“A resourcefulness that knows no bounds.”
Scorpio 23 from Inside Degrees by Ellias Lonsdale
Scorpio, associated with the tarot card Death, is all about shedding. It’s about the dark night of the soul, plunging deeper and deeper into our own depths, and finding ourselves in some way surprised, excited, frightened, or in some other emotional space about what we have found.
When we shed, and as our shedding and learning and unlearning grows more and more difficult as time goes on (this is not one size fits all, but some of you know what I’m talking about), we can lose track of the tools we have to get ourselves out, so to speak. There is no “out” if we are committed to doing this work, but sometimes as we swim within our own depths, we can lose sight of our own resources, and get consumed by the illusion that there is nothing we can do.
But there is always something we can do, in any applicable case.
“A resourcefulness that knows no bounds”. As this New Moon unveils something new to you along your journey, shines a light on something unseen within your own depth, how might it also remind you of the boundlessness of your own resources? I’m thinking of the Magician here, as above so below, with the elements all laid out in front of them. A Magician, an Alchemist, a Scholar, a Teacher, who knows that at each point in any cycle — no matter where you lie somewhere between the Fool and the World and no matter what cycle number you’re currently on — there is no bound to the resources available to you. What is and can be bounded, though, are the limitations of our own minds.
The mind is truly incredible, isn’t it? We talk about intuition lying in the body often in these spaces, and it seems to me that the mind is often counter to that. Counter to it in that it has the power to override our intuitive, bodily knowing in a way that it seems no other aspect of ourselves is able to. The mind is tasked with sifting through everything we’ve learned about ourselves and our world up to this point. It is tasked with absorbing, like a sponge, and then wringing out anything that’s causing unnecessary weight. It is tasked with remembering to wring itself out, in a way that in my opinion it is also taught not to, and in doing so this beautiful sponge of ours gets infested with mold, mildew, and anything else that plagues wet things that weren’t given the space or time to get dry.
Unlike a dirty sponge, we can’t just throw our brains away. This is a sponge that we have to keep working with. Could you imagine having to wash all of your dishes or clean your home with a dirty sponge? If you were to care for someone else by sponge bathing them, would you ever dare to touch them with something so covered in rot? I wouldn’t. So let’s keep running with this sponge metaphor for the mind to think about what our mold spores tell us about the things we need to unlearn. The parts of our sponge that we need to cut out completely if we can, and the parts that we need to wash, and bleach, and wring out, and rinse and repeat over and over and over (and over and over and over) again until we’ve finally rid ourselves of that aspect of infection. And then as we use that sponge that we call our mind to care for and perceive others, to care for and perceive our spaces, to care for and perceive ourselves, we might do so with less of that junk that we internalize from the outside world. We might do so, knowing that there are still spots that need to be taken care of and removed. We might do so with greater awareness and revitalized connection to the resources that allow us to do the work of removing, cleansing, and releasing. Wring, rinse, and repeat.
If you’re with me, I too, and mildly grossed out by this metaphor of the sponge. And obviously we wouldn’t try to clean anything with a tool covered in mold, but if we take this loose metaphor to the ways we interact with others and ourselves, if we do not challenge those parts of the mind that need some deconstructing — if we operate through the autopilot that’s run on only what we are told, if we continue to take things “as they are” without question, if we move through the world only as the self that is constructed from how we are told we ought to be — then we’re running around and allowing this mold to grow. We’re resisting the crucial work of shedding and unlearning that grants us space to grow and expand in healthy ways, with a more clean sponge, and affect the world around us and the worlds within us with more and more awareness each day of the goodness and the light that is at our core, and that is so much more than what society tells us it should be.
I’m painting broad strokes here, and I also don’t think that in this sponge metaphor that we have to be “perfectly clean” in order to positively affect those around us. I get caught up in the mindset that I “need to be fully healed” in order to do something. I need to be fully healed in order to share my experiences with others. I need to be fully healed before I’ll find fulfilling romantic love. I need to be fully healed before… insert whatever most applies at any time here. What it sounds like for me is that I’m avoiding doing the harder work of learning to love myself at any and all stages and bounding, policing, and restricting myself under the idea that I have to be fully something in order to receive anything good from my environment in return. Which I’ve learned on a mental level, is not true, and I’m practicing this mentality every day so my body might feel it to be true, too. I don’t know if I’ll ever be fully healed or fully anything, so if I wait until that level of perceived perfection that might not ever be reached, what joy, what love, what experiences might I be denying myself along the way?
