We know his kind – the charmer, the enthusiast , the prom king… he is also the guy you can trust with your life – albeit not for prolonged periods of time ; but you can never trust with your wife…
In Christian Orthodoxy, its the lack of enthusiasm that’s consider the biggest sin – in its gravity its immediately after the suicide which would be the only sin for which there can’t be absolution…
While i don’t believe in the concept of sin, i do think institutionalized religion in its condemning the dispiritedness as one of the worst possible abominations – is after something here and i think it sprouts from the Kabbalist teaching of desire itself being the root cause of just about anything under the Sun.
And here we come to my personal Gordian Knot and the very theme of this essay – what can the Knight of Wands teach us in this very discourse , as well as – on the confusion arising from Eastern teaching of abandonment of all desires juxtaposed with the Judeo-Christian insisting on keeping the flame of the desire in your soul – be it for the union with God or for your spouse or pretty much anything per that matter.
My very first petty peeve with Buddhist teachings and practice – which albeit the sincere effort i don’t claim to have understood properly – was the teaching of suffering, that everything is suffering… well, it ain’t and we know it.
To me Blake’s seeing the world in a grain of sand, and a heaven in a wild flower is the ideal i personally strive to , because there is beauty everywhere around us…
I didn’t have it easy – living through four ethnic wars in former Yugoslavia, going to work under bombs (literally), living in emigration and having experienced numerous situations and personal circumstances that widely are viewed as tragic. And yet its that very deep, innate and free of dogma belief that kept me going – the belief that this rough patch will eventually be left behind , that it all will make sense one day and that i will feel that quiet and calm happiness about ordinary things once again… And that the very day i will live on this earth and in this life – and not in any other realm or life. And it was so.
What did the Knight of Wands thought me on my personal quest?
I am working with Osho Zen Tarot – and the turtle depicted on the card “Slowing Down” has the reverse message of the traditional interpretations of the Knight of Wands who is always on the go, excited about his travels and always enthusiastic about some new adventure… albeit his passion might not last and as soon as tomorrow he’ll probably have abandoned his thrilling undertakings of today and will be heading full steam ahead towards some other, unexpected even for him direction…
We do need his enthusiasm, we do need to love and be excited about what we do; yet very soon, in order to be taken seriously – we are expected to imbue that passion with the qualities of durability and persistence – and that’s where the biggest challenge of our Knight of Wands lies.
I am born and raised within a culture that is all about duty and very little about personal enjoyment; Montenegrin society is historically tribal and its the tribe that comes first – with its interests and disputes and wars; then within the tribes are smaller divisions – brotherhoods where everyone is basically your extended family – and, last but not the least, there is your own biological family; we are thought that the interest of the group comes first – and wasn’t it like that, probably the small nation high in the mountain wreaths of Western Balkan would have not survived in the harsh historical conditions they were placed…
But, the collateral damage of such tradition where duty comes first is that most of us function on auto-pilot: you make friends with whom you are expected to, you “choose ” profession that your family finds suitable and you “choose” a spouse that they expect you to – traditionally marriages were mostly arranged and even nowdays its not unheard of.
There is very little of your own will in those choices – not accepting them would mean distancing yourself from your tribe/clan, where the chances of survival would be minimal -even nowdays as the society functions on nepotism and family ties.
But, wherever you are born – the society is placing hard expectations on you – what you have to do and what you shan’t be doing, under any circumstances…
Thus all of us, from the very start, have very little chance to recognize our respective vocations and, so, find the true fulfillment.
Not your Knight of Wands. He might give in to socialization, but not for long – even if he agrees to an arranged marriage, soon he’ll leave his bride behind and sail towards some new shores; even if he accepts some respectable, yet boring job – don’t expect him to earn his pension there, you might soon hear that he joined some cruise ship or found some other unexpected source of income and way of living… and that won’t last too long either, as his enthusiasm wears out soon.
So, somehow, we’d need to develop the passion for right things and right people – in a way that will enable us to stick to the choices we made long enough for the metaphorical fruit of that endeavor to ripen.
I have no idea for now how to achieve that – my physical body is pretty adamant on what makes it happy – good food, comfort, warmth, caressing, leisure… My mind acts like a slave runner adding more and more things to do and conditions to fulfill before its satisfied… and that’s never.
My soul just wants to be in peace.
Its that very balance between the three where i think the solution is – albeit achieving it is easier said than done.
For the beginning – we all must slow down. Too many impulses are received from the surroundings, too much noise, too many thoughts of others – too little anything that is inherently our own.
Its Friday afternoon, in couple of hours i will light the candles and say the blessing which symbolizes the beginning of the Day of Rest in Jewish tradition.
I don’t keep all the mitzvot – but i do refrain from watching tv, driving, shopping, using the phone, discussing mundane matters and so on; that’s the day for my soul to remember why she came to this earth…
And her motivation certainly wasn’t heading any of the two main directions that the contemporary consumerism – the dead-born of the late liberal capitalism - is pushing us towards: the rat race and the ‘shop til you drop’ lunacy.
My own soul’s passion which i never had to fuel is the occult – certainly it seemed quite wrong of an interest for a nice Montengrin girl and a schooled diplomat… but that’s my inner flame that keeps me away from the infamous dispiritedness.
That’s what i will be doing during next 24 or so hours – reading thought provoking books, studying Kabbalah, meditating on Tarot cards and that will recharge my batteries for the working week ahead when i will shapeshift into the little rat once again…
Somewhere along the way, i expect to meet the charming Knight of Wands – he might just wave at me as he rides by, or he might stop for a while to exchange a word or two with me…
If he does, i’ll certainly keep you posted on how it went.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!
Copyright © 2012 Lena Ruth Stefanovic
All Rights Reserved
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