I’m joining the Tarot Blog Hop on the theme of the Lughnassadh (harvest), and the abundance of the Queen of Disks.
In order to harvest, you have to have first planted the seeds. I find that when I’m the most often wrapped up in the spiral of self loathing and overwhelm, the root cause is that I wish I’d gotten things finished (or started) sooner.
You can’t realize a dream if you haven’t watered the garden and tended the land.
In my case, I look at the magical map I’ve created as an intention setting. I call it a Grail Map. I see the crucial projects that must get finished so that the bigger, larger-reaching dreams can be realized. Sometimes I get stuck thinking, “I should have had a novel published when I was 25,” “I should have gotten those MP3’s recorded by now, ” “I should have finished that book on facilitating ritual by now,” “I should have done dozens more paintings,” “I should have gotten more gigs doing magazine covers and book covers.”
“I Should” is a pretty big red flag; it’s a big time blame game.
Working with this particular magical map process, I have had a lot of success focusing my goals and then working out the steps to reach for those dreams. It really does help to break it out step by step and prioritize. Actually, the map is sort of a next step after doing something more nonverbal like the collage I wrote about in my Create an Outcome Card post.
What Harvest Do You Desire?
If you are trying to reach for specific dreams…if you’d like to harvest particular fruits…if you want to be like the Queen of Pentacles, rich in abundance…then you have to plant the seeds and tend them. Or, as I like to say a lot these days, “This book won’t write itself.” When I’m beating myself up about not having finished books earlier in my life, I stop, take a breath, and say, “OK. But I’m published now. And I’m publishing more books. It’s happening. I just have to keep going.”
This summer, I’m at a point of finally harvesting some of the fruits of my work. Though I’ve been traveling and teaching for years, and I’ve been writing novels since I was 12, it was just one year ago this month that I published my first book.
Now I have 7 books out, with more on the way. Yay! That’s a harvest I’m pretty excited about. I just finished an almost-final draft of a novel, and I’m finishing up another novel plus a few short stories. I’m looking at documents and collected notes that will become several future nonfiction books on ritual facilitation, a book on finding your personal magic, a book on the Grail quest.
While I’m not where I’d like to be as far as financial abundance, I can begin to feel the shift. I’m beginning to earn more income from my writing and my artwork.
What is Abundance, What is Success?
Recently I hosted author Taylor Ellwood in Chicago. Taylor has helped to re-ignite and refresh my view of magic and how magic works, which I explored in a 3-part blog post. Magic is often a challenging word for me, because I see so many people misuse the word. They want a spell for this, they want to know what incense to burn, they want phenomenal cosmic power. But, they don’t want to hear that magic is still a heck of a lot of work.
You don’t become the Queen of Pentacles without that work.
Taylor’s work on magic reminded me of something we used to talk about a lot at the Diana’s Grove retreat center. We discussed the word abundance not just referring to financial prosperity, but to all the different types of abundance in our lives. In Taylor’s Wealth Magic workshop, it was great to brainstorm out with people a lot of different types of success, and that wealth doesn’t always mean money.
Here are some goals that are in my magical map:
- Successful writer and artist
- Become a guest at science fiction/fantasy conventions
- Teach leadership, event design, public speaking for professional organizations
- Financially stable
- Able to buy a retreat center in several years to host spiritual events
- Running large-scale spiritual/artistic/transformative conferences
- Loving, stable, healthy romantic relationship
- Healthy body, eat food grown locally/organically
- Emotionally healthy/lessen depression
- Get more skilled at music, learn more musical instruments (frame drum, shruti box)
Simplicity and Abundance
Financially stable can mean a lot of different things to different people. Certainly if I won the lottery, or became a bestselling author and brought in millions, I could find some good uses for that money. However, in the past decade I have worked to simplify my life, both in terms of focusing my work and also in terms of ecological activism. The less products we buy, the less fossil fuels we use, the less resources we use, and the less impact we have on the planet.
In my case, living simply has another impact–I don’t need much to live on at all. I’ve lived in a cabin in the woods with no running water, and I currently live in a one-room art studio with no water, no kitchen. I go over to the main house to cook and take a shower. By simplifying my life, I reduce my costs tremendously. That gives me hours and hours more time to write and paint.
Sacrifice and Giving Things Up
And–it’s a sacrifice. There are things I sacrifice to be able to do this. The Queen of Pentacles knows all about sacrifice, because there is no abundance, no harvest, without something dying for it. The vegetables and grains and meat that you are eating all had to die to bring life to you. The gasoline in your car came from decomposed bodies. The very ground we grow our food from, the ground that grows the grass that animals feed on, is full of the compost of dead plants and animals.
