To walk lightly through the world, with confidence and energy, is far more compelling than plodding along worn by weight on our shoulders. When we walk light on our feet, we make better decisions, bring joy to those around us, and find the flexibility to do good work. –Seth Godin’s Blog, December 11, 2015 “Light on Your Feet”
Quest 2016 continues today with the gifted Seth Godin. I’ve subscribed to his blog for about three years, now; I admire his command of impactful brevity in blog posts; ironically, I’m serving up a longer post today. Seth asked questers today to consider:
Would they miss you if you were gone?
What would have to change for that question to lead to a better answer?
First, I had to define “they”—who exactly would miss me? First: my family. Second–on Quest–in search of greater business artistry, it seemed natural to to include my web audience.
Today’s Tarot Layout
In order to understand what my family and my web audience might miss if I were gone, I decided first to get a little reality check on what I currently bring to the table in both settings (family and web). I asked the Tarot cards to show me:
1) How my family perceives me
2) How my web audience perceives me
Key to How My Family Perceives Me: 8 of Swords
The Thoth deck labels the 8 of Swords “Interference.” We see 6 horizontal swords and scimitars stacked on the wall; 2 vertical swords over lay the six swords. I think of this card as referring to organizing different issues and bringing several ideas to the forefront. I know my children sometimes see my attempts at organizing as Interference (a pretty common aspect of parenting).
For the Rider Waite 8 of Swords we see a blindfolded woman, her tools (here, swords) so close at hand they could free her from bondage. As I take this time to reinvent my business life, my family is keenly aware I used to teach in college English Departments to create more financial stability for our family. Perhaps from their perspective I could move more quickly and trust my skill set.
The Thoth deck 7 of Cups depicts what I think of as a uteral Tree of Life with cups full of sludgy swamp water. I tend to associate this imagery with working through past traumas and my search for ways to be a present and loving mother, wife, writer, and friend. In terms of future consulting work, I can try to turn this card around by drawing on my past trials to help other writers, mothers, artists, and survivors.
The Rider Waite 7 of Cups shows us the 7 deadly sins or an image of active indecision, the chooser with a head full of unrealistic expectations. She is so enamored of imagined potentials she is unable to choose a cup and commit to a course of action. I see this as reflecting the number of websites where I regularly contribute with the expectation they will organically evolve into more financial stability.
Each website has opened amazing doors: my first blog, Feral Mom, Feral Writer kept me sane and curbed some of the isolation of raising my children on an acre in the redwoods. At Mother Writer Mentor I love curating blog posts by other writing mothers. At Tarot for Two I love co-blogging with writer Mary Allen. And finally, this site right here serves as the anchor for my professional writing life. But it may be time to commit to a more unified platform.
I accidentally drew two cards for this question, so the Knight of Swords got to chime in too. On the negative side, maybe my web audience sees me as someone a tad bit reckless, always rushing back into the past to glean insight. But on the positive side maybe they appreciate the enthusiasm and the perspective. I love the three little sparrows flying below the Knight in the Thoth version and the dragongly/helicopter wings on his helmet.
To move this information into agency , I next asked the Tarot cards to show me:
1) how can I bring my best self forward to my family
2) how can I remember to be kind myself as I take in this information
3) how can I distill my web presence, hone and focus my energies to bring my best business artistry into 2016
Key to Bringing a Self Forward My Family Would Miss: 2 of Swords
The Thoth 2 of Swords is the “peace” card; it seconds the Truce card I spoke about in my last post. The swords cross peacefully through a central flower. May I learn the fine art of patience, waiting to speak to my children when I’m in a calm and loving place. Less is more when parenting!
In the Rider Waite version we see another blindfolded woman. Here at least she is seated, arms and body free from her bondage, and she has chosen two swords to use. I read this as a message once again to be patient and to know that I still need to turn inward to see in all the ways we see when our eyes are closed. But not for too long. It is time to get up off the seat and launch the business in January as I’ve committed to doing, stepping out of eternal apprentice and into action.
