Sunday, February 28, 2016

Follow Your Inner Moonlight

Follow your inner moonlight; don't
hide the madness. (a mixed quote
usually attributed to Ginsberg)
I'm woefully behind in reporting the latest crazy Cora Adventures. If you follow me on twitter you've probably heard most of them by now, but here's a fast recap of February 2016.

  • Two trips to see the hospital vampires. I'm surprised I have any blood left. A couple of my numbers still don't look good, so I'm back to the doctor next week to find out what's going on.
  • Two stories sent out, two rejections received. One rejection was a keeper, very encouraging with good advice. The other, not so much. It was one of those rejection letters stinging enough to make me question what I'm doing with my life.
  • Shout attack by a little old lady in a red sports car at the gas station. She didn't know how to pull her car up to the pumps on the same side as her gas tank, and in her opinion, this was my fault. A little scary, a little amusing. 
  • I chipped my left front tooth. I don't even understand how. 
I'm ready to ditch this month, I tell ya. Onward to March.

Moving along to the topic at hand - tarot. I haven't posted much lately so I thought I'd share one of my favorite tarot cards of all time. It's the Moon card from The Halloween Tarot by Kipling West. I can't think of another Moon card that gives such a smart and unique take on the traditional tarot meanings and symbolism.

Some of the themes the Moon card represents are cyclic change, a short phase or waiting period, being creatively or emotionally blocked, trickery and doubt, things that look different when you shine a light on it, painful transformation, emotional baggage, hidden or buried emotions rising to the surface, feeling that you're being held at an emotional distance from others, barking at the moon - aka, freaking out over perceived threats that may or may not truly exist (the story of my life), and feeling emotionally isolated or unstable. It can also signify the need to either reign oneself in (and conform to accepted standards), or to come out of one's shell - both scenarios designed to break your isolation and return you to "civilization". It depends on the reading and the card, and there are many card variations out there.

As I mentioned above, my favorite Moon Card is the one from The Halloween Tarot, which shows a werewolf undergoing a painful transformation. Because of his own feral state, he is left to wander the wilderness alone, unable to get past the briars and fence that bar him from seeking comfort and refuge in the house on the hill. His blocked/painful situation isn't necessarily a unique experience, although it may feel that way to him - that no one understands what he is going through. The skull on the fence shows that others have come this way before and perished because they couldn't either reign themselves in, they couldn't figure out where to go next, or they simply didn't call out for help (howl) or otherwise heed directions. The werewolf's feral state is contrasted masterfully by the image of a loyal Boston terrier, which is sometimes called the American "gentleman" of dogs, to further paint an impression of savagery versus civilized behavior. Very clever of the artist, I have to say.

I get this card pretty frequently when I'm creatively blocked, or facing a lot of little frustrations. It's just a phase. Bear with it, and it will pass. That's the typical takeaway. I also get this card when I'm having  hard time deciding what I want to do with a writing project that has stalled. Now, this is just a personal take on this particular Moon card, but I can't look at the werewolf without thinking of the quote, "Follow your inner moonlight; don't hide the madness."

In other words, stop trying to transform yourself and the story into something it's not mean to be. I'm frequently guilty of this, trying to force my stories to fit a mold and my characters to act a certain way. The card indicates that it's necessary to go deep and follow your own personal flow. Be authentic and trust your instincts.

In both the traditional Rider-Waite and The Halloween Tarot decks, both cards show a lobster marking a pathway or trail leading off into the hills. However, what sets the Halloween deck apart, is that the designated trail, a.k.a. "the traditional or appropriate" path, isn't effectively leading the werewolf (ourselves) out of the wilderness. It doesn't matter if the werewolf ended up that way by wandering off track accidentally and getting lost, or if it happened while he was in the process of trying to cling to an outdated trail in order to get to his destination the "right" way, or if he deliberately rebelled against the path set before him and took off on an unmarked route that turned out to be a deadend.

Whatever scenario fits the querent's situation, the Moon card could be a subtle message that when you're blocked from going one direction - don't give up!  It's perfectly okay to try different paths until you find the one that works for you. ♥  

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