Sharpen the Arrows, Sift Through the Noise
“A woman wearing many tiny bells.”
Sagittarius 23 from Inside Degrees by Ellias Lonsdale
Once again, Lonsdale has a bit of poetry for this particular sign at this particular degree that you can take a look at here. I’m feeling that with each of these offerings (we’re on #3, so a relatively small sample size), the headlines get more obscure each time. Who is this woman? Why does she have so many bells?
It’s a call to attention, I think. A call to engage the senses, since I imagine in this case we’d hear her before we’d see her. What does that sound like to you? A chorus of tiny little bells, soft at first, so that you might look around wondering where the sound is coming from before you turn and see her coming your way. Who is she for you? What does she look like? Are you nervous, apprehensive, in awe?
When I think of Sagittarius I think of arrows, direction, and now Jupiter as I have just used the interweb to confirm that the sign is ruled by that planet. Expansive, perhaps a bit consuming, but not without an idea of where to go. This is calling me to think of those moments when I’m feeling overwhelmed — so weighted by the feeling of whatever is floating around in my mind or in my spirit, that it takes a dedicated amount of effort to trim the noise and make everything around me simple enough so that I can determine where I am to go.
Sometimes, this takes the form of turning down the music in the car so I can see the road (science, obviously). Other times, this means peeling myself away from my computer even if I’m presumably so close to solving that problem or finishing that draft and telling myself I’ve done enough for that day. Sometimes it’s canceling the plans I’ve made for a certain day and honoring that I don’t have the energy to see them through. Sometimes it’s cleaning my entire apartment so that I might feel that I have a little bit more control.
Jupiterian energy. Expansion that requires direction. Channeling. Refining. Learning how to aim. Understanding as much as you can or need to, because maybe you can know it all but that might be more of a distraction, and finding the path as you go. Step by step. Wayfinding.
I’m reading a book called Designing Your Life right now wherein lies a guide paired with activities that are intended to help you, well, design your life. I’m on the chapter about “wayfinding”, where the activity is asking me to keep a log of what I do each day. I write down the things that I do along with how engaged I was in each activity and take note of my energy at that time. The energy bit is interesting for me, and I’m not fully sure if I’m supposed to be tracking how much energy a particular activity or task gives or takes from me, or if it’s about noting my energy level at that point in time. I think it’s a “yes, and”.
Anyway, wayfinding. In this book, wayfinding is defined as “the ancient art of figuring out where you are going when you don’t actually know your destination. For wayfinding, you need a compass and you need a direction.” I didn’t realize that this was a Jupiterian/Sagittarian influenced pursuit until I started writing this offering. And this is why we show up, this is why we take in new information, and by we I mean me because I take in all kinds of information from all kinds of sources and then they surprise me when they get combined and spat out into something that you are here reading. Alchemy. The Magician. I don’t know that I would call it coincidence but maybe we could call it some kind of fate that you and I are both here. We could call it play in the form of practice, learning how to channel, to aim (here we are with those arrows again), to sift through information, to save up a store — learn how to work with it so that it doesn’t cause unnecessary overwhelm — and allow the pieces and files that need to come out to come when it is their time.
Jupiterian energy. A bank of information that grows and grows and grows and you have no idea for what or why. Are “for what?” and “why?” asking the same question? It’s possible. An overflowing, yet somehow highly organized file cabinet, whose draws seem to extend for miles, and you feel called to keep filling it with all of these bits and bobbles of things you heard on that podcast or in books you’ve read or words you heard in a song or skills that you never knew you wanted to pick up. And then, the magic happens, when they all come together and you might let a satisfied “aha” slip out from between your lips.
By you I mean me since I really do feel like I’m talking about myself. Amassing a seemingly strange assortment of interests and skills and constantly wondering, but why? And this is where we go back to the idea that maybe you can know it all, maybe you can know exactly how and when you’ll apply all of the things you learn, or if you’ll ever actually apply them at all, but maybe the beauty is that you don’t need to know. Maybe the beauty is that I don’t need to know, and I get to have fun, and practice, and play, and learn how to work through frustrations, and remember that when my Jupiterian library looks more like a blimp that might explode than a finely crafted arrow, the only way out is through, but that through doesn’t mean that you have to carry all of that weight with you as you go.
“Methodology, technique, the how of things. Immersing yourself in the field of new ideas, fresh approaches, and innovative paths, imaginatively and energetically. Exposing yourself to possibilities, visions, ways to evolve.”
Lonsdale gets me, and once again I’ll link you to the full excerpt since it’s starting to make more sense to me as I’m getting deeper into this idea. I’m feeling that call to pull some actual cards to frame our train of thought here, but first want to point to the end of this pull quote: “You seek the full-on motivating spark of knowing what it feels like to be tuned out and discovering what it really means to be tuned in all the way.” I don’t know if I have more to say on that, but how amazing is it that we get the opportunity to tune in all the way? Through my own process of “designing my life” and otherwise learning more about myself than I really want to sometimes, it’s amazing to me how much of my life thus far I’ve gone through on autopilot. Reacting and acting in the ways that I’ve been told.