Key to A Little Self Love Given All Those Swords Cards: Prince of Cups
I stopped to inject a little self love into the reading given all those stark unveilings of how my family and web audience see me. Thank goodness no more swords fell. I pulled the gorgeous Prince of Cups. In the Thoth deck, he rides a blue bird of dream. Perhaps the blue bird of the “jewel heart” (to quote Suzi Banks Baum). Here the Knight skims that blue green swamp where he can still gaze into the depths and draw on rich emotions without merging with the pain of the past.
Key to Bringing a Self Forward My Web Audience Would Miss: Aeon/Judgement
In the Thoth deck we see the skin of a reborn or new child (“large giant-child figure of Osiris”) growing in the forefront while deep inside and ever-present to draw upon is Isis in the womb. Nut the sky goddess arches above in blessing, welcoming this resurrection (from Angeles Arrien’s Tarot Handbook: Practical Applications of Ancient Visual Symbols).
But how does that translate? On one level, the simplest resurrection for a web audience would be honing platform.
I grazed my Tarot library for interpretive phrases for the Aeon/Judgement card.
From Alejandro Jodorowsky’s The Way of Tarot: The Spiritual Teacher in the Cards: “irresistible desire,” “divine androgyne” “powerful desire to evolve that resonates like divine music.”
From Eden Gray’s A Complete Guide to the Tarot: “change of personal consciousness, which is now on the verge of blending with the universal.”
And from Art Lande of the Art deck (a deck and booklet my father brought home from jazz camp): “Watch your movie [of past experiences] for clarity and accuracy, and turn down the volume on emotional denial or blame. If you look and see what is so, then you may proceed in present time more consciously, honestly and efficiently.”
Here are some journaling questions I created for the Aeon for my Wheel of Archetypal Selves Tarot Writing class:
Which self that was formerly cast aside for one reason or another craves resurrection and why?
If you could remove obstacles and fears, which vocations or family roles would the Angel of Judgment bless for you?
Jodorowsky links this card to circumstances surrounding one’s birth and the journey to reconciling various emotions regarding whether or not we feel loved or wanted. He further links Judgement to our desire to live, our artistic or professional vocation, and our acts of judging or being judged. What stories circulated in your family about your own birth? Or what have you imagined regarding the story of your own birth? Consider writing down your remembered version, and if possible, talk to other family members for the versions they remember regarding your birth (mothers, fathers, aunts, siblings). What other patterns or incidences in your life story have resonance with your “birth story”?
The in-process drawing at the top of this post is meant to be a synthesis of the three cards: 2 of swords, Prince of Cups and Aeon. Here it is, in-process with the working title The No Name Bird of Dream.
More about Seth Godin, author of today’s prompt for Tracking Wonder:
Seth is the author of 18 books that have been bestsellers around the world and have been translated into more than 35 languages. He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and most of all, changing everything. You might be familiar with his books Linchpin (2011), Tribes (2008), The Dip (2007), Purple Cow (2009), and The Icarus Deception (2012), published by Portfolio. His latest, What To Do When It’s Your Turn (Do You Zoom, Inc. 2014), is an urgent call to do the work we’re hiding from, a manifesto about living with things that might not work, and embracing tension when doing your art.
More Questions from Seth Godin: Ten questions for work that matters
A sampling of posts by Questers responding to today’s prompt by Seth Godin:
Missed Me, Missed Me? A. K. Anderson
When I’m Gone by Barb Suarez Buckner
Missing again. Quest 2016 with Seth Godin, again. by Suzi Banks Baum
Miss Me? by Paul Calabro
I Don’t Want to Care About the Answer by Vanessa J. Herald
Stay Tuned by Brenna Layne
The Cup Song by Tina Pocha
Who Would Miss you When You’re Gone? by Philippa Rees
Miss Me by David Sargert
“They” by Anna Sircova