All Summer I have held one solid ritual...wake, wander downstairs, make tea, head to the desk, open the notebook and begin. Somehow, this has led me to write a full and complete fiction manuscript of twenty-two chapters and 293 pages--a feat I never would've believed myself capable of before these past two months. I am returning to work in a few days and my wild creative heart wonders how it will fit itself inside a cubicle or a classroom after it has been given freedom to wander across time and narrative like this. But, I return knowing that I've done the one thing I set out to do when school ended in June. I return knowing that I have the full skeleton of a manuscript that means more to me than any other fiction I have written.
This morning, I got out of bed and made my tea and returned to my desk--I held my ritual. It was a truly strange feeling to not have new chapters waiting to start. Instead, I stand on the verge of revision and rewriting--and, for me, when I face new crossroads I turn to the cards. Today it was a Celtic Cross, old familiar spread, to tell me about the work I've done and what comes next for the project.
I see that I have nurtured my project like a mother would--staying resourceful and practical as I followed my ripening work. It has required me to use my creative power and a bit of magic/ritual to create where I am now and the cards also tell of me taking great pleasure in this creating--specifically pointing to a book project with the Ace of Wands, dealing as it does with communication and writing. All of this rings true for my process so far. I see in the Two of Swords a bit of what has passed to get me to this point--the choices I've had to make, the block I fought for a number of years, the worry that I wasn't up to task with this. Also, what works against me is Judgement--of course, my self-criticism and perfectionism is undeniably my biggest creative hurdle to overcome. I can see that it will continue to oppose me if I am not mindful of it. There will be a lot of support of my creativity coming soon via community and friends and listening to my own heart. But, I see the Five of Cups as a warning that someone in my life could cause some issues that will influence my emotions and my work. I need to stay conscious of not letting anyone's negativity or disloyalty interfere with what I'm doing. I am being very careful how I share this manuscript until its ready for this very reason, so the cards echo my own knowing. If I follow this project through, there is accomplishment and success and feeling very fulfilled--but then, as all creative people know, it requires me to go back into my solitude to ultimately find meaning and the source of my creativity. The Hermit is a card I love and relate to--so I see it as my current creative project running a full cycle that eventually leads me right back to where I began...time alone and a blank page waiting before me.
I think this is exactly what I needed to see today as I start the next stage. All creative work just leads to more creative work--and it cycles endlessly on. I've used the tarot seriously for twenty-two years to tap into my own inner-knowledge. It isn't dark or magic, to me, in the way most people think of it. The cards are tools made powerful only by my deep study of them. I continue to use them as relics and guides in my own work and in the readings I do for people close to me. I am seeing their message today, as I do every day. I'm pausing to celebrate the work my "Summer at the Desk" has yielded...this long-overdue season of flowering.