Did you read part 1? You can read it here.
For years when I started walking my path, I felt that if I did not do spiritual things every day I was not fulfilling my end of the bargain. In looking back over my journals from those early years I find frequent comments about how little I was doing. It was not until I started to use a more graph like system to track my work that I realized how much I was actually doing.
In retrospect I can also see now how some of the activities I was doing were perhaps good spiritually, but were damaging to other areas of my life – I spent too much money, I neglected relationships – to name a few. If I approached work the way I approached my spiritual life people would have said I was a workaholic. Today if we talk about work life balance most people get it – but this wisdom should be applied to our spiritual path too!
I always found the monastic kind of life appealing. To be the Hermit, living away from the world communing with spirit sounded like a sweet deal to me. What I found challenging, was not in connecting with spirit, but in bringing that connection into the world. It is the ability to sustain and nurture that connection and insulate it against the challenges of daily life that I have found the hardest.
I think that there are many ways in which spirit and daily life can be balanced, but to me the 4 of disks holds the answers. If you look at the image on this card in the deck of Thoth, it is a castle. It is a card of establishing order to promote sustainability. This card is not about static structure it is about dynamic order. The 4 points, or turrets, are given to the elements – Fire, Water, Air and Earth. These elements are in turn given to different aspects of our lives. Fire is spirit, Water to emotions, Air the mind and Earth our bodies and material needs. The lesson of this card is that if any one piece goes out of synch all might be lost.
As far as lessons go “making sure you take care of the different aspects of your life” is pretty simple. However, the reality is that its pretty hard to do – that is why a dynamic order, not a static one is needed. Visually it is easy to see that the cycle just restarts when we get to the end, in fact there is no end – it just starts up again.
Building a sustainable life and walking your path.
This process is designed to help highlight where there is imbalance in your life and to diagnose what can be done to help correct the imbalance. To get the most out of this don’t look for a cure, or permanent solution, but reassess on a regular basis in order to keep things on track.
Put out four cards – 1 for each of the corners of the castle. If you start in the upper right and go counter clockwise you have Fire, Water, Air and Earth.
Start by looking at each card individually. Which position, or element’s card is strong and vibrant? Which blocked or out of control? Generally, problem cards carry their own suggestion as to the solution, for instance:
5 of wands, strife, would suggest conflict in your self, or that area of your life
5 of cups, worry, suggests that fear is getting in the way
8 of swords, interference, suggests looking at what outside force is getting in the way
7 of disks, failure, is a dead end and suggests starting over
Now assess the balance of the 4 cards. Does one area stand out? Before getting to heady about it ask yourself if there is an obvious solution. Is there time and energy going into that area? Will it take time to develop? And so on. Often, just having issue highlighted, will help solve the problem. If you got your answer skip to step 3.
If there is no obvious answer then place another card by the position(s) that are not going well to provide a solution. Whatever the card that falls, look for an action in it, for example:
8 of cups, indolence, which often talks about laziness in this case might suggest a break
8 of wands, swiftness, brings up communication as important
6 of disks, success, says money might help
4 of swords, truce, says accepting what can’t be changed, at least right now, is important
At this point you should have an idea of the problem and what will fix it.
Finally, it can be helpful to look at the flow in the initial pattern of four cards. How well do they relate to each other? Do they support each other? Life is an interwoven web where no part can truly stand alone. If all four cards are positive, cool! You are doing great. If one area, or suit stands out, ask it to find its way back into alignment. If you don’t know what to do bring order place one last card in the center to speak to what will unify the whole pattern.
The power of using this process comes from repeated use. By coming back to it month after month, season after season, deep patterns will emerge and further accelerate your growth and journey on the wandering path. http://thehermitslamp.wpengine.com/wp-admin/post-new.php
In the next post we’ll look at dabbling as an integral part of the journey and potential pitfall too!