Reading of the Moonth: Creative Tension


For Seekers – Moonthly Renewal – Practices for Soul & Spirit

The arrival of the new moon stamps the moonth with an initiating energy that shifts and develops through the cycle of growth, fullness, and descent. The reading of the moonth can be done any time between the new and full moons. Revisit the cards you pull periodically up until the next lunation to gain new insight as the light changes. This new moon arrived overnight July 31 to August 1 (exact on the 31st at 11:12pm ET in the USA) . The full moon arrives on August15th.

This moonth we are invited to walk the path of Strength through the passage of the 5 of Wands.

From the Rider Waite Smith deck available from US Games

In the iconic Rider Waite Smith image, 5 figures wave staves in the air. They might be trying to create something together. They might be at odds with each other. Or they might be engaged in some kind of game and just having fun. Their ambiguous expressions – Is that one frowning? Is this one laughing? –  could support any of these scenarios, making the image a great teacher about the creative process.

Creation of the new arises out of attending to the tensions of the moment. 

For example, I write – as you may have noticed 🙂 – and to complete a piece I have to move through the tensions of the creative process. Often I get a sense of the whole of what I want to convey. The vision is perfectly formed inside my head – and then I have to communicate the wholeness with the limits of linear language. I start to write and my inner parts start raising their staves. One part of me is in a hurry to get this task done now that I vision. A second sees that something is missing and puts the breaks on the process. Another wants to seek out an inspiring quote with a Google search. And the fourth is wondering when we can take a break for lunch or tea.

My inner writing team is working at cross purposes, but I need them all. To complete the piece, I will have to both persist in meeting the goal and pause to consider how I might deepen the work. As I do, I’ll benefit from nourishing myself with inspiration from other writers words and from feeding my body.

Harnessing tension in service of the creative is necessary in all kinds of pursuits. To get things done in the workplace or volunteer activities, for example, we often have to work in groups. An influential model of group dynamics posits that all effective groups move through a storming period so members can learn how to work together and establish norms to manage inevitable tensions. Families, too, spiral through storming periods as the people within age and change. Parents must be constantly creative to adapt to changing children. And if you teach, you work with tension in all these areas: bringing the inner vision out and sharing it in groups of people who are growing because of what they learn.

What is your current creative pursuit? How does it look like the 5 of Wands?

So the 5 of Wands shows us what the process looks like, but how can work with this often challenging, sometimes chaotic energy? What attitudes and skills do we need to cultivate? The card offered for guidance by the placement of this new moon’s moment of arrival is traditionally called the King of Wands, but has names like the Guardian of Fire (Gaian Tarot) or Mystic of Candles (Numinous Tarot).

Kings, Guardians, and Mystics are always guided by their responsibility to be of service to all in the community and the Greater Than. They listen to and draw out differing perspectives to move the community toward common commitments. Even as they listen to all, they remember the greater purpose of the group: to create the piece, to accomplish the task, or to serve the Divine. When needed to keep the group aligned with its purpose, they will step in to direct or make a decision as needed. In the language of group dynamics, they offer both high support and high direction. 

The elemental influences for this card are fire and air. They are inspired, innovative, and even playful on their fire side and analytical with good communication skills on their air side.

The Guardians of Fire who I am most inspired by today are the professors of architecture and design, Ronald Real, and Virginia San Fratello. Who created a Teetertotter Wall across the US-Mexico border.

The pink and the playfulness contrasted with the gray and dark slash of the wall startle me with inspiration. This image disrupts  the current messages about what is happening at the border and what can be possible at the border. At the heart of this image are children at play.

For a moment, the Teetertotter Wall has reframed the chaos of our 5 of Wands times. For a moment, the nastiness of our national discourse has been tamed by these heart-colored seesaws. For a moment, we experience true Strength.

The rose dropped woman of Strength and her lion from the Gaian Tarot

Reflection and reading questions of the moonth for liberating your creative energy are:

CREATIVE TENSION: What tension in my life has the potential to be a creative inspiration?

LIBERATION: How can I work with this tension to liberate its energy?

GIFT: What gift will be released when I work with this creative tension?

I offer this as an e-reading in my collaborative intitituve format for $23. I have reading slots opening up at the end of the week. Sign up with Pay Pal or email me about sending a check.

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