Monday, April 20, 2015

A Three-Card Story

I love the process of SoulCollage®.  One of the joys of making enough cards to have a deck is the chance to do readings with them.  Another is to use them for writing prompts.  Pulling  three cards and telling the story they make is sort of both reading and writing prompt.  Here is a recent one of mine.

The many-armed goddess dances on the skull of death and time.  She shines in the darkness, images flickering around her – of comfort, partnership, travel, sailing over dark waters into the light – all dreams of humankind.  These do not concern her; they are fleeting, time-based, mortal images of passing fancy.  Neither is she bothered by the myriad of bats that hang over her head in the darkness.  They, too, are temporal, and short-lived, at that.

What does interest her are the human perceptions of the items held in her six hands, the choices she offers to those embodied in space and time.  These appear as material objects, but in truth they are ways of looking at reality.  Or should we say, of coping with it.  Is life a glowing egg of possibility?  An enemy to be slain?  A flight of joy and hope?  A challenge? 

The immortal one turns her gaze to one who acknowledges her and offers her prayers.  This one wears the body of an old woman, her face lined and her eyes calm and wise.  She sees the dancing goddess in her dreams and recognizes the celebration of life, death and eternity.  Even now, she understands how she herself is walking towards the darkness, nearing the time of dissolution that is bound to come.  And yet, while she recognizes this, she is also content to live fully on the earth.  She wears flowers and adornments because she and life itself are beautiful. 

She sees all of the choices and accepts them all.

The old one is known as the wisdom keeper by her people.  She accepts the adulation of the younger women.  She knows that if she can be a clear channel, they might sense the goddess through her.  She may, at times, provide a glimpse of She Who Dances.

Her people often ask her for teachings.  They want to learn from the wisdom she has accumulated through her many years.  And so, she tells them to take time alone, to respect their solitude. She says that time spent in contemplation is invaluable, even when it appears to come from sadness, grief or depression. 

The tides come and go.  The sea rises and falls, like the breath.  Attuned to these rhythms, one might almost feel the beating pattern of the goddess’ feet, dancing the dance of all being.  That is what the wisdom keeper says.

The middle card is actually one I call Wisdom Keeper.  I always pull a card for each season and a card for the year (this can be a challenge since you have to look at it all year, and mine's a doozy this year - it's called The Wounded Masculine).  I made the Wisdom Keeper card after I turned 65, and I realized at some point that it would be my guide for the next 5 years.  I love that she turned up in this 3-card story/reading.

Images on my cards come from magazines, cards and calendars.  Thanks to all the wonderful photographers and artists whose images inspired us to recreate and discover our inner and outer worlds.  My cards are for my own use and will not be sold or bartered.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Invoking the Muse

Yes, I changed the blog format.  Got tired of the white text on black.

The writing prompt (from Deena Metzger) is:  Picture your muse, and invoke her.

My muse is fickle.  She flies in and out and flits about at her own whim.  She laughs at the idea that she is my muse, belonging to me, meant to come and inspire at my beck and call. Her job may be to inspire, but she has her own existence and doesn’t just wink into being when I choose, remaining dormant in the in-between times.  She is a being with work and purpose, and with a life of her own.

And so, she visits me when she desires or deems it necessary.  Or not even that – when she just plain decides.  She has that edge to her, a snittyness, a self-absorption.  She is fairy-like, ephemeral, arbitrary, spontaneous, even a bit reckless.  Sometimes she tosses just a glimmer of an idea my way, as though sprinkling a dash of fairy dust.  If I catch it, I might shape it into a poem, or jot down a seed of an idea to examine later.  (Or never.)

There are times, though, that she settles down with me for a little while, opening my eyes and my mind to something new, intriguing, beautiful.  She is a muse who loves beauty and surrounds herself with color, light and fragrance.  Does it help me at all to solicit her aid, to pray for her to visit me?  I really don’t know, but it can’t hurt.  The old stories all tell us that the gods want our attention, our offerings.  And really, we do need them, our muses.  Is there anything more valuable than creativity?  Creativity is life.  Even at night when we sleep, we get to visit our own dream theaters, where creativity reigns.

Right now I feel her hovering nearby.  I crave her magic.  I am not happy when, as Rumi says, “I’ve been so woven into the mesh of my trivial errands.”   Where she goes when she is not here I do not and cannot know.  I guess it’s none of my business.  All I can do is entreat her to visit me as often and for as long as she can.  And so I am offering her now the aroma of citrus and peppermint.  I hope that will call her to me.  Muse, please come and enrich my life!

P.S.  SoulCollage® often functions as my muse as well.  This morning I did a little birthday reading, 3 cards (body, mind, spirit).  What an inspiring little blessing of a reading!  The second and third are probably pretty obvious; they are called My Exuberant Child (what my mind needs - more play!) and Hummingbird Child (a spirit gift, for sure).  The first, for my body, I call Omen, and it represents my instinctual self paying attention to the messages of the natural world (the shooting star).