can be a moving experience.

The Three of Swords is where I’m at in my heart, it’s where I’m at in my life, it’s where I’m at in my memoir. Heartbreaking moments abound, but I’m using this instead of succumbing to it. And so far, it’s working out well. Hasn’t been fun, but it’s working out.

The image I used is from a deck called The Fountain Tarot. What I love about it is that it’s one of the more hopeful renditions of the Three of Swords that I’ve seen. Notice the rainbow reflected in the heart? There’s a silver lining to everything, a positive way to flip even the darkest emotions. A reminder that hope is right around the corner. Everything is transitory. These painful emotions need to happen just like the feel-good ones. That’s just life.

So, there you have it- a short blog, but it’s about all the heart space I can spare right now.

This may seem like random advice, but I feel compelled to share it: don’t be afraid to cut away what is no longer serving you, whether you want to apply that to your book or your personal life, start making some clean cuts. In light of the Three of Swords, cut away three things that are confusing your plot. Cut away three paragraphs, three sub-characters, three words. And if you feel you are cutting too much, do not fear. In life we need to completely separate from the old to make way for the new. Cut away all those things that have been holding you back. Burn them, trash them, block them and never look back.

That said, once you do and you’re feeling a little like you miss it, them, those– capture that feeling and fucking use it. 

Cry over your words, pour your soul out on that paper, over those keys; get deep, allow your heart to break fully and completely. At the end of that, there you will find the rainbow.

Be well, love often and enjoy!

 

 

 

Moving on

 

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Robin Wood Tarot: Eight of Cups

This week has been trouble. Progress, none. Seems a stark shift from the energy brought in by the Ace of Pentacles last Wednesday, but a new direction is not without the hard and unpleasant stages. Progress does not come without minor regressions.

Personally, I’ve been wanting to move on from where I’m at; physically, emotionally. Both feel very stagnant, tired, oppressing. Not to be making excuses as to why I’m not working as well as I should or being as productive as I should, but physical and emotional environments play a huge role.

Past hurts and present turmoil are raking at my thoughts, submerging my heart to the point where I cannot feel or function in the present. Living arrangements that aren’t entirely in my control are beating me down. Truly, I feel stuck, mired, yet capable. I very much know I need to move on from a few things so that I may become the best I can be- more creative, more productive, more balanced, more in control of my emotions. More of myself.

When the going gets rough, one simply has to keep moving. And here is the eight of cups to remind to do just that.

The eight of cups can be seen as a dark card. Interesting that the person in this card is depicted leaving under the veil of night, by light of the moon. Whatever situation you may be leaving might be one where others can be feeling a similar hurt. One must leave with stern resolve. Quite possibly, leaving might be safer wrapped under veils, cloaks, at night, in secret, alone. This card supports my need to move on, to abandon, to start over, maybe with a new job, a new city, a new home, a new approach. It’s no coincidence that I’ve been feverishly pursuing all of these things, trying to create a new opportunity.

Look at the way the figure in this drawing is situated where it looks like another cup should be. Leads me to believe that maybe they’re simply leaving on a journey to find that ninth cup. Once we breach into the nine of cups, after all, there are pleasantry’s and enjoyment; a jovial feeling of fulfillment.

In this particular card from The Robin Wood Tarot it depicts a flock of geese flying in a typical V fashion past the moon, heading in the same direction as the cloaked figure. Makes me feel like this “moving on” is a natural reaction to a seasonal or cosmic shift. Because of the geese, I also feel like this card might be telling me to move before winter hits. I feel that to an extreme.

The eight of cups says, karmically, there’s nothing more to gain by staying. There’s a method that’s no longer serving base needs, an emotional state of being that has exhausted the mind and body. I do feel it, I feel exhausted and my work has suffered because of it.

The good news is, the eight of cups is not all doom and gloom. Unlike many cards in the deck, here at least the image depicts movement. Where there is movement there is change.

Poor conditions are temporary. The uncertainty we feel moving away from something or someone familiar is temporary.

If you notice the staff in the figure’s hand you’ll see it’s reminiscent of the suit of wands, as if bravery in a new creative direction is required to make this moving away, this change, successful. The figure is heading away from uncertainty, away from the unstable energies of the moon, water, the emotions; dreams that have no bearing on real life- off to find something consistently true. Truth, like mountains are hard and jagged. That said, what lies ahead of this moving on won’t be an easy road to navigate, but hardship is necessary when lessons need to be learned.

Only in movement can we change a situation for the better. Only with effort can we land on solid ground.

Seen in another way, maybe I need to be less emotional about my writing process, this memoir in general. Maybe when I open up Scrivener with all my new daily fears of inadequacy, maybe I need to be more objective. The entire theme of From the Other Seat is about movement, moving away from a situation; moving in a vehicle, moving over land, travel; both emotional and physical. It’s about ending somewhere true, a position that feels honest and real. In a sense, From the Other Seat is about having too much of a good thing and how in shedding, stripping away, finding that one true thing is more fulfilling than all those other things that we thought we needed.

The eight of cups is about that journey to find the “one true thing”.

Leaving a stagnant situation or starting a day of writing feels to me a similar challenge. The question being, how on earth to begin? Literally, all we’ve got to do is put one leg in front of the other, one word after another. With that small exercise alone, look here, suddenly I have a new blog post. In no time, and with effort, I will have a new home as well, a new job.

I know this will resonate with a lot of you. I hope that you find the strength to leave behind situations of your own that are no longer serving you. Karma has closed that chapter. There’s nothing more for you there.

Here’s to moving on and here’s the mix I was listening to while writing this post. It’s a long, chill, and introspective one to keep you company along your own journey.

Be well, love often and enjoy!

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