...to the Nines... ~ A Blog Shmlog

'Blog Shmlog' is the name of a status update I saw on facebook recently from Shanan Kelly. I have no idea what she meant by it, but she's funny and doesn’t take herself too seriously, which are two qualities I treasure in her and in general. I have been toying with this idea of blogging, or shmloging as I’d rather call it, for a while now. It’s a radical act of sorts, for me, since I am inclined to be very private and am also a perfectionist…got that 18th Gene Key in the sphere of my Vocation/Core. (The 18th Gene Key moves from the shadow of Judgment to the gift of Integrity, ultimately blossoming as the siddhi (or divine gift) of Perfection.) I also have the Hermit as my Life-path Tarot card (which has an analogy to the zodiacal sign of Virgo). But writing itself is also a creative act, and that’s interesting to me. Some of the things I value most are the writings and revealings of others…but with that 18th Gene Key, my standards are simply too high, I’ll never measure up, and so you all can write and I’ll just read, yes? Wait, is that selfish? ‘It’s generous to share’, someone said to me once, to encourage me to open up and speak in a women’s circle. Of course ’to keep silent’, according to the Mage who created the Thoth deck we are studying, is one of the Powers of the Sphinx (that composite creature that represents the synergy of the 4 elements (or our 4 centers: physical, emotional, mental and creative or spiritual), which we must work to harmonize and develop command over), along with 'to know,' ‘to will and ’to dare', but in all honesty for me, keeping silent is less of a cultivated Power of the Sphinx and more an automatic tendency that requires, generally, zero effort on my part (ALL my numbers add up to 9, what can I say...coincidentally, 9 is the constellation we are studying this month in Tarot class with Hillary Hurst... more on that in a bit). I tend to keep silent unless or until I’m positively sure about what I have to say, which is rare, (there’s that 18th Gene Key again), or unless I’m being spoken through, which happens on occasion, I suppose. What I do know for certain is this: radical, creative, and yes, vulnerable behavior is something I admire in others; I can’t expect any actual transformation in this life if I’m not willing to consciously pull against my habitual tendencies; and this eclipse cycle that began last August and culminated with the lunar eclipse last week, is asking me to integrate the wisdom of the Moon along the Leo/Aquarius axis (which is also where my north and south nodes are, respectively). So here I go a shmlogoling! I asked Bre what she thought I should write about and she suggested the subject of duty vs. authenticity. This theme is present with us this month as it is one of the inquiries the Moon invites forth. That would be card number 18 in the Tarot, which we are studying as part of our 9 constellation with Hillary (along with the Hermit and four 9s of the minor arcana). The full lunar eclipse we just came through on Jan. 31 could also be interpreted as duty (Aquarius) opposing authenticity (Leo). As always, Angeles Arrien has compelling insights for us in her book on the Thoth Tarot. She says the Moon is the outward expression of the Hermit (our authentic Self). It is the revealing of our true nature to the world, which we have made intimate contact with through the Hermit’s introspection and descent into darkness. In other words, it is not enough to do the work of knowing ourselves, we must then do the work of revealing ourselves to others, unmasked and uninfluenced by the conditioning of the collective ego. A tall order, no doubt, but this is where the wisdom in the constellation shines…the other cards can offer us some help and insight. First we must embrace what gets in our way of us revealing our authentic nature, which the constellation identifies for us as judgement. This is self-judgement and self-criticism, Cruelty turned inward, depicted in the Tarot as the 9 of Swords. I will say I know this entity too well…and while I may be adept at holding my tongue and even practiced at not identifying with the judgements that come into my mind about others, when it comes to my own self-criticism I can really lay it on, and often do so. Thankfully, some clues as to how to transform this shadow tendency lie in the gift (Integrity) and siddhi (Perfection) of the 18th Gene Key, and also in the 9 of Cups, 9 of Wands, and 9 of Disks of the Tarot. So let's have a look at these allies. First, we can acknowledge that judgement doesn’t necessarily come from a bad place, and can actually serve us if we don’t identify with it. We’re all supposed to have been born in the image of God, but that’s not necessarily what we see reflected in ourselves, in others and in the world. We want to improve things so they’ll measure up to a divine standard of perfection, to remake them whole and complete (balanced, in True proportion). This is the gift of the 18th Gene Key, Integrity, which the zodiacal I-Ching places in the constellation of Libra. Libra, ruled by the planet Venus, endows us with an internal reference point and benchmark for harmony and beauty. This is the essential function our judgement serves, and it's not such a bad thing, as long as we hold it lightly, with compassion, patience, and humility. Like all gift frequencies, true Integrity is not a function solely of the mind, but manifests fully only when we've brought the seat of our awareness through the neutral channel of our mind and into our heart. Once that pathway between the impartial mind and heart is open, we are able to access our authentic self and experience Happiness (the 9 of Cups), a natural companion to wholeness, spiritual Strength or intuitive vision (the 9 of Wands), which comes from the higher mind and heart being in open communication with one another, and Gain (the 9 of Disks), which results from the natural magnetizing power of a fully activated and embodied heart. I invite you to contemplate, if you like, how the 9 constellation shows up in your own life. Are you meeting your daily (or moment-to-moment) requirement for self-kindness and self-compassion? At this cross-quarter time, as the sun waxes and warms the earth, and the dormant seeds prepare to break ground, where is the shadow of judgement preventing you from bringing your own gifts into the light? We are exploring all of the 9 constellations of the Tarot with Hillary this year, once a month on the 3rd Sunday, so if you live in Bend, please consider joining us:-) Light, liberty and love to all, and thanks for reading my shmlog. <3

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Sol Alchemy Temple

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