Sunday, November 13, 2011

Seeding the Cloud: the Seven of Swords

It’s easy enough to get that the whole universe is in motion. Nothing stays still, and nothing is independent of anything else. There are no discrete things, just a huge complicated cloud of interwoven movement. Nice, elegant. But when I include myself in the model, it gets a bit more challenging. If the whole thing is in movement, all the particles and sub-particles all engaged in some inconceivable intricate dance, then I am too. I’m not a unified ‘me’ – I’m only a local region in an infinite field.

The Seven of Swords is sometimes called the Lord of Unstable Effort. Like all the sevens (except the Seven of Wands) it says “Wait for it.” If you try and act independently of the field, you won’t get what you’re looking for. It’s not that you’ll get nothing. The expenditure of energy will produce results, but they may not be what you hoped for, or simply may not be sustainable. Better to wait. You’ll know. You’ll have the feeling of the whole thing coalescing.

It’s still good, important, maybe necessary, to name your intention. We don’t get to go to sleep in the middle of the molecular hurricane and stop being ourselves. We have desire, and a path. We have maybe a sacred trust to follow them through the maze. As we do, as we name them, the maze clarifies, the paths reveal themselves. But you can’t manhandle them. You have to breathe your way in.

You’ll recognize this in those times when you feel a fledgling plan coming, but don’t have any answers. You can’t get clear guidance, but you feel something forming. The wait can be hard. Our nature wants clarity, condensation, control. With the Seven of Swords we get none of those. In each of us is a doorway to the big dark sleeping uncreated everything. Think of it as being at the heart of a vast cave. The entryway to the cave is in yourself. Walk down the passages, find your way to the heart of the cave, and give your intention to the huge inchoate sleeping water. Then turn around and walk back into your life. Then wait for it.

You’ll feel it. At first like some animal or bird you’ve spent your life waiting to see, shy, elusive, it could vanish even if your gaze just glances off it. When I could still see, I used to bird-watch. I had the experience often of birds flying away if I looked at them. If I kept my gaze averted, looking indirectly, sometimes they’d stay. Same with this. Watch as gently as you can and wait for it. You can feel it forming with your breath, feel yourself breathing into it, it breathing into you.

It takes patience and trust to do this. I don’t know where these come from. I sometimes think they are the result of behaviour, rather than the reverse. Hold back your hand because you know you must, and patience comes to you.

The path of the Seven of Swords helps you to remember that you don’t exist.

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