During the month of December, I’m blogging to Tracking Wonder’s Quest 2016 prompts using the Tarot as a way to deepen my process of visioning my best 2016. Tracking Wonder’s community of wildly diverse creatives, under the curatorial wizardry of Jeffrey Davis, was a blessing for me last year as I sallied forth on book tour for the publication of my first collection of poetry (November Butterfly).
Visit this link to watch video testimonials of our process highlights experienced while on Quest (and join us if you feel inspired).
If you are a writer and a student of the Tarot, I hope you’ll pull your own cards in response; I’ll be playing with various layouts as we go.
Visionary Susan Piver, whose “mission is to teach everyone how to slow down, soften our hearts, sharpen our minds, and create a life of fearlessness and authenticity” gave us the following prompt:
What I most need to tell myself about 2016 is…
Before I launched in, I stopped…. and thought about Susan’s mission, her focus on mind, heart, and full life—which also has to include the body. This lead me to pull three Tarot cards based on Susan’s prompt, one for my Mind, Heart, and Body. I noticed right away the order of my list, and understood that I do, as a poet, prioritize my mind, next the heart for the way it enlarges my connection to my experiences as the spiritual nexus or bridge between mind and body…and…last…I list the poor body, as an afterthought.
Last year while on Quest, I started using colored pencils to respond to the prompts, so I put them out on the table and began to sketch. I’ve posted my in-process sketch (at the top of this post), which is a synthesis of the three cards I pulled: Sun for the Mind, Wheel of Fortune for the Heart, and Two of Wands for the Body.
The Mind as Sun, or Sun-Mind
What I most need to tell myself about 2016 is that coming off the long cocoon-ship of the first book (poems written over a 20 plus-year span) and given the intensity of weathering exposure around a story long hidden, it is a blessing, a next welcome step, to stop and enjoy the Sun and the heat of its rays. In the Thoth version of the card, rays of sunlight pour through all the astrological houses or masks we wear, reminding me of the different selves I’ve been and the different selves of everyone crossing my path over the course of my lifetime. This Major Arcanum falling for the Mind is a beautiful reminder that each sun sign has its challenges and blessings, including mine; that as a serious sea-to–mountaintop scaling Capricorn goaty goat, I can stand to ease up, laugh a little, and maybe take an hour to sit in the sun.
I’ll take this reminder about gifts and challenges with me as I finish the manuscript for my second book about the Illinois commune, leader, group members, my own family and my own child self. My prayer is that with the light of the sun pouring down on our heads, I won’t fear the shadows cast (neither judge those shadows nor focus on them to the exclusion of the light).
The Heart as Fortune
What I most need to keep in mind in 2016 is that my heart is my spiritual fortune; it is a wheel that turns. No matter what happens, the loving and benevolent “eye” at the hub of the heart’s wheel witnesses and waits to give things back in a form I can withstand when ready. Maybe the dividends of the heart are the imagination…maybe the heart is where the imagination and forgiveness exceed their prior limitations.
Last night my husband brought a bottle of wine to the table: “Prophecy,” reads the label for this bottle from a winery out of Healdsburg, California. While the wine itself has lovely hints of cherry and raspberry, I am still busy falling in love with the depiction of the Fool card. I took it as a welcome sign, heading into Quest 2016, to be stepping off again into the next layer of the unknown.
Practicing a bit of habitual avoidance (Body last), I searched my desktop to see what else I’d already written about the Two of Wands. I found this post about how Jeffrey’s Quest video pulled me in last year at this time: Two of Wands and The Universe.
What I most need to keep in mind in 2016 regarding the Body is that balance is called for, that I need to make good on the promise I keep making that I’ll run at the shoreline where waves meet sand, and trust I’ll still have time to write the day’s poem if I stop long enough to run in the sun.
More about Susan Piver, author of today’s prompt for Tracking Wonder:
Susan Piver is a New York Times bestselling author, an exceptionally skillful meditation teacher, and renowned speaker. She has penned eight books, including How Not To Be Afraid of Your Own Life (St. Martin’s Griffin 2007). She has been a student of Buddhism since 1995, graduated from a Buddhist seminary in 2004, and was authorized to teach meditation in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage in 2005. Susan’s mission is to teach everyone how to slow down, soften our hearts, sharpen our minds, and create a life of fearlessness and authenticity.
Questers will be conversing on Twitter using the hashtag #quest2016; join our conversation, or come out and play by joining us here at Quest 2016 Tracking Wonder.
Additional Links of Interest:
Poems from the in-process poetry commune manuscript published online:
Noctiluca up at One (Jacar Press)
The Eggs of Summer at Feral Mom, Feral Writer
A sampling of posts by Questers responding to Susan Piver’s Prompt online:
What I most need to tell myself about 2016 is… by Suzi Banks Baum
Quest 2016 Begins in Earnest by Barb Buckner Suarez
It’s Okay to Be on Quest by Suzi Hunn
Business Gambling by Lois Kelly
Sea Change by Brenna Layne
What I most need to tell myself about 2016 by Katherine Reynolds
New Year’s Resolutions the Right Way by Janet St. John
Tell Myself This by Stan Stewart **Music! Enjoy!!!