Thursday, December 1, 2011

Seeking Balance

The last few years, I’ve been more aware of the lunar cycle in my life. It started when I began to notice major events clustering around the New Moon or the Full Moon. Now, I use those times consciously, as a moment to step back and assess. The New Moon is a time to consider what’s being “seeded” or “planted,” to grow and develop over the next two weeks until the Full Moon. When the Full Moon comes around, I stop to see whether I like what’s going on, and evaluate my course of action.

Last week was the New Moon. What has been manifesting itself in my life lately is chaos. Craziness—renovation at the house; a new program at the Ranch starting up and needing to be organized, tended, nurtured, guided; a horse with not one but two abscessed front feet needing to be treated daily with duct-tape “boots” or hoof casts.

Chaos and busy-ness. I’ve felt stressed and strung out, racing (driving, actually) from one must-do to another. Getting home after dark, exhausted, with no energy to cook or dance or do anything more than barely keep my head above the water. Doing, doing, doing.

So finding balance seemed to be what I most needed to focus on. My intention was to plant the seeds of a more balanced life for myself: a better awareness of my own, legitimate needs, and a balancing of those with my “work” (volunteer) requirements and the needs of others.

Re-reading my journal entries this morning, I was struck once again by the level of “guidance,” if you will, that shows up even in the midst of the craziness:

That New-Moon morning was spent doing some writing, including this entry on my blog (though I didn't post it at the time). In the afternoon, I sat down with my tarot and Horse Wisdom decks. My question was “What comment do you, my Guides, have on my New-Moon intention: more balance in my life?”

The opening card (in my readings, the one that “sets the stage”) from Linda Kohanov’s The Way of the Horse deck: Kairos.  “Horse time,” waiting for the perfect moment. Learning to recognize the perfect moment for anything, and being able to act appropriately in that moment. Knowing that things take exactly as long as they take: no more, no less. Now, what was that “lesson” I was just writing down? Something about Horse Time?

The King of Wands, reversed, came up as the Situation, expressing my frustration, uncertainty, and self-doubt. Challenges/Opportunities brought the Queen of Swords. She is mistress of balanced thought, of understanding, of writing and communication. What had I spent the morning doing? Writing….

Advice was The Tower, reversed. This scary card always announces a sudden, unavoidable change of some kind, usually not a welcome one, in the moment, at least. Reversed, it often means “the same, only less intense.” Or it can mean fighting change, despite the fact that it’s already happened. In any case, it’s a STRONG statement, and one that I have to heed. I asked for clarification and received the Four of Wands: “the soul of fire,” according to Rachel Pollack in Tarot Wisdom.

My interpretation, in retrospect, is that I MUST change the way I’m going about my life, or it will be done for me. The old two-by-four upside the head. Nah…I’ll fix it myself. Really, I will….

Recent Past/Daily Lesson: The Moon. Powerful emotions and feelings stirred up, the influence of the unconscious, a difficult time in one’s life, and/or something cyclical. All of those seem to apply in the current situation. Not only that, but this was a reading concerning the lunar cycle in my life.

Near Future: The Chariot, reversed. “The will fails,” says Pollack. “It may be painful, especially if that Tower appears….” Um, yes…. She suggests that “this card, reversed, can indicate a situation where a person has tried as hard as she can, and no longer has the will to continue.” Do I have the strength to make the hard choices and changes? Do I have the strength or will NOT to make those changes?

The closing card, also from the Way of the Horse deck: Bonfire. A sudden shift (The Tower, anyone?), clearing and releasing, fuel for transformation.

Anyway. Here’s some of what Linda Kohanov talks about in the write-up for this card: “It is no small task to stay present during intense outbursts of power—whether human, equine, or divinely inspired. Be ready to face areas of resistance that have grown into a volatile source of fuel for the fire.” Wow—and I can feel just how strong my resistance is to so much of this.

One thing that comes to mind is the tremendous effort I’ve put into the new program at the Rescue Ranch in its development, and now in its infancy. Can I sustain that level of intensity? It has completely taken over my life in recent weeks. Without me, it wouldn’t exist; but is that same level of involvement necessary to its continued development?

As I thought about this reading, I could feel tears welling up. Balance: what would that feel like? I can’t even imagine it any longer. What do I have to give up now? What now? I've already nearly given up dance. The Ranch? My horses?

My practice? What about that? That pathetic, thin, sickly little attempt to make a difference in people’s lives through my psychological knowledge and ability, and my knowledge of horses. That just refuses to thrive. Do I move on from that, too?

But even if I say, “Yes, I can move on,” then what? I have no idea what else there is for me to do. That is terrifying….

The first step is always awareness. So maybe that’s my immediate task: Awareness of the need to change. That is certainly tough enough.

So I went back Kohanov. Quoting Andrew Harvey, who’s quoting Rumi, she says on p. 195:

Rumi encourages us to “follow that desperation right to its home which is in Divine initiation, Divine transformation.” He asks “desperation to ‘take a torch and burn down’ all our concepts, limitations, fantasies, and banal solutions.”

And again, on p. 197, she says, “‘Light the incense!’ Rumi advises. ‘You have to burn to be fragrant, to scent the whole house, you have to burn to the ground.’” OMG…. What does that mean, here, now?

Oh my…. Conflagration!? Burn it all?!

By this point, I was getting really scared. I had all but talked myself into chucking everything and starting over, whatever that meant. But I decided to try one more thing, to ask for one more piece of guidance.

My Pacifica dinner-and-conversation group, meeting this coming weekend, will be talking about what it means to be an Elder—a wise, older man. I had awakened that morning from a dream about talking with an older, male mentor—that sense was all that remained of the dream.

So I decided to see if Professor Jung had anything to add to the “conversation.” My copy of the Red Book was on the desk. At random, I opened it to page 203, the first column, about halfway down. There, Shamdasani (the translator) describes Jung's work on the Liber Novus:
After completing the handwritten Draft, Jung had it typed and edited it…. It appears he gave it to someone…to read, who then commented on Jung's editing, indicating that some sections which he had intended to cut should be retained.
Well, if that wasn’t a “comment,” I’ll eat my hat. Thank you, Professor. So it seems we’re not talking about a complete break here, or a total re-write of my agenda. What a relief! Just some editing.

Sheesh. But at least I’m not without guidance! Thank you, Everyone!


7-letter Deborah, never a Deb said...

For what it's worth, here's one thing I always keep in mind regarding organizations I am part of: Yes, an organization can do very well provided you yourself do ALL of the work at a very intense level. For an orginization to thrive and survive, however, it must be able to do so WITHOUT your contributions. In other words, taking a step back may be good for the long-term health of your organization.

I enjoyed reading your entry and your interpretations.

Kay said...

Thanks, Deborah. Quite a journey, this life! Thanks for commenting.

I absolutely agree about the organization: ANY organization will use you up if you let them; and I don't mean any slam by that. It's partly the old "why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?" kind of thing. My idea now is to help them get the program funded so that they can hire folks to keep it running.

And taking a step back is CLEARLY good for me! I'm workin' on it....