“A resourcefulness that knows no bounds”. I’m coming back to this quote because it is this that started this long winded metaphor. It is this that is guiding this New Moon offering for when the Moon finds itself in Scorpio around 23’17° (I’ll be honest and say that I only checked one source for that metric, so it could very well land somewhere else, but for the sake of this writing I’m going to continue running with that). It is this quote that I found as I was looking to understand what this New Moon event might bring for us at the beginning of next week, and this quote that is guiding this offering for which I have been rambling and have yet to pull any cards. Sometimes the practice of tarot has little to do with the actual cards themselves, and how you think and perceive around them. We’ve already talked about the Magician, we’ve talked about Death, and implicitly we’re talking about the World, and maybe the Wheel of Fortune by proxy, depending on how you interpret what “a resourcefulness that knows no bounds” means and looks like for you. There are big themes here without needing the major arcana to show them explicitly to us. Maybe the Fool, too. But let’s see, while we’re at it and with all of this in mind, what the cards might have to say.
Say this with me, something like a love letter, an incantation, or somewhere in between:
As we look more closely, more deeply, through the lens of something like our own fear, how might we move with a resourcefulness that knows no bounds?”
A resourcefulness that knows no bounds.
What about a kindness that knows no bounds? A care that knows no bounds? A love that knows no bounds, too?
We are gifted Death, the Queen of Cups (Reversed), the Ten of Cups (Reversed), and the Sun. This is one of those moments with tarot where the cards come out in a beautiful reflection of all that was just said, and I as the puller of the cards could not have made this serendipity up.
Before you read my interpretation, what do you think? Write that down. Breathe into it. Then, read on.
Where there is darkness, remember to shine the light. Remember that where there is darkness, where there is fear, where there is uncertainty, we cannot be fooled to think that love and joy cannot be found there, too.
In any dark space there is color, as color is generated from the amount of light available to reflect off of it. Can we make friends, or at least make peace, with our darkness as we cultivate trust and awareness of the fact that with enough light, there might be a new color, or some new hue, to be seen? If you’re losing sight of your intuition, losing track of the things your body already knows, and looking over the joy, the insight, at the very least the lesson hidden in the darkness that needs to be found, remember that the greatest resource you have is your light, your flame, your lens. If you take care of it, if you dig into it, if you trust it, and you push through, you might be surprised, awakened, and potentially delighted by what there is to be found.
This reading, as it applies to November 15th’s (14th for time zones behind GMT-5) New Moon, calls me to think that for some of us out there, we’re coming up on a light at the end of the tunnel. I don’t know when, I don’t know where, and for anyone reading this and myself, I don’t know what that light will look like. I don’t use tarot to predict, so I can’t tell you the exact shape it’ll take nor the exact time and date that it’ll arrive. But what I can tell you, and what I can tell myself, is to notice what you’ve been thinking about leading up to this New Moon and on the day of. Continue to notice what’s on your mind in the days after. If you’re thinking of something within you, something outside of you, someone, some situation, or something else that I have yet to name — you’ll know what it is if you listen — ask yourself, what shadows are still lurking here? What’s here in this cave that I’m afraid to touch? What am I afraid of that I feel I cannot see? And once you’ve asked these questions, and you might want to take the time to write them down, then ask, what can I do to shine a light?
By asking these questions, by taking the time and willing yourself to become more aware, you’re already doing some of that work. I’d like to think that if you’re still here this far into this offering, you’re here with me, doing the work in this way, too. You’re already flickering your lighter or trying to light your match in this damp cave so you can at least attempt to see what’s around. And I’m proud of you for that.
So with this New Moon, I’m inviting you and myself to meditate on these questions, meditate on how they sit within you, and then work with the outlets you have to shine your light — make art, write, send that text you’ve been holding on to, call that friend, and so on. And know, and hope, and trust, that with these efforts on your part, the forces unseen and out of your control are working on theirs as well. And in due time, in their own time, those shadows, that darkness, will be lifted. You will have kept moving forward through this period of shedding, through this current iteration of your dark night of the soul, and as you have cultivated your own light, learned to carry your own torch with you, no matter how dark and scary it might have been, you’ll reach the end of the tunnel and be held by the warmth of the Sun that’s waiting for you on the other side.