My preoccupation, lately, has been about my path. What is it, really? The question comes out of rupture: just the latest in a list of personal and societal ruptures that we have all been dealing with, for much longer than just the no-good-horrible-very-bad year of 2020. For me, this rupture came out of nowhere; it will move me in space and strip me of most of the basics that I have come to associate with my life for more than a decade and a half. But it also revealed to me, immediately, how much strength, support, kindness and love I still have around me and within me to forge a new path. Or, perhaps, to understand that all the trappings of daily life that I’d gotten used to were not essential to the path I am on.
Of course, I am not alone in this. I have been wanting to pull a card for the community in transition, in upheaval, in hope. I thought about pulling it on Thursday but was frankly too overwhelmed by all the gratitude emails filling my inbox. Then, I did not want to detract from Native American Heritage Day, or Small Business Saturday (if one has things to buy, this is the year to support small stores). But Sunday seemed to be a day without a directive affecting millions, so I pulled it today, with the question, “What is the Path?” and the answer is:
The Ten of Stones
I associate this card with wealth, completion, achievement and security. As the last “minor” card in the suit of stones, it indicates that our path toward manifesting our lives has been traveled, and we have arrived at success. But because this is the Shining Tribe deck, the card also points to spiritual wealth, a profound value in what life has given you, and the ability to transform through sharing your prosperity with others. That transformation, honestly, is something that has always scared me: in the image on the card, human footsteps lead into the rocks but come out as bird tracks. Not only do we not sit back and enjoy our luxury, we may become something entirely other: perhaps evolved, or awakened, but unrecognizable to ourselves.
Our strength, our success, our security…it’s not about what we built. It’s about preparing ourselves to let go.
As writers in the world, I am guessing there is something in my personal experience that you can relate to. And of course, for you, the card may be an acknowledgment that you are doing well, and that you have created something wonderfully successful. For all of us writers on the page, a couple of ideas for the work that this card raises:
Revision: Is there a transformation in your work, one that comes at a time when the reader might think that they know and recognize the end in sight? Are you coasting toward the expected finish line, or is there another level of understanding that you can kick your resolution into?
Visual Association: Think about a scene, or some aspect of your work, where there is a major change, transformation or epiphany. Then take the elements of that idea and correlate them to the elements in the image on the card. What is the barren landscape (the hopelessness or danger of the current situation?) What are the rocks? (The magic, the talisman, the possibility, the power that only the character can see?) What are the hidden clues – perhaps embedded in the text but not yet fully revealed – that will transform the potential (the suggestion of threads of light on the left side of the card) into the multicolored strands of pebbles on the right? And lastly, what kind of bird will emerge?