22 days of BATS 2014. Day Twelve: Temperence

Temperance is  about mixology, balancing and alchemy. About blending strengths and creating hybrids from disparate elements and forces. But today as I sit at my workdesk and very very grateful that today is Friday, I think about a different kind of balance: work versus life. The standard 40-hour work week was the result of a long and hard-fought battle between workers and owners and I could write for days about the labor movement, I won’t today. Needless to say, Temperance comes into play to remind us to see a creative mix and balance in the elemental forces. Look at the elemental forces of the cards around Temperance. Are they balanced? Is there a over-representation or dearth of a particular element? Temperance shows us what is and out of balance and where, perhaps, we should be seeking redress.

Tomorrow’s card is The Chariot!

22 days of BATS 2014. Day Ten: The Heirophant and the Empress

(If you’re looking for day Nine, there isn’t one. Today’s post is day nine and ten in one post)

Typically the Emperor and Empress cards are viewed side-by-side; as counterparts and partners. But yesterday and today’s cards of the Empress and the Heirophant reminded me of a different kind of partnered-power-structure; of the monarch and the adviser. There are both historical and literary examples: Arthur and Merlin (or for my 7th Sea fans, Elaine and Derwyddon), Elizabeth and William Cecil, Baron Burghley.

When the Empress and the Heirophant are in play, ask yourself: how do these to interact? What are they objectives and relationship? If there are cards in between them, how do these two interact over those cards? Do they see eye to eye? Does one have a particular perspective or agenda regarding what the card(s) in between mean to them?

Tomorrow’s card is The Wheel of Fortune.

22 days of BATS 2014. Day Eight: Death

I was all about to write today about the Death card, and how it isn’t about literal death. But given today’s events, that’s going to be really difficult. So perhaps that’s the lesson to learn: Death is inevitable. It’s how we deal with it that’s the challenge. The Death card reminds us our time on this plane is finite. Live life to the fullest. Celebrate yours and the life of those you share your time with. It shouldn’t all be doom and gloom. Again, Death isn’t literal. It’s about when things end: Projects. Friendships. Relationships. Books. Movies.

So when the Death card comes into play, consider it less a STOP sign, but more of a warning of turns ahead on the path. Time to reflect. “Stop and smell the Roses.” When you reach the end, what will you remember? How will you be remembered?

Tomorrow’s card is the Heirophant

P.S. R.I.P Mister Williams. You made life weird and cool, and I will never forget you.

22 days of BATS 2014. Day Six: The High Priestess

Cassandra, Oracle, Savant, Visionary, Sibyl; The High Priestess is the bringer-of-wisdom to those who ask the right questions and can understand her potentially cryptic answers. But what if the High Priestess isn’t just a fount of wisdom sitting alone atop an aerie retreat? What if the High Priestess is a force that lives amongst us? Visiting one person or the other, thru ‘fate’ and ‘chance’ giving us the glimpses of truths we may not even know we are seeking? When you see someone trip and fall, or they realize loudly that they’ve lost their phone or wallet or purse and we think: “Oh, wow, that could have been me.” Maybe that’s the spirit of the High Priestess, working via mysterious and indirect ways, trying to teach us something. So when the High Priestess comes into a  reading, ask: what am I not being told but shown by the actions and roles and events that affect others? What is the universe trying to tell me that I may not be looking for?

Sometimes your purpose in life is to serve as a warning to others…

Tomorrow’s card is Justice.

22 days of BATS 2014. Day Five: The Moon

Ahh The Moon. The second largest hole in the sky. Our light in the darkness. Scapegoat for madness and illusion, but also inspiration, allusion and a gateway for imagination. In 1969 it was finally realized as a destination for man to set foot upon after centuries if not millennium of wonder and dreaming. When I focus on The Moon card, I think about the possible futures that it inspires. The mad, crazy dreams; the sensible “what if” questions and the practical quandaries (“just how much food, fuel and life support does it take to get three men to the moon and back safely?”). As we as a species grew with knowledge such questions go from vague to specific and tangible, and then Neil Armstrong was able to say “One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind,” as he set foot upon a world no human had touched before.

So when The Moon comes into play ask what kind of pie-in-the-sky goal does it represent? What dream(s) can be actualized if you throw everything into it? How can you expand your understanding and narrow general questions into specific mathematical formula that make the impossible, possible?

Shoot for the Moon!

Tomorrow’s card is the High Priestess

22 days of BATS 2014. Day Four: Justice

Following yesterday’s card of The Tower, today’s card is Justice. If yesterday was about keeping an eye on the goal, then today’s is making the tough call based on evidence when the time comes. Vigilance will find the results you are looking for, but what do you do when you find out that your project has a flaw? Stop your progress and fix it? Accept the limitations and establish a work-around? These are the challenges that Justice represent. Balancing cost versus risk versus benefit. So when Justice shows up in a reading, consider it a turning point: evaluate the costs and risks the other cards in proximity to it.

Tomorrow’s card is The Moon.

22 days of BATS 2014. Day Three: The Tower

Three days in the BATS2014 run up, and I draw The Tower. Well, it’s better to face your obstacles early (what was that about endurance?).

Actually, today I have a bit different take on The Tower, which is usually connotative of unexpected disaster, eventual fall, etc. The construction of a tower is a delicate and deliberate thing, culminating with the last brick that seals the deal. Until then your tower is incomplete and unfinished. In an archway, the Keystone is the last piece to put in place, yet the entire structure is built to depend on it; both sides are built arcing towards a point in space they will meet and from that point on support each other.

Consider then, the Tower as the potential outcome of a project or process that will depend on a keystone to complete it. Identify ultimately what is the essential feature that will complete and make your efforts successful. You may spend years writing a book, building a bridge, designing a program, only to realize at the end it doesn’t do what you set out to accomplish. So when the Tower comes into a reading, maybe consider it a warning: Don’t loose sight of the ultimate function and purpose of your actions, and validate early and often that you’re still going to get what you want from the end result.

Tomorrow’s card is Judgement.

22 days of BATS 2014. Day Two: Strength

Day two of the run up to BATS2014 brings us the Strength card.

The word ‘Strength’ is mostly used for ‘might’ or ‘power’ or ‘ability,’ but I think we can put another spin on it; strength as endurance.

We often read or see or hear the phrase “I don’t have the strength to go on” as if it were a finite source that depletes with use; and it certainly seems true. When we’re exhausted, we can’t do what was easy when we started out. Be it running, weightlifting, talking or even writing; The limbs shake, the gait becomes unsteady, we stumble over words and our give-a-damn is busted. But take a breather, center yourself, and you start again.

So what happens when we expand our understanding of the Strength card to not just mean ‘be strong‘ but to also mean ‘stay strong‘? Consider not just ‘can I do this thing’ but ‘can I go the distance?’ Consider what pacing is necessary to complete any task without succumbing to exhaustion (e.g. physical, mental, emotional, social). Consider the cards that are in association with the Strength card when it comes out in a reading: are they obstacles to your run? Are they resources to take advantage of to extend your energy and range?

Sure you may be good enough to do something once, but do you have the Strength to do it again and again? At will? As often as it takes? Skill comes from practice and practice is a exercise in endurance.

Tune in tomorrow for THE TOWER! (queue thunder and lightning and other sonos ominosus)