Friday, March 15, 2013

self improvement focus/task

Often, when there are so many things that need attention and doing, its hard to really focus on any one thing. I believe I did this once before here, and thought it'd be a good idea to do again: Pull one card, with the theme/query of one aspect of things or task that would be worth focusing on for self-improvement, right now.

I named this Magician as one of my favorites in an early 'Favorite Majors' series most, and I must say that I'm still of that opinion. I particularly enjoy the fact that the Magician here is a woman, but not in the overly feminized and/or sexualized sense seen in some decks - no, she is presented as powerful, and in many ways stylized, like so many ancient statues. This makes clear that what he have here is still an archetype, and idea depicted in human form, but at the same time it universalizes that idea: power and self confidence is not, nor should it be seen as, just a man's domain.

She wears a skirt covered in pentacles, has sword in hand, cup on the altar in front of her and wand held by the trunk of her elephant shield. What does it mean, that elephant? Wisdom, massive strength, a long memory? According to the almighty Internet, it is often used to symbolize mental and spiritual, as well as physical, power and strength. Interestingly, apparently there is a connection between the elephant and those storm clouds I hadn't at all known about:
"In Siam, Laos and Cambodia, the white elephant grants rainfall and plentiful harvests. But when ridden by Indra, Lord of the Heavens, the elephant becomes the Storm-God."
Other meanings include mastery, and unification of heaven and earth...well, apparently in many cultures the elephant has quite a similar significance as this very card. Since getting this deck I have been intrigued by how symbolism-dense it is, and this bit of research has got me thinking about perhaps looking into that more deeply...

In any case, we have the monkey from the Thoth as well, echoing those meanings, and the storm clouds that can apparently be tied to that elephant shield, but perhaps too can be read as...well, lightening is mighty powerful too, isn't it, and dangerous, but there is so much we would have never achieved has someone not figured out how to harness the power of electricity...

And what does this all mean, as related to my original query? What should I be focusing on in the very current moment in particular? On myself, it seems, on myself and what I can do, my abilities and strengths. I should focus on self confidence, empowerment, the active, can do, inner motivation and drawing on my resources, in spite of any storm clouds that may be lingering above, darkening the skies. Mundane and esoteric, environmental and can I empower myself?

True enough this. After quite decently long stretch of feeling quite on top of my game I'm afraid I have been slipping back into self doubt, questioning whether everything I am doing is on some level pointless. Career-wise, it's hard not to be discouraged when... no one seems interested in taking you on even for unpaid internships. Of course, the more discouraged and unconfident you feel, the harder it is to push yourself to keep applying and keep trying and that can only add to the problem...

So reminder here to focus on strengths rather than dwelling over much on the shortcomings. Perhaps in some areas of life I have not made much progress, but in others things have changed and evolved much indeed. There are some things you cannot change or cannot, at this time, overcome. Fine. Focus on what you CAN do, what you ARE capable of, and things that make you feel good about you.


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