I recognized that if I wanted the time to write, there are things in my life I’d need to sacrifice.
A decade ago, I moved to the Diana’s Grove retreat center. I sacrificed a lot to do that, but what I gained was invaluable. I sacrificed a lot of stability, a life that I knew. I even sacrificed owning a television.
Beginning the Magic
If you’re reading this blog, I bet there are things in your life that you’d like to do. Dreams you have that are unfulfilled. Things you’ve wanted to reach for, or tried to reach for, that haven’t yet come to fruition. Sometimes the magic is in fully articulating that dream, that vision, that project. Write down what you want. Speak what you want to the universe, and to others. Speaking is a magical act, and writing/drawing is a magical act.
Then, begin to work through what it will take to realize that goal. For some, talking through things with a coach can be of use. For others, just a friend to bounce ideas off of may be sufficient. Begin to plot out what you’ll need to do and to learn to get to that point. And perhaps even what you’ll need to give up. You might be surprised what you can sacrifice when you need to.
It’s also valuable to do a tarot reading, to meditate or do trancework, or other magical work, with a deity or archetype to gain insight into what you need to do. Right now I have so many projects I could focus on that it’s hard to figure out what projects I need to focus on. Which ones will bring me the abundance and success that I need to bring other projects to fruition.
Wisdom of the Queen
You can also work with a specific archetype of abundance, like the Queen of Pentacles. In whatever way works for you, connect to her energy, to that archetype of abundance. Tell her your dreams. Tell her your desires. And ask her advice, ask her what you might need to do to get from A to Z.
But, also ask her what you might need to let go of, what you might need to sacrifice. She knows the mysteries of abundance, the mysteries of the Lughnassadh harvest. She understands that the only way to grow fruit is to have the rich, compost-heavy ground beneath it. That the dreams you are reaching for are rooted in the work of the past.
And then you might draw out a process map like my magical map, or even a to do list. If you’re familiar with the project management term Gantt chart, it’s a way to manage a project by looking at dependent tasks.
In other words–I can’t sell my book until it’s published. My book can’t get published til I have a publisher. I can’t get a publisher til I finish the book. That’s a pretty simple version, but you can begin to add in other details. I need business cards, I need postcards. I need a web site. I need the cover design for the book. I need to find conferences and events to speak about my fiction and nonfiction. All of these overlap with one another but if you begin to brainstorm out a number of the things you need, you’ll find that some will stick up as the important things that must be done first before you can do the later tasks.
To reach for that lush, ripe read fruit on the tree, you have to grow the roots. You have to tend the soil.
Asset Abundance Map
Another map that can be of use is looking at the assets you have, and the assets you need to grow. An example: when I started attending workshops on becoming a published fiction writer, I was overwhelmed by how many of the panelists talked about needing to be a good public speaker. I was utterly terrified–I was a wallflower. But, I took the bull by the horns and worked to become a good public speaker. This was not something that happened quickly, and there was a lot of compost in that process! But it’s now one of my assets, and before, it was something that was in the “need to grow” pile.
Some of your assets might be friends who can test read your book. In March I completed a draft of a paranormal romance novel about a wereleopard and a woman with an oracular magic. The first publisher I sent it to rejected it, though she offered some good feedback. I sent the story to a friend who gave some additional feedback, and I got to work. I just completed a second draft and soon it will be finished, and I’ll send it off to a different publisher.
My access to several people who are 1. willing to test read my books and 2. skilled enough to offer useful feedback, is a tremendous asset.
Assets can be things that we do well, and they can be people we know who can share their skills with us. Likewise, I’m a professional graphic designer. That means I’m able to design my own book covers and marketing materials, but it also means that I can trade my skills with friends. Right at the moment, in order to be able to afford to do things like print postcards about my fiction books, I’m finding that I will need to take on some freelance graphic design work to have the money to do that.
Bringing Your Harvest
Whatever your dreams are, whatever projects you’re working toward, I bet you have a lot of abundance going for you that you didn’t even know.
Magic happens through a combination of dreaming, meditating, planning, and work. Pulling cards, meditating with the Queen of Pentacles (or another archetype), crafting a collage, or other similar work can help you build up that energy toward the abundance and success you are reaching for. Setting those intentions and dreams down by speaking them and writing them helps to focus them. And going further to plan what steps will bring you closer to your goal, and identifying what assets you have and what you need to build, will help to further bring your dream into reality.
Actually doing that work is the only way to manifest a dream. The Queen of Pentacles knows a lot about hard work too! What dreams are you reaching for? What abundance do you seek?