Night has fallen, candles have been lit; may the peace of Shabbos shine upon you and yours.
This morning the snow was filtering lightly down as Shay and I went for our morning walk. And it continued to snow all through the day, large heavy snowflakes building up until the small pond in the back yard was hidden by tall walls of snow around its border. By mid-afternoon, I had to shovel out a few paths for Shay to reach his favorite trees.
At the end of the day, I put aside my work for a while and sat quietly to watch the dark fall across the landscape, the snow-laden branches were the last to fade into the night.
Tranquility and silence accompanied me as I laid out the cards for this evening’s reading.
The center card of the spread is the key for this reading tonight, and it speaks to us of equilibrium, which is ever so slightly different from balance. Balance (for me) is a static state of being; equilibrium has motion and yet remains centered and grounded – like a Tai Chi master who is always centered and in motion.
Behind the juggler the ships flow up and down over the waves on their way to their various destinations and the ships are crafted to withstand those changes; the sails are designed to catch the wind in just the right way to move forward. The juggler is maneuvering the pentacles (the stuff of daily reality) within the framework of infinity. As we all do, whether we realize it or not.
To either side of the Two of Pentacles are extremes of mind (Eight of Swords) and emotions (Seven of Cups).
Have you ever felt so tied up by your thoughts that you felt powerless to take a step forward? The thoughts circle around and imprison you so that you can’t see, and can’t trust your way forward? The character in this card is trapped by their thoughts and is standing on uncertain ground.
On the other side we see someone who is enraptured by dreams and visions – the promises and fears that they feel and sense have no grounding in reality but are so enticing that this character is also trapped; they have no grounding at all.
Where are you today? Caught in your mind? Caught in your emotions? Or easily juggling the variety of experiences that you encounter.
What tools do you use to bring yourself back into equilibrium? Breathing, meditation, walking in nature, playing with the dog, knitting, listening to music are a few of my favorites. The more tools I have, the easier it is to find the one that works best in that moment.
I’m not always able to jump from one extreme into the center, sometimes I need to shift back and forth a bit until I can rest again in a balanced state. The reason I stopped this evening to watch the fading day and the emerging night was to move away from my experience of the Eight of Swords – my mind was too busy with all the tasks and projects I had planned on accomplishing today.
Like a pendulum, sometimes my mind swings from one extreme to another before I can rest in the center. So first I escaped for a few moments into the dream of a novel I’m reading. It took me away from the busy-ness of my mind and allowed me to s.l.o.w. down, breathe and then recover my equilibrium.
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