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Let’s start today with one of my favorite ideas on the planet: wabi sabi.
No, it isn’t that green paste that comes with sushi, although I like THAT a lot too.
As I understand it, wabi sabi is a philosophy and an aesthetic that values things as they are and sees beauty in natural, spontaneous imperfections and asymmetries. Old but valued ceramics are preserved and repaired with great care, sometimes highlighting the repairs with precious metals. I’m no expert. I’m not even average-level knowledgeable about Japanese or Chinese thought or culture. All I know is that everything I’ve ever learned about Taoism, Zen and wabi sabi has helped me to live a better life and be a better person. For that, I am deeply grateful. These ideas have time and time and time again proven to be my unshakable rock in every storm, just like the rock and anchor on today’s card, the Hope card from the Alleyman’s Tarot deck.
Speaking of spontaneous imperfections, the card is mislabeled in the video. The intuitive message from the card was, however, clear, concise and clairaudient (meaning the intuition came as mental words this time instead of the usual clairvoyant mental images.) It came in two parts.
First, “Storms will always come.”
The first noble truth of Buddhism is the truth of suffering. First on the list of world religions on that old 80’s T shirt is Taoism with the assertion that “shit happens.” Things break. Things are uneven. Stuff happens and sooner or later storms always come.
And it’s beautiful, because it is alive and it is real.
L’esperance, as the card is actually named, is a French word meaning hope. Storms will come. Sometimes the only hope is to find a rock and hang on.
The second half of the clairaudient message is “Know your rock.”
A paramedic instructor once told me that if you prepare for the emergency, then the emergency goes away. The same thing applies here. Knowing which ideas and philosophies you can trust makes life’s inevitable stress just that much less intimidating. Question everything. When it comes to beliefs or dogma or other peoples unsupported assertions, questioning is invaluable. It may take a trial by skeptical fire to find out what really is your philosophical storm shelter. If you know your rock, if you know where to find your anchor when the storm comes then you just might make it through to the other side intact enough to glue things back together and paint the cracks with gold.
I’m not here to tell you what your rock or your anchor is or should be. It is difficult, if not impossible for one person to determine that for another. The things I was taught as a child should be my strength and stronghold crumbled to dust and nothing at first contact with adulthood. I’ve since learned that it is much better to scout out the territory for yourself. Trust yourself to know what gives you hope. Trust yourself to lean on ideas and know what holds you up and what doesn’t. Explore new ideas and challenge old ones. Give them all a good hard kick and see if they hold strong for you. If they do, grab on because storms will always come and it pays to know your rock.
Thank you so much for listening. See you at the next sip.
L’Esperence (Hope) image from the Fancy Minchiate Tarot, cited copyright “BnF” This card from the Alleyman’s Tarot deck by Publishing Goblin LLC, used with permission.
The Five of Penticals still points very strongly to the physical realm. When I do these readings, it is with the intent of reading the general energies and hopefully giving a reading that is thought provoking or in some way helpful to the broadest audience possible.
Today there is a sense of a three way split, with a slightly different idea for each group.
Again, at least here in the U.S. the pandemic is the top of mind issue and the dominant energy. All three, however, reming of long winters. We are in the late January equivalent of this energy wave. We are in the dark heart of a long and lingering winter, do to speak.
Some may feel cautiously optimistic. You are right, this will end, but for a long while and not with rainbows and unicorns you might think. Nurture that optimism, it is like a flower poking up through the snow. But don’t get too carried away just yet. Temper and balance that optimism with realism and practicality. This isn’t over yet. Don’t panic, things will change, but at their pace, not ours. Plan in case scarcity last longer than you think.
Others may feel just plain terrible, and the bleak imagery on most five of coins cards captures that feeling. You are totally justified in feeling that way. Things are terrible in a lot of ways for a lot of people. The initial zinging panic energy has already changed, even if it has changed into the low level him of persistent existential dread. There’s no easy remedy for that kind of mental and emotional headspace. I’m not talking about real depression or genuine mental health need, which is far outside the scope of this kind of this kind of blog. It speaks to the normal funk of a person put in a funky situation beyond their control. Here I get the mental image and sound of “it can’t rain all the time” from the movie “The Crow.” In 1816, a volcanic eruption in the south Pacific caused an ash cloud so severe that it caused crop failures in Europe. Even in that “year without a summer” Yes, things suck. Don’t deny or minimize how you feel about it, but at the same time don’t let it affect what DO about it. Persist. Keep plodding on through the deep snow drifts. It might be along winter, but it isn’t a forever winter. You aren’t in this alone. To continue the analogy with winter, we are all freezing our buns off together to one extent or another. You might be in an isolated cabin by yourself, but you are not in the storm alone.
The third group has pretty much just snapped. Cabin fever has boiled over. Whether they have carried an enormous burdon or were just fragile to start, some have been pushed beyond their means to cope and are operating from a place of fear and anger. That person isn’t reading this and probably couldn’t hear anything the card might suggest anyway.
It falls to the rest of us to protect ourselves from lingering in a place like that and from those who do. Whether you are walking around harboring a glimmer of hope, like sunshine on a freezing afternoon or if you are sitting in fully overcast gloom, we got this. Yes, mind your resources. Yes, honor your genuine feelings. Winter can sometimes linger, but it never lasts forever.