Friday, February 17, 2012

victory over the mind, sometimes

So, yesterday did turn out to be quite a productive and good day. I got a bunch of things I wanted to do done (and dear Shamil is in his nice new pot!), and even succeeded in not engaging in certain...behaviors that it is ordinarily very, very hard for me not to engage in for any amount of time.

It's kind of funny...the knight here is all about charging into action, sword at the ready, horse at the ready, bird of prey, even, at the ready. Charging off to battle with his allies in tow, as it were. Though interesting that in this deck, he isn't wear any heavy armor to speak of, just robes. I wrote about this knight a few days ago, thinking about him and the destructive potential of these kinds of charge! battle! impulses in relation to larger conflicts and wars. But of course, it's not always bad to face something head on, to put up a struggle, and sometimes the struggle you really need to engage in is within yourself.

Which brings to mind the Islamic concept of jihad actually. The way that the term has such dual meaning - the more commonly known one, in this day and age, the one co-opted by radicals and repeated to inanity by pundits - and the other. Yes, jihad can be a struggle with the other, with the invader, with the oppressor, but it can also be a struggle with YOURSELF. To master your own impulses, base desires, flaws. Of course, if your are religious, the point of all that is to better submit to god.

And if, like me, you do not have a bone of religiosity in your body? Well then there is striving to meet your own expectations, to fulfill your own dreams and ambitions and criteria for being a good person. Sevens, of course, can be related to the Chariot, arcana 7, victory in a particular battle - victory that came from control and discipline, from bringing together various potentially opposing drives within or without yourself and making them work for YOU. And of course, the victory in the seven is singular, one battle in many; you cannot get complacent just because you succeeded once.

I like the palms here, the fact that within that struggle you can find a bit of peace and beauty. One thing I really, really loved about Egypt was the flora there. How, right next to the desert you could have such beautiful flowers and trees... you can find peace in struggle, especially if what you are struggling against is within yourself, and is a destructive force in your life.

Another blog I read uses the term 'jerkbrain' a lot and it's an idea I find very true: that stupid voice inside of your head that tells you that you aren't good enough, that what you have done is actually not impressive at all, always bringing up the negative, the negative; it would like to drown you in the NEGATIVE side of things...

The proper thing to do, of course, is to sic your crow or raven or falcon or whatever your bird friend is on it ;] (For me, a raven, another tattoo I want to get as soon as I can afford.) Go out into the world and take on your own mind, and sometimes, just sometimes, you can actually WIN over it. That's always something, right?

And if you see some palm trees or flowers in the middle of all that, take a moment to enjoy them; that's a kind of victory too.


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