Divisi under Ra; Diminuendo under Te; Risoluto over Ti; Ritardando under Se
The above directives all occurred in one casting – which is pretty amazing considering that there are only 13 directives in the entire 89-card deck. This “coincidence” – and I use that word without implying randomness – inspired me to wax a bit on Directives and their meaning.
The Directive cards are derived from directives in a musical score, where they appear here and there as instructions. Say, for example, the violas in an orchestra are all playing a single-note melody. Then, at a certain point in the score, the single-note melody becomes two notes: either the melody is being harmonized, or two separate melodies have begun to take place. At that point the directive divisi appears in the score, instructing the viola section to split in two: half the violas take the top note, the other half the bottom one. In terms of both music and metaphor, divisi indicates an increase in diversity and a decrease in force: "Each of you may now operate independently, but neither will be as strong (loud) as you were when you were one."
In the Muzoracle, Directives are also instructions. The difference is, of course, is that we are composing the “score” – our lives – as we go. Any instructions in a casting essentially come from ourselves: we can choose to follow them, ignore them, or alter them. Always interesting, though, is why these instructions are appearing in the first place; what within us is giving the orders? Sometimes, a Directive may actually point to someone else giving the orders: a boss, for example, or a friend with judgements. In that case, what within us gives a hoot?
The first Directive that appeared in the aforementioned casting was indeed divisi, under the scalepoint of ra. This points to division as a source of vitality. Moreover, the position is an instruction: “You're going to need fuel to get through this – division is it.”
Next appears the Directive diminuendo under the scalepoint of te. This points to a lessening of force – a quieting – as an opportunity. In conjunction with the divisi card in the previous position, this might mean, “Yes, divide – but for best results, don’t push your agenda too hard.”
Third in the casting we find risoluto over the scale point of ti. This points to resolve at a point of transition. There’s obviously a transition taking place, or at least on the table, involving a split of some kind; in order to navigate it, we mustn’t be too pushy, but we mustn’t lose our resolve, either. Note that the risoluto card is a darker grey than the others; it is an Expressive, one of the directives that particularly deals with emotional tone.
Finally, three positions later, we find ritardando under the scalepoint of se. Se is about inception: it speaks of what has already begun. Ritardando is a directive to slow down. This position might indicate that the entire enterprise at hand is already under way: don’t rush it. Stay calm and quiet (diminuendo), but stick to your guns (risoluto).
Of course, the other non-directive positions are key as well, and they’re juicy. An Accompanist of Percussion crossed with a Minor Seventh of Brass over the scalepoint of re: servitude in the physical world coupled with creative retreat as a habitual response. And Form over do: an intention regarding the form our lives take. But all that for another blog entry – this one’s dense enough! —Peace, jsk