Thursday, May 30, 2013

Almost Daily One-up. 05/30/13

It is tranquility, peace, that is needed now. Creativity blooms in silence within.

Casting notes. The keycenter of D ascending speaks of the Sacral Plexus Chakra, of creative forces at work or play. The scalepoint of le descending indicates a time of dependence, of something needed or needy. The Tranquillo Card is a directive to express in a peaceful and tranquil manner.

Musical notes. In the Muzoracle, every major scale implies another major scale traveling in the opposite direction a tritone away: a D ascending scale, like the one in this casting, implies a concurrent Ab descending scale. In this case, when the scalepoint of le appears, we sound a Bb: the flat 6 in an ascending D scale, yes,  – but also, and most importantly, re in a descending Ab scale. 

Playing around with this on the piano this morning, I found myself playing a riff from a piece I wrote long ago. It’s called “Home,” and is very tranquil in nature – it’s about Hoofhaven, my home in in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and it’s in D, and le figures heavily. I was just there a couple of days ago, immersed in tranquility - so I included it here. (The crickets, btw, were recorded by hanging a couple of microphones out in the canyon at night. Above left, the pond at Hoofhaven in very early spring. ☺)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Thoughts Spring Forward: Almost Daily One-up, 05/20/13

The world is ready for your ideas: they are budding and soon shall bloom. Relax! Proceed! Share!

Casting notes. The keycenter of C Descending emphasizes the connection between the Root Chakra and the Earth: it speaks of a deeply grounded vitality, a relaxed, embodied confidence. The scalepoint of do descending indicates a new beginning, a seed that, while we may not see its fruits yet, has already germinated, is already on its way. 

The Soloist of Woodwinds is the archetype of the independent thinker – and not only are her or his thoughts free, they have weight, they have clarity, they are of value to others. This casting indicates a time where we can proceed with our ideas in utter confidence. 

Musical notes. An airy flute sounds a confident C, initiating a downward major scale.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Clarity Begins in the Body: Almost Daily One-up, 05-15-13

We must have “harmony in body” in order to experience intuition, insight, and clarity of thought. Consider this: feelings manifest in the body – if they didn’t, we wouldn’t know we were having them (think about it – if it weren’t for the butterflies, how would you know you were nervous? If it weren’t for the openness in your chest, how would you know it was love?) Each thought we have subtly – or not so subtly – carries some sort of feeling with it: call it “opinion.” As we journey through our thinking and feeling day, then, bodily tensions of various sorts arise and hold – and shape the apparatus that does further thinking. Our clarity of thought begins to unravel; new feelings arise from our muddied thoughts, which in turn manifest in the body, which lead to thoughts and opinions removed further yet from anything core. You get the idea – we start the day somewhat awake, and finish it a reactive, tense mess that needs a cocktail.

The upshot is we can’t clear our heads by starting in our heads – we can’t think our way into clarity. We need to check in with our bodies first, to quiet them, to acknowledge what’s happening, to release tensions where we can. Any meditation or yoga practice worth its salt involves that, and that’s what’s called for here: whatever our belief systems or lack thereof, we need to develop a practice, a technique.  “Know thyself” isn’t a thinking thing, it’s a body thing – or at least it starts that way. “I think, therefore I am” is fantasy. I am, whenceforth I think.

Casting notes. The keycenter is A ascending, indicating issues involving the Third Eye chakra: intuition, insight, clarity of thought. The scalepoint is me descending, indicating governance, the point in process where rules are laid down. The card is a Major Triad of Percussion: harmony in the realm of the physical, of body, health, wealth, home, community.

Musical notes. In the context of an ascending A major scale, a 2nd position C major triad sounds percussively, affecting a somber and cool shift into Dorian. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Almost Daily One-up, 05/09/13

If you wish to truly be heard and understood, you need to show up in person. Social media is not social engagement - you've got a body, bring it.