How beautiful is it to grant myself the permission and the space to do something different? How wonderful is it that you get to do that, too?
You can close your eyes, you can chant your favorite mantra, you can take a minute to meditate. I’m trying to formulate our question, a neatly wrapped sentence to capture the energy I want to take to the cards. Maybe I don’t need to know, maybe I don’t need to find out. Reflecting on the ideas of — and maybe here’s our question — what we need to trim, what we need to shift our energy away from, and what we may need to do to better channel our efforts so that we can tune in all the way.
Sometimes expansive energy can be loud, so how might we seek a quiet space, grant ourselves permission to seek peace, so that we can sharpen our arrows, buckle in, and continue along our course?
There’s a lot for us here. I was about to write that “I’ll try and make it brief” but being concise isn’t always fun or fruitful so why cut ourselves short?
Anyway. I don’t think I’ve ever noticed, or really paid attention to the fact that Temperance follows Death in the Major Arcana. A steady march forward, a shedding of the old to make way for the new, the phoenix breaking through the ashes to seek balance once again. To seek a new opportunity to create something new. There’s an alchemic element to Temperance that I remember hearing in a class once — where the blending of the two cups makes way for a new creation. Where you are seeing only two options, where might you seek or create a third?
The magic is in seeing these cards over and over and every time seeing something new. The magic is in allowing yourself to release any barriers that are preventing you from looking at your world through that renewed and rejuvenated lens. We can start somewhere in the middle of where we are now, using our experiences or maybe allowing ourselves to set them aside, to ask new questions, to find new answers, to find new ways of understanding these things that we call our Selves.
Who are you really? And who are you acting as? Acting as, as in, are you behaving from your authenticity or how you’ve been led to think and conceive of this Idea that is the Self? If you don’t know, that’s ok, I don’t know either. This is where we take the time, we find the quiet, we let the gaseous expansion and overwhelm of Jupiter expand until it drifts away — and we find a shiny arrow that we point, and aim, and shoot, and then follow in a new direction. A new direction that hopefully grants us the possibility of getting closer and closer to that thing, and more confident in that thing, that we call our Self.
And it’s an emotional pursuit, this dedication to letting go of what needs to be shed. This spread is ruled by the element water as shown by our series of cups, Death (related to the sign Scorpio, ruled by water), and Temperance of course (which, I’m surprised to be reminded is actually related to Sagittarius. I often loop around in circles and am surprised when serendipity finds me and I land somewhere that makes sense).
My parenthetical was getting long, so we’ll start a new one since I was starting to get confused. It’s an emotional pursuit, this dedication to letting go of what needs to be shed. Who are the people in your life, the dreams, the goals, and the ways of transacting that no longer sit quite right with you? I’m going down the line of our cups here, that all did, in fact, show up reversed and I haven’t just rotated the picture.
From the group of proximal beings that we might conflate as close friends, to the mirage of treasures laid out in front of us (a deception of choice), to the illusions of happily ever after, to the ways that we’ve been taught to relate to one another that never really made sense but we went along with them for so long anyway. What are these descriptions calling to mind for you? These are the areas you need to get quiet. This is where you need to sift through the noise. This is the space and time where you can use all that you’ve learned about yourself and the world at this point, maybe learn a little more if you need to, find what it is you’re looking for, and trim.
This reminds me of when I was doing a cord cutting ritual a few months ago, desperately trying to let go of an energy and connection that I felt just kept buzzing like a fly in my ear, and stuck to me like a leech by what it took, and I had one of those moments where I Just Can’t Make This Shit Up and I pulled a card from this deck that simply said, “snip, snip”.
And it’s amazing how it’s too easy sometimes to beat ourselves up when it’s time to let something go, and we know it, but we just can’t detach, whatever the reason may be. So as you’re trimming, know that it’s a process and as with all other processes, it takes time and generally requires ample amounts of accountability and support. And most of all, time.
We haven’t spoken about frames of time here and I don’t think we need to. I can’t tell you how long it’ll take for you, or for me, or how many times we’ll have to cut and slash and strip ourselves away from the energies that hold us back until we finally break free.
I’m envisioning myself as I wrap this up slowly but surely snipping away at thick vines that are wrapped all around me. In a thicket of sorts, and I’m not fully sure how I got here, not sure if I want to stay, and not sure where I’m going should I find a way out. Slowly but surely. Slowly but surely, working on one vine system at a time, I’m getting more information and learning how to use it to set myself free. And I want to say that I “can’t imagine”, but the truth is that I’m working to imagine what it feels like when finally I’ve worked away the last vine that’s wrapped around my ankle or waist and I’m free. One foot in front of the other, maybe a bit hesitant at first as I’m not sure what total freedom and agency is, or means, or if I trust it yet. One foot in front of the other, and a sigh of relief as I realize I’m finally on my way.
Remembering, most of all that it takes time. And that I, you, we, are enough as we are at each step along the way.
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