Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"I Am But An Egg"

     I don't remember the original source for the quote "I am but an egg" but I do know I have heard it used many times in reference to being totally new at something.  Well, that is how I am approaching the first full day of my journey. 
   The Fool card represents many things.  In the most basic sense it is the beginning.  This card can be likened to a seed, an egg or any other embryonic metaphor we can think of.  I used to think of it as a seed, the seed that grows into the world tree at the end of the journey.  But lately I am more inclined to think of it as a starting point, the place where Dorothy starts off on the Yellow Brick Road, the place where Highway 61 began. 
   A seed may grow into a tree, but it never leaves the place it was planted.  To me a journey means traveling and experiencing things that you may not see if you stayed rooted to one place all the time.  
   So, I am for now but an egg and as such will be spending the next couple of weeks cleaning out my nest and restoring some much needed order and peace to my life.  This will be a time for active meditation, thinking while cleaning and trying on new ideas.  I bought the supplies today for the dream pillows and to start my "journey quilt" but that is only part of it.  My real hope is to end this quest with a better knowledge of who I am and what I want to be when I grow up.
     Many sources on the tarot place the Fool at the beginning of the deck, but others do place this card at the end.  The reasoning being that you can only be free to fully enjoy life  if you have already obtained  wisdom .  Thus the Fool can now go on his carefree way as he has the wisdom to avoid stepping off cliffs, drowning in rivers and running blindly from things that go bump in the night.
    To me the fool belongs at the beginning of any new venture, even if the journey had been made before.  As we all end to forget things as time passess.  He is seen as carefree, young and at times unwise.  What some cards depict as reckless, I see as unaware or forgetfull of dangers.  He is a child learning to ride a bike for the first time.  He is a woman who is living on her own after her husband has passed on.  He is a man learning a new trade after being laid off from his job.  He is an adult fulfilling a lifelong dream of learning to play the piano.  He is all of us.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Day One, Card One, or Zero; The Fool

     Today was the equinox, it officially became Autumn and my journey began.  Of course it was also my last day at work before taking off three days for my daughter's wedding.  So instead of coming home and leaving offerings in my gardens for the land spirits, I worked twelve hours and then drove an hour home.  At least I can face the next few days with the knowledge that I did my job well today and not feel guilt over taking the time off.
   It seems almost ironic that my journey is coinciding with my becoming an "empty nester".  Hopefully tomorrow I will get the chance to actually start my journey.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

In the Beginning, Part Three, Hopes and Plans

    I hope to make this next year an important one in my life.  A year of accomplishment, a year of joy and a year of learning.  To this end I am starting other projects that I feel will go along with my journey.
    The most importnant thing of course is the completion of the journey itself.  Not the study of all 22 cards, I've done that before.  But to actually live the cards, absorb their meanings and walk along the path they illuminate.
    My first project is actually a series of smaller ones.  I will need to get my house in order.  I will be cleaning up, fixing up and in general making my house a better place to live and work in. I will also be making a dream pillow, a new bag for my tarot cards and completing other small projects I have been "meaning to do"
   The second project will be to do a quilted wall hanging of my journey.  Each card will have a square (or possibly a circle) and together will serve as a reminder of my year.  I intend to create one square per card as I am working with that card.  The three months at the end of my year, between the autumnal equinox and next Yule will be spent putting them together into the final display.
    My third project is one that I hope will last a lifetime.  I am going to start learning to play the hammer dulcimer.  It is something I have always wanted to do and the study of it will take me well past the next twelve months.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

In the Beginning, Part Two, Why Start Now

    I'm a person who likes touchstones.   In the past I have started the journey at Yule.  The beginning of the new year seemed the logical starting point.  Yet, in the back of my mind it has always seemed a little like the mundane new year's resolution.  The logical starting point for the journey is actaully at the spring equinox.  In some respects the Fool is also the seed.  The seed that eventually grows into the World Tree.
     So why now?  Last year I was in the process of trying to leave a high stress job.  My daughter was going to be married in a year and I wanted a job that would give me the time and mental space to concentrate on the wedding.  I interviewed with two prospective employers.  Employer A offered everything I could want in a job except less stress.  The company was known for it's high stress, high action and great compensation packages.  Employer B offered less compensation but the steady low stress enviorment I needed. So, I went with employer B.
     Well, my stress free year to concentrate on the wedding turned out to be anything but.  The second week into the job my husband became seriously ill with a heart condition.  We made it through his hospitalizations and treatments and the holidays.  Then my previously stress free job became a study in dysfunction.  All of the key players were either fired or quit.  I was left as the only nurse manager who was not a "agency rent a nurse".  Work was fast becoming a nightmare, my husband was still home recovering and the wedding was looming ever closer.
    In the spring I injuried my foot, after limping around for four weeks I finally had surgery on it.  While recovering from the surgery I received a call from employer A.  Two days later I accepted their offer.
    Okay, now it's summer.  I've just started my new job and my father has a massive stroke.  I fly up to see him.  Two days later I come back home having arranged for him to be made care and comfort only.  The next day I see my foot surgeon and the cast comes off my foot.  Yipee.  The day after that my car gets rearended and the foot is once again injuried.  Two days later, my father passed away.
   So, after taking some time to melt down, help my daughter move to her new apartment and just breathe, I decided that my new year was going to begin.  That was on September 1'st.  It was closer to September 12'th when I decided to make the journey again.  And being the touchstone person that I am, I chose the equinox as my staring point.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

In the Beginning, Part One, Why I'm Doing This

     The Tarot has been a large part of my life for over forty years.  I started using my first deck when I was twelve and have not been without at least one deck ever since.  To me the Tarot is not a means of "fortune telling".  I do not believe in divination per say.  I have done readings for others, but I always tell them my philosophy before hand.  Daily horoscopes and palm reading may be fun, but the future is anything but certain.  Once we know the future, we have the power to change it. 
     To me, the Tarot, and to the same extent but on a different level the Runes, are a tool of meditation and focus.  If I'm worried about something at work but can't quite put my finger on the problem, I'll draw a card and meditate upon it's meaning.  This simple method works for me more often than not.
     Over the years I have tried to make the "Fools Journey" many times.  But, each time, even if  I completed all twenty-two cards, I never felt as if I'd "done it right".  It had felt as if I studied the cards but did not really try to live their meanings.  Now, as I'm getting deeper into middle age I feel the need to at least try one more time.
     My nest is now empty, I have a challenging career and a loving husband.  I also have hobbies that I enjoy and a home to enjoy them in.  Yet, I still feel unfulfilled.  Something is missing in my life, and by making the journey I hopeto discover what it is.