“A chandelier which holds lit candles.”
Gemini 8 from Inside Degrees by Ellias Lonsdale
“Creative selfhood lights up the world.”
Creative selfhood, what does that mean? What does it mean and feel like to be in alignment with the most creative version of the self? We’ve been using that word or phrase a lot as of late — “to be in alignment” — and what it’s calling to mind for me right now is the act of calibrating to that alignment point. The process of configuring, reconfiguring, getting curious about, and discovering what and where your alignment is at a particular time. That requires a bit of creativity in my opinion, and maybe once we do that, once we do “that work”, we can bring the light that we are wanting to spread with our “love and light” wherever we go.
Am I really going to dissect the entire paragraph on the “Gemini 8th degree” from Inside Degrees for you? Maybe, or maybe just in part. I’ll mention here again, even though it’s feeling unnecessary to give you a disclaimer, that this process of writing longer-form tarot offerings with some astrological inclination is new for me. We’re here, though, experimenting, trying it out, seeing how it goes. Today, that feels like picking apart this paragraph since on my first read of it, I couldn’t pick just one phrase to focus on. There’s too much here, and all of it feels like it’s for us today. So here we are, I’ll stop stalling and keep going.
“The brightness lies in the realization of being all things, becoming all things.”
I’ve been thinking to myself, reminding myself rather, that I can have it all but I can’t necessarily have it all at once. I have to add “necessarily” because there’s a large part of me that refuses to believe that I cannot, in fact, have it all, all the time. But what is my expectation of It All? When I look around me right now, I have pretty close to All Of It, but there’s this tendency to see where there’s lack. To neglect the presence of where I am now. To gloss over the All that I am, All that I’m becoming right now. An endless and sometimes insatiable urge to reach for more.
Earlier today (or a few days ago, based on when you’re reading this in relation to my writing of it) I was thinking of “elsewhere”. Elsewhere as a concept and a place. I was remembering a dream I had last night in which I was speaking some hesitant French (a subconscious reminder to put forth more effort to practice) somewhere other than where I am now. I’m thinking of this home that I’m building now, and even though I’ve only been here for a few months, I’m already fantasizing about the home I’ll have in Brooklyn Heights (we’re manifesting here, right? I decided today on a drive that I will have a home there, so I’ll be glad to look back at this writing from that version of Elsewhere and see that my efforts now are not in vain).
Where are we going? Where is elsewhere? I want to ask, “what is it telling me about my most creative self”, but that doesn’t feel like the right question right now. Lonsdale tells us that it “is everywhere at once. Nothing is linear, nor consecutive. The spinning upon an axis of power.” Love a good drop quote, reminiscent of how all of my work got finished while I was in school.
How many asides can I write in this offering before getting to the point? Is there a point? Good questions.
We were also thinking about becoming all things, right? We’re just grazing the surface of so many things that feel like the World. The expansiveness of being and having It All, and in some depictions, sitting on top of the world to get a better view. I feel that feeling when I paint. I feel that feeling when I dance, sometimes, if I allow myself to move beyond my layer of self-critique. I feel that feeling when I have stimulating conversation, when I learn something new, when I finally move smoothly through that tough section of piano music that I’ve been working on for a while, and the list goes on.
I want to graze the topic of self-critique. I recently discovered within myself a fear of not applying an appropriate amount of critique-as-pressure to get “things done” (hello Virgo moon placement). These things can be anything. This fear manifests as me not knowing how, or not recognizing how, to motivate myself in the absence of soul crushing beliefs about who I am, what I lack, and how to move forward to fill those gaps. Sounds terrible, I know, but I realize that part of it is coming from a rather anxious attachment to motivating myself from a deep fear of failure, and worry that all good things around me could get “taken away”. By whom or by what, I don’t know. Maybe that’s a longer conversation for another day.
Back to the World, I feel this expansion when I’m in a space of creativity. In a space of curiosity. When I can set myself aside long enough to see what comes out. I’m doing that now as I get out of the way and flow with wherever these words want to go, sort of hoping that it’ll resonate with someone, but also just doing one of the most important things in the creative process which is practicing. Practicing this offering style even though it’s not fully clear to me what I’m offering but hoping I’ll find that gift along the way.
“Joy lies in making the connections, in being a resource, in bringing the situation to what it can be.”
Now I’m feeling a bit of the Magician. An alchemist as we bring the situation to what it can be. This makes me think of my current day job. Over the past year or so, I’ve been full of resistance, full of fear, and full of doubt about whether or not the path I’ve been on for a whole five minutes relative to my existence is where I’m supposed to be.
How can I ever know where I’m supposed to be if I don’t take the time to actually notice where I am now?
