Sunday, April 28, 2013

Almost Daily One-up, 04/28/13

The endeavor at hand requires seriousness. Do not, however, allow the weightiness of your task to become the whole of you. Remember the light at the end of this tunnel: this is the light that lightens.  

Casting notes. The Minor Third is an excellent opportunity to explore the meaning of “seriousness.” While contemporary definitions of the word always include “earnestness,” they also include “grave”– indeed, the roots of the word all stem from some variation of “heavy.” What is it to be effectively serious? Earnestness is certainly helpful; grave and heavy, though, well… that sounds like a recipe for gravy. Thick, gooey gravy that you can drown in. 

When a minor third arises from the scalepoint of mi, it speaks of serious efforts required. Musically, though, something interesting happens. The minor third we hear is actually the top two notes of the root major triad: the usually somber minor third, in this context, sounds sweet, uplifting, hopeful. It reminds us that our serious efforts must always include a remembering of the fulfillment we seek at their end. There’s a balance that must be struck, of course – hopefulness turns to daydreaming pretty easily, and the one thing seriousness seriously requires is presence: to earnestly try we must be there to do so, in body, in mind, and in feeling. 

The minor third that appears in this casting is in the suit of Brass, so we’re talking about serious efforts of the creative variety. The keycenter of E refers to the Solar Plexus Chakra, so we’re looking at efforts with some serious power behind them – but watch out for too much ego involvement. 

Musical notes. In the context of an ascending E major scale, two trumpets sound a G# and B – strong and sweet as Turkish coffee on a Sunday, not gravy-like at all!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Almost Daily One-up, 04/24/13 (with Tarot)

A new way of looking at things, a new understanding, is blossoming within: there is an awakening underway. You may find a tendency to judge it by old standards – don’t. Focus instead on where your insights are leading – there is new life ahead.

Casting notes. The keycenter of E ascending indicates energy in the Solar Plexus Chakra, the seat of personal power, moving upward into the Heart Chakra; a time when our efforts can have real transformative power, both for ourselves and for others. The scalepoint of la indicates a need for acceptance. The Tritone of Woodwinds indicates a transformation underway in the thinking center. Keycenter, scalepoint, and card together show a time when new insights must not be ignored, but followed. 

Traveling downward from la descending, from the point of governance, we find the Judgement card. It may function in an adversarial way, as the voice of doubt; better, though, to treat it as enlivening opposition. The Judgement card implies awakening unto new life (see dead arising from graves, Gabriel with horn, etc.) and absolution of "sins." Better to have awakening as a governing principle than doubt. Follow the insight, feel the power – and keep your eyes on the burgeoning future.

Musical notes. In the context of an ascending E major scale, a C# and G natural sound in the woodwind section, implying a shift into the key of Ab (or D, but the scale’s going up, and the G wants to go up, too.) Blowing down from heaven on that same G is Gabriel on his horn, calling up the dead.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Almost Daily One-up, 04/13/13 (with Tarot)

You’ve been working long and hard, and learning as you go; and though your work is far from finished, now is the time to present your ideas in a relaxed and confident manner, and bring others on board.

Casting notes. The keycenter of C descending indicates the Root Chakra and its attendant issues: survival, fight or flight, and, especially in this case, groundedness. The scalepoint of se ascending indicates a setting of intention; the Conductor of Woodwinds blossoming upward from it indicates leadership in the realm of ideas. Flowing downward to meet intention from the point of inception is the Eight of Pentacles, indicating a very real-world apprenticeship already underway.

Musical notes. In the context of a descending C major scale, the first chair woodwind confidently sounds an F#, implying an upcoming upward key change to G. (The Eight of Pentacles implies a completed major scale, and so an aspect completed of something still in process.)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

An Effort Worth Repeating

Almost Daily One-up, 04/07/13

Last night I watched “The Weight of Chains,” a documentary about the rise and fall of Yugoslavia. It was made by a Serbian, and told from a point of view that was mainly Yugoslavian, supported by several international economists, journalists, and US ex-military. In it I found much revealed and much clarified; what I took away most, however, was this sense of “same-old same-old,” that the details, shocking as they are, are in a sense nothing new. The empires of Rome, the Ottoman, the Austro-Hungarian, they all had names – today the Empire is an unnamed conspiracy of convenience, sometimes conscious, sometimes not, ruled by corporate, monetary interests that know no borders. In the case of Yugoslavia and its ongoing aftermath, the US, the EU, NATO – all dressed in humanitarian-protect-the-world-for-democracy garb – are portrayed as righteous victors, but are in fact neither righteous, nor victorious, nor even conquerors. They wield the power but answer to a power undefined. The mechanics of Empire, however, are evident: deception, betrayal, misdirection, propaganda, brutality, greed, and suffering.

In the late 19th century, George Santayana stated that “those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” It’s also been said by many that “history repeats itself” – those two statements are used interchangeably. But while the first statement may be true, it occurs to me with today’s casting that the last is patently false: history never repeats itself. Panta rhei, we never step in the same river twice. What stays in place are the mechanisms – both within us individually and in turn as a society – that create history. We can imagine ourselves helplessly stuck in recurring patterns, or we can search for deeper causes. This goes for us on our individual paths as well as for us as a people: our inner Empires can be just as slippery as the outer ones. 

Today’s casting shows the Repeat card over mi, the point of “effort required.” The keycenter is A# ascending, indicating energy moving upward from the Third Eye to the Crown chakra, from the personal to the transpersonal: it’s about bringing personal wisdom and insight to the communal table and affecting real change.

We are not doomed to repeat history; we are required to persist in our efforts to see, to understand. To see the same mechanisms grinding into action again and again, and yes, to remember history, but more importantly to remember the end we desire; to be ruthless in our observations, but never unkind; to employ repeatedly the subtle shifts in focus that empower what we want and disempower what we don’t. Methinks that's the gig.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Almost Daily One-up, 04/04/13

Whatever the task at hand may seem, the true nature of your part in it is to bring peace, reconciliation, or resolution. You know this in your heart.

Casting notes. The keycenter of F Ascending points to the Heart Chakra. The scalepoint of fa ascending speaks of true nature revealed. The Major Third of Brass speaks of conciliation in the realm of movement and creativity: action for peace.

Musical notes. In the context of an ascending F major scale, trumpets sound a Bb with a D above, implying the subdominant triad – which of course wants to resolve.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Almost Daily One-up, 04/02/13

Give your ego the day off: give it – and you – a well deserved rest. Know going in that your job today is to selflessly lend your creative ideas, with no goal in mind other than lending a hand. 

Casting notes. The keycenter of D# Ascending indicates energy moving upward from the Sacral to the Solar Plexus Chakras: creative energy narrowing upward into force. This is the context to which you contribute. The scalepoint of do ascending indicates a moment of intention. The Accompanist of Woodwinds indicates service in the realm of ideas: using your brain for more than gain.

Musical notes. In the context of an ascending D# scale, the woodwinds sound do, softly creating a bedrock of support.

Meditation. We say “lend” our ideas, “lend” a hand, because what we give selflessly is always returned to us, albeit in unexpected ways. Selflessness leads to it’s own rewards, but only to the degree that rewards are forgotten: what is it to truly give?