Casting notes. The keycenter of A# ascending references energy moving upward from the Third Eye to the Crown chakras, from the personal to the transpersonal. The scalepoint of re indicates habitual, reactive behavior; the Soloist of Percussion indicates going solo in a physical sense, as in being literally, physically alone. The image: a person trying to bring their insight to the world while remaining physically isolated, as is their habit.

Musical notes. In the context of an ascending Bb major scale, a C rings out: Are you sleeping? 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Weight of Ease: Almost Daily One-up, 05/05/13

The whole “be careful what you wish for” line of thinking is, for the most part, fraught with bullshit. What, we’re not supposed to wish or hope or work toward anything we desire because it’s all going to wind up a mess anyway? Thanks, Eeyore, I’ll get right on that.

But there is a kernel of truth to be found buried in that old saw: everything has a cost. We generally wish things for ourselves that will bring us ease or happiness. Every new circumstance, however, involves new territory, and so brings new challenges; and we can’t consider those challenges ahead of time because we don’t know what they’re going to be until our wish comes true. 

That’s what today’s casting looks at: the weight of ease. The Major Third of Percussion – ease in the realm of health, wealth, home, sex, anything physical – is dangling off of re, the last note of the scale. And, being in the key of E, we’re feeling that weight in our Solar Plexus: it’s sucking the life out of us, making us feel weak. WTF, we’re thinking, this was supposed to be fun!

What needs to be remembered is that challenges are golden. Sounds ridiculous when we’re in the soup, I know, but consider this: life a trip to the soul gym – we want to finish the program stronger than when we started. We don’t learn so much when things are rosy. The trick is to see our challenges as part of a larger, often indiscernible process, and, when we’re not too emotionally overwhelmed, to find that quiet place within that can accept and even embrace them. That itself tricky to maintain: can we do so without running some sort of martyr drama? It’s all part of the work, chums. Remember that major third is still a major third: even when it feels heavy, it’s still a gift.

Musical notes: In the context of an E descending major scale, a marimba rolls an F# with a D below: a gentle dissonance and a gentle glimpse of a new key, a new context, unfolding.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Sowing to Reap at Beltane

Spring is at its apogee, Beltane is here, and with it its famous fires. As I see it, there are two aspects of the Beltane Fires: the fiery, creative aspect we usually associate with spring, and the less considered one that deals with what exactly we are burning. This casting addresses both.

In the first position, over the scalepoint of fa, we find the Fermata Card with The Moon above it: the Moon reveals Herself to us and we are held in thrall. Tonight, Beltane Night, the Moon is on the wane: She won’t let go until we let go – of our excess psychic schmutz. The third and final position finds the moon-ish scalepoint of le with the Editing Card and the Four of Pentacles dangling from it like a pendulum. Drawing our energy, dragging us down, the Editing Card speaks of the things we need to cut, to excise from our lives; the Four tells us we’re attached to those things, that we don’t want to let them go. These are the fuel for our fire, these bookend positions.

The second, center position of the casting forms its axis. Here, over the double scalepoint of la, we find the Improvisation Card crossed by an Accompanist of Voices. This interesting cross tells us of a need to expect the unexpected, and respond in real time to events as they unfold; and at the same time to always be foremost of service. It’s like a spiritual calling to be spontaneously kind. Above the cross, the Page of Pentacles travels downward from the point of Governance, reinforcing the notions of spontaneity and springtime abundance – he stands in flowers and newly furrowed fields – and promising success. The keycenter of the casting is A# ascending, which speaks of energy moving upward from the Third Eye to the Crown Chakras, from the personal to the transpersonal – a kind of melding with and giving back to the collective.

In addition to the fire metaphor, we may also see in this casting elements of that other most wondrous of Beltane mysteries: compost. As we discover things that we once held dear are no longer serving us, may we lovingly turn them under. As the warming spring days fill our hearts with gladness, may we we simply give what is needed wherever and whenever, in a relaxed and spontaneous way… remember the blossoms.

And in gratitude may we reap.