Maybe that’s the question I was supposed to ask earlier in this writing. Maybe this is one of many questions I’ve been searching for the words to ask for so long. Creativity requires a particular amount of presence, since you cannot make the object or piece in front of you without seeing it for what it is, imagining what it can be, and using the tools you have to fill in the gaps. The Magician and the World, the ability to see both the beginning and end and make your way through the in between. That’s a lot to hold space for, but that’s where we get to work with patience within the expansion and dedication when moving through a space of the unknown. I’ve been working for myself on releasing my attachment to the outcome, so that I might give myself room to enjoy and see surprises along the way, but that’s often much easier said than done.
Now feels like a good time to pull some cards, yeah? I’m not sure where the moon is as I’m writing this or the exact degree, but Gemini energy generally has me feeling a bit all over the place so I can feel it coming for me now. I’m grateful for this space to jump and play around. I’m grateful to you for sticking with me.
Take a deep breath, maybe close your eyes for a moment, pause, and take note of where you are. My recent New Moon offering felt like a spell, an incantation. This one feels a bit more like a dream. A meditation. A reckoning (even though that feels strong, reconciliation if the softer version sits better with you) with where we are and where we want to be.
Spirit gave us A LOT with this spread, so much that I needed to let it sit on my coffee table overnight to let it soak for a while. What I’m sensing as it speaks to what we’ve grazed so far, is advice on what to look out for as we connect with our creative selves and how to take stock of our place right here, right now, and align our course for where we think we want to go.
I sometimes interpret the Pages as the representation of its respective element in its purest form. In this case, we’re seeing fire the moment that it bursts into flame, but what is a flame but a momentary flash if it is not properly tended to? What if we want our creativity to last a lifetime? How can we protect it from burning out too soon?
Learn to work with it, like a Magician and their tools, learn to be patient with it, learn when to acquire new skills, learn when to step away. It seems that Spirit wants us to know that for some of us, it is time to rest. In building a fire, tending to it is important, but equally important in its maintenance routine is leaving it alone. I don’t know if you feel that energy but I definitely do. Rest so that we can see where we are, calibrate for where we are headed, and recharge so that we can sustain ourselves for the next set of discoveries and challenges that lie ahead.
The words that come to mind as we move to the Majors are: curiosity, discipline, whimsy, and structure. Flexibility paired with dedication are in here, too. We’re being asked to be wary of getting too attached to one fixed idea, about exactly how a project should go, about where you should be at a moment in time, about any outcome where you hear a lot of “shoulds” ringing in your ears. Ask yourself where they’re coming from. Ask yourself who is in charge of determining what you should and shouldn’t do. Ask yourself if the person or structure or other thing you’ve identified should actually be on the throne.
Notice when you think you’re stuck but you’re the one that slipped the chain around your neck. Stuckness is an illusion. Stuckness can be the façade of a blocked path, but it can offer time for new discovery if you allow it. Stuckness offers you a moment to pause. Stuckness can allow you to see and seek a different direction, to find an alternate course of action, to get curious about something you hadn’t seen before or thought about along the way.
The idea of shadow work tends to come up with our dear friend the Devil. Some shadow work has to do with reconciling with our darkness, our toxicity, the things we don’t like about ourselves, the ways in which we need to grow. I heard recently that shadow work can have to do with learning about and understanding our desires, too. I heard today (I hear a lot of things because I listen to a lot of podcasts) that our desires are ours for a reason. In order to know how to get to what we want, we have to know what that is. It’s ok if you don’t know yet, but are you taking the time to do the shadow work and find out?
You’re not stuck, you just need a new language. You need more words to describe the opportunities you didn’t know you wanted yet. Grant yourself permission to get to know all of the things your heart silently dreams about. Say them out loud. I have many that I’m holding back right now, and I’m still learning why, but I’ll say them in my head until I can whisper them, until I can write them down, until I can say them with my regular voice, until I can share them with friends, until I can shout them into the void and watch as they come back to me. There is something to this law of attraction thing after all.
Curiosity, openness, willingness to be a beginner again and again, discipline, dedication, vision, attention to detail, awareness to know when it’s time to stop. Awareness to know when it’s time to slow down. Awareness to know that anything in excess can become addictive, learning what that is for you. Learning the difference between unhealthy addiction and positive pleasure and allowing yourself to indulge when it is your time. I’m right there with you, I’m learning how to do this, too.
“All is activated, mobilized. Your potential is actualized by being all-inclusive and keeping every side of life in your sights. Lit up from within, having a place to shine.”
This final pull quote from our Inside Degree course leaves me with a question that I tend to associate with the Empress: is your current environment set up for you to birth your creations into the world? This thing that we keep coming back to is our creative selfhood, or what you may call more often your authentic self, but are your internal and external environments set up to allow this self to flourish and grow? If not, then maybe there’s some work to do. And it’s ok if you’re not there yet in some areas. It’s ok if you find more once you get started. I’m right there with you.
I’ve reached the end and I’m not sure what the opening quote about a chandelier has to do with anything we’ve discussed. Maybe it’s something about finding a pretty and delicate container for your light. Finding an extravagant and unique display for the extravagance and uniqueness that is within you. Take your time, pick out your jewels, keep shining your light along the way.