Saturday, August 4, 2012

harmony and discipline

So decided to do one more draw before switching back to a regular 78 card tarot deck, a bit experimental in taking one card from my Mix Deck and one card from the Oracle of the Radiant Sun and reading them together.

We have here the Emperor, in rather classic form, sitting in profile on a throne, with a scepter of power in hand, a shield at his foot engraved with the emblem of a majestic bird. I like the color palette on this card, I must say - primary, essentially, and yet with just enough tone and shade to be interesting. A bit of a stark image here, but it gets across the essentially message - this is a man who is powerful, authoritative, organized, disciplined.

In contrast, the man in the Harmony card is naked, laying about casually in a bush of flowers, playing with a flock or birds which flies through the sky between the man and the bright sun above. Sun and Libra makes perfect sense for the concept of Harmony, for how best to get it if not through balanced, measured, moderate approach combined with a positive and optimistic attitude and the energy to follow through?

Sometimes, when situations challenge us, that kind of balanced, positive attitude requires self-discipline, strength of will. And so we see that these cards are not, in fact, all that opposed to each other at all. Harmony, nice as it is to be able to experience, doesn't just *happen* on its own. We can make it or we can break it, as it were, depending on our own attitudes and approach to things. I've been a close witness to several incidents this week that illustrate this especially. Sometimes the people around us take liberties, or push our buttons, or fly off the handle for no good reason; sometimes we may be tempted to quibble about little things, to insist on getting our way, to refuse to compromise even a bit on pride or principle.

Of course that option is always there; to me, the question is more - but is it worth it? Is it worth it to get your way in one particular situation if it means making your relationship with someone more conflicted in the long term? Is it worth the negative feelings it will engender? If someone screams at you or otherwise fails to act like a mature and reasonable adult, it may be tempting to scream right back - but is it worth it to escalate the situation, when remaining calm might, instead, diffuse it that much faster? Is it worth it to hold onto so much negative feeling when you could instead take that deep breath and see how much of that you can just...let go of?

A lot of these things aren't necessarily anyone's first instinct, and that is where the Emperor comes in handy. The self-discipline to think before you speak, react. The self-discipline to look at the bigger picture - not just how am I interacting with X today but how much will I have to interact with X in the future and what kind of relationship do I want that to be? The discipline to do the mature, balanced, fair thing even if you have to be the first (or only) person doing so.

Those birds that connect the naked man to the bright, warm sun didn't come to him out of nowhere. He had to build up that trust, that connection, bit by bit. The discipline needed to create your own little bubble of harmony, regardless of what is going on around you or what other people do.


Post a Comment